Hamilton Super Crawl means changes to transit Route 1 and 101 Detour – Hamilton - Sept. 14, 15 & 16

notices100x100By Staff

September 12th, 2108



Hamilton’s Super Crawl requires changes in transit routes.

Route 1 and 101 will be detouring around the Supercrawl event starting on Friday, Sept. 14 to Sunday, Sept. 16.

Hamilton, Ontario, September 13,2014, Huge crowds at The Arkells concert Friday night at SuperCrawl. Cathie Coward/ Hamilton Spectator

Hamilton, Ontario, September 13,2014, Huge crowds at The Arkells concert Friday night at SuperCrawl. Cathie Coward/ Hamilton Spectator

Detour Area: James St. between King St. and Strachan St. W. and York St. between Bay St. N. and Hughson St. N.

Detour Dates: Friday, Sept. 14 to Sunday, Sept. 16

Detour Routes: Routes 1 and 101 will turn right onto Queen St., left onto Main St., left onto John St., left onto John St. and left onto King St. and continue regular routing.

Stops not in service: 911 (York Blvd at Bay St.) 912 (York Blvd at Park St.), 834 (York Blvd at James St), 681 (Wilson St at John St.), and 680 (Catherine St. at King William St.)

Proceed to:
• Bay St. N. at Vine St. (#682) for Route 1
• York Blvd. at Queen St. N. (#913) for Route 101 (Friday)
• King St. at James St. N. (#679) for Route 1 and 101.

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Eagles bring home hardware early in the season - six teams make the city proud.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

September 12th, 2018



The first series of tournament to kick-off the 2018-2019 season were held last weekend; the Burlington Eagles came ready to compete in 2018-2019 with an unprecedented 6 Tournament Championships.

Burlington Eagles Elite players from different ages and levels were competing all over Southern Ontario. The amazing efforts of all the players is recognized as they continue to demonstrate why the Burlington Eagles Elite is considered one of the top programs in Ontario.

The six teams bringing home the Championship hardware this weekend are:

burlington-eagles-hockey-114187588871: Minor Bantam AA Gold, Team Sponsored by Burlington Mall: Vaughan Ranger Early Bird
2: Minor Bantam AA Blue: Team Sponsored by National Sports :Garden City (St. Catharines)
3: Minor Bantam A, Team Sponsored by Sport Chek: Niagara Falls Early Bird
4: Peewee A, Team Sponsored by Mark’s: September Showdown
5: Minor Peewee AA Gold, Team Sponsored by Mark’s Commercial: Vaughan Ranger Early Bird
6: Atom A, Team Sponsored by Global Fuel: KMHA Early Bird

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Public school board to host a human rights symposium in December; nationally recognized and respected indigenous leaders to take part.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 12th, 2018



The Halton District School Board is proud to be hosting a Human Rights Symposium this year to bring together educational and community partners to engage in vital conversations focused on Indigenous Rights and the current realities faced by Indigenous Peoples. The Symposium will take place on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at the Holiday Inn Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre (3063 South Service Rd., Burlington).



Jesse Wente


Susan Aglukark

A full day of learning is planned with breakout sessions. The symposium is highlighted by two keynote speakers – Canadian singer songwriter Susan Aglukark, followed by CBC broadcaster, film and pop culture critic Jesse Wente. An agenda and list of workshop presenters can be viewed here.

Registration for the Human Rights Symposium opens Tuesday, September 11, 2018. Registration includes breakfast, lunch, keynotes and workshops. To register now, click here.

blankets - all the land

A blanket ceremony done by Nelson high school students. The ceremony is a powerful depiction of the shrinking land mass that the First Nations used to have,

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

“Human Rights is the work and responsibility of all members of society,” says Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education for the Halton District School Board. “As such, we’re looking forward to bringing educators and community partners together to listen and engage in focused learning about Indigenous rights and actions to move us forward in a good way.”

“The Halton District School Board recognizes the importance of engaging in vital conversations to challenge our thinking,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “The Human Rights Symposium provides an opportunity for community partners to gather together to examine important issues connected with implementing the National Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action.”

For event details or support with the registration process, please email symposium@hdsb.ca.

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Ward 3 candidate regrets the fund raising error - raffle proceeds have been returned.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 12th, 2018



Rory Nisan, a candidate for the ward 3 seat released a statement Tuesday evening saying he “was made aware by the City of Burlington on Monday afternoon that there could be an issue with the raffle held at a community barbecue” he hosted on Sunday, September 9.

Rory Nisan

Ward 3 candidate Rory Nisan

Nisan also said: “It quickly became clear to me that I had made a mistake by holding a raffle without a permit.

“I regret this error.

“I have reached out to the City to find out how best to rectify the situation. I have also voluntarily cancelled the raffle and have already returned almost all contributions and am in the process of contacting the raffle participants to provide refunds.


Table offering raffle tickets which are not permitted as a fund raiser

“As far as corporate donations are concerned, the 2018 Candidates Guide for Ontario Municipal Council and School Board Elections states on p. 23 that vendors may make personal contributions of goods and services.

“Also, returning an ineligible contribution is the correct response (p.20-21) should one be received. After discussing with the city and the province, I am convinced that there is no corporate donation being made to my campaign.

“I look forward to resolving the issue of the permit by-law soon.”

Nisan sees the error as minor and that the matter is now closed.

Related news story:

Gareth Williams wants Elections Clerk to investigate fund raising efforts by Rory Nisan

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Rhythm and Beat to take over the Art Gallery during the launch of Culture Days in Burlington

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 12th, 2018



The Arts and Culture Council of Burlington (ACCOB), in collaboration with the City of Burlington and the Art Gallery of Burlington, is presenting a celebration of the City’s rich artistic and multicultural tapestry at the Art Gallery of Burlington on Friday September 29th, 2019 from 6:30- 9 pm.

This free event, which is open to everyone young and old, will feature some of the city’s finest performing and visual artists in various spaces within the AGB.

True to the theme of the 2018 Culture Days, RHYTHM AND BEAT- an exploration of drumming and rhythm- the event will feature a number of examples of drumming from Indigenous, Asian and Caribbean groups within the city. In addition, the Gallery will be humming with a wide variety of musicians, dancers, singers, poets, choirs, orchestras, theatre and opera companies, as well as numerous visual artists from various genres.

This celebration marks the launch of Burlington’s Culture Days festivities, which will take place throughout the weekend of September 28th- 30th.

Culture days - Burlington markCulture Days is a national initiative that was founded in 2010, that aims to raise awareness, provide accessibility and encourage participation and engagement in the arts and cultural life of the country. It is taking place in communities across Canada.

A variety of performances, workshops and demonstrations will take place at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre throughout Saturday and Saturday. Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm, the Museums of Burlington will host Doors Open, a province-wide event that celebrates heritage sites, noteworthy buildings and places of interest through the City.

Culture day dancer

Denise-Delilah McQuabbie was Miss Shawanaga First Nation. She will perform at the ACCOB Culture Days event at the Art Gallery

A variety of special activities will be taking place in a number of these locations. All of these activities offer free admission.

The Arts and Culture Council of Burlington was incorporated in 2017 with the express purpose of increasing public understanding, knowledge and appreciation of arts and culture in Burlington and region; to be a catalyst to inspire, engage, connect and advocate on behalf of members of the artistic and cultural communities; and to promote and foster artistic and cultural development in the city.
More details about artists and performances on September 28th will follow shortly.

6:30- 9 PM

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Ward 3 Council Candidate Gareth Williams requesting Election Clerk take action against possible campaign finance and fundraising rule violations

council 100x100By Staff

September 12th, 2018



Ward 3 Council Candidate Gareth Williams is requesting City of Burlington Election Clerks take action against possible campaign finance and fundraising rule violations by fellow candidate Rory Nisan.

On Sunday, September 9th, Nisan held an event advertised as a “Community BBQ,” at which his campaign sold tickets for a raffle lottery with the proceeds going to his campaign. According to several of Nisan’s own social media posts, the sum total of prizes were valued over $900, and he also mentioned some prizes were donated by local businesses.


Table with raffle ticket sale incentives.

The Gareth Williams campaign confirmed with the Clerk’s office in the days leading up to the event that a raffle was not a permitted fundraising activity for a candidate based Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) regulations, which are readily available online. Only charities or non-profits may hold raffle type events, and only when licensed by the City. A municipal campaign or candidate would not qualify. Williams notified the Clerks office of the advertisements for the event but the raffle went forward nonetheless. Attempts to follow up with the Clerk’s office on Monday were not successful. A complaint has also been filed with the AGCO.

Gareth Williams

Ward 3 candidate Gareth wants a clean campaign.

In addition, according to changes made last year to the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, no candidate may accept contributions from businesses, only personal contributions from Ontario residents. Nisan posted multiple times to social media thanking businesses for their donations to his community BBQ raffle. Based on these posts, it seems that Mr. Nisan may have accepted corporate donations.

holacafe_donationFurthermore, according to testimony from witnesses, event organizers offered raffle tickets for selected prizes as an inducement for attendees agreeing to take a campaign lawn sign.

“It is the responsibility of candidates to inform themselves of and follow the rules that govern election campaigns. Other candidates in Ward 3 and throughout the City have successfully followed the rules, and Mr. Nisan appears to have either not learned the rules, or opted not to abide by them.” said Williams.

“The voters and other candidates of Ward 3 deserve a clean campaign, and Mr. Nisan owes them an explanation for his behaviour.”


Related news story:

Nisan regrets the fund raising error

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Leena Sharma Seth appointed Manager Grants and Donour Relations for Burlington Foundation..

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 12th, 2018



Colleen Mullholland, president of the Burlington Foundation, announced the appointment of Leena Sharma Seth as the Manager Grants and Donour Relations.

Poverty-Leena-Sharma-SethLeena has been working to empower people and communities for over two decades. Passionate about creating strong and equitable communities, Leena has leveraged this passion in service for organizations that include Global Vision (Kuala Lumpur), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Halton, and over the past five years with the Halton Poverty Roundtable. Leena is a trained community mediator and completed a Master’s in Conflict Analysis & Management at Royal Roads University in 2012.

Leena is a collective impact champion, having experienced its power to advance impact in her work at the Halton Poverty Roundtable. Leena looks forward to supporting her own community of Burlington as Burlington Foundation continues to grow and focuses on helping all those in need, today and for tomorrow.

Please take this opportunity to update your contact information. Leena can be reached at: lsharmaseth@burlingtonfoundation.org or at 905-639-0744 x221.

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Blair Lancaster tells ECoB she will not take part in the ward 6 debate. That decision could cost her the seat.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2018



Ward 6 city council incumbent Blair Lancaster has said she is not going to take part in the ward level debate that is to take place on September 20th, at the theatre in the Hayden High school.

Lancaster bases part of her decision on the “exposing the alternative motives behind Engaged Citizens of Burlington – ECOB”, the group that organized the debates.

Further Lancaster refers to a photograph that has three people on one of the The Issue program which Lancaster claims “is clearly a bias when the host of the show ran against me in the past and the co-host ran against me in the past and is now running again against me. I will not be participating in a debate hosted and organized by such an obvious biased group of individuals.”

Blair on The Issue

From the left: Mark Carr, Angelo Bentivegna, Lisa Kerns and Jim Young.

When ECoB became aware of Lancaster’s concerns they arranged for Deb Tymstra to serve as the moderator for the ward 6 debate. That apparently wasn’t enough for Lancaster,

Where is the bias?

There is still time for the council members to change their minds and be responsible and accountable to the people that elected them.


Deb Tymstra will serve as the moderator for the ward 6 debate – replacing Mark Carr.

All the ECoB people did was book the space, organization the event and keep everyone informed. The looked for a moderator who was experienced and had a strong, positive reputation in the community. Mark Carr is the host of The Issue, a weekly program aired on the Cogeco network

Cogeco has a license to operate a cable network that comes from the federal Canadian Radio and Telecommunication Committee.

These guys are about as above board as you can get.

Goldring and Carr Cogeco Cable

Mark Carr with Mayor Goldring doing a Cogeco broadcast from city council chamber.

Mark Carr has a group of co-hosts that he rotates through. Angelo Bentivegna, who is running against Blair Lancaster.

Quite why Lancaster doesn’t want to participate in a debate intended for the people in her ward is difficult to understand.

What is most interesting is that the three incumbent members of the current city council have decided not to participate in the debates organized by a citizens group. And that is all ECoB did – organize the event.

In most civilized communities the elected would applaud a group of volunteers that put in the time, effort and energy to make the debates possible. It has not been an easy task.

Lancaster as Dep Mayor Sept 28-15

Blair Lancaster got serve as the Mayor’s deputy and chaired a council meeting. She kind of liked sitting there – she didn’t get to wear the chain of office.

In 2010 when Blair Lancaster first ran for a seat on city council she was also a member of the group that wrote the Shape Burlington report. Should that have precluded her from running for public office?

When she was elected to city council she voted to approve and adopt the Shape Burlington report – then managed to forget everything in the document.

One of the prime recommendations was to encourage the development of community ward level organizations.

This city council consistently speaks of the need to engage the community – but when a community organization is created this city council does everything to shut them down.

What this city council likes is the citizen Advisory groups that they create, determine who will sit on the committee and then assign a council member to “guide” them.

Citizens have had enough.

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The Borrow a Bike program is now operational - for the senior set.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 11th, 2018



For those who want to peddle around the city and try using a bicycle there are now bikes that you can borrow at the Seniors Centre on New Street across the park from the library.

The city now has a Borrow-A-Bike Program for older adults and it is s ready to roll.

bike borrowing

Nice bright colours and now cross bar that you have to get your leg over.

The bikes have easy-to-shift gears and no cross bar, the two step-through bicycles and one three-wheeler bicycle are perfect for new and experienced cyclists. Baskets, horns, locks and helmets are included with each bike borrowed in the no-cost program.

Participants must visit the Burlington Seniors’ Centre to complete a waiver before signing bikes out. The bicycles are available during regular business hours from April to November, weather permitting.

The City of Burlington encourages people of all ages to get outside and enjoy the many parks, outdoor spaces, playfields and recreational play experiences that support active living and a healthy lifestyle for all ages, abilities and cultures. Explore the many play experiences. Get Outside. Live & Play Every Day.

The bicycles were donated with provincial funding through the Burlington Cycling Advisory Committee.
Mandy Newnham, Supervisor of Recreation said: “The Borrow-A-Bike program was developed collaboratively with the Burlington Cycling Committee with the goal of making the joy of cycling accessible to all. The sturdy, yet stylish, bicycles are a comfortable and safe way to feel the wind in your hair. Grab a friend and tour the area or pick up groceries while cycling along the path, without any storage or maintenance worries.”

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Applefest; a family event that celebrates the end of the harvest season takes place at Ireland House this weekend.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

September 11th, 2018



There is that fall festival hymn:

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;

farnfest tractor + stage

Loads of things for the younger ones to do.

Burlington’s rural roots made farming a part of our DNA. The folks at Ireland House do an annual event that takes a stab at experiencing the tradition this Sunday, September 16, 11 am to 4 pm.

Meet baby farm animals (bunnies, goats, ducklings & chicks!)

Burlington Horticultural Society – make a fall floral arrangement in a mason jar

Fallfest hay maze

The hay maze is a challenge – hopefully someone explains where the hay came from and what farmers do with it.

Face painting

Children’s crafts

Fair-style games: can stacking, ring toss, horseshoes

Historic house tours and demonstrations

Hay maze

Pony rides

Vendors’ market

Main stage entertainment

Applefest Fall Fair is part of the Museums of Burlington program that takes place with the assistance of  many volunteers.

Admission is FREE, courtesy of our sponsor, The Rocca Sisters Team.

Parking is available at MM Robinson High School, 2425 Upper Middle Road.

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Rick Craven at his worst ... To sully his own reputation like this is disappointing.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 10th, 2018



So it has come to this.

One had hoped that he might go quietly into the night – but that is obviously not going to happen.
Councillor Rick Craven published a vitriolic screed about why he could not support Marianne Meed Ward as Mayor.


Craven and Meed Ward couldn’t get further apart – bad blood between the two of them.

There was never any doubt that he was not going to support her. The bad blood between the two of them was evident almost before Meed Ward became a council member.

For Craven to come out publicly against Meed Ward at this point in the campaign is very telling – Craven realizes that she has traction and that the incumbent Mayor is in serious trouble.

We have inserted our own editorial comments alongside what Craven wrote. This kind of cheap garbage cannot be left to stand without some comment.

In his Facebook comments Craven said:

Meed Ward for Mayor – I don’t think so.

There’s one fundamental fact about this election that I hope Burlington voters understand.

The mayor of Burlington has no power.

Under the rules set up by the Province we have what is known as a “weak mayor” system. The only power the mayor has is the power to call a meeting and the power to declare an emergency. That’s it! Everything else must negotiated with the other members of Council. This requires skill, diplomacy, care and compromise; traits that Marianne Meed Ward has failed to demonstrate.

Diplomacy, care and compromise are not exactly skill sets that Craven has demonstrated in the eight years the Gazette has watched him

Her inability to pass most of her major proposals is clear evidence that she has no interest in negotiating with her council colleagues. It’s all about her. She thinks she has all the answers and the rest of Council can simply go to hell.

Meed Ward supporters will argue that her routine 6-1 losses result from the fact that the rest of us simply don’t get it and that she is usually right and the rest of us are usually wrong.


The six other members of council are mostly wrong and Meed Ward mostly right? Surely the average Burlington voter knows that this is simply not probable.

Meed Ward supporters will tell you that the 6 to 1 losses are a badge of courage. I think they are a testament to failure. They are a testament to her inability to get along with others in authority.

So, Meed Ward can make all the promises she likes: promises that sound good and appeal to the disappointed, the angry and the worried in our City, but her record would suggest that she simply does not have the skill to get her agenda passed. She is too adversarial.

She is not a consensus builder.

I’m not the only one who believes this.

Columnist and former City Councillor Joan Little wrote “She’s smart, but not well liked by colleagues – a big minus at the mayor level”.

Joan also wrote “Meed Ward has a sharp mind and a lot to offer, but is disliked by many colleagues, and a mayor needs council support. For that reason she’d likely be ineffective.”

The Burlington Gazette wrote “One must admit that Meed Ward does run on – frequently. She has no friends on Council.”

Craven never recognizes the Gazette for what it is: a credentialed newspaper that is published on a web site. However, now that it serves his purpose, Craven quotes us.

Burlington once had a mayor who thought he was smarter than the rest of us and didn’t need to consider Council’s views. During his four years in office Cam Jackson caused a lot of problems at City Hall. Little was accomplished and 17 senior staff left the City taking decades of expertise with them. Today, we call the Cam Jackson term “the lost years”.

I have worked with Marianne Meed Ward for 8 years. I cannot support her for mayor. Today, I have outlined just one of the many reasons. We don’t need another Cam.

Rick Craven did not work with Marianne Meed Ward – he sat beside her and never missed a chance to belittle her, diminish her and disrespect her.

His personal behaviour to the woman was shameful. Much of what we know about that behaviour is confidential – we were asked to keep it confidential and will respect that request. We do want to add that Rick Craven has represented the city on the Police Services Board for the eight years we have been following him. Connect the dots.

Let us just leave it at that.

Craven said he: “Fully expects to be vilified for this in social media by Meed Ward supporters, but it can’t be helped. This election is too important. I cannot remain silent.” Indeed, when it comes to Meed Ward Rick Craven cannot remain silent. It is Craven at his worst which is unfortunate because during his time as the Councillor for Ward 1 he did a lot for the Aldershot community.

To sully his own reputation like this is disappointing.

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


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Who is ECoB - and why do three members of council put in so much time ridiculing a citizens group ?

council 100x100By Staff

September 10th, 2018



There are people out there who are doing their darndest to scupper the candidate debates that ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington have organized in all six wards and a debate for those running for Mayor.

The three city council incumbents seeking re-election: Councillors Sharman, Dennison and Lancaster have said publicly that they will not be taking part in the debates – because they don’t see ECoB as credible.

We asked Engaged Citizens of Burlington ( ECoB). Who are you? What are the organization’s objectives, and what is the role you feel you play in Burlington?

These are the questions that some have been asking.

Here is the response we got:

Engaged Citizens of Burlington ( ECoB) was formed in November 2107 by a group of citizens who were concerned about the approval of the development application for a 24 storey condominium at 421 Brant Street. With donations received at that initial meeting we were able to incorporate as a not for profit.

ECOB logo

While the city talked about Engagement – a group of citizens formed an organization and invited others to take part. Close to 100 people showed up on a winter’s night to listen – and donated enough money to let them incorporate and organize election debates.

ECoB , a totally volunteer organization, could not have accomplished anything without the continued help and guidance of loyal supporters.

The objects for which the corporation is incorporated are:

a) To advance the rights and interests of citizens of the City of Burlington, Ontario by engaging and informing those citizens in affairs which concern and affect them.

b) To enhance communications and access to information for citizens of the City of Burlington, Ontario by collecting and disseminating information on topics which concern and affect them.

c) To liaise with other non-profit community groups and associations, government and governmental agencies and organizations in encouraging citizens of the City of Burlington to participate in community decision-making.

The special provisions are:

The corporation shall be carried on without the purpose of gain for its members, and any profits or other accretions to the corporation shall be used in promoting its objects.

People who are leery about ECoB ask: why isn’t there information on their Facebook page?

The person who handles the Facebook page has been away.

The twitter account was suspended by ECoB when the password for the account was in the hands of a member of the Board who had resigned. That password is being recovered and our understanding is that ECoB will begin tweeting again soon.

ECoB’s : Accomplishments:

– Held public meetings to encourage public engagement.

ECoB Crowd Feb 22

People interested in running for office attending an ECoB event.

– Held a forum for residents considering running in the Municipal Election.

– Met with the Downtown BIA.

– Met with the Chamber of Commerce.

– Met with staff of the Planning Department, The Transit Department and some of the ward councilors to bring the issues of the residents with regard to intensification in the downtown core.

Ecob model #2

People delegating at a city council meeting asked if staff could provide some kind of a drawing showing where these new high rise buildings were going to be located and how they measured up against what the city looks like now. Staff said they couldn’t do that – so the ECoB people made up a to scale model using Lego blocks. It was a creative solution to a simple, reasonable request.

– Built to scale a 3D Lego Model to show the impact of the approved and proposed buildings on Brant/James Street.

– Held a rally at City Hall to show citizen support for not adopting a New Official Plan until crucial studies, i.e. transit, transportation had been completed.
– Delegated at City Hall.

The comments above came from ECoB – they are well aware of their shortcomings

ECoB’s Failures:

We failed to proceed with an appeal to LPAT with regard to the approved development of 421 Brant Street.

ECoB came to realize that citizen engagement has to start at the beginning of the application process not when a report is brought to Council to approve. Delegation should be the last avenue of engagement not the first.

Citizen Engagement in Burlington has been an issue for many years. In 2010 Shape Burlington, a committee that was headed up by John Boich and Walter Mulkewich brought forward a report to re-shape the way citizens interact with elected officials and staff. Unfortunately this report seems to have been put on a shelf and ignored.

ECoB takes the recommendations that came from Shape Burlington as a cornerstone for Citizen Engagement. The ward candidate debates were organized with that in mind. The purpose of these debates is to inform not to influence.

There are many residents of Burlington that are presently working diligently to help candidates with their campaigns who feel strongly about citizen engagement.

ECoB will be approaching them to join with the object of forming independent ward level advisory groups. These groups would work with staff not only when a planning application comes into the city, but also on an ongoing basis to provide a voice for the residents.

ECoB was formed to fulfill the promise that members of the current council has been talking about for the past eight years. Now that those members of Council have to “walk their talk” they have chosen to avoid having to stand before their constituents and be truly accountable and engaged.

The irony of all this is that two of the three; Lancaster and Sharman were members of the Shape Burlington committee.



The Shape Burlington Report.

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City administration runs amok with electioneering rules that defy understanding.

opinionviolet 100x100

By Jim Young

September 10th, 2018


This is my Political Fridge Magnet.

fridge magnet

Political magnet on a fridge

When I stick it on my fridge it tells my friends, family and anyone else raiding my fridge for stale pizza or a cold beer, who I support in the upcoming Burlington Election.

As is my right in our democracy, I also hope it helps persuade my fridge raiders to support my candidate too.
It is after all a “Political Fridge Magnet”

fridge magnet on a car

Political magnet on a car

This was my Political Fridge Magnet when I stuck it on my Car.

My hope was that, without distracting other road users, I might inform and persuade them to support my candidate too.

That’s how our democracy works right?


According to Burlington Elections Office, when I stick my political fridge magnet on my car, it becomes an election sign and since election signs on cars are limited to one per candidate, my fridge magnet becomes illegal.

Bylaw Staff are interpreting “one per candidate” to mean “one per campaign”.

This seems ridiculous, we do not limit candidates to one lawn sign per campaign.

Also, I am not a candidate so the limit for “candidates” should not apply to me.

Based on this overreaching interpretation, I am not allowed to let my fellow Burlingtonians know how I will vote or to encourage their participation in the election by using my fridge magnet on my car.

It cannot be the size of the sign that offends nor the content.

After September 8th, people will be allowed to put much larger signs on their lawns that will say exactly the same thing.

Many citizens will do this in favour of their favourite candidate.

That is one of the fun, informative and engaging features of our democracy.

Except I don’t have a lawn. I live in an apartment.

If I was wealthy enough to own a house, I could have a lawn sign 100 times bigger than my fridge magnet but the poor fridge magnet on my car would still be deemed illegal.

This is my Political Fridge Magnet on my car when I stick some really ugly masking tape on it to hide the word Mayor.

Apparently that makes it legal and in compliance with Election Sign and Election Car Magnet rules.

I’m going to leave it on my car like that and I won’t tell anyone it says “Mayor” under there if you don’t.
(Rumour has it that the folks at MMW’s campaign office have colour coordinated tape for just this purpose.)

This degree of bureaucratic nonsense makes my head spin and while it easy to make fun of, it begs answers to the following:

1. Does our city really pay an electoral officer to monitor fridge magnets?

2. Does a bylaw allowing election signs on lawns, and nowhere else, discriminate against those who do not have lawns? Those without lawns tend to be the poor, the marginalised, the young, the elderly and the less abled who cannot afford a home with an expanse of lawn. (On a truly silly note, but no sillier than the bylaw, what if economic circumstances force me to live in my car? Can I call my hood my lawn and stick my fridge magnet there? Just asking.)

3. On a deeper level: This is an infringement upon my freedom of speech, freedom of political thought and my freedom to express that thought? Surely that runs counter to the whole purpose of elections in a free and open society.

4. This is the kind of silencing of citizen voices we saw in this council’s attempt to reduce citizen delegation time last year, and the insistence, despite all evidence, that we were fully consulted on major issues like The Official Plan and Downtown Intensification, that are giving rise to citizen groups demanding better from our city council and the number of candidates vying to replace them.

Jim Young standingJim Young is an Aldershot resident who delegates before city council frequently. 

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Fibre Content Exhibit open at the AGB - some very fine work on display, well worth the time.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 10th, 2018



The reception for the Fourth Biennial Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Fibre Art took place at the Art Gallery of Burlington Sunday afternoon.

Music shet - fibre

Ode to Lavallèe: Artist: Art KWilt Connections: Illene Atkins, Dorothy Holdenmeyer, Marg Notar, Judy Pearce, and Nancy Winn.

The AGB has developed a reputation for showing this art form – this year they did themselves proud. There is some very very fine work on the walls of the Michael Lee Chin gallery.

The exhibition is on until the 16th of September – admission is free. Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 9:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

There is a second Artist Talks on the 15th. More information on the talk – call the AGB 905-632-7796

The event showcases 90 works by 60 artists from across Ontario, in fabric, paper, yarn, thread and mixed media materials. The goal of the Fibre Art community is to raise the profile, awareness and acceptance of Fibre Art as a true art form.


Corrosion – Artist: Mary Pal

Fibre is an art form that has come into its own – it was seen as a craft that grew into an art form that is popular with a growing audience.

It is the kind of thing you have to see and spend time looking at to fully appreciate.

Several of the pieces on display are quite stunning.

Well worth the time – allow yourself a couple of hours – you might find yourself thinking in terms of something you would want to put on your walls.

Houses Fibre

Sunset Over the Village – Artist: Chris Liszak

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Drop-in Recreation Calendar isn't fully operational - use the Live and Play catalogue for now.

notices100x100By Staff

September 10th, 2018


The calendar for drop-in recreation activities is experiencing difficulties.

To ensure you have accurate information, please use the online Live and Play catalogue until further notice.

Live and Play REAL

Log in and use the browse and register service – Drop in service isn’t fully operational.

A number of people have complained about using the on line service, saying it is quite difficult – we are following up on this.

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Returning officer looks into that election survey work being done that upset a lot of resident - all the candidates said they weren't behind it.

council 100x100By Staff

September 09-2018



A little bit more on that polling that was being done by Campaign Research. The Gazette learned that Campaign Research was doing the election survey for another “marketing agency”.  The Gazette also learned that KG&A had taken on Reserve Properties as a client.

Reserve Properties is the developer appealing the decision to limit to height of a property at the SE corner of Brant and James to 17 storeys.   The election survey was asking  Burlington residents their view on the municipal election and then, apparently, focusing on a particular candidate who most of the people we have heard from, say was Marianne Meed Ward who is running for the Office of Mayor.

City Clerk Angela Morgan advised a Gazette reader that she is the Returning Officer for the municipal election and when she learned about the polling she did the following.

I have received a number of complaints regarding a poll conducted by Campaign Research, specifically the content of the questions included in the survey and if the survey would be considered third party advertising. I have investigated this complaint including: contacting Campaign Research to receive a copy of the survey, review of the legislation, canvassing other Municipal Clerks to determine how they are handling similar polls in their municipalities and discussion with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

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 certifying the 2010 election results.

As the Returning Officer for the City of Burlington, my authority comes from the Municipal Elections Act, which does not include any regulations concerning tactics or content of materials used in any election campaign.

With respect to the question of third party advertisement, based on my research, I have determined that this poll is not third party advertising as defined by the Municipal Elections Act for the following reasons:

The Act defines Third Party Advertisement as follows:
“third party advertisement” means an advertisement in any broadcast, print, electronic or other medium that has the purpose of promoting, supporting or opposing,

(a) A candidate, or

(b) A yes or no answer to a question referred to in subsection 8(1), (2) or (3)

But does not include an advertisement by or under the direction of a candidate or an advertisement described in subsection (2) or (2.1)

The first test is whether a poll would be considered as a form of advertisement – as the definition of third party advertisement begins with “an advertisement in any…”, the Act does not include a definition of advertisement, consequently, I must rely on the standard definition included in Merriam-Webster dictionary which reads as follows:

A public notice; especially: one published in the press or broadcast over the air

A poll or survey does not fall into the above definition of an advertisement as a “public notice”.

In addition, the copy of the survey I received did not include any reference to specifically oppose, support or promote a specific candidate. I understand that a “push” poll has the intention of swaying respondents in a specific direction, I have consulted on this matter with the Ministry and it is their view that if the questions did not include the name of a specific candidate they would not be considered to be opposing, supporting or promoting a candidate.

The reader the Returning Officer was responding to added: “Wow what a bureaucratic response. Nowhere in my complaint did I mention “third party advertisement”. I will have to think for a while on this response.

So – there you have it. The Returning Officer has done everything she feels she is able to do.

Related news stories:

Follow the dots

Who did it?

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Is the Burlington News Facebook page a front for a particular political interest in the east end of the city.

council 100x100By Staff

September 9, 2018



How, asked an east Burlingtonian, do we expose the fake news and misinformation that is coming out of the “Burlington News” Facebook page?

Burlington News began to appear about six months ago.  All they have is a Facebook page that they make comments on and then allow others to make comments on the comments.

The Burlington News Facebook page carries a lot material that comes from Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman and is said to be used by Councillor Lancaster to support some of the positions she takes.

The Burlington News also uses original photographs taken by Gazette photographers. When we can find out who they are and where they are, we have a nice plump invoice we want to send along to them. No one seems to know who they are.

The Gazette has an IP address for them and when there is time we will trace that and find out just who these scallywags are. Transparent they are not.

Our reader maintains that the Burlington News “focuses only on what they dislike about ECoB (Engaged Citizens of Burlington) and attempts to defame ECoB by spreading misinformation.

“It is Trumpian fake news at its most obvious.

Councillor Lancaster listens carefully and tends to be cautious; still in a 'learning mode'.

Councillor Blair Lancaster.

“Blair Lancaster has also been using it as a means to post her public position, which again is anti ECoB. “

Lancaster took the ridiculous position of finding Mark Carr, the moderator for the ECoB debates as being biased because he interviewed some of the former ECoB Board members on the Cogeco program he hosts and was aided by Angelo Bentivegna, who ran against Blair in the 2014 election.

Bentivegna did come second in the 2014 election for the ward 6 seat; she may be feeling the wind blowing around her ankles.

How, asked an east Burlingtonian, do we expose this fake news and misinformation that is coming out of the “Burlington News” Facebook page?

Cropped sharman FB material

Councillor Sharman wants to know who are the people who run ECoB. He doesn’t ask who runs Burlington News – and why is that?

Cropped part 1






It would appear that Lancaster doesn’t want anyone who is seeking her seat on Council to get any kind of air time or other forms of media coverage while she has gotten reams of coverage in other media paid for by the city.

Angelo B - squint - red post H&S

Angelo Bentivegna – a candidate for the ward 6 city council seat.

Lancaster think Bentivegna being part of the hosting team makes Mark Carr unacceptable as a moderator and demanded that ECoB find someone else as moderator.

Politics does strange things to people – or put a different way – people who might be about to lose their status as elected officials say and do strange things when that status is threatened.


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Rivers: How many elected official do we really need?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

September 08, 2018



It’s that same old problem. Too many doctors leads to too many unnecessary MRIs and surgeries. Too many police and you’ll have to start watching your speed on the 407. And we all know that too many cooks spoil the broth. So it’s not hard to see where our fearless premier was coming from when he decided to chop the number of Toronto’s elected offices in half.

Being swon in

Members of Parliament: we elect them, swear them in and hope they do the job.

Our federal leader once mused that he admired China’s spin on democracy. The public elect representatives to the National People’s Congress (NPC) and then the NPC pretty much appoints everyone else, including the municipal leaders. When you think about it, that’s not much different from the Electoral College appointing Trump or the Supreme Court appointing GW Bush. And it is pretty much how our Senators get their appointments.

The kicker is that roughly 1.4 billion people are represented by less than 3000 NPC elected officials – roughly one representative per half a million constituents. That is a far more miserly representation than Mr. Ford has decreed for Toronto at 1:100,000. So how does business actually get done with almost 3000 people in the big room in Beijing when 40 something elected officials were way too many people for efficient conduct at Toronto’s city hall?

Perhaps Toronto’s problem was its leadership. Wasn’t the premier’s younger brother in charge when Doug was a city councillor? And perhaps with all the time he had to devote to smoking crack cocaine, drinking and driving, cursing and high school football coaching, mayor Rob just didn’t have enough time left over for effective leadership.

FIGHT Ford knocking over council member

Rob Ford knocking over a council member during a Toronto city council meeting.

And Rob Ford became famous as ringmaster of a city hall which turned into a circus and a city which became the biggest joke on the planet. It is hard to command respect and lead with dignity when you’re also the top clown. Doug Ford is right! There were probably at least two too many representatives around the city table back in those days.

But he’s wrong in that it was just about too many Councillors, but the antics and performance of some of them that should be drawing the fire. And clearly the lack of rules of procedure that allowed such clownish or boorish and tedious behaviour to carry on. Doug Ford would not be the first rocket scientist to come up with a brilliant solution to the wrong problem, throwing the baby out with the bathwater in the process.

Toronto has taken the premier to court over his new law but just about everyone expects him to win. That is unless the judge determines Ford’s actions, overturning the apple cart midway into a duly authorized election, were driven by personal or political motives, vengeance and/or gain. After all this really stinks. Ford blind-sided everyone, jumping to this hasty action without any shred of having researched, discussed or allowed debate on this policy.

And perhaps Ford’s relatively limited political education or experience has contributed to this impulsive initiative. Perhaps he doesn’t appreciate that Councillors are elected to do more than just rest their butts in council chambers and spend their time trying to be heard saying almost exactly the same thing their colleagues to the right and left have already said.

Councillors are also there to help the public deal with problems the city can fix. Ironically Mr. Ford and his brother, to their credit, were renowned for being tirelessly accessible and responsive to their ward electorate. This new law will make it more difficult for the city’s taxpayers to get that kind of help when they need it.

Then there is the matter of cost savings, a straw horse if ever. Twenty five million dollars over the next five years? It’s a promise just so deja vu – recall the savings Mike Harris promised once his pet amalgamation had been completed. No thinking person really believes this back of the envelope calculation of potential savings. In any case once more paid staff are hired to assist the fewer Councillors meet the needs of Toronto’s millions of taxpayers, there would be precious little left over.

And if saving tax payer money was the issue then why not save big time? There is an estimated billion and a half dollars which we waste every single year by maintaining the anachronistic and discriminatory publicly funded separate school system. Ontario is just one of three provinces left which still publicly funds Catholic education in this country. That puts us in violation of the Canadian Charter of Human Rights and in the bulls eye of criticism and condemnation from even the United Nations.

And while on the subject of delivering education more efficiently wouldn’t there be savings by eliminating the boards all together and having the municipalities pick up those responsibilities? It’s no secret that trustees get the lowest voter attention at election time because unless you have children in school your interest is understandably limited. We have built an entire political structure around our schools when the curriculum comes from Queen’s Park and the rest is child’s play – hiring a principal and maintaining the schools.

Bateman high school

Rivers suggests that schools be added to the job municipal Councillors do. Would that keep Bateman open?

One should ask why the city couldn’t integrate the education responsibilities into their mandates. Now that would save at least the cost of the board head offices. And planning for schools might be better integrated into official and other planning processes. City planners would be more obligated to consider the impacts of new developments on schools and possibly avoid some of the issues that Burlington residents ran into as they saw their schools threatened with closure earlier this year.

By the way, one representative per hundred thousand residents when applied to Burlington would mean two wards and a mayor. And who thought they were inadequately represented at city hall with the current lot – some of whom were in office back when I ran there almost a quarter century ago?

Finally there is a school of thought that municipal politics is a potential training ground for those aspiring to rise up to the provincial and federal upper levels. In fact Doug Ford, Kathleen Wynne and Cam Jackson all got their start in local politics, for better or worse. Who knows but with a smaller number of city council seats at the time he ran, Doug might not have been even elected, family name notwithstanding.

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:

Ford’s Plan –   Blame the Councillors –    The Right Size

Ontario Municipalities –    School Districts –    Catholic Schools

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Ward 5 candidate comments on the debate kerfuffle - she will be attending.

opinionred 100x100By Mary Alice St. James

September 8th, 2018



I am proud of the courage, time, energy, skills and the monetary commitment that every Candidate across the City of Burlington has put into running in the only non-partisan election, a Municipal Election. It is a comprehensive and full time endeavour to run an effective Campaign. Incumbents though have a huge advantage which makes the playing field unequal even before they each declined participation in their only Ward Designated All Candidates Meetings.

I put my name forward as a Candidate for Councillor in Ward 5 knowing that this and likely much more can happen during this campaign. I could not sleep at night though without giving voters an alternative, without being a part of the solution instead of being part of the problem. My extensive experiences with City Council over the past six years in the areas of: development and infrastructure (what many are now aware of as over-intensification or “my gosh, when was it decided that building could happen?”), congested corridors of traffic, transit challenges, affordability and environmental protections and solutions.

Research shows that incumbents have an advantage due to their paid years of service and their work with various staffs within the City of Burlington and the Halton Region. Nonetheless and despite research statistics, I pulled together an amazing group of volunteers to assist me in running my personally funded campaign. I have received a few donations … thank you! A reason though that I put my unique skill sets (25 years as a local principal) and teamwork into the foray of public scrutiny is because I could not sleep at night thinking about what Burlington will look like in four years if this continues.

Cropped sharman FB material

Taken from the Paul Sharman candidate Facebook page.

Cropped part 1 The current course of non-action, discourse and disrespectful treatment of citizens and citizens groups such as the Engaged Citizens of Burlington (ECoB) are but a few samplings of why citizens I have spoken with this summer are disillusioned and feel betrayed by their Municipal Councillor. Burlington’s citizens are exceptionally smart. I know this. People I talk with know this. It is an extremely important election. I will continue and my team will continue with our campaign as we always have intended. Every day we enter uncharted territory but for me, this is exactly why I am running a competitive campaign. I am saddened by political inaction by incumbents.

I will be at the September 19th Ward 5 All Candidates Meeting because I know that Burlington citizens are smart and they do care about the next four years. Remember to vote on October 22nd or better yet, vote early or even on line this year.

Mary Alice - speakingMary Alice St. James is a candidate for the ward 5 city council seat.  She is a retired elementary school teacher and a consistent advocate for better development in the city.


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Halton Poverty Roundtable tells Minister that she didn't get it right - still time to change her mind.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 7th, 2018



Sarah Sabihuddin, Director, Community Engagement, Halton Poverty Roundtable has written an Open Letter to Lisa MacLeod, a Minister in the Ontario government about the provinces decision to Basic Income Pilot Program in Ontario.

Dear Minister MacLeod:

We are writing in response to your government’s decision to end the Basic Income Pilot Program in Ontario. We strongly disagree with your decision to end this Pilot prematurely and without regard for the demonstrably positive impact that this program was having upon the lives of people living in poverty in our Province. As such, we respectfully urge you to reconsider a policy decision that will only serve to deepen the experience of poverty for millions of Ontario’schildren, families and seniors.

Lisa McLoud

Minister Lisa MacLeod

The Halton Poverty Roundtable is a registered charity who is a leader in connecting, educating, and acting on issues related to poverty in Halton. In our community, 1 in 10 of our neighbours do not know where their next meal will come from and 1 in 3 seniors are living below the poverty line. Our communities of Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills have over thirty seventhousand individuals who struggle daily to survive on low incomes, or who live in poverty.

Minister MacLeod, the conclusion of the first phase of the Basic Income Pilot in April of this year, brought with it an abundance of first-hand accounts of the difference that Basic Income had made to people’s lives. The decision to abandon the Pilot will cause needless difficulties for the participants struggling to escape poverty. Given the initial success of the program, we cannot understand the immediate need for cancelation. Surely, it would have been prudent to conclude the Pilot and use the resulting data in the development of social policy.

We are hopeful that your government’s announcement to reform Social Assistance in the next 100 days includes an inclusive and transparent process, collaboration across all sectors, and a fulsome consultation process including those living with the challenges of poverty. As you may know, having a 100 day timeline to reform the entire social assistance program will be met with challenges including: the potential for increases of punitive and ineffective approaches and models being implemented, the reduction of supports under the guise of decreasing resource costs and a lack of understanding of the lived experience of being on Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

As you embark on this reform, we would like to draw your attention to the living wage in Halton Region. In order for a family in Halton to cover their basic living expenses, a family of four would have to have both adults working 37.5 hours per week making $17.95 per hour. Clearly, minimum wage, Ontario Works and ODSP do not come close to affording recipients a basic standard of living in Halton. Your government’s proposed 1.5% increase in social assistance will do little to assist the most vulnerable people in our communities.

The Halton Poverty Roundtable respectfully requests that the Government of Ontario continue the Basic Income Pilot through to its conclusion before making a final decision as to the efficacy, both socially and financially, of the basic income concept.
In light of the current economic climate in Ontario, the low Canadian dollar, the ongoing trade tariff situation with the United States, combined with the cost of living, this is driving uncertainty for the most vulnerable. Bottom line, you know that it is harder for families to survive and the cancelation of the basic income pilot and the cut to our current social assistance program puts far too many at even greater risk.

Earlier this month, the federal government announced details of its first Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS) – a national poverty plan that many in the non-for-profit and social services sector alongside people with lived experience have called for.

The Halton Poverty Roundtable, a regional organization, welcomes the launch of the CPRS and calls for the strategy to serve as a platform for further development of significantly stronger poverty elimination measures, policies, and programs at the federal level. In Halton, more than 13,500 children live in low income households, representing one in ten children. Many in our community have to decide between paying their rent, buying fresh food for their children, and paying for necessary medication.

The release of this strategy is a good start, although it does not allocate new funding nor did it announce any new initiatives. However, the CPRS provides a solid starting point as it introduces Canada’s official measure of poverty; concrete poverty reduction targets; and a National Advisory Council on Poverty.
If the CPRS strategy is going to work for those in our community, it must have full provincial support.

More importantly, we will only see measureable and long lasting results if municipalities and regional levels of government are engaged in the national conversation. All levels of government need to come together to create supports dedicated to addressing the underlying issues of poverty such as: mental and physical health, affordable housing, food security and a robust income security program, such as a basic income.

We are certainly excited that the vision of this strategy includes working towards a substantial reduction in poverty in Canada and recognizes the role that systemic discrimination plays as a barrier to people living in poverty. We are looking forward to participating and continuing the push for full elimination of poverty in our communities.

About Halton Poverty Roundtable:
The Halton Poverty Roundtable (HPRT) is a local non-profit and registered charity; a leader in connecting, educating and acting on issues related to poverty in Halton. For the past 7 years, we have been dedicated to shifting the conversation in Halton towards acknowledgment that poverty exists in our community, increasing education and awareness of poverty and then creating opportunity for community action.

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