Views on how we got to # 31 on a list that once said we were the greatest.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

August 3rd, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This story is beginning to look like the New Street Road Diet – that one just went on and on.  The massive drop in Burlington’s ranking in the annual Best Place to Live report was really small potatoes as issues go.  But the public is reacting in a less than positive way.

Earlier this week Colin Gribbons, and advocate for better transit service said he “looks forward to the hemming and hawing as most of the current members of Council try to explain this one away.”

2018 banner

Burlington didn’t make the top ten – the city was ranked # 31 after years of being at the top.

Tanner standing

Roland Tanner

Yesterday Roland Tanner, a candidate for the ward 2 city council seat asked: What does that MoneySense Best City ranking for Burlington actually mean for citizens? And then answered the question: “ Almost nothing. A delve into the statistics shows we shouldn’t have trusted the ranking before, and shouldn’t trust it now.”

Lynne Crosby, one of the very active parent participants in the high school closing debates chimed with this insight:

“The interesting part here isn’t so much the drop in the standings but the Mayor’s and City’s response to the drop in the standings. The current mayor tweeted: “New methodology means we lost points this year due to our modest growth compared to other cities growing at a faster rate.”

PARC anxious parent

Lynne Crosby

“Well, actually no. The MoneySense report said: “While it’s true fast-growing cities can face challenges, we believe those difficulties can be absorbed and addressed if local leaders are effective….If the municipality is doing a bad job of handling that growth, it’s likely to be reflected in other areas of the ranking.”

Crosby points out that “Growth is also ranked 8th out of 10 in order of importance. And that is growth with the caveat that it is managed well. The criteria that is 8th out of 10 would not cause us to plummet down to #31.

The high-ranked cities were touted for various reasons by MoneySense, but growth wasn’t one of them.

“There are lots of intangible qualities that make a city a great place to live that can’t be measured. But we believe there are plenty of important characteristics that can be captured by hard data. A liveable city should be prosperous, but affordable. Safe, yet easy to get around. And it should have the type of weather that draws you outdoors.”
Crosby goes on to say: “Then we have our neighbouring community on the lake, Oakville. The City that told the Province: No, we won’t have an urban growth centre in the downtown. The City with the downtown that Councillor Lancaster called “desolate” at a recent council meeting. The #1 ranked city.

“Oakville Mayor Rob Burton has as the header on his Facebook page a graphic touting the fact that in his terms he has controlled growth, and slowed it down as compared to the previous mayor. From MoneySense:

oakville-tree-removal

Small town feel and no urban growth in their downtown core.

“Burton says the key to Oakville’s success is maintaining a small-town sense of community, even as the city’s population breaks 200,000. In fact, the municipality’s official name stubbornly remains “the Town of Oakville,” something Burton doesn’t see any reason to change.

“Oakville is a city that calls itself a town and acts like a village,” he says. “Oakville as a community is determined to maintain that town vibe.”

Greg Woodruff, a candidate for Burlington’s Mayor hopped on this one saying:

“First off the whole Money Sense idea is somewhat silly. No “best” place to live exists. People are different and with different tastes, it means everyone’s “best” place is different. However, the fall in rankings can be used to shed light on our current problems. We don’t have any clear agreement of what “best” even is.

“The basic problem is that what the majority of residents think is “best” and what the planning staff and Council thinks is “best” are in direct opposition. If you rely on the “expert” opinion of the day Burlington has too little modern art, hi-density apartment buildings and has far too many lanes of traffic, parking spots and well kept single family houses.

Portal along Elgin promenade

The city has a “portal” in what used to be a parking lot.

“Now I realize to the average person in Burlington going about their lives this comes as quite a shock. However, that’s what the New Street road diet is – an attempt to remove some of those “burdensome” lanes of traffic. That’s why we removed downtown parking for modern art. Because in the minds of some; “best” is modern art and if people don’t come downtown and businesses close – who cares – we got the “Portal” to stare into. That’s why all the hi-rises, because they are the “best” way to hold the most people. And the most people is “best”.

“What made Burlington “best” to local residents was the feeling of a smaller green place with all the amenities, shops and stores we wanted just a couple of minutes away. You could trade a longer commute for a nicer house here with a lawn for your kids to run on. It’s a great place to raise a family. It’s safe, it’s clean, it’s on the water, it’s got low taxes, nice parks – it’s an easy living city. Previous councils implemented a great version of suburban living and the people who settled here agreed.

Greg Woodruff

Candidate for Mayor Greg Woodruff

“The fault for all this is entirely ours. We took the entire thing for granted. We didn’t form community groups. We didn’t demand concrete plans from elected officials. We didn’t comprehend that the government was capable of planning against our wishes. We didn’t give our local candidates $50 at election time. And we didn’t even vote.

“We need a clear plan to break from the over-development – my plan is a 6-floor residential limit. We need a clear plan to control over spending – my plan is tax increases no greater than inflation. We need a clear plan to reduce our traffic congestion – my plan is light synchronization and some extra region supplied HOV lanes.

“Whoever you are going to vote for – challenge them – what their idea of “best” is? What are the specific plans to bring it about on earth. If we don’t the yearly in Money Sense rankings are going to be the least of our problems. Though maybe we can all walk 60 minutes in the shadow of hi-rises beside gridlock traffic and stare at the latest art project.”

2018 listing

Burlington didn’t make the top ten in the 2018 MoneySense rankings – the city placed #31

Mike Wallace chose to be less verbose saying: “Burlington has dropped 21 places nationally in Money Sense Magazine’s annual ranking of the best places to live in Canada. We now are ranked behind all the other communities in our Region of Halton.

Wallace election car

Mike Wallace: Is he hitch hiking or is he going to drive the car – and will it get him to city hall?

“If the current Council can take credit for the past rankings they must take responsibility for the current results. October 22nd is your time to make better choices for the city.”

It will take master politicians at city hall to find a way to back out of this one. Councillor Craven and Taylor aren’t running again. They Mayor has said what he has to say. Councillors Sharman, Dennison and Lancaster may add some comment. It could well become a burning tire that members of the current city council have to wear around their necks.

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Hospital emergency entrance - knowing where it is matters when you NEED to know.

jbhhealthBy Staff

August 2nd, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The new wing of the Joseph Brant Hospital has been open for almost a year – the renovation of the old part of the hospital is still underway.

The emergency entrance to the hospital has been moved – it is now on Lakeshore Road.

Knowing where the entrance to the hospital emergency isn’t something you need to know until you NEED to know where it is.

The graphic below is something you want to stick into that “back of your head” memory. It might become vital information for you.

Brant hospital location sign.

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Transformation of the Brant Museum well underway.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

August 2nd, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Little by little the transformed Joseph Brant Museum begins to take shape.

Scheduled to open in July of 2019 the replica of the original Brant house will sit on top of the museum and serve as office and administration space. The public will never get into that space unless they are there on some kind of business matter.

brant-museum-rendering

Rendering of what the Museum site will look like when completed.

The lower level that is being built now will consist of three galleries.

Early floor plan Auh 2018

Some of the early drawings setting out what will be where when the transformation of the museum is complete.

The “new” Joseph Brant Museum will feature three new galleries. The Burlington Gallery will feature Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea, and will look at the development of Burlington from immigration and early industry to modern development. The Costume Gallery will evoke a “fashion show” experience. Costumes on the runway will contextualize social history focusing on the time of the famous Brant Inn and the big band era.

The Discovery Gallery will be a place dedicated to children where they can touch, play and learn.

Construction is on time and said to be on budget as well.

 

Construction July 2018 street

The entrance area to the galleries will be at the street level.

 

Construction July 2018 house

The Brant house replica can be seen in the background where is rests on wooden block several feet off the ground waiting to be positioned on the site when the gallery area below is completed.

 

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Meed Ward: We are at a tipping point and at a Crossroads –and we have to work harder.

opinionviolet 100x100By Staff

August 2nd, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We thought we had ended the commenting on the drop in Burlington’s MoneySense magazine ranking.

Mayoralty candidate Marianne Meed Ward put out a stinging statement on her community web site and managed to turn the remarks into a campaign statement. She is running for Mayor.

The following is from Meed Ward:

Insight & Analysis — MoneySense magazine has just released their list of Canada’s Best Places to Live for 2018, and Burlington has dropped again for the third year in a row, down to #31 overall out of a list of 415 cities across Canada.

Last year we came in at #9 overall, and in 2016 we ranked in the #2 spot.

Looking only at mid-size cities, Burlington is the sixth best “mid-sized city” in which to live in Canada, down from the number one spot.

So why the big drop?

Here’s a summary of the rankings, what’s different, and some thoughts on what we need to improve to make our community better for all residents.

rank city

Burlington 2018

What’s different:
The number of cities ranked for comparison fluctuates. The survey in 2016 had 219 cities in their ranking. That year we ranked second overall. Last year, 417 cities were ranked, and we dropped to ninth overall. A similar number of cities are ranked this year (415), but we dropped to #31.

There have also been some changes to the category components and weightings versus previous years, making it hard to do a pure “apples to apples” comparison with our previous years’ results.

Median wait times for medical procedures is now in the mix, for example.

The method for tracking population growth has changed, so cities earn more points the faster they are growing, versus the former method of counting a city’s growth rate related to the national average. However growth is ranked 8 out of 10 in importance and weighting, with other factors like wealth, affordability, health care and weather still considered more important.

MoneySense considers population growth an advantage, as it assumes that if more people want to live in a city, it’s a positive reflection on that location overall.

However, they included an important caveat that growth must be properly managed.

Stated MoneySense: “While it’s true fast-growing cities can face challenges, we believe those difficulties can be absorbed and addressed if local leaders are effective….If the municipality is doing a bad job of handling that growth, it’s likely to be reflected in other areas of the ranking.”

Criteria and weighting
There are 10 categories the rankings consider. They are listed below in the order that they have the most weight and therefore importance (according to MoneySense):

Wealth & Economy (including employment rate & average household income)
Affordability (of housing/rental units)
Access to health care (# of doctors, specialists, and procedure wait-times)
Weather (less rain = better)
Commute (more points for the % of people who walk, bike or take transit to work)
Crime (the lower the crime rate, the better)
Taxes (including provincial sales tax and property tax)
Population growth (growth is good – if managed properly)
Culture (% of people working in arts, culture & recreation + engagement in community)
Amenities (restaurants, bars, and reasonable access to theatres, airports & universities)

We need to do better
Changes to the criteria aside, it’s hard to argue that we have taken a big hit in our ranking. Our city, including our current mayor, has often referred to this ranking as a source of pride over the years, whether to attract new businesses or encourage new residents and festivals to come here.

While we are all still very proud of the wonderful city we live in, it’s worth taking stock of what pushed us out of the top 10 all the way to #31 this year, and think about what we could do better. We want to move in a direction that gets us back where we belong.

My Take and My Plan to make Burlington better
Ranking lists are limited in value by what they measure and the weight given to each. However, when we trumpet that we’re Canada’s best mid-sized city, it can create complacency where we rest on our laurels and take things for granted, instead of driving to improve the quality of life for all our residents.

We’re clearly at a tipping point with this sudden drop, and instead of making excuses, we need to take positive action to ensure we’re focused on the things that are important to making our city thrive.

With the recent decisions by the current mayor and council approving overdevelopment, we’re headed for congestion, lack of housing affordability and lost greenspace.

We’re at a crossroads, and we now have to work harder to protect the city we love.

Rendering

There are over-developments proposed or approved across the city. Meed Ward believes the Lakeshore Road development in the east end is one of them.

Our top priority must be managing our growth better, avoiding the over-intensification of recent decisions by this mayor and council, for example the 18 storey building across from City Hall, and up to 30 more high-rises downtown in the new Official Plan. There are over-developments proposed or approved across the city, from townhouses at 2100 Brant St., Dynes Road, and Georgina Court, to high-rises in Alton, at Appleby Mall, Lakeside Plaza and Plains Road. Residents support scaled back projects, but we’re getting over-development.

You want a voice in shaping development in our city, but residents have been tuned out and ignored as NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard) who just don’t understand planning.

We have to get growth right, which includes amending the new Official Plan to scale back over intensification, and sticking closely to the existing Official Plan with new applications.

We also must ensure that as we grow and change, we retain our small-town feel, community character and quality of life, not detract from it. That means we protect and enhance our community amenities, like parks, community centres, and seniors programming; protect and add trees, trails and green space; improve traffic flow and light synchronization with emerging technologies; protect and add to rental housing; use planning tools to add affordable housing, and make job attraction a priority to reduce commute times and allow more of our residents to work in Burlington.

SSPK looking east Pier bkgrnd

Meed Wards wants to keep the small town open space feel the city has going for it.

Read more about my plans for managing Burlington’s growth in a responsible way, for protecting the character of our neighborhoods and downtown, for making it easier to do business here, for improving the effectiveness of City Hall, for restoring respect for residents, and for ensuring we have the amenities and greenspace we need for our young people, seniors and families to thrive and live healthy lives.

Visit my website and explore my vision, my plan, and how you can get involved: mariannemeedward.ca.

We know Burlington is one of Canada’s Best Places to Live. Let’s get the leadership we need to put us back on top where we belong. Vote for change on October 22nd, for the mayor who will put residents first.

No word from Mike Wallace, Rick Goldring or Greg Woodruff on the change in the MoneySense magazine ranking.

The Gazette has always seen the ranking as a readership promotion campaign on behalf of the magazine that has a circulation in excess of 110,000

Former Mayor Cam Jackson took the things seriously. He didn’t like the way Burlington was lumped in with Hamilton, talked to the magazine’s editors and out of that came a Burlington specific ranking that city hall fell in love with.

That romance seems to have come to an end.

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The long holiday weekend - what would you like to do?

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

August 1st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It’s summer, time to relax get outside and enjoy what the city has to offer.

Burlington has been celebrating a Joseph Brant Day since 1980; it is held at La Salle Park on the Civic Holiday Monday in August.

Museums of Burlington has presented this event for over 30 years where they celebrates our local heritage and community, free of charge.

The Brant Day Festival attracts well over 5,000 people, featuring a strong line-up of family friendly entertainment, historical displays, a food truck rally, vendors and a variety of interactive experiences.

Brant Day - Food truck line -2

Food trucks are a very welcome part of the Brant Day event.

The Food Trucks this year include:
50 Pesos
Café du Monde Creperie
Dora’s Express
Pappas Greek
Star Dairy Bar
Sweet Temptations
True North BBQ

The Festival runs from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm at La Salle Park, 50 North Shore Boulevard, Burlington, Ontario.

FREE parking is available at Aldershot High School, 50 Fairwood Place West, Burlington.

A 7 year old aboriginal boy demonstrated using hoops at the Brant Day event at LaSalle Park

A 7 year old aboriginal boy demonstrated using hoops at the Brant Day event at LaSalle Park

Schedule for the day:
11:00am-11:45am: Opening Ceremony
12:00pm – 12:30pm: Burlington Teen Tour Band
12:45pm-1:15pm: Healthy Aboriginal Men’s Drum Circle
1:30pm-2:15pm: Halton Dance Network
2:30pm-3:00pm: Hoop Dancing Performance
3:15pm-4:00pm: Bare Blue Sea

The Brant Festival isn’t the only thing going on in the city. ONE BURLINGTON FESTIVAL: Building Bridges Between Faiths will be taking place at Central Park at the Band shell and will run from noon to 4:00 pm
In the event of rain, the festival will be moved inside Central Arena.

“I am excited for this Festival and have been meeting with Muslim friends from the mosque, Hindu and Jewish groups and a variety of Christian leaders – and we will be able to learn about different faiths and cultures while sampling many different ethnic foods,” said Rev. Orville James, minister of Wellington Square United Church.

One Burlington Canada-Burlington1-2017

One Burlington – where the focus is on community.

Osob-Adus-BEST-2017Osob Adus, Burlington Citizen of the Year and well-known community activist, said the festival is a way of knowing and embracing the beauty of all faith traditions and creating bridges between them.

“Mutual understanding and respect are the foundations for building communities across the borders of difference,” said Adus, a Muslim.

Now in its second year, One Burlington Festival was initially held as a response to the Quebec City mosque mass shooting that occurred the evening of January 29, 2017 at the Islamic Cultural Centre of Quebec City.

This year, the festival will open with an Interfaith prayer led by five clergy representing different faiths. An Indigenous smudging ceremony will follow.

Throughout the afternoon, along with free food, entertainment from different cultures will be featured. Performers include local singer-song writer Kim Verrall and violinist Sophie Huang; the Burlington Slam Poets who are celebrating their 10th anniversary; First Nations performer Jimmy Dick and his family and dance groups from the Sikh, Persian and Afro-Canadian communities.

The ecological theme of this year’s festival focuses on building an understanding of the connections between faith and ecology. Everything from Eco-dinnerware to a green clean-up team are embedded in this year’s event.

Splash pad LaSalle - swimming

There isn’t a better place to be on a hot day.

Swimming pools and splash pads around the city are open – check on the hours – they aren’t the same for every location.

Oberon, the Dwarf King signed documents for all the pixies that passed by.

Oberon, the Dwarf King signed documents for all the pixies that passed by.

At the Royal Botanical Gardens the word is that all the gnomes, fairies, pixies, and sprites are asked to make their way to the Gardens where a touch of magic awaits them.

Meet mystical creatures, participate in delightful activities, and learn the secrets of our Enchanted Garden.
Monday, August 6, 2018 11:00 AM – 04:00 PM

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Senior staff at city hall claim they 'have created and maintained a livable, thriving city where people and businesses want to be' and being ranked # 31 doesn't really matter

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

August 1st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Collin Gribbons, a Burlington resident with significant depth in public transit matters, wrote in to say he “looks forward to the hemming and hawing as most of the current members of Council try to explain this one away.”

Gribbens Collin A Bfast

Collin Gribbons

Gribbons was commenting on the significant change in Burlington’s position on the MoneySense magazine listing of the best places to live in Canada.

For a number of years Burlington ranked at the very top – then there was a sudden drop from # 1 to # 31 – which is precipitous by any standard.

The “hemming and hawing” Gribbons was expecting came from Kwab Ako-Adjei, Senior Manager Government Relations & Strategic Communications who said: “We are fortunate to have beautiful natural features, rural area, escarpment and lake, but also have created and maintained a livable, thriving city where people and businesses want to be. Out of 415 cities and towns Burlington ranked as the sixth best mid-sized city and fourth best place in Canada in which to retire; Burlington scores very well.

“We also noticed that the new methodology is rewarding growth in mid-size communities, many fast-growing municipalities have jumped to the top of the list.”

Gribbons in his comments to the Gazette did point out that “The rankings were always skewed by things that didn’t really make a city a good place to live. For example, MoneySense awarded points based on how many cars a family had (the more the better), how old they were (under three years = good) and average incomes (higher=better).

“None of these have much to do with the overall quality of life in a city for the average working stiff. Maybe this year they’ve changed their scoring system to put more emphasis on things like walkability (very poor outside of downtown), the availability of transit and City spending on things that actually help people, as opposed to pouring millions into a marina that will serve only 100 or so boaters.

“Perhaps they even took into account the way Council completely ignored anyone who opposed the way developers are taking over city planning.”

The differences of opinion on why the drop in the rankings took place and what they mean could go on forever – Burlington tends to hang on to some issues like an old dog with a bone.

The ranking were editorial fluff from a magazine that wants to grow its readership. We can put this one to rest now.

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Job opportunities event is being hosted by The Centre and Top Notch Employment.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 31st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Medican hiring ad big blue

Medican Staffing Inc is a specialized agency in the pharmaceutical industry; they are currently accepting applications for an international warehousing distributor with approximately 200 positions for:

100+ Warehouse Associates- $16.50-$17.50 per hour
Walkie Operators- $18.00- $19.00 per hour
Order Picker Operators- $19.00- $20.00 per hour
Raymond Reach Operators- $19.00 per – $20.00 per hour
Office positions may also be available

You must be able to:

Read and communicate in English
Must have CSA certified safety shoes
Valid Forklift License (if required)
Have 6 months of experience within the last 2 years
Be able to pass Background Screening

The client is located in Oakville and is accessible by public transit. This is a controlled substance work environment. All positions are subject to security clearances.

Interviews take place on:

August 8, 2018
11 am – 1:00pm
465 Morden Road, Suite 109 Oakville

Be ready to fill out an application and have an on the spot interview!

If candidates would like assistance preparing for the hiring event ahead of time (resume critique, interview coaching, job fair success tips) please call to book a one-to-one appointment 905 845-1157 x.101 and ask for Theresa

REGISTER TO ATTEND

 

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Burlington takes a major hit in the rankings: Money Sense magazine places us 31st - behind Oakville and Halton Hills.

News 100 blackBy Staff

July 31st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Oh dear.

The numbers are in for 2018

And Money Sense has done us a dirty.

2018 banner

 

The ranked Burlington rather poorly.

2018 listing

Where is Burlington?

rank city

Burlington 2018

The city has been hyping the high rankings they got previously. It became a mantra the politicians couldn’t  stop sharing.

Oakville and Halton Hills ranked better than we did.

The results of the 2018 Canada’s Best Places to Live rank Oakville as not only the best place to live overall, but the best place for New Canadians, the third best place to retire and the fifth best place to raise a family. It’s certainly not the cheapest city in the country, but it has attracted a growing and increasingly diverse population because of its many strong points.

Senior staff in the communications department might choose to wear black arm bands to signify that they are in mourning.

The city has stupidly made great fan fare about a magazine listing.

There really are more important things for the city to focus on

Money Sense magazine has a circulation of 110,000 +

Now everyone knows our sad story.

The Gazette has asked Kwab Ako-Adjei, Senior Manager of Government Relations and Strategic Communications for a comment. We will share that should something come in.

Will the staff bonuses be any less this year? Does anyone at 426 Brant actually get a bonus?

 

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Muir doesn't like the proposal for the east end of the city; not that many people in the community want to see quite this much density.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 31st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Development proposals are flooding the city hall planning department.

Much of the public focus has been on proposals for developments in the downtown core. There are others.

The Lakeshore Village Plaza proposal for the east end of the city – yards away from the border with the Town of Oakville, was a bit of an eye popper for the many people that attended the first public viewing of what the developer has in mind.

July 18th crowd

Decent crowd for the first public event – another viewing will take place August 8th: 2:00 to 4:00 pm and 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

The proposal is to basically tear down everything on the site and put in three levels of underground parking and put up a total of 11 buildings on the site – the heights range form a single storey to one building that will reach 18 storeys into the sky. That one building will not be the only tower in the area.

There are several towers on the south side of Lakeshore overlooking the lake that are in the 15+ storey range.

Should the development proceed there will be a considerable amount of disruption during the building phases.

The Gazette asked the developers planners, MHBC – MacNaughton, Hermsen, Britton, Clarkson Planning Ltd., if there was a time line for the 5353 Lakeshore Road project. We wanted to know if there are dates attached to the start and finish of each phase? There are five phases. This community is looking at 7 years of disruption after which the community will never be the same.

Mayor Goldring promised the public that less than 5% of the city would be subject to intensification. The people in the east end are beginning to feel like that 5% is in their community.

Their answer to our question was: “Currently there is no set time line for the construction. There is a phasing plan included in the submission materials which was developed based on the site’s context and consideration for existing tenants. The goal of the owner is to ensure tenants who wish to remain can be relocated to the new portions of the site to minimize disruption, maintain existing tenant parking, build new underground parking and accommodate the various engineering and technical requirements for demolition and construction – all while trying to minimize construction times and impacts from construction to the community.

“We have estimated that each phase could take between a year and 18 months to construct with some overlap of phases. It is also highly depended on changing market factors which could be very different in 3 years.”

The development of the 3.84 hectare site is to include 900 residential units, 11.955 square metres of retail space and 2700 square metres of office space. There will be 200 parking spaces on the surface with three levels of underground parking.

Application time line

In order to build a development of this size applications have to be made for both Official Plan amendments and zoning amendments.

This project comes under the existing Official Plan – not the plan that city council approved (but could not pass until it has been passed by the Regional government. In the event that the city decides it doesn’t like the size of the proposal and staff decide not to recommend it – the developer will have the right to take the proposal to the Ontario Municipal Board – where Burlington doesn’t usually do all that well.

The Gazette pointed to a sentence in the Justification report prepared by MHBC that said: “The proposal is in conformity with the general direction of the proposed intensification framework set out in the draft city of Burlington Official Plan dated April 2018.

We followed that up the question: “How out of conformity is the proposal?”

MHBC said: “The proposal is not out of conformity with the new draft Official Plan but would require an amendment to consider the tall buildings. While we are not subject to the new Official Plan since the new Official Plan is a reflection of Council’s approved direction and it contemplates such an amendment, we believe with such an amendment, the current proposal would conform and the proposal also conforms to the overall general direction.”

That viewpoint has not been tested before city council. The city council that is elected in October will have at least three new members, perhaps a new Mayor as well.

With 37 people going after the 7 council seats in October you know that a desire for change is in the wind. The Lakeshore Village Plaza will come before a much different council in the Spring of 2019. .

Tom Muir, an Aldershot resident who has been following development applications at city hall for several decades, claims that the development is not in compliance “with any Official Plan (OP)

Muir with pen in hand

Tom Muir doesn’t like the idea of any amendments – even if they are to an Official Plan that will not apply at some point in 2019.

He adds that the “ application is not in compliance with the OP Residential Medium Density designation, and not in compliance with the zoning and bylaws that state the permitted heights, density, FAR, massing, compatibility, parking, amenity area, and any and all of the permissions needed to make this development fit what the application is asking for.

“The developer can ask for anything they want; if you are looking for reasons why you see a proposal that is so diametrically opposed and contradictory to residents’ perspectives, and demanding of such OP and zoning bylaw amendments needed to get it, look no further than the recent track record and performance of City Planning and Council.

Muir adds that he “can’t even guess what the planners might make of this application.

“The planners and city council can always stick to their guns and enforce the OP density designations, they publicly stated they would, show everyone publicly their informative consideration of the adopted but not in force OP, give serious and explained consideration of the neighborhood views and compatibility issues expressed several times, and do the right thing.”

“This is not Downtown, and not a Go Station” said Muir, “ so no excuses.”

MHBC say that: “While we are not subject to the new Official Plan since the new Official Plan is a reflection of Council’s approved direction and it contemplates such an amendment, we believe with such an amendment, the current proposal would conform and the proposal also conforms to the overall general direction.

Muir, who has been described as acerbic said: “This is what I mean about planners not enforcing any OP, existing or adopted. What they want is any expanded OP permissions for anything they can want, and they just say the words, mixing in amendments needed, however they want.”

He adds that it is “BS on purpose”.

This one will get to the new city council, along with a Staff Report – it might be the first development application that tests them.

There will be a second viewing of the plans and an opportunity to bend the ear of candidates running for the ward 5 seat and ask questions of the developers planners.  There will not be any city staff at the event.

Afternoon from2 to 4 pm; evening from 7 to 9 pm on the site a few dorrs to the west of the supermarket.

What is the development going to look like when it is completed and how will it fit in with what is already in place?

Here is what the developer is showing the public.

Kenwood elevation

Rendering of the view from the western side of the site.

Hampton Heath elevation

Rendering of the view from the eastern side of the site.

Lakeshore road elevation

Rendering of the view from Lakeshore Road

Previous articles on this development

Part one of a series on the Lakeshore Village Development plans

Part two of a series on the Lakeshore Village Plaza redevelopment plans.

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Freeman Station: Big News, Big Excitement, Big Anticipation, Big Job

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 31st, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Friends of Freeman Station manage to pull rabbits out of a hat more often than Mandrake the Magician.

They report that a “ very generous donor has step forward with a great addition to the station grounds and he is bringing in his own crew to transform the site. They should be on the site in early August.”

Freeman station - drawing

One of the many artistic depictions of the Freeman Station that was once the original Burlington mobility hub – they called them train stations in those day.

“Before they can start we need your help getting ready for a major outdoor transformation to the site. We need to move our outdoor storage area and relocate one of the shipping containers. We could really use your help getting ready for a major outdoor transformation to the site. Unfortunately the container must be emptied before we can move it.

“We will be working on this project from 8:30 am to 12 noon on the following days;

FoF work in progressWednesday August 1st
Friday August 3rd
Saturday August 4
Wednesday August 8th if required
Friday August10th if required

Saturday August 1th, 18th, and 25 will be regular volunteer days.

If you are able to help even for just a few hours please come and help and see what is happening.

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Parks and Recreation Online Registration service is unavailable Monday, July 30, 2018

notices100x100By Staff

July 30, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Service Disruption Notice.

Parks and Recreation Online Registration service is unavailable Monday, July 30, 2018

Online program registration, membership purchases and facility availability on burlington.ca/recexpress is currently unavailable. We are working to restore service as soon as possible.

For assistance, please visit us in-person (locations and hours are listed at burlington.ca/servicehours), email us at registrations@burlington.ca or call 905-335-7720, ext. 0. For facility availability, email rentals@burlington.ca or call 905-335-7738, ext. 2.

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Public school board appoints a trustee for Milton - he gets to take part in four board meetings.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 30th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At a special Board meeting on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, trustees of the Halton District School Board appointed Reza Ali Chaudhry as Trustee designate for Milton Wards 1, 6, 7, 8. Chaudhry will be sworn into office at the first regular Board meeting on Wednesday, September 5, 2018.

He will serve as one of the Milton trustees until November 30th at which time the newly elected trustees take their seats. Chaudry will attend 6 meetings plus 6 Committee of the Whole meetings.

On June 20, 2018, the Halton District School Board resolved to fill by appointment the vacancy created by the out-of-region move of Kim Graves, Trustee for Milton Wards 1, 6, 7, 8, and adopted the appointment process the Board has used for past appointments. In following this process, applications were accepted until Thursday, July 12 at 4:30 p.m. Seven applications were received by this deadline, with one candidate withdrawing their application.

Qualifications of applicants, in accordance with the Municipal Act and the Education Act, were confirmed and interviews with applicants took place on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Six applicants were interviewed by the interview committee, comprised of available trustees. Interviews were held in public, as was the deliberation following the interviews.

“The interview committee was impressed by the qualifications and passion expressed by all applicants and appreciates the interest from the community to fill the role of Milton Trustee,” says Andréa Grebenc, Chair of the Board.

Reza Ali Chaudhry

Reza Ali Chaudhry

Reza Ali Chaudhry brings extensive experience in education and leadership to the role, having spent more than two-decades of his career with the Canadian Forces as a senior officer. He has worked alongside Canadian academic institutions and the United Nations internationally to empower local leaders and enhance public education. Currently a professor, he holds a Master of Business Administration, Master of Peace and Conflict Studies and various executive certificates. Chaudhry’s involvement with the Halton District School Board includes holding positions on school council and taking an active role in the Milton School Boundary Review, attending Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) meetings, Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) and Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants engagement events in school communities.

“I am excited about working with our community and our school board on providing our students an innovative and inclusive educational experience,” says Chaudhry.

The upcoming meeting schedule for the Halton District School Board is posted on the Board’s website at www.hdsb.ca.

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford gets recognized by American media in record time.

background 100By Staff

July 30th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is just too good not to share.

It is an opinion piece from the Washington Post on our beloved Premier Doug Ford.

His brother, the late Rob Ford had to get really silly before the Americans recognized him.

Big brother Doug got recognized before he had served a full month as Premier.

Read on – the opinion was written by David Moscrop, s a Canadian political commentator.

To look at him, you would not think that Ontario Premier Doug Ford was a warrior. He always seems to have a smile on this face. Or at least a grin. He seems to be pointing all the time — as though he sees you. On first glance, he disarms you. He comes off more Augustus Gloop than Caesar Augustus.

But then he speaks. A casual “folks … ” heralds the arrival of the culture warrior, with his weapons of plain-spokenness, ad hoc social conservatism and “common sense” prepared and drawn for battle. The moralizer with a morally questionable past is there to fight for what is right and just and decent and true.

Ford on QP stairway

Premier Doug Ford at Queen’s Park

For Ontarians who are used to a mellower, traditional right-wing touch, Ford appears as a 40-cents-on-the-dollar version of Donald Trump. And ahead of his election win in June, rough and ready comparisons of the leader of the Progressive Conservatives to the U.S. president were in oversupply, as were ripostes lambasting the characterization as an overreaction. But what each side missed then, and what was more clearly revealed in the first weeks of the new government, is that what Ford’s brand of governance shares with Trump is a right-wing model of decades-old vintage.

In America in the 1960s and ’70s, as those who were on the outside started to make their way inside. The Rules, which had held a subtle social authoritarianism and sense of order — backed by religious, class, gender and racial oppression — began to be torn up. For a brief time, the liberal political consensus coexisted with an emerging social and cultural space dedicated to inclusion and liberation. But as progressivism grew in America, so did a counter-movement, something you could awkwardly but accurately label a counter-counter-movement. Force and reaction. And overreaction.

The Republican Richard M. Nixon would be the last right-wing liberal president. After him, conservative culture warriors began their work in earnest. William F. Buckley, founder of National Review and conservative stalwart, who had shaped American conservatism for years, found his influence waning as a new brand of populist, sometimes folksy cultural politics replaced his elitist libertarianism. It was as though he was being poisoned by his own children.

Along came the reincarnated New Right and Ronald Reagan, Terry Dolan, Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan, Robert Novak, William Bennett and eventually a mutant pastiche generation of George W. Bush, Ann Coulter, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and their acolytes. From the 1970s through to Trump, right-left polarization in America grew, the religious right rose, politics turned to city vs. country, and policy was a clash of values designed to leverage anger and frustration for political ends. Where you stood on race, drugs, abortion, school prayer, textbooks, guns, gay rights, immigration and political correctness would reveal not only who you were on the political spectrum but also whether you were good or evil.

Wittingly or otherwise, Ford has declared a culture war in Ontario. During the campaign, he launched predictable volleys. He opposed supervised injection sites for heroin addicts. He railed against elites. He praised police services and vowed to restore law and order.

After his victory, he spent his first days covering considerable symbolic and substantive terrain by moving fast and breaking things. At his swearing-in ceremony, he offered only a Christian prayer and skipped the emerging (but already widespread) norm of making an Indigenous land acknowledgement. He made a point of playing the now-unofficial version of the national anthem, “O Canada,” singing “In all thy sons command” instead of the new and inclusive “In all of us command.”

On the legislative and policy front, he moved immediately to remove environmental protections, proposing to scrap green programs and the province’s cap-and-trade scheme designed to tackle carbon emissions. Immediately after this, his minister for children, community and social services stood in front of a lectern adorned by the seal of the province and announced that Ontario was done cooperating with the federal government on resettling asylum seekers, just as the number of claimants crossing between ports of entry into Canada has risen in light of Trump’s election and fears about how they would be treated in the United States.

Next was sex education. The Ford government looked back to the good ol’ days of 1998, restoring a curriculum designed before same-sex marriage was legal in Canada and consent was not considered an issue worth discussing. Later, after a recent spike in violence in Toronto linked to concerns about mental health, the premier signaled his intent to send some of the province’s mental-health funds to the police.

Marinated in plain-spoken, folksy “common sense,” and drawing on an American playbook, Ford has brought a dangerous populist politics of cultural resentment and revenge to Ontario. We can expect outrage and self-righteousness. Regression and oppression. A slip back to an imagined never-time of cultural rigidity and economic retrenchment. And this at the moment when inclusiveness, environmental responsibility and a commitment to decent deliberative politics are needed to advance a just and pluralist democracy.

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63 people running for office in Burlington - largest number the city has seen in years. Good news?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 30th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

We erred – there are four people running for Mayor.  This story has been corrected.  The number is still 63

Nominations closed at city hall Friday afternoon.

There are 63 candidates running for city council seats, Board of Education seats, both Catholic and Public.

There is also a race for the Regional Chair.

There is one acclamation.

Ward 1 has 11 nominations, ward 2 has 6 and ward 3 has 5.

The only straight one on one battle is in ward 4 where Shawna Stolte is taking on 25 year + incumbent Jack Dennison who has a battle on his hands this time.

Four people are running for Mayor.

Two of the seven Burlington Council members have resigned: Rick Craven in ward 1 and John Taylor in ward 3.

There are 13 people running for seats on the Halton District Catholic School Board where there are some fundamental questions to be worked through.

The Halton District School Board has challengers for three of the four Burlington seats on the 11 member board. Amy Collard has been acclaimed in ward 5 once again. The residents in ward 5 know when they have a good thing going for them.

Expect to see the school board issues made part of the municipal election; the parents at Bateman appear to be getting ready to blame the closing of Bateman high school on ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward when it was the school board trustees who made that decision.

The October election looks as if it is going to be messy with development being the biggest issue. A project in the east end of the city that wants to put 11 buildings in the old Lakeshore Plaza site, now named Lakeshore Village Plaza, will bring out those that want Burlington to remain what it has been for some time. Those who don’t want to kind of development that is being brought forward by the developers use the phrase “responsible development”.

It will be up to the new city council to determine just what is responsible development is.

With four candidates running for Mayor the choices are not going to be easy. Meed Ward at some time has to put forward a really clear position on just what she thinks the city should have in the way of a development plan going forward; the Mayor, Rik Goldring has to stop saying that the tax increases are in line with inflation – they are not. He is fudging the numbers to his advantage.

Mike Wallace has to begin to say more about what he would look for as Mayor. So far we know that he now realizes the city needs a larger city council. – the reason we have just the six members of council is because of a motion Wallace brought years ago that reduced the 17 then to the six now.

Wallace has talked about a “Liberty Village” for Burlington. Interpreted that is about land development – which developer are we talking about here – there isn’t all that much land available.

We aren’t hearing anything from Wallace on the downtown development.

Greg Woodruff has to do more than have a Facebook page.

When 63 people run for public office you know that there are a lot of people very unhappy with the way things have been done the past eight years.

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Male found dead in backyard at Brant and Churchill Rd, long gun also found.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 29th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police in Burlington are currently investigating a death in Burlington where a firearm was used.

HRPS crestAt 11:10 PM, yesterday, police received a call of a male with a gun in a backyard on Churchill Rd near Brant Street in Burlington.

Officers arrived and located the male deceased with a long gun present.

Police are currently on scene and are attempting to notify next-of-kin and no further details regarding the deceased is being released at this time.

There is no threat to public safety and police are not looking for any suspects.
Anyone with information is asked to please contact the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2316 or Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca or by texting “Tip 201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Premier Ford: 'the vengeful little ‘man of all the people’ with a healthy disrespect for democracy.

 

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

July 29th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

“I stand with Mayor Tory… that is a direct affront on democracy… That is tin pot dictator stuff.” (Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi – Friday July 27, 2018))

Is anyone really surprised? Doug Ford is showing his real colours – the vengeful little ‘man of all the people’ with a healthy disrespect for democracy, the political process, and the people within it. Friday was the last day for municipal nominations and without any public discussion or forewarning, King Ford decided to cut the size of Toronto’s city council by almost 50%. Of course this caught everyone by surprise, and especially those candidates who had already submitted their nomination papers for wards which now no longer exist.

doug-ford hard face

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Ford apparently has the power to do pretty much what he wants. But everyone is asking why this wasn’t part of the PC election campaign. Its’ common knowledge that he and his late brother, the former mayor, had long harboured an ambition to punish City Council, and/or its mayor. After all Mayor Tory beat Ford in the last election.

Still if that was in the cards, why didn’t Ford nation mention the intention to downsize City Hall during the campaign. Our new Mr. ‘Create-a-Crisis’ is also cancelling elections for regional chair in Peel, in an attempt to contain former PC leader Patrick Brown, who was in the running. After all, once Brown wins his defamation law suit against CTV, he’ll be coming after Ford.

So Mr. ‘Wreck-it-Ralph’ is on the move. At least everyone understood from what existed of his piecemeal campaign that Ford was going to kill the province’s market-based climate change plan, scrap sex-education in schools and shut down Ontario’s renewable energy programs. It was an incredibly wrong-headed, in fact bone-headed, set of promises, if for no other reason than Ford and his team had yet to invent plausible alternatives to these purposeful policies.

Now Ontario taxpayers will be subjected to a long, divisive and costly legal battle with the federal government, which will implement it’s own carbon tax here this year. And that will be more costly than the one Ford has just cancelled. And nobody with half a brain expects the courts to side with Ford, particularly as how the feds will be returning all of the money collected back to Ontario’s households.

Schools will go back to teaching a 1998 version of sex-education, which predates the emergence of the real dangers of sexual predation on the internet, gender issues and the topic of consent, as an eleventh-hour stop gap promise to Wreck-it Ralph’s party’s religious-right wing. In the end, of course, the government will likely just repackage the current sex-ed curriculum and re-implement it. After all, education is neither liberal nor conservative – it is just education. And this poly-boo-hoo over sex-ed was just about winning the election.

toronto_smog

A smog day in Toronto – most people thought these were a thing of the past – are there smog days ahead of us?

And ending the expansion of our renewable energy systems will condemn us to even greater reliance on climate-changing natural gas, and/or a return to imports of US coal fired electricity to meet Ontario’s emerging need for electricity. Importing US power in US dollars will be costly, though the biggest price will be deteriorating air quality, as we possibly move back to the era of smog days. Note that there were no smog days in the last year (2015) of phasing out coal burning compared to 53 a decade earlier.

Ford’s claim that he’ll be saving Ontario families $260 or so by killing cap and trade is as laughable as his assertion that it’ll only cost $5 million to do so. Has anyone seen buck-a-bottle beer yet or noticed that the pump prices have fallen by anything like the dime he promised? I’m looking forward to my 20% income tax rebate and another 12% off my hydro bill.

Ford with Tory

Toronto Mayor John Tory on the left in conversation with Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

He says he’s gutting TO’s city hall, making Toronto the most under represented city in Ontario, in order to save the city $25 million dollars. But the city will need to hire more staff to deal with the additional demand of now twice as many residents per Councillor. And that means that the costs will likely increase. And while we understand Ford’s disregard for Toronto’s politicians, does he really want to replace them with more bureaucrats? Doesn’t this remind everyone of how Mike Harris forced amalgamation on Toronto to supposedly save taxpayers money?

It’s easier to tear down than to build up again. And while Ford told us a bit about what he would be doing, he kept secret all the other plans he must have had, like reducing democracy in Toronto. Perhaps he hadn’t been warned by his entourage about how the public might react to such a draconian measure? Or perhaps downsizing was just a spontaneous thought that hit him when he read that municipal office nominations were closing on Friday?

Smog minimize use

The sign says it all.

Ford came to his position as party leader in a hurry and Ontario voters, at least 40% of them, were also in an almost inexplicable hurry to get rid of the Liberals. So Ontario voters might have been a little hasty. And there is little comfort for those who ignore those time-worn adages like haste makes waste, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, and you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. The truth is that when you put garbage in a refrigerator it won’t take long until the fridge begins to smell like a garbage can.

And speaking of garbage, that was one of Ontario’s new premier’s claims to fame. As one-time Councillor he and his bro, Mayor Rob, dragged the rest of Toronto’s Council, fighting and screaming, into privatizing garbage collection. Oh, and there’s another adage which applies to the last provincial election: ‘garbage in… garbage out’.

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.     Tweet @rayzrivers

 

 

Background links:

Ford on Carbon Tax –    Carbon Taxes –    Climate Change

Ford’s Toronto –    More Toronto –    Smog Days –    Ford’s Powers

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If the formula put in place for Toronto were applied to Burlington we would have three members of council and a Mayor.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 28th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

For those who sincerely believe that the public is better served with smaller government the decision Premier Doug Ford made about the size of Toronto’s city council will come as good news.

Ford has told Toronto that it has to align the ward boundaries with the boundaries in place for the federal and provincial constituencies; the two are identical.

Toronto has 25 federal/provincial constituencies and so they will have 25 wards.

Burlington has three federal/provincial constituencies – Milton, Burlington and Oakville North Burlington.

Boundaries for the riding of Burlington will stay the same. Oakville gets an additional seat and Halton gets bits and pieces chopped off.

Boundaries for the riding of Burlington

Milton map

Boundary for the riding of Milton.

Oakville North Burlington

Boundary for the riding of Oakville North Burlington.

Some of the people in the Northern part of Burlington are represented by the MP Lisa Raitt and the MPP Parm Gil from Milton.

Some of the people in the eastern part of the city are represented by MP Pam Damoff and MPP Effie Triantafilipoulos in the Oakville North Burlington constituency.

The rest of the citizens are represented by Karina Gould, a member of the Justin Trudeau cabinet and MPP Jane McKenna.

Using the Ford formula – Burlington would have three council members and a Mayor.

That would be nice and cozy wouldn’t it?

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It was the failure to communicate - something that can be fixed with a three minute conversation.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Gazette was able to get some background information on the organizational mess within Sound of Music Festival.

There is that wonderful Paul Newman line in “Cool Hand Luke” that goes: What we have here is a failure to communicate and that is basically what has happened.

At some point the president will come out of his tent, make a statement and things should settle down.

Our conversation was with someone who understands the board and the complexities of the festival business.

They are going to need a few days to let the dust they raised settle down.

Then they can get on with planning the 2019 program – it will be their 40th and they intend to make it the best they have ever done.

We hear too that the several chairs that resigned are re-thinking their position.

Peace love and light goes a long way.

Brian Ellis said in response to a comment from another Gazette reader that: “As a Past President of the S of M Board of Directors during the early years as a ‘not for profit’ organization, I would argue that the board has an obligation to its stakeholders to be as open and transparent as possible.

The volunteers, committee chairs, corporate donors and the citizens of Burlington in this case replace the shareholders of a normal ‘for profit’ company. It appears that the initial decision of the board (along with their subsequent failure to explain their actions) has the volunteers voting with their feet.

Rapt attention crowd

These are the real shareholders – these are the people the Board should be responsible to – if the current board doesn’t understand that – look for a new board.

It is the seeming unwillingness of the board to “deal with this internally” that has turned this into a full blown crisis. Pulling the rug over the mess as you seem to be suggesting will do nothing to resolve the situation.

Let’s leave it at that for the time being and give them some time to get their act together.

Salt with Pepper is an opinion column reflecting the thoughts, opinions, observations and musing of the Gazette publisher.

 

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The start up technical community celebrates a full year of Tech Place operation.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was an occasion for some celebration.

TechPlace had been in operation for more than a year and the plans were rolling out the way Frank McKeown and his team had expected.

Like anything in the high tech field there are surprises – some awkward that call for a course correction and other pleasant that bring out the best in people.

Frank with the baby

Halton’s “Godfather”, Frank McKeown, taking care of Claire Green’s new baby.

TechPlace manager Claire Green gave birth to a child and McKeown seems to have become the Godfather – fitting title for the man.

Women gossiping

Catching up and trading notes.

The evening was to be the Haltech Annual Summer social that took place at TechPlace – the technical type do social a little differently; the participants spend all their time pitching their development and talking about the changes.

The high tech world hierarchy can be confusing:

Haltech is at the nexus of Halton Region’s innovation ecosystem, working with technology companies to accelerate innovation for business growth. Their mission is straightforward: they help technology entrepreneurs and companies to develop and transform their good ideas and product innovations into well positioned, growing ventures.

Haltech first began operating in 2011. The organization went through some bumps getting off the ground and becoming relevant. They have supported more than 500 start-ups and entrepreneurs in Halton region, several of whom have grown into successful commercial businesses.

HalTech data 1Haltech focuses on companies who innovate in the following technology sectors that are important in our region: Advanced Manufacturing, Digital Media & ICT, Clean Technology, and Life Sciences & Healthcare.

The pitch in pink

Explaining what the application is all about.

They have worked with companies in other diverse sectors such as Educational Technology, Agricultural & Food Science, Mining, Consumer Goods, and Social Innovation.

Haltech is funded by the provincial Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science – the current funding is in place for the next two years. A small portion of their funding comes from sponsors.

Anita Cassidy

Anita Cassidy, Interim Executive Director Burlington Economic Development Corporation.

TechPlace is led by the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC), it is dedicated to connecting, developing, and advancing entrepreneurs at all stages. This means providing access to space, programming, mentorship, networking and resources that are fundamental to growing a business in today’s technology-driven marketplace.

TechPlace rents space to Haltech for there presence in Burlington.

TechPlace is funded by the Burlington Economic Development Corporation that was, until very recently, run by Frank McKeown who retired late in June. Anita Cassidy is serving as the interim TechPlace Executive Director; she is a candidate in the competition for the job.

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Sound of Music volunteers desperate for answers as their organization appears to be melting down.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It started out with an email sent on July 18, 2018, at 4:29 PM, from Peter Martin, president of the Sound of Music Festival who said:

Greetings Everyone.
Let me start off by apologizing profusely for the short notice of the cancellation of tonight’s meeting. This decision was made by the board.

Dave Miller is no longer with the festival.. We as a Board wish Dave the best of luck with his future endeavours.

We will provide further information at a later date.

The email stunned many.

Since then the Gazette has heard from many Sound of Music Festival volunteers; copies of emails have been sent to us.

SOM 2012 crew marking for set up

The volunteers – the heart and soul of the Sound of Music Festival. Here two check to see that the right vendor is going to set up in the right space.

There appear to be two camps: a Board of Directors who are failing to comply with their own bylaws and a large number (estimated to be more than 500) of volunteers who are dedicated to the now fired Executive Director.

Those who have provided email messages have asked us to not identify them at this point in time.

The confusion for the people who actually make the Festival happen is evident in this response to the Peter Martin notice of a meeting cancellation:

This is very unprofessional…

There needs to be a wrap up meeting as per our bylaws when will this be happening?

Can we have a meeting to discuss what will happen in transition towards a new executive director?

Where will the job listing be posted?

We have scheduled meetings coming up with all of our suppliers who will be attending them with me?

Shall I cancel until further notice?

The inventory organization and storage move happening next Wednesday.

Have the vehicles been organized and what time will they be picked up?

I have my committee showing up at 6pm to start organizing who will be there to talk to the sponsors and arrange for the locations to be unlocked?

I would also like to inform you that xxx – redacted, will no longer be continuing with the festival, several members of logistics have heard that Dave has left and have made the choice to leave due to uncertainty of how this change will negatively impact the festival they feel that having a new executive director and operations manager will be too stressful and add a lot of work to their plate.

I am holding a xxxxx meeting this Friday to try and talk to people – is there more information I can pass on about the current situation?

Awaiting your response feedback / comments.

Another volunteer joined the email thread and asked:

Crews putting in stakes

Festival set up crews setting up tents.

The funny thing here I have ask myself, who is the BOARD? Is it strange that you are part of an organisation and you don’t even know who the BOARD is – the BOARD!

This feels like a stranger have just walked into your home and separated your family.

I agree we deserve answers. Also where can we read the constitution by which the BOARD operates, is there a constitution; who puts the BOARD in place?

What structure is this organisation following and how is the processes of the BOARD vetted? At the end of the day WHAT IS THE GOAL.

Burlington just might be witnessing the melt down of an organization that has put the city on the map and drawn thousands of visitors to the downtown core.

Volunteers have explained to the Gazette that there are reports that have to be made to granting organizations and sponsors in order to ensure that the Festival can take place in 2019.

Streaming in Friday night

They stream into Spencer Smith Park in the thousands to take in a free concert.

At this point the President, Peter Martin and another Board member have installed themselves as the co-executive directors until a new Executive Director can be put in place.

The Gazette has reached out to the President and the Festival Corporate Secretary for comment and answers to a number of questions.  We have not heard from either person.

Many of the volunteers fear that the Board is going to choose someone with little or no experience with the Burlington Sound of Music.

It is not too late to save this incredible organization – but they are running out of time.

Dave Miller is taking a much needed break from this mess – he is reported to be taking a vacation that will see him unavailable until about the middle of August.

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