Mary Alice St James, retired school principal, enters the race for the ward 5 council seat.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 7th, 2018



The candidate we expected to run in ward 5 against incumbent Paul Sharman filed papers yesterday at city hall.

Mary Alice St. James, a retired school principal who moved into retirement while principal at Pauline Johnson elementary school.

The Gazette first crossed paths with Ms St James when a recording was being done of the students at Pauline Johnson elementary school singing O’Canada as part of a project that was going to co-ordinate then mix the recording of a national broadcast done at 79 schools.

Pauline Johnson - grouped with St. James

School principal Mary Alice St James, upper left corner, with students at her school doing a recording of O’Canada.

St. James moved to Burlington in 1982 . Her parents and brother came to the city in 1979; she was completing her final year at McGill (Bachelor of Education English/Phys. Ed.)

Her Mother, Kaye, taught at W.E. Breckon, her Dad, Lou St. James was an engineer with Bailey Controls a company that evolved into ABB. He was part of the transition team that had the company moving to Burlington from Montreal.

Mary Alice and her brother co-owned a townhouse in Walker’s Heights and then a home in Headon Forest.

Mary Alice and her husband Ron have owned their Oak Crescent home in Burlington for 24 years. Their sons now in their early twenties went to Pineland and Nelson High School.

This engaged, involved family has done much over the years to support Burlington.

Mary Alice Looking - with smile

Mary Alice St James

Mary Alice is going to use a “Burlington at its Best!” slogan in her campaign that will be managed by her sons.

Her strategy team is “stoked and ready to make a positive difference throughout Burlington.”

The web site is under construction. In this early stage of the election campaign St. James intends to “listen and use skill sets and experiences to hear what people want and then to deliver as a city and regional Councillor.

St. James is a pro “respectful building” advocate – “just not 23 stories tall”.

She was an initiator of the Shoreacres Character Study where she expressed concerns about established neighbourhoods and the challenges residents faced living normal lives during infill massing (7 days per week, 7:00am to 7:00pm)

Mary Alice is pro tree bylaws; she made sure she planted trees at every school she worked at – 30 were planted on the PJ playground.

She spoke at the Blue Water Place/Avondale OMB hearing and raised concerns with a builders’ townhouse plan; she gave a response similar to the many delegations she made before city council where her approach was to be respectful and deliver a well thought out delegation.

Mary Alice said she “feels that in a Councillor’s role she can continue and heighten what she is already doing to support the most vulnerable, including the increasing number of Seniors in Burlington. Mary Alice hopes to assist in creating Bike Lanes that work and transit that makes more sense and enables liveability in a meaningful way.

Mary Alice - pointing

Mary Alice St James, ward 5 candidate

Mary Alice said she is “currently collecting data on varied fronts and will want to hear concerns as well as creative and intelligent ideas for solutions. Mary Alice believes Burlington’s’ citizens are intelligent people who want to be heard. She is a listener who values the “smarts” of every age group and lifestyle.

This is perhaps the first time Paul Sharman, two term Councillor for ward 5, has faced a candidate with deep roots in the community.

Mary Alice does not live in ward 5 – she leaves a couple of football field lengths on the western side of Appleby Line, the ward boundary. “The people who know me” said St James, “are the parents who had children in schools I taught at on both sides of the ward boundary.”

At one point, before becoming Mayor, Rick Goldring represented ward 5, although he didn’t live in that ward.

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That lady who fought the city over milkweed plants in her garden once ran for city council.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 7th, 2018



The story about the milkweed plants in a garden was, for the most part, gathered electronically.

There wasn’t a chance to meet and do an interview with the woman who got a note from a bylaw enforcement officer saying the milkweed plants on her garden had to go.  Burlington, Ontario considers milkweed, the only plant that monarch butterflies lay their eggs on, a weed that must be destroyed or removed.

In Burlington bylaws are enforced when someone complains – and someone did complain.

Doreen Nicol - Raise the Hammer

Doreen Nicol – an actionist!

They chose the wrong women to push around.

When she read the bylaw notice Doreen Nicoll began making phone calls and lining up support and contacting local environmentalists to see if there were any alternative solutions. “I did this’ said Nicoll, “because trimming milkweed to the required height of 8 inches or less means that the tops of the plants containing all of the leaves, which are home to valuable monarch eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalis, would be removed and that would have devastating results.”  Nicoll argued that the milkweed was a plant – not a weed and that it was an important part of the environment.


A milkweed plant – home to valuable monarch eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalis.

She reported that a very wise environmentalist, who wished to remain anonymous, told her about the time her neighbour reported her for growing milkweed in her naturalized garden. It seems the neighbour wanted the city to force this woman to grow grass instead of flowers.

Nicoll had removed the grass “in my very tiny front yard and erected a very low wall to contain my new garden. Originally, I planted native, heritage plants, most of them edible and all of them able to survive on rain water alone.”

“Over the years there have been plenty of transitions. Some plants thrive for years only to suddenly decline or disappear and be replaced by a completely different variety. This was survival of the fittest playing out in my garden thanks to the effects of climate change.”

The end result was the city notice being withdrawn and Nicoll being told that the bylaw on weeds is being re-written to allow milkweed plants.

No croppedDoreen Nicoll is an  actionist; a word that isn’t part of the lexicon most of us use. She has been politically active in the past; she ran against Carol D’Amelio for a city council seat in 2003 – came in second and wasn’t able to give D’Amelio much of a run for her money.

D’Amelio got 55.5% of the vote; Nicoll got 25.9%; the city wide turnout was 16.55% of the eligible voters.
Born in Scotland Doreen came to Canada in 1963 was raised in Ajax, went to Ryerson to where she studied food and English. She also went to George Brown College and described herself as a Journeyman Chef.

Nicoll worked for a period of time in the hospitality business and went back to school at Western University and became a teacher. She now teaches Family Studies for the Peel Board of Education.

The family moved to Burlington in June of 1997

Somewhere along the way, after the five children were born and raised, she began to write. Her focus was gender violence. In a piece she did for the Hamilton Spectator on the relationships between men and woman she wrote: “Their actions send a clear message to their own wives, daughters, sons as well as the neighbourhood at large, that men feel they have the innate right to mistreat and intimidate women.”

Maggies posterNicoll writes from a social justice perspective. There are some things that are just plain wrong and she has the courage of her convictions to stand up and say so.

She has won several awards; a couple of “Maggies”, (Hamilton Independent Media Awards) and an Anvil – both awards that come out of the Hamilton community.

This time Nicoll was fighting for the environment – the right to grow milkweed in her garden.

We have no idea what it will be next: but of this we can be certain – there will be a next.







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Police conclude their investigation of gunshots two blocks north of Central high school.

Crime 100By Staff

July 7th, 2018



The incident took place in Burlington at about 4:30 am on July 6th when police responded to an area of Ross Street near Olga Drive in Burlington; they had received reports of several gunshots.

The police earned there had been a dispute between a male and female who were acquaintances. The dispute ended when the male displayed a handgun and discharged two rounds towards a shed, in the opposite direction of the female. The male then struck the female in the face and fled to a dark colour SUV which was being driven by an unidentified male. That vehicle was last seen traveling north on Ross Street.

The scene was examined by police and two spent cartridge casings were located and seized for further testing.
Members of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau were able to identify the shooter and managed to locate him and two other males at a restaurant near Square One in Mississauga.

Hand guns July 6th

These are not toys – there were in the hands of people who were in Burlington very early in the morning. One person is accused of firing the gun at least twice while outside a vehicle.

At approximately 8:00 PM, plain clothes officers and members of the Halton Regional Police Tactical and Rescue Unit (TRU) were able to arrest the shooter and two other males as they returned to a dark coloured Dodge Durango.

A search of the vehicle and arrested males resulted in the seizure of two loaded semi-automatic handguns and approximately 10 grams of crack cocaine with a street value of about $1000.
One handgun was located in a centre console while the other was located in the waistband of one of the arrested men.

The origins of the handguns are still under investigation.

Tharshan BALASINGAM (28-yrs) of Brampton was held for bail charged with:

• Pointing a firearm
• Discharge restricted firearm at a place in a reckless manner
• Possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose
• Unauthorized possession of a firearm
• Assault
• Utter threats
• Possession of firearm and ammunition contrary to prohibition order
• Occupant of a motor vehicle knowing there was a firearm
• Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking

Janson JEYAKANTHAN (25-yrs) of Brampton was held for bail charged with:

• Unauthorised possession of a firearm
• Carry concealed weapon

Johan Matthijs VAN DER LEE (26-yrs) of Calgary Alberta was released on a Promise to Appear in Milton court on August 1st 2018 charged with:

• Occupant of a motor vehicle knowing there was a firearm

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jared McLeod of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2385.
Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See Something? Hear Something? Know Something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or through the web at .

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Throne speech on July 12th will set out what Premier Ford plans for the province.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 6t h, 2018



Now the public gets to hear what they wanted to hear during the provincial election campaign.

Dowdeswell delivering Throne Speech MAr 16-2018

Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell delivering a Throne Speech in the Legislative Chamber.

Her Honour the Honourable Elizabeth Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, will deliver the Speech from the Throne on Thursday, July 12, 2018. This will open the first Session of the 42nd Parliament of Ontario.

The public will be able to watch the proceedings on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s television channel and website. The event will also be live-streamed on the Premier’s official YouTube channel and on the Premier’s website.

The Speech from the Throne will be read in the Queen’s Park, Legislative Chamber at 2:00 pm.

We will learn then what Premier Doug Ford plans for the province.

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Committee that will consider applications requesting financial audits of candidate campaigns and third-party advertisers in the 2018 Municipal Election looking for volunteers.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 6th, 2018



The City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Oakville and the Regional Municipality of Halton are seeking experienced professionals for appointment to the 2018-2022 Joint Compliance Audit Committee.

The Town of Milton is not part of this initiative

This Committee is required by the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, to consider applications requesting financial audits of candidate campaigns and third-party advertisers in the 2018 Municipal Election. It will be composed of between three and seven members with a background in accounting, auditing, law, election administration and/or public administration. Applicants should possess some or all of the following:

Municipal transparency• understanding of the Municipal Elections Act’s municipal election campaign financing provisions;
• experience in administrative law;
• proven analytical and decision-making skills;
• experience working on a committee, task force or in a similar setting;
• demonstrated oral and written communication skills; and
• any other criteria as may be prescribed under the Act.




Applicants cannot be:

• members of Council or employees of any of the City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Oakville or Regional Municipality of Halton;
• candidates or registered third parties in the 2018 Municipal Election, their family members, or any person connected to a candidate through an employment, contractual, business or partnership relationship;
• anyone who has participated as a candidate for an office or registered third party in the City of Burlington, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Oakville or Regional Municipality of Halton in the past two regular municipal elections, or who have conducted audits or provided financial or legal advice in respect of such campaigns; and
• anyone who intends to assist any candidate or registered third party, as a volunteer or for compensation, in the 2018 Municipal Election.

In order to be considered for appointment to this Committee, the application form must be received by the Regional Clerk before 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018. Submission instructions are included on the application form.

More information about the Committee is available in the Terms of Reference. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those under consideration will be contacted.

If you require documents in an alternate format, email or dial 311

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Police Investigating Early Morning Gunshots in Burlington

Crime 100By Staff

July 6th, 2018

Shortly before 4:30 AM, police responded to the area of Ross Street near Olga Drive in Burlington after receiving reports of several gunshots.

Police have located several casings and are continuing to investigate. No one was injured and circumstances of this shooting are still being sorted out.

Police believe this to have been a targeted act and there is no further risk to the public.
Investigators are seeking witnesses and asking area residents with surveillance cameras to come forward.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Jared McLeod of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2385.

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

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She won - the milkweed plants stay.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

July 6th, 2019



It was a short, to the point message.

“We won! City will no longer be removing milkweed from private residences!”

No cropped

The bylaw officer should have realized what he was up against when he saw the sign.

This was a big deal for Doreen Nicoll. The Burlington resident was paid a visit by a bylaw enforcement officer telling her that the milkweed in her front yard garden had to be removed.

The bylaw officer clearly didn’t see the sign in the garden – Nicoll was not someone to trifle with.

We asked for some pictures of her garden – she explained that some wild roses that blew in from another yard years ago that had taken over the garden. The kids moved home. “I had marking, exams, report cards, and then the heat wave hit. So, not every part is beautiful right now. Have a big yellow bag of mulch waiting in the driveway for cooler weather.”

Blue flowers

A very pleasant garden.

It is a very attractive garden that will have milkweed as part of the flowerbed. And Burlington now has a bylaw enforcement officer who knows much more about milkweed now than he did a week ago.

This whole mess was the result of a phone call someone made to the bylaw enforcement office complaining about the milkweed.

Nicoll explains that “milkweed started to grow, probably a throwback to when this land I live on was farmed. I’ve also purchased milkweed and over the past decade or so and all of it has done quite well. This is a particularly good year.”

Ward 2 Councillor and candidate for Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “You did it everyone! Based on your advocacy, research, information, city staff listened and will be bringing a bylaw forward in September to remove milkweed from “weed” list to allow it to be grown.

“Well done to all!! In the meantime, the bylaw on milkweed will not be enforced. Tweet from city of Burlington: “City staff have drafted a new lot maintenance bylaw affecting tall grass and weeds. The draft bylaw goes to Council in September and will align with the provincial Weed Control Act. Until then, the city will not enforce the removal of milkweed.”

In electronic communication with Nicoll we learned more about how she approaches life.  “you should know I’m also active in ending gendered violence, an ally for Indigenous Nations and Peoples, as well as working to end hunger and poverty. All of these issues are intertwined.

Doreen Nicol - Raise the Hammer

Doreen Nicoll – Burlington actionist.

“I also like to be called an actionist — a term I am borrowing from Mike Nagy chair of the Wellington Water Watchers.

As Mike told me in an interview, “All it takes to be defined as an acitvist is to write a letter or contact your MP or simply ask for better health care. But, over the decades the term has too often become associated with negative connotations.”  The difference is I learn about the issue, take action, follow-up, and rarely if ever give up.”

Our kind of woman.

The original news story.

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What’s Important in Gaming Software for Poker Rooms?

News 100 redBy Hillary Walker

July 5th, 2018



Online poker has gained incredible popularity, with thousands of players from all over the world competing with each other in so-called poker rooms. Many of them are in search of a quality gambling portal known for its brand promotions, credibility, secure financial flow, quality gameplay, and modern online poker software. Therefore, if you are dreaming of opening an online poker platform, gaming software is the first thing you should consider.

It is poker software what sets such a great gaming atmosphere in an online gambling platform, making each participant feel like he is at a real table. In order to establish that inspiring atmosphere, it is necessary to select a company for poker platforms software development in a responsible manner.

At this point, you may have a lot of questions: where to start, which programs for poker exist and how to find a professional company, etc.

What Stands Behind Poker Software Development?
If you still desire to have an online poker room, then your the next step will be creating software for a gaming portal. There are many options to choose from: Delphi, Java, C ++, React – all may qualitatively serve the purpose. At the later stage, you will need to certify a gambling activity of your organization not to be fined or criminally liable. However, if you are hiring a professional company to develop a gaming software, you will get a consultation from an expert in the industry.

Poker hand - above how muchHow Much Will You Pay for Online Poker Software?
The question of financial investments is among the most popular ones; it should be understood that a good poker room requires serious investments. Fixed amount will be necessary for the purchase of a good software.

On top of that, you will need to get a license and invest into the technical side of the issue. If there is even the slightest chance that the work of the website infringes quality standards at one time, no one will certify such a project. It is necessary to think in advance how you will develop your business and maintain its activities.

Tournaments to Be Supported in a Poker Room
Apart from regular online poker games, it is also important to support tournaments in an online poker room.

Qualitative software must contain a package the following types of tournaments:

● Regular championships held at a certain time;
● Sit’n’Go (time-out tournaments that are held once the gaming table is full);
● Heads-up (duel where only two players participate);
● Freerolls (tournaments with free participation).

If you strive to have a platform for playing poker, there is always a chance to purchase the entire software package and save yourself from troubles. Hiring a professional company, you can get high-quality and advanced solutions for building a strong and highly competitive business.

An RNG certified platform will help you develop your business in the shortest term and take an honorable place in the market.


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Pin ball machine exhibit will be the first the public will see at the Joseph Brant Museum when it opens next summer.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 5th, 2018



The $11.4 million expansion of the Joseph Brant Museum will add 14,000 square feet that includes four exhibit halls, two multi-purpose rooms, a lobby, shop, resource centre and storage for over 25,000 artifacts and historical treasures.  The plan is to have “blockbuster” exhibitions from around the globe.

We have been waiting for news on what the first travelling exhibit at the transformed Joseph Brant Museum would be about.

pin ball machines

First exhibit at the transformed Joseph Brant Museum is going to focus on pin ball machines.

Something relevant to the community for certain – right?

Something that had at least a bit of an historical tinge to it.

Something unique perhaps?

The new is that the first travelling exhibit will involve pinball machines and rock ‘n’ roll!!

Yeah! Many people were afraid of something like this.

It was Dan Lawrie's idea and his willingness to put up $37,000+ of his own money that started the a process tat ended with a piece of public art being unveiled outside the Performing Arts Centre.

It was Dan Laurie’s idea and his willingness to put up $37,000+ of his own money that started the a process that ended with a piece of public art being unveiled outside the Performing Arts Centre.

On the positive side – the Gazette has learned that Dan Lawrie intends to commission a statue of Joseph Brant. Nothing more in the way of details – it’s a great idea.


Spiral Stella.

Lawrie was one of the moving forces behind the installation of the Spiral Stella outside the Performing Arts Centre.

The Museum plans to host travelling exhibits from across North America.

Construction is on schedule and the museum will re-open next summer.

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Part time, temporary work opportunities at a great venue - The Canadian Open Golf Tournament!

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 5th, 2019



The PGA (Professional Golf Association) is the organizer of the main professional golf tours played primarily by men in the United States and North America

The PGA Tour is being hosted by the Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville- July 20-30, 2018

THE Centre PGA logo

First Services Hospitality Inc. is handling the staffing and they need people for the following positions:

Can Open golfRunners/Cart Driver
Bartenders/Cocktails Servers
Concession Workers
Kitchen (Cooks, Prep, dishwashers)

Staffing details:

Runners/Cart Driver must be able to lift 50lbs and have a clean valid driver’s licence.

Bartenders/Cocktails Servers/ must have Smart Serve certification and enjoy working with the public

Buffet/Bussers- Food safe is an asset

Concession Workers- Food safe is an asset and Smart Serve for some stands required where alcohol is served.

Kitchen (Cooks, Prep, dishwashers) food safe required.

Dishwashers must be able to work in a fast paced environment. Must be able to work as part of a team.

Administrative Supervisor- must have knowledge of the Oakville area, telephone skills, and background in food and beverage, able to work independently or as part of a team. More details at time of interview.

STEP #1.
Send your resume ahead of time to In the subject line put the “position” you are applying for plus- “RBC PGA – The Centre”. (Wage rate is based upon experience and position)

STEP #2.
Show up to meet us for a face-to-face interview on Thursday July 19th between 12 and 3pm at The Centre’s Oakville Employment Services 465 Morden Road, Oakville. Suite 109

These are full time/part time temporary positions.

Rates paid are determined by the work being done and your experience.

These are great summer jobs.

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Someone fingered Doreen Nicoll - they called the bylaw officer who didn't understand what role milkweed really played environmentally.

News 100 greenBy Doreen Nicoll

July 5th, 2018



In 2004 I had the grass in my very tiny front yard removed and a very low wall erected to contain my new garden. Originally, I planted native, heritage plants, most of them edible and all of them able to survive on rain water alone.

Over the years there have been plenty of transitions. Some plants thrive for years only to suddenly decline or disappear and be replaced by a completely different variety. This was survival of the fittest playing out in my garden thanks to the effects of climate change.

During that time, milkweed started to grow, probably a throwback to when this land I live on was farmed. I’ve also purchased milkweed and over the past decade or so and all of it has done quite well. This is a particularly good year.


Milkweed – din dins for the Monarch butterfly and a native plant in Burlington resident Doreen Nicoll’s garden.


But, this is also the year that I discovered that Burlington, Ontario considers milkweed, the only plant that monarch butterflies lay their eggs on, a weed that must be destroyed or removed.

On Friday, June 29, 2018, I returned from work to find a Notice of Violation on my front door. The notice stated that I was in contravention of By-law #12-2011 Part 3 3.1(b), which states, “Every owner of property shall ensure that grass and ground cover is trimmed or cut to a height of 20 centimeters (8 inches) or less and shall ensure weeds are removed or destroyed between May 1 and October 15 each calendar year.”

The Notice of Violation stated the require action was, “Remove or destroy milkweeds from front yard abutting the sidewalk and adjacent property” within seven days. So, by Thursday, July 5.

Again, let me be clear that my milkweeds are growing on my property and not on city land and definitely are not invading a neighbouring property.

monarch butterfly with milkweed

A Monarch butterfly – is that a milkweed plant in the background?

So, I began contacting local environmentalists to see if there were any alternative solutions. I did this because trimming milkweed to the required height of 8 inches or less means that the tops of the plants containing all of the leaves, which are home to valuable monarch eggs, caterpillars, and chrysalis, would be removed and that would have devastating results.

A very wise environmentalist, who wished to remain anonymous, told me about the time her neighbour reported her for growing milkweed in her naturalized garden. It seems the neighbour wanted the city to force this woman to grow grass instead of flowers.

Well, when she showed the by-law officer her receipt from a local nursery for the purchase of the offending plants she was told that everything was okay because clearly a nursery would not sell weeds to the public. The Notice of Violation was withdrawn.

So, in this time of the Suzuki foundation selling milkweed, documentaries like Metamorphosis showcasing school children planting milkweed to encourage the proliferation of monarch butterflies, and people being encouraged to cut back or stop all together watering lawns and gardens, I am perplexed why the City of Burlington is insisting I destroy this native plant that’s imperative to the lifecycle of monarch butterflies.

Here’s a thought, as we’re entering a municipal election this fall: why not make milkweed an election issue?

Monarchs deserve our protection, as does the water that’s wasted every summer on keeping grass green and non-native species blooming all summer long.

I would argue you don’t even have to live in Burlington or Halton to voice your opinion, because monarchs and water affect everyone across the province and country.

I encourage you to make your voice heard. Tell the City of Burlington, Ontario that you value native plants like milkweed, which nurture valuable monarch butterflies and survive on local rain water.

Here’s a list of email addresses so you can share your thoughts on this matter:

Mayor Rick Goldring
Councillor Marianne Mead Ward (who is running for Mayor)
Councillor Rick Craven
Councillor John Taylor
Councillor Jack Dennison
Councillor Paul Sharma
Councillor Blair Lancaster

After all, isn’t a weed simply a flower growing in what suburban society mistakenly believes is ‘the wrong place?’ Tell that to the monarchs.

What Ms Nicoll may not realize is that in Burlington by laws are enforced on a responsive basis. By law enforcement officer do not go looking for bylaw violations – they get complaint calls and they go out and investigate.

Someone fingered Ms Nicoll.

Doreen Nicol - Raise the HammerDoreen Nicoll, a Burlington resident, is a feminist and a member of several community organizations working diligently to end poverty, hunger and gendered violence.  She writes regularly for Raise the Hammer, a Hamilton community based on-line publication where this article first appeared.


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Rivers: Requiem for the Environment ?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

July 5th, 2018



Shouldn’t a conservative by definition be one who practices conservation? Despite any word association, today’s popular conservatism is more akin to reactionary-ism – the impossible dream of winding the clock back to those good old days. But none of us is going to be able to recreate the glaciers and ice packs lost to global warming, nor roll back the oceans to levels where they were when the post war generation was coming of age.

Bill Davis - pipe cloud

Bill Davis: saved farm land with Ontario’s first experiment in green belting, and was a major force behind stopping acid rain.

Bill Davis was a conservative but he was determined to restore the Great Lakes, to save farm land with Ontario’s first experiment in green belting, and to stop acid rain. And Brian Mulroney won accolades from environmental organizations for promoting sustainable development and raising concerns about climate change. These were the last real progressive conservatives.

When the US government set out to eliminate lead in gasoline back in the seventies they adopted cap and trade. Cap and trade was  invented by a U of Toronto economist in the sixties. The technique is  considered business friendly and the single most efficient (least costly) way to achieve an environmental regulation.

The phaseout of lead exceeded everyone’s expectations, taking the lead out ahead of schedule and at far less cost than anticipated. The same kind of results were achieved when cap and trade was applied to the US acid rain program in the 90’s, reducing sulphur emissions from power plants faster and at less cost than  imagined. These programs had been developed by Republican administrations in the USA.  Generally, conservatives favour market instruments over intrusive regulatory ‘command and control’ approaches when it comes to the environment.


He just didn’t like taxes of any kind and suggested using regulations – command and control

The Harris conservative government had implemented a cap and trade program for smog pollutants from the electricity sector back in the early 2000’s, though it suffered from a number of design issues, and became redundant once the province phased out coal as an energy source. Cap and trade works best when there are a large number of entities involved in trading, which is why Quebec and California had been chosen to partner in Ontario’s program.

Economists are used to saying: bygones are bygones, and so cap and trade is now history in Ontario. Nevertheless killing the program, and doing so mid-year, is problematic. For one thing the province will surely be obligated to return the almost $3 billion Ontario businesses paid for their carbon allowances this year. And, since this was a multi-year program, we might be on the hook to return the previous year’s money as well.


Few fully understand how cap and trade programs work. The idea was created bu a Canadian economist at the University of Toronto. They are effective ad have been around for a long time.

It is unclear whether the abrupt and unilateral cancellation of our emissions trading arrangements with trade partners in Quebec and California will result in breach of faith and possible law suits. Clearly any trades of Ontario allowances or credits to businesses in those jurisdictions are now worthless, so we’ll see.

And Ontario will end up with a new carbon tax imposed by the federal government, which will be far more expensive than the previous estimated 4.3 cents per litre cost of cap and trade. The good news for Ontario residents is that while we’ll have to pay a carbon tax, all that money will be returned to us in some form. The bad news for Ontario’s new premier is that his government is not likely to have any access or control over it.

Doug Ford finger pointing

Don’t expect the federal government to be stupid enough to give the proceeds from a carbon tax to a premier who is unwilling to do anything to help the country meet its global climate commitments.

The BC government returns most of its provincial carbon tax back to its residents through lower income taxes, making it a sort of revenue neutral tax. Although the feds have not disclosed how they will return Ontario’s carbon taxes, nobody expects them to be stupid enough to give it to a premier who is unwilling to do anything to help the country meet its global climate commitments, and somebody who is actually suing the feds about the tax.

And the only savings we might see from cancelling the cap and trade program would be Mr. Ford’s promised 4.3 cents at the pump. I wouldn’t count on it though because the oil companies have not yet confirmed they will reduce gas prices.  Call that ten cent gas reduction the first casualty of Ford’s ‘chicken-in-every-pot’ election promise. Everyone knows you should not promise something you don’t control.

And he’ll have to break another election promise, about not firing anyone. Otherwise he’ll be paying salaries for those bureaucrats who used to manage cap and trade and those who administered the Green ON and other conservation programs funded by the revenues from cap and trade, to sit on their butts. No wonder nobody believes all the promises politicians make in an election campaign.

I saw former premier Mike Harris being interviewed during the recent PC leadership convention. He just didn’t like taxes of any kind and suggested using regulations – command and control – rather than a carbon tax. Well that made my soon-to-be buck-a-bottle beer start to curdle – just to hear Mr. Anti-Red-Tape proposing more… red tape.

But I’m not betting on Mr. Ford bringing in any regulations to curtail GHG emissions, let alone anything as bold as banning coal or as imaginative as cap and trade. You see, that would be progressive, and Mr.Ford is more the reactionary type of conservative. So don’t be surprised when he starts shutting down the EV charging stations, cancelling solar and wind electricity generating projects, and maybe even bringing back coal-fired electric power back to Ontario.

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 Cancels Cap and Trade –    Ontario Trading Partnerships –    US Acid Rain Program

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Free car show - hidden price - road closures

notices100x100By Staff

July 5th, 2018



You didn’t think there wasn’t a price for all the free car gawking on Brant Street on Saturday did you?

There will be Downtown Car Show Road Closures

On Saturday, July 7, the fourth annual Burlington Downtown Car Show will take place on Brant Street, between Caroline Street and Lakeshore Road.

In order to meet the needs of the event, the following road closures will be in effect on July 7 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.


• Brant Street, between Caroline Street and Lakeshore Road
• Ontario Street and Elgin Street, between Locust Street and Brant Street
• James Street, between John Street and Brant Street

Wall to wall card Nfty 55

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Ward 1 candidate says he will fight for the TEC people.

council 100x100By Staff

July 4th, 2018



TEC stop quarry expansion Jul17

TEC has done everything a community group can do to get support for their project. So far no one has come to their aid.

The Tyendaga Environmental Coalition finally has a friend.

Vince Fiorito is prepared to do battle for the TEC people and their fight to have the value of their property maintained and not significantly downgraded when the bulldozers start mining for shale in the eastern most quarry of the site off King Road in Aldershot.

Meridian Brick has had a license since the early 70’s and have been taking shale out and manufacturing brick.

Graphic of TEC quarry

Forterra Brick was the predecessor of re-named Meridian Brick. The graphic, courtesy of the Toronto Star shows where the residents live and where Meridian wants to mine for shale.

The move into the eastern quarry has brought a problem that was always lurking in the background to the front page. TEC hasn’t been able to get any traction with either the Mayor, the ward Councillor or the MPP.

They all said that Meridian has a license and there was nothing they could do.

Fiorito sees this differently and said that one of his reasons for running in ward 1, which isn’t where he lives, is because there is a significant environmental issue in that ward. And if Fiorito is anything – he is a protector of the environment.

Sheldon Creek - farm equipment + Vince

Fiorito has been working at cleaning up ravines in the western part of Burlington – he now wants to work on a solution for everyone in the Tyendaga community where a brick manufacturing operation wants to cut down thousands of trees and begin mining for shale yards from their homes.

“I think there is a win – win possible here and I will be committing myself to working for the interests of the residents who have major economic interest as does the brick manufacturer.”

“No one has managed to bring these two groups together and work on their joints interest” – every one has sided with the brick maker and forgotten the taxpayers” said Fiorito. “That isn’t fair” he added.

The TEC people want to interview Fiorito before they put their support behind him.

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Has the property for the 409 Brant project actually been assembled or has Revenue Properties just said 'we will buy you out if we get the deal we want'.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 4th, 2018



When reports are prepared for city council there is some standard information at the top of each document.

Mayor with Reveniue Project developer

President of Revenue Properties in Conversation with Mayor Goldring at a public event.

The report going to council on the 409 Brant project being developed by Revenue Properties has the following information under Applicant.

Reserve Properties Ltd.
2001586 Ontario Inc. (owner, Elizabeth Law):401 and 405 Brant Street
2486157 Ontario Inc. (owner, Elizabeth Law): 403 Brant Street
Elizabeth Law: 409 and 413 Brant Street
Elizabeth Law Interiors Ltd.: 411 Brant Street, 448 John Street, 2012 James Street
Albert Ludwig Schmid 444 John Street

Street - what is being taken down

The Brant street properties that will be be demolished if the 409 development actually proceeds.

Does this mean that Revenue Properties does not yet actually own the land it wants to acquire and develop?

That kind of limits the risk doesn’t it?

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Four development proposals will be reviewed and debated on Tuesday at Council

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 4th, 2018



It will not be a sleepy summer with lots of time off and getting away early in the evenings for many at city hall. Members of Council are going to be pressed with the size of the work load as well.

There are four developments coming before Council that long term will add as many as 2000 people to the population of the city.

409 with 423 shadowed

Looking south on Brant. The proposed 24 story structure with the approved 23 storey structure shown as shadowed. It will be a different downtown core when these two are completed.

The biggie is the proposed 23 storey structure that will, if approved. go up at the SW corner of Brant and James and run south to the Elgin Promenade and west to John Street. The Planning department (It has been re-named Department of City Building) has written up a recommendation that suggests 18 storeys would be preferred. The recommendation is complex and not easily explained.

The approval of a 23 storey structure on the north side of James and Brant didn’t make the City Building department job for the 409 development any easier.

Mayor with Reveniue Project developer

Mayor Goldring in conversation with the President of Revenue Properties, the developer of the 409 Brant project.

From the “what’s in it for me” perspective there the following reported community benefits if the pro000ject gets built:

$250,000 for purchase of up to 6 assisted housing units by Halton Region, or similar contribution to housing fund held at the city

$100,000 for improvement of civic square

$50,000 for improvement of downtown transit terminal

$25,000 towards a downtown Burlington Farmer’s Market

$25,000 towards active transportation links (walking/cycling) in the Elgin Promenade area

widening sidewalks (Brant/James/John) – indirect benefit of $250,000

public easement at Brant/James of 16×16 – indirect benefit of $75,000

implement streetscape guidelines for expanded setbacks and open space easement for Brant/James/John – indirect benefit of $150,000

retain heritage attributes – indirect benefit of $300.

Opening up to city hall view

The planners are requiring each developer two cut into the corner of their buildings to open up the view of Civic Square. The 421 Brant development, on the right, has been approved. The 409 Brant development is before Council next week.

The really interesting one is the $100,000 to gussy up Civic Square. The city has required the developers of each building on the corner of Brant and James to cut an angle into the corner of the buildings to enlarge the view of Civic Square.

Deputy city manager Mary Lou Tanner told the Gazette of her fondness for city hall as a structure. Some in the planning department refer to the building as iconic.
There are clearly plans to give the Square a new look – that project didn’t make it to the “fully engaged” public agenda.

The Tremaine Dundas development has been a long time coming. That initiative is in the north west part of the city on the border with Oakville.

The ADI Links development that overlooks Bronte Creek has given life to that part of the city.

At some point the quarry operation and brick manufacturing plant in the area will give way to development and add to the vitality of that part of the city.

Cimmunity use land plan

Exceptional use of land – should become quite a community wen completed.

The site is one of Burlington’s last undeveloped significant Greenfield areas; the Secondary Plan area presents an important opportunity to create a distinct community in Burlington.

The lands are characterized by the presence of significant natural heritage features and areas, potential access to future higher order transit routes and important remnants of the area’s built and cultural heritage.

The purpose of the secondary plan is to provide a planning framework that will guide future development in the Tremaine Dundas area. The plan responds to and develops the area with a mixed use option to accommodate residential, employment and mixed uses while ensuring that identified natural heritage features throughout the area are protected, connected/linked and, where possible, enhanced.

Phasing BEST

There is the potential for a lovely community if the developer does it right. Access to major roads with a lot of green space. This one is a couple of years away.

Plan area is approximately 133 hectares with the developable area being approximately 50 hectares excluding the natural heritage system. The existing uses located within the area include a school bus terminal on Dundas Street and two single detached residences (the Crook- Norton House and a separate property fronting Tremaine Road), the existing Highway 407 right of way, a functional hydro corridor, CN railway line as well as the extensive Bronte Creek valley lands that set the natural environment character for the remainder.

Prospect st development site plan

Most of the intensification is taking place at the back of the property where stacked townhouses will replace less dense housing.

The development on Prospect west of Brant is for two blocks of stacked townhouses, each containing 50 housing units plus 130 parking spaces (including 9 visitor spaces).

Prospect stacked twnhouses

Fifty housing units will replace the eight in place now.

The two existing fourplex buildings will be demolished. The eight-storey apartment building will remain.

This development is classic intensification. The structures that are being demolished left a lot of space for children to play and adults t sit outside.  Times are changing.

Plains Rd at Helena

Townhouses in Aldershot – 38 units.

Another development in Aldershot will redevelop nine standard townhouse units along the northern half of the site, 17 back-to-back townhouse units on the southern half of the property and 12 back-to-back townhouse units on the eastern side of the property for a total of 38 units; 76 parking spaces, plus 5 visitor spaces are proposed.

All the chatter that the developers bring to council about how they are helping the city meet the growth targets the province has set begs the question: Have we not already met those targets? And is there anyone actually counting what is in the pipeline and where is the city relative to the targets?

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Wolseley acquires AMRE, an Edmonton based operation as they grow their grip on the distribution of plumbing and HVAC parts and supplies.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 4th, 2018



Wolseley Canada, a Burlington based leader in the wholesale distribution of plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, waterworks, fire protection, pipes, valves and fittings and industrial products has acquired AMRE Supply Company Limited (“AMRE”), a market leading supplier of plumbing, HVAC, appliance, electrical and property maintenance parts, equipment and supplies required by tradespeople, homeowners, service contractors and professional property operators.

Kevin Fancey, President of Wolseley Canada Inc.  announced the acquisition of AMRE yesterday.

Kevin Fancey and Doug Swane - Wolseley - AMRE

Kevin Fancey and Doug Swane cementing the Wolseley acquisition of – AMRE

Wolseley has approximately 2,500 employees and over 220 locations coast to coast; their commitment to good corporate citizenship is reflected in their national sponsorship of Special Olympics Canada. The company has donated more than $3.1 million through corporate sponsorship and employee fundraising.

They are an active supporter of Habitat for Humanity.

Kevin Fancey

Kevin Fancey, president Wolseley Canada

Wolseley Canada’s parent company, Ferguson plc is the world’s largest trade distributor of plumbing and heating products and a leading supplier of building materials. Ferguson plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: FERG) and on the FTSE 100 index of listed companies.

The AMRE operation is headquartered in Edmonton and has 12 “Property Performance Centre” locations across Canada in Richmond, Surrey, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, Windsor, Hamilton, Mississauga and Scarborough.

AMRE celebrated 50 years of operation this year; over 200 AMRE employees will join Wolseley. AMRE president, Doug Swane, will join Wolseley as divisional president, AMRE Supply, and will lead the business.

AMRE and its branches will continue to operate under the “AMRE Supply” brand for the foreseeable future.

AMRE will build on 220 Wolseley locations across the country. AMRE president Doug Swane said “this , will enable us to expand our market reach and product offerings. Wolseley represents an excellent fit for all aspects of AMRE’s business, including a company culture with similar values and guiding principles.”

DroneWolseley got their name in the news last year when they annonced the signing of an agreement to collaborate with Vaughan, Ontario-based Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) on the potential implementation of a drone delivery solution focused on a customized depot-to-depot delivery as well as a depot-to-customer solution in Wolseley Canada’s supply chain.

If the testing and development are successful to the satisfaction of both parties, negotiations will proceed to form a definitive agreement once applicable government legislation is enacted.

Wolseley expects to be able to radically improve on-time delivery using a drone to make what is known as  Beyond Visual Line of Sight deliveries


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Car show on Brant Street this Saturday 10 - 4

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

July 3rd, 2018



The Burlington Downtown Car Show in support of the Burlington Lions Club is a celebration of the automobile showcasing 200 classics, exotic and iconic vehicles that will be displayed in downtown Burlington on Saturday July 7, 2017.

Carshow Blue car

The cars aren’t for sale – just for looking.

There is no admission, 200+ cars will be on display including classics, cruisers, muscle cars, odd ball and exotic sports cars. They will be displayed on Brant Street between Caroline Street and Lakeshore Road – Saturday July 7th, 2018 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

The Burlington Downtown Car Show offers a view into the history of the automobile. This year’s show will include Main Stage music sponsored by the Burlington Downtown Business Association, a Kidz Zone supported by Stoner & Company Family Law Associates, and a Corvette Corral supported by Leggat Auto Group.

Car show - yellow hot rod

All muscle!

Civic Square will be a showcase of rare and unique cars. A wide variety of vendor offerings will be present along Brant Street.

Mayor Rick Goldring will officially open the show at 12:00 noon from Main Stage, located next to the new Burlington Promenade.

The show has attracted representation from virtually every automotive sector; modern muscle cars, off-road vehicles, tuners, European super cars as well as the classics.

Car show - cream coloured with trunk

A Classic that was on display at a previous car show.

Local merchants support the show with side-walk sales, turning Brant Street into a pedestrian mall full of activity for the whole family.

The car show people don’t say how much is raised for the Burlington Lions other than “the event is one of their bet fund raisers.

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Burlington supports Community Mindfulness - four sessions planned for the summer.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 3rd, 2018



We did not write this.

We pass it along to you for your edification from Community Mindfulness Burlington.

They are inviting residents to a series of free drop-in mindfulness sessions in Burlington parks in July and August.

The mindfulness sessions are led by volunteers from Community Mindfulness Burlington and partly supported by the City of Burlington’s Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund.

Mindfulness is a type of meditation where a positive mental state is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.

Participants are advised to wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat or meditation cushion. Mindfulness activities are inclusive and secular. All welcome to participate.

Sunday, July 8, 10 to 11 a.m., Mountainside Park. Mountainside Arena community room in case of inclement weather
Sunday, July 15, 10 to 11 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Aldershot Arena community room in case of inclement weather
Sunday, Aug. 12, 10 to 11 a.m., Mountainside Park. Mountainside Arena community room in case of inclement weather
Sunday, Aug. 26, 10 to 11 a.m., Kiwanis Park. Aldershot Arena community room in case of inclement weather

Your tax dollars at work!

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Ward 1 will be getting another candidate who wants to represent them at city Council. Vince Fiorito will be in the race.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 3rd, 2018



The city council race for the ward 1 seat just got a little hotter.

Vince smiling - head cocked

Vince Fiorito to run for the ward 1 city council seat

Vince Fiorito, the Green candidate in the recent provincial election has advised the Gazette that he will be running for the city council seat in ward 1.

Fiorito, who lives in ward 5, has decided that it is important for the candidate who expect to file nomination papers in ward 5 later this week or early next have a clear shot at incumbent Paul Sharman. “I don’t want to split that vote” said Fiorito.

However, Fiorito added that “during the provincial campaign as a Green candidate I got more support in Aldershot (ward 1) than I did in ward 5. Running in ward 5 is strategic for me and it is where my support is”

Vince Fitorio

Vince Fiorito was named the Steward of Sheldon Creek; the strongest environmentalist the city has.

Fiorito is a strong environmentalist, probably the best environmental thinker in the city and he has a good public profile.

He doesn’t feel that living outside the ward is an issue. Several of the candidates already nominated live outside the ward.

With Fiorito in the race the dynamic changes considerably.

The candidate count for ward 1 currently includes: Jason Boelhouwer, Kelvin Galbraith, Arlene Iantomasi, René Papin, Marty Staz and Judy Worsley.

Fiorito expects to file his papers the week of July 9th.

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