Changes in a transit policy that has failed residents for more than a decade could be in the wind. Bfast Forum Saturday could be where some of the needed change takes place.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 17th, 2018



Stephanie Mah was completing a Master of Planning in Urban Development at Ryerson University and chose a Ride for Free program that had been initiated by Oakville Transit in Oakvlle Ontario.

In her Masters Thesis she said the “research investigated the Ride for Free Public Transportation program for seniors in Oakville, to understand their travel behaviour and  to understand their perspectives towards taking public transportation.

While 63% of seniors in Oakville said that the Ride for Free Transit Program did not impact their travel behaviour, 37% said that it increased their public transit use. The most popular reason for seniors to use public transportation was taking it by themselves.

Some interview respondents said that they used public transportation because they would not have to ask others for rides or they did not have access to a car. Seniors suggested that more education of how to use the bus and transfer could increase senior ridership. This research may aid other municipalities considering similar programs, which could help to sustain the independent mobility of seniors.

Jim Young who was a member of the Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee, a group that advises city council on matters related to seniors, took the Mah research and prepared a proposal that he then took before city council as a delegation.

He proposed putting seniors on the mostly empty buses on Monday’s as a major first step to improving life and health for seniors. “It will help the city to achieve its transit utilization goals at a cost that is much less than the revenue loss” said Young who argued that allowing seniors to ride the buses during off peak hours will have a positive effect on the economy and well-being of the entire city.

Jim Young

Jim Young delegating to city council.

In his delegation Young added: “Discussion of this topic tends to return to the issues of cost and why a program only seniors and Split Passes users in need. The cost to put seniors on off peak buses from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm is the loss of revenue from present seniors fare during those hours. It amounts to between $48,500.00 per year and $72,750.00 depending on the rate of uptake.

“This is less than the amount of one senior’s lifetime city tax contributions. It is 1/10th of 1% of all taxes paid annually by Burlington Seniors. It is ¾ of 1% of Burlington Transit operating budget.

The subsidy from federal and provincial gas taxes works out to approximately $0.69c per passenger journey for Burlington. In 2015 Burlington seniors made 191,000 journeys. If free transit for seniors caused a 50% increase in ridership the increase in gas tax funding would amount to $66,000.00 which means that the free transit plan for seniors could pay for itself if properly implemented and utilized.”

Transit - Oakville data

Data from the Oakville 13 week Free Monday transit pilot program.

In her thesis Mah reported that survey results suggest that most seniors drive to participate in day-to-day activities and only a small proportion take transit. The survey found that most seniors in Oakville relied on the automobile as their main mode of transportation with 43.5% of seniors stating that they used the car at least five times or more a week and 34.5% of seniors stating that they never used public transportation. The pattern is similar to what has been reported in other studies. A high percentage of seniors (67.8%) had access to a car as a driver, and 60.3% had access to a car as a passenger.

Oakville implemented a 13-week “Free Transit for Seniors” Pilot Program for seniors over 65 allowing for free travel at no cost on Mondays. The Pilot Program results reported that senior ridership increased by 578% or by 12,917 trips on the same Mondays in 2011 (shows the dramatic increase of senior trips over the course of 13 Mondays from 2007 to 2012 (Oakville Transit, 2012) highlighting the positive impact of free transportation on senior ridership.

Young wanted the city of Burlington to pilot the Free Monday concept. Council did not take up the idea. The debate over possible Free Monday transit took place at the same time Burlington prepared to spend more than $200,000 on a pilot project to add bike lanes on new street and reduce vehicle traffic to just two lanes.
The Road Diet pilot was as close to a municipal disaster as one could get – except for the cost of the Pier.

Transit - group in breakouit

Transit users at Breakout sessions at 3rd annual Transit Forum.

Bfast is holding their 4th Annual Transit Forum at a time when transit is getting more attention, a little more money and now has a Director of Transit who brings real transit experience and a well-earned reputation for growing transit services to meet public needs.

Hopefully the Oakville experience and the change in attitude towards transit will give the Oakville idea and the Jim Young proposal a second listen.

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

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Critical Forum on the quality of Burlington's transit service to take place on Saturday at the Seniors' Centre

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 16th, 2018


Bfast, Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit, is holding their fourth annual Transit Forum this Saturday, April 21st from 10:00 am to 12:30 at the Seniors’ Centre on New Street.  Free continental breakfast for the early birds.

Bfast event AprilBurlington’s new transit director Sue Connor, a woman with a real transit pedigree will outline her plan of action for repairing and improving the system when she speaks at the Fourth Annual Transit Users’ Forum Apr. 21.

Following her report, she’ll be part of a panel that will answer questions from the audience and discuss the issues that transit users raise. Panel members will be Jim Young and Glenda Th

Sue Connor was appointed to the job less than a year ago, but has already taken decisive action to make the system safer and more reliable. She helped to secure more than $1 million in new funding from City Council to hire more drivers, supervisors and mechanics to make Burlington Transit legally compliant and more reliable.

While the extra stopgap funding is welcome, Burlington Transit needs a greater commitment from City Council and a strong, sustained funding base, said Doug Brown, chair of Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit (BFAST), one of more than a dozen community groups that support and sponsor the annual transit forum.

Connor Sue

Sue Connor, recently appointed Director of Burlington Transit.

“We’ve made progress over the past year and Sue Connor’s appointment is a sign of that,” Brown said. “But we need to do more in order to bring Burlington’s transit funding in line with the rest of the GTHA.”

Connor, Chair of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, is well known for her success in transforming Brampton’s transit system, which has posted ridership gains in the double digits over the past few years. Burlington’s ridership showed double-digit declines over the same period due to the underfunding of transit services by Council.

Sue Connor, who is described as open, honest, frank with a real concern with solving riders’ problems, will speak to the riders of Burlington Transit,” Brown said.

This year’s Transit Users’ Forum will also feature the third transit users’ report card. Last year, more than 100 users rated the system and this year’s Forum participants will also determine Burlington Transit’s marks.

Community organizations participating in the Forum include:

• BFAST (Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit)
• Burlington Age-Friendly Council
• Halton Environmental Network
• Burlington Seniors’ Advisory Committee
• Engaged Citizens of Burlington
• Voices for Change Halton
• Community Development Halton
• Burlington Seniors Community Inc.
• Canadian Association of University Women, Burlington
• Burlington Green
• Poverty Free Halton
• North Burlington

The Forum is supported by the Burlington Gazette and Burlington Transit.

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Tyandaga residents still working at getting answers from different levels of government before the brick manufacturer begins cutting down trees and mining for shale.

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 16th, 2018



It is an issue that impacts the health of those who live in the community and has the potential to impact severely the value of the homes that are going to be yards away from the excavation of shale close to high end homes on West Haven Drive in the Tyandaga community.

The issue is complex and literally every level of government has done their best to steer clear of the problem.


The site and the size of the problem.

A license to mine a quarry for shale, issued in 1972 is the stumbling block. The company that owns the property and holds the license to manufactures brick wants to begin excavating on the most easterly of the three quarry cells.  The residents want tighter rules around any excavation that gets done.

Meridian Brick points to the taxes they pay and the value of their operation to the community. The community comes responds with its own tax number – they pay the city more money in taxes than the brick company.

In his blog Mayor Goldring sets out the fact that “Meridian manufactures an estimated 55% of the clay brick produced in Canada, and 45% is made here in Burlington.” He adds that the “quarry produces Queenston shale, and this is the only type of shale used for brick making in Ontario today. While the economic benefits cannot be overlooked, this must not be at the expense of negatively impacting the community.”

Excavation equipment 2

Residents are not looking forward to this kind of equipment operating yards away from their homes.

What many residents are asking is – why was the residential development approved when city council knew about the shale mining operation? Residents point out that if the mining of shale had started at the western cell the problem the community is facing today wouldn’t exist. In that blog the Mayor seems to agree: “Looking back on how Burlington has evolved, clearly if we were beginning to plan our City, a quarry within the urban area would not be the appropriate location.”

Amen to that would be a TEC response – they now want the city to work with them on an approach that deals with the current problems (air, noise and dust) and deforestation.

The residents of West Haven are resolute; they have organized as the Tyandaga Environmental Coalition (TEC). Hired legal counsel and been very aggressive in going after the bureaucrats in the different provincial ministries.

Westhaven looking toward lake

The street was once a preferred community – then word of the excavation work began to move to a quarry closer to the homes – many have sold their homes and quietly moved away. Property values are not improving.

They have been relentless with the Mayor and the ward Councillor and there is now at least some dialogue between the community and the brick company.

Their reports are filled with acronyms that matter only to those involved – they can be mind boggling. TEC has not been able to get this issues down to  headline issues:  environmental, health and the value of the homes people live in.

TEC reports that there has been one very useful meeting, arranged by Minister McMahon that included Burlington residents, TEC, Minister McMahon, Mayor Goldring, Councillor Craven, Meridian Brick, MOECC, MNRF, Conservation Halton and Burlington Green staff.

The meeting took place in January 25th, addressing a number of our concerns but because of the limited time-frame an in-depth discussion was not possible. As a result it was agreed to have ‘follow up’ meetings and, in addition, several key questions that arose from this meeting should, in the meantime, be presented, in writing, to the MNRF for their timely response – these questions were prepared and delivered on February 6th but so far TEC has no reply from the MNRF.

In November 2017, Donnelly Law, TEC’s legal team, submitted an EBR “Request for Review” application which essentially requested the “Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO)” to review our (TEC) concerns with respect to the proposed Meridian quarry extension.

David Donnelly

David Donnelly TEC legal counsel.

The results of the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) decision were received. TEC was partly successful in that the noise study is now being re-evaluated because the Meridian’s Quarry Operational Plan had changed and the conclusions resulting from the theoretical noise study were very dependent on the accuracy of this Plan.

The MNRF (who are responsible for the ‘integrity’ of the Meridian quarry operation) has, to TEC’s knowledge, never routinely monitored the Aldershot quarry operation for air quality compliance (including carcinogens) and noise compliance and noise compliance but rather relied on standard reports that were filled in and submitted by the quarry operators.

TEC points out that Meridian commissioned SS Wilson (the consultant who did the four previous noise studies – two for the Westhaven Drive developer and two for the quarry operator) to monitor the ongoing quarrying noise for the proposed quarry expansion TEC see’s this as extremely irresponsible  – in effect it offers SS Wilson the unique opportunity to police their own predictions – TEC asks: How can they defend this action? They maintain it is an action that shows contempt for and an absolute lack of transparency. It also indicates, at least to the TEC people, the potential subservience of the agencies to the aggregate owners/operators!

TEC members met with Minister Karina Gould (MP) in February to introduce her to TEC and to explain our issues with the “urban” quarry since this has federal relevance:

• Meridian is an American/Australian owned company doing business in Canada (NAFTA)
• Indigenous & Métis is a federal matter – for example, “Duty to Consult”;
• Environment and climate change is a federal matter – COP21

Meridian yard gates

Meridian has a significant investment in the quarry and a license they don’t want anyone meddling with the license they have.

TEC was astonished that Minister Gould suggested that this was not a federal matter, a position that TEC does not agree with. They maintain all levels of government have a role to play in effectively representing all citizens and fulfilling their commitments as elected politicians especially on matters of health, welfare, and the environment. It is important to note that Ms. Gould, a Burlington resident and our representative at the federal level, has known about the TEC community issue since she attended Meridian’s (then Hanson) first meeting in September 2015. To date, she has offered no support.

TEC has tried to get in front of City Council asking that the Meridian matter be added to a meeting agenda to enable residents the opportunity to delegate and present their case to Council – this request came after TEC members met with each Councillor to seek their advice and support (note: to date only Councillors Meed-Ward and Taylor offered any support and “real” advice on the matter). In what appears to be a usual response, Council decided to once again “dismiss, “deflect”, and “redirect”’ our request to be added to the meeting agenda.

The response: “In consultation with the City Clerk and the Chair of the Committee of the Whole, please be advised that this item will not be placed on the Committee of the Whole agenda for February 26, 2018. I understand that this matter is being worked on by the MPP with the support of Mayor Goldring. In addition, as this is not a municipal matter and falls under provincial jurisdiction, your request should be sent to the appropriate ministries”,

TEC points out that having comprehensive City, Provincial, and Federal ‘environmental’ regulations without professional, independent, continuous and thorough monitoring is the equivalent to having no regulations at all! There are many unknowns that have been skillfully ‘deflected’ in the past, but as D-Day (Deforestation and Dig Day) approaches

TEC say they need

• Answers to our MANY questions – this is imperative if we are to define our way forward;

• Progressive and engaged leadership from our City council and planning staff, who go beyond
“listening” and find a way forward that benefits ALL;

• An enforceable MZO (Ministerial Zoning Order) to limit Meridian Brick’s quarrying activities to within a safe distance of the Tyandaga Community;

• A comprehensive review of the mitigation plan for the endangered species on lands and nearby;

• A ‘signed and MNRF approved” Operational Plan so that we can define the height and position of the berm and enable full compliance to be reviewed DURING the operation;

• Independent monitoring of the dust and noise for full compliance;

• A commitment from the City / Province (MNRF / MOECC) to monitor the operation and to be on-call for non-compliance;

TEC has concluded that the time MNRF has taken to respond to their very general questions is because they are having difficulty getting the answers – When did the MOECC / MNRF last monitor the air quality resulting from the shale extraction?

“Surely, this should be just a matter of looking at the last ‘Official Report’. Have the MOECC / MNRF ever monitored the air quality in the Tyandaga neighborhood? Again, this information should be readily available in the ‘Official Report’, unless of course, there are no reports since that has been no air quality and / or sound measurements ever performed on a regular basis by these agencies – a situation that is very disturbing!

One of the reasons for the January 25th meeting, mentioned previously, was for TEC to get to know the other parties and to also get an indication as to the concessions that each party was willing to make. Because of the time limitation not much progress was achieved other than to voice ‘individual’ concerns and to get a better appreciation of the attention (or lack thereof) that we can expect from the city, provincial, Regional and federal officials.

TEC Nov 16-17 crowd

TEC always gets a significant community turnout o events. Early in their community events the ward Councillor and the Mayor brought their tin ears to the meetings.

TEC’s view is that the City and the provincial ministries clearly want to politically distance themselves from the Meridian Brick Aldershot quarry matter by a ‘Defer, Distract, and re-direct’ policy providing all the choreographed lip service but taking none of the accountability that comes with their elected positions – again a situation that is very disheartening for the residents but further encourages the aggregates!

As a community TEC said they “must decide on our next course of action as Meridian begins to implement its plans for the clear cutting and the subsequent quarrying commences.

At this time, they say they can go in a number of diverse directions – from legal action (which requires fund raising) to a negotiated compromise of the proposed Meridian operation. For example, trying to reduce the area to be quarried, limiting the closeness of the quarry to the neighbourhood, professional monitoring of the noise and dust, penalties for non-compliance and alternate land uses.

TEC stop quarry expansion Jul17

In Burlington community groups have to struggle to get heard.

Any of these require dialogue and a willingness on the part of Meridian to come to the table as a transparent and accountable corporation and elected officials who will accept their responsibility to oversee what takes place and call to account those who do not .

It has been a long and expensive exercise but whenever TEC holds a meeting they get audiences of about 200 during which people offer their financial support – one resident donated $5000 to the cause.

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Burlington Green’s Community Clean Up Green Up scheduled for this Saturday is still on.

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 16th, 2018



Burlington Green’s Community Clean Up Green Up is scheduled for this Saturday – April 21, 2018!

With this weather?

Amy Schnurr, Executive Director of Burlington Green reports that: Yes both the city-wide Community Clean Up as well as the Green Up tree planting event ( at Tuck Park) are still scheduled to take place on April 21st

BurlingtonGreen will not be hosting an Eco Fair nor will here be a BBQ this year.

BG Clean up

In 2015 this team did their own local Clean Up – Green Up.

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Maple Crossing Investigation Ends with Arrest and Seizure of Drugs

Crime 100By Staff

April 16th, 2018



Last Friday, the 13th 2018, members of the Burlington Street Crime Unit concluded a drug investigation after executing a Controlled Drugs and Substance (CDSA) at a Burlington residence on Maple Crossing Boulevard.

During the search, police seized the following items: (Photo included)

• 508 grams of MarihuanaMaple crossinf drug photo
• 13 grams of Cocaine
• $590 Cash
• Expandable Baton
• “Crossman” Brand Pellet gun
• Scales
• cellular phone

Estimated street value of drugs seized is $ 6,120.00

Sean DICICCIO (29-yrs) of Burlington was arrested and released on a Promise to appear in Milton Court on May 15th 2018 charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking (Marihuana), possession for thePurpose of trafficking (Cocaine) and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

Anyone who may have any additional information pertaining to this investigation is asked to contact D/Cst. Kelly Blore of the Burlington Street Crime Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 2306.

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

Suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Dance students will use spoken word poetry and reimagine the messages into dance movements.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 16th, 2018



April 26th, 270 Grade 6-8 students from the Halton District School Board will gather to perform and celebrate International Dance Day.

It is the 13th annual celebration and will be held at the New Street Education Centre (3250 New Street, Burlington), from 9 a.m.-2:15 p.m.

Different silhouettes of various dance poses

Different silhouettes of various dance poses

Students will use excerpts of spoken word poetry as source material and will reimagine the messages as movement to a shared piece of music.

The day will be divided into two sections. In the morning, students will participate in workshops led by professional dancers from across southern Ontario. Workshops include bhangra/bollywood, Caribbean jazz, contemporary, flamenco, hip-hop, musical theatre, tap and urban.

Dance hip hop

Hip hop dance

In the afternoon, Halton District School Board teachers will lead students in creative movement workshops based on the curriculum expectations and the creative process.

This year’s creative workshop theme is ‘resilience’. The students will meet at the end of the day to showcase their creations in an ensemble presentation.

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Rory Nisan announces his candidacy for the ward 3 council seat.

council 100x100By Staff

April 16th, 2018



You can expect election announcement to pop up regularly now – nominations open for the October 22 municipal election on May 1st.

There are three in the race for the job of Mayor; incumbent Rick Goldring, former municipal Councillor and Member of Parliament Mike Wallace and two term member of Council Marianne Meed Ward.

None one has made an announcement yet in ward 1

With Meed Ward in the race candidates for her ward 2 seat will begin to appear. Michael Jones, a ward 2 resident has said he will run if Meed Ward announces – she has – will he?

Ward 3 now has two candidates in the race.

Rory Nisan

Ward 3 candidate Rory Nisan

Canadian diplomat Rory Nisan has announced that he will register with the City of Burlington on May 1, 2018 to become an official candidate for the position.

“Councillor Taylor has been an excellent leader of the community for the past 30 years and I wish him all the best in his retirement. The ward has big shoes to fill and I look forward to working with John once elected,” Nisan said.

“We need to ensure that Brant Hills, Mountainside and Burlington’s rural community continue to be ably represented. I will bring my professional policy-making experience to city council,” he added.

With over a decade of experience as a Canadian diplomat, Nisan has worked on multi-million dollar budgets, negotiated major human rights resolutions at the United Nations and collaborated with different departments and governments in defence of Canadian interests. Most recently, he supported peace and security with Allies at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), focussing on strategic communications and North Korea. Nisan worked tirelessly to bring 25,000 refugees to Canada in the fall of 2015 and was awarded a medal from Global Affairs Canada for his service.

A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University (B.A.) and Carleton University (M.A.), Nisan has proven skills in building consensus and achieving objectives, and at the age of 35 he can offer a fresh perspective for the ward.
He will hit the ground running on city council, working diligently to build a city that works for everyone, including better roads and public transit, as well as thoughtfully managed city planning.

“With so many contentious issues before city council at this time, it is critical that Ward 3 be represented by someone with the right kind of experience to ensure we move forward as a community,” Nisan said.

Nothing all that specific in terms of policy direction from Nisan – but it is early in the game.

Ward 4 is going to have a candidate running against 25 year + veteran Jack Dennison. Shawna Stolte, a real estate agent has said she will announce her candidacy formally soon.

No new names in ward 5 yet. The seat is held by Paul Sharman

Ken White has announced that he will contest the ward 6 seat held by two term incumbent Blair Lancaster.

Nisan and his family moved from rural Ontario to Brant Hills in 1989 when Rory was just seven years old. He fondly remembers playing sports at the Brant Hills Community Centre and attending school at Bruce T Lindley and Brant Hills public schools.

Nisan with ward 3 residents

Rory Nisan, second from the right meets with ward 3 residents: From the left Gary Scobie, then Tom Bretton. Far right person was not identified.

Nisan has a long history as a community advocate in Burlington. He fought for better schools during the recent Halton District School Board (HDSB) Program Accommodation Review, including delegating to the HDSB.

In the aftermath of the attack on a mosque in Quebec City in January 2017, Rory organized a vigil at Burlington City Hall. This led to his leadership of the One Burlington Festival, the first inter-faith, multicultural festival in Burlington, in August 2017, which drew over 1000 participants and a dozen faith groups. He is also an active member of the City of Burlington’s Mundialization Committee. Rory’s dedication to his community has been recognized with a Burlington150 Award and a nomination for the 2017 Burlington’s Best Community Service Award.

“To lead the community, you need to be a part of it,” Rory said. “I care deeply about Mountainside, Brant Hills and rural Burlington, and I am excited to represent Ward 3 at City Hall.”

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Driver charged with Careless Driving in collision with cyclist on Dundas Street in March.

Crime 100By Staff

April 16th, 2018



The investigation of a collision on Dundas Street in Burlington from March 17th involving an 11 year old cyclist has been completed.

HRPS crestInvestigators have concluded that the cyclist had been travelling east on Dundas Street when she was struck from the rear by an eastbound minivan.

As a result, the driver of the minivan Dominique DENVER has been charged was Careless Driving under the Highway Traffic Act.

The cyclist remains in serious but stable condition.

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New Democrats announce their Burlington candidate for the June provincial election.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 16th, 2018



There will be a New Democratic candidate in the forthcoming provincial election.
Andrew Drummond has announced that he will seek the nomination at the nomination meeting to take place on April 24th, at the Seniors’ Centre on New Street.

Andrew Drummond Headshot

Andrew Drummond: NDP candidate for Burlington.

Drummond is a 38 years old Burlington resident who has lived in the community for 14 years. He has deep family ties to the area as his father spent his childhood in Burlington, living in the Roseland area near Guelph Line and New St.

He is married with two children, ages 14 and 13. His children both did their elementary schooling at Frontenac PS, where Andrew has seen firsthand the results of the forthcoming closure of Robert Bateman HS due to the provincial funding formula.

Drummond has worked his entire 15-year professional career in the telecommunications industry. He started with a small start up that grew to managing national campaigns for Dell Inc. Andrew later had an opportunity to move to Rogers Communications where he currently works on Large Enterprise Strategy with a focus on profitable growth and sustainable services.

On a personal level, Drummond is an avid board-game enthusiast and holds four World Board-gaming Championship titles in Splendor, King of Tokyo, and Titan: The Arena. He also has been playing Ultimate Frisbee on various teams in the area since 2006.

Andrew believes that now is the time that the Ontario government needs to step up and care for its citizens. “I believe that it is the responsibility for the Ontario government to care for all people of Ontario.

“I believe that it is the responsibility of the Ontario government to ensure every Ontarian has access to housing. I believe that it is the responsibility of the Ontario government to ensure every Ontarian has access to efficient medical care, be it in a hospital, doctor’s office, or dentist’s chair. And I believe that Ontarian’s should not be going sick because they cannot afford prescriptions. We can do better”

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LaSalle Park Marina could be looking at an early draft of their obituary.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 16th, 2018



There is one good aspect to a report the city sent out over the signature of the city manager and that is the information in the report has been made available to those who have identified themselves as stakeholders in what takes place at the LaSalle Park Marina in Aldershot.

The downside is that the LaSalle Park Marina Association may be looking at a draft of their obituary.

The Trumpeter Swan people see the report as a win for them.

LaSalle Park MArinaThe report is set out in its entirety – it suggests a direction that will make Burlington a different city – a lakeside community with little more than a ramp available for those who want to launch watercraft and the end of the marina association. Boaters would be driving to Hamilton and becoming part of that boating community.

It will certainly galvanize the boating community.

There is the sense that the philosophy and practice of the current city manager is to shove the people who use a service out of the managing of the service. That is what was done with the seniors at the Seniors’ Centre – there was a time when the members were heavily involved in the program and the day to day operation of the smart little Bistro they ran.

Those days are over for the seniors.

LaSalle Park - bring about a boat on its way to the water.

LaSalle Park – a boat on its way to the water.

The marina decision will be made by city council – first kick at that can will take place at a May 10th meeting. Will Council make a decision on this matter before the municipal election or will the LPMA members push for a decision from whatever gets elected in October.

The report prepared by the city:

City of Burlington staff are preparing a report to Council on the future of the Marina at LaSalle Park, and are providing you with preliminary information regarding the proposed recommendations in the report. The report will be brought to the Committee of the Whole on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm in Council Chambers.

LaSalle Marina - baots lined up

Boats out of the water for the winter at the LaSalle Park Marina

The report to Council will be structured around the following decision tree:

1. We will be asking Council to provide direction on whether the City should continue to provide marina services. A major capital investment is needed to remain in the service, and it is therefore an appropriate juncture for Council to consider whether to continue to provide the service.

2. If Council chooses not to continue the service, the City would assist in relocating LPMA members’ moorage to Hamilton or other marinas, wind down the joint venture and distribute assets appropriately, and take necessary steps to retain Burlington Sailing and Boating Club, including Able Sail and the boat launch ramp at LaSalle Park Marina.

3. If Council wishes to continue providing marina services, a breakwater replacement must be purchased and installed by the City. Staff’s recommendation will be an improved floating breakwater paid for by the City with an estimated cost of $4 million. Staff will also recommend that the City negotiate a revised relationship with LPMA, to include an operating agreement that will ensure continuity of marina operations.


The option the LaSalle PArk MArina Association hopes is chosen through the Environmental Assessment due MArch 2013.

The option the LaSalle Park Marina Association hopes is chosen through the Environmental Assessment done in 2013. The city staff don’t appear to be on side for any of this.


Staff agrees with the LaSalle Park Marina Association (LPMA) and Grant Thornton conclusion that the marina is not viable without improvements to the existing breakwater.

In the absence of an improved breakwater, the marina, which is already losing members and recreational boaters, will face increasing challenges with insurance, and will at some point become unviable. That could occur within a few years. The current wave break is at its end of life and is being assessed on a year by year basis.

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Conservation Authority warns that observed and forecasted wave heights and wind gusts have the potential for shoreline flooding and erosion hazards.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 16th, 2018



Conservation Halton advises that the passage of the low pressure system that has brought the prolonged Freezing Rain/Ice pellets to the area has also brought very strong sustained winds and wind gusts (sustained winds >50 km/hr with wind gusts >70km/hr at Burlington).

Storm waves -Flemming Dec 29 #1

Storm waves

These winds have been steady from the North-East, and therefore the region is experiencing surge wave heights of upwards of 3 to 4 metres. Winds and waves are forecasted to be high throughout the overnight period and into tomorrow morning, and will lessen with the passage of the low pressure centre. With these observed and forecasted wave heights and wind gusts, there is the potential for shoreline flooding and erosion hazards.

There have been reports from other jurisdictions in the western part of Lake Ontario of a combination of shoreline flooding and erosion. While Conservation Halton has not received any reports of shoreline flooding/erosion, municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should be on alert.

Storm waves Flemming #3

Rogue waves breaching the break wall.

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to keep a safe distance from locations in proximity to the shoreline. Elevated water levels, high sustained winds and gusts, and the potential for rogue waves to overtop breakwalls and other shoreline structures continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor the open-water lake and weather conditions and will issue further messages as necessary.

This Flood Outlook Statement will be in effect through Tuesday April 17th, 2018.

Note: A Watershed Conditions Statement – Flood Outlook is issued as an early notice of the potential for flooding based on weather forecast of heavy rain, snow melt, high wind or other conditions that could lead to high runoff, ice jams, shoreline flooding or erosion.

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Resident worries that 'exceptions' in the draft Official Plan will become the rule and that single family neighbourhoods will be at risk to unwanted intensification.

opinionandcommentBy Tom Muir

April 16th, 2018



I have been wondering about what has happened to the issues and motions raised by Councillor Meed Ward about clauses in the draft Official Plan (OP) that appear to open low density, single family neighborhoods all over the city to intensification despite repeated assurances to the contrary.

This OP process, and development applications and approvals, has seemingly endless findings, not to mention actions, revealing deviations from what residents have been told will be, and not be, permitted.

The Mayor, Ward Councillors Craven, Sharman, Dennison, Taylor, Lancaster, and Meed Ward of course, Planning Director Tanner (now Deputy city manager) City Manager Ridge, have over and over, in numerous forums, assured residents that existing single family, low density residential neighborhoods are protected from intensification under the proposed new Official Plan. And that only 5% of the city would be affected.

St lukes emerald precinct 1

Residents worry that exception in the draft Official Plan might allow for a level of intensification in their community they don’t want.

I have heard this so many times that with this revelation about these clauses, and that there has been no explanation from the Planners and City about these issues, I have lost trust in this process. It seems like you can’t believe anything we are told.

Councillor Craven has told me and other residents, at his Ward 1 meetings, that low density family neighborhoods are protected more times than I can count.

Will Craven support a Meed Ward motion to strike the relevant clause(s) from the OPs?

I think that overall, clauses that permit this intensification in single family, low density neighborhoods are in both the existing and proposed OPs .At first these permissions were reported as a change and addition only in the proposed OP, compared to the existing OP.

I believe that when fact-checked, the truth of the matter was reported as pertaining to both.

How was this missed by planning in the first place? This oversight, just makes the point even more glaring.

How can this be despite all the assurances that these neighborhoods were protected – that residents have been repeatedly told this will not be allowed to happen

St lukes emerals precinct 2

What would intensification do to streets like this?

Official-Plan-Binder_ImageI am requesting that you provide answers to the following questions;

1. How many “Notwithstanding” sections, that can act as backdoor, or default, loopholes are there in the draft proposed OP, and in the existing OP? These can override the general rules and permissions, and void the OP intent.

2. How many “Site Specific – Exception” permissions, that allow for variances from permitted OP and zoning specifications are there?

I noted this concern in my last submission on the OP to Committee.

In my review of development applications, particularly for Plains Rd. in Aldershot, I see that the “Site Specific – Exception” clause has been applied several times to try and justify a number of significant variances. The most recent include the Solid Gold and the Home Hardware – Bingo site applications. There are others.
Someone needs to do a Word search of the OPs to look for these two terms.

Better yet, the City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Planning Department Director, and the Mayor, as owners of what appears to me to be this inconsistency between words and actions, must direct the Planners to do this Word search and make public the extent to which these two terms of permissions exist in both OPs, and the extent that these permissions can undermine the promises of protection repeatedly made to existing single family, low density neighborhoods.

This is something I believe to be the responsibility of Planning to provide as part of their professional duties to provide the public and Council with all the information relevant to the OP debate and decision-making.

I look forward to your prompt reply, answers and explanation.

Muir with pen in handTom Muir is an Aldershot resident who has been a frequent critic of both the process and content of the draft Official Plan.

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Two wanted for breaking into vending machines in the hospital.

Crime 100By Staff

April 15th, 2018



On April 5th 2018, two suspects were in the newly constructed Emergency Department of the Joseph Brant Hospital and caused significant damage to vending machines near the main elevators.

Vending machine thefts

That’s it – look right into the camera. The police will get a better image once you have been arrested. If you can identify either of these two – call Crime Stoppers or the police.

The suspects were able to access the change portion of the machines and stole an undisclosed amount of money. The males fled in a newer model black Dodge Avenger. Police are seeking the public’s assistance identifying the males.

Anyone with information that would assist this investigation is asked to contact Detective Constable Tyler FREEMAN, Halton Regional Police Service – 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2363
Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222- 477 (TIPS) or through the web at

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Organization that financed at least one local project being investigated by the RCMP

News 100 redBy Staff

April 15th, 2018



It was a number of years ago, we wrote a piece on how a Burlington based developer was financing their projects.

We were threatened with a law suit for libel and given that we already had two libel suits on the go we removed the story from the web site. There is only so much money available to pay legal fees.

Adi financing - Fortress

Financing of any development project is critical. If you want to understand how the Lynx is being financed – look no further than this organization.

Some time later we did a follow up story on the developer and how their Link project on Dundas was coming along.

That story is here.

This weekend the Globe and Mail published an article on a company called Fortress Real Developments Inc.

Here is the link to that Globe and Mail article.

Promotional piece for the Link site on the Fortress web site.  Here

If there were any local people who lost their money on a Fortress investment in a local development – we would certainly like to here from you – we will protect your identity.

If there are people who made a profit – let’s hear from them as well.  All anonymous.

Sgt Penny Herman of the RCMP is encouraging people with information or who have been affected to contact Crime Stoppers or the RCMP.

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A city council committee meeting drives citizen into the arms of a candidate for Mayor

News 100 redBy Staff

April 14th, 2018



Identifying your supporters and then getting them to work with you and for you is the hope, wish and dream of every candidate.

Melanie Pepper wrote in the Gazette comment section on a city council meeting that took place – she was not impressed. She wrote:


Councillor Rick Craven

A meeting a few months ago regarding 2100 Brant Street was an embarrassment. The City Planning Department and Rick Craven could not answer any questions or concerns the citizens had, they showed a lack of professionalism and preparedness. It was also revealed that the planning department told National Homes they could increase the density in the development ultimately creating a concrete jungle.

National homes - packed

Steve Armstrong delegating at the packed house public meeting at city hall

That Council meeting was 4 hours of citizen group presentations – councilman for the ward Rick Craven had a distasteful look on his face throughout the entire meeting and unlike the other council members, did not ask a single question. At the end of the meeting he couldn’t get out fast enough. He couldn’t be bothered to talk to ANYONE in the room.

Councillors Mead-Ward and Lancaster took the time to talk after the meeting. Councillor Mead Ward showed genuine caring for the city and constituents –I will be one of the first in line to work on her campaign!

Melanie can get started today – Marianne Meed Ward the ward 2 member of council has published her campaign email address –

Council members don’t use their city hall address once the campaign is underway: Nominations open May 1st.

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New Democrats to hold nomination meeting April 24th at the Seniors' Centre

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

April 14th, 2018



NDP logoA nomination meeting to elect the New Democratic candidate for the 2018 provincial election will be held Tuesday, 24 April 2018, 7pm – 9pm

Registration: 6:45pm – 7pm

Voting (if necessary): 8pm

Burlington Seniors Centre, 2285 New Street, Burlington

(This is an accessible facility)

Currently, the only confirmed nomination is Andrew Drummond. If no other nomination is confirmed, an election will not be necessary.

In order to vote in a nomination election, you must:

1. Be a member in good standing with the NDP 30 days (March 25th 2018) prior to the nomination meeting.
2. Live in the provincial riding of Burlington.

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Newcomers to Burlington get smacked with a $300 hit for parking in the plaza on Brant north of Caroline.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 14th, 2018



We received the following from Ben and Tam Smith.

“Grave injustice done.
Who should i contact to right a wrong or inquire how to solve a potential corrupt scam. The parking lot at the No Frills on Brant St is ridiculously strict. I used the Pharmasve business in the plaza and then walked off premise to go to dinner. I planned to return and do more shopping after dinner. My car was towed 15 minutes after I walked off the lot. It seems a huge scam as the tow truck driver said he takes 50 cars out of there a day. At $300 a pop that seems criminal. That adds up to over 5 million in revenue a year. A $20 warning ticket would have sufficed. I would have learned my lesson. I parked under a sign that clearly said NO OVERNIGHT PARKING. I didn’t look for any other signage thinking that it would be fine to go off premises and then come back to complete my shopping. I certainly wasn’t staying overnight. Once I came back and couldn’t find my car I obviously saw the other signs that cars will get towed. In their defence it is clearly marked by signage but it seems that they are clearly taking it too far. I have never experienced such ridiculousness. I will not frequent the businesses there ever again. Is there anything that can be done? Some investigation into how the towing company and the plaza owner are potentially preying on customers. It just seems so corrupt. I now know that you guys wrote an article on this very problem. We are new to the area and obviously wish we had read your article before going downtown for our welcome to Burlington dinner.”

While the Gazette does commiserate with Smith’s, they did see the sign and were aware that they did not have the right to park in that space. And, the public parking lot that’s free can be seen from the plaza parking lot.

Tow sign - details

And, there are notices on the entrance doors to the restaurants along that part of Brant street alerting people to what the towing companies are doing.

The towing company doesn’t have the authority to issue warning tickets – only the city can do that and they don’t issue tickets for parking offfences on private property.

What we find my disturbing is the language used by Ben and Tam is reference to a “grave injustice”.

It’s a “corrupt scam” or that they are “clearly taking it too far”, is a little excessive and quite a bit ‘over the top’.
Expecting the owners of the property to put warning notices on cars – who would pay for the staff that would watch vehicles coming in and immediately put a notice under their windshield wiper?

Tow truck - no markings

Tow truck sits at the entrance – watches and waits.

A $300 fee to get your car back hurts and perhaps the property owners (and it is the owners of the property, which is not No Frills) that have hired Classic towing to remove cars from the lot. The tow truck sits parked next to the entrance – watches the vehicles that come in and when they see the driver of the vehicle leave the lot they drive over and put their hook on the vehicle and take it to the pound.

That parking spot is reserved for the tow truck.

Nice business if you can get it – and Classic has been doing this for some time.

Don’t take it out on the merchants who are merely tenants.

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City declares extreme weather event, will ticket or tow vehicles parked on streets

News 100 redBy Staff

April 14th, 2018



The City of Burlington has declared an extreme weather event and is asking drivers not to park on the street from 9 a.m. Saturday until Monday morning as the city manages the impacts of potentially dangerous conditions caused by freezing rain today and Sunday.


Vehicles parked on residential roads could be ticketed or towed—at the owner’s expense—to allow equipment to safely navigate the narrow streets.

All vehicles parked on the street must be removed and parking exemptions are void. Keeping streets clear of vehicles will help city equipment clear the roads of ice or snow and manage local flooding.

Vehicles parked on residential roads could be ticketed or towed—at the owner’s expense—to allow equipment to safely navigate the narrow streets.

If you notice a vehicle parked on your street this weekend, kindly ask the owner to remove the vehicle or call Halton Regional Police Service at 905-878-5511. Ask for dispatch and police will send a parking officer.
Residents are asked for their patience as the city manages extreme weather impacts on 1,900 km of roads and 850 km of sidewalks.

During extreme weather, the city will provide updates at 9 a.m., 4 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Trees 2 church not damaged

Wind damage to tress s may be severe.

Power outages are possible during freezing rain conditions. If there is power outage in your area, please contact Burlington Hydro at or call 1-877-310-4937.

Please only call 911 if you are injured or are in immediate danger.

Fallen limbs or trees can be reported to

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Burlington Old Timers tape up their hockey sticks to recognize the tragedy in Saskatchewan.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 13th, 2018



Watching how the country has pulled together as we all react to that horrific collision between a transport tractor trailer and as bus carrying a bunch of young people to a play-off hockey game in a small Saskatchewan town pulls the best out of all of us.

hockey sticks

On front porches…

The funds raised to date has been phenomenal; more than $10 million so far – and those hockey sticks on front porches with candles glowing n the night brings a lump to the throat.

And then we learn that yet another person, a young woman, the only one on that bus, succumbed to her injuries – and we feel that sinking feeling in our hearts. And the deaths may not be over yet.

The Burlington Old Timers Hockey Club taped up their sticks with green tape and the words Humboldt Strong issued a statement:

hockey sticks 2

Outside a Tim Hortons coffee shop – how Canadian can you get.

“We wish to express our deepest sympathies for the players, families of the players and support staff that have endured the recent nightmare in Saskatchewan. Our prayers go out to all of you involved in the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.

“Our members have been donating funds from their teams and personally as well all week long. They have been wearing hockey jerseys and placing their sticks out at night with candles, and being creative in their own ways during our playoff games here in Burlington. Last night, during one of our BOHC playoff games, two teams taped their sticks with bright, green tape for the game. It was their way to show the player’s tribute, respect, and honour for the victims of the Humboldt teams’ tragedy.

BOHC-Humboldt_01“Most of us have been on the team bus or have had kids travelling to play in neighbouring cities and we all feel for your pain right now. As a league we try to concentrate our charitable donations each year and direct toward the Carpenter Hospice and to the Burlington Food Bank.

These organizations depend on our support every year. We ask that if you would like to join in the support for the Humboldt GoFundMe initiative you can do so here directly…

BOHC-Humboldt Bench“As a Club we will continue to direct our support as much as possible to the two charities we have locally that need our help. Any donations turned into the Club will be redirected to Humboldt if requested. Thank you to everyone that has already passed along their requests for supporting those in Humboldt!”

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Rivers on the budget

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

April 13th, 2018



After finally balancing the budget why are the Liberals now taking us back into the red? The liberal bible on economy was written by the English economist John Maynard Keynes, widely quoted as one who prescribed borrowing (run a deficit) in a recession and pay it back (run a surplus) in a boom.

Ontario was in a bad way following the 2008 market collapse, so borrowing to restart the economy was essential. And the medicine worked and today the Liberals can take pride in having delivered the lowest unemployment rate in almost two decades and a growth rate second to none among G7 economies. And they got to a balanced budget two years in a row.

ONdebt_chart 1


So what is with this projected deficit in their latest budget? And why a list of public goodies including:

1. Continued free university for students in need;
2. Full pharmacare for youth and now seniors;
3. Free preschool for two and a half year olds;
3. Money for hospitals to reduce wait times;
4 Dental and drug care for those who can’t afford it;
5. More senior places; and
6. More transportation including a high speedToronto/ Windsor link.

John Robarts - one of the best Premiers the province ever had: knew how to balance a budget.

John Robarts – one of the best Premiers the province ever had: knew how to balance a budget.

This is a huge social contract, second in history only to John Robarts introducing OHIP. And if a single payer system works for OHIP, providing low cost health care, the argument goes that pharmacare, pre-school and other social programs would work that way as well. After all you pay for these services one way or another if you or your loved ones use them.

Skeptics say the Premier is just buying votes with the voters’ own money. That would be a valid perspective for a libertarian – those who hold that government should be as small as possible, the cost of government and taxes as low as possible and everyone fend for themselves – the so-called right wing perspective.

So this upcoming provincial election will be a contest of ideologies. Doug Ford having upturned Patrick Brown’s red Tory vision and now campaigning to wind back government, slash social, health care and environmental programs… and spending. Meanwhile the Liberals and NDP will be promising to further expand the social safety net.

Most Ontario voters are modern progressives who appreciate the way our society has evolved and how we help each other, even if we occasionally grumble about getting the short end of the stick. In our first-past-the-post electoral system with two centre-left parties competing for the largest portion of the vote, the single party on the right can slip up the middle to win a majority of seats.

Tim Hudak - with flagTo avoid this from happening the Liberals have typically relied on strategic voting, whereby solid NDP supporters vote Liberal just to keep the Tories from winning. And their biggest asset is an extreme right wing leader, like Tim Hudak in the previous election – and possibly Doug Ford in this one.

Of course the strategic voting could go the other way, particularly as the Liberals have been in power for almost two decades and their leader is facing a combination of general voter fatigue and discontent over her style. She needs to outflank the NDP, and has obviously anticipated that their election platform would also encompass a package of rich election promises. Ergo the 2018/2019 budget.

It’s the same playbook Mr. Trudeau used in his last campaign. While the Tories and even the NDP had been promising restraint and perhaps a balanced budget, Trudeau promised more deficits. His rationale was that, given low interest rates, there was no time like the present to invest in the economy. The public bought his argument, Trudeau won the election and today Canada’s economy, that was tottering on recession under Harper, has been turned around.

Wynne, like Trudeau, has also meddled with income taxes, slightly increasing what the wealthy have to pay and reducing them for the lower classes.  Trudeau had hoped the result would stimulate the economy and shift more of the tax burden to those best able to pay, which it has.

But re-balancing tax points at the federal or provincial level will not pay for new government expenditures.  And as Keynes would tell you were he here, greater spending in a full employment economy carries the danger of inflation – akin to pouring gasoline on a fire.  As we know, where there is inflation, higher interest rates to carry the debt cannot be far away.  So Wynne needs to seriously consider increasing taxes to pay for her new programs.


Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne

Former PC leader Patrick Brown had proposed funding his package of goodies by applying a retail carbon tax, as Alberta and B.C. have done.  Of course that notion has now been retired to the dustbin of PC history, in  exchange for drastic program cuts.   An additional carbon tax would further stimulate Ontario’s renewable energy sector, reduce inflationary pressure and pay for the expanded social services in Wynn’s budget.

Even in an election year we need to pay the piper or suffer the consequences of an outstanding liability.  And that means raising the money now rather than just leaving more debt for our children.  Pay as you go is a gutsy move for any politician, even if it means being labelled as just another ’tax and spend Liberal’.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes weekly 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:

Ontario Budget –   More Budget –    Ontario Debt

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