Glastonbury Road residents want more than email responses to the problem with their road.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 13th, 2018



There are those wishing Councillor John Taylor a well-deserved and rich retirement.

John Taylor - hand up

Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor has served the city for 30 years.

He leaves for a short vacation to Amsterdam with his wife Cathy this weekend. Before he gets away he might want to look in on the problem Susan Tarnawski, a Glastonbury Rd resident has with the condition of the road in front of her house.

Dear Mr. Taylor,
Over the last two years I have inquired about the repaving Glastonbury Rd and a timeframe regarding when it would be completed. This street looks horrible especially all the patchwork everywhere and the large sink hole last year, that took over a week to fix. I have noticed that ALL the surrounding streets have been completed and/or in progress and Glastonbury has been over looked YET AGAIN!

Glastonbery Road

A lot of votes in this part of the city.

I would like to know why they have preferential treatment. I’m trying of hearing about budget issues and then other surrounds streets get done. I am constantly call all winter long for the snow plows to come down our street has it is a sheet of all most of the time. All I have to stay is without a doubt this street is definitely been over looked for many years and it’s funny how if I forgot to pay my taxes by one day I receive a hand dropped off letter in my mail box ($30 charge) but if the street isn’t maintained no one comes to have a look.

Montgomery was completed last year as all the surrounding streets. Sheffield was done recently and Shropsire Place was completed two year. Can you please let me know if it is on your schedule this year or is it even on your radar. The taxpayers on this street deserve better treatment I think. We are all paying our taxes and not receiving anything in return. Also there are at least 3 major lights on the street that have been out for at least 4 months and I have been wondering how long it would take for the city to send someone to fix the issues.

This issue is not something recent for the resident. She first brought this to the attention of city staff in 2016. Tarnawski sent a note to Trevor Clark who works as an Infrastructure Technologist in the Capital Works – Infrastructure & Data Management Development and Infrastructure Division

Hi Trevor: I have met with several of my neighbors on Glastonbury Rd. and we have all come to the same conclusion that the street needs to be repaved especially since we had a sink hole about a month ago. Can you please let me know if and when this is possible.

On January 06, 2016 9:46 am Trevor Clark sent the following to Susan Tarnawski.
Thank you for your inquiry into Glastonbury Road. This road is currently identified in our systems as requiring a minor reconstruction, which is the replacement of the top two layers of asphalt along with necessary repairs to any surrounding infrastructure. This repair will be scheduled into the Capital Budget & Forecast as quickly as priority and budget allows. In addition, as part of the 2016 spring field review program, staff will assess the condition of this road and will address any immediate maintenance requirements. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.

On March 3rd, 2016 at 8:24 am, Tarnawski sent Trevor Clark a follow up note:
Hi Trevor. I am just following up to my email in January and wondering if you know when this work might begin?

In March 3 of, 2016 – at 9:39 am to be precise, Trevor Clark sent Tarnawski the following note.
Thank you for your email. Glastonbury Road is still identified in our systems as a minor reconstruction candidate. We will be reviewing the road as part of the 2016 Spring Road Tour and then prioritizing it against other roads requiring the same treatment. After this is complete, we will introduce the road into the Capital Budget & Forecast as the priority and available budget allows. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns.

Susan gave up and put in a call to her city council member.

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Gary Parker wants to know if the 421 Brant community benefit package put forward by the planners is a done deal.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 13th, 2018



It is getting harder to communicate with the seven people who were elected in 2014 to serve the interests of the city.

421 Brant

Many citizens didn’t like the idea of a 23 storey tower in the downtown core – many more don’t like the benefits the community is being offered for the additional height given the developer.

Gary Parker gave a strong delegation at city council earlier this week and said to the Gazette later that : “After hearing in the Carriage Gate delegation that the deal was done and not subject to public input I wrote to Councillor Rick Craven, who was chairing the meeting and asked him why, if this was in fact the case he didn’t challenge that assertion and if it was true, why the public was invited to delegate on this issue? ( albeit with little notice and obscurely posted)

In his initial response he advised that “the city doesn’t negotiate real estate deals in public”. I challenged him on this description and again asked: “Is this a done deal or not.”. In his final response he advised “not until a vote of four to two takes place”.

Rick Craven

Ward 1 City Councillor Rick Craven

“It was a bit like pulling teeth to get the answer and I can’t help but feel, vote or not, this really is a ‘done deal’.”  Parker said he thinks “almost everything included in the indirect community benefits part of the package is not in fact a benefit to the citizens of Burlington at all.”

The Standing Committee that heard the delegation recessed at just after 10 pm and will reconvene as part of a Standing Committee meeting scheduled for April 24th.Burlington flags

Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward, now a declared candidate for the Office of Mayor, has said she is going to bring a motion asking that the matter be moved back to a May 8th meeting.

The Parker delegation.

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Resident takes a dim view of the community benefits proposed by the developer and agreed to by the Planning department.

opinionandcommentBy Gary Parker

April 13th, 2018



In preparing to delegate on this issue I carefully read section 1.8 of the new OP which covers Community Benefits. I could find little in that document that exactly fits the agreement you’re being asked to approve tonight.

However the verbiage in this section is vague enough to allow for a wide scope of interpretations. In fact you could interpret the wording in this section in a way that would qualify even the most obscure contribution as an indirect benefit and that appears to be what has happened here.

421 Brant

The development has been voted on – 5-2 for the 23 storey tower opposite city hall. Residents are now gulping at the benefit package to the city for all the additional height.

Despite that ambiguity the underlying concept that the benefits should be proportional to the added height or density is made very clear. It’s also clear that the monetary value assigned to indirect benefits should reflect their real contribution to the community. It is in this area that I see major faults in this proposal.

To determine a rough estimate of what should be offered to the citizens of Burlington I used Mayor Goldring’s approved amendment to the new OP that stipulates 8 additional parking spaces or 190 sq. metres of commercial space per floor of height beyond the ‘as of right’ limit – in this case 17 storeys. How that applies to this already approved development is not clear to me but a calculation based on that formula using Carriage Gate’s own estimate of a $50,000 valuation per parking space tells us that the developer should be liable to provide over 2 million dollars in public benefits.

No exact dollar figure is available for the alternative of commercial space but based on land economics and the per storey formula, the value associated with that option is certainly close to a million dollars. The package of community benefits claimed in the document to be voted on totals 1,775,000 dollars.

That amount would represent a fair compromise if all the benefits claimed were properly priced, but in my opinion, they’re not. In fact a reasonable accounting of the benefits in the listing amounts to only $500,000, more than a million dollars less than what’s being claimed. So let’s look at what our planning department has agreed to for this benefit package:

To assist with affordable housing, a discount of $300,000 to be used against the purchase price of up to 10 dwelling units within the subject development, or an equivalent cash contribution to the city.

While we would prefer to see a real community benefit equivalent to any amount of cash, this is at least a measurable benefit assuming of course, we take the cash. Interestingly this concession by Carriage Gate represents the same amount it paid in lieu of meeting its commitments on its Berkeley development.

One (1) publicly accessible car share parking space (indirect non-cash benefit assessed at
$50,000) and a car-share vehicle for a minimum of two years (assessed at $50,000)

What possible benefit does the community at large derive from this one vehicle and its parking space? If it represents a benefit at all that benefit is being provided not for the public, but for the eventual residents of this building?   The $100,000 assessed in this category should not be recognized.

UW crowd at civic square

Civic Square

$50,000 contribution towards the future expansion of Civic Square

Is this potential expansion a reference to the next point which describes the set back at the north east corner of Brant and James? We need to be told specifically how this expansion is to happen in order to assess whether this money really qualifies as even an indirect CB.

And while on the subject of the contribution the set back and its purported enhancement of the civic square is to provide I draw to your attention to the architectural rendering of the Carriage Gate building and surrounding area. Appreciating that these renderings are by nature glorified versions of the eventual reality, this one is particularly flattering to the project.

Where’s The Traffic?
Presented as it is, it conveys the impression that our civic square extends to the local horizon at the base of the Carriage Gate tower.

Unless we’re planning to deny vehicle access to this busy intersection the reality is that there is no real  connection between these two spaces other than on the few days Brant Street is completely shut down.
◦ public access easement for lands located at the northeast corner of Brant Street and James Streets, the minimum dimensions of which are in the form of a triangle measured at 16m by 16m (128m2) (indirect community benefit assessed at $75,000)

This project was approved by city council in large part because of this very easement. Its inclusion was part of the ‘lesser evil’ rational our planning department used to recommend that approval. Now we are being asked to include it as a community benefit? The $75,000 assessed here should be removed.

Eight (8) visitor parking spaces (indirect community benefit assessed at $400,000)

The ratio for parking per unit in this building is already constrained so competition for these 8 spots will be intense. I would suggest that the approval for 23 stories would never have been granted if the developer had indicated it would not provide sufficient visitor parking spaces.

My own research indicates that, at least in the world of rental apartments, noise complaints are the most numerous followed by the issue of the building’s residents parking in already limited visitor spaces. This is to be a condominium complex but can we not expect the same scenario here?

To suggest that providing 8 visitor parking spots for 8 people from our community of over 180,000 residents that might be available if they ever chose to visit here and value that access as an indirect benefit to our community valued at $400,000 makes absolutely no sense!

Remembrance Day wreaths - dozens at cenotaph

Remembrance Day wreaths at the cenotaph.

Increased building setbacks, including widened sidewalks on Brant Street, James Street, and John Street, and view corridors on Brant Street and James Street to City Hall and the Cenotaph (indirect community benefit assessed at $250,000)

Again, these are factors that have already made their contributions in the context of why a 23 storey building was approved on this site. How many times does a developer get credit for committing to the same thing? This $250,000 of indirect benefits should be removed.

$150,000 towards the public art reserve fund to be used within the publicly accessibly privately owned easement area referred to above and/or in the future Civic Square expansion

This benefit potentially benefits both parties. Therefore only 50% of the donation should be allowed at least until we know where this piece of art will be located.

Implement green technology and sustainable architecture elements into the subject property in accordance with either LEED certification standards and/or compliance with the City’s Sustainable Building and Development guidelines (indirect community benefit assessed at $300,000)

How is being ‘in compliance’ with established standards a community benefit. Once again, the use of green technology for this building was sold to city council as part of the approval process and does not fit the definition of a community benefit. This represents another $300,000 that should be eliminated based on a true assessment of its contribution.

Implement City of Burlington Streetscape Guidelines Standards within the Brant Street, James Street, and John Street public realm areas, including the expanded building setback areas at- grade and the publicly accessible open space easement area outlined above (assessed at $150,000).

Here again we are asked to see conformance with guidelines and creating set backs that were already committed to as additions to what was expected of this development. Another $150,000 of dubious benefits to be removed.

I was in attendance the night city council approved this development. I came away from that meeting with a clear understanding that the approval granted was subject to the provision by the developer of appropriate community benefits beyond what we had been presented with in the rational for approval. In this delegation my aim is to point out to you that most of what you’re now being asked to approve was already recognized as part of the approval process.

There’s is little on offer here by way of direct community benefits and the monetary values assigned to the questionable indirect benefits are grossly inflated. These monies were obviously added in order to meet the percentage value required by the ‘uplift’ formula regardless of their merit!

I would also point out that those championing the Reserve Properties proposal that seeks approval largely based on what was accepted at 421 Brant, will be closely watching this process. If the at best dubious benefits and inflated valuations included in this document are accepted I would suggest you can expect to see them duplicated in the future.

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There are direc benefits and there are indirect benefits - the most direct benefit available to voters is the ballot box.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 12th, 2018



Mayor Rick Goldring used his blog to comment and explain a Staff Report on the proposed Section 37 Community Benefits for 421 Brant Street.


Mayor Rick Goldring explains the Section 37 deal the city is getting ready to give Carriage Gate.

The Mayor puts his comments in context saying: On November 13, 2017, Council approved applications to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-law, as modified by staff, to permit a mixed-use development with a height up to 23 storeys at the north-east corner of Brant and James Street across from City Hall.

He adds that he “did not support the approval as I believe the height is excessive for this location.”
Section 37 of the Planning Act is a planning tool which allows municipalities to accept “community benefits” when granting increased density and/or height through a change in zoning or official plan policy.

He then explains that there are direct and indirect community benefits. For many this will be the first time they have heard of that distinction.

A direct community benefit is a monetary contribution.

An indirect community benefit has a public interest but doesn’t involve a direct monetary contribution.

The direct benefits listed below have been negotiated under Section 37 by Planning staff. The indirect benefits were identified as part of the development proposal outlined in the November Planning report in support of the approved 23 storey development.

Here is the list of community benefits that Planning staff are recommending for approval: Three are direct and six are indirect.

Sweet! For who?  The city needs a better negotiator – and having at least something in the way of public participation in this process is a must.

A smart developer would have gone out to the community asking for ideas.

• To assist in the pursuit of long-term affordable housing, the Developer agrees to a discount of $300,000 to be used against the purchase price of up to 10 dwelling units within the subject development, or in the event that a purchase(s) is/are not to occur within the subject development, the Developer agrees to provide the City with a cash contribution of $300,000 prior to condominium registration. [Direct benefit]

• The Developer agrees to provide a direct community benefit of $150,000 towards the public art reserve fund to be used within the publicly accessible privately owned easement area referred to in subsection (v) and/or in the future Civic Square expansion area. [Direct benefit]

• The Developer agrees to provide a direct community benefit of a $50,000 contribution towards the future expansion of Civic Square. [Direct benefit]

• The Developer agrees to provide one (1) publicly accessible car share parking space (indirect community benefit assessed at $50,000) and contribute to the City’s emerging car-share network by accommodating a car-share vehicle for a minimum of two years starting from the first occupancy (indirect community benefit assessed at $50,000), or equivalent.

This might be of some benefit to the people who will live in the building – what about the rest of the people?

• The Developer agrees to provide public access by way of an easement to be registered on title for lands located at the northeast corner of Brant Street and James Streets, the minimum dimensions of which are in the form of a triangle measured at 16m by 16m (an indirect community benefit assessed at $75,000).

Opening up some space is nice – this one sounds more like a direct benefit – could perhaps be a location for an imaginative Pop Up

• The Developer agrees to provide eight (8) visitor parking spaces (indirect community benefit accessed at $400,000).

Great if you are visiting people who live in the building – great sales feature as well.

Remembered, respected

Remembered, respected

• The Developer agrees, and it is enshrined within the amending zoning by-law, that increased building setbacks, including widened sidewalks on Brant Street, James Street, and John Street, and view corridors on Brant Street and James Street to City Hall and the Cenotaph (indirect community benefit accessed at $250,000).

How did this get valued at a quarter of a million dollars?

• The Developer agrees to implement green technology and sustainable architecture elements into the subject property in accordance with either LEED certification standards and/or compliance with the City’s Sustainable Building and Development guidelines (indirect community benefit accessed at $300,000).

Nice for the environment – should be standard on every new building put up in the city.  Not a benefit – a given

• The Developer agrees to implement City of Burlington Streetscape Guidelines Standards within the Brant Street, James Street, and John Street public realm areas, including the expanded building setback areas at-grade and the publicly accessible open space easement area outlined in (v) above (an indirect community benefit accessed at $150,000).

How did the value get determined?  Doesn’t appear as if there was anyone in the room his was negotiated in to speak up for the people.

A government that speaks for the interests of the tax payers would be nice.  Ballot boxes are nicer.

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


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Spring will show itself today - then disappear until next week.

News 100 redBy StaffFlood conditions - yellow

April 12th, 2018



The weather forecast for today will suggest real Spring weather is close by.

sleet + rain

… bringing precipitation and the potential for significant freezing rain.

The Conservation Halton advises that multiple low pressure systems will be moving through the region this week and into the weekend, bringing precipitation and the potential for significant freezing rain. The forecast is for 10-15mm of precipitation tomorrow, 5-10mm of precipitation Friday, and possible ice accumulations of 20mm on Saturday overnight into Sunday, when the freezing rain will change back to rain, with total accumulations in excess of 50mm possible.

So much for Spring being at hand.

The precipitation will result in increased flows and water levels in a majority of our creeks. Flow and water level increases are expected to begin early tomorrow and continue throughout the weekend into Monday, particularly in our larger watercourse systems (Grindstone, Sixteen Mile and Bronte Creeks).

Widespread flooding is not anticipated. Our reservoirs are still in range of our seasonal holding levels and have storage capacity available. However, fast flowing water and flooding of low lying areas and natural floodplains may be expected. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should be on alert.

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to keep a safe distance from all watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

This Flood Outlook Statement will be in effect through Monday April 16th, 2018.

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Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor announces his retirement from municipal politics

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 11th, 2018



The Dean of city council announced to a small community meeting in ward 3 that he would not be running in the October municipal election.

Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor

Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor – has decided not to run in the October election

When asked how any Mayors he had served – he listed them all and said the one he liked best was Walter Mulkewich, a friend he has lunch with frequently.

There was a lot of remembering and reminiscing.

The Gazette will write a more length on Taylor’s decision and what it could mean to the city.

He will meet with his constituents in the rural part of his ward Thursday evening.

A big part of Burlington’s municipal growth took place while Taylor was in office.

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Is there going to be a real election in October and not just a return of all seven incumbents.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 11th, 2018



Why now?

And why in the wilds of Aldershot?

MMW speaking Ap 11

Meed Ward announcing her running for the office of Mayor.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward announced today that she was going to run for the office of Mayor.

No surprise there – she has been working towards the job since her first successful run in ward 2 in 2010.

She said in an interview that she announced today so that anyone thinking of running for the ward 2 council seat would have some time to get their papers in order and be able to march into city hall on May 1st and file their nomination papers.

Michael Jones, a ward 2 resident, has said he would run for the seat just as soon as he was certain Meed Ward would not be running.

MMW and Leah Reynolds

Marianne Meed Ward and Leah Reynolds

Ward 1 and 2 school board trustee Leah Reynolds has been seen by some as the heir apparent for the city council seat. When asked recently what her plans were as a trustee Reynolds said she wasn’t prepared to make any comment at the time.

There is a third possible candidate that is keeping her powder dry – but the signs the Gazette is seeing suggest she will run.

There are two credible candidates for the ward 3 seat and a ‘wanna be’ that has run in at least four elections.

There are hints that incumbent John Taylor will resign.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison always has an eye open for an economic opportunity - sees a great one for the city: sell the golf course.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison

There is now a candidate ready to give ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison a good run for his money. Expect an announcement on that in a day or two.

No one yet in ward 5, a “possible” in ward 1.

Ken White has said he will run for the ward 6 seat against incumbent Blair Lancaster.

Will it be a different city council on the 23rd of October?

We thought it was going to be difference in 2014 and they all got re-elected, so we too will keep our powder dry.

Why announce in Aldershot?  Meed Ward claims an attachment to the community; her children went to elementary school in Aldershot and she said she felt that Clearview Street was a near perfect example of what is wrong with the changes that are taking place in the city.  The announcement was made on the street

There might also be some truth that she chose ward 1 to rub it in Rick Craven, the ward Councillor – no love lost between those two.

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

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Three males stalked a senior in an attempt to snatch her purse. Alert citizens saw it happening and shouted driving the thieves away.

Crime 100By Staff

April 11th, 2018



This news story took place in Milton – but it is happening in Burlington as well – Purse snatchers are working close to full time.

On Tuesday April 10th, 2018 a woman was shopping at the Longos grocery store located at 1079 Maple Avenue in the town of Milton when two men attempted to steal her purse.

The incident occurred at 2:31pm in the parking lot of the store. As the female exited the store she was distracted by a male while another male attempted to steal her purse. Two sharp eyed women in an adjacent medical center observed the act and ran out yelling and screaming at the two males. The male suspects subsequently fled empty handed.

Upon Police arrival, the follow up investigation quickly revealed that there were actually three male suspects all working together to facilitate this crime. A third male was observed to be following the female throughout the store and actually bumped into her with his cart. The male was observed to attend the cash check out with the female. He was utilizing a cellular phone and appeared to be watching the female as she paid for items.

When the female finished paying the suspects followed her out into the parking lot and distracted her, attempting to steal her purse. That’s when the two witnesses intervened.

“An amazing example of citizens looking out for each other and being aware of their surroundings. The quick actions of the witnesses in this case thwarted the theft,” said Detective Sergeant Dave Costantini One District Criminal Investigations Bureau. “The witnesses made the right decision in not physically confronting these reprehensible perpetrators. Making lots of noise and calling attention to the situation proved to be all that was needed in this situation.”

The suspects are described as:

susp 1 purse snath

Suspect 1

Suspect 1: Light blue puffy jacket, dark hat, brown skin, black hair and spoke with an undetermined accent.

Sup2 purse snatch

Suspect 2

Suspect 2: Red puffy jacket, dark hat, brown skin, black hair and spoke with an undetermined accent.

Suspect 3: Brown skin, black hair, black baseball cap with a logo

susp3 purse snatch

Suspect 3

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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Meed Ward sets out what she will campaign on - will fill the leadership vacuum at city hall.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 11th, 2018



She is now in full campaign mode. At a dead end street in Aldershot she told a gathering of about 40 people – maybe 50, that her name was Marianne Meed Ward.

“I currently represent Ward 2 on city and regional council and I am running for Mayor.

“I’m here today to talk about the future of our city, and the upcoming municipal election on October 22 because there is a vacuum in leadership in this city.”

“Our Burlington, the city we all love, is at a crossroads.

“Our community has a choice to make about the kind of city we want, now and for the future.

And we have a choice to make about the kind of leadership we want to get us there.

Show whuch ward

Supporters at the Meed WArd campaign launch showing which ward they live in.

Our family chose to move to Burlington to raise our family. We came here for the parks and trails, our unparalleled waterfront, farming on our doorstep, active community centres, and small town charm and friendliness. The first day we moved into this area, our neighbours welcomed us with homemade banana bread.

These are some of the same reasons many of you have chosen Burlington as your home.

For life long residents, this is why you chose to stay here to live, work, play, raise a family, or retire.

MMW speaking Ap 11

Mead Ward telling her supporters what she was going to do for them.

I love Burlington; I love the people of Burlington, so many of whom are gathered with us here today.

We have all benefited from the legacy of the people who came before us. When they imagined a future for us, they gave us parks, trees, beautiful neighbourhoods, heritage character, protected farmland and so much more.

They also had to fight to save these things along the way. Did you know:

Residents protected the north end of Central Park from development?

Saved Freeman Station not once, but twice?

Built Spencer Smith waterfront park from a break wall?

Protected the rural area from a quarry expansion and a highway going through it?

Saved massive trees along Lakeshore Road from a planned road expansion, and delivered the city’s first (and so far only) female mayor, Mary Munro, in 1977)?

This is an amazing community, a strong community, where residents have made their voices heard, shaped our own future together working with our elected representatives. We can do it again.

What kind of city are we creating for future generations, and for the people who live, work and play here today?

Our Burlington needs us to step up again.

Because Burlington is about to change dramatically, and not for the better.

We are facing over-development; our roads, community centres, seniors centre, and parks aren’t keeping up, the public feels shut out of decisions; our transit is inefficient and ineffective; our businesses are forced out replaced by shiny towers or mid-rise with token retail; our farmers are struggling under red tape and regulation and wonder if they can make a living; we are losing some of our young farmers; with rising house costs, young people wonder if they can even buy a house or stay here.

At the root of this is a leadership vacuum.

We will not change the direction we are headed without a change of leadership on council.

You might be wondering why I chose to make this announcement, here in in Aldershot. It’s because it’s an example of the negative change that’s happening in our city, and not the only.

Identifyng their ward Team sweater

Will we see hundreds of people wearing T-shirts with this message? The October municipal election will be critical – voters are being given very clear choices.

This community is also where I first ran for office in 2006, and our slogan at the time was “end sprawl, build community”. That could describe our situation today with a slight modification: “end vertical sprawl, build community.”

I’d like everyone to take a minute and look around. What do you see?

Single family homes, front lawns, greenspace, trees, businesses nearby.

I was out speaking with some of the residents on this street yesterday, and there’s a deep history of our Burlington here. This area was given to veterans returning from the War. Some of the children and families of those veterans still live here.

Dottie Mair, who lives down the street, is 95 years old, she still describes herself as a “war bride” She moved here a year after she was married.

Dottie told me the street was called “Clearview” because when it was first settled, you had a clear view to Burlington Bay.

This community is about to change dramatically.

This area is part of the Aldershot Mobility Hub in the city’s proposed new Official Plan.

On one side of this street there is a proposed 20+ storey buildings here in the area we are standing; 12-19 storey buildings across the street, and 7-11 storey buildings lining both sides of Clearview from Queen Mary to Plains Road, and along Queen Mary to St. Matthews. The homes facing St. Matthews will have up to 11 storey buildings abutting their back yards.

The character of this community is about to be obliterated.

Residents have been told that the new Official Plan will direct intensification, especially high rises, away from established neighbourhoods like this one.

Over development in our community isn’t just proposed in the new OP, it’s already here.

And it’s coming to neighbourhoods across our city:

MMW soeaking - full length Ap 11

Meed Ward – delivering the message at her candidate announcement meeting.

In Ward 1: Residents here in Aldershot have seen retail plazas become apartments and townhouse complexes, with token retail; a 12 storey proposal has just been submitted for the end of this street. The area has seen some of the highest growth of the city, but you still haven’t gotten a grocery store in the west end.

In Ward 6: Residents in Alton fought overdevelopment of two towers in their area. Traffic is already choked, and where is the park for these kids to play?

In Ward 5: Residents in South East Burlington have fought the proposed mid-rise on Pinedale at the Fortinos plaza and are closely watching what proposals will come to Lakeside Plaza.

Business is also at risk. In Ward 5: Proposed high-rise development at Appleby and Upper Middle requires conversion of employment lands, and could put existing employment uses at Sofina Foods at risk – which employs 1000 people and wants to add another shift of 1000 people

In Wards 1 & 3: The Havendale and Brant Hills neighbourhoods on both sides of Brant St have spoken out against the overdevelopment proposed at 2100 Brant St

MMW crib notes

Marianne Meed Ward is a very relaxed speaker. She usually has a set of notes which she ignores most of the time. We never quite understood how she kept on track when delivering long speeches – she writes crib notes on her hand.

And in Ward 2, which I represent, Ward 2: There are potentially 26 towers proposed for downtown under the new OP of 17 storeys or more. Taller ones are already here:

– 23 storeys approved last November at Brant & James, across from City Hall, which I did not support.
– There’s now a 24 storey proposal across the street from that, and an 18 storey application further down the street at James & Martha St
– 26 storey at Martha & Lakeshore approved by the Ontario Municipal Board

This is just a snapshot of what’s already here, and what’s coming down the line in Burlington.

Canada’s best mid-size city deserves a better plan. The people of Burlington deserve a better plan, for today, and for tomorrow.

I’ve now been on council for 8 years, talking to residents, advocating for businesses as a member of the Burlington Downtown Business Association, standing up for you on important issues, learning the ins and outs of governing so I can serve you better. Many of the people here today and been with me on that journey. Though we haven’t gotten everything we worked for (yet!) we’ve had many successes along the way that have made our city better.

Right now, at this critical time in the life of our city, serving our community is where I’m meant to be.

I’m running for three reasons: Here’s what’s at stake:

1. We have a leadership vacuum at City Hall, and that vacuum is being filled by private interests setting the agenda, not citizens.

2. Burlington is Everyone’s City, but recent decisions, and upcoming proposals have left people wondering: Who’s City Is It?” A Spectator columnist said she hasn’t seen this much citizen unrest in 45 years of participating in civic matters.

3. Residents want to see your aspirations reflected in our decisions at City Hall, and especially our spending, you want your priorities to be our priorities. But many people have told me you don’t see yourself in what we do. Instead of a participant in creating a great city, you feel like a “hapless spectator.” I’ve heard residents say they are considering moving out. We are poised to lose our best assets: our people!

But together we can do something about it! Changing times call for a strong voice for our community as mayor, who will put Residents First.

Here are three things we will do together:

SaveOurWaterfront- Meed ward

The waterfront was her issue in the 2010 election.

As your mayor On Leadership: I will open City Hall and invite the community in, rebuild the relationship between city hall and residents, and restore trust.

You know my track record as someone who tells you what’s happening in advance (not after the fact), gives you the straight goods (going beyond press releases and platitudes) gives you My Take, so you can hold me accountable. I do more than listen – your input shapes decisions.

I stand up for you – sometimes against significant odds, instead of staying safely on the sidelines and avoiding the hot potato issues. I’m not afraid to put motions on the floor – even if they lose, the discussion moves the matter a little further down the field, and one step closer to success. And though the 6-1 get the headlines, more of my motions pass than fail.

I model respectful debate and civility – in council chambers among staff, residents and council – leading the way forward

I will put development in its place. The right project, the right scale, the right location. Residents are not anti-development. Residents don’t want to stop development. Residents don’t want to react to development. You just want to shape it.

We need to stop the over-intensification that’s adding congestion and eliminating greenspace, stop downplaying the impact by saying only 5% will change. Stop blaming the province for making us grow – we are meeting or exceeding our targets.

As your mayor On Your Priorities: I will focus on quality of life, not just quantity of people, and focus spending on your priorities, not internal entitlements.

That means investing in transit, so it gets people where they need to go quickly

That means protecting and adding trees and greenspace; unlike neighbouring municipalities we don’t have a tree canopy target.

That means adding community amenities; we lag behind area municipalities on community centres, parks, seniors’ centres

That means taking steps towards affordable housing for young people, families and seniors

That means eliminating red tape and unnecessary delays for businesses

That means doing far more than passively protecting our rural land (which the province did in 2006): we need to look out for our farmers, and eliminate barriers to viable agricultural industry. We have to stop pitting our urban area and rural area against each other, and bring our community together.

As your mayor I promise you that and more.

Big on providing services. Political enough to be on the winning side?

Big on providing services. She has been known to go out and pick up garbage that was on a street.

I promise that I will stand up for you, stand with you, and implement your vision for our community, to get us back on track as the best city to live, play, work, retire and raise a family.

And you can count on that promise, because it’s what we’ve already been doing for the last eight years.

We don’t have to wait to October to bring change; we can get started today.

Our city’s proposed Official Plan is coming to the Planning & Development Committee April 24 for adoption. I’m the only one on council who voted to press pause on this process and get this right.


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Meed Ward announces she will run for Mayor in October.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 11th, 2018



Finally – she has announced that she is in the race for the office of Mayor.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward announced at 10 am this morning that she will be running for the office of Mayor.

Often, whenever ward 1 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward appears at events with the Mayor she sounds more "mayoral" than the man who wears the chain of office.

It’s now official Marianne Meed Ward wants to wear the Chain of Office and will run for Mayor in October.

She is the third candidate to declare. Current Mayor Rick Goldring has announced as has former MP Mike Wallace.

More when we have Meed Ward’s statement.

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City Council ran out of time - couldn't finish the debate on the community benefits before it was time to go home.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 11th, 2018



It was a meeting many did not want to see take place due to the lack of in-adequate public notice – but it did – and due to the hour the Council Standing Committee decided to adjourn and continue the meeting as part of the April 23rd Standing Committee meeting.

Meed WArd at PARC

Ward 2 city council member Marianne Meed Ward

421 BrantWard 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward explained that Section 37 community benefits are a public report decided by council in a public session. That’s why we were all there. It can be changed by motion like any other report. I will be bringing several motions for change.”

She added that: “Negotiations happen between staff/developer behind closed doors but discussion by council and final decision takes place in public.” I was consulted once for input. I suggested affordable housing be a priority.”

Meed Ward said: Staff and the developer negotiated the items. Staff write the report. I saw the final list of recommendations 6 days ago at the same time as the Public Report was released.

The Tuesday evening meeting was planned as an occasion when two Statutory meetings on new developments were to be heard. The Staff report on the Section 37 community benefits that are part of the 421 Brant development was added to the agenda.  The 23 storey 421 Brant tower has already been approved by council on a 5-2 vote.

421 James street rendering

Based on the debate so far – the citizens aren’t going to see very much for the additional height and density the developer has been given.

No decision made Tuesday evening.  Due to late hour (10:10) and three delegations to be heard it was referred to council meeting of April 23. Meed Ward had suggested referral to May 8 committee. She does not support the benefits package in the report and will bring motions for change.

This story isn’t over yet.

Related new story:

Muir: It’s just a bad deal for the citizens

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Councillor Taylor beats around the Bureaucratic bushes explaining why the draft OP has to be passed ASAP.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 10th, 2018



We are beginning to get a little more detail on why the city chose to hold an additional public meeting on the draft Official plan that a number of people want to see moved back until after the municipal election when they hope they will have a different city council to deal with.

Not through this part of th Escarpment if you don't mind. Citizens want to make sure the province fully understands how iopposed they are to a raod through this part of our city.

Rural lands and how the province is determined they are to be used is the most recent hiccup with getting Burlington’s draft Official Plan adopted and sent along o the Region.

John Taylor, Councillor for ward 3 explains to Jim Young, an ECoB member, that the meeting in Alton last night “really has nothing to do with the Official Plan Review process at either the City or Region of Halton.

“The blame rests solely with the Province of Ontario and their February 9 unilateral decision to gazette their error filled mapping of agriculture lands and natural heritage systems for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and require full municipal compliance. As this was at the end of the city’s OP process this required us to delay our process for an additional public consultation.

(When Taylor refers to the gazette he is not referring to the Burlington Gazette but rather to the publication the provinces uses to formally issue its decisions.)

”The way forward is not completely clear at this point and I have requested senior planning staff from the Region and City to meet next week in an attempt to resolve this mapping issue and how to make our new OP fully compliant with provincial legislation at the same time as the new regional OP is adopted. I will expect city staff to report back on these issues at the April 24 Planning and Development Committee meeting.”

Young replies saying:

Jim Young

Jim Young delegating before council – reminding them who put them there and what they are expected to do while they are there.

“I was commenting that it seems perfectly acceptable to delay the adoption to clarify one item for council while the many other outstanding concerns for citizens are blithely ignored in the rush get this really unpopular OP through council before an election.

“This OP does not belong to council or staff. It belongs to the people of Burlington whether urban, rural, farming, commuter, working or retired.

“Clarity for Councillors is not the criteria by which it should be judged, delayed or implemented.

“Clarity for the people of Burlington should be the only criteria and the fiasco at Haber on the mapping issue is simply one more indication that people are not clear on how this OP affects them and when they become aware of some of its impact they do not like what they hear.

“Again I ask, Why the Rush? Why not Clarity for All?

Tanner and Taylor at June 21-17 workshop

Councillor John Taylor on the left n conversation with then Director of Planning Mary Lou Tanner on the far right

Taylor’s rationale for moving forward with all possible haste is set out in this statement: “As for intensification it is in the best interest of Burlington as a whole to adopt the official plan now in order to put forward a new defendable reference point on this issue. To continue to rely on a way out of date OP is irresponsible and will only invite further land speculation.”

Having been a member of a city council that has dithered away with the writing of a new official plan for years, during which time the developers were quietly assembling properties, it is a little disingenuous of Taylor to claim that the barn door has to be shut when we can see all the horses in the fields.

The Planning department is now flooded with development applications. The developers have got this figured out. They are doing what any good business does – look for a good business opportunity and make the best of that opportunity.

Citizens were expecting their council to protect them.

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Karina Gould will be at the Seniors' Centre on the Burlington 25th - will she have the baby with her?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 10th, 2018



It is a typical political event. The MP chit chats with people and announces grants or hands out appreciation certificates

KarinaFamily + Oliver

Karina Gould with her husband and newborn son Oliver.

Burlington MP Karina Gould and member of the federal cabinet will be holding her 2nd Annual Volunteer Appreciation Reception on Wednesday, April 25th, 2018 from 7pm to 9pm at the Burlington Seniors Centre, Auditorium B, located at 2285 New Street.

The big question is – will she bring the new baby?

Politicians are usually expected to kiss every baby thrust into their arms.

Gould will have her own – with her?

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Police capture bank robber at a GO station.

Crime 100By Staff

April 10th, 2018



That didn’t take long.

The man photographed on security cameras from two Plains Road banks and wanted by police for robbing the banks was arrested by police earlier this morning at the Appleby Go-Station in Burlington by members of the Repeat Offenders Parole Enforcement (ROPE) Squad.

RBC plains road robbery April 2018

Adam Patrick DELISE arrested for bank robbery at a GO station.

At the time of his arrest, DELISE was found in possession of a robbery note and a quantity of cash from the robberies.

Adam Patrick DELISE (36-yrs) of No Fixed Address was held for bail and charged with the following offences:

• Robbery (two counts)
• Possession of property obtained by crime under $5000
• Unlawfully at large
• Breach probation (two counts)

The first of the robberies took place at the TD Bank and later the same day, in the afternoon, at the Royal Bank.
No one was injured but some cash was taken at both banks. Enough apparently to by a GO train ticket.
Delise is reported to have been convicted of bank robbery in the past.

Anyone who may have any additional information about these robberies are is asked to contact D/Cst. Erin Toth the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2313.

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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Do you know what a probate is? It isn't a medical procedure but the hospital foundation would like o explain it to you.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 10th, 2018



The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation is inviting people to a presentation with Jim Sweetlove, retired lawyer, Ross & McBride LLP.

Jim Sweetlove

Jim Sweetlove, retired lawyer.

Sweetlove will be answering some of the most common estate questions including:

Foundation logo• Why is estate planning so important?
• What happens without a written will?
• What is probate and how does it work?
• What are powers of attorney and how do they work?
• What are the benefits of leaving a charitable bequest to a charity in my will?

The events take place at the Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Room on Tuesday, April 17
Refreshments at 2:00 pm; Presentation at 2:30 pm

Please RSVP to Amanda Martin by phone at 905-632-3737 ext. 2041 or by email to

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Beer and cider to be available in three more Burlington locations.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 10th, 2018



Beer is now being sold in the following supermarket locations:Beer in supermarkets

Longo Brothers Fruit Markets, 2900 Walker’s Line
Walmart, 4515 Dundas St.
Walmart, 2065 Fairview St.

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There are some school board trustees who are at risk in the October municipal. election

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 10th, 2018



Of the eleven Halton District School Board trustees, four are elected by the public school supporters in Burlington.

Two of the four are at risk.

Trustees Andrea Grebenc and Leah Reynolds have said they were not prepared to make any comment on their election plans at this point in time.

The Gazette did not get a response from Papin.

Miller in a huddle with Grebenc

Trustee Andrea Grebenc talking to Director of Education Stuart Miller.

Grebenc, who is now chair of the school board, is not likely to be forgiven by the Pearson high school crown for her vote to close the school. She is proving to be a chair with growth potential and a much needed different level of energy.

We will find out if she has the political smarts to come to terms with some very unhappy constituents once the campaign gets underway.  She does have her work cut out out for her

Richelle Papin

Trustee Papin

Richelle Papin has not managed to win the favour of the ward 4 school parents. The fit as a trustee just wasn’t all that good. She may choose not to run again.

Reynolds was seen as the heir apparent for the ward 2 city council seat when (not if – when) Councillor Meed Ward announces she is running for the office of Mayor. The Reynolds star has dimmed recently. If she chooses to run for the city council seat when it becomes available the people in the ward may choose to reward her for the work she did to keep Central high school off the closing list.

MMW + Leah Reynolds

Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward with Leah Reynolds at Meed Ward’s 2014 election announcement meeting. Reynolds went on to ge elected the trustee for the ward.

She would be re-elected as a school board if that is where she chose to remain – which is probably in her best interests.

There is a much stronger woman that is likely to run for the city council seat – she hasn’t declared yet – and no we are not going to say who it is other than that she could serve the people of the ward and the city rather well

The one star trustee has been Amy Collard from ward 5 – she has been a bulldog in the way she has held the Director of Education accountable. She has been acclaimed each time she ran as a school board trustee.

Collard and Miller

Ward 5 trustee Amy Collard giving the Director of Education a very hard look during the debates on closing high schools in Burlington.

She has expressed some interest in city council – she would certainly give the incumbent Paul Sharman a run for his money.

There are a couple of trustees from the other municipalities in the District that could consider retirement.

All the action isn’t at city hall.

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

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An almost total cock up on the part of the Clerks office - they will refer to it as a 'learning moment'

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 10th, 2018



Back to the way the city administration communicates with the people that pay their salaries. A very controversial item was due to be put before city council – the Section 37 agreement with the developers of the 23 storey tower approved by city council.

421 Brant

How does a development that has some merit manage to get so much undesirable publicity?

Many people were not aware that the item had been placed on the Agenda of a Planning and Development meeting for this evening.

A resident who is particularly good at digging out information and some of the ECoB people were able to find the mention of an item that was added to the agenda – the added item doesn’t appear on the actual agenda – confusing? – Welcome to the world of municipal government.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward explained that she too had difficulty finding the agenda item – and she uses the city calendar feature regularly and urges people to use it.

Here is what Meed Ward had to say about access to notice of an item on a meeting agenda:

Meed Ward H&S

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward is expected to ask city council to defer hearing the Planning until the public has been given adequate notice.

“I have received multiple emails from residents who were not able to find the Section 37 item on the Agenda for tonight’s meeting.

“I myself couldn’t find it initially after I was told it had been posted and spoke to clerks. (I am paperless, so rely exclusively on the electronic record for my agendas and reports). They showed me where to find addendum items – these are items that are released late, after the agenda for the meeting is already published.

“But without that knowledge gained speaking to clerks, I wouldn’t have found it, and it’s not where the public would think to look.”

Meed Ward is apparently going to ask council to defer this item until the public has been properly notified and made aware of the item being on an agenda.

What Meed Ward hasn’t said so far is where she stands on the Section 37 agreement the Planning department is passing along to council for approval.

Related news stories:

Muir hammers city council.

It was the late Paul Newman who once said in a riveting movie: What we have here is a failure to communicate.

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Angry rural residents vent at a public meeting, Councillor Lancaster sends one packing

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 10th, 2018



A little more on that public meeting last night in the Alton Village at the Haber Recreation Centre.

A source reported that ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster told a citizen who was reported to be shouting at people that he had to leave the room.

Councillor Blair Lancaster gets out to almost every photo op there is and has served as the lead spokesperson at a number of NGTA community events with crowrs of 250+. Her constituents are not happy with how she is handling the Air PArk issue.

Councillor Blair Lancaster – can be one tough cookie when she thinks she has to be.

The man was said to be more than six feet in height – being ejected by Lancaster must have been a sight.

The event was an Open House at which the Planning department provided maps showing the changes on how land use in the rural part of Burlington was going to change.

The “farmer” was angry over changes to what he was going to be able to do with his land.

In attendance were Councillors Sharman, Taylor, Lancaster and Meed Ward. Our source was not able to say if any other council members were in the room.

Debate Warren

Vanessa Warren during the 2014 municipal election.

Vanessa Warren, a candidate for the ward in the 2014 election was certainly in the room commenting on what was shown on the maps that were on display.

Warren is an exceptionally able researcher – she would know what she was talking about.

Our source reported that there were a lot of angry rural residents at the event.

A Gazette reader who was at the meeting commented: “I attended last night, and it was an embarrassment to this city. The Enraged Citizens of Burlington or whoever these people were have every right to be upset, I am too, but you can’t behave like that. It was borderline violent at times, with people so out of control with rage that they had to physically be removed from the building. Right or wrong, it crossed a line. Security Guards, real ones, not night watchmen, might be a good idea for the April 24th meeting. We’re supposed to feel safe at these meetings. Last night, for the first time, that safety was called into question. Come on Burlington, we’re better than this.”

Quite a build-up to the October municipal election.

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There is room for some decency in the way the city administration and the elected officials treat the taxpayers.

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

April 9th, 2018



This is getting just a little ridiculous.

City council approved a height of 23 storeys for a condominium opposite city hall.

421 BrantFinal, final approval was subject to a Section 37 agreement being put in place.

ECOB logoECoB – Engaged citizens of Burlington, were waiting for that Section 37 agreement to be put in place so they could appeal the decision to the OMB.

The city releases the Section 37 agreement – astounding is the best way to summarize what the citizens get for giving the developer an additional 11 storeys of height.

A citizen writes a stiff rebuke on just what the Planning department has apparently agreed to.

No date is given as to when this Section 37 agreement for the development known as 421 Brant is going to be put in front of city council.

On Tuesday evening there are two Statutory meetings scheduled for the Planning and Development Standing committee. Statutory public meetings are held to present planning applications in a public forum as required by the Planning Act.

There is no mention of anything else on the agenda for the Tuesday evening meeting.

421 James street rendering

Is the 421 Brant Street development too close to city hall? We are not talking distance here. –

The ECoB people learned that the Section 37 agreement for the 421 Brant development will be on the agenda.

They advised the Gazette that:

City P & D have sneaked the section 37 community benefit proposals for 421 Brant St on to tomorrow night’s agenda without announcing it on the agenda made public on the city website. We found it by digging around elsewhere after Tom Muir made us aware of it.

Penny Hersh, part of the ECoB leadership sent the following to media: it was addressed to ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward

“It has come to our attention that Section 37-Public Benefits for 421 Brant Street will be discussed at the Planning and Development Committee tomorrow evening.

“It is only by searching the City’s website does this appear. No change to the Official Agenda.

Added agenda item graphic

The item added to the Planning and Development meeting Tuesday evening doesn’t appear in the agenda – but it did appear elsewhere on the city web site. Citizens should not have to search for information.

When was this “additional item” placed on the website and why was the Agenda that most residents would check not updated?

“What is staff afraid of? What is the thought process, definitely not transparency? It certainly gives one the impression that they are trying to get this done under the radar. The hope that no one shows up to question this travesty of NON Community Benefits for increased height and density. This is yet another reason why residents have no trust in staff and Council.

“Staff seems to forget that they work for the residents and Council elected to protect the interests of the residents.

“I am asking that Council direct staff to defer discussion of the Section 37 Benefits for 421 Brant Street to the April 24th meeting.”

This situation is intolerable. Last week the city discussed the adoption of a Good Governance model for the members of council. They are going to need more than a model on how to govern to get past this mess.  The optics on this just stink.  It is going to take quite an explanation to convince anyone that this was not deliberate.

Both the city administration and the members of council are duty bound to ensure that the public is fully informed.  The city did put out a notice saying maintenance work was being done on the city web site:

While we are making changes, please note that some online services will not be available on Monday, April 9 from 9 to 10 p.m.:

• Online business license renewal
• Online Property information requests

There is room for some decency in the way the city administration and the elected officials treat the taxpayers.

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