Take identification if you want to read the one copy of the latest draft Official Plan at the Library.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 29th, 2018


This is funny – were it not so sad.

A regular Gazette reader got a notice from city hall advising her that a revised draft Official Plan was now available – and that copies were available at the library.

Official-Plan-Binder_ImageOur citizen skipped along to the library to review a copy.

We will let her tell you what happened when she go to the library:

Yesterday I received an email from the City telling me that the Revised New Official Plan was available for residents to see. I understood this to be that I could get a copy of the revisions, at any City Library, City Hall, etc.

Today when I as at Burlington Central Library, I was told that there was one (1) copy that I could look at and I would have to provide I.D. Why would anyone need to provide identification to look at this document? Are printed copies available?

Now that is citizen engagement!

There was a time when city hall at least talked about citizen engagement.  They created a xxx

In 2010 the then Mayor, Cam Jackson set up a task force to report on how well city hall was engaging with its citizens. The report, Shape Burlington, was written by the late John Boich and former Mayor Walter Mulkewich; – read the report for that full story.

Relevant background links:

A Charter Action Team was created to put the Community Engagement Plan into action.

Shape Burlington

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Gazette has been around for seven years - started out as Our Burlington - When do people read the Gazette?

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2018



The Gazette is now in its seventh year of publication.

We first hit the streets, via the Internet, in October of 2010 – that was an election year.

For a short period of time we were known as Our Burlington – I didn’t choose the name.

The paper came out of a friendship with the late John Boich who was working with a number of people on creating a better way to deliver local news. In the early stages the people behind that initiative were thinking in terms of getting low frequency radio license – that wasn’t something I was interested in.

The Shape Burlington report had just been published – Boich and former Mayor Walter Mulkewich were the authors of hat report which, in part said:

Engagement: Transform the City Hall culture to promote active citizenship and civic engagement

Promoting active citizen engagement and meaningful public dialogue requires a culture shift at City Hall. A crucial first step is the development an Engagement Charter – a plain language policy document developed with public involvement that incorporates benchmarks and accountabilities, and describes the value, purpose and opportunities for citizens to influence city policies.

The charter would explain how to navigate City Hall and its services. It should stipulate best practices for various kinds of public consultation and affirm the city’s commitment to inform citizens and respond to their ideas and contributions. t would address the question of reaching out to a diverse population.

The charter would incorporate an early notification system to provide citizens and groups information about meetings, events and issues, and to allow reasonable amounts of time to understand, discuss and develop positions before decisions are made.

I managed to convince Boich that a newspaper on line was the route to go – the Executive Director of the non-profit he had set up wasn’t a newspaper person. Boich asked me if I would put together a business plan –

I did – and he said – great – make it happen.

And that was how Our Burlington came to be.

I soon realized that “Our Burlington” was not a fit name for a newspaper and chose the name Gazette for two reasons: Burlington once had a print newspaper called the Gazette and the first photograph I had published as a boy 12 was on the front page of the Montreal Gazette – I also delivered that newspaper as a boy.

When I started the Burlington Gazette I was pretty sure the editorial model I had in mind would work – but it needed to be tried to be certain. The model works.

We have had our ups and downs but the readership growth has been consistent; not massive but consistently incremental.

So who reads the Gazette?

As many readers know we are in the midst of running a readership survey. The practice going forward will be to do a new survey every month – shorter next time; three maybe four questions.

Here is what we can tell you about when the Gazette is read:

Gazette readers story

Just over 40% of our readers are daily readers. We notice that during the winter a decent number of “snowbirders” read us from the United States – we don’t know which state they are reading from – just US of A.

There is more in the way of readership from Hamilton and Toronto than we expected.

survey04The data show in the graph above is “raw” in that we don’t tell you which ward those readers live in.  we will include that data in the full report which we will publish when the survey is  closed.  We wanted the survey open for at least 15 days.  The Sunday readership is always quite high and we want to keep it open beyond the Easter holiday.


Related news stories:

The Shape Report

The city’s Community Engagement Charter

Why the Gazette?

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City administration demands that a Gazette column be taken down; leaving it up will damage the city’s reputation because according to the city we are making things up and telling lies.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2018



Our relationship with the city administration is not all that good.

The city has a Senior Manager, Government Relations & Strategic Communications who wrote us recently saying:

“…  Yet again you have written another article which is completely false and damaging to Planning staff’s reputation.

You are blatantly accusing city staff of lying and making things up about developments in the city. The rendering in question was developed for the city by an outside consulting firm at the request of Council who wanted to know what different sites could develop as. There was discussion of this at committee around the public sidewalk width/heritage building trade-offs and the like.

The owners of the property were and are well aware of the renderings and have not raised any issues with the city. Anything else you say to the contrary is not true or accurate.

This is an article that we demand in the strongest terms be taken down; leaving it up will continue to do damage to the city’s reputation because according to the article we are making things up and telling lies.

This continues a pattern of known false articles you have written about the city.

Some facts: We did publish an article about a rendering of a building on a site on the north east corner of Brant and Lakeshore Road.

We talked directly to two of the principles who said they were unaware of the rendering and did not give anyone permission to have a rendering done. They weren’t asked for permission.

We did not identify the principles – developers don’t like to find themselves in messy situations with anyone at city hall – it just isn’t good for business.

We did not say that anyone at city hall was lying. We made reference to the President of the United States and the number lies he tells and wondered if that habit had migrated north.

There is nothing the Gazette can do to improve the city’s reputation. They own it and what they do with it is up to them.

What we do know is that a number of people do not feel the city administration is hearing what they have to say. The Gazette offers a forum where people can comment on news stories we write.

The piece we wrote on the architectural rendering can be found HERE

There are times when we make mistakes. We correct those mistakes.  There are no mistakes in the article.

What the comments made by the Senior Manager, Government Relations & Strategic Communications reveal is that we have an administration that bullies, threatens and cajoles.  The City Manager did just that with ECoB when they threatened them with legal action.

Engaged Citizens of Burlington (ECoB) To Whom it May Concern:

James Ridge - looking right

James Ridge – Burlington City Manager

On your website, in the area of letter writing campaign, you set out questions to be asked of the letter recipients. Among them is:

How can staff in the planning department be pushing these amendments when they know that they are not following The Professional Code of Practice of the Ontario Planners Institute which requires members to serve the public “to provide full, clear and accurate information on planning matters to decision makers and members of the public”?

This directly alleges that City staff have committed professional misconduct, and is categorically untrue. Staff have met or exceeded all requirements of their professional codes of practice, and have far exceeded the requirements of the planning act and other legislation in terms of consultation and provision of information. The fact you don’t like their recommendations does not mean they have acted unprofessionally.

I would like an immediate removal of these comments from your site, and an apology, or I will take all necessary steps to hold you accountable for these defamatory comments.

James Ridge City Manager

ECoB took the comments off their web site but took a pass on the opportunity to apologize.

There are times when the public makes mistakes and elects a city council that has a tin ear. That kind of mistake can be corrected during a municipal election.

Salt with Pepper is a column reflecting the opinions, musings and reflections of the Publisher of the Gazette.



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ADI settles with the city at the OMB on their Alton Village development.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 28th, 2018



A settlement agreement has been approved by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) for the development proposal at 4853 Thomas Alton Blvd.

In December 2016, city staff recommended approval of an Official Plan and Zoning ByLaw Amendment to permit a residential development by Adi Development Group at 4853 Thomas Alton Blvd. City Council refused the application which resulted in an appeal to the OMB.

During the OMB process, city staff sought and received direction from Burlington City Council to enter into settlement discussions with Adi Development Group.


Decent changes made to the Alton Village development – will it make all that much difference to the look and feel of the community?

City staff worked within the settlement parameters approved by Council and subsequently reached an agreement that would:

• Reduce the height of the two towers from 19 storeys to 17 storeys;
• Reduce the total number of units from 612 to 601, thereby reducing the density of the site;
• Replace two rows of stacked townhouse blocks with two mid-rise, six storey apartment blocks, resulting in a reduced building footprint on the site;
• Increase the size of the publicly accessible park on the site from 2,064 square metres to 2,481 square metres;
• Keep the 21 standard townhouse units on the west side of the site adjacent to existing townhouse development.

The agreement also included Section 37 benefits consisting of $60,000 for improvements to Doug Wright Park and public access over the park on the site by way of an easement registered on the title to the property.

Burlington wasn’t as fortunate with the ADI development at Lakeshore and Martha where 26 storeys were approved by the OMB. The city is seeking a review of that decision.

Sation west - shovels in

Shovel are in the ground.

The ADI West Station development has shovels in the ground.

Lynx wes side

The eastern part of a large development is partially occupied. Adi is currently the most active residential developer in the city.

Their Lynx development on Dundas next to Bronte Creek has residents in some of the units.


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City gets an Award for being Age Friendly; Mayor's Task Force on housing for the aged yet to produce a report.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 28, 2018



The Ministry of Seniors’ Affairs selected the City of Burlington to receive the Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award which was presented last Monday.


Pictured above (l-r): City staff Mandy Newnham and Rob Axiak; BSAC members Sheila Burton and Jim Thurston.

The award recognizes communities and municipalities that are working to meet the needs of Ontario’s growing older adult population by creating enabling environments that encourage social connections and ability to age well.

In July 2017 Council adopted the Burlington Active Aging Plan as a living document intended to evolve with the community and to provide actionable changes to improve the lives of Older Adults within Burlington.
The nomination for the recognition award was submitted by the city’s Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee.

Mayor with Lt Gov

Mayor Rick Goldring with the Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

In February of 2017 Mayor Rick Goldring welcomed the Hon. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, to the Art Gallery of Burlington for a roundtable discussion on seniors’ housing needs in Burlington. Dowdeswell wanted to learn more about issues, ideas and initiatives of importance to the people of Burlington.

The Roundtable included representatives from Joseph Brant Hospital, the Burlington Seniors’ Advisory Committee; Halton Region’s social services, planning and health senior managers; Habitat for Humanity; private developers; seniors’ housing specialists; and City of Burlington senior managers.

Each of the 15 representatives was asked to consider and comment on the following two questions:

1. What are the current housing opportunities for seniors who want, or need, to find a new home in Burlington?

2. As the number of seniors continues to increase in our city, where should we place our focus in providing new housing opportunities to allow seniors to continue living in Burlington?

The outcome of the visit was the creation of a Task Force that was to be a one year initiative starting in May 2017 and led by the Office of the Mayor.

To date there hasn’t been a single word from the Office of the Mayor on the Task force he created.

Related article:

Mayor creates a Task Force.


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Former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change will address Burlingtonians at Mayor Goldring's next Inspire event.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

March 28th, 2018



Mayor Goldring is holding another of his Inspire Burlington series late in April.

Goldring has invited Glen Murray, Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, and former Minister of the Environment and Climate Change for Ontario to speak on transit-supportive development that works to create multi-modal, and sustainable cities.

Mayor Inspire - Murray speakingThe talk will take place at the Royal Botanical Gardens April 25th at 7:30 p.m in the main auditorium; admission is FREE and all are welcome.

The talk takes place a couple of days after the Bfast 4th annual Forum of transit – might be some interesting questions that can come out of the Form for Mr. Murray

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Bye Bye Birdie will be the Koogle Theatre summer production - audition/workshop to take place in May.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 28th, 2018



Koogle Theatre has been putting on superb theatrical productions in Burlington for at least five years.

Each summer they do a production that invites young people to a workshop where they can get a sense of what they have in the way of talent and how they might fit into a planned production of Bye Bye Birdie

Bye Bye Birdie logoThe workshop/auditions take place from 9:00 am-12:00 pm for Ages 8-12 and from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm for Ages 13-18 – both on Saturday May 26, 2018

There is a workshop/audition fee of $25 before May 1, $30 as of May 1

Audition Workshops are for the Koogle two week Youth Musical Theatre Summer Intensive that will run during July of this year.

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Burlington Hydro wins industry awards for leadership in Conservation and PR Excellence.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 28th, 2018



The Electricity Distributors Association has recognized Burlington Hydro from among its provincial utility peers as a leader in both Conservation Leadership and Public Relations Excellence from the Association that represents Ontario’s electricity distributors, the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA). The awards were presented in Toronto at the EDA annual meeting on Monday night.

Burlington Hydro keeps the lights on, runs the system efficiently but does seem to have a problem communicating with their peers at city hall.

Burlington Hydro keeps the lights on, runs the system efficiently.

The EDA’s Conservation Leadership Excellence Award, sponsored by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), recognized Burlington Hydro’s enhancements to its conservation outreach program –  ‘The Power to Conserve’.

From the delivery of Save on Energy conservation programs, to the collaborative efforts to develop new programs and recognize customer participation, conservation activities at Burlington Hydro have taken a creative new approach to encouraging participation across all customer sectors.

Burlington Hydro’s e-billing campaign – Plant-a-Tree in a Community Park – was also recognized for Public Relations Excellence. Each time a customer registered for paperless e-billing over the one year campaign, a $5 donation was made by Burlington Hydro to the City of Burlington to plant a mix of native tree species in the community’s Nelson Park. The program delivered a positive environmental message, while providing tangible benefits to the community by enhancing the City’s green spaces for many years to come.

Burlington Hydro CEO Gerry Smallegame and COO Dan Guatto worked all out during the power outage to get light back on - rural Burlington proved to be a real challenge.

Burlington Hydro CEO Gerry Smallegame and COO Dan Guatto explaining just when they hoped to have the power running again during a December ice storm.

“Burlington Hydro is focused on growing and conducting its business in ways that consistently deliver customer value and provide benefit to the community,” says Gerry Smallegange, President and CEO, Burlington Hydro Inc. “Our talented and dedicated employees continue to fuel the success of our company and are the driving force behind delivering meaningful and award-winning customer initiatives. We’re extremely pleased to be recognized for our efforts by our industry peers.”

Burlington Hydro Inc. is an energy services company in the power distribution business. Serving approximately 67,000 residential and commercial customers, Burlington Hydro and its employees are committed to delivering safe, efficient and reliable electricity to the City of Burlington. The company is wholly owned by the City of Burlington.

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More than 900 students from across the Region take part in a two day Band Extravaganza.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

March 28th, 2018



Two solid days of students and their instruments learning a new piece of music and then coming together as a massed band to perform what they have learned.

The event is part of what the Halton District School Board calls a Band Extravaganza taking place in Burlington Tuesday and Wednesday.

Girl with trombone

The students paid close attention tot he instructions they were being given.

Listening to the students as they warm up with their instruments and get instructions on instrument specific clinics from instructors that were donated by Long and McQuade.

Girl with base sax

There was this beautiful deep sound that just enveloped the room. Then the other instruments joined in.

Being in a room with 15 to 40 students who are being directed by an experienced musician learning to get the best sound possible from the instrument is quite an experience. The rooms were on the small side where the sound bounced off the walls.

Boys with clarinets

Boys being boys – talking up what they were being taught?

Students start each day with a concert by the Halton Junior Jazz Band. Afterwards, students go to breakout clinics specific to their instrument. Later they convene for a massed band rehearsal, with guest conductors on both days.

Getting the instrument ready

Concentration and getting it just right.

The board has commissioned two original concert band compositions for the event: The Call to Adventure by composer David Marlatt, and The Conquest by Ryan Meeboer, a teacher at Alexander’s Public School in Burlington.

The pieces will be directed by the composers and played for the first time by Halton students.

Rebecca MacRae, the board’s instructional program leader (the arts, K-12) is overseeing the event.

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Pay package for city manager is almost $300,000 - before taxes.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 27th, 2018



What we pay our civil servants and what they deliver in the way of service and leadership is of concern to every taxpayer.

The public has direct input on who serves as members of Council – they get to bring in new people or turf those that have not met the standard the public expected. Public service can at time be brutal.

Council cannot get rid of a Staff member. They can go into a closed session and discuss concerns they have with a staff member and they could direct a city manager to get rid of a staff member because city managers serve at the will of Council

Burlington has asked one city manager to look for another place to work – which usually means buying out he contract they have with the city.

Burlington has gone thought Roman Martiuk , Jeff Fielding and Pat Moyle who was an interim city manager – holding the fort until a permanent city manager is hired.

James Ridge became city manager in 2015

Jeff Fielding was an exceptional city manager but he got an opportunity to serve in Calgary with one of the best Mayor’s in the country and he took it.

Roman Martiuk was brought in to get costs under control.  He and Mayor Goldring didn’t see things the same way.  At the time the Mayor told the Gazette that the decision to par ways was for the most part his alone.  At the time many thought that his then Chief of Staff, Frank McKeown, was the man behind that decision.

Burlington was at one point very fortunate to be able to pull a city manager from the ranks of staff. Tim Dobbie served as city manager while Rob MacIsaac was Mayor – those two were almost a wrestling tag team. They worked together very effectively.

Cam Jackson: Election night 2010

Cam Jackson: Election night 2010

When MacIsaac moved on Cam Jackson, a former MPP, ran for Mayor and Dobbie decided the grass was indeed greener in that other field. He now works as a much in demand consultant to other municipalities.

When a city manager is hired the amount he or she is paid is negotiated.

If you're happy and you know it - clap your hands.

If you’re happy and you know it – clap your hands.

The province of Ontario, when Bob Ray was Premier, decided they would publish a report annually setting out how much every civil servant in the province early more than $100,000 annual gets paid. It was quickly names the Sunshine list and became must reading.

The Gazette has in the past published portions of the report. Downloading the data and formatting it for publication is a time consuming task – it is one that we have decided to do during the Easter Break. There are numerous levels: City, Regional, Education and the Health Sector.

During a meeting with a regular reader earlier this week I was asked when we were going to publish the 2018 numbers and I said during the Easter Break. “You might want to do it sooner the reader suggested, there are some eye popping numbers” he said.

Ridge and Chris Murray - city managers

James Ridge with Hamilton city manager Chris Murray

come close to taking home three hundred big ones?” “Really” I responded. (In the parlance of people in those income range three hundred big one is three hundred one thousand dollar bills – before taxes of course.

It gets better the reader advised: on a value based scale, that is how much it costs each citizen,  we pay our city manager far more than other cities. He put something together for us.

Here is what we were given. We checked to ensure that the gross number for James Ridge was correct.

Eye popping indeed.

City manager pay scales

Does the amount paid to the city manager in the last fiscal year include something other than just salary?



Burlington pays it’s city manager more than the city manager of Hamilton when Hamilton has more than three times the population of Burlington.

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Hilda's Yard - the kids come back - 0n at Theatre Burlington in April

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

March 25, 2017



It is being billed as another “crowd pleaser”: A comedic look into the realities of family life. The play, written by Norm Foster, will be directed by Maureen Dwyer and produced by Penny Oliver.

Theatre Burlington poster March 2018Foster portrays a couple in their golden age, living in the late 50’s, enjoying life after their children have left home. Their idyllic future plans are cut short as a chain of events brings each one of the children ‘hopping the fence’ into Hilda’s yard and are suddenly back home for unexpected and extended stays.

When Gary suddenly appears he is on the run from a couple of thugs for ‘stiffing’ their boss.

Then “Janey” shows up too after leaving her husband. The generation gap between the parents and the children is large and what seems far out to the parents seem quite reasonable to the newer generation and the freedoms that came with this new era.

As is often the case, the mother is the glue that holds it all together, as a housewife she learned to think out of the box and though father believes he knows best, she is the one that ties it all together bridging the generations.

Foster’s incredible wit and insight make dealing with uncomfortable subjects, something that can still be laughed at. Shows like this help us realize that we need to take life a little less seriously.

Running April 13-14; 20-21; and 26-27-28.

Curtain 8:00 PM

Tickets: Adult: $25; Students: $15; Seniors $22 at the Box office 905-639-7700 or visit www.theatreburlington.on.ca

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Pearson high prepares for the formal closing early in June.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 25th, 2017



The closing of a high school is never a pleasant experience particularly when many in the community were opposed to the closing.

At the Lester B. Pearson High School they are calling the occasion a Celebration that will take place over two days: June 1 and 2, 2018


The Pearson high school students were always an active bunch: during a teacher strike they protested the bill before the provincial legislature.

The people organizing the event want to know who is interested – past and present students, alumni, and former staff are being asked to an interest survey by April 7

A full slate of engaging activities are being organized to celebrate Lester B. Pearson High School (1976-2018) on Friday, June 1 and Saturday, June 2, 2018. Events are planned for students, alumni and staff, both past and present, to celebrate the school’s 42-year history. Lester B. Pearson High School will close at the end of June 2018, with students moving to nearby M.M. Robinson High School.

All events will be held at Lester B. Pearson High School (1433 Headon Rd, Burlington). The two-day celebration will include a number of activities to recognize and honour accomplishments over the decades of students, staff and the wider Pearson community.

Friday, June 1, 2018 – Patriot Generation Sports Tournaments and Pep Rally with world renowned Burlington Teen Tour Band, food trucks and entertainment, play and watch ball hockey, basketball, touch football, soccer, volleyball, and enjoy socializing with longtime friends.

Saturday, June 2, 2018 – Open House with Decades Showcase, Tours and Closing Ceremony with Lester B. Pearson’s granddaughter, Patricia Pearson, and founding principal, David Katz, along with music, videos and representatives speaking about the decades. Reception to follow.

To assist with planning, everyone attending the celebrations is encouraged to complete the Lester B. Pearson Celebration: Save The Date Survey and learn more about the planned events. The survey will remain open until Saturday, April 7, 2018 and will help event organizers confirm what activities are of interest to attendees and how many people to expect.

So far, approximately 300 surveys have been completed, with more than 650 attendees expected to attend, including students and staff from the 1970s through to current day.

survey04To learn more about the celebration activities, like and share the Celebrate Lester B. Pearson High School Facebook page, follow @CelebrateLBP on Twitter, visit www.CelebrateLBP.com or email celebrateLBP@hdsb.ca.

For additional information, contact: Loraine Fedurco, Principal, Lester B. Pearson High School: 905-335-0961

It will be an occasion filled with mixed emotions.

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Afternoon tea at the AGB this afternoon

eventspink 100x100By Staff

March 25th, 2018


Little did we know.

Our original headline on this story read: High tea at the AGB this afternoon.

We got our ears boxed when the CFUW advised us that – Please note that the phrase “high tea” refers to the evening meal of the working classes in Britton, sometimes even just referred to as “tea”. What University Women are holding is “afternoon tea”.  The correct spelling for Britain is <

The Canadian Federation of University Women is holding a 40th anniversary March Hare fund raiser this afternoon at the Art Gallery from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

The CFUW is an organization that is dedicated to fellowship, advocacy and education. They have in the past sponsored debates during election campaigns and have a scholarship program.

March Hare

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Art Gallery of Ontario 1333 Lakeshore Rd. Burlington ON

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Construction of a transformed Brant Museum is well underway; public acceptance of the project now has to catch up.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 24th, 2018



The transformation of the Joseph Brant Museum is well under way.


Architectural rendering of what the new home for the Joseph Brant Museum will look like when it is completed – scheduled for late 2019 – weather permitting.

Brant house on blcks Mar 2018The replica of the house Joseph Brant built now sits on steel beams and pushed closer to North Shore Blvd, where it will remain until the new part of the museum is built.

In an ongoing survey we asked our readers what they thought of the decision to transform the existing museum into something that 3 times bigger; it will have 17,000 sq ft of exhibition space.

The public will not be able to tour the actual house – that is to be used for administration purposes.

Few realized it at the the time but the day of the ground breaking ceremony was the last time the public was going to be in the building.  At least it was packed that day.

brant museum survey - partial

The readership survey has been running for less than a week This is what some of the Gazette readers responded to the question: The decision has been made to transform and significantly enlarge the Joseph Brant Museum. Was this a good idea?

City council vote to proceed with the project was not unanimous.  Councillors Jack Dennison and Marianne Meed Ward were not onside for this nor was Councillor John Taylor all that enthusiastic about the plans that were put forward.

The original house was the building Joseph Brant died in – the structure on the site is a 1937 replica of the house Mohawk native Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea, built on a 1798 Crown land grant.

A man named Thomas B. McQuesten was a province of Ontario Minister who was responsible for the early version of what is now the QEW.  He is said to have used highway building funds to pay for the construction of the replica.  The original had been destroyed by fire.

The total project amount is approved at about $11 million, which includes a contingency fund and allows for cost increases due to a winter construction period. Funding includes:


Grass dancer

An indigenous dancer performs during the ground breaking for a transformed Joseph Brant Museum. Few new at the time that it was the last day the public would actually be in the house part of the museum.

$3.4 million from the City of Burlington

$4.7 million from the Government of Canada

$1.5 million from the Province of Ontario

$2.5 million from the Joseph Brant Museum Foundation

The land the Museum sits on was owned by a Trust that was part of the hospital land holdings.  The Museum was moved several decades ago when the hospital underwent an expansion.

A transformed Museum is being built – the public now needs to get behind the idea and ensure that there are high quality programs and that the Museum is professionally run.



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MP McMahon announces new provincial funding of $11.2 million for the Joseph Brant Hospital.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 24th, 2018



The Joseph Brant Hospital will be getting $11.2 million in new provincial government funding that will be added to Joseph Brant Hospital’s budget for 2018/19.

McMahon - First public as Minister

Burlington MP Eleanor McMahon is also the chair of the Treasury Board.

Members of the provincial legislature have been fanning out across the province making funding announcements on increases in funding for hospitals.  Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon was at Joseph Brant Hospital yesterday to outline how this major increase in hospital funding will provide better access to care, reduce wait times, address capacity issues and better meet the needs of Burlington’s changing population.

This overall increase of 4.6 per cent across the province is on top of the 3.2 per cent provided last year — allowing hospitals to invest with more precision in the care and supports that address the specific needs of their patients and community.

An architects rendering of the new entrance to the Joseph Brant Hospital whch will now face the lake. The entrance will be off LAkeshore Road with the new parking lot just to the west of the hospital.

McMahon said “Patients and families across Ontario will also directly benefit from this increased funding with the expansion of essential services to reduce wait times and priority procedures such as cardiac care, critical care, chemotherapy, treatment for strokes, hip and knee replacements, and medical imaging.”

McMahon added in her media release that the is responding to rapid economic change by bringing in a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

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Bfast to hold their 4th Annual Transit Users Forum April 21st

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 23, 2018



The Gazette is currently running a ridership survey.

One of the question we asked was: Does Burlington need a higher level of public transit service?

Survey partial on transit

While incomplete, the survey data so far on transit is instructive.

The survey will run for a number of weeks to give everyone a chance to have their say. The number of responses has been very healthy and there are some interesting results. At this point the best we can say is that there are some very clear trends – will they hold for the duration of the survey. We can’t say at this point.

We asked our readers this question: Does Burlington need a higher level of public transit service?  Close t0 70% said yes.  The Burlington For Accessible Sustainable Transit  (Bfast) people have been saying this for years.  It is only in the past six months that there has been the sense that city hall was listening.

Bfast event April

The Forum is one of the best organized citizen efforts to gather information and influence city decisions. One year the then Director of Transit chose not to attend; he is no longer with the city.

Bfast has been a consistent, and we think very effective transit advocate. They are holding another annual transit feedback event.

They are beyond a doubt the most informed community group when it comes to transit in Burlington. Our research tells how Gazette readers feel about the state of transit in the city.

The Transit Users’ Forum is on Saturday April 21st at the Burlington Seniors’ Centre from 10 am to 12:30.  There will be a free continental breakfast.

The city did a survey of their own earlier this month. The city appeared to want to find out what it is going to take to get people out of their cars and onto transit.

Director of Transit, Sue Connor, in a prepared statement said: “Improving Burlington’s transit service is a priority for the City of Burlington. As our population grows, providing a variety of convenient, reliable options to help people get around the city is essential. The Transit Plan, along with other city plans like the Transportation Plan and the Cycling Plan, will help to bring this vision to life. To help develop the Transit Plan, we want to hear from Burlington Transit riders to learn more about how they currently use public transit and equally as important, we want to hear from people who do not ride the bus to find out what might encourage them to consider transit. This information will help Burlington Transit start to improve its level of service.”

Transit - seniors with Gould

The Transit User Forums attract not only those who rise the bus. This photograph includes the Member of Parliament and the downtown member of city council.

Public response to the survey did not appear to be all that high, the city sent out a second request asking people to complete the survey.

Stephen white, a vocal critic made this comment:

“There are likely five key target markets and customers for Burlington Transit: 1) seniors; 2) those who don’t drive; 3) GO Train commuters; 4) students; 5) persons on fixed income or social assistance who can’t afford a car. Start by identifying the commuting habits, preferred destinations, schedules and preferences of these people, and actively seek their input on scheduling. Certain commonalities and trends will emerge.

“Second, investigate communities in which public transit is working well to identify what they are doing that we aren’t. Case in point: St. Catharines Transit. They have 44 bus schedules compared to 26 I counted on Burlington Transit’s website. A friend of mine who lives in central St. Catharines tells me she can get anywhere in the city within an hour needing only one transfer. She comes to Burlington occasionally and bemoans the time lags and multiple transfers it takes for her to get anywhere here. St. Catharines has 60,000 fewer residents than Burlington. Why is their system so much better than ours?

Transit - unhappy customer

When a transit user is grumpy – they are really grumpy.

“Third, let’s focus on doing a few things really, really well rather than spreading our resources too thinly. If it is problematic to design a public transit loop that integrates certain outlying neighbourhoods into the transit grid then fill in the gaps with dial-a-ride services or contracts with Uber. And let’s stop trying to persuade certain population groups to ride transit when, quite realistically, there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell they will ever do so. A family of four on Saturday morning going to kids hockey practice, then McDonalds’s, then Rona, aren’t going to be riding Burlington Transit anytime soon.

“Finally, if it requires us to cut prospective clients a deal to get them on the buses, increase ridership and improve mobility then let’s do it. In 2010 Carol D’Amelio floated the idea of free public transit for seniors when she ran for Mayor. In Oakville a program lets seniors ride on certain routes on certain days. As a taxpayer I’d sooner pay for those in need to use the transit system for free on certain days or times rather than having the things travel empty.”

The last Transit Users Forum was very well attended.  The next one should be interesting.


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Sound of Music adds performances to their Kick Off program - a hotel package is now available.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

March 23, 2018



Sound of Music Festival has added performances to their Saturday, June 9th Kick Off concert.

Sublime with Rome, Simple Plan, and Eve 6 will be joining The All-American Rejects and Everclear!

The Kick Off is a two day series with gates opening at 1:00 pm – show ending at 11:00 pm on Saturday and 9:30 pm on Sunday.

That red light was a sign - Sound of Music didn't get the $37,000 they felt they needed as fall back money if the weather turned on them and events had to be cancelled. Note that the pier in this 2011 picture isn't visible because there was nothing to see. The city plans on offocially opening the pier during the Sound of Music festival this summer. SOM should charge the city a fee for horming in on theior event.

The warmer weather can’t be too far away if Sound of Music is telling us about their program

Tickets for Saturday are $65, tickets for Sunday are $55 and the 2 Day Pass is $110 + fees/tax. Prices will go up. VIP and FrontRow upgrades will be available mid-April.

The free Father’s Day weekend concert lineup for June 14 – 17 will be announced on April 25, 2018.survey04

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Mayor in Smart car interview: puts in a 60 hour week and talks about parking while in a steam bath at the YMCA

News 100 redBy Staff

March 23, 2018



Mayor in Smart car with burchillEarlier in the week we published a snippet from a drive the Mayor took in James Burchill’s Smart car that gave us a peak at what the Mayor sounds like when he isn’t being serious and Mayoral wearing his Chain of Office.

The full interview is HERE for your viewing pleasure.

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Gazette doing a poll of our readers - where do you live and what do you think?

News 100 redBy Staff

March 23, 2018



Gazette logo Black and red

The Gazette has been publishing since September of 2010

Every publisher wants to know – who reads what we write; where do they live, what do they like and what do we know about the demographics of our readers.

We have done readership surveys in the past: there were some surprises. We found that the readership was spread pretty even across the city – except for ward 6.

When the survey was being done the issue of the Air Park and the tonnes of land fill being dumped on the property without the proper papers – at least the ones city hall felt the property owner should have obtained – was a major story. The stories got significant readership in the other five wards – but was much lower than we expected in ward 6.

Air Park - trucks lined up

Tonnes of landfill from locations that were never entirely clear was dumped on the Air Park property. It took more than one court case to resolve that issue.

The current survey has been running for just a few days – far too early to tell us very much – but there are trends and in the public opinion polling business it doesn’t take thousands of responses to see a trend.

museum views - survey

The decision has been made to transform and significantly enlarge the Joseph Brant Museum. Was this a good idea?

While the views on the overhaul being done to the Joseph Brant Museum are far from valid – here is what we halve at this point.

We are going to run the survey for a couple of week.

You can only do the survey once. If you try to do it twice the software tells you that the survey has already been done.

survey04Privacy is a big big issue these days.

All we get to know about you personally is your gender, the ward you live in.

We will publish an in depth article when they survey is closed.

Click on the box to the right – take part and tell us what you think.

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Organized Shoplifting Ring Dismantled

Crime 100By Staff

March 22, 2018



Dating back to October 2017, a group of four individuals have been targeting various retail stores in Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton and the surrounding area. These individuals would enter the store and select various items that typically consisted of small appliances, perfumes and clothing. They would then run out of the store past the employees without paying for the merchandise. In some cases, multiple offenders would work in teams to distract the employees or act as the lookout in the parking lot.

Investigators from the Burlington Street Crime Unit have worked with area Loss Prevention Officers and were able to identify one of the suspects. Through further police investigation, the other three male suspects were positively identified along with two residences where stolen property was being stored.

On March 20th 2018, the investigation into this organized group concluded with the arrests of four males and the execution of three search warrants. Search warrants were executed at residences in Mount Hope and Stoney Creek. A third search warrant was executed on a vehicle. As a result, police seized a significant quantity of property, valued at over $17,000 that is believed to have been stolen during retail thefts. Police have also seized a 2009 Hyundai Elantra as offence related property.

Shoplifting Media Release March 22-18

Property the police have valued at over $17,000 which they believe was stolen during retail thefts.

The following individuals were arrested and charged:

Angelo GRACI (56 years) of Mount Hope
• Theft under $5000 (12 counts)
• Trafficking in stolen property (two counts)
• Participating in a criminal organization
• Possession of stolen property for the purpose of trafficking over $5000

Miklos SZEDLAR (26 years) of Stoney Creek
• Theft under $5000 (16 counts)
• Trafficking in stolen property
• Participating in a criminal organization
• Possession of property obtained by crime

Angelo MILLER (26 years) of Mount Hope
• Theft under $5000 (11 counts)
• Trafficking in stolen property (two counts)
• Participating in a criminal organization
• Possession of property obtained by crime
• Fail to comply with probation (7 counts)
• Fail to comply with recognizance

Blue LUCAS (29 years) of Hamilton
• Theft under $5000 (nine counts)
• Trafficking in stolen property (two counts)
• Participating in a criminal organization
• Possession of property obtained by crime
• Fail to comply with recognizance

Anyone who may have additional information can contact Halton Regional Police Service Detective Dwayne Perron at 905-825-4747 ext 2342. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stopper’s “See Something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stopper’s “at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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