Regulations that will apply to new developments after April 3 under the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 5th, 2018



The policy wonks out there – Gazette readers are a significant part of that tribe, will have their chance to get “into the weeds” and learn just how the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) – it replaces the OMB – will work and what the rules and regulations are going to be.

The transition of matters that went to the OMB and will now be sent to the LPAT should a development application be appealed.

Burlington aerial

Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) regulations will have a major difference over how developers react to development decisions city councils in Ontario make.

The Gazette was advised earlier today that an update on regulations under the Planning Act related to the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 are to be released and will come into effect on April 3, 2018.

The new regulations under the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Act, 2017 are expected to be finalized in the near future. Links to part of the Regulations are set out below.

Under the Planning Act, changes will be made to existing regulations to facilitate implementation of the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017 changes to the land use planning and appeal system by:

• requiring explanations of how planning proposals are consistent/conform with provincial and local policies and clarify requirements for municipal notices;

• making technical changes, such as changing references from Ontario Municipal Board to Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, and amending cross-references; and

• establishing new transition provisions to set out rules for planning matters in process at the time of proclamation.

Ontario Regulation 67/18

“Transitional Matters – General”

Ontario Regulation 68/18

amending Ontario Regulation 543/06

Official Plans and Plan Amendments

Ontario Regulation 69/18

amending Ontario Regulation 549/06

Prescribed Time Period – Subsections 17 (44.4), 34 (24.4) and 51 (52.4) of the Act”

Ontario Regulation 70/18

amending Ontario Regulation 551/06 “Local Appeal Bodies”

Ontario Regulation 71/18

amending Ontario Regulation 200/96 “Minor Variance Applications”

Ontario Regulation 72/18

amending Ontario Regulation 197/96 “Consent Applications”

Ontario Regulation 73/18

amending Ontario Regulation 545/06 “Zoning By-Laws, Holding By-Laws and Interim Control By-Laws”

Ontario Regulation 74/18

amending Ontario Regulation 544/06 “Plans of Subdivision”

Ontario Regulation 75/18

amending Ontario Regulation 173/16 “Community Planning Permits”



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Biennial Auction Sale - Burlington Handweavers & Spinners Guild at the AGB on Wednesday.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

March 5th, 2018



This Wednesday March 7, 2018, the Burlington Handweavers & Spinners Guild is hosting their Biennial Auction Sale in the Art Gallery of Burlington.

HandweaversThis is an incredible sale of all things related to fibre, weaving and spinning. There will be reference books and magazines, fibre, yarn, beading equipment, weaving equipment, spinning wheels and so much more.

All bidders must register for $2 per person at the event. This buys your bid # and a sale catalogue that will be your bid # card/paddle.

PREVIEWS 6:00pm March 7th, 2018 .


All proceeds of the sale, go to Burlington Handweavers & Spinners Guild.

Absentee bids may be arranged through the auctioneer, Bonnie S. before 4:00pm on March 7, 2018. More details about the auction, as well as arranging for absentee bids, can be found on the BHS Guild Facebook Events Page.

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Lights on the pier dedicated to your group; included in the $14 million price tag.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 5th, 2018



Here is more of what we got for that $14 million spent to build The Pier – bright lights – different colours from the tower that serves no purpose.

People on pier between treesThat tower was supposed to have a small wind turbine that the city decided they didn’t want – the turbine was supposed to provide the power for all the lights on the pier.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward said today in her Newsletter: “You may have noticed the changing colours on the Brant Street Pier. It is lit each evening with colours that represent local activities, seasonal events and non-profit promotion.

To request a pier lighting or for more information, contact Please book any request four months prior to your event date and consult the schedule for available dates.

The chart below indicates the meaning of upcoming colours by date.
Pier lit up


March 1 – 7 Multiple Shows Spring Colours 6:30 p.m. – midnight
March 8 Orange World Kidney Day 6:30 p.m. – midnight
March 9 – 16 Multiple shows Spring Colours 6:30 p.m. – midnight
March 17 Green St. Patrick’s Day 6:30 p.m. – midnight
March 18 – 24 Multiple shows Spring Colours 6:30 p.m. – midnight
March 25 Green: Lights go out at 8:30 p.m., back on at 9:30 p.m. Earth Hour 6:30 p.m. – midnight
March 26 – 31 Multiple shows Spring Colours 6:30 p.m. – midnight

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Police arrest purse snatcher - 47 complaints have been filed with the police.

Crime 100By Staff

March 5th, 2018


Police have been investigating multiple criminal groups targeting women and seniors for distraction type of purse and wallet thefts. These have occurred at various grocery and retail stores in Burlington and Oakville.

Police have received 47 reports of such thefts since the beginning of November 2017 where persons targeted were female senior citizens whose purses and/or wallets were stolen from their shopping carts while the owner was not looking. In some cases multiple offenders work in teams to distract the victim, bump their carts or ask for their assistance in the store or parking lot.

Investigators have been working with area Loss Prevention Officers to identify the persons responsible which resulted in them being positively identified.

On February 22nd 2018 the following accused was arrested for multiple thefts in Burlington and Oakville and has been released on bail to appear next in Milton Court on April 3rd 2018:

Brenda STOJKOVA (20 years) of the Czech Republic, residing in Brampton is charged with:

• Theft under $5000 (Three Counts)
• Fraud Under $5000
• Unauthorized use of a credit card.

Watch the Crime Stoppers Video of purse thefts (actual footage).

Halton Regional Police are reminding residents to keep a close eye on their purses and wallets.  Residents should be aware of their surroundings and be alert for distraction type thefts when shopping in the grocery stores, malls and other retail business.

Prevention Tip: Residents are reminded to only carry the necessary identification such as Driver’s Licence or Health Card, and should try to minimize this potential loss by leaving their SIN card, birth certificate and passports securely at home.

If you become a victim of a purse or wallet theft please contact your financial services providers, cancel you cards and then call the Halton Regional Police to file a report.

Anyone with information regarding these incidents or other purse thefts is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Vulnerable Persons and Seniors Liaison Team at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344.

A safe, secure, confidential place to call with information that will keep our streets safe.

A safe, secure, confidential place to call with information that will keep our streets safe.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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City wants to listen to the people WHO DO NOT USE transit. Finally, the beginning of a commitment to transit.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 5th, 2018



If you do not use public transit in Burlington – the city wants to hear from you.

Burlington and transit have not always had a smooth relationship.

The city has in the recent past not put much money into transit use. They did put in $1.55 million in the 2018 budget and say they plan to put in much more.

bus with a bike on it

In a perfect world this bus would be at least 3/4 full and maybe two bikes in the front end rack. Not there yet and the city wants to find out why.

Given that the city touts transit as the way of the future, that and bicycles – major dollars are going to be needed to create a transit system that people will want to use.


The voice from city hall:
Calling all Burlington Transit riders and non-riders: Help build a better Burlington Transit

The City of Burlington wants to hear from Burlington Transit riders and individuals who currently do not use Burlington Transit about their thoughts and experiences with public transit in the city.

The information gathered from the public will be used to help shape a Transit Plan for Burlington that will guide the development of a new transit network that meets the needs of the city’s growing population over the next 25 years.

Feedback can be shared by completing an online survey available until March 26.

Connor Sue

Sue Connor, Director of Burlington Transit

Sue Connor, Director of Burlington Transit, has settled into the job quite well apparently. A report that was put in the hands of the city manager a number of months ago stunned many – the city was offside on a number of levels.
That report got the $1.55 million into the 2018 budget.

The city now appears to want to find out what it is going to take to get people out of their cars and onto transit.

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.”

Burlington Transit getting new buses - to deliver less service.

Senior staff applaud the roll out of a new bus.

Some background:

The Transit Plan will be a multi-year plan that will guide new investment in a new transit network for the city that aims to:

Increase frequency and reliability of bus service

Focus service on the city’s most heavily travelled streets

Create better connections with other major transportation systems like GO rail who will increase the frequency of their service to two-way, all-day service every 15 minutes by 2025.

Improve the comfort and convenience of taking transit.

A report about Burlington’s Transit Plan is expected to be presented to Burlington City Council in May 2018.

On Jan. 29, 2018, Burlington City Council approved an investment of $1.55 million in transit as part of the city’s 2018 operating budget to provide stability to Burlington Transit’s operations and improve the reliability of the public transit service. Funding of $500,000 was also approved in the city’s 2018 capital budget for the installation of video cameras on buses.

Burlington is growing. The 2016 Census data shows Burlington grew by 7,535 people between 2011 and 2016 – a 4.3 per cent overall growth rate. Ontario’s Places to Grow Act mandates that Burlington plan for a population of 193,000 by 2031, however, the city will reach this population number within the next few years.

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Rivers: Health care in Ontario - is it meeting the needs? Would a different government make it better?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

March 5th, 2018



Keeping ourselves healthy is important. Part of that involves getting well again should we get sick. Enter single payer health insurance – the only efficient way to deliver health care. John Robarts gave us OHIP back in the late sixties with a little help from the federal government. Then Bill Davis added a senior’s drug plan in 1972.

ohipplusLast year the Kathleen Wynne government introduced OHIP+, a pharmacare program to ensure that no child got left behind because of affordability. And that perhaps prompted the federal Liberals to decide the time was right for a national universal plan. In any case it was an obvious choice for Mr. Trudeau to ask Ontario’s health minister, Eric Hoskins, to head up a consultative process with the provinces, territories, health experts and communities on how best to proceed.

Canadians have one of the better health care systems anywhere, and it will only get better with the addition of a single payer drug plan. Oh sure Americans like to talk about our waiting lists for elective surgery, but at least all residents here have access to care. And if we were to double our health budget, the equivalent of what Americans pay per capita, those waiting lines would be a lot shorter. But most importantly, we sail past the US when it comes to health outcomes. We have lower infant mortality, are generally healthier and we outlive them.

Coal fired generating plant - Nanticoke

The last coal fired generating plant in Ontario

The Liberal government in Ontario started to phase out dirty coal electricity plants soon after coming to power in the early 2000s. Between 2006 and 2015 smog-causing nitrogen dioxide emissions dropped by 32 per cent, sulphur dioxide by 48 per cent, carbon monoxide by 53 per cent, and fine particulate matter by 25 per cent. Despite population growth and an increase in the number of motor vehicles on Ontario’s roadways, the air above our cities, like Toronto, is cleaner than we’ve seen in our lifetimes.

According to the Ministry of Environment…“There were no smog advisories issued in 2015, compared with 2005 when there were 53 smog days. Based on the Air Quality Health Index, the province’s air quality was rated in the low risk category for 90 per cent of the year in 2015.”

And Ontario’s carbon ‘cap-and-trade’ system, which started last year, will continue to deliver that kind of good news.

The province estimates that improved air quality is saving over $4 billion annually in health care costs. But then the provincial auditor general estimates that moving to green energy has cost almost forty billion over the past decade or so. That would be a wash – except that these are all mostly hypothetical numbers, the kind accountants and economists like to fiddle with as they make their political arguments. What matters most is whether our quality of life has improved and whether we can afford this improvement in air quality in the face of increases we’ve seen in the cost of hydro.

smoking - public place

Smoking in public is getting harder and harder to do – unfortunately it is the younger people taking up the habit.

The Liberal government also fought an uphill battle banning smoking in public places and restricting toxic lawn pesticides. We all understand the health benefits of not smoking, though pesticides are less well understood when it comes to their relationship to diseases like asthma and cancer. But a recent Conference Board report recognizes Ontario with the lowest rate of respiratory mortality in Canada, despite having the most concentrated population.

OHIP+ is estimated to cost roughly half a billion dollars a year. And the province claims to be running a balanced budget even without the kind of without additional federal finding we might expect coming out of the new federal initiative. The provincial NDP have yet to release their election platform though Andrea Horwath, supportive of OHIP+, has mused about implementing a universal program.

None of the PC leadership contenders have committed to continuing the OHIP+ program, let alone any expansion of it. The platform passed by the party last November does speak to continuation of the Liberal initiated program, but the candidates have been careful to avoid adopting a platform which also contains plans for a $4 billion dollar carbon tax.

That is troubling on a number of fronts, particularly since at least a couple of the candidates have talked about also killing the cap-and-trade program which reduces other air borne pollutants associated with the combustion of fossil fuels in addition to CO2. In fact the preoccupation of the these candidates is with the conflicting goals of tax cuts and debt reduction.


The current cap and trade CO2 emissions program pumps tens of millions into the provincial economy. If cancelled where would funds for health care come from?

And that means that money will need to be found elsewhere to satisfy these goals, most likely in the most expensive part of the budget – health care. There already was a financial hole in the Patrick Brown platform – right smack dab in health care. So it would not be unrealistic to expect Ontario to opt out of any national universal pharmacare program should the PC’s win the election later this year, and maybe even shelve OHIP+.

It’s politics too, as we witnessed by the confrontational attitudes permeating the last PC candidates debate. Why would a Tory government in Ontario agree to anything a Liberal federal government wants to do. Even if, in the case of a carbon tax, the money stays in the province. In Brown’s platform the money would have been returned in lower income tax rates for the middle classes – revenue neutral.


The Harris government took millions and millions out of education and health care – it took decades to restore those services.

We have seen this movie before. It was the late ‘90s and Ontario took Mike Harris at his word, having come to office with a promise not to touch health care, and then desperately looking at the health budget to pay for his income tax cuts. He closed hospitals, fired nurses, and threw the entire system into chaos.

Ontario moved to the back of the line in health care, owning the longest surgery wait times in Canada. Gurneys stacked up in hospital corridors as we watched our loved ones suffer in despair. Heart patients were literally dying waiting for surgery and cancer patients had to be bused to Buffalo for radiation treatment. Let us never go back to those days.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.     Tweet @rayzrivers



Background links:


Health Report Card –    Canada’s Rank –    Cost Effective Care

OHIP+ Details –    Hoskins –    Ontario’s Plans –    Conference Board

Ontario Climate Change –    Canada vs USA –   OHIP+

Ontario’s Cap and Trade

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Municipal government is big business and requires people with the capacity to oversee budgets that run in the hundreds of millions. Liking people also helps.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 4th, 2018



I frequently correspond with Gazette readers, some of whom are very critical, blunt and direct. They ask that they not be identified publicly. It’s all part of the job. There are others who are less biting and put forward ideas that they think should be in the public realm.

One reader recently said: “ I think part of the issue is that in smaller communities it is not uncommon to find people gravitating to municipal politics who come from small business backgrounds. That is natural and understandable, and the complexities in managing a smaller community are significantly less than in a larger municipal government. At some point the issues become profoundly more complex, and therefore, you need a great skill level and understanding.

council with term dates

The issues are profoundly more complex, and therefore need a great skill level and understanding.

“The other dynamic is that in a smaller community you have people in municipal government for whom the work is a part-time avocation. When you deal with cities the size of Burlington, Mississauga, Brampton, etc., you have a larger constituency, and that demands full-time attention. You can’t serve your constituents well if you are, simultaneously, running your health club, or doing financial planning work on the side.

“Part of the challenge is that municipal government has typically been the poor cousin in Confederation. Whatever status it has flows from the provincial government. However, you have several municipal governments in this country that are as complex or even mores than some provinces; for example PEI’s population is smaller than Toronto, or Mississauga, or Brampton.

rory closeup

Expected to run in ward 3 – Rory Nisan

Gareth Williams

Expected to run in ward 3 – Gareth Williams


Expected ti run in ward 6 – Ken White

“I think in Burlington part of the answer should focus on enticing retirees to run for public office. Many have the business experience, and now the time, to devote to municipal government issues. Another target audience might be persons who have sold their business, have moved here from larger municipalities, are only semi-retired, but have the acumen that would be invaluable in local administration. A third market might actually be provincial public servants who have both the education and the technical experience, and would be a useful check on municipal public servants.

“Whatever the case, we need to get better qualified people into public service at all levels.”

We are suggesting to the writer that he might well be the kind of person that should be at city hall.

Councillor Craven has, on several occasions, made the point that Burlington’s seven member city council is too small – that the job is much bigger than it was a decade ago and that it might be time to look at a larger council and think in terms of junior and senior council members, a situation where every ward would have two council members with one serving at the Regional and city level and the second serving at just the city level.

Circle all spendingFor new members of council learning how to be a city Councillor takes time – to expect these men or women to grasp the Regional workings at the same time is a bit much.

And – Councillors need to be better paid. The approximately $110,000 they are paid annually does not attract the kind of talent needed. What it does do is attract people who are never going to earn $100,00 a year in their lifetimes but think if they can capture the public imagination and win the seat – and once there, hold the seat for a couple of decades.

These people are managing an operational budget of $160 million and a capital budget of $68.6 million, that includes a 10-year program of $688 million.

Burlington is seeing much more interest in who serves on city council. Will there be any acclamations for a city council seat in October?  All seven of the current members of council were re-elected in 2014

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Mayor Goldring uses the Spectator to tell Burlingtonians his take on the new Official Plan. Does not publish the opinion on his blog.

opinionandcommentBy Staff

March 4th, 2018



In an opinion piece published in the Saturday Hamilton Spectator, Mayor Rick Goldring said:

“The City of Burlington has had many Official Plans, but none have received as much attention as our current draft Plan that council is set to adopt in April.”

The Spectator has very limited circulation in Burlington. The Mayor has yet to post the opinion to his blog

The opinion piece set out below:

Flood Goldring with chain of office

Mayor Goldring speaking to media during the 2014 flood. It was the first time we saw the Mayor wear his Chain of Office outside the Council Chamber,

“City building is constantly evolving, and we all want our city to grow thoughtfully and carefully” said the Mayor who went on to say that “ City Council is no different.”

“As mayor, I certainly want what is best for the entire community. I hear from residents that they want a more vibrant downtown and are supportive of the protection of our rural lands and those who are concerned about the future of our city.

421 Brant

The high rise was approved by city council on a 5-2 with the Mayor and Councillor Meed Ward voting against the project.

“This was most apparent when late last year City Council approved a 23-storey building across from City Hall at 421 Brant St. I voted against this development for three reasons; it is the wrong location for a 23-storey building, where the adjacent roads are narrow, this approval would lead to similar requests for similar height, and from a policy perspective, this was inconsistent with the proposed 17-storey limit identified in the City’s earlier draft Downtown Precinct Plan.

“While residents are trying to digest this decision, we were recently informed of the decision by the Ontario Municipal Board to approve the ADI development at Lakeshore Road and Martha Street. The board sided with the proponent on a proposed 26-storey high-rise plan. Again, in my opinion, this is the wrong location for the height of the building, and I am very disappointed that the OMB did not prefer a height that was comparable or lower to those in this area.

“It is more important than ever that we approve our new Official Plan. The city’s current Official Plan is out of date and doesn’t conform to provincial policy which is one of the significant reasons why the OMB did not agree with the city’s opposition to ADI’s 26-storey proposal. Clearly, our current Official Plan is unacceptable in planning for an Urban Growth Centre.

Rendering with Bake Shop

409 Brant is on the south side of James street – across from city hall. They have tucked two “historical” properties on the south end – next to what will become the Downtown mobility hub to give the application some credibility.

“With two tall buildings recently approved in the downtown, I understand why residents feel anxious about what is going to happen in the future. I disagree with the decisions to allow the 23 and 26-storey downtown buildings. However, I am supportive of well-planned and justified intensification in appropriately targeted areas of our city.

“Burlington is not an island unto itself. We are part of the Greater Hamilton Toronto Area that currently has 7 million people and will grow to 10 million within 23 years primarily because 40 to 50 per cent of newcomers to Canada want to live in this area. We must accommodate our share of growth.

“We also need to be realistic and acknowledge that Burlington is a highly desirable place to live with an amazing waterfront and rural areas that includes the Niagara Escarpment, great neighbourhoods, wonderful festivals and events that contribute to the creation of an inclusive and caring community. In addition, interest rates are low, undeveloped land supply is depleted, and single family house prices are high. This has made condominium apartments an attractive housing form to all demographics for different reasons.

“It is simply not true that we will have tall buildings at every corner of our downtown. It would be wonderful to protect our downtown and limit growth to exclusively low-rise buildings, but this approach is simply not realistic. By only allowing low-rise buildings, we are making downtown very exclusive to those that have significant wealth.”

“After listening and considering input from residents, Burlington City council made many important amendments to the proposed new Official Plan. We reduced permitted heights and increased building separations, and heritage building preservation is addressed.

“Once the high-level vision of our new Official Plan is approved, we can get to work completing the details to be included in area specific plans. City staff is currently working on new transportation, transit, cycling and parking plans. We will dramatically improve our transit system to provide reliable and frequent service along our key areas, including our GO stations.

Goldring - Christmas picture

The photograph was provided by the Office of the Mayor – it was used for his 2015 Christmas card.

“I am confident that Burlington will successfully evolve to meet our growing population and economic needs. We will be champions for great design and continue to give careful attention to all the important city building details that have made Burlington the city we are so proud of. We need to plan for our children and grandchildren so that Burlington is an inclusive, environmentally and fiscally sustainable city for generations to come.”




Related articles:
Meed Ward on why the draft Official Plan needs more time before it is approved.
Jack Dennison on why he is going to vote for the draft – with some changes.

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Meed Ward sets out her position on the draft Official Plan that is being debated at city hall. Dennison is the only other Councillor to make public comments.

opinionandcommentBy Marianne Meed Ward
Councillor Ward 2
March 4th, 2018


At Planning and Development Committee (P&D) I brought two motions, both lost: one to add the downtown and GO station mobility hubs to innovation districts (currently there is only one innovation district in the OP – the DeGroote School of Business); the second to conduct character area studies for the St. Luke’s and Emerald precincts, as requested by delegates to the P&D meeting. I will be asking for recorded votes on both these items at the March 19 council meeting, and encourage residents to come and speak to them.

St Likes-Emerald precinct

The St Luke’s and the Emerald precincts – on either sode of Brant street are solid residential neighbourhoods consisting of single detached homes with good set backs.

At P&D I also asked for additional information on Clause 8.3.3(1)(b) which will permit townhouses and walk-up apartments in all residential low-density single family neighbourhoods. This in spite of the assurances that growth will not be directed to stable neighbourhoods. If that clause stays in, every neighbourhood in the city is affected.

We will be getting additional information on this clause in advance of the March 19 Council meeting, and I will be preparing to bring a motion to strike that clause from the plan.

Any changes made at the March 19 Council meeting, will be included in the final version of the Official Plan when it comes to Committee April 4 and Council April 23 for final adoption. Residents can attend and register to speak at all three meetings (March 19 council, April 4 committee and April 23 council).

Mobility hubs

It’s worth noting that the three GO station Mobility Hubs are not ready for inclusion in this Plan – yet they will dramatically impact growth in the city: bringing 27,200 people to the Aldershot GO, 22,000 residents to the Burlington GO, and 20,000 residents to the Appleby GO stations. These areas have been under study much longer than the downtown.


Pete Ward recording his wife Marianne filing her nomination papers for the 2014 election. The city clerk advised the Gazette that we were not permitted to take “political” pictures in city hall during an election period.

So why the rush for adoption of the downtown plan? Why adopt an incomplete Plan where major growth areas aren’t included? In addition, delegates to Committee expressed concern that the plan for the GO stations and downtown are just about building buildings, not about building all the community services these new residents need, for example community centres and parks. In response, the city manager suggested that weekly meetings with developers will address that.

For these and other reasons, I don’t support this Official Plan and will continue to work for changes.

Meed Ward made the following comments at the February 28th P&D Committee meeting. Motions approved at the P&D meeting go to a City Council on Monday March 19th.

“I don’t think this Plan is the best we can do for the best mid-sized city in Canada. It’s not visionary. Members of our community, DeeDee Davies in particular, but many others, are challenging us to build community; what we’re looking at in this Plan is building vertical sprawl, and the community hasn’t even weighed in on the Mobility Hubs which will have even more height and density. I suspect that there will be a similar conversation when those three plans come forward as we have had for the downtown.

“Meetings with developers are not going to deliver us the community services and amenities we need in all of those areas including parkland to truly build communities and not just build buildings.

“I am not persuaded at all that adopting this plan in April is going to save us from OMB or Local Planning Appeal Tribunal appeals, and the reason for that is the Adi decision. That decision was argued almost entirely on the basis of what the new LPAT rules are. The new rules require you to conform to provincial policy, and the entire ruling essentially said that the 26-storey building conformed and therefore it was okay.

“That was a wake-up call, that the LPAT is not going to save us and I don’t think us adopting 17 storeys in the downtown core is going to hold at 17 storeys, given that decision.

“The other wake-up call with the OMB ruling was that even though alternative heights were offered – the city offered 11 storeys, another party to the hearings offered 16 – the vice-chair said there was no planning justification for those heights. There was nothing to justify why those were better than 26. And so, in the absence of justification for those heights, she went with 26 because the applicants made a case for it.

“And when I hear delegates coming in front of us saying there’s no planning justification reports of the type that you would see at a hearing that would justify why now all of a sudden we jump to 12 or 11 or 21 or 17 storeys, we are going to be in exactly that same position at LPAT as we were with Adi.

Ward 2 Councillor MArianne Meed Ward made her presence known to Council well before her election to office, the city knew what they were getting and she has delivered on that promise.

Marianne Meed Ward made her presence known to Council as a consistent and persistent delegator. The ward 2 residents knew what they were getting when they first elected her in 2010.

“The studies that have been done for the downtown were not planning justification reports that would justify those heights and densities.

“So I am not persuaded that adopting this plan will protect us from appeals, and that we will win those appeals at the new Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

“I think we need to slow this process down and get all of our studies in place because those will provide the justification that we need to defend this plan. And until we get those, we’ll not be able to do it.”

Related article:

Councillor Dennison tells why he believes the city needs the draft official plan.


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Will the city get to see some really bold planning?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 3rd, 2017



The silence is deafening.

Council went along with the Planning department recommendation that flew in the face of the dozens of delegations that were opposed to what was being recommended and the pace at which change was being forced upon the citizens.

Of the seven members of Council Jack Dennison was the only one who had a public comment.
The Gazette reached out to Marianne Meed Ward who said she would have a comment – nothing yet.

The Mayor said nothing on his blog. Councillor Sharman is assumed to still be away.

Would a downtown mobility hub result in greater density on the east side of Brant Street? Would traffic from the core work itself to the Burlington GO station?

If there was ever a city block waiting for a change it is this one – west side of Brant, north of Caroline. It would give the city an opportunity to do something with the west side of John which is now a laneway and not a street. It is also where the only shopping location is in the downtown. Big challenges – big opportunity. The place where the planners can make their Grow Bold, Grow Beautiful vision real.

In a follow up conversation with Dennison he clarified a comment he made about every property owner in a block expecting to see the lot qualify for a 17 story structure.

Dennison had said: “ I still have difficulty with the proposed Official Plan where entire city blocks have an Official Plan height of 17 storeys or less. Every property owner thinks their property can be developed to that height without consideration for variety of heights.

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 is quite prepared to take on the Planning department – “That’s our job”

“To solve this problem, we have to either be site specific for tall buildings and shorter variety heights or specify 25% of the city block allow 12-17 storeys, 50% be 5-6 storeys, and 25% be 2-3 storeys. This would allow movement within the blocks to create variety.”

To clarify just how the percentages would apply Dennison said a block would have to have been assembled.

When asked how he felt about the lack of comment from other members of Council Dennison said “they are afraid of talking back to the Planning department” and added that “that is our job”.

The complete article is HERE

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Two thirteen year olds and a sixteen year old arrested for possession of property obtained by crime over $5000

Crime 100By Staff

March 2, 2018



On March 2nd 2018 shortly before 2:00 AM, police received reports of a male breaking into cars on Caplan Crescent in Burlington.

HRPS crestPolice descended upon the area and located a white SUV with a female sitting in the driver’s seat and two males standing beside it.

Upon seeing police, one male ran away on foot while the other male entered the passenger side of the SUV which accelerated away at a high rate of speed narrowly striking a police vehicle.

Police pursued the white SUV which was a stolen vehicle from Hamilton while other responding officers searched the area for the male that ran away, ultimately locating him in the backyard of a home on Montego Crescent.

The pursuit of the SUV was quickly discontinued due to public safety concerns after the vehicle ran a red light at Fairview Street and Walkers Line.

HRPS Storm sniffing

A member of the Police Canine Unit training a new recruit.

Moments after the pursuit was discontinued, police located the stolen vehicle unoccupied after it struck a tree on Fairview Street and Inverary Road. Police Canine Unit (PSD Arrow) and members of the Tactical Rescue Unit (TRU) attended and tracked to the rear of a business on Fairview Street where two youths were located and arrested.

A 13-year-old female from Hamilton who cannot be identified due to her age was held for bail charged with the following offence:
• Possession of property obtained by crime over $5000
• Theft under $5000
• Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
• Flight while pursued by police
• Fail to comply with undertaking

A 13-year-old male from Brantford who cannot be identified due to his age was held for bail charged with the following offence:
• Possession of property obtained by crime over $5000
• Theft under $5000
• Fail to comply with disposition (three counts)

A 16-year-old male from Hamilton who cannot be identified due to his age was held for bail charged with the following offence:
• Possession of property obtained by crime over $5000
• Theft under $5000
• Fail to comply with recognizance (three counts)

How did two thirteen year old’s and a sixteen year old ever get to the point in their short lives where they are out trying to steal cars in the early hours of the morning?  How does a society deal with this?   Where were the parents?

Anyone with information regarding this incident asked to contact the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2316. 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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Taroo Enomoto sent Burlington a cheque for $1020- funds will be used by the ROCK.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 2, 2018



Mr. Taroo Enomoto, lives in Burlington’s twin city, Itabashi, Japan.

In the past 29 years he has personally donated close to $40,000 to the city including a donation of rhododendrons to the Paletta Lakefront Mansion.

Mayor and one of Burlington's biggest benefactors Mr ccc xxx

Taroo Enomoto waving to people watching the 2012 Sound of Music parade. This man from Japan has donated close to $40,00 to the city of Burlington.

Next week the city will accept the most recent donation; $1,022 to the Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK).

Mr. Enomoto was in Burlington for a visit a number of years ago.

He is a small man who doesn’t speak English and found himself in the Council Chamber accepting a recognition and appreciation scroll from the Mayor. Burlington apparently doesn’t have a “key” to the city that it presents.

A day later Mr. Enomoto was in a car that was in a parade waving to people on the street.

There is something both quaint and honourable about this man – he took to Burlington and made it a part of the way he lives his life.

The cheque presentation will take place next week.

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Council decides to endorse the Official Plan put in front of them- Councillor Dennison reluctantly says 'this is what we have to do'.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 2, 2018


This article has been edited – changes shown in red.

It will be seen as a defining week for the city.

After more than 25 hours of debate and discussion city Council approved a motion directing the Planning department to proceed with preparing the draft for a city council  vote on March 19th.

The document then gets sent to the Region where it has to be approved.  It is expected that the Plan will clear the Region sometime in 2019.

The debate was intense and passionate.  More than 20 citizens appeared before council saying they didn’t like or want what the Planning department was saying the city had to have – an Official Plan that could be defended.

Many wanted council to defer the approving of an Official Plan until after the October municipal election, when, they hoped, a new council would be elected and a different Official Plan written.

The Planning department argued that the city had to go with what they had and council agreed with them.

Is Ward 4 Councillor JAckl Dennison walking into one of theose "Gunfights at the OK Corral"

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison reluctantly votes for the draft Official Plan.

Jack Dennison, council member for ward 4 and a member of city council for more than 20 years prepared a statement that he read out before the vote was taken. He was the only politician to prepare a statement.

Councillor Paul Sharman did not take part in the debate – he was away attending an event that had been scheduled before the debate dates were put in place.

Dennison said:

“I recognize the desperate need to get our new Official Plan approved so that we are more in line with the Provincial Policy statements on growth and intensification. Our current Official Plan and Zoning By-laws are out of line with those Provincial plans.

“We the city should be able to successfully defend our new official plan heights and densities.

“That said, I still have difficulty with the proposed Official Plan where entire city blocks have an Official Plan height of 17 storeys or less. Every property owner thinks their property can be developed to that height without consideration for variety of heights.

“To solve this problem, we have to either be site specific for tall buildings and shorter variety heights or specify 25% of the city block allow 12-17 storeys, 50% be 5-6 storeys, and 25% be 2-3 storeys. This would allow movement within the blocks to create variety.

In a conversation with Councillor Dennison to clarify just how the percentages he was talking about above would apply he said that he was assuming that the block would have been assembled and that a developer had gone to the Planning department.  Dennison said that under those circumstances 25% of the city block could be 2-17 storeys, 50% could be 5-6 storeys, and 25% could be 2-3 storeys

“I totally disagree with the east side of Brant Street north of Blairholm Avenue having heights of 7 – 25 storeys, immediately adjacent to single-family residential.

“The west side of north Brant is proposed at 10-25 storeys but at least has a 3-storey podium next to Brant.

“The 39 proposed by Official Plan team is more than 4 times present and approved; 26 proposed by Jack is less than 3 times present and approved.

(The numbers refer to development projects.)

“Further I want the OP and zoning bylaws to be in lock step and we aggressively defend the new OP and Zoning.

“The specific blocks I take issue with include:

1. Gore Variety: instead of 17, 6 and 3 ; have 6, 8 and 3.

2. 421 Brant Street North to Birch Avenue: instead of 3,6,8 and 11 ; have a variety of 3, 6, 8 and 11 with only every second block having an 11-storey building.

421 Brant st frontage

This block of buildings will be replaced by the approved 23 story structure that will rise across the street from city hall. The citizens are looking at a much different downtown Burlington.

421 Brant

That this building will be constructed is a certainty. There are those who will attempt to appeal the decision to build it – recent Ontario Municipal Board decision has made it clear that any appeal will fail.

3. 409 Brant Street (Elizabeth Interiors): instead of 3 to 17, have a maximum of 3 to 14 storeys and certainly not 24 storeys.

4. Esso Station at Locust and Lakeshore Road: specify 17 storeys at the back by the Parking Garage and 3 storeys at Lakeshore Road.

5. Modify the block at the northwest corner of James and Elizabeth have a maximum height of 8 storeys like City Hall, not 17 storeys.

6. Modify the block on the south side of Caroline Street between Brant and Locust to have a podium of 3 storeys and not exceed 6 storeys instead of 11 storeys.

7. Modify No Frills plaza to have a maximum height of 14 storeys, not 17, and the Brant Street building to not exceed 4 storeys instead of 6.

8. Modify the Leggat property to have a maximum height of 14 storeys, not 17, and a maximum at Brant Street of 4 storeys, not 6.

“We do not want walls of building on our primary roads, Lakeshore, Brant and throughout our downtown.  But as I already said, I have no choice but to support the approval of the proposed Official Plan.”

Dennison statement raises a lot of issues that the Planning department is going to have to deal with going forward.  Dennison doesn’t want a solid block along Brant Street to consist of one 17 storey building after another – the problem is who gets to decide which piece of property can rise to 17 storeys and which has to settle for significantly less?

There was a lot of debate between staff and members of council on just what the long term implications will be with this Official Plan.

growbold-847x254When the Planning department set out to write the new Official Plan they came up with the phrase: Grow Bold, Grow Smart. Grow Beautiful.  Only time will tell if they got it right.

And only time will tell of the citizens who don’t like what they think they see at this point will succeed in creating enough opposition to bring about a change when the election takes place in October.

The problem the city has is that the existing Official Plan cannot be successfully defended – the Ontario Municipal Board taught us that.

The planners see their role as “city building” – the people they are responsible to – the public, are the city builders.

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The city had a gift - the roads were cleared of snow - Mother Nature gave you a view that is awesome.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 2, 2018



Small treeThe declared a “snow event” at 9:00 pm last night which put plows out on the streets. The level of service within Burlington has improved markedly – the communications is close to superb.

When you woke up this morning you should see roads that are clear; hopefully the city didn’t have to tow your car – when there is a snow event the city asks that you get your car off the street so that the plows can do their work.

It’s all part of being a citizen in the best mid-sized city in Canada.

That’s the city’s gift – Mother Nature has a gift of her own. Were you able to walk out the front door to a view like this?Pathway

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Four of the best casinos in Ontario

News 100 yellowBy Steve Marks

March 2, 2018



Life can be tough at times. It can be hard working every day and not having as much of a break as you would like, or not having the opportunity to do the things that you love all the time. That is why, it is really important, that when you do have the time off to do something, you make the most of it and really enjoy yourself.

One of the most fun ways to spend your time off is go to a casino. Whether they are online, like at, or real casinos, they are incredibly fun to play at. Online casinos used to be pretty bad experiences, they used to be slow, they used to have poor graphics, the difficulty levels always fluctuates too much and they the user interface was always garbled. However they are now excellent and there are so many great options and great places to play online that it is a bit of a golden age for online casinos.

Gambling chipsIf you want to get out of the house and experience the glamour of real casinos, then there are lots of choices in Ontario. The problem is, they aren’t always of the highest quality. There are some that are wonderful places with good owners, a good vibe and a fun atmosphere. However others are poorly run and are just a waste of your time. So to help you out, here are four of the best casinos to visit in Ontario.

Casino Niagara
A classic right by the falls, it has all the glitz and glamour you would expect of a casino, coupled with a stunning setting by one of the world’s natural wonders. It has over 95,000 square feet of floor space making it by far one of the largest casinos in the area, and in Canada in general. If you are looking for something with a Las Vegas style and experience then this is perfect for you.

Casino Rama
Up in Orillia, Casino Rama doesn’t have the size of the casino in Niagara, however, in some ways, this is an advantage as it feels a little more personal. It seems like the kind of place that has regulars who come in and are known and looked after. It still has super amenities and it has over 1,000 reviews on with a 4.2 rating, which is seriously impressive.

Caesars Windsor
If you want a taste of American casinos with their super-size, their amazing array of food, games, and services, then you should make your way to Windsor as it is one of the best casinos in all of Canada, never mind just in Ontario. It is even bigger than Niagara’s monster casino with a floor space of over 100,000 square feet, if you want a night or weekend you won’t forget, it is a wonderful choice.

Fallsview Casino
The name suggest why you should visit, like Casino Niagara, you will get a stunning view of the falls while you rake in winnings. It cost over one billion dollars to be built so expect opulence.


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Burlington BEST nominations extended one week - Jim Young, Deedee Davies and Gary Scobie deserve to be nominated.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Staff

March 1st, 2018



This seems to happen every year – the date for submitting nominations for Burlington’s BEST gets extended.
We never know if there haven’t been enough in the way of nominations or if people need more time to get the paper work done.

If more time is needed – be in touch with the Clerk – she is very good at helping people get all the documentation in place.

If you haven’t thought about who you would want to nominate – look no further that the people who delegated at city council for a slow down on the rate at which the city is proceeding with adoption of th draft Official Plan.

The delegations done by Jim Young, Deedee Davies and Gary Scobie are amongst some of the best we have heard.  These people don’t have an axe to grind – they are informed and speak intelligently and with passion about the city they live in and care about.

The are the E in the word engagement.

They understand that what happens to the downtown core impacts everyone.

2017 Best winners

The 2017 Burlington BEST

The city announced that those wishing to nominate a fellow resident for a Burlington’s Best Award can now do so until Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The original deadline has been extended by seven days.

There are eight award categories:

Citizen of the year
A person whose volunteer activity has made a significant and sustained contribution to the vibrancy and wellbeing of the Burlington community in 2017.

Junior Citizen of the year
A high school student, 18 years or younger who has made a significant contribution to the Burlington community in 2017.

Senior Person of the year
A person, 55 years or older, who has made a significant contribution to the Burlington community and advocated on behalf of seniors in 2017.

Environmental Award
An individual or group that improved and/or protects Burlington’s environment in 2017.

Arts Person of the Year
An individual who has contributed to the arts in Burlington as an artist, patron or advocate including but not limited to, visual arts, media arts, musical arts, performing arts and literary arts in 2017.

Community Service Award
An individual or group whose volunteer activity has contributed to the betterment of the Burlington community in 2017.

Heritage Award
An individual or group who has demonstrated a commitment to the preservation of Burlington’s heritage, and has volunteered their time in an effort to support the preservation of Burlington’s heritage in 2017.

Accessibility Award
An individual, organization or business that has made significant contributions to increase access and participation of people with disabilities in the Burlington Community in 2017.

Jim Young for Senior; Deedee Davies for Citizen and Gary Scobie for Community service.  Just an opinion.

Salt with Pepper is an opinion column written by the Publisher of the Burlington Gazette.


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City declares snow event as of 9:00 pm this evening - find somewhere else to park your car.

notices100x100By Staff

March 1st, 2018



The city is doing a much better job of managing the way snow is removed from the streets and keeping the public informed.

They are being much more proactive and less reactive. And, when there is a screw up, they respond in a positive way and don’t look for someone to blame.


This is not what the city has in mind when the declare a “snow event”.

They have created a name for the way they inform the public: a “snow event” isn’t what some parents do when they want to get the kids out of the house and outside where the can safely play in the snow.

A snow event on Burlington is the city telling you that they have begun the process of gearing up for whatever weather we are going to get.

Thus, this evening Burlington is declaring that a snow event will begin ay 9:00 pm. Don’t expect to see the Town Crier outside city hall ringing his bell.

City of Burlington to declare a ‘Snow Event’ beginning 9 p.m. March 1, 2018

One of the more than 25 pieces of equipment out clearing the primary roads - today they were out at 3 am.

One of the more than 25 pieces of equipment that will be out clearing the primary roads.

Staff are closely monitoring the approaching storm, which will start later this afternoon with rain expected to change to snow around rush hour. The city will not apply anti-icing agent to the roads ahead of the storm because the rain will wash it away.

All snow plows and salt trucks will be dispatched throughout the city. The event is expected to last until Friday morning.

Environment Canada is forecasting more than 20 cm of snow to fall overnight.

Fire hydrant - snow cleared

The fire department just loves the person who did this.

As of 9 p.m., all vehicles parked on the primary and secondary streets must be removed and parking exemptions are void. An update will be provided later tonight regarding parking on local roads if accumulations reach 7.5 cm or more.

Failure to remove vehicles from residential roads could result in being ticketed or possibly towed to allow snow plows and other heavy machinery to safely navigate the narrow streets.

Cars will be towed at the owner’s expense.

If residents notice a vehicle on their street, they are encouraged to kindly ask the owner to remove the vehicle or call Parking Control during business hours at 905-335-7816 (Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.) or after-hours, Halton Regional Police Service at 905-878-5511. (Ask for “dispatch” and police will send a parking officer).

Residents are also asked for their patience as clearing all 1,900 km of roads can take up to 24 hours and 850 km of sidewalks can take up to 72 hours to clear.

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

The Gazette is seeing fewer complaints from readers about snow removal problems.


Tandem snow plows

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Rivers suggests there is a pot calling the kettle black on the matter of corruption at the Tory debate for a new leader.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

March 1st, 2018



Rivers suggests there is a pot calling the kettle black on the matter of corruption at the Tory debate for a new leader.

The candidates for the Ontario PC party called the Wynne government corrupt at their first debate and again at the last one this week. When they accused the Liberals of corruption they offered only innuendo to substantiate to those accusations for a Liberal party which has been in power now for a decade and a half.

Tanya Granic Allen

Tanya Granic Allen – best debater but needs more than one issue.

And then Tanya Granic Allen, gave the term real substance as she turned on her own political party, citing why both the PC party and its former leader Patrick Brown were corrupt. Doug Ford raised his concern that there might have been ballot stuffing at one of the nomination meetings he’d attended. And if faking memberships and financial wrong doing is what Patrick Brown had been doing for personal gain or to win the PC leadership, that too would certainly qualify as corruption.

Allen went further, accusing each of the other candidates of doing nothing to stop Brown – alluding complicity, turning the other way, and letting him get away with it. And then she wondered where they had been when Brown had developed a platform, at least some of which they have all rejected a mere three months following its formal acceptance by her party. And where was she?

There was something surreal about this exhibition as the candidates responded to the debate questions emanating from the party membership. For example, everyone complained about the size of the provincial debt, even though they are all planning to run sizeable deficits for at least their first couple of years. And none of them seemed to understand that the province had already balanced its budget, at least as far as official accounts go.

Green house gasses A

All four candidates would dump the mandated national carbon tax and take the federal government to court.

They argued to a person that they’d defy the mandated national carbon tax and would take the federal government to court, as only Saskatchewan has suggested among all other jurisdictions. They all agreed that our climate was changing but nobody had a serious plan to do anything about it. And Ford was vehement that he’d scrap Ontario’s existing cap and trade system which the Trudeau government has accepted as an alternative to a carbon tax.

Allen complained about the high cost of electricity, laying the blame entirely on renewable energy and promising to “rip wind turbines out of the ground” and tear up the green energy contracts. She said she’d read a Fraser Institute report which had convinced her she could do this without encountering any legal or financial recourse. That naive notion was challenged by Christine Elliott, a lawyer by training and former MPP, pointing out that such an action would end up costing even more.

Elliott PC

Christine Elliott, a lawyer by training and former MPP.

A question about the possibility of combining Ontario’s public and separate school systems was met with a big a big negatory (neg-a-Tory) response by everyone by everyone. And Elliott then embarrassed herself by making an unfortunate reference to former leader John Tory’s election loss – which has been attributed to an election promise to fund more, not fewer, separate schools.

Caroline Mulroney - arms crossed

Caroline Mulroney – faltering?

Caroline Mulroney was the lone voice opposed to scrapping the three year old sex-ed curriculum. Mulroney is running third and that is probably where she deserves to be. She may be polished, poised, well spoken, and have a political name, but she suffers from an obvious lack of familiarity with the province and Ontario’s bread and butter issues. She mostly rattled off theory and platitudes, or quoted from the PC platform which the other candidates have largely discarded.

Doug Ford was pointed and cogent for the most part. He made an oblique appeal to the male crowd by claiming that ‘# me too’ was as important for men as for women. But he looked flustered and grumbled when the moderator had to cut him off for taking too long to make his closing remarks.

Ford Doug

Ford made big points taking on Elliott

Ford made big points taking on Elliott about what he saw as her flip-flopping on sex ed and carbon taxes, though she refuted both. And he stuck it to her about working for the Liberal government as its $220,000 per year patient ombudsman. She swung back that she’d been hired by an independent panel, but nobody was buying that smoke. Elliott was a much more confident candidate this debate than before and she should be since she is now roughly tied with Doug Ford for first place.

Watching Tanya Granic Allen was an uplifting experience. She communicates better than all of the other candidates put together – but it is what comes out of her mouth. But then she is really just a fringe one-issue candidate, and fittingly trailing the others in recent polls.

Voting for members starts this Friday and the results of the preferential ballot will be known March 10. Preferential (ranked) ballots can be unpredictable since in a tight race so much depends on second and third choices And nobody knows who’ll receive the votes which might have otherwise gone to Patrick Brown, should his folks vote at all. If the numbers can be believed, there are over a hundred thousand new members which he brought into the party.

Patrick Brown resigning

With supposedly more vote than anyone else in the leadership race but no longer a candidate – the big question is – where are those votes going to go?

But if those Brown supporters do vote, you can be sure it won’t be for Tanya Granic Allen. Her aspersions of party corruption have smeared them as well as their former leader. Brown was not at the debate to defend himself, having dropped out of the race only a couple days earlier.

But, as was obvious to the viewers, the ghost of Patrick Brown was alive and well and he was certainly there, if only in spirit. Even in absentia he was forced to absorb the slings and arrows of this 11th hour coup by his ambitious competitors for the job of party leader. And the repeated references to his presumed wrong doings helped to remind voters about that old adage of pots and kettles. For a party, once known for the professionalism of its Big Blue Machine, this debate was a shameful exhibition of political naivety and cannibalism.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.     Tweet @rayzrivers



Background links:

PC Leader’s Debate –   PC Leaders Polling –    Reality or Fiction

Mulroney Walks Away –    Brown is Better Off


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Did you know that a developer community benefit payment was what got the Freeman Station project off the ground?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 1st, 2018



Thanks to the generosity of their sponsors and donors, Friends of Freeman Station has raised to date over
$600,000 toward the restoration of Burlington’s historic Freeman Station. They need $200,000 to finish the job, and would like to get that in place this year.

Freeman - view from the south - volunteers needed

The Freeman station as it stands today is the result of a lot of sweat and generously donated dollars.

The project is three quarters complete, and we are anxious to finish so visitors, including school children, can benefit from viewing the many aspects of the completed station.

There will be an amazing interactive educational diorama, artifacts and the beautifully restored 1906 railway station itself with its historic displays, and the charming main floor small group meeting space fulfilling a growing need in the City.

The first $50,000 of this last phase push for donations will be matched by the City of Burlington. This means your donation will be doubled. This matching funds offer, is for a limited time, it is important for you to donate now.

The scope of the restoration work can be seen - lots of work to be done. willing hands ready to do it. Give the Friends of Freeman a call - they will keep you busy for the next while.

Those stones were originally ballast in ships that came to Canada from Scotland. They are now part of the station.

A popular form of donation is to sponsor a whinstone for $100. Whinstones were ballast in sailing ships, and originated in Scotland in the 1800’s. They formed the dado wall around the station when it was built in 1906 – they have now been put them back in place. They can be dedicated to anyone or anything you like, such as family members, or a business.

Also naming rights are still available for many parts of the station. As an example, for a $250 donation, your name or dedication could be placed on a piece of freight on a baggage cart, or for a $500 donation your dedication could be placed on a crossbuck. Sponsorship of large items, such as the very visible signal tower, is also available.

Please contact us for a complete list of available naming rights.

It is easy to donate. Just go to the Website, go to the Donors page, and follow the prompts. Or put a cheque in the mail to the address below. Charitable tax deductible receipts are issued for all donations over $25.

The conductor has called out “All Aboard”. Please climb on board the train and help us steam ahead to reach our goal. You can send that cheque to: Friends of Freeman Station, PO Box 91536, Roseland Plaza, Burlington, ON L7R 4L6


It was Community Benefit money from the Strata development that helped the Friends of Freeman begin the process of saving the station.

With all the doings at city hall about the kind of development that is going to be permitted and where those towers are going to be located and what will there be in the way of community benefits – it is useful to remember that part of the Molinaro community benefit that was part of the height and density given for the construction of the Strata went to the Freeman Station.

Staff at the time said Freeman could only have the money if the station was located downtown. They wrote a memo to council to that effect saying the station couldn’t have the money because of the Fairview location.

Ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward did some research and found the original document council passed did not restrict the donation to a downtown location. She presented that to council and the station got the funding – $25,000

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Is immigration the answer: '300,000 new immigrants and half of them are coming to southern Ontario'.

opinionandcommentBy Joseph A. Gaetan

March 1st, 2018


The opinion set out below is one of a series of opinions given to city council during the debate on the status of the draft Official plan.  Links to the other opinions are set out at the bottom of this opinion.

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Mayor, Councilors, staff, fellow citizens, I would like to base my comment today on some of the reasons that were given by council prior to their votes on the Official Plan changes, that took place during the council meeting of January 29 ,2018. As a matter of context, I appeared before you on the matter of the Official Plan on January 23.2018.

I then attended the council meeting of January 29, 2018. What I heard on January 29th was a mixture of rationalizations, opinions, historical anecdotes, and some data. For the record, I do not live in downtown Burlington.

The first comment has to do with Immigration and the statement that, “The federal government is letting in 300,000 new immigrants and half of them are coming to southern Ontario”.

Syrians arriving in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcoming Syrians to Canada

Population Growth is something our country desperately needs, and immigration is one component of Population Growth. The Stats Canada formula for Population Growth = (natural increase where NI =births-deaths) + (migratory increase where MI =immigration-emigration).

Immigration is not news, according to Statistic Canada our normal immigration since the 90’s has been in the order of 235,000 per year. The Canadian immigration plan going forward sees that going as high as 340,000 by 2020. Compare that to the fact that in 1913, 400,000 immigrants came to Canada at a time when our population was a mere 7 million.

So, while immigration is important to us as a country, Stats Canada states the “observed” growth from 2001 to 2011 was 1.11%, with the “projected” growth for 2011 to 2021 to be in the area of 1.07 %, dropping thereafter to .72% by 2061. That is a serious problem.

Gaeten stats chartWhy? If we compare those projections to the period between 1951 to 1961, population growth during that decade was far greater at 2.67 %, where natural growth was 1.87% and migratory growth was .79%. So, while we seem to be experiencing population growth in this area, the reasons for that have little to do with immigration alone.

The real problem this country and this province will face as we approach 2061 is that the natural increase (births minus deaths) component of population growth will drop to .42 % with the migratory component dropping to .64%. So, Canada is struggling to replace itself and I think we are pinning a lot of hope on a balloon that may burst and that would have dire consequences for Canada, Ontario and Burlington. With that in mind I would like to suggest we take a more conservative approach to our OP and our downtown which includes taking a step back for a few months.

The second comment was “we need assessment now”. The member did not elaborate on what that entailed. Did that mean Burlington will struggle going forward to contain tax increases? Or, did that mean that units that sell at $2 million each, is an easier way to meet our future assessment/spending needs? An answer to that question would be helpful.

John - No frills - laneway

No-frills” is more than a grocery store, it is a meeting place, it is a place where locals meet and chat and laugh in the aisles.

Here is what I do know, both the developers and city win under a scenario where 20 plus storeys developments are built and where penthouse floors sell for between $4 and $8 million per storey. But who and what we lose is the question that is not answered under the OP. For example, under this plan, do we stand to lose the “no frills” grocery store, or Centro for example? No-frills” is more than a grocery store, it is a meeting place, it is a place where locals meet and chat and laugh in the aisles, it has energy and vitality, something that you will not find in the two other grocery stores that people will be forced to shop at if it disappears and no words contained in the OP, such as there will be a grocery presence, will replace what is lost.

The third comment was, “downtown has to take its share too”. The downtown in recent years has shouldered its share of density and when asked the downtown residents and opponents of the OP seem willing to continue take its fair share of growth. Perhaps what is at issue then, is the definition of “its share”? It seems that what that means under the proposed OP, is we will have 23 and 24 storey buildings across from city hall and 17 storey buildings sprinkled elsewhere.

I don’t live in the downtown, but I do believe the pushback you are getting is genuine, grassroots and is not about to go away anytime soon, and not because people are angry, but because the stakes are too high to be ignored.

What I also heard was this plan means “100-170 people will be coming into the downtown on annual basis”. I don’t believe the increase in population growth is the issue, the change in height permissions and the number of tall building is the issue.

I would like to finish with a statement that we can all agree upon and that is “we have to make this decision based on 195,000”. I am here as one of the 195,000 and I would like to see the OP delayed in order to remove the Mobility Hub designation and what that means to the future of Burlington. Finally I heard “deferring challenging and contentious issue is not leadership” and that may be the case, but leadership is also having the willingness to taking a second look at an issue and then having the fortitude to change your mind.

Joseph Gaetan is a retired Burlington resident who lives in the highest condominoum in the city.  He comments in the Gazette frequently.

Related comment and opinion:

Opinion: Jim Young
Opinion: Gary Scobie
Opinion: Lisa Kearns
Opinion Deedee Davies
Opinion:  Jim Barnes


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