Workshop for those interested in being involved in an election campaign or being a candidate for public office to take place at Tansley Woods on February 22nd.

eventsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

February 13th, 2018



It is do or die time for ECoB.

They are holding a Workshop for anyone who wants to know more about how to get involved in a municipal election or how to run become a candidate.

ECOB logoECoB, the Engaged Citizens of Burlington, is small in size but are punching well above their weight. They will be appearing on Cogeco TV’s The Issue this week and on the 22nd holding the workshop at the Tansley community Centre.

We are about to see how many people are prepared to put themselves forward as candidates in their ward.

This is when the rubber hits the road. We hear of people who plan to run but have yet to make an announcement; we know of people who have made up business cards that describe them as community advocates, we learn of others that say they have a team in place and will announce at a future date,

ECoB workshop posterWe also report on people who have said they will not be running this time – but perhaps in the future.

If there is an event that is going to attract anyone interested in being involved in a campaign – the Workshop is probably that event.

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City holds additional casual public meetings on the Grow Bold concept that is driving the creation of a new Official Plan.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 13th, 2018



It was a respectable turn out

The high point had about 35 people in the room along with five staff members from the Planning Department.
Large maps were set up on easels along with copies of the latest versions of the draft of the new Official Plan in 3 inch binders.

Rendering with Bake Shop

Rendering of a 24 storey structure a developer wants to build across the street from the 23 storey tower already approved by the city.

The interest in the Official Plan has been highest in the downtown core where the city is going to see a 23 storey tower rise opposite city hall. For those who live downtown the idea of seeing something so big so close is, to some, frightening.

That there is a 22 story tower under construction a five minute walk from city hall doesn’t seem to be as bothersome.

The city has planned Town Hall type meetings where people can meet informally with Planning department staff to ask questions and seek clarification.

Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith, the planner doing much of the heavy lifting getting the new Official Plan written and revised and ready to go before city council on April 4th for approval.

Andrea Smith, the planner who has been doing much of the actual writing of the new Official Plan, was the lead person in the room.

Councillors Paul Sharman and Jack Dennison were on hand; Sharman was briefing Mark Carr, host of Cogeco TV’s The Issue, on what the mobility hubs were all about. Not sure Carr was getting the most balanced explanation.

The meeting was held in the Haber Recreation Centre, the most vibrant place in the city where hundreds of kids are on the gym floor practicing basketball or volleyball.

Lancaster as Dep Mayor Sept 28-15

Councillor Blair Lancaster once sat in for the Mayor during a Council meeting.

Missing in action was the ward Councillor Blair Lancaster.

Mark Bales, lead talker for Carriage Gate, the corporation that has city council approval to build that 23 story tower opposite city hall, was working the room and making sure that the message was being delivered.

ECoB, the Engaged Citizens of Burlington, are waiting in the wings to file an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board arguing that the development doesn’t comply with the Official Plan that the city is working from.

When ECoB met with the Mary Lou Tanner, Deputy City Manager last week they asked if an additional public session could be held during the day time that would allow seniors to get out and take part. Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward supported that idea – there will be a meeting at the city hall on the 15th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

The casual – opportunity to ask questions meetings – are being followed by a Statutory meeting required by the provincial Planning Act; an occasion when anyone can delegate and give a ten minute view point on what they like and don’t like about the proposed Official Plan.

Expect this to be another boisterous meeting during which those opposed to the plan press city council to defer the plan until after the October municipal election.

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Civil, civic conversations. If you can’t do that – don’t waste your time writing.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 13th, 2018



It was the call for a Task Force on Bullying and Harassment that got us started on this. Then the note from    James Schofield that led to our asking: “Are we part of the problem – we thought we were part of the solution.”

The Gazette opened up a comments section on the newspaper and the response was robust.  But we began to notice that people were disrespecting one another and we began to tighten up the rules on what was acceptable.

We then began to look at the comments section of the Gazette and decided that we needed to tighten up on what we were permitting.


Removing content that is disrespectful is not censorship.

We learned that this isn’t going to be a simple process.

We edited a comment from a reader taking out disrespectful language – here is what came back

“I’m out” said Michael Drake. He added: “I appreciate the Gazette trying to cover these issues but can’t abide censorship of any kind. Time to go yell at some clouds.

“Good luck everyone (that includes you too James).”

The comment that we edited removed the name calling. We wanted the comments section to be a place where civil, civic conversations could take place. So Michael will no longer be with us because he feels respect for those we share this planet with is akin to censorship.

James Schofield put it very well when he said in the article that “I think the recognition that commenting on your site is a privilege, not a right, and certainly not a “free speech” right, is also important.”

Civil, civic conversations. If you can’t do that – don’t waste your time writing.

Related content:

Lancaster calls for a Task Force

Whose interests are being served

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This scam uses a trusted brand to begin the process of stealing your identity and then your money.

Crime 100By Staff

February 13th, 2018



There are brands that we place huge amounts of trust in.

Interac croppedWhen we see their corporate logo we assume it is a safe place and that the service they provide is rock solid.

Thus it came as a bit of a shock to note that the scam artists were using one of those trusted brands to mislead people and begin the process of stealing their identity and then their money.

Interac scam

The gullible and the greedy might think some luck has come their way. The telephone company is not going to send you money – there is someone behind this kind of email notice who wants to take advantage of you.

The telephone company is not going to be sending you a refund that you had never heard of before.

The internet has made it possible for all kinds of knowledge and ideas to be shared. We can communicate in a way we were never able to communicate before.

The wonderful technology also allows thieves to take advantage of people.
Beware, be cautious, be vigilant.

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The last farm house in what was once Appleby Village was rich in history and the city's farming past.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 12th, 2018



When we published the story on the Taylor farm and the house on the property at Appleby Line at Mainway we didn’t have access to much in the way of pictures.

A Gazette reader with a keen interest in heritage had taken some snapshots and made them available to us.

Site with address and backhoe

Backhoe sitting on the plot of land where what became known as the Taylor house existed. Not only was the structure the last farmhouse in what was once called Appleby Village it was demolished without a permit.

Historical picture

Burlington once had many houses like this – they were the homes of farmers who worked the land that is now covered by six lane expressways and factories. Prize Short Horn cattle and proud Clydesdale horses were in the field and milk sold for 10 cents a gallon and one cow earned the farmer $5.34

“We all understand that we need to progress and modernize” said our reader, “ As long as it is done with collaborative stewardship.” Nothing collaborative about the sound of a backhoe tearing away at the walls of a house that is the last piece of what was once a small village.

This is one of the last remnants of the Village of Appleby, which was almost entirely demolished in the 1950s to make way for service roads for the expanded QEW. The house is set back from the road, with a well kept lawn and rows of trees on either side of the house. The landscaping is traditional.

It was built in 1896 for Charles Fothergill; there is a date stone and name found engraved in the chimney.
In 1877 the property was owned by John Fothergill.


Somewhere in that rubble there is a stone with the date the house was built and who it was built for – the people who arranged for the demolition chose not to collaborate with the city to salvage some of our history – no wonder we know so little about ourselves.

According to Memories of Pioneer Days, pp. 171-172, John Fothergill was the only son (of ten children) of Christopher and Frances Fothergill, who immigrated from Applbey, Westmoreland, England to settle on this new world Appleby Line in the early 1830s.

John married Charlotte Tuck and in 1878 purchased the Balsam Lodge farm from Arnanda Baxter.

In 1889 Charles, their eldest son, married Amelia Cole and took over this part of the Fothergill farm property on the east side of Appleby Line. His younger brother Christopher went to the Yukon and is mentioned in Laura Berton’s book, I Married the Klondike…

The third son, Thomas, married Lucy Matthewman of Appleby and farmed the Fothergill property on the west side of Appleby Line.

Burlington crest - with city reference

The city crest pays homage to a proud past.

According to an article by Alana Perkins in the 24 May 1997 issue of the Spectator, their house was the Lucas Farmhouse which was dismantled, moved, and rebuilt at the (former) Ontario Agricultural Museum at Milton.
According to Murray Fisher’s ‘Farewell to the Garden of Canada’ (1984), this farm was owned by H. Featherstone, Mixed farming, sold to J. Taylor, Mixed Farming.

Ruth and Jack Taylor were the last people to live in the house.

The property is identified as “employment land” and given its location that is likely what it will remain as.

One wonders if that stone with the date and name were recovered during the demolition.

There are rules against tearing down a building without a permit. The fine is reported to be $2000 an d it is the city that will have to take any action that is going to be taken.

Expect the city manager to be tough on this one.

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Helping youth and young adults transition into a changing workplace - Burlington Foundation event.

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

February 12th, 2018



Automation. The gig economy. Skyrocketing debt. Limitless social connectivity. These are just some of the challenging realities Canadian youth, parents, employers, educators and government face as we help youth and young adults transition into a changing workplace.

Burl Foundation eventThursday, March 8, 2018, 7:00 – 8:30 pm at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Join Burlington Foundation, in partnership with RBC, for a night of timely conversation featuring renowned McMaster educator, author and Top 30 global management guru, Dr. Nick Bontis.

Nick Bontis is chair of the United Way Campaign for Burlington and Greater Hamilton. He teaches at McMaster where his mile a minute delivery dazzles his students. Bontis dazzled an Economic Development luncheon earlier this year.

Nick Bontis  teaches at McMaster where his mile a minute delivery dazzles his students.

Following his high-energy presentation, Nick will moderate a lively panel discussion with business, government, education and young adults. This vital talk will shine the light on opportunities, obstacles, collaborations and actions we have before us now, and in the future as we help young Canadians achieve personal and professional success. For when young Canadians prosper, business and community do.

Panel members include:
Eleanor McMahon; MPP Burlington, President of the Treasury Board, Minister Responsible for Digital Government
John Romano; Co-founder, Nickel Brook Brewery Co.
David Santi; Dean, Engineering Technology, Mohawk College
Roman Turchyn; Vice President, Human Resources, L3 WESCAM
Erinn Weatherbie; Co-creator of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe & Best-selling Cookbook “Made With Love”
Charlotte Zhen; Analyst, Deloitte Canada, Young Professional

Burl Foundation Talk sponsorsThis is a FREE event open to all, with voluntary non-perishable food donations being collected in support of Burlington Food Bank.

Register here.

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Kathleen White has decided this is not the time for her to run for office.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 12, 2018



Ward 6 isn’t going to have an admirable candidate to contest the council seat in the October municipal election.

Kathleen White

Kathleen White,Chair of the Heritage Advisory committee has decided this is not the time for her to run for public office.

Kathleen White said she has “a lot on my plate personally and as such will not be in a position to run for Council this fall.

“It has always been an interest of mine to run for City Councillor but more importantly to serve my community.

“I would hope in the years ahead, I will be in a position to do so.

In the meantime, I will carry on, through Heritage Burlington and perhaps other volunteer opportunities, to continue to have an influence on decisions and opportunities that would affect and strengthen our community.

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Two open houses and a Statutory public meeting on the new Official Plan scheduled. Planners want council to approve the plan in April.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 11th, 2018



The issue that has some of the people in Burlington quite upset is the subject of two Open Meetings this week; one at city hall and another in the Alton community at the Haber Recreational Centre.

These meetings are an opportunity for the public to ask questions; in its announcement the city has said there will not be formal presentation at the Open meetings but planning staff will be on hand to answer questions.

The proposed new Official Plan articulates Burlington’s vision to the planning horizon of 2031 and beyond, and has been developed in recognition of the opportunities and challenges ahead as the city continues to evolve.

421 Brant

The 421 Brant development has been approved by city council. The project went through some significant changes and was originally going to be a 12 storey structure that was a rather squat and unattractive looking building. There were also extensive negotiations between the developer and the planners.

The issue for some is the high rise towers that are going to be built in the downtown core.  A 23 storey structure has already been approved by city council on a 5-2 vote.  A second application has been submitted for a 24 storey structure across the street from the 23 storey tower.

Rendering with Bake Shop

An application for this 24 storey tower was submitted last week – it is across the street from city hall.

Two Open House opportunities:
Monday, Feb. 12, 2018
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Haber Community Centre, Community Room 2-West
3040 Tim Dobbie Drive

Thursday Feb. 15, 2018
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
City Hall, Room 247, level 2
426 Brant Street

These two meetings will be followed by a Statutory Public Meeting at which people can delegate and provide comments to City Council on the proposed new Official Plan (February 2018), and for Council to consider the feedback prior to adopting the new Official Plan.
The provincially mandated Statutory Public Meeting will be held on:

Site - south of 421

The red outline is the location of the approved 23 storey tower – the black outline is the location for a 24 storey tower application that was filed with the city last week.

Site map

This part of the downtown core is under immense development pressure. Most of the property on Brant Street as far north as Fairview has been assembled. The city is dealing with at least ten more that are in the que waiting for a the planners to get to and through all the supporting data.

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018
1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
City Hall, Council Chambers, level 2
426 Brant Street

Delegations are invited to register but are not required to register in advance to speak. All delegations are expected to be accommodated in the afternoon or evening session. Additional time may be scheduled if required.

The Official Plan is a statutory document that sets out land use policy to guide growth, land use planning and development approvals in Burlington. The Planning Act requires that municipalities revise their Official Plans no less frequently than 10 years for a new official plan and every five years for an update to an official plan.

The City initiated an Official Plan Review project in 2011 which included policy, research, analysis, studies, staff reports and community feedback on a number of topics. The review of the City’s current Official Plan demonstrated significant changes were required to the document to reflect the city’s new priorities established through the city’s Strategic Plan. As a result, a new Official Plan was prepared.

The proposed new Official Plan project was undertaken to clarify Burlington’s local vision for the future, as well as to conform to Halton Region’s Official Plan. It also implements Council’s direction to accommodate growth within the urban area and protect Burlington’s rural boundary. The Plan directs growth in Burlington based on the principles of protecting the natural environment and agricultural lands, building healthy communities, increasing travel options, making efficient use of existing and planned infrastructure, and maintaining a strong economy.

The proposed new Official Plan (February 2018) contains revisions based on feedback received at the November 30, 2017 Statutory Public Meeting and January 23, 2018 Public Meeting, and through written submissions. The proposed new Official Plan also contains the proposed new Downtown Precinct Plan and associated polices, resulting from the Downtown Mobility Hub Area Specific Planning process.

The proposed new Official Plan (February 2018) as well as a tracked change version can be accessed:

• online at

• for viewing at the Clerks Department (City Hall, 426 Brant Street, Main Floor) from Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm.

• for viewing at the City’s public libraries.

A staff report concerning the proposed new Official Plan (February 2018) will be available for public review on February 16, 2018. This report will provide an overview of the changes made to the Official Plan based on the feedback received on the proposed new Official Plan (November 2017). The report will be available on the City’s website at by searching for the meeting date for the Planning and Development Committee, which is a standing Committee of Council. Copies of the reports can also be picked up at the City’s Clerks Department on the main level of City Hall.

Since this is a Statutory Public Meeting, you do not have to register in advance in order to speak. Speakers are limited to a maximum of 10 minutes each and are webcast online. If you have presentation materials, they must be submitted to Ms. Rudy by noon the day before the meeting to allow for their distribution and review by all members of the Committee. Please note, the content of all submissions is considered to be public and will be posted to the city’s website.

A staff report recommending adoption of the proposed new Official Plan is scheduled for consideration at the April 4, 2018 Planning and Development Committee meeting.

If you wish to be notified of the decision of Burlington City Council on the proposed new Official Plan, you must make a written request to Jo-Anne Rudy, Committee Clerk, City of Burlington, City Hall, 426 Brant Street, P.O. Box 5013, Burlington, Ontario, L7R 3Z6.


Citizens listening to or waiting to delegate at city council.

If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the City of Burlington before the proposed new Official Plan is adopted, the person or public body is not entitled to appeal the decision of The Regional Municipality of Halton (the approval authority) to the Ontario Municipal Board.

If a person or public body does not make oral submissions at a public meeting or make written submissions to the City of Burlington before the proposed new Official Plan is adopted, the person or public body may not be added as a party to the hearing of an appeal before the Ontario Municipal Board unless, in the opinion of the Board, there are reasonable grounds to add the person or public body as a party.

Meed Ward H&S

City Councillor Marianne Meed Ward has pressed her colleagues to defer the adoption of an Official Plan until after the October municipal election.

Two critical meetings have already taken place at city hall on the re-write of the Official Plan – November 20th, 2017 and January 23rd, 2018.

Both were contentious; the January meeting heard 35 delegations of which 34 were opposed to the plan as it was written and the time line.  The one in favour of the plan and the time line attached to it turns out to have been the planner who has been hired by the developer, Revenue Properties who submitted an application for a second high rise to go up on Brant Street across from city hall.

Many feel the time line is just too much too fast and have asked that any adoption of an Official Plan be delayed until after the October municipal election.  Councillor Marianne Meed Ward was the mover of the motion to defer and the only person who voted for it.


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Heritage takes a hit - house on the Taylor farm gets demolished in the dark of night, Trinity Baptist Church too badly damaged to be saved.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 11th, 2018



Heritage took a hit in Burlington – the house on the Taylor farm on Appleby Line north of Harvester had an encounter with a bulldozer in the dark of night.

No permit to demolish, no notice. The house that sat on the 18 acre property was there one day and gone the next.

Kathleen White, Chair of the Burlington Heritage Advisory committee said they had “been working proactively with several of the Taylor siblings as best we could.

“Heritage Burlington has never advocated for this course of action by property owners and we have always tried to support and work with Burlington residents to conserve and promote any heritage properties.

Taylor farm house with circle

Bulldozer came on the dark of night and flattened the house.

“There are several options available to Burlington residents and we will always advocate for an environment of collaborative stewardship in the hopes of maintaining Burlington properties that have cultural heritage value.

“We hope that the City will take the necessary steps to ensure this type of behaviour is not considered by others.

“In the end, next steps are in the hands of the City’s Building Department.”

Further up Appleby Line, the Trinity Baptist Church that was heavily damaged by fire last August been too severely damaged in the fire for the building to be saved.

Trinity baptist fire

Fire destroyed the 127 year old church.

1975  -• Early in the year an offer was made, and accepted, to purchase an old United Church Building on Appleby Line. The building fund had $23000 at that point and, when an additional $8000 came in from the small congregation during a special offering drive in July, the asking price of $30000 was met. Extensive renovations took place within the building and a complete new section was added to provide washrooms and nursery facilities at a cost of $58000.

1976 -• February 28th: After the renovations were completed, a service of praise and dedication was called for. Friends from other Sovereign Grace churches were in attendance and all were blessed as brother Leigh Powell preached a message of thanksgiving.

1986 -• A further addition was made to the building as “the wing” was built, giving us an excellent and much needed facility for mid-week activities, Sunday School classes and fellowship hours.

1995 -• The church purchased two acres of land on Appleby Line across from 2 Side Road West. This acquisition provided much needed extra parking space and secured for the congregation some expansion room for the future, to which we looked with faith and anticipation.

2012 -• Trinity celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Trinity Baptist Church currently meets at the Crossroads Centre on the North Service Road.


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Whose interests are being served with the comments section of the Gazette?

opinionandcommentBy Pepper Parr

February 11th, 2018


Revision were made to this story after its initial publication.  Some of the quotes were attributed to the wrong person.

We got a note from James Schofield, who tells us that he reads the Gazette and added that there was “a line in your piece on the code of contact that caught my eye.

Lancaster on bullying“Lancaster said that the incidences of harassment and intimidation have occurred both internally and externally and appear to be linked with the insurgence of social media, media, increased communication and participation with the public.

“It may be worth some reflection on the role the Gazette plays in relation to this.

“I’ve largely stopped commenting on your site. I won’t go as far as to say I’ve been harassed or intimidated, but I’ve certainly had my character and motives called into question and been the target of juvenile name-calling. Far from being a place for respectful dialog and an intellectual debate on issues and ideas, I find the Gazette’s comments are often replete with ad hominem arguments and those with entrenched ideas spewing vitriol at anyone who dares express an alternative point of view.

“So I just don’t bother trying anymore. And I suspect I’m not alone. I think that’s a problem, because as the moderate voices keep their heads down we lose out on a diversity of opinion, and the comment section increasingly becomes an echo chamber for those with a particular way of thinking.

“For example – how many commentators have written anything critical of ECoB? Or in support of council’s efforts to pass the Official Plan before the election? Even on something as banal as trying to make it easier to ride a bike around this city, few are willing to stick their necks out. Why poke the bear? Yet when I listen and talk to people in the community — many of them Gazette readers — I find a broad diversity of opinion on these matters. You’d never know it from reading the comments.

“I’m thankful you’re at least moderating comments — I can’t imagine how much junk you must filter out as it is. A real name (and ideally, validation of that name against a social media account) would be a good step. But I think the recognition that commenting on your site is a privilege, not a right, and certainly not a “free speech” right, is also important.”

We consistently have to tell people that we will not approve their comment.

In the back and forth email with Schofield we asked: Are we part of the problem? We wanted to be part of the solution.

Transit - unhappy customer

An angry old man or an unhappy transit customer?

Schofield said “I don’t know if you’re part of the problem or not. You’re at least serving a helpful role in providing some form of media coverage in a city otherwise devoid of it. But I feel there is a strong echo chamber effect, both in the comments, and in the editorial content you feature. “Aldershot resident thinks…” and the like tend to pull from the same streams of consciousness as your most frequent commentators. Can you do more to foster some diversity — both in ideology and in demographics? Can you find some female voices and some young people to complement your “angry old man has something to say” content?

Schofield makes an exceptionally good point – one that has bothered us for some time. There are some very very good comments – and boy is there ever a lot of crap that doesn’t see the light of day.  Our objective was to give people a place where their comments and ideas can be published and shared.

In the the past few days the comments on the cycling survey the city is running are a case in point. There are people on both sides who go at it day in and day out and make the same argument.

The New Street Road diet idea was a disaster in the way it was executed and I think that the views of those opposed it were part of what brought the city the point where they realized it had to be cancelled.

The idea never got a chance to have a true trial run – mostly because the city found that the road was continually under some form of construction.

New street - being rebuilt

The New Street Road Diet never got a chance to be fully tested. Poor execution on the part of the city and the Region and vociferous opposition from the car set doomed the idea.

Schofield said he did not want to “dwell on New Street but I largely agree with you. As one of the instigators of the whole saga I’ve learned a lot from the entire experience. I still think it was a sound idea, but poor execution, and a 2 km stretch that didn’t connect to anything useful on either end didn’t set it up for success. Lessons learned and we’re moving on.”

Part of the purpose of the comments section in the Gazette is for new information to come to the surface, a place where sound, rational ideas can be voiced and a place where a citizen can hold the politicians they elected to account and ensure that the bureaucrats actually serve the interests of public.

Related content:

Lancaster asks for an anti-bullying – harassment Task Force.

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Downtown resident responds to Councillor Sharman and his reasons for approving the 421 Brant Street 23 storey condo.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 11th, 2018



Deborah Ruse was one of the 34 people who delegated to city council when the committee decision was made to approve the development (a 5-2 vote for the project) of the 421 Brant Street 23 storey condominium opposite city hall.

During the discussion after her delegation Ms Ruse said she was not aware of any Councillors’ reasons for support of the project.  Councillor Sharman corrected Ms Ruse saying he had made his reasons public in his newsletter, and offered to send it to her.  After doing some research on the points Sharman made in his Newsletter Ruse responded.

“I have some comments on your newsletter regarding the approval of the 421 Brant Street project. I hope these thoughts can project the strong feelings from many people in the community regarding Council’s confusing approval of this project. Especially given the current Official Plan guidelines, and other new motions which have recently been passed, particularly:

Direct the Director of City Building to modify the building height permissions of the Downtown Core Precinct so that development shall:

i) have a maximum height of 12 storeys; or
ii) have a maximum height which shall not exceed 17 storeys, subject to a site-specific Zoning By-Law

Amendment, with additional storeys above that permitted in the Downtown Core Precinct being provided in accordance with the following:

1. one additional storey for every 150 sq m of dedicated office and/or employment floor space; or

2. one additional storey for every 8 publicly accessible parking spaces provided in an underground parking structure.

As far as I am aware, the 421 Brant St project offers neither of these gains, with only 8 visitor parking spots and actually less office or retail space than what is there now. Could you please provide me your thoughts on this?

Here are the Ruse comments on the point made by Sharman in his Newsletter.  Sharman is in bold; Ruse is in regular typeface.

421 BrantA number of residents said they simply want to keep Brant street the way it is. – No, actually most delegates and people posting comments online said they want Brant St to be developed in accordance with the current OP (4-12 stories), or even the new OP (up to 17 stories)

Yet a discussion that focuses on one location and on one measure (i.e. height) without giving sufficient consideration to other important and complex matters will cause much long term, serious problems in the City that Council is focused on trying to address. – Delegates were addressing the issue at hand, the over-development of 421 Brant. We’ll get to the other ones now that we will be more aware. But we thought that developments would move forward according to the Official Plan in place, so we didn’t know we would have such drastic deviations. And citizens can comprehend complex issues, given a full explanation and time. It will just take time for citizens to catch up to Staff and Council once they have full explanations, to understand all the details.

Clearly, the owners had a right to build something new on the site that would be larger in scale. – Yes they do, and the right to build something larger than what is there is 12 stories, as in the current Official Plan.

Site map

City hall is across the street from the site. Another development application has been filed for the property to the south on Brant (left of the red hash marked site) The properties to the right will feel development pressure – mist have already been assembled.

Clearly, the City had created a plan to encourage redevelopment of the site with something new and large. – The plan the City had created says 4-12 stories on this site – this could be considered large vs the existing 2 story building (up to 8x as high).

Staff had to negotiate with developers over what design characteristics would be acceptable. Clearly, height is one such concern, but there are others. These include “massing”, set-backs, shadowing, parking, design and others. – One wonders what sort of negotiation was held – how did ‘negotiations’ go from 12 stories in the Official Plan to 23? And what about affordable units, green space, public parking, retail or office space gains? From the final plan none of these areas will be delivered to the level they could or should have been.

This was a requirement from the Province, not a suggestion. – But this location was not a required location. Location was up to our city councilors to plan – like in Oakville. How can Oakville be in compliance with their only intensification around a single GO station, when Burlington has 3 GO stations to intensify near? And actually, the Mayor has stated that we are meeting our provincial density targets currently.

3d rendering intersection

3d rendering showing the intersection of Brant and James

They calculated the number of square feet of residential space that would have been allowed in the 12-storey block building and redistributed the floor space in a design that has a smaller street level foot print, with a four storey “podium”, on top of which they then proposed a 19-storey “slender” tower. This design would satisfy all legal requirements. It also meant the developer was required to reduce the total amount of floor space in the building by 25%, part of which meant including less commercial and less retail space in the first four floors – First, how was the total square footage calculated? Only one property has allowance for 12 stories; the other 4-5 properties assembled were allowed 4 stories or 8 stories with community benefits so if the 12-story limit was applied to the whole property, it would have been over-calculated. Second, what “legal requirements” are you referring to? And third, how was the 25% reduction of total floor space calculated? I do not see a calculation for this in the planning report. What are the actual numbers leading to this percentage? And less commercial and retail space works for the developer because they don’t have to own and lease that space, constantly overseeing the tenants/leases, etc. It is much easier to sell a condo once and be done. Could you please provide feedback to these questions?

Finally, the residents’ discussion became a debate about personal preferences and opinions about how something might look without taking into account all the other considerations. – The residents were not allowed a discussion, so it did not become a debate about personal preferences – a Councilor, and later the Mayor, ASKED each delegator what their personal preference was – delegator’s mostly focused on asking why the planning department deviated so completely from the OP.

a reasonable compromise. – Given the citizen backlash, many would beg to differ that this is a reasonable compromise.

Burlington home prices increased 73% in the last 4 years.-  Royal LePage data: The average house price in Burlington in 2014 was $502,000 and today it is $750,000 so about a 66% increase. This only includes detached homes. It may vary a little depending on what and where we include.

Our goal is to increase the availability of housing for the young and old that they can afford – let’s ask 25-39 year olds in Burlington if they can afford the condo prices set for these buildings. And even if these young people can afford these condos, they won’t be able to stay long if they want to raise a family as there are not enough two- and three-bedroom units since a larger unit is “not as profitable, per square foot as a small unit. Developers will cater to the more profitable market segment, even if there is a strong market interest for two- and three-bedroom units. But it’s not the job of [the] Planning [Department] to maximize the profit of developers. Developers will argue that two- and three-bedroom units are not viable, but it’s false. Economic analysis shows that two- and three-bedroom units can be less profitable than one-bedroom or studios, but that’s not the same as saying that they aren’t viable”. This quote is from Brent Toderian (article by David Roberts, VOX, June 21, 2017)

421 James street rendering

3d rendering of the 421 development from James Street with city hall in the background. The condominium entrance is to be on the James Street side.

The plan is to allow only 5% of Burlington land to increase in density, most of which will be less than 11 floors and that will be along Fairview St., Plains Rd. and some areas around plazas – So then why was 23 stories downtown presented and approval?

Most of the Brant Street height will occur close to Burlington GO. Even that will not be anything like Toronto or Mississauga where 50 floors is common. We expect the maximum to be in line with the buildings at Burlington GO station which are more like 25. – So there will be buildings taller than 23 stories near the GO? And the towers in Toronto and Mississauga that are 50 floors are on major arterial roads of 4-6 lanes, or the Gardiner Expressway, not a 2-lane street. And if most of the Brant St height will occur close to the GO station, then how did this lower Brant St development get approval in this height bracket? Again, such a drastic deviation from the OP begs the question.

Sharman - bullying meet Feb 5-2018

Councillor Paul Sharman

Some people think the precise number of floors in a building is more important than everything. I disagree. – So do most of the delegators who spoke. The issue the public has is with Staff and Council providing an approval that deviates so glaringly from the OP.

As proof that this concern is city-wide and goes deep, look at the online comments about the approval of the 421 Brant St project from just one article published on the inhalton website. “23-Storey Condo Approved for Downtown Burlington” (by Alan Kan, November 17, 2017).

Each entry is from a different reader, tough to ignore.

very sad;
what’s the use of having a city bylaw then approving this?;
terrible decision;
no affordable [units];
agree there is a place for high-rise development in our city, but it is not in our very compact downtown core;
sad to see this happen;
destroying the core of Burlington;
we are not Toronto or Vancouver;
thanks Burlington city council;
it is a freaking disaster;
very disappointed that council have gone against the wishes of most Burlington citizens;
this building is far too tall for our downtown;
barely any traffic control to begin with let alone room for more traffic to come in;
it’s a mess;
supposed to have geared to income rentals in there;
sold out to the developers;
council hands out exemptions to the building codes/bylaws like its Halloween candy;
this is terrible;
downtown is already ridiculously congested;
total disgrace!;
awful idea;
such a nightmare;
would like to know what council is thinking;
bad decision;
try to find a parking spot like the rest of us who struggle to find a spot;
councilors and builders just don’t listen to us;
yet another monstrosity;
the roads are already a nightmare;
gridlock down there now;
traffic is going to be insane;
I don’t think council cares;
we don’t need it and we don’t want it;
these councilors they are not speaking for the residents of Burlington;
this is a travesty;
please no;
it’s just becoming a corridor of condos;
very sad;
why are we trying to be like Toronto?;
awful decision;
horrible decision;
we aren’t Toronto;
hate it!!;
very disappointed;
not impressed;
major fail;
terrible decision;
they will never listen to the people;
very sad;
high rise cement jungle on Brant St;
more traffic is gonna be awful;
traffic is terrible already;
shorten it and then I will accept it;
traffic is a mess down there now;
horrible idea;
terrible decision;
terrible news;
thumbs down symbol;
I lived in Van .. hated the downtown core;
we aren’t Toronto!;
so very sad;
turning into Toronto;
hate it;
very sad;
what do I think? Not much!;
very sad;
just shaking my head;
we don’t need this;
traffic chaos;
shake up council;
terrible decision;
short sighted;
shame; absurd;
not great decision;
what a mistake!;
no; 3 thumbs down;
5 thumbs down;
this is an abomination.

Is Paul Sharman a member of city council who has lost the ability to hear what residents are saying and has decided to dig in his heals and maintain his position despite the considerable protest against too much height in the downtown core?

The public does have the opportunity to turf a politician that is not listening to them – at this point there is no one prepared to run against Paul Sharman in ward 5.

That is a fact the citizens are going to have to contend with.

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House Fire - 3030 Driftwood Drive; 93 year old female taken to hospital - others treated at the scene.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 10th, 2018


Shortly before 10 AM this morning , the Halton Police responded to a townhouse complex on Driftwood Drive in the City of Burlington for a report of a house fire with at least two people still inside.

Fire department crestA 93 year old female was rescued from the building and taken to hospital with life threatening injuries. Two other occupants of the home had minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

Two Officers have also gone to hospital as a precaution to be assessed for smoke inhalation.

Several linked homes were evacuated as a precaution. The fire is believed to have started in a second story bedroom, however, the cause is unknown at this time.

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Eat well, laugh often, love much - the theme of the 17th Annual Carpenter hospice Gala fundraiser

eventsred 100x100By Staff

February 10th, 2018



It’s going to be a fine party because the Molinaro’s always put on a fine party.

Vince Molinaro was asked to be the Honourary Chair of the Carpenter House Gala that set out to raise the funds needed to complete the expansion of the hospice.

Vince took it on with his usual gusto and recruited his wife Tina to make it a tag team effort.

The event takes place this evening at the Convention Centre where the Freedom Train will provide live entertainment.

Vince and Tina in a short video said they were “looking forward to a night of fun and celebration” as they present the 17th annual gala in support of Carpenter Hospice.

Casa Calabria logoThe Molinaro’s gave the Carpenter 2018 Close to Our Hearts Gala theme an Italian twist – it will be Casa Calabria – a vibrant, Italian theme.

Mangia bene, ridi spesso, ama molto.

Eat well, laugh often, love much.

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ECoB responds to the announcement of the second condominium on Brant Street across from city hall - 24 storeys.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 10th, 2018



It didn’t take the Engaged Citizens of Burlington (ECoB) to put out a response to the news of another high rise project for lower Brant Street.

ECoB said they were “expecting more new applications and we suspect 409 Brant is the first of many. Anybody who has been paying any attention to downtown development would have seen this coming”.

Rendering with Bake Shop

The Reserve Properties application was announced on Friday – 24 storeys with the retention of two historical properties on the south end – one on Brant and the other on James.

The ECoB team had a meeting with Deputy City Manager Mary Lou Tanner and several planning staff members on Thursday during which the 409 Brant application was not mentioned. News of the application came out early Friday.

ECoB has been warning council and staff that accepting the 421 Brant zoning amendment would open the door for other very hi-rise developments. “Despite assurances from council and staff, this is exactly what has happened. It is worth noting that the developers representative is the same Glenn Wellings who was so critical of citizen delegations on the Official Plan and suggested all were NIMBYs.”

421 Brant

City council approved the construction of the 23 storey 421 Brant project by a vote of 5-2.

The height allowance for 421 Brant street far exceeds the current Official Plan and the proposed new Official Plan.

This latest application 409m Brant – asks for even more height, “a contradiction of both Official Plans”.

ECoB said the mantra from City Hall has been that: “if we did not allow for height the developers would build ugly squat buildings”.

“Is this proposed development an attractive tall building?” asks ECoB

“Is the brick at the bottom supposed to maintain the character of Brant Street? Even if a few existing retailers survive, the character of Brant Street will be forever changed with the construction of this tower and however many more council and staff accede to. Engaged Citizens of Burlington has never believed that these heights satisfy good planning”.

ECoB is asking residents throughout the city to call and email all the Councillors and the Mayor to not ratify the application for 421 Brant Street. ECoB is pressing city council to truly listens to the residents and act on their behalf.

ECoB points out that numerous delegations were told that the 421 project would not be precedent. “The developers obviously think it is.”

Site - south of 421

The approved 23 storey condominium is shown is red – the application for a 24 storey tower on the south side of John Street is shown in black. Both are across the street from city hall.

The question that Council should be asking is this said ECoB – Does the City want to go to the OMB to defend their current official plan on behalf of the residents, or do they want to go to the OMB to fight against the residents?

ECoB is hosting a Municipal Election Workshop on February 22nd from 7-9pm at Tansley Woods Community Centre. Mark Carr will be moderating. The workshop is open to all residents who are thinking about running for city council.

The event is for volunteers who would like to help the candidate of their choice be successful or for those who want to know more about municipal politics as well.

Registration information along with members of the panel will be announced shortly.

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Hope spring eternal - disgruntled local Tories think there just might be a chance that the McKenna nomination will be tossed.

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 9th, 2018



Hope springs eternal.

Some of the Progressive Conservatives in Burlington are excited. The provincial PC’s have “uncovered new information on some nominations” and will be reviewing several questionable candidate nomination elections with an eye toward overturning contentious results according to a news story in the Toronto Star.

McKenna at her AGM

Jane McKenna, candidate for the PC nomination at the 2016  nomination meeting. She won by 41 votes.

There are those in Burlington that felt the nomination of Jane McKenna as the PC candidate was a put up job that was appealed to the party organization but a new nomination meeting was denied.

McKenna was very close to both Patrick Brown and the party president Rick Dykstra. With both of them gone for questionable behavior local PC members think that just maybe the new party administration will take another look at who the candidate for the provincial PC’s in Burlington should be.


If the McKenna nomination is found to have been flawed will Jane Michael run for the nomination again? Is the Pope Catholic?

“Since ex-leader Patrick Brown’s resignation two weeks ago, the provincial Tories have been cleaning house ahead of a new leader being elected March 10.”

As previously reported in the Star, about a dozen PC candidate nominations across Ontario have been ended in controversy, including in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, which is now the subject of a Hamilton Police investigation into allegations of criminal fraud and forgery.

In Ottawa West-Nepean, candidate Karma Macgregor won by 15 votes over runner-up Jeremy Roberts last May. There were 28 more ballots in boxes than the number of people registered to vote.

Democracy in action – messy but have you looked at the alternative?

Related news stories:

McKenna beats Jane Michael by 41 votes for the PC nomination in Burlington

A lot of rules got broken to nominate Jane McKenna as the provincial PC candidate for Burlington





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The pace of change is wicked. Beer and wine in the supermarket, cannabis at a corner store and now your transit card at the drug store where you can pick up the headache tablets and the Viagra you need to get through the week.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

February 9th, 2018



At some point it looks as if we are going to be able to get everything at one location.

Loblaws owns Shoppers Drug Mart, they also owe the citizens of Ontario a bit of cash for the price fixing they were doing for 14 years – but that is another story.

PRESTO Web Banner 2Shoppers Drug Mart is about to become the place where you can get your Presto transit card and have it loaded with the funds you need to get around town – when there is a transit service that will actually get you around town – but we digress.

Metrolinx, the people that operate the GO service – buses and trains – is entering into an agreement with the Presto service, that Burlington is required to use, that will provide some convenience for people who don’t manage their Presto card on line.


Wine and beer in supermarkets – can the hard stuff be far behind?

We can now purchase beer and wine in supermarkets. Cannabis is going to be sold in government operated retail outlets. The chance to get really stoned to celebrate the country’s 151st birthday has to be put on hold – the regulations for the selling of the weed won’t be in place in time.

cannabis retail outlet

Cannabis won’t be sold at independent retail outlets – it will in in a provincially operated retail outlet – where in Burlington has yet to be determined.

The politician who is overseeing the introduction of the public sale of cannabis is a former Toronto Chief of Police. The argument for having the government sell cannabis is to keep the business out of the hands of the criminals.

Get out of jail free card

Loblaws got to stay out of jail – we get a $25 gift card.

The people who sold us overpriced bread for 14 years have slipped around being found guilty because they confessed which got them one of those Get Out of Jail Free cards.

If Loblaws, which owns Shoppers Drug Mart, is going to be giving anyone who asks a $25 gift card – there must be some way for a citizen to have that $25 applied to their Presto card

Will there be a candidate for public office in Burlington making that their campaign platform

Interesting how the federal government can defer plans but Burlington can’t find a way to defer the approval of a new Official Plan when there are so many people opposed to the pace at which the plan is being put forward.

The late Jane Irwin once told city Council that Burlington is called BORINGTON by many people – wonder what dear Jane would say today?

Salt with Pepper is an opinion and observations  column written by the publisher of the Burlington Gazette

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Rivers: Is the growth in the American economy going to really mess up what the Ontario government has to do to keep inflation at bay?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

February 9th, 2018



“In the “old days,” when good news was reported, the Stock Market would go up. Today, when good news is reported, the Stock Market goes down. Big mistake, and we have so much good (great) news about the economy!” (Donald Trump Twitter Feb 7, 2018 – 9:59 AM).

Gasoline on a fireBut it’s like pouring gasoline on a fire, sir.  The US was already near full employment when Trump came into office.  So when Trump’s tax reform bill cut corporate taxes bigly, the US stock market players scrambled over one another to buy up those corporate shares.  And that drove up the market to historic levels, that is, until somebody whispered the word…. inflation.

Some inflation is normal in an economy, though it can get seriously out of hand as it did in the 80’s and 90’s.   And the instrument of choice to slow it down has been the interest rate.  It’s a draconian solution and tough medicine, jacking up the cost of borrowing to the point where the economy borders on recession.  We’ve seen this movie before and it ain’t pretty.

While corporate tax cuts may have spurred market volatility, Trump’s middle class tax cuts are also of concern when it comes to inflation.  More money in the pockets of the folks who spend almost every penny of it will lead to greater demand for goods and services which in a tight labour economy means inflation.

Mr. Trudeau, in his first budget, in 2016, also cut taxes for the middle class.  But Canada’s economy back then was hovering around recession with little danger of inflation.  And it worked because today Canada has the fastest growing economy in the G7 with near full employment numbers, especially in Ontario.

Wall street

A hiccup there means an upset stomach here.

Still when Wall St. hickups, it is felt around the world.  So it’s now officially a correction (10% reduction in share values) and the hissy fit is over, but the volatility is still there.  And it’ll take more than Valium to chill out those traders who can smell what is coming, even if the US president doesn’t.

Expansionist policies in good times are as wrong-headed as austerity measures during recessions.  Instead of adding more money to the US economy as it steams into a wall, Trump should be cooling his jets – election promises not withstanding.  Either he does that or the US Federal Reserve will do it for him by raising the interest rates in due course.  And Canada will necessarily follow suit.

Rising interest rates will be painful for all us common folk holding serious debt or wanting to remortgage our homes.   But it also drives up the cost of borrowing for governments which have let their debt pile up over the years.   Canada’s federal government is already more than $700 billion in the red and we pay out about $25 billion annually in interest payments, about a third of that to foreign interests.

The Fraser Institute estimates that debt by all levels of government in Canada now exceeds a trillion dollars and the cost of interest alone is in in excess of $60 billion – roughly what is spent on all primary and secondary education in the country.

Here in Ontario the Wynne government balanced its budget last year, the first time since the 2008 recession, and is now forecasting surpluses and paying down the debt going into the future.  Of course that does not include the recent mortgaging of the electrical sector by crown corporation Ontario Power Generation, but that is another story.  Still, Ontario’s debt level now exceeds $300 billion with annual interest payments around $12 billion a year.

Caroline flip flops

Caroline Mulroney flips on her carbon policy – decides to go with the party line.

There is a provincial election coming and the currently leaderless Progressive Conservatives are still leading in the polls, despite the fact that their last leader had been forced to resign in disgrace. The party’s election platform had been approved by the membership policy conference late last year and it includes taking Ontario back into deficit territory for at least the first year, should they become government.

This platform has essentially adopted most of the current Liberal programs.  But it also includes a notional 22% cut in income taxes that was to be balanced, in part, by a $4 billion carbon tax.   The carbon tax, an alternative to Ontario’s current efficient and business friendly ‘cap-and-trade’ program would be modeled on the one implemented in B.C.

Doug Ford

Doug Ford was the first PC leadership candidate out of the gate – a significant threat to the Ontario we now have.

Doug Ford was the first leadership contender out of the gate, and his first campaign promise was to not impose the carbon tax.  The other two declared candidates at first indicated they’d stick with the platform as it was.  But they have now flip-flopped on the carbon tax, taking their lead from Ford and sidling up to his position.

So the questions are what else these wannabe leaders are prepared to rip out of their official election platform?  Do they even have a platform anymore?  Are they going to ask Ontario voters to put them into office with a whacking on-going $4 billion deficit?

And what will that mean for Ontario’s future budgets when interest rates climb making that debt even more expensive?  Will that mean the end of some hard-won health and social programs, such as the pharmaceutical-care plan for our children?  Or will we just be plunged back into never ending deficit spending?

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:

US Unemployment Rate –   Deficit by Country –     Business and Stock

Inflation by Year –     Market Panic –    More Market –      Even More

Republican Deficit –     More markets Canada –     Government Debt

Even More –     Ontario Balanced Budget–    PC Candidates


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Developer wants to put 24 storey's across the street from city hall - matches the 23 storeys already approved on the north side of John Street.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 9th, 2018


This story has been upgraded since it was originally published.

If you were uncomfortable with the development planned for the NE corner of Brant and James – opposite city hall – get used to the application that has been submitted to the city for 409 Brant. That is the former site of Elizabeth Interiors on the SE corner of Brant and James .

Revenue properties rendering

Proposed development for 409 Brant – former site of Elizabeth Interiors – it ain’t pretty.

Their application is for a 24 storey tower.

The provincial Planning Act requires the city to process every application.

A department that has been run close to ragged with the applications that are being submitted, nine in December and at least one more since then, has to process whatever comes in the door .

The application is for a 24-storey building at the South East corner of Brant & James, encompassing the Elizabeth Interiors site up to Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and East to John St.
The proposal calls for incorporating the Bake Shoppe building, as well as the Albert L. Schmid Jeweller, Watch and Clockmaker building facing John Street into the design.

Rendering with Bake Shop

The developer has kept the cupcake shop in the design. Not certain that it will be Kellys.

The purpose of the application is to amend the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw to permit a 24 storey building, including 23 stories of residential and a one storey roof top amenity area.

The proposed building would include:

597 square metres of ground floor commercial and 227 residential units, five levels of underground parking with car access from John Street

Commercial units with front windows facing onto Brant Street, James Street and John Street.

There will be a public meeting – date not known yet.  Get there early – the room will be packed.

The applicant is Reserve properties, a Toronto based developer.

The developer’s planner is Glen Wellings who delegated for the Carriage Gate project.

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Ridge tells council there is going to be a workshop on the long awaited code of conduct for members of Council during a discussion on harassment and bullying in the city.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

February 8th, 2018


Ridge tells council there is going to be a workshop on the long awaited code of conduct for members of Council during a discussion on harassment and bullying in the city.

Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster was chairing a Committee of the Whole meeting and handed the gavel to the vice chair so she could speak to a memo she had distributed to her colleagues.

Much of what Lancaster had to say was deeply disturbing. Lancaster told of a threatening email she had received with a photograph of a severed wrist attached to it. A number of staff members received the same email – city manager James Ridge told the committee that he sent a very stern email response to the person who sent the document.

Lancaster on bullying

Councillor Lancaster speaking to her colleagues about a Task Force on harassment and bullying in Burlington.

Lancaster talked of a very unhealthy situation and suggested that when Councillor Meed Ward spoke on a matter of personal privilege the “council chamber was not a safe place” which seemed a little extreme but the way Lancaster puts it there does appear to be a problem with the way people address each other.

In her comments on the memo she sent to her Council colleagues she said she felt the city had an obligation to stop this kind of intimidation and harassment. She added that was sure every member of council has had one of their community meetings hijacked.

Lancaster said people feel that if they don’t agree with you they have the right to attack you verbally. She added that there are few strategies to deal with external harassment.

The discussion involved members of staff and it became clear that the Deputy City Manager was going to be tasked with whatever came out of the discussion. City Manager James Ridge added to the discussion and quietly let it be known that there would be a Workshop on the long forgotten Code of Conduct for members of city Council.

This matter has been waiting for someone to breath some life into it ever since the Mayor passed it along to the city manager many,many, many moons ago.

Ridge-Tanner + on code of conduct

City manager James Ridge explaining to council that there will be a Workshop on a code of Conduct for members of council – this has been in the works for more then five years – it was the province pushing the municipalities – several council members did everything they could to prevent the Clerk from creating such a document.

Ridge told Council that the province was now bearing down on the municipalities and requiring them to have a Code of Conduct for Councillors in place.

The city has a code of conduct for its staff – as far back as the first term of this council there has been bickering and some back stabbing between members of city council on what was acceptable behaviour.

For the first time in this reporter’s experience we heard a member of Council use a Point of Privilege to address a concern about the behaviour of a member of council.

Lancaster was asking for a Staff Direction that would:

Direct the Deputy City Manager to create a Task Force to address issues related to bullying and harassment in the City of Burlington both internally and externally and report back in Q3 2018.

The task force will make recommendations for Council approval that will be tied to a City of Burlington “Governance Model” that will support an inclusive environment at all City facilities that is safe and welcoming for all who engage with the City of Burlington. The Governance model will apply to stakeholder interactions both internally and externally.

Lancaster said that the incidences of harassment and intimidation have occurred both internally and externally and appear to be linked with the insurgence of social media, media, increased communication and participation with the public.

council with term dates

This council couldn’t agree on what should be in a Code of Conduct dung its first term – 2010 – 2014. They are going to have to put such a policy in place before the end of this term.

The Staff direction included the comment that “It has been difficult to address these incidences without clear policies in place. The city has some policies and programs that address bullying and harassment in the workplace, such as: respect in the workplace and the employee code of conduct. There is no overarching policy that brings together standards for interactions between staff and the public, with the exception of Parks and Recreation Department who do have some guidelines as they pertain to their programs. The Charter Action Team (ChAT) also began the work to engage citizens respectfully, but it is clear that more needs to be done by setting standards for all modes of communication and interactions with stakeholders.

The intent of the staff direction is to create a task force of stakeholders who will consider this matter and recommend policies to help address. The task force will be directed to consider a governance model in order to commit COB to zero tolerance policies that will identify bullying and harassment by any means, including: verbal communications, emails, social media, gestures, physical touching, telecommunications, untrue statements, threats, racism, bigotry, to name a few.

The COB “Governance Model” will set standards and policies for behaviour while working and engaging with the COB as well as guidelines that will identify harassment and bullying behaviours and will set out the necessary actions and responses that COB should take in order to eliminate or stop the harassment or bullying in order to protect and provide a safe environment for all individuals involved.

During the discussion Councillor Meed Ward made the point that one has to be careful to not use policies and practices to stifle citizen comment.

Sharman - bullying meet Feb 5-2018

Councillor Paul Sharman .

Councillor Sharman kept using the phrase “mis-information” without being specific as the the information he was talking about.  Information one doesn’t agree with is not mis-information.- whose information

Once established, policies must be communicated with an implementation plan, both to, and through, management. This ensures that management is given the appropriate guidelines and information to be able to comply with governance. This includes delegation of authority and responsibility, stakeholder communication with management to discuss feedback. Vision, strategies and policies are communicated to managers who are expected to communicate and comply with them. Decisions that have been escalated to management or where governance is not clear.

The Task Force would include:

Deputy City Manager
Councillor Blair Lancaster
Clerks Department employee
Legal Department employee
Human Resources Department employee
Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee member (Task Force will gain feedback regularly from the Inclusivity Committee)
Residents (2)
Halton Regional Police
City of Burlington Employees (2) Charter Action Team member
Maximum 12 members

Councillor Craven expressed a concern over how the Chair of a council committee can handle situations where the behaviour of a delegation is unacceptable.

Brian BIAC chair

Brian Wrixon, chair of the Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee speaking at a council meeting

Councillor Sharman told the Chair of the Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee that he had been watching some television on the growth of Nazism and how misinformation and propaganda was used by the Germans and asked if Brian Wrixon cared to comment on this and what was happening in Burlington. Wrixon said he had no comment.

Several council members said they realized the behaviour of the American president had radically changed what civil discourse has become – Burlington city council want to try to stem that tide.

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City services: what will be open and what will not be open on Family Day - February the 19th.

notices100x100By Staff

February 8th, 2018



A number of administrative services will be closed for Family Day on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, reopening Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018.

City Hall: Closed Monday, Feb. 19 and will reopen Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Family Day graphicParks and Recreation Programs and Facilities: Activities and customer service hours at city pools, arenas and community centres vary over the holidays. Please visit for a complete listing of program times and for hours at customer service locations.

Burlington Transit and Handi-Van: On Monday, Feb. 19, Burlington Transit will operate a holiday service and the downtown Transit Terminal, Handi-Van Dispatch and the administration office will be closed. Regular service resumes Tuesday, Feb. 20.

For real-time schedule information please call 905-639-0550 or visit
Roads, Parks and Forestry: The administration office will be closed Monday, Feb. 19 and will reopen on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Only winter control and emergency services will be provided.

Halton Court Services: Provincial Offenses Court in Milton and Burlington will be closed Monday, Feb. 19 and reopening Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Parking: Free parking is available in the downtown core, on the street, municipal lots and the parking garage on weekends and holidays.

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