Chair of the Planning and Building committee is in for a rough evening - 31 delegations have registered.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 23rd, 2018



Getting in front of members of city council to speak is proving a little awkward.

ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington are determined to bring this city council to heel and insist ob being heard.

A Planning and Building Committee meeting scheduled for this afternoon and this evening has 12 registered delegations this afternoon and 19 registered delegations for this evening.

ECoB sent a notice to Chair, Committee of Planning and Development Councillor Paul Sharman

Intense to the point of making delegations uncomfortable ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman does know how to drill down into the data and look for results.

Intense to the point of making delegations uncomfortable ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman will be asked to deal with some procedural issues at a Planning and Building meeting this evening.

Please be advised that members of Engaged Citizens of Burlington have notified the Clerk’s office that there were system interruptions with the Delegation Registration link last week. Confusion has ensued it is unclear if delegates will be turned away or refused the opportunity to address Committee at the November 23, 2018 Planning and Development Committee. We wish to provide clarity to our members.

Per Section 37.7 of the Procedural Bylaw 64-2016, Delegations will be permitted without prior registration during any public meeting as required by section 14.1 of the Planning Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. P.13. Delegations are strongly encouraged to register before the standard delegation registration deadline and will be asked to fill in an attendance form to fulfill legislative notice requirements.

Please confirm if a Procedural Motion is necessary or will be presented to allow anyone eligible in attendance to speak to the matters relating to Proposed New Official Plan (PB-50-17) & Proposed Downtown Mobility Hub Precinct Plan and proposed official plan policies (PB-81-17).

EcoB has developed the ability to be heard – they also know how to ambush the Mayor at his own meetings.

The group had planned a meeting for volunteers then learned that the Mayor called a meeting of his own to listen to people.

ECob held their meeting, prepared a list of things they wanted the Mayor to do and zipped over to the Mayor’s meeting to put their demands in front of him.

The Mayor promised to respond – nothing so far.

ecob signIn preparing for the meeting this evening ECoB is arguing that the Planning department has basically ‘run amuck’; citizens were urged to delegate and appear to have found that the system that handles delegate registration wasn’t working properly.

This council has never had to face a well-organized and angry group of citizens like this in their seven years of service.  Should be an interesting meeting.

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Rory Nisan: This should be #OurDecision.

opinionandcommentBy Rory Nisan

January 23rd, 2018



After writing my article “Emerging Democratic Issues at City Hall” on December 21, I hoped for more respect for the views of Burlington citizens and, more generally, a more transparent attitude from the City as it enters a critical time in its development. Time will tell, yet there have been numerous developments in recent weeks that continue to give cause for concern for the state of our city from a democratic perspective. Here are four:

(1) The letter from City Manager James Ridge to EcoB:

Ridge quote

While within his right to send a toughly worded letter threatening legal action related to a couple of political lines on a website, Mr. Ridge would benefit from using more honey and less vinegar. He could have invited ECoB for a meeting to discuss his concerns and to hear from ECoB also. It would be entirely proper and reasonable for the City Manager to reach out to a community group and meet with them and hear their concerns.

Instead, he used the threat of employing taxpayer money to sue the taxpayers themselves. Would expensive litigation have benefited the City, the taxpayers or ECoB? In fact, the only beneficiaries would have been the lawyers. ECoB could have called his bluff but took the high road and removed the supposedly offensive language from their website without delay.

Mr. Ridge should seek out the high road also.

(2) #GetTheFacts
A social media campaign is underway from the City of Burlington, using the hashtag GetTheFacts to make posts on Facebook supporting the draft official plan. Having worked in strategic communications myself, I can see the hallmarks of a deliberate intent to change citizens’ views about the downtown hub especially.

What is wrong with the city promoting its own plan? If it were an agreed upon, final document, there would be no problem.

However, this plan is anything but official. City Council has not voted, yet the unelected communications arm of the city is promoting the plan in order to sway the public’s opinion and that of city councillors, and is using taxpayer funds to do so by paying the salary of the communications staff.

If you don’t believe there is a strong bias, take a look at this post, which states that “higher density developments are located near the Burlington GO station away from the downtown core” when the proposal for the downtown includes permission for 17-story buildings. If 17 stories isn’t high density in Burlington, I don’t know what is. #GetTheFacts is the hashtag but these sound more like alternative facts.

Ask Grow Bold

This campaign should stop immediately; the City needs to get out of the way and allow the democratic process to unfold.

The city has no business influencing anyone about plans that are not approved. This is textbook anti-democratic.

This is almost certainly not the case of a rogue social media specialist. These deliberate strategies are typically thought through and assigned at senior levels. I have found the social media team at the city to be second-to-none in professionalism and providing information to the public.

This campaign should stop immediately; the City needs to get out of the way and allow the democratic process to unfold.

(3) $278,970
We learned recently that Mary Lou Tanner has been promoted to Deputy City Manager. A new position was created, and Ms. Tanner won an internal competition to be named to the role.


Former Director of Planning Mary Lou Tanner was appointed Deputy City Manager.

The City Manager should feel free to re-organize as he sees fit, but he asked for new money to pay for the position, instead of making the internal sacrifices necessary to have a new senior executive role.

Councillor Meed Ward put forward a motion asking that the new salary be included within the existing corporate management human resources budget but it failed at committee.

How much is a Deputy City Manager paid? Her exact salary isn’t known but once CPP, EI, benefits and other costs are added up, the new position will cost the taxpayer $278,970.

Is that good value for money? What else could the city do with that kind of cash? Here is one hypothetical example of many: the cost of a pilot project in Oakville in 2011 allowing seniors to ride free one day per week was estimated to be $45,200 per year and increased ridership on Mondays during the pilot by 578%. A rough, back-of-the-napkin calculation would indicate that we could allow seniors to ride free six days per week for less than the cost of the new Deputy City Manager.

Here is another idea. The $278,970 could be divided into four salaries of $69,742 to hire some top-notch staff to create a unit dedicated to improving the level of consultation and dialogue with taxpayers, building on best practices and ensuring that citizens’ view are heard at the highest levels and fully considered.

(4) Timing of the Reverse Town Hall
The Reverse Town Hall was a good initiative — an example of what Burlington needs in more supply. However, it was set at the last minute and on the same evening as a critical meeting for ECoB.

A charitable view of this would be that it was an unfortunate coincidence of timing.

A less charitable view would be that there was an attempt to undermine attendance at ECoB’s meeting by forcing people to pick between engagement sessions.

Goldring reverse town hall

Mayor explains what he heard at his Reverse Town Hall

As an optimist, and giving the benefit of the doubt, I prefer the former view. However, even that scenario would indicate an unfortunate lack of consideration of the political calendar in Burlington. More careful attention should be taken in the future, and if the City were taking a more inclusive approach to an important citizen-based committee, this error would not have occurred as outreach to ECoB at the same time as this event would have been on someone’s calendar.

Several of these four issues are connected in some manner, and they all concern democratic practice at City Hall. In an election year, I hope we can aspire to do better.

Councillors and the Mayor were given a mandate to govern in 2014. However, that mandate is not a carte blanche. They must return to the citizens regularly to check the pulse and ensure they are not outstripping their license to govern.

The Mayor taking questions at his State of the City Address is the right thing to do (though $45 tickets makes it very difficult for low- or fixed income individuals to be able to afford to attend and ask questions), as was the (unfortunately timed) Reverse Town Hall. Whenever an elected official puts themselves in the hot seat and takes un-moderated questions it is a positive development.

However, this City Council does not have a mandate to undertake the major changes envisioned in the updated Official Plan. A change of this magnitude needs to be put to the voters, if not as a referendum, then as an important element of an election’s discourse. Luckily, the 2018 election is right around the corner so it would be no trouble at all to delay a decision a few months.

A good and necessary first step was taken when the decision on the new Official Plan was delayed to April to allow more consultation. Going into important debates this week, we need more of this kind of reflection of the will of Burlingtonians.

To put it in social media terms, this should be #OurDecision.

rory shotRory Nisan is a long-time Burlington resident and Lester B. Pearson High School alumnus. He has been an active member of the Save Pearson community organization.


Related content:

Nisan on Emerging Democratic Issues at City Hall

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The fight to make the approving of an Official Plan an election issue.

background 100By Staff

January 23, 2018



There is probably a large part of the city that either doesn’t even know what is going on at city hall or are totally confused over what is taking place.

The Planning department has presented a number of very significant changes to city council – and city council has gone along with them.

Municipalities are required to review their Official Plan every five years. Burlington is in the midst of that process and there are a lot of people who don’t like what they see in the plan so far and are aghast at the speed with which the document is being approved.

It was originally to be completed by the end of January. That date got pushed forward to April.

The changes are so significant that some people, an admittedly small group, want the Official Plan made an election issue. That election is to take place late in October of this year.

Goldring reverse town hall

Mayor did a Reverse Town Hall.

The Mayor got concerned enough to hold a Reverse Town Hall where he listen to 100 + people who made it very clear to him that they were not happy campers. He was hearing seniors tell him that he has betrayed their trust. Not words any Mayor wants to hear heading into an election.

Wallace and Gould

When Karina Gould took the Burlington House of Commons seat Wallace decided he could serve as Mayor of the city.

Mike Wallace a five term former city Councillor who went on to become the Member of Parliament, got beaten by Karina Gould which sent Wallace back to square one, said in his campaign announcement on Monday that the QEW divide in Burlington has to be overcome.

It is almost as if there were two cities.

Every viable city needs a core; Burlington has one but the recommendations coming out of city hall and being approved by city council are seen as extreme by some. A 23 storey tower opposite city hall is too much for some people who don’t think this city council has a mandate to foist that level of development on the citizens.

That first tower is just the beginning – the city is reported to have 22 new applications for high rise buildings that are working their way through the Planning department.
City council is literally under attack and reeling from the assaults coming from a small organization known as ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington. The group claims they knew they were making headway when the city manager threatened them with legal action over some of the wording on their web site.

SaveOurWaterfront- Meed ward

Marianne Meed Ward rode the Save Our Waterfront movement all the way to city hall – can the Official Plan put her in the Mayor’s seat?

The Mayor is reported to have announced that the decisions being made about how development will be done on the downtown core have been moved forward to sometime in June. ECoB is pushing to have all this stuff made dependent on the election outcome.
Downtown ward 2 councillor Marianne Med Ward is very vocal about what she thinks is all wrong about what is taking place and she plans to present a number of motions at city council – one which is to put the approval of the city Official Plan on hold until the municipal election has taken place.

The developers have convinced themselves that what Meed Ward wants will be the end of Burlington.

Meed Ward has not announced that she is running for the Office of Mayor

In her Newsletter, which is widely read in every city ward she recently said:

421 Brant“Ever since council approved (5-2) the 23 storey building at the North East corner of Brant & James, people have become more aware of the proposed changes in the new Official Plan to the downtown, and elsewhere in the city including the neighbourhoods surrounding the Aldershot, Burlington and Appleby GO stations.

“I have heard from residents across the city, and the majority have said they aren’t happy with the proposed changes, especially for the downtown, and the entire Official Plan process seems rushed. They are asking for more time to review the most recent draft Official Plan and revised downtown policies (released in November), the track changes, comments and supporting documents, as well as additional analysis and mapping for the downtown released in mid-January 2018 – all of which is more than 2000 pages.

“Though the Official Plan began in 2011, it started as an update, and the downtown was not included in the scope. On Oct. 31, 2016, the project changed from an update to a rewrite of the Official Plan. The first draft of the Official Plan was released in April 2017. The downtown policies were not ready. The new downtown policies were first released in September 2017, with a revised draft in November. The revised draft Official Plan was also released in November. The mobility hubs were discussed at committee for the first time in December.

“So, we’ve had less than three months to digest and make the best decisions for the downtown, the mobility hubs and the city.
“We need to give ourselves and the community more time to make the right decision for our city. Residents also want to put the Official Plan to the test of democracy by postponing approval till after the October municipal election and asking candidates to campaign on the OP.

“There is no need to rush. Municipalities are required to review our Official Plan every five years, but there is no deadline for completion. We’ve been at our OP for six years without penalty, so what’s a few more months? City business has continued throughout the review, receiving and processing development applications. Nothing stops while we work to get it right.”

You can see where this is going and for parents who are busy getting the kids out to hockey games or wondering just what the teenagers are doing – an Official Plan is not top of mind.

Tell them that it is important and they will agree and add that that is what they have a city council for – to do the right thing.

Most of the people involved in the protesting say – that’s the problem – they aren’t doing the right thing.

The council meeting Tuesday night is going run late.

What is astonishingly remarkable – the public is hearing nothing from the other five members of Council.  The Mayor is vocal – he is running hard to keep his job.

Note a word so far from the other five members of council.

Taylor John slight side view

John Taylor – Dean of the city council with 25+ years of service.

Dennison announcing

Jack Dennison has served for more than 20 years.

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster - both first term members. Will they both be returned?

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster were both elected in 2010 and returned in 2014.

Councillor Craven could make ammends and spearhead a drive to get the Freeman Station located in Spencer Smith Park where it belongs. That would mean getting along with Councillor Meed Ward. Can Craven get beyond his problems with Meed Ward and see the greater good for the city?

Councillor Craven has served for more than a dozen years.

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Conservation Authority advises it expects up to 25 mm of rain the fall in the watershed which will increase the flow into the creeks. Be cautious.

News 100 greenBy Staff

January 23, 2018



Water statement Feb 28Conservation Halton advises that as of 11:30 PM January 22nd, rain gauges throughout the watershed have recorded rainfall totals up to 15 mm over the last 24 hours.

The weather system currently passing through the watershed may bring an additional 10 mm of rain overnight prior to ending Tuesday morning. These rainfall amounts combined with saturated ground conditions will result in elevated water levels and increased flows in local creeks.

Creek - rushing water

With as much as 25 mm of rain in the past 24 hours the flow pf water in the watershed creeks will be higher and faster. Caution.

Further, milder temperatures and melting ice may contribute to blockages at bridges and culverts and produce localized flooding concerns in low lying areas.

Widespread flooding is not currently anticipated. Our reservoirs are currently at winter holding levels which allows for larger storage capacity for circumstances of this nature.

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

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream and weather conditions and will issue an update to this Watershed Condition Statement –Water Safety message as conditions warrant.

This Watershed Condition Statement will be in effect through Wednesday January 24, 2018.

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Burlington MP featured in a half hour Cogeco production.

News 100 redBy Staff

January 22, 2018



It is close to a full half hour long – more puff than substance but interesting if you are a dedicated Liberal.

Gould from Cogeco

She got it right over the plate at a Burlington Herd baseball game.

Karina Gould, Burlington MP and the Minister of Democratic Institutions and the youngest person to be made a member of Cabinet, was the feature of a Cogeco Cable TV production that focuses on the Millennial Ministers.

The Gazette got a mention for some of the pictures we provided.

Worth spending some time on – better than an Infomercial.

Click here for the link.

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Mike Wallace makes it official - he wants to be the next Mayor of the city.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 22, 2018



Mike is in – no surprise there.

And leadership is going to be his core issue.

That approach lets him hit left and right – he will tell us he can do a better job than the current Mayor and that you really don’t want the direction the as yet unannounced candidate Marianne Meed Ward will take the city.

Wallace announcing Jan 22-18

Wallace announcing he wants to be the next Mayor of Burlington.

Standing in a bone chilling spot outside city hall – not in the Civic Square, Mike Wallace let it be known what he thought of the new provincial election rules that forbid spending any money to get elected before nomination day May 1st.

So – there was Mike with a decent number of supporters shifting from foot to foot to keep their feet warm.

Keith Strong had to make the opening remarks without the benefit of a microphone – that would have meant spending some money which the rules don’t allow. Strong told the audience of Mikes 5 terms on city council and three terms as the Burlington Member of Parliament during which time he brought $250 million of benefits from the federal government to the city.

Wallace has a seasoned performer as his campaign manager who told the Gazette that they will be polling the public – using the Angus Reid organization to do that job.

Wallace announcement crowd

It was a respectable crowd on a cold rainy day.

With the microphone in hand Wallace told the audience that the issue was leadership. Under his watch there would not have been a New Street bike lane that went from nowhere to nowhere. Wallace told the audience that the car is a fact of life in Burlington.

He did say that there are transit issues and that as Mayor he will deal with those issues through a collaborative process with his council members.

Wallace is going to be putting forward ideas that are actionable in a process he will be “upfront” about.

Wallace points to his accomplishments as a city Councillor and as an MP; some of them are a little dated but significant nevertheless: Funding for the Performing Arts Centre; benefits for the Downtown core – he points to the Locust Street parking garage as an accomplishment of his.
Wallace told his audience of supporters that Burlington does a unique demographic – there are a lot of seniors and they have specific needs that he intends to ensure are delivered.

He adds that the city is an expensive lace for younger people to be able to buy a home. “The younger people are moving out” he said, “There are no opportunities for them here”.

Wallace - first campaign interview

First Wallace interview at the start of the campaign to get elected Mayor.

Congestion in the city is out of control. “It is hard to get around” he said adding that that problem had to be solved but we “can’t just ignore the car”. We need a realistic approach and we have to get away from “ideological” answer.

Wallace doesn’t like the way the city was engaging with its citizens. “We need a new more progressive perspective and added that “the problems can be resolved by working together”. Wallace is looking for consensus and wants Burlington to be “more than the place we live”.

This election isn’t about who the nicest person is” said Wallace.

And with that he suggested they all adjourn to the Queen’s Head.

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Rivers asks: What is our country’s readiness to face the unthinkable?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

January 22, 2018



It’s 8 am on a sunny Saturday morning and you’ve received a message on your phone, also blaring on radio and TV, that there is a missile of unknown origin coming your way and you need to seek immediate shelter. That is the kind of terror that people living in Hawaii recently experienced. That it was a mistake this time, a technical error, doesn’t make it any less gut wrenching. In fact that incident begs the question about our country’s readiness to face the unthinkable.

ban the bombThere is a no-brainer – ban the bomb – but that’s not going to happen because it’d have to be global. Singing Kumbaya from the universal planetary hymn book just won’t cut it, and neither will hope and prayer. But then who would want to do this to us? Canada has no international enemies, right, except maybe ISIS or the Taliban? We are otherwise at peace.

And if peace ain’t enough, there are some of those anti-missile defence systems. Shooting down your enemy’s missiles is almost as old an idea as the missiles themselves, going back to Germany’s V1s and V2s. The Russians now have more modern ABMs, so does Israel, China, India and the USA of course.

There used to be an international treaty banning the development of anti-ballistic missile systems (ABM). But then GW Bush tore it up and in the process empowered/emboldened one very paranoid former KGB agent by the name of Vladimir Putin. And the Russians responded by tearing up the treaty limiting multiple warheads (MIRV). MIRV missiles with ten to fifteen individually targeted warheads are real hard to find and get and the latest Russian technology makes these warheads even harder to take out.

All of this kind of talk takes us back to the cold war option of mutually-assured-destruction. Unless one can guarantee there are enough accurate ABMs to take out all the incoming nukes it’s back to the Doomsday scenarios, fallout and bomb-proof shelters, as they have retained and restored in Moscow.

Star Wars graphic

An illustration of how the Star Wars technology was going to save everyone.

Of course Ronald Reagan who was fond of Star Wars, got a lot of laughs, but back in 2005 Bush Junior tried to involve Canada in its military’s efforts at developing a fleet of North American ABMs. Despite years of testing and development and more money handed to the military-industrial complex than anyone can imagine, performance is still less than perfect. And perfect is what is needed if you are to prevent a multi-megaton nuclear missile from cleaning up your neighbourhood, giving new meaning to the term urban renewal.

Give peace a chancePeriodic test failures provide little comfort that these systems with highfalutin names like THAAD and Aegis would actually do the job. We can tell by the near panic we hear from the man in the White House every time his favourite Rocket Man over there fires off one of his new toys. They certainly couldn’t stop North Korea’s launches over Japan with their ABMs. What makes anyone think these systems could really stop the big one should it ever be coming to a location near you?

Paul Martin, clinging to power with a slim minority government and facing opposition from the Bloc and NDP, told Bush a big negatory back in 2015. Canada would not be in. And seriously, if there were four nuclear ICBMs headed to North America targeting Settle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Vancouver – and a Canada/US missile defence system could only intercept three of them – which city would get the short straw?

But some issues never go away. Media folk, perhaps prompted by US defence contractors, raised the topic again last week as Canada co-hosted an international summit on North Korea’s nukes, out in our own la la land, Vancouver. The purpose was to discuss enforcing sanctions on Kim’s little ole’ republic ahead of any negotiations, or something like that. And being the gracious hosts we are, we handed over some chump change (~$3 million) to the cash-starved US to continue to monitor the Russians and Chinese as they breach the UN sanctions.

Of course the hermit dictatorship wasn’t invited and neither of its two influential neighbours China and Russia attended either. So neither of those nations were able to explain why they violate the very sanctions they committed to when they voted for them. There were also suggestions that this would demonstrate to the often belligerent US president that negotiations, rather than the bully-pulpit, or worse, might be more effective. But Trump couldn’t attend, perhaps needing to get some exercise and attend to his putter… or doctor.


Thew people that mattered weren’t in the picture.

There were speeches by foreign ministers from some 20 countries apparently, but only Japan and the US really mattered and neither of those had anything new to add. I’m glad I didn’t attend, well actually I wasn’t invited. But had I been, I would rather have headed for a couple days of something more stimulating up at Whistler. Though at least Vancouver’s weather was a little warmer for a boondoggle than Ottawa’s or Burlington’s, but still too cold for those used to Mar-a-Lago.

But the good news was that this so-called summit had no sooner begun then it was upstaged by serious diplomatic events happening on the Korean peninsula. After a phone call and series of meetings North and South Korea have agreed on a joint athletics team for the 2018 winter games in Pyeong Chang (S. Korea) early next month. And they are talking about other stuff too – so who knows maybe they’ll be restarting peace talks? We’ve seen this movie before but perhaps the ending will be different this time.

Of course Trump is taking credit for this new dialogue, and it is not inconceivable that his fire and fury may have actually helped. But the peace prize, if there is one, will have to go to South Korea’s recently elected pacifist president Moon Jae-In – who came into office promising dialogue. And if that means Kim will ultimately be retiring his nukes, then we here, next door to his real nemesis, will be able to sleep soundly again. And that might put to rest any talk of rushing to pour real Canadian cash into an American ABM system, which has yet to prove its reliability.

Missile testing

The missiles are tested and shipped to almost anyone who can pay for them.

Fellow NATO partners Turkey and Greece have recently purchased Russian-made S series anti-missile/aircraft systems. France has developed its own system. And we in Canada have a defence co-operation treaty and a free trade agreement with Ukraine, which had built many of the former Soviet systems, including those massive SS-24 nukes with 10 warheads, back in the day. Under attack from its more technically advanced neighbour now, this eastern European nation is actively seeking partners to help fast track development of its former missile and missile defence industries.

Perhaps we need to be looking longer and further afield if a missile defence system becomes a priority for this country and peace is no longer the answer. After all, there is merit in that the old adage that good fences make better neighbours. Just ask the Ukrainians.

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:

Hawaii Missile Alert –  Canada and US ABM –  More Canada ABM –   Nightmare Scenario –   Joint Attack Preparation –   NK Summit –   ABM Tech –   Korea Talks –   Vancouver Summit –    Olympics –    Vancouver Summit

Canada Contributes –    American ABMs –    American ABMs Failures

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Getting your views in front of members of city council - pretty easy.

News 100 yellowBY Staff

January 21st, 2018



City Council seeks different public points of view through the delegation process at statutory meetings.

Many may not be aware that there is a simple and efficient way for people to express solidarity for or against a motion that is before a city Council.

It takes the form of an e-mail to, or a telephone call to 905-335-7600, ext. 7481 or letter (which at this point would need to be hand-delivered) to the City Clerk at City Hall, 426 Brant St, Burlington, ON L7R 3Z6 ).

Communications received prior to noon of the day before Council meets permits the City Clerk to include the number of communications received along with any delegate submissions to the Councillors for review prior to the scheduled meeting. The absolute deadline for receipt is prior to when Council sits to decide the matter (which will likely follow all delegations made on the evening of the 23rd.

It should state the date and name of the meeting that the communications are directed to. In this case “Jan 23, 2018 Planning and Development Committee

ECoB ledtter write graphicThe letter you send should look something like this:

My name is (first-name, last-name).

I live at (Burlington residence address complete with Postal Code).

I am of voting age.

I support or reject (concise expression of what you want).

Sample expressions:

• a motion to delay approval of the Official Plan until after the upcoming Municipal Election

• Councillor Meed Ward’s 8 (or specify which of the 8) motions as outlined in the Jan 23rd Agenda Package

• the delegation as presented by (named delegate)

I wish to preserve my right to seek an appeal through the OMB or LPAT should Council approve/reject (concise expression of what you don’t want).

Thank you

Any communications from an organization on a Municipal Planning & Development matter can be challenged for misrepresentation by a legal authority under the Ontario Planning Act such as City Council, Regional Council, the OMB or LPAT.

To meet such a challenge, communications must be approved by at minimum, the majority of the elected executive of the organization or preferably, a majority of the membership vote at an organization sanctioned meeting. The evidence of compliance takes the form of the minutes taken at the meeting which must include a copy of the approved communication complete with the tally of votes for and against along with a list of the meeting participants.

Some people feel that these letters just get added to the minutes of the meeting and are ignored – not so.  Members of Council pay close attention to these letters – they are an indication of just how people feel.

The Gazette is indebted to a citizen for the details on how to be heard at city hall.

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A large part of the public has taken back the power they gave the people they elected to office

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

January 21st, 2018



Burlington is going through an experience it hasn’t had for some time.

They have taken back the power they gave the people they elected to office because those people have not exercised that power effectively or efficiently.

One speaker at the Mayor’s Reverse Town Hall told the Mayor that “You have lost our trust.”
Democracy is a delicate process, it needs constant care and attention which, unfortunately, many citizens have failed to provide.

council with term datesPoliticians have to be held accountable – and not just during elections. Every member of the current council was re-elected in 2014 – they took that as a signal that they could continue doing what they had done the previous four years. That is the message the taxpayers sent.

And the voters in Burlington may well be sending a similar signal again.

Can you name people who are putting their names forward as candidates? The Gazette is aware of two young men who are planning to run for Council seats – unfortunately both are in the same ward so all the city will get is one of the two. Both would be welcome additions to council.

The Gazette has met with close to a dozen people encouraging them to run for office. In several cases they would earn more than what they are currently earning.

There is something noble about being chosen by your peers to represent and preserve what the city they have chosen to live in has going for itself.

There are conditions to being asked to serve; like being invited to dinner – you are expected to leave at some point. The current Council has two members who need to move on and recognize that fresh minds are needed.

When ending a career in civic service the idea is to get out at a high point.

Those who have been Councillors for a long time will not be motivated to move on if they don’t see younger, fresher faces biting at their ankles.

In the past we have seen people put their names forward who were not ready for public office and brought little in the way of wisdom or experienced to the table. There was at least one that got elected in 2010 that met that condition.

The new election rules – pushing back the nomination date to May 1 from January 1 makes it a little harder to create a profile or get known – but it can be done.

If a candidate cannot raise a team to get themselves elected to office then they are not ready for office.
There is a public waiting for good candidates to come forward.

Marianne Meed Ward delegated so often at city council in 2008, 2009 and 2010 that she became a known entity and got behind an issue that mattered to people.

The current Mayor wants to serve a third term, a former city Councillor and former Member of Parliament wants back in and will announce formally on Tuesday that he will run for the office of Mayor.

city hall with flag poles

The seat of government – yards away from the Cenotaph that recognizes those who lost their lives defending the democracy that gets practiced at city. There is an obligation to honour and respect their sacrifice.

There is an Aldershot resident who ran for the Chairmanship of Regional Council in 2014 with absolutely no experience in municipal government who has now convinced himself that on the basis of the votes he got in 2014 he can get elected as Mayor of Burlington. There is a line in that poem: Twas the night before Christmas – “While visions of sugar plums danc’d in their heads” – the words were intended for children but an adult seems to have taken them on.

We get asked regularly “Is she going to run? Is she going to run?

Did God make little green apples?

Of course Meed Ward is going to run – she is being very strategic on choosing when she announces.

The question that follows is – who will run for the ward 2 seat? And is it possible for Meed Ward to end up with a council that will have 4-3 votes for motions.

The city didn’t like it all that much when Cam Jackson’s council produces a lot of those 4-3 votes and look where replacing Jackson got us. But that is another story.

Salt with Pepper is an opinion column written from time to time by the publisher of the Gazette

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Freeman Station gets a hand from city hall - well deserved.

Budget 2018 ICONBy Staff

January 21st, 2018



After years of really hard work, incredible dedication the city has finally done the right thing with the Friends of Freeman Station.

Freeman - close to final

The station got moved less than 100 yards from where it was rotting to its new home beside the Fire Station HQ in Plains Road. It was citizen initiative that made it possible.

When it became evident the city administration couldn’t find a way to save the station, they weren’t even able to sell the structure for kindling, the Friends of Freeman was formed and, due to the efforts of two Council members – Blair Lancaster and Marianne Meed Ward, they were given the time to come back to Council with a solution.


The collection of equipment related to railways that will be housed at the Freeman Station grows regularly. Telephone used by the station master.

There are a couple of council members who should be hanging their heads in shame – hopefully they will have the grace to not show up when the place is fully operational and the ribbon is cut.

At a budget committee last week council approved a $50,000 grant to Friends of Freeman Station to be matched by $50,000 in fundraising to complete the final stages of Regional water hookup, after a long time sponsor could no longer contribute free services.Freeman Junction sign BEST

Over time the Freeman Station will become a destination and the tens of thousands of model railway types will flock to the city. Tourism will benefit significantly.

The city has contributed $50,000 – Freeman Friends now have to raise an additional $50,00 – get your cheque book out.

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Hamilton Cardinals, their IBL baseball team, have decided to use the ownership model used by the best team in the league.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

January 21st, 2018



There is life for the Hamilton team in the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) who announced the team will be on the field this spring under new – joint – ownership.

IBL logo - all teamsThe joint ownership program, modeled after the Barrie Baycats, which has a 20-person ownership group, will breathe new life into the Hamilton team, ensuring the team has the funding and support needed to once again become a competitive baseball club, and make team ownership an exciting and affordable reality for local baseball fans.

KyleDeGrace with IBL trophy 2017

The Barrie Baycats took the IBL trophy in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

John Kastner, the Intercounty Baseball League commissioner said “Hamilton has a long history of baseball, but in recent years, maintaining that history and commitment has been in jeopardy. Under this new model, we believe the team is now in a position to be able to continue that history with a solution that will see this team supported in a new and sustainable way.”

Carmen’s Group and the City of Hamilton have both committed to helping facilitate the joint ownership program, and that work is underway. “We are thrilled to help rebuild one of Hamilton’s oldest flagship sports teams,” said PJ Mercanti, CEO, Carmen’s Group. “This is a fantastic opportunity for community funders and baseball fans alike to come together, support the team and experience great baseball, at an affordable price, close to home. There is tremendous potential for community engagement that we have here before us and we anticipate a great deal of interest.”

The City of Hamilton will use existing capital budget dollars to ensure Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium is ready to go for the Cardinals’ 2018 season, and together the IBL, Dean DiCenzo the team’s General Manager, Carmen’s Group and the City are working on a plan to recruit the new owners. As a starting point and in keeping with the proven Barrie model, the group is aiming for 20-25 joint owners at $5,000 apiece. A management board of five or six members will be elected by the ownership group.

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger previously met with team representatives and strongly supports rallying behind the team. “The Hamilton Cardinals have a long, 60-year history in this city and I could not be more pleased that they’re getting a chance to resurrect themselves through this new ownership model,” he said. “This team is passionate and resilient, and I look forward to seeing our community come together to support them this coming season, and for many seasons to come.”

To inquire about becoming a joint owner of the Hamilton Cardinals, please contact PJ Mercanti at

The Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) is the top level baseball league in Ontario, boasting ex-major league professional and elite NCAA college baseball players. The 2018 season will mark the IBL’s 100th season. The IBL is the fifth longest continually operated baseball league in the world and serves as a valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff. More than 40 IBL players have advanced to Major League Baseball or returned to the IBL following the their MLB careers. The league is comprised of teams from Barrie, Brantford, Kitchener, London, Toronto, Guelph, Burlington and Hamilton.

Hamilton basebal player

Hamilton Cardinal right-fielder Connor Bowie stretches to snag a fly ball during a 9-4 loss to the Burlington Herd.

Founded in 1958, and part of the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL), the Hamilton Cardinals are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. They are the second oldest sports team in Hamilton and last won the IBL Championship in 1978. Players range in age from 19-35. Many are former major leaguers and minor pro players as well as current and former NCAA/U sports players. Home games are played at Bernie Arbour Memorial Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario. For more information, visit

Carmen’s Group is a leading hospitality and entertainment brand in Hamilton, Ontario. Established in 1978, they have created and operate some of the Hamilton region’s most beloved establishments: Carmen’s, the Best Western Premier C Hotel, Baci Ristorante, the Hamilton Convention Centre, The Lakeview, and Dundas Valley Golf & Curling Club.

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Pivotal council meeting on Tuesday; chamber is expected to be packed.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 21st, 2018



It will be a pivotal meeting and it will run for a long time, it might even need an additional day for everyone to be heard.

The delegations will be repetitive which doesn’t work for this city council. They would rather hear something said just the once; they don’t appreciate just how deep the feelings are about what is being done to their city.

Some will make up their minds on how they will vote in the October election based on how they see the current council reacting.  Sitting and listening to people in stone cold silence is not going to cut it this time.  Should someone offer the results of a survey many will be watching how the Councillor from ward 4 will respond.

ECoB rally posterWill the chair of the meeting once again tell the people who pay the taxes that they cannot applaud when they hear something they support and yet have to accept the applause that is given when the Mayor hands out a proclamation  or certificate of appreciation.

A citizen has said that: “In my view the City’s communication on the whole OP has been woeful. They are in part the masters of their own misfortune on this issue. They have been completely outplayed by the ECOB group and the no tall buildings crowd. I think part of the issue is that a lot of this is pretty complex stuff with a lot of moving parts. It’s not as simple as do you want tall buildings in the downtown or not. That’s no excuse however for not being able to explain complex concepts to the citizens of Burlington over the last year or so.”

Indeed ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington have kept the focus on the downtown core; others have picked it up and the message has swelled.

Blair Smith said: Quite simply, the Official Plan is too important to Burlington’s future to be rushed to approval. There are still too many pieces that are incomplete or in conceptual form for “The Plan” to be finalized. Regardless of where one stands on the many issues that the new OP raises, I think that it is fair for the people to speak at the polls in October. Although legally it is within the mandate of the current Council to approve a new Official Plan, it would be ethically and morally wrong to do so.

“In 2014 the people of Burlington did not give the current Council a clear mandate to determine the City’s landscape for the next 50 to 100 years. In fact, given a 34% voter turnout in 2014, the people barely gave Council a mandate to exist. I hope that Council will do the “right thing” and defer approval of the Official Plan and establish a clear and unambiguous referendum around the OP as part of the election in October 2018. Then the people can truly speak and be heard.”

Democracy in action is certainly vibrant.

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The Official Plan being developed is the bedrock on which future growth is being based - let it be the core issue in the October 2018 election.

opinionandcommentBy Jim Young

January 20th, 2018



Yielding to intensive lobbying, delegation and protests from Citizens Groups, Local Businesses and even from Building Developers, Burlington City Council and Staff have pushed the schedule for passing their revamped “Official Plan.” Back to April 2018.

The original December 2017 schedule for Burlington’s most important planning document for the next several decades, was being rushed in order to have the plan adopted before it could become a 2018 election issue. On Tuesday January 23, council will discuss final implementation dates for that plan.

The question now becomes: Will that final vote by council in April still allow Councillors to avoid electoral accountability in next year’s election?

Official-Plan-Binder_ImageThis New Official Plan is important enough to be a major issue in that upcoming election so those same community groups are now saying very loudly that accountability to citizens can only be served by moving the decision back until a new council is elected. Instead of rushing to avoid electoral accountability, we should spend the time finalizing a Plan that serves all of our city and let the election be a referendum on the plan.

That New Official Plan must be based on the Mobility Hub, Transit and Cycling Plans, which have been promised but not yet completed, begging the question: “How do you build an overarching plan when the building block plans are not yet in place?” These should all be developed and put in place first, with real input from Citizen, Retail and Commercial Groups and with real engagement; not the pseudo consultation that has taken place to date,.

Mobility hub + graphic

The Official Plan will rely on and be informed by the Transit plan, the Transportation plan and the finalization of the Mobility hubs. Citizens want council to wait until the other studies are completed before making the Official Plan final.

The New Official Plan proposes a radical change to our city. It contemplates massive increases in population, allowing hi-rises on traditional downtown retail and commercial sites with no allowance for preserving the quality of life for residents. The city would have us believe that any negative effects of the Plan will be addressed by Mobility Hub, Transit and Cycling Plans which, as previously stated, are not even in place yet.

As our city moves forward with the revised schedule for its Official Plan, citizens ask our city;

Jim Young A

Jim Young, a frequent delegator at city council.

1. Please do not close off further citizen input and delegation. The legalities of the Official Plan approval process demand citizen input. To date that input has at best been directed by staff rather than real participation by those citizens directly impacted. The best and most attention grabbing ideas so far have come from engaged and active citizens groups, small businesses even city developers and not from the Pseudo Involvement so far undertaken by the city. Let staff and council use this time and this groundswell of engagement to seek real input to improve and perfect the plan.

2. Having accepted that the timeline for the New Official Plan was indeed flawed and reacted appropriately by revising that timeline, we ask that the decision on the zoning amendment for 421/423 Brant Street be revisited and any revisions of that zoning be included as an integral part of the fresh review of the New Official Plan. The parallels between the two issues, Intensification in General, and Specific Downtown Zoning are so similar it seems logical to consider one as part of the other bigger issue.

Jim Young

Jim Young speaking up for his community.

3. Citizens accept that council are elected and staff employed to provide the best possible planning for our city’s future. We will not always agree on what that planning may look like so we rely on two things to limit city power in such disagreements.

First: The professionalism and qualification of city staff to provide guidance to council.

Second: The underlying accountability that our representative democracy gives us to hold our elected officials to.

So we ask again: Why the rush to pass this Plan? If it truly is the basis on which our city will be built over the coming decades, and if our city fathers truly believe in the plan they have created, why not let council make this New Official Plan the core issue in the 2018 election? Why not let the people speak?

Be assured that citizen groups are paying very careful attention to this issue and council’s responses to their voices. A failure to listen to your citizens now will not go unnoticed in October.

Jim YoungJim Young is one of the founding members of ECoB –  Engaged Citizens of Burlington. He lives in Aldershot.



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No shovels in the ground yet for the 421 Brant Street project.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2018



There was one piece of information given out by the Mayor that didn’t elicit much in the way of a response.

He said near the very end of his two hour Reverse Town Hall meeting that the 421 Brant project had been approved by city council and that he didn’t see anything that would change that decision.

421 BrantThe Mayor was one of two council members that voted against the 23 storey project – he had said he could live with 17 storeys.

ecob signECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington is said to have an appeal to the OMB they are ready to file at city hall but have yet to do so – they apparently need to wait until some certain conditions have been met.

We asked Councillor Mead Ward what the different options are including if the city council procedural bylaw permits the city to change their minds. Her answer was yes and no; it was illuminating.

“Technically, the final decision on 421 Brant has not been made; that won’t happen until the amending bylaws come forward for a council vote. Usually, the bylaws are presented at the same time as the vote on the application, except when community benefits are negotiated. Those are negotiated after council votes on an application, and the benefits come back for final vote alongside the amending bylaw.

“As community benefits are being negotiated for this development, because of the increased height/density, the bylaws and community benefits will come back at a future date (likely in the spring) for council vote. That vote will be the final decision on the matter.

“Council could choose at that time NOT to approve the amending bylaws, which would stop the project. That is unlikely but technically possible.

“The fact that the final decision on this matter hasn’t yet been made is why in December the Engaged Citizens of Burlington could not file an Ontario Municipal Board appeal of the council “decision” on 421 Brant; a decision hasn’t been made until there is a vote on the bylaws, which hasn’t happened yet. The bylaw vote triggers the appeal period to file an appeal with the OMB (or the new Land Planning Appeals Tribunal).

Meed Ward H&S

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward chair a Standing Committee meeting.

Reconsideration Motions:
“In general terms, council can choose at any time to “reconsider” a vote – (but that doesn’t apply in this case because as explained the final vote hasn’t occurred). A motion to reconsider an item requires a 5-2 vote; You can’t even reconsider a decision unless the 5-2 motion passes.

“If the reconsideration motion passes, council can then discuss/debate the item and make a different decision; a simple 4-3 majority is required.

“Only someone who voted in the affirmative on the original motion can present a motion to reconsider the decision.”

That means either Councillor Taylor, Sharman, Craven or Lancaster could put this matter back on the table. Given that none of the four attended to Mayor’s Reverse Town Hall and didn’t get to hear how angry people are there is little likelihood of anything like that happening.

Councillor Dennison was at the meeting and he did vote for the project. No one made any comment on Dennison.

Of this project is going to be stopped the citizens are going to have to hope that ECoB has a strong argument and can find the funds to fight the case at the OMB.

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Police looking for a vehicle that was stolen and the man that did the stealing - the thief is dangerous and the car is damaged.

Crime 100By Staff

January 19th, 2018



On January 18th, 2018 at 2:45pm, Halton Regional Police Service was called to a fail to remain collision which occurred in Burlington. The male suspect then carjacked a dark grey 2005 Acura ATL 4-door sedan with Ontario marker; BBJL781, from an elderly female.

The vehicle was then involved in a short pursuit with police resulting in the suspect colliding with a police cruiser. If members of the public observed this incident, police are still looking for witnesses.


Stolen vehicle

This stolen vehicle has yet to be recovered and police are asking for the public’s assistance if vehicle is observed.

The male suspect has been identified as: Terry Lurch STROME (41 years old of Dundas). (See attached photo of suspect)


Terry Strome wanted by police – is known to be violent and to resist arrest.

He is wanted for several criminal offences including robbery, flight police, dangerous driving and criminal negligence among others. The last known location of the vehicle was entering the 407 westbound at Highway 400 at 7:14pm on January 18, 2018. STROME has a history of violence and known to flee from police.

If a member of the public has knowledge regarding the whereabouts of Terry STROME; they are encouraged to contact police. Personal safety is the #1 priority, please call police and do not approach suspect.

Anyone who may have any information pertaining to this investigation is asked to contact the Detective Jared McLeod of the HRPS Burlington Criminal Investigation Bureau 905-825-4747 ext. 2385 or Crime Stoppers “See Something, Hear Something, Know Something – Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at or by texting “Tip 201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

Original news story.

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Angela Coughlan Pool closed for longer than expected.

notices100x100By Staff

January 19th, 2018



That Service Disruption at the Angela Coughlan Pool is going to be extended to Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 for regularly scheduled programs and rentals.

Angela Coughlan Pool will be closed as of 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, 2018 due to an unplanned maintenance issue.

Afternoon and evening rentals, as well as the 5:30 p.m. Leisure Swim are cancelled.

The pool is planned to reopen on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018 for regularly scheduled programs and rentals.

Angela Coughlan Pool

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Mayor Goldring gets an earful at his Reverse Town Hall; four of the seven member council fail to show up for what was really a face the music meeting.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2018



They gave him a lot to think about.

Their concern was that they weren’t at all certain he knows how to listen.

News anal REDThe Mayor held a Reverse Town Hall at the Art Gallery – an audience of about 150 came to voice their concerns. The Mayor stressed that he was not there to explain very much – even though he did –he said “this is your meeting, I am here to listen.

He got more than an ear full.

Of the 20 plus people who rose to speak – one was positive about a structure that has citizens close to up in arms – he owns a bar that will benefit from more traffic.

Three of the developers were in the room, the Molinaro Group, New Horizons and Carriage Gate sat quietly together.

Two of the seven members of Council were in the room: Marianne Meed Ward and Jack Dennison and the Mayor. Councillors John Taylor, Paul Sharman, Blair Lancaster and Rick Craven did not make an appearance – all four voted for the 421 Brant development that will see a 23 storey condominium rise opposite city hall.


Voted for the 23 storey condo – didn’t attend a “face the music” meeting

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster: both part of the Shape Burlington committee who seem to have forgotten what the report was all about - civic engagement

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster voted for the condo – didn’t attend the Mayor’s meeting.

Rick Craven

Councillor Craven voted for the condominium

The theme that was consistent was the building was just too much, it was not what the vast majority of those in attendance wanted for their city. Development was not their issue, it was the height that had gotten to people – and they didn’t think high rise buildings were appropriate for the Brant – Lakeshore Road part of the city.

Transit was a concern and parking was another and the rate at which the Official Plan was being “rammed down our throats” was mentioned by several.

The meeting started with the Mayor trying to put some rules in place – he wanted people to be respectful of each other and then suggested that clapping might not be appropriate. He lost that one – people clapped loudly when a good point was made. Larry Griffiths, a 70 year old ward 4 resident said the intensification being done was going to drastically change the city and we are in jeopardy of losing what we have”. Griffith referred to Port Credit that has the feel Burlington residents want to keep.

This is a city wide issue said Griffith’s who wants the Official Plan put to a referendum which the Mayor said was going to be discussed at a council meeting next week – January 23rd.

“What do you want” asked the Mayor. Griffiths had no problem answering that question – “the Official Plan permits 12 storeys, stick to that.”


Rick Burgess, a past candidate for the Office of Mayor asks the current Mayor to stick with the height limits set out in the current Official Plan

Rick Burgess who once ran for Mayor and has served as an advisor for Goldring said he wanted the city to respect the heights set out in the existing Official Plan.

A woman who operates a hair salon on Brant said “we are feeling the pinch and the parking is hurting us”.
The operator of Martini House told the Mayor “we are in trouble” and told the audience that “some people are buying up the visitor spots in the condominiums at $30,000 a spot”.

Commercial rents were a concern. The audience were told that $45 a square foot is what business people should expect.

A New Street resident wanted to know how the Planning department got from putting out Tall Building Guide Lines in March of 2017 and then recommending a 23 storey building in November.

At a number of points during the two hour meeting the Mayor interjected and explained what the city has been doing. He said that 30 years ago the city began investing in the Downtown core with the Discovery Centre and Spencer Smith Park.

He explained that the Greenbelt plan prevents development north of the Hwy 407 – Dundas and that the provinces Places to Grow Plan made it clear that suburban sprawl had come to an end and the communities were going to have to accept some part of the growing population. Burlington is reacting to those two provincial plans.

For reasons that many just don’t understand or accept is the amount of intensification that is taking place on the lower part of Brant Street.

The developers are just reacting to the demand – the condominium units are selling. The Mayor has been known to talk about people he meets who bought a unit and can’t wait to move in.

What disturbs most people is that they feel this just crept up on them – that they weren’t aware and that the city hasn’t communicated with them.

It would be fair to say that residents haven’t been paying close attention. The Gazette has been reporting on the planning department and the Mobility Hubs for more than a year.


Development was approved at four storeys – developer goes back to Planning department for an additional two storeys.

Residents have difficulty with a project, the Saxony, that was approved for four storeys, construction begins and the developer decides to go back to city hall and ask for two additional storeys. The irony with the Saxony development is that they could have gotten five floors but said at a public meeting that they were happy with four storeys.

Ron Parker, a ward 4 resident said he learned about the plans to redevelop the Waterfront Hotel with a friend while playing golf. He said he had no idea that there were plans to redevelop the site. He said “there is no strategy and we don’t know where we are going … we are in damage control stumbling from decision to decision to decision”.

The audience was a mix of people who discovered the city, fell in love with it and moved to Burlington and those who have been here for a long time. One speaker has lived in Burlington for 73 of his 76 years.

One speaker mentioned the five emails he sent the Mayor – didn’t get a response. He wanted to know how people were expected to read and absorb a 2500 page document which another resident said has “No numbers in it”.

Reverse town hall 2

Part of the Reverse Town Hall meeting hosted by the Mayor.

People were in the room waiting for answers expecting someone to explain what had happened and why.

It was at that point that Lisa Kearns arrived. She had been at the Engaged Citizens of Burlington ECoB meeting and had a six questions she put to the Mayor:

What is the rush to push forward the Official Plan? Residents find the precinct plans difficult to find, analyze, and understand the impacts in all wards. This is still not clear.

Is the City doing enough to defend Zoning and Official Plan limits? Why are the rules changing and why is Development forcing special considerations – profitability?

What are we gaining in the rush for intensification and what tools are available to keep it in control? Is this the City we want to live in?

Why did the City begin engagement on the Official Plan when the supporting plans are not complete, this is not a complete strategy or Plan? We need to see the impact of the: Transit Plan, Transportation Plan, and Mobility Hubs. What is the rush?

Why is downtown an Area Specific Plan if a Character Study was not done on the neighbouring St. Luke’s Precinct and Emerald Neighbourhood? Have the concerns with specific residents who border on the growth areas been adequately addressed? What about uptown?

Do you want to live amongst tall buildings in your neighbourhood? The City of Burlington is changing the rules to turn into a big city intensified with big tall buildings? This is not a provincially mandated Mobility Hub.

Reverse town hall 3

A staffer from the Mayors office captured everything that was said – expect to see much of it in the Mayor’s blog.

Kearns was getting enthusiastic rounds of applause before she finished reading out the questions which the Mayor said he would respond to in his blog.

Many of the people in the room felt that at last there was someone who was speaking for them and was doing something to bring about a change which most of the people listening to the Mayor wanted.

Reverse town hall 1

The Mayor and a Reverse Town Hall participant.

One senior resident told the Mayor that he had lost the trust of the people.

A resident wondered if the city could create a model of what their city is going to look like going forward – people wanted to know what was coming their way. The person with this idea said the city might try having a good visual made showing what the streets would look like.

Lisa Kearns asked if what had taken place that evening was part of the record – was it something the city would include in its thinking. No said the Mayor, the evening was his occasion to listen to the people. He did add that members of Council would certainly now be aware of how people feel. How was that possible of four of the seven weren’t even in the room?

The Mayor closed with a remark former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once made when asked how a meeting had gone. “This has been a good meeting” Trudeau is said to have said “Everyone is pissed off, that’s a good place to start”.

We will let the Mayors closing comment stand on its own.

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Temporary Road Closures - Robbie Burns Road Race on January 28th

notices100x100By Staff

January 19th, 2018



On Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, there will be some temporary road closures and lane closures for the Robbie Burns Road Race. Minor traffic delays can be expected.

Road Closures
7 to 11 a.m. – Baldwin Street west of Hurd Avenue
9:15 to 9:45 a.m. – Baldwin Street from Hurd Avenue to Brant Street

Lane Closures
Locust Street, northbound, 9:30 to 11 a.m.

All remaining streets on race route will have one lane coned-off for runners from 9 to 11 a.m.

For those who don’t know who Robbie Burns was and why there is a celebration – know this.

Robbie Burns is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. He is the best known of the poets who have written in the Scots language. His political or civil commentary is often at its bluntest.

He is regarded as a pioneer of the Romantic movement, and after his death he became a great source of inspiration to the founders of both liberalism and socialism, and a cultural icon in Scotland and among the Scottish diaspora around the world. Celebration of his life and work became almost a national charismatic cult during the 19th and 20th centuries, and his influence has long been strong on Scottish literature.

Addressing the Haggis is a favourite of the Scottish people.


Robert Burns

This particular poem is always the first item on the programme of Burns’ suppers. The haggis is generally carried in on a silver salver at the start of the proceedings.

As it is brought to the table a piper plays a suitable, rousing accompaniment.

One of the invited artistes then recites the poem before the theatrical cutting of the haggis with the ceremonial knife.

Good luck to you and your honest, plump face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe, or intestines:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

The groaning trencher there you fill,
Your buttocks like a distant hill,
Your pin would help to mend a mill
In time of need,
While through your pores the dews distill
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour wipe,
And cut you up with ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm steaming, rich!

Then spoon for spoon, the stretch and strive:
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all their well swollen bellies by-and-by
Are bent like drums;
Then old head of the table, most like to burst,
‘The grace!’ hums.

Is there that over his French ragout,
Or olio that would sicken a sow,
Or fricassee would make her vomit
With perfect disgust,
Looks down with sneering, scornful view
On such a dinner?

Poor devil! see him over his trash,
As feeble as a withered rush,
His thin legs a good whip-lash,
His fist a nut;
Through bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit.

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his ample fist a blade,
He’ll make it whistle;
And legs, and arms, and heads will cut off
Like the heads of thistles.

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer,
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!

“Auld Lang Syne”, a piece of verse that is often sung on New Year’s Eve was written by Burns.

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District school board recognizes nine for 'inspiring students.

News 100 redBy Staff

January 19th, 2018



The Halton District School Board has Inspire Awards for people who go above and beyond to support students in the School Board.

Everyone in the Halton District School Board community can nominate or be nominated – families, neighbours, related organizations, staff, students and school volunteers.

The Inspire Award is given to an individual or group that is formally or informally associated with the Halton District School Board, who support our students and their achievements through exemplary caring, initiative, innovation and creativity.

Recipients choose where they receive their award, so some choose the monthly Board meeting, while others choose to receive the award at their school or workplace or in the mail, if they wish. This month, three out of the nine recipients chose to receive the award at the January Board meeting while others have chosen to receive it at other locations this month.

HDSB Inspire awards

Pictured with trustees and director of education are ( L-R) Brian Vincent and Amy Abbott from TA Blakelock and Juliann Rosizky, itinerant EA and occasional teacher.

The following Inspire Awards recipients will have their awards presented at their school or workplace, as requested:

Kyle Kennery, child youth counsellor (CYC) at McKenzie-Smith Bennett PS
CYC at MSB displaying deep caring for students. He ran a floor hockey club, basketball club; always making himself available to students. (Award at MSB)

Lorna Brooks, volunteer at McKenzie-Smith Bennett PS
Lorna has volunteered for many years on the School Council and by helping with the Nutrition Program, always with a friendly smile. (Award at MSB)

Andrew Strachan, volunteer at Ethel Gardiner PS
Volunteered with tremendous support for Hungry Bears Breakfast Program supported by Halton Food for Thought. The program has run five days per week since 2008. (Award at Ethel Gardiner PS)

Marge Anderson, volunteer at Ethel Gardiner PS
Volunteered with tremendous support for Hungry Bears Breakfast Program, supported by Halton Food for Thought. Program has ran since 2008, five days per week. (Award at Ethel Gardiner PS)

Steve Feltz, teacher at Bruce Trail PS
He helps students see the value in striving for success, the benefit of being involved and bringing out the best in his students and helping students gain confidence. (Award at Bruce Trail PS)

Diane Vandenbossche, representative for the Learning Disabilities Association of Halton (LDAH) on the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC)
Diane has been the LDAH rep on SEAC for many years, and is a strong advocate and voice for children with special education needs. (Awarded at SEAC meeting).

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ECoB puts six questions in front of the Mayor.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2018



There were two meetings in town last night.

ECoB pic 2 Jan 18

Registration table for the ECoB meeting held at Wellington Square United Church.

One, a Reverse Town Hall, called by the Mayor took place at the Art Gallery, the other, organized by Engaged Citizens of Burlington, took place at Wellington Square United Church; they drew 70 to 80 people and talked about the “need to change council”.

A new group was formed “from ward 1” who were going to meet again and find a way to replace their ward Councillor Rick Craven.

The ECoB meeting ended at about 8:00 pm. Lisa Kierns, an ECoB founder, left that meeting and zipped along to the Mayor’s meeting and presented him with six questions.

• What is the rush to push forward the Official Plan? Residents find the precinct plans difficult to find, analyze, and understand the impacts in all wards. This is still not clear.

• Is the City doing enough to defend Zoning and Official Plan limits? Why are the rules changing and why is Development forcing special considerations – profitability?

• What are we gaining in the rush for intensification and what tools are available to keep it in control? Is this the City we want to live in?

• Why did the City begin engagement on the Official Plan when the supporting plans are not complete, this is not a complete strategy or Plan? We need to see the impact of the: Transit Plan, Transportation Plan, and Mobility Hubs. What is the rush?

• Why is downtown an Area Specific Plan if a Character Study was not done on the neighbouring St. Luke’s Precinct and Emerald Neighbourhood? Have the concerns with specific residents who border on the growth areas been adequately addressed? What about uptown?

ECoB pic 1 Jan 18

Between 70 and 80 people attended the ECoB meeting; at least one with a cheque in hand. Some of the participants formed a group to replace the ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven.

• Do you want to live amongst tall buildings in your neighbourhood? The City of Burlington is changing the rules to turn into a big city intensified with big tall buildings? This is not a provincially mandated Mobility Hub.

One of the meeting organizers, who asked not to be named said: “It was a great meeting with a lot of questions and answers given.”

The ECoB lawn signs were on sale, expect to see them popping up on snow covered lawns.

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