Funny, funny, funny on Family Day - note the date February 19th

eventsred 100x100By Staff

December 31st, 2018



Promoting a Comedy Festival seems like a good way to close out the year.

The Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA), in partnership with the Kitchener-Waterloo Comedy Festival and The Water Street Cooker are putting on the 3rd Annual Burlington Comedy Festival.

The three-day kicks off on Family Day: Monday February 19th, 2018.



Featuring over twelve comedians and variety performers at two venues tailor made for live stand-up: The Burlington Performing Arts Centre and the Water Street Cooker (2084 Old Lakeshore Road)

The 3rd annual Burlington Comedy Festival, in support of the Canadian Cancer Society, commences with a Family Variety Show. This show is suitable for all ages and features award winning, international circus artists. Including a Portuguese Clown who is one of the judges on Portugal’s Got Talent, a Magician who has performed in Las Vegas and a Juggling and Acrobatic Duo who will be coming direct from China.

The show runs approximately 80 minutes, Family Day: Monday February 19th, 2018, with no intermission. Seating is general admission. Tickets are $15.00 and show time is 3:00 p.m. at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

That same evening the “Best of the Fest” (tickets are $49.00) at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, 8 p.m. start time. The seven comic lineup is headlined by comedian/actor Kevin Pollak, “The Kids in the Hall” alumnus Scott Thompson, and Canadian writer/actor Jon Dore.

Food and Funny emma-banner


The Festival concludes with two performances at The Water Street Cooker: Tuesday February 20th and Wednesday February 21st. Featuring “up close and personal” comedy (and a variety act) starting at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $29.

This includes admission to the reserved seating area and $25 for dinner at Emma’s Back Porch. A $54.00 package!

The material is not censored and intended for a mature audience. Seating is general admission, no recordings are permitted.

For a full list of complete acts and to buy tickets

Brian Dean, Executive Director, Burlington Downtown Business Association wants to make the experience of live comedy against the backdrop of Lake Ontario an annual tradition.

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The wonderful mind of consultant Brent Toderian

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 29th, 2017



It has been a couple of years since the city invited Brent Toderian into town to advise the city manager and the Director of Planning on the steps to take to turn Burlington into the city he thought everyone wanted it to be.

Toderian Brent - blue shirt

Brent Toderian

Toderian is beloved by much of the planning department – that sentiment didn’t manage to spread to the citizens of the city. On balance – views are mixed.

This is not an occasion to dig deep into the impact Toderian is having on the city but it is an opportunity to get a look at the thinking he does from time to time.

It might help to understand where some of the core thinking within transportation is coming from.


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Register for the $25 Loblaws card and think about passing it along to a local food bank.

background 100By Pepper Parr

December 27th, 2017



We are going to be looking at those rows of bread on the supermarket shelves a little differently for some time.

The price of the product has been fixed by at least one supermarket for the past 14 years. Confirmed parties who were part of the investigation include Canada Bread, Sobeys and Metro Inc. The companies say they are cooperating with investigations by the Competition Bureau.

Bread shelves

We will look at shelves like this quite a bit differently for some time. At least one supermarket has admitted that they were fixing the price of bread for 14 years.

Loblaw Companies Ltd. is offering customers a $25 gift card as a goodwill gesture after admitting the company participated in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement.

Visit and enter your email address to be notified once registration opens. The company expects registration to begin on Jan. 8.

Why the $25 amount
“This is our effort to respond directly to our customers, acknowledging ultimately our specific accountability in what was an industry-wide arrangement,” said Galen G. Weston, CEO. “We’re trying to go directly to our customers and let them know how serious we’re taking the situation,” he added.

“This conduct should never have happened.” We hope that they’ll see it as a meaningful amount that demonstrates our commitment to keeping their trust and confidence.”

Price fixing is something that is governed by the federal Competition Bureau and it apparently is something very difficult to detect and then even more difficult to prove.

The rules that govern what the Competition people do work like this: The first company that fesses up and squeals on all the others gets a Get out of Jail free card – none gets charged criminally and the company pays a huge fine.

The company expects three million to six million people will receive the gift card. The company says it expects to take a charge of between $75 million and $150 million.

There are going to be some class action suits – the lawyers will benefit most from that.

What is particularly galling is this: In a report in the Toronto Star a number of months ago there was the following:

“Loblaw Companies Ltd., Canada’s largest grocery and drugstore operator, warned Wednesday that minimum wage increases in Ontario and Alberta threaten to harm its bottom line and it will have to find ways to cut costs.

“The company, which owns Shoppers Drug Mart and grocery chains including Loblaws and No Frills, estimates that the wage hikes will mean its labour expenses will balloon by about $190 million next year.

“We are flagging a significant set of financial headwinds and the organization is mobilizing all of its resources to see whether or not it can close that gap,” Loblaw chair and CEO Galen Weston Jr. told analysts during a quarterly earnings conference call.

At about the same time George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN) reported a 189% increase to its first-quarter profit, mostly because of improved results from its stake in Loblaw (TSX:L).

The Toronto-based company, which also owns the Weston Foods bakery business, had $107 million or 83 cents per share of net income for common shareholders in the quarter ended March 25.

There is something wrong with a society that reports a company experiencing a profit increase of 189% in just one quarter that admits to fixing the price of bread for a period of 14 years and at the same time complains about the financial hit they are going to take when the minimum wage is increased to $14 an hour.

Some community organizations are asking people to register for the Gift Card and pass it along to the local food bank.  Pressing the government to push for a higher value on the Gift Card would seem appropriate as well.

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Council to debate the 2018 Operating budget - $30,000 will be used to decide what to do with the Lowville school house.

Budget 2018 ICONBy Pepper Parr

December 27th, 2017



The city Finance department takes care of collecting the money.

They create a budget that gets put through dozens of hoops with no public input until the document is sent along to a Council Standing Committee. The Finance department tells the Councillors what it will take in the way of a tax rate to pay for the contents of the budget.

There is then a full day session when city council meeting as a Standing Committee goes through the budget with as close to a fine tooth comb as Burlington is capable of – based on last year’s budget, when the city manager asked for $500,000 (that’s half a million) added to the base budget by explaining that things just “trickle up” and have to be covered that fine tooth comb doesn’t do its job.

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

Ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward in the first office she had when elected in 2010.

Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward tried to cut that back to $300,000 the first year and then take a closer look in the second year. She got nowhere with that. Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison who usually knows where every nickel goes was at one point unaware that the $500,000 was going into the base budget – which means he gets that amount every year.

This kind of spending helps understand why Burlington has had tax increases in the 4% range for the past four years.

Most Councillors have a project in their ward they want to promote – it’s just good politics.
For ward 3 Councillor John Taylor – it is quite often something for Lowville.

This year he has his hand out for $30,000 to do a study on what can be done with the Lowville School House, a building that is structurally sound but doesn’t have a heat source or running water.

LOWVILLE SCHOOL HOUSEFor the past couple of years the city has had a working arrangement with Thinkspot, a Lowville based mini think tank that has developed a reputation for being the place to go for well-honed leadership in getting at just what the root of a problem is and then putting together a process for resolving the problem.

The locale is about as good as it gets – 15 minute drive from the city to a rural setting that is pleasant, relaxing and has a decent kitchen for putting together snacks. ThinkSpot often used the school house for larger groups and often for ThinkSpot sponsored community events.

The city decided some time ago that there was a better way to use the space and advised ThinkSpot that the working relationship that was in place was no more.

Lowville has a really robust group of people who keep a close eye on what city council does – it was Lowville residents who tipped off the Gazette about the land fill that was being dumped at the Air Park. They don’t miss much.

The bureaucrats want to be careful with what they take to the community – they have pretty high expectations.

Waterfront hotel Taylor

Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor doing what he does best – listening to people

Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor has this soft spot for Lowville. His ward includes much of rural Burlington. When he retires he just might find himself wanting to live in that community.

Operating budget - what you get

Foe a home assessed at $500,00 – find one of those in Burlington – the taxes are really close to $2,000. If that amount $18.66 will pay for city council; $70.56 will be used on roads and transportation. These numbers are based on the proposed operating budget.

The really hard look at the Operating budget will take place on January 18, starting at 9:30 a.m. – Committee of the Whole – Operating Budget review

Anyone who wants to delegate must register by noon on January 17.

The following Monday, January 22nd, city council will vote on the recommendation that comes out of the Standing Committee. That’s four days later – not much time for people to digest what came out of the Standing Committee and form argument for a change to the budget.

The Capital budget has already been set.

Capital budget 2018

The Capital budget – it has already been approved.

This is an example of the city claim that it really engages with its citizens. It is a part of the why there is now a citizen’s organization that believes things have to be different.

Every member of the current council was re-elected in 2014 and there doesn’t appear to be rush of bright stars on the horizon who want to challenge the incumbents. There are a couple.

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ECoB's evolution is in a gestation phase - they will have to put something real on the table very soon.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 26th, 2017



ECOB logoECoB – Engaging Citizens of Burlington got off to a pretty good start.

There is some money in the bank, the web site is up and running – plans are being put together for a crowd funding page.

All good – and then – nothing or not very much.

In our travels we meet with people who comment on what is taking place in the city – the good stuff, the not so good stuff and the inevitable question: Is she going to run?

Of course she is going to run. Even if they took all her high healed shoes away from her, Marianne Meed Ward would still run for the office of Mayor in October of 2018 – ten months away.

But we digress.

Some of the more serious minded people who are firm in their belief that the city needs a strong citizen based organization ask if the people who got ECoB off the ground are going to be able to give it the momentum it needs.

The group seems very small – are there new people becoming part of the core team?

We were told there is a bigger picture and that the intention to appeal the city council decision to approve a 23 storey tower opposite city hall is not their sole reason for being.

There has been a bit of a timing glitch and any appeal has to be done under the newly created Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT)  which replaces what we knew as the Ontario Municipal Board.

The appeal application is the matter that is on the ECoB front burner right now.

What is being done to reach out to people in the wards that are not part of the downtown core?

When Lisa Kearns took to the lectern at the December 13th meeting she told the audience that they “had to do their homework” and there is a lot of it to do.

ECoB home page

ECoB has a very well designed web site that set out he events their membership needs to pay attention to – the response to the web site has not been overwhelming – to be fair it was launched in the middle of the biggest holiday season of the year.

Understanding just what the issues are is the starting point and then stick handling the appeal application as well as building ECoB so that it reflects all of Burlington and not just the downtown core.

At this point the leadership team is three people – the founder spends much of her time in Florida and the co-founder is experiencing some health issues and isn’t going to be as available as he would like to be.

This leaves the organization in the hands of Lisa Kearns, Dania Thurman and Penny Hersh.

Kearns is the conceptual thinker – she fully understands the issues. Thurman is the social media leader who got the web site up and running and is ready to move on the crowd funding level once the holidays are behind them.

Penny Hersh is doing community outreach and is handling the funds that have been raised.

It is going to take far more than these three very capable woman to make this work.

A few people have complained that ideas they have sent the ECoB have not been responded to – that could well be because the team in place at this point is run ragged.

421 Brant

Is it a doomed project that is going to get tangled up in a bureaucratic quagmire where assets slide down a drain rather than into concrete.

The organization has to be both advocates for change, the organization that leads in the education of the public and at the same time do the strategic thinking that is vital.

They have to work with a city hall bureaucracy that many feel has a tin ear and is not capable of listening to the citizens. They have to cajole the existing city council into learning to do things differently.

They have to contend with a developer community who may see projects delayed, their costs increased and disruption to plans that have been in development for some time.  Many believe that every piece of property on the east side of Brant Street south of Fairview has either been acquired by a developer or is under an option.  There are huge amount invested by the developers and they don’t like to lose.  Burlington has been very good for the development community for a long time.

There was a time, about twenty five years ago when the city had a very strong active community group. It worked very well for a period of time but then interest fell, the urgency was gone and it just dried up.

Carriage Gate team

Two planners, and a Carriage Gate vice president at the first Carriage Gate development public meeting. From the left: Robert Glover, Ed Forthergill and Mark Bales

When the 421 Brant project was first put before the public there was very little in the way of objections. At the public meeting held at the Art Gallery there were people asking when they could make deposits.

Some very solid, credible planner spoke of the project with sound explanations as to why Brant Street had to become the “spine” of the city.

When the project got to the Planning and Development committee there was one lone delegation opposed to the project.

Yet when it got to city council where it was approved on a 5-2 vote, the ward Councillor and the Mayor were opposed – there is a dynamic behind those two no votes that needs s bigger understanding – citizens, especially those in the downtown core were almost taking to the streets.

ECOB Dec 13 #3

Residents at the first ECoB public meeting.

This shift in opinion and the opposition to the project grew very quickly and caught everyone off guard. It took on a life of its own and now, assuming the appeal is successfully filed a large city shaping development will be put on hold while close to half a million dollars gets spent on legal fees and support from the professionals.

Woven into all this and at the same time feeding it, is a community that is finding its voice while the members of city council prepare to move into election mode.

To add to the mix is the fact that the province changed the turf on the playing field creating a shorter period of time for election campaigning to take place and put new rules into effect on where campaign money could come from.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: she is more comfortable with herself as a speaker.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring.

That dynamic between the two city council votes opposed to the project – the ward Councillor and the Mayor, is underscored by the fact that the Mayor has already held his “I am running again” announcement – some thought he was offside on that decision. The only thing Marianne Meed Ward has not done is announce that she is actually going to be a candidate for Mayor.

She has been eyeing the Chain of Office the Mayor wears since the beginning of her first election campaign in 2010 for the ward 2 seat.

Human nature is complicated and in the world of politics anything can happen.

The creation of a city wide citizen’s organization will be a little like trying to herd cats. Each local organization has its own agenda and it will take some gifted ECoB leadership to recognize the individual community group needs and at the same time see, if not create, the bigger picture.

If ECoB can find the oxygen to survive we will see more of them in the New Year. The milieu within which they have to work is daunting.

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City says all the snow plowing is done - including the sidewalks.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 26th, 2017



At 4:10 pm this afternoon the city said:

Road plowing is complete.

Primary, secondary and local sidewalks are complete.

Local roads have been sanded.

Pretty good!

The Gazette hasn’t heard a single complaint.


The Roads people were on top of the snow conditions from the very beginning; providing constant update.  Done they’ve said.

The QEW is surprisingly quiet for the late afternoon of a holiday.

QEW Dec 26-430 pm

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Boxing day has a long history; one that we do not share with our neighbours to the south.

background 100By Pepper Parr

December 26th, 2017



Let us not rush back into the real world quite yet.

Christmas was festive, fun, and family – the day after has become a holiday with a quaint tradition that is celebrated in the Commonwealth countries that reflects the class tradition of the times.

The first mention of Boxing Day as a tradition is believed to be in 1830. It was the day that the Upper classes gave a “box” to people like post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds.

It was a present, a gratuity given at Christmas to people who had provided a service. In Great Britain the custom for tradesmen to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. The tradition goes back as far as December 1663.

Boxing day - regency

It was a different time, a different era when class differences defined everything. The Boxing Day tradition came out of that era.

The tradition was linked to an older British tradition – servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.

In South Africa as recently as the 1980s, milkmen and garbage collectors, who normally had little if any interaction with those they served, were accustomed to knock on their doors asking for a “Christmas box”, being a small cash donation, in the week or so before and after Christmas.

The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It is believed to be in reference to the Alms Box placed in areas of worship to collect donations to the poor.

Boxing Day became a secular holiday that is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, the day after Christmas Day. 26 December is also St. Stephen’s Day, a religious holiday.

In the UK, Boxing Day is a bank holiday

In Scotland, Boxing Day has been specified as an additional bank holiday since 1974In Ireland – when the island as a whole was part of the United Kingdom – the Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St. Stephen as a non-movable public holiday on 26 December. Following partition in 1920, Northern Ireland reverted to the British name, Boxing Day.

In Australia, Boxing Day is a federal public holiday. The Australian state of South Australia instead observes a public holiday known as Proclamation Day on the first weekday after Christmas Day or the Christmas Day holiday.

In New Zealand, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday; penalty rates and lieu time are provided to employees who work on Boxing Day.

In Canada, Boxing Day is a federal statutory holiday. Government offices, banks and post offices/delivery are closed. In some Canadian provinces, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday that is always celebrated on 26 December. In Canadian provinces where Boxing Day was a statutory holiday, and it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, compensation days are given in the following week.

In the United States, 26 December is not observed as “Boxing Day”.

The tradition has become a massive sales push that has people lining up outside large chain store operations as early as 5 am waiting for huge discounts, usually on electronic items that are positioned as loss leaders to attract customers.

Boxing day at the Eaton Centre

Boxing day at the Eaton Centre – packed.

The CTV television network reports that in 2010 Boxing Day sales totaled $1.8 billion. The tradition has become a shopping holiday that has become Boxing Week

Many retailers open very early (typically 5 am or even earlier) and offer door buster deals and loss leaders to draw people to their stores. It is not uncommon for long queues to form early in the morning of 26 December, hours before the opening of shops holding the big sales, especially at big-box consumer electronics retailers.

In recent years, retailers have expanded deals to “Boxing Week”. While Boxing Day is 26 December, many retailers will run the sales for several days before or after 26 December, often up to New Year’s Eve. Notably, in the recession of late 2008, a record number of retailers were holding early promotions due to a weak economy. Canada’s Boxing Day has often been compared with the American Super Saturday (the Saturday before Christmas) and Black Friday.

From 2009 onward Black Friday deals become more prominent among Canadian retailers to discourage shoppers from crossing the border to the USA when the Canadian and USA dollars was close to parity, and this has lessened the appeal of Boxing Day in Canada somewhat as it was overtaken by Black Friday in terms of sales in 2013.

Boxing Day is not and has never been a shopping holiday in the USA.

In some parts of Canada, particularly in Atlantic Canada and parts of Northern Ontario, most retailers are prohibited from opening on Boxing Day, either by provincial law or by municipal bylaw, or instead by informal agreement among major retailers to provide a day of relaxation following Christmas Day.

A tradition that came out of a social class based society has evolved into a week-long shopping spree.

It isn’t just about shopping; sports events have become major Boxing Day events.

Boxing day - soccer

Major European leagues may enjoy a winter break when players can put their feet up over the festive period. But it’s all go in the Premier and Football Leagues. And that means plenty of action for armchair soccer fans.

In the United Kingdom, it is traditional for both top-tier football leagues in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the lower ones, as well as the rugby leagues, to hold a full programme of football and rugby union matches on Boxing Day.

Originally, matches on Boxing Day were played against local rivals to avoid teams and their fans having to travel a long distance to an away game on the day after Christmas Day.

This is probably much more than you wanted to know about the holiday we celebrate today.

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There is a reason for the season.

Taken during a Burlington Santa Claus parade – it expresses what we believe the season is really all about.  The fundamentals of our society are based on that message.

We sometimes lose sight of what the Season is about. Did parents watching the floats pass by use the opportunity to spread the message?

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America as we knew it is no more; Canada still trying to figure how out to spread our sunny ways around the world - one selfie at a time?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

December 25th, 2017



No discussion of the highlights of 2017 would be complete without mention of the Donald Trump effect. Despite great resistance by just about everyone, Trump has been largely successful in re-positioning the US globally and within. For example America has forever lost its time honoured reputation as the great global melting pot. Muslims and Latinos, in particular, are no longer welcome to Trump’s land of “America First”.

UN vote 129-8

United Nations held emergency General Assembly session Thursday over Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital Member nations voted 128-9 with 35 abstentions on a resolution regretting ‘recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem. Canada abstained.

By isolating itself from the rest of the world on issues including preserving the planet’s climate and Middle East politics, Trump’s America has been refreshingly liberating – unleashing former reliable partners which once looked to America for direction and leadership. Last week’s UN motion opposing Trumps’ decision to locate his embassy in Jerusalem was a case in point. Despite his administration’s threats to cut off aid to those voting for the motion, he lost overwhelmingly. Indeed his threats likely only served to mobilize many still sitting on the fence.

Tillerson and Frieland in Ottawa

Minister of Global Affairs Chrystia” Freeland and US Secretary of State, Tillerson at a meeting in Ottawa last week.

But Canada was not one of those. There is no question that Mr. Trudeau damaged his international rock star reputation, and may have lost us another chance to get on the Security Council, by abstaining. Earlier this week the US Secretary of State, Tillerson, flew up to Ottawa, presumably to make sure Canada toed the line and didn’t vote against its big neighbour.

One should wonder what price Canada charged for compromising our integrity and political independence. Perhaps Trump won’t be tearing up NAFTA after all now. But wait didn’t the US trade junta just reduce the countervail duties payable, on those Bombardier airplanes which Delta had purchased, from a whacking 299% down to a more reasonable 292%? Is that all we got – seven percentage points?

Trudeau breezed into office with almost impossible expectations and it should not be surprising that we’d be witnessing the inevitable climb down. Sure there was the dream, which became a broken promise, that he’d reform our system of governance to make it more representative. And then he stumbled on another promise, this time about tax reform.

AJAX -- Liberal leader Justin Trudeau gave a press conference at a home in Ajax Monday morning, while on the campaign trail. August 17, 2015

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau on the campaign trail promising real change for the middle class.

Trudeau may genuinely be fighting for the middle class but nobody sees him as one of them. Everyone knows he has family money and rich friends living on tropical islands in the ocean somewhere. So targeting those who are actually middle class for tax avoidance by merely ‘income spreading’ – well no wonder he and his financially well-endowed finance minster ended up with bloody noses.

Chances are the PM’ll be staying home this Christmas after all the fuss over his last Christmas holiday with the Aga Khan. And besides he already got to play a generous and obviously confused Santa Claus this year, giving $10 million to a convicted terrorist – instead of that proverbial lump of coal for the naughty.

Still Canada’s economy is booming and even Alberta is bouncing back. In fact Alberta and Ontario are leading the country in growth. And much of that credit has to go to our federal government, and of course the lower Canadian dollar. Still trade issues threaten to cloud those big blue economic skies – NAFTA of course. And we’re without any possible trade deal with China. Mr. Trudeau apparently couldn’t get the right terms – better no deal than a bad one.

Mr. Trudeau has been rewarded for his stewardship of the economy by scoring two by-election converts, the most recent in B.C.. Though polling generally shows his party running pretty much neck-in-neck with the Tories and their new leader Andrew Scheer. But interestingly neither Scheer nor the NDP’s Mr. Singh got a bounce in the polls following their leadership victories.

Canada and the Middle East

Canada is respected and listened to in the Middle East.

We always live in interesting times and the next year will be particularly challenging for our federal government. For example, how do we respond when Mr. Trump offers us a new free trade pact, one without Mexico? Assuming war with North Korea is inevitable, would it be prudent or provocative to join the US in a continental anti-missile shield? Given our warm relations with Israel and the US what will be our position should they preemptively attack Iran, Syria and perhaps other middle-eastern nations?

Next week we’ll look at the provincial picture.

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 a candidate for provincial office in Burlington in 1995.  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:

Liberal Popularity –   Trudeau’s Bahama Christmas –    Khadr

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Five year old Damian De Freitas made an Honourary Fire Chief

News 100 redBy Staff

December 23rd, 2017



Five-year old Damian De Freitas and his family joined Burlington Fire Chief Lazenby and the firefighters at Headquarters for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Fire Department. This wasn’t a quickie tour – Damien was the winner of Family Fire Escape Plan Contest which made an Honourary Fire Chief.

Fire chief Jr as desk

Damian De Freitas seems to like the Fire Chief’s office – and the hat fits.

“Damian was so excited when he found out he won the home escape plan contest. The Burlington Fire Department was so wonderful. Our family really enjoyed the tour, information and gifts we received—all with a personal touch. ”

The City of Burlington Fire Department recently hosted Chief-for-a-Day family fire escape plan winner, Damian De Freitas, at Fire Headquarters.

The Burlington Fire Department held a contest for all Burlington students to create and submit a fire escape plan to help children learn the importance of family escape planning. The fire escape plan from five-year-old De Freitas was randomly selected from the entries received in October for Fire Prevention Week.

De Freitas was given his own set of firefighter bunker gear. He and his mother Katelyn, father Kevin and sister Claire were invited to tour Burlington Fire Headquarters at Station No. 1 with Fire Chief Dave Lazenby.

The station tour included:

Fire chief Jr suited up

Damien being shown the ropes by several of the fire fighters.

• The fire training classroom
• Chief Lazenby’s office
• The Burlington Fire Department boardroom
• Simulation Command Post training room and truck
• Halton Emergency Services dispatch
• Burlington fire trucks, equipment and tools
• Pizza lunch with the Station 1 fire crew.

Lazenby had explained to the participants in the contest that a fire can double in size. That is why having a home fire escape plan is one of the most important things you can do for your family. Draw a map of your home with all members of your household. Be sure to include every level and room as well as stairways and hallways. Practice your plan twice a year, once at night and once during the day using different ways out.

Fire chief Jr in lunchroom

Honourary Fire Chief shares lunch with the fire fighters while his parents look on.

Damien’s Mom, Katelyn De Freitas, said “He was so excited when he found out he won the home escape plan contest, he will be sleeping in his Fire suit tonight

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Georgetown resident was the one millionth 2017 visitor to a Conservation Halton location.

News 100 greenBy Staff

December 23rd, 2017



It’s a day Jamie Leslie isn’t likely to forget.

She was at Kelso/Glen Eden with her Dad, Dave day on Friday when she was declared the one millionth visitor in 2017 to a Conservation Halton location.

The visits number includes those who have enjoyed recreational programs and services at Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Kelso / Glen Eden, Mount Nemo, Mountsberg, Rattlesnake Point and Robert Edmondson.

The Conservation people have been working towards that millionth visitor number for some time. Chief Administrative Officer Hassaan Basit and Director of Parks and Recreation Gene Matthews made the target number a must for the year.

Jayme Leslie millionth visit Cons Halton

Georgetown resident Jayme Leslie was the one millionth visit to a Conservation Halton location.

Jayme, a Georgetown resident, received a gift package which will give her and her family the opportunity to keep enjoying our parks in 2018 and beyond. The package included a Glen Eden Season pass for 2018-19, a Halton Parks Membership for one year, merchandise and maple syrup from Mountsberg.

Basit, who is intense, but not the kind of guy that goes over the top with his comments. On this occasion however he got excited and said: “As we approach the end of the year it is fantastic to be able to celebrate a milestone like one million visits and we would like to thank everyone who came to enjoy our beautiful conservation areas.”

Visitation at Conservation Halton’s conservation areas has grown steadily over the past few years. In 2013, visits went over the 800,000 level, and last year almost reached 1,000,000. During that time period, the number of visits to Hilton Falls, Mount Nemo and Rattlesnake Point has more than doubled as people are enjoying the scenic views from those parks which are each along the iconic Niagara Escarpment and other activities like hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing.

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City of Burlington asking for feedback on playground structures.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 22nd, 2017



Not the best time of year to ask people to find a couple of minutes to respond to a city survey. Things are so busy that the supermarket in my part of town is going to be open until 11 pm tonight.

Nonetheless – know this: The City will be replacing 14 playgrounds over the next two years and is encouraging families who use the specific parks to complete a survey to say which kinds of playground features would be most wanted.

Beginning Dec. 28, 2017, city staff will be at nearby recreation centres asking for input.

The online survey is HERE and will be available until January, 31, 2018.

Park survey

Location of the 14 parks that will be upgraded in 2018

Playgrounds to be replaced in the next two years are:

1. Brada Woods Park, 5196 Brada Cr.
2. Breckon Park, 4471 Spruce Ave.
3. Brittany Park, 1370 Headon Rd.
4. Champlain Park, 2101 Mountain Grove Ave.
5. Cumberland Park, 562 Cumberland Ave.
6. DesJardines Park, 1811 Imperial Way
7. LaSalle Park, 50 North Shore Blvd.
8. Maple Community Park, 750 Maple Ave.
9. Maplehurst Public School, 481 Plains Rd. E.
10. Optimist Park, 2131 Prospect St.
11. Sheraton Park, 594 Sheraton Rd.
12. Spencer Smith Park, 1400 Lakeshore Rd.
13. Sycamore Park, 3157 Centennial Dr.
14. Tansley Woods Park, 4100 Kilmer Dr.

Chris Glenn, director of Parks and Recreation explains that: “The survey results will be used to create plans for the parks that will be specific to that park. Talk to your kids about what kinds of play structures they like. Ask them if they prefer straight or curving slides, monkey bars, poles, swings and other fun, interactive equipment.”

The survey questionnaire runs 17 pages – we will run it again in the New Year when you have more time for this kind of thing.

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Which path for the high school set? Planning information evening January 28th at MMR.

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 22nd, 2017



The Halton District School Board is hosting several Pathways Planning Information Evenings in January 2018 that will allow parents and Grades 7-12 students to explore program opportunities high schools offer in Halton.

Student on floor Mar 7-17

Today’s student.

The Board offers more than 80 programs designed to meet individual needs and help students succeed after high school, whether they are pursuing a pathway toward apprenticeship, college, community, university or the workplace.

Information nights help students to be better prepared for a rapidly changing world while receiving a relevant and engaging education.

All are welcome to attend and registration is not required. The meetings will be held at the following locations from 6-8 p.m.:

• Thursday, January 11, 2018: Georgetown District High School, 70 Guelph Street, Georgetown

• Tuesday, January 16, 2018: White Oaks Secondary School, North Campus, 1055 McCraney Street East, Oakville

• Thursday, January 18, 2018: Craig Kielburger Secondary School, 1151 Ferguson Drive, Milton

Tuesday, January 23, 2018: M.M. Robinson High School, 2425 Upper Middle Road, Burlington

These programs include the Specialist High Skills Major programs, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Programs, Specialty School to Career programs, the Employability Skills Certificate program, Dual Credit college programs, Grade 8-9 Transition programs, and more.

Agenda for each night:

6-6:30 p.m. – Pathways displays staff by Pathways Program teachers
6:30-7:15 p.m. – Pathways presentation (Programs and planning for post-secondary)
7:15-8 p.m. – Teacher displays and elementary transition to high school workshop

To learn more, visit

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What will it take to end news items like this? Three more drunks behind the wheel of a car.

Crime 100By Staff

December 22nd, 2017



On Thursday, December 21, 2017, just before 10:30pm, a traffic stop was initiated at Longmoor Drive and New Street in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Owen Brown (31) of Burlington was charged with driving over 80mgs.
On Thursday, December 21, 2017, just after 10:50pm, a traffic stop was initiated at Mainway and Appleby Line in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Erblin Shehu (29) of Stoney Creek was charged with driving over 80mgs.

On Thursday, December 21, 2017, just after 11:20pm, a traffic stop was initiated at Walkers Line and Mainway in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Panayiotis Diakoloukas (40) of Burlington was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and driving over 80mgs.

What will it take to end news items like this?. There are a couple in Burlington every day.

The Police Service reminds the public that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a crime in progress and to call 9-1-1 immediately to report a suspected impaired driver.

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Holiday transit schedule released - walk or take a taxi on Christmas and New Year's Day.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 21st, 2017


Every media document the city sends out and many of the reports that come out of city hall have the tag line:

Burlington is one of Canada’s best and most livable cities,
a place where people, nature and business thrive.

It’s the kind of thing George Orwell wrote about in “1984” – the rule seems to be that if you say it often enough it becomes true. Did the person at city hall who wrote the line believe it? It was probably done by a committee with the final version being signed off on by the city manager.

For those who rely on public transit there must be a very cruel irony –there will be no transit service on either Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

The holiday transit schedule is set out below.

Transit - holiday service

Salt with Pepper are the opinions of the Publisher of the Burlington Gazette.

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Two arrested for being behind the wheel of a vehicle with driving over 80 mgs

Crime 100By Staff

December 21st, 2017



How you get nabbed for driving while under the influence before noon is not easy to explain away.

On Wednesday December 20, 2017, just after 11:00am, Halton Police officers investigated a collision involving an impaired driver in the area of Brant Street and Ontario Street in Burlington. Police charged Charles Beszterczey (66) of Burlington with driving over 80mgs.

On Wednesday December 20, 2017, just before 9:00 pm, a traffic stop was initiated at Plains Road East and White Oak Drive in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Klaas Kreuze (50) of Flamborough was charged with driving over 80mgs.



The Halton Regional Police Service remains committed to road safety through prevention, education and enforcement initiatives.

Members of the public are reminded that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a crime in progress and to call 9-1-1 immediately to report a suspected impaired driver.

Anyone charged with an offence is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Rory Nisan on Emerging Democratic Issues at City Hall

opinionandcommentBy Rory Nisan

December 21st, 2017



There has been a disconcerting trend at city hall where language is being used as a tool to manufacture consent. The most concerning has been the use of the word “emerging”. This was used during the recent waterfront development consultations (emerging preferred concept), as well as in reference to the city’s official plan (emerging vision).

city hall with flag poles

Can the democratic process flourish at city hall?

What is wrong with emerging concepts and emerging visions? The problem is that neither has been voted on by the duly elected representatives of the city. Planning staff, or even the city manager cannot state that anything is “emerging” until it has been democratically decided. By doing so, they are undermining the all-important democratic process, and this can lead to citizens being led to believe that decisions have been made long before they have been.

Do city planners see themselves in the driver’s seat, with city Councillors and the mayor also in the car, and the city’s citizens running behind, trying to catch up?

To extend the metaphor, in a well-functioning democracy the elected representatives may be in the driver’s seat, but with citizens sitting shotgun, holding the map and able to pick new drivers at regular intervals.

Planning staff should promise  city council not undermine democratic space by using misleading language regarding unapproved plans in the future.

Unfortunately, the lack of understanding of democratic principles in some offices of city hall extends to members of city council. Councillor Paul Sharman, in his recent blog post, made clear that he doesn’t understand a second fundamental principle of democracy: it is about much more than elections.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman is usually very direct, tends to want to see data that is verifiable and expects to get his way.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman talked down to his constituents when he said, “The issues are quite complex.”

Regarding 421-431 Brant street, Councillor Sharman could have demonstrated that he was listening to Burlingtonians and reflecting their concerns at city hall. Instead, Councillor Sharman talked down to his constituents when he said, “The issues are quite complex. Council was elected to understand all the issues and to figure how to address concerns of the entire population.”

Issues are complex. Water is wet.
It is impossible to address the concerns of “the entire population” because it is impossible to know the views of everyone in the city. Instead, council is expected to listen to constituents because those who speak up have the greatest investment in the issue at hand. Council must at a minimum balance those concerns with a broader perspective. One cannot simply dismiss concerns raised as not representing the entire population. Nor can one use “NIMBY” as a rhetorical device to put down anyone who does not want a high rise downtown on Brant street.

Councillor Dennison employed a similar argument in dismissing a petition with over 1000 signatures related to the development at 421-431 Brant, saying that he had to represent the views of all Burlingtonians, not 1000.

Dennison announcing

Ward 4 city Councillor Jack Dennison – has yet to see a citizen petition that cannot be dismissed easily.

Petitions are at the core of democratic action, so important that they can be registered in parliaments around the world. They are a demonstration of whether social licence is given to politicians to proceed. They cannot be dismissed so easily. In this case, there is so little support for 421-431 Brant street – no petition in support of the project – yet strong opposition.

Councillor Sharman also lectured his constituents in a related Facebook post on the Official Plan, writing:

“What is generally not appreciated by community members is the city is sub organization [sic] of the province of Ontario, not an independent organization. The role of the City is to implement plans established by the province almost without question. It does require interpretation though, hence the official plan and all of the angst it is causing.”

This paragraph deserves a close look as it reveals how a Councillor approaches his job and the role of his constituents.

First, he makes a broad generalization of the community, presuming that we are unaware of the municipality’s position within the provincial government framework. Many of us are well aware that the municipality is part of the Province of Ontario – anyone who has even thought about the role of the Ontario Municipal Board recognizes that municipalities are not islands. So why lecture us?

Second, he says, “The role of the City is to implement plans established by the province almost without question.” I have not seen any provincial legislation that limits the ability of city councils to lobby the province for changes, to even demand changes to plans that it sees as inappropriate. Questioning, debating, requesting, suggesting, pleading and persuading are all actions that can be taken by municipalities when it sees plans that are contrary to the best interests of a city. Contrary to Councillor Sharman’s assertion, there is much give and take between municipalities and the province. It is unfortunate that Councillor Sharman appears to have ceded that role in favour of the ostrich approach.

Finally, Councillor Sharman reduces the legitimate concerns of constituents to “angst”, an emotional response, implying that the community is not thinking clearly, and would understand the real world if only they could put their feelings aside, be quiet and listen. He is blaming constituents for behaving foolishly and letting emotion cloud their judgement.

Ballot going in boxWhen an elected leader does not listen to their constituents, they are not respecting their constituents. Leadership that believes it “knows best” has a deleterious effect on our democratic institutions.

Politicians who do not understand the importance of social licence and of representing constituents throughout their terms must be taught that lesson at the polls, as it remains the strongest weapon of democracy.

rory closeupRory 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.

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Skinner: Impact of Demographics on the City of Burlington Urban Planning

background 100By Jeremy Skinner

December 21, 2017



This article is designed to stimulate the conversation as to why the residents of Burlington need to accommodate intensification, otherwise known as to Grow Up.

Demographics 1
The recent Halton District School Board Burlington Secondary School Program Accommodation Review confirmed once again that we in Burlington have a serious demographic problem. By 2020 there will be approximately 1,554 (1,179 located south of the QEW and 376 located north of QEW) available student spaces across Burlington’s seven high schools. Because of the declining student enrolments, some students in Burlington’s seven secondary schools would not be provided the same equity of opportunity as other students within the Halton District School Board, and even fellow students enrolled in larger Burlington secondary schools. The reasons for Secondary School over-capacity relative to student enrollments are fivefold:

1. The rapid development of Burlington South of QEW suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s and North of QEW in the 1980s and thereafter.
2. The Provincial decision to create the Separate School Board alternative;
3. The more recent Provincial decision elimination of grade 13;
4. Empty nesters prefer to live out their retirement years in the family home; and
5. Families with children are no longer able to afford the cost of a home in Burlington.

D 2
I digress for a moment to counter any arguments as to the large turnover of residential real estate this past year will make a significant difference in emerging student enrollments.

Zolo research into Burlington real estate transactions reveals an average house turnover rate of 199 houses per month with a peak of 238 houses last April out of a potential market of 53,170 dwellings comprised of detached, row and semi-detached houses based upon 2016 Canada Census Data. Please note that Zolo does not track transaction data associated with apartments or condominium units. Apartments represents 24% or 17,265 dwellings according to Canada Census data. Note that while there is currently a surplus inventory of approximately 500 houses looking for a buyer, the selling to asking price ratio remains high at 97%. These houses are simply taking longer to sell.

This data indicates that we must not expect a watershed moment when considerable number dwellings will transfer hands between legacy old and new families, including those with children, and instead focus our efforts to build family with children friendly new dwellings.

D 3
The mayor has been quoted that “almost one-third of the city’s population is 55 years of age or over”.
See the red boxed age groups. 19.3 per cent of the city’s population is 65 or older and approximately 13 per cent is between the ages of 55 and 64.

It is my opinion, that almost one-half of the city’s population are in the child supporting ages of between 30 and 65 years of age.

See the green boxed age groups. 12 percent of the city’s population is between the ages of 30 and 39, 23% percent of the city’s population is between the ages 40-54, and 13 percent of the city’s population is between 55 and 64. The challenges we face in the near future is how to accommodate those in their retirement years and those who are entering the labour force.

Permit me to depict this same information using a different chart style so that we may contemplate the future as more households move into retirement. We simply move the graphic to the right to visaulise how the population ages. The peak demographic group of 14,350 people currently aged 60 to 54 will enter retirement in just over ten years. We also need to contemplate what will happen to those currently less than 30 years of age. It is doubtful that most will be able to afford a non-apartment style dwelling assuming that one becomes available.

D 5
Chart 5 outlines the distribution of singles, couples without children, couples with children and other groupings residing in Burlington’s 71,375 dwellings at time of Census.


D 6
With only one greenfield left for residential neighbourhood development located in the North-East corner Appleby Line/Dundas St. in Burlington, the decision was made to close and Lester B. Pearson Secondary School in end of June 2018 and Robert Bateman Secondary School end of June 2019. By attempting to balance student populations across five schools, each student would be provided the same equity of opportunity as other students within the Halton District School Board, and even fellow students enrolled in larger Burlington secondary schools such as Nelson, M.M. Robinson and Dr. Frank Hayden.

Student enrollments at Aldershot Secondary School and Burlington Central High School will be monitored. Note that Aldershot Secondary School currently includes a contingent of Grade Seven and Grade Eight students in the same building. This implies that it is imperative that we provision more accommodations for families with children in the Aldershot area or be prepared to lose the school in ten years time.

This leads us to the conclusion that families with children need to be attracted to Burlington into more cost-efficient accommodations, especially in those areas located below the QEW where underutilised community assets including parks, playgrounds, sports arenas, libraries and schools are located.

Let us spend a moment and contemplate the potential demographic effects on Burlington’s retail market.

D 7
Canada Census has a model which illustrates the total expenditures by average Canadian primary householder. Note that the total and more importantly retail specific peak for the age groups of between 30 and 65 are normally related to families supporting children. The delta between peak $34,959 associated with ages between 40 and 54 and a floor of $21,984 associated with 65 and over represents a decline in retail expenditures of $12,795 or about 1/3. In other words, the more we age, the less we consuming from a retail perspective.

D 8
Taking this a step further identifies expenditures by retail category by primary householder age group. This chart may be useful in determining which categories of retail establishments are disproportionally impacted due to an aging demographic.

From top to bottom:

• Blue line indicates Foods purchased from stores;
• Light Orange line indicates Household Operations (includes household repairs, furnace/hot water purchases/rentals, cleaning & storage supplies, garden products & care, pet products & care);
• Brown line indicates Recreation (includes toys, video games, sports equipment and facility costs web-shopping target);
• Green line indicates Clothing, shoes and accessories (web-shopping target)
• Navy Blue line indicates Health & Personal Care (including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, hair care, medical doctor, dentist, massage, etc.)
• Dark Orange line indicates Food and alcohol beverages purchased from restaurants
• Light Blue line indicates Household furnishings & equipment (appliances web-shopping target)
• Dark Grey line indicates Miscellaneous
• Light Grey line indicates Tobacco products and alcohol beverages (not purchased in restaurants)

The emergence of retail desserts indicates that the surrounding shopping population can’t support the retail establishment or can’t access the retail establishment, or the establishment real estate lease costs prohibitive in the area.

Let us consider where these retail establishments are currently located.

D 10
Areas depicted in orange represent retail corridors such as along Plains Rd and Fairview Avenue and the approximately fifty shopping plazas which typically are located at the intersections of major streets. Each has been identified for intensification and thus are mixed use sites. The challenge with many of these intensification nodes are that they will need to be rebuilt to accommodate residential units above and to provision parking for cars below. These rebuilt buildings will need to be carefully designed if reasonable transitions to bordering residential neighbourhoods are to be maintained. These sites will likely have a taller building component in the centre of the site or closer to the intersection and may be optionally surrounded by townhomes along some of the edges. Note the provisioning of underground parking changes the retail dynamic of the convenience shopper and those concerned about safety and accessibility.

The areas depicted in red relate to the existing downtown and uptown urban centres (located at Appleby Line & Upper-Middle Rd.). The proposed 3 Mobility Hubs are to accommodate future retail and residential opportunities housed within mid-rise mid-height and tall tower buildings surrounding the existing Appleby, Burlington and Aldershot GO transit stations.

Looking to the future, I have found two Canadian market sources which attempt to outline the future retail trends.

CBRE Real Estate Market Outlook – Retail Key Trends
• emphasize location and smaller, more efficient footprints,
• creating experiences that cannot be replicated online,
• seamless integration of the online and physical store network,
• logistics – upgrading systems and innovative fulfillment solutions

An illustration of Retail Real Estate Focus can be found at Main and Main which is a retail-centric, mixed-use developer.

Key site factors:
• Location – the hard corner, high visibility sites with maximum pedestrian traffic
• Growth – demographics and growth to drive retail sales.
• Lifestyle – neighbourhoods with the transit, arts and culture, and mixed-use vibrancy that consumers are looking for.
• Functional, inviting and efficient space for shoppers and tenants.


With no more land with which to expand the number of dwellings out over, we have no choice but to build up.

How well we manage this implied intensification will have a significant impact as to the quality of life amongst the residents of the City of Burlington.

Recent publications including City of Toronto’s Children in Vertical Communities Policies and Performance Guidelines may offer the Development Community and the City of Burlington with improved means to build more attractive condominiums for new families. I hope to review this document in a future article.

To do nothing, will likely imply higher taxes and fewer community and retail assets with which to access.

Skinner JeremyJeremy Skinner is a research who has worked with IBM and a major bank. The author cannot assume any liability as to the methods, associated data or conclusions which are depicted. They are simply provided for visualizing purposes only. This article expands on some of themes expressed by the author to City Council as part of the Statutory Meeting on the proposed New Official Plan.

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West Haven residents now have a quarry site plan document - they want it peer reviewed and would like the Mayor to begin supporting them.

News 100 greenBy Staff

December 21st, 2017



Meridian yard gates

Entrance to the Meridian Brick works plant in Aldershot.

The Meridian Brick people released three of the many studies that were “in the works” earlier this week. They relate to the plans the company has to begin quarrying for shale in the third “cell” of the property east of King Road north of the North Service Road.

The eastern “cell” is literally yards away from the about 60 homes on West Haven.  The residents of the community formed a not for profit corporation to battle the brick company. The Tyandaga Environmental Coalition (TEC) has hired an environmental lawyer – the same one that took on the Nelson quarry south of Lowville and managed to have their request to expand that quarry turned down.

Graphic of TEC quarryOne  study, the site plan update, is of particular concern given the threat that hangs over the West Haven residents who fear that the brick company is going to go in and begin clear cutting trees on the property yards away from their homes.

The has stated on numerous occasions the importance of having the studies and the site plan peer reviewed by independent consultants, a process that will take some time.”

They fear that Meridian’s plan to commence the clear cutting of the East Quarry land in January / February 2018 will take place without a full peer review of the presented studies.

They are also wait to hear from Mayor Goldring on how he and City council will support the residents in their request:

1. That Burlington endorse TEC’s proposed MZO (Ministerial Zoning Order) and Request for Review to allow for the permanent protection of the site, or at the very least the required three-year salamander survey work;

2. That Burlington and the Halton Medical Officer of Health seek peer reviews of all Meridian’s technical
studies, to be paid for by Meridian; and

3. That Burlington commission immediately a Stakeholder Design Charette exercise to explore sustainable rehabilitation and development solutions across the entire Aldershot Quarry site.

Excavation equipment 2

Equipment tat will mine the quarry – the maps show how close this will be to the homes on West Haven.

In its media release TEC said: “It’s troubling that 9,000+ trees could come down at any moment. What a disaster for our community. What a disaster for the City and contrary to the “green Initiatives” that they are propagating.”

This situation, now at a critical stage, has been brought to the attention of our City, Regional, Provincial and Federal governments over the past two years. We continue to expect them to work with us to find a way forward immediately, that would benefit all while protecting the environment and all those who live, work, learn and play in this community.

There is a bit of an upside to the pressure TEC is putting on the politicians – the Mayor is reported to have said that the community meeting Meridian put on in November was a pretty poor effort – up until very recently the Mayor has said that the quarry was not a municipal matter.

TEC stop quarry expansion Jul17In a December 4th letter to the Mayor TEC asked for “… a meeting with you on this urgent matter as soon as possible, given that Meridian has stated at their recent meeting they will begin clearcutting in January 2018.

“We look forward to hearing from you.”

Which will arrive first, the telephone call from the Mayor agreeing to meet or the sound of the chain saws cutting down trees?

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City imports an interim city planner from Hamilton - gets his business card for Christmas.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 20th, 2017



That didn’t take very long.

Breaking News – Bill Jannsen a retired planner from the City of Hamilton has been hired by the City of Burlington as its Interim Direct of Planning.

Aerial view - skyway bridge

The interim Director of Planning can now experience the joys of crossing the Skyway bridge each morning.

At one point Janssen was the Hamilton Director of the Open for Business program. His most recent position with Hamilton appears to have been as Acting Director, Strategic Services/Special Projects at City Of Hamilton.


A copy of the Draft Official Plan will be on the desk of the interim city planner.

Not much on the man – which is unusual for people in the municipal sector.

Mary Lou Tanner, who becomes the Deputy City Manager on the 2st, today, will turn things over to Jannsen.

Tanner at one time worked for the city of Hamilton.

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