Burlinton male - 20 years of age - arrested and charged with seven counts of theft under $5000.

Crime 100By Staff

December 11th, 2017



Earlier in the month, Friday December 1st 2017, between 2:30 AM and 4:30 AM, numerous unlocked vehicles were entered and property stolen on Maryvale Court in Burlington.

Property stolen included loose change, GPS devices, debit/credit cards, sunglasses, headphones, CD’s and cigarettes.

police in cruiserOfficers from the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau identified Wayne Erik MILLAR (20 yrs) of Burlington as the person responsible.

MILLAR was arrested on December 10th and held for bail charged with seven counts of theft under $5000.00.

Detective Sergeant Ron Hansen commented that “these types of occurrences are preventable if citizens would take appropriate steps to secure their belongings and lock their car doors”

Police are reminding the public of the following prevention tips:

• Ensure your unattended vehicle(s) are kept locked/secure
• Never leave personal identification or valuables in your vehicle
• Park in a well-lit and attended areas whenever possible
• Never leave spare keys in your vehicle
• If you have to leave valuables in your vehicle, lock them in your trunk. Don’t tempt thieves by leaving packages or purses in plain view or on the seat.
• Remove garage door openers, GPS navigation and cell phone devices & power cords from view when not in your vehicle
• Consider installing CCTV / Surveillance cameras which can capture the crime and aid in suspect identification
• ensure their homes and garages are locked when absent from the home or turning in for the night.


Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Constable Mark Urie of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2338. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Bateman high school parents will have their 1000 signature petition read in the Legislature today.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 11th, 2017



Whitby-Oshawa MPP Lorne Coe (PC) will read a petition signed by more than 1000 Burlington community members into the record of the Ontario Legislature calling for the Liberal government to reverse the closure decisions for all schools where those decisions were made after September 1, 2016.

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

Bateman parents and students make their views known.

In a media release a Bateman high school parent group said: “In June of this year, Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter announced a province-wide Moratorium on school closures, stating that the Pupil Accommodation Review (PAR) process used to close schools was flawed and should be overhauled.

“Following this PAR process, the Halton District School Board voted to close Burlington’s Robert Bateman and Lester B. Pearson High Schools (June 7th) just 22 days before Hunter’s announcement. Parents from both schools have argued that a decision made under this flawed process must be overturned.

“Save Bateman Committee member Jennifer Beleck spearheaded the collection of petition signatures as part of a provincial movement led by the Ontario Alliance Against School Closures.

Bateman - crowd scene

Showing the school colours as part of a protest against the Board of Education to close a high school that meets the needs of disadvantaged students.

Beleck says that in the conversations that she has had with parents, retirees, business owners and others from across Burlington while gathering the names, the overall response has been one of frustration. “Everyone I spoke with said how angry they are with the large number of schools which have been slated for closure under the Liberal government” said Beleck. Records suggest that over 500 schools have been closed under the Liberals prior to them announcing the moratorium.

A similar petition from the group working to stop the closure of Burlington’s Lester B. Pearson High School was read at Queen’s Park on October 25, 2017.

With the over 1000 signatures, the Save Bateman petition is one of the largest to be read on school closures to date.

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Engaged citizens of Burlington survived a tumultous series of weekend meetings and will hold its first public meeting on Wednesday.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

December 11th, 2017



It was a hectic week for the newly formed Engaged Citizens of Burlington – ECoB.

They struggled to work with a co-chair that was not in the country and, based on what has been passed along to the Gazette, she was difficult to work with. During what is reported to have been a difficult conference call the “group was blown up by its leader”. People were resigning left and right.

ECOB logoThe phrase “disrespectful” crept into the conversations the Gazette had with a number of people involved in the development of what is intended to grow into an umbrella organization for community groups that want to see a better relationship between city hall and the tax payers.

The small group of people who have been behind ECoB managed to get themselves incorporated, raised $5000 to cover some of their early expenses and put together a sub-committee that was preparing an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) against the city council 5-2 vote to approve the construction of a 23 story tower opposite city hall.

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward and the Mayor voted against the staff recommendation.

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

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward with the Mayor. Both voted against the motion to approve a 23 storey tower opposite city hall. They are expected to run against each other in the October 2018 municipal election.

ECoB scheduled a public meeting for Wednesday of this week (the 13th) at the Baptist church on New Street where they hope to hear from as many groups as possible on how they can look for a better way to work with city hall.

The group wants to be at the table and involved in the development of community plans rather than just standing at the podium in the Council Chamber, speaking for their allotted ten minutes and then being dismissed with no follow up questions.

Last Thursday the EcoB people took their appeal to city hall only to learn that they couldn’t file the document because there was nothing to appeal. The city council vote was just part of the process – there are additional documents to be created, including the creation of a Section 37 agreement which sets out what the city is to be given in return for the additional height and density before there is something to appeal.

At this point the ECoB people have a commitment from city hall that they will be advised when the file is complete – at which point they will file their appeal.

421 BrantECoB was not prepared to reveal any of the appeal points other than to say that they believe city council exceeded their authority and that the Official Plan limit for the property is 12 storeys – not the 23 that council approved.

A significant number of people in the city continually ask why an Official Plan is consistently over-ridden by city council.

In an item that was published earlier this week Tom Muir, a consistent city hall delegator, spoke of a conversation with city manager James Ridge in which Ridge is reported to have explained to Muir that development agreements are negotiated with developers. Muir said Ridge told him: “That is good planning”. Which is the rub for many who are opposed to a city that will find its main street not much more than a row of high rise towers.

In a media release put out on Sunday the ECoB people said: “We live in an ever changing world. Our core team remains committed to work towards building a better Burlington for generations to come. We hope to accomplish this goal of building awareness through our online and community presence.

“YES, The meeting is taking place on Wednesday, December 13th from 7-9 pm at Burlington Baptist Church, 2225 New Street (next to Dodsworth & Brown). The entrance to the church is off the Dodsworth & Brown parking lot.

“Discussion will include the grounds for our appeal to the Official Plan and steps moving forward. We encourage all Community Groups to attend and help grow the organization.”

ECoB has created a Facebook page:

Related news stories:

Citizens group created.

City manager tells resident that negotiated development plans are good planning.

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Demographics, tax and land use policies are the keys to shaping the future of housing and urban development.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

December 11th, 2017


This is one of a several part series on affordable housing

Over the 20th century the world’s population grew by 400 percent despite two world wars which killed off tens of millions of young people of child rearing age. Canada ranks 2nd in the planet by land mass but only 38th by population. Still we have multiplied from seven million in the early 1900’s to five times that number today.

Statistics Canada is projecting that we’ll be fifty or sixty million by the middle of the century. The post-war baby boom and the baby boom echo have been a big part of our growth. But that has now concluded as Canada, like other developed nations, has seen its natural birth rate plummet, for all but our indigenous communities.

Immigrant at Halifax

Immigrants who landed in Canada and came through Pier 21, which is now a museum. This country was built on the backs of these people – they are us?

We are a nation of immigrants, including our first nations whose numbers were devastated by smallpox and other imported diseases introduced by the European settlers. Over the last decade Canada had welcomed roughly 250,000 migrants a year. More recent immigration plans will bumped these numbers to the point where we’ll be taking in a million more people over the next three years. And of course there is ongoing pressure to admit more refugees.

So even if we don’t actually have more children to take our places there will still be increased demand for housing. And most of those immigrants will be moving to cities in southern Ontario, Alberta, BC or Quebec, where housing markets are already relatively tight pushing up the demand and therefore the price of housing. Still, demographics is only one factor in this equation when it come to housing demand and supply.

Land use and fiscal (tax and government spending) policies also play a role. After all for most people their home is their biggest investment, and yet capital gains on that investment is tax-exempt, making ownership very desirable. A second or third home can also be a good source of rental income, in addition to being an appreciable asset.

Not through this part of th Escarpment if you don't mind. Citizens want to make sure the province fully understands how iopposed they are to a raod through this part of our city.

Everything north of Dundas and the 407 is rural – no development except in the hamlets; Kilbride, Lowville. The housing growth will have to be south of the dividing line.

BC and Ontario recently introduced special taxes on non-resident owned property, a policy which has been credited with discouraging speculation and cooling down their steamy housing markets – at least for now. Some municipalities are considering additional taxes on vacant homes in order to encourage landlords to better utilize the existing housing stock. And then there is the impact of Air B&B, influencing house market dynamics – the conversion of long term to short term rental units adding new challenges to rental markets.

Developers and the real estate sector decry the constraints on land development, such as they see with the provincial Green Belt. Their biggest complaint is that this impacts there ability to convert cheap farm land into masses of single family homes, traditionally the most sought after type of housing, but also the least efficient. Why grow food when it so much more profitable to grow houses.

Mapleview Mall parking east side

Once some of the best farm land in the province. “…they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

Burlington was once home to some of the best farm land in Ontario. Nothing epitomizes its unfortunate transition to today’s urban form more than Mapleview Mall – where maple trees are no more. Indeed this development gives real meaning to Joni Mitchell’s song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ – they paved paradise and put up a parking lot. It symptomatic of the demise of low growth rustbelt cities like Detroit, Cleveland and Hamilton at one time or another.

Highly touted GO commuter service is of little use if your job is scattered among the scads of low density industrial sprawl areas throughout the GTA. Spending up to half of one’s working day just commuting is crazy! And then there is the cost of that transportation, a huge price to pay for living the old ‘50s California suburban dream.

So the provincial planning whiz kids dreamt up this ‘places to grow’ stuff which municipalities treat as license to continue sprawl under another name. And of course developers love it. Because they can now make even more money than before building higher density homes on that same old cheap farmland, and occasionally tearing down low rise apartments to reach for the sky.

And there is the matter of municipal zoning policy. Originally designed to protect Dick and Jane in their comfy split-level from the horrors of industrial pollution, zoning has become the true enemy of sustainable living, creating silos in our cities which can only be broached by the automobile.

One only has to look at the parking lot at Mapleview during the Christmas season to get the point or Costco anytime. Strip malls, big box stores and shopping plazas have replaced the local corner store for much of what we buy. And nobody walks to get there. More recently on-lines sales and home delivery, à la Amazon, are threatening to re-shape the future of the shopping mall as consumers literally take to heart that old jingle – ‘let your fingers do the walking’.

Hong Kong has been called the best city for commuters with extensive public transportation options and one of the lowest car ownership rates. 38% of commuters use bicycles or walk to work and shop. And extremely high urban density has made transit both economic and a convenient way of moving about the city. But then do we really want to live in a city where you sleep in a tower and travel to get to anywhere else thorough a canyon?


Prime Minister Trudeau announces a $40 billion dollar federal-provincial partnership deal to match the need for more affordable housing.

Mr. Trudeau recently announced a $40 billion dollar federal-provincial partnership deal to match the need for more affordable housing with real substance. It was one of his promises in the last election. That will require provincial buy-in, something which would have been easier back when more provincial governments also wore the red party colours. Nevertheless it is an ambitious undertaking. And of course money alone will not solve the matter of housing affordability.

Demographics, tax and land use policies are the keys to shaping the future of housing and urban development period. Next week, in this column, we will explore options and entertain possible solutions as we put some meat onto these bones we’ve now laid bare.

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:

Population Growth –    StatsCan Projections –      Population of Canada

Birth Rate in Canada –      AIRBNB –      Hong Kong Housing

Bad Policies –      Market Bubble –      Housing Outlook

Liberal Housing Election Promise –      Housing Announcement

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High school parent group sends a Christmas wish list

News 100 redBy Staff

December 10th, 2017



If you were a child sitting on the curb along Guelph Line or New Street when Santa visited you could have had you letter to Santa Claus listing the gifts you wanted. Canada Post employees were collecting the letters – that has to ensure delivery.

The parents at Lester B. Pearson and Robert Bateman high schools have asked the Gazette if we would deliver their Christmas wish to Margaret Wilson, the facilitator who was brought in by the Minister of Education to determine if the Board of Education followed the PAR process properly.

There were a number of parents at both schools who think the Board sort of blew it and they want to let Mrs. Wilson know what they are looking for either in their stocking or under their tree.

LBP Santa plea

Margaret Wilson is in the process of writing her report on whether or not the Halton District School Board followed the PAR process properly. Some parents are hoping Santa might influence her thinking.

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1,100 educational assistants are in place to support the work teachers do - for many students the EA's are pivotal to a quality education.

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 10th, 2017



On Monday classrooms through Halton will celebrate and acknowledge the role educational assistants have on student success and well-being.

educational assistant

Teachers will teach and explain a subject – the educational assistant is on hand to help students practice what they have learned.

The Halton District School Board employs more than 1,100 permanent and supply educational assistants. Guided by the values set out in the Board’s Multi-Year Plan 2016-2020, educational assistants support students with evidence-based instructional strategies, resources and interventions differentiated to each individual student’s strengths and needs.

Halton District School Board Director of Education Stuart Miller explained that the “role of educational assistants is pivotal to the success of many of our students and we are grateful for their continuous support to our students, staff, parents and the system at large.”

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What climate change means to each of us - not a pretty picture.

News 100 blackBy Staff

December 9th, 2017



The argument over whether climate change is real is pretty well decided; – the down side and the results we are going to experience are not pretty.

CBC television ran a minute and 20 second news clip that is hard to watch.  Here’s the link.

It is part of the price we are paying for the way we have treated this planet.

According to recent research by biologist Nick Lunn, polar bear populations in northern Manitoba are down by a third since the 1980s. They’re also spending, on average, 30 days longer per year on land.

“That is cause for concern, but it’s also a warning bell,” he told CBC News last month.

He believes that polar bears could disappear from that area in 20 to 40 years unless the planet cools.

Polar bears rely on sea ice to access their main food sources: seal and walrus. In many parts of the Arctic, where the SeaLegacy team filmed for several weeks, the mammals are thriving.

But in this part of the Arctic, winters are shrinking, causing sea ice to melt before the bears can gather enough food to last them through hibernation.

SeaLegacy co-founder Cristina Mittermeier said she “hopes that this video will spark a broader conversation around conservation efforts.”

The video was captured by SeaLegacy filmmakers on Somerset Island, near Baffin Island in Nunavut.

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Real estate - some properties in the Orchard are listed at unrealistically high prices.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 9th, 2017



Average days on market for the month of November were 34 and properties were selling for, on average, 95% of the original listing price – very similar to Oakville results.

In both Burlington and Oakville, 58% of the Active listings at the end of November had been on the market for over 30 days.

Year to date for the City of Burlington, sales are down just over 9% and prices are up 14.7% as compared to the same period last year.

Orchard community entrance sign

The Orchard community is and will always be very desirable.

For the month of November, a few interesting notes: the Orchard community is showing a 6.3% increase for November as compared to the same month last year. There were only 9 sales in the Orchard in November (as compared to 11 in November 2016) and one of the sales was well over $1.4 million which really has to be seen as an outlier, considerably higher than any sale since March.

If you remove that sale, the average price in the Orchard becomes $791,363 which is a considerable decline from November 2016. We think that this will correct itself in the coming months as the Orchard community is and will always be very desirable and at present there are well under 10 properties in the community that are listed at unrealistically high prices.

The other noteworthy communities are Alton Village, Maple, Plains and Aldershot. Year to date, each of these communities continue to show increases in prices of well over 20%.

Rocca November numbers

Year to date, a number of communities continue to show increases in prices of well over 20%.

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A celebration of food - made by the kids - shared with their parents.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

December 8th, 2017



Terra Madre Day is Slow Food’s annual day to promote the diversity of food traditions!

Children age 7-10 are invited to join us for this free workshop to work on a United Nations Nutrition Badge.

UN badgeLearn about food safety, food planning, seasonal fruits and veggies. International students will share traditional vegetable dishes from their countries. Families are invited to join at the end of the workshop to celebrate their child’s success and try some of the international dishes.

For ages 7-10 years
Student Theatre Centre, 2131 Prospect Street
Sunday Dec 10, 1-4pm

Register for free

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It was a negotiated deal that Tom Muir thinks is the kind of thing that leads to municipal corruption.

background 100By Pepper Parr

December 8th, 2017



Tom Muir was leaving city hall recently, heading to the parking lot and crossed paths with city manager James Ridge.

A conversation ensued. Muir describes his conversation with Ridge as “cordial”

Muir making a point

Tom Muir making a point

Muir mentioned the verbal scuffle he had with Councillor Taylor over what Muir thought were points Taylor didn’t want to hear; that the city was using concepts that were not vetted and not approved on the 421 Brant project that was approved by the planning department and then passed by city council under the current Official Plan.

The city is in the process of writing a totally new Official Plan and was pushing very hard to get it done before the end of the year. The public began to push back even harder and the completion date for the new Official Plan, now in draft form is now uncertain.

City manager James Ridge

James Ridge at his first city council meeting.

Muir says that Ridge immediately disagreed and asserted that it was a “negotiation”. Carriage Gate, the developer, had the right to build a 12 storey structure on the property they had assembled.

It has been described as an ugly squat building that used every square foot available. No one liked the look of the building but it was what the developer was allowed to do.

The city apparently came back with the tall building guidelines that call for podiums that were set back nicely from the property line, rose to four storeys and then had a tall skinny building that rose an additional 19 storeys.

The revised proposal Carriage Gate took to the planning department was for 27 storeys – the planners recommended 23 and that was what council bought on a 5-2 vote with the Mayor and Meed Ward dissenting..
Ridge said, according to Muir, that this is what was “negotiated”.

Muir glancing

Tom Muir, a frequent delegator at city hall.

Muir said this was arbitrary and gave everyone around that table power they are not supposed to have if Official Plans and zoning bylaws that the public has bought into are to mean anything at all. Why have bylaws and height/density limits if the parties can just negotiate them away was Muir’s argument.

Muir said Ridge didn’t have a real answer, except he called that “good planning”, and added that he and Ridge talked about the economics, and the built form. They chose high and skinnier rather than shorter, squat, not the massing city wanted, and perhaps butt ugly, like the Sims building which Muir adds was his example not Ridge’s.

Muir’s view is this might be central to any OMB appeal case. Is it “good planning” to just ignore the determinative Official Plan and zoning bylaws and public opinion that gets expressed at required meetings that go way out of compliance and are rationalized as “negotiation”, when they appear to be no more than arbitrary decisions.

James Ridge - looking right

James Ridge Burlington city manager.

Muir said Ridge maintained that the existing Official Plan was designed to be “a negotiation” framework,
In my view, says Muir, this introduces arbitrary power to rules that are supposed to be complied with so that arbitrary is not in the cards to enable noncompliance. “That’s a door to corruption, like it or not.”

Muir makes an additional point.

What Carnicelli didn’t say in his delegation was that Carriage Gate began assembling property for this project ten years ago and that they at one point took a proposal to the Planning department that met the 12 storey limit many people want.

It was a pretty plain looking building that used every possible foot of the property – not much in the way of a street-scape – but it met the rules.

The developer and the Planning department worked together to come up with the structure that met the tall building guide lines that were new and the developer revised the proposal.
City council decided it was what the city needed and voted for it; with two exceptions, the Mayor and Councillor for the ward.

Now, as a citizen, ask yourself this; would you rather have an 11-storey mass (I believe this is the ugly that Mr. Ridge is referring to) or a 23-storey building, 19 storeys in a slender tower? Consider that the 11-storey building is at the property lines and the tall building is set back (wider sidewalks) and the bulk of the tall building is set back once you pass the podium.

Why are we beating up the developer?

The City has never seen anything like this!

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Forecasted winter weather means second zone 3 leaf collection to begin early.

News 100 greenBy Staff

December 8th, 2017

Due to the winter weather forecasted, the final scheduled loose-leaf pick-up is being started immediately. Residents in Zone 3 are asked to place their leaves by the curb as soon as possible as trucks will be picking up leaves beginning Dec. 7.

Trucks used for leaf collection are the same used for snowfighter operations (plowing, sanding, salting). If we receive significant snowfall, the leaf collection program will end and equipment will be changed over to allow for snowfighter operations.


2017 leaf collection map

Halton Region’s yard waste collection program has also been extended one week. Residents are asked to have bagged leaves curbside by 7 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 11.

Regional crews will pick up yard waste throughout the week.

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Should the Sound of Music Festival be given an additional day for ticketed events. Let then know what you think.

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 7th, 2017



The Sound of Music Festival wants to add another day to their already existing paid event which is held the weekend before the festival, on Sunday, June 10, 2018 from 1 to 9 p.m. and would like to know if there is community support for the second event.

The short, one-question survey will be open until Dec. 14, 2017.

Sound of Music will get no sympathy from Alexandre Kubrak were she to be elected a Council member. She thinks the event should be looking for additional sponsors - she's not the only one with that thought.

Sound of Music wants to add an additional ticketed event day. City wants to know what you think.

The festival has had a paid event since 2015 to support performances on the Father’s Day weekend and help ensure a quality festival for years to come.

In 2017, a second event was added to help celebrate Canada 150 which was very well attended.

Sandra Maxwell, supervisor of Festivals and Events explains:

“The Sound of Music Festival organizers have approached the city to ask if they can host another paid ticket event as a way of financially supporting the four-day festival on Father’s Day weekend. We would like to know if there is community support and appetite for this sort of event and encourage all residents and people of surrounding area to provide their input into this short, one-question survey.”

Dave Miller, executive director of the Sound of Music Festival adds that “… the success of last year’s additional day on Sunday, June 11 in honour of Canada 150 and the growing popularity of the ticketed Kick-off Concert, we’re hoping to have the Kick-off event for Sound of Music Festival 2018 running for two days instead of one, making it a full weekend experience.

“Proceeds will support overall costs of the event including stages, security and great musical talent.”

The Sound of Music organization has not made any comment on how much they earned from the additional day nor what they did with the extra income. A bit more transparency would be appreciated.

LINK to the survey.

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Planner made deputy city manager - Mary Lou Tanner wins the search for a deputy - this will mean changes to the planning department

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 7th, 2017



The City of Burlington announces that effective December 21, 2017; Mary Lou Tanner will assume the position of Deputy City Manager. Tanner was the successful candidate after a comprehensive internal competition.

Tanner is currently the Chief Planner and Director of the Department of City Building for the City of Burlington. Tanner has been with the city since November 2015 heading the department responsible for planning, building, by-law and culture.


Mary Lou Tanner will assume the position of Deputy City Manager.

Tanner is a well-recognized and experienced leader in municipal planning and development and is a Past President of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and a graduate of the Planning School at Queen’s University.
The Deputy City Manager role is a new position at the City of Burlington which will report to City Manager James Ridge.

Key responsibilities of the Deputy City Manager include:

• Serve as the city’s representative for all Agencies, Boards and Commissions; acting in an advisory and liaison capacity for each organization and helping plan and coordinate major capital projects.

• Being responsible for the diversity and inclusivity portfolio; ensuring a strategy is developed, and implemented across the organization for all services and programs;

• Overseeing the Project Management Office, ensuring the priorities of this office are aligned with the Strategic Plan and corporate work plans and work with the Senior Leadership team to identify and establish priorities across the organization.

A transition plan including an acting Director of City Building will be announced in the near future; however in the meantime Tanner will continue to lead the work on the completion of the city’s new Official Plan.

James Ridge Day 1 - pic 2

James Ridge on his first council meeting as city manager.

Prior to city manager James Ridge being appointed Burlington had three General Managers. One was shown the door, another retired and a third Scott Stewart took a position as deputy city manager in Guelph. Stewart was a candidate for the city manager position.
Ridge has been running the city with his office being the report to point for all the Directors.

Sometime will be needed to think through just what this small level or re-organization is going to mean to the citizens of the city.

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Filing of an appeal against the city decision to approve the construction of a 23 storey tower opposite city hall is said to be imminent.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 6th, 2017



The first meeting of the ECoB Engaged Citizens of Burlington ended with a commitment to appeal to the Ontario Municipal Beard to set aside the decision made by city council on a 5-2 to approve a 23 storey structure across Brant from the city hall.

No word yet on the filing of the appeal “imminent” was the latest we had from the ECoB group who are working feverishly to get things in place for the next meeting which is scheduled for Wednesday, December 13th from 7-9 pm- at the Burlington Baptist Church- 2225 New Street- next to Dodsworth & Brown.

While the OMB appeal of the 421 Brant Street project was at the top of the task list – they were up against a ticking clock on this one – the bigger picture is to create an organization that can serve as an umbrella for the numerous community groups in the city that have concerns with the way city hall is handling the issues that are important to them.

There isn’t a complete list yet of just who those groups are. Shoreacres, Bluewater, Roseland, TEC and Plan B are among those that are expected to attend on the 13th.

The ECoB objective is to have an organization that can hold the current city council accountable and able to direct staff to deliver on what the residents want.

ECOB founding Nov 25 back of heads

ECOB founding meeting November 25th 2017

Few hesitate to express their concern over the make up of the current city council and their desire to see some changes on the makeup of the current city council in the next municipal; election to take place in October of 2018.

The current council was elected in 2010, re-elected in 2014 – most appear to be in the 2018 race. They Mayor has already held his first photo-op of his campaign.

ECoB expects to make extensive use of social media to get their message out to the public.

They have part of the team that did an astounding social media job for the Central high school parents who fought the recommendation to close their school leading the creation of social media, a web site and a Facebook page.

ECoB poster

Posters distributed by ECoB are about as direct as one can get.

The group urged citizens to turn out for the November 30th Standing Committee meeting that was thought by many to be one of the most important Standing Committee meeting at city hall this year.

The meeting was seen as a turning point and sharpen the difference between Councillor Meed Ward who is expected to run for the office of Mayor next October and the current Mayor Rick Goldring who has already declared that he will be running for a third term as Mayor.

The Mayor has stayed pretty close to the positions Meed Ward has taken and on a number of occasions joined her in a vote against a motion.

The tipping point for many was the November 13th council vote to approve a 23 storey tower opposite city hall.

A significant number of very vocal people believe city council is wrong and that the Planner is not in tune with the people who live in the downtown core.

Using the acronym ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington, the group easily raised the first $5000 needed to launch the appeal at their inaugural meeting earlier in the month.

Lancaster as Dep Mayor Sept 28-15

Councillor Lancaster got to serve as the Acting Mayor for an evening. She kind of liked the chair and invited her Mother to join her for a photo-op. Will we see this on an election poster?

Blair Lancaster, Councillor for ward 6 who has supported the residents in her ward over one of the ADI developments that is now at the Ontario Municipal Board, said in her Newsletter that:
“During our most recent rounds of public consultation we heard many comments from residents. While they understand the need for growth they are concerned that:

• Burlington will turn into a big city with big tall buildings.
• Heard from specific residents who border on the growth areas
• Residents found the precinct plans difficult to analyze and understand the impacts.

“As a result of these comments, staff will be meeting with the residents in order to resolve some of their specific concerns and will be working on the communications for the concepts that will be easier to understand.

“Burlington residents should know that the process was visionary, thorough and involved thousands of stakeholders. Lancaster has asked for feedback which she will happily include it in the process for Council consideration.”

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Public school board replaces both its Chair and vice chair - Grebenc and Ehl Harris to lead in what will be a difficult year.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

December 6th, 2017


The old order changeth – a new Chair and vice chair of the Halton District School Board were elected this evening.

Miller in a huddle with Grebenc

Chair Andrea Grebenc talking over a concern with Director of Education Stuart Miller during a board meeting.

Andrea Grebenc, a Burlington trustees replaces Kelly Amos who has served the board for … and Tracey Ehl Harrison, an Oakville trustee, replaces Kim Graves, a Milton trustee as the vice chair.

Tracey Ehl Harrison

Vice chair Tracey Ehl Harrison, an Oakville trustee.

Ehl Harrison is a registered professional planner, a certified professional facilitator and a PhD candidate whose career has focused on environmental planning and education, communication and community engagement.

Grebenc is a lecturer and instructor at McMaster University, and an e-learning consultant and programmer.

She is a graduate of Lester B. Pearson high school which she voted to close in June of 2018.

Amos has served as a trustee for more than ten years

The all female Board of Education has gone through a very tough year. On a number of occasions it was evident that Chair Amos was having difficulty with the agenda.

The Board decision to accept the staff recommendation to close two of Burlington’s seven high schools was taken to the Ministry where a request was made for an Administrative Review of the process used by the Board.

The Administrative Review facilitator, Margaret Wilson is expected to have her report in the hands of the Ministry before the end of the year.

The Ministry will release the report at a later date.

The Ministry can direct the Board of Education to hold a second PAR – Program Administrative Review which would mean creating another PARC – Program Accommodation Review Committee. A PARC is made up of two parent representatives from each high school – one selected by the school board the other by the Parent Council of the school.

The Central high school parent council decision to have ward 2 city city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward represent the parents was a controversial choice. One wonders if the parents would make that choice again.

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Paletta International and Tender Choice facilities go up in flames - massive fire destroys everything.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 6, 2017



The Paletta International premises on Paletta caught fire earlier in the day. The first call to the fire department came in at 4:10 in the afternoon


The building was fully engulfed in flames shortly after the fire broke at and was called in at 4:10 pm

Flames have fully engulfed the building – bringing 14 pieces Burlington fire department apparatus to the scene. Volunteer firefighters have been called to stage stations at this point in time

Hamilton and Oakville fire departments are providing assistance

Full-time staff have been called in on overtime to assist
The building was completely evacuated – everyone got out and there are no reported injuries.·

Heavy smoke blanketed the Appleby Line – QEW area but did not interfere with GO train service.

Paletta fire

Everyone was safely evacuated from the building.

Paletta_intlThe structure houses the head office of Paletta International and the Tender Choice chicken processing operation.

The immediate challenge for the corporation is going to be to find office space for staff and to plan for the reconstruction of the chicken processing operations.  There are a lot of farms that are going to have to decide what they do with their poultry operations.

The downstream economic damage from this fire is going to be extensive.

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Patrick Brown may win the battle but he is going to lose the war.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 6th, 2017



Ray Rivers has been writing a column for the Gazette for five years. Over that time he has developed a following that isn’t shy about taking him to task when they disagree with his opinion. That ability to “talk back” to a columnist is one of the features of this newspaper.

Rivers hand to face

Ray Rivers

It has taken some time for Gazette readers to appreciate that what Rivers writes are his personal opinions.

Each week Ray and I talk about what he has in mind. I don’t tell Ray what he has to write but I am aware of what he is planning on writing about.

There are times when, as publisher, I suggest a particular subject could use some attention. Rivers doesn’t always agree.

He recently did a column on Ontario Leader of the opposition Patrick Brown. I had hoped Rivers would write about affordable housing – Rivers has said he will get to that.

While Ray is a liberal and a Liberal he does have the capacity to see beyond the end of his nose.

We have approached a number of clearly identified Conservatives to write an opinion column for us – having some balance is important.  We do have our eye on a young New Democrat to become a columnist.

Brown Patrick with headset

Patrick Brown

In his piece on Brown he said he felt Brown was getting some traction and that the race for the Premiership of the province was going to be tighter than I said it would be.

My own view is that Brown does not yet have the profile he needs and his past positions are going to haunt him in an election where the Liberals will have the stronger campaign team.

Wynne Kathleen - looking guilty gas plant hearing

Kathleen Wynne

I have certainly been wrong before but I see Kathleen Wynne winning and then resigning within 18 months. If she loses she is gone.

Then the battle will be between several members of her front bench.

My own view is that it doesn’t matter what Patrick Brown does – he is gone either way.

If he loses there will be a leadership contest. If he wins there will be a member of his government breathing down his neck.

Mulroney Catherine

Catherine Mulroney

Caroline Mulroney is running in York (north of Toronto) where she will win.

Then the real campaign begins for the Mulroney’s. Her father, Brian Mulroney, former Prime Minister, has been itching to get back into the political game (did he ever leave?)

To be able to be part of the team that makes Catherine the Premier of Ontario is one that Brian Mulroney won’t be able to stay away from.

So while the Gazette’s leading columnist thinks Brown could take it – there is a bottle of Scotch on the outcome – none of that matters.

Caroline Mulroney is going for the job and she will get it.

Pepper Parr is the publisher of the Burlington Gazette.

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This could be fun – a holiday wine exchange! 🍷🍷🍷

eventspink 100x100By Staff

December 6th, 2017



This could be fun.

Former ward 4 candidate for the public Board of Education seat Margot Horne Shuttleworth has gone public with in a Facebook message to her wine loving friends.

Holiday Wine Exchange – forget the cookies —  who wants 36 bottles of wine?! 🍷🍷

The weather outside is frightful, but the wine is so delightful…

Who wants to participate?

wine bottlesI need a MINIMUM of 6 participants to join in a holiday wine exchange. Buy ONE bottle of wine valued at $20.00 or more and deliver it to one person. That’s it!

I will PM you the name/address and in return you will receive 6 – 36 bottles of wine!! (# of bottles depends on the number of participants).

Let me know if you are interested and I will PM you the information. Please comment on this post if you’re in. Just keep in mind, you only have to buy ONE bottle valued at a minimum of $20.00 and, if everyone participates, you can receive up to 36 bottles of wine!!!

Only comment if you are really going to participate. If you say you will and don’t, it doesn’t work for everyone else. Give it a try. It could be fun and you could stock up for the holiday season with the purchase of only ONE bottle!!….. you need to be local…. but should be fun!!

Margo Horne- Shuttleworth on Facebook at –

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RIDE checks are now in force - more than 250 roadside tests done last year.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 6th, 2017

Expect to see officers engaged in R.I.D.E activity anywhere and anytime during the month of December, as officers across the Province launch the holiday R.I.D.E campaign.

Regional police doing RIDE checks. Expect to see them all over the place during the month of December.

Halton Regional Police Service takes an aggressive approach to impaired driving throughout the year, not only during this holiday season. We work in close partnership with M.A.D.D and our EMS organizations to reduce impaired driving everywhere.

Officers will be deployed in a variety of different vehicles and focused on community events, licensed establishments, in both residential subdivisions and industrial and commercial areas. Compliance checks for those previously charged with impaired driving offences, and subject to ongoing license prohibitions, will also be occurring.

Impaired driving is a Crime in Progress. With the community’s help in reporting possible impaired drivers to police, we can all work together to keep our roads and community safe.

In 2016 Seasonal R.I.D.E statistics:

• 266 roadside tests
• 51 impaired driving arrests
• 54 roadside suspensions

If you see a driver you suspect is impaired, please call 9-1-1. Let’s all play a role in keeping our community and roads safe.

Impaired driving is a CHOICE. Make this a happy and safe holiday season by making the right one.

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Multiple images of break and enter suspect capture on security cameras.

Crime 100By Staff

December 6th, 2017


There is someone out there who wasn’t aware of the number of video security systems installed along Lakeshore Road – particularly in the 5000 block.

East Lakeshore Road

Suspect was captured on video at several homes in the 5000 block of Lakeshore Road.

Police in Burlington are investigating a rash of residential break and enters into homes, garages and cars in south east Burlington.

Lakeshore suspect 2

Video from several security cameras captured good images of the suspect.


Lakeshore suspect 1

In many instances the suspects do not appear to be aware that they are being filmed.

Between 6:30 PM on December 3rd and 6:00 AM on December 4th 2017, a lone male suspect is believed to be responsible for breaking into at least six garages to steal bikes and other miscellaneous items as well as trying the front doors to two residences in the 5000 block of Lakeshore Road. The same suspect is also believed to have broken into numerous unlocked cars in the same area.

The suspect was captured on video at several homes and police are asking for assistance from the public to help identify him.

The suspect is described as a white male, early 20’s, thin build, approximately 5’7″ to 6′ tall, wearing a touque, light checkered winter coat and running shoes

Police are reminding the public of the following prevention tips:

• Ensure your unattended vehicle(s) are kept locked/secure
• Never leave personal identification or valuables in your vehicle
• Park in a well-lit and attended areas whenever possible
• Never leave spare keys in your vehicle
• If you have to leave valuables in your vehicle, lock them in your trunk. Don’t tempt thieves by leaving packages or purses in plain view or on the seat.
• Remove garage door openers, GPS navigation and cell phone devices & power cords from view when not in your vehicle
• Consider installing CCTV / Surveillance cameras which can capture the crime and aid in suspect identification
• ensure their homes and garages are locked when absent from the home or turning in for the night.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Ellie Bale of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2312 . Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

We will watch to see how quickly this suspect is identified.

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