Mayor tells city council audience that booing and applause are not permitted - then presents a proclamation to a citizen while everyone applauds.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 14th, 2017



At the start of each city council meeting the Mayor reads out a notice explaining to people what to do in the event of an emergency.

On occasion he explains to the public sitting in the gallery that they are not to engage in any form of demonstration.

At one point in the Monday evening meeting at which a particularly devise issue was being debated he told the audience there was to be no booing, no hissing and no laughing.

At the beginning of the Council meeting the Mayor took a few minutes to present proclamations to people.

Goldring and Diabetes recipient

The Mayor reading out and then presenting a proclamation to a representative from Diabetes Canada. Applause followed.

As he handed over the proclamation to the representative from Diabetes Canada and then moved beside the woman for the photo ops that he so thoroughly enjoys the audience broke into applause.

Not a word from the Mayor on what is allowed and what is allowed and not allowed to do in the Council chamber.

The hypocrisy, the audacity – the plain cheek of the man. He diminishes the office he holds and comes across as a bit of a fool.

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Dennison dismissive towards citizen presenting petition to city council.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

November 14th, 2017



Has there ever been a citizen petition that Councillor Jack Dennison thought had some merit?

He certainly didn’t have much time for the petition Joanne Arnold presented to city council last night when the decision to approve the bylaw necessary to allow the developer to proceed with the next step as being debated.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison always has an eye open for an economic opportunity - sees a great one for the city: sell the golf course.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison – not a fan of citizen petitions.

We have yet to see Councillor Dennison ever accept a petition at face value. He consistently challenges the contents of a petition – last night he asked Ms Arnold if she could verify the 144 names that were on the petition – she could not.

“Were they all from Burlington” Dennison asked. Ms Arnold said that some of the people who responded may have been out of the country and responded from wherever they were.

Dennison managed to discredit what the delegator believed was a demonstration of commitment.

He was having none of it.

So much for encouraging people to express their views.  It will be sometime before Joanne Arnold chooses to appear before city council

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Meed Ward leaves the city council meeting with her head held high - bloodied but not bowed.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 14th, 2017



She did what she always does – hammers away at the point she wants to make.

421 Brant

If there is going to be any grass near the now approved 23 storey condominium the city is going to have to lay sod in the Civic Square.

During the lengthy city council meeting Monday evening Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward asked each of the delegations what they thought was an appropriate height for the condominium tower that has been proposed for the north east corner of Brant and John Streets – across the street from city hall.

Meed Ward knew what the answers were going to be – there wasn’t a single delegation that was for the 23 storeys that were recommended by the Planning department. The developer had asked for 27 storeys.

Councillor Shar,man with his back to the camera debates with Councillor Meed Ward during Strategy Planning sessions. Both are strong contributors to Council and Committee meetings

Councillor Sharman with his back to the camera debates with Councillor Meed Ward during Strategy Planning sessions. She doesn’t back away from a difference of opinion. Neither does he.

Meed Ward has always been opposed to height in the downtown core. She has a following and represents the views and feelings for the city that many want to retain.

The Mayor sort of shares her view – he just isn’t as good as she is at making her point and sticking to it.

Meed Ward is the only member of Council who consistently asks questions of delegations and staff.

She’s not shy about saying she doesn’t understand something. She sees her role as that of getting the answers she needs and doing the same for her constituents.

Monday evening was a disappointing night for Marianne Meed Ward on several levels – she didn’t make as much as a dent in the position four of the members of council had taken.

She is never going to get a change of mind or a change of heart from Councillors Craven or Sharman.

They had every reason to be smiling. Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station.

She will get a smidgen of acknowledgement from Dennison. She and Councillor Lancaster have never been close – except for the exceptional work the two of them did in saving the Freeman station.

Meed Ward sits beside Councillor Taylor – if anyone was going to side with her philosophically it would have been Taylor – he didn’t budge.

So – what does Meed Ward take away from the decision? She certainly keeps her followers happy – are there enough of them to elect her as Mayor in the October 2018 election?

If Burlington is going to elect Meed Ward as Mayor they want to ensure that they elect people who share some of her views – or this city will face four years of political grid lock.

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Board of Education is looking for people to help with the high school closing process while parents hope that the Administrative Review will result in a reversal of the decision.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 14th, 2017



Sounds like rubbing the salt into the wound.

The Board of Education sent out a media release asking Lester B. Pearson high parents if they might be interested in serving on a sub-committee to prepare for the school’s closing in June 2018.

They have until December 1st to send in an Expression of Interest Submission form.

On the same day a group of parents from the school were told by the Board that Patrick Brown, Leader of the Ontario Opposition could not tour the schools.

LBP George Ward + Rory Nisen

Rory Nisan and George Ward trading contact information – both have been active in efforts to keep their school open.

In their media release the Board said the Lester B. Pearson High School’s Integration Committee is seeking subcommittee members and volunteers to form two subcommittees in preparation of the school’s closing in June 2018. Members of the subcommittees can be students, staff, parents, alumni or community members.

The first subcommittee is being created to assist in the identification, gathering and cataloguing of Lester B. Pearson High School artifacts and the development of a plan to honour memorabilia. Members of the second subcommittee will assist in the planning of closing ceremonies and community activities.


Where will the school’s memorabilia go?

Tasks of subcommittee members and volunteers include, but are not limited to:

• Creating an inventory of artifacts and memorabilia items (e.g. banners, graduate composites, awards, etc.)
• Designing and dedicating space to display memorabilia in the community
• Liaising with the Burlington Historical Society and Burlington museums
• Development and planning of closing ceremonies and activities
• Developing a communication strategy and timelines

“Honouring artifacts and memorabilia from Lester B. Pearson High School and celebrating the history of the school is a priority for the Integration Committee, as well as current and former students and staff,” says Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education for the Halton District School Board.

If you are interested in this opportunity, as a subcommittee member or volunteer, please complete the Expression of Interest form  The form will be available until Friday, December 1, 2017. The subcommittees will be formed prior to the first meeting on December 14, 2017.

Margaret Wilson PAR Admin Review

Bateman and Pearson high school parents are hoping that Margaret Wilson, the Facilitator doing an Administrative Review of the Board decision to close the schools will recommend that the PAR process be done a second time.

Parents at the two high schools scheduled to close are hanging their hopes for a change in the decision on the Administrative Review of the process the Board used to close the school.

It is a stretch – but Administrative Reviews have in the past sent a decision back to a school board and required them to do the Program Accommodation Review a second time.

The problem with this “hope” is that it all goes back to the elected trustees that made the decision to close the schools.

That’s the level at which a change has to be made.

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School board says no no to parent request to have the Ontario Leader of the Opposition pay a visit to a school threatened with closure.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 14, 2017



The Halton District School Board has denied a request to have Progressive Conservative Education Critic and party leader MPP Patrick Brown visit two Burlington High Schools.

Representatives from Robert Bateman and Lester B. Pearson Parent Councils submitted requests to have Brown visit their schools as part of their efforts to highlight the critical roles their schools play in the community.

The denial came from HDSB representative Marnie Denton who told the groups that “there aren’t to be school tours by politicians at this time.” When asked whether this was a Board staff or Trustee decision, Ms Denton provided a three word response “Board staff decision”. No other reasons for the denial of the request were provided despite several requests.

Brecknock Tony

Tony Brecknock

Tony Brecknock, a member of the Pearson Parent Council said “denying a visit to the school – any visit by a very important member of our political system and society – is failing both the students of Pearson and Bateman and the community as a whole.”

Brecknock adds that the Board seems “afraid of the exposure but this is unacceptable in a transparent, democratic society.”
Both Robert Bateman High School and Pearson High School are slated for closure following the HDSB’s Program Accommodation Review (PAR) conducted earlier this year. Committees working to save both schools were successful in their requests to the Ministry of Education for Administrative Reviews – one of the only mechanisms available for communities to fight school closures. Last month, Margaret Wilson was appointed Facilitator for the Reviews currently underway.

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

Bateman parents and students demonstrating to keep their school open.

Deb Wakem who is a Bateman parent and a member of that Parent Council says that “if the school board is to learn from their mistakes and improve a process which has massive ramifications on the community and our children we need to work together – politicians, the school board, community – to ensure we have the best process in place.

Wakem also suggests that “by not allowing Patrick Brown to visit these amazing schools, the HDSB is merely hiding from responsibility, accountability and transparency.”

MMW with T - shirt

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward with Ontario Leader of the Opposition Patrick Brown at a Queen’s Park rally.

Patrick Brown, the leader of the provincial PC party has been an outspoken critic of the Liberal government’s record of school closures in Ontario and called for a moratorium on such closures in early 2017 well ahead of the government’s current moratorium. As part of the PC’s Recommended Policy Resolutions currently being considered by their members, the party is recommending “an immediate moratorium on school closures and an immediate review of any schools that are slated to close.”

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Community group brings Sarah Harmer back to her home town to once again protect the environment.

News 100 greenBy Staff

November 14, 2017



They are bringing in the big guns.

Sarah Harmer smile

Sarah Harmer, will speak at the Tyandaga Environmental Coalition public meeting.

Juno award winning singer, songwriter and conservation activist, Sarah Harmer, will speak at the Tyandaga Environmental Coalition public meeting on November 16, 2017 in Burlington, Ontario.

Harmer will join a group of environmental experts and advocates to raise public awareness of the scheduled deforestation of northwest Burlington by Meridian Brick.

An estimated 9,000 trees are scheduled to be clear cut for an urban quarry that mines shale for brick production. The threatened area contains about 35 acres prime forest, habitat to a number of at-risk and endangered species, including an endangered Jefferson dependant unisexual salamander that was discovered in the spring.

Meridian Brick is expanding its quarry under an aggregate license that was issued in 1972. The proposed quarry expansion would now come as close as 35m to homes in the Tyandaga neighborhood, threatening the health and well-being of the community.


PERL took years and a lot of local fund raising to get to the point where a Joint Tribunal ruled that the application for a quarry expansion was to be denied because of the endangered species on the property. The upper orange outline is the existing quarry – the lower outline is where the expansion was to take place.

Sarah Harmer co-founder of the conservation organization PERL (Protect Escarpment Rural Land) that helped stop an 82-hectare aggregate quarry on the Niagara Escarpment at Mt. Nemo north of Burlington. She continues to raise awareness of the environmental impact of aggregate mining.

Harmer will join a list of environmental experts that includes Gord Miller, former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, David Donnelly, environmental lawyer and former Director of the Canadian Environmental Defense, Dr. Lynda Lukasik, environmental advocate for sustainable community development and the Executive Director at Environment Hamilton, and Roger Goulet, Executive Director for PERL.

The Tyandaga Environmental Coalition (TEC) is a group of concerned citizens fighting to save Burlington’s greenspace and protect the health and wellbeing of the city’s residents. Once a small group of like-minded-neighbors that came together when quarry expansion was announced, the environmental coalition now has nearly 3,000 supporters that are helping to petition the Honourable Kathryn McGarry (Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry) and the Honourable Chris Ballard (Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change).


The west and centre quarries are nearing the end of life and the company wants to now quarry in the eatern section that is metres away from private homes.

TEC is requesting that the proposed urban quarry extension have an immediate independent evaluation of the impact on the community based on the current demography and updated environmental and health standards. Also needed are further studies of how clear cutting an estimated 35 acres of forested habitat will affect endangered species. These studies need to be viewed from the perspective of current environmental law.

The meeting will be held on November16, 2017, 7:00 pm at the Crossroads Centre located at 1295 North Service Road, Burlington

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Italian exchange student tries to teach Burlington family how to make pizza. They teach him how to water ski and learn to skate

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

November 13th, 2017



Marcello - standing

Marcello Beltrami

Marcello Beltrami is a 17 year old Italian student in Burlington as part of a Rotary International student exchange. He will be staying with four different families during his yearlong visit.

He is with Tom and Margaret Hayes for the first three months. Exchange students are nothing new to the Hayes household – they have had students from France, Thailand, Brazil and Peru.

Tom and Margaret are basically empty nesters – he is a mechanical engineer she is an accountant.

Marcello is a student at Assumption high school where he takes English as a second language classes and is also taking classes in biology. His student bent seems to be in the sciences.

When student exchange interviews take place – everyone is on their best behavior – the situation is always perfect – never any problems.

Marcello with hays

Tom Hayes, Marcello, Margaret Hayes and the family dog

In the Hayes household – that’s actually the way it was. The dog barked and sniffed where you didn’t want him to sniff. The cat had that insouciance that only cats and very attractive women manage to pull off.

And Marcello giggled while telling me about how he was teaching Tom to make pizza. In Burlington pizza is something we order in – Marcello is Italian and he assumed that everyone makes the pizza from scratch.
Marcello wasn’t a guest – he was a member of the family and you could feel it as the conversation bumped from Tom, to Marcello and then on to Margaret.

What did Marcello know about Canada before he got here: that we are known for Maple Syrup and that it gets cold – very cold.

Home in Italy is in Cremona – in the southern part of Italy. His Mom is an English teacher and with Skype on his computer he can be in touch with his parents whenever he wants.

The Hayes are doing a superb job of ensuring that Marcello gets out and learns about the country. He had the traditional pea meal bacon sandwich at the St. Lawrence Market, got to Montreal to watch the Canadiens play Detroit; the Hayes household is part of that tribe that still believes the Maple Leafs will win a Stanley Cup – soon. Marcello was oblivious to that tribal trait.

On a trip to Little Italy Marcello met a woman from Calabria, Italy and immediately fell into a conversation about where he was from and what he was doing in Canada.

During the summer the family took Marcello to the lake and gave him a chance to try water skiing – “He got up the first time” said Tom. Skating is next for the Italian.

What is Marcello allowed to do? His behaviour is guided by what Rotarians describe as the five D’s.

Marcello Margaret Hayes

Margaret Hayes explains the Rotary 5Ds

No driving
No drinking
No drugs
No dating
No dis figuration – tattoos, nose rings.

The last week of the yearlong experience is spent by all the International students on a two week tour of eastern Canada.

Margaret Hayes is a strong advocate for the International Student idea. She believes that the better we understand each other the more peaceful the world we live in will be. This she was disappointed when just three people in Burlington applied for the International experience and she isn’t quite sure why the number of applicants was so low.

Marcello - Tom Hayes

Tom Hayes

Through the interview there was a lot of joshing and kidding back and forth. Marcello will move on to the next family he will spend three months with – Tom is going to miss that young man.

Marcello speaks to the Lakeshore Rotary Club at lunch on Tuesday.

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Elgin Street closed, Locust Street to Blathwayte Lane, Nov. 14 - 15, 2017

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 13th, 2017


Elgin Street between Locust Street and Blathwayte Lane will be closed on November 14 and 15, 2017 from 7:00 am to 7:00 p.m. for excavation work.

Signs and barricades will be up.

The Saxony development has had excavation problems related to water that wasn’t originally evident.


Excavation work at the Saxony development site.

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Do public petitions make a difference? Are they worth the paper they are written on?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 13, 2017




Do they make a difference?

421 Brant

The 421 Brant development, approved by a city council Standing Committee, goes before city council for approval this evening.

Are they an accurate barometer of what the public in general is thinking or are they an opportunity for people who are opposed to something to show their opposition?

Do the politicians pay attention to petitions?

In many cases a petition is the only voice people have when they want to oppose something their government.
The current petition asking the city to stick to the current zoning for the northeast corner of Brant and James streets was put forward by Joanne and Kevin Arnold who said they created the petition to change something they cared about. 1384 people have added their name so far.

The people who are opposed to the New Street Road Diet have collected 2641 signatures as of January – that is the most recent number – appear to have signatures from the ward the bike lanes are in.

UPDATE: As of Nov 13th there are 3262 signatures, plus 500 signatures on a hard copy of the petition.

A number of years ago Councillor Marianne Meed Ward created a petition to oppose the sale of lake front property the city owned between Market and St. Paul Street – she got more than 2000 names on that petition. The property was still sold.

Those opposed to the now recommended development at Brant and James have the right to delegate before city council.

The city is faced with a serious problem – they are required to add significantly to the population of the city and there isn’t very much land on which to build new homes. They can’t build out – so they are going to build up. And they chose to recommend to council that a project that would have 23 storeys be approved. The 5-2 vote was pretty emphatic.

Are those opposed to the development – they say they are not opposed to height they just don’t want it built on property so close to the waterfront – wanting a Burlington that cannot be sustained?

Gary Scobie

Gary Scobie delegating before city council – he was one of the few that had anything to say about the development at a city Standing Committee early in November.

There were not very many public delegations speaking against the development when it was at the Standing Committee stage. The city manager spoke more forcefully for the project than any city manager has spoken in this reporter’s memory.

City councils are elected – put in office to serve the people. If the public is really, really, really opposed to this project have several hundred of the 1380 who signed the petition get off their couches and head for city hall and use their five minutes to demand that city council respect their wishes.

Something like THAT would have an impact.

The Gazette has published the delegation Tom Muir,  an Aldershot resident will make to city Council this evening.  A review of the comments about his delegation is worth a read – it gives a sense as to how the public feels about this issue.

An Open Letter from former Mayor Mary Munro to the current Mayor is also a solid insight on how this development proposal has been managed.

Salt with Pepper is an opinion column written by the publisher and sole share holder of the  Burlington Gazette.

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Regional police release Impaired Driving Offences Summary within Halton Region

Crime 100By Staff

November 13th, 2017


Police cruiserThe 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.

The Service’s Twitter and Facebook accounts should not be used for this purpose as they are not monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Please be reminded that all persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

On Thursday, November 9, 2017, after 2:30am, witnesses reported a suspected impaired driver in Milton and a traffic stop was initiated near Division Street and Spruce Boulevard in the Town of Halton Hills. Brennan Senos (52) of Halton Hills was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and driving over 80mgs.

On Saturday, November 11, 2017, just after 12:30am, Halton Police officers investigated a collision involving a suspected impaired driver in Burlington. Police charged Meredith Read (42) of Oakville with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and impaired driving over 80mgs.

On Saturday, November 11, 2017, after 9:00pm, a traffic stop was initiated at Upper Middle Road and Headon Road in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Matthew Henry (18) of Burlington was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle.

On Sunday, November 12, 2017, after 12:30am, witnesses reported a suspected impaired driver in Halton Hills and a traffic stop was initiated at Trafalgar Road and Princess Anne Boulevard. Anastasija Kondrasova (26) of Mississauga was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle and driving over 80mgs.



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City developer given an award for service to condominium buyers.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 12th, 2017


HHHBA award to Carriage Gate 2 cropped

Carriage Gate was given an award at the annual Halton Hamilton Housing Builders Association (HHHBA) Gala dinner.

The award was to recognize the developer for working with HHHBA staff and Management on ongoing planning, development and housing construction initiatives in Burlington and their attention to the interests of home purchasers.

Carriage Gate has a development before city council Monday evening.


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Whose city is it? Muir asks: Who do you represent? - You're not representing the citizens that elected you.

opinionandcommentBy Tom Muir

November 12th, 2017



Tom Muir has been delegating to city council as long as the current members have been keeping those council seat warm. John Taylor has served the longest – close to 25 years. Muir is relentless. When he gets his teeth into a bone he just doesn’t let go.

The city is facing a point where it has to decide how it wants to grow and where that growth should take place,

The focus is on Brant Street at this point where a developer has assembled property and taken a proposal for a 27 story condominium to the city’s Planning and Development department where is was recommended but reduced to 23 storey’s.  City Council’s Planning and Development committee approved the Staff recommendation on a vote of 5-2. Monday night it goes to city council where it will be approved, revised or nor approved. Here is what Muir thinks of the process so far.

Dear Councilors,
I provided written correspondence on this item to the P&D meeting of Nov. 1, but I was unable to attend that meeting personally.

At this stage in the process, with Committee approval, the conversation here is largely political. With this in mind, a quote credited to Councilor Meed Ward, summarizes accurately and succinctly a question I have been wondering about in terms of how I see this Council operating.

Burlington aerial

Whose city is it?

“Whose City is it?”

To which I must add from my own experience; Councilors, Who do you represent?

From the evidence that I have been easily able to gather, on this matter, you are, most of you, not representing the citizens that elected you. You appear to have been immunized against the opinions of your constituents.

It is their city, but you do not appear to be hearing them. They are telling you loud and clear that they don’t want these building heights/density, with the associated problems, and they want to know why you are not enforcing the existing laws.

I looked at several recent staff report sections containing public comments. Many of these comments were lengthy and reasoned.

421 Brant St. Neighborhood Meeting: 22 comments – 20 opposed 2 supportive, of which 1 was in the development business.

421 Brant St Statutory Meeting: Of 10 comments, with no exception, the original proposed height of 27 stories was unacceptable – not just a little bit, like 23 is okay, but it was a rejection. For representative examples you can see my P&D correspondence.

421 Brant St. P&D Meeting Nov. 1. There was 1 personal delegation opposed.

There were 3 letters of correspondence, of which 2 were opposed, and 1 offered support for redevelopment but wanted to see compliance with existing OP and bylaws.

So out of 36 public comments received, 33, or 92% are opposed.

And the city says the public is broadly consulted, and uses that claim to defend decisions that are clearly opposed by the public in these consultations.

So who is represented here, and whose city is it really?

Muir glancing

Aldershot resident Tom Muir.

Going further in my findings of public comments on current proposals, let’s consider the Molinaro proposal for 22 (or 24?) stories on Brock St.

Molinaro Brock St. Neighborhood meeting: 9 are opposed, and none spoke in support.

Molinaro Statutory Meeting of Nov. 6/17: There were 4 personal delegations and all were opposed.

There were 13 additional written comments, 12 of which are opposed, and 1 was neither clearly opposed nor supportive, but had several issues and concerns.

So on the Molinaro proposal, there are 26 public expressions of comments, of which 0 speak in support, 1 is equivocal, and 25 are opposed. So basically 100% do not support the proposal.

We can go to the Waterfront, and see the same dominant opposition to the city planners and developer proposals. Or elsewhere, and let’s not forget the ADI Martha St. proposal.

Comments are often lengthy, and basically express the same issues and problems. Consistent concerns are always height, density, no respect for bylaw limits and creeping up proposal by proposal, staff traffic, congestion, parking assertions that are completely at odds with public comment and concern and reality even, and many others you can read.

And adding insult to injury, city and Council can’t wait to hear the residents comment on what they think of the new OP, bylaws, and Mobility Hub ideas before voting to go far beyond anything in those documents for this location.

The draft plan ideas are still just that – not vetted, not discussed or debated, and have no approval and are therefore not policy relevant or legal. Given this, the Committee approval here makes a farce out of the formal consultation to come before it even happens.

To me this erases all doubt that the city, planners, and Council don’t respect or really care to hear what the public thinks of these plans, and wants for what is their city.

Muir making a point

Muir delegates and is an active participant at community meetings.

Instead of waiting, as is legitimate and appropriate, decisions are made to go over and above even the 17 story limit proposed, but not approved, for this site in the new Mobility Hub Precinct ideas.
The existing limit is 12, the proposed is 17, but the City Manager and his planners, want 23. And Committee voted 5 to 2 in favor

Is that how Council wants to be seen as representing the people? In a way that drives cynicism?

Some of you say “tall buildings are the future” and “citizens need to get over their concerns”. Well, “tall” buildings in Burlington are anything above 11 stories. So the present permissible of 12 is tall. And certainly the 17 proposed in the Mobility Hub Brant St Precinct is tall. So we are there already.

Consider that the draft 17 is about half way between the existing 12 allowed, and the 23 proposed, perhaps that would be a satisfactory compromise, a hair-splitting solution, to meet there, half-way.

There are other buildings nearby that are tall, so perhaps, in that context, the citizens “could get over their concerns” with this height, if they saw something of their wants being heard.

The people have spoken pretty loud and clear – note the almost 1300 (as of Sunday Nov. 12 at 5:00PM) who signed the petition opposing the proposal.

My ask is this. I read that the Mayor and Councillor Meed Ward, in voting against approval at Committee, suggested that 17 stories was something they could live with, since we seem to be going in that direction in the draft, but not approved plans.

Burlington City Council Group

Who do they represent?

So I ask one of them to move, and the other to second, a motion to debate modifying the proposal to 17 stories, and for Council to approve that modification, and send it to staff for appropriate action.

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A petition that wants to have 1500 signatures has reached 1300 a day before city council meets to vote on the development for a 23 storey tower opposite city hall.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 12th, 2017



421 Brant

The seven members of city council, sitting as members of the Planning and Development Standing Committee, voted to send the proposal to city council for approval.

A petition has been created for those who want to oppose the Planning and Development committee approved development.

Five of the seven council members recommended that a revised development proposal go to city council where it has to be approved if it is to go forward.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward and the Mayor opposed the development. Those two are expected to run for the office of Mayor in 2018.

The people who started the petition are looking for 1500 signatures – at this point they have more than 1300. Petition

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

Marianne Meed Ward with the Mayor.

City council meets Monday evening at 6:30 where approval of the Standing Committee will be debated. A number of delegations are registered to speak for five minutes each.

To sign the position CLICK here.


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War is hell - art is used to convey just how dark a hole that hell is.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

November 11th, 2017



The art of war – that statement can be taken several ways.

It could be the methods used to kill people when we are at war. Goodness knows we have read more than enough about just how inhuman we can be.

Art has also been the form we use to show the horror of war.

Slide01Dave Barry used art to talk about what war at a presentation he made at the Teresa Seaton Gallery on NAME Saturday afternoon.

Using a very impressive collection of pictures Barry took his audience through

Using the dictum that a picture is worth a thousand words we are going to let the art tell the story. There were 97 pictures used in the presentation.

This feature shows just a portion of the presentation.Slide22Slide13 Slide19Slide52


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City IT services will be offline fora few hours Monday night

notices100x100By Staff

November 11th, 2017



The city’s IT Services will be disrupted on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017

The systems will be down for some scheduled maintenance to the network on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 from 10 to 11 p.m.

As a result, online business licence renewal and property information requests will not be available.

Information technology

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A former Mayor said to the current Mayor that ...


opinionandcommentBy Staff

November 11, 2017



What does a former Mayor say to the current Mayor on issues they disagree on?

Munron Mary

Mary Munro – Burlington Mayor 1997 and 1998

Mary Munro, Burlington’s Mayor in 1977 and 1998 has said to Walter Mulkewich Mayor from 1992 to 1997 that she didn’t ever vote for a high rise on Lakeshore Road.

The Bridgewater project was approved during Mulkewich’s term as Mayor.

Now Munro wants our current Mayor to know that she isn’t particularly impressed with what he is doing either.

In a Letter Munro said:

Dear Mayor Goldring:

First of all, I was bemused the City Manager, James Ridge, led off @ what was a Planning Committee discussion of a proposed project. Also bemused by his statement of the desirable merits of the project, leaving no doubts about his support. I wonder about Ridge’s history and his planning experience, let alone the propriety of his intervening @ the outset of discussion — would it be he wanted to forestall the usual agenda, i.e. Planning Dept.’s introduction and explanations of the effects of the project? or to discourage interveners’ arguments or presentations ?

James Ridge - looking right

Burlington city manager James Ridge

I believe Ridge’s statements were prejudicial to the aim of the public meeting, i.e to hear from Burlington citizens their views, and to let City Councillors debate the issues without the bias, possibly formed by Ridge’s remarks.

On the merits of the project , as an active and involved Burlington resident since 1959, I somehow “blew it” by long before now, not being aware of the changes to the Official Plan and Zoning By-Laws that allow dense development on Burlington’s “Main Street “. I thought , obviously wrong, we all had a vision of Burlington following the wise moves of our sister communities on the shores of Lake Ontario to stand against density in their downtown and to promote historical and profitable enterprises in their town centres.

It seems to me, B has little likely hood of becoming more than a city of tall towers, not treasuring it’s history and wonderful attractions. More than that, it might be possible to affect change, so late in the game, by looking carefully at candidates in our next City election.

Ask yourself, do we really want reps who say “The future is in tall buildings.” Or one who called “the project fantastic”. Or one who said ” Councillors have to view everything from a high level'”.

This is your city evolved by truly dedicated people — so why not take ownership of your own interests in how we live?

Mary G. Munro

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Governor General upsets some with her comments on science and Divine Rights.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

November 11th, 2017



It’s not a compliment. Calling our federal environment minister ‘climate barbie’ is a sexist trick intended to demean her and distract the public from the serious work she is doing. But The Rebel, Canada’s alt-right publication, is using this ad hominem because they don’t have a single shred of evidence to disprove the climate science she supports.

Rebel_LogoWhy is it that The Rebel and its co-conspirators on this topic, the shrinking but determined pool of climate deniers, see this the earth’s climate as a partisan issue? And how can survival of life as we know it on this planet be even an ideological issue? This is a good question to ask as we learn that CO2 levels are now the highest they have been in a million years.

Of course climate change is happening and of course we humans are almost entirely responsible. Denying reality won’t make the problem go away or allow us to hide in an alternate universe, in the right wing. And calling an environment minister names will not change public policy in this country. At the end of the day even Mr. Harper realized that he had to take global warming seriously.

Perhaps in time his replacement, Mr. Scheer, will as well.


Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Opposition, House of Commons

Andrew Scheer has some history with The Rebel, at least through his campaign manager from the Tory leadership race. So when somebody in Catherine McKenna’s office sent a congratulatory note to two of the remaining nations to sign on to the Paris Climate Agreement, Scheer, he couldn’t help himself and fired a volley at the minister. But rather than get embroiled in squabbling over this nonsense McKenna elected to apologize and let the matter die.

It wasn’t like she was congratulating the despotic Mr. Assad on his human rights record – just that Syria was joining the rest of the world in agreeing to subscribe to global climate change targets. That by the way leaves only one significant polluter and rogue nation out of the global movement to combat this serious problem. And given what we understand about the changing climate, that is more scary for us than what’s happening in Syria.

The Rebel represents the worst in right wing extremist journalism. Their correspondents have even been banned by the Alberta government for their obnoxious behaviour. Not just a sexist rag, it has also cast itself as racist, given its response to the Quebec mosque shooting last year and its reporting of the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville Virginia. Its coverage of that white supremacist event, which culminated in street violence earlier this year, led to mass resignations among the less extreme supporters of this particular medium.

But The Rebel and its publisher are not relenting, even as Post Media, the other Canadian right wing standard, is trying its best to steal some of the almost million Rebel followers to boost its own ratings. So this week veteran Post journalist, Rex Murphy, tore into Canada’s new governor general (GG) for stating the obvious, telling us what we already know about science and the challenges scientists faces in an ever skeptical world of alternate facts and social media.

Astronaut Julie Payette speaks as she presents the Quebec government the Quebec flag she brought with her in mission on Space Shuttle Mission STS-127, in Quebec City Thursday November 26, 2009. Payette says the controversial one-way mission to send people to live on Mars is going nowhere. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Clement Allard

Governor General Julie Payette

Her Excellency Julie Payette, Canada’s former astronaut has exceptional qualifications in science and was addressing a science policy conference. Along with puzzling at the wherefore of climate change denying, she moved on to question people’s faith in horoscopes before shifting to that other faith – the wording Moses supposedly wrote into the book of Genesis – the one about creation. And seriously, nearly two centuries after Darwin there are still folks out there who deny that humans are an evolved species.

And this is important since while Ontario’s separate (Catholic) schools are required to teach evolution, that doesn’t necessarily mean they need to teach human evolution. But it wasn’t just Rex ranting. Andrew Sheer also leveled both barrels at the new GG.

Then outgoing Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall jumped in, actually sending the GG a personal letter scolding her and lecturing her to better behave if she ever plans to visit his province.

But earth to Brad, the GG is head of state (Queens representative) and doesn’t need your invitation to visit Canadians anywhere. Given that the the province’s police force, the RCMP is also Canada’s national police force, it’s not clear how he would stop her anyway. And she can speak on almost any topic she chooses, after all her position is non-partisan though hardly non-political.

Human evolution is a touchy subject since it does touch on the Bible and some other belief systems, such as those held by our indigenous folk. But Scheer and Wall are likely more bothered by her comments on climate science than her observations on our acceptance, or not, of evolution. Perhaps it is the other faith – faith in the future of fossil fuels – which is most threatening them. That would account for their over-reaction to a scientist speaking science at a science conference.

Many years ago, then newly appointed governor general (GG) Ed Schreyer was guest speaker at the University of Ottawa where I received my Masters degree. A former MP and Manitoba Premier, an environmental leader and a social progressive, there was just so many topics he could have explored before the crowd of eager young graduates. Instead he plunged right into discussing the eternal struggle between the arts and the sciences.

Give me Julie Payette any day.

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:

Payette Speech –     Ed Schreyer –     Divine Intervention –     Payette Climate Change

Rex’s Attack –    More Post Attack –     Julie Payette –     Payette Defence

CO2 Highest in a Million Years –    McKenna Syria –    Climate Barbie

Separate Schools Evolution –    The Rebel and Scheer –    Scheer and Climate Change

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Two very different views on how the Waterfront Hotel property should be re-developed are now on the table. How we got to this point is a long story. It is your city - make your views known.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 10, 2017


Burlington is in the midst of perhaps the most significant changes it has had to deal with in 20 years.  Brant Street is going to look a lot different in ten years; the waterfront will undergo some change.  The way people get around the city will change.  These are all complex matters.  The Gazette will publish a series of articles on what is planned for the Waterfront Hotel site at the foot of Brant Street.  This is the first of that series.

A number of years ago during a conversation with a resident about the planned development of a property that was once the Rivera Motel I mentioned the proposed height. The resident said: “I don’t think you have that right, the city would never allow a building that high on the south side of Lakeshore Road in the Downtown core.”

Bridgewater from the west - higher elevation

Architectural rendering of the Bridgewater project – view is from the lake. The Waterfront Hotel re-development is to the left (west) of the Bridgewater project.

Little did she know that the city had indeed approved – in 1995 – a structure that was originally going to be 30 storeys but got cut back to 22 storeys. They called it a “Legacy” development in those days.

Today it is known as the Bridgewater project: it rises higher and higher each day as the three structure development begins to change the skyline.


Dee Dee Davies, the woman who does a lot of the legwork from the Burlington Waterfront Group sent us a note recently saying there is “Lots happening related to our waterfront.

“This relates to the hotel and private lands at the foot of Brant Street and Lakeshore Road. The city wants to get ahead of the game by determining the resident’s perspective and setting new zoning standards for the updated Official Plan.

Site aerial

The Waterfront Hotel is on the left – the excavated site of the Bridgewater three structure development is on the right.

Following several community workshops, where the city’s consultant appeared to be taking note of the community’s wishes, a preferred concept was presented at the final public workshops on September 14.

That preferred concept “calls for two buildings with various numbers of levels stepped down towards the lake. The west tower would be between 14 – 18 floors and the east tower between 20 – 25 floors, with a 25 metre separation between the towers as public space.

This retains the view corridor along John Street. The buildings would be commercial, residential, hotel, and public service (public washrooms) uses.

Dee Dee Davies went on to say that: “Residents have concerns over this preferred concept on so many fronts. We heard they want only buildings on the east side closest to the Bridgewater complex of less than 20 stories to maximize green space adjacent to Spencer Smith Park. We, along with some of our community partners, are working to develop a concept plan that meets residents needs and present this to city staff before they meet with Council in November.

Dee Dee Davies wants to ensure that the alternative concept put forward by the residents gets serious consideration before it is too late.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, two community workshops took place at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. At the workshops, results from a survey that asked for input on three concepts for the site were shared and an emerging concept for the site was presented. Table group discussions also took place to obtain further input.

The city has said that “With input from the Sept. 14 meetings as well as information from additional technical studies, the emerging concept will be refined. Draft preferred concepts are expected to be presented to Burlington City Council in November 2017.”

Burlington is a different city today – what city council decided to do in 1995 for the Bridgewater project is not what they would get away with today.

Many are very upset with what they see coming out of the Mobility Hub studies. Some are apoplectic over a 23 storey tower going up across the street from city hall. That decision has been made; it was approved on a 5-2 at a Standing Committee meeting and goes to city Council on November 13th for final approval.

Waterfront site

The darker blue area is where the Waterfront re-development is going to built. What the Bridgewater development will look like when completed is on the right.

The work being done by the Waterfront Hotel Planning Study is being led by Todd Evershed and Rosalind Minaji. Their mandate is a study that specifically addresses redevelopment options for the Waterfront Hotel site at 2020 Lakeshore Road. The team has ongoing discussion and dialogue with the planners doing the Mobility Hub planning.

The Waterfront Hotel Planning Study Stakeholder Advisory Committee includes Mayor Rick Goldring, Councillor Marianne Meed-Ward, Darko Vranich owner of the hotel, Kyle Plas, Denise Beard, Charles Priddle, Curt Benson, Lisa De Angelis, Mark Eade, Susan Morrissey and Hashem Mousavi

“The Waterfront Hotel planning study will guide the property owner in the redevelopment of the site. Located next to two of Burlington’s most significant landmarks, Spencer Smith Park and the Brant Street Pier, input from residents is needed to ensure the new development reflects a high quality of urban design that enhances the community’s access to the waterfront and the downtown.”

The Planning Study for the redevelopment of the waterfront site at Lakeshore Road and Brant Street, including the Waterfront Hotel, has been underway for some time. Some of the land south of the Waterfront Hotel is landfill which brought the Conservation Authority into the picture.

The city has known for some time that Darko Vranich owner of the hotel has wanted to increase the density on the property and construct a much larger hotel complex.

The thinking, going back at least ten years, was to re-orient the hotel and have its focus westward along what is now called the Naval Promenade. All kinds of reports and studies were commissioned.

When the owner of the Waterfront hotel let the city know that he wanted to add some height to the land there was an agreement struck that the city would hire people to come up with some design ideas. Three teams of designer/thinkers were to be assembled; two would work with the city – a third would work with the developer. And the developer would pay for all three studies.

That got us to where we are today.

But the natives are restless – they have seen where the developers want to take Brant Street and they fear that the Waterfront hotel property development will become yet another development they have no input on.

The city explains that: “The goal of the Planning Study is to establish the Strategic Framework to guide development on the site by generating and assessing Alternative Redevelopment Explorations, through a public consultation process. The result of the study will be an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment.

The Brant & Lakeshore Planning Study will establish a Strategic Framework to guide development on the site.

They will develop and assess Optional Redevelopment Concepts along with any formal development applications submitted on behalf of the property owner

The redevelopment of this site must meet the City’s urban design and growth management goals, as well as enhance the adjacent public space and waterfront.

All this resulted in a series of Design Charrette sessions. Several frameworks were put in place to guide the design work – Land Use/ Built Form, Public Realm, and Mobility/Access were set out as the guiding principles.

During the design charrette sessions, led by a member of the Project Team, participants developed 8 Explorations for the study area. Four Explorations were developed in both the afternoon and evening sessions.

Each Exploration was developed within a unique framework with varying Land Use/ Built Form, Public Realm, and Mobility/Access characteristics and with the Vision Statement and Design Principles.

These concepts were posted for comment from the public, community groups, City staff, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and The Planning Partnership team, and distilled into 4 Explorations based on the input received.

Here is what came out of those design sessions:

The ideas that came out of each Exploration session (there were four of them with afternoon and evening sessions) were displayed as a drawing and then as a visualization of the drawing.

Session 1

Exploration 1 Afternoon Cit

Exploration 1 Afternoon session

Exploration 1 Afternoon - Plan

City visualization Exploration 1 afternoon session



Exploration 2 afternoon plan

City visualization of the Exploration 2 afternoon session

Exploration 2 evenin cit

Exploration 2 evening event

Exploration 2 evening plan

City visualization of Exploration 2 evening session.



Session 2

Exploration 2 afternoon cit

Exploration 2 – afternoon session

Session 3

Exploration 3 afternoon public

Exploration 3 – afternoon session

Exploration 3 evening public

Exploration 3 – evening session.

Session 4

Exploration 4 evening public

Exploration 4 evening session

Exploration 4 evening city

City visualization of exploration 4 evening session


Out of all the work done by the design charettes two distinctly different views are now before the public.

The city planning department Preferred Concept and the design put forward by the community group – Plan B.

Plan B rendering

This is the plan that a citizen’s group wants. They have moved all the buildings on the east side of the site leaving a much more open area at the foot of Brant Street.

City preferred

The city planning department has put forward what they are calling the “Emerging Preferred Concept that will have the public access at the foot of John Street and a more limited access at the foot of Brant.


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Setting the Record Straight: BYSC releases a statement

Sherwood domes

Who owns the domes; who operates them, who pays for them. BYSC wants to sets the record straight.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

November 10, 2017


Disputes over the use of the Domes at Sherwood Forest Park are not new.

A group of soccer player who organized themselves into a consortium complained recently about the way they felt they were treated by the Burlington Youth Soccer Club (BYSC).

A link to that complaint appears at the bottom of this news story.

The BYSC wants to set the record straight and have released the following statement.

Unfortunately some adult soccer leagues, including Burlington Soccer League (BSL) and Burlington Women’s Recreational Soccer League (BWRSL), jointly calling themselves the “Burlington Soccer

Consortium” have chosen to spread misinformation about Burlington Youth Soccer Club programs and it’s Joint Venture Agreement with the City of Burlington for the Domes at Sherwood Forest Park.

The BYSC would like to ensure proper information and facts are being reported and distributed.

The BYSC is sanctioned as both an Adult and Youth club within Ontario Soccer and has been operating Adult programs at the U21 and Senior levels for decades.

As part of its Strategic Plan for 2017-2021, BYSC has committed to expand outdoor and indoor programs to create lifelong opportunities for players. This began with the launch of Lil Burli for toddlers, Embracing Ability (a program in partnership with Special Olympics Ontario, for players with and/or without intellectual and/or physical disabilities) and Walking Soccer for players 50+ and/or those with mobility issues.

This fall we have expanded our House League + and technically managed teams for youth. In the 2017 Summer Outdoor Season, we added an Adult Coed Open Age league to our program choices. This fall we launched our Adult Indoor Leagues and have 44 teams registered and participating. Offering these programs as part of the BYSC Strategic Plan aligns with the City’s Strategic Plan and its Active Aging Plan to create environments to encourage people of all ages and abilities to pursue lifelong physical activity and remain socially active.

The Domes in Sherwood Forest Park are paid for and operated by the BYSC at the BYSC’s expense. All capital expenditures, maintenance and operations are paid for by the BYSC with no money from taxpayers. We are also required by our Joint Venture Agreement with the City to set aside funds annually for a capital replacement fund. To date, the BYSC has paid more than $5 million to operate and cover the capital costs of the Domes.

To give perspective, here is a breakdown of the expenses incurred by the BYSC to maintain and operate the Domes in 2017 alone:

• $130,000 (lighting changes in all 3 Domes to LED to be more energy efficient “green”)
• $165,000 (replace mechanical unit, HVAC, and airlock for Dome 1)
• $120,000 (annual costs for set-up, removal, storage)
• $40,000 (annual costs for hydro)
• $65,000 (annual costs for gas heating)
• $15,000 (general repairs and maintenance)
• Total $535,000

In 2018 the BYSC will be funding 7/12 of the turf replacement under Domes 2 and 3, as part of our Joint Venture agreement with the City, which is estimated to cost the BYSC $500,000.

As the BYSC pays for and operates all three Domes seven months of the year that they are up, the BYSC has exclusive use of the Domes through its Joint Venture agreement and prioritizes its own programs and activities in the Domes.

BYSC may choose to make the remaining hours available to third parties as we have done in the past. We have expanded our programs on both the youth and adult side, thus we have fewer hours available to be rented. In some cases, this has meant adjusting the time slots offered to renters.

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City is renaming two of its departments to more accurately reflect the services provided. Means everyone gets new business cards.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

November 9th, 2017



The City of Burlington is renaming two of its departments to more accurately reflect the services that are provided to the residents.

As of Jan. 1, 2018 Roads and Parks Maintenance will become the Roads, Parks and Forestry Department; and Planning and Building will become the Department of City Building – Planning, Building and Culture.

The services provided by each of the departments will not change.

The Roads, Parks and Forestry Department provides:

Road and sidewalk maintenance including inspections, repairs and winter control
• Loose leaf collection and street sweeping
• Forestry operations including inspections, pruning, removals, planting and education
• Park maintenance including playgrounds, park furnishings and fencing, waste removal, and park buildings
• Storm sewers and creek maintenance
• Cemetery operations

The Department of City Building – Planning, Building and Culture provides:

Building, plumbing, heating, swimming pool, septic system, and sign permits
• Bylaw customer service
• Building inspections
• Building permit customer service
• Business and lottery licensing
• Official Plan/planning policy
• Development application review
• Development customer service
• Zoning customer service
• Committee of Adjustment
• Urban design
• Mobility hubs planning
• Public art
• Culture planning and implementation

Tanner and Taylor at June 21-17 workshop

Mary Lou Tanner, City Planner making a point with Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor

Mary Lou Tanner, director of Department of City Building – Planning, Building and Culture, who now gets a new business card said: “Changing the name from Planning and Building to the Department of City Building – Planning, Building and Culture will help eliminate some confusion for residents who have questions, streamlining customer service.”

Mary Battaglia, director of Roads, Parks and Forestry Department tell us that: “The name change more accurately reflects what we do. The Department of Roads, Parks and Forestry provides three important services for residents that are all reflected in the new name. It’s a simple change and it just makes sense.”

This just means printing up a whole bunch of new business cards.

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