Halton Region joins Toronto Region bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. Why not - dreaming in Technicolor never did any harm?

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2017



The Regional government has jumped on one of the biggest band wagons to hit the country – heck this train is rolling through all of North America.

Amazon sign

Will there every be a sign like this in the Region – maybe in Burlington?

Amazon has said it needs a second headquarters location and put out the word that they would listen to ideas.
Everyone jumped on that train.

Little did we know that Halton Region has partnered with the Toronto Region municipalities of Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Durham Region and York Region to submit a joint bid for a second North American Amazon headquarters under Toronto Global – the foreign direct investment attraction agency for the Toronto Region.

“The Toronto Region Response to Amazon HQ2 demonstrates that the Toronto Region has the quantity and quality of talented people at a competitive cost that will allow Amazon to fulfill its strategic objectives,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Halton’s highly skilled labour force, access to leading educational institutions and strategically located employment lands bolsters the Toronto Region bid for Amazon’s second headquarters and for accommodating the future growth of Amazon’s various lines of business.”

Bronte MeAdows - BurlOak side

Property on Upper Middle Road owned by the Paletta interests is touted as a possible location for some of the Amazon HQ2 needs. some over at the Region is dreaming in Technicolor

“Three sites in Halton Region are among the preferred locations included in the Toronto Global bid – the Highway 401 Fronting Lands in Milton’s Derry Green Business Park, Trafalgar Road and Highway 407 in Oakville, and the Bronte Meadows employment area in Burlington. Halton Region already has a thriving technology industry cluster employing nearly 9,500 professionals, and is home to headquarters of major multinationals, including Siemens, Ford Canada, L3 Wescam, Evertz, Tim Horton’s and others.”

Bronte Meadows? That stretch of land along upper Middle Road where is turns into Burloak?
That’s almost as good as the idea that the Paletta people had when they tried to got the Mayor to buy into the idea of moving the Tiger Cats to Burlington and into a stadium that was going to be built on the land they own west of King Road.

The city found a way to take a pass on that idea back in 2010.

There are a reported 50,000 jobs that will be created and that has every politician looking for a positive issue to run with.

Fred Eisenburger Hamilton Mayor

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenburger blows Amazon a kiss as he tells them the Hamilton application as the location for HQ2 is on the way.

Burlington is having a problem with adding an additioanl15,000 people to the current population – what would the city ever do if Amazon took a serious look at Toronto as a possible second headquarters location?

However, a reported short list has Toronto as one of the five possible North American locations. And Burlington does have to intensify. If the Toronto application gets any traction expect the economic development people in the Region to become positively giddy.

Don’t expect the Paletta interests to get on board this one – they would much rather have that land along Upper Middle Road taken out of the employment land inventory and have it zoned for residential.

The Regional media release said “Amazon HQ2 involves an investment of over U.S. $5 billion in construction and over 8 million sq. ft. by 2017 with as many as 50,000 skilled jobs – it will be equal to their current campus in Seattle. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.

Amazon Poll

You never know -Toronto might be chosen if only becaussse it gets Amazon out of the United States – and if Toronto is chosen maybe there will be some spill over into the Region and some might dribble down to Burlington.

“Halton Region is proud to have worked closely with our Halton local municipal partners, Toronto Region municipal partners and Toronto Global on assembling this proposal and introducing Amazon and the world to what the Toronto Region has to offer.”

The Region may be proud of what they have done – but they did it all by themselves. Not a peep to the public about what they were toiling away at.

A fine example of citizen engagement.

Or maybe it was a slow news day and the communications consultants had to get something out.

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Bus used to transport a bike stolen at a GO station - interesting.

Crime 100By Staff

October 19th, 2017



This was an interesting take on a local bicycle theft.

A bike is stolen from the northern Burlington GO station parking lot.  The police chase down a transit bus see the bike on the front of the bus, pull the bus over and arrest the person suspected of stealing it.

bus bike rackThe police were alerted to the bicycle theft that had just occurred; they responded to the area and located the stolen bicycle on the front of a City of Burlington transit bus in the area of Brant Street and Plains Road.

The bus was stopped and a female passenger was arrested after being identified as having put the bicycle onto the front of the bus.

Further investigation revealed that another person was involved with the bicycle theft however that person was not located and is now wanted by police.

Nicole DAISLEY (29-yrs) of Hamilton was released on bail and will appear next in Milton Court on November 1st 2017 charged with the following offences:
• theft under $5000
• possession of property obtained by crime
• mischief under $5000

Kyle Edwin GELDART (32-yrs) of Hamilton is wanted for the following offences:
• theft under $5000
• mischief under $5000
• Fail to comply with probation
Steal a bike then use the transit service to get it home – interesting approach.

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Resident thinks high school closings, the kind of development planned for the city and the age of city Councillors are issues to be discussed.

opinionandcommentBy Rory Nisan

October 19th, 2017



When I grew up here in the 90s, North Burlington was a suburb of a suburb. It was not at the centre of Burlington, itself a suburb of the behemoth known as Toronto. The streets were quiet at night, schools were safe, neither over- nor under-filled. Many readers will know that Burlington enjoys a high ranking on various lists of places to live and it was equally considered a top destination when my family moved to Brant Hills in 1989.

Yet, Burlington has changed. For example, it has grown. More people and more traffic. And big change is ahead for our town.

Odeon theatre + Royal Bank

Burlington has indeed changed – the old Odeon Theatre entrance and the old Royal Bank building are shown.

One of the biggest changes for North Burlington in many years may be upon us, as my alma mater, Lester B. Pearson High School, is on the verge of closure (though not if we can stop it), leading to MM Robinson and Hayden becoming XXL schools with kids spending much of their careers in portables and struggling as numbers in a big system.

A lesson that many of us who have worked to save Robert Bateman and Lester B. Pearson high schools have drawn is that we must send our best and brightest to public office, and then hold them to account between elections as well as at the ballot box. We were lulled into apathy and thus caught with our guard down when Pearson was first recommended for closure one year ago.

That unnecessary recommendation was followed up by a process of ‘consultation’ that led to little more than a rubber stamp by the Halton District School Board (HDSB) trustees, who voted on June 7, 2017 to close both Robert Bateman and Lester B. Pearson high schools. Now we as a community are dealing with the fallout caused by HDSB trustees, including several in Burlington, who were not up to the task.

Meanwhile, the city’s other elected body is overseeing major changes in the name of “mobility hubs” and “provincial growth targets” that mean that the next months and years are going to be critical to developing the character of Burlington for decades to come.

As a Gen-Y’er, I can’t help but notice the city is looking many years ahead, and including mobility hubs and the condos and young professionals that go with them in their plans, yet our voice is nowhere to be found on city council.


Haber Recreation centre – best in the city is in North Burlington.

Meanwhile, North Burlington is sometimes left out of the discussion of Burlington’s future. The city would usefully innovate and invest in building community and infrastructure in North Burlington to bring equality of outcome for North Burlington residents compared to those in the core. The south has Spencer Smith Park and all of its events; it has city hall and the lake as natural draws to bring people together.

North Burlington residents paid equally for the pier, the Burlington Performing Arts Centre and the Art Gallery.

With all of our tax dollars that have been invested in the downtown, we deserve more support for community activity in the North and the kinds of innovation, investments and energy that is brought to the downtown community.

The North has received some investment, yet we are seeing that investment being hampered in some cases. For example, the Haber Recreation Center, public library and Dr. Frank J Hayden High School complex is impressive, but its success is undermined by the conversion of much needed parking spaces into 12 unplanned and effectively permanent school portables. Furthermore the public library is being over-run by students because there isn’t enough space for them in the high school.

Podrebarac and Ridge

City Manager James Ridge, on the right, was the city council voice at the PAR committee meetings – he didn’t have much to say.

Our City Council has been nearly silent on the fallout from the HDSB’s mismanagement of pupil spaces in North Burlington, and especially on the foolhardy and nearsighted decision to close Lester B. Pearson high school, which will only make students’ lives worse. We need to hear from them on this decision that affects so many of us.

Finally, we do get out and enjoy the downtown when we can make the trip. And we want to see it continue to be a destination for everyone in Burlington and the surrounding area. Like almost everyone else, we do not want to see the lakeshore and downtown dominated by skyscrapers. With the Ontario Municipal Board being replaced by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal soon in order to empower cities, now is the time to say “no, thank you” to 22-story buildings on the lake, and demand only the best in terms of high-rises.

Bridgewater opening with red line

Development is taking place – the three structure project on Lakeshore Road will limit the public view of the lake – the read line in the middle of this photograph is the width of the opening to the water.

Development is inevitable and can be part of making a city better, but only if the development is carefully managed to not undermine what makes the city great. There is no reason we cannot hit our development targets without the highest of high rises in the downtown core, and that should be the goal. While we’re at it, we need to stop any high rises blocking views of the escarpment as well, or otherwise changing the character of neighbourhoods.

Finally, while City Council is telling us that the city is going to grow upwards rather than outwards, it is underinvesting in public transit to the point where safety is a concern.

At a city council meeting in September, one member made it clear that ‘throwing money at the problem’ wasn’t a sufficient answer. He may be right, but that member could be usefully reminded that it is their responsibility to lead the city towards innovating and investing to bring Burlington’s public transit up to par. For Burlington to be a modern city in 2017, these investments need to be made before the growth occurs, not after.

To make Burlington truly better, innovation and smart investments are key. With a strong tax base, we have every reason to expect this from City Council. They approved a tax increase above and beyond the recommendation of the city in 2017, so it is now up to them to show us they are making our tax dollars work to bring about a modern city in 2018.

We must watch them closely and ask for the best, because (a) our taxes are high enough as it is, and (b) Burlington is capable of greatness, but only if that greatness is nurtured and effectively managed by our elected officials.

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


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Many options for flu shots available to Halton residents

News 100 redBy Staff

October 19th, 2017



The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to be immunized.

Flu shots are available at more than 100 pharmacies across the region, as well as in doctor’s offices, walk-in clinics and at some workplaces. While people five years of age and older can receive their flu vaccine at a pharmacy, doctor’s office or walk-in clinic, children under five years of age can only receive their flu shot at a doctor’s office or Halton Region Family Flu Clinic.

McMahon getting flu shot Dec 16-15

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon getting her flu shot last year.

“We know that sometimes it can be challenging for families with young children to attend their doctor’s office. Since children under five years of age cannot get the flu vaccine from a pharmacist, this year we’re hosting five, appointment-based family flu clinics for families with young children between the ages of six months and five years of age,” said Halton Region’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Daniela Kempkens. “Families can register for an appointment at halton.ca/flu or by calling 311.”

While most healthy people recover from the flu within a few days, influenza infection can lead to pneumonia and hospitalization, and can even be fatal, especially in the elderly, those under five years of age and those with certain chronic health conditions.

To protect themselves and our community, people can take everyday precautions against influenza by washing their hands with soap frequently, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (when soap and water are not available) and avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth, in addition to getting the flu vaccine. Those who are sick should stay home from work or school to prevent spreading the illness to others and see a doctor if the illness gets worse or doesn’t begin to improve after a few days.

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City council to debate just how high the first high rise on Brant Street will be on November 1st - this will be the begining of a new era for the city.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 19th, 2017



The serious discussion about just what is going to get built along Brant Street will begin on November 1st when a city council standing committee debates the Planning staff recommendation for the 421 Brant Street application for Official Plan and Zoning By-law amendment to permit a 27- storey mixed use building with retail, office and residential units (including 1-storey rooftop amenity area) in a structure that will be right across the street from city hall.

421 Brant

Planners will put their modified recommendation before city council debate on November 1st.

The proposal is for 179 residential units; 870 square metres of office space; and 1,019 square metres of ground floor retail / commercial uses fronting onto Brant Street and James Street. There is to be four levels of underground parking, with 183 parking spaces, accessed from John Street.

Planning department staff will be recommending modified approval of the amendments to the City’s Planning and Development Committee of Council on November 1, 2017 in the evening.

When the Carriage gate Group first took this proposal to the public they brought in number of consultants who set out what was about to happen to Burlington in terms of the way development was going to roll out.

The need to intensify the way land was used was now at the top of the agenda. The province requires the city to grow its population.

Where are those thousands of people going to live? Burlington doesn’t have a lot of land that the traditional bungalow can be built on – and it didn’t appear to have all that much interest in the number of monster houses that were being built on small properties.

If you can’t go out – then you go up – which means high rise buildings.

There are those who define high rise as eight to maybe 12 storeys. The cost of land doesn’t make a 12 storey building economically feasible.

The question then is – how high will the new buildings be and where will they be located?

Robert Glover, one of the smarter urban designers in the province, explained to the audience when the development was first taken to the public that Brant Street should be seen as the spine of the city.

Robert Glover

Robert Glover

Glover put a large graphic on the screen that showed just where the high rises in the downtown core were located – there were few that were actually on Brant Street – and Glover, who has worked as a planner for both the public and the private sector, was suggesting that some thinking needed to be done about where high rise buildings should be located.

Glover is well aware that Burlington is not Toronto and he thinks that Burlington has a charm of its own that can and should be developed. Cities need a structure – a backbone that keeps the city together.

“The backbone gives a body structure, strength – something that other parts of the city can be linked to, said Glover.

He added: “A spine gives a city a focus – a center and if done properly development can be staged so that the street that serves as the spine does not become a canyon.”

Downtown Mobility Hub Existing Conditions Map

Robert Glover argues that Brant Street should be seen as the city’s spine. The bulk of the tall buildings are t the east and west of Brant. There are applications for at least half a dozen buildings that will reach well above the 20 storey height that seems to be what the planners favour.

His view is that a 27 storey structure will not hurt or harm the city hall – a high rise, if done properly will enhance the city hall – “place buildings around it that feature city hall and the Civic Square”.

Glover realizes that making that happen is what the delicate art of planning is all about – it needs to be thoroughly thought through – “they just don’t plop a building into a space because a developer has assembled a number of properties”.

Members of council are making decisions now that will impact the city for the next two to three decades – there is just the one chance to get it right.

What does work on Brant street now? Not much actually. The Burlington Downtown Business Association continually talk about the “vibrancy” of the street – they seem to feel that if you continually call an area “vibrant” it will become vibrant. It doesn’t work that way.

City hall - older pic

City hall can’t hold all the staff on the payroll – several departments are in the Simms building across the street.

City Hall itself is no longer an efficient building and doesn’t meet the city’s space requirements – a significant amount of space is rented in the Sims building across the street from city hall.

The city’s Tall Building Design Guidelines put in place in January after a rather rushed process with very little in the way of public input.

The Bridgewater development, on Lakeshore at the bottom of Martha, is rising several feet each day. The Berkeley on John Street is doing the same thing. That kind of development attracts other developments and before you know it you have a city with a significantly different look and feel. Change of that kind isn’t something the public takes to easily.

If Glover is right, and his success with previous projects suggest he knows what he is talking about, there is an opportunity to bring some real vibrancy to Brant street.

Concept 2 - looking north from LakeshoreInterestingly – the Planning department hasn’t had all that much to say on what they think Brant could become.

Their response to the 421 Brant Street development will give the public a first look at what the planners think should be permitted in terms of height.

That is the question city council has to ask: How high and where?

We are about to find out.

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Regional police now releasing the names of those charged with driving while under the influence.

Crime 100By Staff

October 19th, 2017



The Halton Regional Police are now producing an Impaired Driving Offences Summary which they release to the media with this statement:

The operation of motor vehicles while drivers are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs remains a serious concern for Halton Region. In an effort to bring more attention to the risk of driving while impaired, assist in identifying witnesses and reduce continued offences, the Service is reporting the following incident:

Name: Jennifer Lahey (37) of Burlington
Date/Time: October 18, 2017 8:14 p.m.
Location: Burlington
• Impaired operation of motor vehicle
• Impaired driving – over 80 mgs

Despite years of awareness campaigns illustrating why driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs is dangerous, impaired driving remains the top criminal cause of death in Canada. The Halton Regional Police Service remains committed to road safety through prevention, education and enforcement initiatives.

The day before the Regional Police released the following:

Name: Harry Stecyszyn (63) of North York
Date/Time: October 17, 2017 4:00 p.m.
Location: Burlington
• Impaired operation of motor vehicle
• Driving under suspension

Public shaming seems to be the route to go.
Call a cab or call a friend and get a ride home.

Online newspaper like the Gazette are public for a very long time.  Everything we have ever published is still out there.  If you drink – just don’t drive.

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Mayor announces his intention to run for re-election.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2017



It wasn’t a great surprise – if he wasn’t employed as the Mayor what would he do?

Inside Halton published a report that had Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring announcing earlier today that he would be seeking a third term in the 2018 municipal election.

Inside Halton went on to say that the Mayors used “…the Niagara Escarpment as a backdrop where the Mayor was joined by his wife Cheryl and children Stephanie and Lisa.

When asked why he was making his intentions known almost a year away from next year’s municipal election, Goldring replied the main reason was because so many people were asking him if he was planning to run again.

Goldring defends turf 2

Mayor answering questions during a ward 4 debate.

“And I thought this was the best way to let the community know what my intention is and that is to register in early May as a candidate,” he said.

Registration for candidates in the mayoral, Councillor or school board trustee races officially opens May 1, 2018.

Goldring said he specifically chose to make his announcement in north Burlington because the 100 per cent commitment by previous and current councils to maintain 50 per cent of the city (in the north) as rural.

“As we grow as a city, it is critical we maintain and enhance the 50 per cent of Burlington that’s in the greenbelt,” he noted.

The community would never have come into being were it not for the building of the 407 highway. That decision opene4d up land that was part of rural Burlington. Alton Village is bounded by the 407, Walkers Line on the west and Appleby Line on the east with Dundas making up the southern boundary.

The rural-urban boundary – defined by Hwy 407and Dundas is not going to ever be changed by cit council.

Burlington’s city council couldn’t change the regulation that has the land north of the Hwy 507 – Dundas Boundary and permit major residential development. The province and the Region would slap the city something silly if they even talked about such an idea.

The Mayor has created a straw dog.

If re-elected, Goldring said he would continue to bring what he has in the past to the office of the mayor.
“I think that’s the attitude of one of service, an attitude of collaboration, connecting with the community on a regular basis, as well as help provide direction to the city going forward, which I have done for the last seven years,” he explained, noting he didn’t see being mayor as a job, but rather a vocation.

“I’m fortunate to be the mayor, I take it very seriously. I’m honoured and privileged each and every day to do the role.”

They all say that – and Rick Goldring does take his job seriously.

During the release of the 2017 Vital Signs report by the Burlington Foundation, chair Ron Foxcroft, who likes to loosen up an audience with a little humour, told the story of Rick Goldring’s NHL career (there was of course no such things but when Ron Foxcroft is on a roll – there is no stopping him) he said there was just one thing missing – talent.


Goldring called the role of mayor a challenging one and currently facing a challenging time as the city is embarking on a path to adopt new municipal plans.

“I’m invigorated and inspired at the opportunity to continue to lead the city going forward,” he added.

“I look forward to the opportunity to continue to work with council, staff and the community in continuing to build and have a great city that is in fact the envy of the country and continues to be the best medium-sized city to live in Canada.”

That is part of the story – but only part. The reality is that Mike Wallace is out there beating the bushes and holding small events at various locations in the city where he meets with invited guests to re-introduce himself and measure what he might have in the way of support.

Mike Wallace wants to be Mayor so bad he can taste it.

Quite why Rick Goldring wants a third term is something one can only speculate about. He has not managed to do anything of any significance in his first two terms.

Still no Code of Conduct for city council members; Goldring sloughed that off to the city manager who is expected to come back with something – sometime.

Still no private tree bylaw – and for a committed environmentalist that is close to unconscionable.

This graphic sets out the issue. The two pieces of land at each end are owned by the city and will be turned into Windows on the LAke. The piece in the centre is owned by the city and the province. The three property owners want to purchase that centre piece and make it private property. Other people want to see a pathway through the property running from Lakeshore, down Market Street along the waterfront and up St. Paul back to Lakeshore. City council voted t sell the land in the center.

This graphic sets out the issue. The two pieces of land at each end are owned by the city and will be turned into Windows on the Lake. The piece in the centre is owned by the city and the province. The three property owners want to purchase that centre piece and make it private property. Other people want to see a pathway through the property running from Lakeshore, down Market Street along the waterfront and up St. Paul back to Lakeshore. City council voted t sell the land in the center.

The land at the edge of the lake between Market Street and St, Paul is gone forever – thank your Mayor for that one. The city owned the land – but we sold it.

At some point there will be a decision on whether or not New Street should have dedicated bike lanes.

The decision to go ahead with the Joseph Brant Museum transformation is going to end up being as serious a mistake as The Pier. Goldring came in as Mayor the Mayor who had to deal with The Pier mess – he may well leave office having left the city with a project that is only going to such money out of reserve funds for years to come.

Later this evening – Thursday October 18, the Mayor is going to hold a Telephone Town Hall during which he will listen to what people would like to see in the budget. He is doing this because he said a survey told city hall that people didn’t want to go out to attend budget meetings.

The pictures below tell a different story.

Burlingtonians will show up for public meetings and take an active part in any discussion - but they have to be given background briefings and decent oportunity to study and prepare.

Burlingtonians will show up for public meetings and take an active part in any discussion This is a budge review meeting with the Director of Finance leading the discussion.


Citizens doing a solid review of a city budget. For the Mayor to suggest that people don;t want t attend is spurious at best.

But the race is on. We now need to hear what Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward plans to do. The last we heard – she is in – she has wanted to be Mayor since the day she ran for the ward 2 seat in 2010.

The 2014 election was a sleeper – that will not be the story for the next 12 months.

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Pearson high school parent group looking forward to an open honest discussion with the Facilitator appointed to do the Administrative Review.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2017




Steve Armstrong

Steve Armstrong, one of the leads on the request for an Administrative Review of the Halton District School Board decision to close two of Burlington’s seven high schools, thinks that the Ministry of Education decision to appoint Margaret Wilson as the Facilitator was an “excellent” move.

“I’m looking forward to working with her, and the Board, towards a healthy discussion about the process Burlington went through. There is considerable room for improvement in a number of key areas, and I know a good number of fellow PAR Committee members see similar opportunities.

Although the exact details of how Ms Wilson wants to proceed haven’t been shared, with her experience I trust it will be thorough, said Armstrong.

Admin Rev requests

Of the twelve requests for Administration Reviews filed the only two approved were from Halton – a positive sign for many.

He added that he learned recently that the two Burlington requests for Administrative Reviews are the only ones that have been approved out of the 12 applications from across the province so far this year.

“Clearly the Ministry of Education also wants to understand more about the actual execution of the HDSB Burlington Secondary School PAR.”

The government of Ontario has put a hold on starting new accommodation reviews, and has already begun an improvement process.

Perhaps one of the outcomes of our specific review might include a recommendation to test a better process.
There is within people that are angry over the decision the Board made the sense that the Facilitator can reverse the decision – that is not the case.

The Facilitator can recommend to the Ministry that they direct the Board to hold a new PAR. The only people who can reverse the decision are the 11 trustees.

Each of the high schools Bateman and Pearson, have taken different approaches to the request for a Review.
Bateman is believed to be talking a “human right” approach while Pearson is questioning the procedure that was used and the way critical information was not available to the public.

Margaret Wilson PAR Admin Review

Margaret Wilson PAR Admin Review Facilitator

Wilson started her job earlier this week – there is no word yet on when she might file her report.

Director of Education Stuart Miller has said that these reviews tend to be “paper heavy” and there are certainly a lot of documents to be gone through and a lot of questions for the staff on how they handled the PAR process.

The two parent groups, Pearson and Bateman, have not, at least not so far, chosen to work together.  The Bateman crowd has chosen to keep to themselves.

Armstrong believes it is in the best interests of the community if the two at least communicate with each other.

Pearson Administrative Review Request

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Citizens group sets up a service where people can talk with others on a conference call.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 18th, 2017



They get called shut-ins; people that just aren’t able to get out and mix with people.

Sometimes it is because they don’t have a car, sometimes it is because the public transit isn’t all that good and it takes forever to travel a small distance.

Fred BSCI pres

Fred Hendriks, president of the Burlington Seniors Community – a group that is doing some much needed programing for seniors in the city.

The Burlington Seniors Community, a private company that was created when some of the people who were active at the Seniors Centre were told they had to vacate the space they had in the building.

There were a lot of hard feelings but they did what they had to do and began creating programs for seniors they felt were needed.

That’s how Seniors Without Walls started as a pilot project that the BCSI people expect to grow.

Penny Hersh, one of the BSCI volunteers, explained how it got started. “The idea wasn’t ours – it was being done in other cities, Ottawa, Edmonton and Winnipeg are examples. The idea is to get people together by telephone on a conference call.

We keep the groups quite small – not more than 10 to 12 in a session.

People who want to take part just give us a call – 905-631-2524 – and we set them up. There is no cost.

BSCI has a contract with Mercury Teleconferencing who handle all the technical stuff.

Hersh explains that there are a lot of lonely people out there who can’t get out – and many of them don’t have a lot of friends or social contacts. They want to connect with people – and we make that possible.

The conferencing takes place twice a week – when the pilot has run for a number of months the BSCI will evaluate how things have gone and decide how they want to go forward.

“We got a lot of help from Heather Thomson at Community Development Halton” said Hersh and the Library is very interested in what we are doing.”

BCSI equipment

Some equipment that is being considered for use by seniors.

BSCI is in the process of re-defining themselves now that they are out on their own and not working with the city. They are looking into setting up some exercise equipment that will be outdoors that seniors can use. They held a Thanksgiving lunch and were a little overwhelmed with the turnout – but we didn’t turn anyone away” said Hersh.

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Regional police will have access to a secure wireless network in 2018 that will provide access to mission critical data.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 18th, 2017



The average police car is loaded with technology. A police officer is in constant touch with people that can give the officer vital information.

It is amazing just how much information a police officer has at their fingertips – and it is going to get even better.

police in cruiser

Police officers will begin to use a secure wireless network to access data from their cruisers.

In a digital age, policing has become more complex with the need for both mission-critical voice communications and the ability to securely share data on a wireless network. For years, first responders have used voice radio to transmit messages to police officers and other public safety partners including neighboring police agencies in order to coordinate assistance to the public.

The Region has experienced unprecedented growth and modernization of technology, voice radio communication must be supplemented with data in order to provide detailed information to responders.

With the addition of a secure wireless network used by more than a 1,000 members, first responders will be able to access and share information vital for heightened situational awareness, preserving the radio system for crucial voice communications.

Recent changes in radio spectrum availability made by the Federal Government, in collaboration with the Chiefs of Police, Fire and Medical Services across the country have paved the way for wireless public safety data systems.

For a front line officer, their cruiser and computer is their platform for response to calls for service and major incidents. At present, officers relay data through commercial networks, which are designed for public use.

Obtaining priority and access on these networks in times of crisis concurrent to public use can result in the inability for officers to obtain vital information when needed the most.

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle - police use the device to identify marijuana plants being grown illegally in the Region.

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle – a drone is used by police to identify marijuana plants being grown illegally. Part of the technology arsenal.

“Accessing this new technology gives Halton First Responders the dependable platform they need to respond efficiently to calls for service and major incidents. The Federal Government allocated this wireless spectrum for public safety agencies for good reason.

Every patrol officer in Halton will soon be operating on our own wireless LTE network,” said Deputy Chief Duraiappah, Halton Regional Police Service. “With the leadership and support of our Chief and Police Services Board, our team will be working with Motorola Solutions into 2018 to host the core of this network in Halton. It is our hope that other public safety agencies in our Region and across Canada will also benefit from it in time”.

HRPS Motorola system

Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah, and IT Manager Bill Payne viewing an officer’s mobile workstation.

The Motorola Solutions LTE network will be used by officers exclusively to instantly access data on their computers or mobile devices such as dispatch information, records information, GPS data, maps, pictures, videos and real-time analytics for day-to-day operations and during emergencies.

“Halton Police is known to be an innovator within public safety. This new public safety LTE system is a major step forward in ensuring that Halton first responders have access to critical information when it is needed the most,” said Bill Payne, manager of information technology, Halton Regional Police Service.

The Halton Police LTE network core will be available to other public safety agencies that are looking to use a public safety-dedicated broadband network.

The Regional police are now going to have to identify those other public safety agencies and convince them to sign up – because this system will not be cheap.


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Brant Street is getting kind of crowded - developers are tripping over each other buying up properties.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 17, 2017



Elizabeth Interiors from Brant

The owners of Elizabeth Interiors, on he left,are reported to have an offer from a developer – and Kelly’s on the right is also closing.

One of those usually reliable sources tells us that the Elizabeth Interiors retail location on Brant Street opposite city hall has an offer for the property that is to close on November 7th.

Our source was not able to say if it is a firm offer or just an option. The firm said to be prepared to put real money on the table is Reserve Properties, a very active residential developer who has been active in the Beach part of Toronto.

421 Brant

421 Brant – opposite city hall is waiting for the Planning department report that will go to city council with a recommendation.

Burlington’s Planning department is in the process of going through an application for both Official Plan amendments and a zoning change to put up a 26 story mixed use high-rise currently known as 421 Brant – just across John Street from Elizabeth’s.

The furniture operation moved out of the space a number of months ago and is now located on Fairview east of Guelph Line.

There probably isn’t a piece of property on Brant Street that doesn’t have a developer looking over what the possibilities are.

Let’s see what happens on the 7th of November.

In the meantime city council is getting ready to receive the first of the Grow Bold Mobility Hub recommendations – the first will be the Downtown Mobility hub – the boundaries of the hub include both properties.

And Kelly’s Cup Cake location is said to be closing – that property is also reported to have been sold.

And, let’s not forget the Elgin Promenade that is being built at the south end of the Cup Cake shop.

Downtown is going to become a construction site.

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Serious collision involving a car and motorcycle at New Street and Shoreacres Road in Burlington

News 100 redBy Staff

October 17th, 2017



Earlier today an 18 year old Burlington man was riding a motorcycle on New Street when he is reported to have collided with a car driven by a 21 year old Burlington woman at the intersection with Shoreacres Road.

The motor cycle struck the car within the intersection and the driver was thrown. He suffered life threatening injuries and was taken to Hamilton General Hospital by Halton Regional Paramedic Services.

The incident remains under investigation, and any witnesses who have not yet spoken to police are asked to call Detective Constable Vu of the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 5056.

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Mayor to make a Special Campaign announcement on Wednesday.

Newsflash 100By Pepper Parr

October 17, 2017



Flood Goldring with chain of office

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring – wearing the Chain of Office – something he rarely does outside the Council Chamber.

No idea what this one is about but the Mayor has had media requests sent out for a Special Campaign Announcement at Indian Wells Golf Course Wednesday, October 18, 2017, beginning 10 AM.

A little early for an announcement that he plans to run for re-election next October.

The Mayor has been dropping hints that he is ready to run – did that in one of his blogs a while back.

But he also mentioned that he was keeping his financial planning accreditation current.

The chatter amongst those at city hall has Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward and Mike Wallace are likely candidates for the office of Mayor.

The election is scheduled to take place in late October of 2018.  Nominations cannot be filed until May 1st of 2018.

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Well-known speaker and trainer, Mary Maciel Pearson will speak to parents about stress mental health issues, fatigue and feeling overwhelmed.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

October 17th, 2017



Popular nutrition and lifestyle coach Mary Maciel Pearson will be speaking next week at a free parent evening titled, Living Healthy is a Family Affair.

Presented by Community & Parent Partners for Kids (C.A.P.P. for KIDS), the event is to take place at the New Street Education Centre (3250 New St., Burlington) on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 7 p.m

Mary Maciel Pearson

Mary Maciel Pearson will talk to parents about high levels of stress family members can experience while touching on mental health issues on October 24th at the New Street Education Centre.

As a well-known speaker and trainer within the Greater Toronto Area, Pearson is a regular contributor to Vitality Magazine, Tonic Toronto, Neighbours of Oakville Magazine and the Oakville Beaver. In her presentation, she will address the high levels of stress family members can experience while touching on mental health issues, fatigue and feeling overwhelmed.

The presentation will delve into the many ways parents and children can be healthy in body and mind including good nutrition, physical movement and unique ways to stay connected as a family.

Admission is free but donations toward future speakers will be gratefully accepted.

C.A.P.P. for Kids is a partnership between Halton Region, Halton District School Board, Halton Catholic District School Board, Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK), Our Kids Network, Halton Regional Police Service, Ontario Early Years Centres, Burlington Public Library, City of Burlington, and the Halton Multicultural Council.

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Regional communications adviser blows it - send out notice of a meeting hours before it is scheduled to take place.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 16th, 2017



Getting to the meeting is going to be a stretch.

A media release sent out in the afternoon arrived on our newsdesk at close to 3:00 pm.

The best we were able to do is get it turned around and out to you at 5:40 pm.


Regional offices venue for an Open House that you are going to have a tough time getting to.

The Region announced that a public Open House to give public an opportunity to have their say on Metrolinx’s Draft 2041 Regional Transportation Plan, which outlines how people and goods will move across the region in the future.

The Open House is to take place today betwen7:00 and 9:00 pm.

Metrolinx, an agency of the Provincial government which was created to coordinate and integrate all modes of transportation in the GTHA.

As a growing community, Halton Region needs reliable and frequent transit options to ensure the efficient movement of people and is vital for the Region’s economic prosperity. Halton Region has long been advocating for the implementation of committed Metrolinx programs and enhancements including:

Gary Carr

Regional Chair Gary Carr invited you to the meeting.

the delivery of Regional Express Rail (RER) and 15-minute service on the Lakeshore West GO line;

all-day, two-way GO train service to Milton;

all-day, two-way GO train service to Georgetown; and

first and last mile improvements in access to GO stations.

“We have continued to advocate for enhanced GO service to Halton,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “While we are pleased that RER is expected to be delivered by 2025, this date still remains too far into the future.”

Will parking in the parking lots we leave our cars in remain free while we ride these trains?

Regional chair wants to see all-day, two-way GO service for Milton – soon.

Halton Region has been and continues to be one of the fastest growing communities in the country. The coordination of transit is an important element to building complete communities. “Milton continues to grow at a rapid pace, and the fact that they do not have all-day, two-way GO service is unacceptable to the community,” said Carr.

Residents are encouraged to learn more about Metrolinx’s Draft 2041 Regional Plan and join Halton in voicing their concerns about the transportation needs of the community.

While doing that – voice your concerns about being advised of a meeting literally hours before it is scheduled to take place.

The Gazette will pull up the Metrolinx Draft 2041 Regional Plan and report on what they had to say..

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Ministry appoints a former head of the Ontario College of Teachers to lead the Administrative Review of the Board of Education decision to close two schools.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 16th, 2017



Today, the Ontario Ministry of Education announced the appointment of Margaret Wilson as facilitator of the administrative review for the Burlington Secondary School Program and Accommodation Review (PAR) undertaken by the Halton District School Board during the 2016-2017 school year.

Margaret Wilson PAR Admin Review

Margaret Wilson will lead the Administrative Review of the Program Accommodation Review of the decision to close two of Burlington’s seven high schools.

“Margaret Wilson is a well-respected educational leader with significant experience examining complex education issues,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “We look forward to working with Ms. Wilson and welcome a thorough, independent and impartial review of the PAR process the Board conducted.”


Parents at the first public meeting that addressed the school board’s wish to close two high schools.

In September, the Halton District School Board received notification from the Ministry of Education, granting administrative reviews of the Burlington Secondary School PAR. Requests for these reviews were submitted to the Ministry of Education by the Lester B. Pearson High School and Robert Bateman High School communities.

According to Ministry Guidelines, an administrative review is a process by which an independent, impartial facilitator reviews that the Board has followed its Pupil Accommodation Review policy. An administrative review is not an assessment of the decisions made by the Board of Trustees.

During this review period, the Halton District School Board will continue to keep student needs at the forefront. As such, the Board will continue to collaboratively plan for and implement the decisions made in June 2017. The Board will, however, be cognizant of minimizing the expenditures of the implementation during the review process.

The Board of Education Media Release doesn’t say very much about Ms Wilson – but she has certainly has a profile.

The Toronto Star reported on the work Ms Wilson did on the Toronto Bard of Education where she turned in a scathing report and an invoice for billing the government at a rate of $1200 per hour.

Here is what the Star had to say:

“Margaret Wilson, appointed by the province to look into dysfunction at the Toronto school board, was paid $1,200 a day ($150. An hour) for her work, according to documents obtained by the Star through a Freedom of Information request.

“As part of her final $48,034 bill, Wilson listed 40 work days in November and December of 2014, and January 2015.

“Based on an eight-hour workday, that works out to $150 an hour; for a 12-hour workday, $100 an hour.
“Review of TDSB: 68 interviews, read board + ministry documents, correspondence, previous reviews + audits & copious emails. Wrote report,” she noted in the expense form submitted to the education ministry.

“Wilson, a veteran educator and former union leader, also billed for two taxi rides at $17 each to the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association in downtown Toronto.

“Her report on the Toronto District School Board, released in January of last year, was a scathing look at both management and elected trustees and had been ordered after a string of scandals and amid concerns about then-director Donna Quan’s management style and secrecy.

Liz Sandals and Margaret Wilson

Former Minister of Education Liz Sandals, left, and education consultant Margaret Wilson.

“Wilson criticized trustees for meddling and exerting undue influence on staff, repeated concerns about a “culture of fear” identified in previous reports, as well as a revolving door in the top job, and noted an “acute level of distress” among staff. The report made 13 recommendations to improve the board, including looking at whether it is too big to manage.

Wilson, a former Registrar and CEO of the Ontario College of Teachers, will consult with local accommodation review committees, the school board and people who participated in the process. The mandate of an administrative review is to determine if the board followed its locally developed accommodation review process.

The Ministry of Education approved requests for an administrative review of the accommodation review process related to Robert Bateman High School and Lester B. Pearson High School, both in Burlington.

Wilson will begin work the week of October 16 and will provide the Minister of Education with a final report upon completion of her review. The report’s findings will be released to the school board and the public.

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Conservation Authorities repeating their Shared Experiences workshop.

This is the Escarpment we are talking about. Our country, our rural country - forever.

This is what conservation is all about.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

October 16th, 2017



The Conservation Authorities have found that their Sharing Experiences workshop have worked well since their inception in 2009.

Local Conservation Authorities and environmental organizations are partnering to host the 6th biennial Sharing Experiences workshop that will provide an opportunity to hear about different local groups and their activities.

The goal is to link like-minded people so they can work together to effectively preserve and improve their local natural environment. In addition, this year will see the inclusion of a keynote speaker to set the tone for the event.

The workshop will be held on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at the Puslinch Community Centre at 23 Brock Road South, Guelph, ON N1H 6H9 and will include presentations and small breakout sessions from knowledgeable and experienced members of the environmental community.

The workshop organizing committee is currently seeking input from groups and individuals in the community to get a sense of topics of interest for the workshop agenda.

As in past years, the goal is for the agenda to be designed by those planning to attend the workshop and therefore relevant to local issues and activities. Some topics from previous years have included; social marketing and communications, engaging youth, habitat rehabilitation, volunteer management, liability and insurance, partnerships, grants and funding, working with local government and strategic planning. Ensuring that an innovative and varied set of topics are selected for this workshop is a priority.

The organizing team is comprised of Conservation Halton, Credit Valley Conservation, Friends of Mill Creek, Grand River Conservation Authority, Green Venture, Hamilton Conservation Authority, and the Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club.

Shared Exp 2016 Cons Halt

Working as a breakout group during the 2016 Shared Experience Workshop

The 2016 Shared Experiences day was a great success with 94 people in attendance, 10 presentations, 58 organizations present along with our 2016 keynote speaker Gord Miller.

To assist the team in developing a comprehensive workshop program please submit your topic ideas by Wednesday October 25 to: Colleen Lavender at 905-854-9229 ext. 222, Fax 905-336-6684, or e-mail clavender@hrca.on.ca

For more information please visit the Sharing Experiences Workshop webpage, https://conservationhamilton.ca/sharing-experiences-workshops-2/.

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Burlington Green holding a big big raffle - prize courtesy MEC

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 16th, 2017



When you have a show stopper of a production or an international celebrity – the tickets go fast.

When you have an amazing raffle – the tickets should go just as fast – except there is no limit to the raffle tickets.

Burlington Green has teamed up once again with their partner MEC to raffle off three very nice prizes.

BG kayak

First prize – INNOVA Swing I Inflatable Kayak

The INNOVA Swing I Inflatable Kayak with foot pump, all accessories and paddle – $1,080 value

BG bike

Second prize – Women’s Cruiser Bike

NORCO Women’s Cruiser Bike – $480 value.

Matched Pair of Haliburton Hand-Crafted Wooden Paddles – $280 value.

TICKETS: $5 each / 5 for $20
Available up until the draw on November 21st at the MEC service counter on Brant Street and from BurlingtonGreen staff and volunteers.

I have chosen to take that “from any BG staff or volunteer and am going to send a chunk of change to Amy Schnurr via Interac and ask her to mail me the raffle ticket.  Her email address is info@burlingtongreen.org  – I would really like to fill her email box.

Winning tickets will be drawn on November 21st, 2017 at 9:00pm at the “Connect the Dots” event
at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre!

General Admission tickets for Connect the Dots with David Suzuki have SOLD OUT in their first week available!

Less than 15 VIP tickets remain, so hurry over to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre box office and get yours before they’re all gone!

For Official Raffle Rules, click here.

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This is your opportunity to give the government your ideas on how to spend the tax dollars they collect.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 16th, 2017



Your provincial government wants your ideas – and if they are any good they are going to reward you. It can’t get much better than that,

The province of Ontario is making $5 million available to bring these ideas to life.

Queen's Park winter

This is where the spending decisions get made – have you got an idea that you think will make a difference?

Ontario launched Budget Talks, an online consultation, was launcged last week; its purpose is to allow the public to help shape policies and programs that will be part of Ontario’s future.

The government will provide up to $5 million to fund up to five proposals identified and voted on by the public as part of the 2018 Budget.

This is the fourth year in a row the government has engaged the public in the development of the Ontario budget through Budget Talks, and the second year that funding will be allocated directly to citizen-led proposals.

Through www.Ontario.ca/budgettalks, people are invited to share ideas on five focus areas: child care, seniors, small business, students and healthy living.

To be eligible, proposals must:

• Be submitted online by midnight on November 3, 2017
• Be for a new fund, pilot project, study, event or digital service
• Fall within the scope of the Ontario government to deliver
• Help support one of the five focus areas outlined on Budget Talks
• Require a one-time investment of no more than $1 million
• Show progress or completion by spring 2019

In January 2018, people will be able to comment and vote on ideas generated during the first phase of Budget Talks.

In 2017, people submitted 404 ideas, wrote 923 comments and casted 19,229 votes as part of Budget Talks.

Reducing and preventing food waste, improving digital services for libraries and accessing digitized health data were the three ideas that received the most public votes and were included in the 2017 Budget. View the project tracker to follow our progress, as we work to implement the ideas.

The next time you feel the need to complain about government not listening – remember – you were given a time to talk. Use it or lose it.

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Library given funds to purchase a 3D printer, a digital embroidery machine and new digital media software.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 16th, 2017



She was in what she calls her “happy place” sitting quietly with her library card in her hand getting ready to speak.

McMahon IdeaworksEleanor McMahon, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport was kicking off Public Library Week and announcing improvements to digital services at 307 libraries and library organizations across the province.
She spoke too of the valuable role that libraries play in Ontario communities.

Shelagh Paterson, Executive Director, Ontario Library Association said that libraries serve as the greatest equalizer for access to information across our communities.

The Library Digital Services fund provides resources for people in the community to use at its Ideaworks Studio, including a new 3D printer, digital embroidery machine and new digital media software. People will be able to enjoy these specialized technologies for their own interests and to help with projects and schoolwork.

EssentialMcMahon told the small audience that Ontario is increasing access to technology, digital services and training opportunities at public libraries in towns, cities and Indigenous communities across the province. Funding is helping libraries offer more technology in their communities, such as wireless internet connections, new computers, and e-books, as well as classes on topics like social media and computer literacy.

Libraries and shoppingOntario is investing $3 million through the Improving Library Digital Services fund to support up to 307 libraries and library organizations across the province. This includes $1 million for rural, remote and First Nation public libraries through 2017 Budget Talks. Burlington Public Library is receiving $25,000 from this fund.

This investment builds on a commitment in Ontario’s Culture Strategy to support Ontario’s public and First Nation libraries as essential spaces for people to access cultural experiences, technology and community life.

Library week runs from October 15-21; the first took place in 1985

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