Burlington Foundation releases 2017 Vital Signs report and a partnership with the Royal Bank that will focus on young adults as they transition into the workforce.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 16th, 2017



The Burlington Foundation shared the 2017 Vital Signs report last week.

The document is issued every two years and is seen as an important road map for where we are as a community and where the community can work together to make change happen in the areas of youth and young adults, mental health and wellness, housing, the environment and seniors.

Highlights from Vital Signs® 2017 Report part one:

Youth copy

• Connecting young people with opportunities is at the heart of building a strong and sustainable social fabric within the community. In Burlington, 16.5 per cent of the population is aged 15 to 29 years.
• Vital Signs finds that Burlington’s workforce is more highly educated than the Ontario average. Of those aged 25 to 44, 72 per cent have a post-secondary college or university education. This is good news as trends indicate that two-thirds of Canadian job openings in the coming decade will typically require post-secondary education or be in management occupations.Student debt

Mental health copy
• The number of reportable mental health-related occurrences was 1,656 in 2011 and rose to 3,102 as of 2016. This means Halton Regional Police have experienced a startling 87 per cent increase in mental health-related occurrences involving police.
• In 2016-2017, Joseph Brant Hospital’s Emergency Department had a total of 2,156 visits, an increase of 15% over 2011-2012, and 302 visits among those less than 18 years of age, which represent a 63 per cent increase over 2011-2012.Mental health

Housing copy
• Average housing prices rose from $454,627 in 2012 to $785,851 as of June 2017 – a staggering 73 per cent increase.
• 51.5 per cent of Burlingtonians live in single detached homes, 23.2 per cent in row houses or semis and 25.3 per cent live in apartments.Housing
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• Halton Region is excelling at waste diversion – in 2015 alone, almost 57 per cent of the region’s waste from landfills was diverted. Efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle have led Halton to be ranked tenth amongst 243 Ontario locations.
• Local waters are cleaner. Hamilton Harbour has benefited from aquatic health improvements as well as improved water bird habitats. Vegetation has returned to Cootes Paradise Marsh and a multi-year habitat restoration project is being led by BurlingtonGreen in Beachway Park.environment

seniors copy
• Burlington’s senior population is growing – so much so that seniors are now our single fastest growing demographic. In the past five years alone, Burlington has seen a 18.9 per cent growth in our senior population compared to just a 1.3 per cent increase among those younger than 65.
• The wait list for long-term care housing is on the rise. Since 2013, wait lists have increased by more than 20 per cent. This means that right now, 2,616 people are on the wait list for one of 1,279 spaces. On average, only 32 spaces become available each month.seniors


Foxcroft tight face

Ron Foxcroft, Chair of the Burlington Foundation.

“Vital Signs serves two significant purposes,” says Ron Foxcroft, chair of the Burlington Foundation Board of Directors. “First, it enables Burlington Foundation to focus our leadership efforts and granting program on the most critical areas of need. Second, it’s a valuable reference tool for other local stakeholders to connect the dots between people, numbers and opportunity.”

“Vital Signs is about connecting people to numbers in ways that foster new understanding,” says Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO, Burlington Foundation. “As a community convener, the report helps guide us in our leadership role where we encourage conversation and support collaboration around pressing issues. Whether it’s championing access to mental wellness programs which continues to be a focus for us, helping seniors live more independently, or helping young people transition to the workplace ensuring a greater sense of belonging to community, we’re connecting opportunity to action.”

Due to the release schedule of the 2016 long form Census data, Vital Signs will be published in two parts. In early 2018 the Foundation will share the latest local information about Poverty, Transportation, Work, Newcomers and Inclusivity.

As part of its commitment to incorporate learnings from the Vital Signs Report, Burlington Foundation announced a one-year partnership with Royal Bank of Canada that focuses on supporting youth and young adults as they transition into the workforce. This one-year commitment will focus on bringing together leaders from diverse sectors, as well as young adults, to engage in dialogue and address the opportunities and obstacles youth face as they seek employment.

Foundation - foxcroft - Lever +

Ron Foxcroft on the left with Francine Dyksterhuis, Regional President of Southwestern Ontario, RBC and retiring Royal Bank vice president John Lever.

“As leaders within our communities, both RBC and the Burlington Foundation, have the ability to bring attention to issues impacting the Halton community through research, speaking and convening,” says Francine Dyksterhuis, Regional President of Southwestern Ontario, RBC. “Working together has never been more urgent. All sectors must join forces and mobilize efforts, energy and expertise to improve near-term employment outcomes as well as develop the evolving hard and soft skills of our young people that will be required across all sectors.”

The partnership will include an innovative educational event this winter.

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Walked in without a bike - walked out with one the police don't think he owns.

Crime 100By Staff

October 15th, 2017



On Monday September 11th 2017 at approximately 8:00 PM, a male suspect attended the Sobeys located at 1250 Brant Street in Burlington.

Sobey bike theft 1

Walked out with a bike he didn’t walk in with.

The suspect went through an employee’s only door which led to a hallway where he stole a silver Giant Escape bicycle valued at $500.00.

The suspect was dropped off and picked up by a silver Mazda 3 hatchback.

sobey bike theft car

The car police believe the bike was taken away in.

Suspect is described as a white male, dark short hair, approximately 5’8″ tall wearing a black leather jacket, black shirt and dark jeans.

Anyone with information that would help identify the suspect are asked to contact Detective Constable Mark Urie of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2338, Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca or by texting “Tip 201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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November will see three very prominent speakers in the city.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 15th, 2017



There are going to be a surprising number of very prominent speakers in Burlington during the month of November.


Tomson Highway

Tomson Highway is being brought to the city by the Arts Council, that’s a citizen led group – at more than an arm’s length from city hall.

Moses Znaimer is being brought to the city as one of the Mayor’s Inspire series of speakers.

And Burlington Green is bringing David Suzuki in for a  day in November.

That is an impressive list of people – they will add much depth to the conversations that take place in this city.

Each of the sponsoring groups deserve credit for making this happen.

Znaimer Moses

Moses Znaimer

Moses Znaimer was the founder of the City TV network and one of the better thinkers this country has produced. He is a member of the Order of Canada and one of the people behind Much Music radio.

Znaimer, who has never been short of ideas, owns a commercial classical music radio station and is the founder of the Zoomer concept that caters to the interests and needs of the boomers who have become the Zoomers.

Znaimer will speak on the New Vision of Aging.


David Suzuki

David Suzuki, who is perhaps the best known environmentalist in this country and known around the world for his tireless efforts to educate a public about an environment that might not last.

Tomson Highway is a playwright, a musician and at times a very funny man.

All three are well worth your time.

Related articles:

Tomson Highway to speak in Burlington

David Suzuki will be at the Performing Arts Centre

Moses Znaimer to speak on Aging

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Is Netflix too big a part of our communications culture?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 15th, 2017



A couple of weeks ago Canada’s Heritage Minister, Mélanie Joly, announced the country’s new creative industries strategy.  There was more money for Canada’s creative sector but for the most part she and her announcement have largely been ignored or panned.

Melanie Joly 2

Heritage Minister, Mélanie Joly

One reason could be how she has been dealing with Netflix and internet streaming more generally. With virtually unlimited global access through the internet, Netflix and Amazon can be broadcast right into anyone’s home and not be subject to the (HST) as are the TV and cable broadcasters. And by the same token these streaming companies can escape Canada’s outdated domestic content rules.

So the government wrangled some Canadian content into Netflix by getting the US based company to invest half a billion dollars over the next five years into Canadian productions. Details are scarce as hen’s teeth, leaving the impression that this is a deal still at the concept stage. But what about the taxation issue?

NNC landingAnd what was really missing from her announcement is an indication as to how the government plans to deal with the evolution taking place with the daily news. The dailies are a dying breed as advertising revenue, circulation and employment are all in a downward spiral. And once the papers go, so too will the press associations which they support, the ones which provide front-line reporting of events upon which we should all depend.

Some broadcasters like our own CBC utilize their own staff reporters for many stories, and don’t rely solely on the Canadian press service. But broadcast news is also facing challenges, especially in the US, where the president has called what the networks report as ‘Fake News” and has threatened to pull their broadcasting licenses.

Of course he can’t really do that, given the arms length relationship between him and them, and those in that country who do manage media policy. And besides there is that constitutional first amendment. But what he has done with his bluster is erode the public’s confidence in conventional news media and create confusion about what President Trump’s people have called alternate facts.

Those alternate facts have abounded on social media, particularly given the intrusion into the US domestic social networks by the Russians. Even if we disregard those kinds of malicious and fraudulent cyber postings as transitional, there is a plethora of blogs and opinion pieces which masquerade as facts, and serve only to distort the truth.

Trump + tweets

American President’s used to hold “Fireside” chats and talk to the public. Donald Trump chooses to tweet and tweet and tweet.

Trump, is reported to only watch the Fox News TV channel, a network many mock for its misnomer of a moniker – ‘fair and balanced’. And he prefers to release his own news reports via Twitter from the peace and comfort of his inner sanctum in the White House, rather than at a news conference where reporters can clarify and ask questions. After all, he is the president.

Democracy resides on a three legged platform. Universal suffrage is one leg, the freedom to run as a candidate another. And the free communication of accurate information makes up the final support. Facts are critical, and it is fair game for opinion writers to interpret to their hearts’ content, within the bounds of reasonableness. But there is no such animal as an alternate fact.


Does Netflix dominate?

Canada has been well served by our traditional mixed media, a government owned public broadcaster provides balance to the private paper giants – and they in turn provide a check that the GBG/Radio Canada sticks to the message and doesn’t get seduced by who is providing the pay cheques. Perhaps that is why consideration of this aspect of our communications sector escaped the Heritage minister’s attention.

But even the giants are hurting and there are things a government can do help slow down the bleeding, such as greater advertising purchases. And fair taxation is just as important among the internet and other media as it is for small incorporated business owners.

That is something our negotiators need to keep in mind as they plod their way through these difficult NAFTA negotiations. After all, as the old adage goes, news is what’s in the newspapers.

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:

Turkey Talk and Rookie Ministers –     Canadian Content –     Canadian Content Updating –     Canadian Press –     Periodical Fund –     Newspaper Ask

Media Funding –     Faking News –     State of US Media –     Threat to First Amendment

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Takes a lot of cheek to do what this thief did - keep it in mind.

Crime 100By Staff

October 15th, 2017


Over the past three months various businesses within Burlington and Oakville have been victimized by an unknown male suspect, targeting staff member’s personal belongings.

The suspect would casually attend businesses in busy plazas, such as hair salons, dental offices, and massage parlours. The suspect would interact with employees as though he was a client of the business. When the opportunity presented itself the male would enter the staff room where the employee’s purses and belongings were kept and steal cash and gift cards located.

On one occasion the suspect was seen getting into a newer model 4-door silver Jeep Wrangler with a black hard top, no licence plate obtained.

The male is described as male, black, 45 – 55 years old, 5’10, heavy build, bald with a distinctive dark mustache.

Anyone who may have any further information pertaining to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Constable Autumn Mills of the 2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext: 2285, or Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca or by texting “Tip 201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Another bike thief apprehended and arrested.

Crime 100By Staff

October 14th, 2017



On October 12th 2017 at approximately 3:10 PM, police were alerted to a bicycle theft that had just occurred at the Mapleview Mall .

Police responded to the area where they located a man riding the stolen bicycle eastbound on Plains Road near Francis Rd. After being confronted by police, the man attempted to flee but was arrested a short distance away after a brief struggle.

A search incident to the arrest, police located a pair of bolt cutters, a cut cable lock and a quantity of crystal meth (5.4 grams) and 5 oxycontin pills.

Sean Michael BRAZIL (34-yrs) of Hamilton was held for bail charged with the following offences:

• Theft under $5000
• Mischief under $5000
• Assault with intent to resist arrest
• Possession of break-in instruments
• Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking (crystal meth)
• Possession of a controlled substance (oxycontin).

There was a time when a bike could be left leaning against a building and it would be where you left it when you came back. Somewhere along the way we lost that respect for someone elses property. Police now remind cyclists to consider the following recommendations to prevent become a victim of theft:

Bike with locksRecord your bicycle’s make, model and serial number. Keep the information, along with a digital photo, in a safe place.

Make your bicycle as undesirable as possible. Consider removing decals or repainting your bicycles to disguise top-of-the-line models.

Consider a beater bicycle for everyday use. Leave expensive bicycles at home and commute on a less expensive, less appealing model.

Make your bicycle un-rideable. Remove wheels and saddles to make it impossible for thieves to ride away on your bicycle.

Report stolen bicycles or parts. While most of the time police can’t do anything to locate a stolen bicycle, they can take action if there are several thefts in a given area.

Don’t support the stolen bicycle black market. Buy only from reputable shops or from people you trust. If you are unsure, ask questions, request to see a receipt/registration or call the police.

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White Pine dancers bring dignity and tradition to the ground breaking of the site for a transformed Joseph Brant Museum.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 13th, 2017



It has been a long time in getting to this point and the decision to take the plunge and transform the existing Joseph Brant Museum into a 17,000 square foot location was not a unanimous city council decision.

Councillors Jack Dennison and Marianne Meed Ward were not onside for this nor was Councillor John Taylor all that enthusiastic about the plans that were put forward – but all it took was the votes of four of the seven members of council – and that they got – so they moved on to the next step of breaking ground.

spades ceremonial

Spades in place waiting for the breaking of the ground.

Shortly before the spades were put into the ground Burlington MPP Eleanor announced that the province was going to come up with the final million that was needed to see the development as fully funded.

There was some concern about the $1 million actually coming from the province – but city council wanted this project so badly that they went out on a limb, decided which of the reserve accounts they would raid for the funds and hoped the province would come through.

With a budget that seem to have to edge into the 4% increase level each year and the discovery that Burlington transit is going to need a very healthy sum of money – that million as important.

Teatero withher husband

Barb Teatero and her husband during the round breaking ceremony for the transformed Brant Museum.

With the immediate financial concerns covered the Museum Staff and the Museum Foundation Board gathered together and watched two indigenous dancers perform ceremonial dances and then took part in a smudging ceremony that was quite something to observe.

The weather held and the hope was expressed that 18 months from now a ribbon cutting ceremony would take place to open the site.

Indigenous 3 at ground breaking

Members of the White Pines Indigenous dance group atch while the dignitaries make the speeches. Aron Bell a noted indigenous story teller is in the center

There are dozens of hurdles to overcome between now and then but Friday morning was an occasion to celebrate – the performances would have made Joseph Brant proud.

The original house was the building Joseph Brant died in – the structure on the site is a 1937 replica of the house Mohawk native Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea, built on a 1798 Crown land grant.

A modern addition to the museum will be built into the grassy area under the current museum.

The expansion, a modern addition to the museum will be built into the grassy area under the current museum by contractor Aquicon Construction that will add more than 12,000 square feet to its current size.

The hope and the expectation is that the transformed Joseph Brant Museum will become a cultural destination and a place to host national exhibitions and the collection of artifacts.

Grass dancer

Indigenous dancer does a grass dance to prepare the land for the ground breaking.

During the ground breaking event McMahon said that those who worked so hard to make the ground breaking possible will, at some future distant date, be lauded for the decision they made.

We should make a record of those people in the event that the public finds that lauding is not what gets done. There are a lot of questions to be asked and the requirement for much, much more in the way of transparency and accountability.

There is some pretty fast poker being played here.

Female dancer

The traditional dance wear has 365 small bell sewn into the skirt.

The Joseph Brant Museum Transformation will include total square footage of 17,000 square feet in the expanded site.  Construction is expected to take 18 months, depending on weather

The total project amount is approved at about $11 million, which includes a contingency fund and allows for cost increases due to a winter construction period. Funding includes:

$3.4 million from the City of Burlington
$4.7 million from the Government of Canada
$1.5 million from the Province of Ontario
$2.5 million from the Joseph Brant Museum Foundation

The museum has 25,000 artifacts and receives a reported 18,000 visitors a year.

Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea, was born in 1742 and died in 1807. In 1798, the Mohawk and British captain was granted 3,450 acres at the head-of-the-lake (Burlington Bay) by King George the third.

Brant tomb in Brantford -Mohawk chapel

The Joseph Brant tomb outside a Mohawk Chapel just outside Brantford, Ontario

Brant’s body was carried by members of the Mohawk tribe from Burlington to Brantford, Ontario where his remains rest in a small white chapel,

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18 year old male arrested for assault of 55 year old female on Fairview and for thefts from automobile later the same day.

Crime 100By Staff

October 13th, 2017



Shortly before 9:00 PM, yesterday evening, a 55-year old female victim was walking to work when she was approached by a young man who asked her for a cigarette. The victim told the man that she didn’t smoke and they went their separate ways.

The victim continued to walk along Fairview Street west of Brant Street when the man reappeared and without warning, struck her in the back of the head, knocking her to the ground then ran away. The victim got up and continued to walk westbound on Fairview when the man approached her again; pushed her to the ground and stole her black & white “Sephora” bag then ran away. During the incident, the victim sustained scrapes to her hands and knees, a bloody nose and swelling on the back of her head.

The victim arrived at work and immediately reported the incident to police. The area where the incident occurred was searched by uniformed officers with the aid of a Police Service Dog however the male was not located.

Over three hours later (12:15 AM), a resident on Stephenson Drive caught a young man that had been observed breaking into cars in the area. Police responded and arrested the man. After further investigation, it was determined that he was the person responsible for the earlier incident.

Zachary Michael HELLICAR (18-yrs) of Treeland St in Burlington was held for bail charged with the following offences:

• Assault
• Robbery
• Theft under $5000 (two counts)
• Possession of property obtained by crime under $5000
• Fail to comply with recognizance

Detective Sergeant Hansen commented that “Investigators are extremely grateful to the resident on Stephenson Drive for helping apprehend and identify this man whose random violent behaviour posed a safety concern to the public”.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Phil Vandenbeukel of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2343 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800 222-TIPS (8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637.

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Pearson parent doesn't see the Program Accommodation Review Process as a done deal.

opinionandcommentBy Cheryl DeLugt

October 12th, 2017



The intrinsic nature behind the school closures in Burlington is clearer than most may think. For almost a year now the Halton District School Board (HDSB) has been instrumental in its’ ability to have consistently provided the community a false sense of good intentions when it comes to closing our schools.

Steve Armstrong + Cheryl deLught - Pearson

Cheryl DeLugt and Steve Armstrong with the message from the community.

Let’s face it….our schools were doomed, some would say…”A Done Deal”. Well, that was at least what was implied by the HDSB and how the majority of the community felt from the very beginning of the Program Accommodation Review Process (PAR). As the PAR process unfolded, it became more evident that closing a school or two was their primary objective.

The mere fact that our school was named and recommended to be closed in advance of any community input or public consultation, made it obvious the board had its own agenda, which in turn became the driving force behind the HDSB efforts to assure their plans to close Burlington high schools were achieved.

It now appears, to many community members, that the whole PAR process was intended to attain a controlled means of community input sufficient enough to claim community participation as part of the Halton District School Boards’ intent and plan to close two Burlington high schools. The process itself lacked honesty, transparency, logic, reason and effective community input. In addition, those who voted on the final decision were elected officials from outside of the affected communities, making the decision to close any schools in Burlington that much easier, or at least easier on one’s own conscience.

Fiscal responsibility to our community was by no means the predominate factor considered when making the decision to close our schools and if it was, a no school closure would have been given equal consideration. The cost savings of closing schools will be in the result of some staff savings and operating costs, but there will be added costs to decommission, insurance, maintenance, that will be added with closure. If one was to look at accounting for all costs, small schools such as Lester B Pearson are in fact more cost efficient on a per capita student basis than larger schools.


Was Lester B. Pearson high school “doomed” from the beginning?

Early on in the PAR process, it was apparent that there was reluctance and obstruction by the HDSB to engage in open and meaningful conversations with the general public and the communities affected by the school closures. This action alone revealed the school board’s lack of transparency and made many residents question the board’s motive for moving so quickly and forcefully to close our schools.


Kim, a Lester B Pearson high school parent

Perhaps the need for a greater emphasis on more open communication and input from our entire community including local and regional officials including the Mayor of Burlington, should have been actively part of the process. The Halton District School Board just recently announced its’ effort in exploring community partnerships now. In an effort of fairness, democracy, and the Ontario Ministry of Education principles, the HDSB had a moral and legal obligation to have explored other creative options more aggressively including possible community partnerships prior to proposing any school closures.

While the HDSB focuses their efforts on the transition process for Lester B Pearson high school and their desires for a “NEW” Administration building, many members of the community will now redirect their attention on the Burlington citizens appeal to the Ontario Ministry of Education now approved Administrative Review (AR).

With the AR soon underway, the need for better collaboration between the City of Burlington, its’ residents, and the Halton District School Boards prior restriction of information and the dissemination of correct, timely information in a transparent fashion will become apparent.

While the Halton District School Board continually reiterates to the public that the Administrative Review will NOT reverse their decision, it should indeed question it to a fair degree. The purpose of the Administrative Review (AR) is to thoroughly review the board’s honest commitment, integrity and ability to follow the HDSB and Ontario Ministry of Education policies while conducting the prior PAR process plus determine if there is need for HDSB procedural change.

LBP Rachelle Papin 2

Ward 4 school board trustee Rachelle Papin at a school council meeting.

In light of the approval of an AR, and with consideration of the facilitators findings, the community expects our elected Trustees to welcome the opportunity to openly review and change their June 7th, 2017 decision based on newly revealed supportive facts that the process they followed led them to a decision which was indeed without a doubt “flawed”.

After-all, how can and why would any school board or elected official stand behind a decision that they know was made using questionable methods, non- transparency and incorrect information and executed process?

A question we ALL should be asking at this point …especially the school board Trustees.


Cheryl De Lught H&SCheryl is a Registered Nurse who was a member of the Program Accommodation Review Committee that was unable to reach a consensus on which if any Burlington high schools should have been closed.

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35 Plains Road development on the edge of a business park get approved for eight floors of residential.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 12th, 2017



Two men, both from Aldershot, delegated at city council earlier this week – both had similar comments and both had problems getting their material into the record – no one knew what happened.

Greg WoodruffGreg Woodruff, who ran for Chair of the Region in the 2014 election, had comments to make about the development planned for 35 Plains Road. While he didn’t like the idea of an additional two floors of density being given to a site that is zoned for six storeys – that wasn’t his biggest concern,

His objections to the 35 Plains road development were that the building is not of pedestrian scale. It is important he pointed out that we not create buildings which tower over the pedestrian walkway

Woodruff pointed out that the building does not comply with employment usage. This application he said seeks to remove employment space requirement and still want the “mixed use” designation.

The building is close to a transit hub, which allows people to commute to Toronto and would also allow people to commute to employment uses in Aldershot. There are people doing that now in Burlington.

Woodruff thought that 70% was a good requirement because it would create commercial pedestrian densities if enforced. “We are far better served with creating employment usage in the area than just residential. There is no vibrancy or transit enhancement created by people commuting to Toronto and gone from the area all day. Vibrancy requires people here all day – which employment usage properly creates.

35 Plains Road AWoodruff then added that the 35 Plains Road proposal does not comply with the Aldershot Village vision. The vision calls for sites that have large landscaping and large generally open spaces.

Woodruff wants to see a minimum amenity area maintained. Zoning minimums are required because buyers can not asses reasonable levels. Creating a large number of small inexpensive low amenity units create a building were the major selling feature is low cost. Though this looks attractive at first long term it creates problems.

The developer wants the parking spaces reduced from a required 130 to a proposed 100 and have visitor parking reduced to 17 from the required 28 spaces.

Reduction of commercial parking is a mistake. While it is generally available vendors do no keenly enforce it.

Thus a shopper can park at once place and walk the near other businesses. At this site you can see someone using it and the adjacent bank without moving their car. However if customers cannot park easily vendors will enforce it – this requires movement of cars for every trip to every store.

We all know how this has worked out at the parking space at the No Frills plaza on Brant Street.

Woodruff told council of comments made by Brent Toderian at a public meeting. Toderian is a Vancouver based consultant who has done a considerable amount of work for Burlington who was asked:

How do you make density something that communities welcome?

Toderian Brent - blue shirt

The Toderian line of thought – make sure that you’re spending the value on things that make density successful.

Toderian responded: “I don’t support stupid density. I sometimes have as much concern about the YIMBY [Yes In My Backyard] movement as I do about the NIMBY movement. I don’t buy an absolute not-in-my-backyard, but I also don’t buy the argument that we should get rid of our zoning codes and have at it, build as much as we can. Both of those are the extreme.

Toderian was then asked: Explain density bonusing.

Toderian: “You have a base density, but [a developer] can increase to a higher density by negotiating amenities that make that higher density more livable. The key is to make sure that you’re spending the value on things that make density successful. Doing this “… gives the community a sense that the additional density is translating into something that’s going to support quality of life. They can see a connection between the additional density and amenities their community needs, but probably won’t be able to afford.

Woodruff doesn’t think the Planning department has taken to heart the Toderian line of thought. He suggested to Council that they were paying more attention to what the developer was asking for than they were to the zoning in place and the policies that had been adopted.

Muir with pen in hand

Tom Muir recognizes the difference between evidence-based policy-making, and policy-based evidence making.

Tom Muir, who has been delegating to city council for more than 25 years saw the same kind of thing happening but chose different language to make his point.

“In my 45 years of policy and issues analysis I learned to recognize the difference between evidence-based policy-making, and policy-based evidence making. This looks to be the latter – decide what you want first, and then pick the evidence.

Oftentimes, sections of the Policy Framework said to be used, are selectively chosen that support the recommendation to approve. Other parts raising issues of approval are sometimes stated, but not followed up on. As a result, the viability of existing business and commercial economic development is being sacrificed by planning recommendations such as this one. What I continue to find disturbing is the continued de-commercialization of Aldershot.

Muir made it clear that both the Provincial Policy Statement and the city’s Strategic Plan point to the need for commercial uses to be planned for and increased not reduced and the needs of existing business to be accounted for, not sacrificed. “But the proposal” said Muir, “contradicts what the policy calls for. It talks about complete communities, but goes in the opposite direction

“Aldershot is losing retail to residential builds. We are told there needs to be more residents to support retail, which is not generally true except for a grocery store. However, if you get the residents, but no longer have the land supply to build retail/commercial, and a cost structure that is not competitive, you still don’t get the commercial.

What seems to be missing is any representation of the present reality, of the real businesses, with real business value, real jobs with real employees, and real customers, who are being plowed under, forced to leave and maybe drive more. This is happening at an increasing pace. Who of you speaks for these folks? The only one around this table that made sense of this is Councillor Meed Ward.

Muir glancing

Tom Muir: Its pie in the sky to me, promising a Mobility Hub utopia where the business dead will rise again.

Muir argues that “we are told that the mobility hub plans will take us to another place with everything we want, and that we should celebrate, although here fanciful speculations are blurring proper judgement more and more, with each new proposal that comes along. Its pie in the sky to me, promising a Mobility Hub utopia where the business dead will rise again. I can hardly call this “good planning”.

Delegations are made before the meat and potatoes part of city Council meetings.

Council voted 6-1 in favour of the 35 Plains Road development that will be eight storeys in height with the first six floors being basically flush to the sidewalk – no set back and no trees.

Councillor Craven held a community annual meeting last week at which he brought his constituents up to date on the numerous developments taking place in Aldershot – the Gazette will report on that event soon.

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Tomson Highway - to speak in Burlington November 4th at the Performing Arts Centre.

artsblue 100x100By Staff

October 12th, 2017



The Arts and Culture Council of Burlington is excited to announce its first fundraiser, “An Evening with Tomson Highway” on Saturday , November 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Studio Theatre of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

Incorporated in 2016 and officially launched in April, 2017, the Arts and Culture Council of Burlington, or ACCOB, has a mandate to increase public understanding and appreciation of arts and culture in Burlington, and to advocate on behalf of the artistic and cultural community in the city.

ACCOB already has 65 individual and organizational members and is looking to increase its membership to better benefit the local artistic and cultural scene. It is currently participating in the Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s “Festival of Trees”, which will help to provide funds for artists and cultural groups to use the Studio Theatre at BPAC.

ACCOB is also providing the jury process to administer the new grants which the City of Burlington plans to distribute to projects submitted by members of Burlington’s artistic and cultural communities.


Tomson Highway – to speak in Burlington November 4th at the Performing Arts Centre.

The November 4th event is another collaboration with the Burlington Public Library’s One Book One Burlington, which is focusing on Indigenous works this year. Tomson Highway is an award-winning Cree playwright, novelist, writer and musician who will be speaking to us about the importance of arts and culture in a community.

He is the first Indigenous person to be awarded the Order of Canada for his work in the arts and he has devoted his life to the development of a vibrant indigenous culture in Canada.

An accomplished pianist, Highway often performs his own works from his various plays and musicals and he will be using the wonderful grand piano at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre on November 4.

Highway holds honorary doctorates from ten Canadian universities.  He graduated from the University of Western Ontario (now called Western University) with a degree in music and English.

Highway’s latest book, “From Oral to Written: A Celebration of Indigenous Literature in Canada, 1980 to 2010 was published in July.

Highway is an accomplished playwright who was  nominated for a Governor General’s Award and the  Dora Mavor Moore Award. He won the Best New Play Floyd S. Chalmers Award

Anyone who writes a play with the title Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing – which he did in 1989,  has to be listened to –  Tickets are $35 and are available at www.burlingtonpac.ca, 905-681-6000 or in person at the box office.

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Canadian Scouting has been co-ed since 1998 - Americans just announced they want to do the same thing.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 12th, 2017



It used to be called the Boy Scouts association. Not anymore.

The Boy Scouts of America (USA program) recently announced changes to their membership policy to allow girls into the Cub Scout program and confirmed that older girls will be able to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

Scouts Canada - Mikhayla Doroshuk and Terry Grant Chief Scout

Queen’s Venturer Mikhayla Doroshuk and Terry Grant Chief Scout

The Scouts Canada membership has been officially co-ed since 1998 and welcomes all to its membership regardless of gender, race, culture, religious belief, sexual orientation or economic circumstances and has always taken an inclusive approach to its membership.

Scouts Canada is a separate and distinct organization from the Boy Scouts of America.

Canada doesn’t have an Eagle Scout level – the Canadian equivalent is the Queen’s Venturer Award.

There is a very active scouting movement in the Region.

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Commercial vehicle inspections show small improvement over 2016 results.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 12th, 2017



Policing the commercial traffic on our highways is vital. There was a time when we had wheels flying off trucks that were unsafe because they weren’t properly maintained.


The Regional Police have a fully equipped vehicle with all kinds of inspection equipment. with the 401, the 403, the 407 and the QEW cutting through Halton region commercial vehicle inspection is a big job.

Police officers and inspectors from seven services, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Finance/ Environment recently completed a two-day commercial vehicle (CMV) enforcement blitz held at the Mohawk Raceway in Milton on October 4-5.

Results of the showed some encouraging signs for road safety. The data shows a record number of vehicles being inspected and an increase in compliance over 2016.

The two day blitz this year yielded the following results:

• Total commercial motor vehicles inspected: 477
• Total commercial motor vehicles taken out of service: 156 (33% failure rate)
• Total charges laid: 331
• Sets of plates seized by police: 24

2016 Results:
• Total commercial motor vehicles inspected: 470
• Total commercial motor vehicles taken out of service: 179 (38% failure rate)
• Total charges laid: 476
• Sets of plates seized by police: 35

Top six charges laid by police in 2017:

• Fail to complete daily inspection (58 charges)
• Improper brake (24 charges)
• Failure to complete annual inspection (22 charges)
• Insecure load (21 charges)
• Fail to have permit (19 charges)
• Overweight vehicle (14 charges)


Halton police officer checks the tires on a truck during a blitz.

“The results of the 2017 Halton commercial motor vehicle blitz reveal that there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure commercial motor vehicles are safe. The rules of the road apply equally to all motor vehicle operators and ensuring a mechanically fit, safely loaded and secure vehicle remains the law. As always, safer trucks equate to safer roads.” said Sgt. Ryan Snow, Traffic Services Unit.

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Leaf collection dates released - they seem to have been adjusted after last year's goof.

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 12, 2017



Leaf collection 2017 truck

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison asked: “How fortunate we are to live in a city which provides Leaf Collection?”

And then he hands out a “thank you” to city staff for “the tremendous efforts” of the city’s Roads & Parks Maintenance (RPM) team who coordinate and carry out this service. Based on last year’s collection schedule RPM staff revised this year’s Leaf Collection as follows:

Leaves schedule

Specific dates have not yet been determined. The RPM are going to be more cautious this year.

Collection will start the week of Nov. 6, 2017, with the last collection scheduled for the week of Dec. 11, 2017. A reminder that after the last pick updates, there will be no further collection from the city. For more details including guidelines to ensure a smooth-running pick-up, visit Leaf Collection.

Leaf pick up zones 2017

Leaf pick zone boundaries.

Last year the people with trees on their property were very upset – with very few good words for city staff.
It was brutal.  One south Burlington resident said:

“Who is responsible for this lack of proper planning/scheduling? I do understand that scheduling must be done in advance but surely City Hall has access to the same long-term weather reports as I do?


“And I assume city staff responsible are capable of looking outside to see how much of the leaf fall has occurred? None of this has happened with the consequent poor results. What is the City going to do to rectify this?”

Related article:



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Model railroad and Rose Garden will be different next time you see them at the RBG

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

October 11th, 2017



The Royal Botanical Gardens seem to be in a constant state of change and upgrades.

The model railway installation, that is very popular, is going to be located in what was once the Old Tea House located in the wonderful Rock Garden that is a must see.

Train model location

New home for the Model Railroad exhibit.

The new installation will be ready by November where the Local Railway Heritage Display will feature the unique model train display that celebrates and depicts the rich heritage of railways throughout Hamilton, Burlington, the Niagara Escarpment, and Lake Ontario shoreline.

On a recent tour of the Rock Garden with a friend we came across what used to be the old Tea House where my friend told me they had a light menu that included a lunch.

My friend added that if you go far enough back, likely as many as at least forty years or maybe fifty years ago, there was a paved road in front of the tea house which we actually walked on and I believe another entrance off York Blvd leading to a parking lot down there for a number of cars – a long time ago.

I am not sure when the parking lot was built across the road. I believe that for many years the main access from that parking lot was through a tunnel below York Blvd near the railway.

Walking path in Rock Garden

One of the paths in the Rock Garden

My friend added that the RGB people “have done a good job” but added that the Rock Gardens are in the City of Hamilton, not Burlington, making it a Hamilton attraction.

Mark Runciman, the CEO of the RBG doesn’t differentiate between the two cities – he crosses the border half a dozen times each day.


The Rose Garden – the way it used to look – a redesigned garden is now being put in place

Another change taking place at RBG is the Rose Garden, something Runciman points out is not easily changed. “Our rose enthusiasts are very particular about what we do with that garden.”


Drains being prepped in the Rose Garden that was first open to the public in 1967

The problem for Runciman and his team of gardeners is that the pesticide ban now in place means new bugs show up and they do much damage to the rose plants which mean everything has to be taken out each year.

The new Rose Garden plan features a spectacular display of roses and companion plants intended to extend seasonal interest and keep diseases at bay. They are able to do this by putting in companion plants that will keep the bugs away from the roses.

The focus is on disease resistant, disease-tolerant and cold-hardy roses, including Canadian introductions. The end result will be an innovative, sustainable and inspiring experience at what is the quintessential rose garden for Canada’s largest botanical garden.

There is a drive on now for sponsorship for the newly designed rose garden.

Bloom times

Bloom times

Visitors will notice that the pergolas are being retired and removed from their place in the garden. When Centennial Rose Garden was planted in 1967, these wooden structures were built to hold climbing plants over the garden’s pathways. Fifty years later, the wood has aged and weathered and the gardeners now find that it is the plants that are securing the pergolas.

More on what’s happening at the RBG in the weeks ahead.

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Council meets in a closed session to discuss several property acquisition matters.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 10th, 2017



It was a short public meeting – lasted a few minutes.

City solicitor Nancy Shea Nicol serving as Acting City Manager with Finance and Capital Works people around the horseshoe went into a Closed session of Committee of the Whole while they discussed three separate items each related to the acquisition or proposed acquisition of property.


Councillor Meed Ward chaired the Closed session of a Committee of the Whole

They don’t tell you any more than that.

Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward chaired the meeting

Might have to do with the property the Joseph Brant Museum sits on – that is a messy file that involves the Hospital which has title to the land but the federal government has a major say in what the hospital can do with the land.

The city wants the land so they can get on with the total rebuild of the museum,

This is pure speculation on our part.

It is unusual for Burlington to have property acquisition matters on the agenda.

The public should learn more when the recommendations from the Committee of the Whole get to Council later in the month.


City plans to break ground for the construction of a much larger Joseph Brant Museum.

The city has announced a ground breaking ceremony for the museum expansion on Friday.

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Fire prevention week - Fire Chief wants your attention - takes the social media route to get it - prizes

News 100 redBy Staff

October 10th, 2017



The Burlington Fire Department is recognizing Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 8 to 14, 2017 with a contest for residents who connect with them through social media.

Residents are asked to look for Fire Prevention Week transit shelter ads around Burlington, take a photo clearly showing the safety message– selfie optional – and tag @BurlingtonFire on Twitter or @BurlingtonFireDept on Facebook to be entered into a draw to win a Fire Prevention Week gift pack.

The contest runs from Oct. 2 to 29, 2017.
Fire Prevention week is a province-wide initiative held each year in October. This year’s theme of Fire

Prevention Week is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

In a fire, you may have just seconds to safely escape your home. Be prepared in advance with these simple steps for home fire escape planning:

Fire 3155 Michael 3 alarm

Fire and smoke move faster than you can. Plan and practice fire escape exercises.

Consider the needs of everyone in your home
Identify anyone who needs help to get out of the home safely, such as small children or older adults.
Make sure that you have working smoke alarms on every storey of the home and outside all sleeping areas
Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm.
Identify all possible exits (doors and windows) and make sure they work
Know two ways out of all areas, if possible.
Everyone must know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds
Name someone to take care of those who need help.
Identify a safe meeting place outside.
Call the fire department from outside the home – from a neighbour’s home or a cell phone.
Practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year
Have everyone take part.
Make changes to your plan if necessary.

Burlington Fire Chief Dave Lazenby tells people that “Fire and smoke move faster than you. There’s no time to figure out how to escape your home after a fire starts. Practice an escape plan before there’s a fire so you can get out safely.”

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Staff report on the New Street pilot road diet will be released November 17th - Stand By.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 10th, 2017



Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison wants you to know that the New Street Road Diet Pilot is not about the number of bicycles that are on the road – it is about making New Street safer, more accessible and calmer without significantly increasing travel times.

New street - being rebuilt

New Street with lanes for cyclists on each side – under construction.

Dennison said he has been advised “that the report with staff’s recommendation will be presented on Monday, November 27, 2017 at a Committee of the Whole meeting.”

The report will be made public on Friday, November 17, 2017. We will get the details to you.

Bike lanes - New street

What we used to have on the left – what we have now as a pilot on the right. In between – more public engagement that this council every expected.

Anyone interested in speaking to this item at the meeting, please be sure to register.

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Mayor is looking for a way to communicate with the people who pay the taxes - he's hoping a Telephone Town Hall will draw an audience.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 10th, 2017


The Mayor tried this once before – it didn’t work out all that well. But he is game to try it again.

Goldring and Carr Cogeco Cable

Mayor with Mark Carr preparing for a live call in Cogeco broadcast from city.

Sometime during his first term of office the Mayor teamed up with Mark Carr and Cogeco and set up a call in show that was done live from the city Council Chamber.  There were very very few calls.

This time the Mayor is going to talk to his constituents about the budget priorities in an online Town Hall.

In the past the city has held public meetings to talk about the budget – the Mayor is now saying that “We’re making changes to our budget engagement strategy based on last year’s survey results which told us residents didn’t want to come to a public information centre and would prefer a more convenient way of being informed and asking questions.”

The photographs taken of previous public budget meetings show a room filled with people.  There was one exception – in 2015 – a snow storm kept people away.

A rapt audience listened to an overview of the 2014 budget. What they have yet to have explained to them is the desperate situation the city will be in ten years from now if something isn't done in the next few years to figure out how we are going to pay for the maintenance of the roads we have.

A rapt audience listened to an overview of the 2014 budget. .

Budget session Public (1) March 5-2011

Lot of people showed up for the 2011 budget review meeting.

Budget public meeting - empty hall

The 2015 budget review meeting didn’t draw very many people – there was a snow storm – however the arena right next door was packed.

The Telephone Town Hall on the 2018 Proposed Budget will take place on Wednesday, October 18th, between 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. for residents, businesses and community partners.

Participants will learn about and discuss the proposed 2018 budget priorities with Mayor Rick Goldring and senior city staff.

Residents, businesses and community partners will be randomly selected to participate by telephone invitation from the Mayor.  Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-537-6616 at 7:30 p.m. on October 18th and listen in to the conversation.

The purpose of the Telephone Town Hall is to discuss the proposed 2018 budget priorities with the Mayor and senior city staff.

In this live, call-in session, residents, organizations and business owners can ask questions about the upcoming budget. There will be an emphasis on:

• Resident satisfaction with value for service
• Increased funding for transit
• Support for city infrastructure renewal funding

There is no mention of any documentation or overview of what the 2018 budget is going to contain which makes it a little difficult for people to comment. It does give those who get invited to take part to rant publicly – which makes one wonder just who is going to get invited. The selection of participants is said to be random – random from what – a list of voters or those who donated to the Mayor’s election campaign or those on his Christmas card list?

The discussion will start shortly after 7:30 pm – those who want to listen in can call in a minute or two early; anyone who is late will be able to join anytime. The system can handle up to 20,000 participants.

Joan Ford, the city's Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

Joan Ford, the city’s Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

Joan Ford, Director of Finance adds that: “The budgets are being drafted right now. The feedback we receive from the Town Hall will be put into a report and presented to City Council for their consideration. All questions received during the Town Hall, regardless of whether they were discussed live will be posted online with answers a few days after the event.”

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Hidden Valley Road closed - October 12 for paving.

notices100x100By Staff

October 10th, 2017



Hidden Valley Road, from Hidden Valley Park to the north end of the street, will be closed for paving on
Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Only emergency services will have access.

For more information, call Marc Daffre
905-335-7600, ext. 7640


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