Bridgewater development is going to change the way we interact with Lakeshore Road.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 13th, 2017



While the citizens of the city are asked to sit in on public sessions to discuss how we are going to Grow Bold and where all the high rise condominiums and apartment buildings are going to be located – the cranes towering above the city swing in back and forth and up and down with huge buckets of concrete as the development projects underway rise floor by floor.

Bridgewater from the north looking south

The Bridgewater as it will look from Lakeshore Road. That space on the left is not what the final view will look like.

The Bridgewater on Lakeshore Road is now well above grade, the Paradigm on Fairview has three of the five towers on that development well underway – with sales reported to be very brisk.

The Berkeley on John Street is also well above grade.

The Molinaro project on Brock Street is getting ready for public review and the Carriage Gate project that is to be built opposite city hall is waiting for whatever the recommendation from the Planning department is going to be.

There are another couple of dozen projects that are in various stages of development; one a three tower structure on Brant Street at the Ghent intersection.

While all this happens the school board heads toward the actual closing of two of the city’s seven high schools and the city works at deciding when they should be pumping more money into transit.

The project that is going to have a significant impact on how people enjoy the waterfront is Bridgewater. The three structures are going to change how the way Lakeshore Road works and how people get to enjoy some of the eastern part of the downtown core waterfront.

The space between the 22 storey condominium and the eight storey hotel is going to be all people will be able to see from Lakeshore Road.

The opening between the two buildings is a bit bigger than we expected – but it isn’t wide open.

The public will be able to walk from Lakeshore Road through what is going to have to be well graded land. The original plans call for a reflecting pool in the middle.

Add to all this the development thinking being done on what will happen to the existing Waterfront Hotel and the plans the owner has to develop that property by demolishing the current structure and putting up a building that will be in the 20 storey plus hotel and a possible two other structures.

All this is putting some oomph behind that Grow Bold phrase.

Aerial - Bridgeater - looking to Waterfront

Aerial view of the hotel part of the Bridgewater project that will be on the corner of Lakeshore Road and Elizabeth and the Waterfront Hotel property to the west.

Bridgewater at bottom of Elizabeth

Bridgewater project from what will become the bottom of Elizabeth Street overlooking the lake.

Waterfront hotel from the south.

The existing Waterfront Hotel wants to redevelop their property and put a much taller building on the site and add an additional stricture. There are issues to be worked out regarding the land south of the hotel that is to a large degree made up of landfill.


Bridgewater opening with red line

An aerial view of the Bridgewater construction project. The red line between the buildings is the width of the opening the public will b able to walk through to get to the waterfront.

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Pearson parents meeting with the Mayor - there might be some sparks.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 13th, 2017



Later today a small delegation from Pearson high school will be meeting with the Mayor during one of the Open Door sessions he holds for citizens who want to meet with him

Girl with T-shirt LBPH

Showing the school colours.

Pretty clear what the Pearson parents want to talk about – they want to know just where the Mayor was when the decision on closing schools was made. Those Pearson parents don’t buy the argument that it was just a school board trustee decision.

The Program Accommodation Review (PAR) process that took place made provision for representation from the city – the Mayor chose to pass that task along to his city manager James Ridge and had the temerity to say at a city council meeting that he, the Mayor, couldn’t think of anyone more qualified to represent the city.

Podrebarac and Ridge

Steve Podrebarac on the left and Burlington city manager James Ridge at a school board PAR meeting.

At the time Ridge had been city manager for about 18 months, was not a native of the city and probably could not have named the seven high schools in the city.

Ridge attended most of the PAR meetings, spoke twice. On one of those occasions he said the school board should not sell any land. The school board isn’t permitted to just sit on land it owns – they have to use it or lose it. When they do sell the land, which a decision the Board makes when they declare the land surplus.

Steve Armstrong + Cheryl deLught - Pearson

Cheryl DeLught and Steve Armstrong – part of the Pearson delegation.

When the Board makes that decision there is a hierarchy of organizations that have the right to purchase the land – the city is on that list. The city could be negotiating with the school board to move some of its staff into Pearson to keep the building until the city has a better view of just what the student population is going to be.

All the Grow BOLD discussion taking place are making mention of a population that is going to climb from the current 186,000 to something in the 215,000 range. Will there not be some students in amongst those new residents?

Hopefully the Pearson people meeting with the Mayor today will be bold and suggest that the city get onside.

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Parkette designed by the community to get an official opening.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 12, 2017



The City of Burlington and the KaBOOM! Aldershot community planning committee will hold an official opening ceremony for the new playground at Bolus Gardens Parkette on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at 1 p.m. during Alderfest.

Translation – Photo op for the Mayor and the Council member.

Aldershot community volunteers, organizations and businesses joined Foresters FinancialTM and non-profit KaBOOM! during a Build Day in August to create the new play space, which will serve more than 1,200 children and their families in the local community.

KaBoom visual

This is what the community designed – the project is now complete and gets an official opening later in the month.

The design for the new playground was based on drawings created by neighborhood children at a special Design Day event that was held in June when community members met with organizers from KaBOOM! and Foresters FinancialTM to design their dream playground. The drawings inspired the final playground design.

Mayor Rick Goldring and Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven will cut a special link ribbon made by community children on Build Day and will recognize the community residents and businesses that helped with the project.

Alderfest is an annual festival hosted by the Aldershot BIA, the Aldershot Lions and the Surrey Warwick Community Association. The family event celebrates the people, activities and services in the Aldershot Community.

Bolus Gardens Parkette commemorates the efforts of George Bolus and friends who transformed the area in the parkette for the community.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million children.

KaBOOM! creates places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy lives and communities. More on the KaBOOM Facebook page –

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Bike storage spaces to be located at Burlington and Appleby GO stations and two car pool lots.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 12, 2017



This is a photo op that will have gladdened the heart of Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon.

Anything to do with cycling and sharing the road in a responsible way gets her attention.

The announcement earlier today at the Appleby GO station that the province is going to install secure bike storage at GO station and car pool lots making it easier for cyclists to commute to and from work, school, and appointments.

appleby-go-stationThe construction of new, secure bike storage lockers at GO Transit stations and car pool lots across southern Ontario. This investment is part of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan and is funded by proceeds from the province’s cap on pollution and carbon market.

Eight bike lockers will be installed at each of 15 commuter parking lots across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, Niagara, and Simcoe Region for a total of 120 bike lockers. Work will be finished by the end of March 2018.

In addition, 28 bike rooms will be installed at 26 GO Transit stations in the Greater Toronto Area over the next four years as part of Ontario’s GO RER program, expanding storage capacity while enhancing security. The first locations, which will be complete by spring 2018, include: Appleby, Markham, Mount Pleasant, Bronte, Unionville, and Stouffville.

McMahon with a bikeMinister of Transportation Steven De Luca and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Eleanor McMahon were in Burlington today to launch the new Commuter Bike Parking Program, which will help encourage people to take their bikes as part of their daily commute.

Eight bike lockers will be installed at each of 15 commuter parking lots across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area, Niagara, and Simcoe Region for a total of 120 bike lockers. Work will be finished by the end of March 2018. In addition, 28 bike rooms will be installed at 26 GO Transit stations in the Greater Toronto Area over the next four years as part of Ontario’s GO RER program, expanding storage capacity while enhancing security. The first locations, which will be complete by spring 2018, include: Appleby, Markham, Mount Pleasant, Bronte, Unionville, and Stouffville.

GO stations: Burlington and Appleby
Car pool lots: QEW at Guelph Line and Hwy 403 at Hwy 6/Plains Rd

No mention of any fee for use – they will all be in place before the June election – which is more than can be said for the Burlington GO station upgrades.

No report on whether or not the two politicians rode their bikes to the event.

This just might give cyclists a reason to use New Street now that it is still on its Road Diet.

Ontario is investing approximately $2.5 million from its carbon market to fund this project.
About 1.5 million people in Ontario ride their bikes at least once a week during the spring, summer and fall, and many cycle year-round.

The Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling Program is a commitment under Ontario’s five-year Climate Change Action Plan which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050.

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Details on the 36th annual Terry Fox run on Sunday.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

September 12, 2017



Residents are going to have to figure out what they want to do this Sunday.

Both the Amazing Bed Race and the Terry Fox Run for cancer are taking place on Sunday the 17th.

Not at the same time but close together.

Beds will be on Brant Street – The Terry Fox Run will start in Spencer Smith Park and go to the canal and back for a distance of 4.5 km

Construction work being done on the eastern end of the Naval Promenade requires the Terry Fox event to shorten the distance this year and to keep all the traffic on the Waterfront Trail which will mean no bikes.

The Terry Fox run organizing committee has not been able to get city hall to do any jiggling of the times for the events so both are taking place on the same day.

Registration for the Amazing Bed race doesn’t take place until 11 am, by which time most of the Terry Fox run people are finishing up.

The city was not at all responsive to changing anything about the Bed Race. Craig Gardner said he found the city was getting “more intrusive by shutting roads even sooner – they close Brant at 8 am when our folks arrive. We asked if they could close at 9 and were told no.”

Registration for volunteers is 7:30 to 8am, registration for runners is 8 am(located parallel to the parking lot on the west side of Spencer’s restaurant on the grassy area by the Terry Fox Monument.

Runners will leave at 9 am and walkers/strollers leave at 10 am.

Once again because of the use of waterfront trail sadly NO BIKES.

Terry Fox route - FINAL

Route map for the 36th annual Terry Fox Run – they have raised  millions for cancer research. The design work was done by the good people at Striped Aardvark – check them out.


The Terry Fox run is particular poignant this year – the recent passing of Casey Cosgrove who was one of the moving forces behind the installation of the 3582 km marker in Spencer Smith Park will draw additional hundreds to the event.

Times are

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It takes six figures to run an IBL ball team - nothing chump change about those dollars

sportsgold 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 12, 2017



After winning their first game of the season, well into the season the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL) Guelph Royals ownership decided to fold their tent.

The biggest reason was financial.

IBL_Horizontal_LogoIntercounty Baseball League commissioner John Kastner introduced the new owners of the Guelph Royals during a press conference Monday. The team will return to the league in 2018.

Burlington’s entry in the league, the Herd didn’t make it out of the quarter finals in the 2017 season. Our interest in the Royals situation is to give readers a sense of what it takes to run a baseball team in the league.

The Royals have been purchased from Jim Rooney by businessman Shawn Fuller along with Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie.

Fuller, who grew up in Guelph and now lives in Kitchener, has had a life-long relationship with the Royals and added “you can see my mom’s house” from the ballpark.

“To be clear, this is a passion project,” Fuller told Guelph Today. “I don’t see it as a money maker. I see it as doing something for the love of the game.

“It’s a six-figure budget to do this thing and to do it right …. I’m sure this thing loses money its first year, two years of operation. But we’re here to weather the storm. We’re here to build it.”

Royals ownership

New Guelph Royals owners Cam Guthrie, left, and Shawn Fuller, middle, pose with IBL commissioner John Kastner at Hastings Stadium Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Guthrie as Mayor of Guelph has got his photo ops set for the year. Photo by Tony Saxon/GuelphToday

Fuller and Guthrie take over a team that ceased operations in June after going 1-15 to start the season. The team had struggled for several years and also took a leave of absence in 2011.

Fuller, who worked in sales with BlackBerry for 10 years, is the owner of Canadawide Sports, a sports equipment distribution company that operates out of a 65,000 square-foot facility in St. George.

Kastner said Fuller contacted him the day after Rooney informed him he was folding the team and the process to get baseball back in Guelph began that day.

The six figure budget was what caught our attention. If that is what the owners of the Herd are putting into the team – our hats are off to them.



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Four Halton residents have tested positive for West Nile virus; threat exists until the first frost.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 11, 2017



Four Halton residents have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first human cases for Halton this year.



“The Halton Region Health Department works diligently to reduce the risk of West Nile virus in our community through both education and preventative programs such as larviciding. Until the fall frost, Halton residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites,” said Dr. Daniela Kempkens, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region.

“While 80 per cent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms, others will have West Nile fever consisting of fever, headache, muscle ache and a rash. If residents are concerned or experiencing symptoms, I would encourage them to visit their health care professional.”

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas and in places that hold standing water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires.

Residents are encouraged to take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

• Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
• Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.
• Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
• Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.
• Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects, where possible. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.

As part of its ongoing West Nile prevention program, Halton Region staff continually monitor areas of standing water, eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites and larvicide when mosquito larvae is found.

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City wants to know what you think about the Pop Up sites on Brant Street.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 12, 2017



It took a long time to actually get PopUp patios operating in the city.

Test kitchen - inside 21 tables

Outdoor dining – where few found the passing traffic to be a problem.

The first was at what used to be the Test Kitchen on Brant Street – they closed but not because of the PopUp.

Papa Giuseppe’s moved into the location and put up a PopUp patio that was popular.

Then the Coop that set up shop in what used to be the Rude Native location put a PopUp outside their restaurant on Brant Street.

The city wants to know what the public thinks of the things.

Test kitchen - Pop Up from the store side

They weren’t obtrusive and they weren’t inexpensive to install. Took the city years to make a decision and the uptake by the hospitality industry wasn’t all the high – just two locations.

The people who operate the restaurants that have PopUps outside would really like to city to lighten up on the rules and the paper work.

The survey is short – link to it is – you have until October 6th to say what you think.


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Learning Foundation provides a critical front line level of support to students in need - that need rose more than 15% between 2015 and 2016.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2017



They are in the classroom and that first week of being back at it is done for the high school students.

The teaching teams have done their updates and gotten caught up and now the getting on with the business of educating them and turning them into responsible, productive and accountable adults can begin.

But for some students – it isn’t going all that well. There will have been some disappointments, perhaps a disaster. A good teacher can spot the kid who is having a tough time with less than a glance.

They will look for a way to give the student a chance to talk – more often than not the teacher is already aware of the problems.


The Foundation works out of a portable – with the washrooms in a seperate building.

Sometimes it’s a school supplies issue, sometimes the student doesn’t have clothing – shoes are usually an issue for some students. And we aren’t talking about their having the latest fashion – we are talking about shoes that are not bursting at the seams.

Burlington is part of the Halton Learning Foundation, a group of people who are in place to do something about the needs of students who aren’t able to fend for themselves financially.

While Burlington is seen as a wealthy community that tolerates gas prices that are three to four cents higher per litre than in neighbouring communities, there are still a lot of people that live very close to, if not below, the poverty line

The cost of rental housing doesn’t help this part of the population either.

The close to dire financial straits for many households extends to those who are students.

Lesley Mansfield

Lesley Mansfield, Executive Director of the Halton Learning Foundation, presenting to the Board of Education.

The Halton Learning Foundation is headed up by Lesley Mansfield, a woman with solid experience in the private sector and the ability to make the needs known to those who can help.

Mansfield will tell you that if there is a student need and she is made aware of it by 10 am – she can have funds in the hands of a student by 3:00 pm

All the requests that come to her office get there via a call from a school principal.

Mansfield’s job is to administer the requests and then get out into the field and raise the funds. She isn’t at the chicken feed level. The Halton Learning Foundation is edging towards the million dollar operation.

Along with raising and allocating the funds she is also a full time advocate for the Foundation and the people that need help.

Mansfield is a big advocate of thanking people. She doesn’t just say thank you – she does what you would call a “full Monty” thank you.  Every donation to the Foundation is followed up with a report on how the funds were spent.

She looks you in the eye and let’s you know that what you have given is more than appreciated.

In 2015 the Foundation met 657 requests for help

In 2016 the figure was 780 – a 17% increase. Mansfield doesn’t see that number getting smaller.

Her approach is to say yes to every request – she relies on the input from the teachers who know the students better than anyone else.

Mansfield tells the Board of Trustees that the Foundation is their charity – “we are here to support your students in your schools”.

Lesley Mansfield

Lesley Mansfield serves as the Executive Director of the Halton Learning Foundation and is a consistent advocate for supporting students while they complete a high school education.

The Foundation is an arm’s length non-profit corporation that is linked with the school board but not a part of it. Her route to the classrooms and the students is through the Board of Education.

The Board provides space for the Foundation – in a portable with the washrooms in a separate building. Technical support and some maintenance is the sum total of what the Foundation gets from the Board of Education.

Mansfield realizes she is part of a larger community initiative. There is the Food4Kids organization that provides lunches for students. A number of churches in Burlington have meal programs; there is also a food banks that can be used.

The work the Halton Poverty Council does and the exceptional work Joey Edwardth does at Community Development Halton support the thinking and strategic planning that is essential for a city like Burlington as it struggles to come to grips with a problems that is growing.

There is a single solution to the poverty issue – give these people an income or the means to earn an income.

And to earn that income people need jobs.

And to get a decent job one needs an education.

HLF logoThe Foundation is the organization that ensures the essentials are available to students in our classrooms which makes HLF close to the critical fulcrum in the process of getting people out of poverty.
The people who work with those who have needs they cannot meet believe there is a single solution to the poverty issue – give these people an income or the means to earn an income.

And that is the level Lesley Mansfield works at. She provides the support for the students in the high schools who are working at getting an education so they can get jobs and earn the income they need to become productive citizens.

Their perspective is that getting an education means being able to go on the field trips; having the glasses they need to be able to see the white board or see the ball in the gymnasium. It means providing fees for being part of an extra-curricular group.

Lesley has dozens of stories about how the help gets to her office.  She gets a new one almost every day of the week.  Last year an organization learned of what the Foundation does – they were clothing manufacturers – and donated 400 good quality winter coats.

hlf-posterThe Foundation holds an annual Benefit Bash in November – it is their prime fund raising event.

Revenue levels have been fairly consistent – over $800,000 annually. Mansfield can see the need rising – it continues to increase in Halton which is why they have embarked upon a campaign to raise $1.6 million in the next four years. They want to continue to be able to say “yes” to every request that comes into HLF from the principals to help a student in need.


Sherry Armstrong handles marketing and promotion – and anything else that needs doing – for the Foundation

The Foundation is run by three people – their salaries are paid for by the Foundation. There is an opportunity there for the Board of Education to find a way to take on that cost so that there is more money getting into the hands that need it.

There is some lobbying needed to bring that about.

The HLF is part of an eco-system that does what it can to ensure that those with real day to day needs are served with dignity and respect.

This city is fortunate to have these people in place.

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Getting a trustee and a city council member to release the content of their texts during a school board meeting has yet to be productive.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 11th, 2017


The original headline on this article has been revised: a reader took exception to the use of the phrase: “pulling teeth from hens” which she felt was sexist.  We didn’t see it that way and that certainly wasn’t our intention.

This is begining to feel like we are trying to pull teeth from hens: just release the documents.

A number of weeks ago the Gazette asked Ward 1 and 2 school board trustee Leah Reynolds if she would send us the complete contents of the texts she sent and received from Marianne Meed Ward during the June 7th Board of Education meeting. That was the meeting at which the trustees decided to close two of the city’s seven high schools.

We asked the same question of Marianne Meed Ward who is member of city council and served on the Program Accommodation Review committee that was not able to arrive at a consensus or send a direction or recommendation to the Director of Education and to the trustees.

Some would argue that writing a direction or recommendation was not part of their mandate. So?

Everyone seems to share the view that the process was flawed – any comment from the members of that PARC would have been welcome – and might have given the trustees a clearer sense as to what was wrong with the process used.

Reynolds replied to our request with the following:

Reynolds with Roberts rules

Trustee Reynolds had a heavy book marked edition of Robert Rules of Order – clearly came to the meeting prepared to fight a procedural battle – with a parents who is also a member of city council “coaching” her from the public gallery.

Thank you for your question, which I would have gladly provided to you earlier if asked.

Before, during and after meetings, I – as do all trustees – receive messages, questions and concerns from constituents and parents. As confirmed by the Chair at the June 7th and the June 21st meetings that communication does not violate any code of conduct nor is it contrary to any Board policy. As elected officials, hearing from our communities is part of the democratic process and the right of constituents to freedom of expression. While I cannot control who or what information parents or constituents send me, it is my job to listen and to take it into consideration to inform my questions and decision.

School closure conversations are difficult and the decisions are not desired by all of the residents of our community. My remarks were recorded on June 7 on why I supported the director’s report. Let me know if you want them.

The question was – would she send the texts that were exchanged by Meed Ward and Reynolds – which she chose not to answer.

We asked the same question of Meed Ward – we copied each of them on the separate message sent which was as follows:

I am putting together an article on how the Board of Trustees arrived at the decision they did to close two of the city’s seven high schools.

The communication between you and Trustee Reynolds during the debate are part of that story. Would you be good enough to send me all of the texts that you sent to Reynolds during the meeting.

If you wish please feel free to add any comment on the context within which the texts were sent.
Thank you – hope you and the family had a great summer.

Meed Ward came back with:

There is nothing to send. There was no communication during debate of the school closure motions.
As has been previously explained, the communication via text was related to a procedural matter prior to any discussion of the motions themselves, specifically a ruling of the chair on what order motions would be heard.

MMW typing

Marianne Meed Ward texting messages to trustee Leah Reynolds during a Board of Education meeting. Some of the content appeared to be instructions on how to vote on a procedural matter.

There was never a risk of motions not being debated; the issue was simply in what order – simultaneously or sequentially. Getting procedure right protects the outcome of any subsequent vote, thus protecting everyone’s interests including those making this an issue.

The communication had nothing to do with the votes on the school closure motions themselves, and no impact on them.

In the end the chair’s ruling was upheld 7-4 by trustees, the debate and votes on the dual campus and school closures proceeded simultaneously for another three hours. There was no communication during these debates and votes.

My communication is no different than the many emails or texts that were sent by other parents to trustees through the meetings. What makes this different and why it has become a story is because someone read and photographed private correspondence, published it on social media, then misrepresented the substance of the text in a broadcast news story. There was no effort to contact me directly for the truth about the communication, simply a rush to judgment with the aim of social shaming, via the press and social media.

That Ms Meed Ward is precisely the point –part of what you texted was read and it didn’t look all that good. Let the public see every word that was passed between the two of you – they will figure it out.

Some folks have willingly engaged in character assassination as a tactic to save their school. I understand the emotions involved in having your school on the closure list – having lived with it for the previous 6 months. But the ends don’t justify the means. We need to do better than this, especially on difficult issues like school closures. Thankfully the vast majority of citizens have been respectful in sharing their views and making their case throughout this process with facts and evidence, and without personal attacks.

I think there is a splitting of hairs here – the little bit of the texting that the public was able to see appeared to be directions from Meed Ward to trustee Reynolds.

The Bateman community managed to interest CHCH television in the story.  The ran a piece on their newscast – link to that broadcast is HERE.

There is considerable concern within the community on just what happened. We have no idea what the two woman were up to. If there is a public concern both woman have an obligation to release whatever the content of the texts were – with time stamps on them.

Related news stories:

Bateman parents want an investigation.

Parents want trustee suspended.

Parent admits sending message – she wasn’t just any parent either



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Citizen suggests pulling the Downtown Core out of the Mobility Hub Process

opinionandcommentBy Rory Nisan

September 10, 2017



Part of what makes Burlington arguably the best suburb in the GTA is that, almost anywhere in the city, you are no more than twenty minutes from the Escarpment or the lake. Nature is at your doorstep, as is the culture of the downtown mixed with the expansive views of the water.

As many readers know, a provincial mandate to increase the city’s population combined with the decision to not build north of the Dundas/407 barrier means that Burlington will be growing “up” rather than “out”.

One of the prime places to just enjoy the city is on the north side of Lakeshore looking out over ther lake. This could be a social spot in almost anyone of the prime tourist destinations in Europe or North America - buit it is right here in Burlington.

One of the prime places to just enjoy the city is on the north side of Lakeshore looking out over the lake. When the weather is right – seats are hard to get.

The city’s plans for this growth have focused on “mobility hubs” around our three GO Train stations and, more controversially, the downtown corridor. The latter was destined to be the toughest sell: the downtown is not a true hub of mobility in 2017. The truth is that the downtown is a place people want to live for the lake, the restaurants and night life and the culture, not because it is a starting point for transportation to other destinations. Unlike the other three, the downtown is, by its nature, a destination hub first, a transportation one second.

There is an agenda to grow in the downtown core, and while it may in fact be good for the city as a whole, a bit of cognitive dissonance is required to buy into the mobility hub rationale.

When I attended a meeting about this downtown mobility hub this past Thursday, it was not surprising that the Art Gallery of Burlington’s largest hall was filled with interested and sometimes concerned local downtown residents.

Presentations from consultants began shortly after 7 pm, and it wasn’t long before the anxiety of the audience became evident. They did not wait long before interrupting the consultants to ask questions. After responding to a few of them, the consultants understandably implored the audience to let them get through their slides before taking any more.

However, when they finished a few minutes later, they handed workbooks out to the audience and left the microphone, taking no questions in front of the audience. Instead, city staff were deployed to the tables to answer questions in a small group format.

This conveniently prevented the consultants or the city from having to answer questions in front of the packed hall. The city staff patiently and diligently listened to attendees, responding to concerns and asking them to make their views known through the workbooks.

Concept 1 full build out looking north

Resident suggest that if “residential condo towers dominate the downtown core, the beauty of the area will be lost and the development initiative will become counterproductive.

I’m not sure what the consultants’ roles were, other than to fend off potentially embarrassing questions. They presented from prepared remarks for about half an hour and then we didn’t see them again.

Their job was, as is often the case, more about “having a consultation” than actually consulting. While the efforts of the city’s employees to answer queries was welcomed, at some point the city’s leadership will have to stand up and take some heat from area residents. Otherwise, a sense that they were not heard will prevail, and the social licence required for such a large remaking of the downtown will not be given.

Most of the attention focused on the many maps provided, outlining different districts that were often non-contiguous. It became unwieldy trying to understand what the consequences would be at the street level. Still, there was a lot of thought put into the detailed maps and it works as a basis for further discussion.

Several residents wondered whether views of the lake would be further blocked by high rises. The answer: quite possibly. The Old Lakeshore Road Precinct is marked for mid- and high-rises up to 15 storeys.

Rahoons Persian Eatery at Village Square won Best Overall Award.

Rahoons Persian Eatery at Village Square has won awards for its menu and service. One of the city’s most under utilized locations.

As an uptown resident, I want to see the downtown to become an even better destination for all Burlington residents to enjoy. Having more people in the core, if done right, can lead to more thriving businesses and great energy. The downtown looks great on a sunny summer or fall weekend, but it’s a bit of a ghost town in the winter. I see the Village Square as a test of the vibrancy of the downtown. It is a beautiful business centre, reminiscent of the romantic squares of Europe but it has yet to become the thriving destination it deserves to be.

That being said, while adding residents to the core is important for business and culture, if residential condo towers dominate the downtown core, the beauty of the area will be lost and the development initiative will become counterproductive. This is a real risk — one need only look down the QEW to the cold condos along the lake in Toronto.

This would be exacerbated if the City is serious about making the downtown a commuter area — that will attract investors rather than residents and we then risk the high vacancy rates predominant in Vancouver.

We need a made-in-Burlington solution for the downtown and the first step would be more transparency from the City’s planners and leadership on its vision for the area and real consultation with decision-makers, not outside consultants.

The first step should be to pull the downtown core out of the Mobility Hub process in recognition that this area is unique from the real mobility hubs and needs special attention. We are not talking about building a mobility hub around the John Street Bus Terminal. We are talking about permanently altering the character of the downtown area. It’s time to get serious.

There was a time when LAkeshore was known as Water Street and traffic was a little slower. But Burlington isn't a sleepy little town anymore - traffic has toi be controlled.

There was a time when Lakeshore was known as Water Street and traffic was a little slower.

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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Trustee Reynolds provides her rationale for voting to have Bateman and Pearson high schools closed.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 10th, 2017



The Gazette has been communicating electronically with Board of Education trustee Leah Reynolds about the texts that took place between Reynolds and Marianne Meed Ward, a PAR member while it existed. The texts were exchanged during the Board meeting at which the decision was made to close two of the city’s seven high schools. That request for that information has yet to be reported on.

While waiting for the text data, Ward 1 and 2 Halton Board of Education trustee Leah Reynolds sent in the following comment on her controversial vote for the closing of two of the seen high schools in Burlington.

Leah Reynolds with students

Board of Education trustee for \Wards 1 and 2 Leah Reynolds in discussion with students from Central high school.

Reynolds represents Central High school which was on the original list of schools recommended for closure. The Director of Education revised his list of recommendations and removed Central and added Bateman, Pearson was on the original list and remained on that list.

Reynolds provides some background on the decision making process she went through.

“In October of 2016 I did not support engaging a Program Accommodation Review (PAR) . My concern at that time was the recommendation excluded an important stakeholder (representation from grade 7 and 8). Notwithstanding that roughly one third of both schools population receive programming directly within Aldershot and Burlington Central schools, this group had no right to voice opinion on the high school closure at the PAR discussion table.” Reynolds said at the time that “This revised motion does not negatively impact these Grades 7 and 8 students.”

“Through the PAR discussions, I learned the extent in which Burlington students lacked equity of opportunity in program and as pointed out by my trustee peers – also across Halton. Low enrolments at 5 out of 7 high schools meant students can’t get the classes they need. Since the future of our children depends on what they are exposed to having a variety of course selections including skilled trades in every high school is paramount. We know that critical mass is important to allow students voice and choice and to provide multiple pathway options and to graduate. To obtain needed courses, Burlington students are confronted with the prospect of changing schools, taking classes online, attending summer schools or even taking another year of school.”

“This report (the revised recommendation) speaks to the importance of maintaining a community school in each area of Burlington. The overlapping geographical catchment of Bateman and Nelson and MM Robinson and Pearson allows students to receive programming within their local community. It also provides a new state of the art purpose-built composite school in the South and increased programming in the North. This report speaks to the values of delivering education closer to where students live, thus reducing bus ride times. All of the changes are meant to improve the delivery of the mandatory Ontario English curriculum.”

“Currently, we are spending money keeping underutilized buildings open that could be used to improve programming for all students. In light of the information learned throughout the PAR including the many emails and phone calls I have gotten from parents and students, I believe this recommendation puts the best interests of all student first, for the long term.”

“I recognize” said Reynolds that “ some will not be happy I have changed my position on school closures and weighed my decision on sound facts. This is not about me, it’s about what is in the best interest of all HDSB students.”

MMW + Leah Reynolds

City Councillor Marianne Meed Ward at her nomination meeting in 2014 with Leah Reynolds who was nominated at the same time for the Board of trustees

Full disclosure: During 2016 I spent time with Leah Reynolds mentoring her on the role of a city Councillor. Directed her to significant city of Burlington publications: Procedural bylaw, copies of the Operational and Capital budget binders and discussed with her the Standing Committee structure as well as what was entailed in serving as a Regional Councillor.

Reynolds was interested in moving from her role as a trustee to that of a city Councillor. We met on five or six occasions – always in a coffee shop for several hours on each occasion.

Those mentoring meetings ended when the PAR process began.

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Experiencing how a community rallies to support a devastated family.

One of the younger runners enters the home stretch of the Terry Fox 5k run. Many his age did a second go around to make it a 10k run.

One of the younger runners enters the home stretch of the Terry Fox 5k run. Many his age did a second go around to make it a 10k run.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Par

September 9th 2017



The way in which a community comes together to support a family that has been devastated is something to behold.

Hundreds upon hundreds of people in Burlington and those involved in any way with what Casey Cosgrove did in and for Burlington, have rallied and moved in to support the family during a very hard time.

Daughter Kate, who now wants to be called XXX, on the lft with wife Bryana centre and Casey on the right figuring out which streets in Alton were covered.

Casey with his wife and daughter out on the streets in the Alton community distributing flyers door to door for the Terry Fox run – this was in 2013.

One group has taken on the task of preparing meals.

Another has set up a Gofundme campaign to raise funds to ensure that the three children are able to complete their education.

Last week the lineup of people at the Wave Twin Rinks, Pub 21 wound down the stairs and outside the building; an amazing turnout.

One can only guess at how many people are going to show up at the annual Terry Fox run on Sunday the 17th – everyone will be a Team Casey participant.

A few hours after the run there will be a celebration of Casey’s life at the Burlington Convention Centre on Burloak between 4 and 6 pm.

The people who set up the Gofundme account described what they were setting out to the with the Memorial Education Fund.

“After being diagnosed in 2010 with stage 4 Lung Cancer and enduring a courageous 7 year battle against all odds, our dear Casey has left us to battle on without him. Ever optimistic and ready to push headlong into the next trial, Casey showed us all the true meaning of courage, bravery, positivity, spirit, and strength. Casey always donated his time and energy to several community causes and was ever present as a Champion for the Terry Fox Foundation, working tirelessly to help bring the Terry Fox Mile Marker to Burlington. He touched hundreds of people, leaving a lasting impression of what a true Hero is. Any contributions that can be made to help with educational costs for his three loving children Evan, Jack and Kate would be greatly appreciated.

The Casey Cosgrove Memorial Education fund web site is HERE

Our last interview with Casey Cosgrove.

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Gazette to be held accountable by National Newsmedia Council.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2017



The Gazette is a member of the National NewsMedia Council

We became members when the organization it was known as the Ontario Press Council – at that time we were one of the earlier online newspaper accepted into member unanimously by the Board of Directors at that time.

We pay an annual fee to be members – it isn’t cheap.

The National NewsMedia Council (NNC) does not impose its own code of practice. Instead, it expects members to adhere to their own or some generally-accepted code of journalistic standards, practice and ethics.

nnc logo with glassesIn considering a complaint, the NNC has regard for a cascading set of criteria that includes the news organization’s own code of conduct; generally-accepted national and regional journalistic standards; standards such as those of the Canadian Press and the Canadian Association of Journalists; such legal or ethical guidelines as appropriate; and any other considerations deemed valid by the Board.

The NNC promotes media ethics and responsible journalism through our mediation services, pre-publication advising, and outreach.

One of the prime purposes of the NNC is the provision of a place people can go to and air complaints they have about how media has treated them.

This is a valuable public service that is needed – media have to be held to account.

The NNC works diligently to get both sides of the story and they issue a statement that can be either:

An upheld complaint.
Dismissed complaints.
Dismissed with reservations.
Resolved due to corrective action taken.

As NNC members the Gazette is expected to publish any decision made to the Council.

NNC landing

National Newsmedia Council advertisement that promotes the purpose of the Council.

In the past several months there have been two complains made to the NNC about material published in the Gazette.

Both relate to the closing of two of the city’s seven high schools – and in each case the matter came from the Bateman community.

The fist was a complaint that we violated our privacy policy – which we in fact did. We published the name of an individual who has chosen a pen name rather than his own in a comment he made related to a Gazette article.

We later learned that the individual was a member of a Board of Education Advisory committee who we felt was hiding behind the pen name rather than letting readers of his comments know where his thinking was comment from.

We were asked by the NNC to apologize for braking our own rules which we did and that matter was closed.

Since then the Gazette has announced that it is in the process of changing its privacy policy; quite what form that policy change will take has not yet been determined.

We want to provide a form for people to air their views. We regret that frequently some people use a pen name and attempt to”game” the process. A number of news organizations have given up on a comments section. We are not prepared to go quite that far.

The second complaint is much more complex – it relates to a matter of fairness and just how much we did to ensure that we were fair and complete in our reporting.

The prime concern appears to be that we did not name the person we were reporting about but that anyone could read between the lines and determine who it was. Perception and reality are not the same thing.

Unhappy parentIn our conversations with staff at the NNC they understand and appreciate that the closing of a high school is a very emotional issue and feelings come to the surface quickly. The situation at Bateman is very, very hard for many of the parents who have children in the Community Pathways Program to deal with.

We won’t comment further on this until the National Newsmedia Council has issued their decision, which we are advised will be before the end of the month. We hope at that time that we can name the individual, publish the content of the complaint and the Council decision which we will abide by.

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Guelph Royals have new owners - details on Monday.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

September 9th, 2019



The Guelph Royals chose to drop out of the playing schedule during the regular season in June – at that time they had not won just a single game.

Royals pitcher

Pitching just wasn’t what it needed to be.

There was no reason given for the abrupt decision to cease operations.

Royal web site banner

It was a team that at one point was the IBL Champions on nine occasions.

The InterCounty Baseball League (IBL) announced on Friday that they would hold a media event in Guelph on Monday during which they would confirm that new ownership has been found for the Guelph Royals and outline plans for the future direction for the team.

The IBL has worked with former team owner Jim Rooney in the search for new ownership. They appear to have succeeded.

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Mayor hitting the radio waves to tell the Burlington story - part of it is apparently bubble wrapped.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 9th, 2019



He is in the process of becoming a media star, the “go to guy” if you want a comment on how municipalities are going to handle the demand for housing.

Goldring - Christmas picture

Mayor’s 2015 Christmas card picture.

The Mayor was on CBC twice this week- once with Anna Maria Tremonti on The Current, where we learned that the Mayor was one of the Regional Council members who voted for a program that would have the Region paying for a large part of the cost of a back flow valve, that prevents water from your home’s sewer line from flowing back into the plumbing when there is heavy rains.   On August 4th 2014 there were heavy rains.

The Mayor told Tremonti that he as one of the Regional Council members who put his hand up and voted yes.

Unfortunately for the Mayor he was not one of the people who took advantage of that opportunity and when the city was severely flood on August 4th, 2014 he got five feet of water in his basement while his next door neighbour, who had a back flow valve was reported to have been dry.

Goldring on CBCHaving told the The Current audience (the program is broadcast nationally) the Mayor was then heard on CBC’s Metro Morning with Matt Galloway where he explained what the city manager meant when he said Burlington was not going to be able to build any more single family dwellings because the city has run out of land.

Land use in Burlington is made up of 50% rural, 34% traditional suburban housing, 11% employment lands and the 5% of the city that is not going to have any high rise structures.

The Mayor told the world that a decision was made in 2006 to protect the escarpment and not allow the creation of sub-divisions north of the Hwy 407 – Dundas roadways.

The full interview is HERE

During his conversation with Galloway the Mayor said there was a range of views on the change that is taking place in the city. He used the phrase “bubble wrapped” to describe those who did not want to see any change in the structure of the city.

Interesting interview – worth listening to. You can arrive at your own conclusions as to whether this Mayor reflects your view of your city.

Goldring tweet

In one of his tweets the Mayor appears to be telling his followers that he is going to run for mayor in 2018. Why else would he put quote marks around the word “running”

The Mayor is clearly upping his game and doing everything he can to get a bit of a leg up on the race for the Office of Mayor that will be decided in October of 2018. Expect at least two people to run against him.

Goldring selfySometime ago he wanted the citizens of the city to know that he was a transit advocate and once rode the bus to work – and posted a selfie so that people would know he was actually on the bus.

The releasing of this picture to the public is something the Mayor might have run by his communications adviser.

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Builder's association not prepared to support the draft OP because it doesn’t provide the information their members need to do business here.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 8, 2017



Susan HHHBA 2

Suzanne Mammel Executive Officer Hamilton Halton Home Builders Association

Suzzane Mammel is a pretty direct woman; trained as an engineer, she was dealing in planning matters before a city council committee when she made the point that her association Hamilton Halton Home Builders, “can’t be supportive of this OP, because it doesn’t provide the information our members need to do business here.

“We applaud the efforts to have a new Official Plan that meets the needs of all parties, this isn’t it.
This was basically the theme that came through her presentation to city council – it isn’t complete – far from it and the time line in place to get it complete is far too short.

Mammel, the Executive Officer of the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association, explained that they spent considerable time reviewing the document, meeting with staff, and providing comments, both on big picture and detailed issues.

Mammel was telling city council and staff that “the OP is important to how the City grows in the future, and it’s very important to get it right.”

“We are very supportive of the City’s initiative to create a new official plan that guides how our City continues to grow in the years to come, and addresses the new realities the City is facing: growth via intensification versus the greenfield type of developments that have dominated in recent decades, and new mandated growth targets and densities imposed by the Province to meet the Growth Plan.

Project - banner -

The city has a lot on the go – many are asking if the Planning department has bitten off more than they can chew.

“We recognize that this is a bit of a daunting task. The policies need to firstly meet these mandated targets, and those from the Regional OP, while at the same time attempting to balance the needs and desires of the City’s businesses and residents, residents like me. In a letter to this committee in June, I noted that “we believe that the title of the document “Growing Bold”, and its correlation to similar themes under the City’s strategic plan are applaudable but must be unapologetic, and guide future applicants to successfully provide economically feasible, quality developments that are in keeping with big picture City goals, and that marry the City’s vision with the growth targets mandated by higher order government.”

Our membership need a strong and solid document that directs how growth should occur.
There are many moving parts, and it is not as easy as an outsider may think. She added that the mandated time frame staff was given to bring this draft forward resulted in an OP that is incomplete.

James Ridge Day 1 - pic 2

Burlington city manager James Ridge

“One of the initial comments and concerns we raised, and the biggest concern with this draft document, was a lack of critical information: information that if absent in the OP, does not provide the level of detail required by any applicant to understand if they are in conformance with an OP. I asked for it formally and in writing of staff. I noted it in a meeting I had with the City Manager and Director of Planning in June, and I noted it in my formal submission to this committee at the end of June.

“ What population growth has been achieved to date (relative to the targets set in the Regional OP and the densities set for urban growth centers and mobility hubs in the original and updated Growth Plan), what remains to achieve these targets and where will that growth occur. We understand this information is being developed but believe the information is absolutely critical before finalizing the mobility hub Area Specific Plans or the Official Plan”
“To date this information has not been provided, nor am I aware that it is available” she said. “There has been an attempt to address it – we’ve been referred to reports done to support specific OMB appeals with respect to downtown, and anecdotally we’ve been told such things like – we’re confident we’ll reach the numbers.


A critical document – are we getting it right?

This just isn’t good enough. It is critical to getting this whole thing right and therefore should be foremost in the approach to the OP and included in it in a clear and obvious way, like it is in the Official Plans of our neighbours like Hamilton and Oakville.

While there is a lot of policy and vision included in the document, what good is it if it fails to achieve the mandated growth? It begs the question: why was it not included?

This is a new and full OP, and should be the document in which this information is contained. It will be the document of reference in the future. It generally indicates that growth is to be directed firstly to the downtown – being the urban growth centre, the three remaining mobility hubs, uptown, and then corridors, and to a lesser extent, modest intensification into existing neighbourhoods. What it fails to answer is those critical questions I noted a couple minutes ago, including what portion of growth should and will be apportioned to each of these areas.

The approach of directing growth to the areas chosen is a good one. We are mandated by the Province to have a minimum level of density in the urban growth centre, and mobility hubs – it is economically appropriate to direct densities to those significant investments. But the big picture numbers to make these areas successful are not available.

How can we move forward with detailed studies, like is happening in the mobility hubs, without knowing if those concepts are achieving the required minimum targets we are expected to achieve?

Tanner and Taylor at June 21-17 workshop

Mary Lou Tanner, educated as a geographer and now the Chief of the Planning department has more on her plate that many in the development business feel can be done within the tie frames in place. She explains a point to Councillor John Taylor

Which refers me back to the daunting task. Some have and will say, the City has put the cart before the horse. The process taken elects to do things concurrently, which in theory may be fine. I acknowledge that we are in a state of flux, but that is not justification for not including any substantiating detail.

But without these big picture numbers, there is no ability for an applicant to understand if they are in conformity with the OP, if decisions made by a proponent on densities proposed are appropriate, too much, or too little, or what the justification is for a decision made by the City when advising an applicant has got it wrong.
When you combine these with the provincial landscape, changes to the Planning Act that prevent an OP amendment to be submitted within two years of the date of this OP being approved, and the likelihood of changes to the OMB which would limit appeals to those decisions which lack conformity to the OP, it is even more critical that this base information be provided.

Mobility hubs

The mobility hub concept was to be the way the Official Plan would be implemented – some developers think the city has put he cart before the horse.

Detailed land use permissions are being envisioned through the Mobility Hub study – which is essentially a secondary planning process. This is appropriate. This is a finer level of detail than an OP. The draft document itself says “the Official Plan provides high level direction on land use, built form and density ranges”, which I note are not provided.

Arial of city with Hamilton Harbour

An aerial look at the west side of the city with Hamilton Harbour in the background.

However, in many instances, the document strays from this intent and as noted numerous times above, is lacking in critical information, at other times it delves into the minutiae of development issues, that are better left for such documents as a site specific zoning bylaw or a site plan guideline.

Sometimes a little dose of sarcasm is needed to make a point.  Mammel pointed out that the level of detail in an OP could render an application out of conformity, and with no recourse to amend or appeal, given the current situation we are in, details such as site lighting, fencing and loading dock locations, are “I hope we can all agree, not Official Plan level issues.

The reality said Mammel is that “we can’t be supportive of this OP, because it doesn’t provide the information our members need to do business here, to understand what will be required of them.

Andrea Smith

Andrew Smith the planner tasked with the writing of the Official Plan that is currently in draft form. The time line they have given Smith is seen as far too tight.

Staff require more time to put together a fulsome document. But there seems to be a systemic problem here – the approach and timelines currently being applied to all significant changes being undertaken by the Planning Dept. It is frankly too rushed.

We have respectfully asked for details, rationale, and justification through many of these processes, including the Official Plan. But time hasn’t allowed, and the formal documents are rushing forward. The concern is this: whether it be the OP, concepts for Mobility Hubs, or any other document introduced to the public, the public perceives it to already have that substantiation and justification complete and available. And it isn’t.

“We are asked to comment and consult, yet the information we require to do a proper job isn’t available to us. It puts us in a very difficult position. And it is making our members feel that their input and comments are irrelevant – because the end product is made public before that background information can be reviewed and vetted.”

In summary, “while we applaud the efforts to have a new Official Plan that meets the needs of all parties, this isn’t it. We are not able to support a document that has the significant gaps and concerns this one currently does.”

Mammel is pleased that there is going to be a second draft – “today is the first time I heard that – we’d previously been told the next step is intended to be the final document”

The only firm date is that the final version is to be approved is November 28th.

Not only is the HHHBA not prepared to support the OP as it stands – she advised council that, her association would appeal the plan unless considerable amendments are made in advance of it being approved by this committee and council.

That would be a line drawn in the sand.

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Regional Chair Gary Carr getting very social - why now?

News 100 redBy Staff

September 8th, 2017



The kids figured out Social Media years ago – our Regional Chair has decided this is a train he can now climb aboard.

Regional Chair Gary Carr wants people to know that he is out there and available and wants to hear from you.

Gary CarrConnect with me on social media

Learn about Regional initiatives and discover events in your community when you connect with me on social media. Receive timely updates on Council’s work as I provide an inside perspective on how our projects reflect resident priorities.

You can find me on the following channels:

Twitter: @garycarrhalton
Facebook: gary.carr.50
LinkedIn: garycarrhalton

You can also share your thoughts and feedback by emailing I look forward to connecting with you—by working together, we help keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

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Some detail on the school closing Administrative Review are becoming clearer.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 8th, 2017



There isn’t going to be just the one Administrative Review – there will be separate reviews for each of the two high schools that took exception to the Board of Education to close them.

A response from the Ministry said they have “approved two separate requests for administrative reviews of the Halton DSB’s Burlington Secondary Program and Pupil Accommodation Review (PAR) involving Robert Bateman High School and Lester B. Pearson High School.

“The ministry reviewed the requests and determined that both met the criteria for the appointment of a facilitator to undertake an administrative review.

Protest outside board office

Pearson was at risk from the very beginning.

They further advised that the “selection process for the facilitator to lead this review is underway and the successful candidate will be appointed as soon as possible. Once appointed, the ministry informs the lead petitioner and the board.

“The facilitator will be focused on reviewing the board’s accommodation review process and its consistency with the board’s accommodation review policy. Upon selection, it will be up to the facilitator to determine the overall course and structure of the review.

Timelines will depend on the circumstances in each review and the findings of the reviewers.

PAR HDSB Parents at Bateman

Bateman high school had a very tough time overcoming the time they lost during the early stages of the PAR –  Program Accommodation Review. They had a strong story – it just wasn’t being told.

Sources within the Board of Education said that their role is to comply with the direction from the facilitator and that from past experience that person is usually wither a former Director of Education or a lawyer with experience in administrative law.

There are no public hearings – the facilitator will meet with the parent group from each school and the appropriate people at the Board level.

The facilitator chosen has a considerable amount of leeway in deciding how to proceed.
We are told that these reviews “tend to be paper heavy.

The report prepared usually has two parts: A recommendation as to what if any action should be taken and some commentary on what the facilitator believes actually happened.

One of the concerns coming out of the Board of Education is that the Ministry of Education may be dealing with bigger issues and that the Halton matter might get tangled up in those political machinations.

McMahon - First public as Minister

Few parents feel the Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon did all that much to advance their cause – something that might be regretted come next June.

The Ministry has put a pause on any future PAR’s until there is an internal review of that process which is seen as “fundamentally flawed”. The pause was put in place 22 days after the Halton decision was made.

The timing of the Administrative Reviews could become a concern with a provincial election due in June.

The last Administrative Review hat Halton had to deal with was referred to as a “truncated” event which took just the months.

The Burlington situation is not going to get resolved in two months – six to eight is seen as the more likely time frame which gets perilously close to the election date.

The Ministry might choose to let the election take place and then deliver whatever there is going to be in the way of a recommendation.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks at the hearings into the gas plant cancellations at Queen's Park in Toronto on December 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne speaks at the hearings into the gas plant cancellations at Queen’s Park in Toronto on December 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch

There are parents that like that idea – hoping they will be able to impact the provincial election in June to change the provincial member for Burlington – which is a very wild stretch of imagination – except that the Premier is in the middle of two rather messy criminal trials that have the potential to change the way the wind blows.

There are parents who believe that if a decision can be put off until the municipal election in October of 2018 they can elect different trustees who could theoretically reverse the decision.

There are people who have already decided to contest several of the Board of Trustee seats.

Sticky wickets indeed.

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If you need a wingman - James Burchill is there for you - he's serious!

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 7th, 2017



B2B Networking works and according to a research study from the Rogers Business School “82% of New Business Leads Come From Networking.”

Many people are uncomfortable with networking simply because they don’t know what to say or how to introduce themselves smoothly into a conversation. Instead they stand around checking their smartphone, sipping their drink and wondering what the heck they’re doing there!

You need a networking wingman.

A what?

James Birchill with one of his regular networkers.

James Birchill with one of his regular networkers.

James Burchill is prepared to be your networking wingman He will attend events with you, introduce you, spark the conversation (and when necessary – keep it going) and guide the conversation away from “unprofitable” topics like pets, vacations and so on.

“If you’re a veterinarian then we’ll talk about pets! And if you’re a travel agent then vacations are a go-to topic also.”

He will also “save you” if you get trapped in a conversation with “that guy” or “that girl” who simply won’t stop talking and wasting your precious time.

“I’ll be your walking, talking personal promoter: Your Networking Wingman

Burchill is serious. He will be your wingman – and not in some pushy, cheesy manner, but in a natural, easy-going way that leaves people feeling good about you and your conversation together.

If you’d like more support ask me about the monthly coaching program where I’ll help you tune up your approach, tighten your offer and help you build a lead generating sales funnel that automatically follows up flawlessly while you enjoy your newfound networking mojo!

How Does This Work? Get in touch  – If there’s a fit and you want his help, he will do his best to fit you into dates and times you’d like his networking wingman services.

Before the event he will chat on the phone (or Skype) and review your goals and objectives for the event. He will also discuss your business, your lead generation strategy, get briefed on things you want to promote and things you want to avoid.


James Burchill – wingman

“On the day, I’ll arrive at the event at the agreed time. I’ll pay my own entry costs and parking along with any food and drink I consume. We will briefly review our approach and then it’s “go time” and for the remainder of the event I’ll be there at your side (barring bathroom breaks!) guiding you through the entire event, introducing you to people, starting conversations, talking up your achievements and looking for opportunities to gently promote you and get you leads.”

“If you wish, at a suitable point in the event, he will take a photo together and post this later on his social media and include your links and hashtags. This promotional consideration is currently included at NO CHARGE.

“According to Social Blue Book, the average value of one photo Tweet on my profile is USD$175

“If this was a solo wingman service event, then we’ll spend ~15 minutes on the phone reviewing how things went and discussing how you can best leverage the event and any leads you garnered.

If you want people to be part of your team - make them feel like they are part of your team. James Burchill, on the right, drafted Mayor Goldring, centre and Performing Arts centre Operations manager Graham Frampton as part of his team. It worked very well.

If you want people to be part of your team – make them feel like they are part of your team. James Burchill, on the right, drafted Mayor Goldring, centre and former Performing Arts centre Operations manager Graham Frampton as part of his team.

“If you’re part of my coaching program we will debrief more thoroughly and review the contacts made and the effectiveness of your lead generating approach. We will fine tune it and get ready for the next event. We will also discuss any follow up emails you may wish to send.

“The solo (1 event) wingman service is currently being offered at a special introductory price of just $149 +tax.

Monthly coaching programs start at $499 and include 2 bi-weekly (45min) sessions and 2 event wingman supported events (up to 90mins each event.)

Burchill is serious!

You can reach him at James Burchill <>

Burchill describes himself as a best selling author or MEETUPOLOGY and the founder of the Social Fusion Network (SFN). Launched in 2012, SFN quickly became a popular b2b networking event in the Halton/GTA area regularly attracting hundreds of people to the monthly events. James has since written another book about b2b networking, launched another social networking group and is working on another networking project: the “90DayNetwork.”

James is considered a leading authority on b2b networking and regularly speaks about and coaches small business and entrepreneurs how to connect and convert their conversations into cash.

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