Biggest public feed fest of the year - ribs and entertainment for all and now a VIP tent.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

August 27, 2017



If you are putting together your schedule for the week don’t forget RibFest –

Friday September 1st through to Sunday September 3rd, 2017 – 11AM – 11PM

Monday September 4th – 11AM – 7PM

Sponsored by the Lakeshore Rotary club – a sixty strong membership that makes the event happen every year. This time they have made some changes to the model – not the menu.

If you looked around there was still some sitting room. The weather was close to perfect and the music was good - great way to bring a summer to a close.

Burlington’s Ribfest – If you looked around there was still some sitting room. The weather was close to perfect and the music was good – great way to bring a summer to a close.

The event is the major fund raising initiative for the Lakeshore Rotary. In 2014 – the year of the flood – the Rotary used the occasion to raise funds for those families that had been wiped out by the flood. It was successful enough for the Association to look for new ways to serve the community.

This year the focus is on the Carpenter Hospice which is in the process of close to doubling the size of the facility.

Carriage Gate VIP tent

VIP tent – open to the public Sunday afternoon and evening.

A VIP tent has been set up, courtesy of Carriage Gate Homes, that will be open to the public Sunday afternoon and evening. Your ticket, available on line, gets you a spot at the front of the line to buy your selection of ribs and then saunter over to the VIP tent and enjoy the chow where the beverage selection is a little more varied – includes some specialty cocktails.

This is a Sunday only occasion – the tent is open to the public. It is a space that is sheltered, has a great site line to the stage and a bar that has an upscale selection of beverages. And, an upscale biffy.

More details on the ticket offering for this can be found HERE.

The event will serve up the same ribs people in Burlington have been enjoying since 1996 when there were less than ten ribbers offering a food that was new to many.

While it rained most of the one day event in 1996 – it was successful enough financially for the Rotary to make a long term commitment.

That commitment has resulted in the raising of more than $3 million – nothing shabby about that number.

Related news story.


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Not all the summer vacation stories that students tell will be what we like to hear.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 27th, 2017



Students returning to school next week will bring with them stories of their summer holiday experience.

A time that is care free, less demanding than days when classrooms are open – it is a rest time, a time to grow and have new experiences.


Exploring, growing – reflecting – summer vacation.

There will be some really nice stories told about adventures and perhaps some travel.

It will not be this way for all the students that show up for class on the 5th of September.

Some students live lives that are a lot different; sometimes close to tragically different.

Michael, a high school student is being raised by the one parent –his Dad Jim.

Michael’s mom is incarcerated. Jim has to work two jobs to make ends meet so that he and his son will not have to go into a shelter.

Dealing with the emotional fall out of having a parent in jail is tough enough. Keeping a household together is another burden. Jim has not purchased any new clothes or non-essentials for himself for several years so he could ensure Michael was taken care of.

Halton Learning FoundationWhen the school Michael attends became aware of the family situation and the impact it was having on Michael, they were able to turn to the Halton Learning Foundation for help.

Funds from the Foundation will allow Michael to purchase new shoes, gym clothes and school supplies that his Father just isn’t able to provide.

Those Learning Foundation funds come from the generous support of people in the Region who provide the dollars needed to fill in the gaps that some parents can’t manage.

When the Foundation comes looking for financial support – be there for them so that they can be there for others; people like Michael, the high school student going through a very difficult time.

You can help: A click away.

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Barrie Baycats appear to be heading for a four game IBL streak with a 13-4 win in game 2.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

August 27th, 2017



That there is a place for semi-pro baseball in this province – there is no doubt.

Baycats batter - Photo by Young

Barrie Baycat’s batters did this more often than any other team in the InterCounty Baseball league – the team lost just two games in the regular season.

More than 1,200 fans packed the Jack Couch Park and saw the Barrie Baycats take a two-game lead in the IBL final with a 13-4 win over the Kitchener Panthers Saturday night.

Game 3 is Sunday night in Barrie.

The objective has always been to make the ball games a family event - winning more gsames and naking it past the first round of the finals would be nice too. Scott Robertson would like to see a better playing field with upgraded public facilities - but for now he is happy to see fathers, sone and Mom out at the ball park.

Limited seating at the Nelson ball park.

Can you imagine that many fans showing up for a game in Burlington? The ball park at Nelson could hold – perhaps 300.

We don’t know how many Burlington baseball fans are taking in these IBL final games – we do know that if there are any they are seeing great baseball.


Future games
Sunday, Aug. 27
Kitchener at Barrie, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 29
Barrie at Kitchener, 7:30 p.m.

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Suspect doesn't appear to understand gas stations have security cameras.

Crime 100By Staff

August 25th, 2017



Police in Burlington are seeking assistance from the public to identify one person responsible for forcing entry into a vehicle, stealing items including a wallet and later using stolen credit cards at several businesses in the Hamilton area.

Overnight between August 12th to 13th 2017, the suspect forced open the driver’s door of a vehicle on Angus Court, in Burlington to gain entry. Once inside, the suspect rummaged through the glove-box and removed the vehicle owner’s wallet.

Shortly after 8:00 AM on August 13th 2017, the suspect used the stolen credit cards at a Pioneer Gas Station near Woodward Avenue and Barton St in Hamilton.

Suspect:  white male, 25-35 years of wearing a New England Patriots baseball cap, black t-shirt and black shorts.

Theft suspect 1

Someone is going to recognize this young man – Hopefully it will not be his Mother.

Suspect 2

Close up of the suspect.

Theft from autos continues to be a concern in Burlington and police would like to remind the public to ensure their vehicles are locked and avoid leaving valuables inside and/or in plain view. Police also encourage citizens to report any suspicious persons.

Anyone who can identify this suspect are encouraged to contact Detective Constable Tyler Freeman of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Residential Crime Team at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2363. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Police want to know if anyone in Burlington had any dealings with a male arrested for scamming people in Oakville.

Crime 100By Staff

August 25th, 2017



The Regional police thought that most of the scams took place in Oakville but decided to cast the net a little wider and are asking Burlington residents if they have had any dealings with a male who was arrested and charged with:

Fraud Under $5000 x 9

Fraud Over $5000 x 1

HRPS crestHalton Regional Police are seeking the public’s assistance to speak with Burlington residents who may be victim’s and had contact with Elwood Bowler on their property to complete eaves trough repair, tree cutting, roofing or other home maintenance.

Police are investigating one known occurrence in the City of Burlington and believe there may be more victims who paid for contractor services they did not receive. Bowler generally targeted older adult home owners in Halton Region.

The arrest was the result of a seven month fraud investigation involving a male posing as a handyman.
This male canvassed his victims by traveling door-to-door and offering such services as eaves trough cleaning and offering to conduct miscellaneous work such as chimney repair.

On multiple occasions this male retained cash deposits for the promised jobs which he failed to complete. This male generally targeted the older adult population.

On August 23, 2017 Elwood BOWLER (54 years) from Toronto was arrested and charged.

Anyone who may have information pertaining to this investigation is asked to please contact the Elders Investigator, Detective Constable Tim Nichols at 905-825-4747 ext. 2214.

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An upscale biffy at Ribfest is part of the VIP tent.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 25th, 2017



They are changing the model – not the menu. And it isn’t a big change but significant nevertheless.

The Rotary decided that since they donate all profits to charities anyway, why not partner up front with meaningful, significant Burlington charities.

Carpenter Hospice holds a special place in the hearts of Rotarians and for most Burlingtonians. So, The Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore chose Carpenter Hospice as it’s organization of choice for this year’s VIP event.

The Rotary Clubs in Burlington were the force behind the original capital campaign to build Carpenter Hospice. Fundraising for the hospice began in 1999 when the four Rotary Clubs of Burlington committed a pledge of $250,000 toward the development of the Hospice, kicking off the Rotary Community Hospice Project.

The legal name of the Hospice remains the Burlington Rotary Community Hospice. Local philanthropist, Len Carpenter, donated $500,000 to the project, earning him the right to choose the name for the hospice which continues to operate as “Carpenter Hospice”.

The Hospice is launching their “Make Room” campaign coinciding with Ribfest. This also brings some more awareness to the good works of the Hospice.

Putting on the biggest chow down in the area and raising big bucks that get plowed back into the community is what the Lakeshore branch of the Rotary operations in Burlington has always been about.

Sixty + strong the Burlington Lakeshore Rotary brought the Ribfest to the city in 1996 – while it was a risk at the time it proved to be the smartest thing they have ever done.

Thorpe Ribfest

John Thorpe

John Thorpe and Bob Peeling were assigned with the task of creating a new fundraising event for the organization in the mid-sixties.

Thorpe, who was heavily involved in the cycling community, had heard of a race in Ohio called the Ribfest Race, where the finish line of the cycling event had a big BBQ party, the Columbus Jazz and Rib Fest.

Ribfest - Peeling

Bob Peeling

Bob and John visited the race in 1995 and thought it’d make a great fundraiser for their Club, it was a unique concept at the time.

The Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore launched the event at Spencer Smith Park over a weekend in mid-September to tie into an Art Gallery of Burlington event. It moved to Labour Day weekend in its second year, becoming a four day event, and has since become known as the end of summer celebration for the people of Burlington and surrounding areas.

Canada’s Largest Ribfest was a success even in its first year. Despite raining almost the entire weekend, there was a steady line up of people waiting for their authentic southern barbeque experience. There were only six “ribbers”, compared to the 19 “ribbers” now, four of which came up from the southern States where barbequing events were very common. Two of those “ribbers” have been participating ever since.

Ribbers Heart of Dixie

Rib fests were a southern American states cultural event. The Lakeshore Rotary imported the idea into Burlington – and it worked.

There was a small stage with blues and country performers at that first event; 22 years later there is a full schedule of entertainment. The Rotary Club set a three year fundraising goal and decided that if they could not reach the goal they would dis-continue the event. Despite only raising $800 in the first year, the Club was ahead of their goal to break even. By the second year, the three year fundraising goal had been met.

Thorpe and Peeling young

Thorpe and Peeling – a moment to celebrate

Twenty two years later Canada’s Largest Ribfest has raised $3 million dollars and is still a giant barbeque party.
Rotarians understand what change is all about – the membership tends to come from the business community where you change if you want to stay alive.

The VIP tent is located close to the Lake and gives a great sight line to the WORD stage.

The focus for Linda Davies is that Saturday event – where the objective is to raise funds for the Carpenter Hospice. She would like to see a couple of more tables filled.

She had a live one – a company she was pretty sure she could sell a table to – she’s done it before. But there was a problem – the Saturday was the birthday of the wife – who didn’t fancy spending the special day at Ribfest no matter how nice the view. The offer of a big birthday cake didn’t do it.

Ticket price is $150/person or Reserve a Table of 10 for $1,500 Davies wants you to Kick back and relax – enjoy the experience Canada’s Largest Ribfest in the comfort of the Exclusive Carriage Gate VIP Lounge.

In light of The Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore crucial role in the birth of the Hospice, this is a fitting “full circle” connection as they launch their “Make Room” campaign.

Carpenter hospice

Carpenter hospice –

The 14-year-old care facility, for people in the last stages of their life because of a terminal or chronic illness, is getting a new residential wing as well as renovating the existing structure.

Carpenter Hospice is a 10-bedroom facility that offers residential-based palliative care in a home-like setting, and also community-based programs for people dealing with grief or a life-limiting illness.

The $3.7-million project, dubbed Making Room, will be done in two phases.

The first will involve the building of an addition to house the current capacity of 10 residents.

The new room’s amenities will include enhanced access to the outdoors through larger doors, balconies for each room and private space for families.

Rib fest year 1 rain tent

Rained most of the weekend in 1996 when the first Ribfest was held.

The evening (Saturday, September 2nd) is a special “all you can eat” catered Rib Dinner with a selection of award winning Ribs from 3 “best rib” winners. An upscale fancy bar with some signature drinks is provided. One of the real perks for those who have attended Ribfest before are the dedicated VIP executive washrooms. That alone is worth the price of a ticket.  A $90 charitable receipt available.

UntitledEvent proceeds are split between Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore & Carpenter Hospice, You can get tickets on line or touch base with Davies at


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Barrie Baycats take the first of seven in the IBL playoffs - took 10 innings to do it.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

August 25th, 2017



It is going to be an interesting playoff series.

The Barrie Baycats took game 1 of the best of seven but they needed 10 innings to do it.

The Kitchener Panthers hung in and took the game into that tenth inning where it was lost 4-3

It is going to be an exciting series.

The Burlington Herd got taken out of the series at the quarter finals level.

Baycats player sportsFuture games
Saturday, Aug. 26
Barrie at Kitchener, 7 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 27
Kitchener at Barrie, 7 p.m.


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Director of education takes the heat - but it is a team that makes the decisions.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 25th, 2017



He has a team of 12 people; all with the title of Superintendent and an Executive Director who heads up the Human Resources department.

While the recommendations that come from the board staff are under the signature of Stuart Miller, Director of Education, these are staff decisions.

Stuart Miller

Director of Education -Stuart Miller

Parents unhappy with the decision to close Bateman and Pearson high schools tend to go after Miller. He doesn’t take to the criticism all that easily; he takes it home with him. But it is for the most part a team decision.
Miller is the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Education Officer and the Secretary to the Board. He doesn’t have a very large personal staff – just two people.

The Board announced earlier this week that Colette Ruddock has been appointed Superintendent and will oversee the north Oakville family of schools with additional responsibility for the student health portfolio.

Colette’s began her career with Halton in 1993 and has worked as a Vice-Principal and Principal in seven different schools. She has also served in the role of Education Officer with the Ministry of Education where she played a key role in Teacher Performance Appraisal processes, New Teacher Induction programs as well as School Board hiring practices.

She is proficient in French with numerous experiences in a French Immersion settings and has taken a leadership role in our recent elementary French Immersion delivery model transition planning. She is a student-focused leader who has strong instructional leadership skills and recently received the EQAO Bette Stephenson Recognition of Achievement Award for the use of data and evidence to improve school achievement at E.J. James Public School.

Ruddock is an addition to the team of Superintendents that deliver on the direction Stuart Miller provides.

She is the newest member of a team that has had a full calendar year – and it isn’t over yet.

portrait of David Boag

David Boag

Miller is backed up by David Boag, who is the Associate Director responsible for Student achievement, School operations and school accommodation and program viability.

Boag is a softer personality than Miller  His task is to ensure that the quality of the programs offered is maintained and grown.  He has to follow the direction given by Miller who is the Chief Educational officer.

The bulk of the team of Superintendents are focused on the academic side with Gerry Cullen handling the physical side of the schools buildings.

Packed room - New Street Mar 7-17

The Board of Education doesn’t get a lot of attention – until there is an issue that reaches into every household – then the public turns out with questions.

The Board of Education doesn’t get a lot of public attention. It is seen as a quiet operation that runs smoothly for the most part. But, Miller will tell you that the Board is the largest employer in the Region and is a part of every community. The Board is literally a part of every household that has children.

Joey Edwardh + Stuart Miller

Joey Edwardh, who holds a doctorate and runs the Community Development Halton organization with Stuart Miller, Director of Education. These two could be collaborating much more than they do

When the weather is iffy – it is Stuart Miller who is up at 5:00 am talking to the team that he works with and deciding if schools are going to open.

He is very much a hands on personality – sometimes to his detriment.

He has been an educator all of his professional life which is one of the problems the Board has to contend with. The administrative offices for the Region wide Board are in Burlington on Guelph Line. Being “in touch” with every community is not a simple matter.

The Halton District school Board has organized its Superintendents so that the workload is spread amongst all of them – when they gather as the team that oversees what happens in the schools there is representation from men and women who are in daily contact with the schools in Halton Hill or Oakville.

Each of the Superintendents came up “through the system” they know the schools they are responsible for like the back of their hands.


portrait of Terri Blackwell

Terri Blackwell

Terri Blackwell is one of the 12 Superintendents of Education. She reports on and oversees the School Councils, Parent Involvement Committee (PIC), Research in schools and is responsible for:

Elementary schools: Alexander’s, Alton Village, Brant Hills, Bruce T. Lindley, Burlington Central Elem, Central, CH Norton, Charles R Beaudoin, Clarksdale, Florence Meares, Kilbride, John T Tuck, John Wm Boich, Lakeshore, Orchard Park, Paul A Fisher, Pauline Johnson, Rolling Meadows, Tom Thomson.

Secondary schools: Burlington Central HS, Dr Frank J Hayden SS, MM Robinson HS, Nelson

portrait of Gerry Cullen

Gerry Cullen

Gerry Cullen is the Superintendent of Facility Services. He isn’t an educator – his role is to ensure that the facilities needed to get the educating done are operational on a daily basis.

Cullen will oversee the merging of the Bateman student body with that of Nelson high school where he will go through a budget of $12 million making changes to Nelson so that school can accommodate the students from Bateman once it closes.

Cullen’s workload includes:
Construction (capital projects including design and construction of new schools, renovations, additions and portable classroom moves); Rental of school space (Community Use of Schools); Maintenance (upkeep of buildings, renewal of large maintenance programs such as roofing, window replacement, energy and environmental conditions of buildings.); Operations (cleaning, cafeterias, security, snow clearing, garbage/recycling, play structures and portable inspection.

portrait of Rob Eatough

Rob Eatough

Rob Eatough is the Superintendent of Education who handles equity programs, Communications (Internal/External)

He oversees:

Elementary schools: Dr Charles Best, Frontenac, Mohawk Garden, Pineland, Ryerson, Sir Ernest MacMillan, Tecumseh.

Secondary schools: Robert Bateman HS, Lester B Pearson HS.

With the planned closing of those two high school in the next two years Eatough will be looking at some re-assignment.

portait of Julie Hunt Gibbons

Julie Hunt Gibbons

Julie Hunt Gibbons, Superintendent of Education oversees Secondary curriculum and school program; Student success and pathways destinations.

That puts the program at Bateman high school on her desk – one of the more delicate tasks this Board now faces.

She is responsible for:

Elementary schools: Brookdale, Eastview, Gladys Speers, Oakwood, Pine Grove, WH Morden.

Secondary schools: TA Blakelock HS

portrait of Jacqueline Newton

Jacqueline Newton

Jacqueline Newton is a Superintendent of Education who opened the Hayden high school in Alton. Her focus is Innovation/Ingenuity in schools.

During the PAR – Program Accommodation Review process the board completed in June, many thought that Newton was going to be a leader in thinking through some of the innovative ideas the PAR committee thought were possible to keep Pearson and Bateman open.

PARC with options on the walls

The PARC wanted to look for innovative ways to keep their schools open – the problem was that the public and the Board staff didn’t see innovation through the same lens. Public sector and private sector people have different perceptions as to just what innovation is.

What the public didn’t understand was that Newton’s focus was on innovation within the educational structure. Her role was not to look for innovative changes to the structure; a significant difference.

Members of the PARC saw innovation from a private sector perspective where the demands for change have an impact on the profitability of a corporation.

Profitability is a foreign concept for educators. Our schools are paid for out of tax dollars that are collected – those tax dollars aren’t earned.

Newton oversees:

Elementary schools: Anne J MacArthur, Boyne, Brookville, Bruce Trail, Chris Hadfield, Escarpment View, EW Foster, Hawthorne Village, Irma Coulson, JM Denyes, Martin Street, PL Robertson, Robert Baldwin, Sam Sherratt, Tiger Jeet Singh, WI Dick.

Secondary schools: Craig Kielburger SS, Milton District HS

portrait of John Pennyfather

John Pennyfather

John Pennyfather, Superintendent of Education oversees School health protocols, Social justice and the Our Kids Network

He is responsible for:

Elementary schools: Abbey Lane, Capt R Wilson, Emily Carr, Falgarwood, Forest Trail, Heritage Glen, Joshua Creek, Montclair, Munn’s, Oodenawi, Palermo, Pilgrim Wood, Post’s Corners, River Oaks, Sheridan, Sunningdale, West Oak.

Secondary schools: Abbey Park HS, Garth Webb SS, Iroquois Ridge HS, White Oaks SS

portrait of Scott Podrebarac

Scott Podrebarac

Scott Podrebarac is a Superintendent of Education and is a different man today than he was when he was asked to lead the PAR last October. He is a very genial man who found himself working with a process that was new and over time found to be flawed. He didn’t create the process – but he had to work with it.

He was given a group of parents that never managed to coalesce into a group working as one. The parents representatives from the seven Burlington high schools chose to defend the turf of the schools they represented.

They were a group that knew very little about each other and brought more agendas into the PARC process than there were schools.

Unhappy parent

This wasn’t what Scott Podrebarac, on the left, expected from the public when he took on the task of shepherding the PAR process.

It would be interesting to see what a report from Podrebaac on the PAR process the Board went through would look like.

The Ministry of Education that created the process came to the realization that the process was flawed and decided that it would not be used going forward. That decision was made 22 days after the Halton trustees decided to close the two high schools.

Podrebarac oversees the Early years/Kindergarten program and the Safe schools programs.

He is responsible for:

Elementary schools: Centennial, Ethel Gardiner, George Kennedy, Glen Williams, Harrison, Joseph Gibbons, Limehouse, McKenzie-Smith Bennett, Park, Pineview, Robert Little, Silver Creek, Stewarttown.

Secondary schools: Acton HS, Georgetown District HS.

portrait of Tina Salmini

Tina Salmini

Tina Salmini is a Superintendent of Education who oversees the Elementary curriculum and school program; New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP), Leadership training and Library Services.

There is a lot more to that work load than meets the eye. The changes in the way libraries work today is massive – technology now drives so much more of it.

Salmini is respobsible for:

Elementary schools: EJ James, James W Hill, Maple Grove, New Central

Secondary schools: Oakville Trafalgar HS

portrait of Gord Truffen

Gord Truffen

Gord Truffen Superintendent of Education oversees Information Services (IT); International students and is responsible for:

Elementary schools: Aldershot (elem), Glenview, King’s Road, Maplehurst

Secondary schools: Aldershot HS.

It doesn’t look like much of a workload – which is a little misleading.

Truffen is probably the Superintendent most in touch with what takes place in the private sector. Given a little more rope and a mandate to pull more private sector practices into a system that lives in a bit of a bubble

Truffen could make the Halton Board considerably different.

portrait of Mark Zonneveld

Mark Zonneveld

Mark Zonneveld is a Superintendent of Education who is responsible for Special Education/Student Services. He oversees the Syl Apps school and Section 23 programs.

Section 23 programs serve students who require their educational needs to be met outside of the regular school system, in specialized settings. A student in a Section 23 Program is a client of an agency funded by the Ministry of Child and Youth Services that provides services in one of the following categories: Care – hospitals, maternity homes; Treatment – children’s mental health centres and group homes. Corrections – open custody and closed custody situations.

More importantly he is handling the transition of students from Bateman into Nelson and the movement of the International Baccalaureate program from Bateman to Central.

It is a job that calls for compassion and sensitivity – something many of the Bateman parents didn’t feel existed at the Board level.

Zonneveld’s challenge is to show that both exist in the operation he runs.

Superintendent Cullen has to build the space that will be needed at Nelson for the Bateman students; Zonneveld has to tailor programs for those students.


Lucy Veerman

Lucy Veerman is the Superintendent of Business Services. She is the Board’s “bean counter”. The PAR process was a bit of a rude awakening for Veerman. Parents, especially those from Centreal high school were looking at the numbers very closely and they didn’t like a lot of what they saw. Veerman had to defend numbers that make sense to educators but not a lot of sense to parents who are not familiar with public service accounting.

Veerman is responsible for Accounting, Budget, Planning, Purchasing and Transportation.

portrait of Debra McFadden

Debra McFadden

Debra McFadden is the Executive Officer, Human Resources. She oversees the hiring and development of the teachers. She is the Board’s Chief Negotiator and is responsible for all Labour Relations including Human Resources Strategy and Policy

That’s the team that is going to take the system of high schools in Burlington through a very difficult phase in the next two years.

It is a young team – there are not a lot of people who are going to be retiring soon; just a couple.

The strength of the high school system and how well it serves the needs of the public is critical. Good high schools attract families to a community.

There was a time when parents would lie about where they lived to get their children into one of the elementary schools in the south east part of the city – it’s reputation was that good. The leadership of a school can make a huge difference.

The leadership of a Board administration can make a big difference.

And the leadership from the trustees can and should make a difference.

Corporations that are looking for a new location or the setting for an expansion want to know that a community has a solid educational system.

One can’t say that the high school system in Burlington isn’t solid – one has to say that it is going through a process of transition – which we all hope they get right the first time.

The first reaction we are going to see from the public will be in the 2018 election – just over a year away.

Has the Board of trustees understood what the public that put them in office wants? Part of the answer to that question is – which public put them in office? With the voter turnout as low as it has been in Burlington one has to ask – who elected these people?

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Brant Street, just south of Victoria Avenue to be closed Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

notices100x100By Staff

August 24, 2017



The southbound lane on Brant Street, just south of Victoria Avenue, will be closed on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for excavation work.

Southbound traffic will be detoured west on Baldwin Street, south on Locust Street and east on Blenheim Street.

The northbound lane will stay open.

Signs and barricades will be up and Halton Regional Police Services will be on site to help with the detour.

You will still be able to access businesses and homes along Brant Street.tim-hortons-at-brant

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Burlington Herd promises a better box score next year and invite you to buy your season tickets now

sportsred 100x100By Staff

April 24th, 2017



There is a reason media tend not to pay attention to news releases that get sent to us.

For the most part they are filled with information that stretches the truth and stays miles away from the issues. They seldom answer the questions people have on their mind.

Herd playerWe got the following from the Burlington Herd, Burlington’s entry in the InterCounty Baseball League.

The team got taken out of the playoffs at the quarter final level with just the one win.

Thank you. You made this season special.

You increased average attendance by 26%. You made the Barn (Nelson Park) one of the most amazing atmospheres in the league. You are the reason our staff loves what they do and work so hard to make the Herd what they are.

Our 2018 season starts today and we have some big events and announcements planned for next year. Which is why we are already planning improvements to the ballpark, recruiting our roster, updating our ticket plans and more for the Intercounty Baseball League’s 100th season.

We are overwhelmed with the number of new fans we met this summer that have become hooked with Burlington Herd Baseball that we have decided to take season ticket deposits!

I can promise you that our owners and staff are 100% dedicated to making Nelson Park and Burlington Herd games the most unique and fun experience in the region.

What does one say to that?

Herd player sliding home Ph by Crystal YoungNo mention of who did well for the team. No mention of the better players and no humbleness whatsoever on the really poor performance during both the season and the playoffs.

One can say that someone has to be last. Guelph saw that coming their way and suspended operations for the season.

IBL players do not get paid a salary and there are serious limits on what they can accept in the way of gift money.  They do get travel money.

Revenue for the teams comes from ticket sales, sponsorship’s, food and beverage revenue.  Anyone owning a baseball team has an expensive hobby.

A good team will draw a local audience – and a good team is a winning team.  The Barrie Baycats lost just two games during the regular season and there is every reason to believe they will take the finals in four games straight.  If that happens this will be the fourth year they have done just that.


The season needed a lot of improvement - but the community spirit is certainly evident.










What came to Burlington as the Twins in 2011  later became the Bandits and then became the Herd.

No word yet on if the coaching team is going to be invited to return.

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Minimum wage increase: Who benefits? Can we afford it? Can we afford not to pay people at least a living wage?

opinionandcommentBy David Goodings

August 24th, 2017



Cindy (not her real name) is a woman of about forty with a winning smile and a full head of long brown hair.

She has been working at minimum wage jobs for many years, often juggling several jobs at the same time. You have to be tough to survive in today’s world of precarious employment and Cindy is a survivor. A few months ago while talking about her present life and her struggle to make ends meet, Cindy was asked what it would be like to make $15 an hour. “That would be awesome,” she replied matter-of-factly. “That would be pretty sweet, I think.” [1]

Isabella Daley is another woman in her forties, well educated and highly articulate, with a wry sense of humour. She knows how tough it is to raise her children (and her condescending cat) while employed at minimum wage jobs. In a candid video produced for Living Wage Hamilton she imagines how her life would change if she were paid a living wage, currently $15.85 per hour in Hamilton. Not only would she be able to pay the rent and utility bills, she could do something for her toothache before it became unbearable, and let her daughter have a friend come for dinner. Isabella knows well what it is like to be one of the “working poor”. [2]

The Ontario Government’s proposed legislation, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 2017, includes raising the minimum wage to $14.00 in January, 2018 and to $15.00 a year later. It will be warmly welcomed by Cindy and Isabella and hundreds of thousands of other people as roughly 30 percent of Ontario’s workers are paid less than $15.00 an hour. [3] The government is also legislating that part-time workers be paid the same as full-time workers, and is allowing employees two paid emergency days and five unpaid ones each year.

As expected, the business community, represented by the Chambers of Commerce, is sounding the alarm about catastrophic job losses and dire effects on the economy. One recent study [4] predicts that approximately 185,000 jobs will be put at risk across the province. However, job losses on this scale are, literally, unbelievable as there is abundant evidence from past experience in the US and Canada that minimum wage increases have almost no effect on overall employment. A recent article in the Toronto Star [5] cites research in the US that examined 22 federal minimum wage increases between 1938 and 2009. It found “no correlation between those increases and lower employment levels.” A similar Canadian study [6] covering the years from 1983 to 2012 “found almost no evidence of any connection whatsoever between higher minimum wage levels and employment levels in Canada.”

So, who benefits from keeping the minimum wage low? First, executive officers and shareholders of large corporations—the source of about half of minimum wage jobs in Ontario. For example, the Weston family’s conglomerate, Loblaw Companies Ltd. which includes Loblaws, No Frills and Shoppers Drug Mart, estimates that raising the minimum wage to $15 will cost $190 million in additional wages. But last year the company paid shareholders $1.1 billion, almost 6 times the cost of the wage increase. [7] It looks as though the business community is asking Cindy and Isabella to accept “poverty wages” in order to make the executives and shareholders a bit wealthier.

Secondly, let’s consider the case of small businesses such as restaurants and independent retailers. The owners may respond by laying off employees or reducing their hours, or by raising prices, all of which have consequences for the successful running of their businesses. Alternatively, they may be able to absorb some of the cost of increased wages, or will eliminate jobs through automation. In any event it is very unlikely that the owners will feel much hardship from having to adjust their business models.

Corporations and small business owners should also be aware that when their employees receive fair wages they tend to be more productive, have better morale and better health, and are less likely to leave for another job. Businesses may also benefit from the fact that minimum wage workers spend almost all their wages locally.

Thus the debate on raising the minimum wage comes down to a straightforward choice: significantly improve the lives of Cindy and Isabella and thousands of other people like them, or maintain the financial returns of shareholders, executives and business owners. Fortunately the Liberal Government is in no doubt about what is the right thing to do.

Goodings DavidDavid Goodings was born in Toronto and studied mathematics and physics at University of Toronto and Cambridge.  He was a Professor of physics at McMaster University for thirty years and has been a resident of Burlington since 2001.  He is an active member of Poverty Free Halton and Living Wage Halton. Married to Judy for 37 years which may be why his favourite piano piece is:  Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Fats Waller.

[1] Working on the Edge, a video on precarious employment:

[2] Isabella Daley video, What a living wage would mean to me, on

[3] Why politics drives a minimum wage wedge, Martin Regg Cohn, Toronto Star, May 31, 2017

[4] Bill 148 causing greatest chaos among business community in over a decade: chamber president, Kathy Yanchus, Burlington Post, August 17, 2017.

[5] Minimum wage hike won’t bring ‘doom and gloom’, economists say. Open letter by 40 Canadian economists endorses proposed provincial wage increase. Sara Mojtehedzadeh, Toronto Star, July 4, 2017.

[6] Wage Mythology. The minimum wage and the impact on jobs in Canada, 1983-2012, by Jordan Brennan and Jim Stanford. Report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, October 2014

[7] Yes, Mr. Weston, you can afford a living wage, Angella MacEwen and Cole Eisen, Hamilton Spectator, August 14, 2017

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Playoff finals dates for the IBL are announced.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

August 24th, 2017



The 99th IBL league final kicks off Thursday night at Coates Park in Barrie as the pennant-winning Baycats play host to the second-place Kitchener Panthers.

The Baycats set a number of records en route to their sixth first-place finish since 2001.

They started the season 26-0 to set a record for most wins to open a season, they went 33-3 for the best winning percentage (.917) in league history and tied the record for the most wins. They are also very tough at home, going 18-0.

Panther batter

Looks like the ball and the bat are going to click.

Kitchener Panthers are no slouch either and this is truly the marquee match-up for the IBL.

The Panthers cruised to a second-place finish with a 28-8 record, three wins better than the third-place London Majors. The Panthers were pushed to six games by the Hamilton Cardinals in the first round of the playoffs but had little trouble with the Majors, going just five games in the semifinals.

The Panthers also finished the regular season with an 8-2 run and are 8-3 in the post-season.

Both teams have some serious star power.

Baycats winning teamRyan Spataro hit .447 to lead the Baycats while Kevin Atkinson was third in the league in RBI.

On the mound, Claudio Custodio had the league’s lowest ERA at 2.29 and had six wins. Emillis Guerrero led the league in both wins and strikeouts with nine and 80 and hasn’t given up a run in the playoffs.

Kitchener’s Sean Reilly posted perhaps the best single-season performance in league history. He led the league in batting average at .447. He also led the IBL in home runs with 19, which was 11 more than the three players who were next at eight and just two fewer than his own league record of 21 in 2013.

He also had a stunning 56 RBI, which was 16 more than Barrie’s Jordan Castaldo. and just four off his own league record.

He is just the third player to win the IBL Triple Crown and the only player to do it twice (2015.) Noel Entenza, a right-hander from Cuba, led the Panthers on the mound with seven wins and Jasvir Rakkar has three wins in the playoffs and a league-leading 32 strikeouts and 2.60 ERA.

Game one Thursday night is a 7:30 p.m. in Barrie.
Game two is Saturday night in Kitchener at 7 p.m.
Game three Sunday, another 7 p.m. start in Barrie.
Game four is in Kitchener on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.;
Game five is in Barrie on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.;
Game six is scheduled for Kitchener on Saturday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.
Game seven would be in Barrie on Sunday, Sept. 3, also at 7 p.m.
This could well be a four game playoff series.

Barrie is going for its fourth straight championship while Kitchener has not won the championship since 2001.

While the Burlington Herd didn’t do very well – it has been a very exciting baseball season for the IBL.

They go into their 100th year in 2018 – as auspicious as that occasion will be – it is going to be tough to come up with some of the really breath taking games seen during the 2017

Baseball - player at bat with lights

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Should bike riders be allowed to use the trail in the Beachway - new bike lanes are in place.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 23rd, 2017



Might be time to have a bylaw enforcement officer patrolling the trail through the Beachway.

Seniors are complaining about the speed at which cyclists roar along the trail.

Carpentr House - walking the trail

For the vast majority it is a very pleasant walking trail. It is a focal point for the annual Terry Fox run.

Many regular trail walkers…are wondering if bikes will still be allowed on the Beachway trail once the road bike lanes are complete – road work is being done now.

Lakeshore Road to hospital

There are bike lanes in place on the newly paved and rebuilt Lakeshore Road that is now the entrance to the Joseph Brant Hospital.

A local resident advised the |Gazette that comments from seniors this morning was that they have the fear of death every time they take their walk. The cyclists seem to feel they own the trail.

One gentleman said he has been yelled at to get himself and his dog off the trail.

Another senior said: “I know!!!! I have almost been run over many times!!! Its scary!!!”

What are the rules for the trail?

With bike lanes going in – should bikes be banned from the trail? What do parents out with a youngster just learning to use a bike – do they want their child on the road with transit buses and trucks passing by?

The man to get your concern in front of is the ward Councillor – Rick Craven.  You can email him at:

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Two major developments in ward 1; Aldershot and North Tyandaga will see significant increases in residential housing.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 23rd, 2017



National Homes has moved into the Burlington residential market in a big way – one might say huge plans are in the making.

The company acquired the property on Brant Street next to the Emergency Measures station that was owned by the – they grew hay on the property.

The plans are for a project that will include 12 townhouse blocks with 83 units, three condominium townhouse blocks with 150 units.

National Homes

The western edge of the property backs on the the gold course. There was a time when a former city manager felt the city shouldn’t be in the golf course business and Councillor Dennison had great plans to sell the land and zone it residential.

Included in the application are a woodlot block as well as a natural heritage system (buffer) block. The proposed development has a total area of 11.1 hectares (27.2 acres).

Nationa; homes - Brant Master landscape

Traffic wanting to go north on Brant Street might be a problem.

Brant St frontage

The look the project will have from Brant street.

These lands are currently vacant; historically they were used for agricultural purposes. The Glover family told the property to a developer and was then put in the hands of a trustee,   Burlington lawyer, William Hourigan, who transferred it to the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Hamilton in Ontario for a $1 token payment by the church.

Brant - aetrial - street didn't exist in 1950

This 1950 aerial photograph is a little confusing – the property boundary is clearly shown but there doesn’t appear to be a Brant Street unless it was just a dusty rural road. What then is the road to the right?

The property was Crown land prior to 1798; it was given to Joseph Brant who appears to have flipped it almost instantly to Ann Glover and kept in the family until 1958 when it was sold to Sumac Investments Limited and transferred to the Catholic church shortly after.

National Homes acquired the property about 18 months ago.  The property is reported to have once been owned by ADI Developments for a very short period of time,

National Homes is  part of a broadly based group of companies that traces its origin back to the establishment in 1974 of Pantalone Realty, now a leading Toronto Real Estate Brokerage specializing in industrial and commercial properties and undeveloped residential land assemblies. Venturon Developments has developed over 8,000 lots, and constructed thousands of square feet of retail and commercial developments.
National Homes, founded in 1992 by Rocco Pantalone, has grown into one of the Greater Toronto Area’s most successful and respected home builders with over 15,000 homes in their portfolio of accomplishments and a growing focus on the high-rise market.
When you look at the size of the National Homes operation and the number of houses they have built – the phrase “rich developers” springs to mind, and developers do alright.  So does the city – the chart below shows just how much in the fees the developer has to pay the city upfront if you don’t mind.
Fee structure Brant

That is very close to a quarter of a million upfront dollars.

Major players

National Homes is not a small player in the development game. New to Burlington perhaps.

Bingo hall property
The plaza on Plains Road opposite Maplehurst public school where the Bingo operation, the hardware store and the dollar store are located.

Bingo hall property
National Homes is proposing the complete redevelopment of the site including 2 eight storey buildings (condos) and several hundred townhouses for a total of 414 residential units. The proposal includes 6,900 square feet of retail space and underground parking.
At this date there isn’t a formal application before the planners.

Georgian Court is another major development for Aldershot.

Another massive re-development is planned for the Francis Road and Plains Road part of Aldershot.  The  redevelopment plan for the 20 acre site has been shared with existing tenants of the rental complex.

The owner is proposing major intensification, specifically replacement of the current 288 townhouses with 1,450 new rental units including townhouses and apartments.

Georgian Court Estates rendering

This development will result in a massive change to an existing community.

The plan calls for one 23 storey building, one 18 storey building, one 15 storey building, eight 8 storey buildings, six 6 storey buildings, five 4 storey buildings and a series of 3 storey townhouses.

That certainly defines intensification which the Mayor has said would not impact more than 5% of the established neighbourhoods in the city.

Added to these developments is the long term think plan the city is putting together and calling mobility hubs.  There will be one in the western end of Aldershot around the GO station.

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School bus service for Burlington and Oakville might be delayed - not enough drivers.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 23rd, 2017



Oh no – not again.

The Halton District school Board announced that there “may” be some school bus service delays when school resumes on September 5th.

There apparently aren’t enough drivers available.

schoolbus-stop-signThe Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) advises that a shortage of school bus drivers may impact school bus operations in the Burlington and Oakville areas this September. The shortage could negatively impact some schools due to bus delays. At this time, bus operators in Milton and Halton Hills do not anticipate a bus driver shortage.

HSTS is a corporation owned by the Catholic and public school boards.

Parents are encouraged to sign up for delays and cancellation notifications on the HSTS website ( before school starts.

School bus delays will be posted on the HSTS website starting the first day of school, Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

In a media release HSTS said they appreciate the important work bus drivers provide for the school community by getting students safely to school each day; apparently not enough to improve on what bus drivers are paid,

“We are grateful for the service the school bus drivers provide to the students in Halton” says Karen Lacroix, General Manager of Halton Student Transportation Services.

Bus companies are focusing their recruitment efforts with advertisements in various newspapers, radio, TV and through employment open houses. Together HSTS and the Halton school boards are promoting school bus driver employment opportunities to parents/guardians and the community.

HSTS has been assisting in this effort by advertising jobs on the HSTS website and through the Halton school boards’ Twitter feeds (@HaltonDSB and @HCDSB).

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New household schedule with school opening soon - time for a different fitness schedule.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

August 23, 2017



In the Spring the objective is to lose the weight so we can fit into the bathing suit.

Now we are told it is time to get moving and adjust eating habits to get over the end-of-summer blahs during which we appear to have all on on some weight.

Fitness experts have tips to build up a workout routine and adjust eating habits NOW to reset your system for fall.

With the dog days of summer slowly passing by and the reality of September’s routine looming – ideas for getting that refreshed feeling and being full of energy stare us in the face.

Many Canadians find themselves overtired, overfed, and under motivated. A summer spent on patios and at barbeques, staying up late, sleeping in and lounging on the dock tends to catch up with us.

Mo stretching GoodLife

Looks easy – takes practice. Time for a fall fitness routine!

Maureen ‘Mo’ Hagan, vice president of program innovation with GoodLife Fitness, says exercise and healthier habits go a long way to help reset the body’s circadian rhythms after a season of indulgence. And with only a couple of weeks of summer left, this is a perfect chance to set yourself up for success. She has some key considerations to get back into the fall routine more smoothly.

Establish regular sleep patterns: By the end of August, we’re getting up later, staying up later and the thought of waking up early for work and school is not all that welcoming. Don’t wait for the first day back to reset your clock, she advises. Start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier over the remaining days and you’ll find it easier to rise and shine.

Focus on nutrition: It’s OK to enjoy the last of the hamburgers and hotdogs, but start building in some lean proteins, complex carbs and more fruit and veggies to boost your mood, immunity, and energy. Take your remaining summer days to find and try some healthy new recipes, plan nutritious lunch options and even freeze dishes for use when the fall routine is in full swing.

Find time to exercise: Try to build in a workout at the same time each day to reset your internal clock and start building back your energy. It’s also a chance to enjoy the outdoors while it’s still warm and the days remain longer.

Hagan suggests setting realistic goals and then pushing yourself a bit further every few days. Vary your routine with cardio like biking or jogging, strength training for major muscle groups and stretching to build flexibility.

Remember to relax: With parties, camping trips, family reunions and the kids home from school, summer can be hectic. It’s important to find time to be alone and enjoy some peace. Plan a hike, do some yoga on the beach, or just sit on the deck with a book. Quiet time can help you reduce stress and reconnect with your body and mind.

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Scam artists offering a choice - both came from the same address hours apart.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 22, 2017



They seem to have forgotten me for a couple of weeks – but the scam artists have found my email address and are at it again.

Rule #1 – If it looks too good to be true that’s because it isn’t true.

Rule #2 – Check the address the email came from.

The latest – they came in today push the limits of credulity – if I don’t bite when they dangle Walmart in front of me – maybe Kohls will work.

Kohls survey

If I didn’t get sucked in by this one – they was another that was basically identical except for the name.

Walmart survey

Does Walmart every do anything about scams like this?

These things are like stop lights – when they are red – you stop.

At some point someone will come up with a way to jam all this crap. Maybe there is a GoFund Me angle here.

Ask everyone to send $2 with no fee – and set that amount as a prize for a bunch of the smart whippersnappers to come up with a way to send the junk back out into the universe.

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Board of trustees in need of some help learning what their jobs are and how to pull together as a team. This isn't a sewing circle.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 22, 2017


This article has had a correction, Pearson will not open in September of 2018

The Going Back to School process has begun – the school supplies are being bought and fresh new clothing is being chosen.

News Analysis

Parents are learning what the fashion trend is going to be this year and the first timers are going to get a chance to learn what it is like to take a bus to school.

All seven high schools will open this year; it will be different next year.

The Board of trustees voted to close two of the city’s seven high schools: Lester B. Pearson will not open in September of 2018 and Bateman high school will not open in September of 2020.

Protesters PARC

At first it was Central high school parents fighting to keep their school open. They put forward very compelling arguments and they were taken off the recommendation list.

Bateman parents

Bateman high school was put on the recommended for closing list when Central high school was taken off the list.

Lester Pearson at Upper Middle and Headon

Lester B. Pearson parents were never able to get the kind of traction they needed to change the minds of the trustees. Ward 3 trustee Andrea Grebenc who attended Pearson said she could not find a reason for voting to keep the school open.

Both high school parent groups filed a request for an Administrative Review of the decision the trustees made– that review looks at the process used to make the decision – not the merits of the decision.

The parents had to file a request for the Administrative Review within 30 days of the decision – both met the July 7th deadline; the Board Administration had 30 days to respond to the request for a review – they did that by August 7th. The Ministry of Education now has 30 days to decide if there is any merit in the request for a review and to consider the position taken by the Board.

That gets us to sometime in the middle of September.

It would be a little naïve to expect any changes.

The Halton District school Board has been hit with Administrative Reviews before – the end result then was no change.

There is a very unhappy public in Burlington; parents are unhappy with the way the city failed to take a position on closing schools; many feel that the process used to make the decision was so flawed that the trustees should have taken the option that was available to them – and that was not to close any of the high schools at this time until there has been an opportunity for an in depth look at just what the problem is and if there is any likelihood of a change in the number of students that are going to attend high schools.

Burlington was in a situation where one high school was at 135% capacity (Hayden) while another was at about the 65% (Pearson) capacity level. That situation was the result of the traditional feeder schools for Pearson were filling Hayden instead.

The Program Accommodation Review process was new to the people of Burlington, new to the school board as well and in hindsight many people realize that it should have been done differently.

The school board trustees didn’t really deliver on their mandate – they took a hands off approach to the issue during the PAR process and then got swamped with the more than 50 delegations they had to deal with.

Kelly Amos, the chair of the school board was flummoxed on several occasions when it as clear she was in over her head with the process. At one critical meeting she had legal counsel for the Board giving her one opinion and a parliamentarian who had been brought in to provide advice and direction giving her a different opinion.

Collard and Miller

Ward 5 school board trustee Amy Collard livid with the decision made by the Director of Education wears her feelings.

One parent made the both astute and disturbing observation that the school board gave less time to deciding whether or not to close high schools than the city did on what to do with the Freeman station – which is now doing quite nicely in its new location.

The biggest problem the public has is the quality of the current school board. With the exception of Ward 5 trustee Amy Collard, the Burlington trustees are not delivering on the mandate they were given when they were elected.

Trustees Miller, Amos - Graves

From the right: Vice chair Graves and Chair Amos – who along with the other trustees are expected to hold the Director of Education Stuart Miller on the left accountable – something they don’t appear to know how to do.

They don’t know their jobs; they don’t ask hard questions; they don’t really hold the Board staff or its Director of Education truly accountable.

While the trustees may be nice people their job is to ask the probing questions. They have chosen to be nice and operate as what has become a bit of a clique that has a tremendous opportunity to make a significant difference but instead chose to take a pass.

Expect to see a lot of different names on the Burlington ballot in the October 2018 municipal elections.

Burlington can do better than what we have.

MMW + Leah Reynolds

Leah Reynolds on the right. She gets by with a little help from her friends. City Councillor Meed Ward on the left.

We have a board where a trustee – Leah Reynolds – feels it is acceptable to receive text notes and advice on her computer from a member of the PAR, Marianne Meed Ward, who is also a city Councillor, who many believe expects the trustee to replace her should the council member run for the office of Mayor.

There is something fundamentally wrong with the behaviour of these two women, but Chair Amos pointed out that it was not against the code of conduct.

What the Chair failed to realize is that the letter of the law is important and relevant – it is however the spirit of the law that should prevail.

Of the 11 trustees on the Board of Education – four come from Burlington. Collard was the only one to vote against the closing of Bateman High school. Collard and Papin voted against the closing of Pearson.


From the left- trustees Papin, Reynolds, Ehl Harrison and Grebenc sat in on most of the Program Accommodation Review committee meetings as observers. There was no opportunity or occasion for them to make their views known at that point in the process.

The remaining seven members of the Board voted for the closing of both high schools. It is a little unsettling to realize that it was possible for trustees who do not represent the voters of Burlington to vote for the closing of high schools in Burlington even if the Burlington trustees had voted to keep them open.

There was not much in the way of a common cause between the four Burlington trustees. Three of the four bought into the Director’s recommendation to close the two high schools.

The sense that those trustees are keeping those seats warm while they battle for you is something that belongs in your Santa Clause and Easter Bunny box.

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Dates for the next level of community consultation on the mobility hub concept have been announced.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

August 22, 2017



After community meetings across the city that asked the public what they thought of the Mobility Hub concept, the planners are now ready to tell the public what their “preferred” concept is and why they will try to persuade city council to follow their advice later in the year.

Mobility hubs

The four mobility hubs – where they are located. What will the linkage be between the hubs?

Those will be contentious meetings.

Panels with concepts June 21-7

Illustration panels are set up with graphs setting out what the mobility hub will mean and the changes it could bring about.

With feedback from different communities on the objectives behind the four different Mobility hubs the city wants to develop – Burlington residents are now going to hear what the planners see as their preferred concept for each hub.

Downtown public

Citizens discuss the city’s plans for the creation of four mobility hubs – one at each of the GO stations and a fourth in the downtown core. Intensification is to be focused on the hubs.

Residents are encouraged to share their feedback about the concept which will be used to help inform a discussion about the proposed concept at a workshop with Burlington City Council on Thursday, Sept. 28.

The debate and decision date for the concepts for each of the GO station mobility hubs by city council is sometime in December.

The next four community meetings are:

Downtown Mobility Hub – Preferred Concept Public Meeting
Date: Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: Art Gallery of Burlington, Shoreline Rotary Room, 1333 Lakeshore Rd. W

Burlington GO Mobility Hub – Draft Concepts Public Meeting
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017
Time: 7 to 9 p.m.
Location: Holiday Inn, Harvester Hall, 3063 South Service Rd.

Aldershot GO Mobility Hub – Draft Concepts Public Meeting
Date: Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Location: East Plains United Church, Peart Hall, 375 Plains Rd E

Appleby GO Mobility Hub – Draft Concepts Public Meeting
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017
Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 pm
Location: Appleby Ice Centre, Multi-Purpose Room, 1201 Appleby Line.

Tanner and Taylor at June 21-17 workshop

City planner Mary Lou Tanner explaining some of the thinking behind the mobility hub concept to ward 3 city Councillor John Taylor.

Mary Lou Tanner, Chief Planner and Director of City Building explains that the city is “working toward a shared vision for each of the Mobility Hubs and the community’s input is vital in the development of the plans for these neighbourhoods.”

Once approved, the Area-Specific Plans created through the Mobility Hub studies will be adopted as part of the city’s new Official Plan.
Halton Region, population is anticipated to grow from 530,000 to one million people by 2041.

Mayor sitting in downtown GROW Bold

Mayor sits in on a community discussion about the concept of a downtown mobility hub.

The Province of Ontario’s provincial growth plan, Places to Grow, mandates the City of Burlington plan for a population of 193,000 by 2031.

Planning for intensification of the Mobility Hubs supports the city’s four strategic directions outlined in its 25-year strategic plan —a city that grows, a city that moves, a healthier and greener city and an engaging city.

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Merchant of Venice at the RBG all this week and next: Hear what Shylock had to say about the money he had loaned.

eventspink 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 22, 2017


After publishing this piece we got a note advising us that “we are nearing capacity… word of mouth effect is fierce with this run.”

This is the time of year to get out and enjoy the weather – and if you have room in your life for some classical theatre – check out Trevor Copp’s Tottering Biped production of the Merchant of Venice at the RBG Rock Garden.

A fine cast with some superb performances.

Harrington +

Michael Hannigan, on the right, as Antonio

Michael Hannigan has trod the boards of many of stages in the province. He is part of the opening scene in the Merchant where he gives the audience one of the most welcoming smiles you are likely to see.

Theatre is a sheer love choice and guilty pleasure for Hannigan; he has served as an Associate Artistic Director for both the Tivoli and Citadel theatres, helming several productions for each; as well as for The Players Guild, DLT, Theatre Burlington, Shooting Star Productions, and others in the GTHA.

Merchant - Antonio

Michael Hannigan preparing to give that “pound of flesh”

As impressive as his past performances have been his Antonio in the Merchant just has to be seen to fully appreciate what one man on a stage can do with a smile and a couple of words.

Chris Reid, a school teacher when he is not on stage, plays Shylock, needs a close listen to fully understand how he views the money he has loaned.

Alma Sarai who plays Portia beautifully – her coyness in determining just who her husband is going to be will delight you – almost as much as Claudio Spadafora’s performance where she introduces the various courtesans.

Alma + Jamie - night

Jamie Kasiama and Alma Sarai

Sarai could have been a little stronger as the lawyer who interprets the law that applies to the Shylock loan. The phrase “a pound of flesh” that has become part of our everyday language, turns out to be exactly that – and nothing more which saves Antonio some pain and ends of requiring Shylock to become a Christian – such is the beauty of what William Shakespeare has given us.

It is a cast of nine that is well worth watching. The choreography is as good as it gets – better than some of the stage movements at Stratford and Shaw.

Merchant - Trevor - thought

Trevor Copp during a rehearsal.

Trevor Copp’s life as a dancer comes through again and again as he directs the movement of his cast on a stage where a tree serves as a backdrop that has different coloured lights splashed on the thick branches and change the mood of the play in an instant.

Tree becomes the canvas - colour

Trees become part of the backdrop for outdoor theatre.

Performed on a stage set out on the grass where the fire flies fit in rather nicely. The sound of a freight train in the background doesn’t detract from the antics of the of the courtiers seeking the hand of Portia.

Zach Parson plays Bassanio and did some of the composing.

Jesse Horvath plays three role: Lancelot, Tubal and Salerio as well as working as director of Development.

Jamie (Milay) Kasiama plays Nerissa opposite Alma Sarai where she is superb in her attempts to direct Portia and her choice of a husband.

Copp wanted the cast members to be paid for the work they do – each gets a stipend of $100 for each day. Some support from the federal government summer employment program has helped but private sponsorship is always going to be needed.

Ticket prices are very affordable. Arrive early – seats are on a first come first served basis.

Play dates are Monday to Friday @7 pm. Plenty of parking across the road

Last performance is September 2nd.

Merchant full cast

The cast: In no particular order: Chris Reid/Shylock; Michael Hannigan/Antonio, Alma Sarai/Portia, Shawn Coelho-DeSouza/Prince of Morocco and Lorenzo, Claudia Spadafora/Jessica, Isabel Starks/Ensemble, Jamie Kasiama/Nerissa, Zach Parsons/Bassanio and Jesse Horvath/Launcelot

Treat yourself to a fun performance and some impressive choreography and Hannigan’s smile.

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