Burlington Herd still win less after six games. Brantford Red Sox pick up first win

sportsred 100x100By Staff

May 29, 2017


It took the Brantford Red Sox five games to pick up their first win of the season, and it came against another win less team – the Burlington Herd who have gone six games without a win.

Dan Jagdeo’s solo home run with one out in the top of the ninth inning lifted the Red Sox to an 8-7 victory over the Burlington Herd Saturday afternoon.

Brantford is 1-4, and Burlington is 0-6.

Standing May 29-17Ricky Murray had three hits and drove in a run and scored once for the Red Sox. Chris Dennis and Nic Burdett each had an RBI and run, while Benjamin Bostick singled twice, scored twice and had an RBI.
Brandon Dailey had two hits and two runs, and Cody Mombourquette drove in a pair.

Tyler Soucie (1-0) earned the win, giving up a run in one inning of relief. He walked one and struck out one. Tanner Guindon tossed a scoreless inning with two strikeouts for his first save.

Starter Justin DAmato went 3.2 innings and allowed five runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
For Burlington, Justin Gideon went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI, while Canice Ejoh also had three hits, two RBI and a run. Cooper Lamb had two RBI, and Grant Okawa had two hits and scored twice.

Kyle Symington (0-1) took the loss, giving up a run on two hits in an inning. He struck out one.

Starter Brad Smith gave up six runs (four earned) on seven hits in three innings. He walked three and struck out one.

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Regional police Staff Sergeant Brad Murray arrested on numerous charges related to drugs the police had seized in other drug related cases.

Crime 100By Staff

May 28, 2017



The Halton Regional Police Service announced that a 16-year member of the force was arrested today and is facing Breach of Trust, Theft, and Obstruct Justice charges following a seven-month internal and external investigation.

In the fall of 2016, a drug exhibit anomaly was discovered by members of the HRPS Drug and Morality Unit. As a result, a comprehensive internal audit of all drug exhibits seized by the Halton Regional Police Service commenced. The audit revealed that approximately 30 exhibits had been tampered with. In all instances, the exhibits involved prescription or illicit opioids, the most common example of which is OxyContin.

The exact number of exhibits affected will be a matter for disclosure during the court process.

As a result of this information, Chief of Police Stephen Tanner contacted the Toronto Police Service in November, 2016 and requested they undertake an independent, external criminal investigation relating to the exhibits. This common practice in matters pertaining to internal criminal investigations ensures an impartial and transparent investigation.

Murray cropped

Staff Sergeant Brad Murray.

The Toronto Police Service agreed to assist in this matter and began their criminal investigation in December, 2016. Their investigation has concluded and has resulted in today’s arrest of Staff Sergeant Brad Murray. Staff Sergeant Murray was a member and supervisor of the Service’s Drug and Morality Unit from January, 2013 to May, 2016, during which time the criminal offences are alleged to have occurred.

Staff Sergeant Murray has been formally charged with the following:

• Breach of Trust x2
• Theft Under x2
• Obstruct Justice

A First appearance court date has been set for June 27th 2017, at the Milton Provincial Courthouse.

“Staff Sergeant Murray has been suspended from duty with pay, as per the Police Services Act of Ontario (PSA),” said Chief of Police Stephen Tanner. “As such, we will endeavour to conclude this matter at the earliest opportunity.”

In addition to the criminal charges, Staff Sergeant Murray will face disciplinary procedures in accordance with the PSA. The most serious penalty under the PSA is dismissal.

With the criminal investigation by the Toronto Police Service complete, the Halton Regional Police Service (Professional Standards Bureau) will now conduct its internal disciplinary investigation, at which point the Police Services Act process will commence.

As a result of the investigation, and confirmation that exhibits had been tampered with, a number of drug related trials have been stayed by the Prosecution. The full ramifications of this situation as it relates to court prosecutions and potential withdrawal of charges will not be known for some time.

Halton Regional Police Services Chief Tanner wants to tweet with you.

Halton Regional Police Services Chief Tanner.

Chief Tanner released the following statement to the public and the members of the Halton District Police Service:

“We recognize the impact such news brings to you, the people we serve, and to the reputation of our Service. It violates public trust in the work we do and is an affront to the Canadian justice system as a whole. As such, we are committed to dealing with this issue transparently and thoroughly, guided by our longstanding principles of Excellence, Integrity, Justice, Trust and Respect, Teamwork and Accountability.

We will continue to cooperate fully with, and support the decisions of, the Toronto Police Service, Public Prosecution Services of Canada and the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Office. In light of the findings and going forward, the Drug and Morality Unit has implemented additional measures to preserve the integrity of all seized drug exhibits. I am confident in the security of our Service’s drug exhibits and that no other cases or types of drugs are in question.”

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Lowville Festival team make it work - Liona Boyd packed the hall - Second City comedy and a delightful Alice on the playbill for the weekend.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

May 27, 2017



Despite having to make close to last minute changes to the venue – forgetting about a performance under canvas and moving to inside a church hall, the 3rd Annual Lowville Festival pulled it off.

The “The hall at St. George’s was packed to the rafters Friday night” and with Liona Boyd on the playbill little wonder.

Saturday night:The Second City Comedy Troupe doing their Canada: The Thinking Man’s America is going to sell out. If you want to try and get a ticket – call BobMissen at 289-260-1109

Sunday, May 28; 2pm – St. Georges Anglican Church – Motus O Dance Theatre will be doing “Alice”; the production is a decidedly delightful look at a classic.

Alice - costumes

Alice in Wonderland characters with such energy and excitement – they leave audiences breathless.

Rich in athleticism and innovative dance and theatre, ALICE is an exhilarating adventure that spins you off into another land. ALICE is an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s whimsical stories, “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through The Looking Glass”. In her search for home, Alice must maneuver herself through this topsy – turvy world. ALICE is a one hour show that brings to life all your favourite characters with such energy and excitement that the audience is left breathless. Part Dance Part Theatre Part Triathlon.

While not intended as a performance for children – the production will widen the eyes of those from 12 to 80.

Growing the business:
The Lowville Festival organizers held their events during the first two years inside church halls and decided they were ready to outgrow those spaces. They were leaving behind some fine performances and wonderful memories but they needed more space.

Lowville Park was a beautiful location but there wasn’t a building they could hold events in. They got creative and decided a large tent – the kind of think travelling circuses used to use – would draw audiences and also add some charm and adventure to an event. The Festival was going to go under canvas.

Pole Tent - Picture 028

The tent was a great idea – but the grounds were too soggy after several days of rain. A venue change was needed.

The tent would keep any rain out – but the rain we have experienced this month left the grounds in the park soggy and soaked with water. It just wasn’t going to work.

The Festival organizers had to make changes – and they had to move very quickly which took them back to those tried and true church halls.

Second City this evening; Alice Sunday afternoon – both well worth the price of the tickets – if you can get one.

Saturday, May 27; 1pm to 4pm – Lowville United Church – Free Event!
Sights and Sounds in the Escarpment in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Burlington
Sponsored by: Ontario Trillium Foundation

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Creeks and waterfront parks Impacted by higher than normal rainfall - closures

News 100 redBy Staff

May 27, 2017



The city thinks they are unsafe —high water levels – decided to close the following areas:

Flooding Tuck_Creek_1

Tuck Creek bike path.

Informal paths along Tuck Creek from Regal Road to Tuck Park

The floating public docks and pedestrian ramps at the LaSalle Park Marina boat launch

The pedestrian bridge at the waterfront trail is also closed (at LaSalle Park)

The beach at Burlington Beach Regional Waterfront Park—the Beachway (closed May 17, 2017)

Recent rains have damaged the banks of Tuck Creek below Regal Road, making the informal trails very dangerous to any pedestrian or cyclist.

Flooding LaSalle Park ramp

LaSalle Park boat ramp

High water has also created unsafe conditions at the public boat launch and the pedestrian bridge leading to the LaSalle Park breakwater. The floating docks and pedestrian ramps will be removed early next week until the lake level recedes. The public launch will remain open at this time.

Flooding - LaSalle Park bridge

Bridge at LaSalle Park almost washed out.

Residents are warned to stay away from the noted creek block and park areas until the repairs have been made and exercise caution at our waterfront parks during this period of record high lake levels.

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Weather has resulted in some changes to the Lowville Festival schedule.

Newsflash 100By Pepper Parr

May 26, 2017



Weather, weather, weather.

The rain has thrown the Lowville Festival plans into a tizzy.

In the tradition of theatre – the show must go on and it will.

The plans for doing The Second City Comedy Troupe’s production of Canada: The Thinking Man’s America and Alice in Wonderland have had to be changed

St Georges Anglican Church

St Georges Anglican Church is at 7051 Guelph Line, ten minutes north of Lowville Park, just north of Derry Road.

The performances scheduled for the Festival tent in Lowville Park will now take place in St. George’s Church Hall at 7051 Guelph Line, ten minutes north of Lowville Park, just north of Derry Road.

The affected performances are:

• The Second City Comedy Troupe’s production of Canada: The Thinking Man’s America at 7:30 pm on Saturday, May 27; and

• ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Motus O Dance/Theatre Company at 2 pm on Sunday, May 28 – Fun for the family!

St. George’s Hall has been a venue for festival events since 2015. Liona Boyd and the Lowville Festival Choir perform there on Friday evening, May 26, at 7:30 pm. The Hall will be dry and the indoor space will add a feeling of intimacy to the performances.


Show schedule:

Friday, May 26; 7:30 pm – St. George’s Parish Hall
To Canada with Love: Celebrating Canada 150, featuring Liona Boyd and the Lowville Festival Choir

Saturday, May 27; 1pm to 4pm – Lowville United Church
Free Event!
Sights and Sounds in the Escarpment in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Burlington
Sponsored by: Ontario Trillium Foundation

Saturday May 27th – 7:30pm;  St. George’s Parish Hall
Second City Comedy Troupe: – Canada: The Thinking Man’s America

Sunday, May 28; 2pm – St. George’s Parish Hall
Motus O Dance Theatre’s Alice.

St. George’s Church Hall at 7051 Guelph Line, ten minutes north of Lowville Park, just north of Derry Road.

Representatives of the Festival will be at Lowville Park to re-direct anyone who is not aware of the change.

For information, please call: Bob Missen 289-260-1109

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Ticket prices for Sound of Music Kick Off show increase on the 29th.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

May 25, 2017




SoM Kick off concertWe wanted to let you know that the ticket price for Sound of Music June 10 Kick-Off Concert is going up on May 29.

Time to purchase if you haven’t already!

Spread the word and let your friends know that seven bands for $60 (plus fee and tax) can’t be beat.

Gates open at 1:00 pm.

Quick peak promo

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This sounds like fun - Pop up art in the Park - Saturday June 3rd.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

May 25th, 2017



This sounds like fun.

Art, the City + You: a pop-up art project in Spencer Smith Park

The pop-up art project is the way the city is asking Burlington residents to re-imagine the park as a place of art and creativity in the city.

Spencer Smith Park - play area

Pop Up Art project will take place in Spencer Smith Park near the play area.

Children and adults can join the play-space and add to a collaborative structure that will grow throughout the day.

It takes place in Spencer Smith Park, Saturday, June 3, 2017, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

What you will see at 4:00 pm will be a lot different than what is seen at 11:00 am – the idea is to build on the ideas that are there when you arrive

Location: Spencer Smith Park, near the playground equipment

Lisa Hirmer pop up

Lisa Hirmer – to lead residents in a Pop Up art project in Spencer Smith Park.

Rain date will be Sunday, June 4, 2017.

The Pop-Up is being run by Lisa Hirmer, an interdisciplinary artist who has created publicly engaged projects across the world, including Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Nuit Blanche (Toronto).

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HERD being kept off the ball diamond - another games rained out.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

May 25, 2017



The Burlington HERD game will not take place this evening.

Herd T-shirtThe Intercounty Baseball League announced today that the three scheduled contests for Thursday, May 25 have been rained out.

Burlington was to host Hamilton at 7:15 p.m

No make-up dates have been announced.

Standings May 25-17

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Between 30 and 45 mm of rain raises water levels within area watercourses to at or near bankfull conditions.

News 100 redBy Staff

May 25, 2017



Flood conditions - yellowOver the course of the day watersheds within Conservation Halton’s jurisdiction have received between 30 and 45 mm of rain. While the rain has ceased and further precipitation is not anticipated, water levels within area watercourses are still rising.

Many local watercourses are running at or near bankfull conditions. Near the Lake Ontario shoreline, easterlywinds and high lake levels may result in localized ponding in low areas.

Water levels in watershed creeks will rise significantly during the weekend. Caution around the edges of creeks - especially with children.

Water levels in watershed creeks have risen significantly during the day. Caution around the edges of creeks – especially with children.

Riverine flooding is not anticipated, however the forecasted precipitation in conjunction with saturated ground conditions may result in higher than normal water levels and flows in local streams.

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to stay away from all watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Lake Ontario water levels are also high. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

This Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety will be in effect through Friday May 26, 2017. Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream and weather conditions and will provide updates as required.

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Sport Field Status - wet and soggy and closed for at least today.

notices100x100By Staff

May 25th, 2017




The picture that is worth 1000 words.

All natural grass sport fields (diamonds and rectangular fields) are closed Thursday May 25./

Too much rain has resulted in very soggy playing fields.


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Waterfront visioning workshop presentation doesn't reveal very much. Key question doesn't even get answered.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 25th, 2017



The room in the lower level of the Waterfront hotel on Lakeshore Road was packed – standing room only.

Standing room only

It was standing room only for many of the people attending the Downtown Mobility Hub Visioning Workshop.

There was a very slick presentation being given on plans for redevelopment of the land on which the Waterfront hotel now stands.

Many – perhaps most of the people had two questions: How many and how high?

They wanted to know how many buildings did the developer want to build on the site and how high would they be.

They didn’t get an answer – the presentation was all about putting any development in context and relating it to what was already in place in the area.

Roz Minaj a Planning department staffer told the audience that the terms of reference were focused on redevelopment.

Some wanted to see the property purchased and turned into parkland and extending the size of Spencer Smith Park.  That is not going to happen.

At one point there were three wharves on the land the Waterfront Hotel sits on today.  A lot of fill was added to the shore line which extended the property further out into the lake.  The Pier got built and Spencer Smith had many upgrades making it all a prime attraction.

Should the plans for re-developing the existing Beachway community to the west ever get completed that part of the city will become a major attraction for thousands outside the city.

Waterfront to Lake enhanced

There was a lot of information on street views and other tall buildings in the area but not a word about how many buildings the developer wanted to put up or how high they might be.

When the presentation was done those who chose to stick around were invited into another room to take part in what we now call table work – a time when people gather around a table and write down some of the ideas they have for what should be built.

The results of those ideas will be put into a report which the Planning department will put in front of city council at some future date.

Tall buildings graphic

Is the argument going to be that there are tall buildings in the area so there could be tall buildings on the land the Waterfront Hotel is now on.

Last week the Mayor sent out the following informing people that:

Next week, the City of Burlington is starting a study that affects the future of our waterfront and I am asking everyone in Burlington to get involved.

The Brant and Lakeshore planning study commences on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. It will consider what should be located on the property at the foot of Brant Street that is currently home to the Waterfront Hotel.

The owner of the property ­­– Burlington 2020 Lakeshore Inc. — is interested in redeveloping the site. As such, the City’s Official Plan, which is the guiding planning document for Burlington, requires the City to complete a master plan for this area.

This master plan is critically important, as this site is prime waterfront land surpassing anything found in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area in natural beauty and access.

As Mayor, I am very concerned about the impact any redevelopment could have on our waterfront.
I believe an option needs to be considered that converts this property to open space as a natural extension to the existing park for the future enjoyment of all Burlington residents.

Residents frequently tell me public space on our stunning waterfront is important to them and to our community. I agree wholeheartedly. And I believe that redevelopment of this site will not be welcomed.

Waterfront hotel Taylor

City Councillor John Taylor was listening intently to people.

The people who share that view were out in force along with people from the offices of many of the developers in the city.

We didn’t see the Mayor in the room but it was packed – he might have been in there somewhere.  Councillors Taylor, Dennison and Meed Ward were observed.

Related article:
Development at the foot of Brant Street

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Mayor washes his hands of the protests over the brick makers plans to mine for shale near the Tyandaga community.

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 25th, 2017



As people think about whether or not they will attend the Meridian Brick information meeting this evening they might want to read over the note that the Mayor posted on his linked In page.

He said:

“After extensive review by staff in several city and regional departments, we have come to understand that Meridian Brick is within its legal rights and that the Province of Ontario, not the City of Burlington, has jurisdiction over this matter.”

The scene - quarry

Site of the third shale pit that the brick company wants to begin mining.

He appears to have washed his hands of this issue; those in the Tyandaga community are on their own.

The Meridian meeting is at 7:00 pm at the Crossroads Centre at 1259 North Service Road just west of Kerns Road.

Related article:

What is the issue behind the mining of shale for brick manufacturing.

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Air Park wins its appeal of site plan requirement.

Newsflash 100By Staff

May 24, 2017



City of Burlington loses the Appeal case that the Air Park made to the Ontario Court of Appeals. The matter of what the city will now do with its requirement that the Air Park file a site plan is is something the city is going to have to think through.

The Appeal was made by the Air Park. This is the first of numerous court cases that the city has lost in this matter.

Air Park entrance uly 2013What does it mean and what, if anything, will the city do next?

One council member is reported to have said that if the city loses the Appeal they will not attempt to take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

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Wood available from historic Spencer Smith weeping willows

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 24th, 2017



There will be something in the way of a lasting memory of the graceful, natural looking Gazebo that once rested in a small dip of land at the beginning of the Naval Promenade in Spence Smith Park.

Willows - Weeping_Willows_Spencer_Smith_Park

A view of Burlington that is no more – two majestic willow trees were cut down and the gazebo razed for something more accessible.

The two willow trees that were planted there more than seventy years ago by the man who the park was eventually named after were deemed to be unsafe and were cut down in 2016.

All was not lost – several hundred saplings were taken and the thick tree trunks were cut into smaller pieces, planed and then kiln dried and are now ready for use by people who like and know how to work with wood.
Starting in June, the city will offer wood chunks for creating artwork and for souvenirs, saplings for planting and wood boards to be finished into furniture or art objects.

Saplings: The city grew more than 200 cuttings from the willow trees in a greenhouse this past fall and winter. The young trees will be ready in early June for people who are interested in growing a piece of history on their own properties. Weeping willows are very large trees and don’t suit everyone’s property and preferences. Please carefully follow the city’s instructions on where and how to plant them.

A limited number of saplings is available at:

Branches of Burlington Public Library, starting June 6
Ireland House Museum, starting June 6
Lions Park, 471 Pearl St., June 9 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. during Chat and Chew in Ward 2

Willows - wood_cutting_at_yard

Trunks of the weeping willow trees taken out of Spencer Smith Park are cut to plank length sizes, planed and then kiln dried. wood will be available in June.

Wood chunks: Great for artwork or small pieces of furniture, wood chunks are available for pickup in the parking lot of the Burlington Lions Club at 471 Pearl St. from June 9 at 5 p.m. until June 11 at 5 p.m.
Wood boards: Local companies Arborwood Tree Service Inc. and Exotic Woods donated their services to prepare wood from the willow trees for future use. They planed, milled and then kiln-dried the wood from six large logs to make boards that can form a table, chairs or other furniture.

More information will soon be available about how to apply for those pieces of wood.

Tribute in Spencer Smith Park: The city is working with Halton Region to plan a lasting tribute to the willow trees in Spencer Smith Park. Stay tuned for more details.

For more information, visit www.burlington.ca/willowtrees. For questions about the wood, please email communications@burlington.ca.

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Are there members of the Conservative prty who did not gt their ballots in time to vote for the new federal leadership?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 24th, 2017



The political set in Burlington is a secretive crowd.

We frequently get messages with the line “You are not hearing this from me!”

I’ve never understood why these people don’t stand up on their hind legs and say: “My name is John Doe and I want to know why…?”

Conservative leadership-candidates

The men and women running for the office of Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Kevin O’Leary, on the far left, dropped out of the race but his name is still on the ballot.

That being said we were told that: “ There have been many members of the Conservative Party who are social conservatives who either did NOT get a ballot or it came too late to mail in. I wonder if there is a story here.”

Is there a story here?

Are there others who did not get the ballot they expected when they became members of the Conservative Party?

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Halton Regional Police launch third phase of project safe commute in Burlington

News 100 redBy Staff

May 24th, 2017



On Tuesday May 23rd, officers from the Services three District Response Units teamed up for a third time this year in order to focus on a variety of traffic complaints throughout the City of Burlington. A large number of traffic complaints received by police relate to drivers exceeding the posted speed limits.

Project Safe Commute was developed in response to concerns expressed by Halton residents about aggressive driving, particularly during the morning and afternoon commutes. The first phase of the initiative was completed in Milton and Halton Hills in late March, while the second phase took place in Oakville in April.

Police with radasr guns at Alton two officers

Police targeting cars exceeding the speed limits.

Officers targeted those driving behaviours that place road users at the greatest risk namely distracted driving, aggressive driving and driving while impaired by either drug or alcohol.

Officers dedicated a combined total of 98 hours of enforcement to 15 identified high traffic complaint areas within Burlington. As a result of police presence at these various locations, police arrested two impaired drivers, impounded two vehicles for 7 days, took out of service three commercial motor vehicles due to violations, issued over 28 warnings to drivers and handed out 138 Provincial Offence Notices to drivers.

The charges ranged from distracted driving, speeding, stop sign and red light infractions, license suspensions, and impaired operation of a motor vehicle.

40 km hr speed limitSgt. Jared McLeod of the 3 District Response Unit commented, “Drivers need to remember that their actions behind the wheel may have consequences on others. Several drivers stopped for speeding were doing 40km over the posted limit. Speeds like this, can escalate the chances of a serious motor vehicle collision. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. We all play a role in changing driver behaviour to ensure safer roads for all.”

Halton Police would like to remind drivers that community safety is a shared responsibility and that each individual driver plays a key role in ensuring that their next commute is a Safe Commute.

Project Safe Commute and others are part of the Service’s broader Community First policing philosophy that focuses on incorporating the four pillars of (community) safety and well-being into service priorities: Emergency Response, Risk Intervention, Prevention, and Social Development.

If any citizen would like to report a traffic concern they can do so by visiting our website and submitting an online traffic complaint,


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Parents want to ensure that their interests and the interests of their children get the attention they need.

highschoolsBy Pepper Parr

May 24th, 2017



Steve Armstrong is an engineer by training working in the field of software development.

He hasn’t gotten much of his day job work done recently – he has become consumed by the machinations and the flow of information that has taken place during the public discussion of whether or not high schools in Burlington should be closed and if so, which schools and for what reasons.

Eric who PARC

Steve Armstrong

Last week Armstrong and Denise Davy met with “policy advisors at the Ministry of Education and had a good discussion with a few people. Afterwards we also met up with couple of NDP MPPs, Monique Taylor (Critic, Accessibility and Persons with Disabilities and Critic, Children and Youth Services) and Peggy Sattler (education critic).

Monique and Peggy both suggested keeping the heat up on our MPP, Eleanor McMahon.

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon and Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter have been closely following this process and apparently have had meetings with a number of Board people.

Armstrong said he was told “the province won’t intervene at this time because a decision hasn’t been made, and they want to respect the process”, BUT they do agree it’s better for everyone involved if the correct decision gets made in the first place. Since that lies with the Trustees at this point we need to keep informing them of facts in play.

“What I would like to see is Eleanor and Mitzie facilitating a meeting with the Trustees to allow some reasoned voices to talk to gaps in the process. Perhaps this could be the PARC members in direct dialogue with the Trustees but either way the Ministry resonated with my concern about a lack of meaningful engagement.”

Armstrong reflects the widely held public view that the first Public meeting in December did not fulfill its goal but rather made things worse….”it was a live survey with poor questions and allowed no dialogue with attendees.”

The PARC meetings went from a focus on decisions about what options to remove early on to finally talking about creative ideas at the last meeting…completely backwards.

Steve Armstrong + Cheryl deLught - Pearson

Steve Armstrong with Cheryl DeLught

Armstrong maintains that Director of Education Stuart Miller had told students that PARC members would be engaging with them. But that morphed into a survey which PARC members were denied participation in setting up questions that we might want.”

Armstrong adds that “staff were left out of this important process, and although apparently a heavily redacted set of comments have been made available to Trustees that was done after the PARC was disbanded so there was no chance of building on their input.

Armstrong said there has been no meaningful engagement with the city.

He adds that the second and third Public meetings were constructed differently than what the PAR committee had been told would happen.

Parents in front of maps

Functional breakouts (Finance, Building services etc) in which all Options where present didn’t meet the needs of the parents.

“We were told it would be a short presentation up front followed by stations focused on individual options to be interactively discussed with the public.

“Instead they skipped the presentation and went with functional breakouts (Finance, Building services etc) in which all options where present. Overall it lead to a lack of cohesion.”

Armstrong reports that the Ministry was also concerned when it learned that not all Trustees have visited the schools in play. “I’m lead to believe” said Armstrong “that there has been discussion with the four Burlington Trustees and the Ministry/MPP but think all 11 need to be reminded of their duties and expectations with regard to engagement.”

It is time for the trustees to step up to the plate and be responsible and accountable to the people that elected them. At the last Information session of the Board we had a trustee with two schools that are in play, with one threatened with closure asking questions of Board staff about a school that wasn’t even in her ward.

Another trustee was in the que for asking questions and when it came to her turn she had forgotten what her question was.

Collard and Miller

Amy Collard eye-balling Stuart Miller

This is irresponsible behavior from people who are desperately needed to act on behalf of their constituents and not be so cozy with the Director of Education. He is accountable to them, something that Stuart Miller fully understands and will respond to – the trustees have to set the bar – they have yet to do so.

The exception is Ward 5 trustee Amy Collard – she has been relentless with not only Miller but every other staff member she has put questions to.

The other trustees can learn about what it means to hold staff accountable.

The Board will continue the meeting that was recessed last week on Wednesday (tomorrow) at 6:00 pm. The meeting will be live webcast. Steve Armstrong thinks he just might drop in.

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The Gazette erred - Director of Education Miller did not meet with MPP McMahon.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 23rd, 2017



We published a statement about meetings Director of Education Stuart Miller was said to have had with Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon.

No such meetings took place.

Miller did have conversations with McMahon, by telephone and they lasted a five or so minutes.  McMahon had questions about the process.

We have already apologized to Director Miller and will make our apologies to MPP Eleanor McMahon. There were extenuating circumstances – it was a long holiday weekend and people were not available. That doesn’t excuse the error we made.

The information we were given was false, and known to be false by people working to keep Bateman open. One, a former journalist, knows better than to make comments that she knew or should have known were false.

The other person the information came from was described in the article as a less than reliable source.

Stuart Miller said he and his staff changed their recommendation when they learned the full Central high school story and that their information came from the information that came out during the PARC process and documentation the Central parents made available to the board.

The Central enrollment, while not as high as the Board would like it to be, is understood to be stable.

“To close Central and have 600 students on buses every day would seriously jeopardize the educational experience these students would have and add close to $500,000 a year to transportation costs that they board already knows are going to increase” said Miller

“Closing central would not have done anything to enhance the educational experience.”

The projected Central enrollment was seen as stable. “And we did not make any allowance for whatever intensification might do for either Central or Aldershot: said Miller.

“We changed the recommendation when we learned the full Central high school story.”

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Liona Boyd close to a sold out event at the three day Lowville Festival

Lowville sign - orange aBy Staff

May 23, 2017





Liona Boyd performance is close to sold out.

The Liona Boyd event, part of the Lowville Festival that runs Friday night and is heading towards a sellout.

There are still a few tickets for the two shows taking place in the tent in Lowville Park.

People can order online at Snapd Burlington or at Different Drummer, and through Bob Missen at 289-260-1109.

Pole Tent - Picture 028

Comedy under canvas – Canada: The Thinking Man’s America

Show schedule:

Friday, May 26; 7:30 pm – St. George’s Parish Hall
To Canada with Love: Celebrating Canada 150, featuring Liona Boyd and the Lowville Festival Choir

Saturday, May 27; 1pm to 4pm – Lowville United Church
Free Event!
Sights and Sounds in the Escarpment in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Burlington
Sponsored by: Ontario Trillium Foundation

Saturday May 27th – 7:30pm; Lowville Park – Festival Tent
Second City Comedy Troupe: – Canada: The Thinking Man’s America

Sunday, May 28; 2pm – Lowville Park- Festival Tent
Motus O Dance Theatre’s Alice

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The issue: Which is more important, mining shale to make bricks or the 6000 – 9000 trees that will have to be cut down to mine that shale. Think climate change while you muse on the question.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 23rd, 2017


In 1972

Paul Henderson scores the “goal of the century”
The World Hockey Association begins
Global Television begins broadcasting in Ontario
Heritage Canada is established
Lester B. Pearson dies.
Average Cost of new house $27,550.00
Average Income per year $11,800.00
Average Monthly Rent $165.00
Cost of a gallon of Gas 55 cents
Richard Nixon announces he will resign

In 1972 the province of Ontario issued a license to remove shale for brick making from lands in the western part of the city

The Tyandaga Environmental Coalition Inc. (TEC) is a group of concerned residents opposed to a planned expansion of that quarry for the purpose of shale extraction.

The scene - quarry

The Tyendaga community and its neighbour – three quarry sites.

The TEC has been slugging this one out for a number of years. They incorporated as a not for profit, created a web site, put up an on-line petition – 1,850 to date and now they get ready for another community meeting at which the brick making company will explain what they plan to do next.

That next is expected to be the cutting down of something between 6,000 and 10,000 trees on the 34 acre property.

While TEC does its best to prevent the mining of shale for brick making – which will require the cutting down of at least 6000 tress Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven Congratulates and thanks IKEA and “Tree Canada” for their recent initiative in Kerns Park where over 60 IKEA volunteers planted about 300 new trees in the park.

The irony is painful.

TEC made the comment that: “In the light of your support for the “Tree Canada” project we would also respectfully point out that just as important as the planting of saplings (for the future generation) is the saving of those trees that have already been planted and have survived all the elements both man-made and natural – trees that are now enormous contributors to our clean air, healthy lifestyle (for the current generation), and our overall well-being.

The TEC people say the “… need, at a minimum, to have the MNRF decision (to issue the original quarry license) to be re-evaluated in the light of the ‘HERE and NOW – 2016’. We appreciate that the MNRF does not have a history of reviewing their decisions but in this case we believe that the area under question has undergone such a dramatic change in the last FORTY-FOUR YEARS with the enormous growth in industry, schools, residences, traffic, etc. that it would warrant an exception to their rule.

They add that “There is also reason to believe that there are endangered species that were not identified in the original quarry request. Essentially, Forterra has become an urban quarry in a pristine area of Burlington.


As many as 9000 tress will be cut down so that the shale can be mined for brick making.

Meridian Brick (formerly Forterra Brick) plans to clear-cut approximately 40 acres of prime forest to expand its commercial shale quarrying operations (the east cell) beside the residential Tyandaga neighbourhood in Burlington, Ontario.

TEC urges the Honourable Kathryn McGarry (Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry), and, the Honourable Glen Murray (Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change), to revoke Meridian Brick’s permission to quarry their east cell.

By revoking the permission to quarry this land, the government would demonstrate strong leadership in correcting planning oversights that were made decades ago, long before an understanding of fair and just environmental principles emerged in Ontario law and before the possible health hazards associated with quarry operations were fully appreciated.

Cancelling the 44-year old “sleeper” permission to quarry land held by Meridian Brick would save an important and healthy forest, protect habitat for all species, flora and fauna – including those that are at-risk and endangered and help protect Ontario’s watershed and residents’ health.

TEC is fighting an uphill battle.

In an Information document made prepared for members of council and made available to the public the city’s view point is set out. Brick making is a big industry in Burlington.

The Information document explains that: “There is considerable background relating to the quarry including but not limited to the relationship to the nearby Tyandaga subdivision, land use planning matters and details regarding the quarry licence and operation. To this end, this document will serve as a background paper that offers a summary of the key facts.”

Three areas in North Aldershot are licenced for shale extraction under the Aggregates Resource Act (ARA) – West, Centre and East. The Aldershot Quarry has been in operation since the 1920’s and was first licenced under the Pits and Quarries Control Act in 1972 and then subsequently under the ARA in June, 1990.

Under the Aggregate Resources Act, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry:

Oversees the rules governing aggregate management
Inspects aggregate operations and responds to complaints
Enforces compliance
Ensures rehabilitation is carried out on sites

Extraction operations are governed by a site plan approved as part of a licence that was finalized in 2010 under the Aggregates Resources Act.

The quarries are designated as Mineral Resource Extraction in the Burlington Official Plan and zoned MRNA (Mineral Resource North Aldershot).

Licenced extraction areas are protected by the Provincial Policy Statement and are permitted to continue without the need for an Official Plan or Zoning By-law amendment or development permit.

Forterra Brick owns and operates the three clay brick plants and four shale quarries within the City. Forterra Brick (under various previous names and ownership) has owned and operated brick plants and quarries in Burlington since 1956.

Forterra Brick manufactures an estimated 55% of the clay brick produced in Canada and 45% of that is made in Burlington.

Currently the Aldershot plant uses shale from the west quarry and the Burlington plant (Dundas Street) uses shale from the centre quarry. The west quarry is reported to have approximately 3-5 years of shale reserves while the centre quarry has approximately 6-8 years of reserves. Times depend on demand for brick.

Both the west quarry and centre quarry were mined by National Sewer Pipe dating back to 1929. Hanson Brick has operated in both quarries since the late 1990’s. Until 2005, operations in the centre quarry were periodic and since then, the operations have been continuous. There has also been limited excavation in the east quarry. The West quarry is still operational, but with limited life.

Three quarry sites

Three quarry sites

This is a shale quarry site which produces Queenston shale for brick making. Queenston shale is the only type of shale used for brick making in Ontario today. Much of Ontario’s remaining Queenston shale is no longer accessible due to urban development in southern Ontario.

Shale extraction does not involve explosives. It’s a mechanical process where the topsoil and vegetation is stripped away (using bulldozers and tree chippers) and the underlying clay is left to weather. As the quarry deepens, piles of weathered shale are excavated by front end loaders and trucked away.

The excavated material from the Aldershot quarries is trucked away to the Aldershot brick plant south of the west quarry and to the Burlington quarry located on Dundas Street, east of Appleby Line.
The material is transported using the North Service Road with approximately 110 truckloads per week. The quarry does not operate on weekends.

The site plans for the approved licence show three operational cells (quarries). In the near future, operations at the site will open a new cell within the existing approved licence area – known as the east cell (quarry). This is not a new licence area or a licence expansion. The remainder of the quarry is active and quarry operations were found to be in compliance when inspected by the Ministry in 2015.

East Quarry: In 2015, the City was notified by Forterra of its intention to start preparing the east quarry for extraction.

The east quarry is 16.4 hectares in size and approximately 10.8 hectares will be disturbed.

Clearing the land is the first step in preparing for shale extraction. Tree clearing was scheduled for the winter of 2016-2017 for the east quarry; however, a mitigation plan for endangered species is required which may delay the timing of the tree clearing.

Quarry Rehabilitation: The entire east quarry will be rehabilitated in accordance with the Greenbelt Plan to 100% forest cover. The rehabilitation requirements of the Greenbelt Plan were incorporated into the site plan finalized in 2010 under the Aggregates Resources Act.

Westhaven Drive Subdivision: Houses on Westhaven Drive were constructed well after the quarry property had been licenced for aggregate extraction.

On May 12, 1997, City Council approved the Westhaven Drive subdivision, adjacent to the east quarry.
The application was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board by residents on Forestvale Drive and it was approved with some minor amendments on May 25, 1998.

At the time the subdivision application was made in 1995, Dust Assessment and Noise Control studies were submitted to the city for the future east quarry to demonstrate compatibility.

These studies were reviewed and approved by the Ministry of the Environment and Energy who stated in a letter dated, October 24, 1996 that it “is satisfied that the land use compatibility issues raised earlier have been addressed.”

All purchasers are informed of the following warning clause registered on title:

“The purchaser acknowledges the presence of a future extractive industrial land use to the west and that extraction may take place during the daytime only.”

The Tyandaga Environmental Coalition Inc. (“TEC”) has been formed to represent a number of families residing adjacent to the proposed quarry. The TEC did contact the city to request confirmation that certain OMB Minutes of Settlement conditions were fulfilled relating to a site plan, noise and dust matters. The city confirmed that the conditions had been cleared by staff.

Neighbourhood Meeting: On September 22, 2015, at the request of Councillor Craven, Forterra held an information session with local residents to explain their plans and to answer questions. At the meeting, the neighbours were invited to form a committee that could meet with Forterra Brick to discuss the concerns of the neighbourhood. The September 22nd meeting was attended by Councillor Craven, approximately 50 members of the public and planning staff. An optional tour of the west quarry took place prior to the meeting and was attended by approximately 9 residents.

Ministerial Review: The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry was asked to comment on a request for a ministerial review of the licence granted to Forterra Brick and we are advised by Eleanor McMahon, MPP that there is no process under the ARA for a ministerial review of an approved licence.

Regular inspections of an operating quarry are conducted by the Ministry and the Forterra quarry operations were found to be in compliance when inspected by the Ministry in 2015.

Forterra Brick is holding a meeting for anyone who wants to talk to them Thursday evening at the Crossroads Centre on the 1259 North Service Road just west of Kerns Road.

The overriding question for the community and city hall is this; which is more important mining shale to make bricks or the 6000 – 9000 trees that will have to be cut down to mine that shale.

Think climate change as you muse about this one.

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