A red Cadillac drew more attention than the drivers wanted - police took 3 into custody after a short chase.

Crime 100By Staff

May 8th, 2017



On May 2nd 2017 shortly before midnight, a uniformed officer observed a red Cadillac driving in an erratic manner as it travelled southbound on Guelph Line from Dundas Street in Burlington.

Upon seeing police, the vehicle made several turns and pulled into a private driveway on Greenbough Crescent after which four male occupants ran from the vehicle. Police determined that the vehicle had been stolen earlier in the evening from a driveway in Brampton.

Further police descended upon the area and the four males were quickly located and arrested.
Arrested & Charged are:

Vaishnavan SUTHAGARAN (21 yrs) of Brampton (Held for bail and remains in custody)
• Possession of property obtained by crime under $5000
• Obstruct peace officer
• Fail to comply with recognizance

Mohammed Abdullah JAMA (18 yrs) of Oakville (Released on bail and will appear next in Milton court on May 31st 2017)
• Possession of property obtained by crime under $5000
• Fail to comply with undertaking

Jared Myles AMURAO (21 yrs) of Brampton (Released on bail and will appear next in Milton court on May 24th 2017)
• Possession of property obtained by crime under $5000
17-year old male who cannot be identified because of his age (held for bail and remains in custody)
• Possession of property obtained by crime under $5000
• Obstruct peace officer
• Fail to comply with recognizance (three counts)

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2316. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

red cadillac with fins

… but maybe it looked like this.

A red Cadillac will certainly get attention which it did.

2013 Cadillac ATS compact luxury sedan. Available Summer 2012. Preproduction model shown. Actual model may vary. (05/07/12)

It probably looked like this …

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Annual Police Day - Saturday May 13th at police HQ in Oakville - a fine family event.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 8th, 2017



It’s an annual event – the 18th and an occasion when the police pull out all the stops and show the public what they do and how they do it.

With robot device

Mini robots will be on display.

Much of the equipment the police have to serve and protect a community is on display. There will be demonstrations where police officers work with a member of the K9 unit.

police dog running

K9 unit on patrol

Takes place Saturday May 13th between 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m at HRPS Headquarters 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.

Rain or Shine: No Pets Please.

There will be HMC Connections volunteer interpreters (Arabic, Urdu, Chinese, Spanish, Polish, Punjabi, Russian, Korean, Portuguese and French) available through the Information booth

Armed officers

Police officers going through a training exercise.

ASL interpreter services available through the Information booth and ASL interpreting for all stage presentations

Live Demonstrations and Interactive Displays, Family-Friendly Entertainment and Rides are part of the day.

The HRPS Pipes & Drums and Chorus will be on hand – all the celebrate what the police do and to celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Children’s Safety Village

Saluting with police

Chief Tanner takes the salute

A BBQ provided by Troy’s Diner ($)

FREE Admission & On-Site Parking

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Sports fields still closed - grounds still soaked.

notices100x100By Staff

May 8th, 2017



Due to extreme water saturation, the following sport fields are closed Monday May 8:
• All natural grass sport fields (diamonds and rectangular fields)

Look for sunshine and a light breeze to dry up the water.

Creek - very high

The water is high – close to the top of banks and it is moving very swiftly.

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Delegations from 25 parents on the closing of high schools in Burlington begin tonight.

highschoolsBy Staff

May 8th, 2017



And now it comes down to the people who are going to be impacted directly by the closing of high schools.

The parent’s at Lester B. Pearson feel disillusioned by the decision to close their school. The feeder schools that kept Pearson alive were shifted to Hayden high school leaving Pearson with very little in the way of incoming students from the elementary sector.

Bateman hug

Bateman high school parents decided to give their high school a hug – hoping that the Board of Trustees would give them a hug in return?

Some of the parents at Bateman are close to frantic with the decision to close that school in 2019 when an addition to Nelson high school will take in what are described as very emotionally vulnerable students with serious learning disabilities.

The parents at Central have gone very very quiet. They were on the original close list (they shouldn’t have been) but they were not on the recommendation that was sent to the trustees last week.

An unfortunate statement released by the Central parents didn’t help the hard feelings that developed between parents at the different schools that were up for closure.

It took ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward an inordinate amount of time to issue a statement and at least try to soothe the very ruffled feathers


Is a city Councillor restricted to serving on just city council or can she take part in other organizations as well? Ward 2 council member Marianne Meed Ward accepted the request to be a member of the PARC – she has a son at the high school.

The Central decision to ask Meed Ward to serve as one of their representatives on the PARC wasn’t popular with many; some saw it as a conflict of interest. She had every right to serve – she has a son at the high school. Quite how her being as city Councillor could be seen as a conflict suggests those who made the remark don’t understand what a conflict of interest is.

If there was a conflict of interest it was with the Mayor who took the gutless approach to representing the city on the PARC and sent the City Manager instead. The conflict was between his personal interests and those of the people he was elected to represent.

The city representative on the PARC did not have a vote – the person was just there as an observer and in a position to make comments. Ridge who filled the city seat said very little other than to suggest that if a school was closed the Board should not sell the land. A school board basically has to dispose of any land or buildings that are surplus to its needs.

Podrebarac and Ridge

City manager James Ridge, on the right, was appointed by city council to be the observer at the PARC meetings.

What the city could have done was looked for ways to rent some of the excess space the school board has and not continue to rent expensive space in the Sims building across the street from city hall where they occupy several floors in that building.

Kim, a parent who moved from the Alton Village into the Lester B. Pearson community so her children could attend Pearson. She and her husband wanted their children to attend a small school. They bought in that community so there children could attend the school

Rory Nisan, a small guy, who played rugby at Pearson said “ I would never have gotten on any team at M. M. Robinson”

Another parent that will be delegating has a boy that is a quiet child, “not the kind of student that will survive in a school with close to 1000 students. He just wouldn’t make it.” This parent, who didn’t want to be named, is working on getting her seven page delegation down to two pages. “All we get is five minutes” she said and she isn’t comfortable being a delegate. “Am I going to be criticized or humiliated when they ask me questions”, she asked.

“When we moved into this community” she said “we called the school and asked about the rumours that the school was going to be closed and we were told that it was just a rumour”.

Girl with T-shirt LBPH

Every high school that was at risk had T shirts made up. Even Nelson which was never really at risk.

The schools frequently send pieces of paper home with a student – it gets tucked into their back backs – and they are usually on pink paper. They tend not to get read admitted this parent, which drives the administrative people at the school board up the wall who ask – ‘what do we have to do, hang a sign around the neck of every student when we want to get a message to their parents?’

“It was a rainy Friday after school in early October, and we received a letter explained one parent, saying that Pearson was proposed to close in June 2018. I thought to myself, How could they do this just as my child was settling into high school?

“Who does this to students as they just start their high school year? I had so many questions and yet didn’t know where to go for the answers.

“Over the course of the past seven months, our family has endured so much heartache, uncertainty and unnecessary stress. From attending countless public meetings only to witness the conflicts developing between communities…..there were no answers, just more questions. We as a family have participated in all community rallies and committee meetings in hopes to find answers and in a small way feel that we had some sort of control over the situation. As time passed, it was obvious, this process was unproductive and was tearing parents, students, and communities apart.

“As I put on my rose coloured glasses and prepare my delegation, I find myself almost brought to tears. As I sit here in front of my computer and try to put all my thoughts down, I am filled with so many emotions. I found myself frustrated, angry, and emotional torn. I am counting the moments until this is over. When there will be no more meetings….no more agendas…. no more rallies.

Unhappy parent

Emotions have been running very high. Not a lot of empathy coming from the Board staff – the trustees get to react to parent concerns during delegations that will start on Monday – the 8th.

“The emotions are too much, the memories of the events that have brought me to this final moment makes me wonder…How did I get here? There is an overwhelming fear inside knowing the words I choose have to perfect to have any real impact. What can I say to make the Trustees see the damage a school closure will do to not only my family but so many others? What magic word or key point can I include that will sway their thoughts of a school closure? After all, I am just a parent….. I don’t have a background in education or politics yet here I am expected to stand up and read my delegation in front of a room filled with people who do this every day.

“I just want this nightmare to be over. The students want it to be just another day at Pearson.….where everyone knows you, where teachers support you, where smiles are exchanged, where good memories of high school are made….…..our kids deserve that!

Were you to talk to this parent you would hear her bubbling with ideas on how to keep the school open. Bur she is “just a parent” and she isn’t at all certain that her voice is going to make any difference.

One of the delegations the trustees will ear this evening reads like this:

I wish to express my deepest concerns and disappointment regarding the potential closure of Lester B Pearson High School. I strongly believe that the drastic measure to close our school is very short-sighted.

Lester B Pearson is ideally located in an area of population growth and demographic change. The issue with the 1800 empty seats is the fact that these spaces are not spread evenly across grade levels nor across schools. With 1267 of the empty pupil spaces located south of the QEW, it makes a closure of any North school unwarranted and unjustified.

Since the building of Hayden, our enrollment numbers have dropped considerably. The main reason being, is that we currently have only have 1 1/2 feeder schools, while Hayden has 7 and a large portion of our catchment area is mainly industrial and commercial.

Despite the close proximity to Pearson, many students are being redirected to other schools and require driving or busing, which doesn’t make sense from a logical, geographical, nor a financial perspective. This simply reinforces the need for balancing of feeder schools and redefining boundaries, and NOT for the drastic measure of a school closure in Burlington.

The current low enrollment at Pearson was created by the HDSB and NOT the lack of growth in North Burlington. Based on the most recent data from the 2016 Statistics Canada Census, the population in Burlington has increased by 4.3 % since 2011, and is growing faster than the estimates currently being used by the HDSB. Should the time come when a new school is needed to satisfy additional growth, more money and more “land”which are both currently limited, will be required.

There is a growing trend in Burlington, with the older residents remaining in their homes well past retirement……demographic change is “inevitable”. With the completion of the housing developments within North Burlington, there will be a substantial increase in families moving to the immediate area. It is important that we as a city be proactive and plan for the future growth and change that will result from our current aging population downsizing. With 3 & 4 bedroom homes nestled perfectly between both elementary and highschool, it makes the Pearson and Palmer area a highly sought after community for new and growing families.

Built in 1976, Pearson is the “2ND NEWEST” public high school in Burlington and offers expansive grounds, tennis courts, running track, and beautiful trails/forestry that provides a unique learning environment and recreational area for many local residents to enjoy year round. Despite the current low enrollment, and the rumors of a potential closure, there are still a good percentage of students choosing to attend Pearson through optional attendance.

Pearson was built as a small school and has consistently proven to be a successful platform for providing academic excellence and student success. According to Fraser Institute, Pearson ranks the “2nds BEST” public high school within the City of Burlington. Research has shown, that many students tend to perform much better and suffer from less stress and anxiety in a small school environment.

With bullying issues a growing concern, many students and parents are seeking out small schools where fighting and bullying are less likely to occur due to having a much lower population. The small school environment not only enables students to be more visible to teachers,it also helps to make it easier for teachers and staff to respond should a confrontation between students arise.

The smaller school environment, improves the student teacher relationship, making it easier to identify a student’s need for support and provide a more personalized educational experience. Having a smaller staff size also makes it much easier and faster to collaborate in order to provide student support when needed. In comparison to the larger school environment, students in a smaller school also tend to feel more connected to their school and their community as a whole.

In small schools, such as Pearson, the percentage of students involved in extracurricular activities and team sports is likely to be much higher than at a larger school. Although there may not be as many teams, there is a greater chance of making the team as a result of less competition. Being part of a team helps to build student self-esteem, strengthen social skills and builds strong and positive relationships with their peers.

Overall, small schools tend to be safer, offer a more positive learning experience, and results in higher academic performance amongst students especially those with social, emotional, and academic challenges.

With growing concerns relating to our youth’s mental health, childhood obesity, physical and emotional well-being, perhaps the HDSB should be focusing their efforts on exploring creative/alternative programming, advocating for small schools, promoting walkability, lowering the needs and costs associated with busing, strengthening school-based community partnerships, and NOT on closing schools in Burlington.

PARC Feb 9 Reynolds and Grebenc

Most of the Burlington trustees attended every PARC meetings and then their twice a month Boar meetings as well. One of those meetings went to well after midnight. Trustees Grebenc and Reynolds taking notes

How will the trustees follow up with their questions?

What impact will delegations like this have on the process?

At one of the PARC meetings Director of Education Stuart Miller admitted that the Board doesn’t communicate with parents all that well.

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Rains drowns out the baseball schedule - opening game for The Herd set for May 12 in London

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

May 6, 2017



All that rain – it changed a lot of plans.

The start of the 2017 Intercounty Baseball League season has had to wait.

Baseball IBL league colours

What’s wrong with this graphic? The team crest for the Burlington Inter County Baseball League is now known as The Herd. This is the last look at the crest of a team that did come close – but never won the top spot at the end of the season.

The new start of the IBL season is scheduled for Friday, May 12 at 7:35 p.m. when the London Majors host the Burlington Herd at Labatt Park.

Both the Barrie Baycats and Toronto Maple Leafs postponed their home openers scheduled for Sunday, May 7 due to poor weather and field conditions.

Barrie was set to host London, and that game has been rescheduled for Tuesday, June 27 at 7:45 p.m.

The Baycats will now open their home schedule against the Leafs on Saturday, May 13 at 2 p.m.

Toronto was supposed to start the season against the Kitchener Panthers. That game has yet to be rescheduled.


Once they were Bandits – now they are The Herd and they play in a ball park they call the farm. Their opening game got re-scheduled.

The people who manage the baseball schedule are working over the dates and the options they have to work with.

With the postponement, the Leafs will play their home opener Sunday, May 14 against the Brantford Red Sox at 2 p.m.

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Delegations for the first opportunity to address the public school board trustees announced

highschoolsBy Staff

May 5th, 2017



Parents in Burlington have been waiting for months for their opportunity to address the Halton District School Board trustees on the staff recommendation to close Bateman high school and Lester B. Pearson high school.

The following 25 people have been selected by the trustees to speak on Monday May 8, 2017 starting at 6 pm

Sharn Picken confering with a parentr at a PARC

Sharon Picken will be delegating

Seating is limited – the overflow will be able to watch the proceedings via a video link in the theatre studio at M.M. Robinson high school

1. Fiona Wielhouwer  – Pearson Cooperative Nursery School
2. Carla Marshall  – Autism Ontario, Halton Chapter
3. Sharon Picken, David Picken, Kimberley Picken – Self-Contained Programs at Robert Bateman HS
4. Casey Cosgrove –  Nelson High School
5. Gary Scobie  – Community Member
6. Paul Brophy  – Community Member
7. Denise Nacev, Matthew Nacev  – Diversity and inclusion at Robert Bateman HS
8. Jodi Correia, Shelley Wettlaufer, Loretta Chin, Colleen Allan & Tracey Kunzli – Dr. Frank J. Hayden Secondary School
9. Adam Doering  – Community Member
10. Michael Hribljan – Burlington Central High School
11. Carolyn Whiskin  – Burlington Central and ESL Program
12. Lisa Bull, Brian DePoe  – Robert Bateman High School Tech Programs
13. Leah Bisutti  – LB Pearson High School

Casey Cosgrove talks with Deb Tymstra about the crowd he brought with him to the 2013 Terry Fox Run.

Casey Cosgrove will be delegating.

14. Dianna Bower, Marie Madenzides  – MM Robinson High School
15. Amy D’Souza  – LB Pearson High School
16. Kristen Priestner  – Nelson High School
17. Carter Creechan – Robert Bateman High School
18. Jim Dunn Robert Bateman High School
19. Erin Hossack Robert – Bateman High School Alumni
20. Shasni Pathirana – Burlington Central High School
21. Marianne Anderson – International Baccalaureate Program
22. Jennifer Bishop  – Robert Bateman High School
23. John Norris – Robert Bateman High School
24. Christine Hall – International Baccalaureate Program
25. Rory Nisan – Community Member

This is an important part of the process. Parents have not been given much of an opportunity to speak out. The Gazette has published hundreds of comments and withheld publishing almost as many because they were rude, inappropriate and in some cases just plain foul.

The Board has yet to decide if there will be a third evening of delegations.  The number of applications to speak has yet to exceed 100.

The 11 trustees are the people who make the final decision. They do not have to accept the recommendation given to them by Stuart Miller, Director of Education.

One recommendation is to not close any of the high schools at this point in time. Another is to take a hard look at the boundaries.

This is the public’s opportunity to help the trustees make the best decision for all the families that send children to the public school system.

Do everyone proud.

The Gazette will publish the delegations and would appreciate the 25 people named above sending us their delegation which we will embargo until 6 pm on Monday the 8th.

Send whatever you have to newsdesk@bgzt.ca – and may the force go with you.

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City closes all its parks - both city and Conservation Authority watching closely.

Newsflash 100By Staff

May 5th, 2017



The city has closed all the parks.

City of Burlington closes parks, urges caution during heavy rainfall

All Burlington parks with watercourses and waterfront trails are closed as a precautionary measure. The closures include Lowville Park, Hidden Valley Park and the Beachway. These park closures are in addition to the earlier city-wide closure of sports fields.

Residents are advised to:

• Stay away from watercourses, shorelines and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. All watercourses and shoreline areas should be considered dangerous during this time. High water levels, fast flowing water and slippery conditions along stream banks and shorelines make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers
• Keep all debris clear from catch basins in front of your house, as well as rear-lot catch basins. If assistance is needed to clear debris, please call Roads and Park Maintenance at 905-333-6166
• Check to ensure sump pumps and backwater valves are functioning properly
• Follow the city’s Twitter page @cityburlington for up-to-date information.

City staff will be continuously monitoring road and drainage conditions over the weekend.

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Creek levels are anticipated to crest within the urban creeks later today with flows levelling off within the larger rural creek systems overnight.

News 100 redBy Staff

May 5th, 2017



Conservation Halton reports that as of this morning, rainfall gauges across the watershed have recorded rainfall totals ranging between 30 and 50 millimeters with an additional 20-30 millimeters forecast for today.

The majority of the watershed creeks are currently running at or beyond bankfull flow conditions and Conservation Authority staff are undertaking monitoring activities throughout the watershed.

Creek levels are anticipated to crest within the urban creeks later today with flows levelling off within the larger rural creek systems overnight.

With the current high water levels on Lake Ontario, there remains a greater potential for erosion and shoreline flooding particularly during periods of high winds and wave action.

All watercourses and shoreline areas should be considered dangerous during this time. Conservation Halton is asking all residents to stay away from watercourses, shorelines and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks and shorelines make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor weather reports and watershed conditions and will issue further messages as necessary.

This Flood Watch will be in effect through to Monday, May 8th, 2017.

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Burlington Transit Route 81 Detour Begins May 10 - will be in place for about two weeks

notices100x100By Staff

May 5th, 2017



Route 81 will detour between Mainway and North Service Road and travel along Corporate Drive starting May 10 during road construction. (For approximately 2 weeks.)

Bus stops on Heritage Road will be bagged during this time. For service , please proceed to temporary stops located on Mainway at Corporate Drive and North Service Road at Heritage Road.

Questions? Please contact customer service Mon – Sat at 905-639-0550 or email: contactbt@burlington.ca

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Big Top will be going up in Lowville Park where two events will be performed.

artsblue 100x100By Staff

May 5th, 2017



There is an event that has taken place in Lowville for the past two years. It was low key – held in church halls with some very good productions. There is a bass player who performed last year that you would pay a premium price to hear anywhere else.

The Festival is the brainchild of a group of people that believed the arts and entertainment could and should flourish in the rural part of the city.  Rob Missen, who had his name added to the Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame, local actress Loretta Bailey and Barbara Andersen Huget do the thinking and the strategics and get the credit for keeping the idea alive and growing it to the point where there is some corporate funding – Burlington Hydro is on board.

This, their third year, they are bringing some intriguing new initiatives for its third annual festival, held this year on May 26-18 in venues along the fabled Guelph Line.

Pole Tent - Picture 028

There is something about tents – they take us back to our childhood days and remind us of the circus and fun. The Lowville Festival needed a space that was bigger and cooler than the church halls they used during the first two years.

The BIG new is the Big Top, a tent that will be set up in Lowville Park along Bronte Creek. The Lowville Tent will play host to two exciting attractions, the legendary Second City Touring Company and Motus O Dance Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland, one of Canada’s finest dance touring attractions.

Second City will be bringing its popular satirical show, Canada: The Thinking Man’s America. As the name suggests, the show will be skewering our neighbours south of the border, as well as aiming not a few darts aimed about our own home and native land. The performance is at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $45.

Motus O Dance Theatre will be bringing its acclaimed show, Alice, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s immortal Alice in Wonderland and Alice through the Looking Glass. This colourful blend of physical comedy, dance and special effects is fun for the entire family. Tickets are $20.

Other Festival attractions include:
To Canada with Love, our opening concert featuring Canadian guitarist Liona Boyd, in collaboration with the Lowville Festival Choir, one of the festival’s most popular features, under the joint direction of Wayne Strongman, former conductor of Hamilton’s Bach Elgar Choir, and Janice Ketchen, conductor of Port Dover’s Lynn Valley Singers. This takes place in St. George’s Anglican Church Hall on Friday May 26th at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $35.

The Art Gallery of Burlington’s popular Road Show will be coming to Lowville United Church on Saturday afternoon May 27th from 1-4pm. In addition to demonstrations by some of the City’s finest artists and artisans, and opportunities to create your own works of art, performances featuring some of the region’s finest young performers under the direction of Hamilton’s distinguished music director Michael Mulrooney will be performing in the church’s Sanctuary. Admission is free.

Singers interested in joining this year’s Festival Choir are encouraged to contact Choir Manager Robert Missen at 905-632-6047.The ability to read music is helpful but not essential.

Please call 289-260-1109 to reserve your tickets

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Rivers: As budgets go this is a pretty good one. Ontario is back as an economic powerhouse.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

May 5th, 2017



The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, has had enough and is retiring from his official duties serving the Queendom of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. And why not? He’ll be turning 95 years this year. And the biggest part of his old job was cutting ribbons, visiting the colonies and keeping two careful steps behind the real power on the throne. ‘Bin there, ‘dun that – time to move onto other things.

Premier Wynne runs a job training course for MAyor and NAME, gYPTECH

Premier Wynne runs a job training course for Mayor and Rotary official at Ribfest.

Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne isn’t royalty but she also has a palace, the Pink One. And she has tumbled so far down the polls since the last election, barely skirting single digits, that you’d think it would be time for her to perform that preverbal ‘walk in the snow’ and retire as well. Though she’s not anywhere near Prince Philip’s ripe old 95, she has had an impressive career including being Premier of Canada’s largest province. There’s no shame in voluntarily leaving office with that kind of rap sheet.

But the province announced its annual budget last week and now, all bets are off. It was a blockbuster budget that should restore confidence in her party, even if you think the Liberals reign of almost 15 years has been too long. But this year’s budget is actually balanced folks. For the first time in a decade, in fact since Dalton McGuinty ran balanced budgets ahead of the recession in 2008, Ontario is out of the red.

Budget on 2017 revenue side

Where the money comes from …

Budget on 2017 spending

… how we spend it.

Sure, Stephen Harper balanced the federal budget three years earlier. But he had to sell off some serious furniture (GM shares) to make it happen. And even if he’d won the 2015 election, the way his government was heading was back towards deficit again. And Harper’s austerity plan for Canada to return to balance included some of the largest public service cuts ever, as he tried to shave costs.

By contrast, the Wynne government was relatively expansionary, adding full-time kindergarten for 260,000 children; introducing free tuition for needy students and free dental care for children in low-income families, and tackling a promised $50 billion investment in infrastructure programs. Despite that, Finance Minister Charles Sousa has committed to an ongoing string of balanced budgets.

The province has the strongest economic growth in Canada In fact Ontario’s economy is well ahead of all the rest of the G7 including the USA, and with unemployment numbers lower than at any time since the 2008 recession. Of course the lower exchange rate has helped, as has revitalized federal infrastructure spending, but the Premier’s people will tell you they’ve been planning this for a long time.

So a strong economy means that, even with a balanced budget, we can still afford to undertake new initiatives like a new universal pharmacare program for those under 25. Also in the budget is more money to cut hospital wait times. And then there is the on-going commitment for billions in new infrastructure, including more to ensure reliability of the electricity sector and to subsidize lower income electricity users.

And to all those hand waving critics complaining about how Ontario’s electricity rates were killing jobs and the economy – I guess they were wrong. And they were wrong even before the Premier announced her new Hydro Plan, which will reduce consumer rates by up to 25%, starting later this summer. Of course there is no such thing as a free lunch so we’ll be ultimately paying for that re-mortgaging of hydro costs.

But the jobs and economic growth tell us that higher electricity rates have also provided incentives for the development of new energy technologies, such as LED light bulbs. And that kind of innovation together with the adoption of renewable energy, has likely generated more jobs than were ever lost from the spectre of high electricity rates.


We aren’t sure if we have a friend in the White House. President Trump does like our Prime Minister.

So as budgets go this is a pretty good one on just about all accounts, detractors notwithstanding. Of course the debt will still need to be reckoned with, but that is another story. The point is that Ontario is back as an economic powerhouse. And when you are the Premier of a province doing as well as this one, you have a mighty powerful reason to give it another go come next year’s election.

Still there are dark clouds on the horizon given that unpredictable man in the White House, who just happens to be our nearest and dearest trading partner. Then there is the housing bubble which is unsustainable, and is already starting to show cracks, despite the government’s new bandages to help curb crazy prices.

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

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne – crafty, strategic with a track record that is going to be hard to beat.

And nothing is perfectly predictable in politics, the public can sometimes be fickle, ornery, irrational, mean spirited or just bored with a good thing.. Look at Brexit, Trump and perhaps the French election this weekend.

But if the next provincial budget, which will be the real election budget, is anything like this one, Kathleen Wynne should be hard to beat come election day despite her current polling malaise. And that means she won’t be leaving the pink palace and joining Prince Phillip into retirement anytime soon.

Rivers-direct-into-camera1-173x300Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington in 1995.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.     Tweet @rayzrivers


Background links:

Prince PhillipPremier’s polling –   Canada’s Deficits –   Ontario Budget

Budget Highlights –   More Highlights –   Budget Winners and Losers

New Hydro Plan –    Pink Palace –    Detractors –    More Detractors




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Acquitted: Save the pigs advocate walks out of the courtroom

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 4th, 2017



An Ontario Court judge has found animal activist Anita Krajnc not guilty of mischief for giving water to pigs outside a slaughterhouse.

Pig trial - Anita Krajnc

Anita Krajnc not guilty of mischief

Judge David Harris dismissed a charge Thursday against Krajnc, the 49-year-old founder of Toronto Pig Save. Krajnc was charged after she poured water into the openings of a metal trailer outside Fearman’s Pork Inc. in Burlington, Ont., in June 2015.

The trial began last year and included five days of testimony. If convicted, Krajnc could have been fined $5000 and sent to jail for six months.

It was clear Krajnc was giving the pigs water, Harris said, and not an “unknown liquid” as police initially alleged. And the pigs were slaughtered anyway, which means she didn’t obstruct their “lawful use.”

Picked up from a CBC news report.  The Gazette will provide more detailed information later in the day.

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Drive thru workers are going to be front line observers for the police service - smart idea.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 4th, 2017



There is some pretty progressive thinking going on within the Halton Region Police Service. Not a place where creative ideas normally come from.

Constable Dave Stewart convinced the people higher up on the food chain than he is that clerks who work at the drive thru windows at fast food outlets are really front line observers of the condition of the person behind the wheel.

The young men and women get closer to the face of a driver than most police officers do should they pull you over.

Police chart with imogeesStewart came up with the idea of training these men and women to serve as observers and if they see something that even suggests a driver might be impaired – make a 911 call – the police will follow up.

Every one of the 36 drive through operations in Burlington chose to take part in this pilot project.

Training the young men and women took place this morning.

Some of the graphics material handed out is amongst the best the Gazette has seen in some time.

The video that was used to train people is very close to commercial grade.  Check it out.

Well done to the police service.

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Sport Field Status - all closed until noon on Monday

notices100x100By Staff

May 4th, 20127

The city has given up on the day to day notices about the state of the playing fields in the city.

They have decided that the sport fields are closed from Thursday May 4 through to Monday May 8 at 12pm:

This applies to all natural grass sport fields (diamonds and rectangular fields)

Baseball - player at bat with lights

Waiting for the playing fields to dry up.

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Conservation Halton issues a flood watch notice - visions of 2014 begin to go through the minds of many.

News 100 redBy Staff

May 4th, 2017



There are parts of Burlington that are acutely aware of what a rainstorm can do.

It was in August 2014 that the eastern and central parts of the city experienced a massive amount of rain in a very short period of time

Flood watch orange

Conservation Halton is on a flood watch.

The Conservation Authority has advised people that Environment Canada is projecting rain of between 40 and 70 mm of rain from this afternoon through to late Saturday.  They have moved their warning graphic to a orange state from a yellow state.

The watershed has received approximately 50mm of precipitation from the rain events earlier this week and soils are saturated. The majority of the watershed creeks are currently running below bank full conditions, and levels are anticipated to rise this evening and overnight.

FLOOD man walking in water Harvester Road sign

The picture is worth 1000 words.

With the forecasted rainfall, widespread flooding is not anticipated, however fast flowing water and flooding of low lying areas and natural floodplains is expected. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should be on alert. Regular inspection and removal of debris at culverts and drainage inlets is recommended.

Flood weather network bridge

There was more water than the creeks and ravines could handle. The policy of not clearing fallen tree limbs meant the rush of water turned larger piece of wood into battering rams. More than 1000 homes were seriously flooded in 2014.

With the current high water levels on Lake Ontario, there is a greater potential for erosion and shoreline flooding particularly during periods of high winds and wave action.

All watercourses and shoreline areas should be considered dangerous during this time. Conservation Halton is asking all residents to stay away from watercourses, shorelines and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks and shorelines make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

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Muir provides much more than a 250 wortd outline - at least the trustees know what they are going to hear - hopefully their questioning will be a deep as the information being put before them

highschoolsBy Staff

May 4th, 2017



The School Board trustees are going to get an earful from Tom Muir when he addresses them sometime next week – which assumes that Muir will be allowed to delegate.

Chair Kelly Amos asked each person who wanted to delegate to provide a 250 word outline. Muir gave her 1594 words.

Here is what Muir sent the Chair who now has to decide if what Muir wants to say meets the criteria for selection, which is: ” to have a “varied perspective” of delegations”

Notes for a Delegation to HDSB on Burlington PAR. May 2017

I note that 5 minutes to delegate limits the scope of the perspective and the topics that can be covered. My presentation will follow these notes suitably reorganized to fit the time allotted.

The perspective of my delegation will be an overview of the context of the PAR, and provide analysis of various aspects and criteria of the PAR planning data basis, recommendations, and options available to the Board.


Four of the eleven school board trustees listen carefully at a public meeting.

I will cover points related to planning, financials, fiscal, risk, future planning outlooks and needs, demonstrated student benefits from enhanced academic offerings as opposed to known negative impacts, the real net economic and money effects looked at closely with prudence, and the expressed views of the overall school community.

I will discuss the roots of the criteria and justification of the PAR as results of Board planning decisions in LTAPs, future enrollment projections, and so-called “business plans” done in the period 2008 to 2013, and now currently.

I will discuss the origins and makeup of the utilization justification criteria of the PAR.

I will also consider data on financial and fiscal impacts of options to deal with this situation.
Another topic is the increased and better program selection that constitutes the second criteria for having the PAR.

Other points cover how school closures reflect what the community and students have expressed as their wants.

Concluding points cover summary of perspective and points on the data and evidence offered in terms of Trustee responsibility and decision options on schools.

Presentation Outline.
I did not see anything in writing describing what the Board and Ministry had in mind about what a business case is, or what the thinking behind the business case was, as contained in the Capital Priorities Template sent to the Ministry in 2009. This seems to be the way business is done. Either there’s nothing in words, or it’s not available publically.


Hayden high school – Muir questions why it was built.

My first point is that Hayden was built with no seeming regard or public disclosure for the consequences that were built right into the plan from the start – surplus seats in the other Burlington high schools, and Hayden bursting at the seams. Data show this was done by the Board in their planning, boundary and feeder changes, and construction.

In the 2009 plan, submitted to the Ministry, it showed Hayden overflowing with students within 3 years of opening, and continuing this trend. In planned consequences, back in 2009, MM Robinson utilization was planned to decline, by 2022, from 93.7% to 53.4%, and Bateman to decline from 99.2% to 43.9%, by 2018/19. Nelson declined from 108.7% to 95.6%. Most of these declines coincided with Hayden’s projected opening in 2010. By 2022, 1567 students were in these declines, many transferred to Hayden.

The more recent data, shown by the Board, at the November PAR public meeting, and titled in a slide as, “Current Situation: Low Utilization”, paints an even worse picture of what has been done by the Board and only made public in this PAR. This data clearly shows Hayden continuously overfilled grossly with students transferred largely from the other schools, as part of the plan. And this is being facilitated with portables, part of the plan too.

From no students on 2010, Hayden goes to 129% UTG in 2016, and projected at 159% in 2020 and 141% in 2025. At the same time, the other schools continue the planned decline, but now there are 4 schools that are in that situation, not just the 2 schools identified in the 2009 plan, as I noted above. This data is as follows;

– From 112% OTG in 2010, Pearson declines to 61% in 2016, and projected to 55% in 2020, and 50% in 2025.

– From 87% OTG in 2010, Robinson declines to 53% in 2016, and projected to 47% in 2020, and 46% in 2025.

– From 107% OTG in 2010, Nelson declines to 75% in 2016, and projected to 83% in 2020, and 79% in 2025.

– From 95% OTG in 2010, Bateman declines to 59% in 2016, and projected to 55% in 2020, and 50% in 2025.

Looking at the option 23e, in Miller, and the overall plan for Hayden from 2009, and you can see that according to that option outline, Robinson is also overfull by 2020, as Hayden is now to the end of the planning horizon.

So why are we closing schools?
This is the actual data showing how building Hayden created new seats that then became surplus seats for the rest of Burlington schools. We now have a situation of overutilization and underutilization, the main cause of which is building Hayden and then over-utilizing it using boundary, feeder, and program policies.

This is the cause of the “Current Situation – Low Utilization, but this is being ignored and never mentioned, despite being obvious in the data as consequential to the year Hayden was opened.

I will also consider data on financial and fiscal impacts of options to deal with this situation.

The Ministry is not telling the Board to close schools – it’s our call how we spend that part of the money they give us for accommodation costs – keeping all buildings open. That’s a little more than $100 million of a $700 million total budget for 2015/16.


Director of Education Stuart Miller preparing to speak to parents at Central high school.

According to Miller’s report, it costs $564,000/yr to operate Pearson, and $764,000/yr for Bateman. Closing these 2 schools saves only about $2 million a year, when added busing costs, lost revenues, and staff reduction cost savings, are all accounted for (See Miller; busing costs noted there are incorrect – the report says 226, 286, and 96 more students bused, but only costs the 96). Transportation is a concern as student busing increases, and Hayden already has 580 students bused and is the second most costly in Burlington.

Whether schools close or not, all the rest of the Board budget (except admin and transportation) is for instruction, and this nets out to null savings. So closing 2 schools saves only $2 million, but more than $12 million alone is needed to replace Bateman equipment, somewhere else.

Then there is the cost of decommissioning buildings, mothballing, needed ongoing maintenance, what about the pool, day-care, and so many other transition costs that are just ignored.

So what kind of fiscal savings is $2 million out of a $700 million budget (0.003%), to be so concerned about?

And the fact is, the Director’s recommendation calls for the most expensive option of two closures, and this cost is uncertain, likely underestimated, and doesn’t account for planning errors and risk.

Given the provincial Growth Plan saying Halton must grow by 500,000 people by 2041, and the planning enrollment forecasting error and uncertainty, already experienced for Hayden enrollment, this seems to be a reasonable cost to invest in risk management for planning errors. There has been no risk assessment and management done by the Board. Having all our schools open and functioning provides this risk management as a low cost reserve.

The only other maybe money in this fiscal picture is the PODs, from any surplus asset value that may be realized in the future, and that is only a one-time cash-in, partly chewed up by transition and transaction costs. This will not go far for new schools in Burlington.

Another topic is the increased and better program selection that constitutes the second criteria for having the PAR. Since there is no increase in budgets for instruction, more programming cannot come from there, and more generally, there is no information provided by the Board indicating any details of the delivery of this aspect, and only abstract assumptions, but nothing convincing, that larger enrollments allow for this.

The closures impact students negatively for sure, and the impacts on Bateman students affect them in life-altering ways, as special needs students who have been bumped around in the system.

PARC - engaged onservers

Parents listen intently to the PARC members as they look at the more than 40 options discussed during the seven meetings held.

Other points cover how school closures reflect what the community and students have expressed as their wants. Obviously everyone wants their own neighborhood school kept open. But more generally, when asked for opinions, on two occasions, the public expressed their preference for the Board to spend the money, and implement measures needed, to keep schools open. However, the Board has more or less discounted these results showing public preferences, and it does not appear to have been given any formal consideration.

As it turns out the overall costs of keeping all schools open are a small portion of the Board budgets – savings from closing schools are 0.003% of the Total ($700 M) and less than 0.02% of the more than $100M Accommodation component.

Trustees - fill board +

It all comes own to how the 11 school board trustees vote on June 7th. will they go with the Staff recommendation that Pearson and Bateman be closed or will they decide that none of the schools should be closed at this time.

The Trustees do not have to close schools, and it appears that on planning, financial, fiscal, risk, student benefits from significantly enhanced academic offerings that are not documented as opposed to known negative impacts, the real net economic and money effects looked at closely with prudence, and the overall school community, it makes no sense.

The PAR Policy statement says that; “Decisions that are made by the Board of Trustees are in the context of carrying out its primary responsibilities of fostering student achievement and well-being, and ensuring effective stewardship of school board resources.”

I argue that based on demonstrated benefits to student achievement, and stewardship of school board resources, now and in the foreseeable future, there is no case to close any schools. The trustees have within their authority the means to move boundaries, feeders, and programs in order to undo the skewed enrollment caused by building Hayden without considering the consequences.

Hayden was built and filled with students by transfers from existing schools that can just as easily be undone.

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Bayview Park Leash-Free Area Closed - May 8 to 12, 2017

notices100x100By Staff

May 4th, 2017


The Bayview Park Leash Free Area will be closed May 8 to 12, 2017 to allow for construction within the fenced area.

Thank you for your cooperation during construction.

Great view of Burlington Bay and the Skyway bridge from the south end of City View Park.

View of the bay.

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The school closing delegation process - there is a bylaw that governs that process.

highschoolsBy Pepper Parr

May 4th, 2017



People want to speak and feel they are being heard.

Part of that process requires people to listen and to make themselves fully aware of whatever rules are in place.

The issue this time is parents wanting to be sure that they are being heard about the closing of high schools in Burlington.

There is a process. There is a bylaw. It may not be the most elegant piece of writing you are going to see – but there is a bylaw, written by the trustees you elected.

To date the Board of Education has something in the order of 75 requests to delegate. Two evenings were set aside for delegations with the possibility for an additional evening if it is needed.

Kelly Amos

Board of trustees chair Kelly Amos.

While the Gazette has yet to see a single word from Chair Kelly Amos, other than that the trustees would not be responding to our request to rank the values they brought to their jobs as trustees, the fact is that there is a by law that sets out very clearly just what the process is.

How many people have read that bylaw? We just don’t know. However, anyone who filled out the form asking to be a delegation would have had access to the bylaw because it was attached to the on-line form that had to be filled out in order to be accepted as a delegation.

People may not like the rules – the time to complain about them was when that bylaw was written.
Based on what we have learned from Board of Education sources the request are being received and processed. No one at the staff level is involved in the selection process. The chair of the Board of Trustees is doing the sifting through of the applications.

The objective, we are told, is to get a balance of views. What the Chair, apparently, does not want is 20 people from one school standing up and saying the same thing – ‘don’t close our school because our students are so very vulnerable’.

The trustees are acutely aware that some students are at risk and they struggle with the decision they are going to have to make.

The Gazette received the following from a parent:

Denise Davey at council April 3

Denise Davy – lead advocate for keeping Bateman open.

“I understand you’re looking into the 250 word submission that has suddenly been requested by the board. As the leading parent organizer for the Bateman group, you can quote me:

“This is just one more example of the board’s “change the rules” approach that has left parents furious and frustrated at every step of this process. There was never anything said about a 250-word submission until yesterday afternoon then parents had until the next day at noon to put something together.

One woman is on vacation and emailed me that she can’t possibly start putting something together as her laptop is at home with all of the information on it. Most people lead busy lives, especially parents who have a disabled child, and to ask this of them is inappropriate and disrespectful.”

There is nothing in the bylaw requiring an up to 250 word outline of what the delegation will be about. Getting a line that says “about closing Bateman high school” doesn’t help the chair choose who will be asked to speak.

There are some that will take the view that everyone and anyone should be allowed to speak. That is not the process your trustees have chosen – it is the trustees that chose this route and it is the trustees that actually wrote the bylaw. It is not something that was done by staff.

What the Board is looking for are delegations that add to the information they currently have. Emotions are running very high – this is an emotional issue.

It needs a good dose of rationality and common sense.

The Gazette has received a number of well thought papers supported by good data.

If you want your trustees to make the best decision for everyone then give them well thought out arguments and be prepared to follow that up with the time that has been allocated for the trustees to engage the delegations.

Rational if you can. An emotional rant isn’t going to get anyone anything.

The delegation bylaw was revised in January, became effective in February and is due for a revision in September of 2018.

The bylaw that is in place is what the public is going to have to live with.

There is one parent who takes a bit of a different slant on the process:  Here is what she has to say:

This process clearly demonstrates insensitivity and the ignorance we are dealing when it comes to this issue and the acceptance of inaccurate data and misinformation which has presented to the public over the course of the last several months. While everyone is entitled to their opinion… Have we forgotten what is to be human? What has happened to being sensitive to the needs and wants of others? What kind of world do we live in, when we completely disregard people and make decisions based solely on money? If money is the motivation behind this farce (which it clearly is) called a PAR process, then perhaps it is time to get creative and find alternative ways to offset costs and not destroy peoples lives and communities…just a thought.

The bylaw that governs the delegation process is set out below:

1. An individual or group may request the opportunity to delegate the Board of Trustees at a Regular or Special Meeting of the Board or at a Meeting of Committee of the Whole. The provisions of this by-law are applicable to both Board and Committee of the Whole meetings.
2. Potential delegates shall submit a Delegation Request Form (see appendix A) by no later than noon, two business days preceding the meeting at which the individual or group intends to delegate. The Delegation Request Form submission timelines will be adjusted for statutory holidays or non-standard meeting days (see appendix A).
If a delegate requires accommodations to submit their request, they should contact the Director’s Office for assistance. A delegate list will be published on the Board’s website 24 hours in advance of the Board meeting.
3. Potential delegates will be advised by the Chair or Vice Chair (or designate) that their request to present has been accepted or denied as soon after the submission deadline as is practical. A written rationale will be provided to potential delegates whose delegations have been denied, and the Board of Trustees will receive a copy of this rationale.
4. Up to six (6) delegations will be scheduled per meeting. Priority will be given to delegates who intend to address issues that appear on the ‘Ratification/Action’ section of the agenda, giving consideration to delegations with a variety of perspectives on an issue. Delegations will appear on the agenda in the order in which the requests have been received.
5. A request to delegate may be deferred to a subsequent meeting if the number of delegations exceeds the maximum number, or if the topic does not relate to an item on the agenda. The Chair or Vice Chair (as applicable) will notify the delegate of the deferral with an explanation and the Board of Trustees will receive a copy of this notification.
6. Requests to delegate at a Regular or Special Meeting of the Board may be referred to a meeting of Committee of the Whole if the topic of the delegation is not expected to relate to an item on an agenda of a Regular or Special Meeting of the Board in the foreseeable future. The Chair or Vice Chair (as applicable) will notify the delegate of the referral and the Board of Trustees will receive a copy of this notification.

7. In addition to the Delegation Request Form, delegates may choose to provide supplementary materials to be distributed to Trustees. These materials should be provided to the Director’s Office before 10 am on the day prior to the meeting. The Delegation Request Forms will be posted to the Board’s website, and any optional supplementary materials provided by the delegate(s) will be distributed to Trustees on the day prior to the Board meeting.

8. Where a request to delegate has been accepted, and the delegate is unable to attend the Board meeting for which their delegation has been scheduled, a substitute delegate may be recognized by the Chair or Vice Chair (as applicable).
9. Employees of the Board, or representatives of employee groups shall not utilize delegations to the Board to express their views relative to their employment or professional interests.
10. Individuals or groups who have delegated the Board of Trustees on a topic will be permitted to delegate again on the same topic no sooner than four months after the original delegation unless they are presenting new information.

11. Each delegation shall be allowed up to five (5) minutes for their presentation to the Board. Following each delegation, the Chair or Vice Chair (as applicable) will open the floor to Trustees for up to five (5) minutes for questions of clarification to either the delegate or staff.
12. Any delegate or substitute spokesperson(s) for a delegate is expected to refrain from the use of abusive language, or from making any derogatory statement concerning the character or performance of named individuals, including students, staff, citizens, or Trustees of the Halton District School Board. Any delegate who violates this section during their presentation shall be ruled out of order by the Chair or Vice Chair (as applicable) and may be asked to discontinue their presentation.

13. Notwithstanding the other sections of this By-Law, the Chair may, at their discretion, call a Special Delegation Night, specifically for the purpose of hearing delegations on a particular topic, for which all provisions of this By-Law will apply, with the exception that a maximum of twenty-five (25) rather than six (6) delegations will be allowed.

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Frank's Magic Crops got harvested: Police execute search warrant at commercial marijuana dispensary

Crime 100By Staff

May 3rd, 2017



The Halton Regional Police are doing what other police services are doing – raiding commercial establishments that are selling marijuana based products.

The Street Crime Unit conducted an investigation into the illegal sale and distribution of marijuana by a local business and on May 2nd 2017, executed a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrant at Frank’s Magic Crops located at 419 Guelph Line in Burlington where they seized 1.5 kilograms (3.3 lbs) of marijuana and edible THC based products with a combined street value of $22,000. Police also seized $1591.00 in currency.

Frank's Magic Crops

Frank’s Magic Crops got harvested.

The operator of the business, Anne PASTOR (69 years) of Burlington, was arrested and released on an Appearance Notice charged with possession for the purpose of Trafficking (Marijuana). She will appear in Milton Court on May 30th 2017.

The Halton Regional Police Service would like to remind the public that under the current drug laws, any dispensary that is selling marijuana in person to individuals is illegal. The Halton Regional Police Service is dedicated to investigating any allegation of criminal activity which includes the illegal selling or trafficking of marijuana.

Anyone who may have information regarding the illegal trafficking of drugs is asked to contact police. To remain anonymous please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit tips and information online at https://haltoncrimestoppers.ca “See something. Hear something. Say Something”

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After a major dust up with the Director of Education - Tom Muir is taking on the chair.

highschoolsBy Staff

May 3rd, 2017



Tom is not happy.

He got a letter from the Chair of the Halton District school Board and wants to know if anyone else received the letter he received.

A reality check Tom – everyone who asks to delegate is going to get the same letter you got.

Muir making a point

“Who chooses what an acceptable perspective to present is? asks Tom Muir.

Tom Muir has written extensively for the Gazette on the matter of closing two high schools in Burlington.

“Does anyone know if everyone who requested a delegation received this letter?” asks Muir and adds “What the hell kind of censorship and possible suppression tactic is this? Anyone know?”

“They give you less than 24 hours, and want 250 words.

“And they will refuse your delegation if they want to based on what criteria? Who determines what an adequate variety of perspectives is?

“Who chooses what an acceptable perspective to present is?

“I venture to say that I have presented a variety of perspectives on this matter, myself, second to no one.  This is disturbing.  The Board is a public institution and everyone should be entitled to present once on such a topic as this.
“Any info and ideas?”


Board of Education Chair Kelly Amos

Here is the letter Muir got from Chair Kelly Amos:

Dear Tom,

Thank you for your request to delegate.

As I am sure you can appreciate we have had a great number of requests to delegate from representatives from all the secondary schools in Burlington, as well as some community members.

In order to ensure a variety of perspectives, your delegation description is a very important part of the selection process. As such, we are requesting a 250 word description of your delegation topic, including at least 5 main points, and would request this information by Thurs. May 4th at 12pm in order for the delegation to be able to be reviewed for consideration.

Some individuals or groups have requested multiple delegations. As per the Delegation Bylaw, an individual may only delegate once, as either an individual or as part of a representing group, regarding the Burlington Program and Accommodation Review.

“Individuals or groups who have delegated the Board of Trustees on a topic will be permitted to delegate again on the same topic no sooner than four months after the original delegation unless they are presenting new information.”

“When your response has been received it will be reviewed and all delegations that have been accepted will receive information as to the delegation night you will be appearing on. We will do the best we can to accommodate the night originally requested, depending on space available.”

Muir responds to Chair Amos:

I find this request for 250 words in less than 24 hours, and its stated purpose, as a disturbing development.

Demanding this 250 word delegation description by 12 noon tomorrow is onerous as it has no respect for my individual circumstances in that time period. I would add that the stated purpose compounds that impression.

And I can only assume that every delegation request is being subject to the same demand, but I do not know.

This request does not conform to the Delegation by-law in terms of timing of delegation requests, and possible submission of written material timing, by anything written that I read.

I can appreciate there could be a lot of requests for delegations, but as you know, this is the most contentious issue to face the Board in a very long time.

The Board is a public institution, and you are an elected public official, and every member of the public that wants to delegate, and to be heard, should be able to do so once, without restriction, and without having to submit what they want to say for official scrutiny and approval of their views and right to speak.

As I’m sure you can appreciate, I must tell you, with all due respect, that this very much resembles the possibility of censorship, and suppression, of perspectives and views that don’t pass the criteria or screens that you intend to impose.

As you can also appreciate, this demand, and the optics it projects,  will never lead to any good place or satisfactory resolution of this PAR matter.

If you have more than 50 requests for delegation, I think that your responsibility to the public as an elected official imposes on you a fiduciary, and good faith democratic obligation, to accommodate all requests to delegate.

I recall this possibility for many requests, and the need to meet the demand if greater than 50, was aired at a PARC meeting by PARC members. I could not imagine that the PARC would approve of this action.

All perspectives must be heard, not subjected to censorship.

I request and hope that you will abandon this request, which I think leads only to dangerous ground. It is not a good idea.

Yours sincerely,  Tom Muir

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