Downtown residents give their response to some critical questions about the kind of city we build.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 21st, 2017



The room was full. It was a rainy night but under 100 people showed up for an information session on their vision for the downtown part of the city. The focus was on mobility hubs.

The Gazette will do a more in-depth report – this is a first look at the kind of questions that were asked and the answers given

There were some surprises.

Clicker being used

A participant using the hand held device to record their answer to the question being asked.

There were 12 questions asked.  The question was put up on a screen – the people in the room had been given hand held clickers that they could use to indicate their choice.

We report on two of the questions in this early look at what was an important event.  There will be a follow up meeting in June for the people in Ward 2.

The intention is to hold similar session for each of the four mobility hubs that city has identified.

This is city building at its best.  How it will roll out is going to be interesting to watch.

Transit question

These answers are going to surprise the Bfast people and give Burlington Transit a lot to think about.

There were a number of developers in the room along with just about everyone that mattered from the Planning department.  On the political side – Councillors Taylor and Meed Ward were in the room along with the Mayor who opened the session. More to follow.

Family oriented

So much for the argument that we need more people downtown to make the core the vibrant place everyone appears to want it to become.


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ACCOB sets out their purpose - will it make a difference? Sure will, as long as people are not indifferent to the arts.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

April 20, 2017



They are now incorporated as a non profit; they are organized and they are selling memberships.

ACCOB lives!

ACCOB logo$25 for a person – $50 for organization. They have sold 50 memberships to date.

What will people get for their money?


ACCOB’s purpose is:

To increase public understanding, knowledge and appreciation of arts and culture in Burlington and surrounding area by providing information about performances, exhibitions and other activities of an artistic and cultural nature.

To provide educational seminars related to arts and culture.

To be a catalyst to inspire, engage, connect and advocate on behalf of members of the artistic and cultural communities, to support a vibrant and creative artistic and cultural community in Burlington and surrounding area.

To promote and foster artistic and cultural development and appreciation of, and participation in, arts and culture for the benefit of Burlington residents.

All that!

Artists – be they painters, musicians, dancers need space to work in. They need marketing help.

The city has been a major help with their public art program – which is great for the visual artists. The performing artists could use a much better break from the Performing Arts Centre on the cost of renting space. There is one organization that has done very successful program at the Performing Arts Centre that find they may have to go somewhere else – the prices are just too high.

Worse, the organization does not want their name used – they fear repercussions. Being afraid to speak up and speak out is not an ingredient for a place where healthy dialogue can take place.

The arts get lip service when they appear before city council.

The operations that the city owns – even if at an arm’s length basis – get solid funding. The Art Gallery of Burlington, the Performing Arts Centre, the Museums know how much money they are going to receive from the city each year.

The plants that decorate the roadways in the city get paid for.

ACCOB crowd

The Arts Collective Family photo – this lot organized themselves and are now the Arts and Cultural Council of Burlington.

If the Arts and Cultural Council of Burlington wants to get more than a polite pat on the head and a “we really appreciate what you are doing” they are going to have to be stronger than this.

Send them your cheque TODAY and you will become a Founding Member – something you can add to your resume.

They don’t tell you on their web site where to send the cheque – the web site is still “under construction”.

It is a start.

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Join the bus the Niagara Region parents are taking to a rally against school closures at Queen's Park.

highschoolsBy Staff

April 20th, 2017



Burlington isn’t the only city with school closing issues.

Parents in the Niagara Region have their concerns and have arranged for a bus load of people to attend the Queen’s Park school closure rally taking place April 26th.

If you would like to join that group there appears to be some space on their bus. They’re willing to stop in Burlington, possibly at the Holiday Inn, and it would save people a lot of hassle.

Queen's Park

Rally will take place on the steps of Queen’s Park – join others that feel the same way you do.

They are hoping to get some people from Burlington to join them and reached out to Denise Davy who passed the request along to the Gazette – and we are passing it along to you.

The Niagara people are willing to stop in Burlington, possibly at the Holiday Inn and pick up anyone who wants to take part.

The rally is being organized by the Ontario Association Against School Closures and will be held on Wednesday, April 26th from noon until 2 p.m. on the front lawn at Queen’s Park.

The bus will come through Burlington around 10.30 or 11. Location is still to be decided as the details are being firmed up.

For more information and to book a (free) seat, contact Nicole at: or call 905-730-9959.

If you decide to take the trip – let us know – we’d like to talk to you when you get back.

There is more information on the rally on the Ontario Association Against School Closures Facebook page:

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Help to choose what gets shown during the Movies Under the Stars this summer.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 19th, 2017



City hall is asking residents to vote online and help select the movies that will be featured this summer during Movies under the Stars. Running every Thursday night between July 6 and Aug. 17, Movies under the Stars will present a new film each week in a different City of Burlington park.

Movie night

Decent crowd – better than a drive in movie.

Residents can vote online on Twitter @BurlEvents or through the City of Burlington’s website at

An online poll for each park hosting a Movies under the Stars event will be posted every week and open for seven days.

Voters can choose from three movies titles.

Movie vote 2017

This year, in honour of Canada 150, the city has chosen a selection of movies that have a link to Canada. They want your help choosing this summer’s movie lineup by voting online over the next few weeks.”

All movies at Movies under the Stars events are shown on a 7.62 by 4.27 metre (25 by 14 foot) outdoor screen.

Movies under the Stars is presented by Tim Hortons.

Follow Burlington Events on Twitter @BurlEvents

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Conservation Halton issues watershed conditions notice - keep the kids away from the creeks.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 19th, 2017



Watershed notice March 24-17Conservation Halton advises that a low pressure system is currently moving across the Province and is expected to produce rainfall amounts ranging between 25 mm to 30 mm with the potential for localized thunderstorms resulting in higher amounts. Rain is expected to continue this afternoon and into this evening but will move out of our jurisdiction by Friday morning.

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.

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 will rise significantly during the next few days. Flooding is not expected. Caution around the edges of creeks – especially with children.

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. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

This Watershed Conditions Statement – Water Safety will be in effect through Friday April 21, 2017. Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream and weather conditions and will provide updates as required.

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Muir on his timeline marathon to get information on why Hayden high school was built and more on why the School Board wants to close some high schools.

backgrounder 100By Tom Muir

April 20th, 2017


This Friday, the Director of Education Stuart Miller will release a report setting out what he thinks the School Board trustees should do in the matter of closing high schools in Burlington.
It is a messy matter,

Many want to know why a new high school was built in the north end of the city when it was pretty clear that there were going to be a lot of empty seats in the immediate to near future.

Tom Muir, a retired federal government researcher, has done some excellent research – poking away at all the darker corners of the educational bureaucracy to find out why the decisions that were made were actually made.

It turned out to be a marathon task that ate up more than three months of Muir’s time.

Muir can be abrasive, he can be abrupt but he can’t be ignored. He sets out for us a Timeline Marathon which the Gazette is publishing in three parts due to its length.

If you want to know why parents are facing what every politician is now calling a very disruptive situation – read on – and think about who you elect as your school board trustees in 2018.

Part 1 of a four part series:

Muir making a point

Tom Muir

I have been trying to get this information and more for more than three months.
– January 15: Submission to Director, PARC, Trustees, City Council. Ask for information and answers to questions. Burlington Gazette runs submission in 6 parts.

– January 18: Director Miller sends me email. Wants to “chat”, not email, or respond in writing.

– January 24: I reply, agree to call, but request follow-up response from Miller in writing to submission and points covered in our call.

– January 24: Miller reply – writes, “no problem Tom”, to my email agreeing to call and requesting written response. Says he shared my submission with staff, confirmed by copy. No consequent contact from said staff.

– February 8: Telcon with Miller. He says he doesn’t want to open up Hayden planning trail for several political sensitivity reasons he states,- says Hayden was a mistake and responsible for the mess, but he wasn’t involved. I asked again for written information on several issues, including paper trail on Hayden, and other matters he raised – he is responsible, is Director, and is in charge.

– February 15: Still no response from Miller to either January 15 submission, or telephone conference call requests.

– February 15: Another submission to Miller, PARC, Trustees, staff, City Council. I request several of the same and similar things again, including the Hayden planning and decision-making paper trail. Gazette publishes this submission.

– February 15 to March 2: No response from Miller, staff, Board, Trustees (except one who said she read it) or PARC.

– March 2: Submitted Freedom of Information (FOI): Due to complete non-response from Director or HDSB.

– March 15: No response from HDSB, so inquire and submit FOI clarification on my own in anticipation. G Gortmaker replies with thanks so they don’t have to ask me for a clarification, but they had not notified me. This makes me wonder why they did not ask me for one, as G Gortmaker response indicates they needed one. I am notified that they can take 30 days. Clarification accepted.

In similar circumstances, my FOI request to the Ministry was identical in text, but they asked for a clarification in one day, and we settled it in two days. The response to this FOI request took a different turn, however, and as of April 16 I still have not received it, for reasons I will describe below.

– April 1 to 6: HDSB FOI response mailed to my house, but I am away as they were informed. I wonder where it is – I thought it would come as email, like all the other correspondence – so I follow-up with inquiry. G Gortmaker scans and sends by email promptly – I receive April 6.

– April 9: I submit a clarification and correction email to G Gortmaker concerning the accuracy of several documents provided in the FOI response, including the HDSB decision letter discussing the documents.
I submit these are not outside the scope of the FOI request as they are directly pertinent to the FOI response documents and do not ask for anything beyond the scope of records responsive to my FOI, but are in fact directly related to the exact records comprising the HDSB response.

– April 10: G Gortmaker replies to my email as follows – “As I relay the responsive records in an FOI search, and provide data as provided to me, I will refer your specific questions to those who are more versed in this matter (and provided me with the data). May I pass along your email to the appropriate staff so we may thoroughly respond to your questions?”

I subsequently reply, “yes”. G Gortmaker then provides staff with copies of my concerns and some relevant documents from the FOI response.

– April 11: Lucy Veerman emails me as follows –
Gail Gortmaker has forwarded your email requesting clarification on several points noted in her email. I would be pleased to respond to your questions. I feel that it may easier to review these via telephone, so please feel free to call me at your convenience. I can be reached at 905-335-3665 ext 2217.

– April 11: I reply –
I am away and will not be back for another week, so a phone call is not on.  In any case, this has all been done in writing, and everything relevant is in writing, so I want you to respond in writing.

I also don’t want us to have a misunderstanding from something not written, but only spoken.

I need this done asap as I need it in a timely manner.

Gortmaker understands this.
– April 13: Lucy does not reply and I am concerned with yet another refusal by the Board to engage me in writing for a relevant response to serious questions, and the clock is ticking away on the PARC process and here we have the 4 day Easter Weekend threatening to consume another week.

So in my upset, I sent the following message expressing my frustration with this continuation of what is a 3 month marathon of enduring the continued non-response of the Board to my questions and requests for information – and now to essential and needed clarifications and corrections of your asserted “interpretations” about what the FOI documents you provided actually say in writing, as I outline in my April 9 email.

I have not heard from you on this matter, and this coming weekend is a 4 day Easter weekend with closed offices.

I need your explanations NOW, not in another week that further delay will entail. You know the time sensitivity of this information, so please show some respect to that reality and provide explanations of the inconsistencies I noted.

Please provide that information by email today.
Thank you,

-April 13: To this message, I get the Gortmaker reply below that basically refuses any further written engagement about their FOI response, and continues the marathon timeline, bringing me back to the stone-wall of the Board.

Unfortunately for me, you seem to be able to do and can say anything you want as I can’t directly control Board actions.

This further illustrates the tricky nature of the FOI process.

Part 2 will be published later today; parts 3 and 4 will be published Friday.

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City invites residents to help plant 2,400 trees - kick off is on the same day as the Burlington Green Clean Up Green Up.

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 20th, 2017



A close to Classic example of the left hand not talking to the right hand.

The city announced earlier today their hosting of six tree-planting events across the city in April and May.

BurlingtonGreen is the strongest advocacy group in the city. They have put Burlington on the may environmentally.

BurlingtonGreen is the strongest advocacy group in the city. They have put Burlington on the may environmentally.

Burlington Green is holding their annual Clean Up Green Up event when tens of thousands of Burlington residents take to the roads and ravines and clean up the city on the same day as the first of the six tree planting events.

Planting trees is a great initiative – but why would the city kick off this event on the same day that Burlington Green is doing its Clean Up Green Up.

The tree planting events will be held on:

Saturday, April 22, 2017
- Sherwood Forest Park, 5270 Fairview St.
Saturday, April 29, 2017
- Kerns Park, 1801 Kerns Rd.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
- Paletta Lakefront Park, 4280 Lakeshore Rd.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
- Ireland Park, 2315 Headon Rd.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
- Thorpe Park, 1140 Stephenson Dr.
Saturday, June 3, 2017 – Brant Hills Park, 2300 Duncaster Dr.

In their media release the city invites residents to be a part of adding to the urban forest through these free events by planting a total of 2,400 saplings.

All events begin at 10:30 a.m. with the exception of the planting event on May 6 at Paletta Lakefront Park, which begins at 9 a.m. No pre-registration is required but attendees are asked to register upon arrival at the event.

This event is great for families.
• Saplings are in one-gallon pots that can be easily carried to planting spots
• No experience is needed. City arborists and planting experts will show attendees what to do.

What to wear/bring:
• Check the weather and dress for the conditions. We will be outside and will plant rain or shine.
• Wear sturdy footwear – no sandals or flip-flops, please.
• Bring your own work/gardening gloves.
• Bring your own snacks and beverages, and plenty of water, especially if it’s hot.
• Bring your own shovel, if possible.
• Consider going green to the planting; walk, bike, carpool or use public transit.
• Bring your volunteer hour form if you’re a high school student looking for volunteer hours.

Burlington Green tells its side of the story:

I just saw your latest posting and wanted to let you know that not only is BurlingtonGreen  fully aware of the City’s great community tree planting events taking place this Spring but we have been actively promoting them and will be participating as well, including having a few of our volunteers joining in the fun at Sherwood Park this Saturday.  We are very happy they are hosting a tree planting event this Saturday and the City kindly consulted with us before including the April 22nd opportunity in their line up of event dates.  It will be wonderful to have people both cleaning up our communities while others plant some trees.  Those planting trees will be wrapped up around noon with plenty of time to head over to our Eco-Fair Celebration to have some fun there too.

Hope to see everyone on Saturday.  Bring some sunshine please

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Trustee Collard covers all the bases in her response to the question: What are the values she will bring to the school closing decision she makes?

highschoolsBy Pepper Parr

April 20th, 2017



A number of months ago we asked the Halton District School Board trustees to rank the values they would bring to the decision they will have to make on June 7thy – do they vote to close any of the high schools in Burlington – Nelson, Bateman, Pearson and Central have been named for possible closure in June of 2018

Option 19 short

The original recommendation to the trustees was Option 19 – to close both Central and Pearson. In the first round of selections by the PARC members many held to that option. When Nelson and Bateman were put on the table the numbers changed.

Option 7 - short

Not closing any of the schools was not the favoured option (#7) amongst the PARC members.

Not closing any of the high schools was also listed as an option and came out as the preferred option for the majority of the members of the Program Accommodation Review.

The Gazette wanted to let its readers know what values the trustees would bring to the table.

Our first request to the trustees didn’t result in very much other than Board Chair Kelly Amos saying the trustees did not want to attempt to influence that PARC in any way. Fair enough – but the PARC has now been dissolved. We again asked: Could the people who elected the trustees know where those trustees stand on the following:

Fiscal prudence
Academic offerings

One isn’t better than another – the intention was to get some understanding as to what the values were of each trustee so that when people delegate they can put forward arguments that would resonate with the trustees.

This time, to date, there was a response from Ward 5 school board trustee Amy Collard. She said:


School Board trustee Amy Collard

You have requested that trustees determine a ranking for our decision-making priorities for the PAR. For me, this is a bit like asking us to determine if the mind, the heart or the soul are the most important parts of a person. All of these parts are necessary, and if one part is lacking the person does not function well. In addition, there are many other parts that may not be considered vital, but that increase a person’s quality of life.

I will be looking for a solution that provides all of the students in Burlington with equitable access to the programming that they need to be successful in their chosen pathway, while honouring their ties to their communities and being mindful that we must be fiscally responsible.

As you know, this is a difficult proposition. I will be listening to the students and their families, as well as reviewing all of the data that has been compiled, and trying to find a way to balance all of the perspectives. I remain hopeful that the Director will present a recommendation that trustees – and the Burlington community – will be able to support.

As a safe political statement it doesn’t get much better than that.

Sharman July 2016

Ward 5 city council member Paul Sharman.

Collard is said to have political aspirations and an interest in taking a run for the ward 5 seat on city council. With comments like this she will be a welcome replacement for the blunt, brusque statements current council member for the ward Paul Sharman makes.

Director of Education Stuart Miller will release his recommendation to the trustees on Friday at 6:00 pm. The Gazette will analyze the report and look for feedback from key people in each school’s parent group and report to our readers.

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New provincial offences Court House contractor named: Building scheduled to open in the Alton Village in 2019.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 20th, 2017



The company that will build the new courthouse where provincial offences will be heard has been announced. The Court House will serve the residents of Burlington, the Town of Oakville, the Town of Milton and the Town of Halton Hills.

The new courthouse will be built at 4085 Palladium Way in Burlington Alton Village, under Design-Build and Leaseback agreement with a 30 year lease.  It will serve the people of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville. Construction will begin this spring with a January 2019 completion.

Court House - new

New provincial offences Court House to be located on the edge of the Alton Village Community is scheduled to open in January of 2019.

Court house - site plan

Site plan for the provincial offences Court House to be built in the Alton Village Community. Scheduled to be ready for occupation in January 2019

The structure will be designed and built by Gross Capital Inc., constructed by Buttcon Ltd. and leased to Halton Court Services.

Once complete, the new courthouse will administer provincial offences court services for all of Halton Region. Provincial offences court services deal strictly with non-criminal provincial offences charges issued in Halton. These non-criminal charges include:

• Highway Traffic Act offences, such as speeding, driving without insurance or failing to stop at a red light

• Municipal bylaw offences, such as excessive noise, animal control or garbage disposal

• Offences under provincial legislation such as the Environmental Protection Act, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act or the Trespass to Property Act.

As a division of the City of Burlington’s Legal Department, Halton Court Services administers Provincial Offences Act court services on behalf of the municipal partnership within the Halton area through two locations: one in Burlington and one in Milton. These two existing courts for provincial offences will relocate to 4085 Palladium Way once the new courthouse is built.

The Milton and Burlington court service locations are 16,000 square feet (1,486 square metres) combined. The new facility, at 34,000 square feet (3,159 square metres), will meet today’s needs more effectively and will help Halton Court Services plan 30 years into the future.

Justice is a very profitable business for the municipal sector.  Financial results for the end of the third quarter of 2016 were:

• Gross revenues of $6,909,402 (81.0% of budget)
• Overall expenditures of $3,283,653 (72.9% of budget)
• Year-to-date net revenue of $3,625,749 (90.0% of budget)

That $3 million gets shared by the municipalities in the Region

Given the continuing growth in population, a moderate increase of 1,000 charges (71,000) is projected for 2017. Gross revenue for Halton Court Services  in 2017 is budgeted at $8.82 million as compared to $8.53 million during 2016.

Included in the report was mention of “red light” cameras – they produce offence notices that pull in an excess of $300 for those who chose to run that red light at two in the morning.

The new courthouse is designed by the Ventin Group Ltd. to capture the changing and evolving landscape of Halton Region in the design. The natural environment is echoed in the design through the selection of landscape materials.

• The north half of the building is a stone wall, reflecting the strong and secure Niagara Escarpment.

• The south half is a glass wall, symbolic of transparency—a virtue and goal for the justice system. The glass wall is lined with a series of wooden pillars representing the natural woodlands of Halton Region.

• The glass walls facing east and west are treated with wavy, coloured glazing to represent the character and motion of the local creeks.

• The thin, white roof canopy captures a thin blanket of snow overhanging to the south to provide sun shading for the glass—appropriate for a Canadian institution.

The new courthouse will be a dignified building, timeless in design, welcoming to the public and comfortable for all staff using the facility.

Building the new, consolidated Ontario Court of Justice – Halton Provincial Offences Office courthouse is a long-term commitment to meet the demand of provincial offences and help improve access to justice.”

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Police will use education and enforcement strategies to reduce the speed of vehicles travelling on residential roads.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 19th, 2017



Halton Regional Police will continue to run two traffic initiatives across the City of Burlington throughout 2017.

The most common contributing factors to traffic accidents are inattentiveness, distracted driving (cell phone use), failing to yield, driving too fast for road conditions, following too closely and disobeying traffic light signals.

Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner talks with Sgt Davies, the man who heads up the accident reconstruction unit. The two of them would really like to see fewer accidents.

Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner talks with Sgt Davies, the man who heads up the accident reconstruction unit.

The Police continue to encourage residents to report traffic complaints by going to the Halton Regional Police Website and submitting the required information on-line.

Operation RISC (Reducing Intersection Safety Concerns) has been in effect since 2015 by officers from 30 Division, in order to maximize police visibility and increase the public’s perception of safety while driving.

Collisions at intersections have a high risk potential of serious injuries or even death, making intersection safety a priority for the Halton Regional Police.

The Police have also continued the Residential Traffic/Stop Sign/Speeding (RTSS) Initiative in order to deliver a clear message to drivers that our residential roads are not raceways. This traffic safety initiative was designed to increase compliance of stop signs. Police have utilized education and enforcement strategies throughout 2017 in order to reduce the speeds of vehicles travelling on residential roadways and to promote safer driving habits.

One tactic is to park a police cruiser close to the side of a road – there seems to be this automatic interaction between the foot on the gas pedal and they eye seeing a police cruiser – the eye apparently forces the foot to apply less pressure to the gas pedal.

During the first 3 months of 2017, officers in Burlington conducted 6,495 traffic stops, issued 4,576 Provincial Offences Notices and handed out more than 1,000 warnings to drivers. Halton Police spent a total of 3,628 hours dedicated to these two initiatives throughout Burlington.

As a result of this initiative; during the first three months of 2017, property damage motor vehicle collisions were down 9% and personal injury motor vehicle collisions were down 2% from 2016.

Police will continue to focus their efforts at locations that pose a higher risk to the public based on past collision analytic data. “Our officers will continue to educate drivers about their behaviour behind the wheel. Road Safety is everyone’s responsibility. We all need to do our part behind the wheel to ensure our roadways are safe for everyone” said Sgt. Jared McLeod, District Response Unit.

Police will continue to focus on drivers who are driving impaired, distracted and aggressive behind the wheel in order to protect and ensure the safety of all residents.

These measures 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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Arts Council is formally launched - now the real work begins.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

April 19th, 2017



Will the evening be remembered as one of the historical moment in the cultural life of the city of Burlington – or will it be just another non-profit organization that seemed like a good idea at the time?

Only time will tell but the Arts and Cultural Council of Burlington (ACCOB) was launched in the lobby of the Performing Arts Centre on April 18th, 2017.

ACCOB board

The formative Board of the Arts and Cultural Council of Burlington, ACCOB: Left to right: Kim Verrall, Teresa Seaton, Robert Mayor, Rob Missen, Ancilla Ho Young, Donna Grandin, and Tim Park at the microphone.

There was a city council meeting that evening and just about every member of Council was in the lobby of the PAC up to watch the momentous occasion. There were enough of them in the lobby to form a quorum – they could have gathered in a corner and conducted the city’s business on the spot.

There weren’t just members of city council in the room. A local youth choir sang and a lovely young girl from an Orchard community school played her violin flawlessly – giving the audience a rendition of a Vivaldi Concerto. Yoanna Jang was a delight to listen to.

ACCOB - Ancilla

ACCOB vice chair, Ancilla Ho Young

Getting an Arts Council set up is an organizational matter. They now have to determine what their mandate is and how they want to execute on that mandate.

This all started back in 2013 when Trevor Copp stood before city council and said he wanted to be able to work in his home town and not have to toodle along the QEW to earn a living.

The irony of the evening was that Copp could not be on hand – he was out of town doing a show.

There were a number of arts community stalwarts – Teresa Seaton, Tim Park, Rob Missen

Mayor Goldring and former Mayor Walter Mulkewich were on hand – Goldring might have been thinking through how much ACCOB was going to want in the way of funding.

The important point is that the organization has moved beyond an idea – now it is up to them to lobby the city; seek funding and advocate for the Arts.

Will they mount programs of their own?

Will they find people within the city that will support the arts in general?

Will they hold the well-funded Performing Arts Centre the Art Gallery of Burlington and the Museums to account?

Burlington doesn’t have an arts or cultural profile even though the city has produced and been home to some very significant talent. The late Gordy Tapp lived here; the Spoons came out of this city, Walk Off the Earth has roots in the city. Robert Bateman worked from Burlington for some time.

Trevor Copp, the Burlington actor who mobilized trhe arts into a Collective makes a point on leadership while Executive Director of the Burlington Museum's operation listens.

Trevor Copp, the Burlington actor who mobilized the arts into a Collective makes a point on leadership while Executive Director of the Burlington Museum’s operation listens.

There are countless others. What Burlington has not been able to do – yet – is pull the history and the story of Burlington into focus and draw people to the city.

Burlington has relied on the Sound of Music and Ribfest to draw the multitudes – both are looking a little warn and have not managed to achieve a refresh and create a new life for themselves.

In the past Burlington has been a place where things happened. There is a spot along the waterfront, in Spencer Smith Park that is referred to as “pebble beach”. It is a collection of large stones – but, as Councillor Jack Dennison will tell you – if you look closely you might see some of the old pilings that once held up the Brant Inn – which in its day was a jumping spot – the place to be.

Many of the black musicians would take the train to Burlington and play in a place where they could eat, sleep and work in the same building and not be treated as second class citizens.

The city has not managed to build on that illustrious and colourful past.

ACCOB has its work cut out for it – the good news is that there are some very good people on that board – they could make it happen.

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City council holds to the position of not getting involved in the closing high schools matter.

highschoolsBy Staff

April 19th, 2017



The matter of the city getting involved in the closing of high schools got itself in front of city council again last night – the outcome as the same. The city is going to sit on its hands.

Denise Davey at council April 3

Denise Davy

Denise Davy, a community advocate delegated to city council and made comments that are worth repeating and sharing.

She said:

Last month, Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter reminded School boards and municipal councils that they are required to work with and consult with each other on the impact of school closures and how they will affect the community.

To quote, Minister Hunter said, “our school boards and municipalities must make every effort to work together to ultimately support positive experiences for our students and the communities they live in.”

In an interview with CBC radio on March 29th, Minister Hunter repeated this statement that municipal leaders and school board leaders should be working together when it comes to making the difficult decisions around closures.

To quote from that interview, Minister Hunter said schools are the heart of a community, “That conversation (between school boards and councils) needs to be happening.”

This did not happen in Burlington and I believe it is a solid reason for city council to ask the province that this process be suspended.

Central High school

Central high school

Schools are a critical component of our city and we need to know the social and economic impact of what these closures will mean. Some municipalities have written to the province requesting a moratorium of the closure process while others have asked for staff reports to study the impact of those closures.

Sarnia’s city council did an extensive Community Impact Assessment Study that helped determine how the school closures fit in with their strategic plan.

Toronto Council voted unanimously to ask the city manager for an inventory of city interests in schools and also sent a request to the TDSB and province asking to change the school funding formula and review its approach on school closures.

The list of municipalities which have called for a suspension of the process is long so I won’t read all the names but I have printed it out.

What I want to make absolutely clear is that the high noise volume around this issue isn’t just an emotional outpouring because parents don’t want to see their child’s school close. Parents get that there are empty seats, they understand the issue of population decline just as they understand there is only so much money in the education pot.

The emails and calls you’ve been receiving are not about that. It’s about the process.

PARC crowd Dec 8-16

Parents at a public meting on high school closures

As one of the hundreds of parents who have had a front row seat to this process, I can tell you not only from a procedural viewpoint it is deeply flawed, it has not followed ministry guidelines and worst of all, it has moved at such a breakneck speed that many critical questions have been left unanswered.

The closure of some 600 schools across the province is being called the largest and fastest sweep of school closures in the history of this province. And it’s all happening in communities like ours in a matter of months.

Consider that Bateman and Nelson were only officially added to the possible closure list in early February which means there will have been two and a half months to study all of the pitfalls of closing of the schools.

There have been no in-depth reports or studies detailing the short and long-term impact these closures will have on students or on the city nor has there been any detailed reports on dollar costs.

Case in point is the city pool attached to Bateman. Both Gerry Cullen, the board’s Superintendent of Facility Services and Director Stuart Miller told me in face to face separate interviews that they had no idea what would happen to Centennial pool should Bateman close nor did they know the cost of construction to separate it from the school.

centennial pool - inside

Centennial swimming pool.

Even if the province provided funding for this type of work, the pool would see far fewer people use it because it would no longer be used by students during the day, this is after some $2 million were spent on upgrading it. This is an example of how the closures would impact the city.

Central parents have asked for months about the grade 7 and 8 students who are in the high school and from what I know, they haven’t yet received an answer to that.

I came to this experience as a parent but I also brought a journalist’s perspective where I covered council meetings, OMB hearings, human rights tribunals and seen the inner workings of many processes.

I can tell you without any reservation the PAR has been the most disorganized, irresponsible and unaccountable process I have ever witnessed. Bar none.

We’re not talking about closing a strip plaza here. We’re talking about schools filled with hundreds of students and yet it’s being decided in less than three months.

Pic 2 Freeman Station 1906

The Freeman Station

Your council took longer to decide the fate of a heritage train station than a decision which will have far more ramifications.

Lastly, I want to address a concern that was raised about it being too late to step forward and that the motion would likely have no impact. I have to respectfully disagree on both points.
Your vote to support a suspension of this process could be the tipping point and even if it isn’t, it would send a message to tens of thousands of constituents that you understand their concerns.


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High speed chase - two cruisers damaged - thieves evade police - set fire to vehicle and flee.

Crime 100By Staff

April 19th, 2017



While you were sleeping the Halton Regional Police Service were attempting to stop a Chev pickup truck at Walkers Line & Mainway.

It was 11:43 pm on April 18th – the driver of the pick-up refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated.

Police cruiser New_look

High speed pursuit reached 140 km per hour  – two cruisers collided – officer injured.

The chase continued onto the QEW eastbound and was quickly terminated when the suspect driver began to reach speeds in excess of 140 km/h.

Two police cruisers collided during the pursuit and one officer suffered minor injuries and was transported to hospital.

The suspect vehicle was later set on fire in south Burlington and the suspects fled. The Fire Department attended and put the fire out.

The Ontario Provincial Police are investigating the collision on the QEW.

The police believe the three suspects involved stole a 2002 GMC Savannah Van Blue License AVZC492.

When police were pursuing the suspects managed to evade them and later abandoned the truck, set it on fire and fled.

The suspects were last seen headed W/B on the 403 in Hamilton.

Halton Police are continuing the investigation.

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Transit Advocacy group welcomes appointment of new Director for Burlington Transit

News 100 redBy Staff

April 18th, 2017



Bfast Transit group logoBurlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit (BFAST) welcomes today’s announcement that Sue Connor, general manager of Brampton Transit, has been appointed as Director of Burlington Transit.

She has impressive credentials and has been involved in some interesting initiatives to improve service and increase ridership in Brampton. Congratulations to both her and the city.

Under Connor’s direction, Brampton Transit introduced Züm, a rapid-transit route that features plush seats, heated shelters and laptop plugins. Last year, it became one of eight Ontario communities to participate in a trial of zero-emission, electric buses. And ridership in Brampton has risen the most of any community in the GTA over the past few years.

Connor Sue

Sue Connor, newly appointed Director of Burlington Transit.

Her new approaches will be welcome in Burlington. But her biggest challenge will be to get anything done with a city council that has been extremely hostile to transit. Brampton Transit’s $1.00 senior fares, for example, would hit a brick wall at Burlington’c city council, which recently refused to experiment with free off-peak fares for over-65s. And she’ll have a tough row to hoe in trying to restore the provincial money that council took from transit to “shave and pave” residential streets (a move premised on highly suspect long-term savings).


Doug Brown of Bfast doesn’t smile that often – a Director of Transit with a proven record brings a grin to his face

“There are really big challenges ahead for transit in Burlington,” said BFAST Chair Doug Brown. “I hope the City gives her and Burlington Transit the additional resources needed to improve and grow. (Burlington spends less than one half per capita than the average of GTA municipalities on transit).”

While Brampton’s transit ridership has increased some 15% over the past three years, Burlington’s has plummeted by about the same amount. Ms. Connor will have the challenge of her career to restore Burlington’s transit system.


BFAST also wishes to thank Jeff Black, who brought a breath of fresh air as Burlington Transit’s Acting Director over the past few months. Jeff was open to new ideas and to meeting with transit users. We appreciated his attendance at this year’s Transit Users’ Forum and his commitment to Burlington Transit during his short tenure. We wish him well in future.

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Kaleidoscope of the arts exhibition and sale takes place this weekend; Guilds will be strutting their stuff for a month.

artsorange 100x100By Staff

April 18th, 2017



The Art Gallery of Burlington is excited to present the third annual All Guilds Show (April 22 – May 21, 2017) in conjunction with the Kaleidoscope Exhibit and Sale on the opening weekend.

Each guild has presented their best work related to the Garden theme. This annual exhibition will celebrate the works of members from the guilds:

Kaleidascopt logo - April event– Fibre Arts Guild
– Burlington Fine Arts Association
– Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild
– Latow Photographers Guild
– Burlington Potters’ Guild
– Burlington Rug Hooking and Craft Guild
– Burlington Guild of Sculptors and Woodcarvers,

The Kaleidoscope of the Arts Exhibition and Sale takes place on:

Friday April 21 – Friday: 5pm – 7pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday April 23, 2017 12pm – 5pm

In the Art Gallery of Burlington (FREE PARKING)

There will be no shortage of hands-on activities for kids (of all ages):

Wood Carvers & Sculptors Studio – Wood Carving
Fine Arts Studio – Create a Painting
Fine Arts Studio – Art Card Exchange
Pottery Studio – Raku Firing
Weavers & Spinners Textile Studio – Weaving & Spinning
Community Corridor – Fibre Arts
Darkroom – Create a Photograph
Lakeshore Rotary Room – Rug Hooking

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Wally Pieczonka named Burlington’s 2017 Distinguished Philanthropist of the Year.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 18th, 2017



Wally Pieczonka has been named Burlington’s 2017 Distinguished Philanthropist of the Year.

Thoughtful, humble, caring, giving are just a few of the words that describe Burlington Foundation’s 2017 Distinguished Philanthropist of the Year.

Dr. Pieczonka will be honoured at Burlington Foundation’s Share to Care gala on October 21, 2017, at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

Pieczonka Wally Gennum

Dr. Wally Pieczonka named the Burlington Foundation Philanthropist of the year.

“Wally Pieczonka is the epitome of a distinguished philanthropist,” says Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO, Burlington Foundation. “A long-time friend of the Foundation, Wally has a strong belief in giving what you can to support areas of passion and the needs of the community and its citizens. Wally is generous of spirit and continuously illustrates acts of kindness for the betterment of humanity. We are truly delighted to honour and celebrate his legacy of giving and broad social impact.”

The Distinguished Philanthropist of the Year award, presented by Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life, allows the community to publicly honour and thank a noted philanthropist for their positive impact on Burlington and surrounding communities.

Wally, who has resided in Burlington for over 55 years, is a retired engineer and scientist and founder of Burlington-based Gennum Corporation. Through establishment of the Pieczonka Family Foundation and the Mavis Pieczonka Memorial Fund held at Burlington Foundation in honour of his late wife, Wally continues to have an incredibly positive impact on the arts and education sectors. In addition, Wally’s passionate support of vulnerable youth and mental health provide Burlington and the surrounding community with impactful, sustainable gifts to help those in need.

Numerous organizations have been beneficiaries of Wally and his family’s generous giving including Art Gallery of Burlington, The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Burlington Foundation, Joseph Brant Hospital, Symphony on the Bay, Hamilton Philharmonic, Royal Botanical Gardens, the University of Saskatchewan and McMaster University, to name a few.

Over many decades, Wally has also contributed his time and talents through tremendous community leadership and mentorship. He was a founding member of the Burlington Foundation Board and has served on numerous Boards in philanthropic and governance roles.

“I am honoured and humbled to receive this award from Burlington Foundation,” said Wally Pieczonka. “Our family is committed to supporting numerous sectors and areas of need. Among these are the arts which are a universal language and glue bringing people and communities together. The arts are woefully underfunded by governments and are most in need of philanthropic support.”

“Contributing to community needs is a part of my life and I hope this award helps inspire others to give brilliantly.”

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City announces the appointment of a new Director of Burlington Transit - Sue Connor takes the wheel May 23rd.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 18th, 2017



The city claims it has found the person who is going to clear up the mess over at Burlington Transit.

In a media release the city announced that “After an extensive search and evaluation of highly qualified candidates, the City of Burlington is appointing Sue Connor as the new Director of Burlington Transit.

Let’s hope the right choice has been made – the staff over at Transit have been thirsting for a solid, experienced innovative transit leader.  Transit users would dearly like to see some innovation and consistency to the service and city hall will certainly want to see the ridership numbers climb up rather than continue the current slide.

Connor Sue

Sue Connors – newly appointed Director of Transit – she will take her fist bus out for a test run May 23rd.

Connor began her career in 1976 working for Canada Post, moving quickly through the ranks of the government agency over her 12 year career in a series of managerial posts. In 1988 she made the move to the transit industry working for Mississauga Transit in a number of positions in their Operations department and finally leading that department.

Currently, Connor is the General Manager, Transit for the City of Brampton the ninth largest city in Canada, a position she has held since 2003. Connor is currently the Chair of the Canadian Urban Transit Association and Chair of Canadian Urban Transit Research and Innovation Consortium.

Connor’s first day with Burlington Transit is May 23, 2017.

James Ridge, City Manager says he is “… delighted to have Sue as part of our team. She brings a wealth of information and experience and is coming to us at a critical time as we are in the beginning stages of our Integrated Transit Master Plan which will shape the direction of our public transit for years to come.

Ridge thanked Jeff Black for his interim leadership of the Department. “He has not just been a caretaker leader, but has initiated a range of important work, including the beginnings of the Integrated Master Transit Plan.”

The city wants to keep an eye on Black – if there is going to be a deputy director – he is your man.

Tag line - accountability

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Annie is coming to town - if you're between 7 and 18 you could find yourself looking into the stage lights - KooGle is looking for talent.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

April 17th, 2017



Tuesday evening the city will get some idea as to what the newly minted Arts and Cultural Council of Burlington (ACCOB) is going to look like and the direction they hope to take arts and culture in – should be interesting.

Meanwhile the KooGle Theatre isn’t letting any grass grow under their feet with the announcement of the summer 2017 production – Annie Jr.

KooGle cast

The Spelling Bee – it was the best theatre there was in the city last summer.

Their 2016 production of the 25th Annual Putnam Fair Spelling Bee was great summer theatre – a performance to be remembered.

Annie Jr should be just as much fun.

The production is going to take advantage of the talent Leslie Grey and her husband Christopher believe exists in the city.

They will be running what they are calling Youth Musical Theatre Summer Intensive programs and are looking for people between the ages of 7 – 18 to take part in a workshop weekend.

Those 7-12 will do the workshop on Saturday May 13th – 1 – 4 pm
Those 13 – 18 will do the workshop on Sunday May 14th – 1 – 4 pm

The students will take part in a single day boot camp that will end with a two day run of the production.


Auditions May 13th and 14th – boot camp workshops August 8- 19th. Public performances 18th and 19th.

Casting will come from those who take part in the workshop-auditions.  So if you want a chance to make it to the stage – get to the workshop-auditions.

The KooGle Theatre has brought a solid background to the stage of the Performing Arts Centre in the past – there wouldn’t have been a summer program last year were it not for KooGle

Leslie Gray has done a lot of choreography in her time – the workshop-audition is worth the experience in itself – even if you don’t make it to the production that will take place at the Performing Arts Centre in August running for two performances on August 19th.

Leslie and Christopher at Koogle

Leslie and Christopher Gray – – co-artistic directors of the KooGle Theatre

There is a fee for the weekend workshop – $35. Deadline date for workshop applications is May 1st.

These auditions will take place in the Studio Theatre at the Performing Arts Centre.

The locations for the intensive boot camp workshops isn’t certain yet – if they can’t come to acceptable terms with the Performing Arts Centre we will use the Drury Lane Theatre said Leslie Gray.

Leslie was born and raised in Burlington and has been singing and dancing through life since she was a little girl. She loved to belt out songs from Annie and A Chorus Line to her mom’s records and put on shows for her family and neighbours. She enrolled in dance classes when she was 10 and auditioned for her first musical (The King and I) at age 13 with the encouragement of her Grandpa Walker (George) who played the bass fiddle in the orchestra at Hamilton Theatre Inc.

Christopher Alan Gray grew up in Chatham, Ontario and began singing at a very young age in his church choir. He then began studying voice and competed in the Kiwanis Music Festival for many years before receiving his Grade 8 Level Singing from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

The production they did last summer was as good as it gets – expect no less this August when a younger cast takes to the stage to show what can be achieved at single day in a boot camp workshop environment.

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What will life be like for students who may have to take a bus to school if the Board of Education decides to close some high schools?

highschoolsBy Pepper Parr

April 17th, 2017



What are the issues facing the eleven members of the Halton District School Board as they review the information that is going to be fed to them by Board staff and the delegations that are made by parents who do not want to see the school their children attend closed?

There are currently about 550 high school students taking a bus to get to school.

Using the different high school closing options the following is the projections that was given to the PAR committee.

Busing increases:

Nelson closes – add  364 students to the busing number

Bateman only   add 262 students to the busing number

No schools close   add  131 students to the busing number

Central and Pearson close add 602 students to the busing number

Bateman and Pearson close add  286 students to the busing number

Central and Pearson close add  615 students to the busing number

The projection is that more than 1000 students will be riding a school bus if Central high school is closed where a reported 92% of the students walk to school.

The cost of transporting those students is said to amount to $400,000 per year.

The amount of money aside – the real issue for the Board is going to be finding the people to drive those school buses.  The Board doesn’t actually have to find the drivers – the company they contract with has to find the drivers – but it all boils down to the same thing – school bus drivers don’t get paid very much

schoolbus-stop-signEarly in this academic year there were desperate pleas from the HSTS – Halton Student Transportation Service for people to apply for a part time job driving a school bus.

School bus drivers get between $55 and $75 a day; there are no benefits and they get paid for just the days they drive a bus.  A source told the Gazette that school bus drivers are amongst the highest users of Food Bank services in Halton.  This is an operation that is ripe for unionization.

The HSTS is a corporation owned by the Halton District School Board and the Halton Catholic District School Board and is operated on a cost recovery basis.

The French Catholic School Board was at one time part of the consortium but they dropped out.

Stuart Miller

Director of Education Stuart Miller

Stuart Miller, the Director of Education, has said that his Board has no idea how the manpower problem will get resolved in the event that the trustees decide Central high school should be closed. He has not said if there are any contingency plans being developed.

No one, apparently, taken a look at what student life will look like if 1000+ students are riding school buses to get to their classes.

What happens to sports teams?

What about student clubs?

What about their social life – how do they hang around and chill out and learn from each other?

The environmentalists will talk about the tonnes of CO2 the buses will pump into the air and they won’t do much for traffic congestion either.

Will there be two classes of high school students: one social class that uses a school bus and is limited in what they can do extra-curricularly because of the school bus schedule and another class of student that can walk or ride their bikes or have their parents act as chauffeurs?

These are all serious and significant issues – someone should be thinking about what the impact is going to be or will be looking at unintended consequences once we are six or seven months into a new school bus program?

The answers to the questions – or at last some kind of a projection should have been prepared by Board staff so that both the trustees and the parents have some idea of what the consequences are if a lot of high school students have to catch that bus every morning – and every afternoon.

What would a day in the life of a high school student look like if they were attached with close to an umbilical cord to a bright yellow school bus?

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Where will Councillor Meed Ward position herself when the Director of Education releases his report to the trustees on possible school closings?

highschoolsBy Pepper Parr

April 18th, 2017



The Halton District School Board Program Accommodation Review Committee (PARC) has been wound down and thanked for the superb job they did. The community now waits to see what impact their deliberations will have on the report Director of Education Stuart Miller delivers to the public and the trustees this Friday.

The report is to be published on line by Board Staff at 6:00 pm on Friday. (Hopefully the web site will manage to handle the demand for the report.)

PARC Jan 27 full group

Halton District School Board PARC committee meeting while public observes the deliberations.

It was a committee that required a couple of meetings to find itself – many of the people did not know each other very well or at all.

Many of the people on the PARC had serious concerns with the process that was being used. Central high school parents challenged the Board on the approach it was taking to what was a new process put in place by the provincial government. The high school parents lost that argument.

Add to this the significant concern with the Central high school choice of Marianne Meed Ward as their nominee to the PARC. Being the member of council for ward 2 and agreeing to serve on the PARC did not sit well with many.

Sharman July 2016

Ward 5 City Councillor |Paul Sharman. Bateman high school is in his ward. He had to be seen going to bat for them.

Burlington city council was firm on not getting involved – that was until Bateman high school was listed as a possible school closure – that brought Ward 5 council member Paul Sharman into play. He strode into one of the PARC meetings to observe for he now had political skin in the game.

He then brought a motion to have the city write a letter to the Minister of Education to bring a halt to the PARC that was meeting in Burlington. That vote at city council lost 5-2.

But Sharman had shown that he would go to bat for his people – which was his purpose from the get go.

Meed Ward has always been a feisty member of Council – she was one of the more active delegators to city council before she was elected and she was the member of council who asked more questions than any other member of council once she got herself elected in ward 2.

She would call for recorded votes frequently and on one memorable occasion she had her colleagues on their feet five times for recorded votes. It was at that point that we saw just how much the members of Council could roll their eyeballs.

Often, whenever ward 1 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward appears at events with the Mayor she sounds more "mayoral" than the man who wears the chain of office.

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward with the Mayor in Spencer Smith Park.

Many hoped the same “in your face” Meed Ward would be seen at the PARC meetings. For the most part that Meed Ward didn’t show up.

She was active, she asked solid questions and was supported by a parents group that did some fine research and supported her with demonstration after demonstration.

But the voice we heard at the PARC meetings wasn’t what many had expected.

Was Meed Ward curtailed at all by the objections to her being one of the Central high school PARC members? Curtail isn’t a word one would normally apply to Meed Ward.

Her colleagues on city council weren’t the least bit pleased – they have never been pleased with the way Meed Ward does politics in this city.

Some felt that if Meed Ward could lead the charge to save Central high school she would be seen as a shoo in for Mayor when the 2018 municipal election takes place.

The woman who has led many charges at city council wasn’t seen that often – if at all – at the PARC meetings. Admittedly she wasn’t in an environment she was familiar with – but then none of the PARC members knew much about the workings of the school board.

During a meeting of Central high school parents Meed Ward reported to them and said that while she was basically an optimistic person – she was concerned about the direction the discussions were going in.
Shortly after that meeting at the Lions Club – an at first subtle shift began to take place within the PARC and the option the Board Staff put forward to close both Central high school and Pearson began to lose to the idea of not closing any of the high schools.

That option was the clear choice of the PARC committee when it was disbanded.

The Director’s report will be released Friday – if the recommendation Director of Education Miller makes to the trustees is to not close any of the high schools the PARC will get much of the credit – Meed Ward will be seen as just another member of that committee.

If Miller, no matter how reluctantly, recommends closing Central, that community will erupt. What role will Meed Ward play in that eruption? It is not going to be pretty. She is no longer a member of the PARC – there is no PARC – it was disbanded.

She will certainly protest as a parent but the clout she had as a PARC member will have evaporated.

There were several members of the PARC that were exceptional in the way they moved the agenda; at times they came close to taking it out of the hands of the PARC Chair, School Board Superintendent Scott Podrebarac.

Burlington aerial

What impact would the closing of the downtown high school have on the city? Much bigger than most can even imagine.

It will be interesting to see just how Meed Ward handles herself when the report is released on Friday.
Everyone will be reading the report carefully – we do know that it is going to be a lengthy document with every department at the School Board having a significant impact.

Burlington can expect to see two things during the weekend: what kind of a Director of Education is Stuart Miller going to choose to be and how will a candidate for the office of mayor position herself on the most significant decision about the health and long term welfare of the city we have had to face in the last 15 years.

It will be interesting.

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