What Is Better Than FREE? What do you think about risk free?

marketingmoneymojoBBy James Burchill

January 12th, 2017


Oh come on! FREE is free. Zero, zip, nada, zilch. What on earth could be better than FREE?

I recently mentioned online that FREE was the most powerful word in advertising. Nothing has changed, it still is.

So what is with the headline of this article? What is better than FREE?

Well before I explain, let’s recap a little first. FREE is the most powerful word in marketing and advertising world because at its very heart lies the secret of ‘risk reversal’. If you make your offer as close to risk-free as possible you will be ahead of most of your competition.

Beyond Risk Reversal

Getting over the risk associated with making the wrong choice, or making the choice and then having the product under deliver or simply not work, is a problem that every buyer struggles with. And for what it’s worth, most people are more afraid of making the wrong choice and looking foolish, than they are of just making the wrong choice.

So if you can negate this fear, if you stack the deck in your favour. If you can get the buyer over that hurdle, they will be one step closer to saying “yes”.

Let’s Dance

In any business transaction there is a silent dance that plays out every time someone offers something for sale, and someone considers buying it. Each party silently tries to maneuver themselves into a position where their risk is limited. As the seller, you can help the buyer get to that place if you assume all or more of the risk, then you will have less trouble selling your product or service. It’s that simple.

“But James, nothing in life is really free.”

Well, that is true to some extent. Even if I gave you something free, what it really means is that you did not have to part with any money. You paid no cash. You may still have spent time and energy on the sales process; you may have invested yourself emotionally in the prospect of owning that flashy newfangled widget.

Therefore, in reality, you have ‘spent’ something – you spent time. And time unlike money is non-refundable. Time is finite and as the old saying goes… “Time waits for no man.”

So if your prospect has accepted your request to explore the possibility of buying something from you, and has even gone so far as to consider making a deal with you, what can you do to clinch it? Well you can let them know you value their time. You can show them you respect them for taking the time to meet with you. You can show them that you appreciated their consideration of your product or service.

And The Answer Is…

And so the answer to your question ‘what is better than free?’ is ‘Better Than Risk Free’ or ‘BTRF’ for short.

Simply put, a BTRF offer rewards your customer for favouring you with their buying decision. In addition, if it does not work out – you compensate them for their efforts. Here is a concrete example:

best-are-freeWhether you sell products or services, give the client something extra as part of the main deal. If the extra premium is free, then so much the better. To make the deal even stronger, make it known that the whole deal is 100% guaranteed and you’ll refund their money if required (or whatever makes sense) and also let them know that regardless of the deals outcome, (and this is the BTRF part) they get to keep the premium item you gave them as your way of saying thank you.

‘Better Than Risk Free’ is better than free.

burchill-jamesJames Burchill is the founder of Social Fusion Network – an organization that helps local business connect and network.  He also writes about digital marketing, entrepreneurship and technology and when he’s not consulting, he teaches people to start their own ‘side hustle.’

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Mild temperatures and rainfall, combined with the partial melt of existing snow-pack, we mean increased flows in creeks and streams.

News 100 redBy Staff

January 11th, 2017



Conservation Halton advises that Environment Canada is forecasting 15 to 25 mm of rainfall beginning later this evening and continuing into early Thursday.

Based on the forecast of mild temperatures and rainfall, combined with the partial melt of our existing snowpack, we may experience an increase in flows and water levels in our creeks throughout the Halton watershed.

Cons Halton water shed safetyWidespread flooding is not currently anticipated. Our reservoirs are holding at winter levels which allow for larger storage capacity for circumstances of this nature.

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.

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

Conservation Halton will issue an update to this Watershed Conditions Statement –Water Safety message only if significant changes in the forecasts occur. This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through to Friday, January 13, 2017.

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Once Cabinet Minister Karina gets used to the car and a driver she can begin to figure out how to reform the way we elect government's in the future.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 10th, 2017



Karina Gould, 29, is the youngest female cabinet minister in Canadian history.

And now she has her work cut out for her.

There will have a driver to take her from place to place in Ottawa. A larger staff and a social schedule that will get brutal.

And as Minister of Democratic Institutions she has to figure out a way to deliver on the promise the Prime Minister made during the election campaign that he won when Canadians chose him as their Prime Minister.


Candidate Justin Trudeau with his wife and children on election day.

At the time it was a bold political statement that might have slid off the table and be forgotten. When the task of changing the way we elect our government was assigned to a Minister – it was evident that the Prime Minister was serious.

A Special Committee on Electoral Reform (ERRE) was created. It proposed that the government hold a referendum on what the public wanted. The Liberal members of the Special Committee voted against the idea of a referendum.

The report was Adopted by the Committee: November 28, 2016, presented to the House: December 1, 2016 and is awaiting a government response.

Her predecessor was not able to manage the file – nor did she manage to work with the Parliamentary committee that was put in place to come up with proposals on just how the country was going to shift from the FPTP to whatever we were going to have.

The Chief Election Officer appears to be saying that whatever the government decides to do – it may have run out of time to implement whatever change is to take place


Karina Gould poses with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (right) and Gov.-Gen. David Johnston after being sworn in as Minister of Democratic Institutions during a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

That’s the job Gould has walked into. It is also a file that has been close to micro managed by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)

It is going to be difficult for Gould to deliver on the promise.

For two reasons – many, if not most, Canadians don’t have much in the way of an idea as to just what they want.
First past the post has served this country since it was formed. And that has at times given us governments that were elected by something around 35% of the voters – which didn’t satisfy the political parties that were on the losing side.

There are two issues: one a philosophical decision – what is the best way to form governments that reflect the will of the people and then the raw calculating side of politics which for political parties is to determine how they are going to stay in government.

The philosophical side is one that Gould will muse on rather well. She is an educated, sophisticated young woman who has a natural sense of what is right. She is in her heart a true democrat.

But now that she is a Cabinet Minister she has a responsibility to the government – she is part of that government – they are there to govern and in order to govern you have to stay in office.

It was Lord Acton who gave us the dictum: ‘Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Governments are usually the last to realize that they have been in power too long.

There has never been a government that stood up in its legislature and announced that it was time for them to go. The more they need to be dismissed the harder they fight to remain in office.

Every Liberal in this city is proud of Karina Gould. Even the Tory’s will grudgingly admit that she has done a fine job.

As we go forward we will see what Karina Gould is really made of. Great DNA – let’s see how she uses it.
“Gould is an Oxford University graduate and a trade and investment specialist who worked for the Mexican Trade Commission before her foray into federal politics.

“She volunteered at a Mexican orphanage while a student at McGill University, and later worked as a consultant to the migrant and development program at the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., experience that made her a natural fit for the role of parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development, Marie-Claude Bibeau.

“Gould has had an interest in federal politics since a young age. She has pinpointed a visit by former Liberal MP for Burlington, Paddy Torsney, to her high school civics class, as an early inspiration to run for elected office.

“I was so impressed with her,” Gould told the Bay Observer, a Hamilton based newspaper, after her election. “It really inspired me to think it was a real possibility for me as a woman to become an MP.”

Gould - Claite -Kyle - Fed Liberals

Karina Gould on the right looking at some data on a cell phone during her election campaign. Claire LaRocca is centre.

While at McGill university used to sit up late into the night with a friend talking about what she would do as a politician.  That friend came back to Burlington to run her campaign.

Both of her paternal grandparents are Holocaust survivors.


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Impaired driving charges lower this year - but still to high.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 10, 2017



The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has released its impaired driving statistics for 2016, including its annual December RIDE campaign and overall year-over-year totals.


Police conducting RIDE campaigns.

Results from RIDE, a program held from December 1-31 in partnership with community agencies such as MADD Canada and funded in part by the Ministry of Community Safety, are as follows:

• 266 roadside tests conducted
• 51 impaired driving arrests (this compares to 31 arrests during the same period in 2015)
• 47 three-day suspensions issued
• 2 seven-day suspensions issued
• 5 24-hour suspensions issued (G1/G2 drivers)

Overall impaired driving arrests in Halton Region, however, decreased from 425 in 2015 to 404 in 2016.

“Impaired driving by drug or alcohol is a threat to community safety, and the reality is it isn’t a holiday, weekend or night-time problem,” said Nishan Duraiappah, Deputy Chief of Police. “As such, it is and will remain a top priority for our Service all day, every day of the year. Enforcement alone isn’t the answer, and we will continue to partner with other organizations to weave elements of prevention and social development into our work towards enhancing traffic safety in our community.”

In addition to enforcement programs like RIDE, officers conducted preventative projects at licensed establishments throughout Halton to educate patrons on impairment. Volunteers had the opportunity to check their blood alcohol levels on-the-spot by providing breath samples into roadside screening devices. Fifty-two (52) men and women participated. Of these, 29 registered a pass (under 0.05 mg alcohol/100 ml blood), 15 a warning (between 0.05 and 0.08 mg alcohol/100 ml blood), and eight failed (over 0.08 mg alcohol/100 ml blood).

Two Nelson high school students do their best to stay on the green line wearing Fatal Vision goggles during a HAlton Regional Police RIDE program.

Two Nelson high school students do their best to stay on the green line wearing Fatal Vision goggles during a Halton Regional Police RIDE program.

To ensure that the impaired driving message was heard by all drivers of all ages, High School Liaison Officers attended several Halton high schools to deliver its annual RIDE 101 education program. RIDE 101 teaches students about the influence drugs and alcohol can have on a driver’s perception and ability to complete simple tasks by enabling them to experience the world through the lens of goggles that mimic its effects.

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.

More information can be found at www.haltonpolice.ca under Community or by following @HaltonPolice on Twitter or Facebook.

In the meantime, residents are reminded that impaired driving is a crime in progress and to report it immediately by calling 9-1-1.

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Karina Gould enters Cabinet as Minister of Democratic Institutions.

News 100 redBy Staff

January 10th, 2017




Not yet 30 and named a member of Cabinet.


Karina Gould, minutes after being sworn in as a Member of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.

Prime Minister Justin Trudy announced earlier today that Karina Gould is named minister of democratic institutions.

Gould, 29, a former trade and development worker who represents the riding of Burlington, Ont., was promoted from her previous role as parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development.

This is a remarkable achievement.

Remembrance McMahon + Gould

MPP Eleanor McMahon and MP Karina Gould now Minister of Democratic Institutions.

Burlington  is now represented by women at the federal and provincial level who are both members of cabinet.


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Watching a television show in a high school auditorium seemed like a fun thing to do.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 10th, 2017



Maybe 150 people came out to basically watch a television program, including the commercials, in a high school auditorium.

They do things like that at Central high school.

There was a place to collect cash donations and food for the Breakfast program at the school.


Catching up. From the right – Dania Thurman and Lynn Crosby and an unidentified male

There was popcorn and coffee that the cleaning staff were able to take advantage of. People milled around, got caught up on what was happening.

The occasion was the showing of the CBC’s latest mini-series – Pure.

Shawn Clement, a film arts teacher at Central high, handled the technical side of things while his dog  “Buddy” roamed around the auditorium as if he owned the place. It looked like he did.


Jessica Clement – plays the part of a Mennonite high school student in Pure

What the promoters of the screening didn’t say was that one of the female performers was none other than Jessica Clement, Shawn’s daughter, who was an absolute delight.

A maybe 20 something with one of those slim as a rail physiques and eyes that convey all kinds of character and depth, plays the part of Tina Funk, who attends a local high school where she wears a full Mennonite attire including the bonnet.

The program was filmed in Halifax, NS

This reporter wasn’t able to stay for the full screening so can’t comment on the quality of the performance other than to say that many of the television reviewers felt CBC was quite bold in the decision to run the six part series.

Jessica Clement tells us that there is enough script material for several 12 show runs – – let’s see how the television program is received.

An Aldershot high school graduate who went on to earn a degree at the University of Guelph, Jessica started her career as an actress at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton at the age of seven and grew her skill set in that environment. At the age of 12 she began to perform outside Aquarius.

She has done it all: Stage, television, commercials. She was part of a Les Misérables  cast; she performed as Marta in The Sound of Music

And there she was on the large screen at Central high school while her Dad, Shawn, looked after the technical side of the evening and his dog roamed through the aisles. He seemed to know or wanted to get to know everyone.

It was as if you were in a small town movie theatre; that is also a community centre that is a little on the run down side with all kinds of character.

No one made any speeches. It was just a community out for the evening enjoying themselves.

There is some talk about the high school being closed. The Board of Education may find that they have to close a few high schools – Central won’t be one of them. The place has just too much community going for it.


Jessica Clement – Pure cast member.

As for young Ms Clement – she has done a lot of work for someone her age.

Pure (TV Series)
2017 Meza
2013 Paranormal Radio (Short) (completed)
Casey Hopkins
2012 The Time Traveler (Short) (completed)
2015 Hemlock Grove (TV Series)
Damascus (2015) … Cherry
Brian’s Song (2015) … Cherry
2015 How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town
2015 A Christmas Horror Story
2015/I Life
2015 Let Me Down Easy (Short)
2012 Dear Scavengers (Short)
Closer to Free: Part 1 (2012) … Naomi
2010 The Man Who Loved Flowers (Short)
2010 Small Town Murder Songs
2008 The Border (TV Series)
Like just about everyone in theatre in this country Jessica has done Degrassi: The Next Generation (TV Series)getting new - yellow

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At least three a day - they don't stop because someone always falls for the scam. Like red lights - be cautious.

Crime 100By Staff

January 10th, 2017



They never stop – at least three attempt to get personal information come through an email address.

This one catches your eye – and unless you read the complete message you could get snagged.
The first thing we noticed was the area code in the telephone number. Where is area code 410?

We got this today , but i think it’s for you.
You should pay it ASAP.
Trey Bradford
Phone: 410-955-2226
Fax: 410-955-1314


There was no parking ticket but because many of us get the things we tend to respond to a message about a parking ticket. Once you respond you have entered the thief’s web – and like a spider they have you.

The first thing we noticed was the area code in the telephone number. Where is area code 410?  Baltimore – I haven’t been to Baltimore in more than 20 years.



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Burlington ranks #5 on the monogamy scale...Hmm?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 10th, 2017



While we appear to rank as the #1 mid-sized city in Canada as one of the best places to live – we rank just 5th as the city that most values monogamy which is defined as being faithful to your husband/wife and not flirting with people of the opposite sex.

This conclusion came out of the latest large-scale Canadian study that analyzed anonymous user data from 20,000 EliteSingles members to discover the cities in Canada where people most value monogamy Burlington took the #5 spot!

monogamy-swansThe top 10 cities where you can find monogamous people, as well as the top 10 cities where you can find monogamous men and monogamous women (and Burlington features on all three lists, coming 5th overall, 7th on the men’s list, and 8th on the women’s).

• Overall, the Canadians most enthusiastic about monogamy are from Aurora, ON
• Whitehorse, YT and Port Moody, BC take second and third place
• Canada’s most monogamous men are from Port Moody, BC
• The nation’s most monogamous women can be found in Stratford, ON

The study, which was conducted by premium dating site EliteSingles, used anonymous user data from 20,000 registered members to determine just how much Canadians prioritize monogamy.

The study looked at the extent to which the randomly selected participants agreed with the statement ‘I believe that monogamy is essential in a relationship.’ These scores were then averaged out by area, revealing the Canadian cities where people are the most likely to be mad for monogamy:

The top 10 cities in which to find Canada’s most monogamous people:

1. Aurora, ON
2. Whitehorse, YT
3. Port Moody, BC
4. Spruce Grove, AB
5. Burlington, ON
6. Airdrie, AB
7. Langley, BC
8. Okotoks, AB
9. Maple Ridge, BC
10. Kelowna, BC

monogamy-just-you-and-me-babeParticipants in the study were asked to rank the extent to which they agreed with the sentiment ‘I believe that monogamy is essential in a relationship’; placing themselves on a scale of 1 (do not agree at all) to 7 (agree completely). As it turns out, Canadians are strongly in favour of monogamy: the average result for women was 6.3, while men average 5.7.

As well as determining the averages overall, the study looked at answers geographically, determining an average result for each location and thus revealing the ten cities in Canada that are home to the most monogamous people overall, as well as the cities that are home to Canada’s most monogamous men and most monogamous women.

The organization that did the survey is a dating site that manually confirms the existence of every client.

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$140,000 sculpture opportunity - you've got ten days to express an interest.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

January  10th, 2017



Something just didn’t’ seem right about this one. Perhaps it is because we don’t understand the world of artists but asking a sculptor to send in an Expression of Interest for a possible $140,000 commission within 10 days suggests that the decision has already been made and the request for those Expressions is released to cover the tracks.

The location for this piece of sculpture is nice – part of the RBG Rock Garden.

We pass this on – and wonder if we are misleading the sculptors in the community

Here are the details. We will watch with interest and see who is awarded the commission.
Deadline: Friday, January 20, 2017
Budget: $140,000 CAD (maximum)

The Royal Botanical Gardens invites artists to submit Expressions of Interest to create a permanent Thomas McQuesten commemorative artwork to be installed in the Dalglish Family Courtyard at the Royal Botanical Gardens. This competition is open to professional Canadian artists or artist-led teams.

The call:
Artist Opportunity
The Royal Botanical Gardens invites artists to submit Expressions of Interest to create a permanent Thomas McQuesten commemorative artwork to be installed in the Dalglish Family Courtyard at the Royal Botanical Gardens. This competition is open to professional Canadian artists or artist-led teams*.


Dalglish Family Courtyard at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

An artwork proposal is not requested at this time. This is a two-phase process: in Phase One, applicants will be reviewed on the basis of artistic merit of past work, professional qualifications and experience. In Phase Two, short-listed artists will be required to submit an artwork concept proposal and maquette. Artists selected for the short-list will be provided with a full Request for Proposals outlining detailed artwork specifications prior to developing their proposals. Short-listed artists will be paid an artist fee of $1500 to develop their proposals.

* A professional artist is an individual who has specialized skills and/or training in his/her artistic discipline (not necessarily in academic institutions), has a history of public presentation and is critically recognized as an artist.

Artwork Goals
This commission will commemorate Thomas Baker McQuesten, one of our nation’s tireless advocates for conservation and founder of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Set in the Dalglish Family Courtyard, this sculpture will stand as a proud reminder of McQuesten’s legacy and the RBG’s long-standing commitment to the stewardship of our land.

The goals of this project include:

• Celebrate an iconic figure in Canadian history in connection with Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation
• Enhance the Dalglish Family Courtyard with an inspiring public artwork
• Provide a space for contemplation and commemoration
• Tell the story of McQuesten and his contribution to local and national infrastructure, conservation and beautification

The Royal Botanical Gardens
For over 80 years Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) has been an ecological jewel at the western tip of Lake Ontario. Conceived and founded through the tireless efforts of early conservationist Thomas Baker McQuesten, RBG lands were set aside to create the region’s first botanical garden. Patterned after Kew Gardens in England, RBG was created to serve as both a regional botanical tourism site and an environmental agency. In his book “Garden with a View”, former Executive Director Dr. Leslie Laking explains RBG’s unique role in society:

Hendrie Gardens RBG

Hendrie Gardens RBG

“Royal Botanical Gardens puts nature’s beauty on display, but it isn’t a park system. It teaches but it isn’t a school. It protects and preserves forest and marsh, but it isn’t a conservation authority. It collects and propagates botanical knowledge and plant life, but it is not a library, museum, or laboratory. It is all those things and more than their sum”.

Designated as a national historical site, RBG is revered worldwide for its extensive 400 acres of display gardens. What makes RBG unique is that it also protects and stewards over 2300 acres of environmentally sensitive lands and diverse ecosystems that connect the Niagara escarpment to Lake Ontario. In acknowledgement of this crucial environmental role, Royal Botanical Gardens was granted a provincial mandate in 1941 for the development of four areas of focus: Conservation, Education, Horticulture and Science. In the 70 years that followed, RBG has established a national and international reputation as a living laboratory for science, a connecting point for children in their early embrace of nature, a leader in sustainable gardening and the standard-bearer for ecological restoration and plant preservation.

In the face of devastating environmental threats worldwide, RBG is more relevant now than ever before. Its established and evolving environmental programs provide straightforward, workable solutions designed to maintain sustainable biodiversity in Canada, for the world.


Thomas Baker McQuesten

Thomas McQuesten
Thomas Baker McQuesten (June 30, 1882 – January 13, 1948) was born in Hespeler, Ontario (now Cambridge) and received his primary and secondary school education in Hamilton. Following high school, McQuesten attended the University of Toronto and continued his studies at Osgoode Hall, receiving his law degree in 1907. McQuesten served as an alderman on Hamilton City Council and later, a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (representing Hamilton- Wentworth).

McQuesten, whose family had deep roots in Hamilton was a key player in infrastructure development across Ontario and is credited with bringing forward the Queen Elizabeth Way, Royal Botanical Gardens and many other projects. McQuesten was a tireless advocate for the development of parks and conservation areas. For instance, his advocacy for parks on Hamilton, Ontario City Council earned him an appointment to the permanent position on the Board of Park Management in 1922, where he remained until his death in 1948. In this position, he supported the construction of the Rock Garden and other landscaped areas on the Burlington Heights (Ontario), which became part of Royal Botanical Gardens in 1932. After his retirement from electoral politics, McQuesten resumed his interest in RBG and became an executive member of that organization, active there until just before he died.

Artwork Location
The artwork will be located in the Dalglish Family Courtyard. The courtyard serves as the entry point to the newly rejuvenated Rock Gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The three-year, $20 million project provided the garden with major upgrades in infrastructure, accessibility and landscape design. This included improvements to the garden’s structural integrity, water and sewage systems, visitor accessibility, and architectural landscape. In addition, a new visitor centre was constructed to serve as a year round destination for business and private functions.

Just outside the visitor centre, the Dalglish Family Courtyard is an elegant space that serves as both a welcoming point for guests making their way outdoors and a venue for social occasions and gatherings. Alpine plants representing true rock garden vegetation grow from the beautiful stone walls, and gentle waterfalls creates a peaceful atmosphere.

The artwork will be sited in the eastern portion of the courtyard is the primary location for the artwork. Artists may propose an artwork in series or ancillary piece that makes use of Site B as a secondary location (optional).


Locations for the sculpture in the Daiglish Family Courtyard.

Artwork Design Parameters
The artwork must adhere to the following design parameters:

• The artwork must be an exterior, sculptural installation.
• The artwork should contain elements that are representative of Thomas Baker McQuesten. The artwork could be a formal commemorative sculpture or could contain elements that are more interpretive in nature in combination with figurative elements
• The artwork should express the passion and commitment of McQuesten to the natural environment and the Royal Botanical Gardens
• Fabricated using high quality, long-lasting materials that are highly resistant to theft, vandalism and weathering
• Must not pose a risk to public safety (i.e. no sharp points, does not allow climbing to restricted areas, no slip hazards, etc.)
• Does not incorporate light, video or sound elements
• Artwork does not restrict visitor’s movement within the courtyard or compromise accessibility standards
• Meets all Ontario building code standards (https://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page7393.aspx);
• The selected artist will be required to submit drawings certified by a structural engineer licensed to operate in Ontario

The budget for this project is $140,000 CAD (maximum, exclusive of HST). This is the total amount available for all related expenses of this public art project including (but not limited to): artist fees, materials, site preparation, technical consultation, fabrication, installation, any required above or below-grade foundations, insurance, equipment, permit fees, and travel.

RBG grounds staff will be available to assist in site preparations, general labour and have a significant skillset and available equipment that may be used during installation. To ensure the budget is being maximized an installation consultation will occur with each short-listed artist.

RBG gardens - lots of colour

When the flowers and plants are in bloom the RBG is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

This competition is open to all professional Canadian artists. Artist collectives and/or artist-led teams are also encouraged to apply. The selected artist must be able to travel to Burlington, Ont. for a minimum of two visits: one technical consultation meeting and one visit to manage the installation of the artwork and to engage in public dialogue (i.e. artist talk / public unveiling event).

The selection panel is comprised of the following representatives:

  • Camilla Dalglish, major gift donor
  • John Best, author, Thomas Baker McQuesten: Public Works, Politics, and Imagination
  • Tobi Bruce, Director, Collection & Exhibitions / Senior Curator, Art Gallery of Hamilton
  • Jeremy Freiburger, Executive Director, Cobalt Connects
  • Andrew Hunter, Fredrik S. Eaton Curator, Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Mark Runciman, CEO, Royal Botanical Gardens
  • Maryella Leggat, resident & RBG supporter.

Estimated Project Timeline (2016-17)

December 2016 Expression of Interest document released

January 20, 2017              Deadline for Stage One:  Expression of Interest

By January 31, 2017         Selection committee applications, selects short-listed artists

March 17, 2017  Short listed artists’ Concept Proposals due

By March 31, 2017           Steering committee reviews proposals and selects winning artist Selected artist enters into a contract with the Royal Botanical Gardens

September / October 2017            Artwork is installed


What’s the rush?  If they are going to commemorate McQuesten -do it right.


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Politicians and Integrity - involves living so people are able to trust in the promises that are made.

opinionandcommentBy Dr. Wendy Hofman

January 10, 2017



Integrity is an integral part of leadership.

In politics, it is becoming non-existent. It is fair to say that there are still politicians who have integrity but the number is decreasing. Integrity is all about being honest in all aspects of one’s life.

In order for a political party to earn the respect of the public each member of its party executive and the MPP’s must have integrity. The interest of the public must come ahead of personal interest and gain. Integrity should be the governing rule of how politicians make decisions and policies. Having integrity is a lifestyle choice and should be life-long.

How can integrity in politics be regenerated when corrupt practices are widespread? It is quintessential that the prerequisite for such an endeavour is absolute political will. The Party and its leaders must be dissatisfied with how they are governing. The decision to change can be internal from those that are uncomfortable governing without integrity or it can come about through public scrutiny and effective political opposition. Party faithfuls that have become disenchanted and disgruntled are signs that positive change must occur in order to retain the membership.

How would it appear if politicians governed with integrity? Integrity is evident in thought, speech, behaviour, and decision-making. It involves living so people are able to trust in the promises that are made. Imagine if deliberately misleading the public would result in a forced resignation of a politician? What about short-changing the public by flip-flopping on decisions? Integrity must be part of how politicians lead.
On the integrity spectrum donations, lobbying, and access to political leaders can be quite murky issues.

Instead of meeting with voters and potential members and debating on issues, politicians are now found in lavish fund raising dinners with donors.

Imagine if most Ontario politicians had integrity? Our province would not be in the state financially or morally that it is in today. There is hope for this province and the whole of Canada if politicians choose to be honest with their constituents regarding policies and promises.

wendy-hofmanDr. Wendy Hofman – a Professor of Counselling and Clinical Counsellor

These are the opinions of the writer who has been actively engaged in the political process in Burlington.


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Help make HMCS Haida the flagship of the Canadian fleet - one of the Canada 150 projects that isn't going to cost any money.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 9th, 2017



There is always a certain amount of rivalry – call it give and take – between Burlington and Hamilton. The relationship has changed from one where Burlington was basically a bedroom community attached to Hamilton to what is now more of a partnership between the two cities. The Bay Area Economic Summit was a very good example of what the two cities can achieve when they work together.

Burlington city manager James Ridge’s meeting with Hamilton bureaucrats over getting the LaSalle Park water lots into the hands of Burlington might fracture that relationship a little. We are likely to get outsmarted by Hamilton on that transaction. But I digress

With the federal government telling us how they are going to spend our tax dollars as we celebrate our 150th anniversary as a country – that’s what a Sesquicentennial is – all kinds of ideas are popping out of nowhere.

One of the federal ideas is to have a couple of chaps travelling across the country with a red leather chesterfield on which they are inviting people to sit on with them and tell stories about Canada. That one is almost as wacky as some of the Canada Council grants we hear about.

There is one grant application that doesn’t appear to involve very much in the way of tax dollars but might appeal to Burlington’s pride – even though the object of all the attention is located in Hamilton.

These were the ships that fought the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest naval battle in history. Shown here is HMCS Haida, currently tied up in Hamilton.

These were the ships that fought the Battle of the Atlantic, the longest naval battle in history. Shown here is HMCS Haida, currently tied up in Hamilton.

And that is the Tribal Class destroyer HMCS Haida that is tied up in Hamilton in a place that is not that easy to find.  But the good ship Haida is there.

There is a petition sponsored by Project Naval Distinction that they would like you to sign to have the ship named as the “flagship” of the fleet.

This is our opportunity to recognize a Canadian icon of excellence, the last of its kind in the world.
The ‘fightingest ship’ Canada has ever produced, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) HAIDA served during the Second World War, the Korean War and the Cold War, sinking more enemy tonnage than any other ship in Canadian history.


When you get to the web site just enter E560 for the petition you want to sign and they will take you through the process.

The sponsors of the petition want to see Haida given due recognition during the Canada150 celebrations.

Go to



While not known as a naval city – Burlington has always had a strong naval pride. A portion of the monument on the Naval Promenade at Spencer Smith Park.

before February 22nd, 2017 and add your signature to petition E-560 to honour the incredible accomplishments of HMCS HAIDA. This is a simple and symbolic way that you, and those you share this petition with, can make the Canada150 celebrations even better.

This is one of the better Canada 150 projects – all they are asking for is your signature.getting new - yellow

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Pay increases recommended for members of city council.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 9th, 2017



How much are we going to pay the members of city council?

The recommendation is to give the members of council an increase of about $500 a year
The Mayor will get an increase of $1,307.00


Members of city council debating the Adi Development Group application for a project in the Alton community. Chair of the meeting, Councillor Craven cannot be seen.

Assuming this is approved by council: yes they approve their own salary increases but it is based on a formula that was created by a citizens committee.

Councilor salary: from $54,312 to $54,882
Mayor salary: from $124,465 to $125,772


Councillor Craven chaired the Planning & Development Committee meeting.

Every member of Burlington’s city council is also a member of Regional Councillor where they are to be paid $48,901.

Thus – members of Council will earn $103,783.

The Mayor will earn $174,673.

The Mayor is provided with a car.

Every member takes part in one of the richest pension plans in the country.

The details on how the increase is arrived at are dense and arcane – they are set out below, The formula is not an unreasonable one.

Based on a method approved in 2013 which was the result of a recommendation from a committee of citizens the City of Burlington portion of Council salaries is to be adjusted effective April 1st by the percentage equal to the average annual change in the “All Goods” Ontario consumer price index (CPI) for the twelve month period October to September with the provision that the increase is to have the following limitations:

1. Any increase cannot exceed 65% of the calculated Ontario CPI percentage;

2. No increase can be granted in the event the calculated Ontario CPI amount is less than 1%;

3. Any increase cannot be greater than the increase determined for budget purposes for non-union staff compensation;

4. When no increase is taken in a year, the amount cannot be carried over
and aggregated in future years (i.e. no carry-over of forfeited increases from any year to another);

5. Overall Council may adjust the calculated increase to a lesser amount than that determined while meeting the provisions stated.


Repairs and renovations being made to city hall – the construction work isn’t what makes the place dangerous.

When calculating the eligible adjustment using the above limitations, the resulting increase is 1.05% and is calculated as follows:

1. 65% of the average annual change in CPI from October 2015 to September 2016 of 1.614% = 1.05%
2. CPI is greater than 1%
3. Non-union proposed merit increase = 3%

Therefore, Council may implement an increase up to 1.05% on the City portion of their salaries.

The city manager is paid considerably more than the members of Council.

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Police have video of 19 year old male falling off the roof of Nelson high school.

News 100 blackBy Staff

January 7th, 2017



The Halton Regional Police Service are continuing the investigation into the death of a 19 year old male person. The family of this male person have been notified of this incident.

At this time the police investigators do not have any suspicions of a criminal act being involved in this incident.

After reviewing security video from the school the Halton Regional Police report that the male person was observed walking alone around the school shortly after 3:00 am.

He climbed up onto the roof of the school and a short time later was observed falling off the roof. It is unknown why he climbed up onto the roof of the school at that time.

The Coroner is continuing the medical investigation into this matter to confirm the exact cause of death.

The name of the 19 year old deceased person is not being released at the request of the family.

The Halton Regional Police Service is continuing the investigation and are appealing to those who may have any knowledge about this incident to please contact Detective Joseph Barr of the Burlington – Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825 4747 ext. 2385 or ext. 2315 or ext. 2305. Contact can also be made by Crime Stoppers at 1.800. 222.8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca or by texting your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

Link to earlier news report.

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City fumbles with the technology used to record votes, make visual presentations and has to work with lousy cameras in the council chamber. We look like buffoons..

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 7th, 2017



It wasn’t the best way to end the year but it was what it was.

After more than a year of talking about letting to public see how council members vote at city council meetings some technology was finally acquired and the public was about to see how it worked.

It didn’t – even though staff and city council had been prepped on which buttons to push to record their vote.
At one point the Mayor asked why some of the council members had not logged in to record their votes.

The system puts the issue to be voted up on the screen for the public to see – appreciate that these council meetings are broadcast live via Cogeco TV.


The issue being voted on appears on the large screen and on the iPads the council members use to cast their vote.

After a couple of embarrassing silences the Mayor declared that the vote, which was just to approve the minutes of the previous council meeting, was passed unanimously – they decided to give up on the technology for the evening and move on.


The Mayors iPad screen lets him know when all the council members have voted. He then enters a command and the results of the vote appear on the screen. Quite why there were nine possible votes was never explained – they just gave up on the technology.

Not one of their more glorious moments.

This stuff is not rocket science – it just makes them look a little on the dumb side.

City Manager James Ridge brings a Canadian Army background to his job; more drill needed Captain.

The technology dysfunction isn’t limited to the electronic voting.

During a Standing Committee meeting earlier in the month when there were 11 delegations on one matter – the clickers that allow a delegation to move through a presentation just would not work.


Ken White did his best to make the clicker he was given by the clerk – it just wouldn’t work for him – nor for anyone else who wanted to present some interactive video.

Time and again a delegator would throw their hands up in frustration when the device they were given to use would not perform.

If this were a private company making a presentation to a potential client they would all be fired – and would probably not earn the business they were after either.

These are not difficult problems to resolve – fix them and stop embarrassing everyone.

The production values of the web casts leave a lot to be desired. In a word they are lousy. The images are not crystal clear – put better cameras in place.

We look like buffoons from some hick town where internet access is still via dial up modem

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Central high parents to premiere a CBC television drama in the high school auditorium Monday night.

News 100 redBy Staff

January 7th, 20017



It’s back to school for everyone on Monday – the students show up sometime before 9 am and parents arrive before 8 pm to enjoy a premiere showing of the new CBC drama Pure on Monday, January 9th in the school auditorium.

Doors open for a meet and greet with the cast and crew at 8 pm and the screening will start at 9pm sharp.
Please join the members of the cast and crew to celebrate this captivating new Canadian television series.


The first of six part CBC mini series will be premiered at Central high school Monday night.

This event is free of charge but the school will be collecting non-perishable items for the food bank as well as donations to the Burlington Central breakfast program. This event is open to the whole community.

Central high school is one of two that were recommended to be closed as part of a reduction in the number of classroom seats in the Burlington high schools.

The community has rallied and is in the process of showing the public that the school is more than a collection of classrooms.

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Body of a dead male, thought to be 19 years of age was found at the exterior of Nelson high school.

Crime 100By Staff

January 7th, 2017



The body of a male was found by a citizen while walking the exterior area of Nelson high school.

The Halton Regional Police Service investigation has determined that male was thought to be 19 years of age.

The body was discovered at about 9:25 am this morning; Emergency services were notified and responded to the school property. It was determined that the male person was deceased at that time.

Nelson High signThere was blood around the head area of the body. The cause of this head injury is not known and the reason why this person was on the school property is also not known at this time. It appears the male person may have been on the roof of the school at some point in time. The body was found on the ground in close proximity to the exterior of the building.

The Coroner has attended the scene and a post mortem will be conducted on the deceased person in order to try and determine the cause of death. The deceased person is a male and is believed to be 19 years of age. At this time the identity of the male person has not been positively confirmed. Some identification documents were located at the scene. Investigators will be attempting to confirm the identity of the deceased person and to notify his next of kin.

The Halton Regional Police Service would like the public’s assistance with information about this matter. The deceased person was discovered on the west side of the school near Belvenia Road. Any members of the public who observed anything suspicious on the property of the school from Friday January 6, 2017 are asked to contact the police service.

The Halton Regional Police Service is continuing the investigation and are appealing to those who may have any knowledge about this incident to please contact Detective Joseph Barr of the Burlington – Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825 4747 ext. 2385 or ext. 2315 or ext. 2305. Contact can also be made by Crime Stoppers at 1.800. 222.8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca or by texting your message to 274637 (CRIMES).

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ADI - OMB citizens

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 7th, 2017



Burlington has always choked when it comes to matters that go to the Ontario Municipal Board.

And yet when the Nelson Quarry took the application for an extension of the quarry on Mt Nemo PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land) fought that battle and managed to win.

It took $2 million out of the legal department's budget to pay for the tear long tribunal that decided the Jefferson Salamander was important and that an expansion of the existing quarry should not be poermitted. It was rural Burlington residents who were the force behind that battle - they were not to be trifled with.

It took $2 million out of the legal department’s budget to pay for the year long tribunal that decided the Jefferson Salamander was important and that an expansion of the existing quarry should not be permitted. It was rural Burlington residents who were the force behind that battle – they opposed an expansion – shown as the lower part outlined.

The cost to the city was $2.1 million.

Is Burlington’s problem with the way the planners make decisions and write their reports? Or is the problem with the legal department who don’t effectively read the lay of the land?

Whichever, and it might be something altogether different, there is a problem.

nautique-elevation-from-city-july-2016The city now faces a local developer, the ADI development Group, on two development proposals – the Nautique that they want to build at the intersection of Martha and Lakeshore Road and the two 19 storey apartment buildings with a collection of townhouse they want to build at the edge of the Alton Community just south of the 407 at Appleby Line.

There is an interesting emergence of events that is worth watching.

The Burlington Planners recommended approving the Alton development after a lot of negotiating and the involvement of a deelopment designer in the process. Anne McIlroy’s group has done some solid work for Burlington in the past, quite why she didn’t say this is the wrong place for this project is difficult to understand. One gets the sense that the planners and the design consultant went into the review exercise committed to make it work – when the community was adamant that is just didn’t work.


Two towers 19 storeys high – in a community made of up two storey homes – being proposed in the name of intensification. Residents didn’t buy it and convinced council to reject a staff recommendation.

The Planning department, after considerable negotiation with the developer recommended that city council approve the requested changes to the Official plan and changes to the zoning that had applied to the property.

The result would be a property that was zoned for a possible ten storey height being increased to 19 storeys – and there would be two of them.


Tammy , planner leading the xxx

The community was incensed.

City council did, in their wisdom, vote against the staff recommendation.

Before the ink was dry on the city council decision the Adi Development Group had an application in to the OMB asking for a ruling – they were cheeky enough to ask for an expedited ruling.

When they took their Nautique project to the OMB they argued that the city had not made a decision on the development application within the required 180 days. When that application did get in front of the OMB, Adi, the developer asked for a delay while the city considered what to do with the abutting piece of property Adi had bought which made it a considerably different application.

Adi then asked for a mediation by the OMB. Are you getting the picture?

With this going on in Burlington, the province is doing a review of the way the Ontario Municipal Board operates. Burlington along with many municipalities that want to see some reform made in what the OMB can and cannot do.

The province is holding a consultation on Ontario Municipal Board Reform that has five key themes.

• Theme 1: OMB’s jurisdiction and powers
• Theme 2: Citizen participation and local perspective
• Theme 3: Clear and predictable decision making
• Theme 4: Modern procedures and faster decisions
• Theme 5: Alternative dispute resolution and fewer hearings

The review process details and background can be found here: at:

The Regional government wrote a Joint submission on behalf of City of Burlington, Town of Oakville, Halton Hills, Milton, Conservation Halton, Grand River Conservation Authority, and Credit Valley Conservation that identified three key recommendations, as outlined below:

1. Scoping appeals
Amend the Planning Act to restrict the scope of matters that can be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (e.g. municipally-initiated comprehensive and area wide official plan amendments)

Amend the Planning Act and OMB procedures to effectively scope matters under dispute to restrict appeals that are broad and without basis (e.g. require appeal letters to provide a sound planning rationale for the appeal and include specific policy wording and mapping for those changes being requested).

Restrict appeals (especially third party appeals) that implement municipal comprehensive reviews establishing urban structure.

2. Mediation
Amend the Planning Act and OMB procedures to utilize Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a ‘first’ solution to resolve land use disputes rather than OMB hearings.

Service delivery of mediation – improving timelines to expedite resolutions.

Apply a merit based approach to appeals.

3. De Novo Hearings
As a decision making authority, the OMB currently has the ability to hear land use planning matters “de novo” (i.e. from the beginning) even though the matter was previously considered by a municipal council.

Amend the Planning Act to limit the opportunities for de novo hearings at the OMB and give validity to Council’s decisions on land use matters.

The Halton staff report contained a detailed response to the OMB Review Public Consultation. That document was approved November 9, 2016 and is commonly referred to as the “Halton Joint Submission” signed by Region of Halton, City of Burlington, Town of Oakville, Halton Hills, Milton, Conservation Halton, Grand River Conservation Authority, and Credit Valley Conservation.

Burlington added comment of their own to the Halton joint submission in which they said:

City staff concur with the recommendations of Halton report LPS118-16. Staff have also identified the following additional items for the Province’s consideration:

1. The current time frame before an official plan or rezoning amendment can be appealed to the OMB based on “Non-Decision” is inadequate; extension of the time frame should be extended to 12 months for OPAs and 9 months for rezonings.

Currently, an applicant can appeal a development application to the OMB if Council has not made a decision within 180 days of an Official Plan amendment application or 120 days of a Zoning By-law amendment application being deemed complete.

This was the justification the Adi Development Group used when they appealed to the OMB on the Nautique development at Martha and Lakeshore.

While it is acknowledged that Bill 73 has provided the option of extending the timeline by 90 days for OPA’s, the City remains of the position that this is not an adequate extension.

Burlington is a municipality that is accommodating the majority of its growth within the built-up area of the city. The applications being received within intensification areas are increasingly complex, requiring significant public and stakeholder engagement, as well as supporting technical studies. The current 180 day and 120 day time periods are inadequate for processing development applications in this context.

Further, the current time frames do not consider the realities of internal report review processes or Committee/Council meeting cycles typical in municipal government.

To place a report on an agenda for Committee/Council consideration typically means that the report is complete up to 1.5-2 months previous to that date. This shortens the period of “Non-Decision” even further to a 4-5 month processing window, placing the municipality in an even more unrealistic position for processing complex applications.

The existing 180-day and 120-day time frames have a number of impacts:
• It puts more applications before the OMB, when the ultimate goal should be to keep applications within the local decision making authority where best efforts are being made to resolve issues outside of the OMB system.

• It penalizes a municipality for striving to conduct a meaningful public consultation process.

• It penalizes a municipality for striving to ensure that quality technical submissions are received to appropriately assess an application.

• It places the municipality in the position of recommending a refusal to Council, taking an adversarial position with the applicant, when in fact, there could still be the opportunity and interest in working through the issues with the applicant, stakeholders and community.

• It places the municipality in a position of risk and uncertainty for making best effort to continue work through issues beyond the 180-days/120 days with increased risk of appeal for every day that passes.

• It does not recognize that it might be advantageous for some applicants to only fulfill the requirements for a complete application, with the intention of triggering an appeal so that a decision would be made through an OMB hearing rather than by a local Council.

• It places a municipality in an unrealistic position for processing a complex development application as it does not consider the time it takes to: resolve issues with the application; fill information gaps in technical studies; consult with the public; and consult with stakeholders and agencies some of which have their own challenges in resourcing application review and preparation of comments.

2. Alternative dispute resolution should be supported by additional provincial funding, and not downloaded to municipalities.

The City is supportive of avenues that reduce the need for an OMB hearing and that places more decision making authority within the local context, and is therefore supportive of the alternative dispute resolution process. However, the dispute resolution process also requires resourcing which should be supported by the Province and not downloaded to municipalities.

3. The period in which to conduct an interim-control study should be an automatic 2-year period, rather than a 1-year period and subject to renewal.

A municipality typically only invokes an interim-control by-law planning tool when a significant matter arises. A significant matter, is often a complex matter, requiring time to conduct a study.

Components of a study process include: issue identification and project scoping; potentially outsourced procurement for technical assistance; public and stakeholder consultation; research and analysis; policy analysis; formulation of recommendations; and, preparation of a staff recommendation report to Council. A one year-time frame can be aggressive, particularly if outsourced consulting support is required as part of the study due to timelines and requirements of the procurement process. The study period should be revised to an automatic 2- year period, rather than a 1-year period, subject to renewal.

4. The scoping of matters that can be subject to OMB appeal should be further expanded and clarified.

To avoid the necessity of re-hearing of local Official Plan matters which have already been resolved by the Province or the Board at the Senior Plan level, the Province should specify that the following matters are not eligible for appeal:

• Regional official plan conformity through local official plan amendments;

• Any local official plan or amendment which is designed as a conformity exercise to an approved provincial plan (except for those provisions of the local plan that may be more restrictive than the senior-level plan).

5. Further clarity should be provided on the Province’s proposal to restrict appeals of planning applications for development that supports provincially funded transit infrastructure such as subways and bus stations.

Staff support, in principle, the restriction of appeals for applications that support transit infrastructure; however, staff question how such appeal restrictions would be implemented. There are many aspects of local official plans, such as the City of Burlington’s current Official Plan, which support transit infrastructure, and many of these aspects will be continued in expanded in future planning, such as the new impending Official Plan and the Mobility Hub Area-Specific Planning which is currently underway. Staff question how to feasibility separate out those aspects of a Plan which are transit-related, and therefore not subject to appeal, from other overlapping aspects of a Plan which are designed to achieve other objectives, and which would be subject to appeal.

6. The Province’s proposal to require land use decisions to reflect current Provincial policy is strongly supported.

Since 2007, the Planning Act has required that land use decisions on applications made after that time must reflect provincial policies in place when the decision is made, not when the application is made. The Province is proposing to extend this change by requiring that all planning decisions, including those for applications made prior to 2007, be based on planning documents in effect at the time of the decision.

Staff strongly support this Provincial proposal. At the present time, there are some dormant pre-2007 applications in the City that were originally submitted in anticipation of new future planning policies coming into force. These applications were essentially submitted as “placeholders” in order to ensure that the previous planning regime would continue to apply, and these applications could be re-activated at any time. Some of these applications are incomplete and do not reflect current planning policies and practices. This proposed Provincial change would ensure that decisions on these applications, if and when they are re-activated, would be able to reflect the current policies.

There will be changes made to the way the OMB works in the future but it is going to take some time for the process to actually see a change.

Will any of this impact the two matters that has the city and the Adi Development group battling it out before the OMB. Hard to tell.

There is one small tidbit of information that makes this really interesting. The Ontario Municipal Board is part of the Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario which is now led by Bruce Krushelnicki who was at one time the planner for Burlington.

At some point all the data and all the public input gets placed in front of Burlington's Planner, Bruce Kruselniiki - who will issue a report and city council will make decisions. Creating the downtown the city wants and needs has not been an easy process for Burlington.

Bruce Krushelnicki – former Burlington Director of Planning is now the Chair of the Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario that oversees the work done by the Ontario Municipal Board.

The city wasn’t happy with the way Bruce Krushelnicki was doing the job and after ten years with Burlington he moved on.

He now chairs the Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario (ELTO) which oversees what gets done by the Assessment Review Board, the Board of Negotiation, the Conservation Review Board, the Environmental Review Tribunal, and the Ontario Municipal Board.

Burlington lost a fine planner but that is proving to be the province’s gain.
Krushelnicki wrote the textbook on OMB procedures. He will direct the process that reforms the OMB – it will just take some time – but it will get done – properly.

getting new - yellow

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It is slick, looks interesting but it isn't what it appears - they don't want you - they want your identity.

Crime 100By Staff

January 7th, 2017



Is the email real?

Is there really an opportunity for you to cruise through the aisles of a shopping mall near you and spend hours looking at things but not having to spend as much as a dime – and get paid for just walking around?

There may be jobs like that out there but the email shown below isn’t going to get you one of those jobs.


This isn’t a job opportunity – it is an opportunity for these people to learn all thy can about YOU so they can take much of what you own.

There is no address for the company and there is no way for you to communicate directly with them.

They want you to click on that email and send them some basic information about yourself. Once you do that they will begin grooming you; collecting bits and pieces of information about you and your finances and if they determine that you have anything worth stealing – they will bleed you dry.

Remember, if it looks too good to be true – it probably isn’t true.

Don’t let you greed and you gullibility get the best of you.

Smile and take a pass on this one.

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Two local politicians have revived the traditional New Year's levy in Burlington - Sunday at the Art Gallery

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

January 6th, 2017



This Sunday the two women who represent the political leadership at the federal and provincial levels will hold their second New Year’s levy.

Levies were once significant municipal events at one end of the political scale and the event put on by the Lieutenant Governor of the province at the other end.

Remembrance McMahon + Gould

MPP Eleanor McMahon and MP Karina Gould at a Remembrance Day ceremony in Burlington.

Karina Gould and Eleanor McMahon decided they would jointly hold the event this year – the Mayor in his six years as the man with the chain of office showed no interest in holding the event.  That left the oppor-tunity for the two woman to revive what looks as if it is going to become a regular annual event.  Good on them.

The civic celebration of a New Year is an oppor-tunity to look at how well the federal government and the provincial government have done in serving the public interest.

Provincially the province struggles with hydro rates – the increases are hurting. The story behind those increases is complex and not all the fault of the current Premier Katherine Wynne. However she is the one wearing this issue.

In the year we are now into the opposition and the third party will beaver away at what they will call the failures of the current provincial government. They failures are easy to point to – but there were some significant positive moves.

A Premier that was once close to being addicted to the cash for access practice managed to shut down the practice and hardly a word has been heard about hat issue in a number of months.

Levee - McMahon at loom - I did that

During the 2016 New Year levy held at the Art Gallery of Burlington, MPP Eleanor McMahon took a turn at a weaving loom – that led to her becoming a member of the provincial cabinet.

The province has some serious infrastructure deficits and getting us out of our cars without providing an acceptable and convenient alternative is proving very difficult.

What comes across however, is a Premier who is going to do whatever it takes to bring about the changes needed to accept the fact that our climate has changed and we need to change if we are going to continue to exist on this planet.

Much ado was made about the Premier’s attempt to create a provincial pension program – which was shut down once the federal government decided to make changes in the pension program at that level. The federal changes would not have come about had Wynne not had the courage of her convictions to force the federal government to change. Don’t thank Justin Trudeau for the improvements in the federal pension program – than Wynne for pushing him into it.

When the next provincial election rolls around the provincial Liberals will have been in office for 15 years – they are being called a tired, worn out government.

Trite comment from the political pundits. How many years were John Robarts and Bill Davis in office – and were they tired and worn out? The Conservatives in this province let Mike Harris in the hen house – he turned out to be a wolf not a fox.

Wynne has her hands full – when one looks at what is out there to replace her – one feels confident with her hands on the wheel. Perfect she isn’t but better than the alternative she certainly is.

Levee Gould welcoming a new Canadian

Burlington member of parliament Karina Gould celebrating with a couple expecting a child during the 2017 levy.

Federally – the bloom has managed to stay on the rose that Justin’s father used to wear in his lapel. We love the guy, the world loves the guy. But there are serious issues that are not getting the kind of attention they need.

We are fortunate in Burlington to have a woman who is not yet 30 serving as our Member of Parliament. She has a lot of growing to do but there appears to be little doubt that she will go through those growth curves in fine fashion.

Now if we had a finance minister who would stop growing the deficit and spending like a drunken sailor there would be reason for an optimistic financial future.

We have young people for whom the opportunities in the work of work required the creation of a new word: precarious employment. They deserve better than that.

We talk in terms of those under 30 never being able to buy a home. Who then is going to buy those outrageously expensive bungalows north of the QEW when the current owners want to move on?

We have newspaper headlines that report on federal “deficits that will run into 2050”.

If there is a phrase that described financial irresponsibility that just about covers it.

As popular as he is – the Prime Minister sets the tones and those he is currently using are tone deaf but they are not falling on deaf ears.

We are going to spend $1 billion on sesquicentennial celebrations this year. What’s to celebrate? Fiscal imprudence?

We just may need the time between this anniversary and the second centennial – assuming we dodge the climate change bullet heading our way, to get out of the deficits that are being accumulated. The money we borrow does have to be paid back

What Burlington has going for it is a remarkable young woman doing a fine job at the federal level and a well-seasoned woman serving at the provincial level who happens to be one of the best campaigners this reporter has seen in some time. Her campaign ability and her genuine empathy for her constituents serve both her and the community well.

There were solid reasons for making her a Minister and a member of the Treasury Board.

Now if she can spend a little less time in the “golly, gee-whiz local booster” mode she frequently falls into she will be with us after the next provincial election.

Salt with Pepper is an opinion piece.  The Gazette invites others with opinions they feel will advance the level of civility in the city to be in touch with the publisher. getting new - yellow

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Lowville school house seeing more in the way of students - adults this time around. Film and poetry to be featured.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 6th, 2017



It’s one of those old one-room school houses that so many of our grand-parents went to. They had pot belly stoves and an outhouse back behind the building.

Built in the 1870’s the school was closed in 1952.


The Lowville school house – Built in the 1870’s the school was closed in 1952.

Few of them survived but the one in Lowville is still standing, structurally in pretty good shape actually but sort of languishing as a venue. It doesn’t get used all that often.

That appears to be changing.

The Lowville Festival has used the building for each of its events the past two years and plans on using it again this year.

ThinkSpot, a small consulting form that located in Lowville a number of years ago, works at “shifting the way people think and the way they work together. They connect all the various intricate pieces of the puzzle – the people, the process, and the place and create a place where people collaborate, think creatively, and find solutions to complex problems.

Debra Pickfield, the ThinkSpot principle, entered into a lease with the city that allows her to use the space when her own premises are not large enough to handle the size of the group she is working with.

And from there it sort of grew.


Gillian Anderson – known to most as “Scully” – the female lead in the X files. Her film performance as Lily Bart in the film House of Mirth was a surprise to many. That film will be the premiere of the Lowville School House film series.

This winter there is going to be a small Lowville Schoolhouse film series – seating is limited to 40 people. That series of events starts in early February.


Robbie Burns

More immediate is the salute to poetry on the occasion of Robbie Burns’ birthday featuring Canada’s finest spoken word poet, Robert Priest. That event takes place Saturday January 21st. Nothing yet on whether or not there will be a piper and if the haggis will be shared.

The Lowville Festival people are now pretty sure they have an event they can grow and are looking at some long term plans that will see the Lowville Park location used more.

These two events, the film series and the poetry reading are events that came out of the minds of the people in the community – they usually know what works best.

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