Holiday Transit Service - walk on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. You could use your bike on New Street!

notices100x100By Staff

December 19th, 2016



There will be no Burlington Transit service on December 25 (Christmas Day) and January 1 (New Year’s Day).

For information on the level of service provided from Dec. 24, 2016 through to Jan. 2, 2017, please see our Holiday Service page which contains last trip departure information for early end to service Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) and extended trips on select routes offered on Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve).

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School board trustee posts note on her Facebook page. Gazette failed to read the second part of the note which now removed.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 19th, 2016



We don’t always get it right.

And this time we got it very wrong.

We picked up a note on Halton District school Board trustee Richelle Papin’s Facebook page in which she wrote:

Richelle PapinWell….Bye bye Ontario 😢😢😢 I finally got the answer I have been waiting for…for MONTHS😊 I’m happy to announce that in a few weeks, I am moving to Halifax.

Didn’t want to make it known to anyone, not even my friends or other family members, but I felt it was better this way!

I will be heading out the end of January … right after New Year’s to start my new life!

To start a new beginning!

I will try to phone everyone individually, but thought it would be easier to post on Facebook.

There was a second part to the posting. We did not see the additional wording nor did we follow up with Ms Papin to ensure that what she write was true.

The wording wasn’t all that clear but our failure to follow up is where we were clearly wrong.

A Gazette reader pointed out to us that there was a second part to the note on the Facebook page that we didn’t read. When we checked and saw the second part we immediately took down the article.

Ms Papin asked that we retract the article – which we did and she wanted an apology – which we will give her but we do so somewhat reluctantly

The Halton District School Board is in the process of making a very significant decision that will have a very significant impact on two high schools in the city; one of which, Lester B. Pearson, is in Papin’s ward. The “fake” Facebook page posting is not in the least amusing to those high school students parents.

Our mistake, and it was a mistake, we missed something.

Ms Papin’s act was deliberate, intended to by funny.

Richelle Papin is not moving to Halifax and she does not intend to resign from the Halton District School Board – that is something the voters in her ward can deal with in 2018

No one was amused.

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Rumblings - small groups talking about their unhappiness with city council.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 19th, 2016



It’s that time of year when people get together to get caught up. You have lunch with people you’ve not seen for a good part of the year that is coming to an end.

Your plans, their plans and what the kids are doing – they all get covered.

Sports – not much can be said about what the Leafs are doing. The American election will take up some time – most of us seem to have the feeling that the best we can do is wait it out – maybe the guy will fix some of the problems down there.

Local politics will get many people going – except for the dyed in the wool Tories – most people just shake their heads over the McKenna nomination.

What about city hall? Well members of council did stand up to staff and reject the recommendation that the ADI Development Group application for Official Plan and zoning changes be approved for a property they want to develop in Alton.

That is expected to be made final at the city council meeting Monday evening.

The question then might well be – how fast can the ADI group file an application with the Ontario Municipal Board.

Few have anything good to say about the “road diet” that New Street was put on – other than why did six of the seven council members vote for it?

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.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward and Mayor Rick Goldring at an event in Spencer smith Park

Those with a bent for the world of politics will say to their friends – well you should run for office. And that is what apparently happened last week. We got the following from a reader who has been in Burlington for well over 20 years and lives south of the QEW.

“Out to lunch today for an Xmas luncheon with a bunch of very influential people. They suggested that I could mount a campaign to beat both MMW and Rick Goldring ! Surprised me. Seems to me that more people are pissed off then I thought! Not my intention but what are your thoughts? Could we make it happen!!!!!

Our reader went on to say that: “Their feeling as expressed to me was why should they have to choose between a true green party candidate or a liberal without having a conservative on the ticket?

“They are pissed off with the better than us attitude of our current leaders! They say they have become arrogant and way too confident because in their opinion they as a group were all re-elected.”

Interesting note. No names for you – not at this point. There may have been more wine than usual at that lunch.

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Temporary RecExpress Shut Down

notices100x100By Staff

December 119th, 2016



RecExpress will be shut down from 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20 until 2 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016 to allow for system upgrades.

RecExpress is a city service that allows people to register for recreational programs.


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Residential construction just roaring ahead - commercial not as good.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 17, 2106



Call it intensification.

Call it developers knowing what a hot market looks like.

Call it money looking for a place to grow.

Whichever, the city is just a hustle and a bustle with residential building.


First of the five towers going up on Fairview next to the GO station and across the driveway from Walmart. This building is sold out.

There is the Paradigm on Fairview next to the GO station and across a driveway from Walmart that will definitely undergo an upgrade once the Paradigm condo owners start moving in. Expect to see Sushi in the coolers.


The Berkeley – first of three phase project.


Back hoes deepening the site for concrete pouring.

Just a bit south at the intersection of John and Caroline the first phase of the Berkeley has broken ground.

The 20 storey condominium is digging the hole in the ground and will begin pouring concrete doping the form work to be able to pour concrete.

This project consists of three buildings – the upscale 20 storey structure made up of three storey columned stone and precast podium from which will rise a 17-storey glass tower condominium. The residential building will front on to Pine Street. On Caroline, the northern boundary of the development plans are for a multi-storey building to be known as MedicaOne. In between the two here will be an eight floor parking garage that will have a grass roof.

It has taken some time to get this project to the point where construction could begin. One of the issues was getting hydro to the site. The developer was expected to pay for the full cost of hauling the necessary power lines from the substation on Lakeshore Road up to the project. Anyone building between the development at John and Caroline and Lakeshore was going to be able to tap into the lines the Carriage Gate people had paid for – which wasn’t quite the way Nick Carnacelli saw it. He stood his ground.


Parking levels for the Bridgewater are being completed – a single garage will serve all three buildings with the entrance off the bottom of Elizabeth street.

Moving further south – the parking levels that will serve the three buildings that will make up the Bridgewater development are now well under way. The parking levels will be four at the north end and three closer to the lake.

Bridgewater from lake on the east

An architect’s rendering of the Bridgewater project – seen from the lake.

Bridgewater is another three structure development all attached to each other with a shared underground parking arrangement.

The 22 story condominium that will set a record for height in this city. It was defied as a “legacy” site when it was approved in the mid 90’s. No one has ever explained what it means to be a legacy; some think it was the crack that opens the door to really high – high rise.

All this got done when then Mayor Walter Mulkewich wore the chain of office.

The assembly of the land with the related zoning changes began in 1985. One needs to be patient to develop in Burlington.

Bridgewater Aerial-rendering-1024x758

The public portion of the Bridgewater project seen in the center

There will be an eight storey Marriott hotel and a seven storey condominium south of the hotel. The entrance to the hotel will be on Elizabeth Street.

There will be an opening on Lakeshore Road between the hotel and the condominium that will give the public access to open space that will lead right to the water’s edge.

The 22 storey’s did catch the attention of other developers who are pushing for 26 storeys across the street and other developers who talk privately about 40 storey structures along Lakeshore – there are after all those wonderful views of the Lake. How high up do they have to go to be able to see Niagara Falls?


On a cold Friday the only people working on construction sites were those doing back hoe work. Here shale is being broken up on the Saxony site.

Head west where the Saxony is also digging away. They are chipping through shale for the three levels of parking that will be put in for the five storey structure.

Saxony early version - classical

The Saxony was one of those project that went through with hardly a hitch – and sold out without even opening up a sales office.

To get a sense as to just how hot the Burlington market is – the Saxony rented space in the Sims building – kitty corner from the construction site, for a sales office. They didn’t even have to open up a sales office – the units were sold out before they could get any furniture in.

The Saxony has done a superb job of creating a high end property that includes a small theatre. Residents will be able to reserve the theatre to show a recent release movie to friends. Can’t you just see a bunch of the guys gathering to watch the Montreal Canadiens beat the Toronto Maple Leafs – again, in what will be a private theatre?

This is probably not one of the measure s used to make Burlington the Best mid-sized city in the country. It is a hop skip and a small jump from the Pier that we paid twice the price that we expected to pay.

With the city well into the first week of winter, which doesn’t begin officially until Wednesday of next week – there wasn’t any concrete pouring being done on any of the sites.

Just too darn cold.


It was a Friday and it was cold. The men who build the forms and direct the pouring of concrete didn’t want to work – so they didn’t. The Paradigm has sold out on two of the first three towers going up on this five tower site.

The city is probably ahead of the intensification target it was given – what we aren’t seeing are office towers where people who live in the city can work.

Construction is going great guns – economic development – not nearly as well. Has the Economic Development Corporation got any announcements in the pipeline?

The vinyl record pressing operation that is about to be fully operational certainly wasn’t impressed with what the city did for them.

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Burchill: growing strong relationships takes time so relax, take a deep breath and smile.

marketingmoneymojoBBy James Burchill

December 16, 2016



As odd as it sounds, some people would rather die than walk into a room of strangers and talk to them! It makes no logical sense to me, but deep in the shadow of my childhood fears, I can still hear my mother’s warning, “Don’t talk to strangers!”

Decades later that modern “monster under the bed” still grabs our feet making us recoil horrified at the prospect of speaking to a room full of strangers. Instead we slip quietly into the room. Avoiding eye-contact, we slink toward the back of the room, anywhere but out in the open where the people are!

We fiddle with our phones, we pretend we’re busy. We distract ourselves, all the while feeling frustrated at our weakness. Our lack of courage. Our inaction. If we’re not careful that feeling will chase us from the room, once again confirming our belief “networking isn’t for us.” It’s a vicious cycle and something to avoid.

Firstly you need to give your head a shake. People don’t bite – unless you’re at a “special party” and the bartender is wearing rubber … in which case you’ve lost me and I suggest you move along – there’s nothing to see here.


When the finish with their texting – they might manage to network.

But if you’re at a B2B networking event where people are clothed in business attire, chatting in small groups to other people of similar dress, then you’re definitely in the right place and there are some things you need to remember.

(1) People go to networking events to talk to other people. They want to connect. They want to know each other. They want to discover commonalities – that’s how it works.

(2) Everyone gets nervous. It’s normal, it means you give a damn – you care. You want to do good, to make a positive impression. You don’t want to waste your time or theirs. That’s good. Just don’t let the “nerves” stop you. Slowly take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds and then slowly exhale. Smile as you do it. Now put one foot in front of the other and walk into the room.

(3) Its’ NOT about selling. People get too hung up on the idea you’re supposed to be some super salesman. That’s all wrong, it’s about connecting not convincing. It’s about finding common ground, not working the room. When you meet people you simply smile, extend your hand and say, “Hello, my name is James, what do you do?” Of course I recommend you use your own name …

(4) You’re not interrupting. When you walk up to a small group of people pay attention to their body language and facial expressions. If the group seems ‘open,’ stand at the edge and listen. Smile. Wait for it … Someone will invite you in. Then you do the whole ‘stick out your hand, smile and say “Hello, my name is …”‘ and take if from there. If the group is closed or it’s only two people with their feet pointing toward each other then smile and move on. Basically it’s all about manners – don’t intrude and don’t be rude. Simple.

(5) Make it about them. If you forget everything else, remember this: MAKE IT ABOUT THEM. Because soon enough they’ll make it about you if you ask good questions. Be curious. Find out what they do. Listen. Pay a genuine compliment when you can. Avoid the touchy topics like looks, clothing, sex, politics and religion. Try to compliment their work. For instance, I love it when people figure out how much time I spend writing and say something nice about how I make it look easy.


It’s about making the connections – there is a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it.

Remember, at the end of the day networking isn’t about working the room, it’s about turning a roomful of strangers into friends … one person at a time. And be patient, growing strong relationships takes time so relax, take a deep breath and smile.

Oh, and one parting thought for you … I’m not an extrovert, I’m introverted. Introverts aren’t incapable of networking – we just do it differently. It’s not all about the wow, it’s about the now – being present and truly connecting with people. Many extroverts draw their energy and enthusiasm from the room (which is often why it’s not as hard for them to network.) Most introverts draw their energy from within – which is why it’s often so draining afterwards but equally rewarding.


Some of the best small business networking done in Burlington is at the SFN – Social Fusion Networking that Gazette columnist James Burchill sponsors. He packs a pretty good crowd in the Performing Arts Centre

I guess what I want you take away is that you’ve probably been thinking about networking in the wrong way. Forget the sales pitches. Make friends. Take is easy. Take a breath. Smile. Whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert doesn’t matter … I’m a Gemini – so what right? Precisely. Have some fun and for the umpteenth time … SMILE, they won’t bite … unless the bartender is wearing rubber in which case you’re own your own bucko!

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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Winter parkas get to students days before the real winter weather arrives.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 16, 2106



Sometimes all the pieces come together at just the right time.

Last week a handful of Halton Learning Foundation were gathered in a room putting nice fashionable winter coats into bags for distribution to students in the Region


Halton Learning Foundation volunteers, Tracey Ehl-Harrison (trustee) on the right and Sarah Pollock, on the left pack winter coats for students that don’t have the winter clothing they need. Jeff Blackwell, who is an HLF Board Member is bent over on the far left, Sheri Armstrong is in the center.

Mountain Warehouse had donated 400 winter coats for elementary school students who were going without.  The city was still experiencing decent weather – at best you needed a light sweater – winter was on its way but had yet to arrive.

The Foundation holds an annual fund raising event – Benefit Bash – that is always a fun event.

During their 2015 Benefit people from Mountain Warehouse  offered to donate quality winter coats. Their offer was quickly accepted.

Executive Director, Lesley Mansfield commented on the gift and said: “We are incredibly grateful to Mountain Warehouse for their support of HDSB students – those who face the financial barrier to buy a warm winter coat.

These wonderful coats were sent out within two days of their arrival here to schools across Halton by many of our HDSB trustees and it’s thanks to Mountain Warehouse, that these children can now make it to school in warmth and play outside at recess. This is their second year of support and the joy on the children’s faces when they receive their coats is simply indescribable.  Thank you Mountain Warehouse!”

It took some time and some paper work for the clothing to arrive – when it did the Foundation knew exactly where the clothing was going to go.

The clothing was packaged, labelled and sent on its way through the Board of Education’s distribution system.

All the winter parkas got to the students days several days before the snow started to fall.

no-student-online-ad-burl-gazetteThe Foundation has a unique Christmas gift opportunity – if you have someone on your list and you are looking for a unique, interesting gift – this is one they will never forget.  Check it out.  See the link on the advertisement that is on the right side column of most Gazette pages.


Sherri Armstrong

Sherri Armstrong, who does communications work for the Halton Learning Foundation handled all the logistics and made sure things got done when they needed to get done.

Sometimes things just come together the right way at the right time.

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Board of Education publishes their financial statements.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 16th, 2016



It isn’t bed time reading but it is the kind of information for parents that are at all concerned as to just what is happening at the school board.


Board of Education staff have recommended Central high school be closed in 2018

The possible closing of two high schools in Burlington has drawn attention to the financial side of the Board of Education – they make up a sizable chunk of your tax bill.


Lester B. Pearson high school has been recommended for closure in 2018.

The Halton District School Board has posted the 2015-16 financial statements, for the year ending August 31, 2016, on the Board’s website at (search: financial statements).

The 2015-16 audited financial statements include:

Management Report
Independent Auditors’ Report
Consolidated Statement of Financial Position
Consolidated Statement of Financial Operations
Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows
Consolidated Statement of Changes in Net Debt
Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements

For residents who do not have Internet access, the Halton District School Board’s 2015-16 financial information is also available:

• By mail, by calling the Business Services Department 905-335-3663, ext. 3261

• For pick-up at the J.W. Singleton Education Centre, 2050 Guelph Line, Burlington

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Gazette columnist gets bogged down by the weather - and decides to take a holiday break.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

December 16, 2016



The Gazette columnists, Ray Rivers and James Burchill – usually write every week.

Ray Rivers covers the political scene – where his trenchant observations and at times acerbic comment has resulted in a significant following of hos Top of mind column.


Ray Rivers write a regular column for the Gazette, raises chickens and plays the guitar whenever a group will let him in.

Rivers has chosen a rural lifestyle – raised sheep at one time – has a dozen chickens and a barn with stalls that his grandchildren would like him to house ponies in.

Rural means getting around differently in winter weather and we are definitely experiencing winter weather which means the Rivers column won’t make it into his regular Friday spot.

It's all about networking.

Burchill – It’s all about networking.

James Burchill, who writes Money, Management and Mojo will fill that spot today.


Rivers 100x100

Burchill - regularly in the Gazette

Both are going to take a couple of weeks of for the holidays – look for them again in January. Burchill apparently has a couple of new ideas up his sleeve.
Rivers, just might pop in with a column when he sees something that he just has to comment on comes along.

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Christmas Collage - at the Rotary Pond in Spencer Smith Park - 7:30 Friday

eventspink 100x100By Staff

December 15, 2017



Mercedes-Benz Burlington presents a Christmas Collage Ice Show that will be performed at the Rotary Centennial Pond at Spencer Smith Park Burlington.


The Christmas Collage is becoming a popular event in Burlington

The event is scheduled for Friday, December 16 at 7:30 p.m.

An ice performance showcasing local youth talent. The one hour choreographed ice show encompasses 7 ice sports; figure skating, synchronized skating, speed skating, ringette, hockey, sledge hockey and curling.


Great time to tour the Festival of Lights set up throughout Spencer Smith Park.

This is the third year the ‘Christmas Collage’ has featured by local youth at the Rotary Centennial Pond in Burlington.

This is a great opportunity to walk through all the Festival of Lights decorations spread throughout Spencer Smith Park

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Polar Vortex + Colorado Low + Great Snowmaking = Glen Eden Opening Day this Saturday, December 17

News 100 redBy Staff

December 15th, 2017


There is a bunch of Happy Campers in the Britannia Road offices of conservation Halton – they’ve got snow,

Add to what was given to us naturally – the team that runs Glen Eden have been out with their snow making machine – you will be able to be on the hills from 8:30 am to 9:30 pm starting this Saturday December 17th

Cold December temperatures and Glen Eden’s snowmaking team were assisted by between 15 and 20 cm of the natural white stuff which fell earlier this week.


This weekend, Glen Eden will have four lifts running (two chairs and two carpets), three runs open (Nighthawk, Boomerang and Escarpment Run), both Learning Centres will be operational and the Terrain Park will be open with limited features.

The latest information can be found on the Glen Eden website,, as to which runs and lifts will be open, as well as the Terrain Park location, number of features and other details. Glen Eden is also offering an Opening Weekend Special with reduced lift ticket prices.

“The team at Glen Eden is looking forward to welcoming skiers and snowboarders this weekend,” said Sean Durkin, Manager Glen Eden. “The cold temperatures have kept our snowmaking team busy and it was helpful to get the assist from Mother Nature with some snow this past weekend to help us get ready. In light of the typical weather received in our area this is why Glen Eden has continued to invest in snowmaking technology.”

Like all ski and snowboard operations in Ontario, Glen Eden was impacted by the extremely mild winter last year and opened January 8, 2016, the latest opening date in the last ten years. In the other nine years (including this year), Glen Eden has been open before Christmas seven times, Boxing Day once and December 27 the other.

The Terrain Park is where a lot of the action happens at Glen Eden. The “Big” Parks, Nighthawk and Falcon during peak season have upwards of 40 of the most progressive features dedicated to these two runs. Glen Eden has lots of options for keeping things fresh while pushing your limits and developing your skills.

Glen Eden is home to one of the largest Learning Centres in Ontario, with a wide variety of lessons and programs for all ages and abilities. Group lesson programs run starting on Boxing Day, there are also private and semi-private options. Visit the Glen Eden website,, or call Visitor Services at 905-878-5011, ext. 1221, for more information.

Glen Eden liftsGlen Eden’s Discover Skiing and Snowboarding is a lesson program for first timers and beginners and are available starting this weekend. During the season Discover is offered weekends, holidays, and March Break from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 6 to 9 p.m. on non-holiday weeknights. Glen Eden’s snow pros will help ensure you learn the basics – equipment, stopping and turning. By the time you complete the program you should be ready for the big hills. Discover is available on a first-come, first-serve basis unless you’re booking a large group. For groups of 20 or more people please call 905-878-5011, ext. 1278, at least one week in advance.

Glen Eden is located on Kelso Road, near Tremaine Road and Highway 401, and is a 20 minute drive from Mississauga, Burlington and Hamilton and is operated by Conservation Halton. During the season, Glen Eden is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. for skiing and snowboarding with the Snow Tube Park open on the weekends.

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Why do you see so many identity theft scams? Because people respond to them and the thieves know that there is always going to be another sucker out there.

identity-theftBy Staff

December 15th, 2016



They come in at the rate of about 5 to 10 a day.

The scams – the attempts to dupe people out of their money – playing on that level of greed we all have. This time to angle is to convince you that the United Nations (can’t do much better than that in terms of legitimacy can you?)

ID theft screenHere was the attempt to learn enough about you identity so they can drain your bank account:

We wish to inform you that the United Nations (UN) has authorized us to remit to you a total amount of Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars for humanitarian work in your country after the United Nations Summit For Refugees and Migrants held in New York, United states on 19th of September 2016, your email address were nominated among the World email Database in your country as one of the United Nations coordinator in your country.

Your Cash amount was paid out to us by the United Nations, and they have successfully succeeded in depositing your whole funds with us here at Western Union in Italy or payment through our correspondence bank.

They have now ordered us to take full responsibility in the transfer process of your funds and thus commence the immediate remittance of your funds to you. Please find link herein for your perusal

Be duly informed that because of our Western Union transfer policy, your funds will be paid to you via our Western Union Daily Transfer limit of $4,400.00 USD. This means that you will Continuously receive a daily amount of $4,400.00 USD, and this amount Can be collected from any of our numerous Western Union outlets in your current location.

To begin the claim process of your daily payment as stated above, kindly furnish us with the following;

Full Name:
Phone Number:

Upon the receipt of the above mentioned details, your first transaction will be activated and we shall then proceed to provide you with the Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) for the First installment and we will continue to email you others after 12 hours of receiving each payment.

For more information on your payment status: Contact Person James Mazzini For Dario Pellizzari OR call our 24 hours Helpline @ +39 3511564018, for any inquiries on the above message.

Once these thieves get just some basic information they will pick every inch of skin off your bones.  Id it looks to good to be true – it’s because it isn’t true.  Be vigilant!

Related story:

Just how they operate.

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The people that make the Festival of Lights possible and part of what makes the city special.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 15th, 2016



The Burlington Festival of Lights is the city’s longest running festival, lighting up the city’s waterfront for the holiday season. It’s a magical sight for the whole family, especially the young at heart.

dsc07619The festival has gained the reputation in the region and beyond as the ‘must-see’ lighting extravaganza for the holidays. With winter snow on the ground is a part of the season tradition for this city – and it seems to get better each year.

Spencer Smith Park at Christmas time – what would Mr. Smith have thought of what we have been doing for several decades and calling it a Festival of Lights (FoL)

The displays are set up each year by a combination of community, corporate sponsor, and high school volunteers. Volunteers for the set up and take-down are coordinated by Burlington Electricity Services.

shoots-scoresaircraftcardHere’s the breakdown:

There is Burlington Taxi team, a Festival of Lights sponsor

The King Paving team, another Festival; of Lights sponsor

The Robert Bateman High School team (School Partner) and participating Oakville High School, TA Blakelock team

Burlington Electricity Services team (Coordinator and Main Sponsor)

Community Volunteers (Craig Gardner, Ken Spanik and Justin Boudreau)

Approximately 25 volunteers participated in setting up the lighting displays in Spencer Smith Park for this year’s Festival.

The newest display – ‘He Shoots He Scores’ – is displayed for the first time this year and was designed and built by the students of Burlington’s Robert Bateman HS, with assistance from students at TA Blakelock HS Oakville.

The Santa Claus parade is another event that kicks off the season.  Our friends over at True Essence have done a short video that does a slightly different take on that event.  Have a look – and Enjoy.


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Glad Tidings feeds 350 +; a real community dinner.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

December 15th 2016



They do it every year – and each year it has grown to the point where there are very few seats available.

The event caters to part of the North West part of the city from Brant over to Guelph Line and north of the QEW the Glad Tidings Christmas dinner.

A community organizer working out of the Community Development Halton offices has built a support system that engages young people and watches out for single parents, people at risk and those who need a different kind of care.


Part of the more than 350 people who enjoyed a Christmas dinner at Glad Tidings church.

Luke who lives just off Palmer Drive and takes great pleasure in pushing the traffic light button for people is in the room. He recognizes people but is quite shy – until you reach out to give him a hug and he returns an embrace that is as real as they get.


Risha Burke

It took the organizing energy and genius of Risha Burke to create a network of churches and community groups that hadn’t worked all that well before.

There isn’t an event that comes anywhere near what this group gets done.


The food just kept on coming – so did the people.

Several years ago, when funds were being sought from the city to maintain the staffing that was in place – other council members (no need to name them) objected to this kind of work being paid for by the city. Social welfare was a Regional responsibility they said.

What Burke does amounts to building “social capacity” a structure that lets people help themselves and look out for each other. There is nothing quite like it anywhere else in the city.

There are churches that have good programs – St Luke’s Anglican is one – that tend to cater to the needs of the congregation. Glad Tiding, the church that hots the event, has a large congregation they also have one of the largest community halls in the city.

What they do works – other communities have picked up on parts of what Burke does but none of have created the reach and the depth.

The Christmas Dinner is just one event.

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What was it about Jane McKenna that was worth breaking all the accepted political party nomination rules? It wasn't about McKenna.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 15th, 2016



What would have made the Ontario Provincial Progressive Conservative Party Organization and Election Readiness committee ignore some very compelling evidence when they chose to confirm the nomination of Jane McKenna over that of Jane Michael without releasing critical data on how many votes were cast and how many each candidate got?

The political party clearly wanted McKenna.


There are some reasons that the Catholic community isn’t going to like; nor will those opposed to the current sex education curriculum that is now in effect

The Niagara constituency elected Sam Oosterhoff, a home-schooled social conservative on hiatus from first-year political science studies at Brock University who will become the youngest MPP in Ontario history. With support from parishioners at his church, the teen beat Brown’s close friend, PC party president and former St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra, for the Niagara seat that had been previously held by PC party leader Tim Hudak.

While Patrick Brown, leader of the provincial Conservatives has said in the past that he was a pro-life supporter that position seems to have changed. In a letter to the Gazette one PC party member said she attended a meeting “with about 11 other people in Burlington just prior to your election. Mr. Brown, you made three statements that resonated with the group. You emphatically stated that you are pro-life, pro-family and that you would change the sex-education curriculum that the Liberal Party had established.”

Brown is realizing that those views are not going to propel him into office. There just aren’t enough people who want a government that will take a strong pro-life position and most parents are comfortable with the sex education curriculum. The Muslim community has strong view against the new sex education program there aren’t enough of them to make the kind of difference Patrick Brown needs.

The Progressive Conservative party organization in Burlington is in a shambles – with a very small (reported at 200) membership, some money in the bank and a candidate that was basically given the nomination back in 2011 when the party wasn’t prepared to go with Rene Papin and couldn’t stomach Brian Heagle.

The December nomination of McKenna was a little like one of those wrestling matches where eveything goes wrong.  The video makes the political process look badly flawed.

The senior who was threatened in the video, Roy Cummings, wrote the Gazette to provide some background: “I am a 77-year-old cancer survivor (this year). I challenged the chair to release the vote count. Mr. Zeiss told me to sit down and shut up. Then in a rage, he came charging over, as seen on the video, and challenged me to step outside and settle the matter. He also threatened me and my friend and his wife.

 I am the “older gentleman” concerned. I was asking that the vote count be announced. The younger man rushing me was a former Party President, Ken Zeiss, and now chair of the Ontario-wide nomination process.

This out-of-control man challenged me to step outside to settle the matter. Very manly challenging a 77-year-old recent cancer survivor to step outside. I would say what a coward. And this is what represents the CPO?

Both the Chairman of the meeting and a PCO Board member came to me afterwards and apologized. I was also given the vote count.

Insert video



Jane McKenna, provincial Progressive Conservative candidate for Burlington

Jane McKenna was someone’s idea and they nominated her in 2011 in one of the shortest nomination meetings this reporter has seen. McKenna had nothing in the way of practical political experience. However she was a quick study and she learned where the political power was and went straight for it.

As a member of the opposition she wasn’t in a position to do very much for the people of Burlington and rather than learn the ropes she chose to ingratiate herself with the party leadership. There wasn’t one speech she made in the legislature that is memorable.

The Progressive Conservatives see a government that is on the ropes and they think they can take power from the provincial Liberals. Premier Wynne certainly has her hands full – she is going to have to do something with hydro rates. But notice how she has managed to basically bury the cash for access problem she had?

Also, in Eleanor McMahon, Wynne has a first class Minister who is an incredible campaigner. She is genuine, thoughtful and connects with people. Not everyone – but most. She is a better debater than McKenna and on the campaign trail – when we get to it – she will prove to be even better than she was in 2014.

Is this partisan boasting? Some will say that is what the Gazette is doing.  We think we are being realistic and looking at the political playing field and have come to the conclusion that the Progressive Conservatives in Burlington couldn’t live with a candidate that would have her Bishop beside her at events. The party already has one very social conservative in Niagara – having another in Burlington was just not in the cards.

They needed to ensure that they had a candidate who could hit the ground running and regain a riding they had held for 70 years.

And that Jane McKenna will do – but it won’t make a difference.

McMahon will win the seat even if the government loses office.

In the meantime McKenna has to overcome the smell of a nomination process that was deeply flawed and with a membership that is as deeply divided.

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Central high parents hold a big silent auction, listen to some really good vocals and generally enjoy themselves. And they raised $14,000

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 14, 2016



They are doing the best they can. Lawn signs are being handed out; T-shirts are being sold, petitions signed and last night they held a Silent Auction at Joe Dogs – these people want to keep Central high school open.


Dania Thurman, singing up a storm at the Central high Silent Auction at Joe Dogs.

They have handed out 850 signs and placed an order for another 500.

The Silent Auction raised $14,000


There was a very impressive Silent Auction offering – they raised $14,000 Is that a war chest?

Many just cannot understand why the school board has targeted their school for possible closure. For many this is their first time they have put their toe into the waters of local politics – some are finding it intimidating other think they might like to run for public office.

There are small splinter groups doing research and looking for answers to the questions raised by the Director of Education – what does he do about the 1800 empty classroom seats in the city’s seven high schools.

The #central strong crowd appreciates that the problem and thinks it exists because the boards planning department botched the job they are supposed to have done.


Reconsidering a bid during th Silent Auction

Those 1800 empty seats didn’t just pop up – the demographics of the city have been pretty stable, if anything there has been an increase in the number of people in the Alton community that were not predicted – the result of several families living in the same house. That pushed the Hayden high school numbers to 115% of the OTG – which is the number of seats a school was built to accommodate.

They have a problem with the way the process has gone so far. These parents have questions and feel that they have yet to have a real opportunity to have it out with the senior staff in a public setting. And, the senior people at the board have been ducking the occasions when they could be upfront and out-front with the parents.

The process has become a phrase that sticks in the craw of many parents – they feel they are being manipulated and want to be heard.


Lynn Crosby on the left looking over an item on the Silent auction tables.

There are all kinds of solutions being tossed around – change the boundaries – realign the elementary schools that feed into the different high schools are just a few of the solutions parents are talking about. Many, and these are people with first class professional credentials, think there is a solution that is better for the board of education and a better solution for the city and the parents in the community.

There are those who are close to flaming mad but the community seems to have managed to keep them under control.

With data from the first meeting in hand the parents from Central high are able to dig in and start crafting the solutions that will get sent to the PARC.

And where do the trustees stand in all this? There are some of the Burlington trustees who are way in over their heads – the voters in Burlington are going to think a lot differently about who they elect as school board trustees in 2018. Turns out it is an important job – most people have not seen it that way.

Some are wondering just how their ideas are going to get to the PARC and how the PARC is going to respond. Will there be a dialogue between the PARC and the parents or will it be up to the school representatives to discuss ideas with the parents.


Members of the Program Accommodation Review (PAR) committee holding a quickie meeting after the first public meeting last week.

The PARC committee meetings are open to the public – no delegations apparently – but given who Central high has representing them – expect ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward to come up with some innovative thoughts on a better way to work through the issues.

Interesting political gambit here as well. Meed Ward was chosen by the parents to represent their interests.
The city was invited to send a representative and chose the city manager.

Should Meed Ward run for the Office of the Mayor and win – she will then work with James Ridge on a day to day basis running the city. And should Med Ward win – it will be run a lot differently than it has in the past 10 years. Is the current city manager up to that task?

It will be interesting to see how that works out.

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Centennial pool to close for maintenance January 1 to 8

notices100x100By Staff

December 14th, 2106



Centennial Pool will be closed for maintenance starting Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017 and will re-open on Sunday, Jan. 8.

To find other swim locations and times, please visit

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Canada Summer Jobs program is now accepting applications

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 14, 2016



The application period for Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) 2017 is now open.

The CSJ program creates job opportunities and valuable work experience for students aged 15 to 30 years old, particularly youth facing barriers to employment, during their summer break between April and September 2017.

The program aims to assist employers create summer job opportunities in order to help youth obtain the skills and experience they need to contribute to our collective economic growth and to build a stronger future for all Canadians.

Member of Parliament Karina Gould said: “This program is a fantastic opportunity for youth to obtain the skills and experience they need to be successful and contribute to the growth of organizations and businesses in our community.”

All eligible businesses, NGOs, and public service organizations in Burlington are encouraged to apply.

Employers are also invited to include applications which consider the following:

Opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Information, and Communications Technology (ICT);

Employers involved in the settlement of immigrants (including Syrian refugees) in Canada;

Employers that hire Indigenous people;

Employers involved in activities celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation;

Small businesses, including tourism, in recognition of their contribution to the creation of new jobs; and

Small business employers in the agriculture and agri-foods, arts and cultural, manufacturing and economic development sectors

The application period will run until January 20, 2017. Applicants approved for funding will be able to hire students as early as April 2017.

There is more detail at: or visit a Service Canada Centre.

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The Bandits have been sold, re-branded and are now the Herd. They will play at the Barn - which is the Nelson sports field.

sportsgold 100x100By Pepper Parr

December 13th, 2016



They came to town as the Twins, were sold and became the Bandits.

The Intercounty Baseball League team has been sold again and is now to be known as the Burlington Herd.
After five seasons as the Burlington Bandits, the 2017 season will mark the beginning of a new era for Intercounty baseball in the Halton Region with the renamed Burlington Herd, the team announced on Tuesday morning.

Herd was selected to pay homage to the Burlington Organized Minor Baseball Associations 60th anniversary and their premier rep program nicknamed the Bulls.


Will new ownership and a new name make a difference in the box score? The new owners intend to give it all they’ve got.

Along with a new nickname and logo, the Intercounty Baseball Club has announced a transfer of ownership from Scott Robinson to local Burlington residents Ryan Harrison, Jason McKay and Dan Pokoradi.

“Our group is very excited to continue IBL baseball in Burlington” said new IBL Burlington President Ryan Harrison. “Myself along with our board member have a passion for baseball in the city and believe with continued support from the City of Burlington, BOMBA and other local baseball organizations, we can build this team as a destination on Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons.”

A tribute to the history of baseball in Burlington, the “Herd” signifies the unification of two current baseball entities within the city. The new identity encompasses the Bulls theme, starting with the team colors of navy blue, yellow and white and continuing with the familiar Bull logo.

“Our goal was to give the baseball fans of Burlington a team and identity they can call their own,” said Herd President Ryan Harrison. “Burlington is full of traditions woven into the fabric of the city, and this new tradition will be something local and iconic and celebrate what makes Burlington and Minor League Baseball so great: family and fun.”

The new on-field cap will feature a stylized “B” for Burlington on a navy and yellow hat.

Bandits - Gould opening pitch

Burlington MP Karina Gould throwing out the first pitch. She will need a new jersey next season.

“We wanted to create a name and a brand that allowed the heart of this city to shine through it,” said Harrison. “While we take our responsibility to provide affordable family entertainment very seriously, we also want to embrace the fun which permeates through Burlington. We will continue to create a festive atmosphere with great partners in a clean, immaculate environment where you can bring your family.”

The Herd take the field for the first time on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at the Barn (Nelson Park). Season tickets and group packages are now on sale by calling (905) 630-9036 or by visiting the team’s new website, The Herd can be followed on social media platforms (“iblherd”), including

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School board releases data on parent's views about school closings

Newsflash 100By Pepper Parr

December 13, 2016



Somebody changed their mind – and that is healthy.  The school board has released the data gathered at the public meeting last Thursday.

The Gazette attended the first really public meeting of the PARC Program Accommodation Review Committee that was created to provide comment on the Boards decision to close two of the city’s high schools.

Lester B. Pearson and Central high school were marked for closure because the city had more than 1800 seats that were not occupied.

The meeting was boisterous but serious questions were asked and the audience of more than 350 dutifully clicked the devices they were given to record the answers.

Given the number of parents from Central, 58.6%  of those who voted on the questions asked, the data is going to be somewhat skewed but a close read of all the data suggests that parents from the other high schools could feel much the same way.

Bateman sign smallerWith 2 votes from Robinson; 7 from Aldershot and 5 from Bateman- it is difficult to get a sense as to what they think or feel.

That they don’t feel they are at risk and that the problem doesn’t impact them is not the smartest position to take.

All the data is now publicly available and parents can begin to do their own analysis.

The Gazette wants to thank the school board for making the data available.

It can be found at LINK.

Related articles:
Why the board didn’t want to release the data.


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