Ice rinks, tobogganing and a place to donate gently used skates.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 8th, 2016



Chris Glenn

Chris Glenn, Director of Parks and Recreation

The City of Burlington is ready for winter fun with the launch of its Neighbourhood Rink program, the opening of Rotary Centennial Pond at the waterfront in downtown Burlington and dedicated locations for tobogganing.
Chris Glenn, the city’s director of Parks and Recreation tells us that: “Skating and tobogganing in the winter time are great Canadian traditions that bring friends, neighbours and communities together to be active and enjoy the winter weather.” Can we expect to see Mr. Glenn on a toboggan in the near future?

Neighbourhood Rinks
Back for a second year, the Neighbourhood Rink program encourages neighbours to come together to maintain a natural outdoor ice rink in their local park.

This month, city staff will install boards for 13 ice pads in various parks throughout Burlington that will be maintained by neighbourhood volunteer groups. The rinks are open to the public and free to use.

The following locations will host a Neighbourhood Rink for the upcoming season:

• Brant Hills Park
• Ireland Park
• Orchard Park
• Sherwood Park
• Tansley Woods Park
• Central Park
• Optimist Park
• Palladium Park
• Pineland Park
• Rusholme Crescent Corridor
• Sheraton Park
• Skyway Park
• Wellington Park

Rotary Centennial Pond

If you didn't get to strap on the blades this winter - you're out of luck. Rink closes at 10:00 pm this evening.

Centennial Pond will be open from 10 am to 10 pm – closed on Christmas Day.

The outdoor ice at Rotary Centennial Pond is scheduled to open on Dec. 10, ice conditions permitting. Located at the waterfront in downtown Burlington, the pond hosts nearly 9,000 skaters each year. The rink is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends and school holidays and from 5 to 10 p.m. on weekday evenings. The pond is closed on Christmas Day.

New this year, the city is asking residents to donate gently used skates they no longer need. These skate donations will be used for a skate lending program at Rotary Centennial Pond.

“The skate lending program has been created to help eliminate barriers for people who may want to give recreational skating a try,” said Glenn. “We hope the skate lending program will encourage residents and visitors to try a new sport, learn some new skills and get outside and play this winter.”

Skate donations can be dropped off at city pools, arenas and community centres.



This is what tobogganing is all about.

The city has designated six areas in the city that are safe for tobogganing. They include:

• LaSalle Park, east of the parking lot
• Tyandaga Park at hole number four on the west slope
• Central Park on the hill northwest of the community garden
• Brant Hills Park, southwest of the tennis courts
• Nelson Park on the east side of park, north of the Centennial bike path
• Lowville Park on the hill at the southwest end of park.

With snow flurries in the air the city might be about to begin a real winter.getting new - yellow

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Public school board re-elects its leadership - gears up for a very full 2017

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 8th, 2016



The Halton District School Board trustees held their last regular meeting for the year and geared themselves for a very full 2017 when they will tackle at least two formidable challenges.


The public school board is doing everything it can to let parents know that every high school in the city is part of a review now taking place. Two school, Central and Pearson were recommended for closure by staff – that’s all it was – a recommendation. Trustees will make the final decision next May.

Does the Board decide that a high school has to be closed and if they do which ones do they close? This evening, Thursday, December 8th, at the Gary Alan School on New Street the PARC – Program Accommodation Review Committee will hold the first of their many meetings.

The Director of Education has to struggle with the way French language classes are going to be offered in the District. They are in the middle of a “breather year” while staff work on different approaches to how French language classes are going to be offered – Core French for everyone once the roll out now taking place is completed and when should French Immersion begin.


Kelly Amos – re-elected as the Chair of the Halton District school Board

The trustees decided last night who was going to lead the team. Oakville Trustee Kelly Amos was re-elected chair and Kim Graves re-elected vice chair. The first set of ballots did not produce a winner for the chair position – Kelly Amos, Amy Collard and Andrea Grebenc were in the running. When Grebenc was off the list – the job went to Amos.

There is a pretty clear split between those who prefer the Amos style of leadership over what Collard has offered in the past.

Grebenc - expressive hands

Andrea Grebenc tossed her hat into the ring to serve as chair of the Halton District school board. Not for her this time – but this is a trustee worth watching.

Grebenc is the first of the newer crop of trustees to put her name forward for a leadership role on the Board of trustees. The Gazette would have liked to see her in a vice chair role to gain some top level board of trustee experience. This is a trustee to watch.

It was a very full board session – the Gazette will follow up with details later.

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The Barracudas picked up one GOLD and two SILVER medals at the Whitby Tournament of Heroes.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

December 8th 2016



The Barracudas, Burlington Girls Hockey Club (BGHC) picked up one GOLD medal and two SILVER medals at the Whitby Tournament of Heroes this past weekend (December 1-3, 2016).

Barracudas Coach Mark Cernjul lead two teams to victory: Novice A who brought home the Gold Medal and the Peewee B team who earned Silver. Our Bantam BB team brought home a second Silver Medal.

The organization, Burlington’s not-for-profit hockey club, offers girls a fun environment to play Canada’s favourite sport; this year they brought home three tournament medals from the Whitby Tournament of Heroes played December 1-3, 2016.

Novice A — Gold Medalists
The Novice A team won the Gold Medal vs Oakville in a 2-0 final.


Back Row (l to r): Rosanna Morales, Head Coach Mark Cernjul, Tom Hill, Erica Olsen-Sharman Third Row (l to r): Maya O’Leary, Isabella Nagy, Addison Butler, Kylie Penrose, Sadie Allen, Sophie Weber Second Row (l to r): Audrey Hurtubise, Annika Sharman, Mackenzie Ferguson, Violet Steinstra, Mikayla Barnes, Lauren Hill, Taylor Cernjul, Lizzie Petit, Front Row: Goalie, Avery Goulet

Peewee B — Silver Medalists
The Peewee B team beat Lakeshore 1-0 in a shootout in the semis; followed by a tough 2-0 loss to Waterloo.


Back Row (l to r): Mike McColl, Head Coach Mark Cernjul, Dave Crumpton, Andy Southall, Susan Clarke Last row (l to r): Natalie Coward, Fayth Wilkins, Taylor Cooper, Isabella Convey, Olivia Chard, Ella Weber, Julia Banting, Madelaine Southall, Lia McColl Second row (l to r): Jessica DeHaan, Tia Nelson, Lucia McColl, Jenna Cernjul, Jasalyn Jolly, Ella McColl Front row (l to r): Melissa Clarke. Missing in the picture: Back-up Goalie – Katherine Stevenson


Bantam BB — Silver Medalists
The Bantam BB team played the host team, Whitby, in the finals for an exciting 1-2 final game.


Back Row (l to r): Coach Bryan Uba, Trainer Stephanie Armstrong, Coach Stephen Day Renee Doucet, Hayden Serniuk, Madison Uba, Katie Armstrong, Ella Seaward, Reagen Day, Head Coach Marc Brennan, Coach Peter Degan Bottom row (l to r): Emma Woudstra, Eve Quevillon, Ashley Cooper, Savannah Staszkiel, Olivia Brennan, Amanda Degan, Jodie Fitzgerald, Maddie Mitchell, Rylee Crowley Goalies: Kieran Theodoropoulous and Laurence Gagnon

There are more than 750 girls (and growing) playing Canada’s favourite sport for girls ages 4 to 21 at both the house league and competitive (rep) levels.

barracuda-logo-20-yearsFor more information about these teams, who seem to win every year their web site is . You can follow them on Twitter and Instagram @BGHC_Newsa The Facebook Page at Burlington Girls Hockey Club.

Jennifer Buchalter, BGHC | Director of Communications and Promotion would love to talk to you –

Email |

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Horse drawn wagon ride, feed the chickadees, enjoy S’mores and warm up at a fire.

Event 100By Staff

December 8th, 2016



Celebrate Winter on the Trails at Hilton Falls Conservation Area on Saturday, December 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors who bring one non-perishable food item will receive a free hot chocolate.

At Winter on the Trails you can enjoy a free horse-drawn wagon ride (please note: wagon rides are first come first served and limited space is available), feed the Chickadees and participate in crafts.

Visitors can enjoy S’mores at the falls and warm up to a fire.

Be sure to check out the work of Scott Rowe from the Country Saw as he carves an artistic creation with his chainsaw.

sleigh-horse-pulledAll of these activities are included with regular park admission; Halton Parks Annual Members only need to show their membership for admission to Winter on the Trails.

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Do You Make These 5 Common Marketing Mistakes? Marketing is a process, not an outcome.

marketingmoneymojoBBy James Burchill

December 8th, 2016


The famous P.T Barnum once said, “Without promotion, something terrible happens, NOTHING!” And marketing (or promotion) is all about combating that dreaded ‘nothingness’. The question is… are you doing it right?

Gone are the days where you could open up shop, hang out a sign, and people would beat a path to your door. It just doesn’t work like that anymore (if it ever did). No, these days you’ve got to find a way to ‘get the word’ out, and that’s all a part of marketing.

Advertising is often the most common way this is achieved – after all, many people think that advertising is marketing, and it’s not – it’s just one part of it.

Mistake #1 – Confusing Advertising With Marketing
Marketing is all about marshaling your available resources to assist in the sales process. After all, nothing

Lot of traffic lights at big pole

This is confusing!

happens until someone makes a sale. Marketing is about influencing the buying decision at all points of influence and contact. It covers the way the phone is answered to the way your washrooms look and smell. If you’re not thinking about marketing in this fashion you’re leaving the door wide open for your competitors to slip in and steal your customers away.

Mistake #2 – Running Institutional or Brand Building Adverts
You’ve seen the ads – “XYZ Automotive Service & Repair. The Best Service In Town!” These adverts are a sheer waste of money because they don’t direct the reader, viewer or listener toward any intelligent action or buying decision.

Moreover they immediately cause the prospect to say things like “yeah, sure!”, or “so what!”
Advertising serves one purpose and one purpose only – to sell stuff. Anything else is either vanity, folly or both. Ads are like ‘silent’ sales people – evaluate adverts with the same eye you’d use when evaluating a sales person and you’ll see the difference.

Direct response style advertising on the other hand, makes a complete case for the company, product or service. It overcomes sales objections. It answers all major questions. And it promises results, backing up the promise with a risk-free warranty or money-back guarantee. Direct response style advertising works.


That one stands out doesn’t it?

Mistake #3 – Not Stressing Uniqueness
Most successful businesses or professional services are built around a USP, or unique selling proposition. It might be reliable post-purchase service, super-fast delivery, convenient hours or a combination of things. Think about what it is that sets your business apart from the rest and then make your USP the engine that drives all your marketing and advertising efforts.

The next time you see your competitor’s adverts; see if you can identify their USP. Take note: if you can’t identify your own USP, you can be certain your customers can’t either!

Mistake #4 – Targeting The Wrong Prospects
Always send your sales messages to the people who are your primary prospects – and ignore the rest. You can’t be all things to all people and attempting this makes you nothing to everyone.

If you wish to reach people over 45, for example, your ad’s headline should say something like “If you’re 45 or over…” And make certain all your headlines and ads are specific and targeted to your ideal prospect – avoid abstractions.


Did you test? Do you know what your customer is thinking and what they want?

Mistake #5 – Failing To Test
Finally, if you don’t test prices, headlines, offers, advertising copy, and all your verbal and non-verbal sales messages, you’ll never know what the market wants, or what it will pay. You’re just guessing – which can be financially disastrous.

Marketing is a process, not an outcome. Eliminate these five marketing mistakes from your business and you’ll see positive results – guaranteed!



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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McKenna nomination win as provincial PC candidate November 26th is being challenged by some progressive members.

Newsflash 100By Pepper Parr

December 8th, 2016



There is trouble in paradise.

Jane McKenna who is reported to have won the Progressive Conservative nomination as the candidate for Burlington in the next provincial election, scheduled to be held on or before June 7, 2018.  is having that nomination challenged,

A group led by Colin C.G. Pye has asked that:

Pursuant to Article 27.1 of the Constitution of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (“Constitution”) and Rule 21 of the Rules Governing Candidate Nominations (“Rules”), the undersigned Residents of the Electoral District of Burlington who support the Principles and Objects of the Party hereby protest and appeal the nomination of Jane McKenna as candidate for the Electoral District of Burlington on November 26, 2016.


Jane McKenna’s nomination win as the PC candidate for the provincial seat is being challenged.

There is all kinds of schedules attached to the request – which we willwork through and pass along as much as we can.

McKenna is reported to have won over Jane Michael by 41 votes. What has not been made public is the number of ballots cast. This is clearly a developing story.

In the request for a review the applicants state that:

As the nomination process and election has been tainted by numerous breaches of tl1e Nomination Rules and the Party Constitution, thus bringing the Party into disrepute, the Appellants request that

a. a hearing be held before tl1e Provincial Nomination Committee pursuant to Rule 21.7;

b. a new Nomination Process be held under supervision of the Board of Appeal pursuant to Rule 21.9., and;

c. pending the resolution of the hearing under Rule 21.7, Jane McKenna be enjoined from holding herself out as the duly nominated candidate for Burlington, and be further enjoined from conducting any campaigning or fundraising activity as the nominated candidate for Burlington.

The meeting got a little rowdy – check out the video below.

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Resident suggest his council member isn't telling the full story on the New Street Road diet.

opinionandcommentBy Jim Barnet

December 6th, 2016



Please take time to read Councillor Jack Dennison addition to the on line petition against the Road Diet on New Street. You will see he continues to view the project through his rose coloured cycling goggles. He neglects to tell you that Denmark, a world leader in cycling, keeps bicycles and vehicles separated by barriers.

This safety requirement was made in a clear and concise fashion to a delegation from Burlington, headed by the mayor.

Mr. Toderian, a consultant hired by the city told an open meeting at the Burlington Performing Arts centre ” The road diet on New Street is a poor design and its one I would not personally use. I would fear for my safety.”

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison always has an eye open for an economic opportunity - sees a great one for the city: sell the golf course.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison uses roller blades and his bicycle.

When will Jack tell about this?

Some other things that don’t get past the rose colour goggles.

A member of the cycling committee has put out a blog showing that sharrows give a cyclist a false sense of safety and should not be used.

Early data indicates that the transit time between Walkers and Guelph line has increased by 50 percent during evening rush hours and is even worse when the roadway approaches design capacity and gridlock starts to take place.

If the road diet was in place from Burloak to the Hospital, transit times on the route would be increased by close to fifteen minutes during rush hours, total capacity would be reduced and grid lock would occur more often.

Due to weather, bikes are only potentially viable five months of the year. In addition how does the hockey player strap his equipment bag on a bike?

In a meeting with Councillor Dennison he admitted that he did not have targets for the results to be judged against to measure success or failure. This is not a management style most people use.


Jack Dennison and his partner Jackie are avid cyclists.

Slowing speeds below 60 KPM increases green house gasses and becomes even worse in gridlock and stop and go situations. How much of an increase is Jack willing to accept when at the same time putting cyclists in a less safe environment?

The highway traffic act gives bicycles the right to use certain roadways. It also states they should stay within three feet of the shoulder and travel in single file. They are to obey all the rules of the road, yet according to Jack no tickets have been issued to cyclists in Burlington. Why is that when we know they ignore most stops signs?

We should encourage cycling. This can be done by licensing bikes that have proper reflectors, bells and lights, front and rear. Riders should be encouraged to wear clothing with reflective strips and if possible to have light coloured clothing.

Maybe some of the beatification money should have spent creating protected bike lanes that are a network rather than Hodgepodge of bits and pieces we have now.getting new - yellow

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Kerns Road, Prospect Street and Walkers Line at Upper Middle Road were targeted by police for traffic offences.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 7th, 2106



The Halton Regional Police are urging drivers to slow down during this holiday season. With the icy conditions quickly approaching, speed and distracted driving is only going to contribute to the potential of getting into a motor vehicle collision.

HRPS crestOfficers continued to conduct targeted enforcement throughout the City of Burlington. Police targeted three locations on December 6th based on complaints received by residents. Kerns Road, Prospect Street and the intersection at Walkers Line and Upper Middle Road were all targeted. As a result, 93 traffic stops were initiated for Highway Traffic Act violations; police issued 53 Provincial Offence Notices, issued four licence suspension notices and handed out 25 additional warnings to drivers. All violations were for excessive speed, drivers talking on their cell phones, running traffic lights and failing to stop at stop signs.

“There are so many factors that contribute to a collision. By adding excessive speed and distraction, drivers are greatly increasing their chances of jeopardizing their life and the lives of others. Poor driving conditions are only going to add to this. Drivers just need to slow down and focus on their driving and not their cell phones” said Sgt. Jared McLeod of the District Response Unit.

The Halton Regional Police Service is committed to reducing dangerous and aggressive driving behaviors that put all road users at risk.

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

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Cogeco lights up their 1 gig per second internet service and are recognized as a community builder.

Private Sector 100By Staff

December 7th, 2016



Cogeco, the cable TV provider for Burlington, has had a two week run of good news.

They were recognized as a Community Builder at the Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAA) in Toronto.

That award celebrates large businesses whose community investments have yielded the greatest social return on investment. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce thus recognized the company’s good practices and its commitment to supporting the communities of the greater Ontario region.

Cogeco Connexion’s leadership in community engagement has been highlighted on numerous occasions in recent years. “So much so, that our community focus is now part of our DNA,” said Cogeco Connexion President, Ken Smithard.

Cogeco Cable did a thoroughly profesional job of cable casting live the Gala Opening of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Mark Carr will be moving on to CBC, ABC or NBC soon - unless of course he is waiting to move to Ward 6.

Cogeco Cable  live the Gala Opening of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Host Mark Carr and Mayor Rick Goldring prepare to go on camera.

“We believe it’s a privilege and a responsibility to invest in the communities we serve. Cogeco Connexion has been part of Ontario’s and Canada’s economic landscape for nearly 60 years, contributing to key sectors of their economies. Today’s nomination by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce only confirms the importance of our organization in Ontario and reinforces our desire to exert and maintain a positive impact on the communities in which we operate,” added Mr. Smithard.

Community engagement is not a short-term commitment and with major yearly investments of
$2.5 million in Ontario alone, Cogeco Connexion continues to support numerous worthy community endeavours in the areas we serve. Through employee community engagement, direct investment, sponsorships and donations, Cogeco Connexion’s leadership team is driven by the desire to prove it’s possible to sustain economic viability while helping those in need. “And we do so while continually innovating and offering amazing experiences that are developed and delivered locally by our talented and dedicated employees,” concluded Mr. Smithard.

Beard with Cogeco mike

Parks and Recreation Manager Denise Beard tapes a program for Cogeco TV.

For over 30 years, the OBAAs have recognized and celebrated Ontario’s business success stories. As one of the most prestigious business awards in Ontario, the OBAAs recognize the achievements in innovation, entrepreneurship, integrity and hard work of businesses operating in Ontario.

Getting a prestigious award was good positive news – launching its UltraFibre 1Gig service, that will allow its customers in Oakville and Burlington to benefit from speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second is good news for their customer base.

This announcement is the result of a series of investments in infrastructure upgrades carried out by Cogeco over the past months. Starting in several areas in Burlington and Oakville, Cogeco Connexion will continue expanding its ultra-high speed offering in successive phases in the Ontario and Québec markets where it provides services.

“Today, Cogeco Connexion is making a commitment to the communities it serves, enhancing its high-speed Internet offering to help power economic growth and development for businesses and residents,” stated Ken Smithard, President, Cogeco Connexion. “As we have always made our customers’ needs the primary focus of our priorities and decision-making process, today’s announcement is also further evidence of our unwavering commitment to offering our clients an amazing experience and helping them navigate evolving technology.”

Cogeco - The Issue crew

Cogeco’s popular At Issue program features Host Mark Carr, Casey Cosgrove, Che Marville, former Burlington Mayor Walter Mulkewich and Burlington lawyer Brian Heagle

“With online entertainment usage growing exponentially, the proliferation of connected devices and increased home office broadband needs, our Internet customers’ current appetite for speed is definitely trending upward,” asserted Daniel Boisvert, Vice President, Marketing & Innovation. “Demand for ultra-high speeds represents a market with considerable potential, and we’ve chosen to respond to it. We are proud to enhance our customers’ online entertainment and to offer them a suite of ultra-high speed Internet services with our new UltraFibre 1Gig service.”

Cogeco Connexion is launching this service to prepare for the ultra-connected homes and businesses of the future, thanks to a powerful hybrid network consisting of coaxial cable (HFC) and 11,000 km of linear fibre running from Windsor, Ontario to Gaspé in Québec.

“Upgrading our current broadband network to enable speeds well beyond 1 gigabit is possible with the DOCSIS Evolution path and Cogeco Connexion Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH)/EPON technology,” explained Michel Blais, Vice President, Engineering and Operations. “As we continue to leverage our networks, we will keep pace with our customers’ needs. We will see to it that our customers have the right bandwidth speed and equipment, wireless technologies and service to optimize their online enjoyment.”

Goldring and Carr Cogeco Cable

Mayor Rick Goldring and Cogeco TV host Mark Carr prepare for a live broadcast from city hall’s Council Chamber

Cogeco now has 2,550 employees and is the third largest employer in Burlington. The company offers video, high-speed Internet, telephony, fibre-based data and voice transmission, and cloud-based applications for businesses.
They have 11,000 km of linear optical fibre between Windsor, Ontario and Gaspé, Québec

COGECO TV is operated in Quebec where there are 15 stations and 22 in Ontario, with close to 1,000 volunteers)

Cogeco is the second largest cable operator in Ontario and Québec in terms of the number of basic cable service customers served.

In the United States Cogeco operates through its subsidiary Atlantic Broadband in western Pennsylvania, south Florida, Maryland/Delaware, South Carolina and eastern Connecticut.

Through Cogeco Peer 1, Cogeco Communications Inc. provides its business customers with a suite of information technology services (colocation, network connectivity, hosting, cloud and managed services), through its 17 data centres, extensive FastFiber Network® and more than 50 points of presence in North America and Europe. Cogeco Communications Inc.’s subordinate voting shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: CCA).

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Well that decision has come back to bite us. Blue Water developer decides to appeal a city decision and uses the 2015 Market Street decision as part of their argument.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 7th, 2016



On Monday at a Waterfront Group meeting the public learned that the developer behind the proposal to build 39 townhouse units on adjacent properties located at 143 Blue Water Place and 105 Avondale Court in Burlington Ward 4 has decided to appeal the city council decision to not recommend the project.

One of the reasons being used to justify the appeal was reported to be that the city chose not to retain waterfront land when they sold a strip of land to adjacent property owners between Market and St. Paul Streets.

The irony of it all is mind boggling and has come back to bite the rear ends of the current city council.


An incredible setting – that is one Mother of a front yard.

The Blue Water property is unique in a number of ways and is an example of a Burlington that once was but that is now being bought up and, many feel, is being over-developed.

Should the developer win at the Ontario Municipal Board hearing – yet to be scheduled – the 39 properties will get sold overnight. It is a magnificent site.

Residents on the other hand see a lot of problems with this development – they point to the significant increase in traffic that will take place – the plan calls for more than 75 underground parking spaces which means a lot of cars spilling out onto Lakeshore Road.


This is what the developer wants to do with the land they have acquired. Can it be stopped?

The residents also believe that should this project get approved at the OMB, all of Lakeshore Road between Sioux Lookout Point all the way to Appleby Line, which is zoned as R1.2 Low Density Residential permitting only single detached homes, will be at risk to the same kind of development.

They maintain, on their web site, that “Development here would serve as a game-changing precedent to allow similar future out-of-scale developments not in keeping with the character of our lake shore neighbourhoods.”


The residents argue that if the Blue Water project is approved all the land in yellow is at risk of development. There might well be hundreds of property owners who would welcome the opportunity to reap a very significant gain on the sale of their land.

On Oct. 31, 2016 the City Council voted to uphold the recommendation of the Planning Department to refuse the application for 35 townhomes and 4 Semi-Detached homes.  The townhouses would have roof top decks making them what city planners call three storey homes.

First Urban, the developer, had reportedly said they would submit a new design. In a note on the residents’ association web site they say: “The developer has stated that they are working on a new application that will include only single detached homes. We will let you know what the details of this proposal are as soon as we receive them.”

They changed their minds and have appealed the city’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board.

One of the points said to be set out in the appeal is the developers opposition to a requirement that they provide water’s edge land to the city.  The developer, in their submission to the city, have a well developed argument.  They maintain that the city has already broken the requirement that:


An acceptable breakwater for the current use – not up to standard for any kind of development – and the city wants the land for public use.

“Land below the stable top of bank is to be dedicated to the City as a condition of development;

A 15m strip of land above the stable top of bank must be dedicated as part of parkland dedication to accommodate the waterfront trail.


The city approved the sale of this waterfront property – they ended up with less than a quarter of a million dollars for their share of the land. The Blue Water developers are arguing that the city really doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on when they say the waterfront has to be kept for public use.

Many want to know where this requirement was when city council approved a decision to sell lake shore property between Market and St. Paul streets in April 2015?

Part II, Section 9, Waterfront of the Official Plan states:

“The shoreline is a unique natural feature, part of a sensitive and complex ecosystem, which adds significantly to the identity, character, setting and well being of the City and its citizens. Waterfront policies relate to property immediately adjacent to the Lake Ontario/Burlington Bay shoreline, including parks and open space. In planning for uses of the waterfront, the effects of human activities on the natural environment must be considered to maintain the future integrity of the waterfront”.

To have the city council April 2015 decision used as part of an appeal for the Blue Water development further along Lakeshore Road is particularly galling.

The opposition to that decision – selling the property between Market and St. Paul Streets – was supported by a petition with hundreds of signatures. It was one of the worst decisions city council made in 2015 – and it looks as if it is going to haunt us for decades.

Along with the “top of bank” requirement the city planners added the following:

As was indicated prior to the submission of the application and throughout the application process, the City of Burlington maintains that the proposal also requires an Official Plan Amendment. The calculation of density is currently based on the gross area of the site, which does not comply with the city’s policies for hazard lands.


Are these hazardous lands?

In general terms ‘hazard lands’ are areas where natural hazards exist, including floodplains, steep slopes or organic soils. Due to these site limitations, new buildings are generally not allowed in hazard areas. For the purposes of this report the hazard lands refer to the lands immediately adjacent to the shoreline of Lake Ontario.

The property is not located within an intensification area and is not identified in local planning documents as a site for which increased density should be considered;

A Functional Servicing Report should address limits of development, tenure of ownership, lots involved, and how services will be provided to surrounding homes;

All properties must connect to new municipal services. The Functional Servicing Report should address how to tie third party lands to the new condominium corporation.

When the rezoning application was submitted by First Urban in June 2016, the applicants provided the requested fees and studies and therefore met the requirements of the Planning Act for a complete application. That’s when the clock starts clicking – the city had 180 days to respond to the application – which put a squeeze on because public meetings tend not to be held during the summer when many residents are away on vacation.

Might that have resulted in a staff report that could have been better?

When an Official Plan Amendment application was requested, the applicant declined. First Urban Development indicated that they would be willing to reduce the number of townhouse units at a later point in the rezoning process in order to achieve a maximum of 25 units per net hectare as calculated on the developable portion of the site.

Unfortunately, as the application and technical studies were reviewed, it became apparent that there were major deficiencies in the application and technical documents, and that the proposed townhouse development could not be supported. A decision has therefore been made to bring a refusal report to Committee and Council within the 180 days provided for in the Planning Act.


The city maintains they have a right to 15 metres from the top of bank – the developer is arguing that they don’t and are using the Market Street giveaway as a precedent.

As part of their review of the rezoning application, Conservation Halton seeks to ensure that waterfront development be ‘generally directed to areas outside of the hazardous lands’. Hazardous lands are those lands adjacent to the shoreline of the Great Lakes.

Extensive tree removal (198 trees) is unacceptable;


The proposal is to cut down 198 trees.

Currently these two properties support two single detached dwellings. To redevelop the properties to support 39 residential units is an unsuitable form of redevelopment given that the land use pattern is not in keeping with existing single detached land use pattern of the existing residences. Similarly, this area is not a designated growth area and the infrastructure and public service facilities are not available to support current and projected needs as outlined in the development proposal.

Staff says “no go” to this development.
Staff have reviewed the rezoning application in accordance with applicable provincial, regional and municipal planning policies. It is staff’s opinion that the proposed development does not meet the policies of the Official Plan and that the submitted proposal requires an Official Plan Amendment. The calculation of density is currently based on the gross area of the site, which does not comply with the city’s policy related to hazard lands.

This rezoning application seeks to redevelop the property with a higher density/intensity than permitted under the existing zoning. The housing intensification policies are intended to permit residential intensification within existing neighbourhoods provided that the additional housing is compatible with the scale, urban design and community features of the existing neighbourhood.


A developers dream – and a possible nightmare for the city. Where did this on go off the tracks?

Overall the proposal represents an over intensification of a stable low-density neighbourhood, putting strain on an under-sized private road in an area under-serviced by public transportation. This report recommends refusal of the rezoning application to permit 35 two- storey town homes and four (4) two-storey semi-detached dwellings on the grounds that they do not represent good planning.

It is the content of the planner’s report, to refuse the development application that went city council who decided to concur with the planners.

It is that document that First Urban is appealing.

Burlington is terrified of OMB appeals – they seem consistently prepared to bend over to satisfy a developer.graphic02

This is another development story with long legs.

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Assembly of First Nations Chief bestow an indigenous name on Gord Downie at an emotionally packed event.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 6th, 2016



Painful and at the same time beautiful.

The video speaks for itself.

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) gave Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip, an Indigenous spirit name, which can be roughly translated as “Man who walks among the stars.”

The name was bestowed on Downie at a three-day special assembly meeting of the AFN at which the Chiefs asked “disillusioned communities to resist hopelessness, and seize the historic opportunity the Liberal government has afforded First Nations communities with its new spending.”

Well worth watching.

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Crime Stoppers - an unsolved crime. House broken into on two occasions.

Crime 100By Staff

December 6th, 2016



Every month the Halton branch of Crime Stoppers published a story on an as yet unsolved crime. Some of the crimes are many months old – however Crime Stoppers has found that bringing these to the public’s attention sometimes is all that was needed to break a case.

Crime Stoppers is always looking for help.

On February 23, 2016 sometime during the daytime hours a daytime entry occurred on Townsend Avenue in Burlington.

The garage side door was unlocked. The inner door the home was then forced open to gain entry. Value of electronics and jewelry was stolen was over $9000.00. As of yet no suspect(s) have been identified.

This is the second entry to the house in four years.

Anyone with information on this or any other crime can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting “TIP201” with your message to CRIMES (274637), or by submitting a tip online at

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Imagine - just imagine - no more check out lines at the supermarket! Wow.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 6th, 2016




Cannot wait for this one to come to my local supermarket.

Amazon GO has opened their first supermarket in Seattle.  They seem to be into everything but listen to what they have added as a service – convenience feature.

When you take something off a shelf and put it in the cart – the cost of that item is automatically deducted from your Amazon account.


Imagine – no more standing in a checkout line at a supermarket.

Amazon GO lets customers walk in, grab food from the shelves and walk out again, without ever having to stand in a checkout line.

Customers tap their cellphones on a turnstile as they walk into the store, which logs them into the store’s network and connects to their Amazon account through an app.

The service is called Amazon Go. It uses machine learning, sensors and artificial intelligence to track items customers pick up. These are then added to the virtual cart on their app. If they pick up an item they later decide they don’t want, putting it back on the shelf removes it from their cart.

Do you know what that means?

No more standing in a checkout line.

No more standing behind someone who fishes through their change purse for the exact amount of change.

This is close to Nirvana.getting new - yellow

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Ray's Variety celebrates twenty years of serving the downtown community.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 6th, 2016


Faris and Sam are their names

In the corporate world there is usually a group that handles the promotion of the corporate image.


From the left: Omar, Faris and Sam. Faris will always remind you that he is from Palestine – The Holy Land!

When you are a small retailer that has been serving a community for years what do you do to celebrate and thank your customers?

You hold a day long thank you event serving soft drinks and desserts to the hundreds of people who come through your door each day.

And that is what the crew at Ray’s Variety did last week – it was their celebration of serving their customers for the past twenty years.

Congrats guys!graphic02

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Gould tells parliamentarians how much the federal government plans to spend on international assistance.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 6, 2016



With just over a year in office Burlington’s Member of Parliament can toss around numbers that are in the billions as she rises in the House of Commons to speak in support of legislation related to Canada’s international assistance.

Here is what MP Karina Gould had to say

In terms of new funding, budget 2016 allocated an additional $256 million over two years, 2016-17 and 2017-18, to the international assistance envelope, the IAE. The international assistance envelope is the Government of Canada’s primary planning tool for managing official development assistance and for funding our international assistance activities. Though the majority of the resources in the IAE are programmed by Global Affairs Canada, it is truly a whole-of-government mechanism for implementing the government’s international assistance agenda.

The budget 2016 infusion of new resources complements the significant steps we have taken to address key global challenges, including climate change, instability, and humanitarian crises in Iraq, Syria, and the surrounding region, as well as ongoing development challenges, particularly those facing women and girls.

Gould in Turkey

Gould speaking at a World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey.

In the last year, our government has committed $2.65 billion over five years to help developing countries tackle climate change, provided over $1.1 billion over three years in development and humanitarian assistance to address the needs of people affected by the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, and increased our contribution to The Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by 20%, to $785 million from 2017 to 2019.

The international aid commitments that the government has recently made are a reflection of our desire to help implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We have leveraged our significant commitments to encourage other donors to dig deeper. During the event hosted by our Prime Minister in Montreal last September, donors pledged over $12.9 billion over the next three years to the fifth Global Fund Replenishment Conference to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. This is a tremendous global commitment to end the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria once and for all.

Under the leadership of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, we launched a review of Canada’s international assistance, including development, peace, security and humanitarian aid.

This means that we are reviewing what we do, where we are targeting our efforts, our operating practices, and the partnerships we must forge to make our contribution.

At the core of our review is a commitment to refocus our assistance on the poorest and the most vulnerable, including in fragile states. We will channel our efforts on advancing the empowerment of women and girls as powerful agents of change. By investing in their social, economic, and political empowerment, we can promote dramatic and positive change in the lives of entire communities.

3 things - Gould with adult

Burlington MP Karina Gould listening to a constituent.

As a recent UNDP report highlighted, the future of the world will depend on us doing everything in our power to ignite the potential of a 10-year-old girl today. That commitment to a feminist and human rights-based approach will also be a catalyst for achieving all 17 goals of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

To ensure that we get this right, we consulted broadly and transparently with Canadian and international partners, seeking to build on areas of Canada’s success, examine evidence and best practice, and strengthen the partnerships, mechanisms, and tools needed for improved delivery on the ground. More than 15,000 Canadian and international stakeholders in over 60 countries took the time to contribute to these consultations. I thank them for their thoughtful, engaging responses.

We know that the global development and security context has changed and Canada’s international assistance needs to adapt to this new reality. In our response to crises in the Middle East, we are ensuring that our security, humanitarian, and development assistance is part of an integrated response in the region.

To move forward, the Government of Canada will need to forge new partnerships with Canadians, NGO partners, international organizations, research institutions, and the private sector to ensure that the best ideas and minds are brought together to develop innovative solutions to the most enduring problems. We will need to look beyond official development assistance and make use of different types of financial flows to overcome financing gaps.

Most important, we will continue to engage with stakeholders and local populations, including the poorest and the most vulnerable, to ensure that their voices are heard and form part of the decisions that affect their lives and livelihoods. In the coming months, we look forward to sharing our new international assistance vision that will support Canada’s engagement on the world stage, thus contributing to a more stable and prosperous world for all.graphic04

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Public meetings to determine just how many high schools the city will have begin Thursday evening.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 6th, 2016



It is almost as if each side was talking about something very different.

The Halton District School Board Director of Education Stuart Miller is explaining why some high schools have to be closed while parents feel their community will be torn apart if that happens.


Director of Education Stuart Miller during a phone in Q&A session – it was not an easy night for him.

Miller’s job is to deliver the best high school experience he can to every student. And by best he means course selections that allow a student to take the courses that will prepare them for the work force, community college or university.

There are many more course offerings available these days but the number of hours a student can spend in a classroom has not changed.

In larger high schools there can be several course “session”. A court session is the number of times a subject can be offered. Grade 10 Algebra can be offered several times in a large school so that students who have an interest in some other course at the same time as one grade 10 algebra course is being offered can take the class at another time.

Setting up these schedules is a mammoth undertaking which the Board seems to handle quite well. The problem is that in order to offer a particular subject at several different times there has to be teachers available; in order for there to be teachers there have to be students – and enrollment at several of the city’s high school is decreasing.

Miller has a serious problem, and as Director of Education he was required to advise the publicly elected trustees that he “has a problem”.

Miller did that and the trustees decided to do a Program Accommodation Review.

Miller’s ability to deliver the program he believes is necessary is impacted by a number of factors

The availability of the required courses
Ability to schedule courses so that students can access them
Variety of course types – this refers to the different pathways a student decides to take through their high school experience
The variety of optional area courses
The variety of classroom activities – extracurricular

Courses are more likely to be taught by teachers with subject specialization
And access to the supports and services needed to deliver program

Miller explains that with larger schools there is greater variety of courses and pathways possible, and he
recognizes there are benefits to smaller schools where the staff are able to get to know students better.

There are teachers at Bateman High that would like to see this much effort IN the classroom. The football players take their message to the streets.

Bateman high school students protesting when it looked like their football season was going to be cancelled several years ago.

Students have a better chance of making it to one of the sports teams; there is less pressure on physical space – gym, library.  There is a higher ratio of service staff to students for Guidance, Special Education, and Library which Miller points out increases the Boards costs.

Parents expect all the things Miller is required PLUS they want a school that is more than a collection of classrooms – they want and expect the school to be an integral part of the community.

At the high school level in Burlington this is really pronounced with Nelson and Central. Would anyone dare close Nelson high school in this city? Not if they wanted to live a full life.

Central wears its history proudly – it is on every wall in every hallway that isn’t taken up with lockers.  It is a school complex where a child can go from kindergarten to high school graduation in the same location.  There are some that don’t see this as a plus.


Central high school’s history is spread throughout the building.

Some fluff off this ”neighbourhood” part of a school as an emotional attachment to the parent’s student days and it is to some degree that is true. It is also cultural – and without culture you don’t have a community.

One of the things that makes the Burlington Teen Tour band the success it is goes back to the days when the parents were in the band. The number of couple that met in BTTB and later married is astounding. This is family to them and explains a large part of the success of that organization.

High schools are quite a bit bigger and require more in the way of management skills.

What seems to be lacking is a fuller, shared understanding on the part of the education bureaucrats as to just what the issue is – and unfortunately there is now some “us against them” creeping into the dialogue.

The Board hasn’t helped when it dumped a 147 page document, School Information Profiles that tells you more than you will ever want to know about any of the high schools on parents. The document has data on the schools condition; its utility costs, walking distances and courses/programs offered at each school.

Great data – but where are parents supposed to find the time to do the review and analysis needed to get a fix on just what it is they are dealing with? It is a pretty safe bet that the school board trustees don’t have a full grasp of the data that relates to the school they are responsible for.


Former Central high school principal Terry Ruff explaining to parents what the review was like when he went through one in 2000.

What the Gazette is seeing is a very focused and committed group of parents from Central high school organizing at several levels – with little seen at the other high schools so far. What they have not fully grasped is that every high school is at some risk.

Thursday is the first of the seven meetings of the Program Accommodation Review Committee that will take place during this long drawn out process are:

PARC Working Meeting #1
January 26, 2017

PARC Working Meeting #2
February 2, 2017

PARC Working Meeting #3
February 9, 2017

Public Meeting #2
March 2, 2017


Notes taken during one of the early parent meetings at Central high school.

PARC Working Meeting #4
March 23, 2017

Director’s Report to Committee of the Whole
March 29, 2017
J.W. Singleton Education Centre
2050 Guelph Line

Public Delegation Night
April 18, 2017
J.W. Singleton Education Centre
2050 Guelph Line

Presentation of Report to Board of Trustees for Decision
May 17, 2017
J.W. Singleton Education Centre

It is going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

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Joe Dogs to host a Silent Auction to help keep Central high school alive. December 13th

Event 100By Staff

December 6th, 2016



Tuesday, December 13th from 7-11 pm – Joe Dogs!


It could well be a night to remember!

Central high parents are working with the guys that run Joe Dogs to host a silent auction to raise money to support the parents with their fight to keep Burlington Central High open.

They would like as many people as possible to join them to show your support; invite all your friends too! Let’s make this the best fundraiser ever!

There will be a special appearance by singer Dania Thurman and guitarist Anesti K who will be providing entertainment so come on out, bid and enjoy!!

Thanks again and hope to see you all soon!

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Lawn signs, petitions, parades and several committees digging out data to present to the PAR Committee December 8th. Central high - fighting for its life.

News 100 greenBy Staff

December 5th, 2016



Sometimes a local merchant will support something a local group is doing. But you don’t often see four of the major local watering holes saying they are behind you and then agree to take in your petition so people can sign the document while they are in the bar

#centralstrong, the Central high school parents group that wants to convince the school board trustees that Central high school should remain open did what any group does – put together a petition and go door to door to get it signed.

You miss a lot of people and there usually isn’t time to double back.

#centralstrong came up with the idea that they would ask local hospitality operations if they would take a copy of the petition and let people sign it.


They are certainly getting the message out. Central high parents and students in front of the provincial legislature.

Here is how the spokespeople, Dania Thurman and Lynne Crosbie put it: “A big thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who hit the pavement collecting signatures for our petition. If we missed you and you would like to sign the petition, I have some great news! We have some fantastic support from some of our downtown businesses who have offered to have our petition available for you to drop in and sign.

We are hoping that you will support these businesses like they are supporting us by stopping in for a drink or a meal when you are there sign the petition and show these establishments some BCHS love!

Remember to say thank you!


Queen’s Head – just one of the local watering holes that keeps a copy of the Central high school petition ready for you to sign.

Joe Dogs


The Dickens

The Queens Head

Wendel Clark’s Classic Grill and Sports Lounge new - yellow

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Chief of police has issued a get tough order - wants the drunk drivers off the road.

Crime 100By Staff

December 5th, 2016



Only days after the launch of the province’s annual Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (R.I.D.E.) Program, the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) reports that it continues to respond to impaired driving incidents in Burlington, Oakville, Milton, and Halton Hills.


Halton Regional Chief of Police Stephen Tanner cracking down on those who drink and drive.

Chief Stephen Tanner once again explains that “Impaired driving is a direct threat to the safety and well-being of all road users. We continue to take an aggressive, zero tolerance approach to dealing with it and strongly encourage members of the public to do the same.”

Signs of an impaired driver may include:

– A vehicle moving too fast, too slow or that fluctuates greatly in speed;
– A vehicle being driven erratically or that is not maintaining its lane;
– A vehicle whose driver blatantly disregards traffic signals or other rules of the road.

Follows are examples of impaired driving occurrences officers have processed region-wide in recent days:

1 District (Milton and Halton Hills): On November 26, a citizen reported a vehicle travelling erratically in Milton. The vehicle was located parked in a nearby lot a short time later. There, officers observed a male slumped over in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition. Numerous attempts were made to rouse the 39 year-old man before he woke up and was instructed to exit the vehicle. The driver displayed multiple signs of impairment. Results of breath tests indicated a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 3.5 times the legal limit. He has been charged with Care and Control while Impaired and Care and Control – Over 80mgs.


RIDE program – it works as much as a deterrent than anything else. Calls from the public really help.

2 District (Oakville): On November 27, a citizen contacted HRPS to report a suspected impaired driver. Responding officers located the vehicle in the drive through of an Oakville restaurant. The 25 year-old driver displayed numerous signs of impairment, and was transported to the station for a breath test which revealed a BAC of close to double the legal limit. He faces charges of Impaired Driving – Over 80mgs.

3 District (Burlington): On November 29, police received numerous calls reporting that a vehicle had struck a fence and fled the area. The vehicle was located a short distance away and the driver was arrested for impaired driving. Subsequent tests revealed that the 26 year-old driver had a BAC of 1.5 times the legal limit. He was charged with Impaired Driving – Over 80mgs.

Notice that all these situations are the result of vigilant citizens calling the police – keep it up.  They are also the result of someone somewhere serving someone far too much alcohol.

The public are reminded that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a crime in progress and to call 9-1-1 immediately to report a suspected impaired driver.

The police service’s Twitter and Facebook accounts should not be used for this purpose; they are not monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Details on the public meeting about possible high school closures in Burlington.

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 5th, 2016



This is the first time the public gets to have a say on what the Board of Education has to decide next May – which is: Do high schools get closed and if yes –which high schools get closed.


Burlington’s Central high school has been targeted for possible closure. A very strong community push is taking place to keep it open – they are up against a structure that is dated and needs a lot of help to be brought up to standard.

The Halton District School Board is hosting the first of several meetings at which the public gets an opportunity to speak

The meetings are a part of the Burlington Secondary School Program and Accommodation Review (PAR) which will take place on Thursday, December 8, 2016. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the New Street Education Centre, 3250 New Street, Burlington.


Gary Allan school located on New Street just west of Cumberland. Watch for the entrance to the parking – easy to miss.

The meeting is open to the public; they would appreciate your pre-registering so they can plan for this meeting.

The Pre-registration Form is posted on the Halton District School Board website:

The focus of this public meeting will be to gather individual input on the framework, which is organized around the following four themes:

Theme 1: Programming and Enrolment
Theme 2: Physical state of existing schools
Theme 3: Geographical and transportation issues
Theme 4: Fiscal responsibility and future planning


Very little is being hard from parents at Pearson high school. It’s almost as if they have thrown in the towel. The loss to the community is a day care centre that is second to one in the city.

The meeting will be interactive. A presentation from the Board will be followed by a questionnaire divided into four 20-minute segments focusing on a distinct topic. Each attendee may offer input through use of an electronic ‘clicker’. Each segment will conclude with a discussion.

The 25+ members of the PARC met as a group last Thursday. That meeting was closed to the people. The objective of the meeting was for the participants to get to know one another – most of these people had never met each other. They were introduced to the Chair Scott Podrebarac and met the person who is going to facilitate the meetings.


While Central and Pearson high schools were recommended for closure by Board of Education staff there are other schools that are at risk. Those not at risk are Aldershot, Hayden, Nelson.

The Board of Education hired people from Ipsos Reid, a leading market research firm to do the facilitation – and market research is really what these meetings are about. A tough decision has to be made – there are more than 1800 empty seats in the high school classrooms in Burlington. That is not sustainable – the Director of Education has to prepare a report which he will submit to the trustees and they will decide what gets done.

Between now and that decision date next May  2017, there is a lot of work to be done and the Board of Education staff – and the trustees, want to know what the public has to say.

Meeting agenda:

6:45-7:00 p.m.- Arrival and check in
7:00 p.m.- Opening remarks and explanation of the event
7:05 p.m.- A Presentation by Chair of the PAR Committee (Scott Podrebarac)
7:15 – 8:15 p.m..- Electronic questions, and discussion based on themes.
8:35 p.m.- Further discussion led by attendees
8:50 p.m.- Summary
9:00 p.m.- Event concludesgetting new - yellow

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