Province announces a review of OMB's role - public meeting dates set.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 17th, 2016



Burlington has an almost symbiotic relationship with the Ontario Municipal Board – at times city hall’s Planning department must feel they are joined at the hip with the OMB.

ADI rendering from SW

Nautique – an ADI group development is one of the development projects that is now before the OMB.

There are many in the municipal sector that would like to see the OMB abolished – it was formed in 1906; there were some very good reasons for keeping the Board which may no longer apply.

Ontario Proposing Changes to Ontario Municipal Board to Improve Efficiency and Accessibility: Province Seeking Public Input on Board’s Scope and Process

The Ontario government sees a continuing need for the OMB in Ontario’s land use planning system. That is why they are exploring changes to make sure that the Board’s role is appropriate, open and fair.

Through the OMB Review, the government will consider the Board’s scope (what it deals with) and effectiveness (how it operates) to determine improvements with respect to how the Board works within Ontario’s broader land use planning system.

The province is undertaking a comprehensive review of how the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) operates and its role in the province’s land-use planning system to help make it more efficient and more accessible to all Ontarians.


Former Burlington Director of Planning wrote the text book on how the OMB works. Now he is the Executive Chair of the ELTO that oversees the OMB.

Environment Land Tribunals Ontario is a cluster of five boards including Assessment Review Board (ARB), Board of Negotiation (BON), Conservation Review Board (CRB), Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) and the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)

The OMB’s primary role is adjudicating applications and appeals under various land use planning statutes.

The Executive chair of the ELYO is Bruce Krushelnicki who was until a number of months ago the Director of Planning for the city of Burlington.  How the city managed to let a good one get away is beyond many people in the province.

The OMB plays a central role in Ontario’s land-use planning process as an independent, public body through which people can appeal or defend land-use decisions that affect their property or community.

Ontarians wishing to participate in the consultation may submit comments online or in person at one of the town hall meetings being held across the province this fall.

Registration and an open house will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The town halls will begin at 6:00 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m.

Oakville, November 3, 2016
Oakville Town Hall, 1225 Trafalgar Road
RSVP date: October 30, 2016

Hamilton, October 24, 2016
Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Resurrection, 821 Upper Wentworth Street
RSVP date: October 21, 2016

RSVP on line:

Email at

For matters of registration you can call 416-585-6014 or 1-855-776-8011

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The latest scam - the old COD trick. Three local commercial operations got stung.

Crime 100By Staff

October 17th, 2016



We sometimes wonder why the crooks with these innovative ideas don’t just go out and get good jobs – they would seem to be smart enough.

Maybe it’s because too many decent people get sucked in.

Here’s the latest one:

In the last two weeks Halton Regional Police Service has received three complaints for a package delivery scam in the Halton Region.

The suspect will call a small business and claim to be from a neighbouring business and asking the victim to sign and pay for an urgent package they are expecting but unfortunately cannot be around to collect themselves. They claim that they will pay back the victim as soon as they can get back to collect the package.

A short while later a male will show up with a boxed package for delivery and collect the COD fees and leave the store. It is not until sometime later after the neighbouring business doesn’t show up that it is discovered that the package is just an empty box weighted with used magazines and the victim is out the cash given for the delivery.


Police are looking for this young man. Seen him?

Police are hoping to identify the male pictured below and asking anyone with information to contact the Halton Regional Police Fraud Unit or if they wish to remain anonymous to call Halton Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), through the web at or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637(crimes)

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When gambling becomes a problem - get help - it's available.

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 17, 2016


Approximately 3.4 per cent of Ontarians have a moderate to severe gambling problem. This means that about 26,500 adults in the City of Hamilton and Halton Region are estimated to be negatively impacted.


You’ve lost it all – now what do you do? Help is available.

Many of these people think they will win big. The truth is that some will gamble to the point that they damage their finances, relationships and health. Problem gambling can be financially and emotionally devastating for the individual involved and the most important people in their lives.

“When gambling becomes a source of worry or stress, it’s important to listen to yourself”, says Jon Kelly, CEO, Responsible Gambling Council. “Ignoring changing feelings potentially puts both you and the people you care about at risk.”

The good news is that paying attention to how you feel about your gambling is the first step to early detection of a potential gambling problem.

Having mixed feelings about your gambling? If so, listen to yourself

If your gambling has stopped being fun and has become a source of stress and worry, it’s time to take a break and reflect.

Anxiety, guilt or frustration are common early warning signals that, if ignored, can lead to a potential gambling problem. The consequences of which can be emotionally and financially devastating not just for you but also for your family and friends.

During Problem Gambling Prevention Week, which runs in the City of Hamilton and Halton Region from October 17th to October 23rd, RGC is urging people to listen carefully to how they feel about their gambling.

What are some early signs of a potential gambling problem:

• Feeling guilty, anxious, frustrated or worried about your gambling.
• Thinking or talking about gambling more than usual.
• Gambling more to win back losses.
• Experiencing extreme highs from gambling wins and extreme lows from gambling losses.
• Getting irritated more easily or having less patience when dealing with normal, everyday activities.


The thrill of the horses thundering towards the finish line is one thing – the money you blew on a ticket that didn’t win is another.

What to do when you have mixed feelings:

• The most important thing is to listen to yourself and recognize that these feelings are there for a reason. When they arise, take a break from gambling and do something else. Get back to those other activities that you enjoy.
• Set a betting limit to what you can comfortably afford to lose and stick to it.
• Never chase losses by gambling more to win back lost money or get out of financial trouble. This usually leads to even greater losses.
• Set a time limit for your gambling and, when it’s reached, walk away.
• Bear in mind that gambling is not a way to make money. Virtually all people with gambling problems hold the false belief that they are due for a big win. That belief can feed the development of problems.

How to get help

There is free and confidential help available for those who feel they may have a problem. You can find contact information for local resources at or you can call the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline 1-888-230-3505.

For more about the emotional and behavioural signs to watch for and how to protect yourself, go to


They are the reverse of an ATM – you just keep putting money in.

Residents in the City of Hamilton and Halton Region can access local help at:

• Burlington: ADAPT (The Halton Alcohol, Drug, & Gambling Assessment, Prevention and Treatment Program – 905-639-6537 or 1-866-783-7073
• Hamilton: Alcohol, Drug & Gambling Services (ADGS) City of Hamilton, Public Health Services – 905-546-3606
• Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline – 1-888-230-3505

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to problem gambling prevention. RGC works to reduce gambling risks by creating and delivering innovative awareness and information programs. It also promotes the adoption of improved play safeguards through best practices research, standards development and the RG Check accreditation program. RGC is committed to bringing together all perspectives in the reduction of gambling problems, including those of people with firsthand experience with gambling problems, gaming providers, regulators, policy makers and treatment professionals.

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Burlington entrepreneur recognized as one of the brightest under 30's in Canada.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 17, 2016



A Burlington entrepreneur, 27-year-old Eric Rodgers, Co-Founder of a Burlington Digital Marketing Agency has been chosen as one of the best and brightest young Canadians under 30 by Canada’s Marketing Magazine.


I didn’t know how to dress,” says Rodgers, 27. (That’s changed: with a lightly polka-dotted shirt, Hugo Boss jeans and loafers, he has the Silicon Valley uniform down cold.) “Once we got going, I got used to speaking at higher and higher levels (of executives). I’m more open now among clients.”

At 21, Rodgers and industry veteran Don McNeil identified a gap in the market for precise digital marketing based almost solely on measurable data. With a focus on full user journeys instead of last-click attribution modeling, they went on to form Direct Access Digital in 2011. Both were keen to adopt new analytics models, participating in all available marketing platform betas with an interest to drive new business at the lowest cost per acquisition for clients like BMO, Lowe’s, Rona, and Enercare.

Eric Rodgers is no stranger to receiving awards, he was the first Canadian to win Google’s prestigious Google Search Excellence Award in 2014. The award is only given out to two Canadian’s a Year – amazingly, Rodgers won it again in 2015.

BMO’s CMO of Canadian Banking and Wealth Management, Betsy Chung says, “Whenever I have an issue or literally a business problem to face, he’s one of the few I would pick up the phone and ask, ‘How do consumers behave from what we know of how they purchase?’”

Rodgers’ says, “The early days were stressful, I was literally one of two guys sitting on either side of a desk. We focused on optimizing every marketing dollar spent just as we do today, that’s been our winning model. The model that, like Google, continues to change at a rapid rate and includes more tactics and platforms like Programmatic, Rich Media and SEO.”

With a father who worked in IT, Rodgers says he was attracted to technology at an early age, building his first computer at the age of 10. At Geosign, he essentially turned a summer job into an apprenticeship in selling and buying traffic from Google. By 19 he was managing a team of seven who in some cases were twice his age. After meeting McNeil at another job post-Geosign, the two believed there was a gap in the market for an agency built around what it calls “math men (and women” rather than Mad Men.)

Direct Access Digital’s team has grown to 30 brilliant digital marketers and is always looking for more engaged talent.

Rodgers shares the award with the Schulich School of Business, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Ela Veresiu, SnapChat’s Senior Account Manager, Alanna Glicksman, Facebook’s Client Services Manager, eCommerce, Vino Jeyapalan, McDonald’s Digital Social Engagement Manager, Rashel Hariri and 25 other young Canadians.

What was equally interesting is that among the 30under30 that were recognized as some of the brightest – there were more women than men.  The times they are a changing.

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If you go to the Habitat for Humanity Restore between now and the end of the month - they will get a $1 donation for every transaction done. Go now!

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 17th, 2016



Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore is going to get a $1 donation for every ReStore transaction from October 17 to October 31st.

habitat-restore-locationThose funds will help more families build strength, stability and self-reliance through affordable Habitat for Humanity homeownership.

The donation is coming from Proctor & Gamble and Swiffer, one of their products.

With nearly 100 locations across Canada, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores are home and building supply stores that accept and resell quality new and used building supplies, home furnishing, appliances and décor. Habitat’s ReStores accept donations of secondhand, overstocked and discontinued items, as well as salvageable building materials donated by manufacturers, stores, contractors and individuals. Proceeds fund Habitat for Humanity operations and homebuilding projects in communities across the country.

To provide additional incentive, Swiffer is also giving out a free Swiffer Duster with all purchases while supplies last.

The funds generated through this campaign will be used towards Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga’s ongoing builds in Burlington, Acton, Georgetown and Mississauga. Once complete, the project will enable more families than ever before to partner with Habitat for access to affordable home ownership.

Habitat for Humanity’s first ReStore was opened in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1991. Today, there are almost 100 locations across Canada and almost 1,000 worldwide generating funds to support the work of Habitat for Humanity. It’s estimated that Habitat’s ReStores in Canada have been directly responsible for the construction of 1,200 Habitat for Humanity homes and in excess of 250,000 tonnes of material being diverted from landfills.

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Province announces plan to limit the amount of groundwater that can be taken by bottling companies.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 17th, 2016



It is not often that we see a media release from the provincial government that follows comments made by one of our columnists.

Ray Rivers wrote about the amount of water the Nestle corporation takes out of aquifers in the province.  A couple of minutes after publishing the column we received the following media release.

Ontario Taking Action to Protect Clean Water : Province Proposes Two Year Moratorium on New and Expanded Water Bottling Operations

Ontario is taking action to protect the province’s water resources for future generations by proposing a two-year moratorium on new or expanded water takings from groundwater by bottling companies, as well as stricter rules for renewals of existing permits.

The proposed moratorium is the first of a number of steps the province will be taking to further protect Ontario’s clean water. It will apply to every water bottling facility that takes groundwater and is required to have a permit under the Ontario Water Resources Act. Proposed rules would reduce the duration of permit renewal applications from 10 years to a maximum of five years, as well as require increased public transparency, new operating guidelines, mandatory reductions on water taking during drought and further scientific studies.

As part of Ontario’s ongoing efforts to protect its water resources, the government is also closely examining how pricing and other tools could be used to help manage and protect the province’s water resources, and will provide an update later this fall.

While the proposed moratorium is in place, Ontario also plans to:

• Undertake research to improve understanding of groundwater in Ontario
• Review existing rules for adequate protection of groundwater for future generations
• Receive public input and feedback on Ontario’s current groundwater permitting process and groundwater management moving forward.

In the face of climate change, population growth, increasing water consumption and drought, concerns around water security have risen. Ontario’s ongoing plan to protect groundwater resources is essential to the health and integrity of the province’s ecosystems and communities.

Managing our water resources responsibly is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

That’s almost what Ray Rivers had to say – wasn’t it?

Ontarians can comment on the proposed two-year moratorium through the Environmental Registry until Dec. 1, 2016.

Link to the |Rivers column.

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Ontario is having a very vigorous conversation about water: who can take it and sell it..

“Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.”
(The Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Samuel Taylor Coleridge).

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 17th, 2016



Take Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, something which the devastating hurricane Matthew just did. And what sad irony! Because only days before, environment officials from these two provinces walked out of a meeting on climate change. They were protesting the federal announcement of a national carbon tax, refusing to accept the easiest path for reducing climate changing emissions. So when NS and NL got hit by flooding, an apparent consequence of global warming, their walk-out became more like myopia or stupidity than irony.


Bottled water production line.

In Ontario we are having a very different conversation about water. Nestlé S.A, the world’s largest food and drink company is a massive transnational corporation with 447 factories, operating in 194 countries and employing over three hundred thousand. Already the second largest global water bottling company, with extensive operations near Guelph, it has just won access to another aquifer out bidding a small municipality near Elora.

In total, 1.4 trillion litres of water are extracted from ground water sources in Ontario every day. But only a fraction is returned into all the aquifers, especially the water from those plastic bottles. Between 2011 and 2015 the aquifer at Nestlé’s bottling plant in Aberfoyle dropped by 1.5 metres. And their continued pumping has become a major issue for a growing City of Guelph, which also relies on that aquifer for its water. And now the emerging sprawl community of  Middlebrook near Elora, has lost its water source to the same corporation which could be allowed to pump as much as 1,300 litres per minute from the 110 meter deep artisan well.


The citizens of Elora fear they are the next source of water that the Nestle Corporation is looking at.

I’m not one of those generally opposed to the bottled water industry. Water coolers, which have been around forever, provide a healthy alternative to caffeine, in addition to offering a location for office gossip. And there are places where clean water only comes in bottles, as anyone who has travelled to Asia, Africa or Latin America will attest. But most of the water from the Nestlé bottling works near Guelph, or in Hope B.C. which extracts 265 million litres a day, goes into the North American market. And the water quality here is arguably better coming out of the tap than the bottle.

In part the argument is about money. The company pays just $3.71 per million litres in addition to a renewable five-year permit fee of $75. For that they are entitled to take 3.6 million litres per day. That costs the company less than $15 a day for water which sells for $2.00 or more per 500 ml bottle at the airport.

The bottling process itself can use three times the water that actually goes into the bottle. And the energy needed just to manufacture enough bottles for America’s consumption is the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year. Americans use about 50 billion water bottles a year, the world’s largest users, but only 23 percent of these are recycled. The balance, the equivalent of $1 billion in plastic alone, goes into land-fills, ends up as litter on the land or becomes part of the huge problem of plastic waste in our lakes and oceans.


Demonstrations against Nestle.

Globally, over half of the water bottles out there are just bottled tap water, but that is not what Nestlé is producing. Using ground water, instead of surface water, say from Lake Ontario, places the discussion closer to what is going on in California. That US state is experiencing its fifth dry year in a row, and ground water has become the last resort for agriculture, in particular. Ontario got its taste of drought this spectacular summer, and it wasn’t the first year water started to get scarce.

So the Premier has opened the tap on limiting water taking by the bottling industry, and on making that industry pay a more reasonable price for the resource. After all, is it fair that Nestlé, gets an almost unlimited supply of our water for next to nothing, when we have been coaxed into investing in low flush toilets and other water conservation practices? And do we really need to keep buying all those wasteful water bottles, when so many reasonable alternatives abound?

Editor’s note:  As we went to press earlier today the province released the following statement:

Ontario is taking action to protect the province’s water resources for future generations by proposing a two-year moratorium on new or expanded water takings from groundwater by bottling companies, as well as stricter rules for renewals of existing permits.

Ray Rivers

Ray Rivers

Ray Rivers is an economist and author who writes weekly on federal and provincial issues, applying his 25 years of involvement with federal and provincial ministries.  Rivers’ involvement in city matters led to his appointment as founding chair of Burlington’s Sustainable Development Committee.  He was also a candidate in a past provincial election

Background links:

Hurricane Matthew –    Nestlé –   More Bottles –

Even More BottlesEven Even More – 

Still More – 

And More –    And Finally –     Ontario Challenge –     California’s Drought –

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Lakeshore school area parents get the ball diamond they wanted - raised half the money themselves - city came through with $5000

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 17, 2016



The field has been re-graded, gravel screen laid down between the bases, the pitcher’s mound is no longer a place for water to gather, and home plate can actually be seen.


Pitchers mound and a level field – a bunch of boys made it happen.

There are new benches, the back stop has been replaced and safety fences were installed where the players sit waiting their turn on the field.

The rehabilitation of the ball diamond at Lakeshore Public school got done because a bunch of boys saw an opportunity with a grant program the city announced awhile back.

The getting of the grant for the Lakeshore school ball diamond was driven by Griffin Gervais, a grade five student who depended on his Mother to get him to meetings.

The ball diamond was in pretty rough shape: The grounds needed a serious leveling out – they had little rises and small shallow spots. The bases needed bags that were properly anchored – third base is currently a small hole that collects water.

The back stop is close to being ready to fall down. And the benches are kind of crappy.


Billy the Bandit poses with Griffen Gervais, MP Karina Gould on the left and ward Councillor Marianne Meed Ward.

The project got started when Griffen met Burlington’s MP Karina Gould and asked her if she could help him do something. Gould was about to explain the intricacies of Canada’s separation of powers when Ward 2 city Councillor Marianne Meed Ward happened along, heard about the problem and said she was pretty sure what Griffin and his buddies wanted to do was possible under a program that was being rolled out by the city’s parks and recreation department.

The city had created a Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund that could put up as much as $5000 into a project that is designed to improve a community. The Parks and Recreation people were overseeing the program which meant a lot of paper work

The city had set aside $50,000 for the program last fiscal year and went into communities to talk up the program.


More than 200 people showed up on a bright sunny Saturday.

The objective wasn’t to just improve facilities but to help community’s work as communities where people would gather together and work on a common objective.

It was an amazing day with over 200 people coming out to celebrate. Evelyn Quist, Lakeshore Public principal took part in the festivities.

In Burlington some communities work very well – in others the cohesion needed to make a place work as community hasn’t developed. The Matching fund is intended for a project people want to see done in their neighbourhood.

Backstop Lakesh PS

It was a pretty rough looking ball diamond before Griffen Gervais and his buddies got started.


Proud parents – Griffen Gervais with his Mom Carrie and Dad standing in front of the new backstop.

Griffin project is going to come in at about $11,000 – they applied for the full $5000 from the city and fund raised to pull in the balance.

The community was expected to raise half of the amount needed. That half could be cash, or in kind materials. Any work that people did on the project was counted at the rate of $17.02 for each hour worked. 50% of any professional services that were needed could be included in the budget.

Denise Beard, Manager Community Development, made sure her staff did everything they could to make it work – including finding the insurance coverage needed.

Carrie Gervais, Griffen’s Mother rounded up the quotes needed from the Board of Education. They included $200 for a party in the park to celebrate their success which is all part of the city’s objective. They want people to come together, work together to make their neighbourhoods better places.
Related story:


Lakeshore ball park - matching grant winners

In no specific order: Sawyer Cobham. Scott Rose, Griffen Gervais, Kayden Maslanyk discuss the problems with their ball diamond. They set to work raising the funds to rehabilitate the diamond which was official last Saturday.


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Provincial Liberals get transparent - release their financial statements.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 16th, 2016


Nice to see a political organization that understands transparency.

The Burlington Provincial Liberal Association held their Annual General Meeting last week and did all the usual stuff. Then they did something this reporter has not seen before in this city – they released their financial statements.

Good on them.


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Did city council get hornswoggled on that Lakeshore Road development - watch for the impact that has on other properties along the Road.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 15th, 2016



Did the members of city council get hornswoggled by a couple of small time developers who seem to have succeeded in pulling a fast one?

Lakeshore Rosedale existing house

The ranch style home reported to have been built in the 50’s

There was a piece of property with a large ranch style house that was apparently built for the Newbold family back in the 50’s – specifics on just when the house was built aren’t clear. It fell into dis-repair and was bought by a developer who had plans to put five structures on the site.

Neighbouring property owners had issues with the flow of water in small creeks and the number of units the developer wanted to cram into the space; city council listened dutifully and eventually went along with a three unit development. The people who brought the development to council grumped and complained about how hard it was to make a decent living in the development business and muttered about this being their last attempt to build in this city.

Lakeshore Rosedale 5 lot proposal

First application was for five homes on the site.

Lakeshore - Rosedale 4 lot proposal

Following application was for just four homes on the site. The developer settled for just three – then put the land up for sale.

The ranch style house was torn down and then the property was put up for sale at an eye popping $2,788,000.

The real estate notice described the property as site plan ready, zoned for three single family homes in the 4000 sq. ft. range. Engineering drawings ready with full survey, soil and noise tests completed.


Home torn down – property put up for sale to a builder. Will this one come back to city council for some tweeking and maybe a run to the Ontario Municipal Board for an upgrade?

The value added to the property by those who made the applications was getting it through council and then marketing it to a builder with a reputation for quality work.

That wasn’t what council thought as going to happen when they debated the issue.

Look for some pretty fancy prices for whatever gets build on the land.

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Citizen complaints tell the police where the traffic ticketing is going to be best - this is a wonderful partnership - 117 tickets issued.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 14th, 2016



The Halton Regional Police continue to address the numerous traffic complaints provided from the residents of Burlington each day. Officers from 30 Division follow up on every complaint submitted in order to validate driving behaviors in a specific location throughout the City. Police will then target areas to conduct enforcement.

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

A large number of traffic complaints received by police relate to drivers exceeding the posted speed limits. Officers will continue to target areas throughout the City of Burlington that have been identified as high traffic complaint locations.

Officers conducted a one day targeted blitz around Waterdown Road in the city today due to a number of complaints forwarded by residents of Burlington. As a result of police presence all along Waterdown Road in the City of Burlington, 150 traffic stops were initiated for Highway Traffic Act violations and 117 Provincial Offence Notices were issued.

30 Division Officers will continue to conduct target enforcement throughout Burlington to ensure the safety of all residents using the roadways.

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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Save the date: House Tour organized by Hamilton-Burlington Junior League.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 14, 2016



We have put Thanksgiving behind us – and we will survive Halloween and then set our sights on what we plan to do for the holiday Season.

Someone has asked you to buy a ticket to an event – $25 – $30 if you decide to pay at the door  to visit some homes that have been decorated for the Holiday season – but they can’t tell you where the houses are other than that there are three places you are going to go to; two in town and a third a couple of miles away.

Oh, and you are going to love what to see.  Houses, beautifully decorated houses – and the money is going to a good cause.

You might have figured out by now that you’re being asked to take part in the Junior League of Hamilton – Burlington Annual Holiday House Tour of Distinctive Homes where homes are chosen and made over by creative designers.

They do the whole house – and really give it the “treatment”  The least you are going to come away with are some really smart design ideas.

This year one of the homes in Burlington is a 5,500 sq ft – 4 bedroom, 5 bathrooms set up; the second Burlington home is a 2,400 sq ft – 4 bedroom, two bathroom arrangement.


A home decorated on a previous Junior League House Tour.

The third home is in Ancaster is a 3,200 sq. ft. – 4 bedroom with 4 baths.


Big job – big committee -this crowd organizes the finding of the homes that are part of the tour and then lining up the decorators.

The Junior League has been doing these tours for 34 years. Visitors can tour three gorgeous homes, filled with stunning décor and holiday decorating ideas, and feel good about the fact they’re helping the Junior League to improve the community.

Every year, generous homeowners loan their homes to the Junior League of Hamilton-Burlington (JLHB) and talented design professionals transform them to showcase stunning holiday décor and entertainment ideas.

“Often it’s the little things. Everyone can find ideas for their own home, while on the tour.” says Dianne Brown, co-chair of the 2016 House Tour Committee.

The event is the JLHB’s signature fundraiser that generates the financial resources to help the charitable organization, now in its 80th year, continue to make a lasting impact in the Hamilton-Burlington community.

The committee making this happen is made up of quite a collection of women.


Iris, Annette and Diane – co-chairs of the House Tour Committee

They are looking for people who would like to serve as volunteers at the different house tour locations. This is an opportunity to learn more about the Junior League – sort of a toe in the water approach. Diane Brown would love to hear from you.

Tickets to the event are available on line at:


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Province announces a program to convince you to take the GO train - while you are actually in your car on the QEW.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2016



Not quite sure how to take this announcement from our provincial government – let’s see what you think.

GO train schedules are going to be displayed on highway signs telling commuters when the next train is leaving and how much time you have to get there.

Ontario is introducing a year-long pilot that will use electronic highway signs to show drivers nearby transit information and promote alternative travel options, to help manage congestion and get people where they’re going sooner.


The province appears prepared to go to ridiculous lengths to get you to use the GO trains

On October 17, a sign will be installed on the QEW near Appleby GO station displaying information about upcoming GO train trips departing from that station. The information will factor in the time it takes to drive there, park and catch the next available train. By the end of the year, the pilot will expand to Bronte and Oakville GO stations.

Let me see if I understand this. I am in my car on the QEW, heading east for an appointment or maybe driving to the Rogers Stadium to watch a baseball game. And the sign on the highway is supposed to convince me to hang a right and head for the GO station and take the train instead. Did I get that right?

The media release doesn’t say how much the province is spending on this initiative – nor do they make any mention about how they will measure the success of the idea.

This one has the look and feel of the road diet we put New Street on.

Where do these ideas come from?

Is there something in the water we drink?

Maybe I misunderstood the purpose of this project.


While there may be close to 3000 parking spots – finding an empty one can b a challenge at times.

Reminding me that the GO train is a very good alternative, perhaps even better than driving to get me to the stadium to watch the ball game – and if you know anything about parking prices in Toronto – it is a better alternative.

Telling me that this is a better alternative while I am already in the car. I don’t know about me changing my mind just like that.

The media release did tell me that the Appleby GO station has 2,964 parking spaces. As part of the pilot, technologies will be evaluated that determine real-time parking availability at GO stations. This information could also be displayed on the signs.

The two Jane’s going after the Progressive Conservative nomination to be the candidate for that party are going to have a field day with this one.

Jane McKenna and Jane Micheal have announced they are going after the nomination.getting new - yellow

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Much more to the story about that truck that rolled over with a load of 180 pigs.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2016



There is quite a bit more to the story of the roll-over of that tractor trailer on Wednesday carrying 180 pigs to the Fearmans slaughterhouse.

It took Burlington 35 years to create a memorial to Terry Fox’s remarkable attempt to run from coast to coast raising funds for cancer. He died of cancer before he could complete the run.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) the largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 5 million members and supporters has asked the City of Burlington to erect a 1.5 metre “tombstone memorial” at the intersection of Appleby Line and Harvester Road. City spokesperson Donna Kell has said it would get back to PETA in a couple of days.


Fire fighters, police officers and Fearmans staff do as much as they can to get the pigs out of the trailer; 42 to 48 of the pigs are reported to have been killed in the accident. It is not clear if any of the pigs were sent to the slaughterhouse assembly line and entered the food chain.

At the same time the Ontario SPCA is appealing for witnesses as it investigates how the pigs were handled leading to the death of 42 animals.

Deputy Chief Insp. Jennifer Bluhm said initial reports suggested two veterinarians responded quickly after the truck carrying the pigs rolled at 7 a.m. Wednesday of this week.

The SPCA, which has fielded “numerous” calls of concern, is still probing the incident to decide whether charges are warranted.

Bluhm said “within the next few weeks we should have a better understanding of what caused this and how it was handled and whether or not there were things that should have been handled better or differently,”

Mayor Rick Goldring with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. Will she get re-elected before he faces the electorate and will he win when he does?

Mayor Rick Goldring with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne during Rib Fest several years ago.

Lost in all this is the relationship the city of Burlington has with the hog business. Every year for the past 20 years a Rotary club in Burlington (the city has four of them) sponsors a Rib Fest that has been exceptionally successful in the past where thousands of people fill Spencer Smith Park to chow down racks of ribs – the meat comes from Fearmans.


Ribs are a great fund raiser for a Burlington Rotary.

Rotary is very proud of this event. More than 175,000 people attended the festival in 2016; more than 150,000 pounds of ribs were sold over the course of the four-day event and more than $3 million has been raised for local community organizations and charities over the last 19 years.

The Rib Fest is great for Rotary, very good for the city of Burlington and good business for Fearmans.

Now that there is a bit of a crisis it would be nice to see all the beneficiaries of the pork business at the table working out solutions that will prevent this type of thing in the future.

The Rotary and the “save the animals” crowd have a lot to say to each other.

Obviously a major hydro user and also a company that is well funded and in a postion to grow their operation if the market demand is there.

Fearmans is a major employer in Burlington and a heavy hydro user as well.


Mayor Goldring reading a Proclamation about Burlington becoming a Compassionate city.

Burlington city council, and the Mayor in particular, got four square behind the creation of a “Compassionate Charter for the city. The Mayor went so far as to read out a Proclamation on the city being a compassionate place.

The “save the animals” crowd would like to see that Charter extended to the animals as well.

The SPCA is asking witnesses to call 310-SPCA to provide contact information for follow-up.

Sofina Foods Inc., which owns Fearmans Pork Inc., said Thursday it continues to co-operate with all parties during the police investigation.

“Once they are available, we will review the findings to determine next steps,” spokesperson Daniele Dufour said.

Halton Regional Police hadn’t yet said Thursday what caused the transport truck driver to lose control at the intersection of Appleby Line and Harvester Road.

Dozens of emergency responders — including Health Canada, Ministry of Transportation officials, firefighters and police — helped get the pigs “safely and humanely” off the truck, police said.

But an agency that specializes in animal law is calling for cruelty charges against the slaughterhouse.  Witnesses just outside the Appleby Line plant were disgusted to see injured pigs suffering for hours in the sun without medical attention, said Anna Pippus, a lawyer with Animal Justice.

Animal Justice has pointed to video footage showing pigs being hit with paddles to force them out of the truck.
Injured pigs were stunned with a captive bolt pistol before being taken into the slaughterhouse. The bolts penetrate animals’ skulls and brains, Pippus noted.

It wasn’t clear how many of the 42 pigs died as a result of the crash or were put down because of their injuries, police said.

Dufour said the injured pigs were too badly hurt.

“Except for the hogs that died in the accident, the other hogs were seriously compromised and could not be saved. In all cases, all proper and regulatory procedures were followed in collaboration with the authorities.”

Animal rights advocates, however, don’t buy that, and are outraged the slaughterhouse didn’t allow them to take injured pigs to be rehabilitated in their care.

“I did not understand for the life of me why an injured and otherwise useless, as far as they’re concerned, animal couldn’t be released to sanctuary,” said Steve Jenkins, who owns an animal sanctuary in Campbellville.


Anita Kryncj being placed under arrest for obstructing the police.

The “save the animals” community would appear to have some momentum in raising their public profile.  The leader of  Toronto Pig Save was arrested on the accident site for obstructing the police and is at the same time faces a charge of “mischief” under the criminal code.  What is normally a small matter for the criminal courts has taken up three days of a trial that is now scheduled to last five days.

The Toronto Pig Save group has been watering pigs in transport trucks at the intersection of Appleby Line and Harvest Road during the blistering hot summer days – the same intersection where the transport truck rolled over earlier this week.

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Central high parents group has a new Facebook page - check it out - it will be their prime source for sharing information. Web site to follow,

News 100 redBy Staff

October 13, 2106



central-high-schoolTo a considerable degree the group of parents working to ensure that the Burlington Central High school is kept open are working on the fly. They are nimble, quick to spot the changes that have to be made and, if you ever wanted to see what collaboration is all about – sit in on a couple of their meetings.

If there were any egos to be seen – they got checked at the door.

Most are young professionals who are way past the getting signatures on a petition. These people understand policy and they focused on strategy right from the beginning – they are focused and determined. The smarter people at the school board will want to pay attention to these people – they are the ones that will be coming up with the solutions.

The Facebook set up they are using has been changed – the NEW Facebook address is set out below.

The introduction to the Facebook page says it “was created by the committee of parents/residents and alumni (replaces the Group that was started) to keep the downtown core community informed on the HDSB’s proposal to close Central High School in 2018. The Board of Trustees’ final vote would be in May 2017, and the recommendation to close schools may change based on public input. It is important for us to share info and keep you informed of important meeting dates where you can provide ideas and feedback.”

While the Gazette can report on much of what the group does – their Facebook page will probably be the core source for information on an hour to hour basis. Bookmark it.

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A picture of a baseball player getting a punch in the face used as a fundraiser - good idea or a dumb idea?

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

October 12th, 2016



This didn’t go down very well with at least one parent.

“The Punch” photograph – a signed Odor baseball and Jose Bautista jersey.
Minimum Bid – $150


The picture, the signed baseball and a jersey – they raised $500 for BOMBA – was it appropriate asks a parent?

The silent auction ran for the duration of the Blue Jays – Rangers series – that was just three games wasn’t it?
Well that auction ended and they realized $500

The parent that contacted the Gazette explained that the BOMBA – Burlington Organized Minor Baseball association – administrator sent an email with a link to the auction.

“My 6 year old son has played baseball for the past couple years. I think to promote to baseball players fighting and being punched in the face and then using this incident to raise money for any youth sport is in very bad taste and judgement.

What do you think?”

Indeed what do parents think?

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Parents organize to keep Central High School open.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 12th, 2106



The Halton District school Board recently decided that they needed to look at the number of high schools it would operate in the city of Burlington.

The review becomes necessary when the number of students in the school falls below a specific number – 65% of the schools capacity.

The school board staff set out a list of 19 options; the 19th was the one chosen for a review. The decision to do a review is made by the trustees.


Parents packed a meting Room at Wellington Square United Church – they will be doing that frequently in the next nine months.

Last night more than 60 parents met at the wellington Square United Church in a room that was packed and decided what they wanted to do about any possible closure of the Burlington Central High school.

They got an overview of what happened in 200 when Terry Ruff was the newly appointed principal at the high school learned that he might have to close the school. Ruff, a Burlington native, was also a Central high school graduate. They managed to beat back the idea of closing the school then – the community faces that same issue 16 years later.

These parents are not going to go quietly into the night. The meeting was to begin the process o getting themselves organized. They set up four committees:

Executive/Organizing committee: set agendas/meetings; includes Team leaders
Strategy Team
Logistics team: volunteer intake & assignment; coordinate topic Teams
Fundraising/Communications Team (social media, GOFundMe)

The following four people from the high school parent council are:

Michael Kukhta – Neighbourhood Meeting Facilitator/ BCHS Council Chair
Lynn Crosby – Neighbourhood Meeting C0-Facilitator/ BCHS Council Secretary
Dania Thurman – Neighbourhood Meeting Facilitator/ BCHS Council Vice-Chair
David Sykes – Neighbourhood Meeting Facilitator/ BCHS Council Treasurer

Where are they at and what are they up against?
Dropping enrolment and other factors trigger a proposal for a Program & Accommodation Review (PAR) for all Burlington secondary schools.

The HDSB Director of Education gets staff to write a report to which is given to the elected Trustees recommending that a PAR be undertaken. Of the 19 options in the report staff recommended using Option #19 as starting point for discussions.


Burlington central High school was seen as being very close to the point where there are not enough students to justify keeping it open – parents think the numbers the board is using might be suspect.

Option #19 recommends closing Burlington Central High School, and Pearson High School.

Close BCHS; students west of Brant St redirected to Aldershot HS; students east of Brant St redirected to Nelson HS

Close Pearson HS; students redirected to MM Robinson HS, including those in Late French Immersion program

French Immersion eliminated from Dr Frank Hayden SS: FI students north of Upper Middle Rd redirected to MM Robinson HS

New FI program started at Robert Bateman HS: FI students south of Upper Middle Rd attending Hayden SS redirected to Bateman HS; FI students east of Appleby Ln attending Nelson HS redirected to Bateman HS

English program students south of Upper Middle Rd attending Hayden SS redirected to Bateman HS

The parents at Central high school, with very strong support from their municipal councillor Marianne Meed Ward are opposed to closing their high school.

The trustees were given the report on October 5th. On October 19th the trustees vote on whether to undertake a PAR.  Assuming they do, a  PAR Committee (PARC) Established on December 1st.

That committee will include:

Trustee from outside Burlington
Superintendent from outside Burlington
Principal or designate from each affected high school
Two parents/guardians from each affected high school

Once PARC is formed, municipal councillor or delegate is invited

HDSB staff are available as resources from specific HDSB departments including (not limited to): School Programs, Special Education, Human Resources, and Planning.

The goal the Central high school parents have set out for themselves is to participate fully in the Program & Accommodation Review, including HDSB Trustee meetings (Oct. 19 – vote on PAR; April 18 – public delegation meeting, May 3, May 17 – decision date) and public meetings (Dec. 8; March 2). Final report ready: March 29, 2017


Boiling all this down to the five key points is going to take a lot of work – the parents appeared to be up to the task if their first meeting is any indicator.

Throughout the process they intend to make their case that Central high school should be kept open. They will be collecting their own data and evidence and first-hand knowledge and stories

To build their case they are assigning different topics to research/write/present.

The parents are very concerned about Walkability – their want their children to be able to walk to school. They are firm in their belief that much of the data the school board is using comes from outdated statistics; faulty enrolment projections, and a misunderstanding of downtown growth.

They point to the problem in Alton where a band new high school was opened two years ago and is overenrolled due to multiple families living in the same household. The board staff weren’t aware that multiple families were living in the one house.

The parents are suggesting that the data doesn’t always reflect reality on the ground.

The impact on the feeder schools: Lakeshore, Tom Thompson, Central elementary is a concern.

The audience was told that schools cannot be closed in what are defined as Urban Growth Centres in the Provincial Places to Grow plan,

The audience was told that the staff report is thorough and that the focus of the report is on programs for students; heritage is on the list but it didn’t have much in the way of priority.


Former Burlington central High school principal Terry Rugg explained to parents what had to be done in 2000 when the board o education wanted to close the high school.

The parents seemed to be focused on “community” and the role schools play in the creation of community. Central is the only school in the Region that is a K to graduation school – the parents don’t want to lose that feature of their community.

Because it is an older school there are a lot of scholarships and bursaries attached to the school – what would happen to those were the high school to close?

Admittedly, the school could use some upgrading – it is an old school and it needs some help – bu it certainly doesn’t need to disappear.

In 1975 $100,000 was raised by the community to upgrade parts of the school.

Data available to the parents’ points out that household income for the Central high school catchment area is the lowest in Burlington – how are those low income families going to handle the cost of transportation to Nelson or Aldershot?

They point out that the report doesn’t offer anything in the way of a solution on what will happen to the grade 7 and 8 students should the high school be closed.

This is going to be a very active story and one that is critical to what kind of a downtown core community the city is going to have – these parents are not going to sit still and lose their high school.

There will be a web site with all the data and reports. The Gazette will let you know when it is up.

There is a Facebook page with 1500+ people looking in.


Can the parents convince the Board of Education to keep the school open?

The committee has collected $1750 of the 42500 target they gave – these funds will be used to print lawn signs and pay the rental fees for the space they use for their meetings.

What the parents are going to have to watch very carefully is how the Board of Education chooses to interact with them. Tread carefully was the advice given to the meeting.

Central High school is critical to the kind of downtown community the city has – there is a seperate high school a stones throw away.

What doesn’t exist is a committee where the city and the board of Education meet to thresh out issues.  Truth be told – the two organizations don’t get along all that well and tend not to cooperate very well.


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Disband the Cycling Advisory Committee?

There is a boisterous group of people that use the comments section of the Gazette fairly regularly. There are those that don’t yet understand civil discourse and tend towards comments we don’t publish. There are also those who make a significant contribution – one of those came in yesterday and we want to share it with a wider audience.

opinionandcommentBy Steven White

October 12, 2016



Over and above the dubious value of this entire project (the reconfiguration of the traffic lanes on New Street) is the unmistakable fact that it points to the differential input that various groups and organizations had into this project.

Clearly, the overwhelming majority of ratepayers did not support this initiative and that was made obvious prior to the July vote. Despite this, the Mayor and most of Council went ahead and supported it anyway. The Cycling Committee and the folks from Share the Road wanted it, and their vocal support for this measure ensured its passage. The rest of the City now gets to live with the consequences, including a project that is badly designed, bike lanes that won’t be used six months of the year, and a communication process that is sadly lacking.

Bike lanes - New street

The original traffic lane configuration is on the left, the pilot project is shown on the right.

The Cycling Committee is no longer a consultative or educational forum but rather, an advocacy group for cycling and cyclists. This raises bigger questions. 1) Where is the consultative forum in this City for pedestrians, or motorists, etc.? 2) Why is it that one group or one entity has a disproportionate input into the decision-making process? and 3) Where is the Committee to discuss the broader issue of traffic congestion in Burlington?

Not only does the Cycling Committee have a Councillor attending their meetings (i.e. Jack Dennison), but they also have attendees from City Hall who seem hell bent on promoting bike lanes regardless of the expense or consequences. Read the Minutes of their meetings and it becomes evident that there is information shared with the Committee that the average citizen is not privy to. Fair? Hardly.

As a taxpayer I bitterly resent subsidizing advocacy groups. Advocacy groups should not have exclusive, privileged or special access to decision makers, and clearly in this process they did. Education is one thing, advocacy is completely different. (N.B. Read the July 19th Minutes of the Cycling Committee (page 1) and the Chair is admonishing members not to indulge in advocacy).

As part of the many changes at City Hall it’s time to seriously re-think consultative and advisory committees, and this is one group that should be disbanded post haste.

Editor’s note:  On the several occasions I have driven the stretch of New Street between Guelph Line and Walkers Line – there was very, very little traffic disruption – there was just the one cyclist seen during a rush hour.  What the Gazette is seeing is a lot of comment from people who are unhappy about the pilot project and basically nothing from the city in the way of information.  We must add that when a public meeting was held there were very few people at that meeting who were opposed to the pilot project.

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Why no comment or intervention from Fearmans about the tractor trailer loaded with pigs that rolled over last week?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 11th, 2016



The accident now rests with the courts and the regulators but there are a lot of questions being asked about just what went on when that tractor trailer rolled over at the intersection of Appleby Line and Harvester Road last week when a reported 48 pigs died.


Fireman tear back the side of the trailer that was transporting 160+ pigs.


Anna Krajnc being placed under arrest.

The driver of the truck has had two Highway Traffic Act charges laid against him and one of the demonstrators was arrested for obstructing police and for failing to comply with all her bail conditions on the mischief charge she is facing for watering pigs that were in a different trailer on a different occasion but at the same location.

Steve Jenkins, an animal rights advocate who says he understands that pork is a product many people eat and enjoy – his prime concern is how the animals we are slaughtering as a food source and treated humanely – and he argues that those pigs in that truck were treated terribly.

Jenkins wants to know where the Canadian Food Inspectors were. He also asks why there wasn’t anyone from the Ontario society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on the site.  He expects to lodge a formal complaint with the OSPCA.

Fearmans, he said, just did not know how to handle the situation. While it was not inevitable that a truck would roll over at the intersection – it was surely something Fearmans would do something to avoid and, one would expect, they would have cautioned their live pig suppliers to be very careful.

It is a tight turn and done too quickly the pigs that are loose in the truck would shift and change the centre of balance of the truck.

The accident took place shortly after 7:00 am and it was close to noon before the truck was up righted.

In the meantime many of the pigs escaped from the truck that was laying on its side, were injured and had to be destroyed.


Jenkins believes that those on site who had to listen to the pigs squealing for some time are never going to be the same

The video that follows might be very disturbing to some.


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Jane McKenna announces her plan to seek the Progressive Conservative nomination for the Burlington seat in the 2018 election.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 11, 2106



She’s back.

Jane McKenna has announced she will be seeking the Progressive Conservative (PC) nomination for Burlington.

A date has yet to be set for any nomination meeting. The next provincial election is 2018.

The JAne McKenna we saw during the election campaign wore the right Tory blue pin stripe suit and was taught to be earnest and direct with people. The Jane MC Kenna we saw at the Chamber of Commerce breafast had a grip on the numbers that mattered and was capable of being as angry as an opposition MPP is supposed to be.

Jane McKenna in her Tory blue pin stripe suit during the campaign she won the seat.

McKenna won the seat in 2011 when the party chose McKenna over Rene Papin who chose to withdraw from the nomination race and Brian Heagle who apparently got cold feet and decided not to put his toe in the water last time.

McKenna defeated Karmel Sakran in the October 2011 provincial election and went on to become PC leader Tim Hudak’s biggest fan. Sitting on an Opposition Bench McKenna wasn’t able to do all that much for Burlington; in her media release she doesn’t set out a single thing she achieved as an MPP.

McKenna was soundly defeated by Eleanor McMahon in 2014 who can be expected to hold the seat for the Liberals unless the Liberal party collapses – which it might well do.

“I’m seeking the PC nomination to be our next MPP because, like many Burlington residents, I believe we need change at Queen’s Park so families and businesses can look forward to a brighter economic future” said Jane

McKenna in announcing her candidacy for the nomination. “I’m convinced that in the Spring of 2018 the people of Ontario are going to elect Patrick Brown as Premier and a new PC Government at Queen’s Park. Since working with Patrick on his Leadership Campaign, I’ve been able to participate in the revitalization and refocusing of the PC Party. I still see so much work that needs to be done to get Ontario back on track.”

McKenna is a former Director of Business Development at PLAY Advertising and owner of Rainmaker Consulting, a Burlington-based business. As the MPP for Burlington between 2011-2014, she served as Opposition Critic for the portfolios of Economic Development, Trade & Employment; Government Services and Children and Youth Services.

A tired candidate talking to supporters at the end of a long day - when she pulled in 2000+ more votes than the other guy.

McKenna talking to voters after her 20111 campaign.

“In the coming months, I will devote my passion, my energy and my work ethic to listening to the residents of Burlington and earning their confidence.”

The Gazette wondered why McKenna attended the tribute to Domenic Molinaro last week – now we know – she wants to get that nomination.

This time around however McKenna isn’t the only person seeking that nomination.

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