Fire Department has lifted its longest-running open-air burning ban.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 17th, 2016


On July 6, 2016, a fire ban was issued after the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry identified a high fire-risk rating in the Burlington area following prolonged hot and dry weather conditions.  That ban has been lifted.

“The recent rainfall and slightly cooler temperatures factored into the decision to lift the ban,” said Chief Fire Prevention Officer Joe Wintar. “Though the fire ban has been lifted, residents should still use extra caution when burning outdoors.”

Residents that live in designated burning areas with open air burning permits can resume use of open air fires for controlled brush burning and recreational fires.

BBQ on fire

Caution and control should be the approach.

The use of charcoal barbecues at designated picnic areas in city parks is also allowed again. Park users are encouraged to book a permit in advance of their preferred dates. Request a booking online at , call 905-335-7738 or visit for more information.

The Burlington Fire Department will continue to monitor and assess the local wildfire threat and provide updates on city open-air burning restrictions. If you are unsure if a fire ban is in effect, please contact the Burlington Fire Department at 905-637-8253.

For more information about open air burning in Burlington visit:

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Revised|Province promoting the certification of development sites - none in Burlington at this point.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

August 17th, 2015




Media releases that come out of the provincial government will be about creating jobs, doing something about climate change or improving the transportation system.

Getting new employers into a community is the raison d’etre for the people in economic development and there are perhaps 50 communities in the province looking for that company that is ready to move or expand.

Frank McKeown, the fellow hired to do the thinking at the Burlington Economic development Corporation, will tell you that not very many companies move their offices or plants – although International Harvester did move their distribution depot out of Burlington to Hamilton.

Bronte MeAdows - BurlOak side

Bronte Meadows – a large swath of land that borders on Upper Middle Road and Burloak – should it be residential or employment lands?

The province has been putting resources into helping property owners get their land ready for development using what they call a Certified Site Program to help municipalities attract new jobs and investment

The objective is to help municipalities compete globally and attract new jobs and development by enhancing a provincial program that certifies industrial lands as ready for development.

McKeown adds: “We have been aware of this program for some time. The revisions announced reduce the size of the applicable site. Burlington has few sites that it would apply to. We have had little interest. The amounts are so small compared to the cost of land and development that the local market has indicated that it is not that relevant.”

The Investment Ready: Certified Site program can help get projects off the ground faster by marketing sites that have undergone rigorous due diligence to international investors. It gives potential investors easy access to important property information such as availability, completed environmental assessments, utility costs and transportation access.

The Bronte Meadows site, shown in a photograph above has drawn some comment.  Former Mayor Walter Mulkewich commented:  ” Your question re “Bronte Meadows” as to whether it should be “residential or employment” is a provocative question, the answer to which has been clear – that the economic future of Burlington will depend on those lands remaining “employment” as designated many years ago – and which City Council will surely maintain.”

There are those on this city council who are being heavily influenced by the property owners to convert at least some of the land to residential.  Based on what the Gazette sees and hears at council meetings – keeping this land as employment lands is not a certainty.

Ontario is making several changes to the program to make it easier for businesses and municipalities to participate:

Expanding eligibility to include smaller, non-contiguous lands within business and industrial parks, not just large contiguous industrial lands of 10 acres or more

Doubling the amount of eligible certification expenses reimbursed to municipalities, from $25,000 to up to $50,000

Increasing the range of eligible expenses to cover the full certification process, including application, post-certification site changes and marketing activities

Doubling the certification designation, from two to four years

Introducing a pre-application consultation to help provide municipalities with quick answers to questions about the program before applying

Ontario now has 16 certified sites. None of them are in Burlington.

However, McKeown points out that his office has handled 63 site selection responses this year.  About 80% of inquiries are lease opportunities. Hence zoning is a bigger focus for us.”

“We have been trying to create our own “ready to go” model.”

Zoned commercial, spitting distance to the QEW, minutes from downtown - owner wants to rezone and make it residential.

Zoned commercial, spitting distance to the QEW, minutes from downtown – owner wants to rezone and make it residential.

The program recently led to retailer Giant Tiger buying one of these sites in the Township of Edwardsburgh/Cardinal in Eastern Ontario. It is building a 600,000 square foot state-of-the-art distribution centre on the property, which is expected to support up to 300 jobs in the region.

The location of the sites certified to date can be seen on the map. CLICK HERE:

•Ontario has the only province-wide site certification program in Canada. This strengthens the province’s ability to compete with the United States, which has more than 35 certification programs.

• Certified sites are integrated into Ontario’s investment attraction strategy, and receive top consideration for strategic investment opportunities in the province.

• Pre-application consultations for the next intake round are open until December 31, so municipalities can find out more about how to be top-of-mind for potential investors.

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Police communications - an amazing array of equipment with 66 operators serving 24/7 to keep the flow of critical information constant.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

August 17th, 2016


Part 1 of a two part series.

When you pick up the phone and dial 911 – or you call the police station – few people realize just how many wheels begin to turn.

It all gets to the Halton Regional Police Service communications department run by Staff Sergent Dave Cross – who is very quick to tell you that he has an office with a window and ensures the place runs smoothly but adds: “I don’t do a thing on the actual communications work side. I administer the operation and ensure that the 66 people who handle those telephone calls are trained, supported and appreciated.”

They are certainly well trained. Cross explains that everyone is cross trained in everything. This is a 24 x 7 operation. It is always up.
The communications people are tied in very tightly to the Bell system’s 911 call service which is immensely complex.

Supervisors work station

Shift supervisor’s work station – notice the three difference mic on the desk top – can you count the number of screens?

Communications at the HRPS is broken into two parts; those people who handle the incoming calls. Every call to the police comes into the third floor operation at the police headquarters in Oakville. The lights are always dim with the operators, mostly woman, glued to the three, sometimes five, very large computer monitors in front of them and a telephone set with more buttons that you can even imagine.

There are usually two different mouse’s at the ready.

There is very little idle chatter.

On the incoming side the calls that come in are distributed to the first available operator. There are two kinds of calls – a regular telephone call and a 911 call.

Zee map

The operators can pull up maps fr any part of the Region and zoom in to whatever they want – all at the click of the mouse.

A large television screen in a spot on one of the walls where all of the four to six incoming call operators can see it at a glance, tells them how many calls there are in the waiting que. When the board changes to blue they know that a 911 call is waiting.

Operators will put a regular telephone call on hold – they are pretty abrupt at putting a caller on hold and say to the 911 caller – “Do you want the police, fire department or ambulance.”

The moment they know which, they transfer the call. If it is an ambulance call it goes to the Emergency Measures people and often gets passed along immediately to the police detachment as well.

“Sometimes” said Zee, the operator I sat in with for a stretch “a police cruiser is needed to help clear the roadway for the ambulance.”

While sitting in with Zee things were pretty relaxed – then a call from Fearman’s hog processing plant in Burlington about a protestor who had gotten into the property and was pretty close to the hog chute; they wanted her removed from the property.

Zee was talking to both the person from the hog plant and the police cruiser that was on the way.

A call came in a little later about a house in Oakville where the door was thought to be open. When Zee brings up a screen showing all the police incidents in the area she notices that there had been three breaks in in the area. She passes the call along to a police cruiser and then the call gets transferred to the dispatch side of the communications operation

I will come back to the Dispatch people – they do a decidedly different job.

Zee has directed one cruiser on the way to the open house door scene and is in the process of getting a back up car in place as well.
While directing the first police car she gets a call from the police officer asking if she can send someone else to the open house door call and asks if she would run the plates from a car the police officer spotted and was just a little suspicious about. Zee taps a couple of keys and reads out the name of the owner of the car. The police officer asks her to run the name of the owner – a few more key get tapped and Zee is able to tell the police officer that the driver’s name has been has been queried by police in London and a few other surrounding areas. That’s enough for the police officer to know that his suspicions were right and he pulls the driver over.

The people in the communications division have an amazing array of information sources at their fingertips. They can be in touch with other local police forces – they can be in touch with any police service in the province.

Screen upon screen of information is a fingertip away – and their fingers skip across their keyboard in a flash.

Dispatch - not much daylight

The information available to the operator is almost unlimited – and the speed at which they can access that information is close to stunning.

Calls from cell phone are a little harder to work with explained Zee. However, when there is a call from a cell phone she is able to flick to a screen that will show her which cell tower the call came from is located and then see a circle around the cell tower and tells me that “the call came from within that circumference”.

All this information comes up in an instant.

A little later there was a call from a person with an accent that was difficult to understand – but the words Old English kept being heard. Zee goes to the map and keys in the words – and up comes a street name – she has begun to narrow down the location of the caller.

Another operator hearing part of the conversation pips up and adds some information she had on the caller.
When Dave Cross said these people were cross trained – he wasn’t kidding.

An operator will work at a station for a couple of hours and then shift supervisor Terry will switch them around. No one stay at a particular station for a long time – they get moved around.

I sat in with Zee on the incoming call side and with Nicole and Sam on the Dispatch side.

Terry, the supervisor is a woman with one of those voices that lets you know she has a firm grip on the conversation; you know she is going to guide every word of it. That sense that there is someone really in charge but not bossy in charge becomes very clear.

Incoming - clustered

Data on screens and telephone sets with instant links – note the two telephone sets.

Calls on the incoming side involve a lot of what get described as “domestic matters” which can be pretty hum drum but have the capacity to escalate very quickly; the operators listen very keenly to not only the words but the tone. I could almost hear Zee tuning into one callers breathing.

There was a 15 year old calling from Belleville who wanted the Halton police to call her Mother and advise the Mother that she could not throw the daughters possessions out on the street.

It took Zee seconds to realize that she was working with a distraught teenager and needed to work with the Belleville police to ensure they were fully aware of the matter and then with the Burlington detachment to bring them into the picture.

A call from a resident at a community home who said he was told he had to call in and cancel a complaint he had made earlier had Zee looking a little askance at the phone – she asked if she could speak to the person who had instructed him to cancel the call and got passed along to care giver who explained the background.

Police station - new

The new police headquarters – communications will be on the top floor – is scheduled to open July of 2017.

The operators are trained to listen with almost a third ear. They don’t miss much. The quality of the work done by the people I listened to was a lot better than what you hear on some news reports where callers are over excited and very emotional.

Zee was always able to keep the conversation flowing and draw additional information out of a caller – all the while keeping things calm and under control.

The call board goes blue and the number 1 pops up –a 911 call was coming in.

Zee’s body stiffens a bit and she is suddenly all business – her hand goes up telling me not to talk:

“Police, fire department or ambulance – how do you want me to direct this call” she says in a confident voice – she gets some detail and the call gets passed over to the Dispatcher from Oakville and Zee falls back to a supporting role.

What the people on the Dispatch side is covered in our next report to you.


Part 2 – Dispatching police officers.

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Weather playing havoc with baseball finals schedule - hopes for Wednesday.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

August 16, 2016



Weather is playing havoc with Inter County Baseball schedule.

IBL_Horizontal_LogoThe Brantford Red Sox and Toronto Maple Leafs will have to wait another day to decide their quarter-final series after Game 7, scheduled for Tuesday night at Arnold Anderson Stadium in Brantford, was rained out.

The game will now be played Wednesday in Brantford at 8 p.m.

The winner of the series will face London in the other semi-final.

Baycats-Panthers Game 2 rained out.

Game 2 of the IBL semi-final between the Barrie Baycats and Kitchener Panthers scheduled for Tuesday night in Barrie has been rained out.

It’s now slated for Wednesday in Barrie at 7:30 p.m.

The Baycats lead the best-of-seven series 1-0 after taking the opener 8-1 in Kitchener.

The Burlington Bandits were taken out of the playoffs by the Barrie Baycats in the first round.

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Apartment owner fined $30,000 for failing to provide records of various life safety systems and equipment in the building.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 16th, 206



Owners of a Burlington multi-unit residential building, that the city chose not to named were convicted on six counts of failing to comply with the Ontario Fire Code, resulting in fines totaling $30,000.

“Compliance with the Ontario Fire Code is the building owner’s responsibility,” said Fire Chief Tony Bavota. “We work with apartment owners and property managers to educate them on their responsibilities to provide and maintain all life safety equipment in our city’s buildings.”

Lilnan Court

Owners of Lilnan Court apartment building, as yet identified, were fined $30,000 in provincial court.

Earlier this year, the owners of the Lilnan Court apartment building appeared in the Ontario Court of Justice, Provincial Offences Division in relation to these charges that were filed in connection with a fire inspection of the property after a complaint was received.

The inspection revealed several issues including lack of maintenance and failing to provide records of various life safety systems and equipment in the building.

The Burlington Fire Department conducts more than 75 proactive multi-unit residential building inspections each year. Since last spring, the fire department has been working with local apartment owners and managers to create a public safety outreach program that will target 91 high-rise buildings over the next five years. The objective of the program is to educate residents living in condos and apartments about escape planning and reduce the number of preventable fires.

The Gazette will try and dig out the names of the owners. Quite why the information was not made public is difficult to understand – what happened to transparency?

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Terry Fox run route changed due to the rebuild of Lakeshore Road - will begin at pier on September 18th.

News 100 blueBy Alison Webster

August 16, 2016



The road re-building work taking place on Lakeshore Road at Maple Avenue and North Shore Boulevard in Burlington, Ontario, may have many residents wondering what this means for September’s 36th Annual Terry Fox Run, which usually starts at Beachway Park.

The Burlington Terry Fox Committee is proud to announce that for this year’s run, on September 18th, 2016, we will be starting and finishing at The Brant Street Pier, near the Waterfront Hotel at the east end of Spencer Smith Park. The route will remain roughly the same, only the starting point will differ.

These ladies are in the homestretch of the Terry Fox 5k run.

These ladies are in the homestretch of the Terry Fox 5k run.

The Terry Fox Run promises to be the same family-friendly event participants and spectators have come to expect year after year. With face painting, balloon animals, and loads of other fun activities, the Terry Fox Run is not only a great cause, but also a fun annual event that is always a crowd pleaser.

We have music, a performance from the M.M. Robinson Drumline, food, and so much more!

Have you seen the Terry Fox monument yet? If you haven’t, make sure you check it out the morning of the run. Located near Spencer’s on the Waterfront restaurant, at the west end of the park, the monument marks Terry’s run through Burlington on July 13th, 1980. The structure is actually a distance marker, indicating how many kilometres Terry Fox had run by the time he reached this spot on Lakeshore Road.

Fox monument with Brant Inn

A monument put up by citizens to mark a point where Terry Fox paused during his Marathon of Hope run in 1980. The stone marker just to the left is where the famed Burlington Inn was located.

Want to get involved? There are many ways you can participate in The Terry Fox run this fall. You can sign up to run or walk, collecting pledges from family, friends, and co-workers, you can create a team, and set a larger fundraising goal, or you can volunteer and help us make this year the best event yet!

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact the Burlington Terry Fox Run Committee Chair, Craig Gardner at the email address set out below or find our Facebook page to learn more!

Parking will be available in a variety of city parking lots downtown, including the parking garage located on Locust Street. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the 5 and 10k run will start at 9 a.m., with the walkers and groups going at 10 a.m.

Craig Gardner:

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New street to be narrowed to just two lanes of traffic plus a turning lane - bike lanes going in on each side.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 16, 216


New Street, between Guelph Line and Walkers Line is going on a road diet reducing the road from four lanes to three, and adding buffered bike lanes.

“The one-year pilot allows the city to collect data and listen to feedback on whether the painted bike lanes result in a positive experience for people who want to ride their bicycles, while causing a minimal impact for drivers who also need to get where they are going in a timely manner,” said Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring. “Our new 25-year strategic plan identifies investing in convenient, affordable and green forms of transportation for everyone.”

New Street bike lanes - long pic

During a public information meeting the city provided pictures of the different options for they were considering for bike lanes on New Street – bike lanes will be put in on both sides.

New Street currently has two eastbound and two westbound lanes east of Guelph Line. During the one-year pilot road diet, it will have one eastbound and one westbound lane, a two-way left-turn lane and the two bike lanes. City staff will use the year to collect data that includes average speed, number of collisions and cycling usage.

Road marking removal will take place starting Aug. 22 to prepare the roads for lane-painting, which will begin on Aug. 26. The road is expected to be ready on Aug. 27.

“We want to see everyone share the road in Burlington, and ensure that we all get around safely and can enjoy the streets where we live and work,” said City Manager James Ridge.

City Council approved the New Street Road Diet pilot on July 18, 2016. At the same City Council meeting, the Share the Road Cycling Coalition recognized Burlington as a silver-level bicycle-friendly city, an increase from a previous bronze. There are 31 communities in Ontario that are bicycle-friendly, according to Share the Road.

The province’s Book 18: Ontario Traffic Manual defines a road diet as using spare roadway capacity, such as extra lanes, for other modes of travel, such as public transit or cycling. The hope is to encourage a shift in road use to reflect the changes.

“Burlington has put road diets in place in other city locations, including in downtown Burlington on Lakeshore Road and on portions of Guelph Line, Walkers Line and Appleby Line,” said Vito Tolone, director of Transportation. “Our findings are that the number of car crashes is reduced and that there is better interaction between pedestrians, cyclists and the street.”

Chris Ariens, Burlington Cycling Committee said: “New Street connects existing cycle lanes on Walkers Line and Guelph Line to shops, recreation facilities, schools and the Centennial Path. It is a key link in the cycling network in south Burlington. It is our hope that by introducing lanes separated from car traffic—by more than just a painted line—residents will feel safe and comfortable riding their bicycles for more of their daily trips. This pilot project should result in a street that is safer for pedestrians as well as cyclists and motorists.”

James Schofield, Burlington Cycling Committee added: “It’s exciting to see New Street being transformed into a complete street. This reconfiguration gives people more choices to move around Burlington, and makes the street safer for everyone, whether on foot, on a bike, on a bus, or in a car.”

The city did not provide any comment from those who drive New Street on a regular basis.

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Child and family services agency fined $125 thousand for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 16, 2016



Kinark Child and Family Services, an agency providing children’s mental health services and support for children and youth in Halton Region and elsewhere in central Ontario, has been fined $125,000 following a workplace violence incident where a staff member was physically assaulted by a youth.

Syl Apps Youth training centre

Syl Apps Youth Centre in Oakville.

On May 4, 2014, at Kinark’s Syl Apps Youth Centre facility on Iroquois Shore Road in Oakville, a youth worker who had recently started an employment contract on the detention and custody unit for boys was directing a youth to return to his room for the night. The youth became agitated, entered the staff office and repeatedly struck the worker. A co-worker also located in the staff office intervened in the assault and was also injured. Both workers suffered physical and psychological injuries.

Kinark pleaded guilty to failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence or the risk of violence from a resident.

The fine was imposed by Justice of the Peace Liisa Ritchie in Burlington court on August 16, 2016.

In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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What is it with Burlington and beer - still can't get any in the supermarkets.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 16, 2016



It was one of those corporate media releases – filled with an upbeat message and all kinds of promise.

Big Rig Brewery is ecstatic to introduce three beers to grocery stores across Ontario.

Alpha Bomb, Canadian Amber and Salute 1179 will be available in 473mL cans at select grocery stores later this month.

“Having the ability to sell beer in grocery stores across Ontario has been a game changer,” says Lon Ladell, Big Rig Brewery’s co-owner and brewmaster. “It allows us to sell beers to the public that up until now may not have been available in retail spaces outside of our brewery store.”

Alpha Bomb is a 6.2% unfiltered IPA that uses a trio of hops, and is double dry-hopped for a big, fragrant punch. Canadian Amber is a 5.2% amber ale with light malt sweetness and balanced hops to allow its depth of flavour to shine through. And Salute 1179 is a 4% light lager based on the brewery’s Gold Medal-winning pilsner.

Beer in supermarkets

Not in Burlington supermarkets.

“They are all quite different stylistically, but they showcase different strengths of our brewery,” Ladell says. “Alpha Bomb blends multiple hop varieties to craft something greater than the sum of its parts; Canadian Amber is malt-forward, balanced and accessible; and Salute 1179 is an incredibly refreshing craft lager that doesn’t sacrifice any flavour. I think we’ve succeeded to create something everyone can enjoy!”

Alpha Bomb and Salute 1179 will be available for $2.95 per can, and Canadian Amber for $2.85 per can. All three beers will be available at select grocery stores later this month, with more locations across the province expected to pick them up later this year. Click here to find the store nearest to you.

You can stop right there – no point in clicking.

We looked and then got in touch with the brewery and asked where the suds could be purchased in Burlington. The response:

“Unfortunately there isn’t a grocery store in Burlington that sells beer at the moment! There are some in surrounding towns, though. Hopefully when the government announces that next wave of grocery stores there will be one in Burlington.”

Write your council member – this is worth complaining about!

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Maple Park baseball diamonds closed

notices100x100By Staff

August 16th, 2016


This soggy weather is mucking up a lot of programs.

The city announced that the following Sportfields are closed Tuesday August 16th

All baseball diamonds

Maple Park – F1

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Oakville transit Dundas # 5 creeps into Burlington.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 16, 2016


Oakville Transit has moved into the Burlington market and now offers a pretty full schedule with stops from the Oakville GO station to Dundas and Appleby and to the 407 GO station car pool lot

Oakville transit logoFull details at the link to the schedule set out below.

The service begins September 4th,

Oakville Transit # 5 Dundas line – schedule.


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Guelph Line Road Closure - Aug. 19 to 21

notices100x100By Staff

August 16, 2016

Guelph Line will be closed to traffic between Derry Road and Britannia Road from Friday, Aug. 19 at 6 p.m. to Sunday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. for Union Gas construction activities.

Union Gas - south of DerryPlease follow detour routes.

1. From the north, traffic will be directed east on Derry Road to Walkers Line, then south to Britannia Road and west to Guelph Line.

2. From the south, traffic will be directed east on Britannia Road to Walkers Line then north to Derry Road and west to Guelph Line.

1. From the north, traffic will be directed east on Derry Road to Appleby Line, then south to Dundas Street and west to Guelph Line.

2. From the south, traffic will be directed east on Dundas Street to Appleby Line then north to Derry Road and west to Guelph Line.

For more information, please contact:
Susan Cudahy
Community Liaison
Union Gas Limited
Phone: 289-237-0068

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The Toronto team in the Inter county Baseball League has taken the first round playoffs down to the wire - tied 3-3 with Brantford they play the final game this evening

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

August 16, 2016



The Toronto Maple Leafs forced Game 7 in the last remaining first-round series after a 4-3 win over the Brantford Red Sox on Monday night at Christie Pits.

The Burlington Bandits got taken out by the Barrie Baycats last week.

The best-of-seven quarter-final is tied 3-3 with the deciding game scheduled for Tuesday at Arnold Anderson Stadium in Brantford at 8 p.m.

Toronto’s Jon Waltenbury went 3-for-3 with a solo home run, two singles and three runs. Ryan White had two hits and an RBI, Justin Marra singled twice and scored once, and Jonathan Solazzo drove in the other run.

Brett van Pelt (1-0) picked up the win. He allowed two runs on seven hits over 5.1 innings, walking two and striking out two.
Dan Jagdeo hit a two-run home run for the Red Sox, while Chris Dennis added a solo home run. Nic Burdett singled twice and scored once, and Benjamin Bostick added three hits at the top of the lineup.

Brantford had the tying run on first in the ninth, but Mike Wagner struck out Josh McCurdy to end the game.

Jamie Richmond (0-1) took the loss, giving up four runs (three earned) on seven hits over 7.1 innings. Richmond struck out six and walked one.




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Moving from run of the mill dance classes to a dance experience - a one week class - worth looking into.

artsorange 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 15, 2016


School for the students starts September 7th – for those who want to expand their dance experience there is a class starting Monday, August 22, 10:00am through to Friday, August 26, 4:00pm

This is a one‐week contemporary dance and movement intensive for dance artists to explore training, performance, dynamic movement and choreography.

The week will conclude with an informal in‐studio performance. This 5 day intensive is intended for emerging professional dancers, professional dancers, and dance students who are interested in contemporary dance and Form CDT.

Form - single woman on stage

Lisa Emonds on stage

They ask that dancers be at least 14 years or older and have had a minimum of 3 years technical dance training. The day will begin with a morning contemporary technique class and lead into improvisation, exploring dynamic stage presence and exciting physicality. The afternoons will be spent exploring and learning a new collaborative choreography created by Form CDT artists.

Participants that commit to the full week will be given priority. Space for enrollment is limited in order to offer the best experience.

To register please email with your your name, age, contact information, a very short statement of interest (150‐500 words), fun video link (youtube, vimeo, etc.) or photo (be creative). We will get back to you quickly!

Transform Dance logoOPTIONS and FEES

OPTION A: Full Workshop Including Technique Class, Improvisation and Afternoon Choreography Session
10:00‐4:00pm= $200.00 + HST
OPTION B: Full Week of Technique Class for the week 10:00‐11:30am = $80.00 + HST
OPTION C: For all ages and abilities: Improvisation for the week 11:45‐1:00pm = $60.00 + HST
OPTION D: Drop‐in rate for morning technique classes/improvisation open to professional and pre‐professional dancer artist = $20.00 + HST per class

A little bit about Form:
Form CDT is a Hamilton/Burlington/Toronto based collective founded in February 2014. Their aim is to excite curiosity in their audiences. The goal is to have each audience member contemplating their work long after the performance. They seek to expose hidden truths (our fears, our weaknesses, and our happiness, etc.) within the work they create. In order to expose the truth of ourselves they encourage and value vulnerability as a key aspect of our creation process. As Gary Smith from the Hamilton Spectator said when writing about Form: “Think cutting‐edge…It challenges notions of what dance ought to be.” We would love for you to join us in an exploration of movement and truths.

FORM two dancers - one masked

Form during their stunning production at the Performing Arts Centre

Form CDT’s biggest accomplishment to date is the 2015 production of Reflective/Vulnerable, a self produced show at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre with the support of the Ontario Arts Council. Please visit: to learn more.

These are exceptional dancers who continually look for new ways to express thoughts, feelings and ideas – if you want to grow your dance experience – check this out.

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Trevor Copp pulls it off at the Rock Garden with his production of Shakespeare's a Midsummer Night's Dream

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 15, 2016



It was a production that was years in getting to the point where a cast of nine appeared on a stretch of grass that had a magnificent fir tree used as a back drop and put on a busy, almost rollicking version of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Director Trevor Copp is a dancer – so movement was a given – and the cast didn’t disappoint the director or the audience.

Opening night last Wednesday went well. The setting was close to superb. The audience was better than decent and the weather held. Cool breezes wafted over the “stage”.

Misummer - cast members

Michael Hannigan, centre, was everywhere. He proved to be a solid casting choice.

The cast was made up of experienced actors, with Michael Hannigan putting on a very good performance. Sean McClelland was a delight throughout.

Copp made the decision early in the development of the production that he would offer positions for emerging artists – current students fresh out of school

The two Sean’s came from Brock University; Claudia Spadafora is student at McMaster. John Walmsley and Alma Sarai come out of the joint Sheridan College and University of Toronto Mississauga.

Midsummer - Copp + RBG director

Trevor Copp listening toRBG CEO Mark Runciman during opening night.

Mark Runciman, CEO of the RBG  made the comment during his opening remarks that the RBG has been looking for ways to expand its program and while the talks with Copp took a number of years to get to this opening night point they have plans to have an ongoing dramatic program.

Shakespeare is text – his language is defining. When a director with “movement” as one of his defining features, it gets really interesting to see what Copp does with Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Midsummer Alma and xxx

Alma Sarai and John Wamslaey trying to work out a difference during the opening night of a Midsummer Night’s Dream at the RBG Rock Garden.

It is a busy play – everyone is always moving; the characters make use of some interesting costume set ups. Hannigan excels, Sean McClelland comes through again and again.

This reviewer is not a Shakespearian expert; Stratford every couple of years and the ThinkSpot productions in Lowville for the past three years just about does it.

But one doesn’t have to have a degree in English at the 300 level to know they are being well entertained.
It is a robust play during which you never got the impression that you were watching a bunch of about to graduate students learning the ropes.

Cast - 9 members

Front row- Michael Hannigan, Sean McClelland, Sean Rintoul, John Wamsley, Alma Sarai. Back row- Zach Parsons, Trevor Copp, Caitlin Popek, (on the floor) Claudia Spadafora, Jesse Horvath.

The second performance was delayed for rain but it cleared up and went on! “It was excellently received but it was terribly hot and humid” commented one cast member. “The audience was receptive and loyal because they stuck it out through the rain as well.”
Friday was fine but Saturday got cancelled – weather.

Crowded and noisy Midsummer

Parts of the cast work things out while the audience literally sit in those front row seats. The working things out had to do with just which lover was with which lover.

The production runs from Wednesday to the 21st. It is well worth the time to take in the event. We noticed that on opening night one of the retirement homes brought in a mall busload of people. This is quality work – don’t miss it.

Copp has argued for some time that local artists need to be given the opportunity to work where they live – they are working now at the Royal Botanical Garden.

Rock Garden sign

The play is no to be missed – the Rock Gardens are an added bonus.

The Rock Garden is something you will want to tour while you are there.

It would have been nice to see the Café opened for a stretch after the play; perhaps that will happen when they get their license.

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Wet, windy and on the quiet side. Burlington on a summer weekend.

By Pepper Parr
August 14th, 2016

It has been that kind of a weekend – and it isn’t over yet – many are waiting to see how Andre De Grasse does again Usain Bolt in the 100 metre dash in Rio.

Tree down august weather

August storms make people in Burlington very wary – they remember 2014. Trees were damaged this weekend.

The United Way decided to call off their plane pull at the Hamilton Airport; Trevor Copp knew he had to cancel the Saturday evening performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Inter County Baseball League semi – final between Toronto and Brantford got cancelled for the second time.

It is certainly a change in the climate – but we have had this kind of weather before – back in the 40”s we had very high summer temperatures – just sayin.

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster - both first term members. Will they both be returned?

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster – will represent Burlington at the Association of Municipalities conference in Windsor.

This is the week that our city council attends the Association of Municipalities in Ontario (AMO) conference in Windsor.
Representing Burlington will be the mayor, and Councillors Paul Sharman and Blair Lancaster.

Big issues? Money for infrastructure, what shape is the province in financially? Changes to the Ontario Municipal Board will certainly get discussed as will climate change and what the legalization of marijuana will do to us.

Preparing for disasters, the sustainability of the current municipal pension program and the way in which municipalities settle their wage differences with the fire fighters.

These are all financial issues – and it is your money they are talking about.

It might be quiet in Burlington – it will be less so in Windsor.

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Rivers on what Donald Trump could mean to Canada were he to become the President of the United States in January.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

August 13, 2016



For a mouse sleeping next to the elephant, we Canadians are pretty nonchalant about who our neighbours elect to be their president every four years. Or perhaps we know we can wait out a noxious US leader and hope for a better one the next time. Tensions got pretty high when an angry Richard Nixon lost his patience with Pierre Trudeau, calling him a “son of a bitch”, “asshole” and “pompous egghead” – not to his face of course.

Trudeau and Nixon

Former US president Richard Nixon and Pierre Elliott Trudeau, prime Minister of Canada. Not much in the way of trust between these two men.

US President Ronald W. Reagan (L) posing with Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney before talks in Ottowa, April 1987. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

US President Ronald W. Reagan (L) posing with Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney before talks in Ottawa, April 1987.

Then a little over a decade later Brian Mulroney and Ronald Reagan were in ideological bed together singing about Irish eyes. Their strong personal friendship enabled Mulroney to disarmed Reagan, and convince the old gaffer, or was that Gipper, to do something about acid rain, a problem Reagan was sure was caused by trees.

Clinton and Chretien, two middle-road liberals, engaged respectfully and warmly with each other throughout their time together. With Mexico they forged the North American Free Trade Agreement which has continued until today. And Clinton convinced Chretien to join him in intervening in the aftermath of Yugoslavia, using Canadian warplanes to help the Americans bomb the hell out of Serbia.

Once Dubya came on the scene, the romance with Washington came to an end. Chretien refused to support GW Bush’s insane adventure to take down Saddam. However Canada’s response would have been different had Canadian neo-con, and Bush admirer, Steven Harper been in power at the time. And Harper did spend a couple of years during Bush’s reign before the leadership changed again south of the border. But it soon became evident that there was no love lost between Obama and his Canadian counterpart, as he stared down Harper’s idle and useless threats over the Keystone pipeline.

Trudeau and Obama

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US president Barack Obama

Trudeau and Obama found a sweet spot in their relationship early on, though Obama is now a ‘lame duck’ president awaiting replacement this November by former First Lady Hillary Clinton or real estate mogul Donald Trump. Given generational factors alone it will be challenging for Trudeau to find a spot so sweet as before with either of these candidates. But as everyone should expect, Mr. Trump, the red neck, would prove the greater challenge.

Clinton is proposing a reasonably left wing agenda, swept even more in that direction by a compromise kiss she accepted from contender Bernie Sanders, in order to keep peace on the home front. Income-geared free tuition, campaign expense reform, equal pay for women, taxing the rich, breaking up the banks, killing the TPP trade deal, increasing the federal minimum wage, background checks for gun purchases, and massive federal infrastructure spending.

Her policies roughly parallel those of Trudeau, as well as some of the provincial Liberal governments. This platform in fact ups the ante for social progress and equality, giving more credibility to Canada’s current political direction. And Mrs. Clinton’s opposition to the TPP would allow Canada to escape from what many consider a bad deal, providing welcome relief to a PM ministering to a divided parliament on this matter.

Hilary Clinton

American Democratic candidate for the office of the president of the United States Hillary Clinton.

Otherwise, Clinton would be expected to continue to follow Obama’s policy framework. Commitment to common defence through NATO, for example, would be maintained consistent with Canada’s current objectives. This is a framework in which Canada’s current leadership would find compatibility, despite questions around ongoing trade irritants, such as softwood lumber or beef. But then those irritants have persisted almost regardless who sat in the white House or whether we had a ‘free trade agreement’ or not.

The future would be way more exciting, albeit more uncertain, under a Trump presidency. Early promises to build a wall with Mexico and ban Muslim immigrants, also raise concerns about potential limitations to free access for Canadian businesses and snowbirds. Trump’s musings on NATO and Russia could, ironically, push the EU into a Eurocentric defence posture, possibly leaving Canada to fend on its own when it comes to arctic sovereignty.

And of course Trump’s proposed trickle-down Reagan-style tax cuts would lead to more articles from the Frazer Institute and National Post decrying how poorly the 1% are being treated here in Canada. Meanwhile his massive deficits and increased debt would tend to bring down the US dollar and bring us closer to parity, albeit in a currency market once again looking for stability.

Trump would mark another US turnabout on climate change and would rupture the recently announced North American commitment to control that global threat. Trump says that everything would be negotiable. This is not an unexpected response from a man who has shown so little sophistication in matters of foreign or domestic policy. To mis-quote Bob Dylan, when you don’t know nothing, you got nothing to lose. Everything is up for grabs.

Trump Donald

Donald Trump, Republican candidate for the office of the President of the United States

From what he’s said, Trump’s presidency would be a crap shoot, and it could be uncomfortable for us here in Canada. After all, the USA is our largest trading partner, we share our defence policy with them and our cultures and history are heavily intermingled. And for an independent Canadian leader looking to keep our fences in good shape there can be a fine line between dialogue, sucking up or talking back. Still our PM’s have always held their own, including during those rough patches with Harper and Obama and Trudeau and Nixon.

Should Canadians be worried about a Trump presidency? Only in as much as almost everybody else on the planet would be. Despite all his rhetoric, as president he would be limited by his country’s constitution, its current laws and a Congress, which even if it remained Republican would not likely go along with most of his nutty notions. And the way things go in Washington he’d be out of office before half of his really idiotic proposals hit the road.

Oh sure Trump would have access to the nuclear codes – but like Putin and other national leaders with nuclear weapons, he would quickly learn that the nukes can be more of a constraint and liability than an asset.

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 the 1995 provincial election

Background links:

Nixon and Trudeau –   Mulroney/Reagan –  

Clinton’s Promises –   Trump’s Promises

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Red Malibu T-boned by a Grey Honda that shot a red light. Malibu driver has life threatening injuries

Motor Vehicle Collision at North Shore Boulevard and QEW Off-Ramp
Crime 100By Staff

August 12, 2016



On Friday August 12, 2016 Halton Regional Police Service responded to a personal injury collision on North Shore Boulevard, near the QEW – Niagara bound off ramp in the City of Burlington.

HRPS crestAt approximately 5:40 pm, an eastbound Red Chevrolet Malibu traveling on North Shore Boulevard was struck in a T-bone style collision by a Grey Honda Pilot exiting the highway. The Pilot entered the intersection on a red light.

The Honda Pilot had 6 family members traveling in it ranging in age from 11 months old to 56 years old from Markham. All were transported to Joseph Brant Hospital with injuries ranging from minor to moderate.

The single occupant of the Chevrolet Malibu, a 37 year old West Lincoln male was transported to Hamilton General Hospital with life threatening injuries.

Due to the nature of the collision, the Halton Regional Police Service Collision Reconstruction Unit has taken carriage of the investigation. North Shore Boulevard was closed for approximately 8 hours in both directions for the collision scene investigation.

Charges in the collision have yet to be laid.

Witnesses to the collision are asked to call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 905 825-4747 extension 5065 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), online at, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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Quarter final game between Toronto and Brantford cancelled - field too wet for a baseball game.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

August 12, 2016



Tonight’s only scheduled IBL game, the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Brantford Red Sox, was called this afternoon due to unplayable field conditions.

Game five in the quarter-final series, which is tied at two wins each, is now scheduled for Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., at Christie Pits in Toronto.

Game six is scheduled for Sunday night in Brantford at 8 p.m.  Game seven, if necessary, is slated to take place Monday night in Brantford, at 8 p.m.

IBL_Horizontal_LogoThe London Majors, the Kitchener Panthers and the Barrie Baycats are positioned to move on to the semi-finals – everyone is just waiting for the Toronto – Brantford quarter finals to be completed.

Barrie will play Kitchener in the first of the semi-final games on Tuesday the 16th.

The other pairing in the semi-finals will be known when the Toronto – Brantford quarter finals is settled. The winner of those games – there are at least two games to be played will be up against the London Majors.getting new - yellow

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United Way campaign now underway - pull a plane starting event.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 12, 2016



The Burlington – Hamilton United Way fund raising drive is about to begin with a plane pull – yes an air plane pull at the John C. Munro airport in Hamilton.

There is an impressive line-up of 17 teams that are going to try and pull a cargo plane 50 yards across the tarmac – the Gazette will be there to report on this event.

City general manager for Budge and Corporate Services Kim Phillips gives it more than the old college try for the United Way. Last year the city staff contribution was for a total in the last 22 years of xx

Former Burlington general manager for Budge and Corporate Services Kim Phillips gave it more than the old college try for the United Way.

Each team will get one opportunity to pull the plane 50 feet across the tarmac in the shortest amount of time. The fastest three teams will participate in a pull-off.

Prizes will be awarded to the three fastest teams, top team and individual fundraisers, and teams with the most spirit.

Not that much representation from Burlington – the Royal Bank will be there and Cumis is has a team ready to pull but no one else from Burlington that we can identify.

The teams pulling on Saturday are:

Canada Bread – Team on the Tarmac, Cargo Jet, CHAM-PLANERS, Community Living Hamilton, CRA, CUMIS/Co-operators Pulling 4U Team, Dream Team, Eva Rothwell Resource Centre, GBT Canada, Marie Grace, Niagara BD, RBC Burlington, SkyLink Express, State Farm United Way 2016, United Way-Ups, UPS Gateway A-TEAM and UPSBDMISSISSAUGA

Clerks give everyone that funny look all the time - and take best costume prize during the 2011 United Way fund raising event.

It takes energy and effort to mobilize a community – in 2011 the Clerks at city Hall in Burlington took the best costume prize and the United Way reached its target. It can be done but it has to involve the community if it is going to be done. Burlington city hall staff showed how to do that in 2011.

Neither the city of Hamilton nor the city of Burlington was on the list.

Former Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina will be giving the opening remarks

The United Way has decided to move away from creating a target number of dollars and will focus on telling the story of the number of people they help and the many different ways they do so.

Shirley Thomas Weir and Mark Chabot will be co-chairing the drive this year.

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