Friends of Freeman show the community what transparency and accountability are all about. Good on them - will others follow this sterling example?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 11th, 2016


Transparency and accountability are words that flow out of city hall – every organization uses the words – it is often difficult to see any meat on those bones.

There are also a number of organizations that get funding from various sources; grants and donations seem to be the biggest sources.

FoF Mello with stone

John Mello with one of the Whinstone stones that are a part of the history of the station – there is a work day coming up when the things have to be moved.

The Friends of Freeman station have produced a report that sets out what they brought in in terms of funds and how they spent them.

This level of transparency and accountability is a model for all the non-profits in the city – the public has a right to know what you are doing with the funds that you get.

For Friends of Freeman – here is their story.

Consolidated Financials: To date we have raised about $260,000 which represents about 50% of the estimated cost to restore the station and make it a viable asset to our community.
The following is summary of our budget expenditures to date:

Construction materials, including lumber, paint, hardware, tools….. 11%
Preparing building prior to move and the move…. 25%
New Roof ….4%
Hydro Installation……3%
Removal of Hazardous materials….4%
Grading Excavation and back fill …23%
Basement (foundation)….17%
Publicity and public relations, including Web site, email services, postage, bank charges, permits, insurance etc…..3%
Storage rental…..2%
Acquisition of artifacts…..8%

FoF Aasgaard with sample pictures

John Aasgaard with some of the pictures that are in the Freeman Station collection.

FoF station masters office

Grill being fitted into the wicket of the Station Master’s office.

Our organization is 100% unpaid volunteers.

Things slow down a little in the winter – but donations and volunteers are always accepted – the xxx stones are going to get moved soon – strong backs needed for that task.

Set out below are the chores that are waiting to get done along with some meetings. when the Missus wants you out of the house the Station is a pretty good place to scoot over to.

January 13th – 7 PM – FOFS Board meeting – City Hall – all members welcome
(We meet the second Wednesday of each month same place and time)
January 16th – 12 Noon – BDRC team meeting
– the Burlington Diorama Railway Club regular planning meeting
— Frank Rose room, Burlington Public Library
January 23rd – 9 AM – Whinstone moving day –
for this volunteer work day, strong hands needed, gloves,
steel-toed boots if you have them
January 30th-10 am-4 pm Train Show St Johns Church Hwy 5 Burlington
January 31st-10 am-3.30 pm Marritt Hall 630 Trinity Rd S, Jerseyville, ON
February6th Heritage Day Burlington Central Library 10 am-2 pm

Return to the Front page

Police report vehicles in Walkers Line and Medland Drive part of the city broken into. Arrest made

Crime 100By Staff

January 11, 2016


Revised with additional police information.

It was cold out there last night – police report that a male was seen breaking into cars in the area of Walkers Line and Medland Drive, in the City of Burlington.

Police responded and after a short foot pursuit an adult male was taken into custody. A quantity of property was recovered, but officers are unable to determine how many vehicles in the area may have been entered.

The first call to the police was at 12:55 AM, when a resident of Medland Drive as woken by a sound outside and looked to see a male wearing a black hooded jacket rummaging through his vehicle which was parked in the driveway.

The male then exited the vehicle and walked away in a southbound direction at which time police were called.

As a result of a canine track, the male was located hiding behind a tree on Walkers Line where he attempted to run from police however he was quickly apprehended after a brief physical confrontation where he tried to resist being arrested.

The male was found to have a significant amount of property in his possession that was believed to have been stolen from other vehicles. This property consisted of change, metal cigarette container, sunglasses, several bottles of cologne & aftershave, gift cards, blue headband, silver pendant and a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey puck. The owners of this property have yet to be identified. Anyone missing such items are encouraged to call the investigating officer.

Arrested and held for bail is:

Michael Kenneth MORSE (34 yrs) of Main Street West in Hamilton

Trespassing by night
Assault with intent to resist arrest
Possession of property obtained by crime
Breach probation.

Anyone with information are asked to contact Det. Ellie Bale of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Residential Crime Team at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2312 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

The Halton Police are continuing their investigation – they may well be getting calls from drivers who have discovered their cars were broken into last night.

If you have any information regarding this theft investigation, or you may be a possible victim, call us at 905-925-4747.

Return to the Front page

Two local politicians revive the tradition of a New Year's Levee - it was well attended.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 11th, 2016



It was fine event – came off without a hitch and was different enough for people to perhaps return to next year.

It was the New Year’s Levee sponsored by the MP and the MPP for Burlington and they basically ate the Mayor’s lunch.

Levee crowd scene

It was a very respectable crowd – the public clearly wanted to take part in a New Year’s Levee.

In Ontario the Levee has traditionally been a civic event. While MP Gould and MPP McMahon were doing their thing Oakville mayor Rob Burton was holding his levee. Burlington gave up on levees sometime ago.

No one knows where Mayor Goldring was – we didn’t see him.

Levee - McMahon at loom - I did that

Levee participants were given the run of the Art Gallery and an opportunity to see how the politicians handled some of the equipment. MPP Eleanor McMahon tried her hand at one of the looms – she seemed surprised that she was able to make something.

Gould and McMahon found a way to make the event more than just a bunch of speeches – they used the Art Gallery of Burlington as a backdrop and had tour guides to tell people what was done in the various Guild’s that were open. It worked very well and gave the Art Gallery of Burlington more visitors than they get normally. One of those win – win situations.

Levee Gould welcoming a new Canadian

MP Karina Gould enjoying a moment with two new Canadians at the New Year’s Day Levee held on Sunday.

And they found a few ways to include the ethnic communities by handing out the very attractive folder that new Canadians are given with their Citizenship certificates There were 109 of those certificates to be handed out – they didn’t all show up – but many of them did and they were made to feel very welcome.

Levee citizenship folders

Citizenship certificates for new Canadians – there were 109 of them on hand.

It was a family event – there were art rooms for the kids to draw and paint.

There were several food tables set up- strawberries dipped in chocolate, nibblies and coffee, tea and juices.

There was no receiving line – and the two woman chose to be very casual. One of the Deputy Police chief’s was on hand – not in uniform.

It was casual, easy going and an opportunity to network like crazy.

Levee Damoff in loom room

Oakville North Burlington MP Pam Damoff is shown how wool is prepared for a spinning wheel.

Pam Damoff, the MP for Oakville North Burlington wasn’t front and center – she got tied down at the Oakville Levee (held by the Mayor over there) – happens when your constituency bridges the two municipalities.

There are in Burlington those old timers who remember the days when the New Year’s Levee took place at city hall. One such city stalwart got into his car with his wife and drove to the Art Gallery New Year’s Day at the appointed hour – found the parking lot empty and is reported to have said to his wife – what if you had a party and nobody came.

Yesterday they did come – thanks to MP Karina Gould and MPP Eleanor McMahon for holding the event. Jazz it up and bit and keep it fresh.

Return to the Front page

Water levels in Tuck Creek make some people edgy - have the authorities done what is needed to prevent the flooding we saw in 2014?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 10, 2016


When it rains, many of the people in the east end of the city – especially if they live in the Tuck Creek – Regal Road part of town look up to the sky and at the level of water in the creek if they live close to one.

Tuck creek by Gottlob JaN 10-16 #1

Tuck Creek has not gone over its banks – but we didn’t get that much rain – unsettling to the people who live along that creek.

It will be a decade before they trust the banks of those creeks and whatever the city and the Region or the Conservation Authority have put in place to manage exceptionally high rain.

It was a very small proportion of Burlington’s population that suffered from the rain that fell for a solid day and dumped 191 MM of rain in a single day.

TUCK CREEK BY Gottlob Jan 10-16 #2

Tuck Creek – fast running water – and not all that much rain.

The provincial government did come through with funding and the community raised just shy of $1 million in a 100 day time frame to help with the devastation 272 family underwent.

Recovering from that flood was a magnificent act on the part of the citizens and the commercial community.

The pictures of Tuck Creek that accompany this article were taken by Carol Gottlob who gets passionate about the state of the creeks – especially Tuck creek.

The water levels are high – and there wasn’t that much rain. Has Tuck Creek been upgraded, repaired, fixed – whatever it needs to prevent the flooding we experienced in 2014?

Basement flooded BSB Coalition

A full day of rain made this happen – have the fixes that were needed been put in place to prevent this kind of flooding?

The flood experience changed many lives forever – the financial support helped – but those properties are not worth what they used to be.

Background:  A reader asked if we would provide a link to a more detailed report on the flood and how it happened.

Detailed flood report


Return to the Front page

Resident does not want pot sold at the LCBO - would prefer to see independent retailers selling the product.

opinionandcommentBy Vince Fiorito

January 9th, 2015


Respectfully, I must disagree with Premier Kathleen Wynne that the LCBO should control marijuana sales in Ontario. If the only issue associated with selling recreational drugs like tobacco, alcohol and marijuana was just keeping them out of reach of our youth during their formative years then I would agree. I would also add that the LCBO and Brewers Retail are models of environmentally friendly packaging and recycling. Bravo.

Marijuana plants“My problems with the LCBO and Brewers Retail are their size, their undue control of the alcohol industry as a regulated monopoly and their limited liability. These organizations have a profit motive to promote and encourage increased alcohol consumption. These organization do not fund drug rehabilitation and counseling programs to reduce the harm to the individual and society from recreational alcohol consumption. ” A large powerful corporation like the LCBO would influence and eventually dictate government policy and control production, like they do now regarding alcohol. Not every bottle of wine or beer gets on an LCBO shelf, to the detriment of small wineries and microbreweries.

Recreation drug policy goals should include educating the public on the risks associated with recreational drug use, with a long term objective to decrease demand.

I believe in a “least harm” approach to guide marijuana decriminalization. I believe that current marijuana laws are more harmful to society and the individual than marijuana use itself. I support marijuana legalization, provided marijuana consumption is regulated to reduce harm to the individual and society. We should not allow large powerful corporations in this business as they become too powerful and difficult to control. For example, because the LCBO is so powerful, we are currently stuck with a system which promotes and encourages alcohol consumption to the benefit of other large corporations and small producers cannot compete fairly with large corporations.

We should not make the same mistakes with the emerging recreational marijuana industry as we already made with the recreational alcohol industry, that are now difficult to change.

marijuana retail

Marijuana on sale $8 a gram – wide selection.

The marijuana industry should be deliberately regulated as sole proprietorships and partnerships to maintain control and create the maximum number of small businesses and jobs. Corporations with limited liability and profit sharing should be kept out of the recreational marijuana industry. Only those directly involved should share the risk and reward of marijuana production, distribution and sales. No profit sharing with limited liability. Overt public advertising should be prohibited, respecting the rights of parents to control what their children know and people who don’t want to see, hear or know about it. A simple standardized symbol over the door of a discreet marijuana cafe is enough.

Marijuana - lady smokingPeople entering a marijuana establishment give implied consent to see legal advertising and promotions inside. Locations of marijuana shops should be strictly controlled by municipal government through zoning and by laws, and they may levy additional taxes. Marijuana production, distribution and sales should be monitored closely for abuses and if the owner/operator breaks the law, they lose their marijuana licenses and face punitive sanctions. Fines for smoking marijuana in public places, similar to tobacco. People may grow a few plants for personal use, similar to vegetables. Need a license to sell.

Corporate control of the marijuana industry, which promotes consumption could lead to marijuana becoming as big of a problem for the individual and society as alcohol is now. If we can’t implement this change in a way that reduces harm to the individual and society, then I would rather marijuana remained illegal with a punitive fine for possession.


Return to the Front page

23 of the 37 Friday Fugitives have been arrested - the question now is - how many of them were released on bail and failed to appear for their day in court?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Staff

January 8th, 2016



HRPS crestThe Halton Regional Police Service, Burlington station, reached out to the public for help locating  wanted persons and hold them accountable for their actions.  The results of this initiative were impressive.

Week 1 – Raymond FRENCH (WANTED)
Outstanding charges for stealing $15000 from a senior’s home whom he befriended

Located and arrested in Ottawa as a result of several tips to police from the public
Remains in custody awaiting trial

Week 3 – Kenneth MOODIE (WANTED)
Several outstanding charges for Drinking and Driving related offences

Accused turned himself in to Halton Police as a result of the media release and attention

Several outstanding charges in Halton for Break and Enter Commit x 8, Mischief under $5000 x 8, Fail to Comply Recognizance x 6, Possession of Break and Enter Instruments x 2, Possession of Stolen Property, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Fail to Attend Court

Week 6 – Michael RAMSAY (ARRESTED)
Accused turned himself in to Halton Police as a result of the media release and attention, arrangements made through his lawyer.

Accused have outstanding charges for Fraud Under $5000, Theft Under $5000, Possession of Stolen Property x 2 and Fail to Re-Attend Court.

Week 8 – Sean KELLY (WANTED) and Jessica HAYNES (ARRESTED)
Jessica was located and arrested in Waterdown by Burlington CIB officers as a result of information received.

Sean remains wanted on outstanding charges for Fraud Under $5000, Theft Under $5000, Personation with Intent and Fail to Re-Attend Court.

Week 9 – Bryon BULLIED (WANTED)
Several outstanding charges in relation to stealing from an elderly male who was confined to his home

Outstanding charges include Theft under $5000 x 3, Unauthorized use of a Credit Card x 3, Fail to Comply with Undertaking, Breach of Probation Order
Accused is also wanted by Ottawa Police for Possession of a Substance x 2, Breach of Probation x 2 and Fail to Appear

Week 10 – Brennen BOWLEY (ARRESTED)
Accused turned himself in to Hamilton Police.
Accused had several outstanding charges with Halton Police, Hamilton Police and Niagara Police
Outstanding charges include Break and Enter Place, Dangerous Operation Motor Vehicle, Fail to Re-Attend Court, Fail to Comply Recognizance x 12, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, Possession under $5000 x 3, Possession over $5000 x 2, Fail to Comply Probation x 2, Break and Enter Commit x 2, Theft under $5000 and Theft of Motor Vehicle

Week 11 – Corey Rodgers (ARRESTED)
Wanted for Assault with a Weapon, Assault and Fail to Attend Court

Week 12 – Marcin SYDOR (WANTED)
Wanted for Theft over $5000, Theft under $5000 x 3, Break and Enter with Intent, Mischief under $5000 x 2, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, Breach of Probation and Fail to Re-Attend Court

The accused is also wanted by Hamilton Police for Fraud over $5000, Fraud under $5000 x 7, Breach of Probation, Fail to Comply Recognizance x 2, Breach of Undertaking x 2, Possess – Use of Credit Card x 29

Week 13 – Michael CRICK (ARRESTED), Ashley JACOBS (WANTED) ( JACOBS currently residing in Quebec, efforts on-going to execute her warrants)
JACOBS is wanted for Assault, Breach of Probation, Fail to Comply Undertaking and Fail to Attend Court

CRICK was wanted Theft under $5000 x 2, Fail to Re-Attend Court and Fail to Comply Probation

Week 14 – Ahmad ALAMI (ARRESTED)
ALAMI was located and arrested by Niagara Police as a result of tips received

MICHAUD surrendered to Police as a result of pressure associated with her media release

PARCHMENT-YATES was wanted for Theft under $5000 x 4, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime x 2 and Fail to Appear Court

Week 17 – Korde HILL (WANTED)
HILL is wanted for Theft of Motor Vehicle and Possession of Stolen Property

HILL is also wanted by Six Nations Police Service for Possession of Break and Enter Instruments, Occupy Motor Vehicle without Consent and Possession of CDSA

Week 18 – Matthew PARSONS (WANTED)
PARSONS is wanted for Theft under $5000 x 2, Possession of Schedule III x 2, Fail to Re-Attend Court and Fail to Appear Court x 3

Week 19 – Ryan Andrew WOOD (WANTED) (Believed to be in BC, efforts on-going to execute warrant)
WOOD is wanted for Trafficking Schedule I, Fraud under $5000, Public Mischief, Fail to Comply with Recognizance x 2, Fail to Re-Attend Court x 2

He is also wanted by Hamilton Police Service for Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking – Schedule II, Production Schedule II – Marihuana and Fail to Re-Attend Court

Week 20 – Joshua WEEDMARK (WANTED)
Weedmark is wanted for Mischief – Interfere with Law, Mischief under $5000, Fail to Comply with Probation and Fail to Re-Attend Court

Week 21 – Christian Stuart DRENNAN (ARRESTED)
Possession of a Schedule I, Possession of Schedule II, Care or Control – Impaired, Fail to Re-Attend Court

Assault with a Weapon, Assault, Mischief under $5000, Breach of Probation

Week 23 – Trevor Grant ADAMS (ARRESTED)
Assault with a Weapon, Assault, Mischief under $5000, Breach of Probation

Week 24 – Michael DAWE (ARRESTED)
Possession of a Weapon – Dangerous Purpose, Unauthorized Possession of a Weapon, Conspiracy to Commit and Indictable Offence, Fail to Re-Attend Court

Theft under $5000 x 3

Fraud under $5000 x 2, Uttering Forged Documents x 2 and Fail to Appear Court x 2

Week 27 – Jordan MILLER (WANTED)
Possession of Stolen Property under $5000, Breach of Probation Order x 2

Also wanted by Brant OPP and Brantford Police

Week 28 – Donald Ray McGILL (ARRESTED)
Driving while Impaired, Driving over 80mgs, Fail to Re-Attend Court

Week 29 – Scott MacDONALD (ARRESTED)
Theft under, Fail to Comply Undertaking x 2, Fail to Comply Probation

Week 30 – Nicholas SAWADSKI (ARRESTED)
Theft under $5000, Fail to Comply Probation, Fail to Re-Attend Court

Week 31 – Samantha Rose DUNLOP (WANTED)
Theft under $5000, Fail to Comply Undertaking x 2, Fail to Comply Probation

Possession of Ammunition while Prohibited, Possession of a Firearm while Prohibited, Knowledge of Unauthorized Firearm, Possession of a Prohibited/Restricted Firearm, Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm, Breach of Firearms Regulation, Possession for the Purpose – Cocaine

Drive Impaired, Fail/Refuse Breath Sample, Fail to Appear Court

Week 34 – Benjamin BRZEZINSKI (ARRESTED)
Theft under $5000 x 2, Fail to Comply Probation x 4

Week35 – Kerry Lee HENWOOD (WANTED)
Theft under $5000 x 3, Use of Credit Card x 7
HENWOOD is also wanted by Hamilton Police Service for Fraud under $5000 x 7

There are numerous people who continue to evade the police and the court system and continue to live out in our communities while having a warrant for their arrest in place.  Every Friday, the Burlington Offender Management Unit will share information on a wanted person in hopes that the public can assist in locating the individual.

The police share “Fugitive Friday” information on their website and via social media through Twitter @HRPSBurl and @HaltonPolice.

“The 2015 Fugitive Friday project has been a success as the sharing of information publicly has led to numerous wanted person being arrested and brought to court to answer to the charges against them.  It is due to our concerned community, those that helped spread the wanted information via social media, that we have affected 23 arrests out of 37 wanted persons” said Detective Constable Calvin Bulbrook, the officer who brought the idea to Burlington..

Anyone who may have witnessed these wanted persons or has information that would assist investigators in locating them are encouraged to contact D/C Bulbrook – Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Offender Management Team at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2346 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or through the web at, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

Comment on the Fugitive Friday initiative and the role media plays.

Return to the Front page

The Friday Fugitive initiative results were impressive - do we keep the news story on the web site once a person has been apprehended?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

January 8th, 2016


The Halton Regional Police released the results of their Friday Fugitive initiative today – the results are impressive – 23 of the 37 people they were looking for were arrested.

Pictures of each of the wanted people, provided to us by the police, were published by the Gazette.

Wanted Al Capone

Publishing this picture now is entertainment.

Some of these people had very long criminal histories and would appear to still be living the life of a criminal.  Several were preying on older people unable to protect themselves.  Many of the people the police were looking for were wanted for failing to appear before a judge once they were released on bail.


Is publishing this picture also entertainment – the person happens to be a very dangerous individual.

The police spend a lot of time and financial resources apprehending the people wanted for committing criminal acts.  They get to court and are released on bail – which means the police have to go looking for them all over again.

jail cells

Jails are expensive places to operate. Should we jail people who fail to appear for a court hearing? If we don’t – what happens to public respect for the justice system?

Keep them in jail would seem to be the sensible thing to do. Problem with that is keeping people in jail is an expensive proposition. The criminal justice system seems to prefer to let them out and then have them re-arrested.  Cheaper – but it also impacts on the respect the public has for the criminal justice system. For the rule of law to be effective there has to be strong public respect for that rule of law. Without it – we slide into anarchy and that is not a pretty picture.

Super max prison in Penetang

Commonly called “super max” it is a provincial jail in Penetang where dangerous people are kept for long periods o time. There are frequent riots at this jail.

We are a civilized society with some very intelligent people working at the justice ministry – the public deserves to have the problem of how we handle people who consistently fail to appear in court when they are released on bail.

Our member of the provincial legislature might want to tackle this problem and see what she can get done.

As we reviewed the Fugitive Friday initiative, looking at the pictures of the people the police wanted to apprehend we were struck by the number of very young men who had run afoul of the law. Some of them were not much beyond boys and we wondered if we were serving a useful purpose by publishing their pictures know that once on the internet they are there for a long time – a long long time.

The Gazette has heard from several of those the police arrested in the past asking us to take down their picture. Is that our role?

Are we to be the judges of whose picture stays up and whose picture does not remain in the public domain?

One young man had several people write on his behalf – and we took the picture off the internet – but that really isn’t the role media plays.

At some point some prominent personality will have a relative or a family member that got themselves into a spot of trouble, made it into the media and asked if we could just quietly delete what was written.

It troubles us – is that our role? We don’t think so.

Do we remove all those who have been arrested and just keep those the police are still looking for?

Whose interests did we serve by publishing the results of the 2015 Fugitive Friday successes?

Do we know if the people who were wanted were actually found guilty?

What if they were acquitted – do we have the right to keep the “wanted by the police” information on the Gazette web site?

Return to the Front page

Could culture fall between the cracks when the budget gets debated or will the city walk their talk? And where is the cultural leadership these days?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

January 8th, 2016


Is here a threat to the nascent growth that has been percolating in the cultural field in Burlington?

Last year there were a number of events that took place which added to the health of local culture – one being the national Culture Days initiative that was developed to create a source of information on events taking place across the country and to promote those events.

Local artists could post their event and communities were encouraged to work locally with artists from every discipline possible.

Donna Grandid, a noted Burlington artists was front and center during a recent Culture Days event.

Burlington climbed aboard the Culture Days train last year and the year before that and the sense was that the city would continue to put resources into the event.
Apparently the city isn’t going to have any staff working on the Culture Days initiative in 2016.

Why not ? – the view appears to be that if artists want the event to happen – then let them make it happen.

Burlington’s growth as a cultural destination is not yet at the point where it can fly on its own; it is going to need nurturing for a number of years.

Burlington has a manager of culture events who has some support from a part time assistant. There are times when culture file gets very busy and additional support is needed.


Angela Paparizo and Trevor Copp – both strong advocates for a more robust Burlington with a higher cultural profile.

Angela Paparizo is the manager of culture events and was reporting to the one general manager the city had. It isn’t clear yet who Paparizo will report to now that the city no longer has any general managers. The understanding is that city manager James Ridge now chairs the Cultural Action Plan implementation committee.

There was some talk that the culture file will move back into Parks and Recreation where it languished for years.

Culture and sports are two different animals and in Burlington they have not mixed very well in the past.

Fortunately for the arts crowd, the city is in the process of finalizing its operations budget – this is the time for the arts community to delegate and ensure that the gains they have made do not get lost while the city manager figures out what he wants in the way of an organizational structure.

Ridge is focused on getting a Strategic Plan in place; getting a budget approved and then getting back to the Official Plan review that sort of got put on hold.

While there is a Cultural Action Plan along with a Committee to implement that plan, other than the city manager’s blessing it doesn’t appear to have much more propelling it.

The Strategic Plan has cultural arms and legs sticking out all over the place – but as one commentator put it – is the city going to walk the talk?

There is that old phrase that reporters use when they want to figure out what’s going on – follow the money.

How much has been allocated to culture? And then where are the human resources to support what has to be done if culture is to get to the point where it has lift off.

The city has an excellent Performing Arts Centre that has experienced several years of strong successes; the Art Gallery has new leadership – the Museums are still there with Ireland House is a sterling example of how local history can be made part of the cultural scene. Poor Joseph Brant is not getting the same treatment – but with different leadership that too might change.

Maureen Barry, CEO of the Burlington Public Library and a consummate professional has overseen the move deeper into electronic media yet keeping real books on shelves.

Maureen Barry, CEO of the Burlington Public Library and a consummate professional has overseen the move deeper into electronic media yet keeping real books on shelves.

There is a clear cluster of cultural nodes in this city – they need to be pulled together and given strong executive leadership.

Who could do that – Maureen Barry – she will shoot me for saying this – but she is one of the best executives we have in the city with a better big picture of culture than anyone else on the horizon.

That’s just an opinion.

Return to the Front page

Trevor Copp would like to see a line up at the box office - Air opens in two weeks.

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

January 7, 2016


Getting traction with almost anything is usually a challenge.

For those who are introducing a new product or an idea it is never easy – for those in the arts it can be close to pure hell.

AirWhat if no one comes?  In Burlington it is seldom no one coming but the audiences are often very small – close to pathetic.

FORM one of the most cutting edge dance groups in this province had a very small audience when they performed.

Ralph & Lina was one of the funniest small plays put on at the Performing Arts Centre – 17 seats sold. The play wasn’t one of those avant guarde things that are hard to understand; it was funny, ribald and real. It stayed in ton for a number of days and the audience did improve but it was never near sold out.

Trevor Copp, who doesn’t fully understand what stage fright is – he is confident with his art form and consistently pushes the edges – is getting a little queasy about his upcoming “Air” production which opens in 2 weeks. “Can I ask something?”

“Please buy a ticket in advance. I get the last minute thing. But it’s killing me out here. I don’t know if people are coming – and shows may get cancelled if they don’t. So if you want to come – and it will be amazing, I devote my life to this.”

Click will get you to the box office:


Return to the Front page

Police looking for a pick up truck involved in a hit and run on Fairview yesterday afternoon.

Crime 100By Staff

January 7, 2016


The suspect vehicle in this matter has been located in the area of Woodland Avenue and New Street in Burlington.
Shortly before 12:00 PM on this date, an observant citizen located the vehicle unoccupied and contact police.
The vehicle involved was reported stolen to the Stratford Police Service. The theft and subsequent fail to remain are still under investigation.

Halton Regional Police are seeking public assistance in locating a vehicle involved in a hit and run that occurred at 1225 Fairview Street in Burlington.

On January 6th 2016 shortly after 3:10 PM, an unknown male operating a blue Chevrolet Silverado dually 4X4 with stolen licence plates, cut off another motorist which resulted in the motorist following the pickup truck to a mall parking lot where it came to a stop.

License plates - truckAs the motorist was about to exit his vehicle, the dually suddenly reversed into the other vehicle at a significant speed to cause considerable damage including airbag deployment.

The pickup truck then fled the lot and was last seen travelling west on Fairview Street towards Maple Avenue.

The suspect driver is described as a white male, 35 to 44 years of age, 190lbs, average build, scruffy brown hair, teeth are stained and possibly missing a tooth. He was wearing a black baseball hat, light and dark brown leather jacket.

Anyone with information that would assist in locating the suspect vehicle or identifying the suspect are encouraged to contact Constable Phil Bibawi at 905 825-4747 extension 2305 or Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS (8477), through the web at or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

Return to the Front page

Five tower project that will become a community of 2000 + people well underway - concrete is being poured and excavating being done.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 7, 2016


Walking onto a construction site before the sun is up is just a little eerie; the dump truck drivers standing in small groups, most of them smoking and shuffling their feet to keep warm, while they wait for the work day to begin. The sounds of all the heavy equipment aren’t hard yet. The sound of the GO trains in the background assures that there are people out there.

Trucks at daybreak Jan 2016

Dump trucks wait for the gates to open and the excavators to be loading soil into them.

Work will begin soon – but nothing really starts until the crane operator and his rigger are on the site. The construction site Superintendent is checking on everything, shouting at a driver to get his dump truck off the road while watching out of the corner of his eye for the two men that will bring life to a large sprawling site that will eventually house five towers that range from 18 to 22 storeys.

It is going to be another day on the Molinaro Paradigm on Fairview next to the Burlington GO line station. Right now, at what site Superintendent Rodger Parks calls Tower A of the project, they will be tearing down concrete forms, preparing new forms, overseeing the delivery of steel and making sure that the schedule is being met. “Just another normal day on the site” as far as Rodger is concerned. The weather has been particularly good and the top of the level two parking garage is close to completion.


When completed the Paradigm will consist of five towers that back onto the GO rail line.

As Tower A slowly rises, excavation for Tower B and Tower C gets done.

Tower A, which the marketing people call the West Tower is sold out – they are now selling Tower B.

The project will have three towers at the back of the site and two towers close to Fairview where the entrance will be a large circular driveway with a ramp into the underground garage. The plan is for the project to be fully completed in six years.

Crane operator going up BEST

The steps are still covered in frost on the cold days and are slippy to the touch – this is not a place where you want to lose your grip or your footing.

Crane operator John Caronello gets his equipment together and prepares to walk into the underground garage that is still being built and climb on to the ladder that will take him 215 feet into the air where he will operate the crane that has a 230 foot boom for the next eight and a half hours.

He doesn’t talk very much to his rigger Ryan Vandermeer as they get out of the car; they will be talking to each other every minute of the day. Both men live in Guelph and drive to work in the same car.

A construction site where high rise buildings are going to be built doesn’t start work on any one day until the crane operator determines that he is going to be able to operate the crane – wind can at times can be too strong for the safe operation of the crane.

“There have been occasions when the fog was too thick for me to see the ground and my rigger wasn’t able to help me all that much – so we shut down the construction site” said Caronello.

Crane cabin

The cabin where the crane operator works for a full day while not spacious is air conditioned and heated.

John has been in construction for 32 years – loves his job and has worked on buildings that reached 900 feet into the air. He did much of his work in Calgary where he was one of the crane operators on the Petro Canada building.

“I’ve worked on pretty close to 200 buildings” said John “and I’ve never lost a load.”

The tower that reaches 215 feet into the sky is anchored in 1.7 metres of concrete of concrete at the lowest level of the underground garage. The steel ladder steps are often covered with a thin film that is slippy to the hand and foot when it is cold. The crane operator moves very carefully as he climbs up that metal ladder. There is one rule on a construction – be careful, very careful and work safely. “In told that in the old days” said Caronello “that the rules were pretty lax – those days are over. I wear a harness up there that costs $1,100

Safety is an attitude that is put in place and enforced by the site Superintendent – and no one talks back to Roger Parks.

Caronello went up the ladder to his crane cabin when the sun was still rising – he came down at just after four pm taking each step carefully, deliberately – did his paperwork and got ready to drive home. With the parking levels close to completion – the work on the levels that will house offices and residential units will soon begin.

Caronello glances at the sky – gets a sense of what the weather might be tomorrow and heads home.

The sun has yet to set but the construction site is strangely quiet as a supervisor slides the metal gate shut and clicks the lock in place.

Return to the Front page

Halton District School Board welcomes Syrian refugees; 12 students have been welcomed to the area since December 2015

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 7, 2015


The Halton District School Board has welcomed 12 Syrian students in Milton, Oakville and Burlington since December of 2015.

The Board has been advised an additional 13 students are expected to arrive in the coming weeks. While Halton Region is not among the seven communities designated to receive federally-sponsored Syrian refugees, the Board anticipates more refugees will be arriving in the coming months as Halton is a location of choice for many privately sponsored refugees.

Syrian children

Syrian children at a refugee camp in Jordan learning something about Canada.

Halton, and Ontario, are home to one of the most diverse populations in the world, where generations have come to build new lives. According to the Halton Multicultural Council (HMC Connections), approximately 100 refugees are welcomed to Halton on an annual basis. The current commitment to resettle Syrian refugees will increase the number of those settling in Halton in 2016.

To date, the Halton District School Board has supported the settlement and inclusion of refugees into our elementary and secondary schools and communities through our Welcome Centre, located inside Gary Allan High School in Milton (the former E.C. Drury High School) at 215 Ontario St South.

“We are pleased that in our own small way, we are contributing to the much needed aid of those who have lived through and continue to face great challenges in their homeland, says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support our Federal and Provincial governments in this humanitarian cause.”

Refuge fund - city hall

City hall staff refugee fund very close to its target.

The following actions are being taken by the Halton District School Board to ensure a successful transition for Syrian refugees:

• With support from, and in consultation with, the Ministry of Education and the Federal government, the Halton District School Board will help settle Syrian refugees and integrate them into our communities, through our Welcome Centre, and into our elementary and secondary schools.

• All students who are new to the Halton District School Board and who speak a language other than English as their first language visit the Welcome Centre as their point of entry to receive settlement supports and academic assessments.

• The Halton District School Board’s School Programs department is developing English Literacy Development (ELD) and English as a Second Language (ESL) programming and instructional supports and resources for teachers.

• ESL instructional program leaders, in coordination with the Welcome Centre and schools, will support classroom learning and co-curricular experiences in academically appropriate and culturally responsive and relevant approaches. Examples of some resources developed include Q&A scenario-based documents, lesson plans appropriate to English Proficiency Assessment levels and entry points within the grade and subject curriculum, Arabic specific teaching tools and lessons to include all students in literacy learning through Arabic/English translation.

• A central resource teacher will be assigned to assist with the process of coordinating support for schools for ESL and ELD students. Based on volume and levels of language proficiency, schools may need assistance in integrating refugee students.

• School administrators will attend professional learning sessions with their ESL/ELD teachers to learn about targeted and focused supports for welcoming students and families, engaging newcomer families into school life, and developing a support network to enhance and enrich the learning experiences and inclusion of all newcomers in their communities.

• Ongoing support for all newcomers to the Halton District School Board includes orientation programs about the Ontario educational system and requirements. Newcomers are also provided information about the processes and programs specific to the Halton District School Board, the provision of interpretation services, as well as the translation of Board and school documents. Furthermore, information about parent and student engagement through Community Connects programming is available to promote academic success and social and emotional health.

• Many schools are engaged in initiatives to support Syrian refugees as they arrive and continue to grow and learn and become members of our Halton communities. For example, Oodenawi Public School in Oakville has developed ‘play kits’ to provide to students when they arrive at the Welcome Centre. The Halton Learning Foundation provides donations to students in need, including Syrian refugees.

The city of Burlington staff have created a fund to support a refugee family – they are very close to their objective.

Return to the Front page

Burlington hockey talent being moved around in the Ontario hockey league.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

January 6, 2016



George Burnett, Coach and General Manager of the Ontario Hockey League Hamilton Bulldogs, did what was rumoured he would do; deal Stephen Harper to the IceDogs along with Barrie Colts seventh-round pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Draft for forward Evan Krassey and four draft picks.

Stephen Harper Hamilton bulldogHarper is one of six players in the OHL from Burlington. Any one or all of the others could be on the move in advance of the OHL’s January 9th trade deadline. The players are Justin Scott (left wing) of the Barrie Colts, Kyle West (right wing) of the Guelph Storm, David Miller (centre) of the Kitchener Rangers, Trenton Bourque (defenceman) of the Owen Sound Attack, and Ryan McGregor (centre) of the Sarnia Sting.

Harper is a product of the 2010-11 Burlington Eagles Minor Midget AAA squad. As a 20-year-old, his Junior hockey eligibility has virtually run out. According to OHL rules teams can only carry three 20-year-old players on a roster during a season.

Harper previously played Junior hockey for the Erie Otters (2011-12 to 2013-14), and the Belleville Bulls (2013-14 to 2014-15) before moving with the team to Hamilton. In 36 games this season, he has 17 goals and 24 points for 41 points and 23 minutes in penalties.

Krassey, 17, a Thunder Bay minor hockey product played 18 games this season for Niagara plus 11 more for the Fort Erie Meteors of the Greater Ontario Junior B Hockey League.

In addition to Krassey, 17, the Bulldogs received Windsor Spitfires third-round draft selection in 2016, Windsor’s second-round pick in 2017, Niagara’s second-round choice in 2020, and Kitchener Rangers fifth-round selection in the 2018 OHL Priority Draft.

Return to the Front page

Pain, tactility, and thermoception are guides in this maze - a 35 minute video installation at the AGB

artsblue 100x100By Staff

January 6th, 2015


Arms Reach is a video installation by Jenn E Norton that depicts a haptic labyrinth.

Norton at AGB video installation

Jenn E. Norton, Arms Reach, 35 minute, video installation, 2016.

Pain, tactility, and thermoception are guides in this maze that can only be solved through touch, accompanied by a haunting score by musician Bry Webb of the Constantines.
Jenn E. Norton’s Arms Reach on now at AGB until January 31, 2016

The work is in the RBC Community Gallery.

Jenn E. Norton, Arms Reach, 35 minute, video installation, 2016.

Return to the Front page

Halton students get refurbished computers from Siemens - software licenses included.

News 100 redBy Staff

January 6th, 2016



Siemens Canada recently provided $155,000 worth of refurbished computer laptops and programming licences, as well as volunteer support towards educational activities for the Halton District School Board.


Laptops donated to Halton students – software included.

Siemens partnered with Corporations for Community Connections (CFCC), a Canadian charity specializing in the refurbishment and charitable distribution of donated decommissioned corporate computers, to provide 140 refurbished laptops to the Board. All donated laptops were prepared and tested during CFCC workshops, primarily staffed by Siemens volunteers at the end of November.

Laptops will support elementary and secondary schools. Eighty of them will be used in the elementary Robotics program in 16 elementary schools while the remaining 60 laptops will be used to support Technological Design courses and upcoming Robotics projects at secondary schools. The laptops will also assist in preparing students for the Architectural and Mechanical CADD competitions in the Halton Skills Competition.

Dave Lewis, Coordinator, Instructional Program Leader for Technological Education for the Halton District School Board said “ “We are excited for the Siemens contribution as the laptop donation will support STEM learning at elementary and secondary school levels,”

“We also look forward to using the Siemens-provided software in our classrooms and hope to explore new possibilities in 3-D design.”

Return to the Front page

Halton students to be given the 2016 robotic challenge - then have six weeks to show what they can create.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 5, 2015



Another FIRST!

The Halton District School Board will be hosting its 2016 FIRST – For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology this Saturday, January 9, 2016.

Robotics NOT canada

Will it work? The level of concentration is intense.

Approximately 450 students, teachers, community mentors and parents are expected to attend the Saturday, January 9, 2016 kickoff, starting at 9:00 am at the New Street Education Centre (3250 New Street, Burlington). Students and mentors will receive this year’s robotic challenge and will have six weeks to build their team’s robot before taking it to competitions across North America.

During the January 9 event, Siemens Canada, a key sponsor of the Halton District School Board’s Robotics program, will be recognized for its continued involvement.

robotics - not COB

These are the students that are going to come up with the ideas that will make this planet a better place to live on – won’t they?

The Board will also unveil a new partnership with ArcelorMittalDofasco, on a new Advanced Manufacturing program that will start in September 2016 at M. M. Robinson High School. The program is aimed at encouraging students to consider employment in the skilled trades, and engineering and technologies sectors.

Return to the Front page

Public invited to comment on the draft version of the Strategic plan - the document matters.

eventspink 100x100By Pepper Parr

January 5th, 2016


The city is getting close to having a Strategic Plan it will take to Council for approval.

Strategic Plans are created by each Council which they use to set out what they plan to do during their tem of office.

Strategic Plan WorkbookTraditionally a Strategic Plan is to cover the term of office for the city council that created the document.

This time around council has stretched the document to cover a twenty-five year time frame – however any future council I not committed to anything a previous council put in place.

The 2011 Strategic Plan was a relatively strong document, especially when compared to those done previously which were not much more than a collection of nice pictures and a lot of fluffy rhetoric.

Strat Plan meeting part of crowd

Members of city council, staff and people from the Region took part in the discussion and debate on the several drafts of the Strategic Plan that the public now gets to comment on.

The draft plan which has gone through a number of drafts with significant changes made at each version. Much of the creation of the document this time around was done by the consultants. KPMG, the city hired to work with them. The consultants would listen, prepare a document and bring it back for solid discussion and debate.

The version the public will see is the draft that members of council are content with for the most part. Now they want to hear what the citizen’s wants to say about the document.

Residents from across Burlington are invited to attend one of four upcoming open houses; the first has already taken place. There are three scheduled for January:


Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016
Robert Bateman High School
5151 New St.
7 – 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016
Burlington Senior Centre
2285 New St.
Multi-purpose Room
7 – 9 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 18, 2016
LaSalle Park Pavilion
50 North Shore Blvd. E.
Main Hall (upper level)
7 – 9 p.m.

Monday, Jan. 18, 2016
Mountainside Recreation Centre
2205 Mount Forest Dr.
Community Room 2
7 – 9 p.m.


Return to the Front page

Glen Eden expects to be open on Friday - snow making machines working over time.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

January 5, 2016


The Conservation has told us what we kind of figured out on our own – winter is here!

And the good folks at Glen Eden want everyone to know that the snowmaking team is making snow and expect to have the hill set to open this Friday, January 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Glen Eden lifts

Glen Eden expects to have five lifts open for Friday.

Glen Eden is anticipating having five lifts and eight runs open for the weekend. There will be a Terrain Park setup as well for the snowboarders.
Additional details will be posted later this week.

The Tube Park will not be open this weekend at Glen Eden, more information on that later in the week.
“We’re still making snow for a good portion of this week and the goal is to have as many runs and terrain open as we can for our opening this weekend,” said Sean Durkin, Manager Glen Eden.

GlenEden from top of hill

All downhill from here.

Glen Eden is home to one of the largest Snow Schools in Ontario, with a wide selection of programs from classic Core Programs to a new spin on specialty programs that are now part of the Academy Programs. Visit the Glen Eden website,, or call Visitor Services at 905-878-5011, ext. 1221, for more information.

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

Return to the Front page

Fewer arrests for driving while under the influence; more warnings given. Are people getting the message?

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 5th, 2016


Halton Regional Police take impaired driving very seriously.

Impaired driving by both alcohol and drug is a costly risk many drivers continue to take. Officers take an aggressive approach to combat impaired driving throughout the year and work in close partnership with M.A.D.D. Halton Region Chapter to Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere.


Police doing RIDE checks. Arrests were lower this year.

In the month of December, during the busy festive holiday season, impaired driving education and enforcement was increased in an effort to keep our roads and our communities safe.

Throughout the Halton Region, 31 impaired driving arrests were made in December 2015, a number down 45% from the previous year which resulted in 56 impaired driving arrests.

With just over 15,000 vehicles checked through our RIDE stops, there were 46 three-day suspensions issued, which is a result of blowing a “warn” on the alcohol screening device. This is a 65% increase from 28 in 2014.

Impaired driving arrests are down; people driving within the warning range are up. Are people getting the message?

The Regional Police did not provide a breakdown of the charges that were laid in each municipality.

Return to the Front page

Pedestrians being given more time to get to the other side of the road - how will the police enforce this one?

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 5th, 2016


Speeding and aggressive driving are the top complaints by residents in the Halton Region, according to the Regional Police.

Officers work diligently to educate drivers about the dangers of bad driving behaviour and conduct enforcement to ensure people are getting the message. The province’s Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act requires drivers to be more patient and alert when driving through busy pedestrian intersections.

On January 1, 2016, drivers in Ontario will have to wait until a pedestrian has reached the other side of a designated school crossing or designated pedestrian crossover, or face a fine between $150.00 and $500.00 and three demerit points.


The driver of this car would be subject to a stiff fine were the police to have been on hand. New rules are now in place.

Drivers will have to stop and yield the entire width of the road to the pedestrian, instead of half the road as was previously the case. Cyclists must follow the same rules as drivers under the Highway Traffic Act, and thereby must stop and wait or face the same fine.

These rules apply at pedestrian crossovers identified with specific signs, road markings and lights – the new rules do not apply to pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with stop signs or traffic signals, unless a school crossing guard is present.

It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure our roads are the safest they can be. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians must share the road and look out for each other. Make 2016 your safest driving year yet!

Good luck on getting the cyclists to adhere to this rule.

A number of months ago, perhaps it was last year, we recall hearing a police officer tell city Councillor’s that the people they stopped for speeding on a residential street were usually found to be people who lived on the street.

Human nature – it will eventually be the end of us.

Return to the Front page