Two woman come up with an old tradition celebrated throughout the province - a levée - first one to ever be held in Burlington

News 100 redBy Staff

January 5, 2016


The word levée a social event that now takes place on New Year’s Day goes back to this country’s colonial times.

The Lieutenant Governor’s |levee still takes place at Queen’s Park and a number of armed forces regiments hold the event.

Close to a hundred different Ontario municipalities in Ontario hold a levee but Burlington apparently has never held a levée.

The times they are a changing. On Sunday, January 10th, Burlington’s MPP Eleanor McMahon and Member of Parliament Karina Gould will officiate at a levee to be held at the Art Gallery of Burlington from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Remembrance McMahon + Gould

McMahon and Gould at the 2015 Remembrance Day ceremony.

No word yet on how the two women are going to style the vent. Will they have a receiving line, will they both wear long gowns?

Will McMahon sing – she has a pretty good voice.

Will there be a military presence?

Will members of the various youth military groups be on hand?

Will there be a piper?

Gould and McMahon have an opportunity to create an event that can be colourful, historical and not the usual “borington” event.

The two woman took part in the Remembrance Day event as a team bringing a quiet dignity to the role they each played.

“In the 18th century the levée in Great Britain and Ireland became a formal court reception given by the sovereign or his/her representative in the forenoon or early afternoon. In the New World colonies the levée was held by the governor acting on behalf of the monarch. Only men were received at these events.

It was in Canada that the levée became associated with New Year’s Day. The fur traders had the tradition of paying their respects to the master of the fort (their government representative) on New Year’s Day. This custom was adopted by the Governor General and Lieutenant Governors for their levées.

Gould Karina H&S

MP Karina Gould

The first recorded levée in Canada was held on January 1, 1646, in the Chateau St. Louis by Charles Huault de Montmagny, Governor of New France from 1636 to 1648. In addition to wishing a happy new year to the citizens the governor informed guests of significant events in France as well as the state of affairs within the colony. In turn, the settlers were expected to renew their pledges of allegiance to the Crown.

The levée tradition was continued by British colonial governors in Canada and subsequently by both the governor general and lieutenant governors. It continues to the present day.

As mentioned, the levée was historically a male preserve but during World War II levées were attended by female officers of the armed forces. Since then levées have been open to both women and men.

Over the years the levée has become almost solely a Canadian observance.

Transit - McMahon - tight H&S

MPP Eleanor McMahon

Today the levée has evolved from the earlier, more boisterous party into a more sedate and informal one. It is an occasion to call upon representatives of the monarch, military and municipal governments and to exchange New Year’s greetings and best wishes for the New Year, to renew old acquaintances and to meet new friends. It is also an opportunity to reflect upon the events of the past year and to welcome the opportunities of the New Year.

It will be interesting to see how Gould and McMahon fashion this event – there is an opportunity to make it colourful with a historical tweek to it.

Keep the speeches short and ensure that the Tory’s are made to feel fully welcome – this isn’t to become a Liberal event.

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CineStarz showtimes: Week of Friday, January 08, 2016 through Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cinestarz logo

Upper Canada Place,

Burlington, ON


Week of Friday, January 08, 2016 through Thursday, January 14, 2016

In the Heart of the Sea (PG)
Fri – Sun: 11:00 AM, 1:00, 7:35, 9:30
Mon – Thu: 1:00, 9:15

Creed (14A)
Fri – Sun: 3:05, 9:40
Mon – Thu: 3:45, 9:10

The Good Dinosaur (G)
Fri – Sun: 11:10 AM, 1:15, 3:10, 5:25, 7:25
Mon – Thu: 3:15, 5:25, 7:25

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (PG)
Fri – Sun: 1:15, 3:00, 5:00, 7:15, 9:45
Mon – Thu: 1:00, 3:00, 5:00, 7:15, 9:35

Spotlight (—)
Fri – Sun: 11:00 AM, 1:00, 3:45, 7:20, 9:40
Mon – Thu: 1:00, 5:05, 7:20, 9:35

The Peanuts Movie (G)
Fri – Sun: 11:30 AM, 1:15, 3:15, 5:15
Mon – Thu: 1:15, 3:15, 6:00

Spectre ()
Fri – Sun: 2:40, 5:00, 7:00, 9:20
Mon – Thu: 1:05, 3:25, 6:30, 9:15

Suffragette (PG)
Fri – Sun: 11:00 AM, 5:25
Mon – Thu: 7:40 PM

The Martian (PG)
Fri – Sun: 7:00, 9:40
Mon – Thu: 1:10, 3:45, 6:45, 9:40

Hotel Transylvania 2 (G)
Fri – Sun: 11:15 AM, 1:00

CineStarz - popcorn

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Columnist Rivers gives us his 2016 predictions - we will look at these at the end of the year and see just how good he is.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

January 4th, 2016



Job number one for the new federal government will be restoring the good ship Canada.

The previous government will be remembered for its poorly (ideologically) conceived legislation which kept getting overruled by the Supreme Court. Bill -51 (police state), the (un)Fair Elections Act, the Environmental Assessment and the Fisheries acts, and the Safe Streets and Communities Act (mandatory prison sentencing) are but a sampling. Others were typically buried in omnibus legislation so as avoid scrutiny.


The Supreme Court in Ottawa – not a Court that the Harper government was able to convince very often.

It appears the government backdated authority for the RCMP to destroy gun registry records, which is improper if not illegal. This little trick was buried in one of the several omnibus bills that had everything imaginable stuffed into them; an example was the Tory’s signature law, “Ending the Long-gun Registry Act’ .

This long-gun registry has been problematic since its inception, and it is unlikely Mr. Trudeau, who once referred to the registry as a mistake, will be in any hurry to restore it.

And speaking of guns, Canadian war planes are still in action in the Middle East, something which most Canadians seem to agree with. Bringing our six planes home will not significantly affect the fight in that region, although we should be proud of our fly-boys. And it appears that IS, Daesh, ISIL or whatever they call themselves are on the run.

The real danger is that these extremists will end up diminished but not destroyed, holed up in some hideout, and like al Qaeda dropping in to spoil our party from time to time, as they did in Paris.

Voting ballot box

How will the ballots be counted in the next federal election?

Mr. Trudeau pledged to change the way we elect MP’s, thus making our current multi-party electoral system, known as First-Past-the-Post (FPP), more representative. At least 60% of electors typically vote for someone other than a Conservatives candidate. That implies that moving to a mixed member proportional system (MMP) or a preferential ballot, would ensure that the Conservative Party would never again be able to form a majority government.

Of course all bets are off if the Conservatives were to re-position themselves closer to the political centre. And of course, they could merge with the NDP and then honestly call themselves progressive-conservatives once again.

At a recent biennial policy conference the Liberal party endorsed a preferential ballot, a variation on the FPP. Voters rank their choices on the ballot and, if no candidate gets a plurality, second choices are added to the calculation until someone obtains 51% of the vote. It’s not really as complicated as I’ve made it sound, and the calculations can be done instantly by computers, even if paper ballots are marked. This option is where the smart money can be found.

Still one should never say never – except that our new PM has said never again to the very system which gave him a majority government with less than 40% of the vote. Still it was a larger share of the vote than either Harper or Chretien had obtained. So the Conservatives are demanding a national referendum. Not that Mr. Harper ever held a referendum on any of his legislation, such as the Fair Elections Act.

stephen-harper scowl

Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Perhaps our former PM understood that a referendum can be a messy business. Just look at what happened to Brian Mulroney when he rolled the dice and lost the ill-fated Charlottetown Accord. About half of Canada’s provinces have at least considered implementing MMP provincially. And B.C. and Ontario, each held a referendum, which failed to meet their critical thresholds for adoption.

Call it a communications/messaging failure by the governments or see it as a failure to win by deliberate design. The truth is that these once enthusiastic champions for electoral reform seemed to lose interest after they had become the government. Interestingly, New Zealand made the move to MMP back in the 1990’s with considerable backing by the public in their referendum campaigns. More recently the province of Ontario has announced that it will allow municipalities to use ranked/preferential ballots to determine the winners in the next local elections.

Rona Ambrose

Current Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose.

Nevertheless the new Tory interim-leader is determined to block any change without first polling all Canadians, and has even threatened to use her majority in the Senate. Of course since we are a federation, Mr. Trudeau might want to obtain a sign-off from at least seven provinces comprising 50% of our population (the amending formula for the constitution) before moving forward. That would allow him to withstand a constitutional challenge in the courts, should one be forthcoming.

As for the Senate there are over 20 vacancies which need to be filled, and the government appears to be intent on filling them based on merit, and in a non-partisan fashion. Meanwhile Senator Duffy’s days are almost certainly numbered, though he’ll likely escape with a slap on the wrist. The core of the problem, which even he concedes, is that he should never have been appointed to represent PEI in the first place.

Provincial plans and national targets for climate changing emission reductions will be addressed early this year. And if they are smart, the federal government will work to integrate the various provincial programs into a national framework, including any ‘cap and trade’ or other carbon tax provincial programs.

It is inevitable that there will have to be new incentives for individuals and enterprises to cut emissions, plant trees, etc.. So if you are looking to make renovations to that draughty house or contemplating buying a new car, like me, it might be prudent to wait a few months. And to help pay for these financial incentives expect to see some kind of carbon tax as well as a national cap and trade program. And what about Ontario’s converting its high occupancy vehicles (HOV) lanes into a tollroad – just a teaser or a harbinger of what waits for all of us?

Below are my expectations of what is coming and the probability of occurrence.

Electors in Saskatchewan will re-elect Brad Wall (60%)
• Electors in Manitoba will vote for a change (70%)
• Ontario will kick off major infrastructure building program (100%)
• Canadian dollar will stay low benefiting Ontario businesses (80%)
• Continued low oil prices will see Alberta trade places with Ontario as ‘have’ provinces (90%)
• A lower dollar will lead to inflation and higher interest rates (60%)
• Ontario pension plan will be a pilot project and rolled into CPP (60%)
• Income taxes will become more progressive at both upper levels of government (50%)
• US electors will get a new president and it won’t be the Donald (100%)
• Eastern Europe will become more tense as Russia/Ukraine conflict continues (90%)
• There will be proxy wars in the middle east between Iran and Sunni Muslim states (80%)
• UK will prepare for BREXIT referenda in 2017 (100%) and stay in EU (60%)
• Canada’s Conservatives move to the middle and prepare for new leader in 2017 (60%)
• Globe and Mail ahead of me (great minds…) with this kind of story (100%)

• I’m going to take a break for a month or so (100%)

Rivers reading a newspaper Jan 3-15

Rivers will read the newspaper rather than write for it as he takes a well earned break.

Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking. Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran as a Liberal against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province. Rivers is no longer active with any political party.

Background links:

Gun Registry Screw-Up      Gun Registry       Charlottetown       FPP

MMP in New Zealand       Democratic Reform     Ranked Ballots Ontario      Looking Forward       More Looking Forward

Even More Looking Forward

Food Prices 2016      Big Issues 2016

Tax Avoidance       G&M Predictions

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Public school board would like all kindergarten registrations to be completed no later than February 5th.

News 100 redBy Staff

January 4th. 2016


The Halton District School Board is accepting registrations for Junior and Senior Kindergarten for September 2016.

Kindergarten -firstday-390x285You start the process by dropping by or calling your designated elementary school to find out which dates have been established for Kindergarten registration. Parents are asked to register their children by February 5, 2016. Access to the school library is provided after a student is registered.

Please bring the following original documents when registering:

Proof of address (any two of the following current documents): lease or deed, car registration, property tax bill, utility bill, residential telephone bill, moving bill, health card, bank statement, credit card statement, correspondence with a government agency
Proof of age: birth certificate, passport or baptismal/faith document for your child.
Proof of citizenship: birth certificate or passport or Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Permanent Resident card.
Proof of immunization, or philosophical or religious exemption forms – (completed medical authorization where necessary).

If you are not the child’s parent, or if you have sole custody, please bring proof of custody (court order).

To register for Fall 2016, Junior Kindergarten children must be 4 years old by December 31, 2016, and Senior Kindergarten children must be 5 years old by December 31, 2016.

To determine your designated home school, access our website, and click the ‘Find A School’ button located on the right-hand side of the webpage.

If you require language assistance registering your student for school, please contact the Halton Multicultural Council at 905-842-2486. Parents should contact the

Principal/Vice-principal if they require accessibility accommodations in order to register their child for Kindergarten.

To learn more about the Halton District School Board’s Full Day Kindergarten program, visit or click here.

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Regional Police Toys for Tots drive brought in $345,486.93 in toys, gift cards, books, cash and food.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 4th, 2016


Halton Regional Police Toys for Tots Campaign Gives Thanks to our Generous Communities

The Halton Regional Police 2015 Toys for Tots campaign is celebrating its most successful year collecting $345,486.93 in toys, gift cards, books, cash and food. The donations benefited over 4200 families throughout the Halton Region over the Christmas season. This amazing success is due to the overwhelming generosity of our residents, businesses, schools and sports teams who make up our compassionate communities, thank you.

HRPS christmas toy drive

Celebrating the 2015 Halton Regional Police Toys for Tots Christmas Drive

Halton Regional Police are grateful for the support of the following community partners:

Burlington Lions Optimist Minor Hockey Association (BLOMHA) who raised more than $48,000. A Big thank you to parent Rep Shari Carruthers for spearheading this massive collection.

A $100,000 anonymous donation of toys from a local corporation.

ASL Distribution for a $10,000 donation of Lego.

Other community partners who made significant contributions included the Halton Catholic and Halton District elementary schools, Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons, Budds, St Mildreds-Lightborn School, Rotherglen School, Oakville Christian Academy, TD/Canada Trust, Longo’s Fruit Market, Sobeys, Great Canadian Superstore, Mandarin Restaurant, Halton Honda, Shakers Smokehouse, East sides Auto Group and the Tiger Jeet Singh Foundation.

In 2015, Civilian and Uniform members of the Halton Regional Police Service graciously contributed their own time and personal funds to assist in the campaign again. Members collected over $40,000 in cash and toys at Canadian Tire locations and donated over $5800 through individual fundraisers and the uniform platoon challenge.

Police Chief Stephen Tanner remarked “Through the Toys for Tots program, the Halton Regional Police Service worked in partnership with the communities we serve to deliver a message of hope for young people during the holiday season. Toys for Tots’ continued success would not be possible if not for the compassion, dedication and commitment of our community, partners and our employees. On behalf of myself, the Deputy Chiefs, senior leadership team and all the Halton Regional Police Service members, thank you”.

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Getting your children ready for that first year of real school - grade 1, the beginning of their first career choice.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 4th, 2016


Every school in the Halton District School Board with Grade 1 classes will be running  parent sessions in January to provide information about Grade 1 programming.

Parents of Senior Kindergarten students are encouraged to check with their child’s school for specific dates. These information sessions will enable parents to learn about the transitions from an early learning environment to a Grade 1 classroom.

HDSB sign with flagDuring these information sessions, principals and teachers will share information about the classroom learning approaches used for reading, mathematics concepts and French language instruction in Grade 1.

Understanding the reading and writing learning expectations for Grade 1 students is important information for all parents as it supports them in helping their children at home. Parents will also learn more about the school activities and support systems available for students.

Information evenings are as follows:

On January 12, 13 or 14, 2016 English Program, Single Track Schools will run their information sessions (Parents are asked to check with their child’s school for dates).

On January 12, 13 or 14, 2016 English and French Immersion Dual Track schools will run their information sessions. (Parents are asked to check with their child’s school for dates).

On January 20 or 21, 2016, French Immersion Single Track schools will host an information session.

Grade 1 French Immersion registration begins on January 22. Forms are posted on arents must submit their registration forms to their home school no later than Friday, Feb. 5 2016.

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This is not the government trying to help you - this is someone wanting to steal your money.

Crime 100By Staff

January 4th, 2016


It does sort of look official – but it isn’t.

Tax scam - refund

If you see this in your electronic mail box – just delete it.

The Canada Revenue Agency does not use email to communicate with people about their tax matters.

The rule when you see something in your email inbox is simple – if it looks suspicious – it probably is. If in doubt – don’t.

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Halton District Public School Board: a 2015 review.

opinionandcommentBy Walter Byj

January 1, 2105


The six new trustees elected to the Halton District School Board, out of a total of 11, had to accelerate get through a steep learning curve when they found themselves faced with a number of issues that were the legacy of previous boards.

As in the past, the HDSB trustees were model administrators and conducted day to day business in an efficient manner. The introduction of the new Health and Education Curriculum was carefully studied by both the trustees and staff and with the assurance of proper training for the teaching staff the new curriculum was introduced to Halton students with little fanfare.

New schools were built in Oakville and Milton and even though lead time was far from ideal, the schools were built on time with few inconveniences. With the Close the Gap project, the board continued to upgrade older schools so that students would have the same classroom benefits the newer schools have; air conditioning and better access to wifi and library services.

Through the Long Tern Accommodation Plan, they reviewed the status of the various schools within Halton and realized that although Halton as a region had a growing population with the requirement of additional schools, there were areas, such as the south of Burlington, where school attendance was falling and consolidation of schools may need to take place.


Pineland Public School

There were other issues that although identified in 2015 that will be resolved 2016 if not later.

The first thorny issues the trustees faced was the decision that Pineland school be converted to a totally French Immersion school thereby disrupting the ideal of having a community school that served the needs of all those in the neighbourhood. Instead, Pineland was to become a school that was now serving a large swath of students in the south of Burlington who were bused in while those in the immediate neighbourhood would now need to go to a school that was originally outside their boundary.

A numbers game was played justifying the change, but the numbers game were in part a reflection of previous decisions when the French Immersion program was introduced in Halton. No one can ever predict the success of any program, but French Immersion has exceeded expectations to the point where it is now negatively affecting the English program at the elementary level.

The board has formed the Program Viability Committee to fully review and with input from the public provide a solution for upcoming years. As noted before, this will not go down easy in parts of Halton.

Getting to and from school has become problematic within the Halton region. After ceding to the various demands such as larger, friendlier parking lots and curved laneways from both the municipality and public, our schools have become extremely car friendly, resulting in congestion on a regular basis. Combined with one of the more liberal school busing programs, the board is now reviewing how it can encourage more students to use active transportation (walking and biking) as a method of getting to school.

This will continue to be a hot issue for 2016 with potential of much debate.

In January, the board faced the issue of start times for elementary and secondary students. Reviewing studies that stated that school times for secondary students, in some cases are starting too early, the board wanted to alter the start times of secondary students so that the students could have a later start time. However, after much debate and research change would not be easy.

School busses - winter

Any change in school start times would be a logistical nightmare for the bus schedules

With many students (elementary and secondary) using school transportation, any change to school times for secondary could affect the start times of elementary students.

Also, the HDSB shares school busing with the Catholic board. A change for one would require the co-operation of the other or face the possibility of going alone. To date, no changes have yet occurred.

The board did question the viability of using public schools as polling stations for the various municipal, provincial and federal elections. The potential for harm to students was the genesis of this review. It is currently in the embryonic stage but ideas such as potential weekend voting have been raised. Any solution would require all three levels of government so do not expect any quick solution on this one.

Eaule David

David Euale gives retirement a third try – seems to have succeeded this time.

In February, after five years as Director of Education, David Euale announced his retirement, effective August 31st, much to the chagrin of the board and staff. With the mandate of finding the best possible replacement, the board started a provincial wide search for a new director. At times like this, some argue that new blood from outside is at times necessary to stimulate and add a different perspective.

Stuart Miller

Stuart Miller; Director o Education, Halton District School Board

The board decided to promote within and Associate Director of Education Stuart Miller was hired as the new Director of Education. Director Miller is highly respected by both staff and the board and is highly qualified to face the challenges of 2016.

In a thriving democracy, people who are voted into any office are there as representatives of the total population and bring the voice and desires of the mass to an elected body. This would include the highest level in the country, the Canadian Parliament, to elected members of our various school boards. These bodies set out to create policies for not only the immediate future, but also for years in the future. These decisions can lead to the success or potential problems if issues are not properly vetted. So how does the Halton District School Board stack up?

In Burlington, one of the trustees, Amy Collard, was acclaimed while two others, Andrea Grebenc and Richelle Papin received 12% and 13% of registered voters. Leah Reynolds received 17% of registered voters. Based on the number of votes cast, all three were close to or over 50%.

MMW + Leah Reynolds

Is one of these two going to follow the other? Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward and school board trustee Leah Reynolds. There is a “geezer” in ward 2 who would like to upset that apple cart.

The low turnout is not their fault, they elected to run and it may not be the public’s fault as they themselves may not be familiar with the issues. However, we are electing a group of people to oversee an annual budget of close to $700 million and yet do not vet our candidates. The trustees themselves are not representative of the community as all are female, a rarity in Ontario. This in no way disqualifies them, but once again is not representative. In addition, the majority of trustees are not reflective of the population base within parts of Halton.

There are many within Halton, specifically Burlington that no longer have children attending school. This includes the growing senior’s population. Trustees communicate often with parents within the system but one wonders how often those without children have any input into the decision making process of the board.

With the province of Ontario in a huge deficit position, the flow of money to the public is being reduced and all organizations will need to be creative in finding solutions to limited funding and all citizens need to be included in the process.

Walter Byj

Walter Byj: education reporter.

Walter Byj has been the Gazette reporter on education for more than a year. He is a long-time resident of the city and as a parent has in the past delegated to the school board.

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Former Burlington Cougar Josh Jooris breaks scoring slump.

sportsgreen 100x100By Staff

January 3, 2016


Former Burlington Cougars centre Josh Jooris broke out of his 11-game scoring slump with a goal and an assist as the Calgary Flames shut out the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 at Denver in one of 12 National Hockey League games played last night (Saturday).


Josh Jooris. a product of the Burlington Cougars, celebrating a goal.

The six-foot, one-inch Burlington native gave the Flames a 2-0 lead at 8:18 of the second period and two minutes later helped set up former Toronto Maple Leaf Matt Stajan to put Calgary up 3-0.

The 25-year-old is a product of the Burlington Eagles minor system hockey system.

In 84 regular season games since being signed as a free agent on July 30, 2013 he has scored 15 goals and assisted on 15 others for 30 points. Defensively he is minus 1 and has been assessed 39 minutes in penalties.

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Region has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert starting the evening of Sunday, January 3

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 3rd, 2016


Christmas Day there were people in the city wearing shorts. Today the Region has issued an Extreme Cold Weather Alert starting the evening of Sunday, January 3, 2016.

Overnight temperatures are expected to remain in the extreme cold range until Tuesday, January 5. This alert is issued when temperatures are expected to fall below -15 degrees Celsius (without wind-chill), or when weather conditions are severe enough to warrant alerting the community to the risks involved with prolonged exposure.

The alert is intended to inform the general public and community agencies, while also recommending safety precautions. This alert is in effect until temperatures rise above -15 degrees Celsius (without wind-chill) or weather conditions improve and the risks involved with prolonged exposure are reduced.

Coldest night - boy with signAnyone can be affected by extreme cold-related weather conditions, depending on length of time of exposure to cold and exertion levels. Those especially at risk include: older adults (over the age of 65), infants and young children, outdoor workers, sport enthusiasts (hikers, skiers), homeless persons, and/or those lacking shelter, proper clothing or food. During extreme cold, call or visit friends and neighbours who may be at risk.

To keep yourself, your family and your home safe, you should know how to prevent cold-related health injuries, avoid frozen plumbing in your home when extreme cold temperatures hit and be prepared if there is a cold-weather emergency. You can avoid cold-related injuries by dressing appropriately and covering exposed skin. To protect your home, ensure good air circulation to all plumbing areas. Remember pipes can freeze when there is inadequate heat inside your home and the air temperature falls below zero. Open doorways to basement areas and crawl spaces enough to keep these areas warm.

Finally, it is also important, in preparation for winter driving conditions, that you keep a Car Survival Kit in your car at all times. This kit can include items such as: cell phone, blankets, booster cables, shovel, first aid supplies, flashlight and batteries, extra boots/socks, etc. A kit such as this can save your life or someone else’s. Plan ahead and listen to the weather forecast.

It is evident that we are all still in Canada. Now if the Canadian National Junior Hockey Team had managed to beat Finland instead of finding themselves on an airplane back to Canada, we would really know that this is Canada and we are enjoying the cold weather and our boys are winning at the game we own.

Hey, Montreal is still leading in the NHL  so all is still well in the world. Right?

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What was the first reader comment for 2016 about? The Beachway park and the houses that have to be torn down before very much can be done.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 1, 2016



It wasn’t the kind of comment from a reader that we really wanted to see as the first to come in – but the news takes its own form.

A Beachway resident who swears she will be one of the last to leave the community “probably kicking and screaming” as well wonders if “using millions of tax payers’ dollars to create a park just another smoke and mirrors project.”

There are about a dozen that are the true believers, people that have no desire to sell or to move; others are angling for the best price they can get while one has residences that are short term rental properties – seen as a great place to do business.

Henshell house BeachwayAt this point the reality is that a splendid park is going to be created in what once a very vibrant community was seen by some as the kind of place “nice girls didn’t hang around – you can guess which city Councillor that remark came from.

The Region’s planners are designing the park with significant input from the city and the consultant brought in to do the work.

Beachway - federal pier

Western end of the |Beachway community will undergo significant changes when the park is built – but there are a lot of houses that have to be torn down before anything happens.

The homes that have been purchased will at some point be demolished. Keenan G. Lane, Manager, Realty Services for the Region advises that “remediation of the property is already underway. We have a number of houses being demolished both in the beach and within other project areas and these works are let as part of large contracts to obtain the best pricing. Actual demolition of the structures on site here should commence in early December and should be short work given the form of construction.”

The crunch for those who want to hold out to the bitter end will come when the Region is ready to actually begin construction of the park – which probably won’t be until construction of the Joseph Brant Hospital re-build/redevelopment is completed – that is targeted for 2018 – which happens to be the year that municipal elections take place.

The decisions made by one Council are not necessarily decisions that are kept by the next council – unless of course they all get re-elected in 2018.

Imagine that?

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What happened the last three months of last year? Some pretty good stuff actually - and one more small pier story.

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 31, 2015


The last quarter of the year – what mattered most?

There was some movement, finally, on the Strategic Plan; the school board finds itself taking a very hard look at the level French will be taught; intensification is getting good discussion. Many think we have already reached the intensification level the province will expect us to grow to  in terms of population increase the subject got a lot of public discussion.

Showtime AGB - poor lighting

Walt Rickli’s sculpture – Showtime at the AGB.

Rickli sculpture unveiled at the Art Gallery – donated by Dan Lawrie.

Active transportation: Never heard of it ? You will – a Burlington school board has some ideas she wants to see become policy.

Bylaw prohibits feeding of wild animals – including coyotes – does not go into effect for one year. City wants to educate people particularly around Fairchild Park.

Summer school enrollment increases in public secondary schools – grew by 15%

Tom Muir wants to know why the city missed a 180 day deadline on a major project opposed by almost everyone.

Geraldos at LaSalle Park and Spencers on the Waterfront asking for lease renewals – one of them wants to lock in parking spaces for 15 years.

Parking to get a serious review: what do we have – what do we need? Consultants being hired.

Mary Lou Tanner

Mary Lou Tanner – city’s new Director o Planning.

City snags a planner from the Niagara Region: Mary Lou Tanner to head up Planning for the city.

Council finds the city manager’s Work Plan a little on the ambitious side and lacking prioritization.

The province wants to put more money into off road bike paths where would Burlingtonians like to see those paths built?

Public meeting to learn what the board thinks it should do with the French and English programs at the elementary levels.

Planning department creates drawings to show what parts of the city could look like with intensification in specific locations.

Public hears what the HDSB thinks could be done to manage the trend to increased interest in French immersion.

Grade 9 math test scores for Burlington public high schools release: Robinson and Pearson don’t rank all that well. Why?

First glimpse of the draft Strategic Plan for the balance of this term of office – some rash deliverable dates were put on the table.

Burlington is now represented by three women in Ottawa: Gould, Damoff and Raitt

Public school board posts policy documents on its web site – not that easy to find – Gazette provides instructions.

Henrys pier #1

A smaller pier.

The pier – a footnote.

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Burlington property prices were up by 9.2%, year over year. Put's the P in prosperity doesn't it!

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 1, 2016


The Rocca Sisters paint a pretty clear real state picture of Burlington and surrounding markets. The average property price increases for Burlington are impressive indeed.

BURLINGTON: November results pretty much followed the same pattern as the rest of the year. Prices were up by 9.2%, year over year for the same period – the exceptional neighborhood being Aldershot where a number of million plus properties finally sold resulting in an average price of $827,000, 23% higher than the same period last year. There were considerably more listings – up by 13% but sales are down slightly, year over year. This is explained by a disproportionate number of properties listed at prices that do not reflect market value. For those properties that are listed at the correct price, there is still a very strong demand and in those cases, we are still seeing sellers’ market.

OAKVILLE: Very interesting market conditions in Oakville. Huge increase in sales and decrease in days on market which should theoretically result in substantial increases in prices paid. Not so in Oakville. What does this mean? It appears that Oakville is experiencing a balanced market. There is enough supply to meet demand.

MILTON: The complete opposite of Oakville – both demand and supply are rising but it appears that demand is winning the race. Over 30% of all homes sold achieved asking price or more. Milton is experiencing a seller’s market and will very likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

HAMILTON: Once again, a major concentration of sales in the Hamilton East and Hamilton Central which continues to support our mantra for investors – follow the GO! Overall, Hamilton’s sale prices continue to show increases of just over 6% which is a significant change from earlier in the year when we were seeing double digit increases. It appears as though supply is catching up with demand for the time being. Condo sales are definitely on the rise in Hamilton.

Where else in the Greater Toronto area can you buy a condo for under $200,000? While condos are selling at record numbers, values remain fairly flat with just a 2.9% increase, year over year.

Rocca Dec 30-15 part 1Rocca Dec 30 - 15 part 2

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A visual map that is worth looking at - Burlington has an amazing amount of public art.

theartsBy Staff

January 1, 2016


The cultural community that we saw come to life in 2012-13 has great expectations for 2016 – that may or may not happen – depends on how much money the city has to spend on the cultural file or is prepared to spend on culture and that should be known by the end of January.

In December the city unveiled six interesting pieces of public art that seem to have been well received. There was some exceptional art that was made public that got very little in the way of public reaction – to the chagrin of the artists that created the work.

The Gazette came across a visual map the city has created of the public art that exists. The production values of the map leave a little to be desired and for some reason that is hard to fathom the map shows every blessed bike rack that has been put up – the bike racks are a delight to look at – they are so attractive that many people fail to realize they were meant to be used to secure a bicycle.

The map is worth spending some time on.


Click for the map.

The six latest pieces of public art.


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Make it the kind of year you want it to be!

Happy New Year 2016

It is a brand new clean slate – how much of the baggage from 2015 you want to drag into this New Year is you choice.

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What was the best thing that happened to city in 2015; What was the worst thing that happened to us in 2015 and what was important but got totally ignored?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 30th, 2105


What was the best thing that happened to city in 2015; What was the worst thing that happened to us in 2015 and what was important but got totally ignored?

IGNORED in 2015
The province announced earlier in the year that municipalities were going to be able to change the way the votes cast in municipal, Regional and Board of Education elections were to be counted.

The province is reviewing the 1996 Municipal Elections Act, to explore how ranked ballots could be implemented by municipalities across the province. Ranked ballots allow a voter to rank candidates in order of preference instead of voting for a single candidate. The option to use ranked ballots would give municipalities an alternative to the current municipal voting system.

CORRECTED election results iconThe review will also assess whether the rules about electing municipal leaders are clear and simple and whether the Act reflects how modern campaigns and elections should be run. To that end, the review will evaluate the current effectiveness of rules about campaign financing, third party advertising, enforcement and accessibility in municipal elections.

A working group made up of municipal clerks, municipal representatives and ranked ballot advocates will provide the government with advice on how to make ranked ballots work best in Ontario.

The Mayor said he was onside for this one – he usually is onside for anything that is progressive – the problems is with his follow through – and to the best of the Gazette’s knowledge nothing has been done. It is now probably too late to get any change in place before the next municipal election is called.

The Mayor may have a team of people burrowing away in the back ground sussing out what the issues are and what the challenges are going to be. Mayor Rick Goldring tends to be media adverse for the most part. From time to time he does a dilly – the posting of that selfie the day he took the bus to work wasn’t his brightest idea.

When he was given an all-electric car to drive around so Burlington Hydro could begin to gather data on just what the electricity requirement might be for a busy person who chose to use an electric vehicle there wasn’t a word from the Mayor’s office. The Gazette literally bumped into the story in the city hall parking lot.

The selling of the three lots of land on the edge of the lake between Market Street and St Paul. The city, along with the Ministry of Natural Resources,  owned the land – there was no reason to sell it. However, staff did list selling the property as one of the possible the options. The other options were to lease the land or turn it into a Window on the Lake.


The land shown as parkette was sold to the abutting property owners.

When the owners of property that abutted this land became aware that selling the land was an option they moved quickly to purchase the property, which they had every riht to do. They hired Peter Rusin to research the muddied history of the property and he produced a report that apparently justified the sale of the property. The Rusin report was never made public.

The Mayor said publicly that selling the land was showing leadership. What he did was sell one of the crown jewels – the land is likely to never come back into public hands.

When more than 350 citizens gathered at the Mainway Recreation Centre to talk about what they could do to help the thousands of people who had fled the Middle East where their homes were ravaged and war torn.

Dec 1 audience 400 +

The Mayor opened the meeting and had every reason to be proud of the hundreds of people in the room. It was the city at its best. 

There wasn’t one single remark about not helping. More than 30 people spoke up and explained hat they were doing and where they needed some help.

The concern that the meeting could go terribly wrong was evident with the number of police at the back of the room including a deputy chief and the Superintendent of the Burlington station. They weren’t needed.

The Mayor opened the meeting and had every reason to be proud of the hundreds of people in the room. It was the city at its best and probably the best thing that happened in the city in2015

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Influenza Outbreak Reported in Burlington Long-term Care Home

News 100 blackBy Staff

January 1, 2016



The Halton Region Health Department is reporting the region’s first confirmed Influenza A outbreak at a long-term care home in Burlington. The outbreak is contained and all patients are responding positively to treatment.

“While influenza outbreaks are not uncommon in long-term care homes, they present a real challenge for residents and caregivers,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “Elderly patients are especially vulnerable to the acute impacts of influenza and must be closely monitored to ensure their health does not deteriorate.”

The Region did not identify which long term care home experienced the outbreak.

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2015 in review - July, August and September - some significant appointments made.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 29, 2015


The year in review – July, August and September – how did the city do?

July 2015
Union wage settlements of 4.25% and 6.95% negotiated by CUPE.

Burlington Transit asking its riders what they want

HOV lanesWe get to use HOV lanes with two occupants in the vehicle – as we prepare for the day when we have to pay to use that lane with just a single occupant in the car.

Burlington’s federal Liberals launch their campaign; they sense a victory in the air.

Changing the culture at city hall; bringing in the department leadership needed – and getting a Code of Conduct in place for the politicians.

Federal government decides the CN Milton Logistics hub needs to benefit from the eyes of an independent panel. Truck traffic impact on Burlington roads worrisome.

Messy council debate refers the Code of Conduct to the city manager.

Flood Fairview plazaCommunity Foundation closes it books on the Disaster Relief Fund – $2.72 million distributed.

Is the Food Truck a fad, a new phenomenon or the shape of things to come?

Is there a future for the oldest farmhouse in the downtown core? Could be if the city planners and the developer get creative.

Premier plans to make room for more politicians in the legislature.

An electric vehicle charging station will be installed in downtown Burlington at the parking garage on Locust Street.

The Flood – It was small in area and it hovered in the one place and just kept pouring – dropping almost as much rain as Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

August 2015

Can we pull it off? The potential is significant and it will certainly change the city in a rather positive way.

Premier tells Ontario Mayors they will get a better deal next time there is a localized disaster.

Suzanne HainesBurlington imports a new executive director for the Performing Arts Centre from Richmond BC; Susan Haines starts September 1st

Rebuild of the Freeman station is coming along nicely – they still need help with a lot of the work. Get in on it now – when this thing is done it will be something to be able to say you were a part of.

Where do we put 35,000 people in the next 25 years? And what will the city have in place in the way of roads and transit to move these people around?

September 2015
Hydro cuts the ribbon on a micro co-generation turbine that has the potential to contribute significantly to the city’s Community Energy Plan

Is there an Arts Council in the city’s future? Should there be one? Does anyone care?

Stuart_Miller___GalleryStuart Miller appointed Director of Education for the Halton District School Board

A fourth GO station for Burlington? It is in the works.

City Clerk opens the kimono just a little and lets you see how Council voted on recorded votes.

Most of the community and corporate affairs discussion at council was be behind closed doors – six confidential items on the list.

City challenges residents to Think Outside the Car – the process of changing the car culture has begun

Transportation Minister explains what the provincial government is going to do with rail transit – catch up and keep up!

Harper in Burlington sept 1 - 2015Prime Minister in town with a promise to build an Advanced Manufacturing hub – if he is re-elected.

The full year:

Ist quarter – January, February and March

2nd quarter – April, May and June.

4th quarter – October November and December.  To follow.

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This storm is over as far as the snow removal people are concerned.

notices100x100By Staff

December 29, 2015



Snow Update

Primary and secondary sidewalks continue to be plowed this evening.

Bus stops will be cleared overnight.

Minor clean up work continues.

This will be the last update for this storm.

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Roseland residents wonder where the Dennison OMB decision is - been sometime since the hearing took place.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 29, 2015


There are people over in Roseland who, in the dark of night, click on their computer mouse looking or the Ontario Municipal Board web site.

Maybe there will be as decision today? They don’t see a decision, wait all day before they try again. Then they hear that the decision is coming tomorrow. Some say maybe the OMB will clear files before year end, the never ending promise of delivery.

Council went into a closes session recently to hear from their lawyer and to get a update on the cost for their many legal issues. Councillor Dennison had a conflict of interest – his appeal of a Committee of Adjustment decision is among the legal costs the city is dealing with.

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

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison.

One wag asked: Did the Mayor actually make him leave the room? Dennison didn’t wait to be asked – he left on his own.

Was there new information about his hearing? The public will never know – but the good people of ward 4 did re-elect Jack Dennison.

There are those who maintain that a developable lot in Roseland comes in at about $1 million now- a lot of money can be made for someone who understands the system. Dennison has consistently argued that he has the same rights as any citizen property owner to apply, talk to staff, and citizen committees about his personal property.

But, as one citizen points out “citizens don’t make the laws, hire the staff, and appoint the Committees” members of Council do this.

A designated home, bought under a power of sale on a HOW WIDE LOT which the owner. Councillor Jack Dennison wants to have severed into two lots.

Bought under a power of sale, the owner sought a heritage designation and later sought a severance to create two lots. Committee of adjustment turned down the request – the property owner, a member of city council, appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The world is getting ready to move into 2016 – the year that municipal conflicts of interest can be dealt with by the Provincial Ombudsman, and since Burlington’s city council does not have a Code of Conduct, the Ombudsman may be the place to take a complaint.

Another wrinkle – if, by chance, the OMB decides the Dennison appeal application is to be granted then are the two lots not to have the Heritage designation Dennison is so proud of?

This story is far from over.

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