Damoff to hold on -line Town Hall on federal budget - February 11th

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 29th, 2021



Damoff with LiberaL sign

Oakville North-Burlington MP Pam Damoff in full election mode

Pam Damoff, the MP for Oakville North Burlington will be holding an on-line Town Hall on the federal budget.

The event is part of the federal government’s pre-budget consultations and will take place on Thursday, February 11, 2021, from 6:00pm – 7:00pm.

All residents of Oakville North-Burlington are welcome to attend. To register for the virtual Town Hall and for additional details about the discussion please click here.

At this point in time the federal government is throwing billions into the economy to keep things as stable as possible while everyone works at beating the COVID19 virus which keeps sprouting variants which makes the job very difficult.

Damoff explains that “when COVID-19 is under control, our government has a plan to make smart, targeted investments to jump start our economic recovery, restore growth, create jobs, build a greener, more competitive, inclusive and resilient economy and repair the damage done by the pandemic.”

Over the coming weeks, the government will host virtual round tables with diverse groups of people from a range of regions, sectors and industries, including those hardest hit by the pandemic, to allow our government to hear the best ideas from Canadians and experts across the country about how Budget 2021 can best support Canadians through the pandemic and help us build back better. The round tables are an opportunity to discuss the very real challenges Canadians are facing and listen to the ways that the government can ensure a robust recovery that leaves no one behind.

Participants will be able to share their ideas and priorities about how the government can best invest to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and build a greener, more competitive, more inclusive, more innovative, and more resilient economy.

Prebudget graphic

Pam Damoff: “After the virtual Community Town Hall, my office will compile a report detailing the suggestions from Oakville North-Burlington residents to submit to the office of Federal Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Chrystia Freeland. The number of participants is capped at 100 and priority registration will be given to residents of Oakville North-Burlington.

“All Canadians are invited to share their ideas through an online questionnaire at LetsTalkBudget2021.ca, which will be available until February 19, 2021.

“In last year’s 2020 Fall Economic Statement, our government committed major federal transfers to the Provinces. Below, I have outlined the federal transfers to Ontario for reference.

“In Ontario:

• $16.2 billion through the Canada Health Transfer, an increase of $616 million from the previous year; and
• $5.8 billion through the Canada Social Transfer, an increase of $182 million from the previous year.
• $5.1 billion for Ontario through the Safe Restart Agreement:
o $1.2 billion support with the costs of increasing testing capacity, perform contact tracing, and share public health data that will help fight the pandemic;
o $466.0 million to support health care system capacity to respond to surges in COVID-19 cases and to support and protect people experiencing challenges related to mental health, substance use, or homelessness;
o $287.4 million to address immediate needs and gaps in supportive care and provide health and social supports for other vulnerable groups;
o $776.6 million to support municipalities with COVID-19 operating costs
o $1 billion to ensure critical transit services are maintained;
o $1.2 billion to ensure health and non-health workers have access to the personal protective equipment that they need; and
o $234.6 million to address the reduced availability of childcare spaces and the unique needs stemming from the pandemic.
• Up to $763.3 million available through the Safe Return to Class Fund
• $1.1 billion through the Essential Workers Support Fund

Pillars of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan by the Numbers in Ontario:

• Canada Emergency Business Account: as of January 21, 323,617 loans provided to businesses, worth a total of $16.35 billion.
• Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: as of January 10, 791,810 applications, for a total of over $23.32 billion in subsidies paid out, helping protect 1.72 million jobs.
• Canada Emergency Response Benefit: as of October 4, over 3.5 million Ontarians supported. In a population of 14.7 million, this is nearly 1 out of every 4 people.
• Canada Recovery Benefit: as of January 10, $3.3 billion provided to 682,080 Ontarians.
• Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit: as of January 10, $94 million provided to 110,220 Ontarians.
• Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit: as of January 10, $375.2 million provided to 106,690 Ontarians.

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The Slo-Pitch league is taking registrations for the summer season - will we have a lock-down free summer?

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

January 28th, 2021



The crack of the bat that can be heard even if you are seated way up in the bleachers of a large ball park, a sound that North Americans just love to hear.

Given the way we have had to live our lives for the past year, taking in a ball game would be nice. Being able to sit with friends with a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other is something to look forward to and might aid us in getting through the current lock down.

The Burlington Oldtimers Slo-Pitch has begun to promote their summer league offering; we assume they believe the lock down will be lifted by then.  Running from the plate to first base wearing a mask doesn’t sound all that appealing.

summer baseball


The teams play on Wednesdays at 10:30 am at Sherwood Park where there are four diamonds – if that much space is needed.

Like everyone else they will be watching for changes from the provincial government on what people can do.  The moment there is even a hint the games can take place the Slo-Pitch people will be onto Teresa Campbell, their contact at Parks and Recreation, looking for approval to start the season.

 If you had previously registered and paid for 2020 then there is no further action required by you.

However, if you had previously requested a refund of your 2020 registration fee then the league treasurer will reach out to you closer to when the season is anticipated to start.

Become part of something special in your community. Let’s face it, what better way is there to get a little exercise on Summer nights! Get your friends and relatives to join too.

• Men’s 35+ league
• Way too many games… PLUS two tournaments!
• Twice a week
• All games in Burlington with short fences 🙂
• Best people ever

The league asks newcomers to do a self assessment in order to fit them into a team.  It is brutal.

bosl assesment

Looks like there is room for everyone in this league.

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Photo of the day: Not for the faint of heart

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 28th, 2021



It was one of those bleak winter days that often follow a snow storm.

Close to blistering cold but not cold enough to freeze Lake Ontario water and not cold enough to keep those barking mad surfers out of the water.

The photo offering today shows someone pushing through the water hoping to catch a decent wave.

Not for the faint of heart.

surfer jan 27

Photo by Helene Dube

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One item is vital; another doesn't seem to make much sense - and the city needs another lawyer

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 28th, 2021



The Operations draft budget suggests a tax increase of 4.99%.

The Mayor doesn’t like the look of those numbers and has said that she could live with a 3.99% increase and asked the Finance department to come back with some suggestions as to how this might be done.

Members of Council will be given Budget Action Requests (BAR) which is how the members of council ask (tell?) Finance where changes can be made to get the required number.

It is not at all certain that every member of this Council is as married to the 3.99% number as the Mayor. It difficult to see but the word we have from council sources (given to us as background and on a not-for-attribution basis) is that Council would like to have their views being equal to the Mayor’s.

The budget is far too big to do a really deep analysis – we certainly don’t have the resources to do that work and we are not at all sure that very many people would read through it all. So we have picked 10 items to comment upon, and asking the question – why this spend?

The Gazette doesn’t want to overwhelm with detail so we are going to do three at a time over the next few days.

First: a spend of just under $50,000 for a part time audio visual person.  Why?

Information Technology Services (ITS) is seeking to hire a part-time A/V Specialist to support audio and video technology within the Council Chambers, web streaming of Committee and Council sessions and virtual meeting services required due to COVID.

The ITS department currently has a single A/V Specialist and has no effective backup that would be able to support a meeting of Council in the event that this sole resource becomes ill or is otherwise unavailable.

Mayor plexi in place

The Mayor, the City Clerk and Dave – the AV guy are the only people in the Council Chamber when the meetings are “virtual”. Without Dave – no one would know that there was a council meeting taking place.

The part-time A/V Specialist will also provide backup and supplementary support of other types of public engagement meetings and corporate A/V including the Emergency Operations Centre, Halton Court Services, general meeting rooms and training facilities.

There a significant risk that a Council meeting could not be easily held and could only be conducted in a very constrained and modified fashion that would fail to meet the expectation of Council and the public. There currently is no viable plan B.

This spend is a must – vital actually. Right now a man named Dave Thompson runs the audio visual system that delivers council meetings to the public as a web cast on the city website.

Dave is run ragged every time there is a Council or Standing Committee meeting. There are at time some minor mistakes – they are usually corrected very quickly.

If Dave were to become victim of COVID-19, or slip on a banana peel somewhere, a council meeting would not be broadcast – and if it isn’t made public – is the meeting still deemed to have taken place?

We think Dave is pretty close to the hardest working man in the city – quite why a backup person wasn’t hired six months ago defies explanation.

Approve this one in a flash and find a way to get it approved before March – which is when the budget is expected to be approved.

The people who concern themselves with Risk Management certainly dropped the ball on this one.

Where do the numbers come from ? Figure this one out.

Municipal Finance people do accounting differently. All too often people with strong private sector experience and a lot of experience handling budgets and balance sheets are stunned when they look at city financial statements.

Frank McKeowan, the one-time Chief of Staff for Rick Goldring when he was Mayor once said that municipalities don’t have balance sheets or Profit and Loss Statements. To some degree he was right.

There is an item on the budget for $116,700..It is described as the cost for a service that is being delivered.

Transit - seniors with Gould

The Seniors pushed for years for a better transit deal. It took six years but with a new progressive thinking transit director and a council that saw transit as a necessary service – changes came about.

The service being delivered is free use of transit between 9:00 am and 2:30 pm Monday to Friday. Seniors will board any bus in the city use their Presto Pass and not be charged for the trip they are taking.

So what does the cost of $116,700 represent?

The buses are already on their routes – there is no additional expense.  Does the $116,700 represent money the city thinks it would have received if those seniors had been required to pay a fare ?

The free fare program has proven to be very popular – ridership numbers soared when it was first introduced.

Those ridership numbers do increase what the city gets in the way of gas tax rebates from the province.

The city seems to be budgeting for funds it would normally get at the fare box, and because it will not be getting these funds, the city has put in a figure of $116,700 to offset the loss!

Before the pilot began, seniors accounted for approximately nine percent of the transit ridership.

Key successes from the pilot include:

• Almost 70,000 rides were provided for seniors for free from June to December 2019
• Mid-day boardings increased by over 2.5 times, this is directly co-related to the increase in the number of seniors using transit
• Ridership did not change outside the free period, seniors who already used transit did not shift their travel times to the free period
• Senior ridership increased by 41% between June 2019 and February 2020
•• The growth in seniors made up approximately 35% of Burlington Transit’s overall ridership growth from 2018 to 2019
• Increased ridership could potentially increase provincial gas tax by $13,000

Based on the success of the program, it is recommended to continue this program on a permanent basis.

Great idea – but what does the $116,700 that the budget book shows as a project cost amount to.  How does not getting paid amount to a cost?

So why is the $116,700 figure even in the budget book.

Hiring another lawyer? Afraid so.

Ideally the person hired will save the city a reasonable amount of money and a lot of grief.

Local Planning Authority Tribunal (LPAT) hearings amount to groups of lawyers arguing the merits of the developers’ plans while the city lawyer argues why the LPAT appeal should be dismissed.

One additional solicitor position is being requested for the Planning, Development & Real Estate practice group in order to support the on-going work of Community Planning. At present, the practice group is led by one Deputy Corporation Counsel and consists of one Solicitor assigned to real estate law, and one Senior Law Clerk supporting planning, development and real estate. The demands for legal service has been steadily increasing and there simply isn’t sufficient capacity in the current staffing level to continue to “do it all”.

The Key Drivers of the growing demand for legal service support for Community Planning are the same drivers that are impacting Community Planning organizationally. Legal works very closely with Community Planning on policy initiatives, at the front and back ends of development files, and on any resulting appeals. As has been identified, Community Planning is expected to grow from current staff complement of 29 to 51 over the next 3 years.

The proposed development V a

Every development requires input from the legal department. This development has been “in the works” for at least six years.

– approximately 50 active major development files (7,000 residential units, 40 Tall/Mid-rise buildings, employment, commercial)

– 30 major development pre-consultations to date

– pre-building permit applications are up more that 50% over last year

– # of application approvals “on hold” due to ICBL continuation

– major policy development work either in progress or anticipated in the forseeable future including comprehensive zoning by-law review, housing strategy, Regional municipal comprehensive review, various urban design guidelines, cultural heritage study, adjusting the Urban Growth Centre and removing the MTSA from the downtown .

The addition of one solicitor position would resource the planning and development practice group to take on the day-to-day legal support for Community Planning.

The additional resource will create capacity for the Deputy Corporation Counsel to manage the sheer volume of LPAT work that is coming out of the planning and development area. The government has reversed changes made to the Planning Act with respect to how hearings are conducted. The legislative changes will result in more appeals for the municipality to defend, and lengthy and expensive hearings de novo.

The sheer volume of appeal work will be handled by a combination of internal and external legal resources. The magnitude of the job to be done requires a great deal of internal coordination. The nature of the appeals demands that the appeals are handled consistently so that the city doesn’t lose sight of the inter-relatedness of much of the work that is underway.

Finally, the additional position allows for greater succession planning in the Planning, Development and Real Estate practice group. The City is at a point where it will have a new official plan and new comprehensive zoning by-law. Bringing on a new solicitor will allow this individual to start “on the ground floor” as these new instruments are applied and tested. Building that internal capacity is important in a small department like Corporate Legal Services.

Failure to expand Corporate Legal Services internal capacity will have negative consequences for the City:

-Risk of failing to deliver key results on Council’s Strategic Plan (defend the new OP, defend the changes to the planning instruments, defend changes to the comprehensive zoning by-law, development of MTSA’s along major transit corridors)
– Risk of failing to provide timely advice to Community Planning on a day-to-day basis.
– Heavier reliance on the use of external counsel which is more costly to the municipality.
– Failure to develop our internal talent to the detriment of the individual and the corporation. Succession management is critical given that specialized positions have proven difficult to fill in the past.
– Reputational risk to the department if we are unable to meet the needs and expectations for legal services.
– Potential for increased legal risk to the corporation. Having legal involved early on in planning issues makes for better decision-making.

There are key applications being processed such as the Nelson Quarry expansion that may have environmental impacts. Dealing with these types of issues requires a lot of planning and legal resources and have the potential to end up in major, lengthy hearings.

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Sustainability is much more than something you think you should do - it reaches all the way down to the bottom line

News 100 greenNicole Ramberg

January 27th, 2021



Reduce, reuse, recycle: the mantra of sustainability. We all know that these three actions are vital in the path to becoming more sustainable, but implementing them is something quite different.

There is now an acceptance of the need to use our resources, whatever they might be, differently if we are to keep this planet alive.

EARTH 1st (R) bigOne Ontario Corporation has found that they could get into the business of the three R’s – they have been doing just that  since the founding of the company in 1887.  One of the more recent projects is the recycling of roofing shingles.

At Walker Industries, everything from budgeting to acquisitions to policy creation is filtered through their “SEE model” – emphasizing the importance of social, environmental and economic sustainability as a core values.

Walker Industries started out as, and remains, a family-owned company that offers  a range of products and services including aggregates, construction, concrete, biosolids management, and alternative low carbon fuels, to name a few. So, what is it that makes them stand out from competing companies?

For starters, they are Canada’s largest fully integrated resource recovery company, steadily increasing the tonnes of resources recovered every year. This refers to the resources that would otherwise end up in landfills, but are instead kept in use, being recycled, repurposed and reused.

Walker accepts asphalt shingles at its Thorold location and repurposes them to be used as recycled asphalt products – just one example of their commitment to resource recovery.

Walker 3 dir shingle

The shingles are shredded and then ground up into usable products.

They recover the shingles that roofers dumped at transfer stations in the Toronto area and have a contract with the Niagara Region to take any roofing shingles that are dropped off there.

They grind the shingles, separate out any portion that isn’t recyclable and then grind the balance into small, almost sand-like pieces that have been used as bedding for large pipes in the liquid transportation business.  The grindings replace the use of stone bedding for the large pipes.

The people at Walker talk in terms of lessening the need to rely on virgin products when a recycled product can do the job just as well.  The shingle grindings get used when temporary roads are needed in landfill sites.

The project, begun in 2016, was profitable from the year it started.  In 2019 they took in 20,000 tons of shingle and turned out close to 98% reusable product.  Less expensive and easier on the environment.

While a private company, Walker Environment puts out an annual report.  Last year they reported a 30% reduction in electricity use, over 1000 hours of employee volunteer hours and a 212% increase in shingles processed to recycled asphalt.

Recently, Walker Industries entered into a project with Enbridge and Comcor Environmental, to construct the largest renewable natural gas plant in Ontario. The facility, which will be located in Niagara, is expected to generate energy to heat the equivalent of 8,750 homes annually, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 48,000 tonnes.

Walker will play an important role in the partnership – they will be capturing gas from their Niagara landfill, processing it into renewable natural gas, and injecting it into the Enbridge distribution network. The project is currently underway and is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Sustainability requires a collective effort.  Walker has been involved with Sustainable Hamilton Burlington advisory group for quite a while, with Walker Emulsions being a Sustainability Leadership Program member. The involvement has allowed for learning opportunities, credible recognition and ultimately contributing to a more sustainable economy.

The Walker Industries head office crowd did their part.

In 2013 the Walker Environment Group decided that they could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4 megatons if they turned the temperature in all their office locations down two degrees. Staff were asked to wear a sweater to work – something funky to make it interesting. The staff went one further – they decided they would hold sweater contests and they had people knitting during their lunch hour. For the Walker group of companies it is all part of the Earth First approach to business.

Sustainability efforts at Walker go beyond its partnerships and business operations. Input from employees have driven different initiatives, like shoreline cleanups or participating in Habitat for Humanity community projects. What started as hobby beekeeping amongst a few employees turned into a project with Niagara College’s commercial beekeeping program – allowing for those precious pollinators to do their thing around their landfill in Niagara.

Tim Murphy, VP of Environmental Performance at Walker offers the following for people who want to inject more sustainable thinking into their organizations:

1. Understand what sustainability means to your organization – often environmental is the first to come to mind, but there is also social and economic sustainability to take into account

2. Understand where you’re at currently – where do you stand after determining what sustainability looks like?

3. Come up with a plan to address expectations – once you know what sustainability means and where you stand, what do you want moving forward?

4. Be realistic – It’s easy to have big goals, but can they actually be achieved and sustained long-term?

5. Approach goals accordingly – sustainability is a long-term journey, and the longer sustainable operations are in place the less they are a project, and the more they become a part of work culture

As with any organization, things are not perfect. Challenges and obstacles present themselves in the face of pursuing environmental, economic and social sustainability. What’s important is continuing to learn, adjust, and move forward in the journey to becoming more sustainable.

It is certainly do-able.  Walker Environmental made a very profitable business out of it.

Nicole Ramberg is a graduate of McMaster University where she completed a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences.  She is currently a student at Fleming College in Lindsay ON, where she is studying Ecosystem Management Technology.

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The hospitality sector has found a way to get their craft beer into your house - they use Growlers and Howlers

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 27th, 2021



When I saw the media release I didn’t know what a Growler was. Interesting approach to the delivery of craft beers.

The media release announced that on January 1st, Beertown Public House was among the first set of restaurants in Ontario to successfully launch a Growler Program – offering freshly poured local craft beer for guests to take home, bring back, re-fill, and repeat.

beertown 2

64 and 32 ounce sizes of your favourite craft beer that you can’t get at the supermarket or the LCBO

The program, they say, celebrates the most recent amendments to Ontario’s liquor laws which permits licensees to sell premixed cocktails and growlers. Beertown is offering Howlers (32oz half growlers) to foster the joy of discovery and promote a “keep cool, drink fresh” mentality.

The province still requires “some” food be provided with the brew; Beertown tosses in a handful of nibley food to cover that base.
Guests can choose from an ever-changing selection of Ontario Craft beers, quirky imports, and kegged cocktails. Once finished, they can bring back their empty glass growler to refill, and exchange it for a freshly sanitized one.

The Growler program has allowed the Beertown to continue to support Ontario Craft Breweries during this unique time, and curate a “Beertown experience” for their guests right at home. It has become a popular choice in the Beertown Bottle Shop – a series of retail pop-up shops that sell consignment wines, cocktail kits and 6-packs that cannot be found at your local LCBO or grocery store.

Beer town 1

Craft beer – they have more than 100 on their list and mixed cocktails: curb side service as well.

The Growler Program is available at all Charcoal Group Restaurant locations across Ontario, including: Beertown Public House, Sociable Kitchen and Tavern, The Bauer Kitchen, and Wildcraft Grill and Long Bar.

Where did the name Growler come from? The term likely dates from the late 19th century when fresh beer was carried from the local pub to one’s home by means of a small galvanized pail. It is claimed the sound that the carbon dioxide made when it escaped from the lid as the beer sloshed around sounded like a growl.

Who knew?

Beertown offers an impressive take out menu. You can find it on line.

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Finance department provides a budget simulation tool - figure out how you would send the money

News 100 redBy Staff

January 27th, 2021



During February City Councillors will be debating the Operations budget which threatens to come in at more than 4% higher than last year.

Councillors are now going through the 436 page document and preparing BAR forms (Budget Action Request) that set out what changes different members of Council want made.

This is the place where pet projects get advanced. If a council member can drum up enough support and get 4 of the seven votes the project becomes part of the budget.

What will get a little tricky is the desire to keep the tax increase as low as possible and at the same time deliver something that matters to the people who voted for you at the same time.

These will get debated during the month.

The plan is to have an agreed upon budget before city council to be approved on March 3rd.

This year, the City is piloting an educational budget simulation tool, Balancing Act, to educate the public on the City’s budget and highlight the challenge of maintaining and improving services to the public, with limited sources of revenue. Using this tool, the public can simulate where they would recommend City Service budgets be amended to either increase or reduce overall spending and revenues.

The “simulation” exercise lets people decide what should be kept in the budget and what could be left for another time. This is an exercise for people to see what the impact of their choices would be – it won’t be taken by city hall as your advice to them.

It’s a little on the complex side but it is worth the effort.

The approach the city takes to the creation of the budget is to present it in what they call a Services Delivery approach. All the expenses are pulled together into one of seven categories.
You will see a list of where the city spends the tax money and other sources. There are seven categories.

city services graphic

The Service Delivery categories put the spending into groups that make it easier to see where the tax dollars are going.

Simulation 1st page

See if you can come up with a different allocation of the tax money and still have a balanced budget. Have fun.

There is a link to get to the simulation program.

Anyone who thinks they might have what it takes to be a member of council is well advised to try their hand at budget making.

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A little windy for the birds today

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 26th, 2021



It got a little windy out there this morning.
birds single cardinal

Wasn’t much on the ground for the birds around the house to eat.

birds feeding 2

The Blue Jays would not share – they would chase off anyone eating.

The Cardinals don’t get along all that well with the Blue Jays (does anyone get along with a Blue Jay?)

They would huddle in some branches and then take their turn for a quick trip to the bird feeder and then scramble back to the bushes and let someone else grab a bite to eat.

Yesterday there were more than a dozen doves sharing the space; this morning not one of them in sight.

bird eating alone

Hanging on tightly – the wind was more than this one was comfortable with

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Retail Theft Investigation Leads to Arrests and Charges

Crime 100By Staff

January 26th, 2021



The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) 1 District Criminal Investigations Bureau has completed an investigation into a series of retail thefts and robberies that took place throughout the region.

Suspects in these occurrences entered retail stores and stole large quantities of merchandise including high end fragrances, formula and energy drinks (see attached photo). In some instances, when confronted by staff the suspects utilized threats or violence to aid their escape.
Stores were targeted in Milton, Oakville and Burlington.

On January 24, 2021, investigators arrested executed two warrants (one at a residence in Toronto and a second at a retail store in Toronto).

William Berry (40) of Carrying Place has been arrested and charged with:
• Robbery (x3)
• Theft Under $5000

Marc Sestito (32) of North York has been arrested and charged with:
• Robbery (x2)
• Theft Under $5000

Du Xu (39) of Toronto has been arrested and charged with:
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime under $5000 for the Purpose of Trafficking

CrimeStdoppers-HaltonAll three have been held in custody pending a bail hearing.

Anyone with information in regards to this investigation is asked to contact the 1 District Criminal Investigations Unit at 905-825-4777 ext. 2416.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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Guidelines to help doctors decide how likely it is that a patient may live or die in the short term issued by the province.

News 100 redBy Staff

January 26th, 2021


Correction:  The 44 students infected at a university student residence were at McGill University – not the University of Guelph. The correction has been made.

This is a stark news report.

Dr Brian Goldman, the man behind the CBC radio program White Coat Black Art interviewed a number of medical professionals about a Memorandum that was first sent to hospitals in the province and then sent to doctors setting out the criteria as to which COVID-19 patients would get care and who would not get care.

header with goldman These documents contain guidelines to help doctors decide how likely it is that a patient may live or die in the short term. Depending on the circumstance, ICU doctors may be forced to use these guidelines, and not offer critical care to patients who are unlikely to survive. The more strained the system becomes, the more drastic the decisions ICU doctors will need to make.

Making such a drastic decision becomes necessary when there are just no more beds or ventilators to help those who are infected.


Patients in critical care units in a Toronto hospital.

This short video sets out the bleak choices doctors may have to make  in deciding who gets care.

Dr David Lepofsky said, “You can’t decide who lives and dies by a government memo.”

Michael Warner

Dr. Michael Warner, medical director of critical care at Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital

Dr. Michael Warner, medical director of critical care at Toronto’s Michael Garron Hospital said that, “On a good day, the [emergency department] can be bananas. And if we’re ever at the point where this policy becomes something that we have to use, I think the situation will be where you’re running around just trying to keep people alive.

“There are tools that we’re supposed to use: checklists to evaluate from an objective basis the likelihood the patient will survive a year from their critical illness. And if the patient is not offered critical care, it’s not like they’re left with nothing.

“They’re supposed to be offered palliative care, or some other form of care in hospitals so that when they ultimately die, they can die in a comfortable, dignified way.”

The province has extended the lock down for an additional 14 days. The number of new infections are lowering but not by nearly enough.

Forty-four students at a residence at the University of Guelph were reported infected.

Almost every resident at a long term care in Barrie is infected, with more than 25 having succumbed to the disease.

There is a crisis on the other side of the door.  Every time someone strays from the rules that are in place that door opens up just a little.  If that door is opened enough we will be facing a very very hard time; the closing of a restaurant will seem so insignificant.

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Halton students heard one of the best speakers in the country talk to them about the Rights of Children

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 25th, 2021



There are times when having to do something ‘virtually’ turns out to be a plus.

The Halton District School Board held their second Symposium on the Rights of the Child.  It came very close to being cancelled after more than a year of work that looked like it was going to be laid to rest by COVID.

They had a fabulous speaker lined up and were looking forward to a good turn out.

That was in March of last year – and of course things changed for everyone.

The Halton Director of Education, Stuart Miller said that it looked as if the event would have to be cancelled but senior staff and the Director took a closer look at what they were up against and realized that if they web cast the event through their Facebook page they would draw much more than the 250 + they got in 2019.

They certainly got much more than the 250 +  –  there were 3400 people logged into the Facebook page. Stewart points out that many of those log-ins were from a classroom that would have had 15 to 20 students taking part.  There could have been 5000 students listening.

Stephen Lewis

One of the strongest speakers in Canada, Stephen Lewis addressed thousands of Halton students virtually on Friday about the Right of the Child.

They were fortunate to have one of the great Canadian orators and a very passionate advocate for social justice in this country.  Stephen Lewis, a Companion of the Order of Canada, the holder of 42 honorary Doctorates, is a living legend.

Hearing Lewis speak when he is really passionate about his subject is something one never forgets.

Lewis led students and community partners in a day long program focused on children’s rights.  “I spent a large chunk of my life” said Lewis, “dealing with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

“When I worked with UNICEF, I was responsible for travelling around the world to persuade governments to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child and take all of its clauses seriously. The Convention provides a tremendous range of rights for children, all of which I hope to be addressing before you.”

Lewis was joined by Michel Chikwanine, now a motivational speaker, author and human rights activist based in Toronto and originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Chikwanine is more than a child advocate. When he was not much more than a young boy he was kidnapped from the soccer field outside his school in the Democratic Republic of Congo; he and his childhood friends were “recruited” to be rebel soldiers.

Michel Chikwanine

Michel Chikwanine: Kidnapped as a young boy and forced to serve as a child warrior

Chikwanine is a compelling speaker. People find themselves riveted to their seats when he speaks.

At the end of what was a very full day the Students were to create a Call to Action, a document that would set out what they wanted to do about improving the Rights of the Child.

Superintendent Rob Eatough will be responsible for overseeing the development of these Calls to Action.

Tomorrow the Gazette will publish interviews with some of the students who took part in the event.



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Our Mad Premiers


“Ford threatened to shove an incendiary device into the “ying-yang” of any Pfizer executive if they did not give Ontario more coronavirus vaccines.” (CP24 – January 21, 2021).

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

January 24th, 2021



It would be funny if it wasn’t so deadly serious. Pfizer is reducing its shipments of COVID vaccine due to the need for a stoppage to upgrade its production facilities. So it is disappointing. But the company says it will still meet its commitment for total shipments by the end of March, and beyond.

That sounds reasonable given that its other customers will also suffer delays, including European nations where the our vaccine is actually being manufactured. And remember that hardly anyone had even heard of COVID last year at this time, so getting any kind and amount of vaccine here is a blessing.


The speed with which the vaccine was produced was impressive.

Ford scowl - cropped

Premier Doug Ford: not having a good day.

But that’s not good enough for Ontario’s fearsome premier who has called the Canadian president of Pfizer to complain, and is threatening to rent a truck and cross the land border to demand a million doses from newly installed US president Biden.

No doubt Ford’s demand would be well received, except that as bad as it is here with COVID, the US is worse. And does Ford really think Biden will give him a million doses when his biggest election promise was to inoculate 100 million Americans in his first 100 days in office.

Ford was largely responsible for the surge of COVID cases in Ontario. He loosened restrictions on social activity too rapidly in the late fall. But that he owns the surge hasn’t stopped him from casting about to lay the blame on someone else. In this case it is the Trudeau government and their contract with Pfizer. But it’s not the first time. He went after the Prime Minister over sloppy border control, though in that case rightfully so.

Not to be outdone in the crazy game is Ford’s BFF in Alberta, Jason Kenny, who has threatened to bypass the federal government and buy vaccine directly from…. somewhere. But his biggest headache today is that newly elected US president Biden has cancelled the Keystone oil pipeline, which Kenny was counting for extra cash on to help get Alberta out of its current hole.

Obama and Biden cancelled the pipeline back in 2015, but then Trump OK’d it again. Kenny must have thought Trump would win the US election because he poured $1.5 billion into the project and gave another $6 billion or so in loan guarantees. I guess he wasn’t reading the papers because everyone knew that Trump wouldn’t get re-elected, except Trump, of course.

Kenney + Trudeau

Not. the best of friends it would appear.

It was Biden’s election promise and Kenny went ballistic when the new president followed though on it. Kenny demanded Trudeau do everything but launch a nuclear missile on Washington to get him to change his mind But how could Canada apply trade sanctions over a pipeline permit that is entirely in the hands of the US president and over US territory? How does the PM ask Biden to compensate Alberta because its premier was betting that Biden wasn’t going to win.

There is a faint hope that some rules of the old NAFTA might still apply and help Kenny get some kind of compensation, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. There were a thousand jobs on the Canadian side building the pipeline to nowhere – the Jason Kenny line. Those jobs are gone and Albertans will likely eat the $1.5 billion and more.

Losing Keystone is not the end of the world. Oil production in Alberta will still continue unabated as will selling it to the US. Keystone was significant only because it would have allowed Alberta to export even more oil than it already does. So Alberta’s oil industry will continue to operate, it just won’t get bigger – at least not until the federally owned Trans Mountain pipeline twinning is operational.

Tesla 3

Tesla 3 – Take a ride in one – appreciate the near total silence.

But the reality is that fossil fuels are a dying proposition. Tesla sold almost a half million electric cars in the USA last year and now everybody is getting into the game. After all, gas powered vehicles cannot be sold in Norway after 2025, the UK by 2030 and Quebec and California after 2035. Does anyone other than Jason Kenny think the world needs another oil pipeline?

Jason Kenny might get some of his billions back by whining to Trudeau and Biden, and taking his case to NAFTA. But he won’t get Keystone back. There is no future for oil in Alberta, or anywhere, and the sooner Kenny comes to that realization the better for the people he serves.

Ontario should be glad that Doug Ford, as embarrassing as he can be, and not Jason Kenny is premier of this province. Now if only Ford could get our COVID numbers down.


Background links:

None of that Crap –    Trudeau Letter on Keystone –    How is it Going Jason

Keystone Options –    Raging Jason

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Burlington now has a Playing Equipment Lending program

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 23, 2021



Play equipment lending and other outdoor activities are available now.

There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor, active, and fun winter play with the City of Burlington. Dress appropriately, stay safe and enjoy a winter wonderland!

snow shoes

Snow shoeing – great winter fun.

Play Equipment Lending Library is available with winter-play equipment such as snowshoes, glow in the dark soccer, snow play kit, tug of war, and horseshoes and is intended for use by one family at a time. A list of play equipment is available HERE

• Equipment can be borrowed, starting Jan. 14.
• $50 deposit is required at the time of booking
• Play equipment is available for pick-up and drop-off only at the Brant Hills Community Centre, 2255 Brant St.
• Late and administration fees may be deducted from the $50 deposit

The outdoor ice at Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond is open. Located at the Waterfront at Downtown Burlington – the rink is open most days from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and skating is free; however, online, pre-registration is required and can be booked no more than 25-hours in advance.

To accommodate as many community members as possible we ask that they only book one skate per day. The rink is very popular and capacity is reduced for COVID-19 safety. If you cannot come to the rink at your reserved time, please cancel your time so the next group can have an opportunity for fun and activities.

Anyone having difficulties with registering or cancelling their reservation time, please email Customer Service at liveandplay@burlington.ca.

To pre-register, visit burlington.ca/skating.

For up-to-date information on ice conditions at Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond, please call 905-335-7600, ext. 8587. To learn more about the pond’s features and rules, visit, burlington.ca/pond.


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Shovels are not going in the ground, and I remain steadfastly opposed to this development.

opiniongreen 100x100By Adam van Koeverden

January 23, 2021


Milton MP Adam van Koeverden released the following to the public via a tweet.

Dear Neighbours,

Today, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change released the over 325 conditions under which the CN Intermodal project may proceed. I am disappointed with this decision, and I’m writing this to make that clear, but I also want to let you know where we go from here. Something I want to be abundantly clear about this situation – is that this fight isn’t over.

graphic of site

Located on what is currently farmland – the site will become a very busy transfer hub where thousands of shipping containers will be transferred to trucks.

While I’m grateful that these additional measures, restrictions, and conditions are reflective of the many valid concerns we in Halton have with this project – I remain very concerned about the potential truck traffic and the resulting pollution, health and safety implications for all of my constituents, especially those who reside in south Milton.

I have worked extremely hard to articulate the individual concerns of my neighbours, the hard-working advocacy groups and those of my fellow elected officials – both prior to my election at the Joint Review Panel and since as the Member of Parliament for Milton. But never once did I compromise my strong position that this application should be rejected.

freight train

The freight train traffic will be running into the hub 24/7

The health, safety and wellbeing of Miltonians is my number one concern. The 325 legally binding conditions set out by the Minister today represent some reasonable progress. The result is that this Intermodal project cannot go forward as it was presented by CN. Those 325 conditions would make this facility the most stringently regulated in North America. They include measures to address effects on air quality, traffic, human health, groundwater and surface water, migratory birds, species at risk, fish and fish habitat, the use of lands and resources by Indigenous peoples, and physical and cultural heritage. Failure to comply with any of these conditions is a violation of Federal Law.

One of those 325 conditions is that CN will be required to establish a community liaison and communication process, in consultation with representatives of local and municipal governments, nearby residents, community and business organizations. This process will allow potentially affected parties to provide feedback about any adverse environmental effects of the project, including reports from an independent environmental monitor that would be engaged to verify compliance with conditions. CN will be required to document and respond to feedback from the community and demonstrate how it has been addressed, including through the implementation of any modified/additional mitigation measures or additional follow-up program requirements. This includes liaising with potentially affected parties to identify and address potential impacts on traffic and road safety.

Milton NO sign

The community doesn’t want the hub in the proposed location. The federal government approved the project with 325 Environment and Climate Change conditions

But that does not mean that it is an inevitability. We are not at the finish line, or even the start line for this project. Shovels are not going in the ground, and I remain steadfastly opposed to this development. There is a Canadian Transport Agency process, and the Minister is very aware of my objections to this project. There is a Provincial court case involving the Region of Halton, and many other hurdles for CN to attempt to clear before this is over.

Every elected official in our region and the vast majority of our neighbours are united in our opposition to the location of this industrial project. This fight is far from over. Our voices will continue to be heard, and you can continue to count on me to keep fighting for our community.


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Council gets draft Operations budget - along with a lot of detailed data in a graphic format

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 22, 2021



Council heard just what the city is up against as they prepare to craft the Operations part of the 2021 Budget. The Capital Budget was approved last week.

The struggle to come to terms with the COVID pandemic has changed almost everything we do. The city Finance department has created two budgets; one that assumes normal circumstances and another that assumes an ongoing COVID scenario.

This was not a simple task.

The steps to develop the 2021 budget were as follows:

Base Budget -The budget was first built under traditional business as usual assumptions with all City services adjusting their ongoing base budgets to reflect service efficiencies and standard inflationary pressures offset with “normal” changes to revenues based on fee changes and volumes.

COVID Budget –All City services were asked to separately identify one-time budget adjustments required as a result of COVID. These adjustments include one-time reductions in budgeted revenues and changes in expenses to recognize temporary Service redesign plans required to protect the health and well-being of residents, businesses and staff.

Covid impacts

These are revenues that were not going to be realized. Department heads and Finance Department had to figure out how the city could be run with all the financial shortfalls.

Finally, services were asked to make a further one-time budget adjustments to expenditures reflecting continued travel restrictions and additional savings resulting from remote working such as decreases in professional development given virtual training opportunities, meeting expenses and mileage.

The net result of these one-time COVID-19 impacts have been shown separately from the ongoing base budget throughout the budget documents.

cobid mitigation measure

Mitigation measures – steps that were taken to cut costs

The ongoing 2021 budget results in a tax increase while the one-time 2021 COVID budget has been offset by temporary cost savings and a one-time funding plan.

The budget is again presented in a service-based format allowing Council and residents to see how our services meet the growing demands of our community.

The identification of revenues and expenditures by service ensure staff and Council is considering service adjustments when making budget decisions, as well as providing increased transparency and awareness to the public.

The policy and budget principles come out of a number of documents; the first being the 25 year Strategic Plan and the Vision to Focus (V2F) which is the four year terms of council portion of the Strategic Plan.

The Asset Management Plan and the Long Term Financial Plan guide the decision making process as each city department does its early first draft of the budget.

What is called the Base Budget is reviewed by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Service Leads. The review done this year identified $2.34 million in savings.

The Corporate/Strategic Review then goes over the budget to ensure that risks have been thoroughly vetted.

Council will meet formally and virtually to debate the budget staff have prepared. There will be additional public engagement events as well.

During the briefing Finance department gave council there were some eye opening graphics. A selection is set our below.

Operating Investment

The city uses the word investment – it is really the tax money they are going to use. Spending is broken out into seven groups. The graphic shows how much of the money is spent and the portion that is funded by the tax payers.


Operating revenues

The tax payer provides the bulk of the revenue. There are other sources.


comparative tax burdens

Burlington taxes compared to other municipalities. A heck of a lot better than Markham.


tax as % of income

Incomes in Burlington are higher – making the tax bite a little easier to love with.

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Federal government approves CN Rail Hub for Milton

News 100 redBy Staff

January 22, 2021



The federal government has decided to approve the CN Truck-Rail Hub

The Region of Halton had put a lot of effort into opposing the Rail Truck hub which they believe puts Halton residents at risk.


Halton Region will determine the best path forward to protect Halton residents from significant adverse effects.

Halton Region, the Town of Milton, the Town of Oakville, the City of Burlington and the Town of Halton Hills (the “Halton Municipalities”) are extremely disappointed that the Federal Government has approved the proposed CN truck-rail hub in Milton.

“We have heard from members of our community, residents and local leaders about their collective concern regarding this project,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “It is unconscionable that the Federal Government would approve this project despite findings from its own Federal Review Panel that the project will cause significant adverse effects on human and environmental health. There has never been a decision like this before.”

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward agreed, saying “Halton residents deserve an explanation from the Federal Government about the project it has just approved, and the detrimental impact it will have on the health of residents.”

“How could the Federal Government disregard the concerns of the community and allow a project like this within one kilometer of approximately 34,000 current and future residents, including one hospital, 12 schools and two long-term care homes?” said Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz. “There are many unanswered questions that the federal government must address. This is not what residents of Milton deserve.”

The health and safety of Halton residents has always been the priority of Halton Region and we will continue to be the community’s voice on this important issue.

“It is shocking that the Federal Government has put CN’s convenience over the health of our residents,” Oakville Mayor Rob Burton said.

“Throughout this process, residents and elected officials have come together across party lines to voice their concerns, said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. “This has been a truly non-partisan effort on behalf of all our elected officials, and our Region has never been more united.”

“We thank the community for their engagement throughout this process and for support from our local representatives at the provincial and federal levels,” said Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette. “It is for this reason we will continue our opposition to this ill-conceived proposal.”

There has been no public response from Milton Liberal MPP Adam van Koeverden.

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There are options for paying what you purchase on line

News 100 blueBy Alex Gramantin

January 21st, 2021



With the world coping with a pandemic and people in many countries in a lock down situation or restricted on which commercial operations are actually opening and operating, millions of people are shopping on-line.

Some method of paying for what you buy on-line is needed.

Let’s start with the obvious, using your credit/debit card to make transfers and online payments is pretty annoying. Constantly having to log in and typing your card information is a hassle, and it’s not that safe for various reasons. Thankfully, there are loads of online payment systems and e-wallets you can use in Canada.

There are a lot of them, so many in fact that it may be hard to choose which one is better and more convenient. I’ve set out below the most popular payment systems for Canadians and given you the pros and the cons based on my experience; you will then be able to determine which one suits you best.

Gamer PayPal logoPayPal Canada

Want a payment method that doesn’t use any of your information with the store you’re purchasing from? PayPal Canada is perfect for those wanting a secure banking option that will ensure that no one can get to your actual banking details even in PayPal casinos in Canada. Better yet, you don’t need to replenish your PayPal e-wallet, it automatically uses money from the bank account linked to it. There are over 6.4 million PayPal users in Canada, and yes – it does work with the CAD currency.

-Extremely fast, and easy to use
-No transaction fees
-Downloadable e-wallet
-Plenty of discounts with various retails

-Long withdrawal times (3-4 days)
-Business account use charges
-Accounts get frozen randomly

Gamer GooglePay logo

GooglePay is in the process of revising their logo

Google Pay Canada

Google really is dominating the world, and now you have an option to make payments via Google Pay. Canadian users can use this system on the website, or download a mobile app (Android Pay) that is beyond easy to use. Using Google Pay, you will have the opportunity to earn cash back, gain reward points, and have a secure experience with scam and fraud protection. A little over 12% of Canadian residents happily use this payment method for online shopping, quick transactions, and thousands of available retails in the region.

-Lots of rewards and promotions
-Widely accepted online
-No transaction fees
-Charges in CAD

-Not as widely accepted in physical retails as PayPal
-Only accepted on smartphones with NFC
-Isn’t compatible with mobile voice assistants

Gamer Instdebit logoInstadebit

If you want to feel the lightning speed power transactions, Instadebit CA is going to blow your socks off. This payment system is incredibly fast, and offers instant transactions, hence the name. The company serves thousands of Canadian users, as it quickly proved to be a highly convenient online financial system. It’s very similar in structure to most other online payment methods, and can be used for various digital payments except this one happens to be extremely popular in the online gambling world. Making an Instadebit account is as easy as ever, and depositing to online casinos couldn’t be speedier. There are currently over a hundred legal Instadebit online gambling sites for Canadians.

-Incredibly fast transactions
-Fast online casino deposits
-Quick online casino withdrawals
-Quick registration process
-Accepted on many Canadian casino sites
-Secure payment system

-Doesn’t work with some CA banks
-Can only be tethered to one bank
-Lack of anonymity

My take on what is available:

Whether you’re shopping online, depositing money to friends and family, or gambling online – there are plenty of options. You will find dozens of online payment systems in Canada, but make sure to always read reviews and weigh out the pros and cons before linking your bank details.

PayPal, Google Pay, and Instadebit are all reliable.  They have their differences but they are all  secure options with quick transactions, and no excessive fees.

Alex Gramantin is a consultant who is located in Europe. He consults for an international clientele on internet based payment services.

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Police Services Board releases fuller picture on what they relied upon in making their decision

background graphic redBy Staff

January 21st, 2021



The Halton Police Services Board is showing some very welcome leadership in terms of accountability and transparency. The Board has been prompt in getting out information on a sensitive matter and following up with good background information.

Kudos to them for that.

After announcing that the Board has “full and unequivocal confidence” in Chief Tanner, they released an Appendix with background information which we have set out below.


Halton Region Police Chief Stephen Tanner requested the Halton Police Board Chair’s permission to travel to the state of Florida in the United States amid the COVID19 global pandemic on or about December 21, 2020;

Chief Tanner cited the essential need to travel to address extensive damage to a residential property for which he has a significant personal financial interest. He further needed to arrange the house’s sale as the significant damage and the pandemic delayed the ability to list the property for sale resulting in mounting financial losses and concern for him and his common-law partner;

The then Halton Police Board Chair permitted Chief Tanner to travel without seeking the Board’s authority or other Board Members’ knowledge;

Chief Tanner booked five weeks of time off for his planned trip to the United States, including three weeks away and two weeks in quarantine upon returning with all such time to be deducted from his vacation allocation under his employment contract;

As is customary, Chief Tanner advised his staff and Deputies of his planned travel, and he remained in constant contact at all times while out of the country. Since his return, he has worked from his home, notwithstanding being in quarantine and on his vacation time;

Chief Tanner departed Canada on December 26, 2020, and returned of his own volition on January 10, 2021, one week earlier than planned and as quickly as possible upon learning of the tragic on-duty passing of one of our members and upon securing the necessary COVID test required to fly home. He entered quarantine immediately upon his return and remains so at this time;

There are no air travel restrictions to the United States other than Canada’s Government declaring a Level 3 Warning to Avoid non-essential travel. The Government advises that “It is up to you to decide what “non- essential travel” means, based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with a country, territory or region, and other factors”;

There are no policies within the Halton Regional Police Service barring travel outside of the country, providing staff follow quarantine requirements upon their return to Canada;

Chief Tanner violated no laws, orders, policies or contractual obligations that would constitute grounds for termination nor a penalty under his contract, the Police Services Act or any other relevant statute;

Mayor Rob Burton has apologized to the Board, members of the police service and the community for granting permission and has resigned as both a member and chair of the Board for his mistake in approving Chief Tanner’s travel in light of the public health emergency and the sacrifices Halton residents are making throughout the pandemic;

Chief Tanner has apologized to the Board, members of the police service and the community for his error in judgement in seeking permission and travelling despite public health recommendations;

Chief Tanner is a highly successful police professional with a 39-year exemplary career featuring multiple public safety achievements, and is also a leader in professional policing associations in Ontario and Canada;

The Board appreciates the feedback from members of the public and the Service, especially the Halton Regional Police Association.

Therefore, be it resolved that:

The Halton Police Board has full and unequivocal confidence in Chief Stephen Tanner to remain the
Halton Regional Police Service Chief;

The Board expresses its disappointment in both the former Chair, Mayor Rob Burton, for granting permission to Chief Tanner to travel to the United States, for not obtaining the consent of, nor notifying, the Board and in Chief Tanner for his decision to ask for permission and for travelling to the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding his property-related issues in Florida;

The Board accepts Chief Tanner’s apology for his decision to travel and will take no further action;

The Board accepts former Chair, Mayor Rob Burton’s apology and thanks him for his service to the Board and the Service;

The Board commits to reviewing its policies related to vacations, leave, continuity of leadership and the pandemic, especially international travel guidelines, and directs the CAO to subsequently develop and present amendment proposals for consideration at the earliest possible opportunity;

And to be transparent, the Board directs the Secretary to immediately release minutes of the special
meetings held on January 15, 16 and 21, 2021, to the public.

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Councillor hints at financial concerns at transit that are not being tabled

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 21st, 2021


Clarification:  The Gazette has learned that the losses Councillor Sharman mentioned at Council earlier this week have been known for some time and were discussed when James Ridge was city manager.  Quite why Councillor Sharman brought them up is something we don’t understand.

Minutes before the Standing Committee that was hearing what the Finance department had to say about the 2020-21 Operations budget Councillor Paul Sharman made a comment relating to financial problems at Burlington Transit.

He said “there is a serious concern about a million dollar loss at transit that we have not been told about and there is another one coming.”

Sharman b

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman

Paul Sharman delights in throwing a spanner into the works from time to time. He dumps a piece of information on the table, doesn’t follow up – just leaves it there to fester.

Whatever Sharman knows, rest assured there are others who know;  Is the City Manager one of them?

Let’s ask some questions and see what comes to the surface.

Transit in the past few years has managed to do very well in terms of service and leadership in the use of technology.

The department has had a sterling reputation.

What was Sharman alluding to?

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The Chief is still the Chief. Police Services Board announces it has full confidence in Stephen Tanner

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 21st, 2021



The Chief catches a break.

The Halton Police Board Resolved that;

The Halton Police Board has full and unequivocal confidence in Chief Stephen Tanner to remain the Halton Regional Police Service Chief;

The Board expresses its disappointment in both the former Chair, Mayor Rob Burton, for granting permission to Chief Tanner to travel to the United States, for not obtaining the consent of, nor notifying, the Board and in Chief Tanner for his decision to ask for permission and for travelling to the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic notwithstanding his property-related issues in Florida;

The Board accepts Chief Tanner’s apology for his decision to travel and will take no further action;

The Board accepts former Chair, Mayor Rob Burton’s apology and thanks him for his service to the Board and the Service;

The Board commits to reviewing its policies related to vacations, leave, continuity of leadership and the pandemic, especially international travel guidelines, and directs the CAO to subsequently develop and present amendment proposals for consideration at the earliest possible opportunity;

And to be transparent, the Board directs the Secretary to immediately release minutes of the special meetings held on January 15, 16 and 21, 2021, to the public.

  • Halton Police Board and Halton Regional Police Services remain committed to Community Safety and Well-Being.
  • Halton has retained its distinction as Canada’s safest regional municipality with a population of 100,000 or more for the eighth straight year.
  • Halton has the lowest Crime Severity Index* (CSI), Violent Crime Severity Index, and Non-Violent Crime Severity Index when compared to Ontario’s “Big 12” police services;
  • Had the lowest overall crime rate, violent crime rate, and property crime rate among Ontario’s “Big 12” police services;
  • Had the highest weighted clearance rate (49.8 percent) of the same “Big 12.”

With a stronger and more transparent process in place, the Halton Police Board remains steadfast in our commitment to the safety and well-being of our community.

The Halton Police Board is a seven-member civilian Board that provides strategic oversight to the Halton Regional Police Service. Under the Police Services Act, the Board has legislated responsibility for the Police Service’s operating and capital budgets; strategic planning; policies, and priorities. The Police Board’s fundamental responsibility is to ensure that adequate and effective police services are provided to the citizens of Halton Region.

The Halton Police Service released the following Statement from Chief Tanner:

Chief of Police Steve Tanner explains that Social Media is not the same as a 911 call

Chief of Halton Regional Police Service Steve Tanner

I sincerely appreciate the full and unequivocal confidence the Halton Police Board has placed in me as Chief of Police. I will continue to lead our police service in the exemplary manner the Board has come to expect, and will always do my very best for our members, citizens and for the community that I am sworn to protect.

Regardless of the personal property related reasons for which I travelled recently, or the permission that I sought and obtained for that travel, I am remorseful for that decision. I have previously apologized openly to all of our members and to the public. I also regret the impact that this has had on Mayor (Chair) Burton who has stepped down from the Halton Police Board as a result of his decision to support my travel.

I look forward to continuing my service and to providing leadership to our community and to our police service members to the very best of my ability throughout the years to come.




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