Parks and Recreation working up a program that complies with Stage 2 of the ECG mandate

News 100 blue

By Pepper Parr

November 3rd, 2020



Parks and Recreation is scrambling to stay ahead of the wave – a wave that keeps changing its shape and direction.

Chris Glenn, on the right, leads the PArks and Recreation department as Director and is tasked with the challenge of bringing the various organizations that use city property under a MAster Agreement that is consistently applied to everyone. It should have been done four years ago.

Chris Glenn, on the right, leads the Parks and Recreation department as Director. On his right is Denise Beard.

Director of Parks and Recreation Chris Glenn told council on Monday that his staff was preparing some ideas that they would be running by the Regional Public Health Unit and the other Halton municipalities hoping to be able roll out a slightly different set of rules that would allow for more recreation and program improvements that are Stage 2 compliant. The Region of Halton is in Stage 2 of its Emergency Control Group mandate.

Several council members and the Mayor said they were getting questions from residents asking why some of the recreational programs were changed – they wanted to see real data behind the decisions that were being made.

Glenn explained that he was working to make sure he was compliant with what the Medical Officer of Health was prescribing.

Behind all that trying to pull together was the threat of being pushed back to stage 2.

Glenn wants to see less of the sports that call for a lot of exertions – hockey was one example and move the effort to having physically softer programs – like yoga.

The objective was to permit recreational activities that kept people apart and not exerting themselves all that much.

More when the Parks and Recreation department comes back to the Standing Committee.

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Students will move in the education model within which they will complete the academic year.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 2nd, 2020



The closing date for parents to decide if their child was going to stay in virtual or return to a classroom – or move out of a classroom into virtual within the Halton District School Board – closed on October 27th

Hall full of students

A significant number of high school students have opted for a virtual classroom. Principals and teachers now have to create classes for these students.

The Board of Education now has to rebuild its student allocation set up.

David Boag

David Boag, Associate Director of Education HDSB

David Boag, Associate Director of Education, explains that there is a tremendous amount of work that has to get done at the school level where the principal and the individual teachers re-build the structure and population of a class. Board Superintendents are on hand to pitch in and help.

There are now 1500 high school students being educated in virtual classrooms. The number at the elementary level is low relative to the secondary level. The precise numbers will be available at the HDSB trustee meeting on Wednesday.

The Gazette does not have a break down yet on the distribution between the four Halton municipalities.

The actual move from one model to the other will take place on November 30th.

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Three hockey players and a soccer player equal almost 3000 lbs of food - Jessica topped off for the last 13 lbs

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

November 2nd, 2020



It’s just the kind of city we live in.

Here’s the way Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank tells the story:

“Three hockey players and a soccer player showed up at the Food Bank on the first Thursday of October and dropped off a bin full of food.

“They didn’t give us their names but did allow us to take a photo. The anonymous athletes came back the next Thursday night in the rain with another bin. Then last week they came in again on Thursday and had more food donations than ever before.

“Through posting this online with Burlington Together and with Burlington Dads we were able to learn more about who they were. We just felt that they were obviously not doing this for fame and fortune but to help families that needed the support right now.

“The final totals to date were 250 lbs / 88 lbs / 270 lbs / and tonight 379 lbs for a grand total of 987 lbs. Jokingly, the boys said they should go back for 13 lbs just to make it an even 1,000 but right behind them with her own donation drop-off tonight was Jessica Kennedy who brought in 195 lbs. herself. Jessica met the boys as they were leaving tonight and she told us that it was the three hockey players and a soccer player who inspired and motivated her to run a food drive at her company. And she said the boys were welcome to 13 lbs from her donations.

Food bank - 3bous + 1

In no particular order – George, Tristan, Jason and Nathan with Robin Bailey who finally learned who they are.

“Between the athletes and Jessica their total was 1,182 lbs which translates at a dollar value of $2.60 per pound making it a donation value of over $3,000. But who’s counting. They told us that it was just fun to be together and to work together on Thursday nights to help out the community. I hope they all feel great! We are very proud of them, they are really great young men. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts GEORGE, TRISTAN, JASON and NATHAN you showed us all how special true friendship is and what a little teamwork can accomplish. We will never forget you guys!”

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Cougars get an early start on helping others through what might be a very hard Christmas

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 2nd, 2020



Few have any idea just how Christmas is going to work out.

There isn’t going to be a Santa Claus parade and while the seasonal lighting will be going up in Spencer Smith Park there is concern about social distancing.

Will we still be in Stage 3, where we are now or will the province have to clamp down and put us back into Stage 2.

The report of a certain MPP attenuating a party with 50 mask-less people isn’t going to help us remain in Stage 3.

Cougars - BurlingtonThe Burlington Cougars however have already set out their Christmas Challenge.

The year they will again be helping families in need in our community with their annual Holiday Toy Drive at Toys “R” Us, in collaboration with our community partners – Burlington Professional Firefighters Association and the Salvation Army.

Cougar Toy DriveSimply bring your new, unwrapped toys to donate and say a socially-distanced hello to the Burlington Cougars players, coaches, staff and other community members!

Saturday, November 7th, 2020
11am to 3pm
Toys “R” Us (outside)
3051 Appleby Line, Burlington, ON

We appreciate all of your contributions – every donation counts to help families struggling to make ends meet this holiday season.

A special thank you to Papa John’s Burlington and Tim Hortons (Appleby and Dundas) for supporting our volunteers with refreshments during the event. We look forward to seeing you soon, #CougarCountry

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Council to consider if patios can stay in place during winter months.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 2nd, 2020



A Special meeting of City Council will take place this afternoon to decide if the temporary use of public property for restaurant patios should be extended to October 31st, 2021

The Covid19 pandemic has been disastrous for the hospitality and retail sectors – more so for the restaurants in the city.

Would allowing them to uses what is public space through the winter month’s help bring customers out?

Council will be considering a Staff Direction to:

Authorize Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility, working in consultation with Director of Transportation, to approve extension of temporary restaurant patios and/or temporary retail space permissions on public property in connection with COVID-19 recovery to October 31,2021, subject to such criteria and conditions staff deem appropriate.

Currently, 40 patios have been approved on private property and 13 patios on City property in the Downtown.

Dickens with tent

This Elizabeth Street destination created space at the front of the restaurant. Clearing snow from the street will be a challenge.

Many restaurant owners have purchased or rented tents to provide covered dining experiences for their customers. Staff will provide a verbal update to Council on whether the 13 temporary patios on City owned lands intend to continue use of their patio and/or tent during the winter season. Halton Region is currently in Stage 3 of the Provincial COVID-19 Recovery Plan.

If the Province requires Halton Region to revert to Stage 2 business the result could have restaurants being restricted to only serving patrons outdoors until further notice from the Province.

In light of this risk, and with the winter months approaching, many restaurants have indicated intentions to operate their temporary outdoor patios throughout the winter months (November to April, inclusive).

Determining just what the risks are will be the focus of the debate. Snow clearing is another part of issue council has to face.

This citizen isn't smiling. Was she one of the hundreds that were basically locked in theoir homes during the five days of heavy winter weather because streets were not cleared?

The city is required to keep the streets clear of ice and snow.

Municipalities are required to maintain sidewalks and roads within their jurisdiction in a reasonable state of repair. There is a legislated Minimum Maintenance Standards that has to be met in regards to winter maintenance of sidewalks and roadways that includes monitoring and inspecting snow and ice accumulation on all sidewalks and roadways and deploying resources to ensure they are cleared within specified time limits.

The current patio configurations that were approved and put in place do not allow for mechanical snow clearing. It is strongly recommended that the current roadway set ups that block parking or the roadway be removed after Nov 15th. There is insufficient room for snow storage (the windrow of snow that comes off of the plow blade) and significant risk of damage to fencing and other structures in place.

Suggested time frame for removals is Nov 16thto 19th.Staff have also recommended that all sidewalks be open for mechanical snow clearing to meet the city’s obligations and reduce liability.

This is consistent with the both Oakville and Hamilton’s policy framework. Currently there are tents that have been erected on the edge of the sidewalk. This is problematic as there needs to be room for snow storage. It is recommended that 1 m or 3 ft of clearance be established

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I thought it was funny - the City Manager at the time didn't see it that way.

background graphic redBy Pepper Parr

October 30th, 2020



It was three years ago.

I was communicating with the then Director of Planning and making sure that she was kept in the loop on those occasions when I was following up on development projects with staff.

I chose to send an email to Mary Lou Tanner which was deemed to be offensive – for which the then city manager, James Ridge, chose to ban me from being in city hall.

I sued.

I am apparently allowed to attend events at city hall.

I am still publishing the Gazette.

Marianne Meed Ward and her council fired James Ridge, the city manager that banned me, the day after they were sworn in.

The current city manager revised the organizational structure and there wasn’t a place for Mary Lou Tanner who had been elevated to Deputy City Manager.

The content of the email, which may have been inappropriate, is set out below.

MLT email screen shot

On Halloween Eve I sent the then Director of Planning Mary Lou Tanner an email responding to her note that she was out of the office and would return in a few days. i responded in what I thought was jest-fully, amusing. The then city manager didn’t see it that way.

MaryLou Tanner Cogeco 2018 direct

Mary Lou Tanner Her job as Deputy Mayor was taken off the org chart. Left with a hefty settlement

Ridge 4

James Ridge, city manager. Became the first decision of a new city council. They fired him.


I thought it was funny.

James Ridge did not share my view and sent me a letter, a portion of which is set out below:

“…a number of restrictions were imposed on your access to city hall and city hall staff under the Trespass to Property Act, R.S.O. 1991, c. T.21.

“Despite the actions taken by the City, those actions appear to have been ineffective in preventing your further harassment of female staff. On the 30th of October this year, I was contacted by the Director of Planning and Building, Ms. Tanner, who provided me with a copy of an e-mail that you had sent to her that was both offensive and misogynistic in nature.

Ms. Tanner was very disturbed by your action in this regard. The City simply cannot and will not permit you to continue to harass our staff and in particular our female staff.

As a direct result of your actions, I have decided that the restrictions placed on your access to City Hall functions and contact with staff pursuant to the Trespass to Property Act as set out in my September 8, 2016 correspondence will continue indefinitely…”

You decide.

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Mayor is stretching her postage budget - more letter writing

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 30th, 2020


The original headline for this story has been replaced.

She did it again.

Wrote another letter.

To the Premier this time – and the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

The recent announcement by the provincial government in Bill 218, Supporting Ontario’s Recovery and Municipal Elections Act, to revoke the power for Ontario municipalities to conduct ranked ballot votes for municipal elections has come as a surprise.

Mayor Meed Ward and Premier - Dec 2018

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward chatting up Premier Doug Ford at an event in the lobby of the Joseph Brant Hospital.

This change eliminates local choice in elections and was inserted into the legislation with no consultation with municipalities, even though several have begun the process of consulting the public, have held referenda receiving majority support, or, in the case of London, Ont., have adopted the system.

Burlington City Council passed a motion Sept. 28, 2020 directing staff to begin public consultation on the use of ranked ballots in future municipal elections in our city. Council was looking forward to hearing directly from residents whether or not they want to retain the current first–past–the–post system, or adopt ranked ballots. Their voice, and choice, are eliminated with this proposed bill.

In addition, a motion from Burlington City Councillors Shawna Stolte and Rory Nisan is being presented at a special meeting of Burlington City Council on Monday, Nov. 2 asking your government to retain the option for local choice.
Regardless of one’s views on ranked ballots, the issue is local choice. Municipalities are an independent and responsible order of government, and the one closest to the people. Our residents should choose for themselves which system they prefer.

The provincial government is respectfully requested:

* to amend Bill 218 to retain local choice on electoral systems; and

* to meaningfully consult with municipalities on municipal issues before introducing legislative changes of this magnitude.


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When is an apology appropriate? When do they become almost trite? What about those that are not followed up on? Ask the Aboriginal community

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 30th, 2020



It’s Justin’s own fault. Unlike some other world leaders, notably GW Bush, Mr. Trudeau’s name became synonymous with ‘I’m sorry’.

Another day, another mea culpa. Residential schools, LGBT discrimination, turning away refugees – those were the easy ones. Somebody else was responsible for those mistakes. Justin even apologized for the Pope not apologizing over the role Catholics played in the residential school disgrace.

Jstin in black face

Was this the object of the first apology or was that the trip to India?

And then there were the occasions he goofed up: that vacation with the Aga Khan, brown-face gate, and the WE fiasco. And some would say he should have even apologized for his choice of costume while visiting India. But he balked when Jody Wilson-Rayboult (JWR) demanded he apologize for clarifying her place in the political pecking order. Instead he got rid of her and also her mutinous buddy Jane Philpott, who wanted him to apologize for not apologizing to JWR.

So Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet has asked Justin to also apologize for the War Measures Act, which his father reluctantly imposed to rout and eliminate Canada’s homegrown terrorist organization, the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ). Well heck, Brian Mulroney had apologized for correcting an earlier War Measures action, the internment of Japanese Canadians during WWII. In fact, he paid out $21,000 per internee and re-instated the citizenship of those deported.

Perhaps Blanchet is also looking for compensation for the 500 or so FLQ suspects who were later released without charge – or those who weren’t? Who knows? So even the opposition Conservatives are not giving him any encouragement.

Blanchet was five years old at the time the War Measures Act (WMA) was imposed for the very first time in peacetime, and for the last time before it was re-labelled the Emergencies Act. So perhaps he doesn’t clearly remember all the events of that period.

There was this reign of terror going back to 1963. The FLQ blew up mail boxes and buildings, attacked military bases to steal weapons, attempted to sabotage a train carrying former PM John Diefenbaker and robbed banks to finance themselves. There was Soviet KGB involvement, and FLQ operatives had been trained in military camps by the Palestinian PLO and other organizations deemed terrorist back then.

War Measures Troops on streets

Troops were on the streets in Montreal with close to 500 arrested without a warrant. The tension was very high in the province of Quebec

By 1970 the FLQ had 7 deaths on their hands including a Minister in the government of Robert Bourassa. Before they were eliminated they had rung up an impressive list of violent acts, (see link below). In all there were more than 200 bombings and dozens of robberies by this dis-aggregated, but well organized and highly motivated, group with a single goal in mind.

Pierre Trudeau only reluctantly imposed the War Measures Act, and only after Quebec’s premier and the mayor of Montreal had formally requested that the federal government to do so. Trudeau then took the decision to Parliament where it received near unanimous approval, including support from the major opposition party leaders.

Almost all Canadians supported the action which wiped out the FLQ, including 86% of Quebecers. The measures abrogated Canada’s Bill of Rights and included unwarranted search and arrests. But it was effective and ended only a few months later, in early 1971. And there were no documented casualties as a result of the Canadian military and police actions.

But most important, the FLQ and its reign of terror had been completely eliminated. So which Quebecers in Mr. Blanchet’s mind should Mr. Trudeau be apologizing to? Though perhaps someone needs to apologize to those who became victims of the FLQ’s reign of terror.

Background links:

Trudeau’s Mea Culpas      Blanchet’s Request –      FLQ Timeline – 

History of War Measures Act –    Opinion in Retrospect –     Read My Book

No Need to Apologize

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes frequently on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers

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Halton Regional Police Service Launch First Ever Youth Advisory Council

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 30th, 2020



The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has announced the launch of their first ever Youth Advisory Council.

HRPS crestRecognizing that youth interactions and engagement present a unique and exciting opportunity for law enforcement, our police service has developed this council for the purpose of increasing connectivity and to better understand the needs of the youth living in the Region of Halton. In recent years, youth have assumed an increased role within the community and have used their voices to effect change. Through the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion office, we have identified the need to enhance our service delivery model as it relates to youth and their involvement in driving change within the police service and our community.

The goal of the Youth Advisory Council is to:

• Advise our Police Service on how our policies, programs and outreach initiatives are impacting youth living in the Region of Halton.
• Understand how our current programs and initiatives can be enhanced to better support and serve our youth and the community.
• Assist in the development of future programs and initiatives to meet the changing needs of our community.

The concept for the Youth Advisory Council was developed in consultation with our police service, local youth and community stakeholders who felt that there was a critical gap in how we engage youth living in the Region of Halton. The HRPS has recognized that all citizens, including youth, have a role to play in ensuring we live in the safest and most inclusive Region in Canada.

“We recognize that youth are our future and today more than ever, their voices must be heard and have an impact on how we as a Police Service develop programs and initiatives to enhance community safety and well-being. This Youth Advisory Council will be a great addition to our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy by ensuring we have a point of contact between our Police Service and the diverse youth living in the Region of Halton” says Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie.

The HRPS is looking for youth aged 14-18 who want to inspire change and employ their diverse perspectives and experiences to ensure that our police service is more inclusive and meets the needs of youth living in the Region of Halton. Applications are open as of Friday, October 30, 2020.

The actual selection of the Youth Committee has some interesting criteria.  The HRPS deserve credit for being truly inclusive.  It was more than this reporter expected.  Check it out.

More information about this initiative and the application process can be found here:

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Mayor writes a letter about what is more of a Milton matter; doesn't copy that Mayor

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 29th, 2020



The Mayor has written another letter to a Member of the Doug Ford Cabinet – this time it was the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson.

The issue is serious enough –about the mobility hub CN Rail wants to build in Milton. If the hub is built it will have a major impact on a Milton community.

Rural Burlington will be impacted – not to the same degree as Milton however.

So why didn’t the letter come from Gord Krantz, Town of Milton Mayor?  He wasn’t even copied in the letter.

For what it’s worth here is what the Mayor of Burlington had to say:

CN site

The proposed facility is contrary to Halton’s planning strategy developed over 20 years ago—planning that is irreversible at this stage.

Dear Hon. Minister Wilkinson,

I am writing to you today to ask for your support in protecting the health of Canadians as it relates to the proposed CN intermodal project in Milton, Ontario.

As part of Halton Region along with Milton, Oakville and Halton Hills, Burlington stands in solidarity against this proposal due to the significant adverse health impact it will have on our communities, our infrastructure and our finances.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) panel found that this project will expose our communities’ residents to harmful toxic substances that are unsafe at any level. The impacts to air quality and human health as a result of CN’s project are unprecedented and put Halton citizens at serious risk. In the more than 100 Panel reviews since 1973, no Panel has made a finding of significant adverse effects on human health – nor has any federal decision maker concluded that significant adverse effects on human health are justified.

If this project were to advance, there are serious risks to the health and safety of some of our most vulnerable residents, given the proximity to 34,000 current and future residents, 12 schools, 2 long-term care homes, and 1 hospital to the proposed CN Milton site.

The mitigation measures recommended by the CEAA panel cannot presently be enforced by federal enforcement officers as most of the measures fall outside of federal jurisdiction. Placing conditions in to mitigate the negative environmental impact is insufficient when there is no clarity around who will be able to enforce those conditions.

Further to our environmental concerns are those related to infrastructure and safety. The surrounding rural roads, including those in Burlington, are not designed for the level of truck traffic that would result if the project moves ahead. A significant increase in truck traffic on our rural roads will also negatively impact farm operations as their vehicles are large and move at slow speeds on already busy roads. More traffic means less viability for our farming operations.

These roads have no shoulders and are rural farming roads, creating a significant safety hazard for the many motorists and avid cyclists who use them. If we are required to enhance the roads, there will be a substantial cost. Such projects are not built into our current infrastructure planning and therefore municipal funding is not earmarked for such an initiative, leaving the alternative of raising taxes – something we are not willing to do especially given the current COVID-19 situation where many people have already lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet.

Compounding that financial burden would be the loss in property tax revenue from the residential population growth and jobs that were expected to be placed in the same area. That growth was counted into our long-term financial projections.

As our colleagues at Halton Region have requested, we urge you to prioritize human and environmental health as you complete your review of the CEAA panel’s findings and ensure you uphold the important values and vision for protecting the health of all Canadians and working towards a green recovery as expressed in the Speech from the Throne.

The demonstrated negative health impacts on our community as detailed by the CEAA report should be sufficient reason to reject this project. The additional negative impacts on our rural community, road safety, infrastructure and financial well-being are even more reason for this expansion to be denied.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
City of Burlington

Everybody the Mayor knows was copied on this letter.

Cc: The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
The Honourable Michael Chong, MP Wellington-Halton Hills
Adam van Koeverden, MP, Milton
Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville North-Burlington
Parm Gill, MPP, Milton
The Honourable Ted Arnott, MPP, Wellington-Halton Hills
Jane McKenna, MPP, Burlington
Stephen Crawford, MPP, Oakville
Effie Triantafilopoulos, MPP, Oakville North-Burlington
Halton Regional Council
Burlington City Council
Tim Commisso, City Manager, City of Burlington

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The Urban Growth Boundary the City is asking the Region to approve is a massive change

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 29th, 2020



The city has a boundary that is referred to as the Urban Growth Centre.  It was put in place back in 2006 and has been the subject of much debate.

The developers were comfortable with the boundary but when the city put in an Interim Control Bylaw that froze everything for a year those same developers were very unhappy.

When the developers took their case to the Local Planning Act Tribunal (LPAT) that put any discussion over development plans on hold until LPAT has finished with them.

The city has put a proposal before Regional Council asking that the boundaries of the Urban growth Centre be re-drawn, arguing that the boundaries put in place way back in 2006 have served their purpose and it is time to reshape them.

In a lengthy report to the public the Region is asking for input – we will share the coordinates to get the documents below.

Our question is this – just what are the proposed new boundaries?

We asked the people at the Planning department – they don’t appear to be picking up the phones these days.

Here is what we have at this point – the graphics are not as clear as they should be.

Urban growth centre boundary

The blue boundary line is what was approved by the City Council in place in 2017 The red boundary is what the current city council has in the adopted but not yet approved or in force Official Plan

UGC Oct 2020

What is understood to be the UGC boundary the city wants the Region to approve.  The lower point appears to be at Prospect.

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The Gift of Giving Back isn't about to let COVID-19 change their mission

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 29th, 2020



Each year a Burlington high school is chosen as the collection point for the annual Gift of Giving Back (GGB).

Girls placing food in bins

Students placing food in the bins during the annual Gift of Giving Back event

One a specific day high school students from around the city drive up to the school with food that will get distributed to the food banks and organizations that take care of those who need help.

It’s an annual thing – they’ve been doing it for ten years.

But 2020 has not been kind to very many people.

The traditional format for the event has had to change.

Jean Longfield

Jean Longfield keeping a secret

Jean Longfield and her team have been working through some ideas and will talk to the citizens of the city early in December about how the GGB is going to do what they have been doing this years – collecting food.

Longfield has been pretty tight lipped about the plans. All we know is that the how part is going to be different.

This is the time of year that the City of Burlington raises the Gift of Giving Back flag at city hall to kick off a time of giving, teamwork and volunteering. The flag will still go up, of course.

Each year in the past, three gymnasiums at the chosen school are filled with metal bins that get put in place with a fork lift truck that takes them out the next day and puts them on transport trucks and taken to a distribution center where it is then distributed to the Food Bank, the Compassion Society, Food4Life, Salvation Army and the Women’s shelter.

What is equally impressive is the involvement of the students – they troop in with cases of juice, canned goods, toiletries – you name it – they bring it on.

Kavanaugh puttng up the totals

Kavanaugh putting up the totals.

It is run in part as a competitive event with what the students bring in weighed and then tallied on a blackboard for all to see.
Many of the students who took part in the collection side of the event also make the time to work as volunteers in some of the food distribution organizations.

Due to COVID-19, some people having to self-quarantine for 14 days, needed support in getting food. The Food Bank was delivering food parcels to those who couldn’t leave the house.

Something is coming in early December and it will be a GIFT to the whole community.

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With a dozen or more cannabis shops in the city who does the guy on the corner sell the product to?

With close to a dozen retail cannabis operations in the city – how does the private sector make a living?  Mr.Beraldo, a 59 year old Burlington resident has been put out of business for awhile.

The Halton Regional Police Service has concluded a two week long drug trafficking investigation in the City of Burlington.

Investigation by the Burlington Street Crime Unit has led to charges against the following individual:

Cannabis seized Oct 28

That’s a lot of evidence.

Sergio BERALDO (59 years old from Burlington)

  • Possession for the Purpose of Selling – Cannabis (2 counts)
  • Possession for the Purpose of Selling – Cannabis Derivatives (2 counts)
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking – Oxycodone (2 counts)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance – Psilocybin
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance – Morphine
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance – Cocaine

On October 28th 2020, Investigators from the Street Crime Unit, District Response Unit and Risk Mitigation Team executed search warrants at a residence, an outbuilding and on two vehicles in the City of Burlington.  As a result; the following items were seized:

  • 1.3 kilograms of cannabis
  • 7 x 420mg THC gummies
  • 2 THC vape pens
  • 21 oxycodone pills (some crushed into capsules)
  • 2.4 grams cocaine
  • 1 morphine pill
  • 3.2 grams psilocybin
  • 1 cellular telephone
  • 2 digital scales
  • $1575.00 cash

$13,670 worth of drugs was seized as a result of the search warrants. (Photo attached).

Beraldo was released on an undertaking.

Anyone with information in regards to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Scott Heyerman of the 3 District Street Crime Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 2342.

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

People charged with a criminal offence are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Will 25 storey towers be the standard for Brant Street: Council has set their hearts on keeping it to 17

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2020



We are back to the growth issue, which many in Burlington see as a height issue.

People want things to remain the same – keep the nice stuff, the streetscapes that have been in place for decades and that we are comfortable with and the shops we have known and patronized for years.

The current city council worked hard for more than a year to put in place an Official Plan that would permit the growth the province was forcing on the city and at the same time protect neighbour hoods that give the city the image it wants – a community with loads of single family residences with decent yards and well treed streets that are safe to walk along in the early evening.

Dev map city wide Oct 26-20

Each red dot identifies a development proposal that the Planning department is working on. There are close to a dozen that have yet to actually get to the Planning department.

What they, and the Planning department are up against is a daunting 30+ development plans that are somewhere between a twinkle in a developers eye and an application that is deemed complete by the Planning department.

421 Brant

The digging down deep for the four floors of underground parking is underway.

When the Carriage Gate people got the 24 storey’s they wanted (the Council at the time was prepared to give them17) that seemed to open things up for the developers; 20 plus was the going rate in terms of height and that set a value on the small two storey commercial property on Brant. The owners of those properties began to see dollar signs in their eyes and looked forward to cashing out.

Rendering - initiial Oct -20

Proposal for the property north of Caroline – next to Joe Dogs.

The Renimmob virtual preconsultation meeting earlier in the week heard the same wish – keep the retail we know and let us live in a community that accepts growth – they just don’t want it towering over them. They were asking for

A 26- storey mixed use building with approximately 248 residential units, including a mix of one, two and three bedroom units (subject to change) and ground floor commercial.

Earlier in the month the Molinaro Group put forward their development proposal, a three phase development that would take three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent and see heights of 25 storeys.

Phase 1 – 774,778,782 Brant Street;
Two 25-storey residential mixed use buildings with 426 units and 420 square metres of retail space at grade.

Phase 2 – 769,779,783 Brant Street and 2023, 2027, 2031-2033 Ghent Avenue;
One 25-storey residential mixed use building with 316 units, 405 square metres of retail space at grade and 7 separate townhouse units.

Phase 3 – 747,761 Brant Street
A 6-storey residential mixed use building with 108 units and 997 square metres of retail space at grade.

Molinaro Ghent at Brant

When completed the development will take up three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent.

The Molinaro architect talked in terms of the development becoming the “gate to the downtown core”. Would that set the standard at 25 storeys?

The development did have a couple of pluses – the design for the high rise towers on either side of Brant is very smart – if it is to become the northern “gateway” to the city it will be very attractive.

The Molinaro people also gave up some height with the townhouses that are proposed for the east side of Brant. They are asking for six storeys when they are allowed 11 in the Official Plan the city is waiting to get approved at the Region.

Molinaro want 25; the Renimmob people want 26.

Is 25 going to become the standard should these applications get to LPAT if the city doesn’t decide it can live with something above the proposed 17 floors?

Brant street map

The distance between the proposed Molinaro development and the Renimmob  development is four city blocks.

The city wants that high growth to be clustered around the Burlington GO station where there is no limit for height at this point.

The development community does not appear to have given up on the opportunities they believe exist in the city.

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Medical Officer of Health is in an awkward situation: Advises us to limiting close contact to those within the household but makes no comment on dining in restaurants.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2020



Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health wrote media earlier this week setting out and explaining why she asked the public to trim how they send their time and the places where they gather with other people.

“I appreciate the inquiries from the media and working together to ensure the public is informed in a timely manner. Through this statement, I am hoping to address your questions and provide a consistent message to you and the public.”

She is in an awkward situation.

Dr Meghani at news conference Hamilton

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health

She urged residents to “take additional steps to stop the spread, including limiting close contact to those within their household and limiting non-essential activities. I also recommended that team sports be limited to training only, that all indoor fitness classes be suspended, and that indoor dining take place only with those from the same household.”

But there was no word on restaurants – is it safe to have lunch at the places we like to dine?

The damage done to the hospitality sector is severe. They are hurting and that is very unfortunate. The city set up a grant program to help cover the additional costs of PPE. $2500.00 was available but there wasn’t enough money to give everyone that asked that amount.  $2500 doesn’t go very far.

The relaxation of restrictions and individual attention to public health measures over the summer has led to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, creating a concerning upward trend this fall. Although daily COVID-19 case counts fluctuate in Halton and elsewhere, the overall trends in Halton remain concerning.

The numbers province-wide are discouraging and if the current direction of the trend line holds winter is going to be very dark.

The development of a vaccine is being advanced – despite what that nut case south of us is saying the best date that is being published from reliable sources is maybe May of 2021.

“Public Health Units across the province have been working 24/7 to keep people safe and stop COVID-19 and we will continue that important work. Public Health Units will also continue to provide information to the Province daily on trends.

“Every individual action matters and can make a difference. Thank you to everyone for staying in this together, taking this seriously and above all for being kind and respectful of one another.”

The kid glove words from the MoH, who has been doing a very good job, fall a little short of the mark.

The Regional Public Health organizations now have very sophisticated tracking software.  What the public would like to see is:

Where are people getting infected?

Metrolinx - cleaning arm rest #1

GO train coaches get a scrub down at the end of each trip – mask wearing is not an option

At work?

While using public transit?

In restaurants?

At supermarkets?

The Public Health people know who has been infected.  The number of those infected based on a percentage of those tested is climbing – and that is not a good sign.

That 1042 number last Sunday was a shocker.  It has hovered in the 800 level since then yet the Mayors from the four municipalities in the Regions wrote the Premier and the Provincial Medial Officer of Health pleading not to be moved back into a Stage 2.

Would they prefer another solid lock down?

Everything we have seen and heard of Dr. Meghani backs up the reputation as a very proficient professional with a kind heart.

A little sternness in her voice could be used right now.

Hopefully she is working on the message she is probably going to have to give for the Christmas season.


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Male Arrested for Human Trafficking Offences: Regional police changing the way these offences

Crime 100By Staff

October 28th, 2020



Human trafficking is a heinous crime that robs victims of the fundamental right to live free of violence and fear.

HRPS crestThere are times when we are unable to publish a fulsome media release regarding a human trafficking investigation because doing so would pose a personal risk to the victim. In these instances, the Halton Regional Police Service will publish a de-identified media release that outlines the arrest(s) made as a result of the investigation. No names. No residence details. We will, however, disclose the charges laid.

Each media release will also include key messaging that:

i) reinforces that trafficking is a violation of human rights and a criminal offence in Canada;

ii) encourages victims, and those who have reason to believe someone they know might be a victim of trafficking, to contact the Halton Regional Police Service; and

iii) provides a comprehensive list of community resources for those affected.

Our goals are two-fold: i) create an opportunity to connect those who are at-risk, or who may already be victims of human trafficking, with the resources and support they need and deserve; and ii) heighten the awareness of the general public that trafficking is not a ‘far away’ problem in the developing world, but rather, one that is happening right here in our region.

Male Arrested for Human Trafficking Offences
Earlier this month, the Halton Regional Police Service – Human Trafficking Unit became aware of a young (adult) female who had been the victim of human trafficking dating back to 2017. The trafficking took place across the Greater Toronto Area. As a result of the ensuing investigation, police were able to locate and arrest a male in his thirties. The male was charged with the following offences:

• Material Benefit from Sexual Services
• Procuring to Provide Sexual Services
• Procuring by Exercise Control
• Advertising Sexual Services

The accused was held in custody pending a bail hearing.

Upon arrest of the accused, the victim was referred by the Halton Regional Police Service to our Victim Services Unit, and to support agencies in the community.

For the protection of the victim, no additional details (including the name of the accused) will be provided to the media.

The Halton Regional Police Service firmly believes that every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Victims of violence and/or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in our region for victims of violence and/or sexual assault:

• Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777 ext. 5239 or by email at
• Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
• Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)
• Radius Child & Youth Services 905-825-3242 (Oakville) or 1-855-744-9001
• Kid’s Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (24-hour crisis line)
• THRIVE Counselling 905-845-3811 or 905-637-5256

Signs / Indicators of Human Trafficking
• Not being allowed to speak for themselves;
Not having control of their own money or cellphone;
• Suddenly having a new or second cell phone with a secret number;
• Being controlled by others and escorted at all times;
• Not being allowed to contact family or friends;
• Withdrawing from family and friends;
• Providing rehearsed answers to casual questions;
• Being secretive about their activities;
• Showing signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc.
• Having a new boyfriend, girlfriend or friend who they won’t introduce to friends/family; and
• Having new items (clothing, jewelry etc.) outside their financial means.

What Should I Do if I Think Someone is a Victim of Trafficking
If there is immediate danger or if you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 9-1-1.

You may also call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24/7 to connect victims and survivors with social services, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as receive tips from the public. The hotline uses a victim-centered approach when connecting human trafficking victims and survivors with local emergency, transition, and/or long-term supports and services across the country, as well as connecting callers to law enforcement where appropriate.

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

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Elements of Mohawk - a casino a short drive away - now open 7 days a week 10 am to 2 am

eventsred 100x100By Nicole Gaskin

October 28th, 2020



As the world reverts to a kind of “normal”, many cities’ industries that were shut down for many long months have finally made a comeback. Burlington has officially welcomed its entertainment industry back, with facilities and establishments in the area, and those surrounding it, opening their doors to the gaming masses once again. Burlington has many opportunities for gamers who crave to have the in-person experience that they have been missing for so long, at some of the most prestigious casinos and venues that are located nearby.

Casino Mohawk elements

Facility is now open: operating 7 days a week, between the hours of 10 am to 2 am. – buffet is superb.

The Elements Casino Mohawk is situated in Milton, Ontario, for those who don’t mind a short journey to experience the prestigious offer in store. As of the 19th of October, the facility has gone back to operating 7 days a week, between the hours of 10 am to 2 am.

The casino features more than 900 of the most popular slot titles such as Vegas riches and progressive jackpot machines.

For most gamers, the longing is not just for the gaming experience, but also the culinary wonders that they have been deprived of.

The Elements Casino Mohawk offers an all-you-can-eat buffet that boasts cuisine from all over the world, boutique restaurants, and shuttle service for those who reside within the Milton area.

The casino is still adhering to strict safety protocols but will be back to its usual operating hours for all to enjoy.

Grand River casino

Grand River casino is a short drive from Burlington.

Elements Casino Grand River
The Elements Casino Grand River is a bit further from Burlington than Elements Casino Mohawk and is situated in Elora, Ontario, but is well worth the trip. Especially for players who enjoy slots machines in its various forms. This location boasts hundreds of slot machines that range from vintage-styled to cutting-edge offerings. The numerous slot machines can be found on a beautifully designed, and spacious, gaming floor. There are table games and other gaming options on offer from 10 am to 2 am, with the casino operating seven days a week.

The casino venue offers a range of dining options that are designed to satisfy almost every kind of palate, with refreshment and food services set to resume normal operations as well.

Delta Bingo and Gaming
The Delta Bingo and Gaming hall in Oakville is part of an expanding franchise that currently runs an impressive total of 20 Bingo and Gaming halls in Canada and America. Delta is one of the most trusted and reputable bingo hall brands in Canada today, having celebrated its 53rd anniversary this year. Delta is known for its frequent jackpots and promotions, which has made them the bingo brand of choice in North America. The facility features ample seating, tables, and space to ensure that the operators can adhere to safety protocols as Bingo-lovers make their way back to one of their land-based halls.

Other Forms of Entertainment in Burlington
While land-based casino gaming is a luxury that many people believed they would not be privy to for a very long time, there are those who would still prefer to stay indoors. For these players, there are many sites that highlight the best gaming sites to try from the safety of one’s home.

Bad Axe

Axe throwing has become a popular and safe sport.

For those gamers who are interested in more of the traditional style gaming mediums such as arcade-style games, arcade locations in the Burlington area will join casinos and also be opening their doors this month. Other recreational entertainment and gaming operations such as Bubble Force Corp, Viking’s Landing, The PaintBall Nation, the Golfer’s Academy, and Bad Axe Throwing have begun to consider joining the likes of the gambling industry but this move is subject to governmental approvals, especially since these entertainment forms tend to be done in teams or within proximity to others.

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Miller on disrupting the systemic Black racism that exists in the Halton District School Board

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2020



For Stuart Miller, Director of Education of the Halton District School Board, it was a problem he really didn’t need but when it landed on his desk – he moved quickly to get to the bottom of it and ensure there was a resolution.

Stuart Miller

Stuart Miller, Director of Education of the Halton District School Board

It took a couple of weeks – he met with the people who were impacted by what Miller called Anti-Black discrimination. “I had to determine where it happened and how it happened.”

A student at Oakville Trafalgar high school felt she had been discriminated against because of the colour of her skin. She posted her views on Instagram – they went viral.

Miller  learned quickly that resolving the issue for a student wasn’t enough.  “I believe our Board has levels of systemic racism that need to be rooted out” said Miller who had all the Halton District School Board teachers take part in a full day of anti-discrimination training during a PD day in September”, adding that there will be a lot more training in the months and years ahead.

“There will be no more excuses or just talking.  I want to disrupt the practices and habits that our teachers have let develop. We owe that to the students who attend our schools.”

The HDSB has always had an Equity department.  When Miller was appointed Director of Education more than six years ago it was headed up by one part time principal.  Today that unit has a full time principal in place – he will be very busy.

“We will be rolling out an Equity Action and Accommodation Plan that will help people realize the biases they have and just what a bias is – they need to learn just what this stuff is” said Miller.  The Equity department has been expanded and Miller has hired Jewel Amoh who holds a doctorate in law to  advise him on equity issues.

Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis

A number of years ago Miller had put plans in place to have former provincial NDP leader Stephen Lewis speak to teachers across the Board.  The event got cancelled on two occasions – mostly due to conflicts and administrative reasons.

“We are going ahead with that this year” said Miller.  “This time it will be done virtually and I am going to ensure that every student of colour in the HDSB has an opportunity to take part.  There isn’t a more compelling voice than that of Stephen Lewis when it comes to battling discrimination.

Bringing about changes in the way a large organization handles relationship problems is no small matter. The way we behave is ingrained and we often don’t realize the impact we are having.

We are now a society that is much more diverse culturally: adapting to the changes does not happen because a memo was sent out.

Watching how Stuart Miller shifts the way discrimination issues in Burlington, Oakville and Milton are handled and at the same time getting to the point where it just doesn’t happen is going to be interesting.

BLM march June

It was a quiet disciplined march to city hall to say that Black Lives Matter.

Last year there was a march on Burlington’s city hall. A reported 4,000 young people quietly walked along New Street and sat on the street in front of city hall.

The Black Lives Matter signs made it clear that these young people were getting it. Now to spread that understanding throughout all of Halton…

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Threatening Letters Distributed in Halton - THE ARE A SCAM

Crime 100By Staff

October 27th, 2020



The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) is warning the public of a new extortion letter scam that is taking place in Halton Region (similar letters have also been distributed throughout the Greater Toronto Area).

The HRPS has received multiple complaints about the same letter. This letter is typed on a computer and tells victims that a person in their life has hired the writer to harm them in some way.

The writer offers to deny this request to harm them in exchange for a payment of Bitcoin from the victim. The suspect then promises to reveal the identity of the person who wants to harm them.

These extortion letters can be convincing, are often tailored to an occupant of the residence, and arrive by Canada Post.

This is a scam.

Police are urging residents not to follow the instructions in the letter and not to send a payment of Bitcoin. If you receive this letter and would like to report it to police, please contact our non-emergency line at 905-825-4747.

If you have fallen victim to this scam and made a payment in Bitcoin, please contact police.

The HRPS is investigating the source of these letters.

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It will be a much different looking Brant Street even if the development is limited to 17 floors

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2020



Rendering - initiial Oct -20

This is the first view the city had of the development

The opposition to the building started the day the public saw the rendering for the first time.

Renimmob Properties Limited, a developer new to Burlington bought the property from the south end of the No frills Plaza where the Bank of Nova Scotia is located south the lot that Joe Dogs is located on. The Joe Dogs site was not part of the land assembly.

The proposal is to put a 26- storey mixed use building with approximately 248 residential units, including a mix of one, two and three bedroom units (subject to change) and ground floor commercial.

accessThe tower would sit on a three story podium. Vehicle access would be on a road that will have to be created – it would run between John and Brant on what is now the northern edge of the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Traffic and transportation were the issues that came up again and again.  Both of which were going to be the result of the height which no one wanted.  Under the in-force Official Plan the property is zoned for four to eight storeys.  Under the Official Plan that has been adopted by Council but not yet approved by the Region, the height could be 17 storeys.

Brant Street is just two lanes at this point – there is no room to widen the road.  The developer said there would be an eight metre sidewalk in front of the development.

street view

Looking north from the Joe Dogs location – which is not part of the development.

Looking south

Looking south on Brant Street with the development on the left side. The rendering shows four lanes of traffic plus a bicycle lane. The street currently has a limit of two lanes of traffic.

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