What is it that determines when a member of council should declare a conflict of interest?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2020



Every time the development at the top of Clearview Street in Aldershot comes up Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith declares a conflict of interest.

His home is within the 120m distance from the development and he is seen as having a conflict.

Galbraith doesn’t have any problem with having to take this decision – he sees it as the right and proper thing to do.

Clearview from the south

The Clearview development runs the length of the space between Clearview and St. Matthew.

The Clearview development is contentious and has gone through a number of changes. Galbraith takes no part in the debate and does not vote on the matter.

KG house to street end

Kelvin Galbraith’s home is to the right of the tree trunk, one lot to the west, The Clearview development is at the top of the street where the think grey fence is located.

Galbraith knew that when he was elected he would have conflicts. He chose to do the smart thing and meet with the City Solicitor before he was actually sworn, in we understand, to ask what the rules were and what was required of him as a Councillor.

Galbraith has property interests along Plains Road as well and will declare a conflict of interest should that property become part of a development issue.

Galbraith slight smileWhat we are seeing is a sterling example of how a Councillor should behave, which was certainly not the case with at least one member of the 2014-18 council.

During the September 30th Standing Committee meeting Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns put forward nine amendments to the Official Plan that was being debated.

One of the amendments related to the Lions Club property that is bound by New Street, Maria, Martha and Elizabeth.

Lions Park

The Lions Park. The Mayor lives kitty corner from Maria Martha intersection centre top of the illustration,

The Lions Club began buying up pieces of property in the 1920’s. The structure that is currently the Club House for the Lions and home to ROCK – Reach Out Centre for Kids also has space in the building which is due to have a second floor added.

While the land is owned by the Lions Club it operates as a city park and is maintained by the city.

The city also has a right of first refusal should the Lions Club choose to sell the northern portion of the property.

An interesting side note – the building on the southern part of the site was once the barn for the transit cars used by the Radial Railway that used to run along what is now Centennial Trail.

View MMW to park

The Mayors home is approximately where the truck is parked in the driveway. The North East edge of the park is seen on the right hand side

During the debate around how the property would be zoned the Lions delegated and said they would like to see the park zoning designation removed from the property. They felt that zoned as parkland lessened the value of the land should a time come when the Lions wanted to sell and the city chose not to be a buyer.

Living next to a park is usually a plus for a property owner.

The Mayor happens to be a property owner who lives kitty-corner to the park.

At no point during the debate did the Mayor declare a conflict of interest.

The Gazette sent a note to the City Clerk (Does the Mayor not have a conflict – she lives across the street?) asking if there was not a conflict.

The City Clerk sent back a note saying:

Please note that the our Members of Council are bound by the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M.50. In accordance with the Act, it is the duty of the member to disclose an interest. Staff does not provide comment or advice on whether a member may have a potential conflict under the Act. Section 28 of the Procedure By-law outlines the process that must be taken if a member has an interest that they disclose.

We don’t know if the Mayor has a conflict.  Councillor Galbraith said he has a conflict and his house is as close to the Clearview development as the Mayor’s house is to the Lions park.

This is a question that the provincial Ombudsman can answer.


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Virtual pre-consultation for major Brant Street development.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 14th, 2020



The virtual Pre-consultation for the Molinaro development proposed for the Brant and Ghent intersection will take place this evening between 7 and 9:00 pm

Molinaro Brant and Ghent

The development covers three of the four corners at Brant and Ghent.

Instructions for Zoom Webinar

Participate On-Line via Zoom:


Webinar ID: 966 5772 6680

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A delay in getting that new version (the endorsed one) of the Official Plan to the Region - wonder why?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2020


Grow Bold went out of favour.



A source in the city communications department told us that: “The logistical details of how we submit the OP to the Region are still to be confirmed.”

That document was passed at a Special Meeting of Council on October 6th.

Why the delay?

Perhaps a new design for the cover is in the works?

Related news story

Getting the plan to the Region

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Just what DID Heather say?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2020



Just what DID Heather say during both the September 30th Standing Committee and the October 7th Council meeting?

Heather, being Executive Director Heather MacDonald who is also the Chief Planner for the city, was asked on multiple occasions if she supported the amendments made to the Official Plan late in the process of revisions being made to the OP that have been ongoing for more than a year.

MMW Oct 6 anthem 2 look

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, standing in the Council Chamber during the singing of the national anthem.

The amendment came out of the minds of the Mayor and ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns.

Each of the amendments was strenuously debated at the Standing Committee and done as a recorded vote at the Council meeting.

Specifics on those changes brought forward, and eventually passed at council, will be covered in a separate story – they are a little on the complex side.

Sharman at transit

Councillor Sharman – a very deliberate questioner

Councillor Sharman led the putting of the question to MacDonald on each item. “Do you support the amendment?”

MacDonald + Enns

Heather MacDonald, on the right with Alison Enns at a public meeting.

During the first two amendments MacDonald was a little hesitant – not with her answer but in the way she expressed it. By the third amendment she had her answers formed in her mind and said consistently:  “we gave council our best planning advice and are comfortable with what we did”.

She added later that she could not professionally support the amendments. While the consultant the city hired to advise, at a cost of $600,000 plus on a sole sourced contract, was not taking part in the meeting, Sharman asked if he was supportive and MacDonald said he was not.

MacDonald was put in a very awkward position. She and her staff had done a gargantuan job of ensuring that the recommendations put forward were solidly researched and based on defensible planning practices. The numerous studies done were there to support the decisions made.

Audit Kearns 5

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns.

Then the Mayor and Councillor Lisa Kearns, come forward with major changes – mostly to the east side of Brant Street.  There was nothing inherently wrong with the changes – why didn’t they come from the planners?

Councillor Sharman concluded that when (he made a point of not saying if, but when) the plan is appealed to the Local Planning Act Tribunal (LPAT) the city will have to hire new  planners because ours, Heather MacDonald, has already said she could not support the amendments.

Councillor Nisan took exception to the mention of hiring lawyers and added that this had already been covered; something that would have been done in one of the now infamous Closed Council Sessions.

This is high stakes stuff at a very professional level – it is the kind of thing one stakes their reputation on. One has to wonder if there was a meeting between MacDonald, city manager Tim Commisso and the Mayor at which MacDonald may have said that she could not support the amendments and would resign before they were passed by Council.

That would have put the fat in the fire.

The planners at every level did some fine work. The amendments took the bloom off the rose; they could have been discussed in detail before it got to the point where the Mayor was challenging the planners.

Meed Ward did say that she understood the position the planners had taken and added that the planners are in place to give council their best thinking.

She also said that Council has a moral and ethical responsibility to do what they believe is best for the city saying  “this council is not a rubber stamp”.

There is now a state of tension between Council and the planning department that should not exist.

Sharman folded

Councillor Sharman

Angelo B

Councilor Bentivegna

Galbraith slight smile

Councillor Galbraith

The recorded votes, with one exception, were 4-3: Councillors Sharman, Bentivegna and Galbraith voted against the Mayor’s amendments and the other three siding with the Mayor.

Council Sharman pointed at that there are at least 23 appeals before LPAT – arguing those appeals are going to be a boondoggle for the planning and legal professions.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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Traffic restrictions on John and James for the installation of a construction crane

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 13th, 2020



John Street between James Street and Maria Street will be closed on Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16, 2020, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for crane activity.


The look of lower Brant when the construction is completed.

Local access will be maintained from Maria Street only and through traffic will be detoured around the block.

The Gallery, the name given to the  23 storey condominium tower going up across the street from city hall, has advanced the construction – they now need to begin building up as well as down.

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Performing Arts Centre turns the stage lights on - very small audiences until province eases up on how many people can be in a theatre

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 13th, 2020



When the lock down was put in place Tammy Fox knew she had a problem – she just didn’t know how big a problem it was going to be.

Today – she knows.

Tammy Fay smile

Tammy Fox, Executive Director Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Tammy is the Executive Director of the Performing Arts Centre.

The two theatres in the building – one, the Main Theatre, holds 720 people; the other, the Community Studio Theatre, holds 165 people – have been empty for months.

The building needed some attention during the lock-down – while minimal, the costs were nevertheless real.

A very interesting production has been announced that will give young people who have a deep interest in theatre a chance to get some solid experience and mentoring.

Rebuilding the audience is going to take time. The immediate future is iffy at best. The province has limited the number of people who can attend events. “I can’t put much more than 50 people in the Main theatre – close to impossible to pull in the revenue needed to support the operations” said Fox.

“COVID social distancing cuts into what we can earn from the bar.”

On the upside, the Performing Arts Centre has a solid core of patrons who have stayed with us.

Our volunteers have been great – we had them in for a run-through on what it means to manage and direct people when they are entering the theatre and explaining the seating arrangements. We held three separate sessions – 90% of the volunteers have returned to usher people.

During the balance of October there will be:

Gord Downie

A fund raising concert that sold out – broadcast as a live stream of the performance featuring Tom Wilson

LEGACY – A Tribute to Gord Downie featuring Tom Wilson is sold out.

The Livestream of the fundraising concert and special evening to celebrate the man, the music and his enduring legacy take place on October 15th and 16th.

BENEATH SPRINGHILL: The Maurice Ruddick Story takes place on October 17th and 18th – at 1:00 pm on both days.
This is the dramatic true tale of seven miners trapped beneath a small mining town and the racial tension that surfaced as a result.

Elise LeGrow

Elise LeGrow; an impressive chanteuse

Elise LeGrow will perform on Sun Oct 25, 2020 at 4pm and at 7pm in the Community Studio.
Her voice and storytelling abilities are second to none. She has performed at the Performing Art Centre before to solid audiences.

Then there is the ALTdot Comedy Lounge on Friday Oct 30, 2020 at 7pm and again at 9pm

Featuring Sean Cullen, Jackie Pirico with host Ali Hassan! For 24 years, The ALTdot Comedy Lounge has been one of Toronto’s premiere comedy shows.

Nancy Brewer BPAC chair

Nancy Brewer, Chair Burlington Performing Arts Centre

The Performing Arts Centre has a new Chair, Nancy Brewer, a Chartered Professional Accountant in Burlington. Nancy is actively involved in community service having served as Chair of Joseph Brant Hospital and the Halton Learning Foundation.
Fox has put the finishing touches on the budget for next year – it is going to be painful.

Much depends on how long the current audience limitations are in place – assuming that we don’t slide back into a second lock down – and the arrival of a vaccine that proves to halt the spread of the virus.

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Council does not appear to be interested in taking a long term view of the application for new quarrying licenses in the Escarpment

City Council was given a thorough report on what was involved in the Nelson Aggregate application for new licenses; one to quarry on land to the west of the current site and another to quarry on land to the south.

Quarry map

The shaded area are where Nelson Aggregates want to expand.

The information Council was given was more in the way of background – nothing was going to happen for a couple of years – other than the preparing and issung of a number of technical studies.

This part of the process was expected to cover several years.

What became clear during the meeting was that while the quarries were in Burlington proper, the city was certainly not going to have the last word – they would be lucky to have much to say at all.

The Regional government was going to spearhead the messaging while the JART – Joint Application Review Tribunal would do all the initial review of the document – which comprised of thousands of pages of technical data.

All that data and the summary of them would get presented to Burlington, the Region of Halton, the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the provincial Ministry that oversees the operation of mineral extraction operations, they would all be expected to weigh in on what it would all mean to the city.

The NEC and the Ministry are what count.

The document that held the most information for everyone at Council was a Process Time Line that sets out who is going to do what and when.

Quarry time line

What was entirely overlooked at the Burlington Council meeting was the long term Nelson Aggregate intention to turn the quarried out properties to the city who could then turn them into a huge public park.

This council did not seem to want to take a long term look – the focus seemed to be the impact the application might have on the 2022 municipal election.

The Escarpment is seen as sacrosanct – no housing developments except for maybe something very very small in the three settlement communities of Lowville, Kilbride and Mt Nemo.

Golf courses are OK with the residents – the accepted community norm is that those people who can afford five and ten acre properties on which they can build relatively large homes are more than welcome.  Gated driveway are acceptable architectural features.  If you don’t fit into that demographic – then the Escarpment just isn’t for you.

16 Rendering of bowl Golf club or main quarry

The existing quarry on the north side of Side Road # 2 is close to being mined out. Rehabilitation is currently already underway. When completed there will be a swimming area, paths and park area with acres of land to roam around on.

That Burlington is going to grow immensely is a given – mostly housed in apartments or condominiums with not much in the way of parkland.

We are seeing exceptionally large crowds along the Beachway where parking becomes an expensive issue when you see the amount on the parking ticket.

The several Conservation areas are now regulating who can go into their parks and how long they can stay.

While we are not out of public park space we are now rationing the space we have and charging fees for entrance.

Beach - swimming

The property on the south side of Side Road # 2 would be turned into a lake with a large shallow area that will be very safe for young children. The Jefferson Salamander habitat will be well to the east of this lake.

Another large park in the Escarpment area makes sense and certainly deserves consideration.

Not by this Council and certainly not during that period of time when re-election is the focus.

The last time Nelson Aggregates made an application for new licensees they were turned down because the Jefferson Salamander habitat was threatened.  Nelson Aggregates has made sure that issue is covered in this latest application.

To the surprise of some there is a citizen organization with a reported 400 members supporting the long term development of turning the quarries into public park space.

There is also a well organized citizens group opposed to the quarry expansion,

Council has to determine what they want to do. Will they choose to say they will protect the Escarpment.  From what?  Newcomers having a place to play?

Part 1 of a three part series on the Nelson Aggregate issue.

A very large development that is a short drive from the Escarpment – no park land for those people.

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Performing Arts Centre offering unique opportunity for local youth to participate in a professional theatre production

artsorange 100x100By Staff

October 13th, 2020



The Performing Arts Centre has created a unique opportunity for local youth to participate in a professional theatre production of ‘Into the Woods: In Concert’ this November and December!

Into the woods - graphic

The production was the Dora Mavor Moore Award winner for Best Production of a Musical in 2010.

As part of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s upcoming presentation of Into the Woods: In Concert, there will be  a three-week Youth Mentorship Program.

Up to 22 local youth will become a part of the ensemble, participating on stage or behind the scenes, experiencing the rehearsal process with the professional cast, and performing in a one-of-a-kind production of a Broadway classic, produced by one of Canada’s leading independent professional theatre companies.

Applications must be sent in no later than Friday October 23rd.

Physical distancing and all proper COVID-19 safety measures will be followed during the program, and masks will be required for all participants.

“Participating in this kind of production is a great opportunity for young performers, designers and fans of theatre, in general,” said Burlington Performing Arts Centre Executive Director Tammy Fox.

The program: Into the Woods: In Concert was created by the Talk is Free Theatre company based in Barrie Ontario. The opportunity to take part in this production is every theatre kid’s dream, and a unique opportunity to learn from industry professionals, said Fox.”

Applicants must be between the ages of 12 and 20, must commit to approximately 20 hours of rehearsal at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, between November 16 and December 6, and must be open to the creative process and respectful to their environment.

An introductory workshop will be provided by Leslie Gray of Burlington’s own Koogle Theatre.

Participants can participate in acting, singing, design, directing, stage management and more, based on their interests.

Those seeking a performance role will get to act in this iconic musical alongside some of Canada’s leading musical theatre actors, whose productions credits span from Mirvish Productions, Shaw Festival and Stratford Festival.

Into the Woods performer

Into the Woods In Concert performer. Photo by Alex Medvick.

Every participant will also receive one-on-one mentorship from a member of the professional cast and/or creative team. These mentorship sessions consist of two 30-minute meetings which will be scheduled during the rehearsal and performance timeframe.

This unique opportunity to be part of the show costs $200, which includes two complimentary tickets to the production. Interested youth must apply by Friday, October 23 on the BPAC website. (https://burlingtonpac.ca/youth-mentorship-program/)

About Into the Woods: In Concert
Talk is Free Theatre presents Into the Woods: In Concert at the BPAC’s Main Theatre for 10 shows from November 27 to December 6.

Into the Woods is a musical journey that intertwines the several beloved Brothers Grimm characters and explores the consequences of their individual’ wishes and wants. Characters include Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and the Beanstalk), Rapunzel, and Cinderella to name a few. At the centre of the story is a childless baker and his wife who will do anything to have a family, but they encounter a powerful witch who has placed a curse on them. Throughout this magical journey, characters from different fables encounter each other as they fight for what they believe is their happily ever after. The original Broadway production earned three Tony Awards in 1988.

BPAC people in pic

The stage lights are back on – the Performing Arts Centre is once again operational.

About Talk is Free Theatre
Talk is Free Theatre was founded in 2003 in Barrie, ON by Artistic Producer Arkady Spivak and colleagues, and has since produced close to 100 works. TIFT’s recent production The Curious Voyage is an internationally recognized first-of-its- kind immersive experience that physically transported participants to London, England as part of an inescapable narrative. Their co-production of Sondheim’s Assassins with Birdland Theatre as a sold-out success, a Dora Mavor Moore Award winner for Best Production of a Musical in 2010 and has been named on the 10 Best Toronto Theatre Shows of the Decade by NOW.

Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 | burlingtonpac.ca/into-the-woods
Tickets: Regular $49 / Members $44

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Beer Store closes Elizabeth Street Location: employee tested positive for COVID

News 100 redBy Staff

October 12th, 2020



beer storeThe Beer Store announced today that its 396 Elizabeth Street location has closed while they complete a deep clean.

The Beer Store learned that an employee at the store tested positive for COVID-19. The Beer Store is working in consultation with Halton Public Health and has closed the location.

It will re-open on Tuesday, October 13.

All potentially affected employees will self-isolate and symptom monitor as a precautionary measure.

The Beer Store has implemented mandatory employee face coverings in all their stores, in addition to robust cleaning and public distancing protocols already in place.

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Community Development Halton moves to an open membership format: a much needed and welcome change.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 12th, 2020,



Community Development Halton (CDH) is not an organization that is immediately recognized when the letters CDH are mentioned.

It is one of a number of non-governmental organizations in place to serve the community.

It relies on public money to exist – most of the funding comes from the Region of Halton and the United Way.

CDH logoLike all the other incorporated not for profit organizations – it holds an annual meeting.

CDH did something startling at its Annual General Meeting earlier this month.

When the province made changes to the Not-For-Profit Corporations Act, many organizations amended their  by-laws, reducing voters to board members only – CDH followed suit a few years ago. However, when the current board reflected on the impact to its transparency and inclusiveness, it voted to reverse the change.  What CDH has done is re-open the organization to membership – which is what elects the Board of Directors that sets policy and direction.

Jan + scarf

CDH president Jan Mowbray.

“They amended the rules related to membership.  There are now two forms of membership: Individual and Organization” explained CDH president Jan Mowbray.

“Organization” means any non-profit or charitable organization; grassroots group, or public or private entity, but does not include a political party or political organization.”

“A member must live or work in the Region; members must pay the membership fee.”

The membership fee structure for individuals has yet to be confirmed – however, the members of the Board pay an annual fee of $100.

“Each individual member and a single representative of a member organization shall be entitled to cast one vote on each question at any Annual General Meeting or Special Meeting, provided that the individual or organization was a member in good standing on December 31 of the prior year and remained so for the period up to and including the date of the Annual General Meeting.”

The AGM is always in September – thus preventing any last minute attempt to add new members and change the direction of the organization.

“Ten percent of the membership can petition the President to call a meeting of the Board.”

“A quorum at an Annual General Meeting shall be more than 10% of CDH members in good standing.”

“A motion or resolution shall be carried if it is approved at an Annual General Meeting by more than 50% of those voting.”

There are far too many organizations in place to serve the city that use the Directors in place as their membership – they keep re-electing themselves or determine who they want to join the Board.  They become the “old boys club”.

This is a very healthy change, hopefully one that will be taken up by other Not-for-Profit organizations with the Sound of Music (SoM) being an organization that needs a change.  There was a time when there were more than 100 SoM members.

In the past far too many NGO’s suspended membership and changed their constitutions to having the members of the Board being the only members who could re-elect themselves at will.

The logic behind changing the rules was that “the board was unanimous in its desire to be completely inclusive and transparent.  When only  the board could vote on an issue, it left our stakeholders with no say at all in an organization that represents all of Halton”, said Jan Mowbray, President of the CDH Board of Directors.

Nixon Image

Executive Director Mike Nixon

CDH also has a new Executive Director – Mike Nixon –  who was in complete support of the change.  A number of Staff changes were made as well.  COVID issues meant putting some staff on furlough for a period of time.

The organization has now completed the needed structural changes.


Dr. Joey Edwardh

Dr. Joey Edwardh, who retired last October after more than twenty years at the helm during which time some significant changes were made in the way social issues were deliberated upon at a public level.


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On Being Thankful

Fall colours Oct 20The things for which we are thankful.

This is a day to pause and think about what we are thankful for during these stressful times.

These trees caught our eye – we found it a good place to start thinking about all there is to be thankful for.

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West Plains Bistro: part of the Taste of Burlington event - running until the 25th

By Michele Bogle
October 11, 2020

West Plains Bistro is located in Aldershot. It has a warm comfy feel, almost cozy at the west end of Burlington: this little European-styled bistro is conveniently accessed off busy Plains Road. There was plenty of outdoor seating but a little noisy, so we chose to eat inside. Tripadvisor.ca rated it at #9 out of more than 300 Burlington restaurants.

West Plains Bistro

West Plains Bistro – rated #9 in Burlington on Tripadviser

What I observed upon entering: at the door was the restaurant’s ‘Food & Safety Inspection Sheet’ prominently placed for patrons to read before entering. When entering, we were greeted by mask-covered staff. There were only booths as a choice for seating. The additional tables were eliminated for appropriate spacing. Before being seated the server informed us that both doors at either end were open for improved air circulation. The tables were not pre-set. The restaurant looked clean.

‘Soup of the Day’ was red pepper with goat cheese and bacon. However this combination sounds, I can assure you that the flavours make you stop and redirect your conversation. This was a taste experience that made this cook want to attempt to recreate this soup at home. I’d return just for the soup.

Taste WPB greens on top

Smoked Salmon Crepe

Next, we chose the ‘Smoked Salmon Crepe’ as our entree. At first glance you might think that you’ve been transported into an expensive New York restaurant featured in a food magazine. The plating was beautiful and the quantity of food sitting on the plate, minimalistic. Inside this tidy package I found a fully-loaded crepe of smoked salmon, red onion and goat cheese. The dill sauce was a perfect complement to the dish.

Taste WPB pie

Pumpkin Pecan Torte

Appetite now completely satisfied, it was time for dessert. Dessert was a choice from eight delectable creations. A list of which can be found on their website https://westplainsbistro.square.site/gallery-3. It was very difficult to choose. We went with the Pumpkin Pecan Torte, which in my opinion was more of a tart, than torte, and the Peach and Apple Crumble. The crumble was mushy and there was little evidence of peach present in my dessert. I wouldn’t recommend this particular item on the menu. As a baker, my specific area of strength is in flavour profiles. After tasting the Pumpkin Pecan Torte, I would give the balance of spices within this torte, three thumbs up.

The overall dining experience was good. At $20 per person during the Taste of Burlington Pre-Fixe Dining Event, I received more than my money’s worth of delicious food.

Make sure to sign up for your Taste of Burlington Passport App found in the link below, if you haven’t already; to make ordering and your check-in process safer and easier.


As a reminder this event runs only from October 5-25. Reservation required at most locations. Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to try new restaurants and or to visit some of your favourites while supporting hospitality in Burlington, Ontario.

West Plains Bistro
133 Plains Road, East
Burlington, ON L7T 2C4

Remember, every time you participate in this event using the Taste of Burlington Passport, you increase your chances of winning the weekly gift card giveaway, or the $500 gift card to a participating restaurant of choice.

Michele BogleMichele Bogle is a Burlington resident who writes for the Gazette on community issues. Ms Bogle has taken part in the Food Network for the second year in a row to audition for the ‘Great Chocolate Showdown’ 2020 and 2021. She made it to the second stage of auditions for ‘Wall of Chefs’ 2019 and finished top 1% of auditions last year for ‘The Great Canadian Baking Show’.

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Citizen suggests a pause on adding people to Advisory Committees

opinionred 100x100By Lawson Hunter

October 10th, 2020



As Council knows, public engagement is near and dear to my heart. I’ve spoken about community education, a wider approach to give citizens the opportunity to comment on policies and plans, and I’ve proposed various methods of having community voices heard – in particular – citizens’ assemblies.

I respectfully ask that Councillors search out information on how Citizens’ Assemblies work and how they are successfully being used around the world.

Fortunately, I have the time to attend Standing Committee and Council meetings being held during the day. Many in our community cannot afford to take time off to participate.

I attended one of the Citizen Action Labs, have spoken to several ex-members of Citizen Advisory Committees, attended a few of those committee meetings as a silent observer, and read the various documents, staff reports, committee minutes and the recommendations from the Citizens Advisory Committee Review Team. As you know, I go in for the deep dive.

As public engagement goes, I look at what the City has done with regard to the Adopted Official Plan and the ‘Take a Closer Look Downtown’ initiative as the gold standard. Dozens of opportunities, countless interactions, volumes of documents to pour over, many, many Get Involved messages, even walking tours and town halls.

Compare that to the City’s outreach for the Advisory Committee Review. Three Action Labs, an online survey and a questionnaire at an outdoor market. All done over a year ago. Yes, there was a citizens Review Team that, I presume, worked diligently to interpret the responses heard. But there was no opportunity to respond to the document that they produced.

Basically, a year has passed and silence. If nothing screams Public Engagement – in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS – it’s the Advisory Committee structure. Something that the public has been complaining about for over 20 years.

Then, on Sept. 17th up pops a staff report with a phased in approach and a request from the Corporate Services CSSRAC committee to start recruiting Advisory Committee members.

Which to my mind, means that we’ve gone back to the status quo while the Clerk’s office works out the details.

So here’s my request. Hit the pause button for a few more months. We’ve all been distracted by COVID. Parents are struggling how to send their kids to school and keep their families safe. Operations at City Hall has morphed into a giant Zoom call. Council is about to be swallowed up with the City’s 2021 Budget. Business owners are fighting to keep their doors open. And more and more people have lost their jobs, and are lining up at Food Banks and COVID testing sites.

Is this the time to start recruiting for Advisory Committees? We’ve gone seven months without them. What harm would another few months do?

Hit the pause button and give this staff report, and some details, to those people who spent their time attending the Action Labs, who bothered to fill out the surveys, who sit or have sat on previous Advisory committees, the Engagement Charter and Shape Burlington.

Give us a chance to review what’s being proposed. One last chance to make a suggestion or comment. A bit more time to decide whether or not we want to sign up for a committee, or decide to let others take over.

That would be Public Engagement, the kind that we deserve here in Burlington.


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Thanksgiving Day - what's open - what isn't open.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 10th, 2020


What’s open; what’s not open – Thanksgiving Holiday.
Animal Services
The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.

To report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit www.burlington.ca/animal.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate a holiday schedule on Oct. 12. The downtown Transit Terminal, Specialized Dispatch and the administration office will also be closed on this day.

Schedules and specialized booking are available at burlingtontransit.ca. For real-time schedule information visit Google/Apple Maps or triplinx.ca.

City Hall Closed on Monday, Oct. 12.
The Service Burlington counter will re-open Oct. 13 and is available for the following in-person payments from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday:

– Parking permits and tickets
– Property taxes
– Freedom of Information requests
– Garbage tags
– Dog licenses
– Property information requests
– Recreation services

Service Burlington continues to offer marriage licenses and commissioning services by appointment. Please call Service Burlington at 905-335-7777 to schedule.

Cash payments are currently not accepted. Many service payments are also available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Anyone entering City Hall must wear a mask or face covering unless exempted from by the Mandatory Mask Bylaw.

Residents are asked to bring and wear their own masks.

Building and Planning
Service counters for building and planning are currently closed and staff continue to process applications electronically.

For more information about building permits and business licences, visit burlington.ca/building.

For information about development applications, visit burlington.ca/developmentinfo

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office Closed on Monday, Oct. 12.

Administration Counter Services, at 4085 Palladium Way, will re-open on Oct. 13 and are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Many online services are also available, please visit Halton Court or email burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca

Free parking is available downtown, on the street, in municipal lots and in the parking garage on weekends and holidays.

NOTE: The Waterfront parking lots (east and west) do not provide free parking on statutory holidays.
Parking exemptions are currently not required for overnight parking on City streets between 1 and 6 a.m., due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. burlington.ca/parking

Recreation Programs and Facilities Arenas will be closed on Oct. 12 and re-open on Oct. 13.

Angela Coughlan Pool will be open on Oct. 12. Pre-registration is required. For scheduled programming, visit burlington.ca/fall

Roads, Parks and Forestry Administrative office closed on Monday, Oct. 12.

Essential and reduced parks maintenance services will be provided.

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Fire fighters and anonymous young men collect for the Food Bank

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 10th, 2020


The Burlington Dads drove to the Food Bank earlier this week  at the end of their Food Drive in Kilbride with 167 pounds of donated food.

Food bank fire truck

Heritage Firetruck used as a back drop for food collected in the Kilbride community by the volunteer fire fighters.

The Dads partnered up with the Kilbride Volunteer Firefighters Association to do a non-perishable food collection and stopped by numerous friendly local businesses that offered their offices as drop-off points along the way. One of the Dads (Jordan Bradburn) organized the event and drove an old 1937 Ford fire truck to lead the way, proudly flying the DADs flag.

Each year at this time the Burlington Dads host their annual Ride to Provide spin marathon as their own fundraiser. In lieu of the pandemic it was cancelled, however last year’s host’s – Cedar Springs Health Racquet & Sports Club squash members helped out by collecting 40 donated turkeys from their members for us to distribute to families this weekend!

Food bank - three young men

Three unnamed young men dropped off a bin of food they had collected.

Being Squash Members, a few of them included squash as well.

One last thing –the photo is of three young men who just showed up last night and dropped off a full bin of food as a donation – anonymously! Two hockey players and a soccer player (that’s all we know). Amazing!

Are there some proud parents who want to identify these young men?

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L3Harris applied systems manager recognized at the national Women of Color (WOC) STEM Virtual Conference

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 9th, 2020



Annie Wang: a manager in applied systems at L3Harris’ Burlington operation.

Annie Wang

Annie Wang

She is among 40 women nationwide being honored across 15 categories at the conference this year. Wang is a manager in applied systems at L3Harris’ Burlington operation. In addition to Wang, five other L3Harris employees are being recognized this year at the national Women of Color (WOC) STEM Virtual Conference October 8-10.

“I’m truly honored about receiving this award. I’m very appreciative of the recognition, and the initiatives and effort of the organization in promoting and maintaining diversity in the workplace,” said Wang, who will receive the Technology All Star award.

The WOC STEM Conference has been promoting the achievements of women across the STEM fields for 25 years. At the conference, award winners and other attendees have an opportunity to discuss key issues in the scientific and technical workforce, share best practices and participate in professional development, networking and recruiting. In addition, conference attendees can participate in virtual panels which will be comprised of leaders from Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and universities.

About L3Harris Technologies
L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $18 billion in annual revenue and 48,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries.

Their new location in Waterdown is under construction.

They have been a leading technology organization in Burlington for some time.

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Endorsed Official Plan now gets sent to the Region - what do they do with it? Perhaps the city should dramatize the delivery of the document

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 9th, 2020



What happens now?

An 11 hour meeting to get through the Staff version of the Scoped ReExamination of the Adopted Official Plan and then debate the 9 amendments the Mayor and Ward 2 Councillor came up with – and it was then a done deal.

Well, as done as Burlington could do the document.

It has to be sent to the Regional government.

The document will fill a very very thick binder.

How do they get it to the Regional Planner?

Regional offices

Entrance to the offices of the Regional government.

By mid-October, staff will submit the Council-endorsed policy modifications for Downtown and Neighbourhood Centres, along with all supporting documentation, to Halton Region. Due to COVID, the logistics of submission are still to be confirmed.

How long will the Region need to determine if they can approve the document? Recall that they sent it back in the waning weeks of 2018 because it didn’t comply completely enough with the Regional Official Plan.

The Region will issue a draft decision on the City’s adopted Official Plan in November or December 2020.

How does it get returned to the city?

The Region’s Chief Planning Official will send the draft decision to Heather MacDonald, the City’s Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation, and Mobility.

City Council meeting - before COVID

City Council meeting – before COVID. Perhaps they could assemble in a live meeting to receive the xx from the Regional government.

City Planning staff will then present the Region’s draft decision to City Council for review.

City Council will have a chance to review the draft decision and make comments before the Region issues a final decision.

Surely this will not take place at one of those wretched virtual meetings?

One of the issues for Burlington city council was – is the document appeal proof?

It is the Region’s decision that can be appealed, not the City’s.

After the Region issues a final decision on the City’s Official Plan, a Notice of Decision will be sent out to all parties who have participated in the Official Plan process by submitting written comments to the City or Region, or speaking at a public meeting.

The Notice will provide details about how to appeal the Region’s decision, and the deadline for filing an appeal.

Town Crier David Vollick reading the message from Gazette publisher Pepper Parr at Council in December of 2011.

Town Crier David Vollick reading a message to Council.

Anyone wanting to receive notice of the Region’s decision, should make a written request to Graham Milne, Regional Clerk, graham.milne@halton.ca, 905-825-6000, ext. 7110, Legislative & Planning Services, Region of Halton, 1151 Bronte Rd., Oakville, ON, L6M 3L1.

All very dry and dull.

Heather MacDonald might consider renting a small bus and driving to the Region where she and the staff she decides to take with her can don their face masks and troop into the Regional office bearing the flag with the city crest and the document in a leather binder carried on a dark velvet cushion.
The Town Crier could proceed this band of brave planners and announce that Burlington has arrived to deliver the Official Plan that city council has endorsed.

Somehow the Mayor will get herself on that bus – this is just too good a photo op to be missed.


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Taste of Burlington Pre-Fixe Dining Experience at Rayhoon Eatery in Burlington

By Michele Bogle
October, 9, 2020


Located in the middle of Village Square; a quiet oasis – not a car to be heard

Tucked away in the quaint little Village Square is a Persian Restaurant, ‘Rayhoon Eatery’. Whether you already love Persian fare or have never tried it before, the Pre-Fixe dining opportunity during the Taste of Burlington event is the perfect time to try this restaurant. They offer a 3-course lunch or dinner, $25 or $40 per person respectively.

Rayhoon offers a good selection on the Pre-Fixe menu with gluten free, vegan and vegetarian options. All of the dishes are ‘halal’. Every third Friday, they have belly dancing for your dining entertainment. Reservations are required for all dining. Please note that they are not open on Mondays with the exception of holiday Mondays.

The eatery was clean, the waitress was attentive, polite, knowledgeable, and the music was at a soothing level, allowing for conversation.

What I observed when entering; all employees were wearing masks; spaced an appropriate distance from one another; the tables were spaced 2 metres apart; and there was a sanitation station set up at the entrance. The bathroom was clean. Before ordering, we and patrons around us were asked for names and contact info. All of the utensils were wrapped. When leaving their tables for the restroom or for departing, the staff politely reminded patrons to put their masks back on. The Taste of Burlington’s Passport offers you additional comfort when digitally ordering your lunch or dinner.

Kabob with rice

Bakhtiari Kabob

For dinner, my daughter and I chose the Pistachio Crusted Salmon and Bakhtiari Kabob. To start I enjoyed a walnut, beet and arugula salad with goat cheese and a pomegranate dressing. The combination of flavours made me feel that even if I had nothing more to eat, I’d be happy.

The Persian-inspired butternut squash soup was aromatic and delicious.

Sticky dessert

Baked Atlantic Salmon encrusted with pistachios

Next I enjoyed Baked Atlantic Salmon encrusted with pistachios and a serving of saffron flavoured rice and their walnut, berry and goat cheese salad. The salmon was fresh-tasting and very moist. My daughter ordered the Bakhtiari Kabob, complete with instructions from our server as to how to properly prepare this dish before eating.

Packets of seasoning and butter were offered to add to the rice, then my daughter was instructed to cut the lemon-spiced chicken and the incredibly tender strips of beef tenderloin into bite-size pieces along with the grilled tomato; add to the saffron-infused
rice, and voila! The medley of flavours were exotic and delightful.


Persian Spiced Sticky Toffee Pudding

We finished off our enjoyable dining experience with a Persian Spiced Sticky Toffee Pudding, which lacked enough flavour on its own but was well complimented by the drizzle of caramel sauce.The Cardamom & White Chocolate Affogato, I could eat again and again; a scoop of homemade cardamom and white chocolate ice cream, topped with slivered almonds, then to be doused with a shot of hot espresso. Simply sublime.

I would have liked to have seen some signage reminding patrons and staff to wash hands; to wear their masks and signage for the direction of restrooms so that patrons aren’t wandering around others in search of them. There were a lot of verbal cues and a large visible sanitizing station in lieu of the signage. I am satisfied and feel comfortable about returning.

If considering Rayhoon Eatery during the Taste of Burlington Fall 2020 Dining Event, make sure to call or write ahead to make a reservation.

Rayhoon Eatery
420 Pearl Street Village Square, Burlington L7R 2N1 905-637-2500

https://tasteofburlington.ca/restaurants/rayhoon-eatery/ Remember, every time you participate in this event using the Taste of Burlington Passport, you increase your chances of winning the weekly gift card giveaway, or the $500 gift card to a participating restaurant of choice.

Michele BogleMichele Bogle is a Burlington resident who writes for the Gazette on community issues. Ms Bogle has taken part in the Food Network for the second year in a row to audition for the ‘Great Chocolate Showdown’ 2020 and 2021. She made it to the second stage of auditions for ‘Wall of Chefs’ 2019 and finished top 1% of auditions last year for ‘The Great Canadian Baking Show’.

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Mayor's intern born and raised in Burlington: experience so far has been wonderful

News 100 yellowBy Shelby Dockendorff

October 9th, 2020


Each year the Mayor adds an intern to her office team. This year Mayor Meed Ward is “thrilled that for the third time since becoming Mayor, my office has welcomed a bright and engaged intern to our team. I must first mention that in the short time Shelby has been here, we have been impressed with the skills and experience she has brought to the table and how much she has exceeded all expectations”.

Hello everyone! My name is Shelby Dockendorff and I am the City of Burlington’s Mayor’s Office Intern. I recently completed my Master of Public Administration at Queen’s University and before that I studied Communications at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Shelby D

Shelby Dockendorff: My experience so far as an intern here has been wonderful.

While finishing up my degree and applying to co-op jobs and internships, I had time to reflect on my experiences in government so far and what I enjoyed about it. I’ve been fortunate to work at the provincial and regional level and learn about policy analysis, government communications, civic engagement and event planning.

During a summer working at the Region of Halton’s communications department, I had my first experience of seeing how government work impacted communities on a local level, and how residents responded to it. That level of engagement and impact was something I found fascinating and extremely helpful. I believe you need to be aware of what the local issues are in order to conduct and create meaningful policy and know how to communicate plans back out to the public.

That can only be achieved by being properly engaged in and informed on the community where you live.

With that in mind, I set out looking for opportunities that would offer that type of work and I was fortunate enough to come across the Mayor’s Office Internship. It was the perfect combination of constituent engagement, communication, research and analysis that I was looking for. Not only that, it was an opportunity to work for a Mayor who I had admired for her strong election platform and informed decision-making from her time as a Councillor and since taking the Mayoral office.

My experience so far as an intern here has been wonderful. As a result of the ever-evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been major changes to municipalities. Residents are constantly searching for answers, so they turn to their local representatives for help.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak to many Burlington citizens about the issues facing them in the city, worked alongside other City Hall departments to discuss solutions and draft up presentations for the Mayor’s public consultations and meetings with Ministers at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Virtual 2020 Conference.

As someone who was born and raised in Burlington, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about this city, but working in the Mayor’s Office has opened my eyes to all the different departments and teams that work together to make Burlington the beautiful city it is.

In the coming months while I continue my internship, I hope to have more opportunities to improve my writing skills and continue working to improve ways to communicate out to the public. I also want to be able to do more research on resident issues and work on how best we can resolve them, as well as continue to find ways to make Burlington a great city to live, work and play in.

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2020 Commercial Motor Vehicle Blitz Results: better than last year with one over the top offender.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 9th, 2020



The Halton District Police Service reports on the 2020 two day commercial vehicle traffic blitz that took place earlier in the week.


Highway 401 runs through the Region – all that heavy commercial traffic needs a close watch. The Regional Police have a special unit focused on this work

The inspections were done at the Mohawk Racetrack in Milton.

The purpose of the blitz is to conduct proactive enforcement to ensure compliance with legislation pertaining to mechanical fitness, weights, load security, safety / inspection, compliance and licencing.

With the help of neighbouring police services and agencies, officers were able to inspect 340 commercial motor vehicles with the following results:

• Total commercial motor vehicles inspected: 340
• Total commercial motor vehicles taken out of service: 96 (28 per cent failure rate)
• Total charges laid: 250
• Sets of licence plates seized by police: 7

2019 Results (for comparison):

• Total commercial motor vehicles inspected: 305
• Total commercial motor vehicles taken out of service: 99 (33 per cent failure rate)
• Total charges laid: 239
• Sets of licence plates seized by police: 11

Alcohol screening at the blitz also led to licence suspensions for three drivers. One of the alcohol related licence suspensions was identified as a 14-year suspended driver. This resulted in a 7-day vehicle impound. A total of 19 charges were laid against the driver and his employer, including overweight vehicle, no insurance and multiple mechanical issues.

“Issues identified at the blitz varied across all categories and are reflective of those commercial motor vehicle type offences seen throughout the year,” said Traffic Services Unit Sergeant, Ryan Snow.

Tractor trailers will get very close inspections Monday and Tuesday of next week - Halton police are going to crack down

Tractor trailers get very close inspections.

“The mechanical issues identified suggest a lack of maintenance and due diligence in daily inspections. Weights also continue to be a safety concern as police continuously note that dump truck drivers claim little control pertaining to overloading of their vehicles. These weight-specific concerns remain an area of ongoing education and enforcement given the obvious handling and braking issues that can occur, along with the additional damage that these weights can render to roadways.

“It should also be highlighted that an out of service rate of 28% only means 28% of trucks directed into the blitz failed to meet required standards, and is not necessarily a reflection of all trucks on area roadways.”

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