City celebrates 4th Annual Burlington Accessibility Awards; Sarah Harmer spoke of personal empowerment and mental wellness.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 3rd, 2015


When you have Sarah Harmer addressing your audience – you get an attentive crowd.

Accesability award winners

From back, left: Don Ford, Burlington Post, Bert Hoytema, Earthworks Landscaping, Dan Thompson, Salvation Army Community Church, Greg Alderson, Endless Possibilities Photographic Exhibition, Patrick Lee, Project Autism, Captain Ron Wickens, Salvation Army Community Church, Captain Judi Wickens, Salvation Army Community Church, Judith Lee, Project Autism, Gustav Baliko, Tetra Society of North America, Laurie Ann Correia, Longo’s Walkers Line, David Boag, Halton District School Board, Rachael Armit, Marilu’s Market, Lisa Blanchet, Multiple Scleroses Society, Halton Chapter, Kelly Scott, Burlington Challenger Baseball, Sarah Harmer, Tami Young, Burlington Super Kids Support Group, Kelly MacDonald, AMI-tv, Tricia Porkorny, Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee Vice Chairperson with Barney, David Fisher, Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee Chairperson

The City of Burlington recognized 12 champions of accessibility this afternoon during the 4th Annual Burlington Accessibility Awards.  Organized by the Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee, nominations are requested each spring and the awards are given to individuals, business owners, service providers and community groups that have made significant steps toward improving accessibility for people with disabilities in Burlington. Burlington recognized 12 champions of accessibility during the 4th Annual Burlington Accessibility Awards.

Sarah Harmer, singer songwriter and activist, grew up on her family farm in Burlington on the Niagara Escarpment. She co-founded PERL – Protecting Escarpment Rural Land – dedicated to the protection of land and wilderness in danger of over-development.

In her remarks Harmer said: “When residents have access to decision-making and the tools to become active citizens, it contributes greatly to our sense of personal empowerment and mental wellness,” said Harmer. “It’s wonderful to see that the City of Burlington encourages citizen involvement and recognizes individuals and businesses for their efforts.”

The awards are held in conjunction with National Access Awareness Week, which was established in 1988 following Rick Hanson’s 40,000-kilometre Man in Motion World Tour. The 2015 winners:


Halton District School Board


Kelly Scott


Marilu’s Market
Longo’s Market

Built Environment

Salvation Army Community Church


Gustuv Baliko
Lisa Blanchet
Tami Young
Greg Alderson


Project Autism
Earthworks Landscaping
Burlington Post


Return to the Front page

Waterfront Trail gets a workout from Carpenter House supporters while the Greens plant new saplings.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 1, 2015


Everyone was out on Saturday – we all stayed in on Sunday. Summer isn’’t ready to show its face yet.

Carpenter House exercise warm up

It was warm up time for the several hundred Carpenter Hospice volunteers and supporters before the took a long leisurely walk along the Waterfront Trail to the canal and back.

Carpentr House - walking the trail

The weather was as good as it gets – the Carpenter House supporters in the blue T-shirts were out in force.

The waterfront was the place to be on Saturday. The hundreds that support Carpenter House were out exercising and then walking the Waterfront Trail.

BG tree planting volunteers

While hundreds walked the Waterfront \Trail an additional 100 + planted new saplings in the environmentally fragile sand dunes.

BG tree planter

Carefully tamping down a new sapling one of the hundred + people who put in half a day ensures the roots have a chance to growth into the sand.

Close by just over 100 people dug away in the environmentally fragile sand dunes that make up a large part of the Beachway Park.

They were out there on their hands and knees making sure new saplings were firmly bedded. The Sunday gave them a solid soaking.

In the past residents in the park would be out with their pamphlets and petitions looking for support. None of that in site this Saturday. It seems as if they are resigned to what is going to eventually happen – or they are saving their energy for another day. For some the fight to keep their homes in the park will never end.

Return to the Front page

Changing the Channel on television set made in Korea in a plant whose energy came from a coal fired generator.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

May 28, 2015


It is easy to become complacent on a sunny spring day in Burlington. It is easy to ignore the cumulative effect that our lifestyle is having on the planet’s climate. But the TV news tell us about the destruction from increasing levels of tornado, storm and flash floods, as we saw recently in B.C. Then there is California experiencing its worst drought ever. It’s all so depressing that you just want to change the channel.

Coal burning plant China

Developing economies use coal because it is available and it is relatively cheap – we eventually all pay the price.

Blame China, Korea and India for their dirty industrialization policies, using cheap dirty coal to fire their economies and take them out of the dark ages and perhaps into a new one. It is ironic and sad that they started burning coal in a big way just as we learned how bad these carbon emission can be for the atmosphere. Of course we in North America, Australia and even Europe still burn coal (though Ontario has eliminated coal power plants). And you can change the channel but that TV was probably made in Korea.

In the last federal budget, Mr. Harper’s election budget, as every other one of his budgets, has ignored our ever increasing contribution to climate change. And we’re not alone. US presidential contenders, Australia’s dinosauric leader and even the leader of once progressive New Zealand have allowed the global commons to slip almost completely off the political page, as they pursue today’s issues without any consideration of tomorrow..

There are people who still think there is a debate about whether climate change is real, a phenomenon psychologists call being in an echo chamber. They have pre-conceived notions that the environment is a conspiracy, constructed by a ’60’s hippie crowd, to take away their freedom… to pollute – so they just listen to themselves. Why shouldn’t we live the way we always did? These folks are watching the ‘Leave it to Beaver’ channel or something on 100 Huntley Street.

Harper - fists

Making a point; speaking for Canadians – is he saying what we want him to say?

Canada’s environment minister pulled some imaginary emissions targets out of the air. But without a hint of a roadmap there is no hope of getting there – though perhaps that is the idea? Just like a New Year’s resolution, they’re soon to be forgotten the next day. So why even bother? And besides, these new numbers pale in comparison to the imaginary numbers the Americans and Europeans have generated.

The 21st annual United Nations Climate Change Conference takes place in Paris this coming December. But you can tune out because all expectations are that we’re looking at another failed conference. The only meaningful attempt at global climate cooperation, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, was critically wounded when GW Bush took the US, it’s chief architect and player, out of the deal only a couple of years later. After all, he has oil in his blood. And Canada’s own wanna-be-oil-man, our PM, whited-out Canada’s signature on Kyoto as soon as he had nailed his majority government.

So this year’s meeting is featuring something called ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDC). These virtually meaningless theoretical voluntary commitments will be offered up by many of the 194 nations in the global climate change game. But since the national targets will be internationally unenforcible, no party will be held to account. So this meeting in the City of Love will not have much to do with love for the environment, or for our children’s children.

It is the ‘tragedy of the commons’ that brings all these nations together once a year, to keep alive the process that requires nothing short of re-genesis. Whether a common pasture, the oceans’ fisheries or the planet’s atmosphere, the ‘tragedy’ can only be abated or avoided through more governance, not less. And that was what Kyoto was all about. Today we have ISIS and an errant Russia gone rogue to add to the mix, so don’t expect any re-runs this year.

Canada’s excuse is that, despite being one of the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting nations per capita, we are still a relatively small part of the global GHG contribution. That is our echo chamber and we’re sticking to it. Canada rationalizes that doing almost nothing is just OK. Inertia has become our climate change strategy. And business as usual, despite occasional lip service to the contrary, prevails, at least at the federal level.

In fairness, the previous Liberal government did little more than sign onto Kyoto with its ambitious targets, which even they would have had trouble to attain – though the Ontario and Quebec governments did. So maybe targets are important. I’ve always believed that it is better to shoot for a high goal and fail, than to have never shot at all. I mean what kind of hockey player goes out on the ice without the prospect of scoring a slap shot on his/her mind?

Climate change - polar bears on flowsBut Canada’s hockey-author, our PM, is just not into the game when it comes to protecting the atmosphere. He was an ardent climate change denier in his opposition days. And his government has stayed pretty true to form on that count. So even if individual Canadians wanted to contribute to the fight against climate change they are leaderless.

If your national leader is missing in action on this matter, how does a nation mobilize? My New Zealand friend refers to sic critical lost years. We in Canada will have recorded a lost decade, perhaps it is time to change to change the channel.

Background links:

Climate Change Canada

World’s natural Disasters      More Disasters      Climate Change Echo     More Echo

100 Huntley Street      Conference      Tragedy of the Commons      New Zealand


Rivers-direct-into-camera1-173x300Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking. Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran as a Liberal against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province.

Return to the Front page

No RISC in this police initiative - safety blitz cuts down accidents at intersection - cell phone use still causing accidents.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 8, 2014


Operation RISC (Reducing Intersection Safety Concerns) is a Burlington Police detachment initiative that began in February and has had some successful results since it’s inception.

The operation focuses on intersection traffic safety which, through an increased police presence, and both education and enforcement work, the number of motor vehicle collisions has been reduced.


A strong police presence makes a difference.

In a three month period, (February to April), Burlington officers conducted 1,812 traffic stops in and around intersections throughout the City of Burlington.

They issued 1,435 Provincial Offence Notices and delivered 375 verbal warnings.

In total, 886 hours has been spent patrolling Burlington intersections.

The purpose of the project is to increase awareness for intersection traffic safety and in turn reduce collisions.

Between April 28 and May 4 of last year, 2014, the Halton Regional Police responded to 1049 motor vehicle collisions and 131 personal injury collisions.

During the same time period in 2015, after two months of Operation RISC, the motor vehicle collisions dropped to 960 and the personal injury collisions also dropped to 109.

The number one infraction continues to be distracted driving followed by speeding through intersections and red light violations. (Distracted driving tends to be people using their cell phones.)

Officers will continue to be a presence in and around intersections throughout the City in hopes they serve as a gentle reminder to pay attention when driving.


Return to the Front page

Community Foundation distributes $897,000 to groups in the city - highest level ever for the organization.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 28, 2015


The Burlington Community Foundation (BCF) distributed more than $897,000 in grants to charities and not-for-profit organizations, the largest amount since the Foundation was founded in 1999. Since its inception BCF has provided more than $3.18 million in grants.


Angelo Paletta, the Honorary Chair of the BCF Gala last year with President and CEO Colleen Mulholland. The Gala is one of the major fund raising event for the Community Foundation

“We are grateful to our current 74 fund holders who continue to partner with us and increase their gifts every year so we can grant to so many outstanding organizations,” says Colleen Mulholland, CEO and President of BCF. “We can attribute our increase in granting to an overall increase to BCF’s endowment fund, stewarding a wide variety of fund models to meet the various needs of our community, and to a healthy economic climate.”

In 2014 BCF’s community grants focused on needs identified in the Foundation’s Vital Signs Report. This research and subsequent report are designed to provide key data to better understand where success and progress is being had while also highlighting pressing needs. After analyzing the data contained in the Vital Signs Report grants in 2014 largely focused on mental health, poverty, and youth.

“Our role is to be a 360 degree grantor,” says Mulholland. “We take a holistic view of our community through our Vital Signs Report and aim to support to all community needs while honouring the philanthropic wishes of our donors.”

StrtPln #13 low income children

The number of children in low income families has been at a consistent since 2006 – are we missing something here?

A key part of BCF’s holistic view is hearing back from various grant recipients to better understand the impact of our grant making initiatives.

Community Development Halton presented data to the team that will create a Strategic Plan for the next four years – in that report they highlighted two critical choke points in the city – the number of children that are defined as low income and the number of people who live in poverty.

The Community Foundation addresses each of these through the funds they distribute.

Return to the Front page

City taking the educate them route - putting on an Arbor Day - on why trees matter. Are there people who don't know this?

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

April 22, 2015


Burlington has struggled mightily to get a private tree bylaw in place – it wouldn’t fly with this council.

Belvenia trees-1024x768

The best argument there is for a private tree bylaw

The city is now going to try the educating them route – and with that objective in mind they are going to hold an Arbor Day on Saturday, May 2, at Central Arena, 519 Drury Lane, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Almost a Trees 101 event, the city’s first Arborfest event will provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about the benefits trees bring to our community.

“Recent community surveys and public engagements have revealed a desire among residents to increase their education and awareness about trees and the value they bring to our community,” said Scott Stewart, general manager of development and infrastructure. “We are excited to invite residents to this free, fun, family event held just in time to celebrate Arbor Day.”

Arborfest 2015 will feature:

• Exhibits from local community groups, gardeners and landscape vendors who play a key role in promoting the health and benefits of Burlington’s urban forest
• Tree planting in Central Park
• Fun activities for children.

At the several public meetings to explain the why of a private tree bylaw we heard some pretty stupid arguments as well as some of the most reasoned, reasonable thinking put forward in this city. But there is still a significant – “my home is my castle and I will do whatever I want on my property” viewpoint floating around out there.

BurlingtonGreen fought mightily to persuade Council to put a private tree bylaw in place.  It failed but the environmentalists just don’t give up

Who voted for the private tree bylaw and who didn’t?

Why a private tree bylaw

Return to the Front page

City and the air park are back in court - city manager proving to be a man of few words when it comes to explaining what the city is doing.

airpark 100x100By Pepper Parr

April 20, 2015

The Air Park issue is back on the table – on the hot plate actually with the heat being turned up.

In a very brief media release handed out during a city council meeting Monday evening the city said: The issue at the Air Park is of continuing concern to the residents of Burlington and there is a high degree of interest in this matter. For the purposes of informing the public the City Solicitor recommends that limited solicitor-client privilege be waives with respect to the following matters after final Council approval of this report as follows”:

Council waive solicitor client privilege with respect the advice/opinions contained in L-9-15 and its attachments strictly with respect to conveying to the public that:

Barbara Sheldon look at 32 feet of landfill less than 50 feet from her kitchen window.  All dumped without any permits because an airport is federally regulated.  The city is not done with this issue.

Barbara Sheldon look at 32 feet of landfill less than 50 feet from her kitchen window. All dumped without any permits because an airport is federally regulated. The city is now back in Court asking a Judge to compel the Air Park to file a site Alteration site |Plan does that mean some of the fill might get removed?

Burlington city council takes the position that it has full legal Authority to enforce the provisions of its Site Alteration By-law as against Burlington Air Park Inc. and the Burlington Air Park Inc., has been given 30 days from March 20, 2015 to comply with the by-law.

This news is released April 20th – suggesting that lawyer Ian Blue will be at the County Courthouse tomorrow morning with a brief asking the Judge to order the Air Park to submit a Site Alteration plan.

The city media release goes on to say: “That in all other respects, solicitor-client privilege is maintained over all other legal advice/opinions contained in L-9-15 and its appendices.”

In other words – they aren’t going to tell us anything else.

So much for the city’s intention to communicate with the public.

City Manager James Ridge, who smiles frequently and suggests he wants to be nice added a few words to the release when asked just what it meant.

“We are asking a court to compel the Air Park to comply with the site by-law

They could have said that in one sentence and do away with all the baffle gab.

This certainly ups the ante – the Air Park has found reason after reason; excuse after excuse to not file the proper documents – they’ve been doing this for years.

The city and the Air Park sued each other over whether or not the city had the right to require a Site Alteration Plan. They lost the case. Justice Murphy said they were requires to submit a plan.

The Air Park appealed that decision – they lost the appeal.

They hired a consulting form with a good reputation for quality work – and that firm did meet with staff in the planning department – but a complete |Site Alteration plan never quite made it to the planners.

Stewart + Warren + Goulet + woodruff + Monte  + Blue

Getting a single picture with most of the players in it is unusual. On the far left is outside counsel Ian Blue who won two court cases for the city and has been brought in to stick handle the most recent legal issue. To the rear of Blue  is Blake Hurley who is with the city legal department. Scott |Stewart chats with rural Burlington residents Robert Goulet, Ken Woodruff and Montre Dennis. Vanessa Warren looks over their shoulders. Warren, Dennis and Pepper Parr, publisher of the Burlington Gazette have been sued by the Air Park. That case has yet to get to court.

A month or so ago the city brought Ian Blue the lawyer who handled the two court cases, back in and sought his advice. That advice is now evident.

The city wants to hope that they appear once again in front of Justice Murphy.

In a media release put out several hours after city council adjourned a time line reflecting just how long this has been going on.

• July 4, 2013 – The City of Burlington moved forward with a legal strategy to address concerns regarding noise and fill activities related to construction at the Burlington Airpark on Bell School Line.

• July 18, 2013 – The Burlington Airpark serves the City of Burlington with an application to take the city to court and seeks a court order to declare the city’s site alteration by-law does not apply to the airport’s operations and construction of aerodrome facilities.

• July 29, 2013 – The City of Burlington and the Burlington Airpark reach a settlement to stop fill operations at the airpark until a decision is made by the courts about whether the city has jurisdiction to regulate fill operations through its site alteration by-law.

• Nov. 13, 2013 – A Milton Superior Court rules the City of Burlington’s site alteration by-law applies to the Burlington Airpark.

• June 11, 2014 – The Court of Appeal for Ontario upholds the decision of the Milton Superior Court that the City of Burlington’s site alteration by-law applies to the Burlington Airpark.

Added to the time line was the following:
“The City of Burlington site alteration by-law 64-2014 regulates the placing, dumping, cutting and removal of fill or the alteration of grades or drainage on a piece of land. Individuals undertaking this type of work are first required to submit an application to the city for a site alteration permit.

“The Burlington Airpark Inc. has not submitted an application for a site alteration permit for the areas of the Airpark property where substantial quantities of fill were deposited between 2009 to 2014.”

“The Burlington Airpark continues to be of great interest to the residents of Burlington,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “The requirements set out in Burlington’s site alteration by-law are necessary to help regulate impacts to the environment and drainage patterns.”


Dump trucks taking tonnes of landfill onto the Air Park property to level out part of the 200 acre site. They did so without any permits.

The requirement for a site plan isn’t the only issue.  The drilling of test holes to determine what if any toxicity exists at or near the water table as a result of the fill that has been dumped on the 200 acre plus site has yet to be resolved and something more than statement released from the provincial ministry that is involved in this mess on how it is going to inform the public.

The federal government is responsible for the regulations that determine what level of adherence the airport has to respect in terms of municipal bylaws.

The noose is getting tighter.

Return to the Front page

Two Chilly Half Marathon participants may be part of the Canadian Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro in 2016

News 100 redBy Staff

April 12, 2015


Two world class marathoner’s who ran in the 2014 Chilly Half Marathon last February just might be on their way to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Coolsaet crossing the Half Chilly Marathon December 2014

Reid Coolsaet crossing the finish line at the Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington.

Reid Coolsaet and Krista DuChene both headed to the Netherlands in search of what they hoped would be an Olympic qualifying time, as well as a shot a Canadian record.

The two appear to have qualified for Olympic berths at Rotterdam today. Both took part in Burlington’s Chilly Half Marathon last March.

Krista Duchene being carried after Montral race

Krista DuChene being carried after finishing a race on Montreal just over a year ago with a broken femur.

One year ago, DuChene, the Mother of two children, broke her femur running a half-marathon in Montreal.

On Sunday in Rotterdam, she flirted with the Canadian record, and finished with her second fastest ever marathon time in 2:29:37.

WO yellowAlthough the 2016 Rio Olympic qualifying times have yet to be formally announced, the women’s time has historically been 2:29:55. This will be DuChene’s first Olympics.

Coolsaet also came to the Rotterdam course in the hunt for the Canadian record (2:10:09). He ended up with a strong seventh place finish in a tough field, finishing in 2:11:23. In previous years, the Canadian Olympic standard for the men’s marathon has been 2:11:29.

Is Burlington’s Chilly Half about to become the accepted training ground for Olympic level runners?

Return to the Front page

Plans for rebuild of Lakeshore Road are shown - lots of discussion to take place on this one: road to be raised a metre in some locations.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 2, 2015


Here is the official story:

“Ontario is investing up to $371.3 million to support the construction of a new seven-storey tower at Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital and to significantly renovate other areas of the hospital to give patients faster access to the right care.
Through this expansion, patients in Burlington will benefit from:

Space for 172 additional beds in the new tower

Additional beds in the Intensive Care Unit

A modern emergency department and a new main entrance

Expanded diagnostic imaging services, which will provide capacity for an additional 23,745 exams per year

Nine modern operating rooms and a post-anaesthetic care unit with capacity for an additional 1,770 inpatient and day surgery cases

An expanded cancer clinic that can serve an additional 2,876 patient visits

Expanded ambulatory care programs, such as: comprehensive women’s health, children’s health, seniors health/geriatric assessment, nutrition counselling, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart function, ophthalmology, neurology, general medicine, fracture clinic, orthopaedic assessment, stroke assessment, medical day care and sexual assault clinic

An expanded and modernized laboratory to help accurately assess patients faster

A renovated Special Care Nursery for babies who need additional specialized care such as intravenous therapy or respiratory support

Hospital rendering April 2-15

City hall is apparently leaning on the hospital administration to ensure that the Tim Horton coffee shop is on the south side of the building so that the public walking along the Lakeshore and the old railway track can slip in for a double-double and a maple donut. The original plan was to have the coffee shop on the north side. Suspect that discussion isn’t over yet.

Construction at Joseph Brant Hospital is now underway and is expected to be complete in the fall of 2018.”

But there is more to this story than what the provincial government’s media release said

The building is going to be much higher than expected.

It will be well built – Ellis-Don, the company heading up the construction project has consistently done very good work. Erik Vandewall, president of the hospital is as good as they get at getting hospitals built.

He will make sure things are on time and on budget.

The budget is going to be a problem.
The $371 million dollar project will get funds from three sources: the provincial government, which is using an innovative approach to getting its share of the cost.

The city of Burlington has had to burden its tax payers with a $60 million special tax levy that threatens to become permanent – but that’s another story.

The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation has undertaken to raise an additional $60 million.

They recently announced that they had reached the 60% level – which is very good news.

BUT – there is $10 million of that publicly raised money that might be in doubt.

Last weekend the Globe & Mail published a report on a significant shortfall in the fund raising for the Royal Ontario Museum. Burlington’s Michael Lee Chin made a generous donation – it was a pledge actually that he has not been able to honour yet.

His gift to the Joseph Brant Hospital, announced in February by the hospital foundation said:

“Together, as a community, we raised an incredible $2 million from September – December 2014, in response to the Michael Lee-Chin & Family Community Matching Challenge. As a result the Lee-Chin Family added a matching million dollars.
In September of 2014 the Foundation announced: The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation has announced that Michael Lee-Chin and his family have made a $10 million dollar donation at its 14th annual Crystal Ball Gala.

The donation is the largest ever made in the City of Burlington and the largest made to the Joseph Brant Hospital. This gift brings the total raised for Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation’s Our New Era campaign to $37M – more than 60% of campaign goal.

In light of the Globe & Mail story – we don’t know what Lee Chin has done or has not done in terms of meeting his pledge.
Meanwhile construction plans for a rebuild of Lakeshore Road are released.

Lakeshore rebuild - first part

The road will have three lanes plus a bike path on the south side and will be between a metre and 3/4 of a metre higher than it is now. It will extend in phase one to just about the water treatment plant.

The road is going to be raised between a metre and three quarters of a metre higher when the work is completed in 2018. There will be no work done on the road rebuild while hospital construction is taking place.

The Lakeshore Road re-build will not be complete. Scott Hamilton, Manager of Design Construction for the city said the final design of the Lakeshore extension cannot be completed until we know what is going to happen to the houses in the Beachway.

The new road will be three lanes wide with a bike path as well. Some of the houses are quite close to the existing road.
While the Region has said the situation with the property on the Beachway will be bought on a willing seller/willing buyer basis – the truth is that there is only one buyer and the sellers are being squeezed out.

The real estate agents for the Region are meeting with home owner on a one-to-one basis to – as they say – point out the options the home owners have.

The city will be holding a public meeting on Tuesday to display their thinking of a park design – with and without the homes that are in place now.

It could be a very noisy building.

In the meantime Eric J. Vandewall President & CEO of the hospital has to determine just where the money to pay the bills is going to come from.

The city has been quietly collecting tax money to pay for its $60 million share. City Director of Finance Joan Ford advises that there is a tight agreement between the hospital and the city as to when city funds get handed over.

One can assume that a similar agreement exists between the hospital and the hospital foundation.

Vandewall must wonder – is the $10 million plus that Lee Chin pledged going to be available?

Return to the Front page

Spring GreenUp - Clean up registration now open.

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 1, 2015


It is close, you can almost feel it – but it isn’t here yet – is it?

The warm weather doesn’t have to be here to get BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association, in partnership with the City of Burlington, getting the word out on their annual event.

BG clean up graphicCitizens, schools, churches, community groups and businesses can participate in this year’s Community Clean Up Green Up events taking place from 9:00 to noon on Saturday April 25th and Saturday May 30th, 2015.

Since 2010, the city-wide clean-up efforts have collectively realized the retrieval and proper disposal of more than 10,000 kg (10 tonnes) of litter, with a record high of 13,500 participants in 2013 who registered to do their part to help make Burlington’s parks, streams, school yards, and neighbourhoods cleaner and greener.

Registration for this year’s events is NOW OPEN on the Burlington Green website

Return to the Front page

Burlington chiropractor Dr. Ashley Worobec named Torchbearer for Pan Am Games Torch Relay

News 100 redBy Staff

Marcvh 30, 2015

The city proudly announces that Dr. Ashley Worobec will be the Burlington community torchbearer for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG.

Ashley Worobec Torch bearer

Dr. AshleyWorobec a Burlington chiropractor at the Burlington Sports and Spine Clinic, is an avid Crossfit practitioner at Crossfit Altitude in Burlington.

The torch relay will visit Burlington on Friday, June 19, 2015 and will feature Dr. Worobec as the community torchbearer.
In December, residents were asked to help choose a local resident to carry the Pan Am flame on behalf of the city and voted on a short list of names selected by the committee.

The Burlington Pan Am Community Engagement Committee accepted applications and nominations until Dec. 14. To be considered, applicants or nominators submitted a photo and a letter of interest explaining the connection to Burlington and what being Burlington’s community torchbearer would mean to him or her. The finalist who received the most votes was Dr. Worobec.

Nominated by Marnie Post, Dr. Worobec is a Chiropractor at the Burlington Sports and Spine Clinic, an avid Crossfit practitioner at Crossfit Altitude in Burlington, and an avid runner, participating in numerous runs in and around the city. A mother of two young children, she is actively engaged in numerous community activities and blogs about her community, her practice, parenting and staying fit and healthy.
“Ashley Worobec will proudly carry the Pan Am flame as Burlington’s community torchbearer,” said Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring. “Burlington is excited to be a part of this historic journey, and we look forward to showcasing our community to the world.”

During the 41-day torch relay, each of the 3,000 torchbearers will complete, on average, a 200-metre relay segment. The torch will be carried by more than 60 modes of transportation and exceed 5,000 kilometres on the road and 15,000 kilometres by air.

“The torch is a unique symbol of the Pan Am Games and carries a powerful energy that will unite Canadians,” said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer, TO2015. “The torchbearers will proudly carry the flame through more than 130 communities, igniting the Pan Am spirit as they go.”

Featured on the torch are the United We Play! pictograms — colourful depictions of people in motion —symbolizing the assembly of athletes through the celebration of sport and culture. The aluminum torch stands 65 centimetres high and weighs 1.2 kilograms (or roughly the same weight as a baseball bat). With a burn time of 10 to 12 minutes, the flame can withstand winds of up to 70 kilometres per hour and is visible in all kinds of weather conditions.

Return to the Front page

Spring will have arrived at 6:35 pm - Earth Hour gets celebrated next Saturday - will the Mayor take to a skate board again?

News 100 redBy Staff

March 20, 2015


At 6:35 this evening – spring will have arrived – and while there might be one last bit of a winter blast – the season has changed and we can begin to prepare for summer. Two-four time will be here soon enough; that’s the weekend the gardeners come out in force – not the weekend the hockey fans head for the Beer Store – no reason for Maple Leaf fans to make a weekend of it.

Snow plows 2 Spring 2015

These snow plows are parked for the summer – they certainly got a work out this winter – as did all of us.

One of the first things we get to do in the new season is celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The City of Burlington is encouraging residents and local businesses to participate in Earth Hour by turning off all non-essential lights and appliances for one hour at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28.

Now in its eighth year, the annual lights-out event, organized by the World Wildlife Fund, brings together more than 7,000 communities from around the world to symbolize their commitment to the planet by switching out the lights for one hour.

Ward Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring put their political repitations on the line and stand on skate baords.  Is there one foot on the ground there?

Ward Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring put their political reputations on the line and stand on skate boards.  Will the two of them try that again now that it’s Spring.

“I encourage residents and businesses to take the challenge and power down during Earth Hour,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “Earth Hour is a great reminder about how our actions impact the environment. Through its Corporate Energy Management Plan and Community Energy Plan, the city is committed to looking at how energy is used and generated in the community and where conservation and efficiency measures can be put in place.”

“In 2014, Burlington City Council endorsed the city’s first Community Energy Plan, developed with community groups, agencies and businesses. The plan is a holistic view of how energy is used, conserved, generated and distributed with a focus on how community partners can work together to improve and integrate community energy systems.”

Nice corporate statement – but not much about what the city has actually done in the past year

“The city has been working to put in place an energy management program aimed at saving energy and reducing costs for city facilities. In 2013, the city was awarded the Community Conservation Award by the Ontario Power Authority for its commitment to conservation.”

Commitment is about all we have on the Corporate Energy Management Plan

The people over at the fire department pass along some safety tips to keep in mind if you are one of the people that get into the Earth Hour idea.
When turning off lights in support of Earth Hour, consider these important safety tips:

• Test all smoke alarms to ensure they are working
• Consider using LED candles
• Keep candles away from curtains and decorations, and place in a sturdy container that contains the flame
• Always keep lighters and matches out of reach from children
• Never leave the room when a candle is burning.

The Gazette will drive some of the streets in the city on Saturday to see if the message is getting through.

Return to the Front page

You can be Irish on the 17th - just don't be behind the wheel and inebriated at the same time.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 16, 2015


The Regional Police are making one of those extra efforts to enforce the traffic laws on St. Patrick’s Day.

HRPS St. Patrick's DayFor the First Time offender there is a
• 3-day licence suspension
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

For the Second Time offender (within 5 years)
• 7-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol education program
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

For the Third Time offender (within 5 years)
• 30-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol treatment program
• Six-month ignition interlock licence condition
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

Subsequent infractions (within 5 years)
• 30-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol treatment program
• Six-month ignition interlock licence condition
• Mandatory medical evaluation
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

These roadside licence suspensions cannot be appealed. Suspensions will be recorded on the driver’s record. For up to five years, these roadside suspensions will be considered when determining consequences for subsequent infractions.

Now if they can get as tough with drivers who deliberately distract themselves using a cell phone – we will have made some progress.

Return to the Front page

Fourteen month old dies while at a daycare; no foul play is suspected

News 100 blackBy Staff

March 11, 2015


On Monday March 9, 2015 at approximately 12:15pm, Halton Police and paramedics responded to a 911 call at the Wee Care Daycare in the City of Burlington, whereby a 14-month-old boy later died in hospital.

The Regional Coroner took over the investigation and conducted a post mortem today, Tuesday March 10, 2015.

This is a medical investigation being conducted by the Coroner’s office. No foul play is suspected.

Return to the Front page

The police don't care if you are Irish - they want to be sure you under under the limit - well under if you don't mind.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 10, 2017


This year’s well-celebrated St. Patrick’s Day falls on Tuesday, March 17th. Halton Regional Police officers will be out on Tuesday ensuring those that clink glasses won’t clink cars.

Irish drunks

Don’t let the face of a police officer get into a picture like this.

Recognizing that many Halton residents will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this Friday or Saturday night instead, motorists should expect to see several RIDE programs in effect and also note a higher uniform presence patrolling in licensed establishments over this weekend, educating the public about impaired driving and enforcing the laws to ensure everyone on our roads are safe.

This team will be also be focusing their efforts on conducting bar checks at licensed establishments and reminding the staff of their responsibilities under the Liquor License Act, and encouraging staff to call police should they suspect a patron is about to drive a motor vehicle while impaired.


Don’t think this friend will qualify as your designated driver.

Informative St. Patrick’s Day fliers will be handed out at RIDE checks across the Region in efforts to educate the public and spread the word about the consequences of impaired driving.

The Halton Regional Police Service wishes everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and encourage party-goers to celebrate responsibly. Don’t Press Your Luck!….Use a Designated Driver!

Return to the Front page

Hospital re-development on target - building permit should be issued soon - then the ground breaking.

jbhhealthBy Pepper Parr

March 11, 2015



Site Planning co-coordinator Jamie Tellier explans what is going to be built whereon the JBMH campus.

Site Planning co-coordinator Jamie Tellier explains what is going to be built whereon the JBH campus.

The city planner on the file for the re-development of the Joseph Brant Hospital told the small audience meeting at the Art Gallery that it was just a matter of some technicalities before the city would be issuing a building permit and the ground would be broken for the start of construction that will be adding some 40,000 square feet of space and a little more height than some were expecting.

Originally planned as a seven storey structure an eighth floor got added and then there is the pent house. This is not going to be a small building.  It will however be very much state of the art with rooms that are better than any hotel the city currently offers.

The event telling the story was hosted by ward 1 councillor Rick Craven who mistakenly said Burlington had donated $60 million to the hospital – Burlingtonians were taxed $60 million dollars – they are still being taxed.

The event was an occasion to manage the message and hype how fantastic the hospital is going to be. Parkin Architects certainly have the pedigree one would want to build a hospital for a community. They are doing the hospital in Oakville and did the Royal Ottawa hospital.

It is a very attractive looking building – the height will surprise people and the view of Lake Ontario for those in the line of sight to the lake will be upset.

But if the presentation was any indication it will be a fine structure. Burlington is going to get a state of the art hospital – it will have all the medical community could want.

Time will tell if the team that will run the medical side of things can overcome some of the past problems. Put in different words – can the Joseph Brant Hospital overcome a problematic past?

Perhaps taking the word Memorial out of the name of the hospital will make the difference.

JBMH president Eric Vandewall is reported to be working on his schedule and aking tme to meet with the city.  Dinner with senior city staff was a good start.

JBH president Eric Vandewall

The senior management at the hospital, led by Eric Vandewall is close to as good as it gets. Vandewall has managed the relationship with the provincial government and overseen the creation of the team that is going to build the hospital.

The relationship between the city and the hospital corporation had to be massaged a little to get it to the point where the two are working together quite well.

The main highlights of the second phase of the project include:

  • A new Emergency Department
  • 172 acute inpatient beds
  • 9 new Operating Rooms and a new post-anaesthetic care unit
  • An expanded Diagnostic Imaging department and associated services
  • Expanded medical, surgical and outpatient services
  • An expanded cancer clinic
  • An expanded Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and renovated Special Care Nursery – level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • An expanded and modernized laboratory
  • 70 percent single-patient rooms across the hospital

Rendering of a small operating room.

When the city gulped and got used to the idea that they were going to have to tax their citizens to the tune of $60 million to pay for part of the construction of a badly needed update they were a little hesitant to send cheques directly to the hospital which wanted the cash to pay for the building of the parking garage. Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor wasn’t very keen on the idea of city money being used to pay for a parking garage and the hospital keeping the parking fees.

It took a little negotiating – much of that work was done by city general manager Scott Stewart and the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Frank McKeown, but there is now a relationship that has the city sending money to the hospital to pay for equipment that has to be purchased.

The part of Lakeshore Road that dips down from Maple will be a bit of a traffic nightmare while construction takes place – how this is going to impact the Brant Museum hasn’t been figured out yet.

Lakeshore Road is going to get a significant upgrade – once the hospital reconstruction is complete Lakeshore Road is going to be raised and widened and given some landscaping as well. The Waterfront Trail that sits on what was once a set of railway tracks that brought trains into the city when Burlington was described as the produce garden for a large part of the world, will not be impacted.

An architects rendering of the new entrance to the Joseph Brant Hospital whch will now face the lake.  The entrance will be off LAkeshore Road with the new parking lot just to the west of the hospital.

An architects rendering of the new entrance to the Joseph Brant Hospital which will now face the lake. The entrance will be off Lakeshore Road with the new parking lot just to the west of the hospital.

Reconstruction of Lakeshore will go as far was the water treatment plant which is currently undergoing an upgrade as well.

The city and the Regional government are still working out details on what is going to be done with the Beachway community. That is an issue that is still simmering.

The Joseph Brant Hospital is the focal point – and it won’t be long before everyone who is anybody will be down on the site getting their picture taken. It will be a Grand Day – better than the day they opened the pier.

Return to the Front page

Extreme Cold Weather Alert has been extended by the Halton Region Health Department

Spencer Smith - lake frozenAn Extreme Cold Weather Alert has been extended by the Halton Region Health Department for the overnight period on Friday night into Saturday morning, February 28. Temperatures will once again drop into the extreme cold range during the overnight period on Saturday night into Sunday morning, March 1. This alert is issued when temperatures are expected to fall below -15 degrees Celsius (without wind-chill), or when weather conditions are severe enough to warrant alerting the community to the risks involved with prolonged exposure. The alert is intended to inform the general public and community agencies and recommend precautions. This alert is in effect until temperatures rise above –15 degrees Celsius (without wind-chill) or weather conditions improve and the risks involved with prolonged exposure are reduced.

Return to the Front page

Hospital foundation raised $2 million in four months - 40 of the 60 million needed is in the bank.

jbhhealthBy Pepper Parr

February 27, 2015


It was back in 2011 when newly elected Mayor Rick Goldring told a Chamber of Commerce crowd during his very first State of the City address that Burlington had been advised that it had to raise $60 million dollars from its taxpayers and that the Burlington Hospital Foundation had to come up with an additional $60 million

An architects rendering of the new entrance to the Joseph Brant Hospital whch will now face the lake.  The entrance will be off LAkeshore Road with the new parking lot just to the west of the hospital.

An architects rendering of the new entrance to the Joseph Brant Hospital which will now face the lake. The entrance will be off Lakeshore Road with the new parking garage  to the west of the hospital.

The city manager Jeff Fielding, who was hired some time later, told Council that was the biggest amount of money Burlington has ever had to raise.
The hospital foundation announced earlier this week that “Together, as a community, we raised an incredible $2 million from September – December 2014, in response to the Michael Lee-Chin & Family Community Matching Challenge. As a result the Lee-Chin Family added a matching million dollars.

The Joseph Brant Foundation is sincerely grateful to Mr. Lee-Chin for challenging us to achieve a new milestone in our campaign, and to every donor who participated and made the decision to support the building of the new Joseph Brant Hospital.

Construction plans are proceeding on schedule with a public meeting to be held in March to view the final site plan.

The parking garage which was the first phase of the redevelopment of the hospital has been completed and is now in full operation.

The Halton McMaster Family Clinic is also open and is winning awards for design excellence.

Return to the Front page

Flood relief money making its way to victims; partial payments averaging $9000 +

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 18, 2015


As of today the Burlington Community Foundation Flood Disaster Relief Claims Committee (DRC) has reviewed 88 claims with 77 of those being approved for some amount.

Throughout the first quarter of 2015, interim claim payments are being distributed and once all 310 claims are assessed, the committee will determine final payment amounts and disburse final cheques with a goal of completing the process by April 30.

FLOOD - basement - stuff floating

Funds raised within the community and matched by the province on a two-for-one basis are now being distributed to victims.

The Foundation has paid out a total of $696,000 which would work out to a little over $9000 per claimant – with more to follow when the Claims Committee has determined what is left and available for distribution.

“We are extremely pleased to report that many victims of the August flood have started receiving cheques to assist in their recovery efforts,” said Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO, Burlington Community Foundation. “The response from those who have received compensation has been extremely appreciative.”

Flood BMO at the vault

National banks were a major source of funds – they did a lot more for the city than several major corporations that do very good business in Burlington.

Ryan and Amy More’s home and lives were devastated by the flood in August. They received their first cheque from the Flood Relief Fund and were overwhelmed with appreciation. “My wife and I are so appreciative of everything that our Burlington community has done for us to help build our lives back,” said Ryan More. “We feel blessed to have such great neighbours and to live in a community that cares. This financial support is a tremendous help and we would like sincerely thank everyone who contributed.”

The Claims Committee continues to meet every two weeks to process each claim.

Return to the Front page

Community gardens are a success – city hall wants to know where the fourth one should be located.

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 18, 2015


Burlington has had community gardens ever since Michelle Bennett and Amy Schnurr delegated to city council for support in creating a garden back in behind the library and the Seniors’ Centre on New Street.

BurlingtonGreen's Michelle Bennett pacing off the size of each lot in the Community Garden that will open this Saturday.

Michelle Bennett pacing off the size of each lot in the Community Garden that opened in WHEN

The garden was a hit from the Get Go – every politician that wanted to get their picture taken was there.
The public seemed to want them and so the city began spending some of the tax dollars it collects asking people where they would like to see community gardens set up.

There are currently three community gardens in the city: Amherst Park Community GardenFeatures: 28 ground based plots, two wheelchair-accessible plots, water, street parking, full sun, storage shed, security fence, proximity to playground.


Amy Schnurr proselytizing for community gardens.

Central Park Community Garden; Features: 28 ground plots, two wheelchair accessible plots, parking, washrooms, water, full sun, storage shed, security fence, proximity to playground.

Francis Road Bikeway Community Garden; Features: 20 ground based plots, two wheelchair accessible plots, street parking on Warwick Drive, water, full sun, storage shed, security fence.   There are no public washroom facilities at this garden location.

The City did one of their online survey to help gather input from the public about the location of the city’s next community garden.
“The city currently has three community gardens, which have been very well received by gardeners and the surrounding neighbours,” said Rob Peachey, manager of parks and open spaces. “The city is now seeking input about the location of a fourth garden which will be ready for planting in the spring of 2016. We want to hear from residents about where in the city they’d like to see the newest community garden.”

The short online survey is available at . It will remain open until Sunday, Feb. 22.

The information collected from the survey will help inform city staff with their final recommendation to City Council at a meeting of the Development and Infrastructure Committee in June.

This year’s Burlington Seedy Saturday (community seed exchange event) is happening as part of the Burlington Public Library Eco Fair on Saturday,  April 18. Contact their marketing department or event coordinator Craig Logue for more info.


Return to the Front page