Andrew Drummond lost the election but he doesn't feel defeated

By Pepper Parr

June 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Thursday was not a good day for Andrew Drummond.

His third campaign to become the representative for Burlington in the provincial legislature didn’t work out the way he had hoped.

Drummond had the best funding he has ever had plus a bigger team to knock on doors – the wind he needed was never in his sails.

He started the campaign with better funding than he has ever had. The NDP saw Burlington as a seat that could be won.

Drummond said the NDP had identified 6000 people who would vote for them

The Burlington NDP organization got the best results in all of Halton. And Drummond is fervent in his belief that if there is going to be an NDP seat in the region it will be in Burlington.

The days immediately after an election that was lost are not the hardest – those are yet to come. Today Drummond talks about an organization with 100 formal members that he believes can be built to 200 and that in the months and years ahead Burlington will see the NDP protesting on street corners and in front of city hall.

There are important issues said Drummond who lists them: Daycare funding, environmental issues, climate change, better job prospects, Women’s Place, Urban boundaries – he has more.

Ever the campaigner – Andrew Drummond was out every day – but the New Democrats didn’t have enough traction at the provincial level to give him the room to grow his campaign.

He plans on more meetings for the local NDP association and expects to be able to partner with other groups on their issues.

Drummond explains that people were Ok with the job Doug Ford did on the COVID 19 issue – the other serious issues just didn’t get the traction they needed. He added that provincially, the NDP campaign just never did really take off.

Which leads Drummond to the forthcoming leadership campaign. At this point his voice changes – some excitement comes back – “There are some stars in caucus; there are bright lights that will begin to shine” he explains. Expect Drummond to be up to his ears in the leadership campaign – but isn’t prepared to say if there is a candidate that he likes the look of.

Will he run again in 2026 – four years is a long, long, long time in the world of politics – but a guess would be – he will run again.

What can we expect from the new government we asked? Drummond does not subscribe to the view that Doug Ford is a changed man. “He is there to help his buddies make a lot of money” adding that parts of Burlington are at serious risk.

The 407-Dundas urban divide is at risk. Drummond believes that the owners of most of the property that is immediately north of that roadway – 407 and Dundas, will end up being developed with the Ford government that will be sworn in soon.

 

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Is Mayor Meed Ward considering a run for the office of Regional Chair ?

By Pepper Parr

June 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With the Ontario election over and Doug Ford in place until 2026, running the province with little in the way of an opposition party, our eyes turn to the municipal election in October.

Look for a move on the part of Councillor Sharman to indicate that he will run for the office of Mayor.

Jane McKenna, MPP when the photo was taken, at a Freeman Station event with a friend.

A comment made, at a Joseph Brant Museum event last week, by someone who would know, that Mayor Meed Ward might consider (is considering) running for the office of Regional Chair where she would be running against Jane McKenna who gave up her seat at Queen’s Park to run for the office that Gary Carr doesn’t appear to want any more.

Carr moved from Milton into downtown Burlington recently.

Meed Ward has let the very strong support she had when she became mayor dwindle away; it will take more than we think this Mayor has to pull that support back.

Meed Ward has changed the way municipal government works in Burlington – too many, the changes were not all that beneficial.

The biggest thing Meed Ward brought was hope – and then she dashed that hope by making herself the focal point.

As a Councillor for ward 2 between 2010 and 2014 Marianne Med Ward made a significant difference – she brought hope to the hearts of those who wanted to keep the Burlington they had.

Politics is both an art and a science. The better politicians have a strong survival instinct – Meed Ward may have figured out that her political life can be extended by moving to the Regional level and then on to the provincial level where she has always wanted to end up.

 

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Councillor Sharman puts the Bateman High School development in perspective

By Paul Sharman, Councillor ward 5

June 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

The following appeared in Local News – Burlington, an alternative online news source.  Reprinted with permission

Many people are extremely interested in what is happening with the acquisition of the former Robert Bateman High School (RBHS) by the City of Burlington.

In a nutshell, as they say, after a year of talks, property analysis, assessment, engineering analysis and negotiations, the acquisition is getting closer to completion. Here are the key steps taken by the city in the process to acquire RBHS, with two steps still to occur:

The former Bateman High School site. What will the city name the location once it acquires the property ?

Key steps completed

June 23, 2021: the Halton District School Board (HDSB) announced that it has declared Robert Bateman High School surplus to its needs.
June 24, 2021: the City of Burlington announced that an expression of interest would be submitted to the HDSB to purchase the Robert Bateman site through a partnership with Brock University.
December 2021: council provided direction to staff to submit a formal offer to purchase the Robert Bateman High School site, subject to price and details to be negotiated.
February 3, 2022: Burlington City Council endorsed next steps to advance the potential acquisition of the Robert Bateman High School site from the Halton District School Board.

Steps yet to come

June 21, 2022: city council will consider results of public input and then decide whether to proceed with the land exchange and long-term leases and will then authorize staff to complete all matters.

September 2022: The deal will be complete (if authorized to proceed) and funds transferred, at which time the land exchange price and other details will become public in accordance with provincial regulations and city policy. The parties are prohibited from disclosing price information until after completion.

What is going on
Halton District School Board (HDSB) voted to close the school in June 2017. I and a huge number of community members opposed that choice for several reasons. Those reasons remain extremely relevant to this day, but that is another article. After the decision was made, I and then-Mayor Goldring committed to seeing RBHS purchased by the city for community, recreation, and other uses.

On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, HDSB declared the Bateman property surplus to its needs. Since then, the school board has followed a prescribed process to negotiate the sale of the property. The City of Burlington had the right to purchase it if no other school organization wanted it. Because Burlington’s population has grown significantly over the last 20 years and is due to increase in the order of 70,000 more people in the next 30 years, more land and buildings are required for community recreation and other uses by the city. Accordingly, shortly after the property was declared surplus, the city voted to proceed with the acquisition of the property.

After a year of work, on June 21, 2022, city council will consider results of public input from a survey and a meeting held on May 31, and then decide whether to proceed with the land exchange and long-term leases of space to the HDSB and Brock University. Council will then authorize staff to complete all remaining matters. In September 2022, the deal will be complete and funds transferred, at which time the land exchange price and other details will be made public, following provincial regulations and city policy. Unfortunately, those details cannot be released earlier.

After that, a lot of activity will occur to obtain community input on how the property will be used. Partial details of use are discussed below, and they will evolve over time.

What Burlington is getting
When the HDSB declared invited offers to purchase from municipal government, they prescribed that only those that allowed the board to retain approximately 39,000 sq.ft. of space in the school under lease for a period of over 20 years would be accepted. Meanwhile, Brock University also wanted to lease a similar or larger amount of space as HDSB in order to offer programming in Burlington. The City of Burlington press release discussing the Brock partnership in June 2021 can be found here.

The RBHS building is so large (at 212,270 sq. ft.) that the space available for community and recreation use after deducting Brock and HDSB leased space from the total will be greater than any existing Burlington recreation centre.

Central High School land transfer
On May 18, 2022, the Halton District School Board issued a media release stating that they were

“…advancing a land transaction with the City of Burlington that would see the exchange of the City-owned sports field at Burlington Central High School (1433 Baldwin St, Burlington), with the sale of the former Robert Bateman High School ​(5151 New St, Burlington).”

“The parcel of land adjacent to Burlington Central High School is approximately five acres and includes the sports field and track to the west of the school. The Board’s purchase of this land ensures the continued operation of Burlington Central High School by the HDSB for the foreseeable future.”

This relates to the fact that the city already owns land at Central High School, Wellington Park on the west side, on the corner of Hager Ave., and on Baldwin Street, which features a sports field, outdoor track, and playground, and is integrated into daily school use. The school board has been interested in acquiring the property for a number of years. It makes no sense for the city to own land that the school is using, especially downtown where it is very valuable, and to then be buying land from the school board for the city to use elsewhere. Therefore, city ownership of land at Central High School will be transferred to the board with a value based on market prices. The dollar value of the property will be credited in favour of the city against the price of the Bateman purchase.

Brock, HDSB tenants and the Central High School land transfer all have the effect of making the acquisition of RBHS less of a burden for Burlington taxpayers. In the long run, when Brock and the HDSB leases expire, the city will decide how to use the entire building for community or other uses.

If Central is ever closed, then the board would have to declare it surplus and the city should be able to buy it back, if it wants.

City and recreation uses of the property
The primary goal of the city for the Bateman site is to satisfy community recreation needs, which will include: retention of Centennial swimming pool and school gym; public greenspace; new flexible programming areas (i.e. expanded city community centre); relocation of Burlington Public Library (BPL) – New Appleby Branch; and relocation of TechPlace. All of this is being done to create a sustainable signature community hub, with a focus on learning and active living.

Conclusion
Assuming final purchase of the Bateman property by the city concludes as expected, we will be able to offer recreation services to members of our community of all ages for decades to come. I am totally supportive of acquiring the property at a reasonable cost by the city, which I expect will happen.

 

 

 

 

Paul Sharman has been the Councillor for ward 5 since 2010

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Citizens celebrate the Queen's Platinum Anniversary 70 years as Monarch

By Pepper Parr

June 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At precisely 2:00 pm Thursday afternoon while citizens across the province were casting ballots Town Criers across the Commonwealth read the Royal Proclamation celebrating the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth’s anniversary of her seventy years on the throne was celebrated in Burlington.

David Vollick – Burlington’s Town Crier

The Town Crier, Dave Vollock, read his Proclamation in Civic Square to a “throng”  of people assembled there.

Ladies were each given a “fascinator” they could wear

Festivities continued at the Central Library where a display of the Queen’s hats was set up.  Now these were not the actual hats worn by Queen Elizabeth – but a collection of millinery very similar to what our head of state wears on her head.

Visitors who had RSVP’d ahead were treated to a tea – in a REAL porcelain teacup, along with tasty cake.

Ladies were each given a “fascinator” they could wear in their hair for the occasion. And a QEII 7O pin.

The Queen had her Silver Jubilee back in 1977 after just 25 years on the throne, and at that time, Burlington recognized the occasion with a brass marker on the King Edward VII Fountain at Veteran Square at City Hall.

That fountain (just restored last year) was festooned with Union Jacks for the day.

Some people are not excited about such an event, but our sovereign is a remarkable woman, and congratulations to her for her life’s work, after these long seven decades.

 

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Congratulate the winners and get on with governing

By Pepper Parr

June 3rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The beautiful thing about the form of government we have is that once the ballots are counted and  the result are clear – we accept the results and get on with letting the new government do its job.

Burlington residents are represented by three constituencies:  Burlington, Oakville North Burlington and Milton.

Burlington results:

Burlington

 

 

Oakville North Burlington

Milton

 

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The Performing Arts Centre 2022-23 Season

By Staff

June 2, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The members of the Performing Arts Centre get first dibs on tickets – membership has its benefits. The Box Office is open to everyone on Tuesday June 7th – Box Office opens at noon.

It is quite a season
We have set out what is being offered along with prices. Note the benefit to members – might be worth your while to take out a membership.

The 2022-23 season.

This is not an order form. You call the Box Office –

Tuesday to Friday from 12pm to 4pm

Payment: Cash, Interac/Debit, Credit Card (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX), Gift Certificate

905 -681-6000

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Sound of Music offering for 2022

By Staff

June 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Sound of Music offering for 2022

Tickets available on the Sound of Music web site.

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Chamber Excellence award finalists announced: winners to be announced June 28

By Staff

June 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

After months of interviews, meetings and deliberations, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce has announced the finalists for its 2022 Business Excellence Awards presented by RBC.

The Chamber has named 22 local organizations as potential winners of awards in a variety of categories. Award nominations are based on overall business excellence and the criteria include excellence in business leadership, community contributions, entrepreneurship, environment, employee welfare, innovation and market growth.

The finalists are:
HOSPITALITY & TOURISM
• Front Line Tours
• QB Sports Bar Grill Games

MANUFACTURING
• Precision Record Pressing
• BSB Manufacturing
• URtech Manufacturing

RETAIL
• She’s Got Leggz
• Familia Fine Foods
• Joelle’s Clothing

SERVICE (Large)
• RFB Construction
• Tip Tap Pay Micropayments
• Alexanian Carpet and Flooring

SERVICE (Business-to-Business)
• Urban in Mind
• Joe Apps Technology Support
• Stratus Building Solutions
• Frederikse Law

SERVICE (Business-to-Consumer)
• Waters Edge Salon and Spa
• No Excuse Boxing
• Burlington Denture Clinic

NOT-FOR-PROFIT
• Goodwill Amity
• Lighthouse for Grieving Children
• Food for Life

While the list of finalists is now public information, the names of the winners remain a closely guarded secret. The winners will be announced at the Chamber Business Awards Gala set for June 28 at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. This highly anticipated event is being emceed by acclaimed Burlington fashion designer and entrepreneur, Joseph Tassoni.

 

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Moon in June Road Race road closures, June 4

By Staff

June 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Moon in June Road Race is happening at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 4. These races require road and lane closures in Burlington.

Streets will reopen as soon as possible following the end of the race. Vehicles parked illegally in the area will be tagged or towed to allow emergency access.

Road Closures
3 to 11:30 p.m. – James Street between John Street and Brant Street
5 to 11:30 p.m. – Brant Street between Ontario and Elgin Street
6 to 11 p.m. – Brant Street between Caroline Street and Lakeshore Road
7:15 to 9:30 p.m. – Lakeshore Road (east bound) between John Street and Brock Street; Brock Avenue between Lakeshore Road and Elgin Street; Elgin Street between Brock Street and Maple Avenue

Exit Points
• Baldwin Street/Victoria Avenue at Brant Street
• Maple Avenue at Ontario Street

Traffic Lane Closures
• Southbound Brant Street between Baldwin and Caroline Street
• All other streets on the race route will have one lane open for local access

Resident Access
Emergency Services access will be maintained at all times along the event route.
Traffic Supervision

Police will direct traffic at major intersections and event marshals will help runners and motorists at multi-residential driveways and on side streets. Race notices were delivered to all residences, religious centres and businesses affected by the races.

Every June for 29 years – this the 30th year the are back at it. The Moon in June race

For 30 years the MiJ has supported local charities. We are one of the longest standing, truly charitable running events in Halton, over our tenure we have donated over ONE MILLION DOLLARS to local charities. We are so pleased to be back for our 3rd 30th anniversary event… We are very excited with the adaptations we have made for this years Moon in June. Our commitment, as a fully charitable event is to help Radius in their time of need and assist with their vastly increased need for services.

The Moon in June course is a flat fast one loop certified 5k and 2 loop certified 10km of down town Burlington. The route highlights the fabulous Burlington Waterfront and downtown core.

Help the Moon in June and Radius Child and Youth Services build futures free abuse.

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Performing Arts Centre raises the curtain on the 2022-23 season

By Pepper Parr

June 1st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The new normal took shape Tuesday evening when Sean Cullen took to the stage at the Performing Arts Centre to introduce the program for the 2022-23 season.

The Performing Arts has a lot to offer this season.

And Cullen was in a very giving mood.

Sean Cullen in conversation with a fan.

He has a way with getting an audience to eat out of his hand – he spots people in the audience and knows instantly that he can play them.

A young woman in the front row was asked if she was from Burlington. She was she answered. Cullen moved on and then came back to the woman asking “where did you go to university.” “Western” she responded

Cullen turns away again and looks over his shoulder asking: “What did you study?”.

“Economics” the woman answers. “How’s that working out for you he asks” getting the laugh Cullen knew was in the audience?

It wasn’t a full house but is was a very respectable turn out.

The event had Cullen serving as the MC with four acts that would be performing during the season doing a short performance.

There was two short pieces of classical music performed by Francine Kay who hunches over the keyboard ready to pounce on the keys – and dazzled the audience.

Memberships in the Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame were awarded to Gary De Groote and Don Allan. De Groote commented that it was the first time he had worn a jacket in two years.

Tammy Fox , Kathy Manness, Executive Vice President, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Megg Markettos, Manager, Marketing and Development BPAC

Tammy Fox, the Executive Director of the Performing Arts Centre spoke for a few minutes: the public needs to see and hear more of her – she has a quick wit, a sharp tongue and likes audiences – that hasn’t always been for BPAC.

While she is an administrator – there is dramatic talent there; a waste to keep it behind a desk

For the first time in my memory there was an In Memoriam moment during which several names appeared on the screen followed by photographs. When the name of Boris Brott, killed tragically by a hit and run driver, the audience rose to its feel applauding.

Regrettably there was no mention of the loss of Walter Mulkewich, former Mayor and quite an orator when he turned it on.

The purpose of the evening was to give Performing Arts Centre members an advance opportunity to buy ticket – the Box Office was held open for them for three days before the public can purchase tickets.

We will list the features in a separate article.

The purpose of the evening was to give BPAC members a taste of what the season was going to be about and to give them first crack a ticket sales. The Box office was the destination for most of the audience. Some needed a little more time to decide what they wanted to take in during the season

.

With Cullen taking his last friendly poke at the audience people were invited to go out to the Family room, enjoy an adult beverage and some food and just mingle – something many had not done for the last two years.

They didn’t run out of bottles of a refreshing bubbly white wine.

The Adult Beverage tables were kept busy.

The Performing Arts staff now bend their will to getting ready to welcome the first acts

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Burlington recognizes Pride Month with banners along Brant Street

By Staff

June 1st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City of Burlington has installed new Pride Banners in recognition and celebration of Burlington’s LGBTQ2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, TwoSpirit) community for the month of June, which is Pride Month.

Pride Month is a time when we celebrate the diversity in the LGBTQ2S+ communities, acknowledge their history, the hardships they have endured, and the progress that has been made.

The banners were designed in consultation with representatives from the LGBTQ2S+ community and are installed along Brant Street from Fairview Street to Ghent Avenue. They are part of the City’s Pride recognition and are in addition to the four Rainbow Crosswalks installed around the City.

The four Rainbow Crosswalks are located at:

• Lakeshore Road at Burlington Avenue
• Upper Middle Road at M.M. Robinson school entrance
• Fairview Street and Drury Lane
• Plains Road West and Botanical Drive

A project dear to the Mayor’s heart

The Lakeshore Road Rainbow Crosswalk location was selected by a committee of representatives from organizations from the LGBTQ2S+ community. This was the City’s first Rainbow Crosswalk and was installed and unveiled in June 2020.

At the June 22, 2021 Burlington City Council meeting, Council voted to fund three more rainbow crosswalks. Council approved up to $50,000 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund for the installation of the three rainbow crosswalks in 2021. The locations were chosen using survey feedback that asked the community to choose their top six locations from a list developed in consultation with council members and members of the former rainbow crosswalk team. City staff reviewed the six locations to determine the three locations that were installed in 2021.

Indeed they did not weather well

These three locations did not winter well and have sustained damage. The defects in the crosswalk material has resulted in parts of the rainbow crosswalk coming away from the pavement. This damage is being repaired under warranty at no cost to the City and will be done when ideal repair conditions are met. The material used in the rainbow crosswalks needs the road to be dry with mild overnight temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius.

Pride Rainbow Banners
The Street Banner Program will include Pride rainbow themed banners along major streets in Burlington. These rainbow crosswalks and banners will be important features and key landmarks geographically and socially for the city.

 

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Over 100 options to be active during this Month of Play

By Staff

June 1st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

June is the Month of Play and a perfect time for the city’s parks, trails, outdoor pools, splash pads, cultural areas, and events come to life with activities, people, and fun.

As the city celebrates June as the Month of Play, they encourage residents to get active indoors and outdoors and enjoy everything the City offers.

Get Outside and Play Challenge
Our annual Get Outside and Play Challenge will begin on June 1 and ends on Aug. 29, 2022. We encourage Burlington residents to explore all the places and spaces in Burlington with over 90 activities available. The activities and challenges have been created so teams of individuals or families can participate in completing at least 90 activities in 90 days.

Great prizes await the winning team. Contest rules, information on the challenge and list of prizes are available on our website at burlington.ca/playoutside.

June is also Seniors Month.
Adults 55+ can join in the fun at all City Recreation and Community Centers across Burlington. Programs include fitness, sports, arts, games, socials, learning and music activities; and participants can join in programs offered online, indoor, outdoor and/or by telephone.

Choose from registered programs of different lengths, and/or drop-in single visit pay-as-you-play programs (reserve a drop-in spot online or by phone in advance). Select inter-generational programs for anyone 19 and older or enjoy peer-age programs for adults 55 and older, if preferred.

For more information about June activities or other programs for Adults 55+, visit burlington.ca/adult.

Concerts in the Park presented by the Rocca Sisters
Concerts in the Park returns June 19 until Aug. 28. Sit back and enjoy free music at the Central Park Bandshell every Wednesday and Sunday from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The list of concerts can be found at burlington.ca/concerts.

Longest Day of Play
June 21 is the longest day of the year and also the longest day of play. Why not take advantage of the day and plan an event in your neighbourhood park? View the Love My Neighbourhood resources at burlington.ca/neighbourhood.

Pop Up n’ Play
Pop Up n’ Play is back this year in select locations in Burlington parks. Drop-by with your kids for fun times using imagination to create a different play experience through making a mess, building, and creating. Learn more at burlington.ca/popupnplay.

Skate Hub
Beginning June 4, residents can borrow a pair of skates at the Appleby Ice Centre through the Skate Hub. Sizes and selections are limited and borrowed on a first come, first served basis.

Festivals and Events
There are plenty of festivals, events and cultural activities available this summer. Visit burlington.ca/calendar to view the full calendar. For events hosted by the City, including Canada Day, Kids Mini Fest and Movies Under the Stars, visit burlington.ca/events.

For more information on all recreation programs and services, visit burlington.ca/recreation.
Burlington is a city where people, nature and businesses thrive. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at Burlington.ca/Enews and follow @CityBurlington on social media.

Chris Glenn, Director, Recreation, Community and Culture

Chris Glenn, Director, Recreation, Community and Culture
“There is always something fun to do around the city with all of our parks, trails and greenspace. Get outside and play, be active, have fun or just enjoy the space around you. The possibilities are endless.”

 

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Virtual meeting lasts an hour and a half - does the public know much more other than that there will be a report to Council next week

By Staff

June 1st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

One of our correspondents set out one view on the Public Meeting that took place virtually last night with the statement:

Smoke and Mirrors adding that the “the city doesn’t have a clue what it will be doing with the space other than the 15-20% of the building ( approx 40,000 square feet) that Brock is perhaps willing to sign a 20 year lease.

The space has to be ready by September 2024, and I have to wonder if there is a clause that if the renovations are not completed in time they can simply walk away from the lease.

The parking issue was skirted around, very similar to how the city deals with parking and traffic ” We will do this in phases and the existing parking will be sufficient”. What happens when phase 2 and 3 are complete? No mention of the timeline between the 3 construction/renovation phases. I can see this going on for years and years before it becomes “the much needed community centre”.

The City has not even looked into the cost of the removal of the asbestos. They have no plans to do this until the sale is finalized. Who does this ??? – go into such a large project without knowing what the cost will be for this removal ( this will be a very expensive proposition )- as you know it can be more dangerous to remove the asbestos.

I found it interesting that in 2014 the City paid to renovate a pool that didn’t belong to the city.

The HDSB who took art in the virtual event, skirted the issue as to what it will do with Gary Allen.

No company in the private sector would go through with the purchase or renovations of Robert Bateman without having all the necessary costs involved known before acquiring the property.

Early thinking on what the site could look like.

The only thing I got out of this meeting is how much or should I say how little space Brock is going to lease and that in my opinion this is what is driving the speed in decision, especially since Tim Commisso indicated that the city is the only one interested in the Bateman Property.

At the close of the meeting City manager Commisso said “ I think the fact that this is going to create a really strong facility and legacy for our community. But it’s been a year of us trying to look ahead while also seeing what the immediacy of having to make a decision about the purchase.

I’m not going to make any apologies for the fact that we’ve done as much as we can as much due diligence, but we don’t have all of the answers that perhaps people think we might or should have. In order to make the purchase decision.

Partly because we’re under a prescribed process that really requires us to be responsive to the school board in terms of meeting their needs. I will say the worst thing that can happen is that somehow that we weren’t involved in this process or whatever. And I won’t even speculate on what that means. But, you know, I think we made a commitment. And counsel certainly made that commitment that we would go through this process and try to do as much as we could in advance. But we don’t have all the answers. We do commit to is the process from here.

So let the design you know, what’s the community centre going to look like? What are the uses? How is that going to be done parking through zoning will all be public thing. It’s really a part of a process.

I think that we see moving forward and we hope and we encourage as many people as possible to get engaged now. Because I think at the end of the day, you know, this is a facility that we all want to be proud of. And I think by having our partners in there to really showcase I think the fact that Burlington is creating a hub here, so I’ll leave it at that.

I know I’m kind of over my comments over the time, but I just wanted to acknowledge that says that this is a unique project. It’s not like we bought a piece of land and then we started planning for it. We have to meet a prescribed timeline in order to purchase it because we’re an eligible agency. And then we have to essentially make sure that we design and program that properly. So that meets the needs of the community over the long term. In my years this has probably been the most challenging facility projects that I’ve worked on. And I’ve worked on quite a few of them.

The Gazette had two meeting taking place at the same time and has not found a way to be in two places at once.
We will review the recording a d go through the transcription we have of the event and report back real soon.

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The race for the Burlington seat in the legislature is not as tight - the PC's have the edge - the undecided could make the difference

By Pepper Parr

June 1st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Our final data set from the on the street, one on- interviews carried out by Jason Octavio, a Sheridan Journalism student is set out below

Our survey began May 6th and ended yesterday.

People were engaged where people congregate, at the mall, at he LCBO stores, at supermarkets and on the main streets of the city and at the GO stations.

It is not as tight a race as it was at the middle of the month. Two things were evident. A lot of people do not plan to vote and a lot of people did not want to say who they planned to vote for.

The proof is in the pudding as they say.

The results will begin to flow in shortly after the polls close. The Gazette will do what it can to provide a flow of local information and the ideally, interview all the candidates before the evening is over.

Your job now is to decide who you want to be your representative at Queen’s Park.

We got a call from an Orchard Park resident asking why we did not provide coverage to the election race in the riding of Oakville North Burlington. It was a matter of resources – we just didn’t have the manpower needed to do a survey in that riding.

The candidates for the riding of Oakville North Burlington are set out below.

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Some additional comment on the public meeting on the Bateman matter

By Pepper Parr

May 31st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The reader who has asked, for good reasons, to be left as an anonymous writer explains why the City Manager is fronting the Public Information meeting this evening.

There is still very little information from the city Communications department other than that the event is taking place and here is how you can take part.

A big site with loads of potential has become a big problem

The reason why Tim Commisso, city Manager, will host the upcoming Community Updates tomorrow is due to the need to follow the City’s governance processes.

In the case of the Bateman situation, the City under the direction of the City Manager must present what recommendations may be considered for the elected City Council for approval.

What will the City manager put on the table this evening?

That would require a written report that citizens could read and form opinions. There is no written report.

In other words, the City negotiates to derive their recommendations but can’t approve their recommendations. City Council must ensure public input is received prior to making any approval decision associated with the recommendation from City staff. The known exception relates to legal matters associated which typically have already been made but are now appealed to a higher authority or which were not made in a timely fashion as dictated by published guidelines issued by the higher authority.

In our case, City Council has yet to receive a recommendation from City staff. As such City staff may present what has been received and to seek public feedback on the same. Any decision sought from City Council is unlikely to be made prior the end of session in mid-July and instead be postponed until after the Municipal election in October by the newly elected City Council.

The same goes for HDSB matters. The Director of Education presents recommendations for the elected Board of Trustees approval. In other words, the HDSB staff under the Director negotiates to derive their recommendations, but can’t approve their recommendations.

To do otherwise opens the doors to a conflict of interest. The elected members guard the purse and ensure that the rules of governance are followed.

It is up to each member of the public to be vigilant to ensure that changes to any rules of governance do not negatively compromise the public as a result of proposed recommendations made by the HDSB, the City or the Province.

The Municipal electorate has to be satisfied as to the steps already been taken by City staff on a matter which enhances the City delivery of services to the community in a cost effective manner. Likewise, the HDSB electorate has to be satisfied as to the steps already taken which enhances the delivery of education services in a cost effective manner.

This meeting is taking place because there has been so much blow back from citizens; something had to be done – so the City Manager is going to explain what has and what he expect will take place.

At the risk of being rude – the people of Burlington can read – provide a detailed report on what the options are, what the expenses are and what the long term contribution to the city will be.

Then let Council get input from staff and then make a decision.

The problem with this, a traditional and accepted practice in the municipal world, is that this project has become something several members of Council want and they are going to do everything possible in order to show what they are capable of.

What they are capable of is the mess the public is looking at.

The event this evening is being recorded and we are told will be available for view “soon” after the meeting.

The meeting details are:

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Either Miriam Manaa or Andrew Drummond should be elected for the constituency of Burlington

By Pepper Parr

May 30th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Editorial Opinion

The public has listened to what the politicians have had to say since May 3rd.

It is now time for the voters to decide what they want in the way of political leadership.

The Gazette has watched the candidates for some time; years in the case of Andrew Drummond, about a year and a half for Miriam Manaa and about three months for Natalie Pierre.

It is our view that Ontario needs a Premier over whom there is some ongoing control and we advocate for a minority government. It is clear that the Progressive Conservatism have a strong lead provincially and will form the next government.

The Gazette believes that either Liberal Miriam Manaa or New Democrat Andrew Drummond would serve the public well.

Liberal candidate Miriam Manaa

Manaa has some experience working with elected members – those who belittle her work experience do not understand just what elected officials do. Manaa was not at a desk licking envelopes; she was doing case work and working closely with a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons.

Drummond is a stronger policy person than Manaa and he has a significant amount of experience in a very competitive industry.

If elected Manaa would bring some of the Burlington diversity to the legislature.

Andrew Drummond candidate for the New Democratic Party

If elected Drummond would bring strong policy chops to the job.

Both would serve the people in the Burlington constituency well once they settle in.

As impressed as we were with Natalie Pierre, the Progressive Conservatives have not earned the right to have their candidate sent to Queen’s Park.

Natalie Pierre, Progressive Conservative candidate

We see it as unfortunate that a political party would flout the traditional practice of putting their candidates before the public and listening to what they have to say,

The public never had the chance to learn more about the woman. They appear to have taken the position that the PCs have it in the bag and the public de damned.

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A tight race for the Burlington seat in the provincial legislature appears to now be between the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives

By Pepper Parr

May 31st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is still a tight race but the Liberals appear to be widening the gap.

Some readers have misunderstood what the Gazette has been doing.

The survey we have carried out is for the residents who are in the Burlington constituency.

Our survey has been one on one short interviews with more than 750 at this point. We will be surveying for an additional day.

We asked people four questions.

Question 1: Do you know there’s going to be an election in June? 

Question 2: Do you know anything about the issues? 

Question 3: Are you going to vote? 

Question 4: Would you like to say who you will vote for? 

Of interest is that the province wide polling  being done by the Toronto Star has the Burlington seat leaning PC.

Burlington has been a rock bed of conservative people and Conservative voters; for the Star to suggest it is leaning PC would have the Star agreeing with the Gazette.

Of course it all comes down to what the voters think. We will never know what they think – but we can urge you to think and then vote.

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City seeks local artists - Celebrating Diversity through Public Art

By Staff

May 31st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington is inviting artists, artist-led teams and community groups to submit their ideas to create art in Burlington public spaces celebrating Burlington’s diverse communities.

A total of $29,000 is available for up to eight projects, depending on the proposals submitted.

Public art attached to the bridge on Regal Road.

Proposals may include, but are not limited to murals, sound / light installations, artist designed seating, children/youth projects, temporary art projects, or artist designed crosswalks. Interactive projects are encouraged.

The public art program will support successful applicants by providing resources and staff support through the planning, installation and execution of the project. This can include connections to artists and fabricators, assistance with permits and permissions as well as general project support where applicable.

Information Session
Applicants are invited to an optional information session to learn more about this public art opportunity and the application process.

Publicly funded art on an electric utility box at Port Nelson Park – a location that was once a major port for what was then the Township of Nelson

Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 7 p.m.

Online – Please RSVP to kim@cobaltconnects.ca before June 15, 2022 for virtual meeting details.

Who Can Apply?
This opportunity is open to individual artists, artist teams, artist collectives, ad hoc groups, or arts and culture organizations, as well as partnerships and collaborations between arts and non-arts applicants. Applicants from equity-seeking groups are especially encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 15, 2022.

For deadlines and more information on how to get application help and/or apply, please visit www.burlington.ca/publicart.

Timeline:
Deadline Activity

June 16 Voluntary online information session

July 15 Application deadline

By July 31 Successful artists selected; enter into a contract with the City of Burlington.

August Project development: Artists work with Public Art staff to develop and approve Detailed Project Proposal

September – December Project execution (TBD – based on individual project requirements)

Councillor Sharman speaking to Angela  Paparizo.

By diverse backgrounds the city includes: seniors, youth, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour), LGBTQ2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, TwoSpirit) and those with disabilities.

Angela Paparizo, Manager of Arts and Culture tells the arts community: “We want your creative ideas to activate a community space and will provide project support to make it happen!

Please join us for more information on June 16 and be sure to submit your ideas by July 15. We look forward to hearing from interested artists, whether you are an emerging or established artist.”

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Joseph Brant Museum shows off the SkyClub - look for an opportunity to check it out.

By Pepper Parr

May 30th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was set up as an event to celebrate what the Brant Inn was, especially in its heyday and to let the public see the SkyClub that rests atop the actual museum and beside the Joseph Brant residence.

The Joseph Brant Museum on a Saturday evening

The evening was also a fund raiser and one of those opportunities to get out and be with friends.

There was a band – the Smooth Blend Quartet – that did encourage some people to get up and dance.

Most of the dancing was done by Robert and Beverley of danceScape fame. The moves they made on the dance floor are things most of the attendees wouldn’t dare try.

Later in the evening Robert and Beverly taught a large group the Mambo. Everyone was having fun.

The Pier from the SkyClub atop the Joseph Brant Museum. The Brant Inn would have been in that space in the lower left hand corner of the photograph

The surprise, a real surprise for everyone was the SkyClub. The view on the east side took in the location where the Brant Inn used to stand.

Dan Lawrie, who didn’t chance any of the dancing, told his friends the place was one of the best kept secrets in the city.

The food was also a surprise – prepared by the chef’s at The Williamsburg kitchen it was better than many expected at this kind of event.

I will let my partner describe the food once she has had a chance to talk to the people at The Williamsburg.

 

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City Manager Tim Commisso will lead the Bateman High School purchase Public Meeting on Tuesday

By Staff

May 30th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The following was passed along to us by a reader who was given the information by the city’s Communications department.

Director of Communications  Kwab Ako-Adjei, Director, Corporate Communications & Engagement said:

 “As with any public meeting the City holds, including virtual meetings, those in attendance will have an opportunity to ask questions. We are finalizing the details of how the questions will be asked, we will let those in attendance know at the beginning of the meeting how they can ask their questions.

“City Manager Tim Commisso will be leading the discussion along with other City staff (to be confirmed) that can speak to the project.”

Want to see just how good those facilitating chops are.

Finalizing the details the day before the event is cutting it kind of close – but better late than never.

The City Manager will lead the event – our recollection is that this will be the first time Tim Commisso will chair an event.  His practice is to make a comment during a meeting.

It will be interesting to see just how good his facilitating chops are.

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