Four accused failed to appear for a hearing while on bail - police take the unusual step of posting their pictures.

Crime 100By Staff

September 27, 2014



The Regional police would really like to get their hands on four people who failed to show up in court.


All four are wanted by the HAlton Regional Police Service.

Charged back in June in connection to numerous day time break and enters in Burlington and Oakville the four are now wanted after they failed to re-attend court.

On May 14th 2014 at approximately 11:50 am, a residence located on Lakeshore Road in Burlington was broken into by two unknown culprits who were operating a beige Dodge Caravan.
Security video at the residence showed a female culprit attending the front door carrying flyers. She knocked on the front door and after receiving no response, walked towards the side of the residence where entry was gained through a basement window.

The female culprit then exited the front door and walked down the driveway when the beige van pulled in front of the residence. Both culprits then entered the home through the front door where they proceeded to the master bedroom and broke into locked drawers where they stole a large amount of jewelry before leaving the home in the van.

Members of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau identified suspects and located the vehicle believed to have been involved in the break and enter.

On June 25th 2014, police conducted mobile surveillance on the suspects who were now operating a grey Honda Odessey van.

Throughout the day, the suspects were followed to various affluent neighbourhoods in Burlington and Oakville. On several occasions, two females were seen leaving the vehicle on foot carrying flyers. They were observed walking up to several homes and into back yards before returning to the van.
At approximately, 1:53 PM the vehicle was stopped by police and three persons were arrested. A search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery of stolen jewellery valued at approximately $60,000 which was stolen during a break in on The Links Dr. in Oakville.

Investigators have also executed search warrants at two Etobicoke residences and seized a quantity of jewellery, cash, clothing worn and a vehicle used during the May 14th 2014 break and enter on Lakeshore Rd. in Burlington.

During the search warrant, an additional arrest was made in relation to possession of property obtained by crime.

Arrested and held for bail are:
Janina FERKO (66 yrs) of Dixon Rd. in Etobicoke
• Break, Enter and Theft (Two Counts)
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
• Attempted Break and Enter (Five Counts)

Jacek JEDYNAK (27 yrs) of Blackfrair Ave. in Etobicoke
• Break, Enter and Theft (Two Counts)
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
• Attempted Break and Enter (Five Counts)

Sandra TALAR (26 yrs) of Weston Rd. in Etobicoke
• Break, Enter and Theft (Two Counts)
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
• Attempted Break and Enter (Five Counts)

Robert TALAR (66 yrs) of Dixon Rd. in Etobicoke
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000

It is unusual for the police to  post pictures of people who did not appear in court for a hearing while on bail.  The Regional police must really want these four culprits.


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Ward six residents take part in a debate - was there a winner? There is certainly a choice.

council 100x100By Walter Byj

September 27, 2014



On Wednesday night the Burlington Gazette held its first all municipal candidates’ debate; it was held in ward six where there will be a total of 10 candidates on the ballot. Two of the ten were absent while one left shortly after the beginning.

Joan Little, a Hamilton Spectator columnist and Kurt Koster, a north Burlington resident and one of the founders of BurlingtonGreen wrote the questions that were put to the panelists.

On the stage were: Angelo Bentivegna, Jim Curran, Pardeep Dosanjh, Jennifer Hlusko, Blair Lancaster, Jivan Sanghera, Ishare Thiara who left early due to illness and Vanessa Warren.

There were about 120 people ence was approximately 100 with many, but not all, being cheerleaders’ for their candidate. Not sure how many minds where changed during the debate.

Debate Bentivegna-Curran -DosanjhAfter opening remarks from the candidates the panelists questioned the candidates on a number of topics allowing each candidate time to response. Unfortunately with the large number of candidates and the limited amount of time, it was difficult to always get detailed responses.

That notwithstanding, the questions and responses did offer an insight into not only the candidates, but why they were running and what their goals would be. Though not a Toronto style debate with name calling and heckling, there were a few zingers thrown.

Why each of the candidates was running was quite apparent throughout the evening, they were not happy with the current councillor. Not returning phone calls or responding to the needs of residents was a major complaint of Lancaster. However, she did respond by pointing to her long list of accomplishments as shown on her brochure and the fact that when addressing issues, one needs finesse and careful negotiations.

The candidates were asked if they would be full time councillors. Most definitely was the response back. They felt that being a councillor was a full time job and that they would treat it as such by being available 24/7. Jennifer Hlusko said the $120,000 Councillors are paid (they are actually paid under $100,000 – half of which comes from the Region and half from the city. They also get pension contributions and health benefits from the city) was far more than she earned as a trustee and she treats that job as full time.

Debate Bentivegna and Sanghera

Angelo Bentivegna chats with Jivan Sanghera after the debate.

Should a Councillor accept political donations and if so, from whom? Recognising that money is essential to run a campaign some stated that there was a difference accepting money from friends and relatives and from developers. Each candidate had a different response to this question.

Hlusko said she has never accepted money in the past and only recently accepted one donation which she says will be her last. Bentivegna, Curran, Dosanjh and Warren have accepted donations from friends and relatives but stressed not from developers. It could be a conflict if the developer addresses council. Sanghera stated he would not accept donations but would rather people donate to the flood relief fund. Only Lancaster had a slightly different approach. She felt that a donation of $750 (which is the maximum that one can donate) is not that great of an amount and would not sway a Councillors opinion. Anyone can donate to a campaign, she said and that developers are important and that we must respect people that donate.

In discussing ward 6, Angelo Bentivegna felt that it was comprised of four distinct areas, Headon Forest, Millcroft, Alton and rural Burlington with each having their particular needs. He felt that the Alton community felt isolated and should be brought into Burlington. Resident Fareem Samji (current Canadian Women’s Long Drive Champion) asked the Councillors how this could be done. This resulted in a variety of answers. Jennifer Hlusko reaches her community via blogs and twitter on a daily basis.

Jim Curran feels that the community is isolated from city hall and is not a geographical problem.
This brought the discussion to Dundas Street and the fear that it is an accident waiting to happen. There is increased pedestrian and car traffic along Dundas Street and although the city can label the area near the high school as a “community safety zone”, this was met with apprehension by many of the Councillors.


The John Boich Public School hadn't been built when this picture was taken - but it is very much a part of the community today.  Boich passed away almost two years ago. The intersection will be closed for the weekend of November 9/10

The traffic on Dundas is seen as an accident waiting to happen.  Is there a solution?  The candidates didn’t agree on one.

Speeding appears to be a common occurrence here. There was near consensus that a pedestrian walkway should be constructed to ensure safety for all residents crossing Dundas. They do not want a tragedy to affect change. However, at a cost of $1.2 million, this will not happen in the immediate future. Dundas is a Regional Road; decisions as to what gets done are made at the Regional level.

Bike lanes: everyone is in favour of having more, but what kind and how to pay for them? Do we want bike lanes for the serious commuter or for casual biking? Once that has been determined, how do you pay for them? That is the $2 million question. Lancaster said it would cost $2 million for a small section of road and that we should install the bike lanes when the roads are redone.

Bentivegna wanted additional studies before further action while the balance of the field wanted immediate action.

Sanghera suggested that corporate Burlington pitch in. He asked “why can’t Tim Horton’s, for example, sponsor a bike lane”? This was echoed by the others while Hlusko felt there could be efficiencies at city hall that could result in additional funds for bike lanes.

There was the obligatory discussion of the airpark fiasco with all candidates stressing that this will not be another Buttonville (more than just a recreational airport). None of the candidates would support further expansion. Lancaster suggested that the city hire an aviation consultant whose expertise would guide council with the potential problems that the airpark could present to the city. A rhetorical question by Sanghera “How did the first truckload happen?” received loud applause by the audience.

All candidates were disappointed with transit within ward six as development and transit routes do not appear to be in sync. “We tend to build first and the get transit to serve” said Warren. Lancaster added that the city is making progress in this area – looking at smaller buses. She added that ridership is up by 15%. This was disputed by Sanghera and Bentivegna.


Burlington Transit put their most festive bus into the parade.  The language doesn't matter - the message is still the same.

Transit was a debate question: How much and how does it get paid for?

“Transit is calculated by boards and not by ticket sales” said Bentivegna. One ticket sales could easily be two rides. All were concerned that seniors should get the transit that they deserve and with an aging population in ward six, transit should be upgraded to meet these needs by increasing the number of stops and by reducing fares for seniors.

How do we engage younger voters? – a question in any election. The use of social media such as twitter and Facebook was a most common reply while Dosanjh and Curran felt that parents have a certain responsibility in having their children be more politically aware.

The recent ice storm and flooding was covered with all candidates stressing that we need to be more prepared for these types of events and that our infrastructure needs to be upgraded.

Many topics were covered and many words spoken. Reading candidate literature gives one a certain perspective on the candidates and seeing them live in a debate forum adds an additional layer to the individual. They all seem to use the same buzzwords such as concern for seniors and our children but decisions should be done based on a multitude of facts and not emotion.

For example, concern for seniors is important, but we should remember that all seniors are not alike. As recently reported in Macleans magazine, today’s seniors are much more active and wealthier than previous generations. Before we start spending more money on transit for ward 6 seniors, we should totally understand the type of senior in this ward and how many would use increased and cheaper transit.


This is the part of the country side the environmentalists want to keep the highway makers away from.

This is the part of Burlington the environmentalists want to keep the highway makers away from.

The building of an additional highway through north Burlington was not discussed yet all candidates were concerned of our current traffic woes both within Burlington and throughout the GTA. All candidates want more employment within Burlington, but with all candidates not wanting to change our current urban and rural boundaries, we face either more dense housing within Burlington or additional traffic into the city.

With a population projection of 6.6 million by 2025 within the GTA how many of these would be travelling the QEW corridor and can we handle the traffic?


Councillor Lancaster got herself attached to the Air Park in a way that many north Burlington residents did not appreciate.

As the evening concluded, the panelists said that they were impressed with the quality of candidates for ward six. It would be great if we could take a piece of each candidate and have a super Councillor.

Angelo Bentivegna has done his homework but was proposing too many meetings and consultations. Jim Curran seemed to lack a certain dynamism when addressing the audience. Pardeep Dosanjh showed deep support for seniors and children, but did not have a strong platform for all the other issues. Jennifer Hlusko has the political background as a trustee and has a sound knowledge of how government operates. Blair Lancaster, the incumbent, has experience on her side. The main problem here is was she responsive enough to her constituents and can she improve on this in the future.

Jivan Sanghera was a pleasant surprise as he had a strong presence and offered some unique solutions to the needs of ward six. However, name recognition is low within the ward.

Vanessa Warren entered the race initially because of the airpark situation and presents herself well in a public forum. The main question is will she be able to give equal time to the rest of the ward.

Nine people wanting to replace the incumbent was a political message of its own. 

Walter Byj is a frequent contributor to the GazetteByj Walter  H&S

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Just what is a conflict of interest - and who defines it? Who will speak for ward six residents when the air park is discussed at city council.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 27, 2014



The Air Park is the most important issue in ward six however it really didn`t get the debate it needed. As publisher of the Gazette I did not choose the questions the panelists asked. I did choose the panelists.


an early photograph of the Airpark property.  There are now two runways and a lot more landfill now than there was when this picture was taken.  The lines indicate the extent of the holdings.

An early photograph of the Airpark property. There are now two runways and a lot more landfill now than there was when this picture was taken. The lines indicate the extent of the Air Park holdings.

The Air Park is not just ward six issue – it is a city wide issue – what happens to that land and that operation will define for a long, long time what rural Burlington looks like in the years ahead.

Our task is not to decide the issues but to help in defining what the issues are. We have some very active (and opinionated readers in whom we delight) who take part in this process.

We got the following from a resident:

I’m a resident of Ward 6, and I was at the debate the other night. One issue I thought might come up was one that has previously been raised by Ms. Hlusko concerning Ms. Warren’s potential conflict of interest regarding the Airpark. Since she has stated in the past that Airpark expansion would negatively impact her equestrian business, there does seem to be a real possibility that she would have to recuse herself from discussion of any airpark expansion plans. It would indeed be ironic if she were elected to council, but was then unable to participate in the issue that brought her to local prominence in the first place.
Do you know if Ms. Warren has ever addressed this issue? I think those who support her with the thought that she would be their champion on the airpark issue should get some clarification on whether her role would be restricted.



Tonnes of landfill were dumped on the Air Park property without the required permits.   The public does not know where much of that land fill came from.  The Air Park owners claimed they were regulated by the federal government and did not have to comply with municipal bylaws,  Justice Murphy said they were wrong and that they did have to comply with city bylaws.  How they comply is what your council is going to decide.

We asked Ms Warren to respond and she sent the following:

A Buttonville-like expansion of the Burlington Airpark would negatively affect everyone living in Burlington, including my home and farming operation. The 5 year unregulated fill operation that I fought through the Rural Burlington Greenbelt Coalition and the Ontario Soil Regulation Task Force negatively affected numerous families and properties in Ward 6, and may yet effect all of us if the fill is left untested.

Every decision a City Councillor makes also effects them personally as a resident of this City; what they may not do is have a pecuniary interest in the outcome of a decision. I will in no way financially benefit from a Burlington Airpark that is environmentally safe, or that remains feasible within the context of the Greenbelt Protected Countryside that it has operated on for the last 60 years.

As Ward 6 Councillor, I would never recuse myself from anything to do with the Burlington Airpark, and I would continue to advocate for environmental and social justice on this file. Jennifer Hlusko is plain wrong on this one.

There you have it – two opinions. You now have to think about what you want your Burlington to look like.  We would like to add this: the Air Park would not be the issue it is had Ms Warren not brought it to public attention.

And you might want to ask why Vince Rossi is suing Ms Warren (and the publisher of the Gazette) for libel.

Salt with Pepper is a column written from time to time by Pepper Parr the publisher of the Gazette

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Independence - is Flamborough next - Rivers would like to think so.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

September 26, 2014



In the late 1990’s former Premier Harris imposed amalgamation on a number of municipalities in Ontario, including Flamborough, where I live. Folks were so upset that it was only the lack of access to heavy weapons which prevented scenes like the ones we’ve seen taking place in eastern Ukraine from happening right here in Hamilton. But instead of occupying municipal buildings, the ‘free Flamborough folks’ just demanded a municipality-wide binding referendum on de-amalgamation.

Flamborough sign But the plebiscite never happened and in the end ‘big Hamilton’ won. Property taxes shot up and local government was shut down. To speak to city hall folks now had to haul their butts into the big smoke, pay the outrageous Hamilton parking fees and hope the heck that somebody on council would recognize them. Finally, many just gave up – the discouraged elector effect.

So what was Scotland’s referendum all about? Hardly 300 years of slavishly oppressive rule by their English masters or being forced under the yolk of British economic imperialism. Though perhaps it was really about correcting history. After all, Rob Roy, Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Mel Gibson (Brave Heart’s William Wallace) all failed to bring independence. And here was a chance to win without firing a crossbow or swinging a broad sword.

Scotland, unlike Flamborough, for a number of years had its own parliament and the ability to enact its own local laws, including taxation. But that is not real independence, like your own army and a seat at the U.N. In some ways the parallels with Quebec are scary. In fact, the Scottish National Party (SNP) took inspiration from our own ‘Parti Québécois’ and their twice-failed attempts at sovereignty, though at least they had a clear, unambiguous question for the voters.

Scots referendum sign Yes - no

It eventually went no but 45% wanted to leave the United Kingdom

The turnout was over 80%, a voting population which had seriously poured over the pros and cons, like a fine single malt, before finally opting unequivocally for the status quo. National health care, a strong British currency and EU membership beat out the elusive benefits of independence. In the end the Scots followed the lead of Quebecers in their first vote in 1985 – refusing to jump into the unknowns of the deep end and choosing instead to paddle around the shallows they were most comfortable with. They chose head over heart, some would say – rational over national – swimming against the current in a renaissance era of nationalism.

Russia has become the leader for this reversion back to nationalism – something which harkens back, disturbingly, to a Europe of the 1930-40’s. Militarization, media control, banned opposition and public expression; the signs of a man with a plan to be sure. In the name of defending Russian nationalism the cleaver big Bear has been able to impose its imperialist will, somewhat ironically, on its neighbours and in the face of their own nationalism.

Scotland - independentToday the multi-ethnic EU, the great melting pot of Euro communities, is at risk – threatened with Euro-scepticism and the rise of right-wing nationalist forces which threaten to tear it apart. For example, the UK plans to hold a plebiscite on its own EU membership, something which might cause the Euro-inclined Scots to question their latest vote on independence.

Canadians breathed a sigh of relief with the election of the Quebec liberals earlier this year. And it looks like the next sovereignty referenda is some years off, especially as Premier Couillard is determined to have his province sign onto Canada’s constitution. But these kinds of things can change in a heartbeat sometimes, so should never be taken for granted. One just needs to look at events in Iraq.

Canadian flag at Quebec referendum

Canada came very, very close to losing Quebec.

We came so close in 1995. While the Chretien government may not have been prepared for a ‘Yes’ vote, Saskatchewan was. Premier Romanow had developed a strategy for his province to also secede from what would be left of a Canada without Quebec. It is probable that there might have been no Canada-without-Quebec, at all, had Mr. Parizeau played the hard ball he wanted to in 1995.

Flamborough census

Perhaps Flamborough should have become independent in 1906

Flamborough had evolved as a kind of artificial construct, cobbled together as so many geo-political entities in the jig-saw puzzle of municipalities in Ontario. It was more of a mosaic than a community, lacking the kind of deep cultural history and evolution we see with the Scots, the Mesopotamians, the Israelites, or the Kievan Rus. So nobody felt strongly enough to bring out the tanks and the ground-to-air missiles in this civil fight to retain an independent identity and local government.

Still, if you were to poke some longtime resident of Flamborough, you’d find the embers of a freedom-fighter looking for a whiff of oxygen to re-ignite the issue, especially as another election year is upon us.

You’d also find someone disappointed by ‘the system’ and tired of the garbage spewing from the mouths of populist-tending politicians only interested in your votes – politicians with no real intention on this matter.

And maybe you’d see a sad smile of ‘deja vu’ on faces that are tired of all the dishonesty and unfairness, and are still waiting for the referendum they were promised’.


Free Flamborough    Scotland Referendum    Cameron of Scotland   SNP

The Queen    Quebec To Sign   Sask. Plans

What Quebec Wants      Ukraine Crisis

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 against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province.

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An informed observer gives his take on the ward six debate; Gazette comments.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 26, 2014



Was it a good debate? Not bad. It was the first the Gazette has sponsored and perhaps the only ward level debate the city will see – however we understand there might be a ward level debate in Aldershot.

We will certainly do this type of thing again – maybe not this election. Events like this take time and with our limited resources – time is one of the things we never have enough of.

On the stage at the theatre at the Hayden High School were the following:  Angelo Bentivegna; Jim Curran; Pardeep Dodanjh; Jennifer Hlusko; Blair Lancaster; Jivan Sanghera; Ishar Thiara and Vanessa Warren.

Mina Wahidi had to excuse herself from the debate – her Mother was taken to hospital.  Ishar Thiara had to leave the stage part way through the evening; he had become ill and Shoaib Shams didn`t show up.

Email from people we look upon as reliable, informed observers who have served the city in some form in the past and are aware of what happens at city hall, sent in some comments.

Debate ThiaraNone of the comments came from people working on a campaignThe contributor asked to remain anonymous – there is a lot of that going around in Burlington.  People like to comment but seldom want to put their name beside their comments.

We pass these along to you along with our own observations. Later this week our reporter Walter Byj will complete his write of the three hour event.

“I was expecting to see some strong drive for change, but all I saw was room temperature water, except for Warren’s opening remark about the number of candidates being a good indicator of how well Lancaster has done her job.

Bentivegna – wants to do more studies – there are already too many studies – need some action!
No such thing as ‘try harder’, said Bentivegna, “everyone does the best they can with the skills and abilities they have.”

Gazette comment: Should Bentivegna be elected he will choose to be very tight with senior staff. He very much wants to be part of what he sees as the people who run the decision. Bentivegna believes he can help the Mayor be a better mayor by offering him direction and guidance.

Curran – weak communicator – hard for him to string more than 5 words together – could not hold my attention.

Debate Bentivegna-Curran -DosanjhGazette comment: Curran was lack lustre. He however believes he has more boots on the ground that anyone else and that he can win this race. Time will tell.

Dosanjh – save your time and drop out.

Gazette comment: At one point she began to believe what she was saying – but lost any credibility she might have had when she asked another candidate how much he had donated to the flood victim account.

Hlusko – acted like she did not want to be there –
“indignant, self-righteous and out of touch

“too much anger when responding to the early question when she said ‘which question do you want me to answer’

“strange loud positive response from the crowd when she said that…
“and strange response re being set-up over Greenbelt question and being set-up over delegating to Council.

“SHE built Hayden school’ – her quote – Government of Ontario funding had nothing to do with it, nor did demographics or the province’s school funding formula? If force of personality could get a school built, why did Millcroft not have a school for 8 or 9 years? Because of the funding formula…. she was on duty when it was built, but to take credit, I don’t think that is a valid claim

Debate Bentivegna and Sanghera

Angelo Bentivegna and Jivan Sanghera exchange comments after the debate

“Burlingtonians have deep pockets and are willing to pay for parks, road repairs” – paraphrased – Easy to say when her family brings in north of $200k and her peers working for the school boards make $90k plus. Example: Two husband and wife school board employees near me. First set – her teaching 10 years ~ $80k / year. Him, school admin ~ $120k / year. Second Set – him, school admin ~ $170k, her teaching 30+ years $90k+. If Hlusko comes out of her circle of friends/peers she will see there are many people in Burlington who struggle to get by or live paycheck to paycheck.

Gazette comment: Hlusko had the best grasp of the numbers than anyone else – she knew her file and while she is a little quirky – (She might be a Mensa.) she knows what she is talking about. We saw her as snappy in a very positive way.

We don’t share the view of our observer.

Lancaster – – she is so meek, silent and vacant in Council, I was surprised she skated so well on thin ice
Spoke of building coalitions among Councillors but not one specific example – no one called her on it…
Spoke of ‘her’ ward when talking about other Councillors ‘interfering’ with citizen calls to other Councillors (re Code of Conduct)

It is the Ward she represents, not a Ward she possesses.

Gazette comment: Lancaster was Lancaster – she described Warren as an activist – a word that left a bad taste in Lancaster’s mouth, but she gave as good as she got.

She represents a demographic that is older but they love her and if enough of them stick by her – she could make it back.  Her support is solid – the question is – just how deep is that support.

When the incumbent has nine people running against her it has to be a message she hears. One didn’t get the impression she has heard the message,

Sanghera – did his research, spoke well – needs to find a differentiator to succeed – potential – maybe not this year.

Gazette comment: We were very impressed with this young man. He spoke very well, had his fingers on the facts and came across, to us anyway, as balanced and rational. Were we to live in ward six – he would be our choice.

Warren – very well prepared, confident – may be the ultimate winner – if she gets a presence south of 407

Debate WarrenGazette comment: Warren is always well prepared. She is the best delegator we have seen at both city hall and the Region, her research is close to impeccable. And she is an activist – Burlington needs more like her. She just didn’t come across as a person who could find the middle ground and understand that politics is the art of the possible. A city is made up of a collection of interests and all those interests have to be contended with and considered.

We are not sure Warren has the patience to sit through those hour upon hour Standing Committee meetings talking about parking spaces and property setbacks. Her sense of justice would bristle at some of the things developers ask for – which the current council usually gives them.

Warren would be a firm ally of Meed Ward – not a bad thing – but it would mean 5-2 votes on many issues. In the past they have been 6-1 with Meed Ward calling for a recorded vote each time.

Meed Ward is good at this kind of thing and, while she is an irritant to her colleagues she is effective. Warren doesn’t have the stomach for this kind of thing.

There are going to be those out there that claim we are biased.  We don`t live in the ward.  We know the incumbent better than most people; we have watched her for the past four years.  We have followed several of the candidates for some time.  Others we saw for the first time Wednesday night; for at least one of them that was all we needed.




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Community Bulletin Board has household items for those whose basements were flooded and everything lost.

News 100 greenBy Staff

September 26, 2014



There are people that have stuff they don’t need and there are people who need stuff desperately. The trick is to match the two – not always easy.

The city set up a Community Bulletin Board as a way to connect people in the community.

City Community Bulletin BoardThey will keep this live until the end of October 4.

Many generous people have offered their items for free to people in Burlington affected by the flood in August.

The offerings range from a red leather couch to Lego blocks, a washer and dryer, television sets and coffee tables. There are many goods available to help people rebuild their basements and their lives.

The Community Bulletin Board is here

Click on the yellow virtual sticky note to see the list of items.


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Blood donations at a critical low - 4000 appointments needed between now and the end of October.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 26, 2014



Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood—in most cases, blood from more than just one generous donor.

Someone undergoing treatment for leukemia, for example, may require blood and blood products from up to eight donors a week. That’s why Canadian Blood Services continues to work with partners and members of communities from coast to coast to Rally Together to Save Lives, because collectively, blood donations have a positive impact on patients and their families.

Blood donour sign Kristen

Kristen McEachern, territory manager for Canadian Blood Services in Burlington needs to book 4000 appointments between now and the end of October. Help her out.

Making a blood donation this fall helps ensure an adequate supply for patients. Bring a friend or family member to donate with you. You can book an appointment online at or by calling 1 888 2 DONATE (1 888 236-6283).

Last week, the Burlington Blood Donor Clinic has hit an all-time low in terms of booked appointments. They have 807 spots to fill – just 400 have been filled thus far Canadian Blood services is putting out the call to remind people from across the region who are eligible to donate to come in and donate.

Between now and the end of October they need to have over 4000 appointments booked to keep up with demand. They need donors to come to Burlington Clinic to help meet the need of patients. Key dates: Monday September 29th 8am-12pm, Tuesday September 30th 11am-7pm & Thursday October 2nd 11am-7pm.

Higher than expected cancellations and no shows have put a strain on the national inventory – patients rely on this supply.

In the longer term they would like to book group appointments to help us fill the gap. Between now and the end of October they need to have over 4000 appointments booked to keep up with demand.

Contact Kristen McEachern at 905-546-7203, if you are interested in booking group appointments. Complimentary transportation provided for group.

They need the Burlington community to rally together; it takes many donors to help save a hospital patient. Every donor makes a difference.


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Food4kids gets the nod from 100 women who care

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 25, 2014



The cheque books came out and in less than half an hour the 100 Women Who Care Burlington voted to support Food 4 Kids, an organization that works with our schools who have identified children/families living in poverty situations and discreetly provide the child (it goes in their backpacks) with food on weekends.

Food4kids - bag + appleThe Gazette wrote about this group a few months ago. We told of those 100 Women as well. If it’s something you might be interested in – touch base with them. It’s amazing what women with a cheque book can do – some might put the word “amazing” in big bold black letters.

There are currently 76 members of the Burlington Chapter of 100 Women – room for more of you.  At $100 each Food4kids could be looking at $7,600 which is a lot of lunches.

You can reach then at

The other organizations nominated were Burlington Breast Cancer Support Services and the Seat Yourself Campaign @ Aldershot School.


In and out in less than an hour – Humane Society benefits.

The teachers knew who they were – Food4Kids fed them


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Applefest will have goodie bags for those who visit Ireland House on Sunday.

Event 100By Staff

September 26, 2014



The city is calling the weekend Cultural Days and has a long list of events planned for the public. The Rocca Sisters, no slouches when it comes to promotion, decided to do their own cultural thing and are sponsoring Applefest at Ireland House at Oakridge Farm, 2168 Guelph Line in Burlington to celebrate the best the fall season has to offer.

Ireland House

Ireland House – an original Burlington farm house that once stretched for acres on the northern edge of the city will be the location for Applefest – an occasion when the city remembers when it was the food garden for a large part of the world.

This Sunday, September 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the “sisters” invite you to join them to celebrate the best the fall season has to offer.

Admission to the event is free compliments of the Rocca Sisters as a way to say thank you to the community for all the support it has shown.

Rocca sisters at ApplefestAll children will receive a free goodie bag and a special surprise from the Rocca Sisters. Stop by their tent and table to say “Hi!” and help celebrate Applefest.

Funds raised at Applefest go towards Museums of Burlington’s educational programs and preservation of the historic collection.

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Begins with R ends with D has four letters in between; Mayor of Oakville and Chief of police want to eradicate the word using yellow cards.

Event 100By Pepper Parr

September 25,2014



There aren’t many opportunities to say that you don’t like something without going to a lot of effort or offending someone.

There is a word out there that is offensive but it is still in use. The moment I write the word I give it currency and I’m reluctant to do that – so let me say it begins with R end in D and has four letters in between.

Yellow card

In the soccer world the yellow card is a caution – it is being used to caution people who choose to use a really repugnant word.

It’s a repugnant word, filled with hurt and harm and not in the least bit funny.
There is a group that wants to extinguish the word and they’ve come up with a program to get us to the point where the word isn’t used.

They call it they yellow card program and it is tied into the Special Olympics Canada and Canadians living with intellectual disabilities.

Motionball is a national charity that raises funds and awareness for Special Olympics Canada year-round. There is #nogoodway to use the “R-word,” and Canadians are asked to take the pledge to stop using the “R-word” and raise a proverbial yellow card when others use it socially.

In soccer, a yellow card is shown to offending players as a warning that they have crossed a line; in the same way, the Yellow Card Campaign aims to inform Canadians that using the “R-word” is offensive to those living with intellectual disabilities even if used in a way that seems harmless.

By informing and engaging without being punitive or threatening, the Yellow Card Campaign hopes to invite and inspire change, not force it.

The campaign hopes to see 36,000 Canadians take the pledge online to stop using the “R-word” – a figure that reflects the number of registered Special Olympics athletes across Canada.

In addition to the social change the campaign hopes to inspire, the Yellow Card Campaign’s corporate sponsors and private donors have come together to donate $1 to motionball for each supporter who takes the pledge online at on Yellow CardDay which will be recognized in Halton when Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner and Oakville Mayor Rob Burton will be taking the pledge and helping to kick off the event in the Rotunda at the Halton Regional offices on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 10:00am

By taking the pledge on behalf of the almost one million Canadians living with an intellectual disability, supporters not only promise to stop using the “R-word”, but also to raise a proverbial yellow card when others use it casually.

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Ian Ross and the Art Gallery mutually agreed to part ways. Really?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

September 24, 2014



The spin at the Art Gallery of Burlington has begun.

The announcement that he had left the Art Gallery was made by Ian Ross on his Facebook page.

Sandra Edrup, Chair of the AGB said this morning that Ian Ross and the board met last week and mutually agreed that Ian Ross’s 20 years at the gallery would come to an end.

That was last week – but there was no announcement until the Gazette broke the story earlier this morning.

Ian Ross in better days at the Art Gallery of Burlington

Ian Ross in better days at the Art Gallery of Burlington

Kim Varian, Doug Niven and Denis Longchamps are serving as a sort of triumvirate to run the gallery on a day to day basis while Anne Swarbrick serves as a volunteer temporary Executive Director.

A search team will be put together said Ms. Edrup that will be inclusive and include all the stake holders and the wider community to find a new President and CEO

The phrase “support for success” has entered the language the senior AGB people are using and there was mention of confidentiality and Ian’s career future.

Was the parting of ways the result of philosophical differences over how the new branding was to be put into play? Or was there a clash of wills between some of the newly appointed senior staff?

Ross has not been available for comment.

The AGB is an important part of the cultural tapestry of Burlington – it matters and the public that pays a large part of the tab deserves as much transparency as possible. They didn’t get it today.


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Flood releif donations total $600,000 - target is $2 million.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 24, 2014



As of noon today, the Burlington Community Foundation Flood Disaster Relief Committee has raised $600,000 in cash.

“Each week we learn of new efforts to help raise funds and awareness for flood relief in Burlington and we are very thankful for these efforts,” says Ron Foxcroft, Chair, BCF Flood Disaster Relief Committee. “With shorter days and cooler temperatures the need for financial assistance is becoming even more urgent. We still need to raise more funds.”

Over the last week the BCF Flood Disaster Relief Committee received numerous generous donations from businesses and the community. Retailers are displaying cash boxes, schools are organizing events to engage students and community organizations like the Burlington Sport Alliance are rallying together to help raise much needed funds. The Flood Relief Donations Centre which has been open for a few weeks continues to accept clothing and household items.

There are a reported 40 plus homes in the city that do not have furnaces that operate in their homes. The need is serious.The second phase of the claims and disbursement process is The Assistance for Losses and Damages funding. It is designed to assist victims in greatest need with more extensive losses and damages, and who were either uninsured or underinsured for their building and/or contents.

Homeowners and tenants, small businesses, non-profit organizations and farms can apply. Applicants will be required to fill out a more complete form that will be made available at LINK by September 30th. At that time, more information outlining what expenses are eligible will also be provided.

There are a reported 40 plus homes in the city that do not have furnaces that operate in their homes. The need is serious.

Banks in the community are expected to become donours in the near future.

FLOOD basement blur couch

The furnace in this basement is not likely to work.

Donors are encouraged to continue supporting the campaign by:

Cheque – make cheques out to “Burlington Community Foundation” with a memo reference to Flood Relief Campaign – mail or drop off at Burlington Community Foundation, 3380 South Service Road, Unit 107, Burlington, Ontario, L7N 3J5

On-line donations – Click on the DONATE NOW button at


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Anne Swarbrick brought in as Executive Director at Art Gallery.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 24, 2014


Ann SWarbrick, former MPP in the Bob Rae government and now the executive Director of Habitata for Humanity lsitens attenbtively.

Ann Swarbrick, former MPP in the Bob Rae government, then the   executive Director of Habitat for Humanity , then the Chair f the Art Gallery of Burlington and and now in place as the Executive Director.

Anne Swarbrick, chair of the Art Gallery of Burlington Foundation has been appointed as the Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Burlington.

The appointment follows on the heals of the very sudden and surprising departure of long time leader of the Art Gallery operations Ian Ross.

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Ian Ross out as president and CEO of the Art Gallery - what happened?

Newsflash 100By Pepper Parr

September 24, 2014



“Yesterday was my last day as President & CEO of the Art Gallery of Burlington” said Ian Ross on his Facebook page

That was a stunning statement.

No one apparently saw that coming


Art Centre Executive Director relays a telephone bid for the Bateman.  Best he could do was pull in $13,000.  A deal at that price.

Ian Ross, former President & CEO of the Art Gallery of Burlington – taking a bid by telephone at the most recent Art Auction.

Was this planned. Did he jump? Was he pushed?

Nothing from the board of the AGB – that’s not good news.

In a statement Ross said: “I want to thank all of you for your great contribution to making our Gallery such a tremendous success. These past few years have been ones of positive change and evolution, and 2015 is full of great promise and potential. Thank you for all of your planning and vision.
“The AGB has been an inspirational part of my life and I am proud to have helped grow it and make it a better place for all. Together we have won awards for excellence from Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor and the Mayor of Burlington.

“Thank you all for your friendship and the warmth and kindness that you have shown to me and my family. We have all been positively ‘marked’ by our experience of living and working at the AGB.
“I wish you all continued success in moving culture forward in Burlington.”

BAC Denis Longchamps arms folded


Denis Longchamps

Dennis Longchamps was brought in more than a year ago to head up the curating and operational side of what was recently re-named and re-branded as the Art Gallery of Burlington.


Art Centre re-named and re-branded.

Director of programs appointed at Art Centre

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Public school board trustees vote in a healthy bump in remuneration; will they work any harder or were they always underpaid?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 24, 2014



Burlington is going to elect four school board trustees to the 11 member Halton District School Board. Of the four, incumbent Jennifer Hlusko has decided to run as a city Councillor and Diane Bower has retired.

Amy Collard was acclaimed and Kristen Lockhead is running for re-election.

There will be a trustee that will represent wards 1 and 2
Mary Dilly, Leah Reynolds and Judy Worsley are going after that seat. Dilly has been a candidate for public office in the past; Leah Reynolds got a very strong endorsement from Ward two Councillor Marianne Meed Ward.

There will be a trustee that will represent wards 3 and 6
Andrea Grebenc, Michael Kukhta, Denise Nacev and Timothy Timar are in the race for the trustee seat for wards three and six.

There will be a trustee that will represent ward 4, Kristen Lockhead is seeking re-election, Richelle Papin and Margo Shuttleworth are challenging the incumbent.

The trustee that will represent ward 5 was acclaimed. Amy Collard was also acclaimed in 2010. She has served as Chair of the Board in the past


A full stop - and no using the cell phone.

Getting students to school safely is a major task; the Burlington schools still need crossing guards.

Current chair Kelly Amos informs us that the Trustees of the HDSB are responsible for the public school system covering all of Halton (Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills), which is made up of 103 schools, over 60,000 students and approximately 5,500 employees. Those numbers increase every year. One of the responsibilities of Trustees is the approval and making sure of the compliance of the operating and capital budgets. The 2014 -15 operating budget for the HDSB totals $664.3 million and the capital budget totals just over $50 million.

She adds: As a basis of comparison, from their respective websites, the City of Burlington whose capital and operating budgets combined are $204.8 Million. The Councillors’ salaries are $51,000 for local and $48,700 for regional, for a combined salary of $99,700 and the mayor’s is a combined salary of $122,594. The Town of Oakville’s combined capital and operating budget is $264.1 million and for salary the local councillor’s is $45,737, the local regional Councillors is $88,514 and the Mayor’s is $116,693. Milton’s combined budgets are $162.2 million and the salaries for the members of council are $28,966 each and for the mayor is $69,954. The Town of Halton Hills combined budgets are $112.4 million and the councillors’ salaries for the next term will be $29,995 each and the mayor’s will be $73,008.

As a bit of history, courtesy of Ms Amos;  in March 2006 the Liberal Government issued a paper Ontario Excellence for All – Respect for Ontario School Trustees and in it states;

AVPS school bldg

The Alton Village public school is a recent addition to the more than 100 schools in the public system.

“School board trustees are the oldest forms of elected representation in Ontario. Since 1807, generations of community-minded citizens have made decisions on behalf of local publicly funded schools, building the foundation of the system we have today. Despite this longevity and contribution, the trustee role is widely under-appreciated and misunderstood.” As well it said “While many trustees volunteer considerable amounts of their time, the importance of informed participation requires a more realistic honorarium to ensure sufficient time is available. Since 1997, the honorarium has been limited to $5000 per year, with chairs and vice-chairs eligible to receive up to $5000 more per year.”

An Ontario Regulation required the formation of a Citizens’ Advisory Committee, which was to recommend to the Board a base amount as well as an attendance amount and distance amount for each member of the Board of Trustees for each year of their term of office. This committee was comprised of parents from all across Halton and decided;
For the period starting December 1, 2006 and ending November 2010, trustee honoraria would be:

Base Amount, Enrolment Amount, Total Amount
Member $ 5,900.00 $ 7,285,59 $ 13,158.59
Chair 10,900.00 9,575.35 20,475.35
Vice-Chair 8,400.00 8,430.27 16,830.47

The current motion that is before the Board to be voted on in September WAS THIS PASSED? is dealing with an amount that was set in 2006 and there has been no increase since then. This motion if approved by the Board will come into effect at the beginning of the next elected Board of Trustees effective December 1, 2014.

Base Amount, Enrolment Amount, Attendance Total  Amount
Member $ 6,324.80 $ 9,445.55 1,000.00 $ 16,770.35
Chair 11,324.80 12,414.15 1,000.00 24,738.95
Vice-Chair 8,824.80 10,929.85 1,000.00 20,754.65

At a school board meeting on September 3rd, the Trustees approved a new rate for trustee honoraria that takes effect December 1, 2014 when the 2014-2018 Board begins its term. Trustees will receive an annual honoraria of $16,770.35 while the Chair will receive a total of $24,738.95 and the Vice-chair a total of $20,754.65.

The base amounts have been increased by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for the period between July 1, 2010 and April 30, 2014 and the enrollment amounts are based on the 2013/2014 ADE (Average Daily Enrolment) of the Halton District School Board.


Amy Collard has been acclaimed for the ward five public school board seat

Trustees’ salaries come from an enveloped amount of money from the Ministry which is designated for Board Administration and Governance. This means this money is only used for Board Administration and Governance and cannot be used for anything else, and does not take away from any funding for students or program use.

Hlusko H&S

Jennifer Hlusko will be giving up her public school board seat – she is running for the ward six municipal council seat – running against incumbent Blair Lancaster.

Each Trustee can spend a different amount of time on being a trustee. Current Chair Kelly Amos said she typically puts in a 30 – 40 hour week depending on what is going on and what needs to be done.

In the weeks ahead the Gazette will endeavour to interview all the candidates for the public school board. Time just doesn’t permit our covering the Catholic school board.


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Newbies wanting a seat on city council don't bring much in the way of new ideas to the way council works and could work.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 22, 2014



There were four people at the city council meeting last night who are running for municipal office. Three, Peter Rusin, Jeff Brooks and Angelo Bentivegna are very new to the political process in Burlington. The fourth, Vanessa Warren, has attended many council meetings and delegated frequently.
We asked these people to comment on what they experienced as they watched council during the 90 minutes meeting.

Rusin walking dogPeter Rusin said: “The room is too small; the air is dry and dirty and the lighting went off partially during the meeting. There were no young people; attendance was low. Goldring spent more time on arguing procedure re: a third comment with Sharman than letting him speak. There was way too much deferral and reliance on the clerk in keeping the meeting moving along. The city manager Scott Stewart did not get the respect he deserved regarding the fill issues.

Overall, the most coherent of the council members were Craven, Meed-Ward and Dennison.   Goldring seemed a bit edgy with an undertone of arrogance.

“I would have spent time and energy more effectively on addressing and resolving the agenda items and issues than trying to impress my colleagues on procedural technicalities; this is not some sort of trial.

And, I would have led the meeting in a more pleasant and engaging manner and left with more tangible results.”

Brooks H&S crooked smile BESTJeff Brooks said: “I was surprised how much some councillors seemed to walk in stride on a lot of issues.

All in general seemed very cosy except for Meed Ward.

I tweeted last night wondering why city just putting out letter now to MP Wallace asking to see what Federal $ might be available for homeowners effected by the flood. Aug 4th was the flood, I know our flood wasn’t a national crisis but the optics of just sending letter now, seems slow. I think Wallace’s own home was effected, sympathetic ear?

At end of meeting Taylor didn’t announce any Ward 3 weekend events, instead suggested to drive to Kilbride to look at a restored heritage home (it is a beautiful restoration). Very nice if you have a car, last time I checked no public transit to Kilbride.

Angelo Bentivegna was not able to respond in time for this article.

Vanessa Warren said: “Last night had a great outcome, and I’m pleased that Councillor Lancaster voted in favour of what I believe to be a strong Site Alteration Bylaw; as you’ll recall, I delegated in May of 2013 requesting a review of this bylaw and have watched its development right up until I delegated in favour of it at the September 8th D&I committee.

Warren on her horseAs I said then, the bylaw has gone through a public and industry consultation process that I think we should be very proud of, and I believe it’s a model bylaw in the Province.

I was frustrated, however, with once again not knowing what my Ward Councillor’s position was until it was time to stand up and be counted. Frankly, I’m not even certain how she would have voted had Marianne Meed Ward not asked for a recorded vote.

It would be impossible and unfair to ask for a Councillor with whom I always agreed, but I think it IS fair to want to be represented by someone who takes researched, reasoned, and principled stances on issues that I can both understand and foresee. “

Vanessa Ward is a candidate for the ward six seat that Blair Lancaster now holds.

Not much in the way of insight from any of them was there?

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Man arrested for acts of indecent exposure at Mapleview Mall and other locations in Burlington

Crime 100By Staff

September 22, 2014



Anyone giving any thought to a life of crime wants to read on remember that security people have good memories and they remember faces. They are trained as well to look for the way people walk and look around.

On Saturday September 20th 2014 at approximately 3:20 PM, Mapleview Mall security contacted police after they observed a man in the mall believed to be responsible for exposing himself to children at the Starbucks on two occasions in July 2014.

Mapleview Mall security officers maintained observations of the man until police arrived at which time it was confirmed that this man was the one responsible for the two incidents at Mapleview Mall as well as another incident that occurred on July 25th 2014 at the Starbucks on Appleby Line in Burlington.

Joseph Ralph BEESLEY (55 yrs) of Eastwood Crescent in Niagara Falls will appear for a bail hearing at the Milton Court on Tuesday September 23rd 2014 charged with the following offences

Indecent Exposure to persons under 16 yrs (3 counts)
Indecent Act in a Public Place ( 2 counts)
Criminal Harassment

All the security people at Mapleview Mall had to go on was this description:

Male white,
approximately 5’8”,
large build, 230-250 lbs,
bald head,
wearing baggy grey track short pants,
green t-shirt,
white and black running shoes,
wearing black sunglasses and carrying a small black bag.

That was enough – Beesley will be in court tomorrow afternoon for a bail hearing.


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Ward 6 candidate tries to change the format of a debate she has yet to confirm she will attend.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 22, 2014



The Burlington Gazette will host its first ever candidate debate in ward 6 on Wednesday September 24th at 7 pm in the theatre at the Hayden High school in Alton

There is something appropriate about our holding this debate. It was the Gazette that first told the story of the trucks that were taking loads of fill into the Air Park property. That story was the result of a call from a Lowville resident.

The north Burlington community formed the Rural Burlington Greenbelt Coalition and we came to know Vanessa Warren who has proven to be a superb delegator and a fine researcher as well. Ms Warren decided to run for the ward six council seat because she could not tolerate the way the incumbent, Blair Lancaster was doing her job.



Councillor Blair Lancaster.

As it turns out, eight other people thought Lancaster was doing a poor job and they filed nomination papers. The expectation is that there will be 10 candidates on the theatre stage.

We have received confirmations from all the candidates except for Lancaster and Jennifer Hlusko who is not sure if she is going to be able to get away from a Board of Education meeting; Hlusko is a school board trustee.

During the past week there has been considerable communication on the approach and format the Gazette is going to use in this debate.

We got a call from a Brenda McKinley who wanted to talk about the format and the role I was to play as moderator – she didn’t want me to be the moderator; she wanted someone from the Chamber of Commerce to moderate.

We declined that opportunity partly because we did not know who McKinley was representing – she would not reveal that information.


Miss Photo Op - never misses a camera opportunity - but then so do most of the otrher Council members.  Councillor Blair LAncaster in the center with Burlington Olympians

Miss Photo Op – never misses a camera opportunity – but then so do most of the other Council members. Councillor Blair Lancaster in the center with Burlington Olympians.  Her husband is on the left

McKinley called a number of the other candidates asking them to support her position. Several of those candidates called the Gazette to say they supported the approach we were taking.

It didn’t take all that much effort to learn who McKinley was calling on behalf of – what we didn’t know, until a reader sent us along the information below, was why she was calling.

Here is what we found in our mail box last week:

You probably already know this, but Brenda has been tied to Breast Cancer Support Services for a number of years according to her LinkedIn account she is
Chairman and director of Breast Cancer Support Services from January 2002 – November 2004 (2 years 11 months)
Moved the organization from a small group of employees operating in donated premises to a viable entity which owns its own building in a thriving commercial area of the city. Was instrumental in hiring a full time Executive Director.
Not surprised by her attempt to maneuver the setup for the debate. This is typical Blair Lancaster who seems to want to control everything she gets involved in.
Keep up the great work; I’m very impressed with your support for the Flood Relief efforts. They are benefiting significantly from your publicity and promoting!

Blair Lancaster is listed as the Executive Director of Breast Cancer Support Services in Burlington.

There you have it!  Puts the Breast Cancer Support Services people in a very poor light doesn’t it?  That organization provides a vital service for people going through a very difficult time in their lives – it should not have been abused this way.



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Amazing bed race pulls in $22,000 + for hospital development. Accura on Brant wins - again.

Event 100By Staff

September 22, 2014



Sunday didn’t have much in the way of promise at around 9:30 but by 11 am the rain had stopped and the “beds” were lined up on Brant Street like racing cars in pit.

There was a buzz in the air and the “judges”, representing the four Rotary Clubs in Burlington, were looking over the entry papers.

The chief money counter for Scotiabank in Burlington announced that $20,100 had been raised for the Joseph Brant Foundation.

Bed race - true final

Accura on Brant takes it again.

The rules for the 5th Annual Amazing Bed Race were explained. Every team got two times trials and the 16 teams with the shortest times on the course up Brant Street would make it to the finals.
With a provincial election behind us, a municipal election almost upon us and a federal election in their air – it was not surprising that there was a strong political flavour to the event.

Politics however didn’t play in the results – it was, for the second year in a row a run off between the car dealerships.

Bed race 2014 Rotarian judges

The Judges scrutinize the entries – all were found to be in order.

The fasted speed was clocked at 28 kph and the shortest time was 13 seconds.

There were no accidents, providing the one runner who had the bed run over his foot.

Prize for the best decorated “bed” went to Burlington Taxi.

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Mayor Goldring a little skimpy on details and thoughts for the second term he wants at city hall.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 20, 2014



There are all kinds of leadership. Some lead from the front, they take charge and there is little doubt over who is at the front of the parade.  Some lead from the rear while others immerse themselves in the middle of a situation and lead that way.

Goldring reading notes

Mayor Goldring tends to prepare for events carefully.

One’s leadership style comes out of a person’s personality; however people always know when they are being well led or poorly led. It is something a community feels and something they take confidence from.

Leaders cannot lose touch with their community. Leaders have to know and be able to interact with every level of that community. Leadership takes insight and patience.

While a Mayor has just the one vote at Council the good ones nevertheless lead and lead well.

Former Toronto Mayor David Crombie, who has a real soft spot for Burlington, led instinctively. He has been to Burlington on many occasions – at times to express his disappointment with the city. He once told the now defunct Waterfront Access and Protection Advisory Committee( WAPA) that Burlington was once a leader in the protection of the waterfront and then admonished WAPA for losing that level of leadership.

Crombie would experience severe indigestion if he knew that Mayor Goldring supported the selling of a stretch of land south of Lakeshore Road between Market and St. Paul streets. There wasn’t as much as a whisper from the Mayor on his decision to support the selling of waterfront property between Market and St. Paul Streets to private interests.

Crombie + Goldring 2

Former Toronto Mayor David Crombie always had a soft spot for Burlington and was a resource Rick Goldring failed to develop.

A vision for the city is something that doesn’t appear to come naturally to Mayor Goldring. During the Gazettes’ exclusive interview with Mayor Goldring we asked what his thoughts were for a second term as Mayor.

Where would he want to lead Council; what ideas would he bring to the table and how would he promote those ideas and build a constituency for them in the city?

In his first term Mayor Goldring pulled together a group to work on what he called One Vision. He brought people in from different sectors of the city for a two day workshop that got off to a bad start and didn’t get any better before it ended.

There was never a report – it was just $50,000 spent to bring in a consultant, Lance Secretan, who had written a book the maker liked. His reading of Lance Secretan’s  The Spark, the Flame, and the Torch, a book about how to become a more inspired person and leader and how to change the world for a brighter future. It was this book that moved the Mayor to hold the One Vision event.

We left it to the Mayor to say what he would do during the interview. We deliberately chose not to challenge the Mayor on any of his achievements during his first term and we didn’t push him on his thoughts for his now possible second term. The Mayor didn’t offer very much; the Gazette had decided before the interview that we were not going to lead with a lot of questions.

The Mayor made absolutely no mention of community engagement.

He did say that he was looking forward to the development of the mobility hoods that are planned for John Street and another for the Burlington GO station.

The Mayor made no mention of what taxes could be in the next four years. The flood is going to take quite a chunk out of our hides.


Rick Goldring puts the city before himself - he wants what he thinks it is to remain the same and at the same time would like to see good growth.

Rick Goldring take part in the commemoration of a tree that is believed to mark part of the boundary for the land grant given Joseph Brant.

He spoke almost glowingly of the Molinaro development on Fairview next to the GO station but surprisingly didn’t have much to say about how the properties east of the GO station could be developed.

The city held a Work Shop on downtown commercial development a number of months ago and there was quite a discussion on different ways to locate car dealerships. The Mayor doesn’t appear to have picked up any of the ideas that came out of what was one of the best Workshops the Planning department has held in the four years we have been listening to them.

The Mayor thought there was significant opportunity for the “service corporations” that were boldly put forward by former city manager Jeff Fielding, but the Mayor didn’t go beyond saying there was an opportunity.

Mayor Goldring made mention of the Official Plan Review that probably won’t be completed before the end of 2015; he appears to be a champion of the Service Based Budgeting approach to our finances that the city is doing some focus group research on now.

The Mayor didn’t elaborate on the kinds of differences this new approach to budgeting is going to make.

The Mayor did say that the Transportation Master Plan has had the Cycling Master Plan rolled into it and that he thought that made sense, but he made no mention of his flip flop on dedicated lanes on Lakeshore for bicycles.

There was not a word either about what the city is managing to get done at the Region. The only Councillor talking about what members of council get done at the Region is Paul Sharman, who the Mayor is reported to have said is the best strategic thinker on Council.


Rick Goldring is for the most part a team player – the team however doesn’t play all that well.

Burlington has had three city managers during the first Goldring term. Goldring commented that “city managers now last four to six years and then they move on.” There was no suggestion that more highly developed human resources practices might be used to incentivise these people to stick around a little longer.

Goldring commented on how the community had stepped up and donated to the Flood Crisis Fund that is being managed by the Burlington Community Foundation. He seems to have removed himself from the day to day part of the flood.

Councillors Dennison and Sharman have almost made the disaster a platform they are running their re-election on. Both are providing a level of service their constituents have not seen before. Dennison’s staff say he has been in more than 1000 basements – the math doesn’t support that claim.

Mayor Goldring seems to have outsourced the community response to the flood and is content to leave it at that.

Goldring does deserve credit for making those early phone calls to the Burlington Community Foundation and Linda Davies at the Lakeshore Rotary club. But he hasn’t turned himself into a Cam Jackson by being anywhere and everywhere helping people.

BCF = Branthaven - official cheque presentation

The Mayor we have now never misses a photo opportunity. The Mayor we started out with in 2010 had hoped to communicate differently.

Early in his mandate the Gazette asked Rick Goldring if he was going to become the camera hog Cam Jackson was. At the time Goldring said he hoped to but at the cheque presentation for the $25,000 Branthaven Development donated to flood relief Goldring posed with everyone else with the big cardboard cheque and commented that he understands now why Cam Jackson got his picture taken every chance he could. “I get it now” said Goldring.

I always thought people wanted to hear what a politician had to say; I can’t imagine former Mayor Walter Mulkewich posing for the camera in quite the same way.

Mayor Goldring wants the city to do more to attract and keep “the millennials” in Burlington. Millennials are people between the ages of 20 and 30. Goldring didn’t expand on what he meant or get specific about what he would do or to attract this demographic and how he would keep them in the city.

The Molinaro’s, a local developer, understand what has to be done and are putting up five buildings to house these people.

Mayor does the usual political speak and xxx

Rick Goldring is a much better speaker today than he was in 2010. His vision and leadership style need some work.

Mayor Goldring is a better speaker today than he was in his first year as Mayor. He no longer strives as hard to make his point; he is more relaxed and has taken to wearing his chain of office outside the Council chamber. During his first two years he was uncomfortable with the “bling”.

There were a few telling moments during the first term that gave us a look at the Mayor that were bothersome. When the Via Rail train left the tracks a few years ago – there was a media briefing the Mayor couldn’t handle. Then city manager Jeff Fielding moved in and took charge. It was a situation Mayor Goldring was not up to at the time.

There was an evening when Glenn Grenier got permission to speak as an unregistered delegation to tout on behalf of the small airport constituency. Traditionally delegations get five minutes; at well past 10 minutes city manager Jeff Fielding suggested to the Mayor that Mr. Grenier could be excused. Fielding had to make comments three times before the Mayor picked up the cue and thanked Mr. Grenier for his comments.

Grenier had clearly outworn his welcome – but the Mayor was not able to execute the power of his office and send the delegation packing.


Mayor Rick Goldring explaining to Kilbride area residents what was being done and the time frames the repair crews were working to in their community.

Mayor Rick Goldring explaining to Kilbride area residents what was being done and the time frames the repair crews were working to in their community.

At the ice storm meeting at the Kilbride fire station in December, the Mayor was much better. He seemed more in charge and spoke with confidence and assurance.

Rick Goldring is one of the most decent people you will meet. The last occasion the late John Boich appeared at a Council meeting to be given a commendation Rick Goldring came very close to losing it. The lump in his throat was palpable. Everyone knew John’s days were numbered and that there were very few of them left. Goldring’s decency and his humanity is there, most of the time, for all to see.

In the coming weeks he is going to challenged in a way he did not expect – the city will now get a chance to see how he defends his first term and hear what he would like to achieve in a second term.

There is now a second credible candidate which means there will be public debates during which the Mayor can be challenged on his record and have an opportunity to defend what he has done and expand on his ideas and vision for the city of Burlington and the role we play in the Region..

It is tough to beat an incumbent Mayor – but Goldring did defeat Cam Jackson in 2010. Peter Rusin will bring some solid experience and an understanding of how growth takes place in Ontario to the debates.

Expect some hard direct questions from Rusin. We don’t know yet what to expect from Mayor Golding – the race is his to win – but he has to run faster than he has in the past to get more votes than the other guy.

Related article:

Mayor’s first term.

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