Roland Tanner lets it rip: council is more toxic, more dysfunctional and more vile than the council that went before it.

By Pepper Parr

April 29th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ten years ago, as a result of the Shape Burlington Report – the Gazette was born.

Since that time a number of “alternative” media have been created.

The Gazette was the first on-line newspaper to be accepted as a member of the Ontario Press Council which is now the National Newsmedia Council.

Roland Tanner as a candidate

Roland Tanner, a failed 2018 election candidate and his friend Joel McLeod created the 905er, a podcast that sees the 905 as its market – which is major undertaking.

Earlier this week Tanner got himself all wound up over the Statement Mayor Marianne Meed Ward issued – the result was a rant of staggering proportions.

We have excerpted parts of the 30 minute rant – click HERE if you want the full Monty.

“ It’s obviously down to councils to agree or disagree with the recommendations for the Integrity Commissioner” said Tanner who went on to say:

The issue I really took exception to was statement that that it took courage for the two councillors Rory Nisan and Kelven Galbraith to request an investigation. And I cannot see that; you know, if there is an example of punching down by the strong side of council on the weaker side, this is it.

Shawna Stolte was on her own; she has the sympathy of at least one other counsellor but she was basically alone in this campaign for increased openness and against what she claims is the overuse of closed session meetings.

And here we have the gang; the rest of council to a large extent, using every tool that they can to shut her up and ultimately to force her out of what would certainly be quite an easy re-election campaign.

What I find to primly ironic is that Meed Ward, who for the best part of a decade, was a one person outsider on Council, who put up with some really atrocious behaviour from other counsellors.

There is an issue here with openness and transparency, which was a core tenant of what this council was supposed to be about.

We’re going to in camera, we don’t know necessarily why, we have a vague idea. We don’t know what was discussed what was decided.

The Mayor doesn’t address that at all in her statement. She doesn’t go to say yeah, you know what, she’s right (meaning Stolte). We should be more open about these things. But we aren’t we’re going to address that but we are going to stick to the rules: and she has to be penalized for it.

Shawna Stolte – Councillor for ward 4.

No, it was How dare she? How dare she? The meeting was supposed to be a secret.

I found it a bit sanctimonious her praising Counsellors Rory Nissan and Kevin Galbraith. I’m going to quote directly from the statement

“It took courage for Counsellors Rory Nissan and Kevin Galbraith to request an investigation. They knew the report and their identities would be public. They’ve received unwarranted criticism for doing exactly what the code requires of all members of council to hold each other accountable to our obligations under the code and the legislative provisions of the Ontario Municipal act that all members of council swear an oath of office to uphold.”

So my question is Why was her name not on the complaint that was made? Where was her leadership on this?

You know, this idea that there’s been a breach of public trust and that the city has been harmed by this.

No, it hasn’t remotely been harmed by anything that was revealed by Shawna Stolte – what was revealed was so piddling and inconsequential – basically Stolte gave the address of a house to a constituent – everybody knew, and a number that is not actually a number. It was a number of a much bigger thing. And the whole point of that number is that there is a number that has to be secret, and that is quite rightly protected,

Marianne Meed Ward as Mayor

The Mayor comes into to say there’s a breach of public trust, because counsel can no longer be confident that what they bring forward in a confidential session will remain so that compromises their ability to have robust discussions, or to make the best decisions for the community a community loses.

At this point Joel McLeod cuts in and said: Now I have an issue with this because we don’t know that they were talking about. It’s this arrogance that council knows what’s best. So therefore the council can just do what it wants.

Tanner returns saying “People are rightfully upset with how Stolte was treated. She is a she is very much a beloved counsellor, a counsellor that people respect and people say she’s in it for the right reasons. She’s in it to make the community better for her neighbours. She just wants to make them better. And a lot of people are viewing her as one of the good guys.

Counsel is being viewed as bullies in the story. And I would argue that the rest of council has breached public trust because people understand what they say.

Why is the purchase of Bateman so secretive? Why is it that everything has to be done behind closed doors? The simple question of why do we need to buy this building has not been satisfied to the public satisfaction

 

An impressive piece of land, lots of ideas on how it can be used – not much in the way of information on what it is going to cost. Removing the asbestos from the buildings is going to expensive

 

The is the conceptual plan show who will be using what part of the Bateman high school site. Council, the City manager and the city solicitor have taken the position that all of this has to be discussed in a Closed session of Council.

Nobody knows what are we going to do with it? Why do we need this in our inventory as a city and why are we going to go into city reserves to get it? And that’s something that probably, may not the best way to do it. But someone has a valid point say that people deserve to know this. And if people say, Well, I don’t care if it’s a Brock University, Brock gets a teacher’s college. Library gets another branch.

You know, it suits the ward five Councillor because it’s in his ward, suits the city because they get to say, hey, we’ve got a university in our city.

And if you want to build a legacy project, the best way to do that is to try not to talk about the money that’s involved because legacy projects are always expensive.

They have to answer to the public for the decisions they’re making. Decisions that are made in private are not in the best interest of the public.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward during the session of council at which the Integrity Commission report was received.

In her closing statement the Mayor said I stand by all the decisions we have made in closed session and look forward to in the details of the two matters that led to the breach of confidentiality can be made public, that time will come in a matter of months for both I welcome the opportunity to provide my take and explain my vote to the community.

Here’s my issue with this in camera.

They say yeah, we’re gonna buy Robert Bateman for this price. Except here’s the thing everyone’s gonna say, really? Is this a good deal? Is this going to last longer than the pride sidewalks outside of the Halton Catholic school board because, you know we dipped into reserve funds for that and that didn’t even last a year.

This patronizing tone of just wait, see, we’ll talk we’ll tell you later. What will tell you eventually? No, we’re adults, we’re supposed to be informed citizens here. You don’t make the decisions for you. We get to tell you how we want you to vote.

This is where you get to with a culture of secrecy at City Halls. And it’s not just counsellors and mentors who are part of that; staff are part of it too. Because very often, the interests of counsellors keeping things quiet and the interest of staff keeping things quiet, come together.
We are reliant on counsellors like Shawna Stolte who are willing to lose a career over it because they want to serve the public to stand up for us for years and years and years.

Roland Tanner delegating at city council

So God dammit in Burlington, you shape up; you have made a fool of yourself. You have damaged public trust, but not because of the actions Shawna Stolte took but because of the disgraceful way you’ve treated a decent counsellor who is nobody’s rebel, who is nobody’s troublemaker, but who will certainly put the interests of what she feels the public interest ahead of her career and ahead of the careers of people who are just trying to build legacies so that they can point election time to look what a nice thing we bought, you will give me your vote.

If we’re talking about a new type of council after 2018, with a new tone, my God, that’s gone.

This council is more toxic, more dysfunctional and more vile than the council that went before it. And boy, is that saying something?

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A chance to play a part in Re-Imagining Education - right here in the Region of Halton

By Pepper Parr

April 28th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board trustees came to the realization that the classroom level experience during the past two years was something that had to be looked at – in a positive manner.

Five of the 24 trustees formed a planning group and wrote the Minister of Education in February of 2021 – they didn’t get an answer and decided rather than wait on the Minister to respond to their idea they broke out on their own.

The Planning Group consists of:

  • Tracey Ehl Harrison (Chair & Site Admin)
  • Andrea Grebenc (Site Admin)
  • Joanna Oliver
  • Leah Reynolds
  • Margo Shuttleworth

The result is an imaginative and bold for trustees initiative that could produce some interesting ideas – it is now up to the community to respond.  Everyone has an opinion on education – let us see if those with opinions have any original ideas or social imagination.

Through a new initiative called Reimagine Forward, Trustees of the Halton District School Board are asking the Halton community and beyond to reimagine education by sharing ideas and stories to develop big-picture, innovative opportunities about how the publicly-funded school system in Ontario can evolve. Parents/guardians, students, staff, community and education partners are invited to provide their ideas and stories at engagehdsb.ca starting today until May 28.

Here’s the question:

“What are the big moves needed to reimagine public education?”

This is the singular focus of Reimagine.  Think big. Think positive. Be innovative. The secret sauce is here among us.

HDSB Chair Margo Shuttleworth

Reimagine is a grassroots project initiated and led by the HDSB Trustees. Submitted ideas will be reviewed by Trustees to influence local policy making and will be shared with participants, the Minister of Education and other Ontario school boards and education organizations in June.

We promise to:

read all of your ideas and stories and let them influence local policy making.

package up all of the ideas and stories in early June and share them with you, the Minister of Education, Boards from across the province and education organizations. You can share the findings too. We’ll share them here and at the Board table.

Please spread the word by inviting your friends, family, neighbours, and colleagues to this site and by tagging @HaltonDSB

Register and participate anytime until May 28TH.

Positive change starts with thinking about and reimagining public education. Let’s work together to share stories and ideas. Please add yours. And, stay for a while to check out all of the contributions.

You are Invited! Let’s Reimagine -Together.

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Unaffordable housing is bad for everyone: many don’t want to discuss real solutions

By Connor Fraser,

April 28th ,2022

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

 

Everyone is keenly aware of how unaffordable housing has become in our community and across other regions of the province. Many young people are now facing the reality of never being able to own in the region where they grew up. They are making tough decisions to live farther and farther away from work, and endure gruelling commutes that will impact their mental health and the environment. Darrell Bricker of Ipsos Public Affairs observed in a recent interview for the Ontario 360 Initiative that the outlook of Ontarians (and in particular young Ontarians) for their futures, has darkened, driven in large part by declining housing affordability.

While on the surface it may seem like just another issue, unaffordability has been created by diverse and complicated factors. Its costs are moreover sinister and threaten the future quality of life for all Ontarians.

There are very few locations where new single detached homes are being built – it is all high rise for Burlington going forward.

Since the 1960’s municipal zoning bylaws have set us on a collision course with this problem. Vast tracts of land are “locked up” with low-density, single-detached designations. Any attempt to introduce higher density (even modest 3 or 4 storey multi-units) are met with arguments of “neighbourhood character preservation” and ferocious opposition from existing homeowners. While “NIMBYs” perpetuate the problem and are convenient scapegoats, they are not responsible for decades-old zoning bylaws.

I am genuinely concerned that we have not learned any lessons in Ontario. Low-density urban sprawl continues at breakneck speeds. New development must be encouraged, but with an eye for much higher density and transit-oriented communities.

This connects with the second and perhaps most sinister and intractable cause of unaffordable housing: Significant numbers of Ontarian’s want low-density housing. The Anglo-American mindset romanticizes fierce independence and individualism. Unless you’ve got a driveway and your own tiny patch of grass, you’re not successful. Ironically, many of my friends who complain about skyrocketing prices are adamant in their desire to own a single-detached house. It’s understandable that many keenly aspire to a goal that was attainable for older generations – but I think it’s more important to realize that those goals may have been unsustainable. Regretfully, convincing so many that fulfilling lives may still exist within higher density settings (take Quebec as a good example) is a politically suicidal task.

The costs of unaffordable housing are immense. The future economic growth (and in turn quality of life and government services) of Ontario and Burlington relies upon attracting top employees and firms. Many investments have been made to transform Toronto and the GTA into a technology hub and take advantage of the intangible economy. Expensive housing and long commutes threaten that transformation. They are major obstacles to those considering whether to make Ontario their home. If you’re someone opposed to urban intensification in Burlington or elsewhere, consider that in 30 – 40 years you’ll likely need and want timely and effective healthcare services. Who’s going to pay for it if those who would’ve lived here and created value with their talent, have been driven from the province by unaffordability, thereby crippling the tax base?

Pierre Poilievre: targeting his message to people who are angry.

Rising home prices also open the door for populist leaders on the fringes of the political spectrum to gain power by capitalizing on anger. Under normal circumstances, such individuals would never be considered for public office. The federal Conservative leadership race has already seen examples of candidates trying to exploit anger over house prices and inflation for political gain.

I don’t see this problem being resolved in the near future. The composition of infrastructure changes very slowly, many aspire to live in low-density settings, and there are limited options for English-speaking young people in Canada: This is a slight simplification, but all the best jobs are in Toronto or Vancouver.

At the very least, the province must intervene by overriding municipal zoning bylaws to promote “missing middle” 3-4 storey multi-unit housing. Furthermore, the province could become more aggressive with mandating that all new development be higher density and transit oriented.

Could Perth, ON close to Ottawa with a lovely idyllic setting be made a larger community? The locals wouldn’t buy it

Other options that should be explored include actively building out secondary urban centres within Canada, and making these locations attractive to live. Even within Ontario, there are many regions that might be targeted for significant growth, such as Windsor and Thunder Bay. With a limited number of serious economic hubs compared to the United States, we risk over-concentrating demand for housing to an extent that local actors cannot solve.

The ultimate solution to this problem is compromise. On one hand, those in existing neighbourhoods should reflect that low-density housing was always an unsustainable, exclusive and very costly goal. Moreover, young people and those hoping to start families should reflect that remaining attached to an unsustainable ideal is going to make their lives unnecessarily difficult and unhappy. For the simple reason that many are unwilling to compromise, unaffordable housing is here to stay.

Connor Fraser is a post graduate student at the University of Toronto enrolled in the dual Master of Global Affairs and Master of Business Administration program.

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How Not to Get Mad at Loved Ones: 6 Ways to Manage Emotions

By Kate Brown

April 28th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Everyone experiences negative emotions from time to time. You may have been taught as a child to suppress them, but it’s natural to be angry. The main thing is not to let your feelings become the reason for quarrels with other people. You can learn to control anger by understanding what causes it and expressing it in healthier ways.

Imagine the situation: you boil when the boss asks you to do extra work. Perhaps it’s not the first time it’s happened because another employee has again failed to complete his duties on time. You’re fed up and feel like you’re about to explode. Then you gather your coworkers and tell them what you think of them. Gradually your anger fades and you feel better, but you realize from the surprised looks on the faces of those around you that this was not the best way to deal with your emotions.

Usually the cause of anger is an underlying problem. It’s possible that you’re tired of doing everything for everyone at work and it’s high time you built personal boundaries. You no longer want to take on the responsibilities of colleagues who are not up to the task. Anger and quarrels will not help change the situation, it’s much more productive to learn to express emotions in other ways.

How to Control Anger
There are several ways to control anger. By following the simple instructions on this list, you can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which means you can calm down and relax. You’ll cope with anxiety and stress, your mood will improve, and your blood pressure will return to normal. Here’s what will help you not snap when you’re experiencing strong negative emotions.

Take a Break
Take time out and go for a short walk. This will allow you to reflect for a while before reacting to events emotionally. Go outside, feel the warmth of the sun, listen to the leaves rustling in the wind. Focus your attention on the world around you. Forget about the most pleasurable things, like gambling at a Canadian casino online or your favorite movie you’ve watched recently. This will activate your frontal cortex, and strong negative emotions will subside.

Awareness or Short Meditation
Close your eyes, slow your breathing, and allow yourself to calm down, relaxing your whole body. Take your mind to a place where you once felt happy. It could be the seashore, the mountains, or the arms of a loved one.

Writing a journal is an opportunity to put your feelings down on paper – you’ll be surprised how you feel when you go back and read them later.

Write a Diary
When you are angry, write an uncensored letter to the person who triggered your negative emotion. You can do this on paper or in your smartphone notes. Afterwards, reread the letter and try to figure out what experiences caused you to defend yourself through anger. Perhaps you feel humiliated or you are frightened by uncertainty. There is no need to send the letter to the addressee; it’s better to tear up the sheet or erase what you have written. This kind of practice helps you to structure your thoughts, find the true causes of your emotions, and cope with stress.

Deep Breathing
This method of anger management seems too simple, but it really works. The key is to start using it. If you are boiling over, but you cannot leave the room and need to continue talking to the person who provoked the negative emotion in you, turn away to breathe and count to ten. During this time, you will be able to determine the cause of your anger and outline a plan of action.

Exercise
If you are overcome by anger, do some simple exercises or swim in the pool. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel better. It’s impossible to leave a workout with the same level of stress that you came to class with. Your anxiety level will decrease, making it easier for you to make informed decisions.

Anti-stress Accessories
The easiest and most affordable of these is a wrist expander. Squeeze and unclench the exercises in the palms of your hands. Monotonous actions will help to cope with stress and relax. Bonus – strong hands and excellent grip, the main thing – do not forget to change hands periodically. “I-affirmations.”

If you feel yourself boiling over, directly (but calmly) tell the person you’re talking to what you think about what’s going on. Use “I-affirmations” and don’t get personal. For example, you might say to your boss, “I’m puzzled by what you said.” My part of the project was done yesterday.” Such communication will provide new information and allow your boss to see the situation from a new perspective.

Speaking calmly and directly – takes the heat out of a conversation

Regardless of which way you choose to deal with your emotions, it’s important to identify the cause of your anger and recognize the difference between healthy and chronic stress. Understanding what makes you angry will help you deal with future outbursts of anger. If your anger is related to the other person’s actions, let them know how and why their actions affect you. The conversation should begin in a calm atmosphere – after you can pull yourself together. Together with the person, you are talking to, come up with a plan for how to communicate in the future.

Take time to get to know yourself better and develop emotional intelligence. If you learn to manage your emotions and stop snapping at others, you can strengthen communication and make your relationship healthier.

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Can Burlington do what Milton is setting out to do - rescue the citizens of the city.

By Pepper Parr

April 28th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If Milton can do it – Burlington certainly can.

The Milton Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Bell as a Community and are putting together what they will bring to an and this once-in-a-lifetime experience we have all been working through.

So many of us have been working remotely and not able to network and gather like we once did.
Milton is setting out to change that – Burlington has the capacity to do that.

Rotary managed to rescue and event despite COVID19 – how can Burlington create an event to rescue its citizensÉ

Rotary found a way to take over the Burlington Centre parking lot for their modified Rib Fest – perhaps the Chamber can do something similar.

The Milton Chamber is calling their event the ‘Welcome Back from Hibernation BBQ’ to network, see new and familiar faces, enjoy local food and drink, all while enjoying some music.

Watching and waiting to see what might come out of the woods in Burlington.

 

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PC's to kick off their campaign on Saturday.

By Staff

April 27th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Natalie Pierre, Progressive Conservative candidate for Burlington.

The race is on.

The Liberals announced their election office opening for Sunday.

Learned earlier today that the Progressive Conservatives are going to do them one better and open their office at noon on Saturday in the plaza at Fairview and Appleby Line.  South Western corner of the intersection.

Expect the federal candidate in the last election to be on hand to show Natalie Pierre the ropes.

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Portrait Gallery of Canada names new executive director: Robert Steven, former AGB President & CEO starts next week

By Staff

April 27th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Some people manage to land on their feet when their job gets taken away from them

The Board of Directors of the Portrait Gallery of Canada (PGC) is pleased to announce that it has appointed Robert Steven, former president and CEO of the Art Gallery of Burlington, as its new executive director, effective May 2, 2022. Robert Steven will succeed Joanne Charette who has led the PGC through its first year of operation.

“Robert Steven is passionate about social issues and brings an excellent appreciation for the richness and diversity of the peoples who live in Canada,” said Lawson Hunter, Chair, Board of Directors, Portrait Gallery of Canada. “The Board was impressed by his demonstrated ability to rally community support for cultural projects from the ground up; his insight in current museum issues and practices; and his leadership experience. We look forward to working with him as we move forward with our vision to build a physical presence in the nation’s capital.”

Reporting to the Board of Directors, Robert Steven will play a highly visible role, representing and enhancing the positive reputation of the PGC with government officials, funding agencies, donors and the public. Steven will also be responsible for developing the PGC’s vision and strategic and operational plans; building on the PGC’s dynamic online exhibition and public programs; directing human resources and volunteers; managing financial resources; and advancing and tracking the progress and success of PGC initiatives.

“I am delighted and honoured by this opportunity to join with the exceptionally distinguished group of visionary leaders whose tireless work to create this important institution has brought the organization so far in such a short time,” said incoming executive director Robert Steven.

“To be part of the growth and development of such an ambitious new museum, dedicated to the individuals and identities found in this place we now call Canada—at this significant moment when the opportunities for mutual understanding, conciliation and systemic change are both greater and more urgent than ever before—is no less than a dream come true. It is the opportunity of a lifetime for anyone who believes in the impact that the experience of museums and of works of art can have on the lives of individuals and of communities,” Steven added.

“On behalf of the Portrait Gallery of Canada’s Board of Directors, I would like to thank Joanne Charette, who stepped out of retirement to assume the role of interim director while we were building our online presence,” said Lawson Hunter. “The PGC benefited from Joanne’s leadership experience with the Canadian Museum of Nature and the National Gallery of Canada, and we are grateful to her for her work ethic and commitment to our young
not-for-profit corporation.”

Robert Steven, former head of AGB will lead the Portrait Gallery of Canada

About Robert Steven
Robert Steven is a dedicated, forward-thinking and accomplished leader of arts and heritage institutions. He brings years of experience at the executive level, including six years as president and CEO of the Art Gallery of Burlington in Ontario and seven years as executive director and curator of the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie in Alberta. Robert Steven holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours Fine Arts Studio, from the University of Waterloo, and a Master of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto.

He also successfully completed the Museum Leadership Institute Program at the Getty Leadership Institute in Los Angeles, an intensive course for museum executives that addresses current trends and challenges in the museum field, leadership, strategy, organisational culture and change management. Robert Steven was named one of Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People in 2013 by Alberta Venture Magazine. He was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and served on the Government of Alberta’s Premier’s Council for Arts and Culture in 2009. As well, he currently serves as Vice President of Galeries Ontario/Ontario Galleries (formerly the Ontario Association of Art Galleries).

 

 

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Liberals to open their campaign office on Sunday

By Staff

April 27th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Mariam Manaa

 

For those of you who think as Liberals, you will want to know that the Burlington Liberal candidate, Mariam Manaa will be  holding the Official Opening of her campaign office that will be located at 790 Guelph Line, unit 4

The event will take place at 3:00 pm this Sunday and feature Burlington MP and Cabinet Minister Karina Gould.

The city has yet to see the Progressive Conservative candidate Natalie Pierre.

Will the Mayor Meed Ward be on hand – don’t count on that.

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Art Gallery Guilds - the foundation the AGB was built on - holding their All Guild Exhibit April 29 to August 13th

By Staff

April 26th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

One of the things that makes the Art Gallery difference and distinct are the Guilds.

They are the foundation on which the Gallery as it exists today was built

Friday the Guilds come together and show the public what they have been doing while the pandemic took away the opportunity to visit the Gallery and enjoy what it has to offer.

A day or so ago we were shown a photograph taken by Frank Meyers that has been accepted for the Exhibition that opens on Friday.

A Frank Meyer photograph that has been accepted for the All Guilds Exhibition that opens on Friday

 

Attend and see what else they have to share.

The annual exhibition celebrates the guilds who make, learn, share, and teach at the Art Gallery of Burlington.

Burlington Fine Arts Association,

Burlington Handweavers and Spinners Guild,

Latow Photographers Guild,

Burlington Potters Guild,

Burlington Hooking Craft Guild,

Burlington Sculptors and Carvers,

Digital Arts Guild of Burlington.

Exhibition runs through to August 13th

AGB Hours

Tuesday – Friday 12 PM – 5 PM
Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM
Sunday & Monday CLOSED

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Saturday night at the Opera - only in Burlington

By Staff

April 26th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Southern Ontario Lyric Opera (SOLO). We will be performing at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre on Saturday May 14th featuring two outstanding young Canadian singers.

Southern Ontario Lyric Opera (SOLO) Presents:
Encore!
Favourite Moments in Opera
Saturday May 14, 2022, 7:30 P.M.
Burlington Performing Arts Centre
Karoline Podolak, Soprano
Alexander Hajek, Baritone
Southern Ontario Lyric Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Sabatino Vacca, Conductor

Join them as they present a programme of operatic favourites featuring works by Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, and more!

For tickets please call the Box Office at 905 681 6000
Or online at https://burlingtonpac.ca/events/solo-encore-favourite-moments-in-opera/

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Police Seek Assistance Identifying Suspects in Burlington Pharmacy Robbery

 

By Staff

April 26th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service is investigating a robbery that occurred at a Burlington pharmacy.

On April 25, 2022, at approximately 3:20 pm, three male suspects entered the Brant Lakeshore Pharmacy located at 1477 Brant Street in Burlington.

The suspects assaulted an employee and proceeded to steal narcotics and prescription drugs.  They also stole cash from the register and personal belongings from the employee.  The three males fled the store and left the area in a stolen black Dodge Journey with Ontario licence plate CBYT846   A fourth suspect (driver) was waiting in the vehicle during the robbery.

The employee did not sustain any physical injuries.

The suspects are described as follows (see attached photos):

Suspect #1: Male, black, approximately 6 feet tall, skinny build, short black hair, wearing light grey pants and a white hoodie with a “NASA” logo on the front.

Suspect #2: Male, black, approximately 6 feet tall, skinny build, short black hair, wearing  dark grey pants and a black hoodie and carrying a black and grey backpack.

Suspect #3: Male, black, approximately 6 feet tall, skinny build, short black hair, wearing dark grey pants and a black “Adidas” hoodie.

Suspect #4: Male, black (driver).

Investigators are seeking dash cam or CCTV footage from the area near the time of the robbery.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Det/Cst. Dave Griffiths of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4777 ext. 2350.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Expect several members of Council to be at the Clerk's Office early next week

By Staff

April 26th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The nomination period for individuals who would like to run as a candidate in Burlington’s 2022 Municipal Election will open at 8:30 a.m. on May 2 and run until 2 p.m. on Aug. 19, 2022. Nomination papers can be filed by appointment only. Voting for the election takes place between Oct. 11 – 24, 2022.

Starting May 2, nominations will be accepted for the offices of:

  • Mayor
  • Councillors (local and regional)
  • Trustee, Halton District School Board
  • Trustee, Halton Catholic District School Board

Katherine Henshell, first candidate to file nomination papers in 2010 tries out a seat in the Council Chamber and thinks she likes the look of her name on the name plate.

Nominations may be filed at City Hall at 426 Brant St., with the Office of the City Clerk, located on the main floor, during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). On the last day of the nomination period, Aug. 19, 2022, nominations may be filed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Filing a nomination
Nomination papers can be filed by appointment only. Please call 905-335-7777, ext. 7805 or email clerks@burlington.ca to arrange a time.

Husband Pete Ward was on hand in 2010 to photograph Marianne Meed Ward as she filed her nomination papers.. No picture taking like this will be permitted this time around.

The forms required to file a nomination are available in the Office of the City Clerk on the main floor of City Hall at 426 Brant St. and on myvoteburlington.ca. The following must be provided at the time of submitting a nomination:

  • Nomination Paper (Form 1)
  • Endorsement of Nomination (Form 2) – required for nominations for an office on council only. A nomination for an office on council must be endorsed by at least 25 persons. A prescribed declaration is required by each of the persons endorsing a nomination.
  • Filing fee – in cash, certified cheque, money order (payable to the City of Burlington), MasterCard or VISA. The fee for the office of mayor is $200 and $100 for all other offices.
  • Candidate identification (driver’s license or another government-issued photo identification)
  • Proof of citizenship (Canadian passport, citizenship, or another government-issued identification).

Also starting May 2, nominations will open for the offices of:

 

Quick Facts

  • To run in the October municipal election, candidates must:
  • be a Canadian citizen
  • be at least 18 years old
  • live in Burlington (own or rent), or
  • not live in Burlington, but you or your spouse own or rent property in the city.
  • The City of Burlington is hosting a series of virtual information sessions for individuals who are interested in running as a candidate in the City’s 2022 municipal election at 7 p.m. on April 27, May 10 and June 23. Learn more and register for these free events at myvoteburlington.ca.
  • A person cannot begin campaigning until their nomination papers are filed.
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Ukrainian Community Celebrates the Easter Service in Burlington with an adopted parish in Bakhmut

By Denis Gibbons

April 26th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A strong connection already established between parishioners of Holy Protection Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church and their brothers and sisters in Ukraine has enhanced the transfer of aid to refugees and victims of war.

The Burlington church adopted another parish in the city of Bakhmut, in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine, as a sister city shortly after Russian troops crossed the border there in the summer of 2014 and eventually annexed Donetsk.

Heavy fighting has been reported in the area recently.

Since the war started on February 24, slightly used and new clothing has been packaged along with dry food, toiletries, first aid items etc. to make life a little easier for them.

Father Zenon Walnycky leads in prayer, along with Deacon Danylo Dudar and altar servers attired in blue.   Photo by DENIS GIBBONS

Volunteers gathered in the parish hall on Pine Street on Easter Weekend and another drive was held in Millcroft Park on Sunday, which was Easter for those of the Ukrainian right. As a result, dry goods, sleeping bags, medical supplies etc. will be shipped to the front lines in Ukraine.

“I’ve been doing fundraising ever since I moved to Aldershot in 2007 and I’m overwhelmed with the generosity of Burlingtonians,” said Lida Pichocki, one of the volunteers. “It’s amazing to see that people are standing with Ukraine and that they care.”

Pichocki’s brother Stephen, who is in charge of the local Tyrsa Ukrainian Dance Troupe, said his dancers will perform at a special Concert for Ukraine at St. Christopher’s Anglican Church Saturday, May 14 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Tenor Jeff Madden is also on the card, accompanied by pianist Andrea Battista, as well as bandura players and a special Ukrainian song performed by three Ukrainian refugee children, who recently arrived in Burlington.

Iryna Demchuk, who fled Ukraine after the war started, accepts some Easter eggs from an altar server.   Photo by DENIS GIBBONS

Iryna Demchuk, another refugee, left her hometown of Zbarazh in Western Ukraine in March and eventually made her way to Burlington at the invitation of her cousin Stefanie MacArthur and her husband John.

It took her more than 10 hours to travel by bus past the large Ukrainian city of Lviv to Warsaw, the capital of Poland, where she stayed for three weeks with the help of friends before obtaining a visa to come to Canada.

“I want the war to stop as soon as possible,” Demchuk said. “I want our family to be together.

“I saw the eyes of a man who took his wife and children to the Polish border and then had to come back. It was very painful.”

Naturally, Demchuk misses her husband and would like to go back home when it is safe. But for now she will volunteer with the church to help Ukrainian refugees and those still back in the country in any way she can.

Late in the evening on April 5, the noisy sounds of four Russian winged missiles were heard flying over the region near Zbarazh.

Luckily three were destroyed by Ukrainian air defence equipment and the fourth was damaged, preventing it from reaching its target, believed to be civil infrastructure in the western part of the country.

Demchuk, who works as a foreign economic activity specialist for the town council of Zbarazh, left at the urging of her husband Volodymyr, an architect who must stay to provide support to Ukrainian military forces because he is 41 and they have no children.

Lviv, located only two hours from the Polish border, has mostly been spared from damage, although 35 people were killed on March 13 when Russian missiles targeted a Ukrainian military base about 40 miles to the northwest.

Father Zenon Walnycky blesses an Easter food basket with the assistance of Deacon Danylo Dudar.      Photo by DENIS GIBBONS

Later five Russian rocket attacks hit the city’s civilian infrastructure.

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Communications department: a filter that controls media access to senior staff

By Pepper Parr

April 28th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

Part 2 of a series

In the news game reporters have what they call sources.

They are frequently people working in a city hall department or someone in the private sector who can explain a complex document, process or procedure.

Mutual in trust is usually in place.

Each year during budget time calls would get made to the people working on different parts of a budget – a list of the reserves was always an issue.

The amount of money that was budgeted in a year but didn’t get spent often got placed in reserve budget which was often referred to the piggy bank and used by council members for favourite projects.

More often than not there were follow up questions to the experts; with both people on the line a clearer understanding of what are often complex issues is gained.

One of the more challenging was Development Charges – a contentious category for everyone.

Up until very recently Burlington was recovering less than 70% of what they spent handling development application work. It took a couple of expensive reports from consultants, and in the most recent set of discussion, long meetings with BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association) and the West End Home Builders Association before a final figure was arrived at.

Development charges are very difficult to explain and at the same time a very significant part of the cost of buying a house that is under construction. Those development charges are all added to the cost of the residence.

Not something the average person fully understands.

Reporters have to wade through thick documents, try to understand the contents and the follow up with staff members.

That kind of thing is done at every newspaper, on line or print, in the country.

But that is not the way it works in Burlington.

Former City Manager James Ridge – fairly described as media adverse

The change began during the last years of the former City Manager James Ridge administration.  What started in about 2016 is maintained by the current City Manager Tim Commisso.

Donna Kell was the communications coordinator at the time. Kwab Ako-Adjei was hired by Ridge and the game slowly changed.

Ako-AdjeiKwab gave Kell the chance to develop her career somewhere else

In a mature, professional organization Ako-Adjei would have reached out to the media and made a point of meeting the player’s and talked about how the two (media and administration) could best do their jobs. Access is the most important thing for media.

I first met Ako-Adjei at an event at the Waterfront Hotel – chatted for less than a minute; I was able to have a longer conversation several months later.

What we began to experience with Ako-Adjei and his staff was when we made a call to a staff member they would either tell us we had to call the communications department or if we reached out by email we would get a reply from one of the communications people who would ask what our questions was – they go away and come back with an answer.

None of the people who serve as communications staff have formal training in journalism or any work experience in journalism.

Most of them have a designation as a public relations specialist.

Public relations is in place to do everything possible to get out the story a corporation wants to get out and where there is a kaflooey, limit the damage and say as little as possible.

I want to share our most recent experience with access. It goes like this.

Sue Connor is the Director of Transit. She came to Burlington with an incredible reputation. The city was lucky to get her.  She is seen and respected as a strong voice on the conversion of transit out of diesel into batteries or H20.

She takes part in the proceedings of CUTRIC (Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium) a solution based consulting company; leaders in the field.

We reached out to Sue asking if we could talk about the views she would be taking to the CUTRIC (Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium) conference which was taking place about a week or so later.

Sue Connor – An Executive Director and Director of Transit for Burlington.

Our interest was in Sue Connor as a respected leader in the move from diesel to a less climate damaging source of energy.  She is a solid manager who runs one of the happiest, nicest places in the city to work

We got a call from the city communications people who asked what we wanted to ask Conner.

We explained that the event was not a city event and that Connor was attending the conference as an individual and not someone representing Burlington Transit.

Conner had advised the City Manager earlier in the month that she would retire at the end of the year. Shortly after that announcement Connor was elevated to the position of Executive Director filling the gap that was created when Heather MacDonald retired.

The end result was there was no interview with Sue Connor – which is unfortunate – she is one of the best on the ground thinkers in the transit business in the country and also ran one of the best operated departments in the city.

Policy and practice related to media come straight from the City Manager. While Ako-Adjei, has his finger prints all over every bit of information that comes out of city hall; he reports directly to Commisso.

Kwab Ako-Adjei

Kwab Ako-Adjei is leading an initiative known as One Burlington – it is there to polish the brand and ensure that “ GET THAT QUOTE)

This is not a healthy situation and has to a considerable degree lessened the amount of information that gets through to the public

We are not the only people struggling with the communications department – several members of the very divided city Council have similar issues.

There is a link, not too difficult to find, between the messy Integrity Commissioners report that was really all about citizen access to information and the control everything communications department.

The root of all this is the office of the City Manager.

The City Manager gets his marching orders from City Council and this council is not going to lift a finger to bring about a change in the way city hall works with media

There are options that I will talk about in the future.

Part 1 of the series

The above are the opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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Rainbow Crosswalks in Hamilton get a better go of it than those in Burlington - more TLC in Hamilton water?

By Pepper Parr

April 24th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Why does the Rainbow Crosswalk in Hamilton, on a street that has more than 300 transit buses driving over it every day and thousands of cars as well look as good as they day it was painted?

Damaged Rainbow Crosswalk in Burlington.

While in Burlington two Rainbow Cross walks are peeling and are a bit of an eyesore.

Hamilton Crosswalk next to city hall is in splendid condition despite heavy traffic.

What a bit galling is the big expensive fuss the Mayor made of the installation of the Rainbows – which are attractive and make a much needed statement?

It’s like a gift that is broken – and no effort is made to make a public statement about what is being done to fix the damaged Crosswalks and when results can be expected.

It’s a bit of an affront to the people who really supported the decision to have Rainbow Crosswalks in the city.

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Mistakes get made in the news business - you apologize and correct the misitake

By Pepper Parr

April 24th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On Saturday we published a news story and an opinion piece that had a serious error.

We reported that the Closed Meeting Investigator, who had done a review of the meetings that were the subject of an Integrity Commissioners report, were going to be heard in a Closed Session of Council

We were wrong. A trusted adviser called me at just after 7:00 pm on Friday to advise me that the agenda for the May 4th CSSAR FIX Standing Committee had been published and the reference to the report was that it was to be heard in a Closed Session of Council

That was incorrect – we got it wrong.  Our source misread the listing which said “…Closed Session report.

The two content pieces will be revised and we ask the readers and the Clerk’s Office to accept our apology.

In the world of new reporting, mistakes are made.

In 1948, when Harry Truman was running for re-election as President of the United States, the Chicago Daily Tribune called the election result just a little too early. Truman had won – the early polls misled the editors of the newspaper. Truman won 303 Electoral College votes – his opponent got 189.

 

Set out below is a copy of the New York Tines Corrections section. They list the corrections needed for errors in previous editions.

It happens in the best of families.

The New York Times runs a Correction Section in every edition of their paper.

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Saturday in the sunshine - politicking and advocating

By Pepper Parr

April 24th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Call it ore-election campaigning or maybe a chance to get out for some fresh air and sunshine.

Our reporter bumped into Ward 2 councillor Lisa Kearns who was leading a walking tour of the downtown area on Saturday to review and discuss current, significant planning projects in various stages. A total of 10 high-rise projects were discussed. One has been rejected by city council.  Two are under construction, one has been approved by the Ontario Land Tribunal, two approved by the OLT subject to conditions, one subject to site plan approval and three under appeal by the City

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns took some of her constituents on a tour – her fifth tour so far this year, showing her the location of the ten projects that are in various stages of development.

In this picture Kearns is steps away from the Waterfront Hotel that is the object of a development application asking for Official Plan changes and zoning bylaw changes to build two structures that will top off at 40 stories.

Kearns said she could live with the 20 and a bit buildings the city planners are talking about.

The developer will undoubtedly take an appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal where they are reported to be represented by Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP,, a highly regarded law firm that just might get something a bit better than a defeat.

With the sun shining and people getting out for some exercise the Alienated Grandparents Anonymous had a crowd on a walk through the downtown area protesting in front of the office of MPP Jane McKenna, Ontario’s associate minister of children and women’s issues,  during their march through the downtown on Saturday.

Parental alienation needs to go.  That’s the message marchers delivered on Saturday.   Photo by DENIS GIBBONS

Members of the Alienated Parents and Grandparents Peer Support Group, Our Alienated Grandchildren Matter, and Alienated Grandparents Anonymous stopped in front of the office of Burlington MPP Jane McKenna, Ontario’s associate minister of children and women’s issues,  during their march through the downtown on Saturday.

 

 

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It's a matter of trust and competency - not much of it around this past couple of weeks

By Pepper Parr

April 26th 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

Reports that are going to Council meeting as a Standing Committee are always published about 10 days before the meeting.

The report on the comments from a Closed Meeting Investigation were put on the city web site sometime after 7:00 pm on Friday.  Bad optics but optics are no longer a concern for this council or this administration.

The respected law firm, Aird and Berlis were brought in because someone filed a request with the city Clerk asking for an investigation – basically to determine if the city was following the rules about going into a Closes session.

The four dates that were investigated related to those occasions when the Integrity Commissioner was asked by Councillors Nisan and Galbraith to determine of Councillor has breached the Code of Conduct.

Few would argue that she did not – she certainly did and has accepted the consequences of her decision.

What the public wants to know is – did the city tell its citizens enough about why they went into CLosed and what they talked about during the meetings.

The Integrity commented that the could improve on what it tells the public.

The public will get an answer to that question; it may not be as fulsome as they expected and would like to see.

In their report Air & Berlus conclude that on each of the four occasions complaints were based on the city met the rules as set out in the Municipal Act – and they site chapter and verse to back up their conclusions.

It goes before Council on May 4th as a Receive and File Report .  All Aird and Berlis were asked to do is advise on whether or not they had the right to go into Closed.

Getting that answer, which we already know has cost the taxpayers $15,000.

Marianne Meed Ward in September of 2018 asking the public to trust her

During the discussion on the Integrity Commissions report Councillor Galbraith made this statement.  He said Staff can submit a report and ask that it be discussed in a Closed session of Council.  He added that it is Council that determines whether or not they actually go into Closed.  They have to vote on that – each time.

Burlington’s city council is beginning to look foolish, incompetent and lacking a clear sense of direction.

Mayor Meed Ward said in a lengthy Statement she released on her tweet account that trust in this council has to be maintained.  She could not have been more right.

In the 2014 election Marianne Meed Ward asked citizens not for their vote – but for their trust.  And they gave it to her and were impressed enough to make her Mayor.

She has lost that trust – the skills. the integrity and the spunk to win it back do not appear to exist.

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

 

 

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Summer: Temporary Patios and Sidewalk Detours

By Staff

April 22nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier this year, Council approved the temporary patio program for the 2022 patio season to continue to support local businesses.

Sidewalk detours and patio set-up will begin next week in the downtown and will run until Oct. 31, 2022.

Sidewalk Detours

Maybe the patios will bring warmer weather?

Some patios will be installed on City sidewalks. These sections of the sidewalk will be detoured onto the road with traffic barriers. These barriers will help with pedestrian safety.

City of Burlington staff will be installing the sidewalk detours during the week of April 25, 2022.

The sidewalk detours for patios are being installed in downtown Burlington on:

      • The north side of Pine Street between Elizabeth Street and Pearl Street
      • The north side of Lakeshore Road between Brant Street and John Street
      • The north side of Lakeshore Road between Locust Street and Brant Street
      • The west side of Brant Street between Elgin Street and Lakeshore Road
      • The east side of Brant Street between Maria Street and James Street
      • The north side of Elgin Street between Locust Street and Brant Street

 

 

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Facebook went kaflooey - what a mess - everything fixed and we are BACK!

By Pepper Parr

April 22, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

For those of you who missed us for about twenty minutes this morning – something went wrong with Facebook – as we were trying to solve the problem – everything blew up.

We are back on line – now we need to figure out what went wrong and how much damage was done.

Thanks for your patience and you interest.

More good news – you will never guess what the Mayor said this time

We are told that of the 12,000 Twitter follow the Mayor has,  there was 1 Like and no re-tweets on the Statement she made over the sanctioning of a member of Council.

Side walk patios are being built next week – get used to some walking detours out into the street Barriers will be in place.

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