With Council member pay scale on the table – listen for the howls. The good ones are worth every dime we give them.

November 11, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  Early in 2012 city council decided they could no longer make fools of themselves when it came to accepting pay raises that had already been voted upon.  After deferring the actual accepting of pay raises more than once and then bickering over whether or not they should pay for the parking spots they get right outside city hall they threw the problem over to a Committee that would come back with a set of recommendations.  And by, did this committee ever come back with a solid set of recommendations.  A couple of the people on that committee might serve the city rather well were they to become council members.

The Committee made up of Fay Booker (Chair), Robert Bisson, David Tait, David Gore, Sheila White a representative from the city’s bankers and Diana Tuszynski who also sits on the Theatre Burlington Board.

Collectively they did a fine job.  They met six times during the five months they took to prepare their report and went beyond just setting the compensation for members of Council.  They suggest that the city Customer Service Team to develop a plan to educate the public on how best to deal with the City to resolve issues through the appropriate staff prior to contacting the office of the Mayor and Council.  Many tax payers will be surprised to learn that there even is a Customer Service Team.

We now know what a Committee of respected citizens think these people should be paid next year. How many of them will be around to collect those pay cheques?

The Committee wants to maintain the compensation for Councillors at $53,095 per year and the Mayor at $121,676 per year and adjust annually on April 1 by a percentage equal to the average annual change in the all Ontario consumer price index (CPI) for the twelve month period October to September with the provision that the increase is to have the following banding:

Mayor Goldring: Is there an event he won’t attend? He doesn’t have to get out to everything – but he usually does.

Any increase cannot be greater than the increase determined for budget purposes for non-union staff compensation;

No increase can be granted in the event the Ontario CPI amount is less than 1%;

Any increase cannot exceed 65% of the calculated Ontario CPI percentage;

When no increase is taken in a year, the amount cannot be carried over and aggregated in future years, that is, no carry-over of forfeited increases from any year to another.  

Rick Craven: Best committee chair the city has; not big on the warm fuzzy stuff through. Needs a hug badly.

This is a well thought out approach to paying the people who make the decisions.  It is fair, should the CPI rise significantly in any one year the would not see their pay rise at the same rate – they would be limited to just 65% of that increase.

Burlington Council members are also members of the Halton Regional Council.  They are paid a salary as Regional Council members that was $45,827.  and an expense allowance of $5,130 per term.

Meed Ward: She drives them all bananas and talks too much but she asks the questions and genuinely wants to see things changed. Not a member of the old boys club.

Each Council member has an administrative assistant, which the committee says should continue until at least 2017, when perhaps the new customer service process might lessen the need for those assistants.  Don’t expect that recommendation to go very far.  We have a couple of council members who couldn’t do their jobs without their assistants.

There is a need for one additional staff member to serve the Council members and that is a qualified research person.  The administrative assistants are clerical in nature.  Most of them do exceptionally good work but they are not trained researchers.  Municipal government is now very complex and the public cannot expect the people they elect to office to know everything.  Add a researcher to the staff compliment.

John Taylor; Dean of this city Council. Has announced his intention to run – why so early? Does he want to scare off any competition? Real competition might be good for him.

The parking perk stays as does the expense allowance of $32,000 for the Mayor and $9000 for each council member.  They cannot carry this allowance forward from year to year and they are being asked to show what they spent those expense dollars on.  No mention of miscellaneous being an unacceptable category.

The committee wants the current level of pension and benefits for Mayor and Council maintained and disclosed and described on the City’s website.

Dennison, on the left, explaining the budget to a resident. will Dennison be back at council next term? Not if the people in Roseland decide who is going to represent Ward 4 next term.

The Committee wants the Burlington Hydro Board to change the appointment of the Mayor to the Hydro Board and have that appointment rotated each term; and ask Hydro to provide no compensation to members of Council appointed and make a similar request to any other board that provides compensation to Council members appointed by Burlington City Council.

The Mayor was getting a fee for every board meeting he attended as well as a fee for committees he attended; double dipping at its worst and something the Mayor should have been ashamed of – the least he could have done was to give the money to some charity if he had to take a fee or just not cash the cheque.

Councillors Sharman and Lancaster – both first term members. Will they both be returned?

If compensation must be made then the payment should be made to the City of Burlington and added to the general revenues.

The City Clerk is asked to draft a Code of Conduct for members of Council which addresses, donations, fundraising, sponsorship, entertainment and the acceptance of gifts by members of Council as well a s other standards clauses included in Codes across the Province. The Code of Conduct for members of Council should not be less stringent than the Code of Conduct established for City of Burlington staff.

The Committee suggested that Council may, if it wished, adjust the calculated increase within the banding to a lesser amount than that determined while meeting the other provisions.

They should pull that one.  Given the rather foolish behavior on the part of this Council when they last talked about what they are to be paid – it is a mistake to let them have any say. 

A committee of respected citizens have come in with a fine report.  Adopt it as it is and add the final recommendation: that the Executive Director of Human Resources presents information on the compensation.

There is another re[port that this Committee might be asked to provide and that is a review of the size of the current city Council and a restructuring of the existing Standing Committee structure and a through review of the procedural bylaw that sets out how meetings are to be conducted.

This Council is too small and every Council member does not have to sit at the Region.  Burlington has seven seats on the Regional Council, which has a total of 21 members.  Burlington could increase the size of its Council to 10 and have the Mayor and six of the most senior Council members also serve at the Region.

We had three new Council members elected in 2010 and all had to get through a very steep learning curve as Council members.  To add a Regional role on top of that for an inexperienced Council member is pushing it.

Finally, get ready for the chorus of people who will stand up on their hind legs and howl at how much we pay these people for what should really be a part-time job.  It is a full-time job, these men and woman work hard.  Yes there are a couple who have other business interests; specifically Jack Dennison and Blair Lancaster.  Dennison feels he can run a major sports/health club operation and still serve his constituents as a council member.  Well, if you live in Ward 4 and want to see your Council member be prepared to see him at his Cedar Springs office – which is not professional.

It is a full time job, these men and woman work hard.  Yes there are a couple who have other business interests; specifically Jack Dennison and Blair Lancaster.When I want to see my Council member I want to see him at city hall.

It might be interesting to have each member of Council be available for evening meetings for people who have to work during the day.


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Police still looking for a man they beleive was stabbed in the torso at a North Service Road motel.


November 10th, 2013

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  The Regional police are still looking for the “victim” of what they say was Aggravated Assault, Forcible Confinement, Forcible Entry that is reported to have taken place at the Motel 6 on the North Service Road in Burlington.

The victim, who police have not identified, but is said to go by the “handle” was, according to police stabbed in an incident that took place November 9th 2013 at approximately 11:20am.

Nothing has been found and  area hospitals have been canvassed.

A young black male, believed to have been stabbed in the torso,  fled the Motel 6 on the  North Service Road, a little before noon on Saturday.  Believed to be bleeding and wearing a white T-shirt, dark pants, black shoes with white soles and a dark red sports style jacket.

Mid 20’s, skinny build, 160 lbs., short black hair in an Afro style the victim was last seen on foot.  Police do not know if the male victim got into a vehicle.

Thought to be using the “handle” Jay or Jay Love

Three adult males, between the ages of 20 to 31 years have arrested and subsequently charged with the following offences:  Aggravated Assault, Forcible Confinement, Forcible Entry, Weapons Dangerous, Robbery and Possession of Property Obtained by Crime.

Going to be tough to make most of those charges stick if there isn’t a victim and whoever was stabbed in the torso clearly doesn’t want to be found

Anyone with information is requested to contact Halton Regional Police – 30 Division – and to speak to the on duty Staff Sergeant at 905-878-5511 ext. 2310, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477,)  www.haltoncrimestoppers.com, or text “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes.)



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The Alton Village community complex gets taken through a dry run – community Open House on the 23rd – not to be missed.

November 10, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  Hayden High was opened to media for a tour – what a collection of facilities: a library, a high school and a recreation centre all set on 15 acres of land.

The partners in this venture will hold an open house Saturday November 23rd.  The city runs the Recreation Centre, the library is operated as part of the Public Library system and the school is run by the Halton Board of Education.

It’s not the kind of high school you were used to – There is a fully equipped kitchen which students learn the fundamentals of food, nutrition and preparation.   It wasn’t clear who did up the pots and pans when the class was over.

Burlington managed to bring in a cool $1.3 million spread out over 20 years from Haber and Associates – which is not exactly chump change, for the right to put their name on the building. It may prove to be the bargain of the decade for the Haber family.

Maureen Berry, CAO of the Burlington Library system talks with Andrew  Haber who turns out to be a relative. Berry didn’t ask if he had a library card.

The library is there for both the public and the high school students at Hayden High where grades nine and ten are now conducted.  Grade 11 will follow in 2014 and grade 1`2 the year after that.

Rather than list all the features one might ask – what don’t they have.  The place is filled with light and uses 20 different types of glass in various colours.

There is a kitchen – that is miles from the home economics classes some of us used.  There is a cosmetics room, a garage that had two cars inside and half a dozen engines for students to work on. 

There is a fully equipped wood working shop with more drills on the walls than you see in an average Home Depot.

Hallways are wide with students plopped down on the flow working over their laptops.  The building has WiFi throughout and all kinds of nooks and crannies where students can talk, work on their laptops or read a text-book.

Thirty six washrooms with 90 toilet stalls – so that problem is well taken care of.  The media tour took place on a Friday which we assume is a “casual dress” day for the school.  Principal Jacqueline Newton wore flame red jeans and had a habit of high fiving a number of her students as she passed them in the some of the widest hallways I’ve seen in a school.

Part of the massive gym set up in the Haber Recreation Centre

The gymnasiums are set up in both the high school and the Recreation Centre with a combined 34,000 sqft of sprung maple gym floors.  The recreation facilities were designed to handle provincial competitions with 38 to 40 foot ceilings and loads of natural light.

Each of the 208 rooms in the building has names, not numbers.  In the high school the names were chosen by the students that opened the place.

The students decided to call it The Forum – it could have been called The Roost – a place where anyone can gather and just sit and watch or talk and kid around. Someone in the media tour suggested it looked like one big detention room.

There is a section set up in one of the hallways – sort of like bleachers at a ball park, where students can just roost like birds.  A lot of use is made of concrete and wood and yet the place doesn’t feel cold or bleak.

The desks in the classrooms are not what most of us are used to.  They are designed to give the word “collaboration” real meaning.  Modular in design they can be grouped as two- three – as many as eight in a configuration that lets students work side by side.

No more desks set out in neat rows. The classroom furniture is now such that students can sit by themselves or in groups of two or three – up to eight. The objective was to create situations where the students learn to work as groups and to collaborate on a problem – question or assignment.

Blackboards went the way of separate entrances for boys and girls.  The rooms now have white boards and make extensive use of visual projections.  The media spent a few minutes in an art history class where students were looking at the works of Salvador Dali, Picasso and MC Esher and learning about the surrealist movement.

The instructor in this class didn’t seem to have a problem with a student using her cell phone during the class. The place is fully wired.

Embedded in the hallway floors are different types of tile and markings that tell a student they are at a decision point and have to decide which way they are going to go.  There is 200,000 square feet of space in the place.

There is parking for just over 400 vehicles, racks for 130 bikes on the property with room for another 100 across the street at Norton Park.

Does the place work as a building?  A little too early to tell but it has all the makings of a different approach to high school that suggest it should work very well.  The building is not yet fully used – there are two more grades to be added – so there is space for different community groups.  The Regional Police have some space, the Regional government has space and a driving school has some space.

The 200 seat theatre is part of the high school with walls that are built to control sound. The place has everything any parent could ever want in a place for their children to get the education they are going to need.

There are two rooms for community groups; a 200 seat theatre, cafeteria and a server operated by a company owned by the school board.  That should cut down on the quality of the food complaints.  Add to the food operation is a collection of vendor machines which Principal Jacqueline Norton said she would certainly like a cut of that revenue.

The library has some of the books on the shelves -but just a  portion of what will eventually be available. Maureen Berry CAO for the Burlington Public Library system explains that furniture is still arriving but that the community has taken to the library very well.

Great sports facilities, a library led by one of the better librarians in the province who, during the tour learned that she is related to the Haber family which bought the naming rights to the recreational centre.  Maureen Beet and the Haber’s are first cousins twice removed or something like that.  For a while it felt like old home week down on the farm.

Jennifer Johnson, city project manager on the site, admits to shooting some hoops in the gymnasium  when no one was round.

Guiding the tour was the city’s project manager Jennifer Johnson, who kept trying to hurry people along – there, was just so much to see.  The Board of Education was the lead on this project with each partner having their own hands on person. Jennifer Johnson was the lead for the city and admits to shooting a couple of hoops in the gym while the place was under construction.

Open House November 23rd – the place will be packed.  Expect to see students from the other high schools prowling the halls of Hayden High drooling with envy.

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Police have stabbing suspects – still looking for a victim

November 9, 2013

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  The police have suspects – they just don’t have a victim.

A young black male, believed to have been stabbed in the torso,  fled the Motel 6 ON THE North Service Road, a little before noon today.  Believed to be bleeding and wearing a white T-shirt, dark pants, black shoes with white soles and a dark red sports style jacket.

Mid 20’s, skinny build, 160 lbs, short black hair in an Afro style the victim was last seen on foot.  Police do not know if the male victim got into a vehicle.

Thought to be using the “handle” Jay or Jay Love

Whatever the differences between the victim and those apprehended – they aren’t going to settle it with the police in the room.

 ANYONE WITH INFORMATION IS REQUESTED TO CONTACT HALTON REGIONAL POLICE 30 DIVISION S/SGT AT 905-878-5511 EXT 2310 OR Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), www.haltoncrimestoppers.com, or text “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes). 



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Lest we forget




In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



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Drug Warrant Executed in Burlington; one less supplier on the street – told not to sell drugs before he appears in court.

November 8, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  It was chump change as far as the drug business goes.  Just another link in the drug trade food chain.  The Halton Regional Police, Burlington-3 District Strategic Support Team, executed a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrant at a residence on Prospect Street.

These search warrants are obtained from a Justice of the Peace who reads an affidavit the police have prepared explaining why they believe they should be given the right to enter an property and search for whatever they have convinced the Justice of the Peace is there.

Every police force has a couple of JP’s (Justices of the Peace) they can always call upon to get the warrant they need. This particular warrant was the result of a short drug investigation and the arrest of persons that had purchased drugs from the accused.   The police arrested someone in possession of drugs, squeezed him (or her) a bi and got the name of the dealer.  A bit of observation and bingo – there is enough evidence to swear that affidavit which the JP buys into and the warrant is issued and the search takes place

All this happened on November 7, 2013. Seized as a result of the warrant and subsequent arrests was;

798 grams of marihuana (approximately  28.5 ounces or 1.78 pounds )

7 grams of Psilocybin (approx 1/4 Ounce), 

67 grams (over a 2 ounces) of Cocaine,

128 grams of Cannabis resin (commonly known as hash oil),

$1325.00  in cash.

Tools of the trade: scale to measure out the purchase and cell phones to keep in touch with the client list.

A digital scale, a couple of  cellular phones (customer list on at least one of those – will that list lead to additional arrests?) and packaging material.  They make it sound as if this guy gift wrapped what he was selling.  This was almost a small drug pharmacy for those whose needs could be met in the middle of the night.

The accused, Ryan HORECHKA-23 years of Burlington, was located inside the premise and was subsequently arrested.

HORECHKA was charged with Trafficking a Controlled Substance and four counts of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking and released on a Promise to Appear with certain drug conditions. He is to appear in Milton Court on December 3, 2013.

Another small operator who was given up by a client.  It should be interesting when those two are in the same court room with one testifying against the other.

If you wonder why the police go to all this bother and why so much tax money is spent on court cases – pause and think about the mess the city of Toronto is in.  Rob Ford got his drugs from dealers who put envelopes in his vehicle or met him in dark places.

The police have never managed to get all the drugs off the street – there is just far too much money in that business for it to ever be eradicated. And there are too many of us who want access to the stuff.

Are some drugs basically the same as alcohol?  Do we want drugs sold over the counter just the way Scotch and Rum are now sold?  Picking up a bottle of fine 15-year-old single malt is one of the pleasures of life – at least for me it is.  Am I going to be able to at some point drive to the equivalent of an LCBO and by my prime, smartly packaged marijuana?  Justin Trudeau thinks we should be able to do that – heck we’re already buying the stuff from people who meet in dark corners and don’t want you to know where they live.

The stuff never worked for me.  I’m happy to enjoy a glass of good wine or better yet a can of really good Belgian beer with a wedge of Stilton cheese and some crisp English crackers.  But we each have our favourites – don’t we?

Investigators remind the public to utilize Crime Stoppers to report any illegal drug, gun or gang activity at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637(crimes)


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Government having problems convincing pubic to accept tax increases: they are going to spend & hope tax revenues rise enough.

November 8, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  Liberal government has decided that if they can’t get the private sector to use the cash hoard they have then they will spend their way of out the mess we got into back in 2008 when Wall Street almost bankrupted the world.

And just what is an “innovate” business climate? Sounds like corporate happy talk.Charles Sousa, Ontario’s Minister of Finance told the provincial Legislature on Thursday that the government’s economic plan, released today,  “makes strategic investments in people and infrastructure to support an innovative business climate.” And just what is an “innovate” business climate? Sounds like corporate happy talk.

The government’s plan “builds on the province’s strengths and the potential of our people and is the surest, fairest way to balance the budget by 2017-18.”

The government maintains that the opposition wants drastic, across-the-board cuts to the vital programs and services on which the people of Ontario rely. “That will harm our economy, not help it. The people of Ontario are worried about the future and they need the support, steady hand and investment of their government.” said the Minister.

“We choose to address our economic challenges by investing in our future: giving individuals, communities and industries the tools and opportunities they deserve. And so in the Fall Economic Statement I announced a number of actions, including:

We will create two new ways to fund crucial infrastructure investments without raising taxes – The Trillium Trust and the introduction of Green Bonds

We will spend $35 billion over three years to modernize infrastructure, creating 100,000 jobs a year

We will work with businesses to identify tools that encourage them to invest their cash reserves in the economy, creating jobs, improving productivity and leading to province-wide growth

We will introduce Ontario’s first ever Seniors Grant to help non-profit community groups promote healthy, active and engaged seniors across the province

We will work to make sure everyone in Ontario can retire with comfort and secure

We will make it easier for Ontario’s small businesses to hire and grow by cutting the Employer Health Tax for 60,000 Ontario small businesses.”

Let’s see what they can do – but please – actually do something before you ask for our vote.So what does the Fall Economic Statement mean for you?

It means your government claims that you will have the support you need to care for your families and contribute to the economy. It means communities across Ontario will be safe and strong. And it means Ontario will promote a competitive environment that draws investment and creates jobs.

Might this also mean our government is changing direction and repositioning itself before it goes to the polls for your support.

Let’s see what they can do – but please – actually do something before you ask for our vote.

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Toronto Mayor does his video debut; Prime Minister bids adieu to Senators he appointed – is this what they call responsible government?

November 8, 2013

 By Ray Rivers.

BURLINGTON, ON.  Aren’t you glad you don’t live in Toronto and have to admit that Rob Ford is your mayor?  Did he really say he was ‘hammered’ on the Danforth and smoked crack in one of his drunken stupors?  And was that the mayor in that police video urinating on a street, behind a school?  He was just marking his turf, Toronto.  And he’s not quitting the mayor’s office because, in his words, the people elected him to do a job.  I guess they deserve the government they elected. 

Ford passes screen test for his first video – drunk on the Danforth.

David Simon is a former police reporter and novelist who wrote the television series “The Wire”, describing various facets of criminal life in the City of Baltimore.  Chief Blair appears to have followed that script, using telephone records, and then wiretapping to get the real dope on Ford and his gangland-drug buddies. 

Not enough to charge him yet but we know where this is going – we’ve seen the Wire. 

Ford makes great comedy for the international media but this is really not a laughing matter.  The Globe and Mail is taking this seriously.  They have called him out as a liar and demanded his resignation.  The Star has released another video of Ford going manic, threatening to kill someone in no uncertain terms.  The man is out of control but the rest of City Council is powerless, or gutless, to stop him. 

And the Wynne government can’t intervene since Ford’s allies would label that political interference faster than you can fill a crack pipe. 

At the most senior government level both Ford’s fishing buddy, Harper, and his family friend, Flaherty, are keeping their heads down.  I wonder what our law and order PM really thinks of his crack-smoking friend now.  Of course, Toronto’s drama has been a great distraction to the other conservative theatre in Calgary, last weekend and in Ottawa, seemingly forever. 

Senate-gate overshadowed the Conservative convention in Calgary and the PM, now off-script and acting like a deer caught in the headlights, went with his gut – and let his right-wing base take over the agenda. There was a resolution to restrict abortions and another to declare war on public servants and their pensions.  But this is just the  appetizer.  Canada’s most ideologically positioned right-wing PM in living history, is bent on even more social transformation between now and the next election in 2015.  

Senator Wallin and Prime Minister Harper during better times.

Harper is at his best when he feigns the underdog and goes on the defensive against the so-called establishment and the elites.  And he did that well – divorcing himself from the senators he handpicked for the Red Chamber and blaming the judges he appointed to the Supreme Court for blocking his will to reform the Senate. 

The irony is that Harper is the establishment now.  He has been PM for the last seven years.  And if he doesn’t like how his program is going, he could always try to change the channel.

Stephen Harper is also Canada’s Teflon man.  Like his buddy Ford nothing seems to stick to him, and there are no consequences, at least not yet.  The RCMP have apparently just taken possession of Duffy’s emails so that may shed more light on the PMO’s involvement.   The expelled senators are threatening to take legal recourse against the government, and no doubt against what they must now consider to be the duplicitous PM, calling the shots that got them expelled.  As they say, hell hath no fury like a senator scorned.

Can the time in the penalty box count as time earned for their pensions?

In the meantime, I am getting sick of it all.  What was once amusing political theatre is rapidly becoming a boring sad tragedy – enough already!  The creative TV series “The Wire“ focused on character development and thus was a refreshing change from most stereotypical good/bad-guy American police shows.  But even in this series the bad guys got their just rewards.

Ray 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. He developed the current policy process for the Ontario Liberal Party.

Background links:

Globe & Mail calls for Ford resignation

 Federal Tories eager to edge away from Rob Ford

 Star points to details of Ford behaviour.

 Government party makes policy decisions.

Drunk Mayor makes video debut.




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Environmentalists look to possible city council candidate to argue their case: No to the marina breakwater and save those swans.

November 5, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  BurlingtonGreen seems to be upping their game.  They have an Annual General Meeting later this month – November 21st – starts at 6:15.   Central Library.  One word to describe these things – BORING.

But they have upped the game and are bringing in a highly rated speaker: broadcast journalist Donna Tranquada of CBC fame. Tranquada will share the inspiring story of a successful grassroots campaign that stopped a proposed mega quarry northwest of Toronto. The Food and Water First organization sprung from this citizens’ movement and is dedicated to protecting Class 1 farmland and source water regions across the province.

BurlingtonGreen represents a community that has no reason to be shy about its successes in stopping developments that they believe are harmful to the community.  The win at a Tribunal level hearing that stopped the addition to the existing Nelson Quarry in North Burlington was a major environmental win.  Tranquada should know that she is partying with champions.

Burlington Green delegated at a city council meeting Monday evening arguing that the city should not, at this point at least, put any money into any steps that will advance the construction of a barrier that will make LaSalle Park Marina a Safe Harbour.

LaSalle Park Marine Association (LPMA) Executive Director John Birch has been beavering away to have the marina upgraded with a wave barrier that is needed to prevent damage to boats during rough weather.

Trumpeter swan – magnificent creatures that many think need the marina space at LaSalle Park to survive the winters. Nonsense according the Marina Association.

The marina maintains they are close to being un-insurable given the number of claims their members have had to make.  Upgrading the harbour to give it the wave barrier it maintains it needs was coming along just fine – until Beverly Kingdon took on the fight to save what she believes is the only place the Trumpeter Swans can winter.  The swans were very close to extinction at one point.

Without going into all the details – and there are pages of them, Kingdon believes that the creation of a wave barrier will do serious harm to the trumpeter swan habitat.  Not so maintains the LPMA.

BurlingtonGreen has jumped into the fray and Michael Jones, past president of the Save our Waterfront Committee that Councillor Meed Ward used to propel herself into office has involved himself.  Jones, who is also a sailor – he sails out of the Royal Hamilton Club, delegated at a Standing Committee and asked that the city not put any money into the wave barrier until a Part Two Environmental Assessment that has been asked for is completed.

The marina types argue that the Minister of the Environment hasn`t agreed to calling for a Part Two Environmental Assessment and delays in having the design work done will delay the project.

What we have is a difference of opinion between a significant environmental organization and a marine association – these things happen all the time.

What was different and very significant was the person who spoke for Burlington Green at the city council meeting.

Vanessa Warren

Vanessa Warren, who politically came out of nowhere, when she took the leadership of the Rural Burlington Greenbelt Coalition that brought he city into the Burlington Executive Airpark dispute that has the city fighting a significant course case to determine just who determines where landfill can be dumped.

Warren has proven to be a very able communicator.  She brings energy and a focus to the work she did for the Coalition. The politicians loved listening to her – she has had them close to eating out of her hands at both the Regional and municipal level.

So there she was Monday evening delegating to city council to save the habitat for the trumpeter swan and explained that she was asked to bring “fresh eyes”  to the issue.

Warren brings far more than “fresh eyes”.  BG has two very able spokespeople in Jones and their Executive Director Amy Schnurr.  Would it be unreasonable to suggest that Warren is not so much “fresh eyes”  but a bigger calibre of gun that the swan people feel they need to win this battle?

Or are we seeing the first step into the political arena for Warren who has been asked by a number of people to take on Councillor Lancaster in Ward 6?  Was Lancaster watching the person she might be running against and asking herself – can I beat this woman?

Our political leaders come out of the community – we just may have seen a potential leader poke her head out just a little and tip her toe into the water.

Council didn’t buy the argument Warren put forward – they went for the Staff recommendation which was to Direct the Director of Parks and Recreation to report back to Budget and Corporate Services Committee during the 2014 Capital Budget regarding 50% co-share funding for the construction level engineered design for the permanent wave break at the LaSalle Park Marina; and

Direct the Director of Parks and Recreation to continue to support the LaSalle Park Marina Association in their efforts to pursue federal and provincial funding

Those two directions were approved without a word of debate or discussion and no one asked for a recorded vote on the item.

The next opportunity for the environmentalists to de-rail the plans to build the wave break will be during budget deliberations.

If we see Ms Warren actively involved in that process assume you will see her name on a ballot come the October 2014 municipal election.  She would be a welcome addition the council we have in place now.

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Economic development corporation getting new leadership – Benham shown the door All Hallows Eve.

November 4, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  October 31st – was not a trick, nor was it a treat for the Executive Director of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) – he was relieved of his keys and his access to the city`s information systems and informed that he was being relieved of his duties immediately.

Kyle Benham has served as the Executive Director of the BEDC for a number of years.  He came to Burlington in 2008 from Toronto`s economic development corporation and brought some people with him.

Kyle Benham, former Executive Director of Burlington’s Economic Development Corporation

Benham and the city were never a good fit.  The city has not brought in anything significant in terms of new business and has seen a number of major organizations move to what they felt were greener pastures.

There are a number of situations that were being handled by the BEDC, the IKEA file being one that has been badly managed.  A replacement has not been announced.

Changes were also made to the BEDC board of directors which is far too large and has a number of organizations that hold seats to protect their interests rather than advance those of the city.

Economic development has been a major blot of the city`s copy book.  It may take as much as a year to find the person the city needs to get that train moving. Then there will have to be changes to the department and a strategy put in place.

Will the city keep economic development as a standalone arm’s length operation or will that work be brought in-house and if it is brought in-house which General Manager will oversee the work.  These decisions have probably been made – it will just take some time for the city to make an announcement.

The decision to remove Benham was the first necessary step.  The only reasonable comment is that it took them long enough.

Now that board has to pull itself together, work hard as a team and begin to make up for the lost time.

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How does a municipal politician survive emotionally when she loses votes on motions she puts forward 6-1 time after time?

November 4, 2013    

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON. ON.  During the past six months, Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward has called for a recorded vote on a number of important issues and found hers to be the only vote FOR a motion while the other six council members voted against.

Twice during the past 60 days Meed Ward has been cut off by the chair of a meeting for speaking too long.  The first time the Mayor tried to cut her off, a shameful attempt; the second time Councillor Sharman tried to cut her off and on that occasion the Mayor suggested Council learn to accept the different styles members of Council bring to the table.

... which was described as brutal by Meed Ward ...City council recently held a CLOSED governance meeting attended by just the city Clerk and the Council members which was described as brutal by Meed Ward who did not disclose any of the specifics because it was a closed meeting.

This was not the first occasion this Council has reprimanded (and that is not too hard a word) Meed Ward.  When she ran for office it was clear she was going to be different.  She asks questions publicly and has no problem with being told that she isn’t as fully informed as she might be.

She listens to the delegations; she asks questions and she does her homework.  She has served as the Chair of a Standing Committee and acquitted herself well however she needs more experience as a chair.

When asked how she felt she would respond to the drubbing she got during the closed Governance meeting she said she planned to meet one on one with every council member and do her best to work out the differences.  According to Meed Ward, she has never been approached by a member of Council to talk about how she behaves.

Meed Ward with Alan Harrington, president of the Historical Society.

Her peers take exception to her practice of calling for a recorded vote, sometimes on a clause by clause basis, on a lot of the motions.  They also dislike her continued call for recorded votes on every issue so the public can see just how their council member voted.

It will be interesting to see just how much impact Meed Ward has had on the quality of public debate.  This council might find itself surprised at how many people agree with her.

During the 2010 election, then Mayor Cam Jackson was worried about the impact the pier issues were going to have on his being returned to office.  He worried as well on the impact Meed Ward was going to have.  What he didn’t realize at the time was that he, rather than the pier, was the issue and a once loyal constituency turfed him out of office. 

Meed Ward appears to be raising the bar on transparency for the citizens of Burlington.  Expect her to campaign on recorded votes for both Standing Committees and Council meetings.  She might even try to get a line item into this year’s budget to pay for the equipment that would show the vote the moment each Council members pushes a button.

Meed Ward was delegating during 2009 and 2010 – laying the groundwork for her defeat of Peter Thoem in 2010

Are we looking at a whacko politician who comes up with one zany idea after the other?   If one listens to Meed Ward you hear a politician who believes, fervently believes, the approach Burlington takes to civil matters is wrong, doesn`t work and needs a change.

What sustains her is the belief that thousands of Burlingtonians feel the way she does.  Meed Ward will tell you that people are constantly approaching her on the street and telling her they like what she is doing.  She has a ward council that is the most active in the city – so much so that at least one Council member has taken in one of her ward meetings to see how she does it.

Meed Ward admits that some of the things done by Council members “hurt”.  Being ambushed by the Mayor was cruel but Meed Ward finds solace in “knowing who you are.  I am well-grounded and the people I represent are with me.  I hear it from them every day and that sustains me.”

Meed Ward has this profound sense that things could be better and believes that the “adversarial approach pulls the least and the worst from us.” She is not a native to Burlington.  She used to live in the Tyandaga community and once ran against Councillor Craven.  Community life for Meed Ward was not that satisfying in the western part of the city and the family moved into the downtown core.

We are all impacted by our upbringing and the families within which we are raised.  A chilling experience at the age of 16 caused Meed Ward to think hard about the life she was to live and a conversation with her Mother, the strongest of her parents, helped her set a path that got her into communications.

Meed Ward with Mayor Goldring: she is more comfortable with herself as a speaker.

Meed Ward loves the camera; she has one of those moths to a flame relationships with the camera.  While she does write, she is stronger as a panelist; the camera is kind to her.  She is controversial at times and news editors will instruct their camera operators to get a clip from Meed Ward.  Councillor Craven is also visually good in front of a camera but he tends to preach.  Mayor Goldring just isn’t comfortable with media.  The camera lens loves Councillor Lancaster but she seldom has anything to say. Oddly, neither Councillors Taylor or Dennison have strong media skills;Dennison does have a capacity to make news.

Hearing a council member say that all kinds of people approach her and say she is doing a great job is a little self-serving – what else do you expect then to say?  But Meed Ward is beginning to collect hard data.  During the Water Street land debate she turned over 32 pages of email messages she received from people across the city.  Councillor Taylor reported getting 45 messages with just one of them from a person in his ward.  Meed Ward clearly has a constituency that is city-wide.

So who is this lady, why does she do what she does and where might she take the city if she were running it and what are the changes she wants to see made?

Meed Ward has always known where she wants to go and what she needs to do to get there.  It is a bumpy road but this is a well grounded politician.

Meed Ward will tell you that the governance model used by the hospital is the one that inspires her.  She has served on the hospital board since 2007 and finds that the way information gets to the Joseph Brant Hospital Board and how it is handled by the board is much more effective.

The hospital board requires its members to take part in professional development classes.  Meed Ward has worked with trainers on her own dime as well.  I suspect that cannot be said of most of our current council. Three of them have professional and or commercial interests that result in revenue for them which must take up some of their time if only to make up the bank deposit book.

Given the size of the work load – our council members serve as both Regional and municipal Councillors – these are full-time jobs.  They are decently paid.  Unfortunately Burlington does not appear prepared to pay them what they are worth and they don`t appear to be prepared to tell the public they are worth more than they are getting.

Meed Ward believes far too many minds are made up before council members take their seats and that the dialogue needed to arrive at a consensus doesn’t happen in this city.

During the last provincial election all the good Liberals in the city did their bit including Meed Ward and Rick Craven who supported Karmel Sakran who lost to Progressive Conservative Jane McKenna.

She has been the object of more than one unprofessional pointed attack from Councillor Craven who just cannot tolerate the woman and makes no attempt to bridge the differences.

Mayor Goldring will tell anyone who asks him that this council works very well – it doesn’t.  Councillor Lancaster recently laughed publicly at something Councillor Taylor saw as very serious and he lashed out at her in a way we have never seen him do before.  Taylor can get very emotional – but lashing out the way he did with Councillor Lancaster was surprising.

Meed Ward keeps her own counsel.   She doesn’t appear to have close advisors, she tends to want to work on her own and listen to everyone.  She has a more inquiring mind than any other council member.  She does speak too long but she also asks a lot of questions and she pushes staff to deliver.

Her core understanding of economics is limited; business is not something she takes to naturally and there are many who think she is the worst thing that could have happened to the developers in the city.  Meed Ward wants benefits for the advantages the city gives a developer.

While her understanding of what Section 37 of the Planning Act means and the way she interprets it drives the city planner bananas, Meed Ward wants as much as she can get for the city when a height restriction of eight floors grows to 16 floors.

Meed Ward would be well served if she had advisors she could trust.  In this city the people who understand the processes use that understanding to their personal advantage.

On those occasions when she is speaking at an event at which the Mayor is also speaking the difference between the two is marked.We have seen Meed Ward mature as a politician.  She is described, derisively for the most part, as a populist – something she is not uncomfortable with if by populist you mean someone who is prepared to represent the interests of all the people.

In the last six months we have heard a slightly different Mead Ward – she is sounding like a Mayor.  On those occasions when she is speaking at an event at which the Mayor is also speaking the difference between the two is marked.  Meed Ward is a natural communicator.  She is comfortable in front of a camera; she likes being in front of a camera.  She likes talking – that is her element.

Mayor Goldring tends to be a forced speaker – he appears to be trying too hard.  He is more of a loner than Meed Ward.  Put another way, Meed Ward is more comfortable in her skin than Rick Goldring is in his.

What would Meed Ward change if she had the opportunity?  She notes that before there can be any discussion at city Council, there has to be a motion on the floor – and that, she maintains, has members of Council going to their positions and arguing that point of view.  She doesn’t believe that new ideas can come forward when a position is on the table and everyone is focused on the position.

She doesn’t believe that new ideas can come forward when a position is on the table and everyone is focused on the position.City Hall delegations are, for many people, tortuous.  People who are not used to speaking publicly stand before Council for their five or ten minutes and, all too frequently, there is no feedback from council members.  Delegations are not allowed to debate or argue.  Stand, speak your mind and return to your seat if there are no questions.  Far, far too frequently there are no questions. It is diminishing for the delegations.

The delegation has prepared their comments; some are well delivered others could have used more time and there is frequently a lot of nervous energy.  But these are citizens speaking to their leaders and they deserve more in the way of respect.

Meed Ward’s thinking on how this approach might change has not been fully thought out – she does feel that there should be, could be, dialogue and conversation about the problem, opportunity – call it whatever you want – before there is a motion on the floor.  Her view is that a motion gets people into fixed positions when she believes that is the last thing needed.

Some of the more rigid thinkers on Council, and on Staff will explain that the Procedural Bylaw calls for a motion to be on the floor before there can be any debate.  They are correct.  Meed Ward`s response to that type of response is likely to be,  then change the procedural bylaw, which may be too much of a leap for most of this Council.

Meed Ward believes in dialogue, the exchange of views, along with new and credible information from the public are what’s needed at the early stages of a conversation.

Meed Ward appears to be suggesting that there be public dialogue before a detailed Staff Report or a motion is put forward so that people can make their views known, and then a Staff report could be prepared and out of that a motion fashioned.  She seems to be looking for a situation akin to developments where a planner floats an idea to get initial public reaction and then uses that reaction to fine tune the project.

Right now there is a motion that someone has to put forward.  That motion can get amended and an amendment can be made to the amendment, which makes for confusion and at times is rather amusing to watch as Council members get lost in the words they created.

Meed Ward looks for situations where there is a common vision or at least as close to a common vision as a group can get. 

To be watched for from Meed Ward is her thinking on economic development and what the city administration is going to suggest the city is going to get out of in terms of the services they currently deliver.

Progress on the IKEA plans to move their operations from Aldershot to the North Service Road are vital to the city’s tax revenue; this project has seen delay after delay – it might yet put some significant strain on the tax rate going into an election year.

There are some hard truths to be faced by city council on the tax front – we are not pulling what we need from the industrial, commercial sector and if the IKEA deal does not close the way we need it to close – we do have a problem.  Taxes will get risen at some level.

The public goes to the polls next October.  In January current members of Council will begin to announce their intentions; Councillor Taylor has already done so publicly, Meed Ward and the Mayor have made it known they intend to run again. Councillor Craven has muttered that he “might” give running for the office of Mayor a shot. By the end of January they will all, except for Councillor Dennison, be in election mode.  Dennison traditionally announces in June and should not be expected to announce until his OMB appeal scheduled for May, has been heard.

Then look for some imaginative photo ops.  Around March some new names might begin to appear and we will see some new regulars attending council meetings with their loose leaf binders in their laps.

Wards 4, 5 and 6 will be hotly contested and there will be a number of acclamations.

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Body of deceased male found floating in shallow part of Beachway Park is thought to be that of Matthew John MacLeod.

November 3, 2013

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  Regional police have yet to confirm if the body of a deceased male found in the shallows of Beachway Park is that of the person who left a pile of  clothing on the beach at the water`s edge

Early Sunday morning police were alerted to a body in an area of shallow water at Beachway Park in Burlington.

Police are assisting the Coroner`s office who have to do a medical examination before they can confirm the males identity.  No foul play is suspected.

Police have been unable to conclusively determine that the remains are those of Matthew John MacLeod, 38 years, who was reported missing from Beachway Park on October 18th 2013.

Investigators have confirmed that the clothing discovered at Beachway Park in Burlington on October 18th did belong to the missing man.

Police fear that MacLeod may have entered the Lake and are continuing efforts to determine his whereabouts.

Investigators are continuing their investigation into the disappearance of Matthew MacLeod and ask anyone with information about Matthew MacLeod is asked to contact Detective Constable Andrew HULBERT at 905-825-4747 ext 2316 or the on-duty Staff Sergeant at ext 2310.

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Citizens speak – hundreds of them. Not all disagree with Council decision to sell waterfront land- but majority do. Was Council wrong?

November 2, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.   Making a democracy work is not easy.  Politicians have that difficult task of listening and then finding a common ground that meets the needs and aspirations of as many people as possible.  There are very few great politicians – the man that got people to see things the same way more than 150 years ago and crated this Canada we have today was one of the very best.  It can be done.

Last month your city council was given a Staff Report  with three options on what to do with some land that it owned next the edge of Lake Ontario between Market and St. Paul Streets.  The land has all kinds of history and a lot of legal stuff attached to it.  Whenever there is something of value – know that there are people who want that value for themselves.  That is part of human nature – it’s not good, it’s not bad – it just is.

This view is available to anyone who wants to wander down St. Paul Street.  If the land is sold to private interests – it will become private.

One option was to keep the land and develop it into a small parkette, a second was to perhaps lease the land and a third was to sell it.

What the public didn’t know before the Staff Report was released was that there were people very interested in buying the land for their exclusive use and they apparently lobbied city council extensively.

They apparently had the land assessed to give the city some sense as to what the land was worth.  All this was done without any public awareness.

During the city council meeting at which your city council voted to sell the property, city general manager Kim Phillips agreed that the city had not done the job it is paid to do when it failed miserably to fully inform the citizens.  Her self-serving comment that the city failed to live up to its normal high standard surprised many.

The city’s decision to sell is a matter of record now.  During the next six months city staff will do the paper work that has to be done to first buy the land that belongs to the province and assemble that into a package that includes the land the city owns, agree on a price and then close the deal.

It of course is not going to be quite that simple.  Deeds in that part of town are filled will easements given, conditions – almost anything a lawyer can think of.  All those have yet to come to light.

Add to that a group of citizens who are meeting to look at some way to put a stop to the sale.  What was a local issue has taken on a broader meaning for many.

So what did this mean to the average citizen?  It’s never easy to tell.  When it looked like the province was making real plans to ram a highway though the Escarpment close to 400 people filled the Mainway Arena.

How many care about that small bit of land on the waterfront between Market and st. Paul Street.  We are not sure but we do know that more than 100 took the time to send the ward Councillor Marianne Meed Ward an email setting out their views.  Not all were against the sale.  We have published them so that they are part of the public record.

The number of the emails required us to break this into several parts.

October 14, 2013 1:42 AM To: Meed Ward, MarianneCc: Rick.Goldring@Burlingotn.ca

Subject: Re: October 2013: Council poised to sell waterfront land; Region recommends removing homes in Beachway; changes to Fairview project, and more

To:Marianne Meed Ward and Mayor Rick Goldring

In response to the issue of the parcel of land on the waterfront between Market St and St. Paul St., I am in favour of keeping it as public land. As a resident of Burlington for twenty plus years, the more of the lakefront open to the public the more we are seen as a city that cares for it’s people. As to concerns about vandalism and drunkenness, there are trails along the waterfront in some of the nicest areas of Oakville, behind some very nice homes. And the people that stroll along those trails are those that appreciate opportunity of gazing out over the water, enjoying the view. I am sure those of us that live north of Lakeshore Road in Burlington, would appreciate the chance to sit at the water’s edge in this area and enjoy the view, perhaps take a picnic lunch. To be honest, I never realized that this was public land, and so have not ventured down either Market St nor St Paul St. How wonderful to open that parcel of land up as a parkette for others to enjoy.

I agree that it would be hard to get any of the land back if sold to the property owners.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 3:04 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: keep shoreline

your thoughts mirror mine. Conflicts with what is being said about Beachway. Keep the land.

Just because some one comes wanting to buy, doesn´t mean this is a reason to sell.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 7:23 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: [Possible Spam] public lands

Marianne, I don’t think those public lands should be sold.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 8:15 AM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: City….

I think the City should keep the land Market/StPaul

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:00 AM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Cc: Goldring, Rick Subject: waterfront land

I think we should retain these lands in public ownership for all the reasons given by others, which I will not repeat.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:01 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Parkland acquisition at Market / St.Paul st.

In view of the money the City has already squandered on the pier, I think the cost of acquiring this valuable parkland pales by comparison. As a resident of this area I have always enjoyed spending time looking out over the lake. Judging from the activity I see at other similar parkettes along the lakeshore I am not alone. I have lived in Burlington since 1954 and in that time I have seen a steady increase in high rise development along the lakeshore mostly due to private landowners being bought out by developers. It is necessary for the city to acquire this property if only to have control over future development. Thank you

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:10 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Waterfront

Hi Marianne,

Excellent newsletter as always. Thank you for the extensive work that goes into producing this.

With regards to the St. Paul/Market Street waterfront properties, I support retaining the municipally owned parcel. Waterfront property is scarce enough as it is and the city should keep what it has. Moreover, I am extremely doubtful that the city would get anywhere near the market value of the land.

If it were to be sold, the city should get the difference between what each of the properties is

worth with and without waterfront. This is unlikely because an appraiser will give you a number based on a landlocked piece of property which is absurd in this case.

I would be interested in buying the property at the ‘landlocked’ price.

Perhaps it should be auctioned off so that community groups or someone other than the homeowners would have the opportunity to buy it. Selling at at the landlocked price will be a tremendous windfall for the residents at the expense of the city and municipal taxpayers.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:19 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Waterfront Property


I completely understand why the three property owners would want the land – to increase the capital value whenever sold and to put their control over the land. These are the two natural and classic drivers of people – greed and fear ( I do not use these two words with their negative connotations ).

I strongly believe that the property needs to remain as a public entity – the value accrues to all in Burlington if you look at this in a more holistic view as opposed to a locally optimized view. The concerns you have listed can be rectified and should be rectified. If the three owners decide to go to court then fight the legal action fully & vigourously. If they win the case, then there will be others in Burlington and all across Ontario that will use this as a precedent for their own acquisitions.

As a principle, in the Big Island of Hawaii, all waterfront properties are “owned” by all people. Individuals and the resort hotel developers had access to and maintained the beachfront property but they were open to all. It was refreshing and enjoyable. Once in private hands, our waterfront lands would never come back, and the residents of Burlington would be denied access to a unique piece of Lake Ontario.

Burlington has been a great example of keeping waterfront open with significant benefits accruing to the city and to the people – most of whom cannot afford waterfront property ( in my mind , this is what a portion of my property taxes are for ). It needs to continue that way.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:44 AM To: Sharman, Paul; Goldring, Rick Subject: Sale of waterfront land


I do not support the sale of waterfront land at Market St & St. Paul. I my opinion the city should be doing everything it can to preserve waterfront access for its community not rewarding the few wealthy who resort to legal threats to get what they want.

If you look at Oakville’s most recent waterfront endeavour, South Shell Park, it is a perfect example of how public park trails can co-exist with residential properties. Sheldon Creek Trail in Oakville is another good example of a public pathway along the waterfront behind houses. They have managed to provide waterfront access without incidents of violence and vandalism, why do you think Burlington couldn’t achieve the same?

The sale of this land is simply moving backwards towards goals which the residents of Burlington would like to achieve. I doubt anyone you ask would say they want to reduce waterfront access, except of course those who live on the waterfront who have a definite conflict of interest.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:59 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Waterfront Park Land Purchase

Hello Marianne,

We have lived downtown Burlington and previously Oakville for the past 20 years.

One of the things we have so enjoyed about Burlington vs. Oakville is the waterfront park access for walking, biking, kayaking on the lake etc. It is one of the major draws for us to Burlington.

I believe that this type of short sited thinking will not auger well for future home investment for the area and future stakeholders. It is not upholding the original intent for the waterfront.

I believe the statistics for dead end parkette’s for vandalism is higher than a continuous waterfront. This does not seem like a valid concern. Perhaps all of the money to develop these dead ends could better be used for current park development and maintenance.

This would be the thin edge of the wedge. What next……..squatter’s rights’. So in summary we do not support this land transaction.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:09 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Bulletin

Dear Ms. Ward:

Thank you for sending out the News Bulletin. It is really appreciated being kept up to date at what is happening at City Hall.

I agree with you totally on keeping the waterfront every last inch of it that now belong to the City or even if some of it belongs to the Province. Once sold and built on you have lost control of it and eventually they would most probably become highrises. People need to have places to walk and enjoy nature, be it sea, lake woods ot mountains. Cities are becoming overcrowded, which is really laughable in a country that is so large as Canada. We fail badly when we overcrowd the southern part of our country and neglect the northern. Also we use our best farmland for buildings. Never thinking of the future. It seems that most of our politicians of every party and all level of Government lack foresight, and their eyes seem to be blinkered like horses that they only see dollar bills or grandiose surroundings.

 Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:19 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: RE: October 2013: Council poised to sell waterfront land; Region recommends removing homes in Beachway; changes to Fairview project, and more


Thank you for the update.

No to the sale of the Parkette Land. I expect the owners knew the land belonged to the city when they bought their property. It was their choice & money to fix the shoreline (aka future planning?). Shoreline property always has & always will be a prized ownership right & more power to someone who can own it outright but when you have an issue like this the city must retain ownership.

 Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:29 AM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Park land

I do not use this property and I don’t know who does but is it going to be bid on? What if someone else wants this property? Legally can this just be sold to the homeowners without others having a right to buy? I for one do not think any parkland should be sold.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:31 AM

To: Goldring, Rick; Dennison, Jack Cc: Meed Ward, Marianne Subject: Water Front Property

Rick and Jack

Re The city’s Community Services Committee (which includes all members of City Council) voted 6-1 to sell the property to the three homeowners, and only retain the street ends at Market St. and St. Paul St. as “Windows to the Lake” for public use. This recommendation heads to council for final approval.

We should not be selling our public waterfront property to private interests, ever. I am quite surprised by this as we have limited public access and parks on Lake Ontario

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:55 AM

To: Dennison, Jack

Cc: Goldring, Rick

Subject: sale of public land on the lake


Please do NOT go ahead with this plan. To sell off public land instead of maintaining it as park is truly shameful behaviour. Surely the home owners were aware that this was public land when they purchased their lots. Sadly, this latest in a series of questionable decisions has just ensured that neither of you will receive my endorsement next time we go to the polls.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:57 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Feed Back on Market/St Paul Land


I really appreciate the newsletter updates you send out. You have to be the most organized and informed Councillor.

I normally agree with you but your take on the retaining these lands I think is flawed. Why ?

My take:

• That area is relatively unknown for the majority of Burlington.

Agree – the area is known to the locals, and would be of the scale of a “local” parkette.

• There are other waterfront “windows” that are already available.

Agree – the goal here though is to facilitate a path. When land along the shoreline is subdivided, severed or otherwise redeveloped, the city can take 5% along the shore for a path (in both Planning Act and Official Plan). It may take a long time, but worth the effort.

• Why get into a protracted legal dispute with people who have already sunk money into protecting those lands, and who likely have the financial means to extend the battle?

I am very disappointed about talk of suing the city, however the legal case clearly stated that the homeowners built the seawall on public land, at their own risk. Further, there is some doubt whether any action could be taken 20 years after the fact. Sometimes this is what it takes to protect public lands.

• It’s unrealistic to anticipate a connected string of parks running along the lakeshore, behind the most desirable properties in Burlington.

See my note above, re “windows”

• I think the resources can be better spent improving the Beachway Park.

I see it as a both/and not an either/or – we have $9.8million in a dedicated fund for park development – more than enough for the $102,000 it would cost for the parkette. This is what the fund is there for! And lots left over for other parks, too.

Which btw I do agree … we should leave the few private dwelling alone there. I’d rather the city spent $10 M improving infrastructure in Burlington.

There are a lot of roads in Burlington in terrible shape.

Agree. We are working on improving the infrastructure funding.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:57 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Re: October 2013: Council poised to sell waterfront land

Dear Marianne,

I agree with you; the land should NOT be sold. If the City has no immediate plans for it, at the most it could be leased for some reasonable period, say 10 or 15 years. Much can change in that time.

It appears that the adjacent land owners would benefit through a sale by increasing their property values, but that is not the City’s concern.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 11:08 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Waterfront land

I for one do not think the city should be selling any property that is on the water. There will never be more waterfront made and the cost to keep it is very little.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 11:20 AM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Waterfront land sale Hi Marianne,

I agree with your view that the waterfront land between Market St. And St. Paul St. should be retained by the city, and NOT sold to private homeowners. I think your vision of securing a continuous waterfront with/for public access is the best use for this prime property. I strongly believe that the waterfront is one of Burlington’s greatest treasures, and should be safeguarded, not only for our generation, but for future ones as well.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 11:24 AM

To: Goldring, Rick

Cc: Lancaster, Blair; Sharman, Paul; Dennison, Jack; Taylor, John; Meed Ward, Marianne; Craven, Rick

Subject: Consider Oakville

Please reconsider the issue of selling public waterfront land between Market St. and St. Paul St., running behind three private homes.

As public land it will be available to local residence to visit the waterfront in a very different type of park than the beach, the pier and promenade and the existing windows on the lake. As a park, this will make a quiet area suitable for private reflection and quiet conversations, something well needed in our hectic world.

My husband and I moved to Burlington in 2002 and we love it. Prior to our move we lived in a freehold townhouse that was situated on the lake with the Waterfront Trail (unpaved) between our home and the water. The trail cuts to the lake just west of 3rd Line, and follows the waterfront to Bronte. The residence often cut the crass in front of their homes and planted flower gardens outside their fences to make a very pleasant environment for those using that section of the trail. There are also benches positioned along that section. In the 7 years I lived there there were only two problems with people using the trail. One was dealing with people who let their dogs off leash to run free. The other was when it was proposed that memorial trees would be planted on the trail that would block residents views. Memorial benches were allowed instead of the trees. You can easily see this section of the trail on Google Maps.

If you look on Google Maps at the waterfront from the most easterly street in Oakville, (Arkendo) you can see a park that runs between the lakeside homes and the lake. I have visited this park on an beautiful summer morning and enjoyed the serenity. I know many local residents who do not front on the lake walk to this park. Having known people who live on this street and speaking about it, I believe parking has not been a problem as few people know it is there. I also understand that the residents who back on the park take pride and ownership to keep the area safe, as it is their best interest to report any rowdy behavior to the police.

If you follow the shoreline a short distance west you will see Carrington Promenade. The street view easily shows the access. You can also see swimming pools and gardens on the private properties.

Chancery Promenade is next west, then a short promenade off Bel Air Drive, then Esplanade Park, Raymar Park, First Street Park, (from Allen Street west) Dingle Park, then George Street Park. This gets you to Lakeside Park at the harbour. These parks have homes backing onto them.

Why are you looking at selling the land on the lake east of downtown and trying to buy land on the beach strip? In my opinion you should not sell the land under consideration and follow Oakville’s example of creating as much public access to the lake as possible.

We live on the lake. I know the joy we have, (as well as our neighbours, visitors and people we chat with on bike rides along the lakefront), watching people enjoying personal watercraft, from simple kayak’s to power boats. Sitting watching a sunrise, swans gliding by and the ship traffic that visits Hamilton are all pleasures that small parkets offer Burlington residents.

Please vote to keep and develop for public use, the publicly owned property between Market St. and St. Paul St., running behind three private homes as Oakville has done successfully.

Thank you for your attention and consideration

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 11:45 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: RE: October 2013: Council poised to sell waterfront land; Region recommends removing homes in Beachway; changes to Fairview project, and more

Thanks for the map of the parcel of public waterfront land between Market St. and St. Paul St.; I never knew it even existed. Sell it, take the money and run.

Please cancel all the neighbour studies; if the beach community (and it is more of a true community than many of the other so-called communities in Burlington) does not have its own “character” than I don’t what does.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 12:04 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: City shoud keep and develop the Waterfront Land Marianne,

I support keeping and developing the waterfront land and turning it into a park. Private residents have enough of the land already. Selling it means that very few will enjoy it. Keeping it means many can explore it for a very long time.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:15 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: lake front property


We live on Green St Burlington, would like to inform you that we do not want the city to sell  the water front property. It is public land and belongs the people of Burlington. We all deserve to view the beauty of the lake, we should be adding walk ways not taking them away.

Thanking you for your time.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:34 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne; Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Proposed sale of public waterfront land

Hi Marianne,

I am a new resident having just purchased and moved to Burlington from Oakville. I reside in your ward on First Street.

The reason I am sending this note is to pledge my full support for your stand against selling waterfront property. I am horrified that the mayor and other councillors have indicated support for this, which as your note suggests, it simply does not make sense to let go of waterfront lands.

One of the very reasons I moved to lovely Burlington was the better waterfront access than Oakville and I am horrified that a sale is even being considered in this instance. I wish you the best in your quest and look forward to meeting you sometime soon.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 4:08 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne; Dennison, Jack; rick.craven@burligton.ca; Taylor, John; Lancaster, Blair; Goldring, Rick


Importance: High


I live at on Lakeshore Road, across from the lakeside property being discussed. I urge you all to vote to maintain the shoreline property under city ownership. The city has no business even contemplating selling any lakefront property. The public should have maximum access to the waterfront. The city through its council should be looking to increase this access, not reduce or further limit it.

The property owners purchased their properties in the knowledge that there existed a ribbon of publicly owned land between theirs and the lake.

I agree with the view of Councilor Marianne Meed-Ward, who in my view is very much in touch with the views of Burlington residents.

The cost of maintaining the property is small and there appear to be funds set aside for such maintenance. So why sell? What is the benefit to the City? And by the City I mean the population of Burlington. If the land was to be sold, which it shouldn’t, what would be done with the funds realized? Probably they  would be lost in the general mix, i.e. no meaningful gain.

Please do not sell this parcel of valuable lakeside land at any price

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 12:26 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne


Re proposed sale of City Land between Market and St. Paul. Yes, sell it to the homeowners at fair market value for “prime” waterfront properties. The “window” on St. Paul has been used by our family for the past 46 years without any need for benches, parking, etc. Use any surplus funds available to enhance Pt. Nelson park (eg: a bench by the play structure would be nice, maybe some improvement in the landscaping).

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 1:39 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: RE: October 2013: Council poised to sell waterfront land; Region recommends removing homes in Beachway; changes to Fairview project, and more

As always, thanks for giving us the updates and for identifying issues. Having read your summary, here are my thoughts.

Sale of Waterfront land

I really struggle with the value of retaining this relatively small parcel of land. It is not connected in any way to any other parkland and I don’t see the location catering to desirable use relative to the cost associated with developing it. I don’t reside close to it so I don’t have an emotional or vested interest, so can’t take a stand on not selling it. That said, fair market value needs to be secured on any sale.

Beachway property

I continue to support leaving the property in the hands of the current owners on Beachway.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 1:47 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Comment on your newsletter Marianne,

As always your newsletter is very informative. This one in particular touches on several issues on which I would like to offer my feedback

First of all the sale of a parcel of public waterfront land between Market St. and St. Paul St. Having reviewed the material from the waterfront committee I can see no advantage to the city to divest itself perminently from any waterfront land. Even if the parkette is not created immediately it seems prudent to keep the option open, possibly with a short to mid term lease to the effected property owners. There is no more waterfront land being created and my crystal ball is unclear on the future possibilities.

The second concern is the removal of the community on the Beachway. The cost of removing there residents seem excessive to add public park space that isn’t directly on the waterfront. I am not aware of any proposals for new beach facilities for this relatively small area that would enhance the public waterfront experience. We use the beachway regularly and find the residents in no way detract from the experience. We do however feel that the fact there are always people there provides a deterent to bad behavour especially at night or off peak times.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 2:21 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: RE: October 2013: Council poised to sell waterfront land; Region recommends removing homes in Beachway; changes to Fairview project, and more

Happy Thanksgiving Marianne, hope you have a great day.

I am with you as far as not selling this small but important piece of land

First of all, when someone threatens legal action if they don’t get their way, my back goes up immediately as that means they feel they can bully the city into doing what they desire.

When these homes were built and sold and resold, the owner knew where the property lines lay. I can see why they would love to purchase this waterfront area as the value of their homes would rise immensely, certainly a lot more than they are probably willing to pay.

You can never have enough waterfront parkland. As the saying goes, They aren’t making any more of it. The population of Burlington is growing and we need every square foot we can keep. The notion that this area will be a haven for vandals and drug users and so on is a problem that our police can handle and if those homeowners are vigilant than they should call the police if they notice any wrong doing.

I am tired of the city giving in to a small number of should I say, well to do citizens. This issue is not of a resident wishing to purchase an empty lot next door as was the case I believe in Toronto with Mayor Ford, but we a looking at public property on the Lakefront which is how it should stay.

If there is a concern as to damage from the lake, then this concern should have arisen when these people either built or purchased their property as the lake has been there a lot longer than their homes.

I don’t feel that the demands of three residence should outweigh the rights of the public to continue to enjoy this park and the maintenance cost is minimal to what the city is spending on other projects.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 2:33 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Cc: Office of Mayor Rick Goldring; Dennison, Jack

Subject: Burlington Council poised to sell prime waterfront land

Hi Marianne

I  support retaining the land under public ownership and making it a parkette.

To: “mariannemeedward@burlington.ca” <mariannemeedward@burlington.ca>

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 8:46:54 AM

Subject: Lake front properties


I think on balance that I agree with your view that any lake front property that is currently available or becomes available should be retained by the city although I can see the potential problems of the particular property at St. Pauls being used by vandals etc. Would it not be possible to reach a compromise with the home owners that would allow a footpath wide strip along the area in question

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 2:56 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Selling of waterfront land

Hello Marianne.

Once again thank you for taking the time to send out your Ward 2 newsletter. After reading about the city wanting to sell the waterfront property I must say I am in agreement with you. Do not sell the land, develop it into a parkette for all to enjoy.

Thank you,

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 4:25 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Lakefront

I am totally opposed to the sale of any waterfront land, especially to private interests which will bar citizens from enjoying access to the lake. The part now being considered between Market and St. Paul Sts. is one of very few waterfront areas available to citizens

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 10:42 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne; Goldring, Rick; Dennison, Jack; Sharman, Paul; Craven, Rick; Lancaster, Blair; Taylor, John

Subject: Parkette Decision

As the population of Burlington increases, due to intensification, more citizens will be seeking the use and enjoyment of public waterfront areas, once sold we will ”never“ get them back. As I understand the situation, Burlington council recently voted 6 to 1 to sell off a piece of waterfront parkland known as the “parkette”. As a taxpayer I expect council to do many things, but especially taking a strategic view of valuable public resources and assets. As Councillors you are our elected stewards, are responsible for the planning and management of such properties and your transient legacy should not be to dispose of rare assets. Yes, there are costs to keeping and maintaining the “parkette”, but not all parklands have the same intrinsic value, and the cost in this case may be well justified,given the nature of the property in question. The “parkette” has ethical and philosophical value and selling it off may be short sighted.

If vandalism and drunken behaviour is the only justification for selling the land, we should dismantle the pier. During my first visit to the pier, shortly after it was opened, the number of discarded liquor, beer bottles and vomit present on the walkway took me aback.

As to the costs of developing the waterfront areas known as the “windows/parkette”, and not knowing the details of the financial deliberations, my questions is, is full funding of the area, a nice to have or a must have?

Dear Mayor and Councilors

I have received a color brochure produced by Marianne Ward regarding her desire to connect the two underdeveloped road accesses between St. Paul and Market St. I lived at Lakeshore and Guelph Line and suggest that it would be more beneficial to spend tax money upgrading the existing Park which has parking available, street sightlines and is much larger than a walkway between the two streets. This park could be improved with proper grading and improved equipment and seating etc without incurring expensive legal issues.

Agree Port Nelson needs upgrading. We can do both. The city has $9.8m in park development fund – money set aside specifically to preserve parkland. It is more than enough to cover the additional $102000 cost of the parkette.

It is my understanding that the proposed walkway would divide the existing seawall constructed by the 3 homeowners at their expense and contain the property that was back filled by them. It would appear to me that any effort to construct a pathway on this property would result in expensive legal case. The city probably doesn’t need the distraction and cost of another legal problem/action such as the one with the construction of the pier. The 3 property owner will no doubt want significant compensations for their seawall and property devaluation as well as ongoing property tax reduction.

It would be very disappointing if there was a law suit because the city chose to retain in public hands land that is and has always been public, and homeowners were aware of that when purchasing their homes. A court case dating back some 20 years determined that the seawall was built at the homeowners risk on public property, and no compensation is owed by the previous seller of the home involved in the case, or the city. If compensation is owed, the judge ruled, it would be from the Ministry of Natural Resources, which owns the shoreline. It is also unclear whether any action could be taken against the city 20 years after the seawall was built, given there are statues of limitations on certain filings.

Neither St Paul St. or Market St. have suitable parking or turn around room at the lake potentially resulting in extra traffic and driveway access problems for the nearby residents. Additionally the police supervision of the area and maintenance will be expensive and potentially ineffective. The immediate area would have 3 parks including the 2 parketts within 2 blocks which should be ample to service existing residents natural desire to have a view of the lake. The downtown waterfront park should remain the focus of development

Not all parks in Burlington require or provide parking – small neighbourhood parks are intended for residents within walking distance. The windows and parkette here are of that type, and will encourage walk up visitors.

Regarding policing: There is occasional vandalism/parties in other parks in the city (Central/Beachway/Kerncliffe etc), but we don’t eliminate parks to solve this issue but rather take a variety of measures to combat the bevahiour and encourage respect for the parks.

I urge you to stand your ethical position of selling the property to the home owners and vote against the misleading attempt of Ms..Ward’s to make a fish bowl of the lakefront residences.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 5:35 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne; Goldring, Rick; Craven, Rick; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Sharman, Paul; Lancaster, Blair

Subject: Burlington Council poised to sell prime waterfront land


We live on Lakeshore Rd. and have been following the debate on the new parkette planned for the waterfront east of Market street. We support the new Windows To The Lake as this will provide amazing access to the beautiful views of Lake Ontario.

However, we have some significant concerns regarding the new parkette.

1. This parkette is hidden from the main roads, offering a secluded place for parties, vandalism and noise. Can you imagine having this park directly behind your home, being subject to the noise and disruption? On the north side of Lakeshore we get our fair share of empty beer bottles on our lawn, so I can’t imagine what a mess this park will become.

There is occasional vandalism/parties in other parks in the city (Central/Beachway/Kerncliffe etc), but we don’t eliminate parks to solve this issue but rather take a variety of measures to combat the behavior and encourage respect for the parks.

2. Based on the state of Port Nelson park, at the end of Guelph Line, it appears that the city has insufficient resources to maintain a new park. Port Nelson is in serious need of repair, including better seating, regular clean-up, and the removal and pruning of existing trees and bushes.

Why don’t we clean this park up before we build a new one? After all it is only two blocks away and has parking.

Agree Port Nelson needs upgrading. We can do both. The city has $9.8m in park development fund – money set aside specifically to preserve parkland. It is more than enough to cover the additional $102000 cost of the parkette.

3. This summer we have gone through water main construction. Many times we had to park on side streets over night, causing inconvenience to local residences. Have vehicle traffic and parking limitations been considered for the new parkette?

Not all parks in Burlington require or provide parking – small neighbourhood parks are intended for residents within walking distance. The windows and parkette here are of that type, and will encourage walk up visitors.

4. The seawall at the proposed parkette poses both a danger and a liability. The probability of an accident seems very high.

Staff have recommended a fence along the seawall. That said, there are other areas of public waterfront that are not fenced (eg. Burloak), and other parks with high drops (eg Kerncliffe). There is no extra liability in this case from what we have at our other parks.

Thank you for your consideration on this matter.

The full collection of the email sent Councillor Meed Ward was too long for just one article.  The balance of those email is HERE.

Previous articles published:

Council votes 6-1 to sell waterfront property.

Selling price fr waterfront property not announced.

Committee decision to sell waterfront property now goes to Council. 

Staff report advises city to keep waterfront property; leasing is an option


Return to the Front page

Part 2: Citizens speak out on sale of waterfront property.

November 2, 2013

By Staff.

BURLINGTON, ON.  Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward asked citizens to email her with their views on a motion the city was about to approve that would result in the sale of a strip of waterfront land on the edge of the lake between St. Paul and Market Streets.  Council voted to authorize staff to begin negotiations with those who wished to buy the property.


A view that may become private – owned by a few.

It was not a popular decision and it appeared to go against the grain of several city policies. Meed Ward gave the city Clerk copies of the 32 pages of email she received.  We re-printing those emails and leave them here for the record.

The names of the senders were removed by the City Clerk – something to do with privacy.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 5:49 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: waterfront land

I suspect most Burlington residents think as you do. Cities around the world have learned not to sell waterfront land. Why are we selling what we have – and cheap?

To: Meed Ward, Marianne Subject: Sale of city property

As usual, this situation gives good reason for concern. Pressure will always be applied by avaricious people to exclude everyone but themselves from access to desirable amenities like the lake. Oakville is a typical example of the application of this type of shady policy, where lake access almost completely private. Please stand your ground in opposing the sale. It cannot be said that your policy is inconsistent. What applies on the beach strip must also be applicable in this case.

For once in my life I feel I can read the opinions you express on local policy without wondering what personal motive is behind the stance you take. What a refreshing change. A politician apparently motivated by logic and concern for the populous, not personal gain.

More strength to your arm.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 6:11 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Cc: Goldring, Rick; Craven, Rick; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Sharman, Paul; blair.lancaster@burlinton.ca

Subject: Waterfront land

Dear Marianne

Thank you so much for making us aware that the city of Burlington is considering selling the waterfront land between Market St. And St. Paul St. That would truly be a loss for Burlington. There is little enough waterfront land still available for public use and once it is sold it is gone for good.

We agree with you that the city should develop the area as part of a waterfront trail. Lake Ontario is one of the most important reasons why our city is special and to keep the vast majority of citizens away from the water is wrong. We deserve to have more than a few “Windows to the Lake” in the residential areas.

Any family or any business looking to settle in Burlington will appreciate the access to the lake for the residents.

The citizens own the land now …treasure it and keep it safe for the present and future generations of Burlington residents!

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 6:33 PM

To: Goldring, Rick

Cc: Craven, Rick; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Paul.Sherman@Burlington.ca; Lancaster, Blair; Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Sale of Public Waterfront

Dear Sir,

As a resident of Burlington I am absolutely disappointed to learn that council is considering selling the the parcel of public waterfront between Market Street & St. Paul Street.

I moved to Burlington several years ago as I fell in love with the waterfront here. The great cycling & walking trails won me over,

I feel this land should stay in public hands for everyone to enjoy & not just a select few. This land clearly interrupts the possibility of having a continuous waterfront trail something that could be enjoyed by all.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 6:43 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: [Possible Spam] Retain

Thank you for the newsletter,we agree with you.Retain the land in Public hand’s.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 6:56 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: land market to st paul

Please keep all public lakefront lands in the hands of the city for generations to come. Views of the lake are being increasingly lost to the average citizen of Burlington. This is a million dollar view which once sold will never be come back to us.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 6:58 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: waterfront land, Dear Marianne,

We support your efforts to keep the small piece of land between St Paul and Market Streets city property.

We agree with all of the reasons that you have laid out. Also, symbolically, everyone has access to the lake.

We sure hope that a waterfront trail becomes a reality someday!

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 8:59 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: waterfront land

I agree that waterfront lands are part of the official plan, vandalism can be dealt with, 182,000 dollars is affordable, and the homeowners improved the shoreline at their own risk. The councilors in Oakville are acquiring lots of waterfront property for their public use.

Selling property to the shoreline is too loose. The shoreline changes. There is an act that has been read called the Great Lakes Right of Shoreline Passage Act in Ontario (re Rob Milligan, MPP). It will grant the public access along the Great Lakes as far as the high watermark. Where is the high watermark in this case? Several years ago the supreme court in Michigan ruled that the public has access to the high watermark. This has resolved skirmishes.

I’m not sure where the high water mark is in this case. The shoreline is somewhat elevated from water by a high bank.

How much frontage (in feet) do the homeowners want to buy? What is the city wanting to sell it for? What is the equivalent frontage price that the city wants to pay for the frontage on the beachway area? (This may not compare because the beachway is not on the waterfront.)

The land was appraised by an independent land appraiser. Those details are confidential.

Is there an error (typo) when you say “If any compensation is owed, the judge said it would be from the MNR.” I don’t understand this statement.

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) owns the land along the shoreline, the city owns the land between the MNR properties and the back yards of the private homes. The seawall was built on MNR land, thus if any compensation is owed for building the seawall MNR would owe it.

I hope more thought will be put into this process. Ward 1,2,4 and 5 all border the lakefront. I would hope they are interested in expanding public waterfront trails in their wards.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:37 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: public waterfront land between Market St. and St. Paul St.






Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:51 PM To: Goldring, Rick

Cc: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Selling waterfront lands

Your Worship, I am writing to express my opposition to the City’s plan to sell the land between Market and St Paul’s Street to the adjacent home owners.

I feel this would be in error and in haste. My understanding is that the city is attempting to open up the waterfront and make it accessible to the public. I’m not sure how a sale would aid in moving forward on this objective.

By having this parkette, it would provide a U shaped park available for walkers, cyclist, and those just enjoying the natural environment. It becomes destination with access and egress, rather than a dead end. Anyone following the Waterfront Trail would turn down to this U rather than continue along Lakeshore Road. It would bring more use of the two Windows to the Lake.

It is located nearby to the parkette at the end of Guelph Line that has some playground facilities. Therefore, all that is needed in the new one is a pathway and some benches.

While at the moment it is landlocked, it sends the message that Burlington is serious about its waterfront commitment. Who knows how or when other waterfront lands may also become available. But to eliminate our ownership now, would be foolhardy.

It is better to enter into a lease with adjacent landowners while we see what opportunities may be encouraged than to end opportunities with its sale.

I implore you to reconsider your decision to sell this land and act on behalf of all Burlington residents and retain our ownership of this land.

Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 9:53 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Market St/ St Paul

Hello Marianne,

Thought I would remind council of the wonderful park in Bayfield which came about because a few determined and visionary folk decided to purchase lake front land so that generations of people who live in,or visit Bayfield ,regardless of wealth,could continue to enjoy the sunsets.

Please remind council that preserving access to the lake and its views for all the citizens of Burlington will benefit the entire city and not just a select few.


Sent: Monday, October 14, 2013 09:12 PM To: Taylor, John

Subject: public waterfront land between Market and St Paul Streets

I would like to express my views regarding the upcoming council vote on the sale of the public waterfront land between Market and St Paul Streets which run behind three private properties. I would like to see Burlington honour the spirit of its ‘Waterfront Vision’ and vote in the best interests of the citizens by retaining this valuable land for our use. It has brought many hours of pleasure to me and my family as part of our natural waterfront, which is increasingly encroached and obstructed by development (for example the planned replacement of the old 3 storey Riviera hotel with a multi storied condo). One of the key attractions of this city is the waterfront, and we can only continue to benefit by maintaining this resource which can be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.

Vandalism etc is no more of an issue along this beachfront area than in other public places (it is more so, in fact, on the treed beach area which is hidden from street view opposite the hospital, in Central Park and now, at the far end of the pier in the late evening/early morning). The City can certainly afford to keep this area using some of the funds from the 9.8m park development fund. And I understand that the legal challenges regarding the seawall are not founded on any legal grounds. I look forward to an enlightened vote which will guard against the slow erosion of our public places by individual and corporate interests.

Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 11:48 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Waterfront Market str./St.-Paul str.

In reference to the waterfront land between Market and St.-Paul street I urge council to reflect on their decision taken at the council meeting and preserve the Waterfront strip between the two windows to the lake for future generations and our children. Once sold, it cannot be reversed and will only benefit three home owners rather than the 175.000 Burlington residents and their descendants. My request and that of my neighbours DO NOT SELL THE WATERFRONT!! and make it accessible to the public!!

I trust you will do the right thing.

Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 6:18 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: St. Paul and Market Streets Parkette

Dear Marianne,


I’ve lived in the Port Nelson area for over 6 years now. I often walk and wish I had a better view of the lake on my walks.

Although I’m close to Lakeshore Rd. I cannot see the lake at all at the bottom of Beaver Street. I use to be able to see blue water from the street, until the home owner along the lake shore built a garden shed in the only spot that you could see through. Oh well – it’s their property to do with what they like – they bought the right to do that and paid for it.

The lake view from the Port Nelson Park is not the best as it is recessed in, but there are usually people enjoying the benches and the view. I often take my grandson there. I go to the end of Green St. and fight through rocks, bushes and lawn debris. It appears the property owners at the end of Green just use this as their disposal site. I often wish it was cleaned up so I could take a book down to the lake and sit on some rocks and enjoy some lake breeze.

When I walk to the end of St. Paul and Market Street I feel like I’m trespassing on private property. At the end of Market Street on the east side a fence goes right to the edge. I had no idea that there was a ‘parkette’ between these two streets. I had no idea the end of these streets were considered ‘Windows to the Lake’! Why has there never been any signage? It should have been marked as a public path. It seems this has been a well kept secret. The land concerned does not even show up on the maps that the city distributes to home owners when road work is being done. I see from the overhead picture of the area, that there appears to be a circular drive partially on the city ‘street land’ near the end of St Paul. At the end of Market St. there is a fence right to the edge totally blocking access. Whose chairs are sitting on the PUBLIC LAND? Who should have their

If the homeowners in question want property with lake frontage then they should sell their properties and go buy some. They knew when they purchased their properties that they did not own lake frontage nor did the price they had to pay reflect that of lake frontage costs. Does council realize what the addition of lake frontage would do to the value of these 3 properties? Everyone would love to have some lake frontage in Burlington. But those who have it are those who buy it – not those that demand and threaten to take over city land to get some! What about tax assessment? Since they have been treating this land as if they own it maybe they should have their property taxes reassessed to reflect that.

As you say in your Ward 2 Alert – why would city hall want to demolish private homes that aren’t even on the waterfront and then turn around and sell land that can only be sold to 3 homeowners – not even to a  highest bidder. If they did sell it – bidding should be open and fair and the city should get the best deal for tax payers as it can – however this land should never be allowed to slip from city ownership! Port Nelson is one of the original settlements that ended up becoming the City of Burlington. This ‘city owned property’ should have historical significance! Someday down the road Nelson Park could possibly be amalgamated with this parkette – who knows – some civic minded person could decide to leave some or all of their land to the city – there are only 2 properties separating the two areas now!

I cannot believe this property has always been available for public use!

I am totally against losing this parkette! This land should be accessible to all the tax payers of Burlington. It should not in any way become private property to the extremely high benefit of only 3 property owners! They did not buy lake front properties and have no right to them.

If the city is worried about vandalism and drunkenness then I guess they should close all parks and bike & walking trails. What a weak argument!

Thanks for looking out for the people of Ward 2 and the people of Burlington! I plan to send a similar letter to the mayor and all other councillors.

I can’t wait to be able to stroll along the lake in my neighbourhood.

Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 2:11 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne; Goldring, Rick

Cc: Taylor, John; Craven, Rick; Jack.Dennison@Burlingto.ca; Sharman, Paul; Lancaster, Blair

Subject: Objection to Proposed Sale of Waterfront Land

The purpose of this email is to voice our strong objections to the proposed sale of the waterfront land between Market and St Paul Streets.

If the City ever wishes to have a waterfront trail, now is the time to keep this property for our future enjoyment and not have to attempt to repurchase it when the price will be enormous.

Right now, this land is worth hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. The neighbours are unlikely to compensate the City for anything near its true value. Surely, City Council has observed the asking price of lots even near Lake Ontario?

How can the City agree to sell property that is at least partially owned by the Ministry of Natural Resources?

The one advantage (to lawyers) to not selling is that countless lawyers could be employed dragging the case through the courts for years.

What happened to the street that ran along the north shore of Lake Ontario many years ago and was destroyed in a storm? Doesn’t that property still belong to Port Nelson or the City?

Do your duty to the residents now and in the future and vote against the sale. Waterfront land is priceless and should not be sold!

Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 12:17 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Cc: Goldring, Rick

Subject: public waterfront land


Our grandchildren live in the Lakeshore area of Burlington.

We like to walk the beach areas and explore the waterfront with them. Please do not let a few people restrict public access to this wonderful waterfront area.

Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2013 10:00 AM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Ward2 Alert

Hi Marianne:

Thanks you so much for the information in the Ward 2Alert flyer. I would agree to retain the land in public hands if it facilitates a continuous waterfront trail for the future.

To: rick.goldring@burlington.ca; mariannemeedward@bell.net;

Subject: RE: Selling a rough cut diamond rather that adding it to Burlington’s crown jewels – unimaginatively myopic

Date: Fri, 11 Oct 2013 10:16:57 -0400

Thanks Rick for your quick response to my missive.

In your note, item 2. I’d suggest the following. As their is no present connectivity between Port Nelson Park that in its-self, should not be an argument for disposing of this space.

As more and more people are being encouraged to to use the bike path and experience the extraordinary pleasure of walking that stretch of Lakeshore is an overwhelming reason to add more “Windows to the Lake” as the serenity that such a spaces provide are immeasurable for the well being of all.

For some to argue or propose that such space could be considered and lumped in the phase as stated “no potential anywhere else is not practical and feasible” Is unimaginative and myopic to restate my opinion. If the city own all the end parcel’s of land pointing at the lake – then they should signed and all be groomed for access.

All Burlington residents deserve and demand more access to the lake – not everybody is fortunate to live atop of such a magnificent vista – yet the move to close off such access is something nobody desires!

Once its gone – its gone forever. Developing the Parkette to be of more value to the residents is the raison d’être of those proclamations in the official plan.

Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2013 10:57 PM To: Goldring, Rick

Cc: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Retain the waterfront land in public hand we have been in Burlington for the last 10 years, owning a home close to the lake.

The lake and its public access to the lake is one of the most important features of Burlington. Hence I would encourage council to regain the lakefront parcel at every sale of a home located at the waterfront.

Therefore it is absolutely mandatory to keep already gained waterfront parcels and not to let them fall back into private ownership. We have watched the tireless but ultimately successful effort of communities in Germany to regain lakefront access for the public. It took them some decades but finally they succeeded.

Therefore we would like to encourage you not to let go and to keep the parcels in public hands.

Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2013 10:14 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Sale of public waterfront land in the city of Burlington


As a follow-up to your recent Ward 2 Alert flyer.

I am opposed to the sale of public waterfront land in the city of Burlington.

As a resident of Burlington (forget the fact that I live in Ward 2), I implore you not to sell this public access to the waterfront.

For as many years as my husband & I have lived here, I have lamented the fact that the city did not have the foresight to preserve the waterfront for everyone to see, access and just generally appreciate. The fact that we continue to develop property south of Lakeshore – thereby obliterating it from the view of everyone driving, walking or riding by – will always leave me feeling depressed. If development had always been restricted to the north side of Lakeshore Rd., not only would those people still have their ‘waterfront’ property, they would not have limited the spectacular view of our magnificent Lake Ontario to only themselves. Hindsight is often painful but surely it can teach us to do better in the future?

The fact that you have the opportunity to keep this access to public property suggests to me that you owe all of us citizens of Burlington to do precisely that – keep it.

The fact that it is already ours should make this decision a ‘no-brainer’.

The fact that your decision to not sell would both honour our City and Regional Official Plans underscores to me that you ought to be shamed into doing just that. Indeed, shame on you if you disregard both plans, begging the question “why bother having plans if they are constantly being over- ruled, ignored, or worse yet ‘bought’ by those who can well afford to get what they want”.

May I suggest you all give your heads a shake and wake up to the reality that having direct access to nature keeps us healthy in mind, body and soul. Since when did we ever come up with the idea that any one person owns the land we live on, the water we drink, the air we breathe? Wouldn’t we all be better served by focusing on being good stewards of all we’ve been given – to care for, to share, to enjoy and respect – and each other

Please make this time of thanksgiving a time I can celebrate my city’s leadership.

Sent: Friday, October 11, 2013 9:02 PM

To: Craven, Rick; Meed Ward, Marianne; Sharman, Paul; Goldring, Rick; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Lancaster, Blair

Subject: Waterfront Properties


We regularly walk our dog in the neighbourhood, as do many of the people we meet on our walks.

We find Lakeshore Rd. quite busy, and would greatly appreciate a waterfront access to the park at the foot of Guelph Line.

It would be a crime if this publicly owned land falls into private hands, you could never get it back!

I am very sorry to be out of town this weekend, as we will be unable to attend the meeting on Tuesday.

Please save this small piece of lakefront for us!

Sent: Friday, October 11, 2013 7:25 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Ward 2Alert:sale of public waterfront land Hello Marianne,

Thank you for your update on the progress of the waterfront parcel at Market/St Paul streets.

I walked the property today and observed the following:

There is no safe, functional public pathway along the waterfront.

RESPONSE: There is a wide strip of grass for walking. The area is no less safe than Kerncliffe park (path along a cliff edge, no fencing) or Burloak Park (waterfront park, no fencing).

There is access to the property from the St Paul side.

There is no access on the Market side, as access is fully blocked by a fence running the whole length of the public land to the edge of the seawall, presumably installed by the homeowner there.

RESPONSE: that has been blocked by a resident. The city can reclaim access and require its removal at any time.

There is no evidence of lot lines separating public and private properties (fences, markers). Lawns and sitting areas are neatly maintained right up to the seawall over public land, presumably by the property owners for their personal enjoyment of the public property.

RESPONSE: This would have to be delineated. Some of the homes have fences along their back, some don’t.

There is no signage indicating the existence of public pathway or park anywhere. RESPONSE: This is part of the challenge. Many of our public parks aren’t well signed. We can improve this.

It would appear it has been this way for a very long time, at least back to 1990 when the homeowners built the seawall, or possibly before that. There is no evidence of public development of the waterfront in front of the private homes here.

Marianne, has there ever been a plan to develop this waterfront property for public use?

RESPONSE: The public have used it – the locals who know about it, a small group granted. This is the time to discuss a plan to ensure the proper signage – that the public knows this is their land and they are invited to use it.

Sent: Friday, October 11, 2013 6:36 PM

To: Office of Mayor Rick Goldring; Craven, Rick; Sharman, Paul; Dennison, Jack; Lancaster, Blair; Taylor, John; Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Responding to the Gazette

To our Mayor and Counselors,

I have great respect for our Mayor and City Counselors, and do not envy their position. Having attended the meeting, and listened to all of the thoughtful commentary (other than the legal closed-door information) we have to put our trust in the people that we elect. The vote was 6 to 1 because the majority of the counsellors and our Mayor believed, given all the facts presented to them, that this was in the best interests of the City. There was short script given to my presentation, but for clarity, we live near Nelson park. Our property has been vandalized twice, one reported to police, we are constantly picking up alcohol bottles off our property, including broken glass on the break wall, and we catch people trespassing almost every week during the summer. We have cameras now because a lady was badly assaulted near our property a couple of years ago by a gang 14 teens who apparently congregated at Nelson Park. Our police are busy, we can’t possibly expect them to walk down the hillside every Friday and Saturday night and round-up the teenagers, but we don’t need to add to the problem. If you count the Windows to the Lake, there are 3 parks within 6 homes. The comment about expanding the pathway east is a nonstarter and disingenuous to suggest otherwise. Owners have riparian rights which were paid for. Thank you for this opportunity to share my comments.

Sent: Friday, October 11, 2013 2:00 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Public Waterfront Land

We live on Lakeshore Road and have greatly enjoyed the Window on the lake.

We are now retired, and often walk down St. Paul to enjoy the view, but are hesitant to continue along the lake towards Market Street, as the present lake front owners are somewhat possessive. This summer, accompanied with some out-of-town guests, we did venture along towards Market Street.

Upon reaching the middle home, we were met by the owner, first wanting to know who we were, and then explaining that they built /owned the Sea wall. (having lived here before they moved in, I knew they hadn`t build it )

I understand their position, but don`t believe other taxpayers in the area should be denied the pleasure of enjoying this beautiful view, and a lakefront walk that would benefit everyone in the area.

We have not experienced any vandalism, drunkenness, or excess noise along the sea wall since we have lived here. If your numbers are correct,( $182,000 plus $7500 annually), the only reasonable decision, would be to proceed with the park development. ( Small price for such a large benefit)

Denying the public access to one of life`s rightful pleasures just seems wrong and un Canadian

Please accept this as our vote for Council to keep this land and continue to beautify Burlington for all its residents

Sent: Friday, October 11, 2013 12:41 AM

To: Craven, Rick

Cc: major@burlington.ca; Meed Ward, Marianne; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Sharman, Paul; Lancaster, Blair

Subject: Waterfront Parkette Nonsense

Dear Mr.Craven.

Thank you for your sensible vote re not wasting 9.8 million dollars on an illogical parkette. If the recent voting was 6 to 1 in favour of no parkette, why is counsel wasting more time on this?

The rational thought flows from the following points:

– Within blocks there are two public green spaces visible from the street, (Sioux Lookout,Port Nelson) which utilize land in a more logical design than a hidden six-foot strip behind 3 lots.

– The two above have accessible and suitable parking spaces without risk of street parking blocking other residential driveways. How would people turn around on Market & St .Paul streets without using private driveways, if cars are lining the roads?

– As a prior Roseland resident I never saw over crowding in either of the before mentioned locations.

– News reports indicate the following problems; difficulties in providing a clean environment for the enjoyment for those who choose to use these sites now and the neighborhood disruption caused by teenage late night partying.

– It is obvious from the photo(on Marianne Ward Meed’s website) that the height of the break wall would create a serious safety issue to anyone who took the time to hunt down the new parkette behind the 3 lots. This implies the lion’s share of the 9 million dollars would be spent on elaborate structure to provide a valid measure of safety. How would this provide enjoyment of the waterfront?

The potential problems resulting from the creation of an off street hidden location which will be virtually impossible to police could have a serious impact on the city’s liability insurance. One lawsuit from a late night assault or drowning will be enough to eliminate any reserves and increase future premiums dramatically. In this case the city would be spending money to create a liability.

Are the current adjacent green spaces so crammed that we need to spend 9.8 million dollars to add this many potential problems? The money should be spent on issues where problems are eliminated by the expenditure.

Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 9:14 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: [Possible Spam] council should keep the water front land

Dear Marianne

Thank you for your stand on the water front land between Market st. and St Paul street. I agree whole heartedly with you

Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 8:59 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Shoreline Property

Ironically my husband & I stood at the end of the pier tonight contemplating our beautiful shoreline. We believe, as do you, this shoreline should be for the enjoyment of all residents. Please encourage council to not sell out. Once gone, we will never get it back. Our green space is precious. We are thankful for your long term awareness and commitment to our community & our families.

Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 4:16 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Sale of Public Waterfront Land

Thank you for the informative information. I was not aware of this issue. I am a resident on East Side Crescent and take my granddaughter to the parkette at the end of Guelph Line often. I walk and she rides her bike. We love looking out over the lake and watching the boats, ducks and geese.

I would appreciate your vote as “NO”. So much of our public lands are being destroyed by new development. Once sold it would be impossible to ever get this parcel back. Let’s be realistic. A Public waterfront trail would be an excellent idea. This would, promote family night or weekend outings (both walking and biking) and encourage more valuable family time and healthy living.

Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 3:34 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: RE Proposed land sale ..Market & St Paul Sts.

We disagree with the proposed sale.

Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 12:52 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Park land

Marianne, I vote to keep the Market/ St Paul St. Park in the hands of the city because once lost, it can never be regained and with the growth of the cities population in the coming years and the increasing number of seniors the city needs all the park it can afford to maintain. It’s too valuable to sell!

Sent: Thursday, October 10, 2013 11:50 AM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Market/St Paul lakefront public land Hi Marianne,

I highly support retaining the lakefront public land between Market and St Paul. I am shocked that

City council would even consider selling it. Burlington is the city that exemplifies preserving and developing waterfront land for the use and visual enjoyment of the residents. It has been a model for other communities. Council has lost sight of their own vision! This space is needed for the continuous waterfront trail. What are they thinking!!!! It does look like one of the residents at the bottom of Market on the east side is already using the land. They are landscaped to the lake and their fence goes right to the lake with no access. How wide is the strip of land in question? I do know the access at the bottom of St Paul (in the picture on your newsletter) however I did not know that strip was owned by the city. Does the city own the strip of lakefront from St Paul to the park at the bottom of Guelph Line? Just thought I’d pass along my thoughts … I certainly hope enough people speak up and support keeping the land.

Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 11:56 PM

To: Craven, Rick; Taylor, John; Jack.Dennison@burlington.caE-mail; Sharman, Paul; Lancaster, Blair; Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Meeting of October 15, 2013

I live in Burlington. I am very proud of the wonderful job the city has done when creating the beautiful waterfront park, Spencer Smith Park. However, it is too small. The greatest cities have wide open spaces along the water’s edge. “I Imagine Burlington” is an initiative. We need to imagine Burlington with as many pubic open spaces as possible. It is worth keeping them and spending money on them.

A parkette on the Waterfront between Market St. and St. Paul St. Burlington should not be lost. Private landowners want to sue the city or obtain ownership. It is reported that council seems to be voting to give up the property.

I do not want this property to go to private hands. It should be kept for the people of Burlington. It could be used as an open space, a quiet place for the public. We shouldn’t lose any public property on the lake. It will be harder to open up public areas on the lake in the future. Many of us can imagine our children wanting public spaces in the future.

If you have ever seen beautiful cities like Sydney, Australia you would understand what cities can be.

Please do not vote to sell the property.

This is an aside, that no one in Canada can produce a deed that says they own land up to the water. There is a bill called Great Lakes Shoreline Right of Passage Act. I hope it will be presented soon by MPP Kim Craitor. I hope it passes.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2013 6:04 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Cc: Goldring, Rick

Subject: Market St., St. Paul St waterfront

It would be a very poor action to sell any city owned water front. The current windows are used as a yard waste dumping ground and people are discouraged from using them. If the city did develop the land it would become an important part of the waterfront and be used by my family and may others who use all of the waterfront trails. A diversity of trails are needed and this would be unique in the area.

I am sure the current land owners want the land for themselves. But it is public land on the waterfront and should remain as such. Oakville has done a very good job of getting ownership of the waterfront. While it will take decades to accomplish taking a step back like this would be a huge disservice to the current and future residence of Burlington.

Date: October 9, 2013 4:08:59 PM EDT

To: Rick.Goldring@Burlington.ca, Marriane.Meedward@Burlington.ca

Subject: To sell or not to sell

It is fundamentally wrong to let individuals own land that extends to the water. No matter how wealthy one might be, shorelines should be public property, not private property.

My wife and I once lived in a house in downtown Oakville (rented a flat in it). The property was beautiful and was owned by very wealthy people. In fact, we had our wedding reception in the backyard. We also enjoyed taking our canoe through the back gate, crossing the public pathway and putting it in the water to paddle along the shoreline and around the pier and up the 16. There is no way in the world the end of that gorgeous property should ever belong to anyone other than the Town of Oakville or the provincial government. The same holds true in Burlington where we have lived on Seneca since 1984.

Shorelines should not be allowed to fall into the hands of the wealthy because they already have plenty, and those of us who haven’t a snowball’s chance in Hell of ever owning lakefront property, count on people like you to keep that land in the public domain. I don’t expect to ever set foot on it, but I should be able to do so if I want. The owners could easily build a fence or plant a hedge. They really don’t need to have it all. They should have learned how to share when they were kids.

I hope this helps.

Thanks for the update Marianne,

Sent: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 6:21 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: waterfront property

In the future, what do we wish for our city of Burlington with respect to walk able areas, parks and green space? I was very disappointed to read last week that our council voted against keeping a piece of city owned property that fronts onto Lake Ontario. If the city sells this land, it will become exclusive to three households. If the city is forward thinking and keeps this property, it can be a beginning of safeguarding water front that can be enjoyed by all residents of Burlington.

Have any of our councillors ever travelled to cities (to name only a few) such as Edmonton, Calgary, Hamilton, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Vancouver? And then walked along the waterfronts that these cities have created for all of their citizens?

For example, in the upscale neighbourhood of West Vancouver, the Centennial seawall stretches for 1.7km with a width of about 4 metres that borders the bay and on the other side, is separated from the residential area by a fence and hedges. It even includes a separate dog run for some of the way.

It is very simple. Where would you prefer to walk? Along a busy, car dominant street or beside a beautiful body of water and green space

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 6:53 AM

To: Dennison, Jack; Lancaster, Blair; Sharman, Paul; Craven, Rick; Taylor, John; Meed Ward, Marianne; Office of Mayor Rick Goldring

Subject: Water St Parcel

Dear Councillor Lancaster,

I am aware of the recent committee motion to dispose of the Water St Parcel to the abutting property owners.

Thank you for voting in favour of the motion!!!

I am in total support of this motion as it would generate money for the City to use in other wards and for the benefit of all taxpayers rather than a few local residents. We do not need a 4th park within 6 houses that only a few residents can use.

Burlington has many waterfront parks and we need to look after the ones we have!

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 7:24 AM

To: Goldring, Rick; Craven, Rick; Meed Ward, Marianne; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Sharman, Paul; Lancaster, Blair

Subject: Please do not sell waterfront land between Market and St. Paul

Dear Mayor and Councilors

Please do not sell the parcel of waterfront land between Market and St. Paul streets. I am a resident of this area at 345 Delaware and had no idea that this was public land. The neighbouring residents have encroached on this parcel with landscaping, furniture and a fence that blocks access. Please do not reward this encroachment and assumed privilege by these residents.

This parcel would make a welcome addition to this neighbourhood as it affords a lovely unobstructed view of the lake. I am certain that many residents would love to walk this loop between the 2 streets were it not for the fence. I support the development of this parcel for public use. Once a sale of waterfront is made, it is difficult if not impossible to get it back.

I am thankful to Ms. Meed Ward for bringing it to the attention of residents.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 7:43 AM

To: Goldring, Rick; Craven, Rick; Meed Ward, Marianne; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Sharman, Paul; Lancaster, Blair

Subject: I am opposed to the sale of waterfront between Market & St. Paul

I am opposed to the sale of waterfront between Market & St. Paul.

The benefits of the sale for the property owners are obvious and significant.

The benefits of the sale to the city are minimal. And the cost – loss of waterfront – is incalculable. Voting to sell this land is selling our public legacy

Stop doing this.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 8:03 AM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Re: Ward 2Alert:sale of public waterfront land Marianne,


This is a very valuable, rare piece of real estate. I believe it should not be sold , and should be developed for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors and with a clear plan of action to achieve that.

If it is to be sold, the Council needs to ensure that the taxpayers gets full value for this world-class recreational public property. It is a Gem!

I appreciate your standing up for this opportunity.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 8:14 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: RE Sale of lake front

Hello Marianne. I do not want the waterfront property sold to the three house owners OR ANYONE. Retain the land and expand the water front park(s). Thanks for the opportunity of this input

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 8:56 AM

To: Dennison, Jack

Cc: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Selling Land on the lake

Hi Jack, have just read Marianne Meeds newletter and the piece about selling waterfront land I

STRONGLY believe that once the city owns the land it should NEVER be let go of….a continuous lakefront pathway along the lake always makes a city more attractive. In fact I feel that as homeowners do not own the land directly on the lakeshore (as far as I have always heard and believed) that a continuous path should be made on the lake without “buying” land. As for the owner that built the seawall. He broke the law by doing so and is now trying to hold the city hostage….great plan if he can get away with it. Allowing him to do this will only encourage others to look for ways around our laws….this would be a definite NO vote from me.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:45 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: [Possible Spam]

Marianne, Thanks for your efforts. Of course we need to save our waterfront

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Cc: Goldring, Rick; Craven, Rick; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Sharman, Paul; Lancaster, Blair

Subject: Waterfront/Parkette

Developing a Parkette behind these 3 waterfront properties is just as crazy as when a few months ago Council wanted to take away the turning lane on Lakeshore Road to make way for bike lanes.

Why not improve Port Nelson Park, remove the trees from the end of Market Street and Green Street. This will provide access to the waterfront for many . I’ve lived on St. Paul Street for

18 years and nothing like this has ever happened. The waterfront property has been looked after by all three residents including the gentleman who lives at 221 St. Paul and ourselves. If the city

takes over this Parkette – it will look terrible – will not be maintained as it is now. Please do not make any changes to this area – leave it as is – and don’t sell the land.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 9:13 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Market and St Paul waterfront property

Good morning Marianne

I am glad to hear the windows will be retained, but feel the parkette between them should not be sold. It’s a shame the owners have landscaped their properties in such a way as to mask the public path…in fact, you feel as though you’re trespassing on private property. I’d leave it as is…don’t sell it. This will set a precedent for other owners of “lake front” property.

Many thanks for the informative brochure.

To: Dennison, Jack

Cc: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Selling Land on the lake

Hi Jack, have just read Marianne Meeds newsletter and the piece about selling waterfront land I

STRONGLY believe that once the city owns the land it should NEVER be let go of….a continuous lakefront pathway along the lake always makes a city more attractive. In fact I feel that as homeowners do not own the land directly on the lakeshore (as far as I have always heard and believed) that a continuous path should be made on the lake without “buying” land. As for the owner that built the seawall. He broke the law by doing so and is now trying to hold the city hostage….great plan if he can get away with it. Allowing him to do this will only encourage others to look for ways around our laws….this would be a definite NO vote from me.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 8:03 AM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Re: Ward 2Alert:sale of public waterfront land Marianne,


This is a very valuable, rare piece of real estate. I believe it should not be sold , and should be developed for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors and with a clear plan of action to achieve that.

If it is to be sold, the Council needs to ensure that the taxpayers gets full value for this world-class recreational public property. It is a Gem!

I appreciate your standing up for this opportunity. Let me know if I can provide any further support.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 7:24 AM

To: Goldring, Rick; Craven, Rick; Meed Ward, Marianne; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Sharman, Paul; Lancaster, Blair

Subject: Please do not sell waterfront land between Market and St. Paul

Dear Mayor and Councilors,

Please do not sell the parcel of waterfront land between Market and St. Paul streets. I am a resident of this area on Delaware and had no idea that this was public land. The neighbouring residents have encroached on this parcel with landscaping, furniture and a fence that blocks access. Please do not reward this encroachment and assumed privilege by these residents

This parcel would make a welcome addition to this neighbourhood as it affords a lovely unobstructed view of the lake. I am certain that many residents would love to walk this loop between the 2 streets were it not for the fence. I support the development of this parcel for public use. Once a sale of waterfront is made, it is difficult if not impossible to get it back.

I am thankful to Ms. Meed Ward for bringing it to the attention of residents.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:56 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne


Subject: Newsletter feedback

Hi Marianne:

Here is some feedback on your newsletter. Waterfront land – don’t sell – keep it for public use

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:25 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Waterfront Lands

Hello Ms. MeedWard – I am definitely in favour of having all waterfront lands kept in public hands. We are most fortunate to have our beautiful waterfront and it should be preserved for all citizens of Burlington to enjoy and not just a privileged few.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:14 PM To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Council poised to sell public waterfront land Hello Marianne

Hopefully this is not to let, I but feel the Waterford should be for the public to enjoy now and for future generations.

I think Burlington council should vote to not sell the land.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 1:41 PM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne

Subject: Public Waterfront Land

I would like it noted that I do NOT wish to sell the public waterfront land to three private homeowners. I feel that this is Burlington Land for the use of almost 200,000 persons, not the private domain of 3 person who happen to live beside it. I have no idea why you would think it is important to sell – you cannot get the land back. Keep it, maintain it with access from the two street ends – and have another reason to live in Burlington. You are taking away our waterfront, piece by piece. PLEASE maintain this as a small Burlington gem. This is my vote to keep the property in the hands of the ‘people’ not a few persons.

To: rik.goldring@burlington.ca; Craven, Rick; Meed Ward, Marianne; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Sharman, Paul; Lancaster, Blair

Subject: In support of selling parcel of land between Market Street & St. Paul

Dear Councillors,

I am in favour of selling the parcel of land between Market Street & St. Paul Street. It is secluded and would only benefit a small percentage of Burlington residence.

I am strongly in favour of investing in Port Nelson Park to make it more attractive and improve the usability of the parkette. This space has great potential and the base infrastructure already exists.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 11:55 AM

To: Goldring, Rick; Craven, Rick; Meed Ward, Marianne; Taylor, John; Dennison, Jack; Sharman, Paul; Lancaster, Blair

Cc: gordon fraser

Subject: Please do NOT sell waterfront property

Good Morning Mayor and Councillors;

Please do not sell the waterfront lot. It should remain public property.

Have you been to the waterfront properties lately? Have you seen how incredibly popular they are, 7 days a week? What a shame to throw away this opportunity to further add to our open space along the lake.

However,  If you do go ahead and vote to sell it, as a taxpayer I would expect you would have 3 independent real estate agents appraise this prime waterfront property for current maximum market value and would have it sold at NO discount, to maximize city profit. I would expect this process would be fully public and should not be an ‘in camera’ decision.

Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 11:51 AM

To: Meed Ward, Marianne; Office of Mayor Rick Goldring; Dennison, Jack; Lancaster, Blair; Sharman, Paul; Sharman, Paul

Subject: Water Street Parcel

City of Burlington – Office of the Mayor <mayor@Burlington.ca> Jack Dennison <Jack.Dennison@burlington.ca>

Blair Lancaster <blair.lancaster@burlington.ca> Paul Sharman <paul.sharman@burlington.ca> Rick Craven <Rick.Craven@burlington.ca> John Taylor <john.taylor@burlington.ca>

Marianne Meed Ward <meedwardm@burlington.ca>

Dear Councillor Meed Ward,

I have been a Burlington resident for over 50 years (and until just recently) always within walking distance of the Water St Parcel and Port Nelson Park.

My parents have also lived in the same area for 85 years.

I am very familiar with this area and am very disappointed with your recent vote at Committee.

Why would you ever consider spending taxpayer money to develop yet another waterfront park in that area when within a 3 km area we have Sioux Lookout Park ,Port Nelson Park and Spencers Park?

With the 2 new Windows on the Lake parks there will be 3 waterfront parks within a couple hundred feet. Since there is no parking in the Market St and St Paul St area, this can only be used by residents who live very close by. I think 3 parks is more than enough for local residents. Also, in my daily walk/drive by, Port Nelson Park appears hardly used by locals or folks who can park there. However I do see plenty of empty alcohol and beer bottles. The issue of safety and vandalism in your proposed hidden park would be a nightmare for the whole neighbourhood.

The money you talk about in Burlington’s “park fund” should be used to upgrade existing parks that can benefit all of Burlington residents, ie more handicapped parking, shelter for seniors etc.

We seldom see this level of response to an issue and it is rare indeed for one Council member to be the focal point for an issue, which is admittedly in her ward, but is a city-wide matter.  Burlington continually talks of its Escarpment and waterfront as being what makes it hugely different from any other city in the province.  Meed Ward appears to be the only member of this Council who has chosen to be firm on a matter of principle.

There are those who do not feel this matter is over yet.  The price that is to be paid for the land is not yet known and the matter of easements and other issues on title do not appear to be fully resolved.  Will the public find that Staff have not done their homework and that there are issues that might prevent this sale?  And – is it an election issue?

Previously published stories:

Council votes 6-1 to sell waterfront property.

Selling price fr waterfront property not announced.

Committee decision to sell waterfront property now goes to Council. 

Staff report advises city to keep waterfront property; leasing is an option




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Burlington MPP rolls up her sleeve to lead by example: flu season is approaching, McKenna prepares.

November 1, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. Doctors will tell you that children under five are at the highest risk for serious illness from influenza. With the weather cooling off and a new flu season fast approaching, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Arlene King is asking parents to make sure their children get the flu shot.

The highest numbers of flu cases are in the one to four-year old age group. Dr. King stresses that the sooner kids get the flu shot the better since it takes about two weeks to become fully effective.

Burlington MPP Jane McKenna gets her annual flu shot from Anita Sahu at the Rexall Pharmacy on Guelph Line.

Children between the ages of six months and four years old can get their flu shot at doctors’ offices and at public health or community flu immunization clinics.

Burlington MPP Jane McKenna gets her annual flu shot from Anita Sahu at the Rexall Pharmacy on Guelph Line.

For parents, caregivers and children aged five and up, thousands of Ontario pharmacists will also be offering free flu shots as part of the Ontario government’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program, designed to make it more convenient for people to protect themselves and others from the spread of influenza.

This year, pharmacists at almost 2,000 drug stores across Ontario will be fully trained and ready to deliver free flu shots – roughly triple the number of pharmacy locations as last year.

Jane McKenna, MPP for Burlington, and one of the healthiest people we know, got herself over to the Rexall pharmacy on Guelph Line where pharmacists Anita Sahu did the deed and ensured that the MPP will be able to continue standing in the provincial Legislature barking away at what the government isn’t doing to make the province economically healthy.

McKenna, a first term parliamentarian, quickly became an ideologue and bought into every word the provincial Tories wrote in the Change Book. .

How Blue is Jane McKenna? As she was filling in the forms to get her flue shot she asked aloud – “What’s the date today? November 1st replied her daughter Taylor who was with her. “Oh – today is Tim Hudak’s birthday”replied McKenna.

McKenna is now the Progressive Conservative critic for Economic Development, Trade & Employment; one of the weightier portfolios that usually has an experienced parliamentarian with some depth in business. McKenna plans on holding a Round Table on the Economy sometime in the New Year.

The flu shot is now available in Ontario and Rexall is one of the pharmacies that has made it easy and convenient for Ontarians to receive the vaccine by offering it at any store, at any time, any day – no appointment necessary.

Last year was the first year pharmacists were able to administer immunizations in Ontario and, and according to Rexall, 80% of flu shots given by pharmacists were at a Rexall.

According to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, the flu and its complications result in up to 1,000 hospitalizations and 1,600 deaths in Ontario each year.















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Early morning forced entry of DeQuincy Cr., home terrifies resident: two firearms stolen.

October 31, 2013

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  A 4:00 am break-in at a Dequincy Crescent home woke the residents who found themselves staring at a male intruder who said he was armed.  The resident later told police they did not actually see a weapon.

The intruder proceeded to search the house and took a quantity of cash, alcohol, jewellery and two  firearms: a 12 gauge shotgun and a .22 calibre rifle.  The male was last seen leaving the residence on foot.

Investigation revealed that the male suspect had forced entry to the house through the front door. The homeowners were uninjured and called Halton Regional Police. 

The suspect is described as male, white, 20-30 years of age, 5’7″-6’0″ tall, thin build with light brown hair.

The suspect is described as male, white, 20-30 years of age, 5’7″-6’0″ tall, thin build with light brown hair.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Three District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext 2315, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), www.haltoncrimestoppers.com, or text “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes). 

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Murray and Diana Hogarth talk about how they built Pioneer into the biggest independent gas station operation in the country.

October 31, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  It doesn’t take long to get the gist of Murray Hogarth.  If you listen and watch his eyes you realize that Murray did it his way – he beat the big guys, he beat big oil.

He did it through hard work and being very fast on his feet.  With a very successful company running smoothly Murray Hogarth was able to turn the whole operation over to two of his sons and use his time keeping a sharp eye on them.

Born in Napanee, raised there – after high school he got himself along the 401 to Kingston where he enrolled as an engineering student at Queen’s University and realized very quickly that wasn’t the road he wanted to travel and switched to Arts & Science but found that all the lab work wasn’t all that inspiring either.  Murray realized he was a doer – he needed to be out in the field, talking to people, thinking through his ideas and planning.  Murray was probably born a planner.

During his high school years he had an orchestra – 10 piece set up that he used to earn his keep.  Blew a trumpet and played events that included his high school and the Ontario Ladies College in Brockville.

Murray and Diana Hogarth in the sun room of their Lakeshore Road home.

Murray`s parents ran a retail operation in Napanee that specialized in gift items and fine china.  He worked the shop with his brother when he wasn`t renting the golf club for dances.  Murray was probably making money before he was out of short pants.

In `53 he was hired by what was then British American Oil company (they became Gulf oil) and given a territory in Scarborough where he made sure 40 gas stations were meeting their sales targets.  Murray soaked it all up and within a year the company moved him to Windsor where it was a much bigger business.  He watched over the gas stations as well as farm and industrial accounts.

The first Pioneer gas station – it didn’t look like this the day it opened but it has been open every day since November 1956.

In those days there were very few individual gas station operators to speak of; everything was run by the national brands – the Americans had private operators but the idea hadn`t taken hold in Canada – yet.  One of the corporate accounts Murray serviced was a single station – Beaver, that grew and was eventually sold to Shell Oil.  But before that sale took place Murray became a chum of the owner and the two of them tried some of the American ideas – Murray was in the process of becoming the man who would create the most successful private brand oil and gas operation in the country.  The only thing they don`t do is refine or run a pipeline operation – yet.

Windsor was a great proving ground for Murray.  If you saw an opportunity you were able to go ahead and develop it.  The relationship with the Beaver operator flourished.  They liked the ideas they saw being developed across the river in Detroit and tried many of them in Windsor. After two and a half years in Windsor Murray began to wonder why he was working for big oil – he made his move.

Every weekend Murray would drive to Hamilton and scout that market.  He knew the blue-collar market and he believed he knew how to market to it better than anyone else.  He didn’t know a soul in town when he first got there but he knew he needed a market just like Windsor and focused on Hamilton.  He found what he was looking for at the corner of Upper James and Mohawk.  Murray leased the land, which he later bought and began to build the empire that today has 200 stations in Ontario and a clutch of them in Manitoba where he took over a bunch of Esso Stations.

There was a bit of swamp on the land that Murray was going to build his station on and he knew that at some point he would need to fill that in.  Then he noticed a contractor doing some grade work and hauling away the fill.  Murray invited the contractor to dump that fill in the swampy land he had leased.

Murray Hogarth: Reflective and able to focus on pet project with the operation of the gas companies now in the hands of his sons.

That Upper James station is still operating – it has never closed since he first opened in November of 1956. It began as a 24/7 operation and has stayed that way.  When Murray chose that first Hamilton station the world of gas stations first saw the wily mind of a mater marketer.  In those days Upper James and Mohawk were just across the County line – and Hamilton had an early closing bylaw.  That first Pioneer station was 150 feet beyond the County line.

Murray saw Hamilton as a market that was small enough for a private operator to be recognized yet big enough for him to grow in. And grow he did.  Buying property meant a need for capital or earnings that could pay for the second and third stations.

Murray put his money into property and marketing.  In the early days he will tell you gas stations didn’t have canopies over the pumps; Murray put in canopies.  Most of the stations were a single island with maybe two pumps.  Murray wanted volume so he put in three islands with two pumps at each so that four, six or eight cars could swallow that gas.

Gas stations were pretty bland looking places.  Murray brightened them up and because he stays open long hours he put in as much fluorescent lighting as he could afford.  He gas station business was never going to be the same.

He put up bunting, flags and offered deals and lower prices.  In those days stations carried several brands of oil at different price points.  Murray carried several and made sure that the brand with his name on it was the lowest price.

He was the first to put booths with cash registers out where the pumps were so that people could pay quickly and move on – making room for another customer.

He was one of the very first, if not the first, to create a loyalty program that gave customers another reason to return.  Car washes were added to the mix.

Created marketing tools that led the way. The Pioneer loyalty program rewards its customer with cash rebates that are printed on the receipt. Air Miles doesn’t give you that.

Growing the business was no slam dunk – there was more than one very close call – three of them in fact , but what kept the chain alive was Murray’s ability to make quick decisions.  “I didn’t have a board that I had to meet with”; one gets the impression that Murray Hogarth isn’t all that big on corporate committees either.

Listening to Murray explain the corporate structure and the way he moved two of his sons into the company and gave them increasing levels of responsibility, one assumes the man has an MBA.  No, Murray worked from the pit of his stomach and a developed understanding of his customer base.  He learned by doing and from his mistakes.  He looked for opportunities to give staff all the responsibility they could handle.  He was a task master – with a heart.

While retired, it doesn’t take long to see a pair of eyes that don’t miss much and at the same time have that twinkle that tells you – Murray Hogarth did it his way – and he beat the big guys.  He did it with a strong, supportive wife who may not have actually pumped gas but she was in every one of those stations in the early days and when Murray leaves out a fact – she is quick to remind him that they acquired a string of stations in Manitoba from Esso.

Diana Hogarth – five boys and a husband build a business doth a career make. She is also a noted designer.

Murray first laid eyes on Diana when she was ten.  She was the sister of one of Murray’s best friends.  Years later that friend asked Murray to go to a dance with him – Murray couldn’t hustle up a date and the friend suggested he ask his sister Diana.  “Ask her just for laughs” the friend suggested and the Murray and Di story began. The two of them, almost in unison say: “and we’ve ben laughing ever since”.

We interviewed Murray and Diana Hogarth in the sun room of their Lakeshore Road home, nicely decorated with good art and sculpture tastefully sprinkled throughout the house.  Murray soaks up the sun as he recovers from surgery.  With the interview nearing its end Diana gets up to see her guest out and touches Murray on the shoulder asking: “Are you ready for some lunch”.

Today, son Tim is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the company while another son heads up the marketing side.

Arching over the different t corporations is the “family” firm – Pioneer Energy where Murray, Di and the five boys sit as Directors with two outside directors to create strategy and guide everything.

Murray took in part of the Community Foundation celebration last weekend.  Recovering (very nicely by the way) from serious surgery, he chose not to give a speech and had his son Tim fill in for him.

Tim was not there to laud his parents.  He spoke about giving back to the community and the lessons his Dad had taught him and his brothers.

“Typical of my father’s entrepreneurialism” said Tim, “Murray recognized that while we can’t always predict what lies ahead, we can always make sure we are prepared to seize the opportunity or meet the need when it arises. And that is what this is all about. It’s never too late… philanthropy, as Murray and Diana have proven time and again, has no retirement age.”

Tim had taken up the philosophical torch from his Dad.

Murray was big on giving back to a community that has given to him.  His early involvement in growing community was with the Hamilton Community Foundation where he served as president. He reminds people that Hamilton and Burlington didn’t always work that well together.  Burlington wasn’t contributing the way some felt it should and Murray got behind a movement to create a Burlington Community Foundation, and was its first president.  “I wrote them their first cheque” he adds with a modest measure of pride.

Diana – they call her Di, runs the household and still puts in time at her design business.  Do not call Diana Hogarth a decorator – “decorators”, she will tell you, almost dismissively, “paint walls or hang wall paper”.  Diana is a designer and if the sun room we met in is an example of her work – there are a number of homes in this  community that have been very, very nicely done.

She and Murray raised five boys, two of whom are in the family business. Between them they have 13 children. Gregory, twins Tim and Geoffrey, Christopher and Peter.  Tim and Geoffrey are at Pioneer. Peter, Tim and Greg are heavily involved in the franchise business with Wendy’s and Tim Hortons being their biggest operations. Peter is also in the home building business.

Murray and Diana Hogarth were recognized last weekend by the Burlington Community Foundation as the Philanthropists of the Year.  The evening they were recognized, the family announced a gift of $1 million to the Joseph Brant Hospital which they gave through the Burlington Community Foundation.

A small room that serves as a bit of an office just inside the front door of their home, that has every inch of its walls covered in either book shelves or pictures that Diana refers to as the “rogue’s gallery”.  The pictures capture the boys and their families – there are 13 grandchildren, at the various stages of their lives.

Tim said to the audience at the Masquerade Ball where Murray and Diana were honoured: “We experienced and watched the struggles of Dad and Mom establishing a business and trying to make it work and grow. Our father invested his life savings along with a small loan from his father and brother to get the business started.

Murray Hogarth with sons Geoff and a representative from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

“We boys had absolutely no clue of the hardships and challenges our parents faced in trying to make their dreams a reality. Being oblivious can sometimes be a wonderful thing! Somehow it all magically seemed to work out-  the business took flight and grew bigger.. but as my brothers and I soon would learn from Dad.. you create your own magic with hard work, passion and a commitment to succeed and the rest will take care of itself.”

“As their sons, we couldn’t ask for better role models on how to live and lead a successful life. Back in the 60’s.. Burlington was a relatively small community and somehow while having to support five boys, a new fledgling business, and pay the mortgage my parents still found time to give to the community and support local causes.

“I remember my mother being very involved in the Junior League as well as launching and chairing the first campaign in Burlington for the Heart & Stroke Foundation and actively canvassing many evenings and weekends.”

“Regardless, of the challenges they faced as the years went by they always supported their community and that philosophy infected us.  Murray explains that the Masquerade Ball was the occasion he used to pass the torch to his sons.  I showed them how it’s done – now I expect them to lead in their own fashion.”

 Today, the Burlington Community Foundation manages $7.5 million, with 67 endowed funds from individuals, families, corporations and agencies. It has granted over $1.6 million, and touched over 41 charities and non-profit organizations in the past twelve months. That is success by any measure! And that is how a gift of $100,000 can multiply.

Former Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac put it very well when he said that first $100,000 “really sparked a coming of age for philanthropy for our city… and demonstrated a level of leadership that paved the way for many donations since.”

For the Hogarth’s the question they ask about philanthropy is: “Isn’t that why we’re here? The welfare of our community, of others, IS our concern. It is not a burden, but an opportunity.”

 ‘Why not share is a question worth asking yourself. Business is not just all about making money. Although, critically important, it is not how you create value. Money is the offshoot of value – not the cause of it. That is something both my parents have always believed in.

Murray Hogarth: Can you see the twinkle in his eye? He did do it his way.

They gave through the Hamilton Community Foundation, which Murray eventually chaired. And went on to help establish the Burlington Community Foundation and then the Napanee Community Foundation in Murray’s original home town with his brother Don.

And they set up the Pioneer Energy Foundation and Pioneer Energy Fund in 1999 as projects to mark Canada’s Millennium.

As Murray puts it: “This public / private foundation model is an efficient way for businesses and families to give back in perpetuity to the areas and projects of their community where there is the most need, both now and in the future.”

And that’s the key: “in perpetuity”. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, keeps on benefitting the community. It ensures “sustainability”.

That’s when Murray Hogarth’s quiet smile builds up.  He did it his way and it worked.  His boys will now carry the torch – expect it to burn as brightly in their hands.

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The Senate mess: what can we expect next?

October 31, 2013

By Ray Rivers

BURLINGTON, ON.  This has been a crazy week in Canadian politics.  it wouldn’t surprise me if Joe Oliver, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, who returned from a trade mission to China last week, pulled another free-trade deal out of his hip pocket.  This one, to be signed in time for the ‘Year of the Horse‘ (Jan 31, 2014), would allow China unlimited access to the oil sands, including permission to build whatever pipelines they need to move the bitumen.  In exchange, China will have to assume responsibility for the management of the Canadian Senate and its senators.

The Senate, an appointed body that can revise any government bill except a money bill. It was intended to be a chamber that took a longer second look at government legislation. In the past few years it has become a place where appointed men and women abuse rules designed to manage their spending.

And who doesn’t sympathize with the PM?  How frustrating it must be when you stuff the Senate with handpicked disciples only to find they have turned on you; just like what happened to Julius Caesar on the Ides of March.  I know these senators are just having sober second-thoughts about being party to their own expulsions from the Senate but still – what a lack of gratitude.  Anyway, it makes for great drama and the PM and his crowd have given the Canadian TV networks a flood of new viewers feeding on the daily revelations of Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau and the ever-creative denials and contradictions by the PM.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave…”  Did Harper dismiss Nigel Wright or had he resigned as was the first story?  Were Wallin’s expenses in order as the PM originally said or were they false claims as he now maintains?  How many people in the PMO knew about the $90,000 cheque to Duffy?  My rule of thumb is that if you have to keep changing your story, you weren’t being fully truthful in the first place. 

Stephen Harper is a meddler – not the kind to leave well enough alone, which makes him his own worst enemy.  And when a meddler is consumed with trying to get things perfect – they rarely turn out that way.  Think back to the G-8 meetings in 2010 where despite the government’s infatuation with making Canada look good, spending a tonne of money in the process, the nasty riots and disturbing violations of human rights are the only things we remember. 

Harper is well-known to be a micro-manager, which is why nobody believes that he wasn’t involved in the $90,000 cheque to Duffy.  More than that he is a control freak going so far as to treat the Senate as an extension of his Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).      But try as his loyal subjects, in the Senate, are trying, they will not likely be able to suspend the senators in question until Monday, which means that his appearance at the Conservative convention this weekend will be overshadowed by this issue.

And that means that the PM will come back next week with the Senate debacle still ongoing, and him having to find more answers to questions he wishes would just go away – questions like did you orchestrate that big cheque for Duffy, and why?  Or why would the PM compensate Duffy for repayment of wrongfully claimed expenses?  The answer may well have to wait until the RCMP complete their investigation, or until Nigel Wright finally has had enough and comes out of the closet, singing like a canary.

Stephen Harper in Calgary earlier in his career.

What a mess, and one that could most likely have been avoided.  Some have compared this affair to Watergate, though that is way over-the-top. This little tempest is unlikely to break the tea pot where our PM has been living – he’ll survive.  The latest polls show almost no effect among the Tory faithful.

Still this kind of political drama isn’t good for the PM or his party as they pass the midway point in their term in office, and it has given Mulcair an opportunity to finally show his stuff.  As for China taking over the Senate, rest assured that is not one of the options the PM put to the Supreme Court.  Besides, the Chinese would not be that foolish, even though it is called the Red Chamber.

 Ray 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. He developed the current policy process for the Ontario Liberal Party.

 ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND:  Joe Oliver in China  Polls



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City’s premier art event – Studio Tour this weekend. 29 artists, 8 locations.

October 28th, 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  It’s that time of year again – Halloween yes – but much more interesting is the Annual Art in Action Studio tour which this year will include 29 artistes in eight locations.

This Studio Tour event is now in its 11th year. There are some of the old standards and at couple of places that might better be given a rest but this is still very much a superb opportunity to get out and see what the city’s arts community has to offer.

Premier Arts event for November in the city. Not to be missed.

If this event is one that you’ve done in the past there is an opportunity to see the growth in artists you’ve watched and see how they have perhaps grown and changed.

There are two we have been watching and appreciating the changes, the growth and the new directions they are going in.  Last year there were a few that weren’t on the tour and we missed them.

The tour lasts two days.  You will find yourself bumping into the same people at different locations and striking up friendships and talking about what you saw that you liked.

November 2 and 3. 

A Helen Griffiths piece. This artist continues to both surprise and delight.

Art in Action runs the Studio Tour which gives artists exposure which never hurts.  The organization also has a scholarship is gives each year.  Last year  $1,500  went to Michelle Nguyen, a Robert Bateman High School graduate studying landscape architecture at the University of Guelph.

Fratesi has pieces at the Burlington Art Centre where her work can be rented from the Art Bank

Cheryl Goldring and Don Graves handle fundraising for the group which pay for studio tour advertising and scholarships.

New to the Studio Tour this year are: Tamara Kwapich (Studio 5), Lois Shaw (Studio 6) and Donna Fratesi (Studio 1) and  Rachel Quinteros (Studio 4)




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BAC event is no ordinary soup kitchen: the bowl is a piece of art and the soups are divine. So good they usually sell out. Book now.

October 30,  2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  It sold out last year and has sold out frequently before that – so if you want to be at the table this year – make your reservation.

The Burlington Art Centre (BAC) fundraiser will celebrate both culinary and ceramic art this year, as restaurants donate soups and salads and potters donate handcrafted soup bowls. There will be celebrity servers and a full-course dinner sitting as well.

Individually hand crafted bowls done by artisans across the province. Enjoy a special gourmet soup and then take the bowl home.

Running from November 14 to 17, this popular BAC tradition will feature all of the favourite Soup Bowl elements – beautiful handcrafted bowls donated by potters from across Ontario ready to be filled with gourmet soups from some of Burlington’s finest restaurants – and some surprises.

“We’ve added to the Soup Bowl fun this year by recruiting celebrities to serve guests,” says Ian Ross, Executive Director at the Burlington Art Centre (BAC). Another new feature is a full-course dinner on November 15 at 6 pm, which will include special entrée selections and a glass of wine, as well as the soup bowl selection, gourmet soups, salads, bread, desserts and coffee/tea which are served up at lunch sittings. A cash bar also is available throughout the event.

Tickets are on sale now: $50 ($40 for BAC members) for lunch sittings; Friday dinner tickets are $75 ($65 for BAC members). The full-course dinner on November 15 at 6 pm, will include special entrée selections and a glass of wine, as well as the soup bowl selection, gourmet soups, salads, bread, desserts and coffee/tea which are served up at lunch sittings. A cash bar also is available throughout the event.

Tables of eight can be reserved. Order tickets online at theBAC.ca/soup, by phone (905-632-7796, ext. 326) or at the BAC, 1333 Lakeshore Road, Burlington.

The Arts Burlington Christmas Sale will take place at the same time. The Sale features a wide variety of handcrafted items produced by the Guilds of Arts Burlington with Christmas in mind. It is open to everyone on November 14 from 11 am to 3 pm; November 15 from 11 am to 9 pm; and November 16 and 17 from 11 am to 4 pm.

The Burlington Art Centre is located at 1333 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, and is an accessible facility with lots of free parking over the course of the event. The 2013 Soup Bowl is sponsored by Utter Morris Insurance Brokers Limited and Wendy and Don Smith, Smith’s Funeral Homes.

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