Person attempting to cross GO rail line east of Burloak sustained fatal injuries.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  February 7, 2013  Traffic on the east bound GO line was brought to a halt as Collision Reconstruction Unit and the Forensic Identification Service of the Halton Regional Police worked to identify a pedestrian that had been struck by an eastbound GO train, 100 metres west of Burloak Drive, Burlington.

The incident took place shortly before 6 a.m., when Regional police were notified by CN police of a pedestrian that had been struck by an eastbound GO train, 100 metres west of Burloak Drive, Burlington.

The pedestrian, as yet unidentified sustained fatal injuries.

Members of the Collision Reconstruction Unit and Forensic Identification Services are at the scene and further information will be released upon the completion of their investigation.

This is the second time an individual attempting to cross the GO line tracks has been killed.

Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or have information that would assist in the investigation are asked to contact the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 905 825-4747 x5142, Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS(8477), through the web at or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 27463(crimes).

GO service between Hamilton and Oakville resumed normal service at around 8:00 am

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How do we see ourselves – do we like what they are showing us; do we agree with what they are telling us?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 6th, 2013  So what do we think of ourselves and the way we are served by the different levels of government we pay taxes to?  Is asking these questions a good way to spend tax dollars?  Those are questions you get to ask when you vote next.

This is a listing of what Burlingtonians see as the most appealing aspects of their city.  How much do you agree with these findings?

What are the most important issues for Burlington? They are listed here and shown how what is important to us – relates to how important it is to others. We get to see how we are different. Do you agree with what the charts are telling you?

Quality of life: In Burlington the polling sample said they put us at 95% if you include Excellent and Good.  Other large and small communities don’t see themselves quite the same way.  You just KNOW that this bit of information will replace the very tired and worn – Second best city in the country to live in.

Most important thing the government does for you?  There are too many in the “Other” and “Don’t know” categories – suggests the people who pay for the government we have aren’t all that thrilled with what they are getting.

For now – look at the questions and the answers.  A well-respected Canadian company that has been doing public opinion polling for some time did a poll of Ontario communities both large and small and medium too – asking the same questions of a sample that was just under 400 people.

Experience with city staff.  Rankings in that “going the extra mile” could be a lot higher; other than that Burlington isn’t that different from the others.

Local government spending – this is where you want your tax dollars spent.  Roads are what it is all about – with transit at least being recognized.

Use of government services:  People are using the services government provides and they are talking to staff that don’t go the extra mile.  What does that tell us?

Are we getting value for our tax dollars?

If push comes to shove; did you want the city to increase taxes to pay for the services you are getting or would you rather they cut the services.  Mayor Goldring interprets this to mean that half of us would accept a tax increase and half us would not.  Tough call.

If the city found it had to cut services – this is the list they are likely to work from – it suggests the arts would take the biggest hit.

They broke out the individual results for Burlington and for the princely sum of $10,000 you get to learn what we think of ourselves.

Burlington is where we live but the Region provides very essential services: Garbage pick up, water, sewage and police services as well as social services. The Niagara GTA highway would not have been stopped in its tracks – at least for the time being were it not for solid support from the Region

City Manager Jeff Fielding sees that data as an important part of the process of engaging the community.

The results are interesting.

This is YOUR Burlington – do you see it the way the public opinion poll gauges it to be?

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Close to 250 people bring in their personal artifacts that might become part of Burlington’s recoded history .

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  February 6, 2013  They came to be part of the city’s history.  They brought big items, small items, personal items and significant items.  Everything they brought was photographed, recorded and then pressed into clay from which artist Peter Powning would make a casting out of bronze and place in the Spiral Stella that would sit outside the Performing Arts Centre at the intersection of Locust and Elgin Streets.

The fascinated eyes of children – these two are totally focused on what artist Peter Powning is doing with an artifact they brought in as part of the cultural mulch event held at the Burlington Art Centre.  Artifacts were collected to become part of the Spiral Stella that will be erected in front of the Performing Arts centre in July.

Close to 250 people brought in their “stuff” . Don Graves, a local artist, who happened to be at the Burlington Art Centre last Saturday hosting his first solo exhibit had his wife take his walking cane to have a clay impression made.

Jonathan Smith,  Curator of the Permanent Collection at the Burlington Arts centre,  brought in a pocket watch with a fob engraved with the words St. Andrews College, 1929 in cursive type.  That kind of craftsmanship isn’t seen anymore.

Melanie Booth on the left hands over her Olympic Bronze medal which she won as part of the Women’s soccer team.  Jeremy Freiburger, on the right,  chief cheese at CoBalt Connects, the company that manages Burlington’s public art program registers the medal which was later pressed into clay to make the impression from which a bronze casting will be made.

The stunner for some was Melanie Booth’s Olympic Bronze medal that brought out a very small faux pas from Powning, who to be fair was seeing a lot of artifacts and didn’t realize he had an Olympic medal in his hands.

He asked Ms Booth: “What’s the story behind this” as he arranged a slab of clay to make the impression.  Powning hadn’t read the words on the medal, he was trying to figure out which side he would make the impression from but when Ms Booth said “it’s my Olympic bronze medal given to the Canadian woman’s soccer team” Powning’s head shot up when he replied – “really!”

This is an example, called a maquette, of the type of sculpture Peter Prowning will be doing for Burlington.  Each sculpture he does is significantly different.  The bands wrapped around the first nine feet of the 16 foot sculpture will hold the bronze casting being made from the clay impressions done this past week in Burlington.  It will be a very impressive piece of public art

The way the gold medal for soccer was lost is something few Canadians think much about now.  If it ends up as part of the Spiral Stella it will become part of the visual history of the city.

Powning was holding what he called a “cultural mulch.  An event that had him looking at everything he was given, nothing was turned away if he could make an impression in clay, and at the same time thinking about how each piece might be used.

The bronze castings would be worked into the sculpture which will tell part of Burlington’s cultural past.

One man brought an old, rusted pair of roller skates, the kind you had to strap onto your shoes.

Dan Lawrie, the man who felt there should be some art outside the Performing Arts Centre put his money where his mind had gone and funded a portion of the cost of the sculpture.  Lawrie who paints when he isn’t working had impressions made from some of his art implements.

With 240 impressions made into the slabs of clay Powning now takes everything back to his studio in New Brunswick and begins the process of casting the bronze pieces that will be part of the first nine feet of the 16 foot sculpture.

He will be doing all the forge work at his studio in New Brunswick and shipping the work to Burlington where it will be installed – which will get a little tricky.  With art there are no firm time lines – not quite like making a pie and knowing that it needs 35 minutes in the oven at 425 degrees.

Some excavation work has to be done at the front of the Performing Arts centre to get the base in place. There is a pipeline right underneath that has to be dealt with.  The pipeline people will be on hand to make sure someone doesn’t bite into that line.

And then there is a wedding scheduled to take place at the Performing Arts Centre at that time.  The bride is not going to want to walk down the “aisle” to the sound of a jack hammer.

But it will all come together and sometime during the second half of July the sculpture will be in place and we can expect groups of people to gather at the site for years to come.  One wonders what the Tourism people will do to promote the sculpture.

Johnathan Smith, Curator of the Permanent Collection at the Burlington Art Centre brings in a pocket watch with a fob that has a 1929 inscription on it. Peter Powning presses the fob into clay from which her will later make a bronze casting that will become part of the Spiral Stella that will be erected outside the Performing Arts Centre

Burlington has done some exceptionally good work with sculpture.  There is the magnificent naval memorial at Spencer Smith Park where the bronze casting is more traditional.  Then there are the orchids which are a delight – just in the wrong place – a point that Councillor Taylor commented on at a recent council meeting.  At some point this city just might do the “orchids” justice and put them in a location where they can be both appreciated an enjoyed.  Stuck at the entrance to a railway grade separation is close to the stupidest things the art people in this city have ever done.  Why didn’t someone stand up when that decision was being made and ask: “Are you kidding?”  But we didn’t – we will get there.

A local videographer, Bob Fleck, has been following Peter Powning around and we can expect to see a bit of film at some point.

CoBalt Connects, the organization that manages the city’s cultural plan has been talking to students at Mohawk and McMaster about the idea of doing a three-dimensional video on the sculpture that would allow people to look at the detail and spot artifacts that they contributed.  Good idea.

We are seeing a different approach to how we create, display and promote the arts in this city.  The long-term cultural plan will address some of the concerns local artists have about not being included or taken seriously.  Progress.

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Police seize weapons at Halton Region home.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 6. 2013   We live in a society that has some very violent people. The Halton Regional Police Service Integrated Drug, Gun & Gang Unit received information recently that a handgun was being stored within a residence on Sixth Line in the Town of Oakville.

Viscous devices meant to hurt people seized during a police search of a Halton region home.

Members of the Integrated Drug Gun and Gang Unit, with the assistance of Oakville uniformed officers, executed a Criminal Code search warrant at the residence. During the search, a number of prohibited weapons were seized including the following:

•              Gabilondo .22 calibre semi automatic handgun

•              49 rounds of ammunition

•              3 Shuriken

•              A Morning Star

•              2 sets of Bladed Brass Knuckles

The resident at 6th Line was released unconditionally due to a number of medical issues. The investigation of the seized weapons is continuing.

Anyone with information related to guns, drugs or other criminal activity within Halton Region, are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service at 905-878-5511 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS(8477), through the web at or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637(crimes).

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Council doesn’t seem to want to record how they vote at committee level; not their smartest decision this year.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 5, 2013   In a review of the Procedural bylaw, a document that sets out how members of city council are to behave, a Staff report revealed that council members don’t want to have how they vote on matters at the committee level recorded.

In Burlington everything that gets approved by city council first goes to as Standing Committee.  At that level the debate is often quite vigorous and citizens can delegate and speak for up to ten minutes.  Delegating is a simple matter.  

Delegations are heard and council members can and often do ask questions.  Some citizens come to meetings very well prepared and they get into a healthy question and answer session with council members.

When the delegations are completed Council members will ask questions of staff.

This significant seven, the ones that determine what you are going to get in the way of services and how much you will be taxed don’t want to take the time to allow for recorded votes at the council committee level. But you’re going to give them a pay raise this year.

After that council members are free to make comments.  At any point in this process any member of council can move the report, which means they get to vote on what they want to do with the document.

The document that is being moved usually has a recommendation attached to it.  Council members can make amendments, they can amend each other’s amendment (which gets funny at times because they get lost in their own paper work) and eventually they vote on what they want to do as a committee.

And that for media is where the problem crops up – these votes at the committee level are not formally recorded.  Those of us at the media table often can’t tell who voted for or against a report.  Each council member has their own unique way of indicating to the chair that they are for or against something.

That’s not what the democracy we are teaching in high schools is about – and we are teaching high school students what democracy is about aren’t we?

Here is the way this was explained in the Staff Report:

“With respect to recorded voting at standing committee meetings, members of Council

on the review team expressed differing viewpoints. Acknowledging that

recommendations from committee are intended to be a preliminary position on a matter,

it was felt that recording a member’s vote at that stage of deliberation could inhibit a

member from changing his or her position later at Council should new information

become available. It was also noted that recorded voting would slow the transaction of

business at committee meetings. As the review team did not have consensus on the

matter, a recommendation on recorded voting is not included within this report and

would require direction from Council. Nonetheless, the sentiment of the review team

was that if recorded votes were to be permitted at Committee, these would be restricted

to the main motions (and main motions as amended) but would not be applied to

amendments themselves or any secondary motions tabled.                        

That has to be some of the limpest explanation you are likely to read about this Council.

Recording a vote at committee level could inhibit a member from changing their position at Council: it certainly didn’t stop the Mayor from changing his position on the Lakeshore bike issue.

There is nothing wrong with changing ones vote.  New information becomes available or there is a flood of pressure – remember these men and woman are politicians and they have to be re-elected if they are to keep their jobs.

The report got even sillier when it said recorded votes would slow the transaction of business – that’s a hoot.  The report did suggest members of council could be more obvious in how they vote – and in the last few days they have been putting their hands up a little higher.

When the matter came up for discussion at the committee level the only member who spoke to the report was Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward who regretted that the report did not call for recorded votes.  No one else said a word; something to keep in mind next election.  We’ll remind you.

The upshot of it all was:

Without a consensus from Councillors polled, the procedural by-law review committee has not proposed a revision to the procedural by-law at this time on the use of recorded votes at standing committee.

Council did spend a lot of time on a public opinion survey that told us, again, how wonderful we are.  We paid $10,000 for the report.

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Less than twenty people show up at the BAC for first peek at the 2013 city spending plan. City manager lays out the options.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 5, 2013  Budget time for the city.  This is going to be a tough one for Burlington to get through.  The amount of money coming in is lower and the amount that different boards want to spend is higher and the city has some core decisions to make on what lines of business it wants to be in and what it might be able to get out of.

In a survey the city had done recently, (cost – $10,000) Burlington tax payers were said to be satisfied with most things and were compared to other medium and large organizations.

These charts compare satisfaction levels in Burlington with other Ontario large and medium size municipalities.

Each year the city invites the public to a presentation of the budget and asks those attending to take part in an exercise  that gives the room instant answers to questions asked.  Each participant is given a little device – sort of like a TV remote – which they use to indicate what they think about the questions asked.  The results are tabulated immediately. This process gives the city a first look at how the public – make that taxpayers – are reacting to the spending plans.

The audience this year was considerably smaller than that of last year when the fireman showed up in force – that show of force was almost intimidating.  There were about 40 people in the room at the Burlington Art Centre this year – of which 19 were public and 18 city hall staff or politicians.

Hopefully when the library opens in Alton Village next year the city will hold an event in the northern part of Burlington; those people have been left out of the loop for far too long.

This is where the money raised is being spent.  The amounts shown are for every $100,ooo of property assessment.  If your property is assessed at $300,000 multiply the numbers shown by 3.

With so few people taking part,  it was not easy to see a tend except for comments on the funding increase the Burlington Performing Arts Centre has asked for this year – and projected out for the next three years as well.  One citizen wanted a referendum held to decide if the place should be kept; a little too late for that question.

Burlington’s historical tax rates with Consumer Price Index shown as well as tax increases for other urban municipalities.

Transit was also an issue for some people. What was evident again this year was how quickly staff would dig out the specifics on a spending question a member of the public might have and how pointed most of the questions were.  Most people had “their” agenda and they spoke to that.

This is the dirty one. It shows the estimated renewal requirement for 10 years along with the 10 year budget – we are short by 60% + and if not caught up we will have to rebuild roads completely at a very significant cost.

Local boards want an additional $1.4 million.  The Economic Development Corporation wants $1 million.  Transit spending that was pulled from the 2012 budget shows up in 2013

This is where the money comes from.

This is the time line the city will work to for completion of the 2013 budget.  If they don’t make the schedule – not to worry – the treasurer has authority to mail out a tax bill.



The city is undergoing a very significant change in the way it manages itself.   Three new concepts are in the process of being introduced:

Results Based Accountability, a process that will measure outcomes and better manage performance.

Business Process Management, which is a much tighter look at evaluating the capacity the city has to improve on the services it delivers.

Service Based Budgeting, which defines the services being delivered and matching the value of those services to the budget the city chooses to live within.

The condition of our roads wasn’t a question but it was certainly an issue from the city’s point of view.  Last year $1.2 million was spent on a procedure called “shave and pave” that extends the life of a road considerably – delaying a very costly re-build.  Burlington expects its roads to last 50 years before they have to be completely re-built.  The amount to be used on road repair for 2013 was set at $2 million

The city collects money for the Board of Education and for the Region, which includes the cost of the police force.  Of every dollar the city collects – 60 cents gets passed along to others.

The public meeting was preceded by a city council meeting where City Manager Jeff Fielding outlined the issues as he saw them and added that he is going to have to recast the capital budget and would rather have produced a two-year forecast rather than the traditional 10 year capital forecast.

Burlington is moving to an “asset management” approach to the facilities they have.  They will use an approach called “life cycle costing” as they city moves into a stage where residential tax revenue will stall and commercial tax revenues will undergo a reduction until the city gets a better grip on how its employments lands can be better utilized.

The capital budget proposed amounts to $551 million and covers roadways, storm water management, facilities and buildings, parks and open space, parking, fleet vehicles, information technology and corporate initiatives.

Fielding explained to Council that he was going to be able to hold the tax increase at 1.85%, which he thought was pretty good given the challenges the city faces.  Where Fielding was gulping was with the growth items that would add 4.5% to the tax hike – an amount Councillor Meed Ward saw as “untenable” and no one else wanted to get attached to either.  Mayor Goldring did say at that meeting that 6.5% was not on but that there was going to be something more than the just over 2% last year.

The budget process got a little bumpy as well this time around.  Fielding thought part of his job was to comment on the budgets submitted by the local boards (Library, Museum, Art Centre, Performing Art Centre and the Economic Development Corporation) and was brought to heel by the Library Board when they objected to his comments on the way they were staffing for the new Library in Alton Village.

Fielding wants a “governance” discussion that will clarify his role.  He told the Council he serves that “we do have to have a governance discussion…the boards represent you at arm’s length. They have more power than I have as a civic administrator.  You gave them that authority to run the service and you look to those boards for the advice you need.  They did that.”

“You saw the push back from the library when we even asked if they could find the staff they need for the new Alton Village library from within their current staffing compliment.  You saw that they were offended.

Fielding wants Council to decide if he is to have anything to do with the budgets the boards produce.  He’s in a bit of a bind; he has no oversight but he has to find the money they ask for.  “If you change your minds and want me to do that work and review their growth items then you need to make that clear to me and also make it clear to the boards.”  We have a bit of a turf struggle going on here.  The city manager should win this one.

This is the third budget this council has delivered and it will be significantly different from the last two.  The Burlington Performing Arts Centre wants an additional $225,000.  The Economic Development Corporation wants close to $1 million to restructure.  The Museums came in with a different story and announced that they had raised close to $85,000 in grants and didn’t appear to need any financial help.  They do want $7,000 plus to convert a part-time curatorial position to full-time.  The Burlington Arts Centre wants a  $125,000 addition to their base funding in 2013 and the same amount in 2014 plus $45,00 to align their compensation with provincial regulations. Sound of Music is asking for $37,000 more.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre needs a $225,000 touch up as well.  All these “asks” add up to $4.5 million which will add more than 4% to the tax rate.

Meed Ward isn’t on for this even though most of the people with their hand out are within her ward.  She talked of the “lived” experience her constituents have to live with where they are asked to “reduce spending by 2% to 5%” while Burlington has put in place an across the board 2% for the boards.

Councillor Craven, who can fume almost as well as Councillor’s Taylor and Craven, said he agreed with Taylor about the need to look at the budget numbers but disagreed with Taylor on where the changes have to take place.  Craven says the cuts have to be made by Council and that “we can’t continue to push this onto our staff. “It’s about leadership”, he said.

The focus for 2013 is going to be infrastructure and the hospital levy.  The others are going to have to learn how to cut corners.  The Performing Arts people are probably going to be told to use their reserve to cover the 2012 short-fall.

The Burlington Economic Development Corporation might take the biggest hit.  “I don’t know” said city manager Fielding, “if the Economic Development Corporation has a future going forward.”  That’s code for – polish the resumes fellow, the gig is over.  Fielding said this is “something her has to look at.”


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Things are getting a little hurried at city hall; legal department is scurrying around to get reports into the hand of Councillors.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  February 4th, 2013  A confidential report on the pier being built at the foot of Brant Street was scheduled for a meeting of the Budget and Corporate Services Committee tomorrow.

The Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting for the first time in its new format was advised this afternoon that the confidential report in the pier would be discussed at the evening portion of the Infrastructure and Development committee – which got the ire of Councillor John Taylor going – he didn’t want to go into a closed session of council to discuss a report that he has not yet read.

Usually an easy man to get along with – but grumpy, grumpy, grumpy when reports are not ready for him to read and review. John Taylor does nothing on the fly – legal department is going to have to smooth his ruffled feathers.

Councillor Taylor can get touchy at times with sudden changes.  While he groused city solicit Nancy Shea Nicol took him aside and explained that she would not be giving the a report because there were “some financials” that were not complete but that she would be giving a verbal report that would be followed up by the full document.

OK – but what’s the rush?  The report wasn’t due until Tuesday – tomorrow.  Is there something going on out there that the public has not been told about?

You bet your bippy there is.  The city is has entered the discovery process that has each of the parties in the dispute asking each other questions based on the documentation that has been provided.

That’s when the full story comes into focus and that is when lawyers ask themselves – is this something we should try to settle now or is this something we are solid on so we will go to trial?

The reason for the hurrying

and scurrying is that someone wants to talk settlement.

The reason for the hurrying and scurrying is that someone wants to talk settlement.  Who – that would be guessing.  Who has the most to lose?   The city is in the middle of all this – battling both Harm Schilthuis and Sons Ltd. and AECOM for the princely sum of $7.5 million.  If they lose council members will have a lot of explaining to do – not something you want to get into when you are into the second half of their term of office.

Having spent a princely sum on legal fees to date the city has to be looking at any offer to settle that might have been made.

Last week the city disclosed that it had spent $2.1 million on fighting the Nelson Aggregate application for an additional permit to quarry on the Mt. Nemo plateau.  That was a good fight that took many, many months of hearings.  The cost of the legal stuff on the pier will make the Nelson hearings look like chump change.

Next week, Henry Schilthuis undergoes discovery as does the city’s Director of Engineering Tom Eichenbaum.  Ir is interesting to note that neither Phil Kelly or Tim Commisso are part of the discovery process – both were key players and on the city’s payroll when the problems with the toppling crane and the concrete pour that failed took place.

It’s getting interesting down at city hall.  Different Councillors are beginning to talk casually about where the developer is wrong and that the city has a solid case.

Stay tuned.

As for the actual construction of the pier – that’s going great.  There is every reason to expect the thing to open officially during the Sound of Music festivities in June of this year.  The contractor (one of four who bid on the pier)

Early morning view of the pier in September.  Some time was lost in October due to weather but November and December weather was decent enough to get some work done.  Rails and the node that will have the tower with the observation deck in place are now into fabrication.

who won the tender with a bid of  $6,429.700 is on time – on budget wouldn’t apply to this job because of the nifty way the city has handled the amount that was saved when the wind turbine got thrown under the bus at a Council meeting.



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Heritage month gets off to a lively start; library filled with exhibits, re-enactors all over the place..

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 3, 2013   The provincial government encourages municipalities to promote and preserve both the Cultural and Built Heritage of the Province through the promotion, education and support of heritage conservation projects through public and private agencies and organizations.

This reenactor explained to a very attentive boys what it must have been like to have fought in the war of 1812 that the province will continue to celebrate in 2013.

Burlington, the city that has struggled for years on how it wanted to preserve its heritage housing got into the game with the decision to highlight, and recognize the work being done by different groups to further education and promotion of Heritage by way of displays, seminars and presentations to promote Heritage both Cultural and Built Heritage in Burlington.

With bullets flying all over the place during battle, medical services were desperately needed.  This reenactor delighted in telling his audience how teeth were pulled and legs cut off.

They got off on the right foot on Saturday  at the Burlington Central Public Library by hosting the Heritage Fair, a free day of seminars, interactive displays for children, poster contest and exhibits by local heritage organizations.

As we wind our way through the month of February there will be a Burlington Built Heritage Award that will recognize property owners who contributed to the preservation of our built heritage for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Unfortunately, one of the very best “built heritage” examples is a home owned by a member of  Heritage Burlington, the city’s Citizens Advisory Committee on matters of heritage, and that may disqualify her from receiving an award.  The Advisort committee report to city Council through the Development and Infrastructure Committee and are the best example the city has of a well-organized and focused Advisory Committee.  Burlington has had problems with some of its advisory committees in the past.  City council decided to sunset one and another asked to be sunset.

The Transit Advisory committee has undergone a significant re-organization and it doing very well.

Period costume always brings out a story.  A woman here explains part of the life lived by women during the province’s the war of 1812.

The city is currently looking for volunteers to serve on several of its Advisory Committees.  If you have experience and sincerely want to work collaboratively and can leave your personal agenda at home – this is something you might want to look into.  You work hard, you have to do your homework as well but it is satisfying and personally rewarding work.

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Male chooses to expose himself to women in underground garages. Police believe they are looking for just the one suspect.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  February 2, 2013  Police are investigating two separate incidents that had a  male exposing  himself to women in Aldershot.  I don’t know about you but that was both disgusting and stupid.

The suspect police are looking for lurks in underground garages and exposes himself to women.  He assaults those who challenge him verbally.  The photo above was captured on a surveillance system and is of a person the police want to meet with.

Very late on January 29th 2013, a male approached a female in the underground parking lot of an apartment building at 695 Surrey Lane Burlington. The male exposed his genitals to the female and then walked away without any further incident.

The suspect is described as male white, 20-30 years old, approximately 5’8″ with a slim build.  He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, light coloured track pants and black and white running or skateboarding shoes.

There was no other detail given to the police.

On January 31st 2013 at approximately 3:00 am,  a male approached a female in a townhouse complex at 699 Marley Road. The male exposed his genitals to the woman who verbally expressed her disgust at his behaviour. The male then assaulted the woman by punching her in the face. He then fled the area on foot.

This suspect is described as male white, 20-25 years old, approximately 5’10” with a slim build. He was wearing a black bomber style jacket, blue baggy jeans and white running or basketball type shoes.

Police investigators believe they are looking for just one suspect.

Investigators are requesting public assistance in identifying a male party who was observed in the underground parking lot of 695 Surrey close to the time of the first incident on January 29th. A surveillance photo of this individual is attached to this release.

Anyone who can provide information pertaining to either one of these incidents is asked to call the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825 4747 ext. 2315.  Alternatively any pertinent information can be forwarded to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), through the web at or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).


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City looking into making home based business`s legal; will this solve part of the economic slowdown?

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  January 31, 2012   Burlington’s Public Involvement Coordinator is setting up a focus group with people from each ward in the city to talk about home based business’s – which at this point aren’t legal in Burlington – although there are tons of them in the city.

Christine Iamonaco, Burlington’s Public Involvement coordinator is facilitating a focus group to gather views and feelings about the current home-based business bylaw.

By not being legal the city means you cannot employ a person and have that person working out of your house.  You can be a hair dresser and toil away by yourself – but you can’t hire another person as a hair dresser and pay that person a wage.

It’s been a bit of a sticky issue.  People who provide a service feel they should be able to do so and hire other people to work for them.  The man who fixes out lawn mower works out of his garage – is that considered his home?  For a lot of guys the garage is home – but I digress.

There are people in some neighbourhoods who don’t want abnormal traffic coming and going to a home that has a couple of woman working as hair dressers.

The city appears to want to review the bylaw that governs all this.

Home-based businesses have been described as a growing and dynamic part of Burlington’s local economy with   hairdressers, music lessons and pet grooming given as examples.

City staff is looking for 6 to 8 people to take part in a 1 ½ -hour focus group conversation about home-based businesses in Burlington. They want to learn about your experiences with home-based businesses in your area.

Should people be permitted to run a dog grooming business out of their homes? Focus group being held to get answers to that question.

The city is looking for one person from each ward; people who operate a home-based business; • people who live next door to, or near-by to a home-based business and  people who live in single detached, semi-detached, or multi-residential units including townhouse, condo, or apartment.

The focus group session will take place on February 5, 2013, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Burlington City Hall. Compensation for participating is $50.00.

If you think this might be something that interests you or something you have an opinion on answer the questions below and email them to by Feb 4, 2013. If you are selected for the focus group, city staff will phone you to confirm your participation.


Cut and past with the answers in place and email to:  Put words focus group in the subject line

Home Based Business Focus Group Participant Application

Name: _____________________________

Ward and/or Postal Code:____________

Dwelling type: single detached house semi-detached home or multi-residential unit

Indicate if you are: a home-based business operator OR a home-based business neighbor or near-by resident

Phone number(s):________________

Your E-mail address:________________



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Burlington Chamber of commerce releases Business Confidence Update – our part of Ontario feels they are doing well.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  January 30, 2013  The Ontario Business Confidence Index, an index produced by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce,  shows that most Ontario businesses are confident in their own outlook (72 percent) and are planning to expand over the next five years (60 percent). However, the same businesses are unsure about the overall direction of Ontario’s economy–41 percent express confidence.

The index is a survey of 2,386 businesses and was conducted as part of Emerging Stronger 2013, a business-driven economic agenda for Ontario released today by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, along with their research partner, the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto.

A lot of money was spent on the presentation but the clientele needed to make a go of it just didn’t appear.

Emerging Stronger 2013 is a transformational agenda aimed at accelerating Ontario’s economic growth. It identifies Ontario’s challenges and advantages, and sets out practical and detailed recommendations for government and business.

Some of its key recommendations include: enabling better access to capital for start-ups and small businesses through crowd funding; encouraging businesses to employ more Aboriginal people and people with disabilities; opening up more government services to private sector and not-for-profit delivery; utilizing Ontario’s large immigrant population to grow exports; and, allowing more employers to participate in training.

The shingle had to come down after more than a year of solid effort – the customer base just wasn’t big enough for Celestial Beauty. The disposable income that many thought would drift from the several condominiums on Lakeshore Road just didn’t make its way to this shop.

The agenda comes days after Kathleen Wynne was named Ontario’s next premier and is intended to provide a non-partisan platform that should appeal to all three parties.

Keith Hoey and the Chamber of Commerce Emerging Stronger agenda will sit well with parts of the commercial sector but the several small business types in the core that went out of business this month don’t see it quite that way.

“The OCC’s Emerging Stronger agenda is truly transformative for Ontario,” said Keith Hoey, President of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce. “It outlines a plan for the provincial and federal governments to work together with private and not-for-profit sectors to achieve success.”

“The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has crisscrossed this province engaging and hearing from local chambers and their 60,000 members,” said Allan O’Dette, CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “We are confident that Ontario has all the assets to prosper, but we need to act collectively, strategically, and with purpose.”

“This Index is one of the largest surveys ever conducted of business opinion in Ontario,” according to Dave Scholz, Vice President of Leger Marketing, the pollster. “Business sentiment is very much ‘glass half-full’ in the province right now.”

Among the survey findings are:

Ontario is falling behind on productivity: only 10 percent of respondents believe their sector is a global leader in productivity.

Some sectors are much more confident than others: the financial services sector is the most confident in their own outlook (74 percent say their business will expand in the next 5 years).

Businesses are struggling to diversify their exports: 45 percent of Ontario businesses view China as the most critical market in the next 5-10 years. Yet only 1.4 percent of Ontario’s exports are bound for China.

Some regions are more confident than others: Greater Hamilton Area businesses are most likely to respond that the economy is heading in the right direction (48 percent), while Eastern Ontario businesses are the least likely (36 percent).

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City finally tells citizens that fighting the Nelson quarry battle cost us $2.1 million. It was money well spent.

By Pepper Parr

Burlington, Ont. – Jan. 31, 2013—They are learning – they are trainable.  They are capable of being transparent.

Burlington city council is usually pretty timid when it comes to talking about how much they spend on legal fees – we’ve not heard a word about how much we’ve spent on the attempt to recover $7.5 million from the people who screwed up the first attempt to get a pier built at the bottom of Brant Street.  But we now know how much was spent on legal fees to fight the application for a second quarry.

This is the quarry that is currently being mined.  Its productive life will end in a number of years and over time fill with water.  The city and the residents of north Burlington have an opportunity to decide what they want to see this property become.

$2.1 million and while there will be some grousing – this city will get very good value for those dollars.

Burlington spent $2.1 million on legal and consulting fees to protect the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, from a quarry proposed by Nelson Aggregate Co.

In a unanimous decision released on Oct. 11, 2012, the consolidated hearings board (Joint Board) dismissed Nelson’s application for permits that would allow a new quarry and aggregate processing on the Mount Nemo plateau.

“For protection of the unique and sensitive ecologic areas of the Jefferson Salamander habitat, particularly the two known breeding ponds within the prescribed habitat area, the Joint Board finds that Nelson had not made sufficient provision for the protection of these unique ecologic and environmentally sensitive areas in the event that Nelson’s projections are wrong,” the Joint Board decision stated.

This is a topographical map with the existing quarry that is currently being mined outlined in orange.  The patch at the south of the current quarry is the land Nelson wanted a permit to quarry in the future.

In December 2011, City Council approved a policy that allows Council to disclose legal costs following the completion of a matter, as decided on a case-by-case basis.

Details of the city’s legal process, including services provided by legal counsel Rod Northey of Fogler Rubinoff in Toronto, were shared with City Council in a confidential meeting in December 2012. The city’s legal costs for the Nelson Aggregate matter were approved in segments between October 2008 and January 2012, with funding coming from a contingency reserve fund.

The Joint Board’s decision was released after a four-year hearing process, including several preliminary hearings and a main hearing that lasted several months and included nearly 300 exhibits. The board heard from 60 witnesses, including 47 experts and 13 members of the public. The city retained nine expert witnesses who appeared before the board and provided evidence covering hydrology; hydrogeology; biology; wetlands; salamanders; agriculture; air quality; human health; and planning.

“I am impressed by the efforts of city staff, including the legal team, on behalf of the Niagara Escarpment,” said City Manager Jeff Fielding. “The city has worked collaboratively with other levels of government and community groups, such as Protecting Escarpment Rural Land, to keep this treasure intact.”

Burlington now has to decide what will become of this property once it has been mined out.  There is an opportunity here for the city to create something that will invigorate the northern part of the city and still keep it rural.

PERL, Protect Escarpment and Rural Lands, the group that led the fight, would certainly like to see someone pick up the significant legal tab they incurred; when they announce their fund-raising event – be sure to attend.

Nice comment from the city manager but it is really a canned statement which he probably didn’t write.  As impressive as Fielding is – he wasn’t the city manager when this battle took place.  Better to have said nothing than permit a statement like this to be made on his behalf; almost as bad as a photo-op.

Big bucks; one tenth of what the pier is going to cost but this time we are getting long-term value.

Much of the detail in this piece came to us as a media release from city hall.


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Male in early twenties walks into path of a Via Rail train near Cumberland: killed instantly.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON. January 31, 2013   Shortly after 6:30pm yesterday Halton Regional Police were called to investigate a fatality involving a Via train and a pedestrian in Burlington.

A lone male pedestrian, in his early twenties was observed entering onto the CN tracks in the area west of Cumberland Avenue. The man was seen approaching from the south side of the tracks, crossing  two sets of tracks before entering into the path of a west bound Via Rail passenger train, which was carrying passengers at the time.

The pedestrian was struck by the Via train and pronounced dead at the scene. A second west bound Go train which was travelling a very short distance behind the Via train in the middle track was also carrying passengers and delayed by the incident, although not involved. The tracks were closed for approximately two hours while police investigated the incident.

Halton Regional Police Collision Reconstruction Unit attended and assumed control of this investigation. None of the passengers of either train sustained injury from this collision.

The police would appreciate hearing from anyone who may have seen the victim in the area of the incident prior to the collision . Call the Halton Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.  Detective Constable Oliver Caves, 905-825-4747  ext 5124 is the investigating officer.

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35×3 – translates into the number of regional artists involved in the Art Centre 35th anniversary auction.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  January 30th, 2013  The Burlington Art Centre (BAC) appears to be going all out to raise funds and promote the work of regional artists.

They are holding three different auctions that involve 105 Canadians artists.

A Yukon Indian fishing creel done by K. Crowder.

One of the auctions is a live event that takes place on February 8th at 8:30 pm.  Reception before the bidding begins.  A couple of glasses of wine should goose up some of the bids.

The second is a silent auction that runs from the 6th to the 8th of February.

And the third is an on-line auction.  This is the first time the Art Centre has auctioned art on-line.  We set out below some of the questions – with answers – you might have.  It can be kind of fun to look for an item you like and watch the bidding climb.

Bless your wee cotton socks; a delightful folk art ceramic by S. Merritt.

Each auction will offer 35 pieces – tying into the 35th anniversary of the Art Centre.

The on-line auction has already begun and will continue to February 7th.  Slip over to the BAC website, register  and begin looking at what has been put up for auction.

Doors will close on the silent auction and live previews at 5 pm on February 8. The pre-auction reception open to anyone with a ticket starts at 6 pm and offers a final chance to bid on silent auction items, while mingling and enjoying a drink and hors d’oeuvres before the live auction.

You’ll need a $40 ticket that lets you take part in both the silent and live auctions.  That ticket gets you into a reception prior to the live auction on February 8.

The online auction at is ongoing until February 7 and already has bidding wars. Register now and join in.

Tickets can be purchased online at, by calling 905-632-7796, ext. 326, or at the Art Centre ,  1333 Lakeshore Road in Burlington.

The Art Auction is a fundraiser for the Burlington Art Centre Foundation, in support of BAC programs.

Photographs are courtesy of the Burlington Art Centre and copyright is held by the artist.  Seek their permission before using please.

How do I place a bid?

To place a bid, you must first be logged into your account. Once logged in, simply select ‘Start Bidding Now from your Account Profile or go to the Auction Items page. Click on the auction item you are interested in to see the full description and bidding box. Place your bid and optional comment and hit the button ‘Place Bid’.

The BAC has the best collection of Canadian ceramics in North America.This bowl by Scott Barnim comes out of that tradition.

How does the bidding Process work?

By placing a bid, you are committing to this amount and the actual amount displays immediately. The system does not use a maximum bid feature (like eBay), where a bidder enters the maximum amount they wish to spend and the system bids incrementally on their behalf until reaching that maximum. This means you need to monitor your bids. This is easy to do, as you are notified by email each time you are outbid.

What is the Bid Increment?

The Bid Increment signifies that the next bid placed must increase the current bid by a specific amount. For example, if an item is currently at $100 and the Bid Increment is $25, the next bid must be at least $125.

B Darcy is offering this painting: Harvest time

Will  I get email confirmation messages during the auction?     

Yes! We will send you an email when you have been outbid. Auction emails will come from so please add this email address to your “acceptable email list” to help avoid spam filters.

Can I delete a bid?

If you accidentally place a bid, please contact your auction administrator.

How I change my password or other account information?

By logging in to your account, you will be able to:

  • Update your profile (including editing your email, address and phone)
  • Change your password
  • Review your Bid History
  • Donate an item for the auction

What technology do I need? What browsers are supported?

Please see our requirements page at:

** If you have any questions about specific auction items or the organization holding the auction, please contact the auction administrator directly. **

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Is Burlington talking to one of the companies it is suing over the construction of the pier about a settlement?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  January 30, 2012  City council going into a closed session is not unusual.  They do seem to go private a little too much when the pier is involved but that is a legal mess.

Monday evening the Mayor advised Council that there would be a Closed Session at the end of the regular council meeting.  Again – not unusual.  But when he said it was to “discuss a confidential legal matter about the Brant Street Pier” my ears shot up.

Wasn’t it earlier in the week that the Mayor said in his State of the City address that all was well on the waterfront?  Yes, he did say: I am very pleased to advise that meaningful progress has been made on the Brant Street Pier in 2012. Work has continued in the winter and staff expect the ribbon to be cut in June.

Is that an offer to settle rising above the under construction pier or have the lawyers in Hamilton just turned on the lights over there?

This wasn’t surprising.  Construction is going well.  The contractor has managed to pour some concrete and while 11 days were lost when Sandy hurricane hit the United States all was well.  So well that plans for the Official Opening during the Sound of Music festival were underway if only in a preliminary way.  The largest service club group in the city is talking to staff about some ideas they have.

While construction is going well – things on the legal side are actually beginning to move along as well.  That process lawyers call “discovery” where each side gets to ask the other about information that has come out of documents each side has made available to the other begins.  Because there are so many players in this game close to a month has been set aside.

This legal quagmire is not just the city suing Harm Schilthuis and Sons Ltd. , and AECOM plus a bunch of smaller players  for $7,500,000. Schilthuis is counter-suing the city for $2,699,344.32.

The first version of the pier was to be built for $6.9 million – that figure worked it’s way up to the $15.9 million the project has cost to date.

The rocket scientists out there can do the math with those numbers.  Do you see the “win-win” for the city in there somewhere?

February 4th – Ross Steel goes through the process

February 5th – PV&V gets its turn

February 6th – Lombard Insurance gets to talk and answer questions

February 7th – Brave, a concrete company gets its turn.

February 8th     EFCO Canada Company

February 11th , 12th and 13th Harm Schilthuis and Sons Ltd. is in the room

February 14th  Burlington’s Director of Engineering, Tom Eichenbaum gets to answer questions.

February 15th – Zurich Insurance is up.

The Judge handling this case has apparently allowed extra time for Eichenbaum to answer questions.

At this stage in the proceedings all the evidence is on the table.  The city has turned over 23,000 pages of information consisting of emails and reports – anything that was written down relating to the construction of the pier.  The prime contractor Harm Schilthuis and Sons Ltd. has given the city 17.000 pages.

With all the evidence on the table lawyers on both sides question witnesses and delve into the details as they build their case.  Why did you say this in that document; what did you mean when you wrote that – that kind of thing.

Lawyers get a pretty good sense of where their case is going once they have gone through all the documents and if there is going to be a settlement before a case goes to court – this is the time to have a conversation.  Who takes that first step and how they take it is a critical part of the legal dance.

One side doesn’t want appear weak by asking if “perhaps we can talk”.  That’s what lawyers do for a living.

Knowing this – one had to wonder – what was it that the city solicitor Nancy Shea Nicol wanted to talk to city council about in a closed session?

The Mayor had said all was well on Thursday.

Construction of the pier was going just fine in the fall with very little time lost due to weather.  The legal case was moving along just as well.  Will there be a settlement before the pier is opened?

Methinks someone has suggested there might be a possible settlement before things go any further.  Who talked to who and when?  We don’t know but we are pretty sure the city is engaged in a conversation.

The Closed Session lasted for about 50 minutes after which council decided to:

Refer memo dated January 28, 2013 from Nancy Shea Nicol, City Solicitor, providing a litigation update on the Brant Street pier; and Direct the City Solicitor to provide further information to the Budget & Corporate Services Committee meeting of February 5, 2013.

What that means is that the city solicitor sent Council a memo; they discussed that memo in a Closed Session of Council and then directed to city solicitor to provide more information to a council committee that meets next Tuesday.

We can’t wait to hear what gets said:  will they do that in a Closed Session as well?

Stay tuned.



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Halton Police investigating a suspicious fire in Aldershot; arsonist shown on security camera footage. Amazing pictures.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  January 30th, 2013  At around 6:30 a.m. Friday, January 11th, an O.P.P. officer was approached by a citizen and advised that a nearby business at #650 Plains Road E. appeared to have had its windows smashed.  Upon further investigation it was also determined that the premise and a neighbouring business had been flooded by water.

Burlington Firefighters and Halton Regional Police officers were called to the site.  It was soon determined that a fire had triggered the sprinkler system inside the building.  Due to the nature of the origin of the fire, police have deemed the fire suspicious.  No injuries were reported due to this incident.

The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshall has some of the best forensic minds in the country doing the investigations.   They have rarely seen the kind of footage found in the Aldershot pizza store fire.

The building was secured and the Ontario Fire Marshall (OFM) notified.  The Halton Regional Police Collision Reconstruction Unit (CRU), which also investigates fire scenes, was called and commenced an investigation with Forensic Identification Services officers.

A joint investigation between an OFM Investigator and the CRU will be conducted.

That investigation has produced some security camera footage that is amazing.  You see the crime taking place and in several places the video is taken into slow motion giving a viewer an opportunity to look carefully at the person being filmed.  The footage is of an arsonist at work – seldom seen.

The arsonist is wearing hood making it very difficult but there might be enough for someone to identify the arsonist.

Halton Regional Police are appealing for anyone with information on the deliberate fire set on January 11, 2013 at 650 Plains Road E in Burlington to contact The Collision Reconstruction Unit at 905 825-4747 x 5065, Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS(8477), through the web at or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637(crimes).



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Burlington flicks tickets better deal than in Oakville; seniors get an even better break.

Pension day – the funds are in the bank if you’re using automatic deposit.  If you’re on a fixed income then every dime counts.  Walter Byj, our newest correspondent  has discovered that the theatre prices are better in Burlington on Seniors’ Tuesday.

By Walter Byj

BURLINGTON, ON.  January 29, 2013   Want to see the latest blockbuster movie at a price that feels decent and leaves you a couple of coins for popcorn?  And you don’t know which theatre offers the best deal?  I’ve some helpful tips for you.

Believe it or not, Burlington has better theatre prices on Seniors’ Tuesday than Oakville.

Pricing is not uniform in the theatre offerings. If you want to go to your local (Burlington) Cineplex theatre, know that if you are 14 to 64, the price for a ticket at the Silver City in Burlington is $11.50 while the same ticket is $12.25 at the Silver City at Oakville, a difference of $.75 per ticket.

The pricing for children and seniors is lower, at $8.99, for both theatres.  Those prices don’t apply to Imax or 3D movies.

Some of those first dates were a trip to the movies – for seniors there are deals in Burlington on Tuesday’s.

Perhaps you want to go on a Tuesday night when prices are discounted.  The pricing at the Silver City in Burlington is $6.99 for everyone, while at the Silver City in Oakville the ticket price is $7.25.

If an evening outing is not your style – there are afternoon presentations.   Burlington does not do afternoon screenings except in July and August, vacation periods and school breaks

There are two additional theatres nearby that offer seniors’ discounts.  The Ancaster Silver City where the admission price is $6.99 or to the former AMC theatres located in Mississauga.  They are now known as Cineplex Odeon Winston Churchill Cinemas and the admission price is $7.50.

If you’re taking in a movie at one of the Cineplex locations (we call them Silver City in Burlington and Oakville) and you’re over 14, be sure that you sign up for a Scene card.  It is free and offers a number of benefits.  You will get 250 points when you initially get your card and will earn 100 points each time you purchase a ticket.  Note that if you purchase a ticket for a child, you will get an additional 50 points.  However, if you purchase a ticket with an accompanying adult, you will not get points for their ticket.  Get a separate card for your wife – that way you both get points.  You also earn points on concession purchases along with 10% discounts on movie snacks and 10% discount on Tuesday tickets.

When you reach 1,000 points, you are eligible for a free ticket that can be used anytime.  Go to the Scene web site and register for your card.

There is another theatre in the Burlington/Oakville area that offers good prices: the Encore theatre , in Oakville on Speers Road.  General admission is $9.00 while children and seniors pay $6.50 on a regular basis.  On Tuesdays, everyone pays $6.00.


Walter Byj has been a Burlington resident since 1975.  Raised in Brantford,  a job at Dofasco brought him to the city and he has been here ever since.  Walter “took the package” after 31 years with a consumer products company where his last position was as Sales Operations and Planning Manager.  He serves as a volunteer tutor with the Literacy Council.  Married with two children and the one grandchild, Walter and his wife usually cannot be reached on Tuesday – they’re at the movies.


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City hall dropped the ball on this one – they’re going to kill what little history we have.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  January 29, 2013  Did you know that CoBALT Connects is the managing partner of the City of Burlington’s public art program? They are! And they are going to be “on hand this Thursday and Sunday at various Burlington locations with New Brunswick artist Peter Powning as he makes “Cultural Mulch” with the community’s prized possessions, turning those objects’ outlines into the bronze cast that will form the facade of his piece.

Jeremy Freiburger, the media friendly maestro who sent us this information about the Cultural Mulch might be the only person in the room – along with the artist of course,  who we are looking forward to meeting.

The city does not appear to have spent as much as a dime promoting this event.

The Spiral Stella sculpture that is going to be placed outside the Performing Arts Centre is going to be around for at least 100 years – if this world lasts that long.  Tens of thousands of people will look at it and see what we thought was important to us as a community to tell the story of our past.

Powning wants to take artifacts the people of Burlington bring in – make a mold and then a casting that will be used in the sculpture.

There have to be hundreds of people who have “stuff” in the attics or their basements that artist Peter Powning  would like to consider.

Touchstone was above all a collaborative community enterprise. My idea of asking the community to take part in creating it’s own narrative was the germ of the project. By providing me with objects and artifacts that had a part in defining Canmore for them personally, people gave me the source material for the bronze relief that is at the core of this sculpture. I wanted to encourage community involvement.

But if people don’t bring out their artifacts – there won’t be anything to make a casting of and nothing for the public of the future to see.

At some point in the future there will be a tourist standing in front of the sculpture and asking: “Is that all this city has to show us about their past?”

Burlington has this annoying habit of getting the Mayor out there to have his picture taken every time there is a donation or an award being given.  Last night he was at a table signing the Freeman Station Joint Venture document – a project he really didn’t get behind.  At least we didn’t hear him say very much when the Friends of Freeman Station (FOFS) were struggling to find a home for the structure.

Peter Powning on site in Canmore, Alberta where he installed touch stone, a sculpture along the same lines as the planned work for Burlington.

Powning will be in Burlington so dig through the keep-sakes trunk and bring an object that matters to you. It’s a great way to be a part of the artistic process and to either contribute an object, or simply watch the process in action. Objects will not be damaged in the process, and will be returned after the mold is cast (about five minutes).

Sessions are on:

Thursday, January 31st: Burlington Public Library, Central Branch, 10 am to 3 pm

Thursday, January 31st: Burlington Performing Arts Centre, 7 pm to 9 pm

Sunday, February 3rd: Burlington Art Centre, 2 pm to 4 pm



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When Dad goes missing – you’re terrified and not sure what to do next; a useful resource, log in and bookmark this one.

By Staff

BURLINGTON. ON.  January 29, 2013    We see a couple of these reports each month and we can expect to see more as our population ages.  A recent police media release went like this:

Male Missing:  Elderly Man with Alzheimer’s Believed to Be Lost in the Toronto Area

The Halton Regional Police Service and the Toronto Police Service are seeking the assistance of the public in locating a missing elderly male person who is believed to be lost in the Toronto area.

The missing male person is a 82-year-old senior who resides in the City of Burlington in the Regional Municipality of Halton. The missing person has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The missing person is dependent upon certain medications and his health may deteriorate without his prescribed medication, and may appear confused. The male will be reluctant to accept help if approached.

At approximately 10:53 p.m. a member of the Halton Regional Conservation Authority Parks Department was on routine patrol.

In this situation the follow up was a good news story:

A Parks Officer came upon the scene of a single motor vehicle collision on Milborough Town Line north of Campbellville Sideroad in the rural area of MILTON.  Sometime prior to the officer’s arrival a single motor vehicle had left the roadway and struck a tree.

It was determined that the vehicle involved in the collision belonged to Gerard HOOLBOOM, who had been reported as missing to Halton Regional Police earlier in the day.

Mr. HOOLBOOM was found conscious, near the vehicle. The officer immediately rendered first aid to Mr. HOOLBOOM for minor injuries and summoned EMS and police to the scene.

 The Halton Regional Police take these calls, broadcast the missing person to the media and we do what we can to get the message out to the largest possible community.

Because this is such an emotional issue for any family that goes through the experience the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Centre for Information on Missing Adults (CCIMA) have provided a guide that is very well put together.

CCIMA is a bilingual online resource that provides information and acts as a referral centre for Canadian families and friends of missing adults.

The guide provides families with useful and practical information to help cope with the realities associated to having a missing adult.  Bookmark this page – you don’t want to have to search for it if you need it.

The police are behind this: “We wholeheartedly support the efforts of CCIMA in their development of this comprehensive guide for families of missing adults to assist them in what is often an emotionally overwhelming situation,” said Deputy Chief Andrew Fletcher.



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Don’t miss the Winter Market on Saturdays @ TERRA Greenhouse in North Burlington.

By Margaret Lindsay Holton

BURLINGTON, ON  January 31st, 2013  Looking for something a bit different to do with the family or grand-parents on a cold Saturday morning this winter? Bundle up the gang and head over to the TERRA Greenhouse on the north side of Dundas Street between Guelph Line and Brant Street.

Perfectly situated on the dividing line between North and South Burlington, the downtown lake-side crowd will be pleased that they don’t have to venture too far up into the ‘unknown hinterland’ of the escarpment. North Burlington country folk will be pleased that they don’t have to ‘dress up’ to descend into the tony suburbia of Burlington. This well-placed winter market is casual, inviting, and tasteful. Literally.

Large & lush TERRA Greenhouse welcomes vendors and visitors on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm.

As you stamp off the snow from your boots, your tootsies will soon warm up in this well-heated sun-lit huge glass greenhouse. You’ll be welcomed by tasty samples of a wide range of delectable consumables, like raspberry-saturated truffles or mouth-watering bacon-smoked fresh salmon. Taste testing is encouraged by most vendors, but careful what you nibble.  I had one mouthful of the smoked salmon pate and promptly plunked down ten dollars for a critical winter’s supply …

Smokeville’s husband-and-wife team offer mouth-watering smoked rainbow trout and a variety of delicious smoked salmon products.

Exotic highly spiced teas compliment a wide variety of freshly baked ‘local’ pastries. Hardy rustic uncut sour-dough bread loaves beckon, as do delicately decorated orange-chocolate cup-cakes. Fresh meat pies can be had with a quart of well-scrubbed late-harvest turnips or beets. And don’t forget to get your quota of concentrated sour cherry juice: an excellent all-round good health elixir.

A familiar face from the Burlington Mall summer market, this mother-daughter team offer concentrated sour cherry juice, guaranteed to fix what ails you.

Artfully arranged around the greenhouse’s bubbling fountain, strategic floral arrangements by TERRA green the space. Tables are stacked high with local wares by food and craft artisans. There’s really something for every taste. Yes, a tad more expensive then your local super-market, but frankly, it’s such a pleasing mish-mash of enticing stuff, you’ll soon find yourself enthusiastically supporting these local mum-and-pop enterprses.

Tired of standing? Rest your bones in the convenient festive TERRA garden furniture displays. You never know, you just might decide to re-do your summer patio. TERRA attendants are on hand to assist with your purchase if you do. I found their service helpful and informative, not pushy.

The Little Truffle Maker offers her wares. Taste testing is obligatory! 

If you’re not interested in the excellent food produce, you can always sniff exotic expensive hand-crafted soaps or hand-made packets of room freshening lavender. Or, try on a well-knitted toque and scarf combo in a wide variety of joyful colours. Grab a budding cactus or ruby red orchid on route.

It’s always great when a new venture hits pay dirt. Timing is everything. Would this IDEA have worked two years ago? Hard to say. But today, the TERRA greenhouse on Dundas Street has a ‘hit’ on its hands. So much so, there’s talk of opening another Winter Market up in Milton.

Nothing succeeds like success. Without a doubt, this is a win-win venture.  The TERRA greenhouse could well have remained dormant over the winter months, but this resourceful interpretation of ‘space’ welcomes all who seek an enjoyable and novel Saturday sojourn. Local food vendors now have a warm and inviting place to sell their specialty items without incurring a crushing overhead.  Visitors won’t be disappointed.  It is a festive and welcoming event.

Pies ‘n Such offered great gift packages of 5 tasty items for five dollars.

Do head over earlier rather then later. Doors open at 10am on Saturday and close at 3pm. The place was packed last Saturday by 10:30am.

The Winter Market runs until the end of March. Free parking. Free entry.

And don’t forget to try those FREE lip-smacking taste-testing morsels.
Don’t miss the Winter Market on Saturdays @ TERRA Greenhouse in North Burlington.

Margaret Lindsay Holton is both an environmentalist and a community activist.  She is an artist of some renown and the designer of a typeface.  She is also a photographer and the holder of opinions, which are her own, that she will share with you in an instant.   She appears as an Our Burlington columnist every two weeks. All photographs are by MLH unless otherwise indicated.






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