Getting hot in the kitchen. Russell slinging accusations, McKenna looking for office decorator, Sakran may open hot dog stand.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON August 10th, 2010 – When you get nominated just 71 days before the election and the President of the political party association doesn’t show up and nor does the sitting member, you know one thing – there is trouble in paradise.

We are in the process of interviewing every candidate and have given Progressive Conservative Jane McKenna a little more time to pull her team together. She may be looking for someone to decorate her office.

Peggy Russell Burlington’s NDP candidate

Peggy Russell Burlington’s NDP candidate

Meanwhile, NDP candidate Peggy Russell says she is suspicious of Liberal promises. She said in a press release that “after 8 years of silence, the Liberal government recently indicated that we might soon see an announcement in regards to our hospital.  Now, the McGuinty Liberals also appear to have suspended their plans to push a new highway through sensitive Niagara Escarpment lands in Burlington.” Russell says she was not surprised by these crass political moves in the run up to an election.”

“I have been an elected official during both the Harris and McGuinty governments and what has been clear in both cases is that between elections Burlington issues tend to get ignored and then come election time the promises begin.  I have seen this story before.”   And Peggy is surprised at this? The New Democrats did much the same thing when they formed a government – except they didn’t last long enough to form a second government. Few have forgotten the Rae Days

“Liberal Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne has only made a vague promise (it really wasn’t a vague promise – she just didn’t follow up or through on her words) at a local Liberal Party organized event.  But, what does it mean? The Government of Ontario website has no record of the Minister’s local promise or a changed government position on the mid-peninsula highway, at least yet, and the Minister did not cancel the ongoing study for the proposed highway.  No announcement has been made about how the Liberals will deal with the congestion and transportation needs of this area.”

Feisty isn’t she?

Liberal candidate Karmel Sakran stands proudly before the sign being installed outside his campaign office on Guelph Line

Liberal candidate Karmel Sakran stands proudly before the sign being installed outside his campaign office on Guelph Line

Karmel Sakran, the Liberal candidate made a strategic decision not to have a campaign office on Fairview Avenue, the traditional location for campaign offices in Burlington but instead opened his in a small plaza on Guelph Line, south of Upper Middle Road and North of the QEW. Karmel thought he might open a small sand that people could drop by for a chat outside the campaign office.

 

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Transit will eventually have a Master Plan – consulting work has to be done first. Does better service follow?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON August 10, 2011 Taken the bus in Burlington recently? Not that many people do take the bus. Students use public transit because they have to; seniors sometimes have to because they don’t drive and people on limited incomes just can’t afford a car – so it’s public transit for them.

New bus cuts through a ribbon at the opening of the new Transit Operations Centre.  Lot of city hall talent on hand to cut a ribbon.  How much did it cost to have them all there to get their picture taken?  Did they take the bus or did they drive individual cars?

New bus cuts through a ribbon at the opening of the new Transit Operations Centre. Lot of city hall talent on hand to cut a ribbon. How much did it cost to have them all there to get their picture taken? Did they take the bus or did they drive individual cars?

Burlington is a car city – most houses have two cars in the garage or driveway. If you want to get around Burlington quickly – you drive. The city gives its employees the choice of a transit pass or free parking. Guess which most choose ?

The city spends a lot of money on its transit system and many feel the busses we have on the road aren’t effectively used. Council member Paul Sharman got himself electe4d on a transit issue and he is the most forceful member when it comes to talking about transit at Council and committee meetings.

Burlington decided a number of months ago that a detailed study of what we have in the way of transit service and brought in a consulting form to finds out who uses the transit service and what the public feels they should have in the way of transit services.

Mayor Rick Goldring is a big advocate for greater use of public transit but he drives a car provided by the city and says that he uses his bicycle but I’ve never seen even a picture of him on his bicycle. If asked when they last used public transit very few, if any, members of Council would tell you they use the public transit system.

The city wants to develop a Transit Master Plan. The consulting that will precede the development of a Plan is being called The Road ahead. When the proposals for the consulting contract came in Council members later said they knew almost instantly which firm they were going to go with. The details and ideas in the proposal from Dillon Consulting were so far superior to all the others that it was a pretty simple exercise to choose who to go with.

The John Street terminal can get really busy at rush hours – yes there are actually rush hours at this location.  Advertising pulls in some revenue for the city.

The John Street terminal can get really busy at rush hours – yes there are actually rush hours at this location. Advertising pulls in some revenue for the city.

There will be significant public input – and that means the public gets to make comments. Think about what we need in the way of transit; what would it take to get you to use transit ? Do you know what the bus routes are in your community? Does public transit even matter to you?

Burlington as a city is now much more attuned to public engagement – city hall staff (not all of them yet) are learning to listen and to go out to the community for comment and ideas. The public needs to get better at responding to these opportunities to participate in the decision making process.

The purpose of the Transit Master Plan is to attempt to get a sense as to what the public will want in the way of public transit – and with gas well above $1.25 a litre transit has to get at least a look. The purpose of the plan is to conduct a comprehensive review of Burlington’s conventional transit services and to develop a Transit Master Plan covering the period 2012 – 2021.

The main objectives of study is to provide recommendations that will significantly increase the use of transit, improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of transit service in Burlington, develop technology and marketing plans and review options for the downtown terminal.

The Route Ahead will include an implementation plan that will lead Burlington Transit to the next level of ridership growth.  A key component of this study will involve consultation with transit customers, community groups/organizations, and the public at large to determine their views of the Burlington Transit system and obtain input on strategic directions.

The first of the several methods of getting involved in this study and providing input will be the Let’s Talk Transit” Drop in Centre that will hold two sessions on August 24th. One at the Burlington Seniors Centre from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Deputations will begin at 2:30 pm. The second session will take place at City Hall in the evening from 6:00 to 9:00 pm Room 247

Dillon Consulting will be hold a series of Focus Groups in September and October with residents and stakeholders that have an interest in transit services.  These two sessions will be facilitated discussions focused on the overall vision for Burlington Transit, key markets for increasing ridership and strategic directions for moving forward.  Participants are not required to be transit users; only to have an interest in the future of Burlington Transit.

If you would like to participate, send an e-mail under the subject of “Focus Group” to TheRouteAhead@burlington.ca and provide a brief description of your interest in this study.  Participation is voluntary and numbers will be limited.

In mid September, there will be an Onboard Transit User Survey. Passengers will be able to complete a survey that will probe key information on demographics, trip making characteristics and attitudes concerning transit.

A Public Information Session will be held in the late fall to present consultation results, study findings and potential directions and obtain feedback from the public prior to finalizing study recommendations.

The Study is expected to take approximately six months to complete. The presentation of the study recommendations to council is scheduled to occur in mid December 2011.

Comments from the public are both welcomed and encouraged. I would add they are expected.

 

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Gary Carr announces that Region has a better credit rating than the United States of America.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, OM August 10, 2011 – Standard and Poor’s Ratings Services affirmed Halton Region’s AAA credit rating. The same organization recently downgraded the credit rating of the United States to a AA- with negative implications.

This is the twenty-second consecutive year that the Region’s credit rating has been affirmed the Standard and Poor’s. The published review that is part of the affirmation is attached.

“Reaffirmation of Halton Region’s high credit rating is extremely important and excellent news for our residents because it ensures the Region and our Local Municipalities are able to borrow money at the lowest possible financing rates in the capital markets, minimizing the longer term costs of infrastructure capital. The Region’s lower costs can then be passed on to our taxpayers in the form of lower tax increases, said Regional Chair Gary Carr – and we are pretty sure his tongue wasn’t in his cheek when he said that.

When any of the municipalities within the Region need to borrow funds for long term development or operational purposes they go to the markets and float a bond that is offered by the Region. The Region’s credit rating is thus the credit rating for Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills – so we all have a better credit rating than the United States.

Over the last five years, the average annual tax increase for Regional programs and services has been approximately half a per cent – one of the lowest among municipalities in Canada.

 

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Hospital is expected to announce major funding on Wednesday.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON August 10, 2011 – The media people at the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital will be making an historic announcement Wednesday afternoon.

And you know what that means. The Liberal government will announce that oodles of money will flow to Burlington to begin the long needed upgrade and improvements to the hospital that has had the same foot print for more than 40 years.

That wouldn’t be because there is an election taking placed in just over 60 days would it? Burlington has been represented in the Legislature by the Progressive Conservatives for more than 43 years but the Liberals seem to sense there is an opportunity to take the seat this time around and they also seem prepared to finally come up with the funding they have been talking about for years.

The Liberals must be dancing in the streets.

 

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How are the provincial election candidates going to communicate with you?

By Pepper Parr with excerpts from Brian Heagle’s Facebook page.

BURLINGTON, ON August 9, 2010 – Interest in the provincial election has begun to heat up. The candidates have opened up their campaign offices and before long you will see them at your door. All three political parties are holding BBQ events and fund raisers and we can expect to see lawns on signs in the near future.

My colleague, and frequent subject of news stories, Brian Heagle, has asked: “Do you think social media will really make a difference in the upcoming Provincial election? In Burlington’s case, none of the candidates have much of a presence, commitment or following – so far.”

As you may know, Liberal’s Karmel Sakran’s website has been up and running for awhile, but I haven’t found a specific one yet for NDP’s Peggy Russell.

Peggy Russell wants to bring her ten years of political experience at a school board trustee to the provincial legislature.  If she manages to win the seat she will be a voice to be reckoned with – if she wins.

Peggy Russell wants to bring her ten years of political experience at a school board trustee to the provincial legislature. If she manages to win the seat she will be a voice to be reckoned with – if she wins.

At present, Burlington voters will find little in terms of local issues being highlighted (although Liberal’s News section does include some items/links, including “hospitals, not highways” messaging). In terms of local candidates, voters may also have to dig deeper than websites if they really want to know and compare them (Liberal’s Biography offers a few brief details but PC’s Bio is somewhat vague, including references to “community leader” and “self-educated entrepreneur” but without providing leadership or business positions held).

In other words, it seems media types will be heavily reliant on Our Burlington to be informed and engaged. Of course, it’s also up to us citizens to step forward, get engaged and then vote. Too often we seem to neglect that part of the civic engagement formula for elections.

However, social media may not be at a stage yet where it will have much influence, at least not in Burlington. Lots of thoughtful comments on my Facebook page when I posted this week about the role of social media in politics.

Cory Judson, campaign manger for Peggy Russell the NDP candidate tends to not let a day go by without sending out half a dozen notes to his friends. It can get a little much at times but he is an NDP trooper and nothing is going to stop him.

Sakran has all kinds of community experience that should serve him well and he has made inroads with the Conservative crowd in the city.  Will that be enough to deliver a seat to the Liberals that the Conservatives have held for more than 43 years?

Sakran has all kinds of community experience that should serve him well and he has made inroads with the Conservative crowd in the city. Will that be enough to deliver a seat to the Liberals that the Conservatives have held for more than 43 years?

A recent research report said Small Business people are not all that keen on Social Media and that 47% don’t make any use of it. Suggesting that political campaigns are similar to a small business operation isn’t that much of a stretch

It isn’t clear yet what the over riding issue is going to be for the Burlington and Halton ridings –although the Niagara to Greater Toronto Area highway (NGTA) is certainly going to be front and center.

Some elections turn out to be a battle between the leaders; others are about clear cut issues province wide. That doesn’t seem to be the case yet – we probably won’t know until Labour Day. Burlington’s Strategic Plan is going to have NGTA stamped all over the thing.

McKenna said at her nomination that she had 71 days to win the provincial election – that’s certainly a challenge for an untested candidate but she has Ron Foxcroft and Keith Strong in her corner – and those two are certainly not political lightweights.

McKenna said at her nomination that she had 71 days to win the provincial election – that’s certainly a challenge for an untested candidate but she has Ron Foxcroft and Keith Strong in her corner – and those two are certainly not political lightweights.

So Heagle asks: Okay, Burlington, is this single local issue (the proposed NGTA highway) enough to sway your vote on October 6? Jane McKenna, the Burlington Progressive Conservative candidate supports her Leader’s position – build a highway through the Escarpment because it will create jobs. The Liberals have promised not the build a highway through the Escarpment. The NDP doesn’t want the high built.

www.votesakran.ca/Biography

www.votesakran.ca

Full disclosure: Brian Heagle has run as a municipal candidate and put himself forward as a candidate for the Progressive Conservative nomination but withdrew before the nomination meeting was held. Heagle was at one point being groomed as a Liberal candidate by the late John Boich.

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You heard it here first. Pier bid deadline extended – will now be opened on the 17th of August. This is good news.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON August 8, 2011 – You heard it here first. The receiving and opening of the bids for the construction of the Brant Street Pier has been moved from Wednesday August the 10th to Wednesday August 17th – and that is good news.

Seven companies picked up the data package from the city. Recall those were:

 

  • ConCrete USL Limited
  • Toronto Zenith Contracting Limited
  • Belor Construction Ltd
  • Rankin Construction Inc.
  • Bot Construction
  • PCL Construction Canada Inc.
  • Graham Infrastructure

The city would have liked to have seen the bids in by the 10th of August but the rules of the game allow the city to extend the deadline if it is felt the contractors need more time. Another rule in the public tender approach allows any contractor to ask questions but the questions asked and the answers given by the city’s engineering department get sent to every contractor who picked up the tender package with all the data in it.

And the contractors have been asking questions. The asking of questions is usually a good sign and senior people within city hall are very confident they will have very solid bids coming in from top rank firms.

The Engineering Department built in time to allow for additional questions from the pre-qualified vendors. Some of the questions will have been simple and some of the questions take time to respond to and of course the answer to one question sometimes generates follow up questions. Both the questions and answers get given to all the contractors.

The city has extended the delivery date for bids on the completion of the Brant Street Pier.  This is good news.

The city has extended the delivery date for bids on the completion of the Brant Street Pier. This is good news.

Engineering department staff are making sure they exhaust all questions and give the contractors ample time to put together an attractive bid in terms of construction and cost. The project continues to be on schedule for reporting to Committee this fall where the Engineering department will give their recommendation to a Council Committee and then it goes to a Council meeting where the final decision is made.

Mayor Rick Goldring said the Pier will get built – and yes it is going to cost quite a bit more than originally planned. Taking it down will apparently cost just as much to complete the thing. And, as Councillor Jack Dennison pointed out, we cannot expect to recover anything from the civil suit unless we build the Pier – not sure why that’s the case – must look into that for you.

Let’s see what the bids are on the 17th.

 

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When your career starts with a presentation to a Nobel group – you know you’re going to go far. and make a contribution.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON August 5, 2011 – Why, one might ask. Would you do a piece on someone who was given an award several months ago ? Good question. Couple of reasons; during the presentations we don’t hear very much about the “real work” the Civic Recognition award winners do. The speakers are limited to three minutes and with every one of these award winners there is a really interesting and significant story.

One of the first academic papers Dr. James Henry, who is quick to point out that he is not an MD, but an academic who teaches and does research, was to one of the Nobel Committees. That is not to say that he is a Nobel Laureate, but that he presented a paper to one of the Nobel Committees that keeps abreast of all the scientific research taking place around the world. The type of recognition early in a career is quite unusual.

James Henry, PhD Professor Emeritus, McMaster University

James Henry, PhD Professor Emeritus, McMaster University

We found that trying to set up ,meetings with the people who were recognized by the city of Burlington took time and when we finally got through to them – their schedules were packed. Today we want to tell you more about Dr. James Henry, a North Shore Road resident who was recognized as the Senior of the Year. Don’t think wheelchair when you read the word Senior. Dr Henry is as active now as he was when supervising doctoral students at McMaster University where he is a Professor Emeritus, which he explains is a professor who has an office, a lab, a work load, some grant money that he sources, but no salary. I neglected to ask if he got a free indoor parking space.

He served as Professor, Scientific Director, Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care, Professor, Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, and Anesthesia at McMaster University. Dr. Henry started out at McGill University, one of the, if not the Premier universities in the Country.

Dr Henry holds an endowed chair in central pain at McMaster University. He received his PhD in physiology from the University of Western Ontario in 1972 and, appointed as professor of physiology and a professor of psychiatry at McGill University from 1977 to 2002.  In 2000, he was awarded the Millennium Distinguished Career Award of the Canadian Pain Society.  While at McGill he founded the Quebec Pain Research Initiative. He also founded the Canadian Consortium on Pain Mechanisms, Diagnosis and Management, which is comprised of 40 top pain researchers in a multidisciplinary Canadian think-tank to promote pain research, improve pain management and to disseminate information on pain to patients, practitioners and policymakers. He is also president and chairman of the board of the Canadian Pain Foundation, and is a past-president of the Canadian Pain Society. He is the associate editor of Pain Research and Management.  In 2002, he moved to the University of Western Ontario, to create and chair the new Department of Physiology and Pharmacology and in 2005 took up his current position at McMaster.

Being recognized by your community seems like small potatoes when measured against that impressive list of accomplishments. All the titles and the awards don’t quite give you the full measure of the man. He speaks of a “social contract” by which he means the understanding he has that he has been richly rewarded and is now expected to return something to the society within which he lives. “I am in a poison now to do that and it disappoints me that no one else seems to be doing this.”

He is now retired from the faculty of McMaster University but is in their telephone directory as a Professor Emeritus, “which means I get an office, a lab and can spend the grant money that I source” but I’m not on the payroll.”

“I supervise a group of doctoral students, read papers and attend conferences sometimes and I sail my little boat on the bay” he explains if you ask him what he is doing these days.

His views on the academic atmosphere at McMaster are not all that kind. Dr. Henry found that the prevailing social structure was one of “cliques” and that one was expected to fall in line. The peer pressure was significant and some of the expectations unrealistic. So he retired and got involved in pain management and did some research on what pain really is.

“I ran an advertisement in the newspaper and was just a little stunned with the response. I thought there might be 200 responses max – we got 350 responses”. Out of the advertisement came two groups; one in Burlington and another in Guelph that each held monthly meetings to talk about pain and how it can best be managed.

People who have to live with chronic pain don’t know what personal dignity is all about – the pain they experience is so debilitating and constant. Many in society think pain is something that one can adjust too – “not true” according to Dr. Henry.

 

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A different point of view:

BURLINGTON, ON August 4, 2011 – Chrissy writes in response to the piece we did on the Joseph Brant Day event at LaSalle Pavilion last holiday weekend. We had suggested there was precious little to see or hear about Joseph Brant at the event and Chrissy had this to say.

“I personally thought the event displayed the history of Burlington phenomenally! I do not necessarily think that the event is held to solely focus on Joseph Brant’s entire life, but rather Joseph Brant as one of Burlington’s first settlers. The event is meant to be a day filled with family fun and to celebrate Burlington’s heritage! I personally loved the event, and as did my family and friends! I think the citizens of Burlington also really enjoyed the event from what I gathered!”

“In addition, you have a spelling error in your article. I believe you mean to say heard, rather than hard. A funny spelling error, I must add.”

Oh dear, another spelling error – thanks for bringing it to our attention Chrissy. Spell checkers just aren’t what they used to be.

Readers are invited to make comments and express their opinions on anything we publish. If there is a degree of controversy in your remarks (and we certainly know what controversy is) we need to be able to actually speak to you before publishing your remarks. Use the Comments tab just under the masthead.

 

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Not all beaches are safe for swimming.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON August 4, 2011 The Halton Region Health Department tests recreational water throughout Halton.  Beaches are selected based on use for swimming and other water sports.

Beach water samples taken on August 2 revealed the following beaches have acceptable levels of bacteria and are
safe for swimming:

  • Burlington – Beachway Park North, Beachway Park South
  • Halton Hills – Prospect Park Old Beach

The following beaches have high levels of bacteria and are unsafe for swimming:

  • Milton – Kelso Conservation Area
  • Oakville – Coronation Park East, Coronation Park West, Bronte Beach Park

 

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Member of the government comes to town bearing a promise; the Mayor isn’t sure what to do with the thing.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON August 4, 2011 Is it really going to be THE defining issue during the provincial election that has now begun to gain some momentum? There is certainly going to be a lot of chatter with everyone looking for a way to get their two cents worth in.

The arrow tells the story in the clearest possible language – that is where the province has said in the past it wants to build a highway.  Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne said recently that there wouldn’t be a highway built through the Escarpment – but not everyone believe her and the Progressive Conservatives have been very clear – they will build a highway through the Escarpment.

The arrow tells the story in the clearest possible language – that is where the province has said in the past it wants to build a highway. Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne said recently that there wouldn’t be a highway built through the Escarpment – but not everyone believe her and the Progressive Conservatives have been very clear – they will build a highway through the Escarpment.

 

What got his ball rolling – and it was just waiting for a bit of a push – was the visit to the city by Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Transportation for the province. She was brought into town by Liberal candidate Karmel Sakran to take part in a closed door Round Table that included Mayor Goldring, Regional Chair Gary Carr, Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor who has been a tireless fighter for the preservation of the Escarpment, and the Liberal Candidate for Halton Indira Naidoo-Harris. Geoff Brock and Susan McMaster of the Stop Escarpment Highway Coalition (SEHC) were also on hand.

Wynne told the media after the Round Table session that Ontario’s Liberal government has no plans to pave over the escarpment, according to Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne, who was in Burlington yesterday to discuss the controversial Niagara to GTA corridor.

Wynne assured local politicians and citizens’ groups gathered that the provincial Liberals aren’t moving forward with a 33-km highway that connects Hwy. 403 in Ancaster to north Burlington.

“People need to move around. There is congestion on the roads and we need to address that. But we don’t need to destroy environmentally-sensitive land in order to do that,”

“The fundamental thing I hear is that people in this community are very concerned about a road that will disrupt a sensitive environmental area that really is the basis of the quality of life in the area. That’s why our government stepped back from this.”

The event, which took place in Burlington was organized by Liberal candidates Karmel Sakran (Burlington), Indira Naidoo-Harris (Halton) and Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MPP Ted McMeekin. Given who the sponsors were – what did you think the Minster was going to say – add to that, if they play their cards right, the Liberals have a decent chance of taking both the Burlington and Halton seats.

During the session Minister Wynne made the comment that while she is the Minister of Transportation the people she directs tend to see themselves as employees of the old Department of Highways – and as the Minister pointed out, highways are one mode of transportation, but she directs a ministry made up of people who are deeply ingrained and committed to the construction of highways – and indeed Ontario has some magnificent roads.

Burlington Councillor John Taylor, probably the most vocal and persisitent person on Council when it comes to the Escarpment and how to defines the city makews a point at the Roundtable held in Burlington recently.

Burlington Councillor John Taylor, probably the most vocal and persisitent person on Council when it comes to the Escarpment and how to defines the city makews a point at the Roundtable held in Burlington recently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taylor said in an interview that he has met with the Minister on previous occasions and believes what she has to say. “She gets it” said Taylor but he added that to the best of his knowledge the Minister has never actually driven through the area.

One of the ideas the SEHC people had was to arrange for bus tours through the Escarpment for people who live in Burlington but don’t fully realize how magnificent a piece of geography we have and the damage that a highway would do to that part of the city.

Taylor, who has been fighting to ensure that urban development doesn’t take place north of Highway 5 (Dundas) had to give in a bit when the 407 was put through in 2000 and live with development between Highway 5 (Dundas) and the 407. He believes fervently that if there is an NGTA highway, development will go up so fast between the existing 407 and wherever a new highway is built that the Burlington we know will disappear before our eyes. NGTA is the acronym for Niagara Greater Toronto Area highway that has in the past been called the Mid Peninsula highway.

Developers salivate when they think about the opportunities to build homes should a road cut through the Escarpment. Local farmers would think they were on their way to heaven and able to think of retiring to the sunny south with nary a winter driveway to be cleared. Ward 1 Councilor Rick Craven argues that much of the land north of the 407 is already in the hand of patient developers.

Looks do tell and it doesn’t look at if Mayor Goldring on the left is buying what Minister Kathleen Wynne is selling.  Karmel Sakran, in the middle, is just delighted that the Minister is in the riding mentioning his name.

Looks do tell and it doesn’t look at if Mayor Goldring on the left is buying what Minister Kathleen Wynne is selling. Karmel Sakran, in the middle, is just delighted that the Minister is in the riding mentioning his name.

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring liked what the Minister had to say but if the photograph is any indication of what Goldring really thinks – well you can almost see the grains of salt he is taking with the words he is hearing. Goldring makes the comment that the announcement is nice but adds that there was nothing in the way of an announcement from the Ministry of Transportation about the highway. What we got was a politician rolling through town handing out promises. And keep in mind that this will be the last election for Premier Dalton McGuinty – which means a leadership contest when he decides to resign – and Kathleen Wynne is being talked up as a potential for the Office of the Premier

SEHC has chosen to celebrate what Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne had to say – that Ontario’s Liberal government will not move forward with a highway that would cut across the Niagara Escarpment and Halton Region’s Natural Heritage System to connect Highway 403 in Ancaster to North Burlington.

“Ontario needs a modern, multi-modal transportation system if we want to stay economically competitive and decrease commuting times,” says SEHC spokesman Geoff Brock. “We are pleased the Province recognizes this and is willing to take another look at its transportation plans.”

These signs popped all over North Burlington in February – Do they represent the feelings of the people south of the QEW?

These signs popped all over North Burlington in February – Do they represent the feelings of the people south of the QEW?

The 11-member SEHC, composed of citizens’ groups from Niagara to Oakville, worked with the City of Burlington, the Region of Halton and MPP Ted McMeekin, to oppose to the highway. The SEHC also commissioned a Natural Capital Study to highlight the $912 million value of green infrastructure services that would be lost if the highway were to be built.

“The quality of the Natural Capital Study and the value of its analysis certainly deserved the attention it received from the Minister,” said Susan McMaster of Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment, a Member of the SEHC.

“We are pleased that Minister Wynne saw the logic in our group’s position: a highway isn’t needed now and, with gas prices rising rapidly, certainly won’t meet Ontario’s needs in years to come,” said McMaster.

SEHC – the Stop the Escarpment Highway Coalition is made up of 12 groups with a combined membership of 7,000 people. Citizens Opposed to Paving the Escarpment (COPE), Oakvillegreen Conservation Association, Lowville Area Residents Association (LARA), BurlingtonGreen, Coalition of the Niagara Escarpment (CONE), Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL), Milton Green Citizens Group, Environment Hamilton, Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society, Sidrabene Latvian Camp, Cedar Springs Community.

The organization came together during an early February meeting when the city and a mixed group of local activists met to talk about a joint response to the surprising announcement from the province that it wanted certain data inserted into both the Regional Official Plan and Burlington’s Official Plan. Councilor Taylor spear-headed a public meeting that brought some 800 + people out to a local arena and more than a couple of dozen to their feet to protest against the idea of a road cutting through the Escarpment. That public meeting saw both the MPP from Burlington, Joyce Savoline and the MPP from Halton, Ted Chudleigh, troop to the front of the room and mumble a few words about listening to the community.

View from Mt Nemo - If there is ever a highway cut through Escarpment land it will open up land like this to housing developments – and tear the heart out of what Burlington is as a city

View from Mt Nemo - If there is ever a highway cut through Escarpment land it will open up land like this to housing developments – and tear the heart out of what Burlington is as a city

Flash fast forward to Mayor Goldring’s office last week, a day before he left for vacation and hear him say that “this issue is a hill he could die on”. The Mayor has a fine print of the Escarpment on the wall of his office.

In sharp contrast to the Liberal’s position, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak promises to build the highway if elected. The Niagara to GTA (NGTA) highway is expected to cost up to $6 billion. SEHC says the price is too high, not only in terms of destruction to valuable agricultural land and natural areas, but also because it will impair the Province’s ability to invest in the sustainable, multi-modal transportation system that citizens and businesses really need.

 

For the SEHC people this as a pivotal issue in this fall’s Provincial election. The group is working to understand, and publicize, the position of all local provincial candidates on the highway as part of this year’s election so voters can make an informed decision on this issue.

The group is also looking to the Federal government to step up to the plate on transportation planning. Rail plays a major role in sustainable transportation planning and the Province can’t do it alone. So far the Federal government has been absent from the conversation. SEHC thinks this is unacceptable since rail is their responsibility. “Putting rail and a National Transport Policy on Ottawa’s agenda is a high priority for us,” said Brock.

Mayor Goldring and John Taylor at the Roundtable on the Escarpment. The Minister of Transportation certainly heard their words – did she feel the passion?
Mayor Goldring and John Taylor at the Roundtable on the Escarpment. The Minister of Transportation certainly heard their words – did she feel the passion?

A number of people point out that the NGTA corridor has three parts to it and while the province might stall and hold back with the portion that was being planned for the Escarpment, if the other portions get built – they would then say they “have” to build the final portion. Thus Geoff Brock of COPE says “we have to be ever vigilant” and make sure that the Environmental Assessment never gets completed. Mayor Goldring is of the same mind. He says he will feel much better when he hears that the Environmental Assessment has been cancelled. At this point – it is still a task being done.

 

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That’s what the Director says took place – and the hot dogs were excellent.

By Barbara Teatero, Director of Museums

BURLINGTON, ON august 4, 2011 – For a family, fun-filled day our Joseph Brant Day festival is all about offering a wide variety of activities for multiple audiences yet still being true to our mandate to preserve, present and interpret the history of Burlington, of which Joseph Brant is a part. Many people stopped by our museums tables to learn more about the collections, the Renovation and Expansion of Joseph Brant Museum, Joseph Brant himself, and Marianne tells me she sold several copies of our book, Joseph Brant, Thayendanegea. Children loved making their native clan pendant and learning about its origins as well as having their picture taken beside our “Joe”. I don’t know that Joe went missing, he may not have been there in person (that would have been quite a feat since he died in 1807!) but he and Native Culture was woven throughout the entire event. YES, the hot dogs were good (excellent actually) and so was Sophisticated Swing!”

 

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Carole Ward brought new meaning to what community service is really all about. Reognized by the city.

Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON August 4, 2011 – There are advocates and then there are advocates. Some are fiery and loud other are more subtle and use the carrot instead of the stick. And then there is Carole Ward, recipient of the 2010 Civic Recognition Award for community service.

Quiet, unassuming but it doesn’t take long for what she thinks to come to the surface and she doesn’t bother to argue or disagree – she just gets on with getting it done. “When I see something is wrong, I do something was the way Ward explains her advocacy role. As for the recognition she was given by her community she thought it was “quite something”.

Carole Ward, recipient of the Burlington 2011 Civic Recognition Award for Community Service.

Carole Ward, recipient of the Burlington 2011 Civic Recognition Award for Community Service.

The daughter of a dentist, a woman who will tell you that once walked across the QEW – “there wasn’t as much traffic when I did that” – she explains, focuses on the quality of life. She lived in Aldershot as a young girl and has seen the community grow and it critically aware of how isolated life can be for seniors in that community.

“It would take me two buses if I had to use public transportation to get to the hospital”, which for Carole Ward is unacceptable. “We need to be thinking in terms of grouping services in a community. Walk in clinics should be where the supermarket is located and there could be a small branch of the library as well as a place where we could sit down and talk to our friends. Community is a large part of what Carole Ward believes brings quality to the life of people who are older and not as active. She is quick to point out that Burlington has a Senior’s Centre – in the middle of town – not close to the community she lives in.

Her husband Ralph passed away at the age of 65 from multiple Sclerosis and Ward spends a lot of her time educating people about “a terrible disease”. The public is much more aware of MS today and accessibility has improved considerably.

Ward doesn’t think the community is at all prepared for the “tsunami of seniors” that will need services and support. There will come a point where seniors will need help dressing and feeding themselves and many will want to stay in their homes for as long as they can, according to Ward and she doesn’t believe the community is at all prepared for the number of people who will need care and support.

Brian Heagle, a former Citizen of the Year – 2009 – tells how he was influenced by Carole Ward several years ago. “She shared her tremendous experience and knowledge on a wide range of subjects – and, consistent with her generous spirit, I also left with several pounds of materials.

More importantly, Carole gave me a renewed sense of what effective advocacy can mean. It was one of the first times that I had a detailed discussion on the topic with another local volunteer. In effect, while groups rightfully focus on fundraising, event-planning and other vital concerns for worthy causes – advocacy can also make a huge, lasting difference on our quality of life.

“I’ve noticed”, continued Heagle that, “since my chat with Carole that many organizations – from Heart & Stroke to the YMCA – have increasingly committed their time and resources to advocacy.

Carole’s insights was ahead of their time. Hopefully, Burlington is listening closely to the concerns that she is sharing and putting out into the community now about the inevitable “tsunami of seniors” will be heard and acted upon.

Heagle had hoped to be able to advocate for Burlington within the hallowed halls of Queen’s Park but his attempt to move out of the Liberal camp and into the Progressive Conservative party didn’t have the traction needed and so Heagle withdrew his nomination

Ward believes the city should be thinking in terms of community hubs built around the services people need and in locations where they can get outdoors and sit in gardens and interact with their friends and neighbours.

Burlington has and will continue to have for some time, one of the fastest growing seniors populations and while Ward doesn’t come right out and say so – she wonders why Burlington isn’t making plans today for that “tsunami” that she knows is coming.

Dental care of adults has been a concern of Carole Ward’s for as long as she has been involved in senior’s issues.

Ward lives in a small bungalow on North Ashore Road, a short walk from LaSalle Park. Before retiring she taught geography and mathematics at the secondary level and the in a Learning Resource Centre for Special Education students.

Her Mother was a gardener she tells you and mentions “that we had dozens of the Civic Rose award plaques in the house”.

She thinks Mayor Rick Goldring understands the demographic change that is going to take place in Burlington in the very near future and that her Council member, Rick Craven is “marvelous”.

Ward sat on the Board of the Community Care Access Centre for Hamilton Niagara Haldimand and Brant, and understands at a strategic level, what the community can do to take care of people who need support. Funded by Local Health Integration Networks through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, CCAC advice and services are covered by OHIP.

Each CCAC is staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals who assess needs, determine requirements for care, answer questions and develop a customized care plan that meets individual needs. Ward was part of the governance process that ensured the real needs of real people were being met.

Burlington will release a draft Strategic Plan in September and Ward wonders if the needs of Seniors will be recognized and planned for in the document. Expect her top have some comments for the Mayor when the Strategic Plan draft is released.

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Keeping water in the pools and ice on the pads is day to day – upgrading the way the department works is the challenge.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON August 2, 2011 – He runs what is one of the largest departments in the city and the one that impacts most on most people – parks and recreation which includes programming in the more than a dozen community centers. The five Managers reporting to him run various sections of the operational side of parks and recreation while Chris Glenn manages the strategic thinking and ensuring that the department is within its budget.

Glenn, Director, Parks and Recreation, reports to General Manager of Community Services, Scott Stewart – the two are like a tag team at Council committee meetings. The current challenge for both Stewart and Glenn is a wholesale revision of the numerous Joint Venture agreements the city has with numerous groups in the city. “Some”, explains Glenn “were and understanding, while others are complex legal documents that involve not only the group the city is working with but third party groups as well”.

The Civic Rose Association wanted to be able to use a room in a city building and have the normal fee waived, the Burlington Gymnastics Club wanted to be able to sell food suitable to young athletes and wanted to run a small concession of their own. Each of these situations required someone within city hall to get an agreement or an understanding in place.

Sitting at the western edge of Central Park and across the street from the YMCA Central Recreation is heavily used buy the community.

Sitting at the western edge of Central Park and across the street from the YMCA Central Recreation is heavily used buy the community.

The city has for some time wanted to get some standardization into the agreements and is working towards a “template” approach, where there is a core document with all the essential gotta have boiler plate the lawyers insist on in place.

The city currently has 23 joint ventures related to programs and services as part of a “supported” approach to the delivery of services. One of the largest is the joint venture with the Burlington Youth Soccer Club and the domes set up at their Fairview field.

The Joint Venture agreements, which are gong to be much more standardized and then tracked very carefully, are part of a different approach to the city’s relationship with community groups that will see minimal city staff involvement. Each Joint venture Agreement will establish the business arrangement; define roles and responsibilities; assign liability and risk and clarify each parties rights and responsibilities.

Parks and Recreation Director Chris Glenn explains that” many of these arrangements were done on a hand shake and no one remembers whose hand was being shaken at the time.” “And” he adds, “there was very little if any documentation.” When the Gymnastic Club turned up at a Council Committee meeting asking if they could have a concession stand at the Central Park Arena to sell the kind of quality food young athletes need instead of the French fries that are usually on offer – the city realized that here was another situation where there wasn’t an agreement in place to cover his kind of situation.

Chris Glenn Acting Director for Parks and Recreation, on the far right in this picture, was part of the Strategic Planning team.  He is in the process of creating standard Joint Venture agreements for community groups that use city facilities and bringing a more professional level of management to the department.

Chris Glenn Acting Director for Parks and Recreation, on the far right in this picture, was part of the Strategic Planning team. He is in the process of creating standard Joint Venture agreements for community groups that use city facilities and bringing a more professional level of management to the department.

At the time the city wan entering into an agreement with a concession operator and found themselves saying: “You can enter into an agreement with us but you can’t sell your stuff on these dates.” Kind of messy from a contract administration point of view.

The gymnasts by the way were given permission to sell their Power Bars and Gatorade and the event went off without a hitch. This was at a time when many of the departments human resources were being burned up dealing with the “elite cycling events” that eventually didn’t make it to Burlington.

Many municipalities in Ontario provide programs through direct delivery. The Burlington experience is with groups that are much more self sufficient and self-directed. Burlington, Niagara Falls and Haldimand County are at the 90% self directed level on a continuum of different models of service delivery.

The role of the Joint Venture organizations is to provide programs and services that meet specific community interests and increase the level of service available in the community. The groups will partner with the city with the objective of operating in a self sustaining mode that has the Joint Venture partner operating, maintaining, repair and renewing facilities.

Seniors, one of the fastest growing parts of Burlington’s population have a centre of their own and take part in numerous programs they create and run.  One of the more successful community operations

Seniors, one of the fastest growing parts of Burlington’s population have a centre of their own and take part in numerous programs they create and run. One of the more successful community operations

While great in concept – it hasn’t worked out quite that way for the folks at the Burlington Gymnastics Club, where they find they need to put a new roof on the building and don’t have the finds to do so. They didn’t have a fund for this kind of repair and didn’t realize they were expected to pay for major repairs. The building was put in place by the city 40 years ago and the gymnastics people have kept it in decent shape. The understanding they had with the city made no mention of their having to pay for major repairs and as George Curran, Manager of Facilities at the Club explains it: “We just don’t have the money for an expense like this” and is hoping that the city can work something out with them. “I think we can pay for maybe half of a new roof” said Curran.

Glenn is sympathetic and realizes that it is going to take a bit of time to get all the new Joint Venture agreements in place and fully expects there will be some speed bumps that slow things down and maybe even some sensibilities that get bruised. While the city doesn’t expect to get “hard nosed” with the groups that put on the programs, they do insist that there be a change and that groups who felt that had almost “anytime” access to the eighth floor are finding that the passes they had don’t work anymore.

As part of this new operational understanding between the city and its Joint Venture partners Corporate Strategic Initiatives is undertaking “condition assessments” to determine just what the condition of the different facilities actually is and expect to have all the data collected by the fall. The city is looking into software that will improve efficiencies and allow all the agreements to be maintained and managed in the one location. One gets the sense that there were a couple of dozen agreements stuffed away in bottom drawers of desks or somewhere in a filing cabinet.

Parks and Recreation provides a considerable amount of financial support to the community. They funnel funds to various Boards in the city, they pay for the operation and upkeep of some facilities and offer one-time support to an initiative that has merit but needs a little pump priming to things flowing.

While the department is a large one it has not had the benefit of much in the way of policy and even less technology and professional management applied to their operations. With the creation of standardized Joint Venture agreements in place and an inventory of the condition of the numerous facilities they operate and then a data base that will feed them information on what has to be done when and what has to be paid or collected when – one can expect to see a much more efficient operation.

The objective is to have most of their work done by the end of this year so that they can align themselves with the Strategic Plan that is going through its finals stages and have a solid handle on the financials and fit nicely into the budget that will get developed for 2012.

There are some 525 sports and culture related organizations in the city and something in the order of 700 + small groups that don’t fit into a specific category. Civic Rose and the Rotary Memorial Tree program are examples of the latter. While that’s a lot of organizations to deal with it speaks well of a city that has organized itself and works, for the most part, quite well with city hall. It wasn’t always that way with Parks and Recreation.

Parks and Recreation manages seven arena and recreation centres. The newest, Appleby Ice Centre is joined by Central Recreation Centre, Mainway Recreation Centre, Mountainside Arena, Nelson Arena and Skyway Arena which may not have that much longer to exist if the sentiment around the Council table reflects the reality in the community.

It is a large department with five managers reporting to him. They include:

Manager of Recreation Services

Manager of Facility Operations and Special Projects

Manager or Parks and Open Space

Manager of Community Development

Manager of Business Services

 

A great idea that hasn’t met expectations.  The location is costing more than the revenue it produces.  The Mansion needs a re-think in terms of where it fits in the locations run by the Parks and Recreation department.  The land was originally deeded to Laura Secord for her heroics during the War of 1812

A great idea that hasn’t met expectations. The location is costing more than the revenue it produces. The Mansion needs a re-think in terms of where it fits in the locations run by the Parks and Recreation department. The land was originally deeded to Laura Secord for her heroics during the War of 1812

The department also runs the Paletta Mansion in the east end of the city and the LaSalle Pavilion in the west end, as well as the Tyendaga Golf course, which just over a year ago was losing tonnes of money. That problem got resolved and the golf club is on a much better footing but resolving that issue brought forward the question: What businesses should the city be in? Is a golf club a legitimate city business? And where is the money to run the different venues going to come from ? Paletta lost a big chunk of change last year and while it is a lovely setting and a fine building – it is limping financially.

Along with getting the existing plant and operations to the point where they are at least not losing money Chris Glenn has to deal with the three partner community centre in the Alton community. The arrangement up there is between the Catholic School Board the Halton District School Board, the Library and the city.

Mayor Rick Goldring along with a Parks department staff member and Ward 6 Council member Blair Lancaster turn sod at the Palladium Way soccer field that will serve the needs of the community in the north east part of the community.

Mayor Rick Goldring along with a Parks department staff member and Ward 6 Council member Blair Lancaster turn sod at the Palladium Way soccer field that will serve the needs of the community in the north east part of the community.

Add to that – the General Brock Park deal seems to be falling off the table; the Catholic school Board cannot come up with the money to pay for its share of the properties and City Council is in no mood to take on an additional multi-million dollar expenditure.

And yet another project that is finally on track – the New City Park that will host teams practicing for the PanAm Games. This is not to the time to talk to Parks and Recreation about the missed opportunity that the PanAm Games presented Burlington.

Meeting the recreational needs of the north western part of the city is a challenge.  The xx community centre doesn’t get nearly enough community use and is closed as much as it is open.  Some re-thinking to be done on this location as well.

Meeting the recreational needs of the north western part of the city is a challenge. The xx community centre doesn’t get nearly enough community use and is closed as much as it is open. Some re-thinking to be done on this location as well.

After summer jobs as a Life Guard Glenn’s parents insisted he go to university where he studied Marine Biology which seemed to be the closest subject he could find that would keep him near water. He got a job with the city in Parks and Recreation and except for a short stint with Human Resources he has been involved with recreation for the twenty years he has worked for the city.

Chris Glenn, lives in Oakville (why do so many of our senior people live in other cities and towns – maybe they don’t want to meet you at the supermarket on Saturday) and has been in the recreational field ever since he left the University of Guelph where he majored in Marine Biology. From that he quickly got into aquatics and recreation – which as Glenn explains it “wasn’t that big a jump – it all had to do with water”.

 

 

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Mosquitoes with West Nile virus found in Guelph Line – New Street part of Burlington.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON Aug 2, 2011 A batch of mosquitoes collected last week in Burlington has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).  This is the first batch of positive mosquitoes found in the City of Burlington and the second batch in Halton Region this year. The mosquitoes were collected from the area of Guelph Line and New Street. The other batch of positive mosquitoes was collected in the Town of Oakville.

How West Nile Virus is transmitted to human beings. Cover up.

How West Nile Virus is transmitted to human beings. Cover up.

“West Nile virus in mosquitoes has had an early start this year and we still have two months for West Nile virus to be amplified in mosquitoes in Halton,” said Dr. Monir Taha, Associate Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region. “August and September are the months of highest risk for human illness with West Nile virus, which is most serious in older adults and persons with chronic illnesses. However, it is important that all Halton residents take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites.”

Mosquitoes can transmit WNV to humans after becoming infected by feeding on birds carrying the virus. The following are steps that residents can take to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

• Cover up.  Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
• Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning.  This is when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.
• Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects.  Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
• Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET.

DEET is a registered pesticide. DEET is short for N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (also known as N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide). You probably didn’t need to know that.

 

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Joe goes missing at the party held in his name but the hot dogs were good and the Swing Band had a great time.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON August 1, 2011 – He wasn’t there – not in body, not as a reproduction – nor in spirit. While Burlington took a bright sunny day to relax and enjoy the atmosphere at LaSalle Park to celebrate the aboriginal native Joseph Brant, there were more War of 1812 re-enactors than there were aboriginal people.

Dave Vollick, his wife and a War of 1812 re-enactor look over some material.  Vollick was acclaimed as Burlington’s Town Crier for the next four years.

Dave Vollick, his wife and a War of 1812 re-enactor look over some material. Vollick was acclaimed as Burlington’s Town Crier for the next four years.

There wasn’t even a large picture of Brant posted up anywhere – it was almost as if we were ashamed of the man. Within the aboriginal community there are different opinions about who Brant was and the role he played during his time. Many aboriginals point out that he wasn’t an Indian “chief” but rather a ‘pine tree’ who is a person of significant value in a community and a person who can speak at Council meetings. Brant was a Captain in the British army and had a foot each in camp, so to speak.

At the end of the day there was a dance performed by six young men from the Six Nations community; one a delightful four year old whose grandmother was in the audience. There were people at the front of the stage where the performance took place telling parts of the Joseph Brant story but some said the sound system was not up to the task and few could hear well enough. Once again – we “cheated the indians”.

There are Joseph Brant descendants in the community who are apparently eager to tell the family story – but we didn’t hear from them.

It was a nice, pleasant family day – it could have been called anything; calling it Joseph Brant Day was a disservice to the man, his memory and his achievements.

The parking lot was full early in the day and the shuttle bus service worked quite well.

Native drummers entertaining the crowds were asked to stop so the Sophisticated Sound could play popular music.

Native drummers entertaining the crowds were asked to stop so the Sophisticated Sound could play popular music.

At one point a pair of aboriginal men were beating away on an Ojibway drum when they were asked to stop so that the Sophisticated Swing Orchestra could be hard. So much for First Nation’s people.

David Vollick was acclaimed as the Town Crier for Burlington and is now going to join the Town Crier’s Guild and learn more about how to be a Crier. Vollick’s first gig is later in August. Expect to see him around town quite a bit.

A member of the Sophisticated Sound Orchestra pauses to check his sheet music as the Orchestra played popular songs.

A member of the Sophisticated Sound Orchestra pauses to check his sheet music as the Orchestra played popular songs.

The day long event is the major fund raiser for the Museums of Burlington that operate Ireland House on Guelph Line and the Joseph Brant Museum that has plans for a significant expansion at the current location. A lot more effort is going to have to go into telling who Joseph Brant is and what he managed to achieve in his time and to bring the Aboriginal people onside. They weren’t really at the event. We have our work cut out for us.

The Joseph Brant Day has taken place for more than twenty-seven years – which is how long Barbara Teatero, Executive Director Joseph Brant Museum has been with the organization. “There was a time when the aboriginal community was much more involved but our budgets are quite limited now and we couldn’t afford the fees involved.”

It was a lovely sunny day and the music was really nice. Watching all the 1812 re-enactors mill about was pleasant. But it sure wasn’t a day to celebrate Joseph Brant. False advertising if you ask me.

 

 

 

Quite a few War of 1812 re-enactors were at the Joseph Brant day event.  Brant died in 1807 but the re-enactors added colour to the day and reminded us that the second centenary of the War of 1812 is to take place next year.

Quite a few War of 1812 re-enactors were at the Joseph Brant day event. Brant died in 1807 but the re-enactors added colour to the day and reminded us that the second centenary of the War of 1812 is to take place next year.

 

The Joseph Brant Day is a free event with revenue from concession booths bringing in funds for the Museums fund raising event.

The Joseph Brant Day is a free event with revenue from concession booths bringing in funds for the Museums fund raising event.

 

Some people got right into the mood of the Sophisticated  Sound Orchestra.  Couple of ladies were dolled up waiting for dance partners.  No one took to the floor to dance.

Some people got right into the mood of the Sophisticated Sound Orchestra. Couple of ladies were dolled up waiting for dance partners. No one took to the floor to dance.

 

War of 1812 re-enactors set up camp at the LaSalle Pavilion during the Joseph Brant Day event.

War of 1812 re-enactors set up camp at the LaSalle Pavilion during the Joseph Brant Day event.

 

A colourful part of the day was watching the “troops” stack their rifles and some of their equipment.

A colourful part of the day was watching the “troops” stack their rifles and some of their equipment.

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What a way to get out of the house and see our part of the province like you’ve never seen it before.

By Jack Dennison

BURLINGTON, ON July 27, 2011 The best way Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison could tell this story was to say that “there is no such things as a bad bike lane, some are just better than others and that there is a great lake front out there that few Ontarians are really aware of. Jack and his partner Jackie spent a week on the road traveling the Waterfront Trail from Niagara Falls to Riviere Beaudette in Quebec over a seven day period. Here is their story.

Part 1 of a four part series.

DAY ONE – SATURDAY, JULY 2ND

Fort George, Niagara on the Lake to Fifty Point Conservation Area (60 km)

Official Ceremonies    8:40am

Departure         9:00am:

Dignitaries at the Start in Niagara on the Lake. At the sound of a cannon blast riders set off.

Left to Right: Lord Mayor David Eke, NOTL, Peter Delanty (former mayor of Cobourg), David Henderson, Mayor of Brockville, Kim Craitor, MPP Niagara Falls, PA to Minister of Tourism, Aidan Grove-White, Blue Flag Program, Jack Dennison, Councillor from Burlington, Alan Caslin,,Regional Councillor for St. Catharines, Chair of the Niagara Region Bicycling Committee, Councillor John Scott, Town of Essex (Lake Erie), Regional Chair, Gary Burroughs.

On the way to Rest Stop – Club La Salle, St. Catharines

The Waterfront Trail is 30% on dedicated paths, 30% on residential roads and 40% on secondary highways. Most sections, such as the one shown in the picture have paved shoulders and bike lanes. The WRT surveys riders and has learned:

  • 53% rate the Trail as “very good” for cycling; 19% rate it as “excellent”; 22% rate it as “good” 5% rate the Trail as well-marked; however we received many comments from participants pointing out areas where signage was needed.
  • 54% feel very safe; 46% feel somewhat safe (no one felt unsafe!)
  • 97% feel safer cycling on secondary roads if there is a paved shoulder

 



Welland Canal, stopped by freighter, Jackie,

Waterfront Regeneration Trust Tour Director, Petrina Tulissi,

EMS staff Rebecca and another cyclist.


Jackie beside off road trail right beside the lake looking over Port Dalhousie Harbour.

Rest stop – Jordan Village

Wine tasting, cheese factory, cold beer.

Lunch at Charles Daley Park, Lincoln served local restaurant August. August specializes in gourmet, locally grown food.

So – why did Jack and Jackie take this seven day trip? First because Jack is a bit of a sports nut but more importantly because he believes there is a significant opportunity for Burlington and the other communities along the Waterfront Trail to develop a sports tourism business that could serve all of the communities and open up our roads to cycling.

Here is his rationale:

Cycle tourism can be effectively promoted in all 41 communities from Niagara to the Quebec border, especially in Burlington, Ontario. Cycle tourism is the way to re-package hidden or forgotten local attractions in a unique experience. Cycle tourism feeds the demand to “get to know communities” The Waterfront Trail well positioned to tap into two developed cycling tourism markets—Quebec and the US. Quebec cyclists spend $135 M annually on cycling tourism and according to Velo Quebec are interested in experiences outside the Province. According to League of American Bicyclists, the American cycling tourism represents $47 B (yes, billion) industry.

Neither market knows enough about the Waterfront Trail and the great cycling tourism opportunity it represents. With a vibrant downtown, lovely natural beach, sand dunes, hotels, restaurants and shopping on Burlington’s waterfront, we are well suited to serve as an overnight destination for cycling tourists coming from Toronto or Niagara or Hamilton. Toronto to Burlington is approximately 60 km—a nice relaxing day’s ride for most recreational cyclists.

Dennison believes Burlington should augment its Waterfront Trail signage to provide:

  • Clear direction and distance notices to between attractions such as Burlington Beach and Paletta Estates. Tourism Burlington provided an excellent paper-based map featuring the stops to GWTA participants but it is preferred to have signage or pavement markings
  • Install signs from the GO Train to the Waterfront Trail and other points of arrival for visitors.

The Waterfront Regeneration Trust coordinates trail-wide initiatives such as signage and promotion (events and website and media coverage of the GWTA This is an effective and low-cost way to promote the Waterfront Trail, its 41 community partners and the many businesses, restaurants and accommodations along the way. In fact promoting local business is an organizing principle of the event.

Rest Stop organization and significant political participation in the GWTA demonstrates the commitment of the partnership. Consistently over the 4 years of the GWTA, there have been about 30 to 40 political representatives from all levels of government participating.

Waterfront Regeneration Trust is now working with communities along Lake Erie to create a Lake Erie Cycling Route that will connect to the Waterfront Trail via the Greater Niagara Circle Route. The result will be a 1200 km cycling route from Windsor to Quebec! And a gateway to the American cycling touring market.

The Waterfront Regeneration Trust raises approximately $50,000 for the Waterfront Trail Collaborative Communications and Promotions Program from the 41 community partners to fund promotional projects such as the GWTA, website, mapbook and signage programs. The City of Burlington, once a leader in the partnership, has not contributed to the CCPP since 2005. Burlington’s participation in CCPP was never handed over to a new staff member once Catharine Talbot retired. The Waterfront Regeneration Trust is requesting that the City renew its particpation. David Crombie made this point when he spoke to the Burlington Waterfront Advisory Committee – but no one sseems to be picking this one up. Mayor Goldring – could this go on your list?

 

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City manager to leave. Was he pushed or did he jump? Neither – he stepped aside.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON July 27, 2011 He has been with us for four years and is in the last stretch of his five year contract with Burlington as City Manager. Early in the year he approached the Mayor to get a sense of what his thoughts were on a contract extension – found that there probably wasn’t going to be one and discussed a number of options – one of which was to step aside – and that is what he did. Roman Martiuk leaves his office at the end of August.

Roman Martiuk listened and when he had a contribution to make – he was always heard.  Here he communicates with Georgina Black during the Strategic Planning Sessions

Roman Martiuk listened and when he had a contribution to make – he was always heard. Here he communicates with Georgina Black during the Strategic Planning Sessions

What did he achieve while he was with us? Was he worth the $215,000 + we paid him? Is Burlington a better place because of what Roman Martiuk got done – and did the city ever really get to know the man?

For the most part he ran a happy ship. He is a great numbers guy and he knew the rules of the game better than anyone else on campus and has to be credited for developing his staff and introducing new systems, procedures and approaches

In a memo to his staff he said: “Throughout my career I have tended to stay with organizations for no more than five years, as I firmly believe that a key part of being a successful change agent is taking the organization as far as you can and then transitioning to a new manager who can build on your successes and take the next steps.” Was Roman Martiuk a change agent?

 

“The decision to transition to a new City Manager was one that was made after extensive discussion between myself, the Mayor and Council.  In fact, it is a discussion that was in large part initiated by me and a decision which I fully support”, said Martiuk.

“In the last four years we have had a number of successes.  These successes are even more impressive given the challenging nature of the environment and economy under which we were operating.  Our accomplishments include:

  • Implementing a new budget system with a strategic focus
  • Introducing a cost containment program with $27.5 million in savings since the start of the program.
  • Developing a new 10 year capital plan achieving $69 million in savings
  • Implementing  the asset management approach to capital budgeting
  • Increasing reserves from 6% to 10% of own source revenues
  • Designing and constructing a $40 million performing arts centre
  • Completing a corporate reorganization
  • Work load measuring and redeploying staff in response to the recession, and
  • The relocation of the McMaster school of business to Burlington

While Martiuk was involved in all of these accomplishments – he wasn’t the leading force in many of them. He lead a team that got these jobs done. He was a sound financial manager and he constantly hammered away at the significant infrastructure shortfall of more than 30% He never let an opportunity to make that point go by without a comment from him.

He came in when a very dynamic Mayor was leaving office and had to work with a Mayor who was very intrusive and a staff that was not as in sync with the community it served as it needed to be. Significant changes were made on his watch. All of his top line manager – the General Manager levels were changed while Martiuk was city manager.

The Pier fiasco took place on his watch but one can’t fault Martiuk for that one. A lousy contract was entered into before he had the keys to his office. The best he could do was attempt to manage a situation that went from bad to worse. In a somewhat plaintive tone, Martiuk says he “wishes the Pier had been completed while he was city manager. I would have liked to dance on it.”

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre got built on his watch but to be candid the BPAC Board raised the money and got the building in place on time and on budget. The project was designed and tendered by the city.

Martiuk came to Burlington from Prince Albert Saskatchewan and had to fill the shoes left under the desk by Tim Dobbie, who was Mayor MacIssac’s right hand man. He faced a staff that had to undergo significant refurbishment and at the same time work with a Mayor with a very distinct personality shaped by years as a Minister at Queen’s Park and absolutely no municipal experience. The two didn’t even know each other.

In leaving Prince Albert, Martiuk said: “I really hadn’t been looking. I was contacted by a professional in the (human resources) business and he told me about this opportunity,” said Martiuk. His first day on the job in Prince Albert was March 21, 2005.

The thinking it through was always part of the job – here Martiuk does his homework alongside staff and Council members.

The thinking it through was always part of the job – here Martiuk does his homework alongside staff and Council members.

Martiuk had family in Ontario and a daughter at McMaster and the money in Burlington was a lot better than that in Prince Albert.

During Martiuk’s tenure with Prince Albert, he established new systems, reduced costs, improved the city’s competitive position and recruited a number of new department heads. Which is basically what he has done for Burlington.

The guy has a remarkable education and, based on his resume, a pretty decent track record. He is clearly a solid administrator. The bulk of his career was with a Burlington Mayor that he found it very difficult to work with. Cam Jackson didn’t understand municipal government and Martiuk didn’t yet have the grip he needed on his team. Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor described Jackson as the Mayor who thought he had been elected President of Burlington.”

So – why did Roman Martiuk offer to step aside? He is adamant that he did not resign. resign – probably because he didn’t think he was going to be offered a contract extension. This Council works quite well. The newly elected Mayor knew he was going to need help and brought in a trusted colleague to help him steer his way through a thicket he wasn’t all that familiar with. The decision to bring in Frank McKeown, a very experienced corporate operative, has resulted in a more hard nosed approach to the way things get done. Add to that mix Paul Sharman, a new council member with significant corporate experience and not the least bit shy about making blunt comments and you now have a council that needs much different care and feeding.

The Mayor’s announcement – and notice that is was the Mayor’s announcement and not a joint statement by Martiuk and the Mayor, sets it out pretty clearly. The city wanted a different kind of manager and this was an opportune time to cut their ties with the existing manager and go looking for someone who was more “corporate”, prepared to work with a Council in a different way, get critical data in their hands in a much more timely manner and someone who bought into the concept of community engagement in a way that Martiuk wasn’t comfortable with. Many at City Hall thought the Shape Burlington report that Mayor Jackson commissioned and had done by an independent committee, was unfair to city hall staff and it took them some time to get comfortable with the report. Martiuk deserves credit for pulling his team together and holding their ground while the battle for supremacy took place.

Martiuk would frequently say that staff is in place to serve council and all they could do was give their best advice. It may have been very good advice but Council didn’t want another five years of it.

While this Council is backing away from parts of the report they all ran on in the 2010 election and supported it unanimously and they have a community group watching them carefully to ensure they live up to the eight recommendations in the document.

While Roman Martiuk is all business he has a well developed sense of humour that was evident in the costume he wore one Halloween – he came dressed as the devil. His was a happy ship.

The child of immigrant parents who met each other in Canada, Martiuk always worked after school and worked hard at school. He earned a Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering degree; is a Professional engineer; is a certified Management Accountant; has an MBA and holds two certificates in Human Resource management.

What then does Martiuk’s resignation mean for Burlington? That we are losing a well qualified man for sure. But there is more to all this than just that. Council has a very clear agenda and a direction it wants to take Burlington – and they just didn’t think Roman Martiuk was the man to help them get there. There are others at the senior level that don’t fit in with the agenda Council has. Can we expect to see more resignations?

Somewhere out there, there is a municipal council that needs a manager who can fix whatever financial mess they are in. Google Roman Martiuk or track him down in LinkedIn – he’s available

 

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It was a quickie – 15 minutes and no open bar. McKenna gets acclaimed, Wallace gets excited.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON July 27, 2011 – It took awhile, but the Burlington Progressive Conservative Association finally nominated a candidate. Jane McKenna was acclaimed in a very, very short nomination meeting – 15 minutes, and they were out the door.

It was a decent size meeting, maybe 100 people in the room but it had that eerie feeling the Cam Jackson municipal campaign had – a lot of very senior people sitting in those chairs. And there wasn’t much in the way of energy in the room. Were it not for the consistent clapping by federal MP Mike Wallace, there may not have been any applause.

A fresh face with no political experience other than a run for a seat on city council for a ward she didn’t live in.

A fresh face with no political experience other than a run for a seat on city council for a ward she didn’t live in.

 

The Progressive Conservative Association held it’s meeting without the presence of the President of the Association at the podium nor was the sitting member, Joyce Savoline in attendance. Both Burt Radford, president of the Association and Joyce Savoline were said to have had “other obligations”. There appeared to be some difference of opinion over whether or not the meeting was properly constituted but the concerns weren’t made public other than one member saying that he did have a copy of the association in his bag.

There is something not quite right with the Burlington Progressive Conservative Association – but they now have a candidate and while she has absolutely no political experience she does appear to have friends who support her. Ron Foxcroft got a specific mention and Keith Strong placed her name in nomination..

Rene Papin, the nice man who fell on his sword when it was suggested he wasn’t quite what the association was looking for, was in the room but Brian Heagle who after changing his political stripes from red to blue found that the change in colour wasn’t quite enough, bowed out of the race by saying that the failure to call a nomination meeting had left him hanging in the wind and he wanted to get on with his life and withdrew his name as well. Heagle didn’t make an appearance. Nor did former MPP Cam Jackson make an appearance. Any chance to rehabilitate his reputation in Burlington is going to have to start with his attending events like this.

McKenna looked great, was a little edgy and flushed at the podium, which didn’t have a microphone for the speakers, but there was a freshness to her. Given that Burlington tends to elect Tories – it is said that the city hasn’t elected a provincial Liberal since 1943 McKenna stands a chance. The extremely disappointing behaviour of both the sitting member and the association president are things McKenna is going to have to put behind her and create her own organizational and build her own campaign team. With just 71 days before the election she does have her work cut out for her.

McKenna did come up with one interesting bit of information when she said: “Ontario has almost 630 different Agencies, Boards and Commissions. Every one of them will be reviewed to ensure they are providing good value for the taxpayer. Our process will be straightforward. If it works, leave it alone. If it’s broken, fix it. If it cannot justify its existence, it goes. Great sound bite – now to get out on the streets and make the words real to the voters.

With candidates nominated by the three political parties that are active in Burlington the race is on. McKenna won’t have to beg for funds – there were enough deep pockets in the room to get out the coin from the membership.

She appears to have a pretty sharp tongue. During the municipal election she ran against Rick Craven in Ward 1, got trounced but certainly had her say. “I have the interests of all of Ward 1 at heart. The only knock on me, and it’s a non-issue in my mind, is that I don’t live in the ward – though I’ve got close family there and have worked full-time in Ward 1 for several years. If for whatever reason you’re hung up on geography, consider the fact that the mid-point between the incumbent’s home and my own is the Burlington Golf and Country Club; if you live east of there, I’m technically more your neighbour than the politician you’ve been paying for the last 10 years. And frankly, those 10 years have been sufficient. Most incumbents have been at it for long enough that they’ve shifted into maintenance mode. Competitive communities should never be satisfied with the status quo. Ward 1 in particular needs fresh leadership that respects the concerns of residents, that addresses the ward’s shortage of basic amenities and is prepared to work tirelessly toward a shared vision of community.

Karmel Sakran has been in the field for the Liberals for a number of months and has managed to pull two Ministers into the riding; Chris Bentley, the Attorney General made comments that will keep the Liberal base happy and Kathleen Wynne came to town to tell Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring and the people from the Stop Escarpment Highway Coalition that a road didn’t have to be built through the Escarpment. Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr says she promised “that the province will not proceed with the Niagara to GTA corridor through Burlington”. Promise is a big word with anyone but one that doesn’t have much credibility when it comes from politicians. It’s not that they don’t tell the truth; it’s that they have to satisfy the interests of every segment of society and everyone cannot be satisfied. We will track this one. Good for Sakran to pull that much political weight into the riding.

The NDP have Peggy Russell in place and so now the gates are open and we can begin tracking this one more closely.

Tim Hudak, the man who wants to form the next Ontario government, has decided that he will take the seats he can win in Hamilton and live with losing Burlington and perhaps Halton by taking the position tat the GTA corridor is necessary. Maybe he can have all those criminals he want to get out of their jail cells and earn their keep doing some of that road building – and then we can create a unique tourism industry and have people from around the country visiting and watching convicts break rocks with sledge hammers. Gives the provincial motto “Yours to Discover” a whole new meaning doesn’t it.

 

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Festival, found art, aboriginal hoop dancing and maybe even a contest to find Joseph Brant himself.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON July 27, 2011 – Next to the Sound of Music the Joseph Brant Festival is one of the best public events available in the city. Not that poor old Joe will get all that much attention, but then Burlington has never really taken to a savage who went on to become one of the most influential statesmen of his time. He is an incredible story – we just don’t get to hear that much about him.

The Festival however is a fun event and there is decent aboriginal representation. The native drum performances and the Hoop Dancing are well worth the time.

It all takes place out at LaSalle Park – starting at 10 am and going right through to past 4:00 pm. Located on North Shore Road – and if you haven’t been there yet you should be ashamed of yourself. Admission is free but there are plenty of opportunities for you to spend your money.

Dave Vollick first came to the attention of the Burlington community when we reported on his attendance at City Council committee meeting where he convinced them to create the volunteer position of Town Crier.

Dave Vollick first came to the attention of the Burlington community when we reported on his attendance at City Council committee meeting where he convinced them to create the volunteer position of Town Crier.

From 10 to 11 you have a chance to let the politicians bore you silly but once they are all off the stage the competition for the OFFICIAL Burlington Town Crier will take place. This is going to be a slam dunk for Dave Vollick who is the guy that got the ball on this one rolling when he showed up at a Council Committee meeting dressed as a Town Crier and convinced the Committee to go along with the idea. There was to be a competition but because there were no entries (the lack of any remuneration kept other applicants away). Vollick will serve the city well.

Hind’s work on display at a Toronto art show.

Hind’s work on display at a Toronto art show.

Opening Ceremonies 10:00-11:00

City of Burlington Town Crier! 11:00

Hamilton Hoppers Rope Skippers! 12:00

Sophisticated Swing Orchestra! 12:30-1:30

Mountsberg Birds of Prey! 1:30

Blue Stone Native Drum Performances with Hoop Dancing! 2:15

Bubbleology Show! 2:45

Musical Performance by rising talent Hans Munoz! 3:30

Lost Dancers of the Six Nations! 4:15

JuggleMagic! Various Times

 

 

David Hind is a Brantford based visual artist who work in very large format – like 16x8 foot mural size formats.  This time he is using aluminum and is expecting anyone who walks by to spend some time on his “canvas”.  The piece shown above is a collective effort. It is directly based on George Bingham's painting "Fur traders descending the Missouri" and was in part inspired by James Ensor's "Christ entering Brussels" and Bill Reid's "Spirit of the Haida Gwaii". It depicts a canoe on the grand river passing through Brantford Ont. The boat has been filled by 250+ participants from in and around Brantford and illustrates the rich and diverse community that call this place their home. It is meant to be a symbol of togetherness: uniting all through peace, understanding, openness to difference, and compassion for all living things. Thanks to all that have contributed; Sarah Baker, Dawn Hackett, Chris Wabie, Sarah and Lori Byrd, Tim Southern, Sharon, Steven, Aliki, Jay, the Arts Bloc, Glenhyrst, et al. Additional works with Simon Frank, Tor Lukasik-Foss, and Steve Mazza

David Hind is a Brantford based visual artist who work in very large format – like 16x8 foot mural size formats. This time he is using aluminum and is expecting anyone who walks by to spend some time on his “canvas”. The piece shown above is a collective effort. It is directly based on George Bingham's painting "Fur traders descending the Missouri" and was in part inspired by James Ensor's "Christ entering Brussels" and Bill Reid's "Spirit of the Haida Gwaii". It depicts a canoe on the grand river passing through Brantford Ont. The boat has been filled by 250+ participants from in and around Brantford and illustrates the rich and diverse community that call this place their home. It is meant to be a symbol of togetherness: uniting all through peace, understanding, openness to difference, and compassion for all living things. Thanks to all that have contributed; Sarah Baker, Dawn Hackett, Chris Wabie, Sarah and Lori Byrd, Tim Southern, Sharon, Steven, Aliki, Jay, the Arts Bloc, Glenhyrst, et al. Additional works with Simon Frank, Tor Lukasik-Foss, and Steve Mazza

Special Appearances, Programs & Demonstrations:

Dave Hind, visual artist! Join Dave and help create his mural!

Karen Millyard from the Toronto English Country Dancers!

Learn about the history of dance and try some dance steps!

Heritage Music & Demonstrators such as spinning demos by the Fireball Knits & Flint Knappers—Watch items tooled from stone!

Fencing Demonstrations

Historic Re-enactors, Historic Militia & Zig Misiak from Real People’s History!

War of 1812 portrayals!

 

ALL DAY LONG!

Along with the special events there will be programs running throughout the day. You can keep the little ones busy every minute you’re there.

 

Boat Rides at LaSalle Park Marina & Splash Park for kids!

Artisans & Vendors! A summer BBQ and refreshment stands!

Giant Bouncies, Face Painting & Airbrush Tattoos!

Capture the flag puzzle hunt & historic play & learn area!

The famous Joseph Brant Day Silent Auction! Jungle Hut!

Hamilton Nationals Lacrosse demonstrations & games!

Interactive Inflatable Soccer play area presented by Mosaic!

The Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton live interactive children’s area with scheduled games, activities, relays & historic obstacle course!

Fair-style games with prizes! Lots of Hands-on Crafts & activities!

One Book, One Burlington Special Program!

School in the Woods Wilderness Survival School!

Public Trivia Contest with Prizes, Special Attractions and so much more!

Now for the fun part – finding a parking spot. The place will be packed – it usually is. So why not just settle for the shuttle that will run from the Aldershot High School parking lot to the LaSalle Park. The high school is at 50 Fairwood Place, which runs parallel to Plains Rd W and is just to the west of Waterdown Road.

 

Joseph Brant Day is a full day heritage festival presented by Joseph Brant Museum that celebrates history and one of Burlington’s original settlers and national figures: Joseph Brant Thayendanegea. The festival includes activities for all ages, live music and unique performances, special historic re-enactments and demonstrations, various exhibitors and displays, interactive activities and games, artisans, crafters and other attractions. Joseph Brant day is not only an important heritage festival; it is also the largest summer event and fundraiser for the Museums of Burlington.

 

 

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Wherever two or more of you are gathered …

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON July 26, 2011 – Ever the eager beavers, the Councillor for Ward 2 and her able assistant have announced that there will be a Ward Two Citizens Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday July 27 at 7pm in Room 247 at City Hall.

Now that is dedication – on the part of both the Council member and her Advisory Committee. There is much for the Council member to report on. Might she advise her Advisors as to where things are with the Freeman Station project and what the real reason is for not going with the most logical location and the one that everyone thinks is the best location ? And where would that be? Spencer Smith Park of course

Would the answer lie in the three condominiums that lay to the North of Spencer Smith Park and just a little to the west of Maple ? Are the people with all that supposed clout, who frightened Councilor Craven and then Council member Peter Thoem now frightening Councillors Lancaster and Meed Ward?

One would like to believe that the interests of the larger community outweigh the petty, personal interests of people who get their phone calls answered – but maybe some people have more influence than others.

Locating the Freeman Station just beyond the two trees would have is sitting within yards of the old rail line that rank along the lake edge embankment that is now a walking path is the most logical place to put the building from an historical perspective.  Those in the immediate neighbourhood who think it will mess up their sight lines need to re-think the position they’ve taken.  The station is just a bit over a storey and a half high.

Locating the Freeman Station just beyond the two trees would have is sitting within yards of the old rail line that rank along the lake edge embankment that is now a walking path is the most logical place to put the building from an historical perspective. Those in the immediate neighbourhood who think it will mess up their sight lines need to re-think the position they’ve taken. The station is just a bit over a storey and a half high.

The Freeman Station belongs in the western section of Spencer Smith Park for numerous reasons, the strongest of which, from an historical point of view, is that it lays right along where the rail line used to run.

Those with a Christian frame of mind will recall the phrase “…whenever two or more of you are gathered in my name” and given that there are going to be at least two people at the Ward Two Citizen’s Advisory Committee on Wednesday – perhaps there will be some divine intervention.

If the Freeman Station doesn’t take up all the time available – why not talk about the changes that are going to take place at city hall. The resignation of the city manager is step one of a significant shake-up in the works.

 

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