This sort of makes it official but a little snow would help the Ho, Ho, Ho to settle in for a couple of weeks.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, December 1, 2011 – They are going to do it again – the streets are going to be lit up and a line of soldiers is going to guard the entrance to Spencer Smith Park in Downtown Burlington.  And that will be the signal that Christmas is about to come upon us.

The folks that make this event work expect something in the order of 500 people will show up on Sunday, December 4th, as the 16th Annual Burlington Lakeside Festival of Lights begins.  This year more than 500 excited people are expected to be in attendance for the Opening Ceremony, which will take place in Spencer Smith Park following the Burlington Santa Claus Parade.

Lynne Snider hoists a device that will help him drive a stake into the ground to support the Festival of Lights piece he is installing in Spencer Smith Park

The Burlington Welsh Male Chorus will be on hand, hot chocolate, compliments of Coffee Culture Café & Eatery will be served by the Burlington Civitan Club.  The chorus will begin at approximately 4:45 p.m. until the traditional procession of the Burlington Teen Tour Band begins their march from City Hall to Spencer Smith Park at 5:00pm.  Visitors at the Opening Ceremony will also enjoy the lighting of the CHML Tree of Hope.  Festival of Lights Chairwoman, Michele Allan will bring greeting to all with special guests, Honourary Chair Mayor Rick Goldring, M.P Mike Wallace and of course Santa Claus.

The Burlington Lakeside Festival of Lights will glow from dawn to dusk through the Season to January 11th, 2012.







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BPAC Board fails to understand what transparency means and the basics of good governance.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 30, 2011  –  There is nothing nicer than a love story.  We, as people, want to be happy and want the people around us to be happy.  Being “with” someone” makes life that much richer; having been without someone for a considerable length of time I know whereof I speak. But I digress

So when we hear that someone has married or remarried we are happy for them and secure in the knowledge that good things do happen.

The story I want to tell you today is about the prince and the showgirl – well she thinks he’s a prince and she is a showgirl – or is in show business.

Brenda Heatherington, Executive Director of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre brought a sterling reputation to her job. She deserves a Board that is just as top notch – she doesn’t appear to have one..

Brenda Heatherington came to Burlington from St. Albert, Alberta.  She came with an exceptionally strong reputation and was hired by the Theatre Board to serve as Executive Director of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.  We were lucky to get her.  I’ve no idea what we are paying her, no idea how long a contract she has – all I know is that she is deliberate, committed and good at her job.

She loves new ideas.  She likes to look for the edge of the envelope and pushes it just a little.  And, oh – she loves shoes.  When you meet her, smile back – for she will give you a dynamite smile – and then glance down and I can almost guarantee you – she will be wearing great shoes.  But again, I digress.

Someone took an idea to Brenda Heatherington.  “Why don’t we” said this producer, “do a show that features the talent that Burlington has exported to New York, Hollywood and dozens of markets in between.”  It was a great idea – and so off they went to rough out the numbers and figure out what it would cost and how it could be marketed.

Keith Strong, member of the BPAC Board. Tough guy who should have been able to ask tough questions and then have the political smarts to get in front of a possible public perception of a conflict of interest. Asleep at the switch

One can imagine how excited theses two must have been – a smart idea focused on local talent that was international in stature.  Both the producer and the Executive Director had settled into a city new to both of them; both with a show business background.  Her with a brand new Performing Arts Centre to develop and him with a beautiful new bride.  Derek Scott, the producer with the idea and Brenda Heatherington had married each other earlier in the year. They had an idea and developed it together.  Man, if that isn’t the stuff of real romance – then my friends you’re all cynics

Heatherington took the idea to her Board and then explained that the producer of what came to be called the Blue Jeans Gala, was the man she was married to: Derek Scott, a man with a very impressive bio of his own.  Nothing wrong with that. Hetherington’s husband and the nature of their relationship is none of the public’s business.  I’m sure everyone wished her the best when the marriage was announced.

Heatherington is a professional and her personal life is kept away from the office – difficult to do however when the producer of a significant show is also her husband.  But these things can be managed – providing everyone knows what’s going on – but in this instance the public in general didn’t know anything until there was a major piece in the Spectator telling the story behind the man who is producing the show.

Allan Pearson, Chair of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre with his Executive Director Brenda Heatherington. Is he going to take lessons on transparency?

And that is when reasonable people begin to ask questions.  How was this vetted by the Board?  What measures were put in place to manage the potential conflicts of interest.  This isn’t done because there is no trust – this is what every lawyer and accountant advises their clients to do every day.  It’s just a basic business practice, transparency and good corporate governance, which we assume the BPAC Board put in place..

However, the BPAC is funded significantly by the public – to the tune of half a million dollars a year and that isn’t chump change.  There are still those who think the whole idea of a Performing Arts Centre was a mistake and can’t wait for a chance to say ‘told ya so’.  And when the numbers are bad – and at some point the numbers will be bad – it’s the nature of show business and entertainment, the BPAC will need all the public support and good will it can find.

When we became aware that Derek Scott, the producer of the Blue Jeans Gala was married to Heatherington we placed a call to Allan Pearson and followed that up with an email.  No response so we followed up with a second phone call asking if a press release had been sent out.  The response to our questions is set out below:

There was no press release announcing the nature of the relationship between Brenda and Derek Scott.  Brenda brought the topic and potential conflict of interest to the Board. It was discussed and the decision was made at the Board level to carry on with Derek, as he is certainly qualified for the job. There was no discussion of a “press release” as, quite frankly, I don’t see this as “news”.

BPAC Chair Allan Pearson. When is it news and when is it not news? When you use public money what you do is news.

Well Mr. Pearson: It may not be news but it is good governance and you are a Board spending public funds.  Also, the day the story appeared in the Spectator – it was news.

In an Open Letter to the members of the Board for the Performing Arts Centre we said:


November 30th, 2011

Open Letter to the Burlington Performing Arts Centre Board of Directors.

TO: Allan Pearson, Chairman, Rick Burgess, Vice-Chair, Peter Ashmore, Rick Craven, Ilene Elkaim, Mayor Rick Goldring (Ex-Officio), Ed Hannah, Mary-Ellen Heiman, Dominic Mercuri, Philippe Pango, Keith Strong, Denise Walker and City of Burlington Acting General Manager of Development and Infrastructure Steve Zorbas

You have let your Executive Director down.  There was an opportunity for this Board to show the public, the people who provide the half a million dollar subsidy you get,  that you are totally transparent and that you keep the books wide open

Close to a year ago your Executive Director came to you with an idea for an event that would feature entertainment talent that came from Burlington.  The event would feature talent the city had exported to New York, Hollywood, London and Los Angeles.   The idea brought to the Board was a good one and Heatherington did the right thing in advising her Board. (Does Heatherington have to take every idea to the Board?  That would take the Executive out of Executive Director wouldn’t it?)  They approved the budget and apparently approved the hiring of the producer.

Brenda Heatherington, Executive Director of the BPAC explained that it was a good idea, the budget was more than reasonable and she believed in the person producing the program – and well she should, she is married to Derek Scott.

That in itself is not a problem.  Yes, there is a real potential for a conflict of interest but if it is declared beforehand it can be acceptable.  In going to her Board on the conflict possibilities Heatherington did what she was supposed to do.  Good on her.

Her Board however failed her.  They in turn should have advised the community of the possibility of a conflict and report that they have looked into the matter and are comfortable with it going forward.

The Blue Jeans Gala is a really good idea guys – but you’ve queered it by not informing the people that have to put up the half a million dollar subsidy they give you to run the place, that the man producing one of your significant shows is married to the Executive Director.  You just tell people – they will understand.  It is when you deliberately don’t tell that people begin to get suspicious.  And neither Brenda Heatherington or her husband deserve to be treated like that.

What is wrong is a Board with a significant amount of legal talent on it – with at least one lawyer who should know better – and you all decide to sit on it. The second lawyer on the Board, Rick Burgess has served as legal counsel for Our Burlington Inc..  He did the incorporation of the not for profit structure we have and was more than patient in getting his invoices paid – which by the way were very reasonable.   Burgess knows better.

The BPAC needs the financial support and good will of the community and  you don’t get that (nay you don’t deserve it) when you hide things. Particularly in matters of trust. Every opportunity to build that trust has to be taken.  It means you are always transparent and on the front edge of good corporate governance practices.

What’s really bothersome is that this had the potential to be a really beautiful story.  Heatherington is a wonderful person.  I don’t know Derek Scott,  but I can say he is a very fortunate man.  The two were married early in the year and I’m sure all their friends are delighted for both of them.

There was an opportunity to tell the story of this woman, new to Burlington, who meets a man in the same field and they marry – and then they go on to take a really cracker jack idea and develop it  into a program that highlights the city and its talent in a way that no one has ever done before – and if the web site is telling the ticket sales story fully – the show is going to do very well.

Those are called win, win, wins – and you let it get away on you.  The BPAC needs every ounce of public support it can get

Now you’ve got a situation where you are vulnerable.  At some point someone who didn’t want the BPAC in the first place will ask “how much did you pay her husband to do the show and why wasn’t it put out to a public tender”.  You’ve read the comments on the Orchids on Upper Middle Road and the $100,000 the city spent on some bloke from Ireland.  “Should have gone to a local artist”, was a comment made publicly by more than one person.  This you do not need.

In a conversation with BPAC Chair Allan Pearson, I outlined the concern and asked if the BPAC had sent out a press release.  I may have missed it.  Nope – there was no press release sent out.  Your chair didn’t think it was necessary.  He didn’t think there was any conflict of interest – and there most certainly was a conflict.  The Board had an opportunity and I would argue a responsibility to get out in front of it and tell the story – which is a great story.

“Pearson said: “it’s not the public’s business”, and he didn’t think some comment from the Board was needed.  Really!

Pearson added that he was disappointed we were asking questions – he should be disappointed if we hadn’t asked questions.  Sitting on information that the people paying the bills have a right to know smacks of small town cronyism; that ‘we know what’s best for the community’ attitude

I have concerns with a Board that decides it can determine what the public needs to know and question the political savvy of a group that would let this slide.  Particularly disappointing is Ed Hannah’s going along with the idea of letting it slide.  (Maybe he was absent and wasn’t part of the decision?)

Hannah has degrees from Harvard Law School. Osgoode Hall Law School, York University where he did an MBA and before all that Yale where he earned a degree summa cum laude, in economics and political science.  That’s what you call a gold plated collection of degrees – but the decision not to go public with the potential for the conflict of interest was a mistake politically and a mistake of corporate governance – and Hannah of all people should know better. 

Let me however be perfectly clear, all there was, was the potential for some conflict.  You declare it – and get it out of the way. The Board  didn’t do that and now they have an Executive Director who is left hanging out in the wind with people snickering about the great deal she got for her husband.   She deserves better.

The Blue Jeans Gala should be a good show – we expect to attend and review it.  Been a long, long time since we’ve seen and heard Jimmy  Tapp.  We’ll let you know how he does.


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You need to be careful about what you do in the back of that cab. Surveillance Footage is part of the fare.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  November 28, 2011  –  Three youths got a bit of a surprise when they learned their pictures may have been on their Facebook page but it was also captured by a taxi driver who one of the three punched in the face hard enough to require hospitalization..

The  three hailed a taxi-cab in the area of Cumberland Avenue and New Street, Burlington and were driven  to their destination in the area of New Street and Appleby Line.  The taxi driver asked for payment.  The passengers became belligerent and it was apparent that they were not going to pay the fare.  The taxi driver turned his head to speak with the passengers in the back seat and was  immediately punched in the face by one of the passengers.  All three passengers then fled on foot.

With video surveillance in taxis now - they get to see the bad stuff and the funny stuff and if you're up to funny stuff - who owns that image?

The cab was equipped with video surveillance equipment that provided footage of all three suspects. The footage assisted police in identifying the suspects.  On November 25th, a 17-year-old Burlington youth was arrested and charged with:

• Assault Causing Bodily Harm

• Transportation Fraud

• Fail to Comply with YCJA Probation

The remaining youths, 15 and 17 years of age from Burlington, are being investigated for Transportation Fraud.   That footage will be shown in court – it will not be a pleasant day for the youths.

In this case the video surveillance helped solve a crime – but it appears as if the thing is on all the time.  Care to guess what the cab drivers will be watching when they get together socially?



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Council goes into CLOSED SESSION without knowing why they are doing so; Taylor votes against the move.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 29, 2011 – They are at it again.  Playing with the rules which I’m pretty sure are being bent.  Your city council went into CLOSED SESSION on a “litigation matter” Monday evening.  That sort of thing happens from time to time;  When there is a Human Resources matter or someone is suing the city Nancy Shea-Nicole will ask the Mayor to hear her comments in a closed session.

This one wasn’t – or didn’t appear to be about an HR matter.  And in this city whenever there is something legal the word “pier” pops into mind.  (Noticed by the way that with this really good construction weather nothing is being done down at The Pier – other than a little bit of grading.)

Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor asked Acting city manager Kim Phillips why Council was going into closed session and was told it had to do with “report CD 20-11” which means it has to do with Community Development – an those are the guys who take care of the pier stuff.

Councillor Taylor didn't like the idea of going into a closed session of Council without knowing what they were going to talk about. Acting city manager Kim Phillips told him he would find out what it was about when they were in the closed session. Taylor voted against going. All the others voted for going into the closed session.

Taylor wanted to know what “CD 20-11”  was about and was told it was the same matter that had been discussed earlier – which Taylor couldn’t recall.  He said he didn’t think Council should go into a closed session without knowing what it was they were going to talk about.  Phillips told him that the words “CD 20-11” was all he was going to get until they were in closed session and with that the two people in the room, who were not permanent employees of the city, left the chamber and a sign was posted on the doors of the Council.

Councillor Meed Ward, who frequently mentions her background as a journalist, seems to have forgotten what open public sessions are all about.  There was a time when she would look a little guilty about going into a closed session but with a year under her belt – she slides into those closed session with the sense they are all just ‘taking care of business’.

This time though it was just a little different.  When council – not a council committee – goes into a closed session, the person operating the cameras that broadcast council meetings live, puts the words Closed Session up on the screen and turns off the microphones and he too leaves the room.  So what does Cogeco Cable do, when the television sets go cold?  Our Burlington stayed in the Council foyer for 20 minutes, and they were still at it when we left.

For those at home who have nothing better to do than watch Council meetings it must have been an odd experience.  There is just nothing – no sound, no visuals – nothing.  They could cut to the camera at Spencer Smith Park – do we still have those operating?

For those at home it must have been a little like watching television in the Soviet Union during the Cold War – but they at least had martial music playing.

Given that this was a closed session – and there are occasions when these things are necessary, of a council meeting that was broadcast live, the Mayor could have and should have explained to the public, what they were doing and why.  The city council isn’t trying to hide anything – at least we don’t think so.  What’s disturbing is that they never come clean at a later date and explain why they closed a council meeting or a committee meeting to the public.

As council Blair Lancaster would say:  This isn’t a best practice.  But they do it and it isn’t healthy.


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Local artists report strong sales results; announce an art scholarship and begin planning for the next season

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 28, 2011 That Art in Action studio tour held the first weekend in November – they made some money and the turnout at the individual studios was very good.  Total sales at the 8 studios totaled more than $12,000.  Which is very good – because we saw a very nice, small painting being sold to a young lady for $40.00 – would have been priced at about $100.+ in Toronto.

The number of visitors to all the studios seemed a little low (they reported 480), based on our experience –  we covered all eight locations and took in the Burlington Art Centre Wearable Art show as well.

The artists are happy and setting out to put out the Call for Submissions for the next show.  The Call will be open from January to March 16th – forms will be available on the web site: at

Don Graves, on the right, showing a canvas to a perspective buyer (she bought) will head up the Art Discussions program for the Art in Action crowd.

In June the artists will hold a Silent Auction and then as fall of 2012 rolls around they will announce their Pre-Tour and Gallery Show.

Also on the agenda for this group is an Art Scholarship offering to each High school graduating class in the community. The artisans hope to finalize this before the end of June.  Darlene Throop is the point person on the art scholarship initiative. She can be reached at  (

Art in Action Discussion Sessions on subjects such as; the best way to photograph your art for promotion; How to entice a patron and the tax implications to both the artist and the patron, and how to best secure an on-line presence; applying for grants, and what is actually available, are parts of this program. This will be headed up by Don Graves  (

Also on the agenda for the Art in Action people is some jabber, jabber with people at city hall about the fees they were charged to hold the Studio Tours.  Someone at city hall appears to have experienced a brain wave and charged the artists $65. Per day for each of the eight locations – which took a little more than $1000. out of their coffers.

The artists got lumped in with the people who go door-to-door selling aluminum siding and magazines.  There are reported to be more than one council member, who wants to see this little bit of regulation done away with.



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Aldershot residents don’t like, look or the feel of a proposed project in their neighbourhood – want council to nix the idea.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 24, 2011 The good folks in Aldershot were before a council committee last week asking that a zoning by-law change not be given to New Horizon Homes who want to proceed with Phase two of their development on Plains Road West at Falcon Boulevard.

Here was the issue as set out by planner Silvina Kade who gave a brief overview of the application to amend the Official Plan and Zoning By-Law 2020 for lands at 980 and 986 Falcon Boulevard and 396 and 410 Plains Road East by New Horizon Homes.

The applicant, said the planner, has purchased two single-family dwellings facing onto Falcon Boulevard in order to build a four storey residential building. Several neighborhood meetings have been held over the last four years and some area residents are unhappy with the application and the location of the proposed site.

The neighbours saw the changes the developer was asking for as a precedent that would be used to significantly change the community and they wanted none of it.  For the most part Aldershot people attending the committee meeting behaved well, no noise – they just quietly make their case and depend on the council member to defend their interests.

Developers Jeff Paikin and Joe Giacomodonato with an award for best something. They aren't being seen as the best developer for a property at the intersection of Plains Road East and Falcon Blvd.

Jeff Paikin, chief cheese of New Horizon Homes, who got himself in the news earlier in the month for bulldozing what were believed to be close to the last of the fruit trees in the Orchard community.  A pair of upset neighbours managed to get their picture on the front page of a local newspaper pointing to the trees that were ripped out of the ground.  A bit of a kafuffle followed with the council member for the area getting involved.  That issue seemed to be resolved but it did suggest the developer had lost touch with the community he was building in.  Good developers maintain good relationships with the neighbourhoods they build in.  Paikin is now back at Council with a project that does have its problems.

Basically the developer was not able to assemble the land he had hoped to pull together and was left unable to use the lot on the south west corner of the Plains Road West and Falcon Blvd. intersection.  He had purchased two bungalows south of Plains Road and had come up with several approaches to putting up the second four story building of what he is calling the Westwood Development.

To do so – he was going to demolish the two bungalows and build a structure that would have three levels facing Falcon Blvd that would rise to four levels at the back with parking for a number of cars in front of the building.  It was an imaginative solution to the problem – but the residents didn’t think it should be allowed to take place.

The owner of the property at the intersection didn’t want to sell and couldn’t be persuaded to do so even with intervention from the ward councillor Rick Craven.  Does a developers inability to complete a land assembly have to result in a less than acceptable development?  It’s a question that is fairly asked.   That intersection can and should be developed but the owner doesn’t want to sell – which should get translated into – no development.

The white dots outline the area the residents are concerned about. The piece of land in the upper right within the dots is what gave Jeff Paikin 'heart-burn' when he wasn't able to purchase the property as part of his assembly. The result is a development that is not really in the best interest of the community but is legal.

The local residents felt that if the city went along with the changes being requested then every street running south of Plains Road would become part of a development application which would eventually work down to the lake – and they wanted none of it.  Bruce Krushelniki explained that the building of the structure the developer wants to put up would not become a precedent and he explained that: “Each development application is considered on its merits based on the policy context, unique site characteristics and details of the development proposal. It is staff’s opinion that 980 & 986 Falcon Blvd. can be distinguished from most other R2.1 zoned properties in South Aldershot. This is because assembled with the adjacent Plains Rd. properties they have direct access to an arterial road on a site served by efficient peak period transit, and if approved, would result in a consistent depth of the mixed use corridor along this segment of Plains Road. The majority of the Residential Low-Density lands in South Aldershot would not satisfy the criteria of the mixed use corridor designation.

Speaker after speaker spoke of the “precedent” that would be set.  More than a handful lined up politely at the podium and spoke their piece.

New Horizon Development bought the two bungalows as part of a land assembly that was to include the corner lot at the street intersection. Owner didn't want to sell - result, a rather awkward development with a low rise commercial building that will be orphaned. In the background is phase 1 of the development. Parking for both phases is underground.

Murray Thompson, 885 Falcon Boulevard, spoke in opposition to this application. He indicated that the residents in the area where not made aware of the plans for this development until 2010. Mr. Thompson stated that he believed this outcome would set a precedent for future developments of this nature.

Bill Paynter, 967 Falcon Boulevard, spoke in opposition to the development plans. He stated that the number of attendees at the neighborhood meetings was an indication of the opposition for this development. He encouraged Council to consider the level of opposition when this application is presented to Council for approval.

Two storey commercial building on land that could not be assembled - owner didn't want to sell, which was their right.

Ann Cook Petz, 819 Forest Glen Avenue, spoke on the importance of maintaining the integrity of the single-family environment of Aldershot. Ms Petz questioned if this development crossed the border of mixed use by coming down off of Plains Road. She indicated concern for preservation of the community and noted that the 1997 Plan for the area should be considered. Ms. Petz wished Council the best when determining the solution for this area, but noted that she felt that this development would be setting a precedent for the area.

Manuel Bastos, 369 Finch Avenue, spoke in opposition to the application. Bastos encouraged the City not to be anti-development but was concerned with where development occurred. He indicated that this development would destroy the character of the community. He encouraged development on Plains Road that would not face onto a residential street.

Murray Charlton, 974 Glen Acres Court, stated the developer had put a nice design together, but that it was unfortunate that the development affected a residential area. He expressed concern with the setting of a precedent, the future development in the area and how other developers could then do the same in different neighborhoods.

Teresa Ferguson, 981 Falcon Boulevard, spoke in opposition to the development. She advised the Committee that she was the homeowner directly across the street from the two residential properties purchased for development. Ferguson stated that she believed that as a taxpayers, property owners in Burlington were entitled to the same consideration as the developers. She indicated residents might have shown greater opposition had they known that the Mixed Use Corridor was intended to go beyond Plains Road.

Roland Salmon, 936 Falcon Boulevard, spoke in opposition to the development application. Salmon thanked Councillor Craven for his consistent communication to the residents. He indicated that the traffic in the community was horrible, lacked policing and that people travelled at excessive speeds along the roadway. He stated that he thought the new development would compound those issues and was concerned with developers encroaching onto residential streets two or three houses at a time.

There you have it – decent people appearing before their local government asking that the development not be permitted.  No one other than the planner and the developer spoke for the project.

Where does it go from here?  It will probably be approved by City Council on Monday because the city needs to do as much infill development as it can to meet the provincial Places to Grow mandate that requires Burlington to add a mix of office space and residential housing units in the next 20 years.

The province has a Public Policy Statement that requires:

Settlement areas as the focus of growth, supports development within settlement areas based on densities and a land use mix that efficiently use land, resources, infrastructure and public service facilities, and directs that opportunities for intensification and redevelopment be identified and promoted where this can be accommodated. It further supports promotion of development standards “which facilitate intensification, redevelopment and compact form, while maintaining

appropriate levels of public health and safety” and directs planning authorities to “establish and implement minimum targets for intensification and redevelopment within built-up area.

Add to that the provincial Places to Grow mandate that requires Burlington to manage Population and Employment Growth will be accommodated by

a) directing a significant portion of the new growth to the built-up areas of the community through intensification

b) focusing intensification in intensification areas

d) reducing dependence on the automobile through the development of

mixed-use, transit-supportive, pedestrian-friendly urban environments

 The Plan further requires that by 2015, at least 40% of all residential development occurring annually shall be within the built-up area.

Tough for any community to overcome that kind of a requirement – is it good for the community?  Can the city do anything to challenge these requirements?

Developers use this provincial requirement to persuade planners and city council that they should get the By-law and zoning change they want.  Is it good planning?  It is legal.  Is it good community building?  The residents don’t think so.

And if the zoning change is given – what happens to that lot at the intersection of Falcon Blvd. and Plains Road?  It becomes an orphan.  Good planning and good community building would dictate that the zoning change be denied and that people wait it out until the owner of the lot at the intersection is ready to sell.  Will we do that?  Probably not.




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Halton police busy investigating the drug business in the community. It isn’t pretty.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  November 27, 2011  The Halton Regional Police Drug and Morality Unit initiated an investigation into the trafficking of cannabis marihuana and oxycodone in the City of Burlington during which they observed a person who has now been accused of trafficking in drugs  meet with another female in Burlington for the purpose of trafficking.  After the meeting was concluded the female was arrested. Investigators recovered a small quantity of the drug at that time.

The police then obtained a search warrant under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to search the residence of the accused.  Police came up with approximately 40  grams of cannabis marihuana, 24 grams of cannabis resin, 200 oxycodone pills (Percocet and oxycontin), indicia of trafficking and $425.00 dollars in Canadian currency.  The approximate street value of the drugs was $5175.

Marie VANDONGEN, 47 years, of Burlington was released from custody on a Promise to Appear and an Undertaking before an Officer in Charge. She had been charged with: Trafficking in Cannabis Marihuana, Possession of Cannabis Marihuana for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession of Cannabis Resin for the purpose of Trafficking, Possession of Oxycodone for the Purpose of Trafficking

The laying of these charges suggests there is an active drug user community in the city.

Police are busy investigating and laying drug charges in the city. Is there a serious drug problem and should there be a different approach to handling drug offenses? And who is buying the stuff?

Halton Regional Police also initiated an investigation into a person residing at a Burlington area motel.  Police had earlier arrested a man after stopping a vehicle in central Burlington. The man was in possession of a half ounce of cocaine and several oxycodone tablets.  When police executed a Criminal code Search Warrant at the motel room where the suspect was residing they seized 1.5 kilograms of cannabis marihuana, a prohibited weapon (flick knife) and numerous pieces of suspected stolen identification.

Steven FENTON, 25 years, of Burlington has been charged with Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (cocaine), Possession of a Controlled Substance (cannabis marihuana – over 30 grams), Possession of a Controlled Substance (oxycodone), Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, Fail to Comply with Prohibition Order, Possession of Credit Card Data (three counts), Identity Theft (five counts)

Tia MCCULLOUGH, 24 yrs, of Burlington was also charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance (cannabis marihuana – over 30 grams), Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, Possession of Credit Card Data (three counts) and Identity Theft (five counts)

These arrests are indicative of an active police effort to arrest drug dealers – and also tells us that there are people in the city buying the stuff.  All the drug dealers are doing is meeting a demand. Illegal, yes – but doing more to plug the demand side will lesson the supply side – and it is the supply side of the drug business that is really foul and dangerous.  The weapon found by the police was meant to hurt people.

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

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Health policy analyst cool on the idea of a JBMH upgrade; advocates for community based health delivery instead.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 26, 2011  –  Burlington`s Strategic plan calls for the city to set aside $10 million a year for the next six years to pay for a part of the upgrading of the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital which the province has promised would take place in 2013.  The Mayor`s Inspire series speaker last week seemed to suggest that an upgraded hospital was not what Burlington needed.

Globe and Mail health columnist Andre Picard, an eminent policy analyst in the health field and the recipient of numerous awards including the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism, the Canadian Policy Research Award, the Atkinson fellowship for public policy research and the Centennial Prize of the Pan American Organization. He was named Canada’s first Public Health Hero by the Canadian Public Health Association and was honoured as a champion of mental health. He is a four-time finalist for the National Newspaper Awards.  In other words he is thought of as someone who knows what he is talking about.  So when he suggests that upgrading of the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital was not necessarily the best thing to do with the limited resources available we might want to sit up and listen.

Andre Picard, a noted authority on heath services policy and lead columnist for the Globe & Mail was just a little cool to the idea of a new hospital for Burlington at the Mayor's Inspire series last week.

Picard outlined the need for community delivered health services which led to Our Burlington asking Mr. Picard this question:  If you are calling for a community based system to deliver health service because that is more cost effective delivery and better health – then does Burlington need a major upgrade to the Joseph Brant Memorial hospital ?

Picard equivocated a bit with his answer when he said it would depend on there being hospitals close at hand that could deliver the kind of service that only a hospital can provide and then added that he thought an upgraded hospital in Burlington was probably a good thing, more or less.  More or less?  That wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement was it?

Using his criteria – one could argue (and the provincial government might well do that)  that there are excellent hospitals in Hamilton and Oakville which are a very short ambulance drive away.  You can get to a Hamilton  hospital from Lowville faster than you can get to JBMH.

Does Burlington then need an upgrade to its hospital?  Asking that question in this city and you have really put the fat in the fire.  All three candidates in the recent provincial election swore on their Mother’s graves that they would fight mightily to have the province give a firm commitment – with a date attached to it – guaranteeing that our hospital would get the upgrade it needs and which we were promised.

And now we hear from one of the best thinkers in the country suggesting that a new hospital in Burlington might not be what’s best for the community.  Isn’t that ducky?

We know the province doesn’t have any money, and we know that our economy is getting more wobbly every week.  But no one at the provincial level is suggesting that Burlington might want to look at a different model to meet the needs of its aging population.

The city did, what it thought was best, and what the province required them to do, and that was put up $10 million a year for six years to pay for a portion of the cost of the upgrade, we have been told was totally necessary.

The city and the hospital are still working out how the $60 million the city is going to put into the kitty will be spent.  At this point it looks like the city’s money will be used to pay for the building of a parking lot, because the space now being used to park cars is needed for the expansion that is planned.  The city hasn’t written the cheque yet – maybe they want to put a hold on it and ask the hospital to sit with them and take another look at the plans.

Andre Picard, speaker at the Mayor's Inspire series has given Mayor Goldring much to think about, when he came out as less than enthusiastic about the planned JBMH upgrade.

That will take a level of political courage that is seldom seen.

The long term outlook for a new hospital in Burlington just might need a real hard look before we do something really dumb.  Added to Picard’s  Wednesday evening comments, were remarks made in the provincial Legislature on Thursday, where an NDP member read out the list of hospital upgrades the province is talking about – more than 20 of them.  In the economy we are in it just can`t happen.  And someone needs to begin to be much more honest with the people who live here, pay the taxes and expect the public health services they need

Every candidate in the last provincial election said they would ensure that we got the hospital upgrade – what wasn’t asked was – do we need a hospital upgrade?  Every candidate said, what they thought you wanted to hear.  Not one of them had done their homework.  One of them, Liberal candidate Karmel Sakran, used to sit on the hospital board and was as close to the center of political power as one can get – and he never suggested, that perhaps the hospital model we are working within is the wrong model.

All the candidates just mouthed, what they thought the voters wanted to hear.  Should the province decide that Burlington is not the place for a large expensive hospital, and that we should have a number of community care centres spread throughout the city – – just wait for the political howling.

JBMH president Eric Vandewall might want to have lunch with Inspire speaker and noted authority on public health service delivery and talk about the best form of public insitution to meet the needs of the community. Mayor Goldring might want to sit in on that lunch - even pick up the tab if some sensible thinking comes out of the meal.

Picard`s comments suggest that Burlington might not have made the smartest move.  Is the city – that means both the citizens, its city council and the senior hospital staff plus the Board of Directors – courageous enough to ask the hard questions  like, is this really the best thing for the city and its citizens?

One would hope that the Mayor would take the opportunity to have dinner with Picard and ask some hard-nosed questions.  Maybe even ask for some advice as well on how we determine what is best for the city.  In the meantime, don’t write the cheque that would deliver the $20 million plus  sitting in the bank.

Let’s be absolutely sure we are doing what is best for the community and not just what’s best for the medical community who would love to have a shiny new building.


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A strong overview of the way health care is delivered subject of Inspire lecture. Future of JBMH raised.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 26, 2011  – It was both a lecture on the health service delivery system we have and another look at what the Mayor does as he develops ideas and consensus in the minds of the citizens of Burlington.  The event, the Mayor`s Inspire series of lectures, used to be held at the McMaster DeGroote school of business on the South Service Road but got moved to the Community Studio Theatre in the Burlington Performing Arts Centre when that space became available.  It may be moving again because this last session was basically a sold out event.

Speaker at the Mayor's Inspire series Andre Picard outlined the way health is delivered and how that delivery could be improved.

Andre Picard, Health reporter for the Globe & Mail came to talk about health care and started with a 20 minute overview of how the government got into the public health business and where we are today – and in the process dispelled a lot of myths.  The one that really grabbed me was the fact, according to Picard (and he tends to know the numbers side of the health business) that the government spends on average $15. a day to provide health services for Canadians.  That`s all it costs ? – fifteen bucks a day ?.  As Picard put it – “you spend that much a day on those latte coffees”.

The audience was taken through a historical tour – the first medicine was delivered by the Ursaline nuns in Quebec.  Jeanne Mance opened the first hospital in Montreal and right up to the first world war it was charities for the most part that provided public health.  The 1918 Spanish flu that took 60 million lives brought about the need for government to get into the business of providing health services for the public.

The outbreak of polio after the second world war and the prevalence of tuberculosis brought the government into the health business.  It started in Saskatchewan where Tommy Douglas said a family should not have to lose the farm to pay the medical bills.

And today we have 15 jurisdictions managing health care that is supposed to be delivered under five prime principles set out in the Canada Health Act.  Few remember what those five principles were and few of the five are actually met.  Portability was one – the medical health we have really isn’t portable from province to province, but if you are sick in your own province you will probably get the care you need.  Sometimes you have to fight for it and it often fails the public it is supposed to serve – but it is what we have.

The hospitals we have today, argued health writer Andre Picard meet few of the needs that an aging population faces.. He advocated for community level service delivery.

The JBMH, due for a major upgrade in 2013. The city has $20 million of its portion of the cost in the bank. Is the upgrade really the best thing for the city'

Picard argues that the hospital of the 21st century is a very complex building and are very expensive to operate.  We keep people in these hospitals at a close to exorbitant cost, he said, when there are much less expensive places to put people where better medical service can be delivered.

Our hospitals, according to Picard cannot be everything to everyone.  We have to have the right people in the right places and a hospital for someone who should be in a setting where they can get the service and support they need – that is the direction we are going to have to go in.

Picard told his audience that he didn`t think there was a lot of fat in the way hospitals are run but that he didn’t think there was much in the way of efficiencies either and that there was way too much bureaucracy.

The doctors, commented Picard, are doing very, very well under the fee for service system the government put in place, but it isn’t a very efficient way to spend the health care dollars, and as Picard put it “they have their sticky little fingers in everyone else’s pie”.  There are many things doctors are doing that could be done much more cost effectively by well-trained nursing staff, but the fee for services model we use has doctors doing as much as they can – that’s how they get paid.

Picard told his audience that Canada has 5,000 more doctors now than it had three years ago and that “we just cannot keep growing the medical community at this rate. We are not using technology the way we should; many hospitals are still using paper records, which contributes to the 24,000 people who die each year as the result of medical errors.  Technology, properly used, takes pressure off workers. The technology is not going to save us any money, however it will mean better patient care.”

Andre Picard, noted health policy writer engages a guest at the Mayor's Inspire Series at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

Picard wanted to see the phrase “customer service” used in hospitals.  “When” he asked, “was the last time you heard someone in a hospital ask: ‘Can I help you’ and when did you last see someone in a hospital look you in the eye”?

Picard told the 200 people in the room that the public/private health care debate is a phone debate.  There are some health services that are best delivered by the private sector and paid for by the government.  He explained that heath service is legislated in Canada and pointed to the Canada Health Act which sets out what the government will do and will not do, whereas in Europe the governments tend to regulate instead and their workforce is more efficient.

Our hospitals have in some cases become holding pens for elderly people, when they should be in their homes where they are more comfortable and can still get the care they need.  Hospitals are the last resort and for the most part they are not safe places, Picard added.

The average age of Canadians in 1965 was 25 – now the average age is 47 and that number will climb for a few more years.  In an earlier time hospitals provided acute care, patients when into a hospital to get treatment and were either healed or they died.  With an aging population many need care for chronic conditions and that is not best delivered in hospitals.  Many people have multiple disabilities in their declining years, but don’t need care in the kinds of hospitals we have today.  The system we have is not built to deliver chronic care – community based service can deliver that kind of care.

There is no entry point into the medical system in this country according to Picard.  If you have a problem far too many people head for emergency, because that is the only way they can get in.  And once they get in – they end up staying in because there is no way out.

Picard believes that with a community based system there would be a team of people waiting to serve the needs of a patient and would handle everything from welfare through to home care for people that have those multiple chronic ailments.  And most important to this team/community based approach would be a person known as the “navigator” who would ensure that patients got moved from level to level.  If treatment in a hospital was necessary the ‘navigator’ would work with the team to ensure that happened.  Better co-ordination is the future said Picard and more empowerment for staff, and equally important, accountability.  “When they don’t do it well – remove them”, advised Picard.  Picard made no mention of how removing staff would get done in the union environment we have.

The LINCs are, in Picard’s opinion, poor substitutes for the Regional approach that should be taken to providing medical care.  The country, he said, needs a sound debate on what the public wants and what government can afford.  “The goal of a healthy medical system” he said “is spending the money available wisely, delivering care so that we have a healthier population that can live a good life and have a good death”.  It was clear from what Picard had to say that he doesn’t think we are there yet.

During the question and answer session Picard perhaps surprised many when he said he didn’t think Prime Minister Harper wants to have anything to do with health care and that Ottawa really isn’t that big a player in the game.  They are responsible for aboriginal health care where everything – dental, optical – is included.  The natives have the best health care in the country – why can`t the rest of us have that kind of care?  Picard added that he personally didn’t think Harper wants to make his mark in health care..

A community health centre in Cornwall, Ontario got started this way: “It’s about taking care of our day-to-day health needs, as well as promoting a healthier, stronger and more sustainable community,” said Debbie St John-de Wit, the Centre’s Executive Director. It’s been almost a decade since the notion of a new community health centre for Cornwall was first conceptualized. Incorporated in February 2005, a dedicated and passionate community-governed, volunteer Board of Directors began evaluating the community’s health needs in order to develop a customized primary health care delivery model. The planning process involved several community engagement sessions and meetings. In 2007, the Board of Directors received approval from the Ministry of Health to proceed with the feasibility study, and in 2009 the Ministry approved for the construction of a new centre.

Picard closed his presentation saying that home care is safer, cheaper and people like it.  The trick he seemed to say was the administration and delivery of health services into units that have populations of about a million people and allocate the funds to those groups and let them figure out what`s best for the community.

Picard made one very trenchant point, when he said the Canadian Medical Association speaks for the medical community.  There are, said Picard “body part” interest groups.  Every imaginable group is represented –heart, kidney, lungs, but have you noticed he asked “that the public isn’t represented”.  There isn’t a Canadian Patient Association.

The medical business he said, needs some democratization – it isn’t a fair fight the way it`s set up now.

The reality he added is that there has to be some “private” in the health care field and Critical Illness Insurance was something that made sense.  More than 22 million Canadians have some form of private medical care.

Our care patient service has to be delivered where the patients are – it could be delivered in a mall location if that worked.

Someone asked Picard what he would do if he were the Minister of Health and he responded instantly with – “well the first thing I would do is get rid of the Ministry and run the place with my cell phone from the car they would drive me around in”.   “I would then transfer funds from the Ministry to the different regions that would be set up to deliver health services to communities across the country with no one grouping having much more than one million people within it”.  One got the impression that Picard wouldn`t be building a lot of hospitals either.

As for Burlington and the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital – Picard equivocated when asked if upgrading the hospital was the right thing to do.  “More or less”, he said.  For a guy who had very strong, direct statements to make on just about everything else he said – ‘more or less’ – was rather telling.

In bringing Andre Picard to Burlington to talk about the delivery of health care Mayor Goldring may have brought to the surface the need for all of us to take another really close look at how we make decisions.  Is an upgrade to the JBMH the best thing for Burlington? Good on you Mayor Goldring for bringing Picard to Burlington – even if his comments will make your life a little bit more difficult – you did the right thing.


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The quiet of a house decorated for the Christmas, lit by candles with the scents of the Season everywhere.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  – November 25, 2011   Christmas is a hustle and bustle time of year – and some of us just collapse late in the afternoon of Christmas Eve hoping we`ve gotten it all done.  It has not always been this way.  There was a time, here in Burlington, when families gathered in the quiet of their homes, which may not have had electricity, to share the Season and the Joy.

And when they said “family” they meant all 12 boys who farmed the more than 1000 acre farm now just a fragment of what it once was at Guelph Line north of Upper Middle Road.

A sleigh, that many Christmases ago was drawn along Guelph Line through drifts of snow, getting passengers and packages back home for the holiday.

Ireland House takes on a very special feel when it is illuminated with candles.  On December 9th, between 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm (just the one date) take a break from the fast pace of the season and experience the unique charm and history of a historic time and place. Guests can prepare to ignite their senses as Ireland House opens its doors to take groups on a captivating guided tour of the site illuminated by candlelight. Outside follow the special path to Santa’s Cabin and visit with Santa Claus & Mrs. Claus in their historic cottage decorated for the holidays…

The Ireland House will be filled with the sights, sounds and smells of a traditional Christmas. There will be beautiful seasonal greenery and displays. As heritage educators perform, grab a cup of hot cider and have Father Christmas greet you! Enjoy historic cooking demonstrations and sampling by the fire; plenty of period style refreshments and beverages and a unique keepsake craft will allow you to take home your memories for years to come!

There is a limited amount of space, so book now.  Tickets are now available and include activities and refreshments.  $12.00 adults, $8.00 children.   Tickets for Candlelight Tours must be purchased in advance. Reserve with credit card by phone.

And don’t forget the Holiday Gourmet Gift Basket Raffle!

Valued at over $450.00! Tickets are only $3.00 each or 2 for $5.00. Draw is December 9th, 2011, the evening of Candlelight Tours.



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Major sports events creates need for better TV screen. Break in at Burlington commercial building.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  November 24, 2011 – Thieves forced the door at a South Service Road location last weekend and then broke into a main floor office at 5045 South Service Road  and made off with a 47” Samsung LCD TV and a Nintendo Wii.

Tiger Cats are out of the Gray Cup – wonder what else the thieves want to watch ?

Anyone with information on this or any other crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes)

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Seeing Christmas through different eyes and a great history lesson an added bonus at Ireland House.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  November 25, 2011  It might seem just a tad early to plan for Christmas Season events – but if you’re a busy household – then you need to plan and the Ireland House  Heritage Holiday event is something that deserves a second look.

If you take the time to spend part of a day at Ireland House you will experience a much different Christmas spirit.  The Ireland House goes back to the early to mid-1800s.   It is an historic jewel.

Tracy VanderVliet, an educator at Ireland House stands with the gift basket that is part of the Christmas Season holiday. It will be given to one of the free draw winners for all those who attend.

The Heritage Holiday event is every Sunday in November and December up to and including Sunday, December 17, 2011 An Old-Fashioned Christmas & Santa’s Cabin.  Ireland House is at Oakridge Farm, 2168 Guelph Line, just north of Upper Middle Road  If you’ve got questions try calling them –  905-634-3556

The Sunday events started  November 20, 11:00am to 4:00pm, and will be held every Sunday thereafter through to and including  December 17th.   There is a chance to see the historic home decorated as it would have been decorated in the mid 1800s  Children can then scoot across to Santa’s Cabin and make a Christmas toy if they wish.  There is a small fee for the toy making.

The day gives you and your children a chance to see the Christmas Season in a simpler setting to  discover and celebrate the season while seeing the traditions and customs that shaped many of the Christmas celebrations around the world today…  It’s a day away from the hustle and bustle back to a simpler time and enjoy the smells, sights, sounds and tastes of Christmas on a historic Farm!

The young ones get to make their own holiday arrangement,  make a decorative wood snowman, make and stamp your own Christmas card,  punch your own tin ornament!

Additional charges apply to some activities.

Ireland House is a city of Burlington initiative run by Burlington Museums.


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Shake up on the city council committee structure; couple of surprises and at least one disappointment.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 24, 2011   – If you are one of the at least 25 people who actually watch City Council meetings on Cogeco Cable you will hear the Mayor explain that “the heavy lifting” on the city`s business is done at the Council committee level – which are not broadcast live only on line a day or so after the meeting.

The three committees are:

Kim Phillips, General Manager Budget and Corporate Services, is the strongest administrator at the GM level and has the deepest experience on the technical stuff that makes the wheels turn at the department level.

Budget and Corporate Services

Kim Phillips is the General Manager who heads up this arm of the city’s administration.  The current chair is Paul Sharman of Ward 5, with John Taylor of Ward 3 as his vice chair.

Community Development

Steve Zorbas, General Manager, Development and Infrastructure is not yet a fully tested GM and still has "Acting" in front of his title. New City Manager will have to determine what to do with the title or with the person. Here he speaks with Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward

Steve Zorbas, Acting General Manger of Development and Infrastructure leads the charge for this Committee, which is chaired by Jack Dennison of Ward 4  who is backed up by Marianne Meed Ward of Ward 2.

Community Services

Scott Stewart is the General Manager who heads up this arm of the city administration.  The current committee chair is Rick Craven of Ward 1 with Blair Lancaster of Ward 6 backing him up

Each year a new chair and vice chair are voted in by the members of city council.  Staff, who sit on the other side of the council horseshoe shaped table, just sit and watch and then figure out how they will deal with the new chair voted in.

They got a bit of a jolt when Paul Sharman was given Budget and Corporate Services last December and he kept surprising everyone with a bold, aggressive stance on many issues and some suggestions that had both his colleagues and staff gulping.  He has slowed down a bit and we will hear less from him now that he has been voted in as the vice chair of the Community Services Committee.

Last year we had:

Craven heading up Community Services; Sharman headed up Budget and Corporate Services and Dennison headed up Community Development.

This time out it is going to be different:

On motion, Councillors Meed Ward and Dennison were elected as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the Community Development Committee, effective December 1, 2011 for the term to expire November 30, 2012.

On motion, Councillors Craven and Taylor were elected as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the Budget & Corporate Services Committee, effective December 1, 2011 for the term to expire November 30, 2012.

On motion, Councillors Lancaster and Sharman were elected as Chair and Vice-Chair, respectively, of the Community Services Committee, effective December 1, 2011 for the term to expire November 30, 2012.

This is a much different line up.  Dennison was never a very effective chair; Craven is the best chair the city has and was asked to take on the role of chairing Budget and Corporate Services by the Mayor.  Meed Ward, who can be contentious, will likely spend the holidays poring over the Procedural By-Law, something Sharman never managed to do.  It is going to be very interesting to see how Meed Ward manages herself; how executive she is able to be.  This will be the first time that she has a task that she can actually lead on – and perhaps show some of the other Council members how a “real” chair does the job.  It could well be a bit of a defining experience for her and finally give her the opportunity to spread her wings beyond her ward in a way that doesn’t offend other Council members the way it has in the past.

Lancaster of Ward 6 is still developing her personality as a Council member. Being given a committee to chair is a good administrative move. That the chairs were "elected" by their peers is a bit mis-leading. The Mayor has his fingerprints all over this process.

Lancaster will have her hands full as a chair.  She is not a strong administrator but she has a strong General Manager to support her.  It will take a couple of meetings to see how Sharman settles into a much, much lesser role.  There was some surprise around the horseshoe when the Mayor put Sharman`s name forward as the vice-chair of a committee that will not have that strong a chair.

This isn’t intended to suggest Lancaster doesn`t know what she is doing – she tends to focus on values and doing the right thing, which is not always evident in some other members of Council.  Managing a committee, especially one that interacts as much as it does with the different communities will be interesting to see.

The Mayor continues to surprise people with his executive talent.  Difficult to see just what he has in mind with this new line up, but it is quite clear it is his line up.

City Council  will be meeting very early on Monday, November 28th, at a local hotel, to perhaps bring to a close another major staffing shake up which started when the Mayor accepted then City Manager Roman Martiuk’s offer to “step aside”  and leave the employ of the city.

The new City Manager selection process is now in it`s final phase – they just might make a final decision at the November 28th meeting.  One of the candidates for the job is current General Manager of Community Services, Scott Stewart.  Should he be offered the job the amount of time to get up to speed will be decreased considerably and that will bring to the surface some significant problems with the number of people in senior positions with the word Acting” stuck in front of their title.

Scott Stewart, GM Community Services: He will never serve as a diplomat - much more of an in charge guy who gets things done. Is he the kind of right hand man the Mayor wants or needs?

Stewart is more than capable of doing the job of City Manger – he knows the file and he knows where the bench strength of the management team exists.  However, his skill set is not the most important element in the hiring of a City Manager.  The relationship between a Mayor and a City Manager is a very tight one; it is almost an intimate relationship and certainly an intellectually intimate one.  It is essential that they both be on the same page and that each understands their role.  Part of Martiuk’s  “stepping aside”  was because he wasn’t on the same page as either the Mayor or much of the Council.  He certainly wasn’t on the same page as former Mayor Jackson who would claim that Martiuk blocked him at every turn – and with Jackson there were many turns because he didn’t fully understand how municipal government works..

Stewart would never get a job as a member of the diplomatic corps.  He is blunt, direct and he gets things done.   Appreciate that Goldring will have to decide if Stewart is the man that can help him achieve his dream, vision and hopes for the city.  Is he too strong a personality or is his strong personality just what the Mayor needs ?  That is something that will get worked through in the interviewing process.

However the Mayor is just one of seven votes – this has to be a majority vote and given the way Goldring works he will look for a unanimous vote.  Appreciate that there is at least one member of Council with aspirations to become Mayor in the future and perhaps two.  They will look at Stewart and wonder:  Could I be Mayor with this guy as the city manager ?   They may not admit to such thoughts – but this is politics, never forget that.  Politics is about power and the Mayor will want to ensure that he has someone who can help him wield that power.

Frank McKeown on the left talking to Councillor Sharman. McKeown was often referred to as the "seventh" council member during the Strategic Planning session, a term that didn't go over all that well with some senior staff but he has served the Mayor exceptionally well.

Goldring made an excellent choice in choosing Frank McKeown  to serve as his top aide.  Goldring would  not be the Mayor he is today without McKeown  or for that matter without Daphne Jaques.  Both fully understand Goldring and are able to take a concept he develops and execute on that concept almost flawlessly.  Evidence of that was seen in the speakers that were chosen for the Mayor’s Inspire speakers series.  Goldring knew what he wanted, outlined it to McKeown and Jaques and they followed through.

If a Mayor has that kind of support people in place he can get things done.  There are still people who use the phrase – he looked like a deer caught in the headlights – to describe the Mayor and, in the early stages of his term of office that is exactly what he looked like – but that description doesn’t apply today.

Mayor Goldring is in the second phaase of shaping the Council and staff he wants and needs to move forward with his agenda for the city. As collaborative and conciliatory as the Mayoe behaves - make no mistake he has an agenda.

Goldring has a very firm grip on his job: likes it, has yet to make a serious mistake, and is loved by the voters.  He is in the game for a second term for certain and short of a major, major gaff, and that just isn’t in the cards with this guy, he is in for two terms and perhaps even a third term if that`s what he wants.  But that is looking well into the future and crystal balls are very unreliable.

Right now the Mayor wants a city manager that he can move forward with to continue the job he has been doing.  The Mayor and his council may well have that decision made before the end of the month.

Then the new City Manager and Council have to deal with the people who have the word Acting in front of their title.  Acting Director of Parks and Recreation Chris Glen  should have had the word removed some time ago.  He has performed well and the person he replaced is on disability and will stay there.

Acting Executive Director of Finance Joan Ford was given the job when Steve Zorbas moved on and up to the job as Acting General Manager of Development and Infrastructure.  There are concerns in the minds of several council members about his performance at the Economic Development Corporation and in a number of other areas – so that Acting still being in place could be saying something.  Should Zorbas go back to Finance – where does Ford go ?  If Zorbas is confirmed – is Ford really on top of the job of senior finance person for the city?

These are questions that will sit on the desk of the new City Manager come January.  Know this, your Mayor wants a stronger team running the city and the “stepping aside”  done by former City Manager Roman Martiuk might get played out again at other levels.  This Mayor can now stare down any headlights coming at him.  Still a “nice guy”  but now very much a Mayor in charge of his city in a collaborative relationship with his Council.

I don`t think anyone saw this coming last December 1st.


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We get to see just how glamorous this city can be at the Celebration opening of Performing Arts Centre.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 23, 2011  – Will it be tails and white ties?  Probably not; but it will be as fancy as dress gets in Burlington with the Celebration opening of the Burlington Performance Arts Centre (BPAC) on Saturday December 3rd.  For those women who don’t have a hair dresser appointment – get a wiggle on.

People in the BPAC marketing department are predicting a SOLD OUT of the 700 seats that are going for $400. A pop.  And there are no freebies for this one.  You buy a ticket and you get a seat.

Sarah McLachlan has an ability to "caress" a microphone and will enchant the audience at the $400. a seat "Celebration" event.

There are, reportedly, a couple of Council members who are not planning on attending.  The Mayor will be there – and a few other council members have said they will be in the building – but not all of them.

BPAC reports that they will break even on this event:  “It wasn’t designed as a money maker but rather as a ‘celebratory’ event for both the city and the Centre”.

Sarah McLaughlin who does not come cheap and if you want to get a sense of just what she is going to cost multiply the $400 per seat price by the 700 seats and you’ve got revenue of $280,000 – and if it’s a break-even – well you can figure out how much McLaughlin is going to cost.

This event is part of what former chairman of the Theatre Board, Keith Strong said would be a ‘soft opening’.  The policy was not to rush into the opening and make all kinds of mistakes.  The decision was to take small steps as they worked out the kinks in the building and in the operating procedures.  So far, there have been very few significant problems with the building and staff is developing quite well.

Small things, like the look of the web site are getting attention. “They are just little things” explained Marketing manager Hillary Sadler “but they make a difference in to the user experience”.


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Empty nesters, Golden Years operatives, Seniors, recently retired – all have a new place to hang out – it isn’t a Tim Hortons.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  November 22, 2011  Carole Ward, Burlington’s 2010 Civic Recognition Award winner for community service once said that Canada is about to experience a tsunami of seniors and doesn’t think the community is at all prepared for the services and support they will need. “There will come a point”, she said, “ where seniors will need help dressing and feeding themselves and many will want to stay in their homes for as long as they can”, and Ward doesn’t believe the community is at all prepared for the number of people who will need care and support.

This generation of people, known ever since they were born as the Baby Boomers have changed every aspect of society as the moved from pre-school, to elementary, high school and on to university.  Now that they are seniors there is no reason to suggest they aren’t going to continue to make waves which Ward calls a tsunami because she believes we are not at all prepared for the demands they are going to make on society.  And if this crowd doesn’t get what it wants from its government – they will elect one that will give them what they want.

Keeping active and mentally alert is a part of getting older but there are only so many books you can read and most of the stuff on television is hardly worth the time.

Third Age Learning, Burlington (3ALB) is a new community organization dedicated to offering lecture series to the 55+ community.  The inaugural series, An Introduction to Third Age Learning, begins Jan 19, 2012.

Keeping mentally alert once you're into retirement and away from a job isn't always easy and television isn't going to cut it. A lecture series designed for seniors might be just the ticket for you.

We increasingly live in a sound-bite world. The Third Age Learning model, however, offers the opportunity to delve into a topic in breadth and depth.  Once the program is underway there will be as many as 8 expert speakers presenting differing perspectives on a single subject.  Series 1 is an introduction.  Going forward, each series will focus on a single theme.

Registrations for Series 1 is going well, although there are still have a few seats available. 3ALB is a registered non-profit, entirely run by volunteers who are seniors.  Third Age Learning, Burlington – 3ALB – is the newest Canadian member of the Third Age Learning movement established in France in 1973. The movement rapidly spread throughout Europe and arrived in Canada, in Sherbrooke PQ, in the late 1970’s.

The audience 3ALB proposes to serve is the 55+ community. Multiple research studies indicate that for this community, preventing cognitive decline is perhaps the best strategy for aging well.

Each presentation series consists of 8 lectures offered over a period of 8 weeks. We plan our inaugural series to run from Thursday January 19 to Thursday March 8, 2012. When the project is fully implemented we anticipate offering two Fall and two Winter series, for a yearly total of 32 lectures.

Each weekly meeting consists of:  An information-rich, entertaining, 45-minute presentation delivered by a subject matter expert – a respected economist, for example, or a working actor, a heritage gardener, or a professional historian – typically accompanied by PowerPoint slides or some other visual augmentation

A 15-minute break for coffee, chat, and the opportunity to write a question for the presenter that they hope will result in a lively, often provocative, and always informative Q&A session

Participants should leave with enough information and contacts to follow up on their own, or with friends and family, if they find themselves fascinated by a brand new interest. There are Three Age Learning groups in Guelph, Kitchener that have, for more than twenty years, consistently delivered sold out series to audiences of upwards of 200 members.

Registration fee is $40. For each 8 lecture series – five bucks apiece, less than a cup of coffee and a newspaper.

For registration and more information click here.

For more detail on the program click here.

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Halton Regional Police Service Launch Holiday R.I.D.E. Campaign. They’ll getcha.

 By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  November 22, 2011  – The Halton Regional Police Service have started their holiday R.I.D.E. campaign – and have once again partnered with local students, businesses and community organizations for the sixth year to offer “RIDE 101”, a program designed to educate drivers, particularly young and future drivers, of the importance and responsibility while driving and the consequences associated to mixing alcohol or drugs and operating a motor vehicle.

R.I.D.E. is the acronym for Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere and was started in 1997 as a program to get control over the then increasing number of drunken driver fatalities on highways. There was a time when Christmas parties in private homes frequently had the host saying “Have one for the road”.  Like ashtrays – that phrase has disappeared but drinking drivers have not – R.I.D.E. will be out there in force.  If you’re dumb enough to drink and drive – keep your lawyer’s business card in your wallet – you will need it.

High schools from across the Region will be participating in the program.  Burlington’s Nelson High will be the participating school December 6th.

Amazing picture, amazing headache, amazingly stupid - a drunk driver.

The official launch will take place at Iroquois Ridge High School, 1123 Glenashton Drive, Oakville, where Halton Police RIDE 101 officers will team up with students from Iroquois Ridge to distribute RIDE 101 educational information, provide students an opportunity to test roadside screening devices and put all students through a series of simulated ‘road side’ sobriety tests during a fun, yet educational format.

The night component will entail members of the student council assisting designated officers in speaking with drivers of stopped vehicles during a R.I.D.E. spot check and distributing ‘Think of Me’ cards and information pamphlets on the consequences of impaired driving.  The ‘Think of Me’ cards are hand-drawn and coloured by grade four, five and six students and reflect on that child’s perception of drinking and driving.

The daytime component will be held within the school from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the spot checks will be conducted from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. out front of the school.

The Halton Regional Police are grateful for the community partners who are supportive of this worthy endeavour, including:  the Halton Catholic District School Board, the Halton District School Board, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (M.A.D.D.), McDonald’s restaurants and Tim Horton’s.


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Be careful what you promise the kids when you want to slip out of town for a few days.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  November 22, 2011 “A promise is a promise Coach”, were the words that greeted a Burlington parent upon his return from a couple of days in Myrtle Beach getting in some late in the season golf.


Dad had left the kids with wifey and, in an effort to keep the two boys who play hockey less than totally upset, – the boys extracted a promise. “If we win both games while you are away, you have to dye your Movember moustache”.   Dad, in an exuberant moment said:  ‘It’s a deal, boys”,  and loaded the golf clubs into the car and headed for the airport.

Dad had talked a bit about colours, and reached consensus on their pick, not really expecting them to win BOTH games – but they did – 3-1 and 4-2.

The boys won the bet - the daughter got a kiss and a pink mustache of her own.

Dad was off to Shoppers to find a nice shade of hot pink.  We don’t know yet, quite what wifey had to say about Dad’s moving into a colour range that is usually hers or their daughter’s.

The man with the “pink thing” under his nose is an Our Burlington columnist who writes about ‘leadership and giving back to the community’.  He’s been busy with the boys, the hockey team, coaching, getting in some last minute golf and has fallen a bit behind on his tasks as a scribe.

We are not quite sure what he will be writing – he may have given the phrase “giving back to the community” a whole new meaning.  We’ve heard nothing about how the wifey feels about this latest stunt.


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A classic failure to communicate and a promise that probably can’t be kept. The natives are not happy.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 19, 2011  – There was a failure to communicate – which can get a little awkward when there are more than 125 people in the room expecting very direct answers to questions regarding heritage housing designations and the people running the event thinking they were there to listen.  And that wasn’t easy with a microphone that kept squealing away.

Stephani McCallum, the facilitator imported from Ottawa to lead the community through a Heritage Workshop. She promised to get back to the community within two weeks. Wait for it.

The city brought in an outside facilitator,  Stephani McCallum of Dialogue Partners, an Ottawa based facilitation consulting firm.  She had her hands full for the first hour until she had a clearer sense of what the issue was and then asked the audience to tell her what mattered to them. “Give the process a chance” she asked, and because this was Burlington for the most part she got what she asked for.

In the first hour more than 24 people got up and went home convinced that the city just plain did not want to listen to the concerns of more than 125 people who attended a Heritage Workshop at Mainway Arena last Saturday.  Councillor Taylor said that some 200 people registered for the event, but the weather was nice and some may have come up with something better to do with their time.

A survey of 114 home owners was done before the Workshop with the data from the survey used to develop the content for the Saturday event.

There are some 1100 houses on what the city calls an inventory of historically interesting homes.  Each of those homes has a designation; either an A,B,C or a D.

There has been massive confusion as to just what the designation means and many people just do not understand why their homes are even on a list.  And they were out Saturday morning expecting answers.

“Who started this process” one resident wanted to know?  “Can we get some straight answers – right now” another resident demanded.

Note takers were busy people as they listened carefully to what home owners had to say about the city’s policy on designating homes.

“I am very frustrated with all this” added a third.  This wasn’t a crowd of just seniors; it was, if anything more slanted to people in their 40’s who didn’t like what they felt was being done to them.

The city convened the public workshop to educate a public that for the most part didn’t want to be educated – they “just wanted their properties taken off the damned list” as one Ward 4 resident put it.

The others just wanted answers and some clarity.

That wasn’t the mood of everyone in the room but there was certainly a lot of dis-satisfaction for which both the Planning Department and City Council are to blame.  Neither have communicated effectively with a public that has been unhappy with the way heritage has been handled by the city.  There appears to be some petty bickering going on between a few groups of people with each hunkered down with its position.  The greater good doesn’t seem to be a part of the dialogue – and if there is going to be any progress, city council is going to have to face this one directly.

The members of city council – and everyone was on hand – did more listening than I’ve ever seen them do in this kind of a public setting.  None of the senior executive people from the staff side of city hall were on hand.

Home owners at a Heritage Workshop had plenty to say – now the planners have to answer the questions. Within two weeks?

McCallum assigned a “note taker to each table” (there were about 20 tables) and had people talk about what they wanted and  write it out on a small piece of paper that got put up on a wall.  McCallum then sorted the questions, complaints and angst into different groupings and then explained that a table would be set up for each grouping to discuss the questions.  There was no one on hand to give answers – it was just a gathering of the questions.

There were six groupings – but the one that mattered to most was Property Rights and Values. Listing process, Listing criteria, Legislative responsibility and Criteria for a designation and Solutions were the other five.

Councillor Taylor works at listening to home owners who don’t like the city’s historical recognition policies.

The note takers were for the most part city hall staff who had volunteered for the day to be on hand.  Other than the free sandwiches at lunch, all they got was a thank you from the council members.  There was no round of applause for these people who did some very hard and at times exasperating work.  It was not Burlington at its best.

The home owners wanted input.  They were for the most part very confused.  One Ward 2 home owner said he felt he should have gotten a letter city telling him, what the designation on his home was, why it was given that designation and then an opportunity to decide if he wanted his home on the inventory.  Most seemed to believe there was a place for heritage recognition but didn’t feel there were 1100 homes in the city that merited historical recognition.

One wag spoke of a neighbour whose house had been designated.  He sent city hall a registered letter asking for confirmation of the designation and if the house was on the designated heritage property list then he wanted it taken off.  That was seven months ago and he hasn’t heard a word from anyone at city hall.

Then there was Donna who was very vocal at the start of the meeting and had this to say at the end: “I got what I needed to know, but I don’t think anyone else did.  I got answers, because I asked very deliberate questions of specific people.  This could have been put up on a Power Point, and we could have all gone home.

Another resident had no idea how his house got put on a list and felt “the city should have no say with what we do to our homes”.   At no point during the workshop did any one plead for the need to recognize and preserve historically significant property.  Yet whenever anyone suggests the smallest change to the Paletta Mansion on Lakeshore Road all hullaballoo breaks out – so at some level history matters.  Is Burlington the kind of city that says history matters but I don’t want to pay for it and don’t apply any of the rules to my property?  Is that why the Freeman station sits close to rotting beside the fire station on Fairview Street?

Councillor Dennison lets home owners bend his ear. He did however speak up for the historical designation of homes.

If that’s the case – this city has some growing up to do.

The home owners wanted input – and they weren’t shy about telling the note takers what they wanted..

A voluntary process – not someone deciding arbitrarily that a home was on a list.

No unilateral decisions..

Tax breaks for homes that are put on a Heritage registry

What have other municipalities done?

If a houses is going to be designated the city has to meet with the homeowner and the neighbours..

Wipe out the lists and get rid of the Registry.

Remove any authority from the Heritage Advisory Committee.

It was mid-day and time for lunch.  Sandwiches and soft drinks were laid out on tables and the room was suddenly very quiet.  It was almost like a large barn where the cattle, having been fed were settling in for the night chewing away on their cuds.

Stephani McCallum promised the audience she would get back to them with a report in two weeks – it is going to be very difficult for her to complete the massive task in front of her and, she will not report to the community.  She will report to the Planning department who many feel is the group that created the problem in the first place.  Planning will, according to Stephani, answer all the questions she sends along to them.  For the citizen waiting more than seven months for a reply to a registered letter this will indeed come as a surprise – but that was her undertaking.

You could feel the event winding down.  McCallum asked people if they wanted to continue talking – please do so – very few did – this road show was over.

The note takers worked with facilitator Stephani McCallum, on the left. All the note takers were city hall staff volunteering their time.

The Planning Department will go through everything the facilitator sends them and get back to the appropriate City Council committee with some recommendations.  Given the ear bending every council member had to put up with on Saturday – Council just might pre-empt the Planners and come up with a Staff Direction to the Planners.

McCallum will first get back to the community with what she heard and promised to do that within two weeks.  Part of the “what she heard” will be to set out all the questions which she then understands the Planning Department will answer – THAT will be a feat and a half.  We say that because for the most part Planning has already answered all the questions and yet there are still people who are very unhappy – so somewhere there is a failure to communicate.

McCallum understands the passion people have for their homes and she has found that the higher the passion the greater the opportunity to explain and resolve difference.

McCallum’s work will go to the Planning department where the questions she passes on will get answered – with the answers being put up on the city’s web site (And good luck in navigating that bucket of information.)    Surprisingly, McCallum, who was brought in to facilitate a public meeting on one of the thornier Planning Department problems but  didn’t get to the meet with the Planner, Bruce Krushelnicki.  One would have thought that an issue that has such a high profile would warrant at least a ten minute conversation with the person who was hired to interact with a public in a high profile planning problem.  Is this where the failure to communicate lays?

Councillor Craven may have felt his McMaster jacket would ward off some negative comment. Don’t think it did – every member of Council had their ears bent by the 125 people who showed up at the Mainway Arena Saturday afternoon.

Burlington as a city has to decide what it wants in terms of keeping its history alive.  There appears to be a small group that is passionate about what they want for the city and a thousand or more home owners who don’t share that passion and don’t understand, why they are being pushed around.  They just want to live in the homes they own, keep them in good repair and be able to sell them if and when they want to sell them.  And if they want to put on an addition they feel they should be able to do so.

Burlington doesn’t appear to have a sense of what it’s history is all about and some of that responsibility rests with the Historical Society who clearly have not done their job of informing the  public.

We didn’t hear anyone standing up for historical recognition at the Saturday meeting.  Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison rose to speak during one of the group discussions and explained that a house on Lakeshore Road where he lived had a designation on it which meant a developer could not tear the house down for a period of 30 days – and with that designation he explained we were able to save a historically significant house”.

“At whose expense” came a comment from a table with a group of particularly nasty people who just did not want to listen. “We know what we want” – and it wasn’t a registry or an inventory – they wanted to be able to do whatever they wanted to do with their homes.  There was a surprising lack of civility at this particular table.

Mayor gets ears bent – doesn’t say ouchh.

Mayor Goldring spoke close to the end of the meeting and assured those that were left that he was “committed to resolving this problem.  I can’t give you a date – but you have my commitment.”

All the politicians met with people one-on-one and let them bend their ears.  City Council has a bee that is going to sit inside their bonnet and if something isn’t done – council members are going to get stung.

McCallum in her final report to the city will make recommendations as to the process the city should follow.  Based on what I saw at the event at the arena on Saturday – this council isn’t going to wait very long before it does something.




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Four scotches in five minutes – not bad for a retired bookstore owner who set council straight on the designated homes registry.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  November 21, 2011 –  When someone appears before Council to speak to an issue they are given five minutes to make their point.  Jane Irwin, retired book store owner and a one time member of the Heritage Committee told council way back in April,  she was there to scotch some rumours and false information about the Heritage Property Registry .

“Watching the recent streamed Community Development Committee meeting,” said Irwin,  “I seemed to hear certain misstatements of fact about the Heritage Property Registry  – – which I had heard before, and which I hope to set right tonight.

I want to speak to you before your Workshop because untruthful rumors, whatever their sources, can be very difficult to correct, especially if they circulate unchallenged.

This is a Burlington home on Walkers line that is on the housing inventory and has been given a grade which tells something about the house. That's all the grade does. There is much confusion about the inventory grades and what they mean.

Councillors hear a lot from spokesmen claiming to represent about 1/5 of owners of properties on the heritage register.  Spokesmen, she added are “not sworn to speak the truth to Council”  Luther Holton, Ms Irwin advised, “speaks very well for himself and his mother and needs no spokesman”.

I’d like to scotch 4 of them” said Irwin.

1:   Registry was not produced by the Heritage Committee, but by Burlington’s Planning staff, initially professional Planner Marilyn Lagzdins.  The Director of Planning at the time was Gary Goodman.

2:  Inventory was never produced by summer students. That statement is completely and utterly false.  It implies that irresponsible students with no experience, no mature judgment for the job put homes on a list.  Not true.

3: There is the belief that the Grades A B C D that were assigned to homes were subjective or impressionistic.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The grade assignment criteria were the result of objective evaluations based on meticulously responsible criteria.  There were 20 criteria in 5 different categories with a ceiling that could be given in each category.  A grade of C represented “ordinary” standard and a grade of D was given to properties for which there was no information.   We made an annual presentation of the revised Inventory to Council every year from 1992 until 2001

One of the references used for the development of the criteria was Harold Kalman’s    The Evaluation of Historic Buildings  and the 1970 Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings   Parks Canada.  Click on the link to learn what grades A,B,C and D mean.

The Council Committee meeting was told that the Burlington Historical Society has data on some 80 First Class buildings in the city that are more than 100 years old and there are almost 30 Century Farms in Burlington  — living history.  Irwin also pointed out that in 1992 the Lakehurst Villa, the La Salle Pavilion and Shore Acres (now Paletta) Mansion were not on the Inventory.

4:  There is the hint that Heritage Committee members were unpaid volunteers, amateurs or worse, dilettantes.  Heritage Committee members in my experience were lawyers, architects, designers / builders, engineers and planners. People whose ancestors came to Burlington more than 200 years ago.

A Burlington farm house - thought to be of historical significance and given a grade on the inventory the city keeps of such properties.

To describe the people who sat on that committee the way they have been described is a dis-courtesy to the members of your other volunteer advisory committees

Irwin added that: “Professionals working in Toronto for the Government of Ontario, including one whose responsibility it was to revise the Ontario legislation that has been the most troublesome to property owners, and which has gravely disrespected their right do what they like with their own properties”.

Council got its first primer on what the issues were behind the squabbles over buildings that are on a Heritage Registry. Mayor Goldring was so impressed with her performance that he asked Ms Irwin if she would take part in the workshop session planned to fully brief Council members before a second workshop session takes place with the owners of the homes that are on the Registry.  She didn’t take him up on the offer.



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Openings still available for those interested in community police support training.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  November 21, 2011  –  Are you interested in learning more about the Forensic Identification Unit, the Tactical and Rescue Unit, or the Collision Reconstruction Unit? Are you curious to know what it’s really like to be a police officer? Want to know about fraud and identity theft prevention?

The Halton Regional Police Service still has spots available for the upcoming session of the Citizen Police Academy.  This informative and innovative program runs from 7-10 pm every Tuesday night for ten weeks, between January 24th and March 27th.

Each week participants are given presentations on various aspects of the Police Service. Just a few of the areas of the Police Service that are covered include Recruiting, Hostage Negotiations, Major Crime Investigations, Diversity, Police Training Unit, Polygraph, Morality/Drugs, and the Communications Bureau.

Halton Regional Police offering community, police support training. Application form on the web site

This voluntary program is designed for anyone who wants to improve their knowledge of their local Police Service, and policing in Canada in general. Preference is given to persons who reside in, work in, or own a business in the Region of Halton.

Sergeant Kim Hill, Community Policing Support, is the driving force behind this effort.  She can be reached at  905 825-4747 x4901 or be in touch with Wendy Gzechowski, Community Policing Support, 905 825-4747 x5042

There is more information on the HRPS web site along with an application form. – click on Community Policing/Public Safety & Education folder.



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