Mohawk Gardens Public School broken into; kindergarten classroom completely ransacked.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON. February 21, 2013  Shortly after 2:30 a.m. on February 18th, 2012, unknown suspect(s) broke into the Mohawk Gardens Public School at 5280 Spruce Ave.

Kindergarten classroom trashed when punks break in. When caught, and they will eventually get caught, a Judge might find a tougher school for them

The suspect(s) smashed a window to gain entry to a kindergarten classroom on the northeast side of the school. Once inside, suspect(s) completely ransacked the classroom by overturning desks, chairs and rummaging through the contents of the closets. The ceiling and fluorescent lights were also damaged.  The total damage and clean-up was estimated at $1,500.

Might these suspects show up at the next school reunion?

Anyone with information on this or any other crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS (8477), through the web at or by texting “TIP201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

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BurlingtonGreen reminds political leaders why we pay them the big bucks. Your constituents need some help.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 21, 2013  BurlingtonGreen has published an Open Letter addressed to our Member of Parliament, our Member of the Provincial Legislature, Chair of the Region, the Mayor and members of city Council – Whew, a lot of them isn’t there?

Dear MP Wallace, MPP McKenna, Mayor Goldring and Members of Burlington Council, Chair Carr, cc: media

As our city’s (and Regional) leaders elected in part to safeguard the interests of the people and environment of Burlington, we are writing to you today to convey BurlingtonGreen’s continued concern for Enbridge’s proposed Line 9 pipeline project that cuts across Burlington’s landscape. Many BurlingtonGreen team members attended the Feb 7, 2013 public meeting hosted by the City where Enbridge officials shared their proposal to provide a route for diluted bitumen by reversing the flow through its aging pipeline.

The circled area shows where creeks are located to the south of the Enbridge pipeline route.  A rupture or even a leak would be disastrous for the communities south of the Escarpment.  Do you see your street in there?

Line 9 intersects essential watersheds across the GTHA flowing to Lake Ontario enroute to Montreal refineries. At the meeting Enbridge spoke about lessons learned since their devastating spill that took place in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010 and how, in the event of a Halton spill, Enbridge would be far better prepared.

However, we found there to be insufficient assurances provided of the measures planned to prevent a spill in the first place highlighting a significant contradiction. Enbridge stated that protection of the environment was a top priority for this and all their projects yet we would argue that if this was indeed the case, they would not propose a project with such high risk elements.

Enbridge was clear that the project is driven by economics but at what potential cost to human and environmental health? Pumping the maximum line capacity (300,000 barrels) per day, through an aging pipeline that has never before transported bitumen that carries with it known carcinogenic agents is not placing the environment or human health as a priority. On top of this, we understand the pressure of flow will be at the maximum allowable by Canadian industry standards. Combined, we trust you would agree, the proposed project is simply far too risky.

US citizens are saying NO to the Keystone XL super pipeline. People in western Canada are saying NO to the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal because the risks are too great. Safe drinking water and a protected landscape here in Halton and across Southern Ontario is of equal importance.

We recognize that some of you have or may suggest you have no legislative power to affect this issue. However all of you do have the responsibility and opportunity to demonstrate effective leadership by safeguarding the interests of the people and environment of Burlington. You can demonstrate this by sending a collective message to the National Energy Board that you oppose the current proposal and want a comprehensive Environmental Assessment conducted before any decision is made.

We look forward to learning from each of you what your proposed next actions are for this most significant issue.


Amy Schnurr, Executive Director, BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association.

The Enbridge pipeline monitoring site on Walkers Line – looking west. Enbridge can control the flow of oil through this location from their control rooms in Edmonton. Does that make the line safer?  The satellite dish in the upper left handles the signals

The BurlingtonGreen people are certainly right with their concern but it is now increasingly evident that we haven’t a hope of stopping the application Enbridge has made to the National Energy Board for a permit to reverse the flow of liquids through that 39 year old pipeline.

The Enbridge pipeline route looking east. There are a lot of creeks that run south from this part of the Escarpment.

National economic interests are such that too many people have too much to gain by having that oil flow east.  The billions of dollars that are at play here are too much for anyone to care all that much about Burlington.  The state of the national economy is what is at risk and that trumps oil running down the side of the escarpment.  Sad, disgusting actually, but true.

In 1940 we sent thousands of men to their deaths while fighting a war in Europe – it was a national interest.

The best we can hope for is a solid set of procedures and safety measures should there be a leak and an oil spill.  And here is where we have a hope in Hades of protecting ourselves.

The National energy Board announced funding that is available to groups that want to intervene at the energy Board hearings that will determine if a permit is to be issued.

This is where BurlingtonGreen can apply pressure on behalf of the community.

Unfortunately, when we brought this to the attention of BurlingtonGreen Executive Director she said she wasn’t  aware of the funding program and wasn’t sure if her organization wanted to take federal money.

Rethink that decision and apply for funding or join other groups that will undoubtedly apply for the funding.  The person handling the funding applications is:  Mathieu Fecteau, Participant Funding Program Administrator.  They apparently answer the phone if you dial 1-800-899-1265 Ext. 3659  Email address is

Michael Benson is the Process Advisor and his contact information is:  Telephone – 1-800-899-1265 Ext. 1992.  Email address is:

Real municipal leadership would have had the Mayor informing himself of what the National Energy Board funding was all about and then offering some administrative, research and graphics support which would allow BurlingtonGreen to put together a strong application for funds so they could intervene on behalf of the citizens of this city.

There is the potential for very serious damage to Burlington, its environment and water supply if there is ever a leak or a rupture to that pipe line.

The first thing Our Burlington wants to know is the state of that pipeline.  We want Enbridge to dig up sections of it and do a physical inspection and determine just what condition it is actually in.  The steel used in that pipeline is just one quarter of an inch thick – a half an inch when the pipe goes under a creek or a stream.

Close up – Burlington’s MP Mike Wallace looks closely at a piece of art at the Art Centre. Can BurlingtonGreen convince him to help them take a closer look at the state of the pipeline that runs across the northern part of the city – it is a federal issue.

We need more information; we are entitled to more information – and BurlingtonGreen is just the group to go after Enbridge to get that information.

Don’t expect any of the politicians you’ve written to do much for you.


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Finally – we get to show you the video of the King Road grade separation – edited courtesy of US Homeland Security.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 21, 2013  A number of months ago we mentioned to you a problem we had with the keepers of the information keys at city hall.  Staff screened a video of the King Road grade separation for council and when we asked for a copy of the video were told that we couldn’t have a copy because the US Homeland Security people said it would compromise their interests – which we thought was total poppycock.

Our Burlington had done a number of pieces on that event and we were excited at what we saw and wanted to share it.  The city streamed the construction work live on its website that was watched by hundreds of people; many staying up much of the night to watch the trucks roll in and out of the hole that was being done at two-minute intervals.

We dug away and made phone calls and had a lawyer lined up to go after CN Rail, who were the people who told the city the video could not be given out – even though it is scheduled to be used by the city’s engineering department at a couple of conventions later this year.

Finally – the city relented and sent us a copy.  It isn’t quite what we saw originally back in November, 2012, but it seems to be the best the city could do.

What you will see is a minute long  video clip that compresses what was done over last Thanksgiving weekend when the King Road grade separation was built – in a three and a half day marathon effort.  THAT was an amazing engineering feat.

The video is quite the thing to watch.  The version you see will have white patches in the upper right hand corner, which is where you would normally see the CN trains rolling along.  Four of the five railway lines were taken out while the grade separation was done; a fifth was kept in place and long, long freight trains passed over the construction site – albeit at a snail’s pace.

Check out the video and then wonder why the American security people didn’t want you seeing the trains go by.  What you will see is a 5000 ton concrete tunnel being shoved into the hole that was dug out.  Quite fascinating to watch.

You might want to look at the clip a few times – what you are seeing is three days of work compressed into just over a minute.  Let us know if you can figure out why the Americans demanded that CN block out parts of the image.

The really amazing part is when that 5000 tonne tunnel get pushed into the hole that was opened up beneath the railway line.


The grade separation is not yet complete.  The contract to build the road that will go under the railway tracks has been let and early construction work has been done.  King Road will be closed for a short period of time September 21st to October 22nd,  after which there will be a grand official opening when every elected official still breathing will show up to have their picture taken.  Trains will still run along the track – but the Americans may not want anyone to film that.

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For the record: 58 Burlington residents have received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON  February 19, 2013  Part of what makes Burlington a great city is its community involvement. This summer, 54 community-minded Burlingtonians were named recipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. They are among 2,000 recipients from Ontario and 60,000 from across Canada.  Four more citizens were added to the list Tuesday evening.

The Jubilee medal, worn on those occasions set out in a protocol manual that comes with the medal.

The recipients receive a medal, a certificate and a lapel pin. The medal, designed by the Canadian Heraldic Authority at Chancellery of Honours at Rideau Hall, will be given out to all recipients by February 28, 2013.

Here, in alphabetical order, are Burlington’s 54 Diamond Jubilee Award Winners.

Bogdan Adamczak: President of the Polish National Union of Canada Branch 17, helped to build a vibrant and active Polish community in Burlington.

Catherine Allen: Works with Girl Guides of Canada to provide a positive environment and help build self-confidence in young girls.

Don Allen  Has been the musical director of the Burlington Teen Tour Band for many decades and is now the director of Burlington Concert Band.

Derek Baranowski: For dedicating his time to promote charity work put on by firefighters in the area.

Dorothy Borovich: For her role in developing, organization and delivering Youthfest, a program connecting youth to a life of volunteerism.

Rev. William Bond: Serves the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 60 as padre, and worked for many years to help veterans and their families.

Kevin Brady: Received Burlington’s Philanthropist of the Year award and has helped more than 40 local charities, as well as taken the leadership role in fundraising for the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital redevelopment project.

David Anthony Brennan: Mr. Brennan is an Officer Cadet with the Burlington Army Cadets. He is noted for his work with youth and with the Royal Canadian Legion

Rick Burgess: For the work he has done in Burlington’s arts and culture sector in addition to his work with the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.

Teresa Cascioli: Credited for turning Lakeport Brewery into the third largest brewery in Ontario. She is also a philanthropist and supporter of St. Joseph’s Healthcare who now works as an adviser for KPMG.

Commissioner Dudley Coles: Attended the Queen’s inauguration as a representative of Canada while working for Canada House 60 years ago. As an Officer of the Salvation Army, he has worked around the world to help the less fortunate. This year he attended the Jubilee in June 2012.

Julie Davey: Provided grief support to parents, more than 25 years of being a volunteer, as well as the director of Bereaved Families of Ontario, Hamilton-Burlington.

Thomas Dykes: Mr. Dykes is honoured the positive impact he has had working with youth at the local, regional, national and international level and for his efforts promoting awareness of Canada’s Naval History.

David Estok: The former editor-in-chief of the Hamilton Spectator, he now works as vice president of communications at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Ron Foxcroft: Was inducted into the Burlington Business Hall of Fame in 2011 and is famous for the Fox 40 Pealess Whistle. He is chairman of the Foxcroft Group of Companies, Fluke Transportation Ltd., Fox 40 International and Foxcroft Capital Corp.

Andy Frame: Worked behind the scenes for Drury Lane Theater, president of the Canadian Club of Burlington.

Barbara Frensch: Member of BurlingtonGreen, was a key element in expanding the group’s role in the local environment.

Joanne Gardiner: Is an active volunteer with Halton Food for Thought. As well as holding a leadership role in the organization, she helps to provide breakfasts and lunch programs in elementary and high schools throughout the Halton region.

Joelle Goddard-Cooling: Key role in revitalization of Burlington Downtown as a member of the Board of Directors for Downtown Burlington.

Elizabeth Grandbois: For battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, for the past 15 years and more importantly been a champion at raising funds to find a cure for ALS.

Wendy Hagar:  Began Sew on Fire Ministries over 12 years ago, and has sent over 300,000  gift bags and items to humanitarian aid groups and the disadvantaged in Canada and 92 other countries around the world.

Jim Holmes: Driving force behind the “We Remember” project that is helping to bring veterans and youth together.

Ancilla Ho-Young: A volunteer with Caribbean Connection, also helping to add to the multicultural mosaic of the city.

Jane Irwin:  A lead authority and researcher of Burlington’s Built Heritage who has preserved and enhanced public knowledge of Burlington’s history.

Cam Jackson:  A former city mayor, who was appreciated for his work during his term as well as his activity in the community before and after serving in office.

Bev Jacobs:  Volunteers for a multitude of groups, most specifically for breast cancer events and organizations.

Doug Leggat:  An auto dealer chosen as Burlington’s philanthropist of the year in 2011. He has a history of personal and corporate giving to many corporations, including the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford and Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital.

Bill Line:  A business man, appreciated for giving to hundreds of charitable causes each year.

Matt MacPherson:  President of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 60 is credited for his significant impact on the sustainability and initiated change within the branch.

Rosemary Marsh:  Credited for her co-owner of Business Insurance Services, and chair of Banyon Community Service. She also lives in Burlington.

Jim Matz:  Worked to connect Burlington Youth with partner cities in the United States, and has played a crucial role as the Leader of the Burlington International Games (BIG). For many years, he led in the relationship with Burlington’s sister city Apeldoorn, Netherlands.

Rosemarie Maurice:  Founded the Burlington Footnotes Seniors Dance Troup, more than 15 years ago and built its membership from six to more than 100 people.

Rob McIsaac:  Awarded for his activity in the community before and after he was in office as a former city mayor.

Don McMillan: A local voice at TVCogeco for 43 years. He worked as a volunteer commentator providing an outlook on all aspects of life in the area.

Walter Mulkewich:  A former city mayor, appreciated for activity in community before and after serving in office as well as his political career.

Rainer Noack:  Founder and visionary of the Burlington Student Theatre and K.W. Irmisch Art Person of the Year.

Sandra O’Reilly:  Run director of CIBC Run for the Cure and sits on a variety of charitable boards.

Angelo Paletta:  Angelo and the Paletta family were honoured with contributing to such facilities as the Tansley Woods Community Centre and Habitat for Humanity Halton.

Karen Phelps:  Chair of Warwick Surrey Community Association and volunteered for many years. She has a vast understanding of the unique aspects of a high-density neighbourhood.

Reg Pollard:  Owner of Pollard Windows, he has had a long career in the family business. He was enshrined in the Burlington Business Hall of Fame in 2012 and has provided funds to the Juravinski Cancer Centre.

Dr. William Procter:  Dr. Procter has been a family physician in Burlington for 50 years, and was instrumental in the founding of the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital.

Mark Runciman:  The chief executive officer of the Royal Botanical Gardens, one of Canada’s largest plant sanctuaries.

Joyce Savoline:  Served as Halton Regional chair and Burlington MPP, as well as being an advocate for the people of Burlington and region.

Constable Drew Scott:  A constable of the Halton Regional Police has been awarded for his service to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program. The program teaches more than 6,000 youth in Halton each year about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and how to make positive choices.

Don Smith: Worked on health care and other issues affecting seniors.

Winnifred Stewart:  Focused on Burlington’s history for 35 years as a volunteer with the Museums of Burlington.

Keith Strong:  Sought challenging projects, and played an important role in the development of Youthfest and the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.

Margie Swire:  Volunteered for the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital since its opening in 1961 by doing a number of important jobs.

John Tait: Served many years leading the Burlington Eagles Rep Hockey program and performing endless hours of volunteer work.

John Taylor:  Mr.  Taylor is Burlington’s longest-serving councillor, representing Ward 3 since December 1988. Serving Brant Hills, Mountainside, Kilbride and rural communities west of Walker’s Line, he is now in his eighth term on City Council.

Joan Tomblin: For leadership in planning and implementing the annual MS walk, helping raise more than $1 million for research and support of those with MS.

Jack Van der Laan:  Developed the successful Netherland-Burlington Friendship Days.

Joe Veitch:  Initiated “Breakfast at the Bistro” at the Burlington Seniors Centre and worked with seniors for many years.

Mike Vencel:  Has helped with the veteran community by ensuring the veterans’ events are put on in a dignified and respectful manor.

Priscilla de Villiers, M.S.M.:  For her leadership in helping victims of crime, and for her research on restorative justice in Ontario.

Mina Wahidi:  Founded the Compassion Society, touching lives of more than 5,000 people who need her caring and generous spirit.

Ryan Wheatley:  Chair of the Firefighters Benevolent Committee.

Fred Whiskin:  With Scouts Canada since 1930, a place where he continues to give support.



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Unless there is really poopy weather for a significant stretch of time – the Pier will open during Sound Of Music.


Craig Stevens, Project Manager for the city on the construction of the Brant Street poses in front of the node that will rise 4 metres from the deck of the pier and have a 12 metre beacon on top. Stevens, who oversaw the construction of the Performing Arts Centre believes the pier will be ready to be opened during the Sound of Music Festival – IF the weather cooperates.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON. February 19, 2013  In the cold winter weather we don’t get out as often which means we don’t get to the waterfront and we don’t get to see the work that is getting done to have THE  pier ready for an official opening during the Sound of Music Festival which is about four months away.

The only impediment now is weather.  And that so far has been a really doozy up and down situation.  In October the schedule lost eleven day: “eleven days in October” exclaimed Craig Steven’s, the city’s man on the project.

November was good as was December with basically nothing lost but January was not as good –there were five days lost and so far in February they have lost four days.  “In January: said Stevens, ”we had temperatures that ranged from + 16 to -27. It’s all but impossible to plan – but plan they do and they go forward as well.

Early stage construction of the four metre high node that will sit atop the pier deck and have a 12 metre beacon sitting on top. The beacon is at this point purely decorative – it was to house the wind turbine that the city backed out of last year.

The first part of the node is in place.  They are now putting the re bar in and getting ready to pour concrete around the base of a structure that will rise four metres and have a beacon atop it that will rise 12 metres for a total height of 16 metres.  It will be quite something to see when it is completed.

The beacon part of the node is being fabricated now at a shop in Kitchener where it will go through a final quality control check and be shipped to Burlington and put in place.

The node will have stairs that wind around the side leading to the observation deck.

Brad Cassidy, the Graham Infrastructure guy who is the man you have to get past if you want to get out on the pier stands with one of the balustrades that will line the pier. The bottom piece of aluminum that will be coated with Burlington blue powder is a rubbing streak with the top piece the actual top of the rail. The balustrades will be bolted to the deck and have steel wire cable strands running through the holes drilled in the balustrade. There will be 200 of the things on the pier.

The feature that will make that pier safe for everyone is the balustrades that will be quite high and be made of galvanized steel which will give them a silver-grey look and aluminum rail and rubbing streak that will be painted with a powder that will be adhered to the surface and done in what construction people in this city like to call Burlington blue.

They will have cable strung through several levels preventing anyone from falling over the side.  There will be more than 200 of these stanchions placed around the pier.  Falling over just won’t be possible – jumping over – well that’s another matter.  Bets are being placed on which high school gets to make that claim to fame first.

The balustrades – what most people call the railings have gone through several modifications which raised the question: why design decisions at this point; which brought the response: “We’ve never gotten this far before”, said Stevens, and indeed after more than six years of work and close to $20 million tax dollars spent – this is as far as construction of the pier has ever gotten.

It is as cold as it looks out on the pier on a windy winter day.  The last of the concrete forming work is being done around the node that will have a stairway winding up the side leading to a deck four metres above the pier platform.

The node that is now being put together will have a large beacon placed on top of it.  That beacon was to be part of the support for the win turbine that got trashed by city council when no one appeared to be able to figure out where the power to light up the pier at night was going to come from or how it would be paid for.  A major opportunity to save serious dollars over the life of the pier and to make an important environmental statement was lost.

What we used to call the mini-beach on the west shore side of the pier is not so mini anymore. If this thing keeps growing many Burlingtonians just might get the boat dock they thought was going to be part of the pier.

At the base of the pier, in close to the shore,  the mini-beach grows a little more each month.  While the lake water level is low right now, once the construction trestle is taken out there might be accumulation of more sand.  The city might actually get a boat dock without having to spend a ton of money.

Meanwhile on the legal front the Examination for Discovery process continues.  Henry Schilthuis and Sons Ltd., the contractor who is suing the city, and who is in return being sued by the city,  has been examined and the Director of engineering for Burlington has gone through part of his Examination.  Those proceedings have been adjourned until the week of the 25th of February.

If the temperature out on the pier is cold – the temperature in the Examination for Discovery room is not quite frozen but certainly very frosty.  Some painful discoveries are being made.

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Brennan, Dykes and Proctor awarded Jubilee medals for community service.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 19, 2013  Three new recipients of the Jubilee medal will be recognized at city Council this evening.  The commemorative medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

The following will receive their medals this evening:

Officer Cadet David Anthony Brennan

Officer Cadet David Brennan was nominated for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by Captain Philip Harris, Commanding Officer at the Burlington Army Cadets for his exemplary record as a volunteer and dedication to Canada as an active member of the Burlington Army Cadets.

Officer Cadet Brennan is a tireless volunteer within the Cadet program and has inspired and motivated both his peers and subordinates within the program. For over five years he has volunteered his time towards the Royal Canadian Army Cadet program, serving as captain on five local cadet teams, including flag party, shooting team, rifle drill team, orienting team and the drill team.

Officer Cadet Brennan has given many hours to working alongside younger cadets to help them overcome a number of issues that young people often struggle with such as bullying, stage fright, and academic challenges.

In addition, Officer Cadet Brennan has volunteered hundreds of hours towards our local Legion, assisting in selling poppies, hosting diners for the veterans, and working on a number of fundraising activities.

Officer Cadet Brennan is a natural leader who also demonstrates his pride and commitment to community and Country. He has recently been sworn into the military with the rank of Officer Cadet and is planning a military career with the Canadian Armed Forces. This past September, Officer Cadet Brennan was selected to participate as one of a limited number of Canadians in an international paratrooper exchange program, representing the Canadian Forces Airborne and the Royal Canadian Army Cadets, after completing his Canadian Forces basic Parachutist course in 2011.

Officer Cadet Brennan also recently earned his Gold Duke of Edinburgh award. He is a student at McMaster University, studying history.

Mr. Thomas Dykes

Thomas Dykes was nominated for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by Andrew Irwin, former president of the Toronto Branch of the Naval Officers Association of Canada for the positive impact he has had working with youth at the local, regional, national and international level and for his efforts promoting awareness of Canada’s Naval History.

Thomas Dykes is a retired history teacher and now an Educational Assistant at T.A. Blakelock High School

Mr. Dykes developed and designed a unique multi-discipline teacher resource on the Royal Canadian Navy’s role in World War II. This initiative involved coordinating the direct input of the Canadian, British and German naval veterans, with active support from the history departments in four high schools, both in Canada and England. Through this work, The Battle of the Atlantic initiative became inter-disciplinary, cross-graded, multi-generational, national and international.

Recently, an electronic version of this resource has been placed on The Historica-Dominion Institute, making it available to thousands of educators around the world. This project has been so well received that Mr. Dykes has been invited to present it to the prestigious Naval History Conference to be held in England this spring.

Mr. Dykes also developed the Canadian Navy Centennial National Essay Contest with a great team of Blakelock teachers and he has been providing Burlington students the opportunity to write and be published in The Burlington Post’s Youth column since 1983. In additional, Mr. Dykes designed the Police Ethnic And Cultural Education Youth Leadership Program (PEACE).

Dr. William Procter

Dr. William Procter was nominated for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by his daughter, Susan Procter for his dedication to the practice of medicine, his commitment to his patients, and his leadership in the community.

Dr. Procter, has been a family physician in Burlington for 50 years. Dr. Procter was practicing medicine in Burlington before the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital was built and was instrumental in having the hospital constructed for the city. Dr. Procter was one of the first members of the medical staff.

During his lifetime, Dr. Procter has made and continues to make significant contributions to his profession as a mentor to medical students, a respected peer to his colleagues, and as a trusted doctor to both his patients and his community.

Dr. Procter has received the Certificate of Recognition for his ‘exemplary contribution to family medicine’ from the Ontario College of Family Physicians and has also been honoured with the Physicians Care Award by the Ontario Medical Association.

Dr. Procter has been active in hospital leadership, participating in and chairing many committees and heading the Department of Family Medicine.

Dr. Procter has been involved in a number of community activities including the role of ‘clown’ in the Burlington Santa Clause Parade, the role of sponsor for one of our local t-ball teams, the role of patron for Opera Hamilton, and is also an elder and long-standing member of Knox Presbyterian.

Dr. Procter has been described as kind, compassionate, dedicated, thoughtful, knowledgeable, general, reassuring and supportive. A friend and mentor, and a much-loved father.

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Longest serving council member in city’s history to be given the Queen’s Jubilee medal for his service. Well deserved.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 18, 2013  He is the longest-serving member of the current city Councillor.  He is certainly the strongest liberal thinker this council has and is the most passionate member of this council as well.

John Taylor was first elected in 1988, he was actually acclaimed, and has been representing the interests of Ward 3 which includes since Brant Hills, Mountainside, Kilbride and rural communities west of Walker’s Line.  His eighth term on City Council began in December 2010.

John Taylor, has served on city council longer than any other individual.

John Taylor’s official biography will tell you all about the things he has done – and it is impressive – but working at it for 25 years ,what else should we expect.

We wanted to dig a little deeper and tell you about the John Taylor that you don’t see every day.  The man who knows more about the city than any other council member and frequently wears his heart on his sleeve.

John has lived in Brant Hills for the past 37 years along with his wife Kathie and their son Ian who has recently moved to develop his professional career in finance.

His “official”  biog tells of his 24 years of management experience in the private sector where he gained extensive and diversified skills in both the packaged consumer goods and pharmaceutical industries. He also holds an honours degree in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia.

That chemistry degree was evident when the public relations people from Enbridge Pipeline were in town recently trying to convince the 85 people in a city hall conference room that there was no problem reversing the flow of a pipeline that runs through John’s Ward.  John knew enough chemistry to ask some rather pointed questions to which he really didn’t get answers.

John Taylor strongly believes that municipal government works best through the active involvement and participation of the city’s residents.

When John holds a community meeting it is more like a club meeting.  The first event at which I watched him interact with his residents he was at a table with four other people playing a game that involved checkers.  People would drop by, sit down and chat about an issue and then move on.

John Taylor sitting at the side of the room while a loyal constituent, John Timmins takes in the meeting.

On another occasion, in Lowville when the changes to the park were being discussed, John sat at the side of the room and people came over to talk to him.  He seldom goes to the front of the room to take the microphone – unless the public is talking about putting a highway through the Escarpment and then John Taylor is front and center.

John Taylor won’t always be with us – and there doesn’t appear to be anyone that will carry the torch as high and as consistently as he has.

As City and Regional Councillor for Ward 3, John is committed to continuing work in partnership with residents to build on past successes and tackle the urban and rural challenges facing Burlington and Halton this term.  such as:

The city’s media release points out the John continues to fight for a more affordable multi-year financial and organizational plan that will result in no more than a 3% annual City tax increase.  That one is going to be a challenge for John – but he has some ideas up his sleeve that will get put before his fellow council members later this month.  John will want to move more funds into infrastructure repair – which is more than $10 million short.  One does need to point out that John was on Council for the past 25 years when the shortfall took place.

Taylor in full campaign mode greeting a voter.

Our Burlington has a good photo file for John Taylor but we wanted pictures from his early years in politics and maybe even some of John with a full head of hair.   There are pictures of John in a suit canvassing door to door.

Kathie adds that “John had always been interested in politics and this seemed like a great fit for him. He is definitely a committed individual and the opportunity to serve the community was just up his alley. It gave John an interest outside of work and as it was considered a part-time position, it would not impact the family dramatically. We  had no idea what we were getting into!” She nevertheless  welcomed the idea of John becoming involved in Municipal politics.

“When John first ran for public office there were two Councillors per ward – one at the City level and one at the Regional level. John took over a position for the City. One Council meeting and a few reports to read was my understanding. Boy was I wrong!”

Joan Little, who sat on Council with Walter Mulkewich and was once his campaign manager, now writes a by-weekly column for the Spectator, didn’t know John Taylor all that well but will tell you “that he faithfully attended every council meeting in the months before the municipal election in 1988  – took it all in, the way he does now. I just remember John being very informed.”

When Nelson Aggregates bought the land shown in the small orange rectangle it was John Taylor alerted the community to what this could mean to north Burlington.  That was the first step of a seven-year fight to have the application for a quarrying permit turned down.

\"It was John,\" explained Joan Little, \"that told a rural meeting in 2002 that Nelson had bought the land across the road, from the quarry they were operating and waking them up.  I also recall him spearheading the Mid-Pen fight right from the time the province (I think Mike Harris himself) made a presentation in the Niagara area, and that’s been his baby ever since.”

The city’s media release says Taylor “has been described as the hardest working member of Council since his election 25 years ago. He is passionate about fiscal responsibility and has a broad perspective of his responsibilities, devoting as much time to Regional issues as he does to City concerns. He has been a strong voice for Burlington at the Region and has frequently bridged gaps between the two.”

The people at the Burlington Art Centre will tell you of the ideas he brings to Board meetings over there.  John at one point thought the Art Centre might be moved to the parking lot on Elizabeth Street that was once going to be the home of the McMaster University DeGroote School of Business.

John does manage to get some time for himself and his wife.  He once came close to apologizing to council for being away on a cruise with his wife and asked if a matter that was on a future agenda could be moved until he got back.

John manages his files – how shall I put this, in his own unique way.  Paper work has never been his strong point – but details seldom gets past him.  He has been around long enough to know where the strengths are at city hall and where the level of accountability could be stronger.

If there was ever any doubt as to his political affiliation the smile Taylor wears as he sits at a desk in a replica of John George Diefenbaker’s office answers that question.

He is also the best link the city has between our city hall and the Regional offices.  Not a strong player at the provincial level – and one is never quite sure which side of the political spectrum John favors, he will go where he has to go to get what he wants.  For John Taylor it is all about Burlington – he is just an actor in a production he wants to see go on forever.

Taylor joined a Council that was led by Roly Bird. Joyce Savoline was a member of that Council as was and Walter Mulkewich, who went on to become Mayor.

Mulkewich says he “first met John Taylor when he was a citizen activist lobbying myself and City Council on the subject of then controversial subject of market value assessment in the mid nineteen eighties.  As a citizen activist he was knowledgeable, tenacious and committed to evidence based research.

“John brought those characteristics to his work as an elected Councillor for the past twenty-five years.  Most significantly, he carried into his role as a member and leader on Council,  his citizen roots, a strong sense of community,  a belief in fairness, and an ability to frame specific issues within a larger picture of where the city needs to go to continue to maintain an excellent quality of life for its citizens.”

Those who work with John will tell you of his approach to problems.  When the Bethany Residence had some problems – John was there; when the owner of the Phanton House in Kilbride had some problems, John was there.  When the fight to prevent Nelson Aggregates from getting an additional permit to quarry land in the Escarpment was really tough, John was there.

You will frequently see John meeting with someone who heads up a community group and slipping a cheque into their hands.

When the politicians want to do something John feels is fundamentally wrong council solidarity get tossed.  There was one occasion when Burlington’s city council wanted to go into a closes session to discuss a city salary matter and John said that if they did he was going to leave the council chamber and stand in the atrium of city hall and tell anyone who would listen, what council wanted to talk about in private.

The city’s solicitor recently wanted council to go into closed session to talk about (wait for it) the pier and John said he wouldn’t go along with that one – not until the report with the numbers in it was in his hands.

John reads the reports he is given and scoots around city hall to talk to staff and dig a little deeper.  He’s been doing this for 25 years and staff knows  he has done his homework.

John can be impish at times.  He can also be very impatient as well.  When Ward 2 Councillor Meed Ward once called for a recorded vote on five – might have been six – matters, Taylor who sits beside her,  rolled his eyes and stood up each time to vote against her motion.

While John was a true believer when it came to getting the hospital upgraded he wasn’t about to just turn over $60 million to the hospital.  In the early stages of the negotiations John argued strongly against the city putting up the money that was going to pay for a parking garage.  John wanted a bit more than that for $60 million.

There he stands, in the center, with members of the British Peerage, Lord and Lady Acton on the left and Regional Chair Gary Carr on the right.  They all got along just fine.

While Region likes to believe Burlington has an agricultural base John fully understands what there is north of Dundas.  He was part of a Regional tour more than a year ago during which he met the fifth Lord Acton.  Burlington seldom sees members of the British peerage in the city – but there he stood.  John Acton, a pig farmer who got along with those farmers on the tour, that is until Acton told the farmers that he loved all the pigs he had – about a dozen – and he knew the names of every one of them.  The room immediately saw a different farmer in front of them.

John Taylor stood beside the man whose forbearer, the first Lord Acton who in 1887 gave us the phrase: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”.  When you talk about Burlington – you have to talk about John Taylor – and the power he had – he didn’t allow an ounce of it to corrupt him in any way whatsoever.

We are fortunate to have him.

Councillor Rick Craven on the left recomended John Taylor for the Jubilee medal. The two of them are the city’s strongest committee chairs.

Councillor Rick Craven put John Taylor’s name forward.  Other medal recipients are: Thomas Dykes, Dr. William Charles Procter and Officer Cadet David Brennan.

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Five adults, three youths scooped up by police in a coordinated three location raid discovered during undercover work.


By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 17, 2013  Investigators with the Halton Regional Police Service Integrated Drug, Gun & Gang Unit began an undercover operation in January that has led to the arrest of eight Burlington residents.  Officers acting in an undercover capacity purchased cocaine, crack cocaine, cannabis marijuana and illegal prescription drugs (Oxycodone and Tylenol 3) from several drug traffickers.

Last Friday, the 15th,  members of the Integrated Drug, Gun and Gang Unit, Strategic Support Teams and the Tactical Response Unit executed three Controlled Drugs and Substances Act search warrants at residences within the City of Burlington.

Police seized approximately three pounds of cannabis marijuana, 14 grams of cocaine and Canadian currency as offence related property.

Three persons under the age of 18 years have been charged with trafficking a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. One person under the age of 18 years is currently outstanding on charges of trafficking a controlled substance.

Further investigation led to the following two individuals being released unconditionally.  They are not facing any criminal charges in relation to this matter:   Grant KENNEDY and  Andrew MORETUZO

The following persons have been charged;

Brian NAPPER (34 years) – trafficking a controlled substance, possession for the purpose of trafficking a controlled substance and breach of probation. NAPPER was held for a bail hearing.

Robert LODER (31 years) – trafficking a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking a controlled substance.

Melanie DALEJA (32 years) – possession of a controlled substance.

A group that large indicates there is a thriving drug business in the community – are our high schools a market for these drugs?

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


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We owe you an apology – we didn’t deliver what you were expecting for Family Day 2013

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, On. February 18th, 2013.   Finding the right balance in the news business is not easy.  When your publication is on the internet there are a lot of analytics that tell you how many people have read a story and what people are looking for when they are searching the site.

We were stunned this morning to see how many people went looking for what is going on for Family Day in Burlington. We had not published anything.  Based on last year’s response, which was limited, we decided to forgo doing anything on what was open in the city.  THAT was a mistake.

Hundreds of people went to Our Burlington to find out what was open and what wasn’t.  When they searched using the words Family day they got a very detailed story that was about events in 2012.

We may have misled people who did not see the date line – and for that we apologize.

It is clearer now that you are looking for more in the way of Family Activities and we will do our best to deliver for you.

One item we do want to bring to your attention is the Jamie Adkins Circus Incognitus taking place at the Performing Arts Centre March 14th.  The man is an absolute delight and the younger kids will roll in the aisles laughing.  Tickets are very fairly priced – $16 for a youth and $25 for an adult.

We will make amends with our reporting on Spring Break.

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Forty years of continuous service to a camera club that went on to become a Guild and part of the Burlington Art Centre.

By Jim Hamilton and Frank Myers

BURLINGTON, ON  February 18, 2013  In the spring of 1973, Bill Warren joined a new camera club being started in Burlington. The group,  named the Latow Camera Club, met once a month in the general meeting room on the second floor of the Burlington Mall.  Latow was understood to be a native word meaning ‘beam of light’.

Latow Photographers Guild President Tom Stephens congratulates Bill Warren on 40 years of continuous and outstanding service.

That was forty years ago and Bill Warren is still an active member – 40 years of continuous membership is quite an accomplishment.  However, Bill has not just been a passive member of the club; he has been a very active and key member of the Latow Photographers Guild for that whole time.

Over the years, Bill has mentored many Latow members.  He has served in executive and committee positions and was President for two separate terms.  Due to his love of black and white printing, the darkroom has been one of Bill’s favourites.  He has either obtained donations or built much of the equipment in those facilities and he has looked after its maintenance for years.

It was Bill’s idea to hold an annual photography seminar, an event that has made the Latow Photographers Guild known not only in Ontario but in New York and Quebec. He has served as its Chairman and did practically everything from obtaining speakers to almost single-handedly managing the event for many years.

It is this annual event that continues to fund much of the photographic equipment enjoyed at Latow today.

Bill was recognized a few years ago for some of his service to the community and participation in photography by being voted as Burlington’s Art Person of the Year.  However, Latow had never really officially honoured Bill to the extent he deserves, so it was felt that Bill’s fortieth year of continuous participation and service in the club was the right time.

In the back row from left to right:  David Craig – President 1976 – 79, Bill Shotton – President 1996 – 97,  Johan Wigt – President 1985 – 86,   Peter Young – President 2001 – 02, Joh Friedrich – President – 2005 – 07,  Tom Stephens – President 2011 – 13,  David Gruggen – President 1986 – 88,  Arnold Koopman – President 1973 – 74,  Jim Hamilton – President 1988 – 90,  Toni Browning – President 2002 – 04 & 2009 – 11,  Brian Hickey (never has been President but “old-time” member).  In the front row middle:  Bill Warren – President 1979 – 81 & 1992 – 94 

At Latow’s  monthly general meeting recently , the club made a presentation to Bill and announced the naming of the Burlington Art Centre’s darkroom and finishing room area “The W.J. (Bill) Warren Darkroom and Finishing Room”. Fifteen former Presidents attended to share in the occasion to honour Bill’s contributions.

Latow President Tom Stephens says, “There is no one who has been more giving of his time or has promoted Latow to a greater extent over the years than Bill Warren.  We’re very pleased that he continues to volunteer for many duties in service of Latow, even today.” In typically modest fashion, Bill replies that he feels he is the one who benefits from volunteering because he derives so much pleasure from it.

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Local business promoter moves his gig to a more fashionable address for a one night stand.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 15th, 2013.   The theory is that if you invite a celebrity to your event more people will show up – and that would apply in Burlington if you invited Walk off the Earth.  Inviting the Mayor of the city to open an event – don’t think that is going to pull the crowd James Burchill, wants for his Spring into Business event – nevertheless the Mayor is going to deliver the opening remarks at the “Spring Into Business” Networking & Trade Show Event to be held at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre March 21st.

If you are an independent business operator mark that date on your calendar – actually you probably don’t have to – Burchill has the best list of smaller business operations in the city.  The one thing Burchill does exceptionally well is promote himself and his ventures.

The BiB – Burlington in Business crowd at the Waterfront Hotel where they meet once a month.  Founder James Burchill has moved his gig to the Performing Arts Centre for a March event.  Great bar over there – can they handle 500 + thirsty people?

He held a mini-trade show at the Beaver and the Bulldog a couple of months ago – the room was packed which led Burchill to believe he could move to a larger, brighter venue and put on a bigger event.  He might be right – it was certainly worth the risk.

The event is a joint venture between all the Social Fusion Networking groups and hosted by the beautiful Burlington Performing Arts Centre, this event will cater to approximately 500 people and showcase 25 local business vendors from 5pm through to 7pm.  Admission is free and has already attracted over 350 businesses from far-afield as Niagara through to Toronto.

Social Fusion Networking is the creation of James Burchill who launched the first event in January of 2012. To date these networks have attracted many thousands of local businesses seeking a new way of networking.  “It is my understanding that SFN is the largest independent B2B group in Halton because it exceeds 2500 members.” said James Burchill

With consistently high turnouts each month, SFN events integrate the best of modern social media and combine it with classical face-to-face networking. The results and feedback has been nothing short of amazing with James’ efforts being publicly acknowledged by as a “Top 10% Network.”

James Burchill, on the right, announcing the winner of a door prize – a session with a hypnotist.  Interesting.

Social Fusion Networking ™ was developed by James Burchill after he noted a series of problems with current B2B networking approaches. The punitive clauses that restricted members to one or few groups, the punishments for failing to attend, the caps and limits on how many people could participate encouraged Burchill to create a new way of networking with No Fees, No Pressure and No restrictions. Meeting monthly at local venues and available always online, SFN integrates a mixture of channels allowing people to connect and communicate in a manner and fashion that suits them best. SFN events are sponsored and advertising supported in lieu of membership dues.

The group has an interesting web presence and has in the past met on Wednesday’s at the Waterfront Hotel where they take up all the space at the best watering hole in the hotel.  The Mayor made an appearance there once – that didn’t do anything to attendance.


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Jubilee medals to be handed out by Mayor Goldring at Council meeting next week.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 15, 2013  Four Burlington residents will be awarded Queen Elizabeth II  Jubilee medals at a city council meeting on Tuesday, February 19th.

City Councillor John Taylor along with Thomas Dykes, Dr. William Charles Procter and Officer Cadet David Brennan will be given the medals by Mayor Rick Goldring who learned recently that as Mayor he could recommend people for the medal.

The front and back of the Jubilee medal that will be awarded to four Burlington residents at a city council meeting next Tuesday.

A new commemorative medal has been created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II accession to the Throne. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal will be a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it will serve to honour contributions and achievements made by Canadians, who represent the full breadth of our society.

During the year of celebrations, 60,000 deserving Canadians will be recognized. The inaugural presentation ceremony of the Diamond Jubilee Medal will take place in 2012.

The Chancellery of  Honours, as part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, will administer the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal program.

Eligibility criteria

Eligible candidates must have met the following criteria: · have made significant contributions to Canada or to a particular province, territory, region or community within Canada, or for an outstanding achievement abroad that has brought great credit to Canada;  be citizens or permanent residents of Canada;  be alive on February 6, 2012. The award can be made posthumously, as long as the candidate was alive on that date.

Burlington’s 58 winners are among 2,000 recipients from Ontario and 60,000 from across Canada.


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Halton educational assistant arrested for possession of child pornography.

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON. February 15th, 2013  A Burlington man , employed by the Halton Catholic District School Board, faces a charge of Possession of Child Pornography following an investigation by the Halton Regional Police Service – Internet Child Exploitation Unit.

On February 14, 2013, Gary O’Brien, 64 yrs, was arrested at his residence and held for a bail hearing scheduled for today at Milton Provincial Court.

The accused is an Educational Assistant at Notre Dame Catholic School in Burlington and has been suspended from his duties by the Halton Catholic District School Board.

The Halton Regional Police Service is committed to the thorough investigation of child exploitation incidents.  Any person with relevant information on this or any related matter is encouraged to contact the Internet Child Exploitation Unit at 905 825-4747 x8984, Crime Stoppers at 1 800 222-TIPS(8477), through the web at or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637(crimes).



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Local company takes environment seriously – lowers the heat and tells staff to bring in a sweater.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  February 13, 2014  There isn’t a large corporation on this side of the Atlantic that doesn’t say it is out there to help save the environment.  We Canadians, fresh air people for sure yet we live in a country that ships some of the dirtiest oil sucked out of the ground because a large part of our economy depends on selling that oil.

So when you hear about a company that says they are here to help save the environment – you kind of  raise an eyebrow and ask – yeah?

When we heard that the Walker Group has this Earth 1st program that sounded interesting – always good to have a snappy logo to slap on the shipping containers.  Then you look at the story a little more deeply and learn that the Walker Group has been doing this for more than ten years.

This year their challenge to their employees was to wear a really funky sweater to work February 7th.  Nice idea, lightens up the office, gives staff something different to do – but then they learn that the sweater might come in handy – they’ve turned the heat in all their plants down by two degrees.

THAT is a commitment; that is putting your money, and you personal comfort, where you mouth is.

Ask your staff to do some funky – and you never know what you’re going to get. The heat must have been down more than two degrees to bring out some of those scarves.  Norjohn plant in Burlington on a coffee break?

So we trotted along to the Norjohn Plant on Corporate Drive to see how staff had taken up the challenge.  Not a lot of people at this location.  Tight, tight security – which we will tell you about later.

There they were – the staff wearing their woollies.  Now this crowd isn’t going to take any prizes for the “funkiness” but they should get some points for the hat’s they wore.  The scarves on the guys at the left and right ends of the group photo are something we won’t comment other than to remind them that The Leaf’s haven’t won since 1967, which was the 100th anniversary of Confederation.

Warm sweater day was the way Walker Industries decided to have their employees reduce their environmental impact in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the company’s innovative EARTH 1st program.

EARTH 1st was developed to take Walker to another level of environmental performance by empowering employees to make a difference at work and at home.

In the past decade, through the suggestions of employees, the company has dramatically reduced its environmental impacts. Some examples include launching a carbon neutral building service, recycling concrete and asphalt, installing energy-efficient lighting and developing wax emulsions from environmentally sustainable resources.

The Walker Industries head office crowd did their part.

All 550-plus employees were asked to wear a warm sweater on February 7th. “We are encouraging staff to find wacky, funky and wild sweater, toque and scarf combinations,” says Alison Braithwaite, the company’s director of Environmental Performance. “We’re looking forward to the virtual fashion show as participants post their photos and videos on our challenge site.”

Walker locations taking part in the challenge included: Walker Industries Head Office & Walker Environmental Group – Thorold and Niagara Falls;  Organic Resource Management Inc. – Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Woodstock; • Norjohn Contracting and Paving Limited – Niagara Falls; • Walker Aggregates Inc. – Simcoe County and Niagara Region;  Amherst Quarries – Essex County;  Norjohn Limited – Burlington;  Norjohn-ACI Inc. – Portland, Oregon and Palm Coast, Florida.

The Walker Industries gang out at the compost site were really innovative – was this because they are all in witness protection programs?

While the employees were encouraged to become involved the organization went a little further and asked their  customers, suppliers, friends and neighbours to lower their heat and put on their favourite sweater to take action against climate change and work towards a sustainable future.

Braithwaite pointed out that: “If every Canadian lowered the heat by just two degrees this winter, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4 megatons.”

Other environmental challenges being planned for the year include a water reduction initiative, a turn-out-the-lights effort for Earth Hour, participation in Earth Day celebrations, a bike-to-work week, a community engagement project and a waste reduction week.

How did it work out?  Well the gang at Norjohn bought into the idea.  As for the rest of the organization – the results are still coming in.  Good idea, this planet is ours to save.

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Art Centre expands its reach and nails down the title of leading contemporary ceramics collection in the country

By Staff

BURLINGTON, ON. February 12, 2013  The art centre with at least the second best collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics in this country has announced an exhibition that will survey the work of the most promising emerging artists working with ceramics in Canada today.

Works will be selected by senior Canadian artists and curators in five regions across the country. Submissions are due by March 15.

The exhibit: Hot Mud: A National Survey of Contemporary Canadian Emerging Ceramic Artists, which will run at the Burlington Art Centre from September 7 to November 4.

Burlington Art Centre plans an exhibit to show the work of emerging ceramic artists.

“This exhibition will be a valuable showcase for artists at an early stage in their careers who have completed their basic training and created a modest independent body of work,” says George Wale, Director of Programs at the Burlington Art Centre (BAC).

In order to be eligible for Hot Mud, artists must have developed skills through training and practice in the field (though not necessarily in academic institutions) and be recognized by other artists working in the same artistic tradition.

A minimum of three years to a maximum of ten years in independent private professional practice prior to application is required, as is a history of professional public presentations and publications, payment for work, and active practice of their art within their region and beyond.

Submissions by individual artists, groups, collectives and collaborations will be considered.

Entry requirements include a cover letter containing a one-paragraph biography, a current resume and artist’s statement, and up to 15 labelled and numbered images. Detailed submission requirements.  Web site for the BAC is:

The Burlington Art Centre is a not-for-profit organization celebrating 35 years of inspiring imaginations and enriching lives in Burlington and beyond.  They champion the role and value of visual art and fine craft in life by mentoring and showcasing visual artists at all levels; engaging the community through diverse exhibitions and education programs; building and promoting the world’s largest and most significant collection of contemporary Canadian ceramic art; being a home to art and fine crafts guilds; and working with our members, corporate partners and volunteers to be an active and vital component of our community.

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Ward 4 Councillor risks it all for his constituents – will he live to do that again?

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 13, 2014  The public continually asks for leadership from its politicians.  Be bold they will say – but don’t ask for too much of our money.

Be transparent and keep me informed they will demand.  Hear what I am saying and give me what I want and understand that my viewpoint is the one that matters to me.

The poor politician is stuck in the middle of all these demands and often finds that he/she can’t satisfy anyone.  The objective for a politician is to find that delicate middle ground that keeps all the natives happy and keeps the politician in office without being totally bland and looking indecisive.

Jack Dennison who has been around the horse shoe at city hall for many years has recently shown some – well he will call it leadership – but his significant other may have a different phrase.

Here is a man who puts it all on the line when it comes to keeping his constituents informed. The significant other with him in this picture might not see his Valentine’s Day plans quite the way he does.

Jack Dennison holds meetings for his constituents frequently and always hold a budget meeting where he explains the objective, give his point of view and at times gets into heated discussions with those that show up.

The events usually take place in the meeting room that has a fire-place. Jack puts out a couple of bowls of popcorn and maybe coffee. Dennison doesn’t go the coffee and loads of cookies and sweets on the table.

This year – well let’s let Jack Dennison tell his own story.

It has been my tradition as Ward 4 Councillor to hold a yearly budget information session for Ward 4 residents.  It is important for me when sitting at the Council table as your Ward 4 representative to have heard from my constituents their comments about matters – in this case, the proposed budget.  My yearly Ward 4 budget information meeting also provides residents the opportunity to meet and ask questions directly to the city’s Finance staff.

Timing of my Ward 4 meeting is of the utmost importance, as I schedule the meeting following staff information budget sessions (for Council), and prior to the Council meeting where the budget is approved.  This year, I am unfortunately in a predicament where the only evening available between the staff information budget session and the Council meeting is on the Thursday, February 14th.  I am of the opinion to proceed with the February 14th date with an early 6:30 pm start time enabling attendees to still have time to celebrate Valentine’s Day following the meeting.

Is she going to wait at home on Valentine’s Day while Jack talks to his constituents about tax increases?

Now that is a bold and decisive stand – pretty sure Jack didn’t run this one in front of the significant other.   I won’t be their.  I’m not the fearless journalist I would have to be, to go to a meeting on Valentine’s Day.  It’s roses, good wine and  triple Brie cheese for me and the Misses.  Let me know how it goes and if you’re limping on the 15th – well then we will know won’t we?

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Music conductor goes deaf – trades baton in for paint brush; sells some painting twice.

Traditionally when an artist does their first solo exhibit someone with talent and a background in the genre the artist has chosen writes a review.  We didn’t know anyone with art review experience so we asked Don Graves to tell us who he is and why he does what he does.  We will let the art speak for itself, it is on display at the Fireside Gallery at the Burlington Art Centre and is there until the end of the month.  There were a lot of those little red stickers on a number of the paintings – one had two little red stickers – not sure what Graves is up to with that one.

By Don Graves

BURLINGTON, ON.  February 11, 2013  So, what does a deaf singer/conductor become when he’s lost his baton? Answer: a painter of landscapes in Muskoka, Algonquin, Ottawa Valley and Gatineau with designs on Gananoque, The Rideau Canal and maybe this year a sketching trip to discover the lost, fictional village of Three Pines of Canadian mystery author, Louise Penny’s vivid imagination.

Ian Ross, Executive Director of the Burlington Art Centre joins Don Graves, on the right, at his first solo exhibit.  Graves’s work can be seen in the background.

So, how did I get from hearing loss to painter?  I’m a singer/conductor, trained at McGill’s Faculty of Music  with time spent in their wonderful English department with people like Louis Dudek and Hugh McLennan.  Met my wife, also a graduate from the Faculty of Music, and together we directed  productions in Montreal, and I free-lanced for CBC, Theatre de la Poudiere and we became smoked meat and bagel aficionados.

After moving to Toronto, I spent almost 30 years at Sheridan College, first co-founding their renowned Musical Theatre School and being a part of what has become a very successful Theatre Sheridan.

The winter scenes were done in locations in and around Burlington. Strong, bold strokes with almost a touch of rawness to them. At the Burlington Art centre until February 27th.

I kept ignoring the growing feeling that something wasn’t quite right with part of my head and finally learned that I had a steadily growing hearing loss. Pick up a phone with my left hand, hear nothing, flip it to my right and all was well. Never occurred to me that the problem might have been me…or maybe I did. In the end, a friend pointed out that there was a limited market for deaf conductors and it was time to move on.

The opportunity arose to become the Dean of Arts, a large amalgamation of theatre, film, fashion, media, visual art, crafts and animation. I took it and had a great time. Wonderful to escape the politics on a Friday afternoon in a certain craft studio whose second claim to fame with a well-stocked supply of good malt. It was also a place for many thoughts and passions to merge and age: I’d studied voice in Montreal with an English tenor who connected colour with voices. His favourite line: “what colour is a soprano in a country village church choir with a top C in the dusk with a light behind her?”  (with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan, but understandable as he had been a principal tenor there for almost 20 years). Colour and sound became an integral part of my musical process.

This collection of four paintings includes vineyards, scenes from Algonquin Park and the Gatineau Hills in Quebec.

I left Sheridan for a five-year stint as the Dean of Art and Business…yes, you read that right…at George Brown College…which was interesting for the almost 3 years it lasted. The combination isn’t as strange as it appears. Art is very much a small, independent business in Ontario, one that combines business acumen, marketing smarts and artistic skill. A bunch of advertising students, who had been finishing near the bottom of an annual competition, learned that after working with an acting coach before they competed and came in third. The Toronto scene was complex, very different from Sheridan and included a daily GO train ride where I indulged myself in writing three  mystery novels.

The hearing loss gained company with some other health issues which resulted in early retirement in my mid 50’s, two major surgeries, a condition called chronic pain syndrome mixed with osteoarthritis and a fast trip from type A to type D with no fuel stops at B and C on the way down.

And there I sat, and even now I find it hard to say or write the word, depression. To this day I’m not sure which is worse, the physical or emotional impact. I lucked out in finding a frank and caring specialist at the Chedoke Rehabilitation Clinic, now at the Hamilton General.

Graves is not only an artist and a music director – he is also a raconteur of some renown.  He is in full emoting mode.

From there to now has been a trip blessed with a new beginning in painting: following a childhood dream of losing myself in the northern nature where I fished, picked blueberries and was casting bait for my father’s trolling. I studied with two Burlington artists, later at the Dundas Valley School of Art, joined a studio in Hamilton where I met and paint with artist, John Stirling and planned for that moment I was working toward.

In teaching and learning, I believe in the convergence of the right teacher appearing when the student is ready to receive what is on offer. My passion lies in colour, texture, French Canadian artists like the late Bruno Cote and Gordon Harrison, a Canadian landscape artist living and working in Ottawa. My goal was to be ready and that happened in June of 2012 and will again, I hope, this year. I found the final link between music and painting; the colour of voices, how my baton became my brush, how the canvas is a theatrical set that tells a story, a different story for each viewer. You find your way into a painting as you do a story. And like a theatrical production where you sit down and have your inner space moved, I want my paintings to do the same.

I have two shows on the go, one in Burlington and one in Toronto. And while it’s good to sell my work, it’s quite something else to meet people and watch them looking at my work and wonder how the story is unfolding for them. (Graves has also taken part in the Art in Action Studio Tour)

No artist works entirely alone. My wife, family, fellow artists and friends have become a team I rely upon. And in my spare time I read mysteries and write book reviews.



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Standing room only if you are delegating at city council: so much for accommodating the aging population.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  February 11, 2013 The late Jane Irwin tweaked city council’s nose during the meeting she attended last Monday evening, before she died the following Thursday, when she remarked,  pointedly, that  council members and staff sit in comfortable seats while delegations have to stand.

Many of the delegations use a walker to get to council meetings and need their canes to get to the podium.  They are given ten minutes to speak and then remain to answer questions.  For some that is not a comfortable physical experience.

This delegation left her cane on the table where she could make use of it if needed.  A chair to sit on would have been appreciated.  Our Council chamber is not geared to people with ambulatory problems.

The City Clerk’s Office say they are looking to have a chair available for people to sit at but that means getting a table they can sit at as well – and right now there isn’t anything in place where a speaker can sit, have access to a microphone and a place to put their notes.

Our Council Chamber has a wee bit of a shabby look to it, a sort of retro-fifties feel and a sense of it being a “tired room”.  The “optics” are terrible.  For a city what wants to attract those high-tech companies and their well-paying jobs what we have in the way of a council chamber is a bit of an embarrassment.

To add to the visual presentation one must add a comment of the sound system.  When the city manager is meeting with council he sits inside the horse show where the microphone he has to use is of such poor quality it is often close to impossible to hear what he is saying – and with this city manager you want to listen very carefully.

Burlington talks of its aging population.  It talks of its engaged citizens but then does very little to make them comfortable at council meetings.

It got to be a little too much for this delegation – she had to take her cane off the table and use it to lean on while she shifted herself from foot to foot. Delegations are made to stand before Council like serfs with their hats in their hands. We need to upgrade our manners.

Cathy Unsworth came to Council last week to talk on a heritage matter that impacted property she owned in the west end of the city.  Before getting into her delegation she commented on being asked by the Clerk’s office if she was going to speak for the staff report or against the staff report.  Ms Unsworth just wanted to talk and didn’t feel she had to say she was for or against something.

She makes a very valid point.  People who choose to address Council need to be treated with more respect. And consideration has to be made for their ambulatory needs.

When a person calls city hall to register as a delegate the Clerk should send them a Briefing paper explaining the rules and procedures that are followed.  Including a letter from the Mayor welcoming the person as a delegation would be a nice touch as well.

There should be paper, pencil, a pitcher with water and paper cups for delegations to use.

Burlington isn’t some little hick town.  We are a city with a population approaching 175,000 people.  Our Council Chamber should reflect both who we are and how we want to be seen.

Time for an upgrade.

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We lost an important person last week. Jane Irwin dead.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  February 9, 2013  She’s gone.  A little lady, short,  who stood with a bit of a bend to her upper body but stood tall nevertheless.  You would see her in the same green pant suit with her running shoes.  The hair style never changed, her glasses were functional, not fashionable.  Fashion and being au courant were not things that mattered to her. There was always that strong gaze in her eye and if you’ve made a mistake about the history of Burlington, a city she adopted, she was quick to let you know.

She was the strongest supporter of the city’s historic homes and its cultural heritage.  She and her husband Richard ran the Different Drummer bookstore from 1986 and grew it into one of the best in the country.

Jane Irwin telling city council that the city’s heritage properties were being hollowed out – that the city was bland and known as “Borington”  It was her last delegation; she died two days later.

Jane Irwin died Thursday evening.  She had experienced a stroke last year.

Whenever she spoke at city council you sat up a little straighter and listened carefully.  She delivered some of the most pointed and cogent commentary this council, and all of those before it, had occasion to hear.

When she finished her delegation last Monday evening there were no questions.  Council just sat there except for Councillor Craven, chair of the Development and Infrastructure meeting that was hearing the delegation. He summed it all up when he said: “I guess she said it all.”

Before starting her delegation Jane Irwin pointed out to Council members that they were all sitting there in comfortable chairs while older people who used a walker and a cane had to stand for extended period of time. “That is something you might want to note and do something about at some time” she admonished them.

As a young lady she once told us, she used to travel to Burlington to take in an event at the Burlington Inn. She knew everything there was to know about heritage properties in the city and understood fully the importance of keeping as many of those buildings as possible.

There were occasions when we at OurBurlington didn’t get it right – and it seldom took Jane Irwin very long to write and give us a good sharp rap in the knuckles.  If you were going to talk about heritage homes – then do it right, was the way she treated us.

She was often talking into the wind – and she knew it; but the importance of what she was saying was what mattered and she just kept on doing what she did best.

At one of her many delegations she told council she was going to give them “five scotches” in five minutes and then proceeded to lecture then  – and that is what she really did. She laid it all out for them in simple easy to understand language,  which many of them still didn’t get.  That was a classic Jane Irwin performance.

When a house in Kilbride with some historical significance was about to be removed from one of the lists that protects heritage properties, Irwin drove to the Courthouse in Milton and pulled up the document that gave the full provenance of the building.  Jane Irwin was the kind of person who believed that the facts mattered and on more than one occasion during the many years she lived in this city – she was the one who dug out and brought forward the facts.

Jane Irwin’s husband Richard giving her a pat of affection as she prepares to delegate to city council three days before she died.

There is no one on the horizon that can replace what she was and what she gave to this city.  There will be no funeral but we are advised that there will be a celebration/wake.

She will be missed by her husband, her children and those who worked with her at the Burlington Historical Society and the Friends of Freeman Station.  A stalwart if there ever was one.  She will be missed not only for her graciousness and her intellectual integrity but for her constant efforts to help Burlington help itself.

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She saw herself as a “loyal opposition” and served her city very, very well. Jane Irwin dead.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  February 8, 2013  A tireless fighter who saw herself as part of a “loyal opposition” when she spoke to a city council committee Monday of last week – Jane Irwin died Thursday evening.

Jane was a force to contend with who did not go quietly into the night.  Monday evening she addressed a committee of city council and began her talk by telling members of council that while they were sitting in comfortable seats there were delegations who had to shift their cane from side to side and stand as they spoke and answered questions.

Jane Irwin’s husband Richard, gives her an affectionate pat on the arm as she prepares to delegate to a city council committee on why cultural heritage value matters.

Jane was speaking to council about heritage homes; one of the passions of her life.  Her husband Richard reached over and gave her an affection pat on the arm as she rose to speak to the Infrastructure and Development Committee that was considering a report from Heritage Burlington, the city’s Advisory Committee on heritage matters.  They wanted to remove immediately all the homes on the much maligned “B” list, which is part of the city’s Municipal Register of Cultural Heritage Resources.   The B list was part of a Registry the city maintains of homes that are felt to have some historic or cultural value to the city.

Irwin believed the city was getting rid of close to one-third of the properties in the city with significant cultural heritage.

Any home on the B list of the Municipal Register of Cultural Heritage Resources could not be demolished without going through a 60 day waiting period.

Many home owners and several council members felt this wait requirement was a financial encumbrance on what a property owner could get if it were put up for sale.   The real estate community likes to perpetuate that point – that having to wait 60 days would lessen the amount a property would fetch on the open market.  There is no evidence, other than the word of real estate agents who are looking for a listing, that a 60 day wait impacts the value of a property.

The disappearance of the B list would mean close to one-third of the homes that have historic cultural value would be taken off the Registry could then be demolished by anyone who wanted to apply for a permit to do so, and that was why Jane Irwin stood, for what turned out to be the last time, before city council, imploring them to fully understand what they were doing and to perhaps re-think what she fully expected them to do.

“Why is it” asked Jane Irwin, “that the city of Burlington has a reputation for being boring?   A good many interesting people have lived here and a lot of interesting people still live here.”  Burlington’s reputation had not kept up with the change and growth of the city, she maintained.

“Burlington is not the most fascinating, the most interesting place or the most inspiring city on the planet – not even in Halton.  In fact it is called BORINGTON.  Is that news to any of you?”  she asked, while Mayor Goldring sat glumly in his seat.

She spoke passionately, she told city council that Burlington was known as BORINGTON and that the city lacked character and colour. she told them that cultural heritage matter and that without it the city would be “hollowed out”. None of it mattered – they voted to get rid of what Irwin maintained was one-third of the properties in the city and on the Registry, with historical significance,

“There is no question why we are perceived as a bland place, there is nothing special, nothing unique about us – we lack character and have no sense of identity”, she said

“We are not a real place, not a place with any interesting character”, she added.

Irwin said she was reminded of a comment an American author made about the city in California she lived in when she said: “There is no there, there.”

Irwin though that perhaps the author’s home town was too new to have a history but then realized that the history it did have, had probably been hollowed out and that is what Irwin thinks has happened to Burlington.

“Every place on earth has a history, a past, character and a story to tell.  “I’m suggesting” said Irwin “that something comparable has happened to Burlington – our past, our history, has been hollowed out.  Identity for both people and places can be hollowed out”, she added.

Irwin explained that “People lose their sense of identity from the inside when they lose their memories, places lose their identity when their history is lost when their places are lost, when the history turns into amnesia – you’ve heard some examples of that here tonight.”

“The outside characteristics of personal identity are lost when the physical reality of their identity, the quirkiness and the scars of their life are forgotten, either because they were in a witness protection program or they had cosmetic surgery”, explained Irwin.

“Places lose the visible reality of their identity when their historical built structures and streetscapes are erased or replaced. Those of you who have been listening to me will realize that I am talking about what planners call cultural heritage value.

Some think cultural heritage value is an academic term dreamed up by people who do not live in the real world.

Cultural historic value is what I’ve been talking about; a sense of identity, a sense of something authentic, something real.  It is a part of our experience of everyday life – it is rooted in our common experience.”

“People feel this” maintained Irwin, who went on to explain that while cultural heritage value may not be a term many understand or are comfortable with – “ but it is really the same as quality of life,  which we do understand, advocate and promote.  Heck it’s even in the city’s Strategic Plan

They will feel that, they will experience that and so cultural historic value is what we know as quality of life. – a term that is accepted”.

Jane Irwin, at her very best.

Irwin’s concern was that while there are thousands of people in Burlington who live in the homes that were built in the 1910’s and 1920’s – removing the 350 on the B list has the potential to put those buildings at risk.

There is a limited supply of these buildings and your vote today vote will, if this council votes true to form, will remove 350 properties – one third of our heritage.

“These B properties” explained Irwin, “have not been re-evaluated, none have been re-inspected and we don’t have adequate information on which to make decisions”.  She went on to say that “we are throwing out the babies with the bath water.  People are being told that heritage homes don’t count.”

“Perhaps this is a time-saving exercise – remove these 350 homes from the Registry and you never have to deal with them again.”

“You ignore your staff reports” said Irwin, “you often deride them.”

In the end – it didn’t matter.  Council in committee voted to keep ten properties on the Registry until the end of June when the evaluations are complete and a decision can be made as to what stays on the Registry and what can be removed.

What was certain however was that the B portion of the Registry is now “history”, literally.  Councillor Craven summed it up when he said after six years of bitter, nasty debate, compromises have to be made.  “While I regret losing the B’s” he said, “I am prepared to give them up.”

Council in committee voted to accept the report.






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