//static.getclicky.com/js

Eight new electric vehicle charging stations coming to Burlington

By Staff

July 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If this were a chicken and egg issue – we are talking about the eggs on this one.

With funding support through The Atmospheric Fund (TAF), the City of Burlington is adding eight more level two electric vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the City. Each station will have two charging plugs.

With these new stations, the city will have 30 EV charging stations.

The new charging stations are expected to be operational by the end of 2022 and will be located at:

  • Appleby Ice Centre (2 stations), 1201 Appleby Line
  • Haber Community Centre/Norton Park, 3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.
  • Mainway Ice Centre, 4015 Mainway
  • Mountainside Community Centre, 2205 Mount Forest Dr.
  • Nelson Recreation Centre, 4235 New St.
  • Tansley Woods Community Centre (2 stations), 1996 Itabashi Dr.

The TAF funding is helping the City to expand our existing inventory of charging stations that are primarily located in the downtown core, many of which were also supported through funding programs, to other areas of the city.

This is all part of the climate change response:

Electric mobility was identified in the community-based Burlington Climate Action Plan approved by City Council in 2020 as a key program area.

Supporting electric mobility efforts will help Burlington meet the target to become a net carbon neutral community by 2050 and is a top priority of Burlington’s Plan from Vision to Focus, “Supporting Sustainable Infrastructure and a Resilient Environment.”

The City is also partnering with BurlingtonGreen to develop an Electric Mobility Strategy as a community road map to support future investments in this area.

The City is also working on an Integrated Mobility Plan with a focus on moving people via sustainable options such as active transportation (walking, cycling, etc.) and public transit.

 

 

Return to the Front page

Burlington isn't even on the list of the Best Places to Buy a Home

By Staff

July 7th. 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the list of the Best Places to buy a home was published people who wanted to buy in Burlington knew the city didn’t have a chance of being anywhere near the top of the list.

Burlington isn’t even on the list of 35 cities.

What does it all mean?  More people will be looking into the Guelph market which might take some pressure off the Burlington market.

But for those owning homes in Burlington, those sky high prices are just fine.

 

 

 

1 Guelph (ON) ON $527,300 8.65 $65,567
2 London (ON) ON $394,622 7.6 $26,506
3 Victoria (BC) BC $678,700 12.16 $18,159
4 Ottawa (ON) ON $403,800 6.53 $-56,276
5 Kingston (ON) ON $366,549 6.54 $50,265
6 Brantford (ON) ON $426,037 8.36 $13,963
7 Hamilton (ON) ON $585,500 10.36 $50,934
8 Kitchener – Cambridge – Waterloo (ON) ON $491,241 8.57 $40,590
9 Abbotsford – Mission (BC) BC $858,132 16.59 $204,819
10 Windsor (ON) ON $313,281 6.07 $-12,225
11 Saguenay (QC) QC $178,811 3.66 $-5,046
12 Peterborough (ON) ON $435,964 8.61 $75,786
13 Trois-Rivières (QC) QC $166,280 3.91 $-32,594
14 Barrie (ON) ON $466,400 8.2 $29,017
15 Durham/Oshawa ON $576,702 9.48 $120,917
16 Gatineau (QC) QC $267,187 4.85 $-71,252
17 Québec (QC) QC $266,201 5.14 $-43,130
18 Sherbrooke (QC) QC $226,354 5.18 $-37,611
19 St. Catharines – Niagara (ON) ON $397,000 8 $-27,449
20 Kelowna (BC) BC $494,500 9.2 $-173,514
21 Greater Sudbury (ON) ON $250,495 4.49 $-95,121
22 Vancouver (BC) BC $1,017,900 19.58 $-147,910
23 Thunder Bay (ON) ON $219,203 4.13 $-100,435
24 Charlottetown (PE) PE $221,761 7.68 $-36,488
25 Montréal (QC) QC $353,400 7.54 $-38,332
26 Halifax (NS) NS $301,011 5.82 $-89,910
27 Toronto (ON) ON $767,800 14.83 $68,201
28 Winnipeg (MB) MB $266,600 5.2 $-97,045
29 Saint John (NB) NB $182,350 3.68 $-76,154
30 Regina (SK) SK $264,200 4.4 $-141,302
31 Moncton (NB) NB $199,050 4.09 $83,337
32 St. John’s (NL) NL $285,287 5.14 $-72,966
33 Saskatoon (SK) SK $282,500 4.84 $-89,994
34 Calgary (AB) AB $414,600 6.5 $-118,239
35 Edmonton (AB) AB $316,200 5.02 $-141,471

 

1 Guelph (ON) ON $527,300 8.65 $65,567
2 London (ON) ON $394,622 7.6 $26,506
3 Victoria (BC) BC $678,700 12.16 $18,159
4 Ottawa (ON) ON $403,800 6.53 $-56,276
5 Kingston (ON) ON $366,549 6.54 $50,265
6 Brantford (ON) ON $426,037 8.36 $13,963
7 Hamilton (ON) ON $585,500 10.36 $50,934
8 Kitchener – Cambridge – Waterloo (ON) ON $491,241 8.57 $40,590
9 Abbotsford – Mission (BC) BC $858,132 16.59 $204,819
10 Windsor (ON) ON $313,281 6.07 $-12,225
11 Saguenay (QC) QC $178,811 3.66 $-5,046
12 Peterborough (ON) ON $435,964 8.61 $75,786
13 Trois-Rivières (QC) QC $166,280 3.91 $-32,594
14 Barrie (ON) ON $466,400 8.2 $29,017
15 Durham/Oshawa ON $576,702 9.48 $120,917
16 Gatineau (QC) QC $267,187 4.85 $-71,252
17 Québec (QC) QC $266,201 5.14 $-43,130
18 Sherbrooke (QC) QC $226,354 5.18 $-37,611
19 St. Catharines – Niagara (ON) ON $397,000 8 $-27,449
20 Kelowna (BC) BC $494,500 9.2 $-173,514
21 Greater Sudbury (ON) ON $250,495 4.49 $-95,121
22 Vancouver (BC) BC $1,017,900 19.58 $-147,910
23 Thunder Bay (ON) ON $219,203 4.13 $-100,435
24 Charlottetown (PE) PE $221,761 7.68 $-36,488
25 Montréal (QC) QC $353,400 7.54 $-38,332
26 Halifax (NS) NS $301,011 5.82 $-89,910
27 Toronto (ON) ON $767,800 14.83 $68,201
28 Winnipeg (MB) MB $266,600 5.2 $-97,045
29 Saint John (NB) NB $182,350 3.68 $-76,154
30 Regina (SK) SK $264,200 4.4 $-141,302
31 Moncton (NB) NB $199,050 4.09 $83,337
32 St. John’s (NL) NL $285,287 5.14 $-72,966
33 Saskatoon (SK) SK $282,500 4.84 $-89,994
34 Calgary (AB) AB $414,600 6.5 $-118,239
35 Edmonton (AB) AB $316,200 5.02 $-141,471
Return to the Front page

Centre for Skills Development - Job openings

By Staff

July 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

 

 

SUSTAINABLE AND MEANINGFUL EMPLOYMENT FOR EVERYONE.

TRANSFORMING LIVES AND IMPROVING THE WORKFORCE AND ECONOMY.

·    Business Developer – Ornamental Plant Breeding

·    Teacher

·    Bulk Selector

·    Cook

·    Early Child Educator 

·    Electrical Panel Assembler

·    General Assembler (Oakville)

·    General Labour (Milton)

·    General Labourer (Burlington)

·    Medical Office Assistant

·    Order Fulfillment Team Member

·    Production Line Operator

·    Project Assistant

·    Receptionist / Office Administration 

·    Room Attendant

·    Sanitation General Labourer

·    Security Guard Patrol

·    Sorter / Loader

·    Data Integrity Specialist

·    Demand Planner

·    Hotel Cleaner

·    IT Manager

·    Junior Woodworker / Helper

·    Sales Support Associate

·   Trades Assistant Instructor – Construction

·    Trades Assistant Instructor – Machining

·    Trades Instructor – Machining Warehouse Production Team Leader

·    Workers Compensation Specialist

·    EDI Specialist (6 Month Contract)

·    Application Specialist

·    Apprentice – Transit Mechanic

·    Customer Service Representative

·    Dispatcher – Crossborder

·    General Laborer

·    Graphic Designer

·    Material Handler

·    Production Associate

·    Receptionist / Admin Support

·    School Custodian

·    Shipper/Receiver Sr. Communications Manager

 

SEE ALL JOBS
Return to the Front page

Canal lift bridge to get a $21 million deck replacement - work to start winter of 2023

By DENIS GIBBONS

July 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

John Diefenbaker was Prime Minister and Burlington still was a town of about 47,000 the last time the Burlington Canal Bridge was replaced 60 years ago.

Now the federal government is footing the bill of more than $21 million for another replacement, which will also widen sections of the sidewalk to allow more space for pedestrians and cyclists to cross safely and to improve traffic flow.

Filomena Tassi, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, made the announcement during a press conference at the canal on Thursday.

Burlington MP Karina Gould said the upgrades will significantly improve the safety for people who use the bridge.

Ship entering Hamilton harbour.  Skyway bridge is in the background..“

 

 

 

 

Construction is anticipated to begin in the winter of 2023, during the bridge’s annual winter shutdown for maintenance and repairs, in order to minimize disruptions. The project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2024.

The bridge deck itself will take approximately three months to complete. The waterway is closed during the winter to ships and the bridge does not rise, making it an ideal time to undertake this project.

On average, approximately 25,000 vehicles cross the bridge each day.

Karina Gould (right) chats with Filomena Tassi and Hamilton Mountain Liberal MO, Lisa Hepfner, with the lift bridge in the background.

During peak seasons, nearly 3,000 pedestrians and cyclists travel along the Beachway in Burlington daily, many of them using the bridge.
The first lift bridge was erected in 1830 well before Confederation and there have been six since then.

At one time there also was a railway lift bridge, which allowed trains to service frozen fruit plants in Hamilton and Stoney Creek.

Return to the Front page

Lawson Hunter ask Council not to become a 'lame duck' and have the report get lost in the transition to a new term

By Lawson Hunter

July 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Lawson Hunter delegated at a Standing Committee earlier today to comment in support of “Climate Resilient Burlington: A Plan for Adopting to Our Warmer, Wetter, and Wilder Weather”. He said:

To my mind, this is one of the best reports I have seen this Council receive this term. I have every confidence that this committee will accept this report. My hope is that you will embrace the messages contained within and set in motion the recommendations with the urgency and the full commitment that they require.

Unfortunately, this report comes at a time when Council is near the end of its term, a ‘near lame duck Council’. Please do what you can to see that this report does not get lost in the transition to a new term and more importantly, that the City implements many, if not all, of the plans of action.

Lawson Hunter: “we easily forget, especially if it doesn’t affect us directly.”

I have delegated to Council on more than one occasion about Mitigating Climate Change. Today, I’m here to say that I’ve turned a corner in my thinking. I still believe in Mitigation but my personal viewpoint is that we need to shift more towards Adaptation.

In 2019, Burlington City Council, along with many other municipalities in Canada, declared a “Climate Emergency”. At the time, the International Panel on Climate Change stated that we had 12 years to ‘mitigate’ climate change. Well, we’ve got 9 years left before we pass the point of no return. Nine years to keep global GHG emissions below 350 parts per million. Sorry to tell you, but we passed 410 ppm a mere four months later. The IPCC (which the report references) told us that we needed to limit average temperature level increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We’ve blown past that. We now talk about 2 degrees, or even 3 or 4 degrees by the end of the century.

The dilemma, we face is our brains protect us by pushing those events from the past further and further out of our minds as we tend to focus on our day to day activities. ‘Live in the moment’ our coaches, and trainers, and self-help gurus tell us. Well, we can’t do that anymore. Not when those “climate events” keep coming, more frequently and harder and closer to home.

Sure, Burlington experienced the Ice Storm of 2013 and the Flood of 2014. A year ago, we watched on TV the drought and fire and flood that hit B.C. And in May of this year, less than two months ago, we narrowly missed the Great Canadian Derecho that tore a path of destruction from Windsor to Quebec City. A derecho is when a thunderstorm marries a tornado and creates a hurricane on land.

We, as a global society, recovered from the long list of environmental crises but did we learn anything from them? In her book, “The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in an Age of Disasters”, Juliette Kayyem says, for the most part we did. She writes, “It isn’t that you can manage a disaster so that no harm will occur, … Essentially, we can learn to fail, more safely.”

My point is, we easily forget, especially if it doesn’t affect us directly. And even if we are affected we, “Pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, start all over again” as the song says. We take pride in Building Back Better. In a word we become ‘Resilient’.

And that brings me to my one, small uneasiness about this report. Words are important. They can spur us into action or they can lull us into complacency.

For example, in this report the word Resilience is used quite often in place of Adaptation. Resilience is described as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”, or “the ability to cope with and recover from setbacks”, or, “to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune”.

The impact of the 2014 flood on a Burlington basement

Climate Change is neither a difficulty, a setback or a misfortune. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. It’s not a ‘what-if’ scenario. It’s a when-it-will-strike, there will be consequences kind of thing.

The report talks a lot about ‘collaboration’ as if that were a new thing. One has to hope that the City already ‘collaborates’ with entities like Burlington Hydro, Enbridge, the RBG and other stakeholders. I respect that stakeholders were invited to the table, but the collaboration must go further than a dozen or so meetings. It must infuse the landscape. Every organization, every company, every developer, every resident, should ask themselves “Is this the best we can do to respond to a climate change event?” And, “what part can I play after a disaster has impacted my neighbours?” rather than let ‘the City’ clean up the mess.

We are fighting against a system that none of us created. A system of global off-shoring, over consumption, externalities, short-term thinking, a ‘make it-break it-toss it’ society that is leading us over a cliff. Burlington used to be, largely, self-sufficient. Broken global supply chains have shown us that that is not sustainable anymore.

I get it. Your e-mail boxes are over-flowing with residents’ complaints about garbage, about potholes, about not enough ice rinks in the city. But you know what? Those fall into the category of the short-term thinking that got us here.

We, all of us, need to have the courage to say, “Stop it for a moment.” We need to shift our focus to ‘What will the impact of our decisions today, have on future generations?”. I’ve already spoken to Council about thinking, not in 20 years, or 50 years, but using the Indigenous wisdom of ‘seven generations’. In seven generations, 200 years or so, hurricanes, drought, floods, war, famine, will all probably hit Burlington. What will we construct today that will help future generations to Adapt?

We need to commit to the recommendations in this report. We need to set priorities. We need to ensure success by directing enough of the City’s budget now and into the future towards these goals. Let me tell you, it’s going to hurt, but future generations will thank us.

We also need to acknowledge the things that we’ve done wrong, but also what we did right to respond to disasters. We can adapt to a rapidly changing environment. COVID taught us that. Will we heed that lesson?

Biologically speaking, adaptation is “a change or the process of change by which an organism, or species becomes better suited to its environment”. Not us trying to change the environment to suit our needs.

We are heading down the train track and no one’s got their hands on the brake. Here’s an example. And it is in no way a slam against Burlington Hydro. Burlington has experienced 33 power outages since January 1 of this year.

The 2013 ice storm blocked roads for days

My question is – is sixty plus outages acceptable when every house and building could have its own renewable energy source? Is 60 plus outages the new normal that we should expect? Again, I’m not blaming Burlington Hydro – it has to deal with flooding, wind storms, ice build up, drivers knocking down poles, and a few instances of preventative maintenance by the utility. Burlington Hydro is working with a system that was designed in the 1950’s, built in the 60’s and 70’s, and feeding power from a transmission system that was created some 100 years ago. Doomed to fail.

But see, there I go talking about a Mitigation to the climate change problem. It’s difficult to separate the two. We need both courses of Action. I’m here to ask you to take the next 15 or 20 minutes and really concentrate on what this city – not City (with a capital C), but the community of Burlington can do to prepare to ‘fail more safely’ because we will fail when it comes to climate change, it’s almost guaranteed.

I’m not an expert. You’ve got plenty of smart people on staff. You’ve already got a shelf full of reports, and you’ve got partnerships with good organizations with all kinds of environmental experience. What I want to impress upon you is the sense of urgency that I feel.

I don’t want Burlington to just ‘Build Back Better’. We can ‘hope for the best and prepare for the worst’ or we can prepare for the worst and hope that it never comes to that.

Take-aways:

• Don’t be lulled into complacency with aspirations and buzzwords.
• Give all City staff adequate training in first aid and disaster relief.
• Empower employees to assist and support the rest of the community, be it disaster, physical condition, mental health situation, knowing what to do and where to go in an emergency.
• Create more heating and cooling stations, and emergency shelters.
• Make floodplain maps easily accessible and support Conservation Halton’s program and frequency of new maps created.
• Instill a long-term vision in City staff, residents, local employees that we need to work together, support each other, for the common good.
• Work with developers, the largest group of game-changers, to build better, more equitably, and with robust safety features – additional stair egress, adequate fire protection and services.
• Recognize that disaster could happen at any time, in any location, and know how to respond.
• Learn to fail, more safely.

Return to the Front page

BurlingtonGreen has a new home - The Pump House in the Beachway

By Staff

July 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

What a great idea?

The Pump House is a big part of the Beachway history.

Not sure how it came about – didn’t see anything about the space being available – but if it can be put to good community use – go for it.

BurlingtonGreen has a new home.

Plaque tells the story

Located at the historic Pump House at Beachway Park, they have put down roots at this new home to make it easier for you to join with us to take action for the planet, locally.

 

Return to the Front page

Stolte announces: She will run for re-election in ward 4

By Pepper Parr

July 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

After a bruising council meeting in June, ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte pulled herself together, got over to city hall and filed her nomination papers and began her campaign for re-election saying:

Hi, my name is Shawna  Stolte and I’ve had the distinct honour of representing the residents of Ward 4 as your City and Regional Councillor this past term.

Shawna Stolte: She has made some bold moves and some mistakes as well. The city is better due to both

As most of you may know, our first term of Council has been a BUSY four years.   Four years full of progress on important issues like the Climate Action Plan, the Climate Resilience Plan and finalizing Burlington’s new Official plan.  I have also had the pleasure of chairing and of championing Burlington’s first Housing Strategy that will lead the way to creating new attainable housing options that support the vision that everyone is welcome in Burlington.

We managed these and many other important issues…all while navigating the Covid 19 pandemic and pulling together as a community to support each other in ways we could never have imagined. As your City Council we have largely worked together to pursue a more fair, sustainable and strong Burlington and I am proud of the work we’ve done.

There have been bumps along the way and that’s OKAY. You don’t want a Council that agrees on everything all the time, that’s not representative of the many diverse views in the community.  We need a City Council where different views are valued, challenges are welcomed and debates on important issues are dealt with integrity and respect.  Over the past few months I’ve taken the time to really sit down, reflect and think about how I can best serve the Ward 4 community going forward.  There is a lot of important work still to be done in our community and because of that I have reconsidered and am proud to be launching my campaign today, for re-election here in Burlington as your Ward 4 City and Regional Councillor.

I’ve never been one to shy away from difficult issues or bow out when obstacles come my way.  I believe in standing up for transparency and accountability at City Hall and will always do what I believe best serves the citizens here in Ward 4 and across the city.  I’m excited to get back out into the community to meet with all of you…because we can do better Burlington…let’s do it together!

There are two other candidates running for the ward 4 council seat.

Tony Brecknock
Phone: 905-334-8118
Email: tony@brecknock.com
Website: brecknock.com
Olivia Duke
Phone: 416-320-8843
Email: olivia@oliviaduke.ca
Eden Wood
Phone: 905-630-4949
Email: vote.edenwood@gmail.com

 

 

Return to the Front page

AGB has a new Executive Director who might have some explaining to do to the tax people

By Pepper Parr

July 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

News from the Art Gallery is hard to come by.

They now have a communications/marketing person; Nadine Heath. She reached out to point to what she thought were misunderstandings on my part as to just how that annual meeting in June went.

Emma Quinn, new AGB Executive Director

In her email note to me she also mentioned that the new Executive Director is Emma Quinn who comes to the AGB with 30 years of experience working with cultural, charitable, and not for profit organizations in Ontario, paired with deep knowledge of the arts and craft sector. Emma will transition to her new role on July 25, 2022.

Quinn was the Executive Director of the Textile Museum in Toronto for a number of years

Settling into the job might require some time going over the AGB’s Charitable Annual Return for the 2021 fiscal year which has been published on CRA’s website, and it appears to have a few truly strange errors.

Whoever completed the return sets AGB as a charity with revenues of under $100,000, when they were in fact required to complete Schedule 6. The consequences of this are that significant financial details, including fundraising costs, are not broken out as they should be, making the AGB impossible to compare to its past returns and to other medium to large sized charities, and making it appear on the “Quick View” that their fundraising costs were 0.

Strangely enough, they also reported the City of Burlington grant as “other revenue” instead of “government revenue”.

Lots of questions.  Want to talk to the two lawyers who were directors but are no longer on the Board.  The Chair who was re-elected at the June meeting resigned shortly after.

Related news story

AGB directors are elected and then they quit

 

Return to the Front page

Surprise candidiate running as Regional Chair - Andrea Grebenc school board Chair moving up the food chain

By Staff

July 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Here is a candidate announcement that surprised many – Andrea Grebenc, business owner for over 20 years, elected Trustee in 2014 and 2018 in municipal elections and elected Board Chair for four annual terms (2018-2021), is seeking the office of Halton Regional Chair in the October 24, 2022 municipal election.

Andrea Grebenc

Grebenc appears to be taking the position that younger more energetic leadership is needed at the Regional level. She wants to bring new ideas that meet the needs of those who are raising families and appreciate just how safe life is in the Region – she wants to build on that

Andrea is currently in her final year of her second four-year Trustee term with the Halton District School Board (HDSB). The organization is one of the largest organizations within Halton and one of the largest school boards in the province with an annual operating budget of $850 million dollars, over 100 facilities and 10,000 staff that serves the entire region.

The HDSB has been one of the top performing boards in Ontario during her tenure and while sitting as Chair she was often sought out by other Ontario School Board Chairs for advice. Halton Region functions under similar laws and governance rules and processes as the HDSB.

Andrea is known by many media outlets for providing frank and factual insight on education issues. A listing of interviews and articles is available on the Andrea4Halton.ca website. She looks to continue to serve the people of Halton in an alternate leadership position at the Regional level.

“The role of Regional Chair requires passion, energy and accessibility to fight for the well-being and interests of Halton Region. I have demonstrated these assets as a Trustee, Board Chair and entrepreneur.” – Andrea Grebenc

Grebenc:: core values include transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement.

Andrea has developed relationships with local, provincial and federal elected officials and is always ready to listen and serve her constituents. She has an excellent record as Trustee and Board Chair, with stellar attendance and trying to improve the system by sitting on and often chairing standing and ad hoc committees. Andrea’s core values include transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement.

As a business owner/consultant in the Information Technology (IT) field, Andrea has worked with organizations large and small to provide services and solutions. Her largest clients have included Toyota Canada Inc. and McMaster University where she has taught for over 20 years. She is a problem solver and collaborator.

Andrea has lived most of her life in Burlington. She loves Halton and has chosen to raise her three children here with her husband who also works in the IT field.

To be a part of this bid for fresh, strong leadership in Halton, join the campaign by volunteering, donating, and ordering a sign. Invite Andrea to events, large or small. Information is available at Andrea4Halton.ca. Reach out to Andrea at contact@Andrea4Halton.ca or call (905) 510-4847. Follow Andrea on Twitter at @AndreaGrebenc or on Facebook at @Andrea4Halton.

Return to the Front page

Opinion writer finds fault with Canada’s legal system

By Connor Fraser,

July 6th,  2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

These last few weeks I have been unusually tired. Initially, I suspected that a combination of tough assignments at work and the warm weather were doing me in. However, a string of recent crimes and developments in high-profile cases have truly taken my breath away, to the point where I am ashamed to call myself Canadian. Happy belated Canada Day, I guess.

Accident scene in Vaughan where three children and a grandfather lost their lives

A few weeks ago, Edward Neville-Lake took his own life, 7 years after his 3 children and father-in-law were killed by Marco Muzzo at a Vaughan intersection. Muzzo – who was initially sentenced to 10 years in prison (despite having admitted to driving drunk in the past a handful of times) is now a full parolee, with no driving restrictions.

Back in May, Brady Robertson, 21, who killed a woman and her three daughters in a horrific crash in Brampton in 2020, was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Considering time served, Robertson will be released in just over 14 years. With our country’s disturbing affinity for early parolees, my money says he’ll be out in less than 7.

And this notwithstanding the fact that Robertson had the gall to appeal the government’s limit of THC concentration as “arbitrary” – despite himself having a THC concentration of 8 times the legal limit during the crash.

More recently, in its decision R v. Bissonnette, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down a Harper-era law allowing judges to stack parole ineligibility periods for multiple murders, alleging that such a punishment violates Section 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms, which protects against “cruel & unusual punishment.”

In a country which prides itself for having a justice system designed to protect minority rights, these cases stand out for their egregious disregard for the rights of an oft-forgotten minority – victims. I cannot imagine the pain of the Neville-Lake family, who now live with the possibility of publicly encountering Mr. Muzzo. Were the roughly 4.5 years Muzzo (of his 10 year sentence) spent behind bars proportional to the damage he caused? Was the 10 year sentence?

Marco Muzzo

Perhaps more distasteful is knowing that Mr. Muzzo has also regained the privilege to legally drive a car. Sentences for drunk driving are no longer a deterrent and should be stepped up dramatically. For starters, I would advocate for a lifetime ban on driving for anyone caught behind the wheel with alcohol or THC concentrations above the legal limit.

The Supreme Court’s R. v. Bissonnette decision is a poster-child for how our justice system has been hijacked by an out of touch minority of jurists and academics. The decision is riddled with self-serving language that renders it nothing more than a pathetic monograph in defence of the most hardened criminals.

The justices write “For offenders who are sentenced to imprisonment for life without a realistic possibility of parole, the feeling of leading a monotonous, futile existence in isolation from their loved ones and from the outside world is very hard to tolerate. Some of them prefer to put an end to their lives rather than die slowly and endure suffering that seems endless to them (paragraph 97).”

Oh, I’m desperately sorry if some prisoners feel their predicament is “hard to tolerate.” Shouldn’t that be an intended result, to enforce upon prisoners a “monotonous, futile existence” that is “hard to tolerate”?

At its core, the court argued that because stacking parole ineligibility can completely eradicate a prisoner’s chance for re-integration, it violates human dignity and is incompatible with the principles of fundamental justice. Even if barely, the door to redemption should always remain open. Moreover, the court positioned its ruling as one “not about the value of each human life, but rather about the limits on the state’s power to punish offenders, which, in a society founded on the rule of law, must be exercised in a manner consistent with the Constitution (paragraph 142).”

Philosophically, I cannot agree with the court’s judgement. The concept of justice is fluid, subjective, and open to widely varying interpretations, none of which are inherently wrong. Despite what anyone might tell you, there is no such thing as “universal” or “fundamental” principles. In the United States, for example, many regions continue to apply the death penalty. Given that the United States is the among the world’s most enduring democratic societies, founded upon the rule of law, it would be hard to pinpoint what “fundamental justice” actually means when their methods of dealing with multiple murderers are so vastly different from our own.

So let us not blindly accept the narrative that there is some universal, invisible force preventing Canada from, under very specific and carefully considered circumstances, guaranteeing that a dangerous criminal will spend their entire life behind bars with no chance at redemption. To anchor the verdict, the court cited the maximum sentencing possible in a host of European “peer” countries, none of which exceeds 30 years. Regardless of what pathway others have chosen, Canada is not obligated to follow. Perhaps the prevailing narrative should be that these European countries have erred, and the law existing in Canada before May 27, 2022 was in fact more “just” according to the views of Canadians.

Which arrives at my second and final disagreement, specifically with the notion that there was ever a need, through this case, to place “limits on the state’s power to punish offenders.” The original law enabling stacked parole ineligibility was advanced by a democratically elected, Conservative majority government. The government’s lawyers in R. v. Bissonnette advocated upholding that same law, and were acting on behalf of a democratically elected, Liberal minority government. With such clear and bipartisan support, I hardly concur that any government abuse of power was amok. This is the will of the people today, from which a uniquely Canadian notion of justice should flow.

The current mess we have gotten ourselves into will not be easy to rectify given the importance our legal system places upon precedence. The Charter of Rights & Freedoms is a vital document, but one which leaves the door too far open to an ultra-lenient interpretation of the rights that criminals ought to have. A mere “slap on the wrist” for killing four people while driving drunk, or even the chance at being released into society after shooting up a mosque, is inappropriate.

Connor was born in Hamilton in 1997, is a long-time resident of Aldershot.

In 2020, Connor completed undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, with a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science and a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

 Between 2018 and 2019, he worked as a member of the technology development team at Microchip Corporation (North San Jose, California) where he contributed to the design of computer memory for FPGA chips. During the summer of 2013, 2015 and 2017, Connor lived in Quebec thanks to support from the YMCA Student Work Summer Exchange, and the Explore Program and is decently proficient in spoken French.

Connor has returned to U of T to enrol in the dual Master of Global Affairs and Master of Business Administration program.

 

Return to the Front page

Standing Committee gets off to a rough start - both the Chair and the Vice Chair don't show up - sent their regrets

By Pepper Parr

July 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Update:   Both showed up after the lunch break

Here is a first.

For the first time in my memory, which covers 12 years of covering council meetings, both the Chair and the Vice Chair of a Standing Committee could not make it to the meeting.

Stolte was a no show.

Nisan was a no show

Councillors Stolte and Nisan sent their regrets.

Committee Clerk Jo-Anne Rudy had to draft Councillor Sharman to take the Chair of the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee.

No word from either Council member.  Stolte has been emailing earlier in the day.

Return to the Front page

Fast shuffle of the Art Gallery Board Officers: Jane Depraitere out after being re-elected two weeks earlier.

By Staff

July 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Art Gallery held their Annual meeting virtually late in June.

Lina Jabra completed her interim Executive Director assignment. The Board has yet to announce who the new Executive Director is going to be.

While they didn’t announce who the new Executive Director is going to be they did say goodbye to Lina Jabra.

The following were elected to the Board:

John Arnold,
Maureen Healey,
Jeff Martin,
Diana Tuczynski,
Garratt Wootton

The Board of Directors and its Ad Hoc Nominations Committee were to determine:

– The appropriate number of directors to properly discharge its governance responsibilities and work of the Board on behalf of the AGB,
– The process by which directors are recruited, evaluated, and selected to the AGB Board which process will include consideration of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as well as other criteria which will assist the Board to discharge its governance responsibilities and work on behalf of the AGB,
– The process by which the AGB orients and trains new directors: And
– To propose a slate of additional directors selected according to the above process
CARRIED

Then the Election of Directors took place. Allan Ramsay presented the Nomination Slate as follows:

Nominated for three-year terms:
Jane Depraitere (second term)
Dan Lawrie (second term)

Art patrons looking at the items being auctioned.

Later in the evening the following took place:

Jane Depraitere introduced the Officers of the 2021/2022 Board of Directors.

Chair: Jane Depraitere Vice Chair: Gokcin Nalsok Secretary: Susan Busby Treasurer: Tom Sawchuk

Ten days later we get this:

Jane Departure is no slouch; a lawyer with an MBA and a certification in accounting. LL. B., CGA, MBA

Jane Departure has stepped down as Board Chair.

Susan Busby is taking the position of Board Chair.

What happened?

There was no reason given for the departure of Jane Depraitere.

Once can speculate that there are issues over who the next Executive Director is going to be.

Susan Busby who is now the Board Chair. She is a retired Educator who worked as a teacher and Elementary School Principal for the Halton District School Board for 30 years. She has an undergraduate degree in History and a Masters of Education.

She was Chair of the Board at Nelson Youth Centres, Chair of the Board at the Halton Learning Foundation, Chair of the Board of Governors at Joseph Brant Hospital, and Chair of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation Board. She has worked on fundraising event committees for all of these organizations as well as Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Halton, the Art Gallery of Burlington, Burlington Flood Relief and in support of Breast Cancer services and equipment. She was a member of the Our New Era Campaign Cabinet in support of the Redevelopment of Joseph Brant Hospital.

Susan has lived in Burlington since 1975 with her husband Bob. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Busby certainly has the chops for the job she has taken on. She was secretary and not the vice chair of the AGB.

Some follow up to be done on this story.

Return to the Front page

Unwanted talent in Spencer Smith Park becoming a problem. - Concerts in the Park is what the public prefers

By Staff

July 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Revised and updated

Spencer Smith Park has a special meaning for the people of Burlington.

Trample on what it means to them and city hall tends to hear about it.

Marianne, a nurse, who lives in downtown Burlington wanted to share with you her environmental exposure.

During the late evening of July 2nd the downtown was exposed to a random guy playing acoustic guitar (not very well) with a speaker.

During the wee hours – aka 0330 hrs. – on July 3rd – the downtown was exposed to a random act of fireworks.

During the late evening (beyond 10 pm) on Sunday, July 3rd the downtown was exposed to a random gal singing (not very well) with the assistance of a speaker.

What is the City of Burlington and Spencer Smith Park becoming????; an uncontrolled panhandling mecca in our coveted park?

No police presence or control.

A little further east at the band shell in Central Park the mood and the music is what people preferred.

These concerts take place on Wednesdays and Saturday: 7:30 to 9:00 pm – bring a chair and a blanket.

The program is a joint venture with Rocca Sisters and the city.

That skyline looks as if it was painted in place – it was real and there are more of them to come.

Return to the Front page

Early look at city tax increases for 2023 come in at just under 8%

By Pepper Parr

July 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Council will debate the tax increases they expect to impose during a meeting on Monday.

They will dance around a lot of numbers – the ones that count and set out for you below.

The number that matter is the top line; that is the amount the city is going to levy.

When the city tax levy is added to the total tax bill it looks lower.

The city collects taxes for the Region and the Boards of Education

 

How did they get to the 7.97?

The Finance people, amongst the best in the province have done a very good job cutting and chopping – they are up against hard reality. The challenge for the taxpayers is to hope that the members of Council will spend more conservatively.

Tough weeks ahead for the city treasurer.

Return to the Front page

Repair Cafe setting up in Aldershot this time - July 5th

By Staff

July 3rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Repair Café – that band of people who pop into a community offering to repair almost anything – they can’t repair computers or printers is back.  They are inviting people to bring in their broken household appliances which the team does their best to fix free.  All the person with that broken hair drier has to do is pay for any parts.

Next location is Tuesday, July 5th 3-7pm at the Aldershot Outdoor Market, 195 Plains Rd. East.

Burlington has hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who took early retirement or put in their 25 years and stopped punching a clock – and are looking for something to do that appeals to their better selves.

Some serve on committees, others join service clubs and others come up with an idea of their own and look for ways to make it happen.  Hunter Lawson picked up the idea, tweaked it a bit, created a logo and some signs and called people he thought would be interested.  They now meet in different parts of the city every month or so

Related news story

What they do at the repair cafe

 

Return to the Front page

Housing strategy fundamentals in place - now for the really hard work in an uncertain economic environment

By Pepper Parr

July 3rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

City Council decided January 2021 that there had to be a housing strategy that would make it possible for people to be able to live in Burlington and at some time in their lives buy a hone.

The provincial requirement that the city grow meant intensification had to take place which amounted to growing up  – translate that to mean high rise towers – rather than growing out because there was no more greenfield land left.

At the same time the value of single family dwellings sky rocketed – due in part to cheap money from the banks and the realization that if you didn’t get into the marker now you might never get in.

Traditionally municipalities do not involve themselves in the supply of housing – they determine what can be built where through the zoning bylaw.

In June City Council took the first step in recommending the creation of a Housing Strategy.

The lead up to getting to the point was an 18 month process that resulted in a report yesterday that set out

12 actions – six of which were priorities

5 themes

5 pathways

1 vision

Most of the city departments were involved in putting the report together but there were five women who were at it every day of those 18 months.

It was a very proud day for Alison Enns and her team: Laura Daly, Kate Hill-Montague and Alexandra Mathers.

Increasing options for housing across the city was identified as a top priority and goal in the From Vision to Focus Plan. A key action item associated with this priority was ‘to complete the City’s Housing Strategy and implement the plan to address the needs related to young families, senior’s housing, affordable housing, special needs housing and newcomers by Q2-2022’.

A key action associated with this priority is to employ a range of communication and engagement tactics to ensure citizen involvement.

The objective was to

“…develop an innovative Housing Strategy for the City of Burlington that sets out policies, tools and actions to address residents’ housing needs now and in the future and will build on and support the Region’s Housing Strategy through the development of local solutions to housing issues in the City of Burlington.”

The Housing Strategy provides a road map for addressing local housing needs and increasing housing options that meet the needs of current and future residents at all stages of life and at all income levels. It identifies the key players in housing and their respective roles, including the role of the City of Burlington (See Action 1 of the Housing Strategy).

Burlington, as a lower tier municipality, has two key opportunities to do its part to “make moves” in addressing the broader housing crisis:

  • First, through partnership and advocacy to help deliver the deep affordability and housing options needed by residents of Burlington within the lower income deciles; and
  • Second, through focusing on implementing the direct actions that the City can take to increase housing options and opportunities for residents of Burlington within the middle-income deciles.

The key findings of the Housing Needs and Opportunities Report are summarized below:

  • Rental housing supply is not meeting the needs of existing and future
  • Housing is not affordable for many Burlington In the City of Burlington, the supply of housing that is affordable for all incomes is diminishing. In particular, home ownership for middle-income earners has become a challenge;
  • Burlington residents do not feel there is enough diversity or options for housing in the City to meet residents’ needs throughout their lifecycle;
  • As Burlington continues to grow and evolve, housing options will need to reflect this growth and change;
  • As a lower-tier municipality, one of the greatest actions and areas of focus will be to leverage relationships with upper levels of government and local community organizations to advocate for housing affordability and foster partnerships for the delivery of housing to address needs across the continuum; and
  • A lack of understanding among the general public about the benefits of a range and mix of housing options in the City often results in opposition to development that would address housing gaps.

The need was clear, what wasn’t as clear was how to get this done.

The pathway that Enns and her team had to determine was cluttered with what the other jurisdictions were doing.

The federal government was going to provide funds.

The Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) would be heavily involved

Ontario produced a report saying the people would just have to get used o the idea that there were going to be four plxes on streets that were single family dwellings.  Try that idea on a city councillor who has to deal with property owners who say – certainly, great idea – but not on my street if you want my vote.

The Regional government had the task of determining what the urban growth boundaries were going to be – and had to work aganst a lot of deeply rooted resistance from the farming community.

Locally the team had to work within a planning department environment that was struggling to cope with close to impossible work loads and significant changes at the leadership level.

This was an initiative put in place by a city council was about half way through its term of office and at a time when the leadership of the Planning department was experiencing some stability issues.

The Chief Planner found that her position no longer existed on the City Organization Chart so was given the opportunity to find employment elsewhere taking a significant financial settlement with her.

Mayor Meed Ward was never able to create the kind of relationship she wanted with Mary Lou Tanner who was the Director of Planning, which made her departure inevitable at some point.

Despite this Allison Enns and her team were able to work very effectively.

The presented their report and got the endorsement they needed quite quickly.  The recommendation vote was unanimous and went to Council on June 21st.

Then what?

Getting to this point meant loads of virtual meetings, all kinds of survey work.  Enns was particularly good at creating a pause during a virtual meeting and doing a quicky survey of those participating on line

The Housing Strategy is underpinned by extensive technical work by Dillon Consulting and SHS Consulting

And of course there was an engagement plan that drew more than 1,400 responses over the course of 4 online surveys and hosting 6 virtual Open Houses.

One key element of the engagement was the Housing Strategy Working Group who along with the Steering Committee guided the preparation of the Housing Strategy.

The Housing Strategy identifies 12 Actions to move toward the vision for housing in Burlington. It provides a set of action-oriented housing objectives (Themes) and an associated implementation plan that also identifies a list of Prioritized Actions and Quick Wins.

 

 

Return to the Front page

Council agenda on Monday thick with closed meeting items.

By Staff

June 3rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The week long schedule of Standing Committee meetings begins on Monday.

Don’t expect it to be as dramatic as the Council meeting last wee.

The part that is going to keep this Council behind closed doors for much of the time on Monday is the items on the Confidential Agenda.

Confidential reports may require a closed meeting in accordance with the Municipal Act, 2001. Meeting attendees may be required to leave during the discussion.

5.1
Confidential human resources report providing a bargaining update for Local 2723 (HR-07-22)

Pursuant to Section 239(2)(d) of the Municipal Act, labour relations or employee negotiations.

Oh to be a fly on the wall when this gets discussed. The city’s legal department is usually loath to let any information get out to the public. City Solicitor Nancy Shea Nicol has not had yo release this information in the past.

5.2
Confidential legal report – waive privilege to release external legal costs for Planning Act appeals completed during current term of Council (L-25-22)

Pursuant to Section 239(2)(f) of the Municipal Act, advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose.

5.3
Confidential legal report – update on a litigation matter at 3200 Dakota Common (L-27-22)

Pursuant to Section 239(2)(e) of the Municipal Act, litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board.

1025 Cooke Blvd: The proposal affects 1.08 hectares of land on the north side of Plains Road East, east of Waterdown Road. The redevelopment proposes two mixed-use, mid-rise buildings of 10 and 12 storeys with retail and service commercial uses at the street level and 450 residential units above. Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendment applications have been submitted. Access to the property is proposed off Cooke Boulevard and Clearview Avenue with parking located at the rear of the buildings and an underground parking garage. It is currently the site of Solid Gold – an adult entertainment operation.

5.4
Confidential legal report – update on Ontario Land Tribunal appeal for 53-71 Plains Road East and 1025 Cooke Blvd (L-29-22)

Pursuant to Section 239(2)(e) of the Municipal Act, litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board.

5.5
Confidential legal report – update on a litigation matter regarding a class action (L-32-22)

Pursuant to the following sections of the Municipal Act: Section 239(2)(a) the security of the property of the municipality or local board; Section 239(2)(e), litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board; and Section 239(2)(f), advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose.

Class actions are tricky business – no word yet from those who pass along information.

The public is now getting much more information on what is involved and who is involved.  At one point Councillor Lisa Kearns complained about the public not even knowing the address of a development that had become a confidential legal matter.

Return to the Front page

A great evening for a concert in the Park: Splendor in the Brass - starts at 7:30 Central Park Band shell

By Staff

July 3rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

It started mid-June and will run through to the end of August:  Concerts in the Park a joint venture between the city and The Rocca Sisters; a real estate agency.

Beginning Sunday, June 19 and running each Wednesday and Sunday evening from 7:30 to 9 p.m. until Sunday, Aug, 28, 2022 there will be Concerts in the Park at the Central Park Bandshell (2311 New St. Burlington).

Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy an evening of music under the open sky.  If there is inclement weather, concerts will move inside the Music Centre if possible.

This evening – Sunday, July 3– Splendor in the Brass will be performing.  Celebrate the music of the great pop and rock “horn bands” of the ’60s, ’70s,

Return to the Front page

Street level reaction beginning to come in on that Council meeting last week.

By Pepper Parr

July 3rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The street level reaction is beginning to come in now that people can see the 15 minutes of fame that Andy Warhol promised us.  You get to watch a train wreck taking place live.  Link to that stunning performance by the Mayor is set out below.

When the Mayor announced she was going to do some agenda management and moved directly to what she referred to as an Integrity Commissioner she was exercising a right that she had.  The problem with the decision she made and the position she took is that there was nothing from the Integrity Commissioner.  Click HERE and see for yourself.  It wont take much more than a minute.

Top row: Member of Council: Sharman, Galbraith and Nisan watching in stunned silence. Bottom row Councillor preparing to leave the meeting and Clerk Kevin Arjoon struggling to maintain some order. He never did find a way to bring the Mayor to order on the several occasions when he should have.

FACT:  Also the the Integrity Commissioner did not write a report to Council .

FACT: The Mayor had no right to bring something onto the agenda without a majority vote to waive the procedural by-law.

FACT: The apology was a private matter. Councillor Stolte had chosen to apologize during non-debatable statements by Councillors. That was entirely her right to choose how she wanted to proceed.

Most of the remarks set out below are from Gazette readers.  We didn’t make this stuff up. All asked not to be identified.

One writer said it “was not not clear how the Mayor had any ability to make a private matter public”; that didn’t deter the Mayor.

Some readers wondered “just where City Clerk was in all this” – he never did have control of the meeting which is what he was hired to do.

“Ms. Gartside clearly knew the matter was both private and not on the agenda. It is hard to imagine that she was a willing participant in what occurred.

“In the world of politics and drama, some scenes are meant to be watched, especially when you have no lines.”

The Integrity Commissioner can expect to be quite busy for some time yet – assuming he doesn’t drag his heels and then decide that this cannot be investigated or reviewed before the election.

Someone somewhere is going to have to do something to get this Council to the point where they walk their talk about Good Governance.

They all expect to be re-elected.

Related news story:

The event: the Mayor and her train wreck

A small poll on what readers thought the Mayor should do

 

 

Return to the Front page

86% of the people who responded to the poll said the Mayor should have apologized to Councillor Stolte

By Staff

July 2, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward taking part in a Council Standing Committee meeting.

 

The first of our polls has been completed.

We asked: Should Mayor Meed Ward be apologizing to the public?

The response for something that was new and different for our readers was more than satisfactory.

The response was slightly above 10% of the people that saw the poll.

Our plan at this point is to publish a poll on the Sunday of each week and report on the results on the Thursday – last thing in the day.

We will set up our polling service so that people can look at the results of previous polls once they are complete.

You won’t be able to see the results of a poll while it is running – unless and until you have voted. We didn’t want people to see the results and then go with the majority.

The poll is set up so that you cannot vote more than once on any one question.

We’d like to get that response rate up to a 25% level.

And, if you have a question that you think should be polled – pass it along.

The results from the first poll are set out below.

Please keep in mind that this poll was taken BEFORE the Gazette published a video of the council meeting that was so disruptive.

Return to the Front page