New parking meters up and running - how many downtown merchants will use the feature that allows them to pay for a customers parking?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 10th, 2016


Well – it is official – with more people than is usually required to get a car out of a ditch, the $500,000 parking meter system went into use officially on Monday.

Parking - launch photo op

Looks like half of the Transportation department + a good portion of the city’s communications team was needed to launch the new parking meters. It took three different Requests for Proposals to get this project to the finish line.

Luigi Lato , Chief Operating Officer, Precise ParkLink said he was honoured to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony, expressing that he is “overjoyed with the city’s excitement to introduce Precise ParkLink’s Pay-By-Plate parking technology. The residents will enjoy the upgraded parking system which brings Burlington on par with other global cities that use the Parkeon Pay-By-Plate parking meters and TelePark Pay-By-Cell option”.

So much for that!

The system is being paid for with funds that were in a reserve fund that is the levy the city places on commercial establishments in the downtown core. Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward explained that the taxpayers were not the people paying for the system.

The difference for regular parking is – making sure you remember the license number of the car you are parking.

You can use cash or credit card. You will also be able to use your cell phone to pay for your parking. Referred to as TelePark, it is a service that you have to register for – something you do one line. W will explain this in more detail in a follow up article.

During the launch ceremonies IT staff did say there were some hiccup getting the back end of the system to work – it has to interact with the credit card organizations on a network that has the highest possible security.

Parking meters - Official open - T- shirts

Expect to see people with PAYBYPL8 walking the downtown core looking for perplexed citizens wanting to pay for their parking. They are Parking Ambassadors – there to help!

The city will go into a full court press media mode explaining how the system works and will have people on the street – they are being called “Parking Ambassadors” walking around the downtown core to answer questions.

getting new - yellowAn additional feature is the ability of commercial operations to pay for the parking of their customers should they choose to do so. The take up on that opportunity doesn’t look all that promising at this point but as Mary Shepherd explained “these things take time for people to understand and then implement.”

Parking MMW + Brian Dean with head of meter

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward handling the cash part of the old parking meter with Downtown Business Association president Brian Dean. He is the one who is going to have to herd his members into taking on the feature that will let his members pay for client parking. Good luck Brian.

The public hasn’t been jumping for joy. Michael Jones points out that these machines are in Hamilton and are not very user friendly – also if you have leftover time on your ticket you can’t share that with anyone. He adds: “ say goodbye to the great feeling of pulling up and seeing 20 minutes left on the previous parker’s meter …felt like winning a mini lottery”.

Some of the posts that held the old parking meters are being re-purposed and will become bicycle racks.

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Local access only on New Street from Guelph Line to Martha - water mains. being upgraded

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 6, 2016


For those who survived phase 1 of the New Street construction project – feel some compassion for the people who live within the phase 2 boundary.

New street - as far as they eye can see

Local traffic has to bob and weave to get through New Street – phase 2 starts on Monday.

Gary Carr, Regional Chair, owes everyone near the New street Guelph Line part of the city at least one car wash. The dust is terrible – progress they say.

Mayor Goldring was once heard to say that New Street is the one he drives along most frequently – hopefully he shares our pain.

Phase 2 of the construction project begins May 9, 2016 affecting detours on Burlington Transit routes: 4, 10, 50, 52, 300, 301 and 302.
Route 4 and the Community Connection Routes: 300, 301 and 302 will not have access to the bus stop on Teen Tour Way during this time.

New street phase 2 constructionThe New Street construction project is scheduled until September 2016.

During this time, Burlington Transit has had to re-route and provide new schedules for Routes 10, 11 and 20 to allow for connections at the Appleby GO Station.

Route 10 no longer becomes Route 20 at the Appleby GO Station which means a transfer is needed when going between Routes 10 and 20. The new Route 20 schedule has increased to every 15 minutes.

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Just how late the transit bus is going to be is now just a phone call away. Real-time bus arrival service starts on Wednesday

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 2, 2106


As of noon on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, riders can call 905-639-0550 – there they can enter the bus stop I.D. number to get real-time bus arrival time.

Bus station 1Bus stop I.D. numbers are displayed on the bus stop signs across the city or riders can search by route through the new Integrated Voice Response (IVR) system phone line. In June, real-time information will also be made available online which will feature a new mobile friendly website.

Phone disruption
In order to prepare the system, there will be a temporary shut-down of the customer service phone line (905 639-0550) at 10 a.m. for approximately 15 minutes. Please plan ahead by accessing the printable schedules online at under Schedules and Maps or if you need to contact us for urgent matters that are not schedule related, please use this temporary phone extension: 905-335-7869 ext. 6602.

NOTE: This extension will only be serviced during the temporary customer service phone line disruption.

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Animating the city - how could we do that? What would the younger people do if they were given the space and support to show off the city as they know it?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 26th, 2016


Our waterfront is used by thousands of people – on really nice weather days there are close to people traffic jams.

The city makes great use of the space for festivals – these are organized events that are for the most part free but they don’t reflect much of the colour or culture of the city.

Sound of music - from stage

Great audience – but a passive audience.

The Sound of Music draws thousand who are passive attendees – they listen to the music.  Those on the stage are, for the most part people from out of town who are here to advance their music profile and provide what is basically free entertainment.

Rib Fest draws thousands who sit and eat and listen some music.

Has been

The sand castle competition was popular but the city cut the program – it won’t be held this year.

The Children’s Festival has events that children take part in but there isn’t any animating of the space by the children.

Surely there is room for events that are small in nature that give groups or collectives an opportunity to express their creativity.

A pop up play, a scavenger hunt for kids; wouldn’t it be something to see the gymnasts doing their routines in Spencer Smith Park?

There was a time when the eastern end of the Beachway was home to Joseph Brant – what must that part of the city been like in Brant’s time?

How would one express that dramatically? Great opportunity for the Museum people to do something at Brant’s house; they already do wonderful work at Ireland House where some of the most creative small community events take place.

Something to think about.

Toronto has created an Animating Our Waterfront, which is a pilot program that will provide funding to individuals, organizations, collectives and groups to support free arts and cultural programming in selected parks and public spaces developed by Waterfront Toronto over the last decade.

Cirque - juggler

The Cirque – one of the No Vacancy programs that took place in the Village square knew how to animate their event. All it takes is some imagination and and a little Chutzpah

The objective of this program is to host arts and cultural programming that celebrate these new public spaces and invite Torontonians and visitors to enjoy them. For the purposes of this program, “arts and cultural programming” includes the presentation of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, performance, literary and media arts, community- engaged artwork, cultural celebration, and any combination of the above. They are looking for projects that include themes like place-making, civic engagement, education, health and wellness, and environmental issues are encouraged.

Why couldn’t Burlington do something like this?

Save the news feedThe Love My Hood funding might be one of the ways to help pay for things like this.


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With the Cleanup done Burlington Green now prepares for the Green Up - they will be city building in the full sense of that phrase.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

April 26, 2015



The man in the green T shirt on the left is a member of the provincial government who was in town a few wars ago to announce funding for BG to plant tree seedlings in the Beachway.

The announcement was made a number of years ago – the province created a Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund that funnelled money into the city via BurlingtonGreen to plant seedlings in the Beachway area where the environmentally sensitive sand dunes need plants and tress to anchor the sand.

The BG people were given $12,960 by the province for the planning, creation of three new signs, supplies, plant and tree stock

After a very successful Clean Up event last weekend – 11,000 plus people took part – Burlington Green is holding a Green Up event – collaborating with Halton Region, Conservation Halton and the city.

GreenUp trees in Beachway

Seedlings planted in 2015 in the Beachway – what will they look like in 20 years?

Hundreds of seedlings will be planted and invasive species of flora will be pulled out and trashed. The Region, Conservation and city work with Burlington Green to determine the location of all the plantings and interpretive signs.

The Clean Up involved thousands – the Green Up is limited to just 100 volunteers. The planting of the seedlings is city building at its most fundamental level – the plants that are pushed into the ground are going to be there hundreds of years from now. It will be a warm, welcome experience for the 100 volunteers to walk through the Beachway in 20 years and see their trees growing.

The Region is beavering away on a plan to totally revise the Beachway from the community it now is to a rather spectacular park. The planting of trees now is all part of the evolution of that community.

The Green Up event takes place on Saturday May 28 – runs from 8:45 to 12:45 with refreshments being served.

The sands on Beachway do shift.

The sands on Beachway do shift.

Much of the Beachway is a dune, the only one in the Region and very environmentally sensitive.  The sands in th area actually shift over time.

BurlingtonGreen members water plants and shrubs they planted along the Beachway Park earlier in the year. One of their ongoing programs

BurlingtonGreen members water plants and shrubs they planted along the Beachway Park two years ago. Volunteers will be in the area late in May to continue this work

If you want to be part of this event – go on line and register – there is room for just 100 people – they will be city building for that half day.

BG volunteers have been doing this work since 2013. This year they will be planting native trees and plants.

Register HERE.


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76% of quick check children’s car seat inspections fail. Wow! – these are your children.

News 100 blackBy Staff

April 25, 2016


On Saturday, April 16th, 2016 Halton Police, in partnership with the Halton Partners for Car Seat Safety (HPCSS), held a spot check car seat clinic in Burlington at Holy Rosary School.

A total of 113 child seats (booster seats and car seats) were inspected to see if five key safety and legal requirements were being met. Of the 74 car seats checked, 56 did not pass this ‘quick check’ inspection resulting in a 76% fail rate.

car seat - pink

The picture is for illustration purposes only – it is not meant to suggest that the seat is being recommended.

The goal of these spot check clinics is education. Eighteen certified car seat technicians were on hand to educate and assist parents/caregivers in correcting errors once they were identified.

Research tells us that proper use of a child seat can reduce the likelihood of a child being killed or seriously injured in a crash by up to 75%. The most common errors seen at the clinic in Burlington were:

1. Child not in the proper seat for their age and/or stage
2. No tether strap attached for forward-facing car seats
3. Harness not positioned correctly over child’s shoulders and/or too loose and
4. Car seat not attached tightly to the vehicle using the Universal Anchorage System (UAS) or seat belt.

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to take the time to read and follow their child seat and vehicle instructions when installing their child seats. For further information on car seat safety dial 311 to speak with a public health nurse or visit or

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Aldershot arena to remain closed until May 4th at 4:00 pm - unforeseen circumstances.

notices100x100By Staff

April 25th, 2016


Aldershot Arena is closed due to unforeseen maintenance issues.

Henshell facing camera - good horizontal

Burlington layer and one time candidate for city council will no be using the Aldershot arena for at least a week – unforeseen circumstances have shut it down.

The Arena is expected to re-open Tuesday May 3rd at 4:00pm.

The original announcement  on April 22nd said the arena was expected to re-open Tuesday April 26th at 4pm.

Getting it - yellowWhat was unexpected appears to have become major.  The city doesn’t make any mention of what the problem is – we will look into that for you.



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Aldershot Arena is closed until Tuesday April 26th at 4pm.

notices100x100By Staff

April 22, 2016


Trudging along to a practice on a Saturday morning.

Aldershot Arena
Aldershot Arena is closed due to unforseen maintenance issues.
Getting it - yellowThe Arena is expected to re-open Tuesday April 26th at 4pm.

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Region has developed a tax deferral program for seniors - members of council didn't have anything to say about it.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 20th, 2016


It is certainly an interesting program and one that will be p interest to a lot of people – but council meeting as a Standing Committee didn’t say a word about – it was consented to without as much as a word from a single member of council.

The program they didn’t talk about offers low income older adults who own and live in their homes in the City of Burlington a full property tax deferral with interest being paid by Halton Region.

It is a Regional program but every member of city council is also a Regional Councilor and get paid more than $50,000 a year to warm a seat at the Region – but the Gazette will tell you about the program.

There are currently two property tax programs to assist lower income seniors in Burlington.

Low Income Seniors Property Tax Rebate
A $525 rebate is offered to eligible seniors that meet the following criteria: 65 years of age or older, receive the guaranteed income supplement (GIS) and have owned and lived in their home in Burlington for at least one year.

Residential homeIn 2015, there were 518 applications processed for the tax rebate program. Low-Income Senior & Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program

A legislated program offered for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities to defer the year over year property tax increase.  There have been no applications for the legislated deferral program.

The provincial government also offers programs to assist low-income seniors including the Ontario Senior Homeowners Property Tax Grant, through income tax filing, and a property tax exemption for those individuals that make modifications to their home to accommodate seniors or persons with disabilities.

Older Adult Property Tax Deferral program (OAPTD).

The city has (and will in all probability) participate in the Region of Halton’s Older Adult Property Tax Deferral program (OAPTD).

The program offers low income older adults who own and live in their homes in the City of Burlington a full property tax deferral with interest being paid by Halton Region.

Criteria for the OAPTD Program include the following:

• All registered owner(s) of a property must apply and qualify
• Registered owner(s) of the property for at least 4 years
• Registered owner(s) must be 65 or older
• Combined income of all owners must be less than $44,800 for 2016. This will change each year as set out in the Region’s State of Housing Report (Notice of Assessment from Revenue Canada is required to verify income)
• No outstanding property taxes for prior years Key highlights of the program include:
• A lien will be registered against the title of the property
• Property tax deferral is interest free to the eligible homeowner. Interest is paid by the Region to the participating municipality.

Residential home 2• The program requires an annual renewal application, which is initiated in January of each year with a deadline of September 30
• When the owner of the property becomes ineligible, there is a one year grace period whereby taxes are deferred without interest
• Full amount of deferred taxes is owing either at the end of the grace period or on the sale of the property, whichever is earlier
• Property owners are not able to participate in either of the existing senior programs offered

Save media that mattersThe OAPTD program includes two fees payable to the city. The first fee is a $50 application review fee. Upon approval of the initial application an administration fee of $200 is added to the deferral amount to cover the legal cost of registering a lien on title.

If the tax deferral is of interest –give your member of council a call – they can or should steer you through the details.

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eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 10th, 2016


A group of Burlington-area performers have joined together to present a benefit concert in aid of Syrian refugees. Burlington impresario and artists manager Robert Missen put the call out to all of his Facebook friends when the tragic circumstances in Eastern Europe came to a head. He wondered if they would be interested in participating in a special concert to provide financial support to the cause. The reaction was swift and decisive.

Missen put the word out to his colleague, Stillman Matheson, Director of Music at Port Nelson United Church, who then took the idea to the church’s Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Group . Their response was equally positive. The church will provide the use of the sanctuary for the concert, and will support the presentation of the event from marketing and logistical perspectives. Mr. Matheson and the church choir will participate in the concert.


Stuart Laughton

Musicians from all genres- classical, jazz, folk, blues, musical theatre- will come together at 3:30 pm on Sunday April 17th. All of the artists will be donating their services. They include singer-songwriter Jude Johnson, trumpeter , sopranos Carol Ann Thomson, Elise Naccarato and Alix Kingston, KooGle Theatre’s Leslie and Chris Gray, pianist Charles Cozens, flutist Claire Sweeny, mime artist and singer-songwriter Andy Griffiths. Robert Missen will serve as Host.

All of the proceeds will be shared equally between The United Church of Canada’s Emergency Response – Syria Relief campaign for those in refugee camps overseas and the Port Nelson Refugee Sponsorship Group.

Copp - air - cropped

Trevor Copp

5000 Miles Burlington is but one of several similar benefits that are being held across southern Ontario: Rosedale United Church in Toronto on Sunday November 8th ; Knox Presbyterian Church in Elora on Saturday November 28th ; and St. John’s Anglican in Ancaster on February 28th.

Tickets are $25 and are available through the Office of Port Nelson United Church, at Different Drummer Books, through Eventbrite and at the door. Children under 12 are admitted for free.


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Province wants to hear about problems you might have had with your financial planner.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 7, 2016


If you have at some point felt your financial planner was not really delivering the level of service you thought you deserved for the fees you are paying – the province wouldlike to hear from you.

Happy young couple discussing with a financial agent their new investment

This isn’t the experience for everyone who engages a financial advisor – the province wants to hear about your experience.

Ontario is seeking public feedback on recommendations to help consumers access quality, professional financial planning and advice.

The Expert Committee to consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives has issued a report outlining preliminary recommendations, including:

Regulating individuals who serve as financial planners and advisors

Harmonizing industry education, credentialing, licensing and titling standards

Establishing clear rules to protect consumers and mitigate the risk of conflict of interest

Starting today, Ontarians can provide feedback on the expert committee’s recommendations by:

Submitting comments online to

by June 17

Getting it - yellowOr attending one of the public town hall meetings being held across the province

The committee will use the feedback to finalize its recommendations to government, which are expected this fall.

The financial services sector, including financial planning and advising, is critical to Ontario’s economic prosperity. In 2015, the sector accounted for 390,000 jobs across the province, generating almost 10 per cent of Ontario’s GDP.

The Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives was established in 2015.  The final report by an expert advisory panel reviewing the mandates of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the Financial Services Tribunal and the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario with the goal of modernizing the regulation of financial services and pension plans and increasing agency accountability, is due to be released this spring.


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Region announces 16 one year internships - jobs start in May.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 7, 2016


Earlier this month the Region introduced its new Internship and Apprenticeship Program that offers 16 one-year internship positions for a variety of roles across all departments of the organization.


Regional offices in Oakville.

The Region developed the program to help young people begin their careers by providing them with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field, benefit from the mentorship of seasoned professionals and increase their understanding of government.

Carr Gary abd Any Schneider calling out prizes

Regional Chair Gary Carr at clean up day event

“Our new Internship and Apprenticeship Program supports Halton youth in advancing their careers and helps us engage emerging talent to foster a stronger community for everyone,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Halton is an employer of choice that invests in its people and attracts the best in the business. This program presents a fantastic opportunity for young people to grow and learn by working alongside Regional staff to maintain and enhance the high quality of life in Halton.”

By introducing young talent to the organization, the Region also hopes to leverage new ideas and approaches in its delivery of high-quality programs and services.

Internship opportunities are currently posted on the Region’s website and are intended for individuals with a recognized degree, post-graduate certificate or diploma earned between January 2015 and June 2016. The positions will run from May 2016 to May 2017.

To apply for the new internship positions or view other job postings at Halton Region, visit

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Sports field closures

notices100x100By Staff

April 4, 2016


The following sport fields are closed from Monday, April 4 to Sunday, April 10, 2016.

List of Parks and Facilities affected:

City View F1
City View F2
City View F3
Norton F1, F2
Orchard F2
Sherwood Forest F2
Nelson Stadium

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Snow clearing on schedule

notices100x100By Staff

April 4, 2016


At a time of year when we have begun to think about what will get done with the garden, we are reading snow reports and happy that we didn’t put away the winter clothing.

How long is this kind of weather going to last?

City advises that:
Primary and secondary road plowing is being completed. Plowing of primary and secondary sidewalks is ongoing. Road and weather conditions continue to be monitored.

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City hall staff will be at community centre locations to help people apply for $5000 grants - will there be long line ups to get in?

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 1, 2016


It’s a great idea but the take up within the community hasn’t been as strong as the Parks and Recreation people would like it to have been.

Perhaps people don’t fully understand the process? Maybe it’s too bureaucratic? Whatever – the city is going to put some of their troops into the community and help people complete their applications before the April 29th deadline.

What is your idea for the community? The city wants to help groups that have a great idea for the community get up to $5,000 in funding to make those ideas happen.

The city is hosting five workshops to help groups complete their Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund applications before the April 29, 2016, deadline.

The fund will provide up to $5,000 to support projects led by neighbourhood and community groups. Approved projects will get up to 50 per cent of the funding for
the project from the city. The neighbourhood or community group will match this funding with an equal value through any combination of volunteer hours, donated
services, donated materials and supplies or other funds raised.

Workshops to offer both information and hands-on help will take place:

Mountainside outside entrace - public rt spot

Mountainside Recreation Centre

Monday, April 4, 7 to 9 p.m.
Mountainside Recreation Centre, 2205 Mount Forest Dr.
Community Room 2

Wednesday, April 6, 7 to 9 p.m.
Appleby Ice Centre, 1201 Appleby Line
Multipurpose Room

Tuesday, April 12, 7 to 9 p.m.
Tansley Woods Community Centre, 1996 Itabashi Way
Holland Room

Seniors Centre

Burlington Seniors’ Centre

Wednesday, April 13, 7 to 9 p.m.
Burlington Seniors’ Centre, 2285 New St.
Boutique and Multipurpose Room

Thursday, April 14, 7 to 9 p.m.
Aldershot Arena, 494 Townsend Ave.
Community Room

Participants are asked to RSVP to the day before the workshop they wish to attend.

Those who can’t attend can visit for more information.

Next week the Gazette will be running a series of articles on the Love my Hood program the city is also offering.  One way or another – the parks and recreation people are going to get you to do something to make this city a nicer, better place to live in.

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Is Burlington in Line for a Second Pier?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

April 1st, 2016


The question no one seems to be asking is whether Burlington really needs another waterfront pier. Sources distant from both the PM’s people and those of the Premier have indicated some kind of an announcement is forthcoming in the near future.

Done - all the concrete is down - and the steel beams are holding it all in place. Now the railings get put in place.

Upon completion of pier number two will reach well into the lake

The potential cost of this project could total close to four billion big ones and would be funded through a new infrastructure fund. “What better way to use our federal and provincial deficit money than to create new jobs, right here in Burlington,” one source was overheard mumbling.

The mayor has been very closed-lipped about this initiative. That may be because a former Burlington mayor had been thought to be working hard between the sheets to create this baby. And some baby it will be. A mega-motel, to be named after former city and regional counsellor Robert Bates, will anchor the attractions on this artificial piece of land reaching out into the middle of Lake Ontario.

ferris wheel

The ferris wheel on pier number 2 will be visible from Toronto.

The project will also feature the largest ferris wheel in North America named in honour of the former Toronto mayor, whose brother Doug, had been promoting a similar icon to dot the Toronto skyline. Doug Ford, who always wanted to be known for, and as, a big wheel himself, couldn’t be reached for comment.

However, somebody on somebody’s staff noted that the Fords had always supported using somebody else’s money to move people around, so long as it didn’t get in the way of Toronto’s grid lock. In fact the former Toronto Councillor had hoped that the ferris-wheel could be directly connected to Toronto’s expanding subway system.

Stretching out two and a half kilometres into Lake Ontario the centrepiece of the structure will be a huge ferry docking station with access to planned ferry ports as distant as Oakville and Hamilton and the existing Burlington pier. There will be a 30-hectare amusement park on the water, which will include the ferris wheel and thirty-seven Tim Horton outlets. In addition plans may include a waterfront zoo featuring elephants, lions, penguins and other native Canadian wildlife.

Already, ribbon cutting is being projected to coincide with the 2018 Sound of Music festival which would see a switch in content to such classical pieces as Handel’s Water Music, rather than the heavy rock known to incite wave action. However, given the size of this project, the grand opening may have to be postponed once or twice – or several times.


Land fill at the Burlington air park being trucked to the pier number two construction site.

Land-fill for this massive project is expected to come from the levelling of Halton Conservation Area’s Rattle Snake Point. Rock climbing activity has severely eroded the rock face and Milton has been reported petitioning the provincial government and Green Belt commission to make way for even more residential housing in Canada’s fastest growing city. And besides the rattle snakes are all gone, the last one seen on March 17th.

Lawyers from around the problem are looking for a way to legally move the land fill on the air park property to the lakefront.

Not everyone will be pleased with this new development and you can be sure that the Burlington Gazette will be sued and have to shut down at least five or six times in the course of this project.

But the proponents are keen to see the pier built and even keener to give its ferris wheel a spin. They have been heard to say that they personally anticipate this to be a very rewarding venture.

Rumours abound about the siting of multi-unit condos as well, adding as many as fifty thousand new residents to the man-made peninsula.

And as is always the case with innovative ventures, even at this early stage, there are the critics.

Pier - from under beams now removed.

Steel for pier number two was imported from Mexico – the city took this retaliatory action when Hamilton refused to sell the Lasalle Park water lots at a reasonable price.

Some folks can’t help but compare this initiative to what they saw as wasteful spending by the federal Conservatives in the wake of the 2009/10 recession and in preparation for the G20 summit. They cite the expensive network of sidewalks Tony Clement built in his rural northern riding which no one actually uses. And then there is the massive effort that went into constructing Canada’s sixth great lake – right there on the shores of Lake Ontario.

In the words of Burlington Gazette publisher, Pepper Parr, who is believed to be a strong proponent himself, despite his denials, “they pissed away all that money back then and got re-elected, so why not this, now? Besides how better to employ all our adopted Syrian refugees looking for work, and where better to offer them a place to live?”

Getting it - yellowRumours abound that the Gazette has been approached about locating its new international headquarters adjacent to the Bate’s motel complex. When asked to confirm that story, Parr responded that he couldn’t confirm or deny his involvement. “It would be like stabbing the mayor in the back,” he was heard to mutter before turning his head away to suppress a giggle.

Rivers reading a newspaper Jan 3-15

Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Something special happens to Rivers on the first day of April each year.

Our apologies for his excesses.

Tweet @rayzrivers


Existing Pier

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That rain runs into Burlington's 17 creeks - high water time.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 31, 2016


How does that phrase go? In like a lion out like a lamb?

We seem to have a pretty wet lamb this last day of the month of March which produced a warning form Conservation Halton advising that natural watercourses are at or near bankfull conditions.

An additional 25 mm of rain is forecast and there is potential for greater rainfall depths associated with thunderstorms this evening.

creek swift water

Saturated ground and consistent rain the past few days has Burlington’s 17 creeks running close to their high point – not the safest place for the kids to play

This precipitation, in conjunction with saturated ground conditions will result in higher than normal water levels and flows in local streams. Widespread flooding is not currently anticipated however flooding of low lying areas and natural floodplains may be expected.

Keep the children away from watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream flow and weather conditions and will issue further messages as necessary.

This Watershed Conditions Statement will be in effect through Friday April 1, 2016.

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Investing in our communities: can city hall develop community with cash contributions or do people naturally come together? City is going to try the money route.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 31, 2016


How do you build community? Doesn’t it just happen naturally? Apparently not – the city has adopted a policy that is intended to help people organize events that will pull people together for a common cause.

A house fire will always get everyone out on the street to watch the fire fighters – figuring out how to come up with something less extreme has resulted in what Burlington is calling a Community Investment Policy that provides funding for the holding of events.

In language that only a bureaucrat could write – here is that policy.


Establish the principles and practices around how the City of Burlington will invest in our community.


The City of Burlington, (“City,”) believes that residents want to contribute to the quality of life in Burlington.

Residents have great ideas about how to create both vibrant neighbourhoods and/or communities and may require support from the City for implementation of initiatives.

The City provides support for these initiatives with one-time funding for events, programs or projects that build community capacity:

• To a registered not-for-profit corporation or a group of neighbours
• For areas within the geographic boundaries of the City of Burlington
• For projects, events and activities that occurs on City of Burlington property
• Program and services that benefit the residents of the City of Burlington and
• Organizations that do not receive any other financial support from the City of Burlington


This policy applies to not-for-profit groups or a group of neighbours that use City owned and managed property for the benefit of residents of the City and happens within the geographic boundaries of the City.

This policy does not include boards and agencies of the City, school board property, Halton Conversation lands or lands of the Region of Halton or organizations that currently receive funding from the City of Burlington.


Corporation Refers to the Corporation of the City of Burlington.
Community Capacity Building A process that strengthens the relevance, responsiveness, effectiveness and resilience of organizations. For example, an event, a training session, a promotion campaign.
Community A group of people bound by common beliefs, values or interests, ethnicity or place of origin, geography or other self- identified commonality.
Events A one-off single activity, occurrence or celebration typically taking place over a concentrated period of time, such as a few hours.
Not-for-Profit Is a corporation that has articles of incorporation establishing the organization as a not-for-profit corporation
One-time funding Lump sum funding or funding that is phased out over a period no longer than three years.
The community can only apply every five years for Community Investment Funding.
Programs Refers to regularly scheduled activities (minimum once per week and 4 repetitions) of a recreational, sport, leadership development, art and cultural nature as defined by the departments Leisure Services Policy (e.g. structured programs, community leagues, camps).


The following principles are taken into consideration when investing in the community:

1. Community members want to contribute to their quality of life.
2. Community members have great ideas on how to enhance their quality of life in the public realm.
3. Community groups can be informal or organized (e.g. a group of neighbours on a street or a legally incorporated not-for-profit organization).
4. Community groups sometimes need financial assistance to launch a program, project or event and the City agrees to support with one-time funding, provided that the group is not receiving any other financial assistance from the City.
5. A community group can only receive funds once every five years.
6. The funding program (approvals, amounts) will be at the discretion of the Manager of Community Development Services as identified in the policy.


• Properties governed under another body, agency or business (e.g. school board, board or agency)
• Private Property
• Individuals
• On-going financial support such as operating grants
• Organizations whose purpose is related to political or religious activity
• For-profit organizations
• Foundations
• Schools, hospitals and public agencies
• An activity or project that conflicts with existing City policy

Annual fundraising events/projects
• Organizations or groups of individuals organizing an event, program, project or activity that is in furtherance of a position either for or against an issue over which the City is a regulator or may have a legal interest
• An event, program, project or activity that conflicts with City policies, Council decisions or directions

Policy Guidelines
There are two streams for funding

Community Capacity Building Projects*
Application Period Accepted at any time Accepted once a year
Review Team Community Development Section with subject matter experts as required Cross department team to review feasibility of the proposal. May evolve to include community members as neighbourhood committees are developed
Review Period Once per month Three months

Criteria for Review

• Completeness of the application including organization/event budget
• Meets the eligibility criteria requirements
• Demonstrates need
• Linkage with the City’s strategic plan • Completeness of the application
• Meets the eligibility criteria requirements
• Linkage with the City’s strategic plan
• Will provide a public benefit
• Demonstrated community interest
• Feasibility
• Demonstrates on-going maintenance and upkeep
• Ability of the community match the financial contribution from the City
• Realistic budget

Implementation Project must be completed within one year. Project must be completed within one year of the contract

In the setting of the 2016 budget city council did approve funding for the project. There have been about 15 – maybe 20 projects.

Next week we will write about several of those projects and get some sense of what works and what doesn’t work from a citizen’s point of view. The funding allocation for neighbourhood projects is set at $300 which some people feel isn’t quite enough.

Denise Beard, Manager, Community Development Services, has a target of having 150 projects on the go in the city during 2017 – the year that Canada celebrates its sesquicentennial – this country came into being 150 years ago.

It is a brave target – let’s see how it works!

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City planner puts her staff out onto the street to meet the public - they can help with the paper work.

notices100x100By Staff

March 30th, 2016


City of Burlington building staff will be at local home improvement stores for three Saturdays in April to answer questions and provide information about building permits.


City building permit staff will set up shop at different building supply stores during the month of April to help out with the paper work.

“With the mild weather we’ve had the last few weeks, many residents will be getting a start on spring renovation projects around the house,” said Mary Lou Tanner, the city’s director of planning and building. “We hope that by having staff where people shop, available to answer any permit questions, people will get the information they need to know about permits and home projects.”

City staff will be available between 8 a.m. and noon on the following dates at these locations:

  • Saturday, April 9 – Rona Lansing (1830 Ironstone Dr., Burlington)
  • Saturday, April 16- Home Depot (3050 Davidson Court, Burlington)
  • Saturday, April 30 – Lowe’s (3270 Harrison Court, Burlington)
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Province says Halton water is safe; gets 100% on all tests - no need to filter the water from taps.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 30, 2016


The Drinking Water Systems Flow Summary Report for 2015 that Regional Council was given earlier this month said that all 11 of Halton’s water systems achieved scores of 100 per cent on inspections conducted by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in 2015.

Extreme Heat - drinking water

The water from your tap is just as safe as bottled water.

“Regular monitoring of our drinking water protects public health and ensures public
confidence in our water supply,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Keeping our
drinking water safe is a shared responsibility and our ReThink Water program
encourages residents to enjoy our high-quality water and be aware of how to protect
our source water resources.”

This summary report on Halton’s municipal drinking water systems is prepared and
provided to Council annually to address regulatory requirements as set out by the
Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002. Halton operates 11 drinking water systems governed by
four municipal drinking water licenses, all of which achieved scores of 100 per cent on inspections conducted by the Ministry in 2015. Inspectors did not note any
regulatory compliance issues related to water quality over the past year.

Halton’s highly-qualified and licensed employees perform regular testing to make sure the Region’s water supply consistently meets or exceeds provincial
water-quality standards. From time to time, we are aware that residents are approached by sales people claiming that Halton’s water in unsafe to drink and that
they should purchase water filtration equipment.

However, residents should be confident that their drinking water is of the highest quality and no additional
filtration systems are needed in their homes.

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