What was the first reader comment for 2016 about? The Beachway park and the houses that have to be torn down before very much can be done.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 1, 2016



It wasn’t the kind of comment from a reader that we really wanted to see as the first to come in – but the news takes its own form.

A Beachway resident who swears she will be one of the last to leave the community “probably kicking and screaming” as well wonders if “using millions of tax payers’ dollars to create a park just another smoke and mirrors project.”

There are about a dozen that are the true believers, people that have no desire to sell or to move; others are angling for the best price they can get while one has residences that are short term rental properties – seen as a great place to do business.

Henshell house BeachwayAt this point the reality is that a splendid park is going to be created in what once a very vibrant community was seen by some as the kind of place “nice girls didn’t hang around – you can guess which city Councillor that remark came from.

The Region’s planners are designing the park with significant input from the city and the consultant brought in to do the work.

Beachway - federal pier

Western end of the |Beachway community will undergo significant changes when the park is built – but there are a lot of houses that have to be torn down before anything happens.

The homes that have been purchased will at some point be demolished. Keenan G. Lane, Manager, Realty Services for the Region advises that “remediation of the property is already underway. We have a number of houses being demolished both in the beach and within other project areas and these works are let as part of large contracts to obtain the best pricing. Actual demolition of the structures on site here should commence in early December and should be short work given the form of construction.”

The crunch for those who want to hold out to the bitter end will come when the Region is ready to actually begin construction of the park – which probably won’t be until construction of the Joseph Brant Hospital re-build/redevelopment is completed – that is targeted for 2018 – which happens to be the year that municipal elections take place.

The decisions made by one Council are not necessarily decisions that are kept by the next council – unless of course they all get re-elected in 2018.

Imagine that?

Return to the Front page

Burlington property prices were up by 9.2%, year over year. Put's the P in prosperity doesn't it!

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 1, 2016


The Rocca Sisters paint a pretty clear real state picture of Burlington and surrounding markets. The average property price increases for Burlington are impressive indeed.

BURLINGTON: November results pretty much followed the same pattern as the rest of the year. Prices were up by 9.2%, year over year for the same period – the exceptional neighborhood being Aldershot where a number of million plus properties finally sold resulting in an average price of $827,000, 23% higher than the same period last year. There were considerably more listings – up by 13% but sales are down slightly, year over year. This is explained by a disproportionate number of properties listed at prices that do not reflect market value. For those properties that are listed at the correct price, there is still a very strong demand and in those cases, we are still seeing sellers’ market.

OAKVILLE: Very interesting market conditions in Oakville. Huge increase in sales and decrease in days on market which should theoretically result in substantial increases in prices paid. Not so in Oakville. What does this mean? It appears that Oakville is experiencing a balanced market. There is enough supply to meet demand.

MILTON: The complete opposite of Oakville – both demand and supply are rising but it appears that demand is winning the race. Over 30% of all homes sold achieved asking price or more. Milton is experiencing a seller’s market and will very likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

HAMILTON: Once again, a major concentration of sales in the Hamilton East and Hamilton Central which continues to support our mantra for investors – follow the GO! Overall, Hamilton’s sale prices continue to show increases of just over 6% which is a significant change from earlier in the year when we were seeing double digit increases. It appears as though supply is catching up with demand for the time being. Condo sales are definitely on the rise in Hamilton.

Where else in the Greater Toronto area can you buy a condo for under $200,000? While condos are selling at record numbers, values remain fairly flat with just a 2.9% increase, year over year.

Rocca Dec 30-15 part 1Rocca Dec 30 - 15 part 2

Return to the Front page

Make it the kind of year you want it to be!

Happy New Year 2016

It is a brand new clean slate – how much of the baggage from 2015 you want to drag into this New Year is you choice.

Return to the Front page

2015 in review - July, August and September - some significant appointments made.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 29, 2015


The year in review – July, August and September – how did the city do?

July 2015
Union wage settlements of 4.25% and 6.95% negotiated by CUPE.

Burlington Transit asking its riders what they want

HOV lanesWe get to use HOV lanes with two occupants in the vehicle – as we prepare for the day when we have to pay to use that lane with just a single occupant in the car.

Burlington’s federal Liberals launch their campaign; they sense a victory in the air.

Changing the culture at city hall; bringing in the department leadership needed – and getting a Code of Conduct in place for the politicians.

Federal government decides the CN Milton Logistics hub needs to benefit from the eyes of an independent panel. Truck traffic impact on Burlington roads worrisome.

Messy council debate refers the Code of Conduct to the city manager.

Flood Fairview plazaCommunity Foundation closes it books on the Disaster Relief Fund – $2.72 million distributed.

Is the Food Truck a fad, a new phenomenon or the shape of things to come?

Is there a future for the oldest farmhouse in the downtown core? Could be if the city planners and the developer get creative.

Premier plans to make room for more politicians in the legislature.

An electric vehicle charging station will be installed in downtown Burlington at the parking garage on Locust Street.

The Flood – It was small in area and it hovered in the one place and just kept pouring – dropping almost as much rain as Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

August 2015

Can we pull it off? The potential is significant and it will certainly change the city in a rather positive way.

Premier tells Ontario Mayors they will get a better deal next time there is a localized disaster.

Suzanne HainesBurlington imports a new executive director for the Performing Arts Centre from Richmond BC; Susan Haines starts September 1st

Rebuild of the Freeman station is coming along nicely – they still need help with a lot of the work. Get in on it now – when this thing is done it will be something to be able to say you were a part of.

Where do we put 35,000 people in the next 25 years? And what will the city have in place in the way of roads and transit to move these people around?

September 2015
Hydro cuts the ribbon on a micro co-generation turbine that has the potential to contribute significantly to the city’s Community Energy Plan

Is there an Arts Council in the city’s future? Should there be one? Does anyone care?

Stuart_Miller___GalleryStuart Miller appointed Director of Education for the Halton District School Board

A fourth GO station for Burlington? It is in the works.

City Clerk opens the kimono just a little and lets you see how Council voted on recorded votes.

Most of the community and corporate affairs discussion at council was be behind closed doors – six confidential items on the list.

City challenges residents to Think Outside the Car – the process of changing the car culture has begun

Transportation Minister explains what the provincial government is going to do with rail transit – catch up and keep up!

Harper in Burlington sept 1 - 2015Prime Minister in town with a promise to build an Advanced Manufacturing hub – if he is re-elected.

The full year:

Ist quarter – January, February and March

2nd quarter – April, May and June.

4th quarter – October November and December.  To follow.

Return to the Front page

This storm is over as far as the snow removal people are concerned.

notices100x100By Staff

December 29, 2015



Snow Update

Primary and secondary sidewalks continue to be plowed this evening.

Bus stops will be cleared overnight.

Minor clean up work continues.

This will be the last update for this storm.

Return to the Front page

Roseland residents wonder where the Dennison OMB decision is - been sometime since the hearing took place.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 29, 2015


There are people over in Roseland who, in the dark of night, click on their computer mouse looking or the Ontario Municipal Board web site.

Maybe there will be as decision today? They don’t see a decision, wait all day before they try again. Then they hear that the decision is coming tomorrow. Some say maybe the OMB will clear files before year end, the never ending promise of delivery.

Council went into a closes session recently to hear from their lawyer and to get a update on the cost for their many legal issues. Councillor Dennison had a conflict of interest – his appeal of a Committee of Adjustment decision is among the legal costs the city is dealing with.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison always has an eye open for an economic opportunity - sees a great one for the city: sell the golf course.

Ward 4 Councillor Jack Dennison.

One wag asked: Did the Mayor actually make him leave the room? Dennison didn’t wait to be asked – he left on his own.

Was there new information about his hearing? The public will never know – but the good people of ward 4 did re-elect Jack Dennison.

There are those who maintain that a developable lot in Roseland comes in at about $1 million now- a lot of money can be made for someone who understands the system. Dennison has consistently argued that he has the same rights as any citizen property owner to apply, talk to staff, and citizen committees about his personal property.

But, as one citizen points out “citizens don’t make the laws, hire the staff, and appoint the Committees” members of Council do this.

A designated home, bought under a power of sale on a HOW WIDE LOT which the owner. Councillor Jack Dennison wants to have severed into two lots.

Bought under a power of sale, the owner sought a heritage designation and later sought a severance to create two lots. Committee of adjustment turned down the request – the property owner, a member of city council, appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.

The world is getting ready to move into 2016 – the year that municipal conflicts of interest can be dealt with by the Provincial Ombudsman, and since Burlington’s city council does not have a Code of Conduct, the Ombudsman may be the place to take a complaint.

Another wrinkle – if, by chance, the OMB decides the Dennison appeal application is to be granted then are the two lots not to have the Heritage designation Dennison is so proud of?

This story is far from over.

Return to the Front page

Snow Update: December 29, 2015 9 a.m.

notices100x100By Staff

December 29, 2015


Snow Update: Dec. 29, 2015 9 a.m.

Approximately 5 to 7 cm of snow accumulated in the city overnight.

Plowing of primary and secondary roads has been completed.

Plowing of primary and secondary sidewalks and pathways is ongoing.

Clean up continues to ensure catch basins are clear to prevent flooding.

Staff continue to monitor road and weather conditions.

Return to the Front page

City hall closes on Wednesday for an 11 day break.

notices100x100By Staff

December 23, 2015


They head for the hills at around 4:30 tomorrow and for the most part we will not see the 700 plus people who work full time for the city until they return eleven days later.

The essential services will either be in place or on call – set out below is a detailed listing of who is doing what for the eleven day break.

City Hall BEST aerial

City hall closed

City Hall: City Hall is closed on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015, reopening on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016.

FreeP December FNL ParkingParks and Recreation Programs and Facilities: Activities and customer service hours at parks and recreation facilities including city pools, arenas and community centres vary over the holidays. Please visit burlington.ca/calendar for a complete listing of drop-in program times including swimming and skating and burlington.ca/servicehours for customer service counter hours.

Roads and Parks Maintenance: The administrative office will be closed Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015, reopening Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. Basic and emergency service only will be provided Dec. 24, 25, 28 and Jan. 1, 2016.

Burlington Court House

Court House closed

Halton Court Services: Provincial Offences Courts in Milton and Burlington will be closed Dec. 24, 25, 28, 2015, and Jan. 1, 2016.

Parking: Free parking is available in the downtown core at all meters, municipal lots and the parking garage during the month of December 2015 and on Jan. 1, 2016.

NOTE: The Waterfront parking lots (east and west) do not provide free parking on statutory holidays.

Return to the Front page

The Fire Chief wants you to make sure you have both a fire alarm and a Co2 detector in your residence.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 22, 2105


The sound of a fire engine is something we recognize instantly and we look towards the sound that dulls the heart and brings prayers to the lips of those who hear the sound.

This little girl got out of the house - the tragedies are when people don't make it out during a fire. Plan an escape on FAmily Day

This little girl got out of the house – the tragedies are when people don’t make it out during a fire.

The sound of a fire engine on Christmas Day terrifies.

Many fires are preventable – simple care and sensible precautions PLUS the use of both fire alarms and Co2 alarms, which are now required – you can b fined for not having a Co2 alarm in your residence.

Families are together during the holidays, children and pets are in the house – when a fire starts people scramble to get out of the house and stand in the yard or the street while fire fighters haul in their equipment.

Bavota and Wendy - fire station C02 fire alarm

The Fire Chief doesn’t sell these devices but he sure want you to make sure you buy one.

Fire Chief Tony Bavota spends hour after hour telling people – make sure your fire alarm has fresh batteries (change them once a year) and install a Co2 detector.  “Combined” said the Fire Chief, “both can be had for less than $50.” He adds that it is one of the best personal safety investments you will ever make.

Return to the Front page

Burlington Transit Holiday Schedule: No service on either Christmas or New Year's Day.

notices100x100By Staff

December 22, 2015


The city that spends a fortune on the repairing and upgrading of its roads so that all the cars don’t have to deal with pot holes released the transit schedule for the holiday season.

There was a time when a much larger bus termial existed 25 yards to the left of this small terminal onm John Street - it was where people met. There were fewer cars, Burlington didn't have the wealth then that it has now. We were a smaller city, as much rural as suburban. The times have changed and transit now needs to change as well.

John Street terminal will close at 6:00 pm on Christmas Eve. Bus service will end at approximately 8:00 pm

The Downtown Transit Terminal on John Street will close at 6 p.m. on Thursday Dec. 24, 2015.

Both the Terminal and Handi-van dispatch will be closed on Friday Dec. 25, 2015 and Friday Jan. 1, 2016.

The administration offices will be closed beginning Thursday, Dec. 24, 2015 to Jan. 4, 2016.

Transit and Handi-van Hours of Operation:

The Last Trip schedule information is available online or on-board all buses.

Service ends at approximately 8:00 pm on December 24th

There is no service whatsoever on December 25th

December 26th the service works on the normal Saturday schedule.

December 27th to the 30th – Regular schedule

December 31st – service will be extended until approximately 2:00 a.m.

January 1st there will be no service.

January 2nd – the transit service resumes its normal schedule.

Handi van

Handi-van service is a life line for many – will not be available Christmas or New Year’s Day

During 2015 there was considerable discussion on how transit would have to become a much larger part of the way people get around. The city emphasized that transit service would have to be increased and more spent on the quality of transit service.  We aren’t there yet – are we?

For those who are confined to wheel chairs Christmas Day and New Year’s Day they will have to be content with being shut-ins. Shutting down the service on Christmas and New Year’s days will mean that the transit drivers will get to stay home all day.

Return to the Front page

MPP gets her flu shot - have you gotten yours? Available now at many local pharmacies.

element_healthservicesBy Pepper Parr

December 17th, 2015

Flu season – time to get your flu shot which is now a lot easier. Many pharmacies in the city offer the service. I got my flu shot at the supermarket – took just a few minutes – no line up, no appointment necessary.

McMahon getting flu shot Dec 16-15

James Morrison, Walmart pharmacist give Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon her flu shot

Burlington’s Member of the provincial legislature, Eleanor McMahon, got her flu shot at Walmart yesterday – took it like the trooper she is.
James Morrison, pharmacist manager for Walmart said they have given about 250 shots “basically the same number as last year”. The government pays Walmart $7.50 for each shot they administer.

McMahon flu shot grimmace

Waiting for the flu shot.

“We have been doing both nasally applied flu shot and those given by needle said Morrison.

The Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association surveyed people who got their flu shots at local pharmacy – the 1,610 people surveyed said that for the most part they were happy with getting this kind of service at a local pharmacy.

Return to the Front page

Barber shop gets issued a written order to stop re-using single-use/disposable razor blades.

notices100x100By Staff

December 14th, 2015


This is more of an Oakville story but in the off chance that someone in Burlington happened to have their hair cut in Oakville at a particular barber shop – listen up

Barber head shaveHalton Region is asking clients of Bronte Barber Shop located at 2290 Lakeshore Road W. (Bronte Plaza) in Oakville to contact the Halton Region Health Department as part of an investigation into potential exposure to blood-borne infections through the reuse of single-use/disposable razor blades.

“On December 11, The Halton Region Health Department issued a written Order under Section 13 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (HPPA) to Bronte Barber Shop, to eliminate the practice of reusing disposable razor blades on clients,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region. “At this time, there is no evidence of the transmission of infectious disease, but we need to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety, health and well-being of our residents.”

“The operator of Bronte Barber Shop is unable to provide the Health Department with a list of clients, so we are asking those who may have received services using razor blades at the Oakville location to contact the Halton Region Health Department as soon as possible, by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000,” said Dr. Meghani. “The Halton Region Health Department will provide information on the recommended tests to rule out any potential blood-borne infection.”

barber shaving beardTo reduce the risk of infection and disease outbreaks, Halton’s public health inspectors routinely perform inspections of personal service settings (including barber shops), restaurants, long-term care homes, childcare centres and throughout the community. The Halton Region Health Department works to promote high standards of infection prevention and control to protect the health and well-being of all Halton residents.

For information about infection prevention and control in personal service settings, visit halton.ca/ipac or dial 311.

Return to the Front page

Online Payments for Parking Tickets and Dog Licenses Experiencing Technical Issues

notices100x100Online Payments for Parking Tickets and Dog Licenses Experiencing Technical Issues

The City of Burlington’s online payment system for parking tickets and dog licenses is currently unavailable due to technical issues. We apologize for the disruption. We are working to restore the services as soon as possible.

Return to the Front page

Mapping and GIS service off line on December 7th, 2015

Mapping and GIS unavailable the evening of Monday, Dec. 7, 2015
The City of Burlington is updating their mapping and GIS systems.
As a result, our GIS web mapping will not be available from 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 until 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2015.
Please bear with us as these upgrades are a necessary software requirement.

Return to the Front page

In four more days parking downtown is free - for all of December

News 100 redBy Staff

November 27, 2015


Parking in downtown Burlington will be free for the month of December in city lots and at parking meters.

“Now in its third year, Free P in December is one of the city’s most well-received programs,” said Vito Tolone, the city’s acting director of transportation.


You will be able to park here free for all of December – and in all the other municipal parking lots as well.

“During the busy holiday season, we hope the promotion will encourage residents and visitors to come downtown and explore, shop and celebrate the holiday season with family and friends.”

During Free P in December, vehicles parked at on-street meters can park free for up to three hours. For vehicles parked at municipal parking lots or at the parking garage at 414 Locust St., there is no maximum time limit. Overnight parking in municipal lots is also allowed.

There are more than 1,400 municipal public parking spaces in downtown Burlington. Parking is free year-round in downtown Burlington Monday to Friday after 6 p.m. and all day Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.

Return to the Front page

Elementary public school teachers take a tentative deal to their 2800 members - particulars to follow.

News 100 greenBy Staff

November 23, 2015


The wind has gone out of any sail that may have been propelling a teachers strike at the elementary level – any level for that matter.

CH awards HDSB winners

Two teachers totally captivated by the tweets coming in on their Smart Phones.

The Halton District School Board say they are pleased that a tentative local agreement has been reached with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) Halton Teachers Local representing more than 2,800 Halton elementary teachers.

The province nailed down their deal with the teachers and now each Region settles local issues. Halton reached a tentative agreement which has only to be ratified by the teachers.

The tentative deal must be ratified by both the local Halton ETFO teacher members and the Halton District School Board.

Terms of the tentative agreement remain confidential until the ratification process is completed. We will pass along whatever we can dig out on the terms of the agreement.

Return to the Front page

SeeClickFix service disruption

notices100x100By Staff

November 20, 2105


SeeClickFix service disruption – November 23, 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

The City of Burlington’s SeeClickFix applications used to report potholes, vandalism, coyote sighting, traffic signs, traffic signals, and street lights will be unavailable on Nov. 23 from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Return to the Front page

And so it begins - hydro lines being laid for the Bridgewater project - shovels go in the ground in January.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 18, 2015


And so it begins. The project that was mentioned in a local newspaper in 1985 and approved in 1995 will see shovels in the ground very early in the New Year – perhaps New Year’s day if Jeff Paikin has his way.

Until the construction starts there is utility level work to be done. On Monday of next week a hydro line crossing will be installed which will close the west entrance of Old Lakeshore Road. All businesses remain open.

Bridgewater from the west - higher elevationThe first phase of construction will include the burial of hydro lines. This work is expected to take approximately ten weeks. During the construction, there will be some minor lane disruptions and a one-day closure of the intersection at Lakeshore Road and Old Lakeshore Road.

Also as part of the construction, the section of Elizabeth Street, south of Lakeshore Road, will be closed until November 2018. Access to the Waterfront Hotel is available through the north driveway.

For more information, please contact Carol Gulak, Capital Works, City of Burlington at 905-335-7600, ext. 7772 or carol.gulak@burlington.ca.

Return to the Front page

Stewart came to us from Hamilton is now heading for Guelph. We wish him well - replacing him is the city manager's newest problem.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

November 12, 2015


It is true – the city is losing Scott Stewart – he will become the Deputy Chief, Administrative Officer, Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services for the city of Guelph. His start date is very early in December. Stewart will commute to Guelph for the first while


He was sometimes gruff – always direct and never passed the blame for mistakes along to others. Hopefully,before he leaves Stewart will tell the full story about the purchase of the piece of property at the intersection of Walkers Line and the North Service Road on the west side.

We have lost a good one – at a time when we can least afford such a loss at this level.

Less than four years ago the city had three General Managers – we got down to one and now that one is leaving.

City Manager James Ridge now has to look at his senior level corporate structure and decide how he wants to organize his staff. And he is going to have to look really hard to find someone of Stewart’s calibre.

There are two people at the Director level who could move into the job Stewart has held but both are critical to the operations they now run.

Scott Stewart, one of the city's two General Managers poses with an award he was given for leadership at the inter-municipal level.

Scott Stewart the one general manager we have poses with an award he was given for leadership at the inter-municipal level.

The city has a number of people who are doing exceptionally well and can be expected to grow into Director level jobs – most need three to five years to mature in their jobs and develop their leadership skills.

James Ridge has been with the city long enough to have gained the measure of most of his staff compliment but what is known about his past experience does not include this level of management reorganization.

JC Bourque + Ridge + Dwyer

City manager James Ridge with Michelle Dwyer, who has shown considerable leadership in ensuring the Strategic Plan development process runs smoothly. To the left is JC Bourque, one of the two KPMG consultants facilitating the process

He has developed good working relationships with his staff; his personality is such that he works well with people –

is able to draw the best out of most people.

The challenge for Ridge is going to be to get city council to do the job they were elected to do – the previous city manager Jeff Fielding soon realized that this Council was never going to do very much and he pretty well rode rough shod over them.

That isn’t Ridge’s style – his armed forces experience has taught him what a chain of command is and he expects those he serves to do their jobs.  There is some heart ache coming his way.

If this had to happen to him – a year from now would have been better.

Return to the Front page

Do you know what an invasive species is? Huge fines now in place if you let one in.

News 100 greenBy Vince Fiorito

November 9, 2015


Alien invaders surround us. They can be found along roadsides. They are common in lakes and rivers. Eventually they will completely over run all natural areas and green spaces.

The alien invaders aren’t people. They are plants, insects, fish, birds, animals and all the non-native species which never existed in a place until they were deliberately or accidentally introduced by people. While some of these alien species are benign, far too many have become invasive and destructive.

Invasive species are a global menace with significant, far-reaching environmental and socio-economic consequences including loss of agricultural productivity and damage to renewable natural resource industries (forestry). Invasive species have caused entire ecosystems to become dysfunctional.

This little creature is costing us a fortune - and we are not at all certain we are going to win the battle to stop the infestation.

Emerald Ash Bore – This little creature is costing us a fortune – and we are not at all certain we are going to win the battle to stop the infestation.

zebra muscles

The Zebra Mussel completely changes a fresh water ecosystem.

Hundreds of alien species are currently present in Ontario. Some of the more well know alien invaders include the Zebra Mussel (completely changes a fresh water ecosystem), Emerald Ash Borer (kills native Ash trees) Dutch Elm Disease (nearly wiped out the American Elm) Sea Lampreys (decimated the Great Lakes Trout fishery) and Starlings (crowd out native bird species and cause millions of dollars in agriculture losses each year).


Lovely to look at – as invasive as all get out – Purple loosestrife

Scientists are fighting back against invasive species, with some successes. Purple Loosestrife (destroyed wetlands) is now controlled by an introduced beetle at the cost of millions of dollars in research. Their decision to release the loosestrife eating beetle was gutsy, considering that a similar effort in Australia to eradicate the invasive Cane Beetle by introducing the Cane Toad was an ecological disaster. While the Cane Toad did eat the Cane beetle, it also ate everything else it could swallow.

Since the Cane Toad had no natural predators in Australia it soon became one of Australia’s most dominant species. The Cane Toad has caused many of Australia’s native insects to become so rare, they no longer contribute in a significant way to the local ecology, with ripple effects on many of Australia’s native plants and animals which have since become rare and threatened with extinction.

The least expensive solutions to the invasive species problems are to prevent problems in the first place and reacting quickly, aggressively and decisively to the first sign of a new invasive species problem.

On November 3rd, 2015, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in Canada to enact a tough law which will reduce the invasive species threat. As per the new Ontario Invasive Species Act, no person shall,

bring a member of a prohibited invasive species into Ontario or cause it to be brought into Ontario;
deposit or release a member of a prohibited invasive species or cause it to be deposited or released;
 possess or transport a member of a prohibited invasive species;
propagate a member of a prohibited invasive species;
buy, sell, lease or trade or offer to buy, sell, lease or trade a member of a prohibited invasive species.
bring a member of a restricted invasive species into a provincial park or conservation reserve or cause it to be brought into a provincial park or conservationreserve;
deposit or release a member of a restricted invasive species in Ontario or cause it to be deposited or released in Ontario.

First time offenses can result in a $250,000 fine and/or a year of imprisonment. A second offense could cost $500,000. If that sounds excessive, consider that first time corporate offenders could face a $1,000,000 fine with subsequent offenses resulting in fines as great as $2,000,000.

Even though this law’s punitive sanctions don’t fully offset the damages which can result from invasions species, they should sufficient to deter deliberately destructive behavior.


Snow-On-The-Mountain (aka Goutweed) is a robust ground cover that will eventually become Ontario’s most dominant forest plant.

Ontario’s new Invasive Species law will affect many local nurseries and gardeners. Several common ornamental plants which have been sold in local nurseries for decades are known invasive species problems. Snow-On-The-Mountain (aka Goutweed) is a robust ground cover that will eventually become Ontario’s most dominant forest plant. Goutweed will displace most of Ontario’s native forest species, including Trilliums which are our provincial flower. Goutweed is a likely early candidate for the invasive species list.

Another problematic invasive ornamental plant is Mountain Fleece (aka Japanese Knotweed). The roots of this tenacious alien species can destroy driveways and cause structural to buidings. Once established, Japanese Knotweed is nearly impossible to permanently eradicate. Eventually this plant will replace most native plant species growing along Ontario’s shorelines.

Both Goutweed and Japanese Knotweed have escaped cultivation locally. They are commonly found throughout Burlington’s green spaces along with invasive Himalayan Balsam, Garlic Mustard, Phragmites and Buckthorn.

These invasive species are not just serious ecological problems here in Ontario; they are also serious global ecological problems which affect natural areas near London England, Sapporo Japan, Christchurch New Zealand, Pretoria South Africa and every other ecosystem on the earth which shares similar climate and conditions as Burlington. Deliberately cultivating this species in the UK is illegal and can result in substantial fines.

knotweed Japanese

Japanese knotweed – seen all over the place in Burlington. Fiorito believes that once established, Japanese Knotweed is nearly impossible to permanently eradicate.

The mere presence of Japanese Knotweed in a neighborhood lowers everyone’s property values. British Real Estate law now requires home sellers declare the presence of Japanese Knotweed on their property. If this plant is subsequently discovered on that property, then the buyer can sue the seller for eradication costs.

In Burlington, Japanese Knotweed is available at many local nurseries. Many local gardeners have unwittingly created problems that will be expensive to fix, when Japanese Knotweed is inevitably put on the invasive species list.

The easiest way that gardeners can avoid creating invasive species problem around their homes is to choose plant species which are native to the local ecosystem. Each spring the Royal Botanical Gardens holds an annual native plant sale. Most nurseries now have a native plant section. Several local nurseries and landscape designers have become native plant specialists. This new invasive species law will help forward looking local businesses grow and prosper.

We can no longer ignore the destructive consequences of invasive alien species anymore. Failure to consider the ecological consequences of introducing an invasive alien species will become expensive in the not so distant future. This new law will help change attitudes leading Ontarians to becoming better stewards of the natural systems which rejuvenate our soils and clean our air and water. Ontario’s new invasive species law represents real change and will help protect Ontario from the growing international invasive species threat.


Vince smiling - head cockedVince Fiorito is the steward of Sheldon Creek; a designation given him by Conservation Halton.  He was recently a candidate for the Green Party and is an extremely knowledgeable person when it comes to what we are doing to our environment.  Don’t get him going.

Return to the Front page