She is still missing - you can help if you happen to have a home video security system.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 26th, 2106



The drive to work each day for Halton Regional Police Service Detective Joe Barr is not easy these days. The question – where is she, comes close to haunting his thoughts

Missing woman #2 July 6

Helen Robertson.

Helen Robertson has been missing since 12:45 PM on Tuesday July 5th

In a telephone conversation with Detective Constable Joe Barr he said “what baffles me is that with all the resources we have available to us – we still have not been able to find this woman.”

Barr spends a good part of his time reviewing videos of places Helen might have been.

“The woman was a walker” explained Barr – “we’ve no idea just how far she could have gone. It is worrisome, it is very hot out there and she has been missing a long time.

“This is emotionally hard work and it isn’t what we signed up for but it is what we do.

“We try very hard not to invest ourselves in this kind of a situation emotionally – what everyone needs is clear, sharp minds that look at the evidence.

“She is out there somewhere.”

Just about a year ago the Regional police unveiled a Security Camera Registration and Monitoring program, ( S.C.R.A.M), a community based crime prevention opportunity and investigative tool that enlists the help of Halton residents.

S.C.R.A.M. enables community members to voluntarily identify and register their residential video surveillance equipment.

Joe Barr would love to see anything in the Millcroft area where Helen lives. “We might see her on video captured by a home security system and be able to get some idea of the direction she might have been going in.

Missing woman #1 July 6

Helen Robertson loved to walk and frequently slipped out of the house to walk. She has been missing since July 5th

“We need access to every tool we can get.” Detective Constable Barr can be reached at 905-825-4747. If you can’t reach him – ask for Detective constable Julie Power, she is his partner on this case.

A number of people wonder just what giving police access to your home security means. You are not giving the police any access when you register – what you are doing in letting the police know that you have an electronic security system. Your camera may have captured an image of Helen Robertson.

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Baseball diamond closures for Monday the 25th

notices100x100By Staff

July 25th, 2016


Sport Field Status – July 25, 2016

The following diamonds are closed Monday July 25

Ireland Park diamonds D1, D2, D3, D4
Millcroft, diamonds D1, D2
Nelson Park diamond D1

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Missing since noon of the 5th - four days in blistering hot weather. Search teams and the police mounted unit are now involved.

Newsflash 100By Staff

June 9, 2015


She has been missing since 12:45 PM on Tuesday July 5th 2016. She was last seen near her home on Millcroft Park Drive, Burlington.

Missing woman #2 July 6

Helen Robertson often wore mis-matched shoes

Residents within the nearby area of Helen’s home can expect to see an increase in police presence. Hamilton Police mounted unit, The Ontario Search and Rescue Volunteer Association (OSRVA) and the Ontario Provincial Police are assisting with the investigation.

The mismatched shoes believed to have been worn by Helen, of which police previously released a photo, have been located. Please be aware that Helen often wore mismatched shoes and therefore it is possible she may be wearing other mismatched shoes.

Missing woman #1 July 6

Helen Robertson, 79, missing for four days.

Halton Police are continuing to encourage Burlington and the surrounding area residents to check their properties and outbuildings. In addition please continue to watch for Helen and report any sightings immediately to police directly and avoid reporting sighting by way of social media.

Anyone with information on Helen’s whereabouts are asked to call Halton Police at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2305

Hellen Robertson is a 79 year-old Alzheimer’s patient. The police have issued five updates on this missing woman.

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Elderly Woman with Alzheimer still missing.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 7, 2015


It is exceedingly hot out there – and there is a 79 year old resident of Burlington who has Alzheimer’s and has been missing since July 5, 2016

Missing woman #2 July 6

Helen Robertson

Helen Robertson has been missing since July 5, 2016. She is described as: white, 5’2, 110 lbs, white collar length hair, slim build, glasses. Possibly wearing a red, long sleeved collared shirt and two different shoes.

Helen has Alzheimer’s and has been missing since July 5, 2016. She is described as: white, 5’2, 110 lbs, white collar length hair, slim build, glasses. Possibly wearing a red, long sleeved collared shirt and two different shoes. ( Photo’s attached)

The current focus on the search for Helen is within the Millcroft area where people are asked to check their properties including outbuildings and other structures for Helen.

Anyone with information is asked to call Halton Police at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2305

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Senior suffering from alzheimers is missing - not seen since yesterday afternoon.

News 100 redBy Staff

July 6, 2016


The Halron Regional Police asked for the public’s assistance in locating a missing elderly woman withAlzheimer’ s.

Helen Robertson (79 Years) was last seen at her Millcroft residence in Burlington in the early afternoon of July 5th.

Missing woman #1 July 6

Helen Robertson (79 Years) was last seen at her Millcroft residence in Burlington in the early afternoon of July 5th.

Helen is described as: white, 5’2, 110 lbs, white collar length hair, slim build, glasses. Possibly wearing a red, long sleeved collared shirt and two different shoes.

Police are still looking for the public’s assistance in locating 79 year old Helen Robertson.

Helen was last seen at her residence on Millcroft Park Drive in Burlington early yesterday afternoon.

Helen has Alzheimer’s and is known to walk long distances.

Police are concerned with the amount of time Helen has been missing with the hot weather yesterday and the expected hot weather today.

An extensive search was conducted overnight and will continue today with the assistance of our SIRT (Search Incident Response Team).

Missing woman #2 July 6

Helen is described as: white, 5’2, 110 lbs, white collar length hair, slim build, glasses.

The public are asked to check their properties and outbuildings as well as keeping an eye out for Helen.

Helen is described as: white, 5’2, 110 lbs, white collar length hair, slim build, glasses. Possibly wearing a red, long sleeved collared shirt and two different shoes.

Anyone with information is asked to call Halton Police at 905-825-4747 Ext. 2305

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Construction going on all over the city.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 29, 2016



New roads, improvements to parks, murals for public places – all kinds of upgrades and improvements to the city.

Aerial from the south west corner

An aerial view of the Paradigm project under construction on Fairview – next to the GO station.

Developers are banging away as well; The Bridgewater project is still a hole in the ground as is the ADI Linx project on Dundas. The hospital is well on its way to completion and the Paradigm project on Fairview is reaching into the sky.

Ireland Park has started phase one of the upgrades that will include:

• An accessible splash pad with seating and a pavilion for shade
• Ball diamond amenities, including accessible spectator areas with permanent bleachers
• Reconstruction of the south parking lot to improve the surface and traffic flow
• Accessible pathways and seating areas
• New energy efficient pathway lighting
• New goal posts at three soccer fields, and
• New trees


Ireland Park.

During construction, please expect:

• Pathway closures
• The driveway and the south parking lot, beside the tennis courts, to be closed
• Detours to ball diamonds, soccer fields, washroom facilities, tennis courts and the main playground
• Temporary access restrictions to the washrooms, snack bar and tennis courts

Construction is expected to last approximately six months.

Ireland Park will remain open during construction. We appreciate your patience and co-operation to make sure the park is a safe place during construction. There are other parks available in the community:

• Ireland Park – access from Folkway Drive
• Pinemeadow Park – 3171 Pinemeadow Rd.
• Newport Park – 3020 Headon Forest Dr.

Public Tennis Courts:
• Sycamore Park – 3157 Centennial Dr.
• Millcroft Park – 4520 Millcroft Park Dr.

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Red hot housing market with more buyers than sellers pushing prices sky high

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 19th, 2016



A local real estate firm reports that the month of April brought with it a number of firsts in Burlington.

The first property to sell in the Orchard for over $1.475 million, the first property to sell anywhere in Burlington for $210,000+ over the asking price and the first time that just under half of the sales in Burlington sold for the asking price or more.

Six properties sold for more than $80,000 over the asking price – two in the southeast, one in Brant Hills, one in Headon Forest, one in Millcroft and one in the Orchard. At the same time, 24 properties experienced price reductions before they sold and 25 properties were on the market for more than 30 days before they sold.

Rocca stats May 2016 ARocca stats May 2016 BWhat does all of this mean? In short, there are still too many buyers and not enough sellers (there were actually 10% more sales in April, year over year).

Finally, notwithstanding the fact that we are experiencing the hottest market we have seen in history, an incorrectly priced house will very likely result in disappointment. Strategy is very important when pricing your home in an over-heated market.

The realtor asked: Wondering what to do once your home sells? Many people are hesitant about capitalizing on this seller’s market because they will need to purchase a new home. They suggest there are more options available than you might think.

Community residents have held up the construction of these homes as they fight a city decision to change the zoning on six properties.

These homes were advertised and sold in March of 2012.

Are these prices sustainable?  Are we in the middle of a market bubble with a downside out there somewhere?  Is there a market correction in the works?

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Real Estate broker shows some eye popping number in several of the local markets - 17% + year over year gain in Roseland.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 29, 2016


The Rocca Sisters tell us that it has been an interesting year in the Burlington real estate market. One of the most notable results of this past year was the market becoming more balanced.

“The first half of 2015 saw major growth in key neighborhoods. However, the market changed slightly for the second half of the year. Sought after communities such as Millcroft, The Orchard and Brant Hills all began to feel more balanced. While homes sold fast in these communities and some still in multiple offer situations, the frenzy seemed to fade.

“We believe that buyers started looking into other Burlington neighborhoods, which explains the dramatic increases we saw in Longmoor, Palmer and Elizabeth Gardens.

These neighborhoods seemed to be somewhat undervalued; however, this has been corrected over the last few months and now we expect to see all markets relatively well balanced with inventory meeting buyer demand. We anticipate prices returning to the normal expectation in terms of growth, which would be closer to 3-6% per year.

Market by market listings are set out below:

Rocca Jan 29-16 Part 1Rocca Jan 29 - 6 Part 2

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2015 - Year in review - top story first quarter - city sells waterfront property staff advised it to keep.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

December 28, 2015


Does the past give any hint on what the future will bring? What happened in 2015 – a review of 2015 quarter by quarter.

January 2015 – Not necessarily in chronological order.

Taxes, taxes, taxes – how much and what are they going to spend it on. The city has in the past worked to engage the public by holding workshops that are usually quite well attended – that didn’t prove to be the case in 2015 – a pathetic turnout for public meeting on the budget at the Mainway Recreation centre – drew less than three people. The weather wasn’t good but the weather couldn’t be blamed – hockey games being played at the rink next door drew hundreds of people. There was a message in there somewhere.

Bridgewater from lake on the east

Bridgewater stalls.

The construction of a “legacy” project approved in 1995 on Lakeshore Road took a bit of a hit when the company brought in to build the three towers declared bankruptcy. It slowed down what eventually gets built on the southern side of Lakeshore Road

Property values rise 8.6% in Millcroft and the Orchard year over year; sales down 4%

Public got to hear that the city wanted to set the tax rate at – something upwards of 3.5% more than last year.

City provides an update on city manager recruitment. Burlington had just the one General manager, Scott Stewart and he is one of the people applying for the job of city manager.  Pat Moyle was serving as interim city manager and Scott Stewart has been carrying the ball as the sole general manager.  Council had not interviewed all the candidates.

Stewart Scott blue sweater - more face

Scott Stewart

Pat Moyle resigned to move into full retirement someone had to hold the job of city manager. City council appointed the city solicitor Nancy Shea Nicol as the interim city manager. Normally she reports to the General manager – Scott Stewart.  Nancy Shea Nicol reports to Scott Stewart but because Stewart is one of the finalists for the job of city manager Shea Nicol has been made the boss of the man who she reports to.

Scott Stewart was not appointed city manager – he quit and moved to Guelph

Mayor thinks a pilot private property tree bylaw restricted to Roseland community might work – but that idea didn’t get any traction either.

Flooding BSBVC effects in water

Flood damage.

First of the flood victims got to see some financial support. Of the 310 claims made for short term immediate help just three were turned down.

Call has gone out for possible mural locations around the city. Drop in a sample of the results.

City wanted to use photographs to animate the new website which raised hackles in the arts community – they wanted the city to pay for the pictures they used or at least give the photographer a photo credit. City decided to use stock pictures it could pick up free. Look for reader comments
Jan 20th

ADI project - rendering from LAkeshore

ADI project

The ADI development for lower Martha at Lakeshore Road was shown to the public for the first time. Public was close to outraged. It was pretty clear that Burlington wasn’t going for the ADI development proposal to put a 28 storey tower on the corner of Martha and Lakeshore Road.

Council gets a pay raise: Recommendation was to: Maintain the compensation for Councillors at $53,095 per year and the Mayor at $121,676 per year (in 2014) and adjust annually on April 1 by a percentage equal to the average annual change in the all Ontario consumer price index (CPI) for the twelve month period October to September with the provision that the increase is to have the following banding:

Report on the office space needs for the city  never gets made public.

Beachway 1011 sold for $600k

Beachway house sold.

First of the Beachway homes sold for $600,000

The ADI group argues at a city council meeting that the design of their 28 storey tower will serve as an excellent gateway on the eastern side of the city into the downtown core. Residents argue it will loom over the neighbourhood. The 22 storey Bridgewater project a couple of hundred yards away will reach 22 storeys into the air.

Flood relief cheques will begin to go out next week; just 50% of approved claims being paid now – balance to follow.

City council voted 6-1 to sell off pieces of city owned waterfront property. Public did not get to see a confidential report from the city solicitor.

Hospital main emtrance which will face the lake

Hospital redevelopment

February 2015
Hospital foundation raised $2 million in four months – 40 of the 60 million needed is in the bank.

Council committee “miraculously” approves a budget in 3.5 hrs – now it goes to council for the rubber stamp

Flood relief money making its way to victims; partial payments averaging $9000 +

Mayor delivers his fifth State of the City address – promises to never mention the Pier again.

Municipal bureaucrat from west coast, former armed services officer and currently an academic administrator appointed Burlington city manager.

Waterfront Hotel to be demolished at some future date – three structures will go on the site – planners excited about the potential.

Target logo

Low liquidation discounts.

Target liquidation sale discounts seldom top 10%.

March 2015
The ADI development groups gets to the OMB before the city even gets to vote.

Premier meets with Mayors – Mayor Goldring has yet to tell us what they talked about.

Giving back - loaded bins

Giving back

Mayor gives certificates of appreciation to boys and girls who raised a record 281,878 pounds of food in the Giving Back project.

Pop up Patios to appear on Brant Street May 1st.

Public got its first look at what Beachway Park could look like – it was a noisy meeting.

City planner Bruce Krushelnicki retires joins the Ontario Municipal Board.


City council voted 6 – 1 to sell a stretch of waterfront property between |Market and st Paul street south of Lakeshore Road – staff had recommended the property be leased.

Top story: Selling of waterfront property:


Each of these stories can be read in full – all you have to do is plug the words into the search engine at the top of the home page.

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Sports fields closed due to foul weather

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 14, 2015


We are having our share of rain – and it is interrupting what people can do in the parks

The following Sport fields are closed on Friday August 14, 2015:

Ireland D1 & D2
Millcroft D1 & D2
Nelson D1
Sherwood Forest D1, D2, D3, D4

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Residential re-sale prices brisk; up 17.7 % year over year.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 27, 2015


Millcroft millhouse

Gateway to the Millcroft community where average resale price was just under$1 million

A few interesting observations – 15 of the 197 May sales in Burlington were over a million dollars as compared to 6 sales over a million same period last year.
Average days on market for those 6 sales was 64 days. Average days on market for the 15 sales this year was 22. Equally as interesting, there were only 3 sales under $400,000.

Hot spots in May were in the Orchard as usual, Roseland – particularly in the transitioning areas, Headon Forest – strong sales but slightly longer days on market. Homes in this neighborhood are a little more difficult to evaluate. If they are fully renovated, they are selling for very similar prices to homes in the Orchard.

Rocca sisters sales data for MayThe attraction being that you get a 50×100 foot lot as opposed to 36×85 in the Orchard. Average price paid for a house in Millcroft in May was $991,700 – sold in under 20 days and for 99% of the asking price!

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City sets out what will be open and what will be closed in the event of a strike by either the outside workers or the transit drivers. June 29th is a critical date

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 22, 2015


When they point out to you where the life boats are located – you kinda wonder what shape the ship is in.

The city of Burlington released a list of services that might be impacted if there is a work stoppage – polite word for a strike – the workers have withdrawn their services and decided they will go without a paycheque for a period of time unless their demands are met.

In the media release the city said it is “alerting residents that some city services may be affected by strike action that could take effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 2.”

The city continues to negotiate collective agreements with unions representing outside workers and arena/pool operators and Burlington Transit workers. Both CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) Local 44 and CUPE Local 2723 representatives have stated that if there is no agreement by the end of June, they will begin strike action as of midnight (12:01 a.m.) on July 2.

“The city continues to seek a settlement that is fair to the unions and to the taxpayers of Burlington,” said Roy Male, executive director of Human Resources who is on the city’s bargaining team. “While we will continue to be willing to meet with the unions to discuss a settlement, regretfully, we must prepare for a strike to ensure the best possible continuity of service.”

The city has posted a list of services at that would be cancelled, reduced or continued in the event of a strike. The city has also set up a dedicated phone line for questions related to labour disruptions at 905-335-7600, ext. 7803.

“We are sharing this labour disruption information as early as we can, and in as many ways as possible, to ensure Burlington residents have the information they need to plan ahead,” said Scott Stewart, general manager of Development and Infrastructure with the city. “If the service you or your family members use is among those that would be cancelled in the event of a strike, we encourage you to try to make other arrangements, if at all possible.”

The city will resume negotiating with CUPE 44 and 2723 on June 29 and will provide updates as they become available.

Service Impacts in the Event of a Strike

Services that would be cancelled

• Conventional Burlington Transit service
• Handi-Van Transit Service
• Non-emergency tree service requests
• Street sweeping
• Programs and services offered at:
o Appleby Ice Centre
o LaSalle Wading Pool and Splash Park
o Mainway Arena
o Mountainside Outdoor Pool and Splash Park
o Nelson Arena
o Nelson Outdoor Pool and Splash Park

Services that would be reduced

• Grass-cutting and horticulture along roadside locations and in parks
• Litter and recycling in parks

Services that would continue

• Normal garbage collection, recycling (Halton Region)
• Burlington Public Library services
• Sports field rentals
• Turf maintenance
• Festivals and events
• Tyandaga Golf Course
• Forestry emergency storm response
• Arena floor rentals
o Aldershot
o Central
o Mountainside
o Skyway

• Spray pads in parks (non-fenced)

o Dofasco WaterJet Plaza at Spencer Smith Park
o Norton Community Park
o Pinemeadow Park
o Millcroft Park
o Orchard Community Park
o Hidden Valley Park

• Recreation centres

o Brant Hills
o Burlington Seniors’ Centre
o Haber
o Music Centre
o Rotary Youth Centre
o Sherwood Forest Gym
o Burlington Student Theatre
o Tansley Woods

• Indoor pools

o Aldershot
o Angela Coughlan
o Centennial
o Tansley Woods
• Banquet facilities
o LaSalle Pavilion
o Paletta Mansion
o Discovery Landing/Waterfront Centre

• Preschool, child and youth programs
• City of Burlington camps: SNAP, O2, Camp Can-Do, youth centres, LIT, youth specialty
• Adult and seniors’ programs
• All services at City Hall (includes Planning and Building, Capital Works, Finance, Transportation, Engineering)
• Playground inspections
• Cemetery service
• Road and sidewalk maintenance
• Traffic signal and street light maintenance

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Rainfall closes down a number of ball diamonds and playing fields for the day.

Newsflash 100By Pepper Parr

June 9, 2015


There was more rain than anyone expected.

The Conservation Authority sent out water level warnings for the creeks that run into the city from the Escarpment.

The city decided that all clay diamonds and select soccer fields are to be closed to due water Tuesday, June 9, 2015

All clay diamonds are closed the evening of Tuesday, June 9:

Ireland Park: D1, D2, D3, D4
Millcroft Park: D1 and D2
Nelson Park: D1
Other diamonds are “as is” condition as there may be some puddles on the infields

The following rectangular fields are closed the evening of Tuesday, June 9:
Maple Park
Tansley Woods Park
Sherwood Forest Park: F5
Central Park: F1

Less laundry for the parents if the playing fields are closed – what to do with the kids? The parents will figure that out.

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It will take a million to get you into a Roseland house

News 100 redBy Staff

May 7, 2015


The Rocca Sisters, a noted Burlington Real Estate agency, has provided us with a review of the first quarter of 2015 real estate sales broken down by area, along with thier latest forecasts for the year ahead.

Small click here - blackIt would appear that, for the first quarter at least, some neighborhoods in Burlington are achieving a more balanced market condition than others. Aldershot south being a terrific example. Sales are up significantly, values are stable with a moderate increase and days on market have increased suggesting that buyers are unwilling to pay a premium given the availability of inventory.

Parts of south Burlington are seeing unusually high days on market as compared to the same period last year which suggests that while there are more buyers than sellers, hence the increase in values, asking prices have been somewhat inflated and have had to in many cases, reduce before selling.

Headon Forest, Tyandaga and Palmer continue to outstrip the Orchard and Millcroft in terms of increases in values year over year. Buyers are seeing these comparably moderately priced neighborhoods as viable alternatives to these incredibly unbalanced markets. Millcroft continued it’s skyrocketing increase in value while the Orchard cooled a little in the first quarter due mainly to significantly reduced inventories and a natural ceiling on what buyers will/can pay for a family home in this neighborhood.

Central Burlington saw a huge increase in values due mainly to the concentration of sales being in the actual core as opposed to the same period last year when the majority of sales were the outer limits of downtown Burlington.

Alton Village saw a significant increase in value but when you drill down, it appears to be more a case of the type of home that has predominantly sold in 2015 which was the 3000+ sq.ft. homes.

Finally and notably, Roseland has now achieved an average price of over one million dollars.

Here is what the numbers – Courtesy of the Rocca Sisters – look like by neighbourhood:

Rocca part 1


Rocca part 2

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Population shifts suggest there might be some consolidation, especially at the public elementary school level

News 100 redBy Walter Byj

May 1, 2015


While some parts of the Halton region are experiencing high growth spurts, others have remained stable. In one part of the Region, schools need to be built to accommodate the growing population while others areas face shrinking school populations. This is the case for a number of areas in established geographical areas of Burlington.

For elementary schools, Burlington has 10 areas that are identified by an ERA -Elementary Review Area – (remember the acronym – it gets used frequently) number and capacity is measured by OTG – on the ground – (same with this one) seats that do not include portables. Each of these areas has their unique situations.

ERA 100 (Aldershot and Tyandaga) is in western Burlington and is represented by Aldershot Elementary, Glenview King’s Road and Maplehurst, the utilization of the totality of the schools is in the 63% to 68% range and will remain so for the next 10 years. Aldershot Elementary is currently at 46% and will continue at that rate for the next 10 years while King’s Road will decline from 66% in 2014 to 52% by 2024.Maplehurst is currently at 71% while Glenview stands at 93% for the current year.

Small click here - blackThe enrolment should be somewhat consistent for the next 10 years with a potential uptick for Glenview pending the development of the northern Aldershot community north of the QEW.

Central High school

Central High School enrollment is expected to increase

ERA 101(Downtown) covers the downtown core of Burlington and includes Burlington Central, Central Lakeshore and Tom Thomson schools The overall utilization rate is currently 91% and should remain in that area for the next 10 years. The number is highly influenced by Tom Thomson which in reality is overcapacity as it has 10 portables (mainly due to French Immersion) and will continue their use for the next 10 years. Burlington Central is at 65% currently and is projected to increase to 73% by 2024. Central is at 84% and projected to fall to 72% by 2024. Lakeshore should grow from its current 63% to 73% in 2024.

Tecumseh Public school

Tecumseh is in an area where several schools have gone beyond their built capacity.

ERA 102 (Roseland and Shoreacres) is bound by Guelph Line to the west, Appleby to the east with the QEW to the north and the lake to the south. It includes John Tuck, Pauline Johnson, Ryerson and Tecumseh. This area has a utilization rate of 88% which will drop to 77% in the following 10 years. Both Tuck (134%) and Pauline Johnson (117%) are over overcapacity and currently rely on portables to accommodate students. By 2024, Tuck is projected at 107% and Pauline Johnson at 110%. Ryerson currently is at 49% and is expected to grow to 53% by 2024. Much of this growth will come from phasing in the gifted program from Charles R. Beaudoin. Tecumseh will drop from the current 57% capacity to 51% by 2024.

It should be noted that there are no French immersion classes in this area as the students attend either Tom Thomson or Pineland.


Enrollment at Mohawk is expected to decline going forward.

ERA 103 (Appleby) covers the area between Appleby line and Burloak with the QEW to the north and the lake at the south. There are three schools in this area, Frontenac, Mohawk Gardens and Pineland and has an overall utilization rate of 78% which will remain steady to 2024. Mohawk has a rate of 71% but this is expected to drop to 63% by 2024. Frontenac, at 56% is expected to grow to 76% by 2024. This will mainly be due to Pineland becoming a French Immersion school with the English stream moving in some part to Frontenac or Mohawk. Pineland, at 111% is well over capacity and has six portable to cover the overflow. As the transition to a French Immersion school only continues, the utilization rate will slowly decrease to 88% by 2024.

ERA 104 & 105 (Brant Hills, Headon and Tyandaga) is bounded by Dundas to the north and Upper Middle to the south with Walker’s Line being the eastern boundary. The four schools in this area are Brant Hills, Bruce T. Lindley, CH Norton and Paul A. Fisher and have a current utilization rate of 87% which will decline to 76% by 2024. Brant Hills has the lowest utilization rate at 59% and is projected to drop to 57% in 2024. Bruce T. Lindley is healthy at 93% and will remain stable for the next 10 years and is projected to be 89% in 2024. C.H. Norton is healthy at 91% but will slide to 73% in 2024, while Paul A. Fisher is currently at and will remain in the low 60 percentile for the next 10 years.

ERA 106 (Mountainview and Palmer) holds four schools with highway 407 on the west, Walkers on the east with Upper Middle on the north and the QEW to the south. The utilization rate for this area is 87% and should fall to 76% by 2024. Although each school currently has a strong utilization number, they will each experience decreasing numbers in the upcoming years as follows;

Clarksdale – 94% to 77% (2024)
Dr. Charles Best – 92% to 84% (2024)
Rolling Meadows – 78% to 68% (2024)
Sir E. Macmillan – 96% to 77% (2024)

ERA 107 (Millcroft) has two schools, (Charles R. Beaudoin and Florence Meares) and is between Walkers Line and Appleby and Dundas to the north and the QEW to the south. This area is currently at 105%, but is expected to drop to 86% by 2024. Charle R. Deaudoin will drop from its current 114% to 80% in 2024 while Florence Meares will drop from 95% to 91% during the same time period.

ERA 108 (Orchard) contains three schools (Alexander’s, John William Boich and Orchard Park) and lies between Appleby and Bronte and Dundas to the north and the QEW to the south. This area is currently at 115% of OTG and will slowly decline to 93% by 2024. Both J.W. Boich and Orchard Park are over utilized and will continue until 2024. Alexanders, which is currently at 119% is expected to drop to 70% by 2024.

Alton Village sign

The public school in Alton is already beyond capacity; Hayden High School is now operating with all the high school grades.

ERA 109 (Alton) has one school, Alton Village, and is bound by the 407 to the north, Dundas to the south and Walkers to the west and Tremaine to the east. This school is over utilized at 124% and this could rise to 153% by 2024.

ERA 110 (Rural Burlington) has one school also, Kilbride, and has a current OTG of 77% which will drop to 73% by 2024.

These numbers reflect a bleak future for some of the elementary schools in Burlington. Forecasting is not an exact science, but unless Burlington has a major change in its population makeup Burlington might be looking at some consolidation.


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What to watch for in the Burlington municipal election. Some upsets are certainly possible - could be as many as three.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 26, 2014



It isn’t always about who wins – it is often about how much they win by.
Looking at the Council you are going to elect on Monday – some thoughts on what to look for.

Ward 1
If Rick Craven gets anything less than 80% of the vote – his grip on Aldershot will not be what it was. Watch for the vote count Gary Milne gets.

Councillor Meed Ward wants the public to have all the information available on the pier and its legal problems.  Wants the other council members to be accountable for their part in the mess.

Councillor Meed Ward

Ward 2

If Marianne Meed Ward falls below 70% of the vote – she has a problem


Usually an easy man to get along with - but grumpy, grumpy, grumpy when treports are not ready for him to read and review.  John Taylor does nothing on the fly - legal department is going to have to smooth his ruffled feathers.

Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor .

Ward 3 

If John Taylor gets less than 85% – take that to mean there is a change in the wind.


"I don't want to hear anymore delegations" said Councillor Jack Dennison.

Will Councillor Jack Dennison have more time to skate?

Ward 4

Dennison could be gone – but it might prove to be a very tight race. The Roseland people exert a lot of clout. If Gottlob was able to penetrate the community south of Upper Middle Road as well as the community between Prospect and New Street Jack Dennison is in trouble. Total tossup in ward four.

Ward 5


Will Councillor Paul Sharman return to the world of numbers?

Sharman could be gone – this will be a close race with the difference between Sharman and Smith as low as 50 votes.

Ward 6

The question isn’t will she win – it is can she win? As to who might replace Lancaster – it’s pretty much a guessing game. The South Asian community could have taken the seat but they put up three candidates who did nothing but squabble with each other and lost the credibility they had. The police are currently investigating the behaviour of one candidate – we know – they have asked to talk to us about some email that was sent.

While Vanessa Warren is as good as they get – does she have the reach into Millcroft and Headon one needs to win?

Does Angelo Bentivegna have the reach into both the Alton community and north of Dundas to make it past the post first? There are too many people in his home community for him to pick up what he needs there.

Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster at a community event at the Burlington Executive Air Park.  She didn't take it up.

Will Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster have time to take up flying lessons?

Can Lancaster hold onto enough of her core vote to slip through the middle? It is very tough to get a bet on Lancaster holding her seat.

And where will Jennifer Hlusko land? She had by the far the best mind of the lot – almost too smart for the job. Did she pick up any traction? Will her school board tenure work for her?

And finally – what will Jim Curran end up with when the votes are counted? He believes he has solid support within the Hindu community – will they put their X beside his name? It is a secret ballot.

For Mayor Goldring this election is going to be the equivalent of a performance review. He will still drive the car the city provides him in December. What will be interesting to see is how deep a bite Peter Rusin takes out of his hide.

Flood Goldring with chain of office

The Mayor will still have his bling Tuesday morning – it just might not be as shiny

If Peter Rusin picks up more than 30% Rick Goldring needs to re-think the way he serves this city as Mayor. Anne Marsden might get 10% – probably less. The Marsden’s asked good questions and were spot on with several of the issues they brought forward.
Rick Goldring does not want to be at the 60% level.

Election results icon FINALThe election results will be available on the “front page” of the Gazette. Just click on the icon and check out the different ward results.

We were not able to include the school board results in our reports. It was a matter of time and resources.

Gary Carr will still be Regional Chair on Tuesday.

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A quiet well run ward with some strong development potential and an Air Park that is a problem that could become an opportunity.

backgrounder 100By Pepper Parr

October 21, 2014



The ward covers the eastern half of rural Burlington and tracts that run from Hwy 407 down to Upper Middle Road and includes the well-established communities of Millcroft and Headon. The newly created Alton community brought much more diversity into the ward and small pockets of development along the 407.

BOUNDARY MAP WARD 6There isn’t much in the way of industry in the ward; The Hanson Brick Works operates at Dundas Street, there are a lot of commercial operations but all are small in nature. Emery Developments decided to build two five storey towers attached to each other with a two storey atrium at Palladium Way. The intention of the developer is to build on speculation. They were confident enough that the market was there for their offering and expected some occupancy in late 2015.

Tremaine-Dundas project  - land

Staff recommended a Mixed Use plan but indicated that if council selects the all Employment option, staff are able to support this, but cannot support an All Residential option

The Krpan Group project at Dundas and Tremaine is stuck at the OMB – residents have heard very little about this project which has a number of features and approaches to development that are worth paying attention to – but they don’t appear to have any traction in the mind of the Council member for the ward

There was to be a new court house for provincial offences in the war but that disappeared just as fast as it appeared when local opposition spring up without the ward Councillor knowing all that much about the plans.

There isn’t a ward council – that kind of citizen involvement doesn’t sit all that well with the Council member; it would mean sharing the power a member of Council has and attracting meaningful input from the community.

Millcroft and Headon are strong communities that with few problems. Snow removal, road repairs – the usual municipal services are what they ask for – just keep our taxes down.

Dundas Street is due for a very significant upgrade and a widening that will make it a much different road than it is today – it isn’t clear yet what kind of development it will attract. The Region expects to run busses along that road as part of an inter-city transit offering at some point. That is years away but the work needed to create an additional east west road has been made at the Regional level – so Dundas get upgraded


Part of the massive gym set up in the Haber Recreation Centre

Part of the massive gym set up in the Haber Recreation Centre

The opening of the Hayden Recreational Centre, the Frank Hayden High School and a new branch of the library system created a community that pulled itself together very quickly and managed to produce three South Asian candidates for the ward seat.

Transit is not yet a significant issue – most of the seniors are at a point in their lives where they still drive their cars. The demographic of that cohort will shift significantly in the next ten years and the need for more in the way of community services geared to seniors and transit service that will let them get to different places in the city will become evident.

Air-Park-construction-site - earlyThe Air Park is both a problem and a significant opportunity but at this point any ideas that are being discussed come from the mind of Vince Rossi who has yet to provide anything in the way of a business. Rossi has been able to get away with dumping land fill without the required permits because no one, including Blair Lancaster, paid much attention – they bought the argument that the air park was federally regulated and no one asked any questions.

There is an opportunity to do something with the 200 acre property that fits in with an Air Park and the rural setting – no one has come up with anything yet. Not the Economic Development Corporation, not the Region, not the city – not even the people who live in the eastern half of rural Burlington.

Background links:

The ward Councillor: an assessment.


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Ward six council member faces nine challengers with a spotty first term record.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 21, 2014



The Gazette is doing profiles of each member of Council. They are based on four years of observations and interviews with most Council members. An overview of the ward they serve is linked to the profile.

Walter Byj, a free lance writer who contributes to the Gazette regularly, was to do a part of this article but he was unable to reach Councillor Lancaster to do an interview. Byj called on:

July 21st -sent e-mail to her assistant requesting an interview for the Burlington Gazette. Assistant Julie advised that Blair was out of office and that she would follow up next week.
August. 22nd- sent follow up request to assistant Julie. Got reply back on August 25th. stating she was on vacation last week and that she would advise Blair.
Sept. 4th.- sent e-mail to assistant stating that I assumed that Blair did not want to be interviewed.
Sept. 9- sent e-mail to Blair asking for an interview, have never heard back.

Getting an appointment with Blair Lancaster has never been easy. While media savvy Ms Lancaster often avoids media or gets others to do the avoiding for her.


Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster thinking through the answer to a question.  Tends to be cautious.

Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster thinking through the answer to a question. Tends to be cautious.

The Gazette organized a debate of all ten candidates in ward six. We got an email from Brenda McKinley saying she was representing a candidate but did not want to say who and asked if there could be another moderator and if the questions asked of one candidate could be put to every candidate.

Ms McKinley said they did not want the publisher of the Gazette serving as moderator and suggested someone from the Chamber of Commerce. We declined the request. We later learned that Brenda McKinley, the person making the request, was Blair Lancaster’s sister. The sneakiness was seen on too many occasions.

One of our very first interactions with Blair Lancaster was during a break when the Strategic Plan was being developed back in 2010. While walking towards the table with the coffee urns Blair Lancaster asked if “there wasn’t something we could do about Marianne Meed Ward”. At that point in time council members were trying to get used to the Meed Ward style. We were never quite sure what Ms Lancaster wanted us to do.

Blair Lancaster led a large part of the public meeting at which the Niagara Greater Toronto Area (NGTA) highway was discussed at the Mainway Arena. It was a very large crowd and keeping the emotions in check was not a simple task. Lancaster showed that she could handle crowds that were at times unruly.

Lancaster was the first member of Council to declare a conflict of interest on a financial matter. The Downtown Core Vision was being discussed and Lancaster took the position that she had a commercial business and therefore stood to gain if the city did anything. She left her Council seat and sat in the public gallery. The Spa she owned was closed a few years later. There was no financial gain.

Several weeks later Councillor Dennison did the same thing – which shocked everyone at the media table.

The Phhoto Op - Artist Alex Pentek on the left, displays a portion of the Orchid to Councillors Sharman and Lancaster

The Photo Op – Artist Alex Pentek on the left, displays a portion of the Orchid to Councillors Sharman and Lancaster. Lancaster argues the art is not in her ward.

Lancaster has a pluckiness to her – she can be quick with a remark that you may not like and leaves you with the sense that she isn’t one to trifle with – and then she backs away from real issues.

There is a message when nine candidates file nomination papers for a seat held by a single term council member. A lot of people feel they can do a better job or do they smell blood in the water?

The ward has a large chunk of rural Burlington within its boundaries but the voting population is in the Alton, Headon and Millcroft communities.

This was home turf for Blair Lancaster the incumbent completing her first term. However Alton wasn’t a significant part of the population in 2010 – it was a community that was beginning to come together so it is an unknown as far as where the hearts of the voters lie.

Headon and Millcroft was a part of the city Lancaster split with Mark Carr who didn’t lose by all that much in 2010

Issues in the ward south of Dundas were the usual – parking, snow removal – nothing that would grab voters enough to get them to turn out in droves.

There was the renaming of South Hampton Blvd, a city street that runs west off Walker’s Line and has just the one address on it – the Burlington detachment of the Halton Regional Police. Police Association executives wanted the street name changed to Constable Henshaw Blvd., to commemorate Bill Henshaw who died while on duty in 2010.

It really wasn’t a major issue but one that riled one area resident enough for him to delegate and complain that is calls to Lancaster were never answered. “I did call you, on several occasions” said Lancaster. “Yes” responded the citizen – “you called me after the Standing Committee meeting took place and you had made your decision”.

Renaming the street wasn’t a big issue but the communication between the Council member and the constituent was the type of thing that would come up again and again with Lancaster.

Transit was an issue but it was not one that Lancaster had much to say about.

They had every reason to be smiling.  Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

They had every reason to be smiling. Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster pose with five members of the Friends of Freeman Station after the Council meeting that approved the entering into of a Joint Venture that would have the Friends moving the station and taking on the task of renovating the building.

She did have a lot to say about the Freeman Station and for that Lancaster deserves both merit points and a Brownie badge. She, along with Councillor Marianne Meed Ward, took the lead on this issue and managed to hold the rest of Council back. The two women don’t get along, have very little time for each other and deserve credit for being able to set aside differences and ensure that the Freeman project didn’t get trampled.

What Lancaster has not been able to do is establish strong working relationships with all too many of her constituents.

That dissension, particularly with those in rural Burlington who felt very strongly that there interests – and those of the city – were not being met.

Fellow Council members would comment on how little time Lancaster spent at city hall and there wasn’t a lot of positive feedback from city hall staff. A problem over a parking ticket was memorable.

Vanessa Warren, one of the best delegators we’ve seen in some time and an excellent researcher as well was seen as THE leader in this race for the Council when she declared her candidacy.

Rossi and Lancaster in Warren barn

Rural Burlington residents could not understand why there Council member chose to sit beside Vince Rossi – owner of the Air Park and the man responsible for dumping tonnes of fill without the required permits

For the rural population of the ward the Air Park issue has been major. They see the landfill dumping done as a major affront to the environmental integrity of their part of the city and they feel the ward councillor is just a little too cozy with Vince Rossi, president of Burlington Air Park Inc.

Lancaster held many of her ward events at the Air Park – a nice location – what many didn’t fully appreciate was that the occasion was also an Air Park Open House that Lancaster was piggy backing on.
During the early days of the land fill being trucked onto the air park site a number of residents wondered who Lancaster was working for. There was some vicious email between Lancaster and several of her residents who became suspicious and wary of her actions.

During a community meeting at the Warren farm on Bell school line Lancaster sat beside Vince Rossi; during the trial over the landfill and site plan argument Lancaster sat in the row behind Rossi.

Lancaster sign near runway

Lancaster election signs appear beside the Air Park runway.

The rural residents stopped trusting their Council member and formed a coalition of interests to keep the community informed. It was that coalition, Rural Burlington Greenbelt Coalition that did much of the early research on the financial organization of the Air Park and the $4.5 million mortgages that were on the property.

Vanessa Warren, the founding chair of that organization, delegated to the city and the Region very effectively. As 2013 became 2014 Warren decided that here had to be a candidate that would run against Lancaster and filed her nomination papers.

To the surprise of many, candidates then began to come out of the bushes until there were nine candidates running against the incumbent.

Lancaster appears to be betting that the nine will split the vote very widely and that her core vote will hold and she will manage to come up the middle.

During the 2010-14 term Lancaster served on the Burlington Museums Board, Burlington Public Library Board, Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee, Burlington Mundialization Committee and the Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee.


From left to right: Carm Bozzo, development manager, Halton Women’s Place; Councillor Blair Lancaster; Mayor Rick Goldring; Ed Dorr, Chair, Burlington Mundialization Committee.

From left to right: Carm Bozzo, development manager, Halton Women’s Place; Councillor Blair Lancaster; Mayor Rick Goldring; Ed Dorr, Chair, Burlington Mundialization Committee.

Perhaps her best work was done on the Mundialization committee where she represented Burlington with our sister cities Apeldoorn in Holland and Itabashi in Japan. It is in those almost semi-diplomatic roles that Lancaster shines.

There were three new council members in 2010 –Blair Lancaster, Paul Sharman and Marianne Meed Ward. Sharman created a name for himself with the way he handled the 2010 budget debates; Meed Ward brought a reputation with her – Lancaster struggled to learn the job and find her own niche.

She is currently chair of a Standing Committee; fortunately she has Councillor Craven as her deputy and he can guide her.

Background links:

Ward six: what has it got going for it?

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Ward six residents take part in a debate - was there a winner? There is certainly a choice.

council 100x100By Walter Byj

September 27, 2014



On Wednesday night the Burlington Gazette held its first all municipal candidates’ debate; it was held in ward six where there will be a total of 10 candidates on the ballot. Two of the ten were absent while one left shortly after the beginning.

Joan Little, a Hamilton Spectator columnist and Kurt Koster, a north Burlington resident and one of the founders of BurlingtonGreen wrote the questions that were put to the panelists.

On the stage were: Angelo Bentivegna, Jim Curran, Pardeep Dosanjh, Jennifer Hlusko, Blair Lancaster, Jivan Sanghera, Ishare Thiara who left early due to illness and Vanessa Warren.

There were about 120 people ence was approximately 100 with many, but not all, being cheerleaders’ for their candidate. Not sure how many minds where changed during the debate.

Debate Bentivegna-Curran -DosanjhAfter opening remarks from the candidates the panelists questioned the candidates on a number of topics allowing each candidate time to response. Unfortunately with the large number of candidates and the limited amount of time, it was difficult to always get detailed responses.

That notwithstanding, the questions and responses did offer an insight into not only the candidates, but why they were running and what their goals would be. Though not a Toronto style debate with name calling and heckling, there were a few zingers thrown.

Why each of the candidates was running was quite apparent throughout the evening, they were not happy with the current councillor. Not returning phone calls or responding to the needs of residents was a major complaint of Lancaster. However, she did respond by pointing to her long list of accomplishments as shown on her brochure and the fact that when addressing issues, one needs finesse and careful negotiations.

The candidates were asked if they would be full time councillors. Most definitely was the response back. They felt that being a councillor was a full time job and that they would treat it as such by being available 24/7. Jennifer Hlusko said the $120,000 Councillors are paid (they are actually paid under $100,000 – half of which comes from the Region and half from the city. They also get pension contributions and health benefits from the city) was far more than she earned as a trustee and she treats that job as full time.

Debate Bentivegna and Sanghera

Angelo Bentivegna chats with Jivan Sanghera after the debate.

Should a Councillor accept political donations and if so, from whom? Recognising that money is essential to run a campaign some stated that there was a difference accepting money from friends and relatives and from developers. Each candidate had a different response to this question.

Hlusko said she has never accepted money in the past and only recently accepted one donation which she says will be her last. Bentivegna, Curran, Dosanjh and Warren have accepted donations from friends and relatives but stressed not from developers. It could be a conflict if the developer addresses council. Sanghera stated he would not accept donations but would rather people donate to the flood relief fund. Only Lancaster had a slightly different approach. She felt that a donation of $750 (which is the maximum that one can donate) is not that great of an amount and would not sway a Councillors opinion. Anyone can donate to a campaign, she said and that developers are important and that we must respect people that donate.

In discussing ward 6, Angelo Bentivegna felt that it was comprised of four distinct areas, Headon Forest, Millcroft, Alton and rural Burlington with each having their particular needs. He felt that the Alton community felt isolated and should be brought into Burlington. Resident Fareem Samji (current Canadian Women’s Long Drive Champion) asked the Councillors how this could be done. This resulted in a variety of answers. Jennifer Hlusko reaches her community via blogs and twitter on a daily basis.

Jim Curran feels that the community is isolated from city hall and is not a geographical problem.
This brought the discussion to Dundas Street and the fear that it is an accident waiting to happen. There is increased pedestrian and car traffic along Dundas Street and although the city can label the area near the high school as a “community safety zone”, this was met with apprehension by many of the Councillors.


The John Boich Public School hadn't been built when this picture was taken - but it is very much a part of the community today.  Boich passed away almost two years ago. The intersection will be closed for the weekend of November 9/10

The traffic on Dundas is seen as an accident waiting to happen.  Is there a solution?  The candidates didn’t agree on one.

Speeding appears to be a common occurrence here. There was near consensus that a pedestrian walkway should be constructed to ensure safety for all residents crossing Dundas. They do not want a tragedy to affect change. However, at a cost of $1.2 million, this will not happen in the immediate future. Dundas is a Regional Road; decisions as to what gets done are made at the Regional level.

Bike lanes: everyone is in favour of having more, but what kind and how to pay for them? Do we want bike lanes for the serious commuter or for casual biking? Once that has been determined, how do you pay for them? That is the $2 million question. Lancaster said it would cost $2 million for a small section of road and that we should install the bike lanes when the roads are redone.

Bentivegna wanted additional studies before further action while the balance of the field wanted immediate action.

Sanghera suggested that corporate Burlington pitch in. He asked “why can’t Tim Horton’s, for example, sponsor a bike lane”? This was echoed by the others while Hlusko felt there could be efficiencies at city hall that could result in additional funds for bike lanes.

There was the obligatory discussion of the airpark fiasco with all candidates stressing that this will not be another Buttonville (more than just a recreational airport). None of the candidates would support further expansion. Lancaster suggested that the city hire an aviation consultant whose expertise would guide council with the potential problems that the airpark could present to the city. A rhetorical question by Sanghera “How did the first truckload happen?” received loud applause by the audience.

All candidates were disappointed with transit within ward six as development and transit routes do not appear to be in sync. “We tend to build first and the get transit to serve” said Warren. Lancaster added that the city is making progress in this area – looking at smaller buses. She added that ridership is up by 15%. This was disputed by Sanghera and Bentivegna.


Burlington Transit put their most festive bus into the parade.  The language doesn't matter - the message is still the same.

Transit was a debate question: How much and how does it get paid for?

“Transit is calculated by boards and not by ticket sales” said Bentivegna. One ticket sales could easily be two rides. All were concerned that seniors should get the transit that they deserve and with an aging population in ward six, transit should be upgraded to meet these needs by increasing the number of stops and by reducing fares for seniors.

How do we engage younger voters? – a question in any election. The use of social media such as twitter and Facebook was a most common reply while Dosanjh and Curran felt that parents have a certain responsibility in having their children be more politically aware.

The recent ice storm and flooding was covered with all candidates stressing that we need to be more prepared for these types of events and that our infrastructure needs to be upgraded.

Many topics were covered and many words spoken. Reading candidate literature gives one a certain perspective on the candidates and seeing them live in a debate forum adds an additional layer to the individual. They all seem to use the same buzzwords such as concern for seniors and our children but decisions should be done based on a multitude of facts and not emotion.

For example, concern for seniors is important, but we should remember that all seniors are not alike. As recently reported in Macleans magazine, today’s seniors are much more active and wealthier than previous generations. Before we start spending more money on transit for ward 6 seniors, we should totally understand the type of senior in this ward and how many would use increased and cheaper transit.


This is the part of the country side the environmentalists want to keep the highway makers away from.

This is the part of Burlington the environmentalists want to keep the highway makers away from.

The building of an additional highway through north Burlington was not discussed yet all candidates were concerned of our current traffic woes both within Burlington and throughout the GTA. All candidates want more employment within Burlington, but with all candidates not wanting to change our current urban and rural boundaries, we face either more dense housing within Burlington or additional traffic into the city.

With a population projection of 6.6 million by 2025 within the GTA how many of these would be travelling the QEW corridor and can we handle the traffic?


Councillor Lancaster got herself attached to the Air Park in a way that many north Burlington residents did not appreciate.

As the evening concluded, the panelists said that they were impressed with the quality of candidates for ward six. It would be great if we could take a piece of each candidate and have a super Councillor.

Angelo Bentivegna has done his homework but was proposing too many meetings and consultations. Jim Curran seemed to lack a certain dynamism when addressing the audience. Pardeep Dosanjh showed deep support for seniors and children, but did not have a strong platform for all the other issues. Jennifer Hlusko has the political background as a trustee and has a sound knowledge of how government operates. Blair Lancaster, the incumbent, has experience on her side. The main problem here is was she responsive enough to her constituents and can she improve on this in the future.

Jivan Sanghera was a pleasant surprise as he had a strong presence and offered some unique solutions to the needs of ward six. However, name recognition is low within the ward.

Vanessa Warren entered the race initially because of the airpark situation and presents herself well in a public forum. The main question is will she be able to give equal time to the rest of the ward.

Nine people wanting to replace the incumbent was a political message of its own. 

Walter Byj is a frequent contributor to the GazetteByj Walter  H&S

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An informed observer gives his take on the ward six debate; Gazette comments.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

September 26, 2014



Was it a good debate? Not bad. It was the first the Gazette has sponsored and perhaps the only ward level debate the city will see – however we understand there might be a ward level debate in Aldershot.

We will certainly do this type of thing again – maybe not this election. Events like this take time and with our limited resources – time is one of the things we never have enough of.

On the stage at the theatre at the Hayden High School were the following:  Angelo Bentivegna; Jim Curran; Pardeep Dodanjh; Jennifer Hlusko; Blair Lancaster; Jivan Sanghera; Ishar Thiara and Vanessa Warren.

Mina Wahidi had to excuse herself from the debate – her Mother was taken to hospital.  Ishar Thiara had to leave the stage part way through the evening; he had become ill and Shoaib Shams didn`t show up.

Email from people we look upon as reliable, informed observers who have served the city in some form in the past and are aware of what happens at city hall, sent in some comments.

Debate ThiaraNone of the comments came from people working on a campaignThe contributor asked to remain anonymous – there is a lot of that going around in Burlington.  People like to comment but seldom want to put their name beside their comments.

We pass these along to you along with our own observations. Later this week our reporter Walter Byj will complete his write of the three hour event.

“I was expecting to see some strong drive for change, but all I saw was room temperature water, except for Warren’s opening remark about the number of candidates being a good indicator of how well Lancaster has done her job.

Bentivegna – wants to do more studies – there are already too many studies – need some action!
No such thing as ‘try harder’, said Bentivegna, “everyone does the best they can with the skills and abilities they have.”

Gazette comment: Should Bentivegna be elected he will choose to be very tight with senior staff. He very much wants to be part of what he sees as the people who run the decision. Bentivegna believes he can help the Mayor be a better mayor by offering him direction and guidance.

Curran – weak communicator – hard for him to string more than 5 words together – could not hold my attention.

Debate Bentivegna-Curran -DosanjhGazette comment: Curran was lack lustre. He however believes he has more boots on the ground that anyone else and that he can win this race. Time will tell.

Dosanjh – save your time and drop out.

Gazette comment: At one point she began to believe what she was saying – but lost any credibility she might have had when she asked another candidate how much he had donated to the flood victim account.

Hlusko – acted like she did not want to be there –
“indignant, self-righteous and out of touch

“too much anger when responding to the early question when she said ‘which question do you want me to answer’

“strange loud positive response from the crowd when she said that…
“and strange response re being set-up over Greenbelt question and being set-up over delegating to Council.

“SHE built Hayden school’ – her quote – Government of Ontario funding had nothing to do with it, nor did demographics or the province’s school funding formula? If force of personality could get a school built, why did Millcroft not have a school for 8 or 9 years? Because of the funding formula…. she was on duty when it was built, but to take credit, I don’t think that is a valid claim

Debate Bentivegna and Sanghera

Angelo Bentivegna and Jivan Sanghera exchange comments after the debate

“Burlingtonians have deep pockets and are willing to pay for parks, road repairs” – paraphrased – Easy to say when her family brings in north of $200k and her peers working for the school boards make $90k plus. Example: Two husband and wife school board employees near me. First set – her teaching 10 years ~ $80k / year. Him, school admin ~ $120k / year. Second Set – him, school admin ~ $170k, her teaching 30+ years $90k+. If Hlusko comes out of her circle of friends/peers she will see there are many people in Burlington who struggle to get by or live paycheck to paycheck.

Gazette comment: Hlusko had the best grasp of the numbers than anyone else – she knew her file and while she is a little quirky – (She might be a Mensa.) she knows what she is talking about. We saw her as snappy in a very positive way.

We don’t share the view of our observer.

Lancaster – – she is so meek, silent and vacant in Council, I was surprised she skated so well on thin ice
Spoke of building coalitions among Councillors but not one specific example – no one called her on it…
Spoke of ‘her’ ward when talking about other Councillors ‘interfering’ with citizen calls to other Councillors (re Code of Conduct)

It is the Ward she represents, not a Ward she possesses.

Gazette comment: Lancaster was Lancaster – she described Warren as an activist – a word that left a bad taste in Lancaster’s mouth, but she gave as good as she got.

She represents a demographic that is older but they love her and if enough of them stick by her – she could make it back.  Her support is solid – the question is – just how deep is that support.

When the incumbent has nine people running against her it has to be a message she hears. One didn’t get the impression she has heard the message,

Sanghera – did his research, spoke well – needs to find a differentiator to succeed – potential – maybe not this year.

Gazette comment: We were very impressed with this young man. He spoke very well, had his fingers on the facts and came across, to us anyway, as balanced and rational. Were we to live in ward six – he would be our choice.

Warren – very well prepared, confident – may be the ultimate winner – if she gets a presence south of 407

Debate WarrenGazette comment: Warren is always well prepared. She is the best delegator we have seen at both city hall and the Region, her research is close to impeccable. And she is an activist – Burlington needs more like her. She just didn’t come across as a person who could find the middle ground and understand that politics is the art of the possible. A city is made up of a collection of interests and all those interests have to be contended with and considered.

We are not sure Warren has the patience to sit through those hour upon hour Standing Committee meetings talking about parking spaces and property setbacks. Her sense of justice would bristle at some of the things developers ask for – which the current council usually gives them.

Warren would be a firm ally of Meed Ward – not a bad thing – but it would mean 5-2 votes on many issues. In the past they have been 6-1 with Meed Ward calling for a recorded vote each time.

Meed Ward is good at this kind of thing and, while she is an irritant to her colleagues she is effective. Warren doesn’t have the stomach for this kind of thing.

There are going to be those out there that claim we are biased.  We don`t live in the ward.  We know the incumbent better than most people; we have watched her for the past four years.  We have followed several of the candidates for some time.  Others we saw for the first time Wednesday night; for at least one of them that was all we needed.




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