BFAST releases transit survey results,Endorses Meed Ward for mayor.

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 3rd, 2018


BFAST’s news release earlier today said City Council defeated a motion to provide a pilot project for free fares for seniors by a vote of 6-1. The actual result was 4-3, with Mayor Goldring and Councillors Meed Ward and Lancaster in favour.

Bfast Transit group logoBurlington for accessible Sustainable Transit (BFAST) says the results of its candidates’ survey on transit policy could mean a change for the better. The group surveyed all Burlington mayoral and council candidates and endorsed Marianne Meed Ward for mayor.

“Marianne has been in the trenches, fighting for decent transit service in the face of a wall of opposition,” said Doug Brown, BFAST chair. “While the other candidates are not necessarily hostile to transit, Marianne’s record speaks for itself.”


Bfast survey a

Bfast survey b

Transit - unhappy customer

An unhappy transit user venting before the Director of Transportation Vito Tolone and Mayor Goldring.

BFAST welcomed the priority that both mayoral city council candidates are giving to transit in their survey answers and platforms.

“We were pleased at the fresh perspectives many of the candidates brought to the issue,” said Brown. “We sincerely thank everyone for their participation and congratulate them for participating in the electoral process as candidates.”

Thirty-three of the 37 candidates favoured establishing transit service before new developments were built. Twenty-nine favoured a pilot project offering free transit for seniors during off-peak hours, a proposal the present council defeated 6-1.

The survey results, and BFAST’s recommendations, are public at

Transit wkshp = Edwardth = Mayor with cell

Joey Edwarth, President of Community Development Halton, Mayor Goldring and on the far right Doug Brown of Bfast. Mayor is checking out a transit cell phone app.

The survey was conducted by email in late August and early September. All 37 of the mayoral and council candidates submitted responses. In some cases, the responses came with extensive comments, which BFAST published in full. Email addresses for the candidates were obtained from the city’s election website.

BFAST, established in 2012, is a citizens’ group that promotes public transit in Burlington. It is the lead organizer in the annual Transit Users’ Forum, delegates to city council and staff, provides information to transit researchers and works with other community groups to improve Burlington’s transit system.


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Drummond: Evidence is overwhelming, businesses adapted to $14 minimum wage. They would adapt to $15.

opinionviolet 100x100By Andrew Drummond

October 3rd, 2018



Last Wednesday, Ontario Minister of Labour, Laurie Scott announced that Ontario would not follow through on its commitment to raise the minimum wage to $15 on January 1, 2019. The new Ford administration argued that “The increase of 20 per cent this year was a lot for businesses to absorb so we’re putting a pause on the minimum wage,” Scott said. “What we’re doing is that businesses have the chance to catch up but we’re also helping the low-income people in Ontario with tax breaks,”.

The regressive position of the Ford government contrasts with the actions of the government of Alberta which on October 1, raised its minimum wage to $15 across the province. Alberta’s Labour Minister, Christina Gray claimed “Going forward, we know that paying a little bit more to workers will provide greater stability, lower turnover, more loyalty,” she said. “We hear that a lot from businesses that pay at or above that higher minimum wage — that there is a benefit in retention and lower training costs.”

The argument from the Ontario government and other fiscal conservatives is that business has been hurt by the increases in minimum wage and that has caused them to scale back on part time jobs, hurting the most vulnerable. “Employers are finding it hard to cope with the precipitous rise in the minimum wage. In response, they’re cancelling part-time jobs.” said Minister Scott in an editorial for the Financial Post. This statement raises the following questions: What is the reality of this assertion? What impact did the proposed wage raise have on businesses in Ontario and specifically in Burlington?

Ad 2The evidence is so far inconclusive. In Ontario, 51,000 jobs were lost in January. Many critics of the minimum wage increase incorrectly pointed to this as evidence of the detrimental effect of the policy – however the data told a different and more nuanced tale. In additional to the confusion over the data there was also anecdotal evidence showing that some companies (notably Tim Horton’s franchises) had dramatically scaled back their employment immediately on January 1 as response to the implementation of $14 as a minimum wage.

However, there was not nearly as much focus on the employment numbers after January to measure the long-term effect of the policy. When we look past the January employment figures, we see a different picture emerge. For example, in February, Ontario gained 16,000 jobs. In March another 10,000 were added. By July, Ontario had gained 132,000 jobs since the end of January, more than offsetting the gut jerk reaction from employers when the minimum wage came out. Ontario currently has the lowest unemployment rate it has had over the past 5 years at 5.4%. The argument that employment has struggled under a higher minimum wage appears to be disconnected from the actual employment figures.

Fortino adFor Burlington specifically, we need to understand what a living, rather than minimum wage should be. Living Wage Halton has done an exceptional job of figuring out what the minimum value needed to live here is. They take into account a 4 person family with limited expenses. The family does all its travel on public transit, needs only limited childcare for 1 of 2 children, and has a meagre entertainment budget (a weeklong camping trip and once a year to the zoo). This is measured against the current values of food, housing, and services in Halton to compute what exactly the 2 adults need to earn on a 40 hour workweek to support this family.

Servoce Ontario adThe current value for the Halton region is $17.95 an hour. This amount represents the bare minimum that a person needs to make while working full time and supporting a family on two incomes. Against that value, the current $14 Ontario minimum wage is clearly inadequate. A family with minimum wage earners would have a shortfall of $15,800 in their yearly budget just to make ends meet. To cover this shortfall, the family would need additional earnings from part time jobs that made up 22.5 hours a week. While there are obviously some assumptions made here in the makeup piece, (taxes would be lower for example) a family should not need many hours of part time work just to have a meager lifestyle.

Wimpys adThe question is then can Burlington businesses afford it? What has been the local result of the increase to $14/hour? There is relatively little unemployment data available at the city level. However, the 2016 census put Burlington’s unemployment at 5.7%, or 1.7% lower than the province as a whole. So Burlington is relatively well off compared to Ontario at large. Extrapolating, if Ontario gained jobs despite (or because of) a minimum wage increase, it is possible that Burlington did as well.

To test this theory, I conducted an informal survey of a number of plazas in Burlington over the past three  weeks. At every one of them, there were multiple companies looking to hire. As far as I can tell, every Tim Horton’s in the city is looking for more people, and many clerical/retail opportunities exist as well. If the minimum wage hike had done such damage, why are there so many businesses still looking for people willing to work at that wage?

What all this means is that the closer the minimum wage gets to $17.95 in Halton, the better off all families and by extension our entire community will be. The caveat on this is that it only works if business can sustain it. The evidence is overwhelming that businesses adapted to the $14 minimum wage, and they would certainly be able to adapt to $15 as well.

Businesses are doing Ok, so it’s time to make sure families are doing Ok too.

Andrew Drummond HeadshotAndrew Drummond was the New Democratic candidate for Burlington in the most recent provincial election.

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64,000 students, 6,507 teachers will be back in public schools on Tuesday.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 31st, 2018



The Halton District School Board will be welcoming approximately 64,000 Kindergarten to Grade 12 students on the first day of school on Tuesday.

The Board’s 6,507 teachers, 3,117 non-teaching and support staff, and 222 principals and vice-principals are outfitting classrooms, tending to sports fields, polishing floors, cleaning buildings and organizing schedules to prepare schools for another productive and memorable school year.

New cladding roof MMR

New cladding on the sides of the high school and repairs to the roof are part of the work done at MMR during the summer.

The controversial transferring of Lester B Pearson students to M.M. Robinson High School starts on Tuesday as well. During the summer, MMR underwent some renovations to improve the educational experience for all students as the two schools merge into one community. The school’s Community Pathways Program (CPP) space has been re-constructed, new locker bays installed throughout the building, the theatre’s facade re-designed and renamed the Lester B. Pearson Community Theatre and new cladding added to part of the outdoor front facade, in addition to other improvements.

Students, staff and parents/guardians will also walk into many other Halton schools that underwent various renovations and upgrades this summer. Approximately $25 million worth of construction projects were completed at dozens of elementary and secondary schools. Work included roofing improvements, ventilation, new entranceways, windows, doors, flooring and washrooms, and more.

Over the summer, the HDSB transitioned to a new Student Absence Reporting system called SchoolMessenger. Families can register for SchoolMessenger through the website ( or the HDSB Mobile App. Resources and training videos to support parents/guardians with the transition to SchoolMessenger are available on the HDSB website ( by searching “SchoolMessenger”.

This new system enables parents/guardians to receive app notifications, text messages, emails and phone calls from schools and the HDSB. Families will now be able to report absences for their child using the HDSB Mobile App, the SchoolMessenger website or a toll-free phone number.

The HDSB Mobile App, rolled out earlier this year, consolidates important information for parents/guardians and students into one easy-to-access location. Report absences, receive school and Board news, social media and calendars all in one place. The HDSB Mobile App is available for download on the App Store and Google Play by searching “HDSB”.

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Kearns calls the stuff coming out of the Transportation department is 'phony baloney'.

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

August 24th, 2018



Lisa Kearns met with her community last night – she wanted to update them on where things were with developments in the ward and talk to them about her stand on most of the problems as she sees them.
It was clear that Lisa Kearns is for development – but the right kind of development.

Kerns at public meting Aug 23

Lisa Kearns talking to participants at her public meeting and handing out her T-shirts.

She has taken the position that the Carriage Gate development on the north east corner of James and Brant is a done deal. Her concern now is how does the community handle that construction – how long will there be serious disruption to how people use the downtown core which she defines as from the Lakeshore Road north to Caroline.

Kearns told the meeting that the Burlington Downtown Business Association and the Burlington Economic Development Corporation are working together on a study to come up with ideas to keep the downtown core vibrant.

Bentley - rendering

The Bentley, nearing completion on John Street is the first of a three phase development. Above ground parking and a medical building on the north at Caroline are to follow. Kearns thinks this is a great development.

Kearns pointed to the three phase Carriage Gate development on John Street that she thinks is great. It combines a location for new community services (in this case medical) has space for commercial tenants and will have significant above ground parking. She said she understands that 27% of the units in the Bentley are to be affordable housing. That does not appear to be the understanding of the developer.

One of the small pieces of good news is that there may be a solution to what was going to be serious traffic congestion on John Street at the downtown mobility hub with at least six transit routes going into and leaving the transit station and cars from the Revenue Properties and Carriage development emptying onto the same street.

Bus roites - 1st design

All those dotted lines are but routes that swing through the downtown mobility hub. Moving the transfer station north to ancempty lot at the corner of Caroline and John is said to be in the works.

Kearns told her audience that it appeared the property at the corner of John and Caroline that is now an empty lot will be made the transfer point for people who want to change buses. That transferring is now done at the location of the transit terminal on John Street just north of Pine.

Sounds like a sensible decision – nothing from city hall on this yet.

Kearns at podium

Lisa Kearns: Talks like a ward Councillor

Kearns looks and talks like the ward Councillor. She is in constant touch with the bureaucrats and used phrases like “I will take care of you” – “I’ve already been doing that.”

Kearns believes the downtown core – from Lakeshore to Caroline – is going to lose much of its character.

She appears to be basing her campaign on a sustainability lens – everything that gets done should be done through a sustainability lens – does what we want to do add to the sustainability of the community. Her message was that we need to re-think the way we do things.

Members of the audience were able to pick up Lisa Kearns lawn signs – and advised that they cannot be put up until September 7th.

Transportation and the study that seems to be taking forever to make it to the public drew this comment from Kearns: “Phony baloney – they don’t know what they are doing.”

That’s as blunt and direct as a candidate can be.

Expect more of that from Kearns who is going to be an interesting debater during the all candidate debates taking place for each ward.

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A development that is much bigger than anyone expected - but it meets all the rules and for the most part complies with the Official Plan in place now.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 25th, 2018


Part two of a two part article on a proposed development in the east end of Burlington,

When the plans for the re-development of the Lakeside Village Plaza were shown to the public last week it wasn’t what many people thought they were going to see.

The presentation had large posters showing what would go where.

Two of the three candidates running for the ward 5 city council seat were in the room; Councillor Sharman worked one end of the room while retired school principal Mary Alice St. James worked the other end.

Sharman - hand raised

Councillor Paul Sharman explaining the development.

Councillor Sharman has been working to get some development of the site since his first year as a city Councillor – few thought that this was what Sharman had planned for the community.

St. James has made it clear that she doesn’t like the height and she isn’t pleased with the length of time it will take to complete the project. This could be as much as a decade – great for sidewalk superintendents but not what those who want a “peaceable Kingdom”.

If approved by city council the site will consist of nine buildings and underground parking with some of the structures reaching 19 storeys into the sky.

The proposed development V a

Nine buildings will be on the site – they range froma single story to 19 storeys.

The Plan has five phases that will take years to be completed.

The information before the public at this point comes from a Justification report prepared by professional planners who were hired by the developer, Glanelm Property Management.
The city’s role up to this point is to ensure that all the required reports are received and the required fees are paid. Glenelm has paid the city $235,052.50 and the Region $9,184.72.

Dana Anderson

Dana Anderson – planning consultant for the developer.

At this point data and information is coming from the developers planner. Residents haven’t had a chance to hear what the city has to say. The ward Councillor is in love with this project – it is something he had been pushing almost from the first day he was elected.

Ward 5 candidate Mary Alice St. James said: “The Lakeside Plaza is an example of why I put my name forward as a candidate as Ward 5 Councillor. Throughout Ward 5 there are intensification proposals for Lakeside Plaza, Appleby Village, on vacant land ripe for development and in the south end of Ward 5 where older homes are being swooped up to be over-intensified, over-massed.

Mary Alice - speaking

Mary Alice St. James – pulling in the votes.

1- Lakeside Plaza is a tired plaza that requires a much needed, as soon as possible update.
2- This first draft is too high, too dense with too many buildings with too big a span, all of which is too close to the abutting streets and current residents.
3- The City of Burlington needs to oppose this first draft.

The developers Justification report talks in terms of “taking into account efficient sequencing of site servicing, ensuring adequate access and parking is provided for uses that operate during the redevelopment process and facilitating the relocation of existing tenants to new portions of the site with minimal disruption to business operations.”

Phase 1 includes the demolition of the north-west corner of the existing plaza structure and the construction of a 6 storey residential structure with 3 levels of underground parking (Block B) facing Kenwood Avenue. Access Lane A will also be constructed at this time which will provide shared access to the Subject Lands and Skyway Arena. A second access will be introduced on Kenwood Avenue along with the associated Access Lane B which, through future phases, will connect to corresponding driveway access on Hampton Heath Road.

Layout - pedestrian

Where the buildings are to be located with parking and green space at the ground level

Phase 2 will see the demolition of the remainder to the west wing of the plaza and the construction of a 1 storey commercial podium facing Lakeshore Road with two residential tower elements on top with 13 (Block E) and 13 (Block F) storey heights. A 5 storey residential structure will link the two towers, the top of which will correspond with a further building step back on both tower elements. A 1 storey restaurant building (Block A) will be attached to the podium building facing Kenwood Avenue. Access Lane B will be extended to the middle of the Subject Lands.

Existing Access Lane D which provides access to Lakeshore Road will be improved with sidewalks and landscaping. The parking area north of Block E and F will be reconfigured and improved with landscaping and sidewalks.

Phase 3 will see the demolition of the eastern portion of the commercial plaza. The 1 storey grocery store will be redeveloped with an attached 4 storey retail and office building. A landscaped public amenity area will be created in front of Block I. The surface parking area in front of Block I and the grocery store will be reconfigured, providing landscaping and sidewalks. The service lane at the rear of the property will also be improved at this time.
That grocery store redevelopment – where will people shop while that is being done?

Hampton Heath

The view of the development from Hampton Heath looking west.

Phase 4 will see the removal of the remaining central portion of the commercial plaza and the construction of a 1 storey commercial podium with two residential tower elements (Blocks C and D), both 10 storeys in height. The two tower elements will be linked by a 3 storey residential structure, the top of which will correspond with a further building step back on both tower elements. The parking area in front of the blocks will also be reconfigured, landscaped and improved with sidewalks. A public amenity area will be constructed in front of Block D and a pedestrian only mews created between Blocks D and I. Access Lane A will also be extended up to the mews.

Phase 5 will replace an existing surface parking area with a 1 storey commercial podium facing Lakeshore Road with two residential tower elements on top with 17 (Block G) and 9 (Block H) storey heights. A 5 storey residential structure will link the two towers, the top of which will correspond with a further building step back on both tower elements. A landscaped pedestrian path into the Subject Lands will be provided between Block H and the abutting Scotiabank property.

Lakeshore elevation

This is what the development will look like when completed. All the buildings front onto Lakeshore Road.

The proposed redevelopment will see the phased implementation of a 3 storey underground parking garage for all portions of the Subject Lands where new buildings are proposed. The garage will be constructed as the corresponding above grade portion of each phase is constructed.

The proposed redevelopment has carefully considered these guiding principles in its design. The redevelopment is an efficient use of land through intensification at an appropriate location in the City and advances the Province’s growth objectives while balancing other objectives of the OP. The redevelopment will also be appropriately phased to ensure these principles are continued to be addressed in the implementation of the development.

The proposed redevelopment conforms to the City’s policy direction for land use by providing for a redevelopment on an under-utilized site in an existing neighbourhood. The redevelopment provides for a mix of housing and also maintains the planned function for the existing commercial centre.

Kenwood elevation

The view of the development from Kenwood looking east.

The Official Plan seeks to achieve a number of goals for new development with respect to urban design including compatibility with existing neighbourhoods while promoting higher densities and compact built form. The buildings are proposed to be located on the site in such a way as to provide a gradation in height and density. The highest buildings (at 18 storeys) are located along Lakeshore Road, a Minor Arterial road, opposite apartment buildings ranging in height from 5 to 19 storeys.

The building heights in the proposed development decrease moving away from Lakeshore Road. A 14 storey building is proposed along Kenwood Avenue opposite the existing Husky Gas station and commercial plaza.

A 6 storey building is proposed further north along Kenwood Avenue, opposite which are two storey townhouses. Two 11 storey buildings are proposed abutting the northerly lot line which abuts the park. These buildings will face the existing Skyway Arena and Park. The existing one storey grocery store will remain at its current location with a 4 storey addition along its westerly fa ade to provide for additional retail and office units. The distribution of heights and densities allows the proposed development to fit into the existing urban fabric and provides appropriate transition to minimize impacts on the surrounding residential land uses.

The Subject Lands are just under 4 ha and represent a significantly large redevelopment area which allows for a distribution of heights throughout the site. Given that the one storey height is being maintained for the grocery store and restaurant in Block A, it is appropriate to transfer what could have been 11 storeys in height on that Block to additional storeys on the buildings along Lakeshore Road (where taller buildings are more context-appropriate given the arterial road frontage and existing taller buildings to the south).


There are a number of hoops that every development application has to go through. The developers planners spend a lot of time making sure that they comply as much as possible –and where their compliance is a little on the short side – the find a justification for a change in the zoning.

The proposal is consistent with Provincial Policy Statement 2014 (but not with 2017)

The proposal conforms to the Growth Plan, 2017

The proposal conforms to the Halton Regional Official Plan, 2015 and the inforce city of Burlington Official Plan, except those sections proposed to be amended.

The proposal is in conformity with the general direction of the proposed intensification framework set out in the draft city of Burlington Official Plan dates April 2018.

They don’t say they are in conformity – they say they are in conformity with the “general direction”.

Doubtful male

Not convinced yet.

The proposal can be adequately serviced and does not create any adverse impacts to the existing site and surrounding areas.

The proposal is well served by existing community infrastructure including public transit, bike lanes, parks, schools, places of worship and an arena

The proposal enhances the pedestrian environment within the site and along the exterior street frontages and along the exterior street frontages.

The proposal is in keeping with the character of the neighbourhood, provides an opportunity for intensification within the Built Up Area, preserves and upholds the overall urban structure as set out in the in-force OP and would implement the proposed urban structure set out in the Officasl Plan Review.

Careful here – the Justification report appears to want it both way – the development upholds what is required by the existing OP and would implement what was in the draft OP that has yet to be approved and will not apply to this development.

In the notes taken when the public met in a visioning session in 2015, the vast majority of the comment talked in terms of three, four and maybe six storey buildings. There was one mention of high density towers (25 storeys),

This development is for the most part legal – they can do what they want to do.

Related new stories:

The early concept.

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Why did a building on the NW corner of Brant and James get approval for 24 storeys while the one on the SW corner is limited to 18 storeys?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 9th, 2018



City council will be debating a staff recommendation for the proposed development on Brant street, opposite city that starts on the SW corner of James and will run south to Kellys Bake Shop and include the full block.
The developer is asking for 27 stories – the city planners are recommending 18.

high profile 421


The development on the NW corner of Brant and James has been approved at 23 storeys – why are the planners recommending 18 storeys for the second building when the one across the street has been approved for 23 – seems like a reasonable question – and for the developer it is a difference of six floors of condominium units

The 421 – 431 Brant Street development – it hasn’t been given a name yet – has been approved and will consist of:

• Twenty-three (23) storey building, which includes a 1-storey rooftop amenity area;
• Four-storey podium;
• 760 square metres of ground floor retail / commercial space;
• 365 square metres of 2nd floor office space;
• 169 residential units (maximum);
• A parking ratio of 1.2 parking spaces per residential unit in the below-grade parking structure, in addition to 8 dedicated visitor parking spaces and 1 car share space;
• Appropriate building setbacks from Brant Street (2.95 metres), James Street (2.6 metres) and John Street (1.8 metres);
• A 128 square metre (16 metre x 16 metre) visibility triangle (publicly accessible open space) at the corner of Brant Street and James Street;
• Appropriate building stepbacks and terracing above the 4th floor and above the 18th floor

The planners point out that the site is located within the Downtown Urban Centre and within the Downtown Core designation. They add that it “is important to note that the existing OP (that is the one in place before the Grow Bold OP – which was approved and sent to the Regional government for approval at that level), included a site specific exception for a portion of the site (421 – 427 Brant Street) which recognized the site as appropriate for increased height and density.”

What that means is that part of the land assembled for the development had an exception attached to it for height above the permitted heights for neighbouring properties. The way these things work is that the highest height is frequently applied to all the properties when they are assembled.

“The exception set an increased maximum height for the site of seven storeys with taller buildings up to a maximum height of twelve storeys permitted where they provide a sense of compatibility with surrounding land uses and a sense of pedestrian scale by the use of terracing above the second floor. The exception for 421 – 427 Brant Street also set out an increased maximum floor area ratio of 4.5:1, except that higher floor area ratios were permitted subject to community benefits provisions.”

“It is also important to note that the timing of the 421 Brant Street application preceded emerging policy directions for the Downtown Urban Growth Centre, which are now incorporated as a part of the Council Adopted Official Plan: Grow Bold.

From Civic Square

The view from Civic Square looking east at the two “landmark” towers. The one on the left (shown as a shadow) has been approved. The one on the right is before Committee of the whole today – planners want this one cut back to 18 storeys.

“On Sept. 28 2017, the draft new Downtown Mobility Hub Precinct Plan was presented to Council for the first time for discussion and feedback at a Council Workshop at the Committee of the Whole. No decisions were made.

“On November 13, the 421 Brant Street applications were approved in principle.

“On November 30, 2017 a staff report on the Draft Downtown Precinct Plan and proposed Official Plan policies contemplated modifying the building height permissions at Brant Street and James to recognize that node as an area appropriate for landmark buildings and to reduce the building height permissions in the Cannery Precinct for the property located at Brant Street and Lakeshore Road in light of the 421 Brant Street application.”

What the city did was decide to live with height across from city hall and limit height along Lakeshore Road. Councillor Taylor was very specific when he said that he went along with the 23 storeys for 421 Brant on the understanding that Lakeshore heights would be limited to 17 storeys. That’s planning on the fly!


There is a lot of detail in this map- you can identify the precincts that planners use to describe parts of the city and the kind of development permitted.

The Revenue Properties application (409 Brant) now has to find a way to work through and around a thicket of precinct plans, mobility hubs, the Urban Growth Centre and transit issues.

Bus roites - 1st design

Those red lines are the buses that come down Brant and loop along James into the bus terminal that got an upgrade and is now called a Mobility hub anchor. Traffic nightmare!

And, speaking of transit issues – there is a drawing that was part of one of the staff reports on the 409 project that showed the number of bus routes that flow into John Street, which is the street the garages for both 409 and 421 will exit onto – there is a nightmare of a continual traffic jam waiting to happen.
“No Staff/Council motion was made to increase height permissions in the Special Planning Area at Brant and James Streets as a result of the approval of the 421 Brant application on November 13th, 2017.”

What that seems to say is that the height 421 was given isn’t going to be available to 409. It is going to be interesting to see how that works out.

The Revenue Properties proposal is before Planning and Development Committee on Tuesday -July 10th in the afternoon and in the evening.

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If Doug Ford actually comes through with his 10 cent per litre savings on gas - will that savings come out of the hide of municipal transit?

council 100x100By Pepper Parr

June 25th, 2018



With the provincial election out of the way – we will figure out just what kind of a government we are going to have in the weeks and months ahead.

The political focus now shifts to the municipal sector. The 2018 election is going to be a lot different that the one that took place in 2014.

There is an excellent collection of candidates across the board for the municipal side. There is next to nothing new on the Board if Education side – we will leave that to a future news story.

What Burlington is now seeing is a group of younger people who are smart and want to see things done differently. They care about their city in a much different way than most of the current council.  They are open to new ideas and they are putting new ideas forward.

Several have excellent web sites. Some of the candidates are digging into their own wallets and self -funding their campaigns.

It is a little difficult to keep up with all the campaigns. The Gazette is continually scanning the various candidate web sites and looking for imaginative ideas and solutions to problems the city faces put forward by some of the candidates.

Tanner standing

Roland Tanner, candidate for the ward 2 city council seat.

Roland Tanner, a candidate in ward 2 and one of the people involved in the creation of the Shape Burlington Report in 2010 has some thoughts on how the city is going to fund transit.

The first big plus is that Tanner actually wants to see transit funded – not something one could say about the current council.

In a report he released on his web site ( Tanner said: “Thanks in large part to community groups like Burlington for Accessible Sustainable Transit (BFAST), which came into being to protest against transit funding and service cuts made in 2012, Burlington City Council has recently been indicating an increased commitment to investment in Burlington Transit, hand in hand with commitments of $45 million in funding from the provincial and federal governments for Burlington alone. As a result, the Burlington Transit Users’ Forum was characterized by cautious optimism in April.

Tanner want to be sure that the incoming provincial government commits to not reducing the 2 cent gas tax transfer to municipalities?

Tanner points out that those funds “could be threatened by the 10 cent gas tax promised by the incoming provincial government. The 10 cent cut will reduce the overall gas tax received by the province from 14 cents a litre to 4 cents. Of that 4 cents, the province is obliged to pass 2 cents per litre to Ontario municipalities. That means 50% of the remaining gas tax will be going to the cities, not the province. Is it realistic to think the provincial government will be willing to let that continue to happen?

Tanner cropped

Roland Tanner – a member of the Shape Burlington report committee.

There is in in the conclusion Tanner makes that the 10 cent per litre savings Doug Ford said he would give citizens has the potential to come out of the hide of the transit sector.

Tanner asked City Hall to provide exact details of the financial implications of the gas tax transfer being repealed, and they kindly provided them. In the 2017-18 fiscal year gas tax funding for Burlington amounted to: $2,262,568

Tanner concludes that if the gas tax funding from the province is changed the city would have to increase taxes by 1.47 percent, in order to keep transit funding static.

He adds that: “If Burlington is to grow successfully, it is essential that Burlington Transit receives the investment it needs to provide a better service. City Hall should be acting as soon as possible to ask the provincial government to commit to maintaining the municipal gas tax transfer at 2 cents per litre, and oppose any attempt to download provincial government cuts onto municipalities.”

In a May Toronto Star Letter to the Editor Tanner write:

Until the City of Burlington adopts a much more courageous approach to citizen engagement, Burlington will keep finding itself in a cycle of worsening resentment and distrust towards City Hall and council. Such an approach was recommended by the 2010 Shape Burlington Report, which called on City Hall to ‘re-invent itself’ in order to empower citizen-led entities – community councils, advisory committees and panels chosen by civic lottery – that act a ‘”on ramps” to participation’ for people who otherwise don’t get involved city affairs.

A previous Progressive Conservative government downloaded the cost of a a bunch of services to the municipal sector.  Are we about to see this happen again?

Contacting Tanner:

Web site:


Telephone  289 259 4023


Follow on Twitter:

Related links:

The Shape Burlington Report.

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Touch a truck - and watch a backhoe simulator dig a hole; part of a free city event.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

May 21st, 2018



The City is holding its annual Touch-a-Truck event on Saturday, May 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the city’s Roads, Parks and Forestry facility at 3330 Harvester Rd.


If the weather is good taking the kids out o see the equipment is a fun and inexpensive way to spend a day.

The event gives residents and their families an opportunity to:

• Get an up-close look at city vehicles, including a street sweeper, snow plow and fire trucks
• Take a tour around the neighbourhood in a city bus
• Experience what it’s like to operate a backhoe in a simulator
• Visit the forestry booth to speak with staff on what’s invading our trees.

The equipment is used to maintain 121 city parks, 134 recreational fields, and 109 playgrounds as well as maintaining 69 bridges, 117 culvert structures, 600 kilometres of mainline storm sewers as well as catch basins and creeks

Trucks Public-works-equipment

A photo op for the kids – part of the annual Touch a Truck event.

Managing operations include, the design and inspection of road reconstruction, inspecting and maintaining city-owned trees, maintaining and repairing the city’s fleet of vehicles, the operation of Burlington Transit and animal control services through the Burlington Animal Shelter.

The event is part of National Public Works Week, dedicated to public works employees who maintain the roads, parks, trees and benefit from one of the richest pension and benefit plans in the country.

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Jim Young once again lectures city council about a $4 million spend.

background 100By Pepper Parr

May 11th, 2018



Jim Young was doing it again.

Making statements that made people uncomfortable. His kind of truth is a little difficult to take. At time people want to suggest to Jim that he “lighten up”.

He was delegating Thursday afternoon on the matter of the LaSalle Park Marina and the need for a spend of $4 million to keep the place open past April of 2019.

Jim Young said:
“My delegation on behalf of Engaged Citizens of Burlington today is a plea for common sense. A plea for fiscal responsibility and a request to consider more appropriate ways to allocate funding so that the community benefit of that spending is more evenly spread and put to better uses.

Jim Young with Kell in background

Jim Young

“ECoB worries that $4 million is a lot of money to spend to help protect the private property of a small group of citizens who are surely among the most able to provide that protection and insurance for themselves.

“We worry that our city may invest this $4 million only to find that the property at La Salle Park reverts to the City of Hamilton in a few years.

“In a city where last fall we had to provide emergency funding to keep our transit system operating legally, might better use be made of that $4 million by our transit system?

“In a ward that has no community centre for seniors, children or adult recreation, might $4 million be better directed towards their needs?

“In city with another 2 wards which similarly have no community centre, might we better serve more of our citizens by allocating this money to that end?

“In a city committed to intensification with so far no supporting Transit Infrastructure in place or planned, that money would allow an 8% increase in the Transit Operating Budget for each of the next 5 years to help achieve those intensification plans. Might this be a better investment?

“In a city committed to increasing and improving cycling with a plan to provide a safe North / South Highway and Railroad Crossing might $ 4 million go a long way to building that?

“Can a city that rejected a $100,000 annual expenditure to provide free off peak transit to around 35,000 poor and isolated seniors, in all conscience, justify $4 million dollars to provide docking improvements for a few hundred fairly wealthy boaters?

“That money would provide free transit for seniors for the next 40 years.

“The people of Burlington are engaged and paying attention to city affairs like never in recent history.

The option the LaSalle PArk MArina Association hopes is chosen through the Environmental Assessment due MArch 2013.

The option the LaSalle Park Marina Association hopes is chosen through the Environmental Assessment due March 2013.

“By adopting Option A and removing yourselves from the Marina Business you can demonstrate that you are sensitive to and attuned to the needs and wishes of ordinary Burlingtonians for whom a boat is a luxury while Transit, Community Centres and Cycling are real and widespread needs.

“At the end of the day La Salle Park Marina is not the city’s business to be involved in. It belongs to an incorporated body, La Salle Park Marina Association on land that belongs to the City of Hamilton and which may very soon revert to that city.”

The members of the Burlington Boating and Sailing Club and the LaSalle Park Marina take exception to being referred to as “rich people” who are being given a benefit that others don’t get.

Membership in the Marina is $9200 – up front. $5200 of that is an initiation fee and $4000 is part of the annual fee structure that has a declining balance approach. The two clubs don’t talk all that much about fees and what it costs to be a member.

They tend to dwell on the benefits the city gets and wonder aloud why a city on the edge of one of the largest lakes in the country should not have a marina.

To their credit the Marina has entered into joint ventures with the city for more than 35 years and has never defaulted or even been late with a payment. They want recognition for what they have done.

The issue gets complex with a deadline for the new breakwater the sailors must have and what that will do to the formation of ice in the winter and what that will do to the Trumpeter swans that have taken up residence in the same location as the marina.

Trumpeter swan - magnificent creatures that many think need the marina space at LaSalle Park to survive the winters. Nonsense according the Marina Association.

Trumpeter swan – magnificent creatures that many think need the marina space at LaSalle Park to survive the winters. Nonsense according the Marina Association.

What the boaters face are overfed swans that should not be fed by the public who love the birds.

The swan people would like to see the boats somewhere else – the sailors feel the same way about the swans.

Meanwhile Burlington is unable to come to terms with the city of Hamilton on a price for the water lots that Hamilton owns.

It is messy – and the leadership needed isn’t coming out of city hall.

$4 million is a lot of money – but the LaSalle Park Marina has always met their obligations under the Joint Venture agreements they signed with the city.

Which is more than the Trumpeter Swan people can say when it comes to educating the public about not feeding the swans and then doing something to actually prevent that – maybe having one of their group on hand every weekend telling people not to feed the swans?

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The GO transit Lakeshore lines are to get an additional 53 bi-level coaches.

News 100 redBy Staff

May 1st, 2018



Three Liberal members of government – two federal and one provincial – lined up at the Burlington GO station to announce that the federal and provincial governments are contributing approximately $93.5 million to accelerate the purchase of 53 bi-level coaches that will be used to support the expansion of Metrolinx’ GO Rail service.

McMahon GO bilevel announcement

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon announcing the plans to add 53 bi-level GO trains to the Lakeshore Line

The politicians describe themselves as Team Burlington: Honourable Karina Gould, Oakville North-Burlington MP Pam Damoff and Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon.

The funding “will ensure our planning efforts result in a modern and integrated transportation system that improves accessibility and strengthens our communities.”

McMahon added that improving transit and transportation options for commuters and families is an important part of the work our government is doing to create opportunity and make life more affordable for people.

That plan includes our ongoing commitment to invest in a well-designed regional transportation system that connects people to their families, schools and jobs.

No word on just when the rolling stock will arrive.

MetroLinx is preparing for 15 minute service on the Lakeshore lines.

Burlington GO south side

South side of the Burlington GO station where 10 bays have been created for bus traffic to roll in

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Kearns sets out where the city got it wrong wth the community benefits that were given to the 421 Brant - 23 storey high rise.

opinionandcommentBy Lisa Kearns

April 24th, 2018



This delegation sets out my position on item PB 33-18 – Community Benefits 421-431 Brant St. as Jim Young has delegated on behalf of ECoB this evening.

Section 37Aaron A. Moore, Phd and expert on urban politics and public policy penned the IMFG Paper on Municipal Finance and Governance said the most common rationales used to invoke and justify the use of Section 37, more broadly know as density bonusing are:

• funding related infrastructure upgrades
• sharing the wealth created by development
• compensating those negatively affected by the development

In review of the 421 Brant St. Inc. report, there are few indirect infrastructure supporting benefits. With the longer vision of pedestrian-oriented flex street and the impending anchor mobility hub provisions the closest benefits are:

421 Brant• $150K in streetscape improvements coupled with $250K in setbacks/widened view corridors.

In my analysis, much of this can be takes as part of the 5% parkland dedication and the initiative to broaden the streetscape could have been reviewed by increasing Schedule O in the Draft Official Plan to widen Brant Street from Lakeshore Rd. to Caroline Ave greater than the current 18m in order to satisfy the Main Street function of: Table 1 Transportation Facilities. 2.4. Main Streets:

Serve the Downtown Urban Centre and the urban corridor that connects the Downtown Mobility Hub to the Burlington GO Mobility Hub;

Support mixed use places that contain a pedestrian-oriented public realm and street-oriented buildings;

Accommodate high levels of pedestrian and cycling activity and transit service, and moderate levels of vehicular traffic, typically within narrower rights of way;

Accommodate a moderate to high degree of people-moving capacity.

One way this could be interpreted is that the negotiators of this Report PB-33-18 have in part, bought benefits they didn’t necessarily have to and could have drafted the benefits the City finds favourable into the draft official plan, which this application is required to be in compliance of, when this was perhaps a missed opportunity, in part and adds up to nearly a quarter of the value of the total benefits.

Did we negotiate too specific and too early?

Not limited to direct funding for infrastructure upgrades, cost avoidance for future pressures on infrastructure can fall in this same category. This is where I will allocate the provision of green technology and sustainable architecture. At an indirect community benefit of $300K, LEED certification standards and/or compliance with the City’s Sustainable Building and Development Guidelines have been negotiated.

Appendix E in report PB-62-17 draws in the Burlington Sustainable Development Committee which has recognition under the current OP provides that “to the greatest extent possible, proposed development shall be consistent with the goals of sustainable development”. While the general concept of this building is acceptable, there is no evidence of stewardship initiatives in the plans to use LEED at a certified level although a willingness was verbally indicated. Why include this benefit at the application phase when it can be advantageous at the bonusing stage, perhaps the weight should have been greater in the public comments to prevent this crossroads.

Sharing the wealth created by development. There is no doubt that there is a financial consideration in a project this large, we know that from the Altus Group Economic Report and the uptick in development revenues in the City budget, not to mention the on going tax base increase. But just how much is the increased height really worth and how should this be spread out amongst the indirect parties. While not nearly enough to purchase even one unit in this property, $300K in cash is better than the single option negotiated in the 4853 Thomas Alton Blvd. report PB-16-16 which requires commitment from a housing provider to deliver affordable housing on a long term basis.

Nick Carnacelli

Kearns wants Carriage Gate developer Nick Carnacelli to think in terms of the opportunity for the applicant to help drive value out of being in a position of power for the community.

Where I do take exception is to the Applicants’s previous delegation in such an absolute statement that “the Region of Halton does not have an affordable housing plan and the City does not have a program”, that is not to say that this excuses or discounts the real need and concern for housing affordability. In fact this is where an opportunity for the applicant to help drive value out of being in a position of power for the community by spearheading inclusivity through the Section 37 provisions.

A hard look should be taken on if this was the best we could get. Going beyond shouldn’t be just going beyond height, it should be going beyond basic requirements and setting the foundation to create a demographic mix that contributes to our vibrant downtown.

Toronto Star columnist Andrew Keenan muses that the purpose of Section 37 in the Planning act is to offset the problems caused by changes to a neighbourhood when different kinds of developments are added to it, such as to compensate for increased traffic, population, or changes to the streetscape new developments bring. We would deduce that the bigger the problems, the bigger the benefits.

The list of problems with this application have been captured through online comments, delegations, written submissions, coffee shop talks, emails and a current of anxiety and unease through the community. One resident’s submission on May 15, 2017 summed it up concisely, her excerpt reads“…insufficient parking for residents, only 2 elevators, no parking for visitiors, no parking for commercial tenants, change to the individual shops along Brant with a design that is completely out of context visually with the neighbourhood, shadows and traffic…this proposal does not belong in this location”.

421 James street rendering

What will the impact of the 421 Brant development be on city hall – not just the physical impact but the impact on the way the city is going to grow.

Alas, the Section 37 Benefits – a hefty $400K in privately accessible visitor parking, a quarter of the benefits to keep visitors out of the already contentious parking needs of the downtown. This could be viewed as a benefit, however, does it address parking for the 900 square meters of retail space? At minimum the recommendation for retail store stand alone is 1.5 spaces per 100 GFA that’s a minimum of 13 spaces, but we have 8. The comparison is easy to make that other stand alone retail doesn’t offer on site parking, however, if we are afforded a chance to improve this at the foundational level, does 8 private spaces address the spaces lost with no net benefit?

This provision is meant to compensate residents for the real or perceived effects of development by providing for new amenities in the neighbourhood. Public art, a covered promenade, and the remaining benefits do little to offset the anger that has swelled in the community around this application. There are no open community amenities, no greenspace compensation for more trees, nothing. These negotiations do not even come close to anointing the damage the neighbourhood perceives and feels.

The delegation, deferred from the last meeting, was to ask Committee to simply afford the public the same opportunity that the applicant was given to have an opportunity to openly delegate and tell this committee if they have succeeded in negotiating Section 37 benefits that truly align with building an engaging city, good governance and community building.

We know our City could have done better to Grow Smart, not just Bold.

Kerns - head slantedLisa Kerns is a downtown Burlington resident and an active member of ECoB – Engaged Citizens of Burlington.  She is also a self admitted policy wonk – she digs and figures out just what much of the baffle-gab means.

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Director of Transit levels with Bfast audience - there are challenges at transit - without funding she can't do the job,

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 23rd, 2018



It was a Transit Forum that had people applauding and for the most part leaving the room satisfied that there were going to be changes made to the bus service in the city.

The public got their first chance to listen to the new Director of Transit, Sue Connor, who came to Burlington from Brampton where she turned that operation around. Transit users in Burlington are hoping she can do the same thing here.

Sue Connor with Jim Young

Jim Young joined Director of Transit Sue Connor on a panel discussion

Connor came across as a little on the humble side. She admitted that there are problems and she believes they can be fixed but the fixing is going to take time and she will need money from the city to make it all happen.

Which of course has been Burlington’s problem for the past decade – the city has not been willing to put money into transit – shaving and paving the roads is where the dollars have gone.

Bfast founder Doug Brown cautioned Connor not to get fixated on just the capital side – the buying of new buses and fancy technology – he wanted to see dollars going into operations.

Connor talked of transit as a business – Brown cautioned her on that too – transit is a service he said.
The 4th Annual Transit Forum was the largest ever held – the event had to take place at the Seniors’ Centre where a larger room was available.

There were a number of differences this year – the city manager sent his deputy but she didn’t say a word.
Other than Marianne Meed Ward there wasn’t a city Councillor in sight. The Mayor was reported to be out of the country and ward 3 Councillor John Taylor was on a vacation – in Amsterdam.

With that kind of council member attendance one can get a sense as to how big a task Sue Connors has ahead of her.

Bfast audience Nisan - scobie +

Ward 3 city council candidate Rory Nisan on the right with community advocate Gary Scobie in the center

The hope, perhaps, is that there were at least five people who have announced they are running for office in the October municipal election.

There were a number of school board trustees in the room: Leah Reynolds and Richelle Papin.

Some people thought a new transit plan was going to be announced – that didn’t happen but the audience certainly heard about the $45 million the province has showered on the city for transportation. Eleanor McMahon, Burlington’s MPP, who is also running for re-election, said that we are “entering a golden age for transit”

McMahon + Hersh

Burlington MP Eleanor McMahon on the left in full campaign mode bending Penny Hersh’s ear during a break in the Bfast Forum.

She added that communities on the Lakeshore East and West GO lines will be the first to get 15 minute service – no date though on just when that will happen.

Doug Brown pointed out that Burlington has already experienced a golden age for bus transit – in 1982 the city has 15 minute service on every bus route.

He said that 2012 was a disastrous year for transit – gas tax money that went to transit was reduced from 30% to 20% and half a million dollars was taken out of the transit budget. A transportation Master Plan at the time took another half a million out of the budget by cutting back on the number of routes and service frequency.

Up until very recently Burlington didn’t offer any transit service on both Christmas and New Years Day.

Connor is working on a new plan for transit and moving at least some of the service from the current radial approach to more of a grid system. She wants to create a five year plan – her challenge is going to be to get it funded.

Model with Tanner

Transit and intensification are joined at the hip in Burlington. Citizens had wanted the city to prepare a 3D model of what the downtown core would look like once the high rise towers began to get built. City said they couldn’t create a model – so residents had students do something with LEGO. Former city planner and now Deputy City Manager Mary Lou Tanner looks over the model.

She told the audience that there would be service changes in September and that her immediate focus is going to be on reliability – something the transit operation has not been able to do with the number of buses in the fleet and the number of operators on staff.

For the most part the audience had nothing but praise for the drivers – they always get a round of applause.

Some good news – Shoppers Drug Mart will become a part of the Presto card sales and refill operation.

The Downtown terminal will be open from 8-6 Monday to Friday and 9 to 6 on the weekends – and will no longer close at noon for lunch. There was a time when the then Director of Transit wanted to close the downtown terminals and have people hoof it over to city hall to buy bus tickets.

Connor told the audience that she has to first fix the foundation of the existing service and that she has a lot of work to do.

The audience learned that 80% of the transit traffic comes from half the routes

Sue Connor at mike

Burlington Director of Transit Sue Connor.

Connor told the audience that she wants to dialogue with the community – words like that haven’t been heard a Transit Forums before. Connors came across as a nice lady who wants to make a difference.

Connor expects to take a report to city council sometime in June – at that point the audience that liked what she was saying Saturday will know if she can walk the talk,

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Saturday could become a pivotal day for transit improvement advocates - Director of Transit will be on a panel - she will be listening..

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 19th, 2018



The Bfast 4th Annual Transit Forum takes place on Saturday at the Seniors Centre – get there early and you can take advantage of the free Continental Breakfast.

Bfast Transit group logoBfast has been advocating for better transit for years – some of the people in the organization know more about the history of transit in Burlington better than anyone currently employed at the transit department.

They are closer to being listened to than they have in the past seven years. It has been a hard slog – the appointment of a fully qualified and respected transit executive has begun to make a difference. Sue Connor came to Burlington from Brampton where she grew that operation into one of the xxx

She will be part of a panel discussion and open for questions – this is the time for the public to let her know what they want and need and where the problems are – and there are a lot of them

The Vital Signs report produced by the Burlington Foundation highlights where some of the transit problems exist.


Getting around a

A partial snapshot of how people who live in Burlington get around or get to work

Bfast have a deep understanding of the transit business – they have been delegating to council for years and for the most part have not been listened to – to some degree due to the poor management leadership at Burlington Transit.

There is much better leadership in place now; the recently appointed Director of Transit is a recognized and respected professional.

Connor Sue

Sue Connor, Director of Transit.

The problem Sue Connor will have is getting the funds she needs to upgrade both the transit assets and money for additional staff – and then some money to do some experimenting.  Connor is probably part of the Burlington Leadership Team (City Manager James Ridge call it the BLT – not a sandwich).  The challenge for her is to get some of the money the city has marked for infrastructure updates – there is a special tax levy dedicated to road repairs.

Transit service - ridership decline

This is the picture Sue Conner got when she asked – How are things going? It wasn’t pretty.

Burlington is some distance from ever creating a special tax levy to bring the transit service up to the level the the planners keep telling the public is going to be needed as a critical part of the Grow Bold initiative that is going to put something in the order of an additional 1000 people in new homes each year between now and 2031.

The planners keep talking about the need to get people out of their cars and maybe onto bicycles and transit.  Connor is surely saying to her colleagues on the BLT – Sure – provide me with the funds I need to do just that.

There may be agreement between the transit people and the planners on what is needed – getting it through this council is another matter entirely.

Saturday is the public’s chance to make their voices and their opinions heard – but ya gotta be there to be heard.

Salt with Pepper are the musings, observations, thoughts, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette.


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Changes in a transit policy that has failed residents for more than a decade could be in the wind. Bfast Forum Saturday could be where some of the needed change takes place.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 17th, 2018



Stephanie Mah was completing a Master of Planning in Urban Development at Ryerson University and chose a Ride for Free program that had been initiated by Oakville Transit in Oakvlle Ontario.

In her Masters Thesis she said the “research investigated the Ride for Free Public Transportation program for seniors in Oakville, to understand their travel behaviour and  to understand their perspectives towards taking public transportation.

While 63% of seniors in Oakville said that the Ride for Free Transit Program did not impact their travel behaviour, 37% said that it increased their public transit use. The most popular reason for seniors to use public transportation was taking it by themselves.

Some interview respondents said that they used public transportation because they would not have to ask others for rides or they did not have access to a car. Seniors suggested that more education of how to use the bus and transfer could increase senior ridership. This research may aid other municipalities considering similar programs, which could help to sustain the independent mobility of seniors.

Jim Young who was a member of the Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee, a group that advises city council on matters related to seniors, took the Mah research and prepared a proposal that he then took before city council as a delegation.

He proposed putting seniors on the mostly empty buses on Monday’s as a major first step to improving life and health for seniors. “It will help the city to achieve its transit utilization goals at a cost that is much less than the revenue loss” said Young who argued that allowing seniors to ride the buses during off peak hours will have a positive effect on the economy and well-being of the entire city.

Jim Young

Jim Young delegating to city council.

In his delegation Young added: “Discussion of this topic tends to return to the issues of cost and why a program only seniors and Split Passes users in need. The cost to put seniors on off peak buses from 10.00 am to 3.00 pm is the loss of revenue from present seniors fare during those hours. It amounts to between $48,500.00 per year and $72,750.00 depending on the rate of uptake.

“This is less than the amount of one senior’s lifetime city tax contributions. It is 1/10th of 1% of all taxes paid annually by Burlington Seniors. It is ¾ of 1% of Burlington Transit operating budget.

The subsidy from federal and provincial gas taxes works out to approximately $0.69c per passenger journey for Burlington. In 2015 Burlington seniors made 191,000 journeys. If free transit for seniors caused a 50% increase in ridership the increase in gas tax funding would amount to $66,000.00 which means that the free transit plan for seniors could pay for itself if properly implemented and utilized.”

Transit - Oakville data

Data from the Oakville 13 week Free Monday transit pilot program.

In her thesis Mah reported that survey results suggest that most seniors drive to participate in day-to-day activities and only a small proportion take transit. The survey found that most seniors in Oakville relied on the automobile as their main mode of transportation with 43.5% of seniors stating that they used the car at least five times or more a week and 34.5% of seniors stating that they never used public transportation. The pattern is similar to what has been reported in other studies. A high percentage of seniors (67.8%) had access to a car as a driver, and 60.3% had access to a car as a passenger.

Oakville implemented a 13-week “Free Transit for Seniors” Pilot Program for seniors over 65 allowing for free travel at no cost on Mondays. The Pilot Program results reported that senior ridership increased by 578% or by 12,917 trips on the same Mondays in 2011 (shows the dramatic increase of senior trips over the course of 13 Mondays from 2007 to 2012 (Oakville Transit, 2012) highlighting the positive impact of free transportation on senior ridership.

Young wanted the city of Burlington to pilot the Free Monday concept. Council did not take up the idea. The debate over possible Free Monday transit took place at the same time Burlington prepared to spend more than $200,000 on a pilot project to add bike lanes on new street and reduce vehicle traffic to just two lanes.
The Road Diet pilot was as close to a municipal disaster as one could get – except for the cost of the Pier.

Transit - group in breakouit

Transit users at Breakout sessions at 3rd annual Transit Forum.

Bfast is holding their 4th Annual Transit Forum at a time when transit is getting more attention, a little more money and now has a Director of Transit who brings real transit experience and a well-earned reputation for growing transit services to meet public needs.

Hopefully the Oakville experience and the change in attitude towards transit will give the Oakville idea and the Jim Young proposal a second listen.

Salt with Pepper are the musings, thoughts, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Gazette

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Critical Forum on the quality of Burlington's transit service to take place on Saturday at the Seniors' Centre

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 16th, 2018


Bfast, Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit, is holding their fourth annual Transit Forum this Saturday, April 21st from 10:00 am to 12:30 at the Seniors’ Centre on New Street.  Free continental breakfast for the early birds.

Bfast event AprilBurlington’s new transit director Sue Connor, a woman with a real transit pedigree will outline her plan of action for repairing and improving the system when she speaks at the Fourth Annual Transit Users’ Forum Apr. 21.

Following her report, she’ll be part of a panel that will answer questions from the audience and discuss the issues that transit users raise. Panel members will be Jim Young and Glenda Th

Sue Connor was appointed to the job less than a year ago, but has already taken decisive action to make the system safer and more reliable. She helped to secure more than $1 million in new funding from City Council to hire more drivers, supervisors and mechanics to make Burlington Transit legally compliant and more reliable.

While the extra stopgap funding is welcome, Burlington Transit needs a greater commitment from City Council and a strong, sustained funding base, said Doug Brown, chair of Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit (BFAST), one of more than a dozen community groups that support and sponsor the annual transit forum.

Connor Sue

Sue Connor, recently appointed Director of Burlington Transit.

“We’ve made progress over the past year and Sue Connor’s appointment is a sign of that,” Brown said. “But we need to do more in order to bring Burlington’s transit funding in line with the rest of the GTHA.”

Connor, Chair of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, is well known for her success in transforming Brampton’s transit system, which has posted ridership gains in the double digits over the past few years. Burlington’s ridership showed double-digit declines over the same period due to the underfunding of transit services by Council.

Sue Connor, who is described as open, honest, frank with a real concern with solving riders’ problems, will speak to the riders of Burlington Transit,” Brown said.

This year’s Transit Users’ Forum will also feature the third transit users’ report card. Last year, more than 100 users rated the system and this year’s Forum participants will also determine Burlington Transit’s marks.

Community organizations participating in the Forum include:

• BFAST (Burlington for Accessible, Sustainable Transit)
• Burlington Age-Friendly Council
• Halton Environmental Network
• Burlington Seniors’ Advisory Committee
• Engaged Citizens of Burlington
• Voices for Change Halton
• Community Development Halton
• Burlington Seniors Community Inc.
• Canadian Association of University Women, Burlington
• Burlington Green
• Poverty Free Halton
• North Burlington

The Forum is supported by the Burlington Gazette and Burlington Transit.

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Millenials claim a win that transit advocates have been seeking for the past five years.

News 100 yellowBy Mark McGuire and Karl Wulf

April 4th, 2018



Mayor Rick Goldring continues to provide a series of updates relevant to the vision of the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee set out by Co-Chairs Mark McGuire and Karl Wulf in November 2017. This allowed committee members with an opportunity to ask questions to better understand how they can contribute to shaping their city.

Mayor Goldring identified the recent delegation by the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee requesting Holiday Transit service as an example of a ‘win’.

Burlington was one of the few municipalities in Ontario that did not offer transit service on the holidays. The Millennial Advisory Committee delegated through a written policy brief to formally identify the gap in transit service.

Effective transit service is a key area that the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee strives to influence, as greater intensification and limited space will mean more cars on Burlington’s streets and roads.

The Millennial Perspective

Mayor Goldring explained the process of influencing council. For the Burlington Millennial perspective to carry weight, it needs to be given early in the process by engaging with relevant stakeholders before community events and workshops that precede the relevant committee and council meetings.

Mayor Goldring with the Millenials

A session of the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee meeting with Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon

A Vision Greater than Themselves

Mayor Goldring also discussed the importance of civic engagement, especially at early stages of projects within the City of Burlington. This led to a presentation by Co-Chairs Mark and Karl reiterating the three pathways for engagement the Millennial Advisory Committee is taking:

(1) Passive Engagement – Community presence and participation in Workshops;

(2) Reactionary Engagement – Delegating on contemporary topics at City Hall; and

(3) Proactive Engagement – Working with city staff to offer insightful policy critiques.

To increase the effect of the perspective of our generation in Burlington, it is increasingly more important to continue engaging at committee meetings and city workshops, but also to draft thoughtful policy proposals and send them to the proper stakeholders at City Hall.

The strategy is to lead a sustainable and influential committee of millennials in Burlington to build community engagement and provide advice and insights into policy impacting our city. This ties in with the mandate established by Mayor Goldring for the committee, “to lead projects focused on how to keep and attract residents 18-35 in Burlington.”

The Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee aims to be pivotal and to be perceived as the “Go To” committee for the City of Burlington to gain valuable insights into what our generation needs to continue to make Burlington the best place to live and work.

Civic Engagement

After discussing what is critical to millennials in Burlington through a collaborative approach with surveys from the Co-Chairs and workshops facilitated by Stephanie Venimore, Business Performance Advisor for the City of Burlington, the Millennial Advisory Committee has identified three key areas of engagement:

Commercial and Residential Development
Burlington Culture

The Millennial Advisory Committee has delegated on mixed-use developments and transportation initiatives within the City of Burlington.

On multiple occasions, the Millennial Advisory Committee has provided key insights for important cultural projects, the Museums of Burlington Joseph Brant Museum project being especially important as it represents the cultural heritage of Burlington’s founder, Joseph Brant of the Mohawk.

Want to get involved?

If you are a millennial trying to get involved, then this is a chance for you to speak out on the things you think would attract more millennials to Burlington.

Goldring with Millenials

Mayor Rick Goldring making a presentation to his Millennial Advisory Committee.

To apply to be a member of the committee, please email with the following information.

Primary email address
City of current residence
Social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
Profession/Student status
A 500-word (max.) response to the following question: What ideas do you have for Mayor Rick Goldring’s Millennial Advisory Committee that would help meet its mandate of helping Burlington foster and retain millennial-age residents.

The Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee was created to develop initiatives and provide input on how to keep and attract residents aged 19 to 36 in Burlington. The Millennial Advisory Committee identifies millennials as people born from 1981 to 1998.

Why get involved?

The City of Burlington has the best reasons to get involved with any Committee or Board:

meet new people
share your talents
develop skills
address a common interest
make a difference in your community

Want more information?

Read the October Update from Term 2 Co-chairs Mark McGuire and Karl Wulf. You can keep up to date on the news from the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee by visiting

For more information about the committee, contact the Office of the Mayor at


The readership survey will close April 6th

Mark McGuire and Karl Wulf, are the Co-Chairs of the Mayor’s Millennial Advisory Committee. This column first appeared in the Mayor’s Blog

Related articles:

Jim Young on citizenship engagement.


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Bfast to hold their 4th Annual Transit Users Forum April 21st

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 23, 2018



The Gazette is currently running a ridership survey.

One of the question we asked was: Does Burlington need a higher level of public transit service?

Survey partial on transit

While incomplete, the survey data so far on transit is instructive.

The survey will run for a number of weeks to give everyone a chance to have their say. The number of responses has been very healthy and there are some interesting results. At this point the best we can say is that there are some very clear trends – will they hold for the duration of the survey. We can’t say at this point.

We asked our readers this question: Does Burlington need a higher level of public transit service?  Close t0 70% said yes.  The Burlington For Accessible Sustainable Transit  (Bfast) people have been saying this for years.  It is only in the past six months that there has been the sense that city hall was listening.

Bfast event April

The Forum is one of the best organized citizen efforts to gather information and influence city decisions. One year the then Director of Transit chose not to attend; he is no longer with the city.

Bfast has been a consistent, and we think very effective transit advocate. They are holding another annual transit feedback event.

They are beyond a doubt the most informed community group when it comes to transit in Burlington. Our research tells how Gazette readers feel about the state of transit in the city.

The Transit Users’ Forum is on Saturday April 21st at the Burlington Seniors’ Centre from 10 am to 12:30.  There will be a free continental breakfast.

The city did a survey of their own earlier this month. The city appeared to want to find out what it is going to take to get people out of their cars and onto transit.

Director of Transit, Sue Connor, in a prepared statement said: “Improving Burlington’s transit service is a priority for the City of Burlington. As our population grows, providing a variety of convenient, reliable options to help people get around the city is essential. The Transit Plan, along with other city plans like the Transportation Plan and the Cycling Plan, will help to bring this vision to life. To help develop the Transit Plan, we want to hear from Burlington Transit riders to learn more about how they currently use public transit and equally as important, we want to hear from people who do not ride the bus to find out what might encourage them to consider transit. This information will help Burlington Transit start to improve its level of service.”

Transit - seniors with Gould

The Transit User Forums attract not only those who rise the bus. This photograph includes the Member of Parliament and the downtown member of city council.

Public response to the survey did not appear to be all that high, the city sent out a second request asking people to complete the survey.

Stephen white, a vocal critic made this comment:

“There are likely five key target markets and customers for Burlington Transit: 1) seniors; 2) those who don’t drive; 3) GO Train commuters; 4) students; 5) persons on fixed income or social assistance who can’t afford a car. Start by identifying the commuting habits, preferred destinations, schedules and preferences of these people, and actively seek their input on scheduling. Certain commonalities and trends will emerge.

“Second, investigate communities in which public transit is working well to identify what they are doing that we aren’t. Case in point: St. Catharines Transit. They have 44 bus schedules compared to 26 I counted on Burlington Transit’s website. A friend of mine who lives in central St. Catharines tells me she can get anywhere in the city within an hour needing only one transfer. She comes to Burlington occasionally and bemoans the time lags and multiple transfers it takes for her to get anywhere here. St. Catharines has 60,000 fewer residents than Burlington. Why is their system so much better than ours?

Transit - unhappy customer

When a transit user is grumpy – they are really grumpy.

“Third, let’s focus on doing a few things really, really well rather than spreading our resources too thinly. If it is problematic to design a public transit loop that integrates certain outlying neighbourhoods into the transit grid then fill in the gaps with dial-a-ride services or contracts with Uber. And let’s stop trying to persuade certain population groups to ride transit when, quite realistically, there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell they will ever do so. A family of four on Saturday morning going to kids hockey practice, then McDonalds’s, then Rona, aren’t going to be riding Burlington Transit anytime soon.

“Finally, if it requires us to cut prospective clients a deal to get them on the buses, increase ridership and improve mobility then let’s do it. In 2010 Carol D’Amelio floated the idea of free public transit for seniors when she ran for Mayor. In Oakville a program lets seniors ride on certain routes on certain days. As a taxpayer I’d sooner pay for those in need to use the transit system for free on certain days or times rather than having the things travel empty.”

The last Transit Users Forum was very well attended.  The next one should be interesting.


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TRANSIT: Without a commitment to Transit, and the will to fund it properly, little wonder transit in Burlington is where it is today.

opinionandcommentBy James Smith

March 10th, 2018



It’s very refreshing to see both a City Manager and a Transit Director with a commitment to Transit after decades of administrative incompetence and political dogmatic undermining of the file. While competent management is welcome it will take citizens committed to having new civic leadership with some vision and spine this fall to really improve transit.

Perhaps if folks decided it was time for most of the tired old fogeys on city council to retire; real change might come to transit in Burlington. Hope springs eternal for competent civic leadership, but history is a cruel master.

Bfast Transit group logo

Burlington’s Friend and Supporters of Transit has been a consistent and positive voice for better transit. They did more to make the issue public than the Transit service did.

The challenge for all cities right now on the transit file is confronting the big lie of “doing more with less” that has become gospel. Municipal councils will claim to keep their taxes to the rate of inflation. Sounds good, nobody wants to pay more taxes, but the largest single budget envelope under municipal control, police budgets, continue to expand. The obvious result is every other item faces a cut to service as other wages, fuel and capital costs continue to rise.

Without a commitment to Transit, and the will to fund it properly, little wonder transit in Burlington is where it is today. Burlington has dishonestly claimed for years that it has “kept taxes low”, while seeming true on the surface this is the result of Burlington getting a free ride from the Region’s budget take of massive, one time, development charges from the rest of Halton. These development charges continue to pay for services in Burlington keeping tax increases artificially low.

Cities such as Burlington could potentially be entering into a very dark period, not just for transit but for all city services. There is a very real chance the Conservatives may come to power at Queen’s Park. There’s no coincidence that a lost decade of transit in Ontario was the direct result of the hit transit took during the Harris/Eves administration. Provincially it has taken more than a decade to fix many files that were cut or ignored during that time, this is especially true in the case of transit. Part of the likely Conservative agenda is the big lie that “tax cuts will spark the economy”.

So read this as Conservatives cutting funding for many programmes, will transit escape the knife? Look at their leadership hopefuls and their track record.

Spicer + Ridge

City manager James Ridge with former Director of Transit Mike Spicer at an event organized by citizen transit advocates. Spicer resigned as Director not that long after this picture was taken.

In the past few years, Ontario has had a government that’s at least has claimed to have been committed to transit and has gotten the province back in the game. Given Burlington Transit has just managed to kept the lights on under this regime it begs the question: How bad will it get for transit with a Provincial administration that doesn’t have this commitment to Transit? How bad will it get for transit if we have a provincial government that denies the validity of climate change science?

How bad will it get for transit with provincial leadership hopefuls who think of transit as the enemy of drivers? Given the city of Burlington’s track record on transit, and the potential of a conservative provincial government, I suspect that the light seen from the new city manager and new transit management at the city of Burlington is that of an oncoming freight train; no passengers allowed.

jamessmith(James is an award winning Contract Designer, Past member of BFAST, Co-author of the 2014 Western GTA Move Taskforce Report, and Former President of Friends of Freeman Station. James Smith and his wife were 27 year residents of Burlington and now make their home in Guelph.) Smith ran in the 2014 municipal election against Paul Sharman

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City wants to listen to the people WHO DO NOT USE transit. Finally, the beginning of a commitment to transit.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 5th, 2018



If you do not use public transit in Burlington – the city wants to hear from you.

Burlington and transit have not always had a smooth relationship.

The city has in the recent past not put much money into transit use. They did put in $1.55 million in the 2018 budget and say they plan to put in much more.

bus with a bike on it

In a perfect world this bus would be at least 3/4 full and maybe two bikes in the front end rack. Not there yet and the city wants to find out why.

Given that the city touts transit as the way of the future, that and bicycles – major dollars are going to be needed to create a transit system that people will want to use.


The voice from city hall:
Calling all Burlington Transit riders and non-riders: Help build a better Burlington Transit

The City of Burlington wants to hear from Burlington Transit riders and individuals who currently do not use Burlington Transit about their thoughts and experiences with public transit in the city.

The information gathered from the public will be used to help shape a Transit Plan for Burlington that will guide the development of a new transit network that meets the needs of the city’s growing population over the next 25 years.

Feedback can be shared by completing an online survey available until March 26.

Connor Sue

Sue Connor, Director of Burlington Transit

Sue Connor, Director of Burlington Transit, has settled into the job quite well apparently. A report that was put in the hands of the city manager a number of months ago stunned many – the city was offside on a number of levels.
That report got the $1.55 million into the 2018 budget.

The city now appears to want to find out what it is going to take to get people out of their cars and onto transit.

Connor, in a prepared statement said: “Improving Burlington’s transit service is a priority for the City of Burlington. As our population grows, providing a variety of convenient, reliable options to help people get around the city is essential. The Transit Plan, along with other city plans like the Transportation Plan and the Cycling Plan, will help to bring this vision to life. To help develop the Transit Plan, we want to hear from Burlington Transit riders to learn more about how they currently use public transit and equally as important, we want to hear from people who do not ride the bus to find out what might encourage them to consider transit. This information will help Burlington Transit start to improve its level of service.”

Burlington Transit getting new buses - to deliver less service.

Senior staff applaud the roll out of a new bus.

Some background:

The Transit Plan will be a multi-year plan that will guide new investment in a new transit network for the city that aims to:

Increase frequency and reliability of bus service

Focus service on the city’s most heavily travelled streets

Create better connections with other major transportation systems like GO rail who will increase the frequency of their service to two-way, all-day service every 15 minutes by 2025.

Improve the comfort and convenience of taking transit.

A report about Burlington’s Transit Plan is expected to be presented to Burlington City Council in May 2018.

On Jan. 29, 2018, Burlington City Council approved an investment of $1.55 million in transit as part of the city’s 2018 operating budget to provide stability to Burlington Transit’s operations and improve the reliability of the public transit service. Funding of $500,000 was also approved in the city’s 2018 capital budget for the installation of video cameras on buses.

Burlington is growing. The 2016 Census data shows Burlington grew by 7,535 people between 2011 and 2016 – a 4.3 per cent overall growth rate. Ontario’s Places to Grow Act mandates that Burlington plan for a population of 193,000 by 2031, however, the city will reach this population number within the next few years.

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Some pretty hypocriticalbehaviour on the part of some council members - will a Code of Conduct make any difference?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

February 16th, 2018



On March 1st there will be a council Workshop about the Code of Conduct for members of city council that the majority of this council just do not want.

A Code of Conduct was discussed at some length on a number of occasions during the first term of this council in 2011.

At a meeting in July of 2015, the last meeting before Council went on their six week summer vacation in the summer of that year, Councillors  Craven and Sharman had a discussion in the foyer outside the Council Chamber.  Both went to their seats when the conversation concluded; Sharman said a few words to Councillor Lancaster who sits beside Sharman and the meeting began.


Later in the meeting Councillor Lancaster introduced a motion, seconded by Councillor Sharman to replace wording in the Code of Conduct that had been taken out at an earlier meeting.

No one had seen the motion until it was introduced – not the Clerk or the Mayor. All the chatter about professionalism and respect for each other got blown out the window.

The final vote on what to do with the Code of Conduct was to refer what had been done up to that point  to the City Manager who assured council he would move with some dispatch; debated under the Governance section of the Strategic Plan. One of the problems is that Strategic Plan meetings are for the most part not recorded or broadcast on the city’s web site.

The firm that provides Ombudsman support services to the city, ADR Chambers prepared a detailed document on this for staff; the City Clerk worked hard to get a document in place – council didn’t let it happen.

Among the issues that cropped up during the 2010-2014 term of office was whether or not the council member for ward 2 could involve herself in the affairs of ward 1. No love lost between those two.

The matter of what was a gift to a council member and what wasn’t a gift got debated as well as what the ramifications to a council member would be should they happen to be off side.

The Gazette published articles on this in  in July of 2015 and again in November of 2015 when the issue was discussed on Cogeco cables The Issue.

There was another article on November 16th, 2016 and on January 30th, 2016.

Earlier this week there was a Committee of the Whole meeting that agreed to have a Task Force formed on bullying and harassment in the city. The members of council feel there is just too much harassment being aimed their way and they want to see some rules in place to manage this behaviour.

What a bunch of hypocrites; they are complaining about the way citizens with well founded concerns about the way growth is being managed who will not ensure that there is a Code of Conduct governing their behaviour.  There has been a code in place for city staff that is enforced.  What’s good for the goose doesn’t appear too appeal to the gander.

Bullying – what does one call the letter sent to ECoB by the City Manager threatening legal action if they did not remove some of the content on their web site. A conversation inviting the ECoB people to meet with the City Manager and talk about the information that was on the web site could have resolved the issue.

No carrots in the office of the City Manager – just big sticks.

In 2012 the then city manager Jeff Fielding said that the behaviour of a council member came very close to sexual harassment. Earlier the council member had been identified as being in a personal relationship with a member of the Planning department – those things are no no’s.

Councillor Sharman and Director of Transit Donna Shepherd working trhrough a budget document

Councillor Sharman and then Director of Transit Donna Shepherd working through a budget document.

Sharman and Shepherd never did have a close working relationship. Did this contribute to her retirement?

Her body language says it all. Shepherd retired later in the year.

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday Councillor Sharman complained of a delegator who eyeballed every member of council in what he felt was a threatening manner before leaving the chamber. Sharman said it was “uncomfortable “.

Dumb behavior is dumb behaviour and it is not to be tolerated. How we manage it is another matter.

During the council meeting on the Task Force Lancaster was proposing Councillor Sharman spoke frequently about misinformation and seemed to be suggesting that what was going on in Nazi Germany during WWII may be now taking place in Burlington; propaganda and misinformation. The Councillor is watching too much television.

Transit - unhappy customer

This citizen was unhappy about transit service. At the time the city was doing nothing about transitr until a new staff member did an analysis of some data and told the city manager there were serious problems. The citizens had been right for some time – but they weren’t listened to.

Unhappy parent

A parent who didn’t want the high school his child was attending closed.

As I listened to the debate via the web cast there was never any sense that the harassment council members are getting is something they take any responsibility for – the public is upset, very upset. They don’t like what they see their council doing to them and when they find that their delegations are not being heard they react.

Brian Wrixton, the Chair of the Inclusivity Advisory Committee made a very strong point when he said at Committee “there was a lot of educating to be done”.

This council isn’t talking about educating – they are talking about rules they want to see in place to control what happens. Councillor Craven wants to see something in the Procedural bylaw that permits the chair of a meeting to do something with a delegation that is upsetting the members of council. “All a chair can do now” he said “is adjourn the meeting.”

There is some very nasty racist behaviour coming out of the Alton community and that is not to be tolerated. It takes time to erase racist attitudes – ham fisted responses don’t work – never have.

Change gets brought about by leadership – usually from the top. Citizens are finding that they have a city council that just does not want to hear what their concerns are; that their Council has become close to bloody minded in their behaviour. They seem prepared to let the electorate decide if they are doing their job at the election that will take place at the end of October.

With no one coming forward in wards 1, 4 and 5; a possible candidate that might not be much different than what is there now in ward 6, we stand to end up with a council that will be on the wrong end of 4-3 votes.

Wallace at council meeting

Mike Wallace taking in a city council meeting, wondering perhaps what the Chain of Office will look like on his shoulders.

There is more than enough evidence to suggest that the current Mayor is in serious electoral trouble; the question is will the people of Burlington take a leap of faith with Meed Ward or fall back to former city Councillor and Member of Parliament Mike Wallace.

Related articles:

January 30 – 2017 – Clerk gets handed the hot potato issue.

November 16, 2016 – Province begins to nudge the municipalities

November 6, 2015 – Cogeco’s The Issue discuses the lack of a Code of Conduct

July 26, 2015 – New Culture at city hall?

June 2012 Transit director retires

Salt with Pepper are the views, opinions and observations of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette


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