Be a part of Burlington’s future through the strategic plan update


Waterfront small pictureThis column appears in the April 17, 2015 edition of the Burlington Post.

Residents often ask me how they can become involved in the future of our community.

I believe one meaningful way is through our strategic plan.

Our strategic plan determines where our city will be going over the next four years and in the future, how we will get there and how we will know if we were successful.

I am asking you to be engaged in updating our strategic plan for 2015-2018.

The process involves a review of the city’s vision and the setting of priorities and goals.

Our online and telephone surveys are complete, but there are more ways to get involved. The workbook for planning the future of Burlington is available until April 26.

The workbook can be found online at or you can call 905-335-7600, ext. 7378 to have a copy mailed to you.

There will also be an opportunity to weigh in when the draft plan is presented publicly.

The strategic plan for 2011-2014, entitled Burlington, Our Future, featured three strategic directions, including vibrant neighbourhoods, prosperity and excellence in governance. More than 4,000 people participated in the creation of that plan through various engagement opportunities.

I believe we made great progress on the priorities and goals set out by the city in that plan.

I would like to highlight just a few of our many achievements.

To foster vibrant neighbourhoods, we renovated Centennial Pool and the Mountainside Recreation Centre, are completing our Community Trails Strategy and are on track to add more than 40 kilometres of bike lanes between 2009 and 2015.

We made strides in prosperity with the reorganization for the Burlington Economic Development Corporation, complete with an updated strategic plan and clear key performance indicators.

We have also worked towards furthering excellence in governance with new and improved online customer service initiatives, focused infrastructure investment and a service-based budget in 2015.

What goals will be set in our updated strategic plan? Connect with us at

Connect with me by phone at 905-335-7607, on Twitter @RickGoldring and on Facebook at Rick Goldring.

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Help us prevent hazardous spills in our storm water system



This week’s fuel spill in Shoreacres Creek and resultant death of two Mute Swans is disturbing, to say the least.

The City of Burlington is continuing to monitor the creek following cleanup activities over the past few days due to a fuel spill south of Spruce Avenue, between Shoreacres Road and Goodram Drive.

The source of the spill is suspected to be a catch basin on Spruce Avenue where the substance was dumped. The toxic fuel then travelled to Shoreacres Creek and downstream towards Lake Ontario

Based on observations from our staff, it is believed the substance was diesel fuel.

Although staff estimates it was only one to two litres that were emptied into the creek, the outcome was deadly for local wildlife.

Burlington Animal Services removed three Mute Swans in distress on Wednesday, April 8. The animals were taken to a wildlife rescue for rehabilitation. Two of three swans have died.

The Ministry of Environment’s Investigations and Enforcement Branch division is responsible for investigating alleged environmental infractions. Prosecutions can result in fines, court orders and probation or jail terms.

Residents with information related to this incident can call the Ministry of Environment’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060. More information about reporting spills to the Ministry of Environment is available at

Burlington residents with household hazardous waste (such as paint, fuel and motor oil) for disposal can drop it off, free of charge, at the Halton Waste Management Site, located at 5400 Regional Road 25 in Milton, Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of not using storm water drains as dumping sites for hazardous waste. Our storm water system is linked to our creeks, which ultimately connect with Lake Ontario. This body of water is our drinking water source, a habitat for aquatic life and a key part of Burlington’s ecosystem. Let’s work together to keep our city green and safe for both humans and wildlife.



Breaking ground for the final phase of Joseph Brant Hospital

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Video courtesy of Joseph Brant Hospital.

Yesterday’s groundbreaking at Joseph Brant Hospital marks a pivotal moment in health care in Burlington.

When construction is complete in 2018, Joseph Brant Hospital will feature 172 acute inpatient beds in the patient tower, a new emergency department, a larger cancer clinic, nine new operating rooms, expanded medical, surgical and outpatient services, and much more.hospitalcropped

Joseph Brant Hospital currently treats more than 250,000 patients each year. It opened its doors in 1961, but hasn’t had a major renovation since 1971.

This project is a much-needed shot in the arm for our community. The City of Burlington is proud to have committed $60 million for this project.

I want to thank the provincial government for their significant investment in our community. Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health, announced yesterday the province’s commitment of $371 million for the project.shovellargegroup

I also want to commend the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation for raising $42 million of its $60 million contribution, which includes the significant $11 million donation from philanthropist and community builder, Michael Lee-Chin.