October Update

Budget Telephone Town Hall

On Wednesday, October 18th, I hosted our first ever Budget Telephone Town Hall.  We had a great turn out and received many thoughtful questions regarding Burlington. I want to thank all the residents who participated in this discussion.

Questions ranged from investing in our transit, bike lanes to managing traffic flow on our city streets. We gained a tremendous amount of feedback that we will use to create our 2018 Budget.

This video is a snapshot of the topics raised on Wednesday night.

Inspire Burlington With Moses Znaimer

The Mayor’s Inspire Burlington Series, with the President of CARP, Moses Znaimer is SOLD OUT!  We announced the event earlier this month and we’re thrilled to see that this event is one not to be missed.

Moses will share his perspective on a “New Vision of Aging for Canada”.  How baby boomers have changed in the way they age.

Our experience has shown us that even when people register to attend, they miss the event due to conflicts.  We will initiate a stand-by line for walk-ins and try our best to accommodate everyone.

Downtown Mobility Hub Draft Plan

Last month, our city staff unveiled the Downtown Mobility Hub draft New Precinct Plan and Policy Framework to members of the council.

The new Draft Precinct Plan was produced after extensive consultation with the community.  It proposes dedicating 49% of our downtown for public use and establishes where mid-rise and tall buildings should be located.

I encourage you to take a look and let me know what you think.  You can watch the entire presentation HERE or read about it HERE.

Burlington Matters Back For Another Season


Another season of Burlington Matters is back on Your TV (Formally TV Cogeco).

I was in the studio last week taping the season premiere.

Our first episode focuses on the Draft New Precinct Plan for Downtown Mobility Hub. Mary Lou Tanner, Director of Planning and Building and Rosa Bustamante, Manager of Mobility Hubs joined me on the show and we had a great discussion on the future of our beautiful Downtown.
Burlington Matters repeats throughout the week and you can find the full
schedule here.Tune in on Cable 23 or HD Cable 700. To suggest an episode topic, please email mayor@burlington.ca 

Live with Kelly from Kelly’s Bake Shoppe

I had a wonderful opportunity to sit down with Kelly Childs, the owner of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe on Brant Street, to discuss something more personal.
I was invited to go LIVE on Kelly’s Facebook page to discuss the importance of mindfulness and the benefits of meditation. Not many of you know that I meditate on a regular basis. It allows me to pause from my very busy schedule to regroup and focus.
Thank you to Kelly and the team for a great start to my morning last week. You can watch the interview here.

Travel To Apeldoorn Netherlands!

This is a rare opportunity! Travel to Burlington’s twin city Apeldoorn Netherlands and stay with local families while you explore Amsterdam with Burlington’s Mundialization Citizen Committee! This is the best way to experience Dutch hospitality and culture.

You can learn more about the trip at upcoming information sessions or call 905-335-7600 ext. 7855 or email mundialization@burlington.ca

Why Mundialization Matters: Reflecting on our ties with Apeldoorn


Apeldoorn Mayor John Berends and Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring celebrating the preview of Burlington Garden in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.

There is a quote by poet Pam Brown that reads, “In loneliness, in sickness, in confusion – the mere knowledge of friendship makes it possible to endure. Friendship is not diminished by distance or time, by imprisonment or war, by suffering or silence. It is in these things that it roots most deeply. It is from these things that it flowers.”

The past week marking the 10th anniversary of the official twinning of Burlington and Apeldoorn, the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands, and our enduring friendship, was the experience of a lifetime.

The modern concept of city twinning – also known as mundialization – was conceived after the Second World War in 1947, intended to foster friendship and acceptance between different cultures.

The word “mundialization” stems from the Latin word “mundus” which means “world”. Mundialization encourages citizen connections as a way of fostering world peace and global understanding.

This understanding and celebration of our culture was at the heart of the past week’s activities with our sister city, Apeldoorn.


Burlington and Apeldoorn residents touring the Kasteel Cannenburch in Vaassen.

This year’s celebrations were multi-faceted. In April, 21 Burlington students from participating high schools travelled to Apeldoorn for a week-long exchange. There was also an art exchange and pen pal program between participating Grade 4 and 5 students.

A group of Burlington citizens came to the beautiful Netherlands last week, along with the City of Burlington delegation that consisted of a small group of city staff, Councillor Blair Lancaster and myself, as well as Burlington Mundialization Chair Ed Dorr and Burlington Apeldoorn Committee Chair Charles Minken.

The Burlington Teen Tour Band also made the journey to Netherlands, making Burlington and Canada proud through numerous performances at the various twinning and liberation celebrations.

It truly was a week of friendship, cultural exchanges and idea sharing.

Apeldoorn is a city of approximately 150,000, while Burlington has about 180,000 residents. We have many similarities despite our physical distance.

There were many highlights from the mundialization activities and meetings.


Cycling is a key mode of transportation in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. Ideas for encouraging cycling in Burlington were shared this week.

The City of Burlington delegation met with municipal officials on several occasions to share ideas and best practices, with discussions around infrastructure, sustainability, fleet, efficiencies, greenspace management and council procedure, among others.

There were also discussions about possible economic development opportunities. Economic development is a priority for both Apeldoorn Mayor John Berends and myself. We have opened to door to further dialogue.


A bench embossed with maple leaves in Burlington Garden in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. The park was a mundialization initiative.

The mundialization events also included the memorable preview of the Burlington Garden. This beautiful site featured many Canadian aspects, such as maple leaves on the pathway, and benches embossed with maple leaves looking over the Canadian and Dutch flags flying side-by-side. Apeldoorn Park in Burlington is a special place for our residents, as I hope Burlington Garden will be for Apeldoorn residents.

The close ties between the Canadian and Dutch people date back 70 years when the Canadian Forces liberated Apledoorn in April 1945 and the rest of the country by May 5, 1945.

Today, both Canada and the Netherlands are highly regarded in the international community for our strong open democracies with enduring traditions of tolerance and respect for human rights and the rule of law. We are natural friends and partners in so many ways.

There were many opportunities last week to honour our Canadian veterans and those lost during the dark time of the Second World War.


Mayors Rick Goldring and John Berends lay a wreath at Loenen, the Netherlands.

The visit to Holten Cemetery to honour our Canadian soldiers touched my heart, as did the veteran’s parades in Apeldoorn and Wageningen. Apeldoorn Mayor John Berends and I also laid a wreath at Loenen.

I have always been proud to be Canadian. This past week, observing thousands of Dutch citizens waving Canadian flags and seeing young Dutch children run up and hand our veterans homemade cards and fresh flowers during the parade deepened my patriotism.


Burlington Teen Tour Band members line a street in Apeldoorn for the walk of silence on the Day of Remembrance on Monday, May 4.

Last week, I also had the opportunity to connect with Burlington veterans Mr. Jim Warford and Mr. Stan Egerton in Apeldoorn. Words are not enough to describe the honour of shaking their hands.


Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring with Canadian veteran and Burlington resident Mr. Stan Egerton.


Canadian veteran and Burlington resident Mr. Jim Warford meets with Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring.


It was meaningful to have the Burlington Teen Tour Band perform at tribute events in the Netherlands and perform in the Liberation Parade in Apeldoorn, just as they did in 1995.


The Burlington Teen Tour Band salutes officials, including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, at the parade in Wageningen on Liberation Day on May 5.

It is so very important to teach our young people about the importance of freedom and the relationship between Canada and the Netherlands. Everywhere I went, people spoke about the talent, precision and dedication of our young people in the band. They truly are the pride of Burlington and Canada’s Musical Ambassadors.

Back in Burlington, we held festivities on May 2 to celebrate Canada-Netherlands Friendship day. Canadian and Dutch flags were raised at City Hall.

We also celebrated the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day with a special ceremony on Saturday at Burlington City Hall led by my office to honour our veterans and the lives lost.


Princess Margriet of the Netherlands meets members of the City of Burlington delegation in Apeldoorn.

It is special to note that during the Second World War, the Dutch Flag was flown over the Parliament Buildings and Peace Tower in Ottawa when Princess Margriet was born in Canada. She is a beloved daughter of Canada. We had an opportunity to meet Princess Margriet during our visit. She was gracious and very complimentary of Canada and the relationship with Burlington.

I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to the members of the Burlington Mundialization Committee, in particular Ed Dorr and Charles Minken, Jan Koorenhof and the Apeldoorn Burlington Committee, Apeldoorn Mayor John Berends, as well as City of Burlington and City of Apeldoorn staff, for their outstanding efforts in making this meaningful visit possible.


Brian Bourne, Mayors John Berends and Rick Goldring, Scott Stewart, Councillor Blair Lancaster, Ed Dorr, Jan Koorenhof and Charles Minken come together with the Burlington Teen Tour Band and visiting Burlington residents for the preview of Burlington Park in Apeldoorn.

Burlington is a better place because of its relationship with Apeldoorn. Canada is a better country for its enduring connection with the Netherlands. The world is a better planet for these kinds of international deep roots.

Photo galleries and videos from the past week in Apeldoorn can be found on Mayor Rick Goldring’s Facebook page and on the Burlington Teen Tour Band’s website here.

Remembrance Day in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands


The Second World War was a time of great loss for many countries, including the Netherlands.

Germany invaded the country on May 10, 1940 and stayed until their surrender, in which Canadian troops played a significant role, on May 5, 1945. Cities were bombed, families were separated and lives were changed forever with the transfer of Dutch citizens to concentration and labour camps.

During the occupation, approximately 234,000 Dutch citizens lost their lives, according to Veteran Affairs Canada.

A delegation of residents, Burlington Mundialization Committee members and the Burlington Teen Tour Band are in Apeldoorn to mark the 10th anniversary of the official twinning of the two cities this week. The anniversary coincides with the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands.

Today is the Day of the Remembrance in the Netherlands. It is a time to reflect on the lives that were lost and remember them. It is a time to remember soldiers and the citizens of this great country who lost so much.

This afternoon, I had the honour of joining Apeldoorn Mayor John Berends for a commemoration in Loenen.

This evening, the group attended commemorations in the Grote Kerk and the Oranjepark. After a moving ceremony in the church, members of the Burlington Teen Tour Band lined the street and walked side-by-side with dignitaries and special guests on the journey to the park during the Walk of Silence. 11179952_830816317012217_4733817406695112272_n[1]

Hundreds of residents and special visitors gathered in Apeldoorn’s Oranjepark to pay their respects and send a united message we will never forget.