OCT2017 Ask the Councillor: Do police still patrol downtown? Can I grow cannibis in my community garden plot? What is happening at Guelph Line/Harvester?

J.S. asks: Now that there’s no longer a police substation on Brant Street, are we still getting police patrols downtown? Many people who live behind alleys don’t report break ins yet have experienced them. Do officers patrol this area of downtown in the evenings, and if not can it be added?

Answer: They do patrol it.  HRPS has at least 3 and sometimes 4 cars that are designated to patrol the core area 24/7.  The Core border is QEW Niagara to the west, QEW Toronto to the north, Guelph Line to the east and Lake Ontario to the south. The cars spend a majority of their time in the downtown area. The Halton Police have shared information with us regarding statistics and analytics which examine break and enter, theft and mischief occurrences for the period of May 1st 2017 and August 31st 2017 (timeframe since the sub-station was closed until today) against the same timeframe for the preceding 7 years. It does show that an increase of two occurrences over last year, however we are significantly down when compared against the years 2010 to 2015.

Please see the below table and supporting maps. An increase of two occurrences over four months, compared to last year is not a drastic increase, according to HRPS.

Year Total Occurrences Break and Enters Thefts Mischiefs
2010 31 2 11 18
2011 40 5 12 23
2012 25 3 9 13
2013 32 4 12 16
2014 17 0 10 7
2015 21 2 9 10
2016 11 3 3 5
2017 13 2 5 6

L.K. asks: Can I grow cannibis in my community garden plot?

Answer: The current legislation and regulatory framework does not allow for the public production/cultivation of cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes. However, the new federal legislation Bill C-45, would allow adults, without being issued a licence, to cultivate their own cannabis plants at home, if grown from legal seeds or plants.  They will be allowed to grow no more than 4 plants per residence and the plants can be no taller than 100cm in height. So in terms of growth on public property (community gardens), this would also not be permitted under the new federal legislation.

When a permit is issued to gardeners for the community garden program, it details the rules of the program which exclude growing cannabis.

In addition, planting of illegal plants and noxious weeds is prohibited. For more information visit Health Canada Q&A, provincial government information on Noxious Weeds or the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

M.B. asks: What is happening at Guelph Line/Harvester Road?

Answer: The Halton Region is scheduled to construct a Second Watermain Feed to the Washburn Reservoir and Booster Station in Burlington.

This Feedermain will be constructed on:

  • Prospect Street (between the Hydro One Corridor and Guelph Line),
  • Guelph Line (between Prospect Street and Mainway),
  • Mainway (between Guelph Line and the Burlington Hydro Corridor),
  • and within the Burlington Hydro Corridor (between Mainway and Heathfield Drive).

In addition, localized construction work will also occur within the Hydro One Corridor near New Street.

The southeast corner of Guelph Line and Harvester Road will be occupied by construction equipment working to complete the feedermain to the Washburn reservoir until December 2019. The attached drawing illustrates the extent of the construction footprint.
During construction, the project team will continue to monitor progress and will work closely with the City of Burlington to minimize impacts to adjacent residents, business owners and commuters within the area. The road occupancy will be removed as soon as possible.
For additional information, the project website can be found here: Washburn Second Feedermain

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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  1. Police don’t get paid enough for what they do. They are very well trained for all kinds of situations and deal with things the average person should not what to deal with, nor would they be trained to deal with. How much is you safety worth. And who’s the first person you are going to call in an emergency. They give up time with their families to keep us safe. Not paid enough.

    • Here is something you may not have considered. I stand to be challenged too.

      According to the Sunshine list, police officers can make six figures. Now, consider that the majority of people they handle are people who make $30 000 to $40 000. So,in this regard, you have affluent “law enforcement” imposing its will upon poor people. Further, it is my opinion, that most laws are drafted by members of LSUC, since the majority of MPs and MPPs are members of the bar. (This is also a conflict of interest, but that’s another debate.) (As another issue, police officers and lawyers are both “peace officers” if you didn’t know that.)

      You may disagree, but I believe the mandate of police is mostly to protect private property (which is the realm of civil authority). Now, I’m not a communist, but affluent people own the most private property. The very basis of policing is to protect the assets of affluent people; which has feudal origin, and is not in the interest of the poorer majority.

      I will admit, I’m not affluent. So, more police makes me feel less safe.

    • The police officers on the affluent list are because of all the overtime they put in because we don’t have enough police officers. Police officers would love to be only protecting property, but today they look after much more and are dealing with a lot more than ever before. Gangs,drugs,terrorism and not being respected for the work they do.

  2. With regard to the article about policing in downtown Burlington I have a question – when was the last time anyone remembers a “policeman” actually walking a beat in downtown Burlington or for that matter “anywhere” in this city? Other municipalities have a police department that actually has officers physically on the streets NOT occasionally passing by in cars. Perhaps IF there were police on the walking on the streets there would actually be something done about jay-walking, cyclists who ignore the hwy traffic act & blow through stop sign & stop lights, etc.. So, how about it, get some cops out of the cars & onto the streets; or is that too much to ask or expect?

  3. Why do police get paid so much? How come police have only been around for 100 years, are they really legitimate authority? Where did I ever consent to municipal bylaws? Where did I ever consent to statutes? (All my questions are wonderfully controversial; I look forward to you ignoring or deleting them.)

    • I feel like these aren’t appropriate questions to ask Marianne.

      I studied political science however so I will try to answer. As for how much the police get paid, that is dependent on multiple factors including what society overall believes they should be paid, the danger involved, training, hours, and how much the have been able to negotiate with their employers.

      As for consenting to laws. As part of the social contract, as a Canadian citizen you are expected to generally follow the laws given in the society as when you were born a Canadian citizen of become a citizen you agree to the benefits that come with society, and therefore consent to your part in following the rules that have been made to maintain that society.

      It can get quite philosophical, and I would recommend talking to a professor at Mac or someone who would be willing that is educated in these matters to understand more.

      I always appreciate citizens looking for more information on their society!

    • Chris, you have a lot of zeal.

      I don’t want to sound confusing, but here goes. Given my first comment, if someone then told me, to make an opposite argument to the rhetorical questions I posed, I very well might have produced a response, as you have above.

      I feel your stance is very politically correct, academically trained, and inside-the-box.

      OK, now my next point. You see, as complicated as social dialogue can be, human behavior is intrinsically simple. Rather, people generally do what is good for them.

      Matthew 5:46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

      If you did not have employment through the City (or region etc.) and you had not ties with city councillors. Would you still be saying the same things you have said above? I challenge that you would not.

      You also say that “I feel like these aren’t appropriate questions to ask Marianne. ”

      I disagree. You might not like my questions. However, Marianne has taken a role of public accountability. I think representatives have a duty to respond to all such questions, as I have asked.

      I am familiar with Rousseau’s ideas on the social contract, and I disagree with them. I am also not a citizen, nor can I be, nor are you naturally.

    • Police have a union; they have appealed contracts to binding arbitration and get awarded the pay you are asking about. It is a significant concern for municipalities as there is no consideration for ability to pay or what makes sense in the marketplace. Why do we have police? To enforce laws and catch law breakers. In some capacity – perhaps by a different name – this activity has been around as long as humans have. Regarding consent to laws: you live in a democracy, where citizens elect representatives to pass laws; you may or may not agree with those laws, but once passed they are binding. If you want to change the laws, vote against the people who are passing them, form a political party, and get elected.

    • Marianne Meed Ward I’m glad you mentioned democracy. That’s opening up a different debate. First of all, I don’t believe this is a democracy. All of the political parties have run deficits and have done so on private credit. I don’t consent to this. Further, the body of statutes that you call “laws” are copyright material (Queens Printer) and may not be practiced by members who are not of the bar. The Bar is a private society. So, it is also a concern that this body of legal statutes comprises what is democratic. I can consent to criminal law, however. (Even then, why should the OLG be allowed to run a betting house, even though this violates the criminal code?)

      There are many different arguments against this being a democracy. There is a very simple question I like to ask: “When was the last time that they debated monetary policy in the House of Commons?”

      If you’d like my answer: monetary policy is not on the table for discussion in the House of Commons. If elected representatives truly represent constituents, they would be discussing monetary policy.

    • If you want monetary policy discussed in the legislature, advocate to your MPP or MP, run for office. Form a party. You have options under a democracy. You will quickly discover if you have the support of people with you. Democracy is about the will of the people – majority.

    • My problem is not so much that this is not a democracy. My issue is that the education system continues to tell people this is a democracy. As if the system was not wretched enough, “democracy” has the fault placed back on the electorate; it suggests the system we have is due to the electorate (which is unfair and untrue). As a last few points the bureaucratic departments employ thousands of people. Upon election of new MPs, those same bureaucrats are not replaced, only the new hood-ornament of a cabinet minister. Additionally, political party policy chooses who will run in constituencies. That’s how you get carpetbaggers like Ahmed Hussen for Immigration. I don’t even agree with the premise of your comments.

What's your take?





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