What’s New?

November to December, 2009

Lots more meetings with City staff to develop plans for the IMPORTANT DEC 1 public input meeting.

November 21, 2009

Delegated to Halton Region Planning & Public Works Committee seeking Regional support for Ministry of Education school disposition regulations to be changed. The Committee passed the resolution.

November 10, 2009

Live Interview with CBC "Here and Now's Karen Horseman" regarding the GB issue in Burlington and irrevocable implications on the community.

*November 4, 2009

Second delegation to HDSB by SGBPC rep. The HDSB trustees voted to sell the land including Burlington Trustees Mary – Elizabeth Dilly, Janie Hames and Jennifer Hlusko.

See "Brock Parkland to be Sold (November 6, 2009)"

October 28, 2009

Despite lack of reasonable public notification of a HDSB meeting regarding surplus school properties, both the SGBPC and representatives from BurlingtonGreen managed to register in time to delegate to HDSB against the sale of 14.05 acres of GB parklands and the sale of school green spaces in Oakville and Halton Hills.

(visit http://www.burlingtongreen.org/latest-news/1-latest-news/89-protecting-burlington-parkland-.html  and
for more information)

October 14, 2009

Dialogue with Markham Councilor to determine how Markham had dealt with school land being sold and to request Markham also consider a resolution against Ministry of Education school lands disposition (Legislation 444/98), joining Burlington/Halton hills in the united effort.

October 13, 2009

SGBPC reps met with Burlington MP Mike Wallace to determine if there were any areas of help available from the Federal government to rescue the GB lands from development.

September 15, 2009

members of the public and SGBPC attended a public meeting held at City Hall with City reps and HDSB reps and some Trustees where "the future of General Brock" was listed on the meeting agenda. However, recognizing the meeting was open to the public and not private between the School Board and City, the HDSB Trustees refused to stay in attendance and walked out , thereby aborting the meeting.

September 15, 2009

SGBPC met with Halton Region staff to request assistance in getting a resolution regarding MOE regulation (444/98) developed and passed by the region.

September 8, 2009

Save General Brock Parkland delegation to City Council requesting approval of a resolution for the city to co-host a public mtg on GB issue with our group. Motion passed for a meeting to take place before December.

July/August, 2009

continued correspondence sent to both the HDSB(Halton District School Board) and the Ministry of Education in an effort to put the disposition process on hold until such time as the school board will meet and begin collaboration with the community focusing on solutions on the issue. Not successful. HDSB declines our requests to meet. Also, met with Mayor Jackson urging him to delegate to the issue of changing provincial legislation at the AMO(Association of Municipalities of Ontario) Annual General Meeting. As of November, 2009 no confirmation if this was carried out or not.

June 31, 2009

Met with Burlington MPP Joyce Savoline to review the GBP issue and determine if there were any areas of help available from her or or the Progressive Conservative Party.

June 29, 2009

Halton Hills passes resolution seeking change to the Ministry of Education school disposition resolution joining City of Burlington in their resolution to the Province of Ontario as well.

June 24, 2009

President of the Burlington Green Environmental Association delegated to the Mayor and Members of Council in support of a resolution prepared by Mayor Jackson seeking required change to the school disposition regulation by the Ministry of Education. Members of Council voted unanimously to support this important initiative with next steps including securing support from neighbouring municipal Mayors and Councils. This "united" resolution will then be forwarded to the Ministry of Education as well as the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Click here for more

June 5, 2009

As the concerns for parkland loss due to school closures spread throughout Halton, various environmental organizations are speaking up expressing the need for timely collaboration from the Halton District School Board. Despite the unified letter sent behalf of the various Halton groups to the school board, no response has been received.

Click here for related news article

June 3, 2009

Members of the Save General Brock Committee delegated to the HDSB Trustees to review again the multitude of values the General Brock green space and playfields offer to both the local community and city as a whole. Our team requested a hold be put on the disposition process and that after many long years, the HDSB agree to meet and collaborate with the City, community and other potential stakeholders to explore alternative, innovative solutions to preserve green space and support their financial challenges at the same time. To date, we have received no response to any of these requests.

March, 2009

Members of the SGBPC were able to secure a meeting at the Ministry of Education (MoE) on Tuesday, March 17 . We were able to cover a number of important topics in the two hour period including a review of province wide common ground and recommendations to support MoE regulation change that could realize more support for municipalities in holding onto valued green space. We were also requested to provide our feedback to the Ministry's recently released report regarding implications of the Province's declining enrolment projections.

Click here for a copy of the recommendations presented to the MOE.

February, 2009

We have learned that eight school closures in Halton will result in the loss of valued green space, INCLUDING THE PARKLANDS AT GENERAL BROCK, due to an in camera decision made by all Halton District School Board Trustees (except Trustee Russell who did not support the staff recommendation) School Board officials have indicated that their decision is based on a directive from the Ministry of Education to dispose of these assets. Our team has made attempts to get a copy of a public document supporting this directive and months later (June 2009) have had no success and no response. We have sent a letter to Education Minister, Kathleen Wynne in an effort to get school disposition legislation changed so that places like General Brock are preserved and not sold off to developers.

Click here to read letter to Minister Wynne

January 2009

We are not alone - not only are we hearing from the residents of Burlington about the concerns of parkland at risk but our neighbours in Hamilton, Oakville and Toronto are sharing their stories and frustrations with their municipalities challenges in holding onto school parklands as community assets. The SGBPC is exploring opportunities to establish a larger, united voice for the hopeful benefit of all.

December 2008

Updating the key parties and citizens: our committee is preparing a status report with recommended next steps to share with both school boards, the city and all elected officials and the media to ensure everyone is up to date with our group’s recent efforts to connect with the province to seek legislation change.

October 2008

Trustee Peggy Russell gains support for green space consideration in School Boards report

[ More Details ]

September 2008

Take it to the Province: During the summer months, the Save General Brock Parklands Committee was busy preparing a presentation "package" to take to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario & the Provinces’ Declining Enrolment Working Group about the issue of school closures and the resulting loss of community parklands.  On Sept 26, our representatives shared our "Story of General Brock" and discussed the province wide crisis of school closures and parkland loss. We offered a number of recommendations re: Ministry of Education legislation change to support a more sustainable future for Burlington & Ontario.

July 2008

Letter from Mayor Jackson
[ View Letter ]

June 2008

In the news…

City Hall decision on use of $945-K fund sparks anger
[ View Article ]

June 9, 2008: Delegation re: strategic land acquisition fund
[ View Presentation ]

May 2008

In the news…

Strategic land acquisition fund [ View Article ]

May 1, 2008: The sights and sounds of spring sport is alive at General Brock! Last year, the Halton District School Board discontinued the reciprocal agreement with the City for the very first time. This meant that all the groups who accessed permits from the city in the past for soccer, football and baseball use at GB were no longer able to. Instead, the HDSB permitted the park for use by a privately owned football club only. We are therefore very happy and relieved that the school board made the decision to honour the reciprocal agreement with the city for this year so that many groups of Burlington can return to enjoy it again.

April 26, 2008

Thank you to those of you who made the effort to join our Committee in cleaning up beautiful GB park. It was dirty work but worth the efforts—the park looks great thanks to you.

January 30, 2008

The Save General Brock Parklands Committee updated our membership to support the maximum citizen representation of 12 members. We met with City staff to discuss updates and proposed next steps. The City continues to wait to hear from the Halton District School Board about their plans to dispose of part of the property. This would likely involve an extensive severance process. 
[ Meeting Minutes ]

Our Committee will continue to share with the HDSB and City Council the need to preserve the valued parklands at GB for the benefit of the citizens of Burlington now and into the future.

January 21—24, 2008: Committee members attend various ward budget meetings to listen to the issues of public concern and share the need to ensure funding is in place to protect city parklands such as GB that become at risk when schools close. Although not surprising, it was encouraging to hear other members of the public share their concerns about this same topic.

January 21, 2008: SGBP Committee member delegates to City Council supporting the need to approve the continuation of the Strategic Land Acquisition Fund. 
[ View Presentation ]

January 17, 2008: SGBP Committee member delegates to City Council regarding the need to ensure the Strategic Land Acquisition be used for the purpose of funding at risk green space in Burlington. Our Committee has understood this to be the intent of the fund in it’s original establishment in 2007 and request that when the bylaw definition be completed by staff and approved by Council that its purpose clearly supports this important need.
[ View Presentation ]

January 15, 2008: SGBP Committee members attend Halton Region’s "Sustainable Halton" public meeting to listen to the presentation regarding growth projections and implications for infill and intensification. Members offered input regarding the key role urban green space plays in not only preserving the quality of life for residents and the character of what makes Burlington special…. but also how parklands help to mitigate the effects of climate change and support the principles of sustainable development.

January 13, 2008: SGBP Committee meeting is held. 
[ Meeting Minutes ]


December 21, 2007: Members of SGBPC meet with MPP Joyce Savoline to update her on the GB issue and ask for her assistance regarding two provincial related education inquiries.

November 28, 2007: SGBPC forwards letter to City of Burlington’s Sustainable Development Committee.
[ More Details ]

November 22, 2007: our last communications with the Halton District School Board (HDSB) were November 22, 2007 when they responded to our inquiry regarding the Ministry of Education policy about restarting the disposition process. Regulation 444/98, section 13 of the Education Act states that:

If a board does not sell, lease or otherwise dispose of real property in respect of which a proposal must be issued under section 3 or 4 within three years of the expiration of the 90-day period referred to in subsection 10 (1) and the board wishes to sell, lease or otherwise dispose of the property, the board shall issue another proposal under section 3 or 4, as the case may be. O. Reg. 444/98, s. 13.

Thus, given the fact that the HDSB deemed the GB property as surplus in 2003, it was our belief that this policy would apply. The HDSB confirmed this was the case and when they deem the property (or part of) to be surplus to their needs again, they will first need to offer the property to its coterminous boards and the public sector (English and French Colleges and Universities within the area, municipalities, and Crown in right of Ontario and Canada) prior to offering schools on the open market. Note: The board needs Ministry approval prior to offering the property on the open market.

The HDSB is currently using the school building for administrative staff purposes as well as the Gary Allan Adult Learning Centre. They have expressed that they are now "rethinking our own needs with respect to the property."

November 21, 2007: Member of SGBP sends letter to Burlington Council and cc’s to both School Board’s her suggestions regarding a potential solution to the General Brock and Cumberland Park issues.
[ More Details ]

November 18, 2007: SGBPC sends letter to the media regarding recent correspondence with McMaster about their prior expressed interest in GB for their new Burlington home.

[ More Details ]

November 13, 2007 -  Committee receives response from McMaster University regarding options for possible home at General Brock, indicating that the site is NOT a location of consideration for them.

"After discussing the General Brock Parkland site internally, we have unfortunately concluded that it is not the right location for our new campus. We do not believe that it is a location where a potentially high density of activity would be appropriate or well received."

November 4, 2007 - Save General Brock Parkland Committee sends letter to McMaster President Dr. P. George regarding options for University setting at General Brock.
[ View Letter ]

Visit the Issue History page for chronological history of issue since 2003

We must find a way to preserve the General Brock land, if not for ourselves then for our future children and grandchildren.

(public opinions page)