Burlington COVID-19 Task Force members announced

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By Pepper Parr

February 1st, 2021



The City has created a Burlington COVID-19 Task Force

It is huge.

Halton has a very good student immunization rate - 93% of students are immunized.

It is all about getting a needle in your arm. – a Task force with more than 25 people is not what people want to hear – Tell me when I will get my inoculation and where do I go.

The Task Force will share information and mobilize community and agency resources to support our hospital and healthcare workers as we prepare for an anticipated surge of patients in the coming days and weeks and work through a recovery period, as well as coordinate our broader community efforts on COVID-19.

Members will bring information and/or requests for assistance back to each of their own organizations and emergency response tables.

While this information-sharing and collaboration is already happening, the Task Force simply formalizes this effort and adds some structure as we collectively serve our community.

Membership includes community leaders and decision-makers representing various organizations and agencies involved in the COVID-19 response. New members may be added as the situation evolves.

Each participant is likely to be a member of their own organization’s COVID-19 response group, with an ability to bring information from that table, where appropriate, to the Task Force, and vice versa.
Invitees are similar to the panelists on the Mayor’s recent public telephone town hall.

Community response to that event was overwhelmingly positive, with residents specifically mentioning that they appreciated the assembled panel of cross-functional experts and leaders, and seeing the evidence of collaboration, sharing of information and coordinating of efforts to serve them.

Invited guests/organizations at this time:

Chair, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

City of Burlington Emergency Control Group:

Burlington Fire Department:
Karen Roche, Deputy Fire Chief
Amber Rushton, Business Continuity and Emergency Planning CEMC
Dan VanderLelie, President, Burlington Professional Firefighters Association

City of Burlington:
Tim Commisso, City Manager

Joseph Brant Hospital

Eric Vandewall, CEO and President
Dr. Dale Kalina, Medical Director of Infectious Disease

Halton Regional Police Service:
Roger Wilkie, Deputy Chief of Police
Superintendent Anthony Odoardi

Halton District School Board:
Stuart Miller, Director of Education

Halton Catholic District School Board
Pat Daly, Director of Education

Halton Region:
Lynne Simons, Senior Advisor to the CAO

Members of Parliament:
The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, MP, Burlington
Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville-North Burlington
Adam Van Koeverden, MP, Milton

Members of Provincial Parliament

Jane McKenna, MPP, Burlington
Effie Triantafilopoulos, MPP, Oakville-North Burlington
Parm Gill, MPP, Milton

TEAM Burlington:
Carla Nell, Burlington Chamber of Commerce
Anita Cassidy, Burlington Economic Development
Pam Belgrade, Tourism Burlington
Brian Dean, Burlington Downtown Business Association
Judy Worsley, Aldershot Business Improvement Area
Lita Barrie, CEO, Burlington Public Library

United Way Halton & Hamilton, Halton Poverty Roundtable
Tyler Moon, Senior Manager, Community Impact

The Burlington Food Bank:
Robin Bailey, Executive Director

Burlington Hydro:
Gerry Smallegange, President & CEO

Reach Out Centre for Kids:
Kirsten Dougherty, Chief Executive Officer

Royal Hamilton Light Infantry:
Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer Alex Colic

Diocese of Hamilton
Rev. Rob Thomas, Chaplain, Burlington Fire Department

Halton Islamic Association
Sr. Osob

NUVO Network
Bridget and Shawn Saulnier, Owners

Burlington Foundation
Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO

Food for Life
Graham Hill, Executive Director

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8 comments to Burlington COVID-19 Task Force members announced

  • Joe Gaetan

    Ok so its massive, but is it agile, nimble, or hopefully speedy? Why nimble, because, “Nimble organizations quickly and effectively adapt to major transitions while maintaining high performance” (Source: Conner Partners).

  • Hannibal Barca

    Clearly Burlington hasn’t learnt anything from the EU and their ineptitude. The task force is far too big and will be sclerotic as a result. And why is there a picture of a child getting a vaccine? All Covid vaccines were authorised for 16-18yrs and up.

  • Terence

    News Flash – “The fight against COVID was resumed from last week’s discussion but is incomplete pending resolution of some action items. It will be continued next week based on the availability of our Task Force members. Meanwhile …”

    This is becoming a total farce – let me quote: “a reasonably sized committee usually consists of four to seven members (NOT 34). Any more than this and it could SEVERELY constrain and slow down the decision-making process. Furthermore, there is no reason why a committee can’t be smaller than four members.”.

    REMEMBER, you are going to RELY on this Task Force for your health and possibly your life and the ‘more-the-merrier-buddy-buddy’ membership will NOT WORK and, quite frankly, is counter productive.

    A realistic Task Force, in my view, should be small, DEDICATED, and have the trust, confidence of the citizens and hence be able to make strategic decisions. Its members should be knowledgeable in the kind of problems that we are faced with and should not be chosen because of their title or closeness to the Council and the Mayor which seems to be the case!

    The Task Force needs a dedicated LEADER that is NOT encumbered by other civic duties – you really must appreciate the importance of this position if we are to overcome the health issues we face.

    At this point in the COVID crisis I would have hoped that we would not only have chosen a viable committee but that we would have also presented a comprehensive vaccination plan that indicates who / when / where.

    Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case

  • Right Howard especially when a Mississauga newspaper tells us Halton has the 6th highest positivity score of 4.8 of 34 public health units (avg is 4.6) and we are doing worse than Toronto and York who are 7th and 8th! Nothing ever gets done with large groups like this chaired by someone who is far from knowledgeable on infection control issues…. only reasopn for such a set up is for the Mayor to get her message across “I’m in charge”!.

  • David Barker

    In the absence of in person meeting at the Burlington Convention Centre I guess each member needs three screens to fit everyone in for Zoom meetings. LOL.

  • Denise W.

    Government doing what it does best, create bureaucracy, so that they can pass it around a big circle. Our current vaccination rate is terrible.

    But the plumbers are busy. Seems lots of people have resorted to using paper towel, after they have run out of toilet paper. TP breaks down pretty fast in water, paper towel does not. It is strong and absorbent. There are a lot of clogged drains in houses and some apartment buildings. Once it snags on something going downstream, a serious clog can develop pretty fast as the effective inside diameter of the pipe gets reduced. It might get part of the way down, but not all the way out. No predicting. If you know of anybody that ran out of TP, and they say they are “getting by”, get them some TP !

  • Howard

    The task force was created in April of last year and have now had 17 meetings. You can judge if they have been effective and forward thinking.