Halton's MPs meet with disabled community - promise more funding

News 100 redBy Staff

May 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Yesterday, the Honourable Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington, the Honourable Anita Anand, Member of Parliament for Oakville, Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington, and Adam van Koeverden, Member of Parliament for Milton were joined by community advocates and local service providers to discuss support for people living with disabilities in Halton.

Paul WHO in wheel chair - Senior

The objective is to ensure that people with mobility limitations are able to take part in all community activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the long-standing barriers Canadians with disabilities have faced for decades. Since the start of the pandemic, many have faced higher costs in accessing food, medication, social services or health care.

As Members of Parliament in Halton, we remain committed to advancing policies that build inclusivity from the beginning and will continue to work to reflect the principle of ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’ when it comes to creating a society that is inclusive by design and promotes belonging for everyone.

Important stakeholders including Community Living Burlington and Community Living Oakville, Charter Ability, the Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee, Stroke Recovery, Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics, and Goodwill Amity came together to share their thoughts on how we can continue to push for more inclusive spaces in our communities.

One of the overwhelming pieces of feedback was that we as a society need to engage in an attitudinal change. Inclusiveness for those living with a disability should be built into planning and policy procedures from the very beginning to ensure that all of us are included.

Our community spaces need to be inclusive and accessible. While we have made progress in this space, there is more work to be done to ensure that everyone can access and utilize spaces that many of us take for granted, such as public washroom facilities.

We also need to work harder to ensure that housing is not only affordable but accessible and that job opportunities are available and accommodating to all interested applicants.

We will also continue to work to foster inclusion and belonging in the workforce for people living with disabilities, recognizing the unique skills and talents they bring to employment.

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada has made significant proposals to support people living with disabilities and ensure our communities are more accessible, including:

• Undertaking consultations to reform the eligibility process for federal disability programs and benefits. This work would feed directly into the design of a new disability benefit;

• Triple funding for the Enabling Accessibility Fund and support small and mid-sized projects with not-for-profit organizations, women’s shelters, child care centres, small municipalities, Indigenous organizations, territorial governments, small businesses, and businesses of all sizes;

• Improving access to the Disability Tax Credit;

• Extending disability supports under the Canada Student Loans Program;

• Providing $29.2 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to ESDC through the Enabling Accessibility Fund to support child care centres as they improve their physical accessibility;

• Support the creation of a National Autism Strategy and;

• Renewing Funding for the Office of Public Service Accessibility.

 

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Different groups in the Beachway during the week - Moms with the kids and trades people getting it ready for the weekend

graphic community 3By Pepper Parr

May 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There were two groups active in the Beachway yesterday; one of them will be busy today and Friday getting that part of the city ready for the thousands that are expected to want to spend time on the sandy shores of Lake Ontario.

BoardwaLK new

New outdoor planking has been put in place around the Convenience Shack; public washrooms may not be ready for this weekend.

Contractors and maintenance people are beavering away to get washrooms set up, signs in place, and barriers where they are needed to keep people from putting their vehicles in the wrong places.

Mom with 4 kids at Beach May 19

Mom, the boys and a girl with a pail – heading for the lake.

Then there are the Moms – those we saw were driving pickup trucks and trundling down to the Beachway with their children in tow and all the stuff you need to play in the sand and enjoy the sunshine.

Then there was the couple; two people who have known Burlington most of their lives, who have found a quiet spot where they could sit side by side and enjoy the blessings.

seniors looking over lake Beachway

Listening to the silence and counting the blessings.

They were all their earlier this week; few of them will be there in the weekend.

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Farmers' Market opens for the season - covid rules are being sensibly enforced

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was the first day of operation this season for the Lions Farmers Market that set up in the south end of the Burlington Centre parking lot.

The weather was perfect; people strolled in, cleared the entrance where you are expected to squirt the disinfectant on your hands and begin looking at the produce.

Right to your tableAnd produce there was – the pictures tell that story.

The crowds weren’t great and there were a lot of empty places for the significant list of farm participants this market has had in the past.

It was week day – Saturday will tell the story.

There were plenty of Lions people on site welcoming as you came in and ready to answer any question.

Table laden with vegetable

You need a big bag when you leave this table – they had something of everything that comes out of the ground.

 

potato table + truck

 

Empty spaces

Lot of space for additional farmers – expect it to be busier on the weekend.

 

market - entry point

Squirt your hands at the entrance and enjoy what is being offered for sale.

Markets operate Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – well worth the time.

Hours of operation: Wednesdays   8:00 – 2:00   Fridays  8:00 – 3:00    Saturdays  8:00 – 2:00

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Aldershot market accepting new applications - will operate four Satudays

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Aldershot Village BIA outdoor Vendor Markets are running for the 2021 season!
Spots are limited so apply soon for this summer / fall season.

Aldershot BIAThe markets will take place on four Saturdays 9am to 1pm: July 17th, Aug 21st, Sept 18th & Oct 9th

Interested?

Head to the BIA website for the application and all the details.

http://aldershotbia.com/call-for-market-vendors/

Email: events@aldershotbia.com for more detail

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A perfect spring weekend in the city - were you there?

graphic community 2By Staff

May 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

How well did Burlingtonians behave on Sunday when the weather was about as good as it gets this time of year?

The Parks Culture and Community Department decided not to have staff in the parks keeping an eye on people – looks as if it wasn’t needed.

The pictures that follow are worth a thousand words.

tulips + women

Pictures like this get put on post cards.

 

 

LaSalle Geese

Watching the geese at the LaSalle Marina.

girl with chipmunk RBG

Feeding the chipmunks at RBG – these are the best fed creatures in the city.

Easterbrook ;ined up

This is typical Burlington – spending some time at one of the few places in the city that deserves to be called iconic

canal social distancing at its best

This is what social distancing is all about. Now if we can get this across to the younger set – we just might have a complete summer.

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Metrolinx staff make a young women’s final wish to operate a train come true

graphic community 3By Anne Marie Aikins

May 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Transit vehicles, especially big commuter trains, can inspire imagination and even a bit of awe. But for some, they become the thing of dreams and wishes.

If given the opportunity to ask for anything – anything in the world – what would be your last big wish?

For one determined young woman, it was to operate a train like the GO trains she often took rides in with her parents. It was always her dream, but now seemed like an impossible feat for someone on her last journey in palliative care.

metrolinx girl with her dad

Romina stands next to a GO Transit Safety officer and his K9 partner at the UP Express terminal at Union Station.

Born with Down syndrome, Romina Asrani is now 21 years old. The endearing and determined wisp of a young woman saw her wish come true at Union Station this past weekend (May 16) when Metrolinx and Alstom Canada staff worked together to create an incredible, joyful experience that no one will soon forget.

This past year has been filled with sadness and loss for everyone. There is a proverb, however that says sorrow is a requirement for finding moments of true joy. This story may seem terribly huge, but because a young woman believed her dream was possible, it also made us believe it too.

And we felt joyous even for a few minutes because of her.

I was first introduced to Romina Asrani and her family when Sick Kids reached out to tell us about her dream to “drive a big train like her grandfather”.

Hesitant at first because it seemed impossible under the circumstances, but I was willing to try and do what we could and agreed to meet with them by video. The Thornhill parents, Mansour and Soraya, told me about their daughter Romina, who was born with Down syndrome and has suffered with multiple illnesses since she was a little girl. She’s a fighter, Soraya said, but is now in palliative care.

metrolinx asrani h&s

Romina Asrani: She’s a fighter, Soraya, her Mother said, “but is now in palliative care.”

Romina told me about her wish to drive a train some day. They often, at least before she became gravely ill and the pandemic began, took the GO train for trips, and she would take the train in Europe too, she said. Her dad would tell her stories about her grandfather who was a train engineer and his stories always fascinated her.

Well, I fell in love with her immediately of course, so proposed we wait until we were out of lockdown and it was safer. She wouldn’t be able to exactly drive a train, I said, but I would see if our rail team could give her a fun trip, nonetheless.

Unfortunately, they were concerned that waiting wasn’t really an option, so we agreed on a Sunday afternoon with barely three days to plan. The parents also requested a reporter be there so they could have her story documented. Romina cheered as we ended the call saying: “Yes, I am going to drive a train!”

I hung up on our video call wondering: ‘What on earth am I going to do? I cannot disappoint her.’

For readers who don’t know, my little sister Jenny was one of the greatest sources of joy in my life. Like Romina, she was also born with Down syndrome and died the day before our first lockdown in March 2020. Jenny would have kicked my butt if I didn’t fulfill Romina’s dream.

So, I reached out across our organization – to senior leadership in rail, transit safety, operations, stations, and beyond – and told them about Romina’s last wish. I pressed send on the email and waited – within minutes everyone responded with the same message.

And then I sat back and watched our teams create some magic. Metrolinx staff worked with Alstom Canada to plan a special UP Express train and a crew to work personally with Romina. Stations staff ensured we were ready to escort the family around safely with a wheelchair for Romina to carry her oxygen and reduce the amount of walking. Transit safety arranged to be on site with Dougie from the K9 team. Souvenir gifts were planned. And a safety plan was meticulously prepared to ensure we remained COVID-safe and were prepared for any type of emergency.

Staff thought of everything and really reached out across our entire organization to prepare for Romina’s special train.

The day finally arrived. As the family pulled up in front of Union Station, I was taken aback just how frail and tiny Romina was as she approached and glad we thought about bringing a wheelchair.

After I greeted Romina and her parents, transit safety and stations staff met with the family as they arrived, took them to the UP Express station and provided her with special gifts including official transit safety badges, a GO bear and plenty of masks. She loved the UV cleaner in the station and made her parents clean their phones. 2

Once the regular scheduled train was loaded with customers and left for the airport, with Romina watching from the platform, the station grew quiet and over the loudspeaker came this soothing voice:

“Attention please, we have an extraordinary announcement. Please join me and all our staff at Metrolinx in welcoming Romina and her family to UP Express as our very special guests today. The next train arriving is Romina’s train.”

metrolinx girl with police dog

“This is the coolest thing, the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I will never forget it, ever.”

Romina’s joy was palpable, and she was giddy with excitement as the specially arranged train arrived and the doors opened. As we entered the train, staff and customers in the station spontaneously cheered loudly.

“This is the coolest thing, the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I will never forget it, ever.”

The crew met Romina and toured her through the train, explained their jobs and when they asked her if she wanted to sit in the conductor’s seat in the cab, she turned to me and said: “Really, you are making this happen for me?”

I’m not sure there was a dry eye at this point. Certainly not mine.

The Alstom crew, engineer Tony Borek and conductor Aaron Trude, took her into the cab, let her hold the key, which she held like it was the most precious treasure and then explained all the gadgets. The microphone was a huge hit; they showed her how to use it to make announcements and toot the horn.

Although she wasn’t technically operating the train, the crew made her feel like she was in control as the train moved the very short trip to platform 3 and back.

Once we were back at the station, Romina sat in the opposite end cab and showed off her skills on the microphone.

“I’m so excited,” she said.

While Romina learned the tricks of the trade, Soraya and I chatted like moms do. She told me just how hard the last year has been for her daughter, the loneliness, her worsening breathing and stays in the hospital. Worrying about contracting a potentially deadly virus added to their anxieties.

Soraya spoke with such fondness and gratitude for their amazing Sick Kids family – the same hospital Jenny was treated at for years.

Then the crew presented her with an official honorary locomotive engineer certificate.

metrolinx certificate

“I could not be happier than I am right this minute,”

“This is the coolest thing, the best thing that has ever happened in my life,” Romina said. “I will never forget it, ever.”

As the family wished, Global News (including Global National) was there to document her journey. When Mansour was asked to speak to the reporter, Romina tugged his sleeve to let him know she had this covered. And then she articulated much better than any of us could what this experience meant to her.

“I could not be happier than I am right this minute,” Romina said. “Thank you all for making my wish come true for me. I love you all. You are my angels.”

When I passed on her thanks to Savio D’Gamma Rose, a manager in the operations centre who helped bring all the details together behind the scenes, his response spoke for all of us: “This was my absolute pleasure. I was lucky to be a part, even in a small way, of bringing some happiness and joy to Romina today.”

Thank you, Romina from all of us.

 

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Victoria Day: What’s open and closed at the City of Burlington

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City of Burlington administrative services will be closed for Victoria Day on Monday, May 24. For a list of which City services and facilities are available on the Victoria Day holiday, please see the summary below or visit burlington.ca

Queen Victoria

The event celebrates the birth of Queen Victoria – a women that reigned when the British Commonwealth was the biggest power in the world. Her reign’s impact is still being felt.

*Important information regarding COVID-19: The information provided below is accurate as of May 17, 2021. In the event of any changes made by the Province of Ontario to the current COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order, please visit burlington.ca/coronavirus for potential impacts to City services and programs.

Residents can also stay informed about city news on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington.

City Service Holiday Closure Information
Animal Services
The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.
To report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit www.burlington.ca/animal.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate a Sunday schedule on Victoria Day. For real-time bus information and schedules visit myride.burlingtontransit.ca.

The downtown terminal at 430 John St. and Specialized Dispatch will be closed on Monday, May 24.

City Hall The Service Burlington counter at City Hall (426 Brant St.), will be closed to all appointments and walk-in service on Monday, May 24.
Many service payments are available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Halton Court Services Provincial Offences Office Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will be closed on Monday May 24.

With the exception of the Victoria Day closure, telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. All in-person services are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or online at Halton Court Services.

Parking Free parking is available downtown, on the street, in municipal lots and in the parking garage (414 Locust St.) on weekends and holidays, including Victoria Day.

NOTE:
• The Waterfront parking lots (east and west at 1286 Lakeshore Rd) do not provide free parking on statutory holidays.
• Paid parking, on weekends only, at Beachway Park (1100 Lakeshore Rd) begins Saturday, May 22, using HONK Mobile.
Parking exemptions are required to park overnight on city streets and for longer than five hours. Visit burlington.ca/parkingexemptions

Recreation Programs and Facilities Lending Library
Play Equipment
• Horseshoes, glow in the dark soccer balls, Kanjam, washer toss, tennis, Spikeball and more are available to borrow.

Visit burlington.ca/playlending
Pickleball Equipment

• Borrow pickleball equipment for free, including noise-reducing paddles, ball packs and portable nets that can be used in your backyard or driveway. Visit burlington.ca/pickleball

kids running

Get out and have fun – just follow the rules and we will soon see the end of the pandemic

Outdoor Activities
If you need some fresh air and activity, it’s okay to walk, cycle or jog through your neighbourhood park, but please do not linger. Please stay two metres (six feet) away from everyone else in the park, or on a trail, and take your waste home with you to dispose of it.

Active at Home
Options to stay active at home are available online at burlington.ca/activeathome, including a series of virtual activities from fitness to crafts for everyone to enjoy. All videos are free and new videos are added frequently.

 

 

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A day filled with sunshine - Spencer Smith Park was busy but not packed

graphic community 3By Staff

May 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

musician picolo

Facing the lake and tempting the waves on bright sunny day.

What a beautiful day it was!

bikes on the promendae

Not many of these people chose to wear masks.

Families were out enjoying the weather; the kids were playing and there was a gentleman tempting the waves with his flute.

Sunday is going to be just as big a blessing.

Enjoy what our staff photographer recorded.

City staff  are in a bit of a holding pattern, waiting for direction from the province as to what can be opened up and when.

We know that there won’t be a traditional Sound of Music event; they are working up a program – nothing yet on what they are going to be able to do.

soaking up the sunshine by Skyway

Soaking up the sunshine out by the Skyway with a breeze coming in off the Hamilton Harbour.

Ribfest might be able to open up – if the new infection numbers are low enough.

kids in turnstyle

Everyone wanted to be on the turnstile.

 

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Ward Councillor talks to his constituents virtually - forgets to tell them he will seek re-election

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Being in a situation where every event that takes place to advise and inform people has to be virtual, ward Councillors have to struggle to get some attention.  Some Councillors seem to have given up.

Galbraith with two women in Tim

Galbraith meeting with constituents shortly after being elected. Councillor says he will be running for a second term.

Last night ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith put on what turned out to be a packed agenda.

I fully expected the event to be short – not more than an hour and not all that much in the way of new information.  I was wrong.

It went for two hours and there was no shortage of new information.

Earlier in the week we got a media notice from the city on some traffic limitations on Waterdown Road while hydro poles were moved on the east side of the road.

There is a lot more than hydro pole relocation work going on.

Tentative Timelines

Enbridge Gas Relocations: Complete

Minor Hydro/Bell Relocations

 Advanced Works: Ongoing – Summer 2021

(East side Retaining Walls & Tree Removals)

 Hydro Pole Relocations: Mid May 2021 to Summer

(Buried Hydro Duct at South Hydro One ROW) 2022

Halton Region Advanced Watermain Replacement: Summer to Fall 2021

(Regional Reservoir to Flatt Road – approx. 360m length)

 Road Construction Public Meeting : Q2 2022

 Main Construction Contract: Fall 2022 to 2024

The original budget for the work came in at $14.8 million – it has since ballooned to $30 Million.  The road on the west side will include a 2.5 – 3 metre multi user path that will allow bicycles.

The road will eventually become 4 lanes.

Waterdown - resevoir region

The reservoir that is being upgraded is shown bottom right.

The ongoing work comes at a time when the Regional government is holding a public meeting (virtually) on a review of the Region’s Official Plan that is to include a meeting focus on North Aldershot and the Eagle Heights development that has been in the works for decades.

Much of Aldershot doesn’t have the the tree canopy coverage other parts of Burlington has – but it does have the only recognized heritage tree in the city.  The oak tree is one of the markers for the original land grant given Joseph Brant.

During a Forestry meeting earlier in the week residents learned that each household will be given a free tree that will be planted on city property outside their homes.

Tyandaga sign

New business model to be approved by Council on Monday

Galbraith brought his constituents up to date on the plans for the  Tyandaga golf course but slipped up on any mention of the tax payer being asked to pick up part of the cost for a location that used to be completely supported by fees.  There are some capital costs that the current business model can’t handle. Galbraith was very good at taking questions at the close of the meeting – and the questions kept coming and coming.

It was when asked directly that The Councillor explained what the new financial outlook was going to be.

The North Aldershot meeting takes place on Monday the 17th in the evening.  There is a link to the event on the Regional website: halton@ropr

Tom Muir, a well-informed Aldershot resident on the North Aldershot lands, which are outside the Burlington urban boundary, points to the growth in the permitted level of development going from 400 in in 1996 to 665 in 2001, to 870 in 2010to a total of 100 in 2020 – without as much as a shovel in the ground.

Brant property tree on Allview in Aldershot

A White Oak tree in Burlington that is at least 300 years old has been given a heritage designation by the province. The city-owned, 30-metre (100-foot) high tree has a circumference of nearly 500 centimetres (16.7 ft.) and is quite likely one of the oldest and largest Quercus alba specimens in Canada, according to the Burlington Historical Society. Located at Allview Avenue, a short street on the north shore of Burlington Bay, the White Oak was part of an historic boundary line for nearly 250 years. Before 1957, it also marked the starting point of the border between Burlington and Aldershot. According to the historical society’s website, “In 1789, the Allview White Oak was a surveyor’s benchmark for a treaty arranging the purchase from the Mississauga First Nation, for the British Crown, of a block of land that soon afterwards became the 3,450-acre parcel of land known as Brant’s Block.

The lands border on Waterdown which is part of Hamilton which is why the city of Hamilton is paying 95% of the cost of the reservoir that is being upgraded.

Galbraith told his constituents that he had nothing he could add about the ownership of the LaSalle Park property other than to say that talks were still taking place.

The park is in Burlington but the land is owned by the city of Hamilton.  Complex.  The city owns the infrastructure and covers all the operating costs and pay Hamilton rent of $1 a year.

Links to related stories:

How Burlington got the deal of a lifetime – LaSalle Park rental for $1 a year.

New business model for Tyandaga Golf Course

 

 

 

 

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People of Burlington know how to follow the rules

graphic community 3By Staff

May 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When left to following the rules most Burlingtonians comply.

A Gazette reporter/photographer  got out into the parks and the waterfront – things were quieter, people were following the rules – getting the exercise and fresh air they needed,

The pictures tell the story.

Ships and fishing

Ships at anchor while a couple test the waters for fish. There were actually three ships at anchor – unusual for Hamilton.

little guy not sure LaSalle May 13

The little guy wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to do despite a lot of coaxing from Dad; the other two new exactly what they wanted to do,

hanging from parl equipment

LaSalle man reading in sunshine shorts

Looks like this man is working on his tan and doing a crossword puzzle. Great social distancing.

LaSalle Mom with daughter picnic

Mom just wants to know why the camera is pointed at her.

Beachway - few people walking

Very few people on the Beach on a Thursday – it will be different on a weekend that is forecast to have great weather.

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Mayor says the parks are open - some private community parks are not open

graphic community 5By Staff

May 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The parks were closed by the province; then they were opened when the province realized the closing was a dumb decision.

Georgian - closed playground

This boy just wants to play and that yellow tape is in the way.

But not all the parks are open and that is a concern for an Aldershot parent who lives in the Georgian Court community where the park put in place and maintained by the housing company is closed.

Mayor response

Mayors says: Go ahead and use the park. It wasn’t a public park.

Her unit looks right out over the park and her son just does not understand why he can’t be outside playing.

Nor does his Mom who is a stay at home parent and asked not to be personally identified.

She is part of a group of parents who are all stay-at-home mothers and do everything they can to keep their children active and outdoors as much as possible.

In Burlington when you have a problem – you call the Mayor, who explained to our parent that indeed the parks are open.

Georgian message

Georgian Court Management explains their position – which isn’t the same as that of the Mayor. Problem is they are talking about different kinds of parks.

Some miscommunication in there somewhere – the Office of the Mayor didn’t understand that the park that had been closed was not a city park.

Our parent didn’t know who her ward councillor was. We’ve put the two of them together to see if someone can explain to the community when the private community park can be opened.

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Halton municipalities asking province to safely open outdoor activities

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mayors of the four Region of  Halton and the Chair of the Region reiterate their call to safely reopen outdoor activities

Regional boundariesAs the Province of Ontario considers extending the Stay-at-Home emergency order beyond May 20, today, Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair are reiterating our call to safely reopen outdoor activities.

Outdoor activities done safely with physical distancing and masking are a necessary support to physical and mental health, especially during this prolonged period of lockdown. Guidance provided by the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table for Ontario, that has also been endorsed by the Ontario Medical Association, encourages safe outdoor activities. •

Keeping people safely connected: Maintaining social connections and outdoor activity are important to our overall physical and mental health. This means allowing small groups of people from different households to meet outside with masking and two-metre distancing.

It means keeping playgrounds open and clearly encouraging safe outdoor activities. As noted by the Science Table: “Policies that discourage safe outdoor activity will not control COVID-19 and will disproportionately harm children and those who do not have access to their own greenspace, especially those living in crowded conditions.”

While the Halton Mayors and Regional Chair continue to discourage large gatherings in any setting, small groups can be at the same amenity at the same time as long as they are following the health guidelines. We also stand with our Halton students who are calling for a safe return to sports when health guidance and evidence suggests it is safe to do so.

The Halton District School Board’s (HDSB) Student Senate recently passed a motion declaring sports essential in students’ lives and created a Safe Sports subcommittee, co-chaired by two Halton students. The committee seeks to work with the Province to develop a plan for the safe return of sports, beginning with low-contact sports such as track and field, tennis, badminton, and swimming.

Given that many sporting activities occur in city facilities, the four Halton municipalities stand ready to partner with the Province, school boards and our local fitness providers in planning for a safe restart of sports.

In light of the evidence and advice from the Science Table, we renew our call to the Province to review and reconsider the list of currently prohibited outdoor activities. We further call on the provincial government to consult with school boards and our youth to design a safe return to sports plan, so that low-contact sports can resume as soon as it is safe to do so.

 Halton Regional Chair, Gary Carr;  Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, City of Burlington;  Mayor Rob Burton, Town of Oakville;  Mayor Gordon Krantz, Town of Milton;  Mayor Rick Bonnette, Town of Halton Hills

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Taxpayer funds are expected to support the golf course going forward

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

This is a little on the long side – important because it points to the way the current city council wants to spend.

 

Rob Axiak, Manager of Recreation Services was explaining to council that the business model being used to operate the Tyandaga golf course wasn’t working and at the current rate of spending the reserve funds would be depleted in a couple of years.

Rob Axiac

Rob Axiak, Manager of Recreation Services

A different business model was needed.

The Staff Direction the Parks, Recreation, Community and Culture (RCC) department wanted was:

Direct the Director of Recreation, Community and Culture to permanently phase in over 2022 – 2026, a change to the Tyandaga operating model, shifting from the current net zero model to a tax-supported model funded by both user fees and the general tax- base.

If approved this would mean a permanent adjustment to the current operating model and result in the golf course being paid for with a combination of fees and money from the tax payer instead of just fee revenue.

Tyandaga has been described as land developers would love to get their hands on. The 108 acre property could have development potential – however it has a number of streams that would hamper development.

Councillor Sharman told his council colleagues there was a time when some members of council and developers had drawings done up – but it never got past that point

In February Parks staff were tasked to further engage the community regarding both the golf service and public park opportunities. The community spoke clearly of the ongoing desire to maintain an 18 hole golf course, improve basic amenities like cart paths, and enhance the winter park play experience and use of the clubhouse.

tyandaga uses

Survey data

During the Spring, Summer and Fall, the grounds at Tyandaga are primarily used for a multitude of golf related programs which are open, affordable and accessible to all.

During the Winter months, the grounds are transformed into an active public park where people can enjoy the space for a variety of casual play opportunities including tobogganing and snow shoeing. This entire four-season operation is considered a net zero and expected to be funded solely by revenues earned through golf programs and services.

The common consensus amongst Council members as noted in a February 2020 report were:

 We value the greenspace at Tyandaga
 We value having a municipal golf course
 We value having a destination for the community year-round
 We look forward to hearing about additional uses for the Clubhouse
 We would welcome hearing about additional uses on the greenspace for the community to enjoy.

Tyandaga has always  operated under the current net zero operation; they receive nothing from the public purse. User-fee revenues generated from golf are expected to fully fund both the operating and capital cost requirements year-round, including all winter park opportunities.

Uncontrollable factors such as climate change and extreme weather patterns have also impacted golf revenues in recent years. Revenues earned have only been able to cover basic operational expenses with very limited and selected investment in capital.

Councillor Sharman told his colleagues that: “…we should have known about this all along.”

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nissan said he was on board for the change in the funding model – he did say as well that he has never played the course.

City manager  Tim Commisso told council that the location and its problem have been studied for years.  There was a time when the pressure from developers was intense.

Mayor Meed Ward made the point that the existence of the golf course is a benefit to everyone – much like the Paletta operation in the east end of the city.

Sharman later added that “we know the cost of everything but not the value.”

Council was clearly prepared to change the business model. Sharman seemed to sum it up: “‘this is the only way to go”  Hopefully that argument will stand up when it appears in the budget in 2022.

Some ongoing course maintenance and major capital renewal expenses have been deferred .

The net zero operating model for a municipally owned and operated golf course is quite unique to the City of Burlington. Most, if not all other municipal golf courses in Ontario, have some degree of tax-base support. For example, both the City of Hamilton and the City of Mississauga both operate municipal golf courses and are supported by the tax-base.

There are three primary types of operating models that exists within the RCC department presently. They are shown below with some examples of what types of services/assets are associated with each of them.

op model 1op model 2
When comparing Tyandaga to the other net zero locations noted in the chart above, Tyandaga offers recreational activities that the city directly intended for broader community access including youth golf and league play and a multitude of winter park causal play opportunities. Tyandaga is far more aligned with a sport field and public park as opposed to the commercially based net zero operations in the department. The net zero food service locations are commercial tenant-based / for-profit businesses that provide commercial food and beverage services (e.g. banquets, concession, restaurant).

On-the-other-hand, pools, arenas, parks and community centres are all financially supported by the tax-base, with a portion of their costs offset through user fees where appropriate (e.g. rental permits, registration fees and drop-in fees).
The ongoing sustainability of this operation, service and asset, as well as meeting the evolving needs and interests of the community is the basis for why a change to the operating model is necessary.

COVID-19 Impact on 2020 Operations:
Interest in golf has been strong and steady for many years, especially during this past season (2020). With the province wide shut down imposed in late March 2020, the opening of the golf course was delayed by over 6 weeks. When permitted to open, several restrictions were mandated which subsequently limited program offerings. The delayed opening and the limited program opportunities had a significant impact on the course’s ability to generate revenues to its fullest potential.

Through a strategic re-design approach in 2020, dedicated staff, and decent weather, the course saw 28,993 rounds of golf (80% capacity utilization) which then translated into an annual profit of $179,000. Under the current net-zero operating model, $77,411 of the profit was transferred to the vehicle depreciation reserve fund (VDRF) while the balance of $101,705 was transferred to the general Tyandaga reserve fund. Golfers, new and returning flocked to Tyandaga with great interest in participating in one of the first recreational opportunities reopened to the public.

Proposed Operating Model:
Through discussions with senior staff, the proposed new operating model must be guided by a key set of principles. These include:

• Service and Financial Sustainability
• Adherence to Asset Management principles and practices
• Allow for adaptations and adjustment to service levels to meet the needs of the community
• Supported by the Framework for Community Recreation in the City of Burlington (e.g. affordability, play for all ages / abilities, variety, access, etc.) *
• Align with the operating model that is most suited
• Phased in over time to ease the financial burden
• Promote active green space opportunities

phased in RCC 2022-2027

*The proposed new operating model was vetted through the methodology of the Framework for Community Recreation for the City of Burlington. This alignment includes the broad use of the land for a variety of recreational activities, with a focus on the fundamentals of play, ensuring access and affordability is at the forefront of the services provided, meaningful engagement with the neighbourhood and stakeholders, and to maximize use of the property, year round.

The proposed operating model for Tyandaga will look to align the program/service and assets/amenities to a typical RCC model; drawing on both user fees and the tax-base to support. This recommendation will position Tyandaga to be equal to a city pool, arena, sports field, community centre or park.

Phased in Approach (2022-2027)
To support this proposed change, staff are recommending this shift occur over a five- year phased in approach (2022-2027). This approach is recommended to slowly ease the financial burden onto the tax-base over time, as opposed to all at once. This new operating model has three distinct advantages:

rcc spending 3 years

• Sustainability: Both financial and service levels will have a higher degree of certainty and sustainability into the future.
• Growth / Change: This model will allow for new and exciting opportunities to be considered and introduced both for the golf course and for the park without the sole and limited reliance on the revenue produced by golf.
• Asset Renewal: All asset renewal will be planned for using the same asset management principles and practices throughout the city.

The asset will get renewed at the right time and be embedded within the broader capital budget prioritization process when competing for funding.

The phased in approach will begin in 2022, and span over five years into 2027 (2022- 2027). As shown below, there will be three distinct phases, slowly moving expenses over to the tax-base to support. To note for this year (2021), will operate as previously planned and budgeted for, following all COVID regulatory requirements.

Each phase will capture two years of operation with an assessment completed after each phase. Council will be informed of the progress of this process as part of Tyandaga’s annual update. Each phase will introduce financial requirements into the general tax-base. For example, in phase 1, the Golf Operation (revenues) will support the overall operating budget, as well as all fleet requirements, while general capital requirements will be transferred over to the tax-base to support. As part of the annual budget process each year (operating and capital), changes as noted in each of the three phases will be highlighted.

By 2026, Tyandaga will begin to implement a 5% surcharge on user fees which will then fund the Tyandaga reserve fund. This reserve fund will be used to partially support capital renewal needs at the course. This surcharge approach is used presently at pools, arenas and community centres.

rebuilding the reserve

• Fleet is the required equipment needed to maintain the greens. Fleet also includes snow clearing equipment needed to clear the parking lot in the winter months.
• The above model removes the annual ‘Payment in Lieu’ of $25,000 that Tyandaga had traditionally paid the RCC department for management overhead and to simulate property taxes within a net zero operating model.

Programs and Service Delivery during the Phases
Based on feedback heard, staff will look to create new programs and services over the 5 years and look to support some needed capital upkeep and repair.

Climate Implications
Burlington has been experiencing many extreme weather events that have negatively affected the golf industry throughout southern Ontario. The climate crisis directly affects the overall operations, causing later openings and early closures to the golf season which has negatively impacted the overall financial performance.
It has been five years since the City of Burlington received 191 millimeters of rainfall in 8-hours causing significant flooding and damage throughout the City. Since that date, we have consistently received major climate challenges year after year. Flooding, ice storms and draughts to name a few. Most recently, between April 1 and May 13, 2019 Burlington experienced 226 millimeters of rain adversely affecting participation, revenues and expenses at the golf course, a recent trend impacting the golf operation.

The Standing Committee decision:

Direct the Director of Recreation, Community and Culture to permanently phased-in over 2022 – 2026, a change to the Tyandaga operating model, shifting from the current net zero model to a tax-supported model funded by both user fees and the general tax-base, as outlined in recreation, community and culture department report RCC-01-21.

The matter goes to Council where it can be approved on May 18th.

Gazette reader Chris Ariens, posted a comment in the Gazette saying: “Ultimately we’re going to have to scale back on something. As a kid of about 12, the only way I was going to be able to afford to play golf was to get a junior membership at a public course. The pandemic has spiked golf demand as people are looking for any activity which they can do outside safely. Unfortunately the Province has closed golf courses, not because of the danger they pose but because of the bad optics.

“I’d say if we’re going to subsidize recreation, we need to ensure it remains reasonably affordable, especially for young people to be able to learn the game and participate.”

Joe Gaetan adds: “Having lived in Tyandaga for over 20 years, I vividly recall the last time the city or certain councillors decided they needed to look into “what to do” about the golf course. The motive to me at the time and probably still is, was how could the city develop some or all of this land to unlock the financial potential of this lovely piece of green space.

“At that time, the city with involvement of Tyandaga residents, undertook a very in depth and detailed study of the options. Before anybody does anything, they need to resurrect that file and look at all the hard work that was done at the time. There will always be a councillor or two who wants to turn all or parts of Tyandaga into a multi million home development. Pay attention folks.”

In the staff report the Recreation, Community and Culture department noted that the city did use reserve funds to pump $4 million plus into the LaSalle Park Marina.

 

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MPP calls members of Opposition 'Chicken Littles': arts community recognized her efforts.

graphic community 3By Staff

May 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Last chance:

The Gazette, wanting to support local artistic efforts, is offering a prize for the best name that can be found for this sweet little bird.

The prize will be a $50 gift card or a donation of $50 to the Burlington Food Bank.

The contest ends at the close of Mother’s Day.

Send your suggestions to chickenjane@bgzt.ca

On April 21st, Jane McKenna rose in the Ontario Legislature and spoke to the current pandemic. She portrayed members of the opposition as “chicken littles” who needlessly and inaccurately exaggerated the seriousness and impacts of the pandemic for political advantage. For a politician who has demonstrated a remarkable degree of tone-deaf insensitivity in the past, her performance was a high (or low) mark.

McKenna in the legislature

MPP Jane McKenna in her best dark blue Conservative suit calling the Opposition “Chicken Little”

Sometimes, when faced with leaders who betray a complete lack of awareness and social conscience, it is best to turn indignation into humour, or farce or satire to better isolate and scorn the behaviour. The ‘Chicken Post’ is such an attempt. It responds to callous indifference by shining the light of humour. It “belittles” (pun intended) one who should have known and acted far better.

Those are the views of one, pen in hand, Burlingtonian.

Burlington MPP Jane McKenna stood up in the Legislature and laid out the fact about the Covid19 pandemic.  That is where we learned of the Chicken Little speech she gave.  It lasts just over a minute.  Scroll down the link and click on the video. Get there and Have a listen.

Others with a different artistic bent wanted to help the MPP visualize what she had the temerity to say in the Legislature. They doubled down on their artistic talents and sent a little chicken to Jane McKenna.

rubber chicken 1

A chicken on a respirator in need of a name.

This lovely piece of local art should be donated to the Historical Society once Ms McKenna has displayed it in her constituency office and had it photographed for use on her election signs come June of 2022.

The Gazette, wanting to support local artistic efforts, is offering a prize for the best name that can be found for this sweet little bird.

The prize will be a $50 gift card or a donation of $50 to the Burlington Food Bank.

The contest ends at the close of Mother’s Day.

Send your suggestions to chickenjane@bgzt.ca

 

 

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What electronic games do Canadians play most?

sportsgold 100x100By David Burke

May 6th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Nowadays, the choice of games that are available to players can satisfy everyone’s needs.

pic for Burke PAIDFrom shooters and sports games to puzzles and online slots, the worldwide market is full of options. And Canada being among the 10 biggest gaming markets in the world, let’s take a look at the most popular video games played in the Great White North.

Fortnite

When Fortnite was released in 2017, it took the world by storm. Canadian amateurs and professionals also flocked to this free-to-play battle royale video game. While Fortnite Battle Royale became a cultural phenomenon, there are two other modes that players can opt for, Fortnite: Save the World and Fortnite Creative.

PAID Casino tops

Online wagering has a growing market share. It appears to be what people are looking for.

Moreover, the game’s art style, gameplay, and progression system were well-received by the critics. Its popularity is further increased by various promotions like Fortnite-themed clothing, Fortnite-based Nerf blasters, and even Funko Pop! figurines, as well as the fact that it can be played on various platforms, including Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PS5, and Xbox One and Series X/S.

PlayerUnknown’s Battleground
Another multiplayer battle royale game that is popular in Canada is PlayerUnknown’s Battleground. Also known as PUBG, it is one of the best-selling and most-played games in the world. Available on iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Stadia, the game’s objective is to get rid of other players and be the last surviving player or team. The safe area is decreased over time, just like in Fortnite. While PUBG has been banned in certain countries like Pakistan and India for being too violent and addictive, it is widely available to Canadians.

Apex Legends
After the success that PUBG and Fortnite had, EA decided to try its hand in the battle royale arena as well. In 2019, Apex Legends was released on Windows, Xbox One, and PS4 to positive reviews. The Nintendo Switch version followed in March 2021 while Android and iOS versions are expected to be released in 2022. Playing in teams of two or three, participants look for weapons and supplies that will help them defeat their opponents.

Dota 2
In terms of online multiplayer battle arena games, Dota 2 is dominating the field despite the fact that it came out in 2013. Almost a decade later and Canadians are still crazy about this game. What is more, Dota 2 is very popular, although it is only available on Windows, Linux, and macOS. The game requires plenty of strategizing as the goal is to destroy the other team’s base, aka the Ancient. Each team consists of five players whose characters have unique skills and abilities that need to be used together in order to win.

League of Legends
Released in 2009 for Microsoft Windows, League of Legends is also a multiplayer online battle arena game that has gained a cult following. Since then, the macOS version was also released in 2013. Similar to Dota 2, there are two teams of five players that battle each other, collect experience points, and purchase items to defeat their opponents. League of Legends is often considered to be the largest e-sport on the planet, as there are 12 leagues on the international competitive scene.

Minecraft
Although released in 2011, Minecraft has consistently been among the most popular games of the past decade and is currently the best-selling video game of all time. This sandbox game lets players explore and build a blocky, pixelated world. Minecraft has a few game modes, including survival mode where players have to build shelters as well as survive mob attacks, falls, suffocation, drowning, starvation, and other events. Creative, adventure, spectator, and hardcore modes are also available.

Online casino games
In addition to classic video games, online casino games are also popular in Canada. And since there is a wide variety of out-of-the-state casinos in the country, it’s always advisable to look for review websites like CasinoTopsOnline that list the best online casinos in Canada. That way players can find not only reputable spots for playing but also a huge array of games available. From baccarat and roulette to live poker and online slots that come in various themes, Canadians turn to these games as they are not only fun but a way to earn some money as well. Plus, the winnings are not taxed.

Mahjong
On the other hand, there are also players looking for something more casual, which is why online Mahjong is also a popular game. The reasons are quite simple – it is free, it doesn’t require any special gaming equipment, and anyone with basic computer skills can play it. Based on the famous Chinese board game, there are different levels that allow players to progress and keep it interesting.

baackgammon boards

Some of the Backgammon boards are works of art reflecting their long history.

Backgammon
Finally, backgammon is another game that has many fans in Canada. About 5,000 years old, this game has been adapted so that it can easily be played online for free. Strategizing is key to winning, no matter which version players choose. Furthermore, certain aspects of the game can be changed in order to suit the player. There is also the option of playing against the computer, which can help players hone their skills.

From MMORPGs through online casinos, and all the way to board games, Canadians enjoy all sorts of games. Did your favorite make the list?

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Parks and Recrearion move fast to get signage in place as part of controlling movement of people in public places

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 4th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Have the people at Parks and Recreation taken dancing lessons?

Spencer Smith sign

We should know by next weekend if the signs are going to make a difference

They have had to pivot on almost every project they have on the go.

sign spencer smith 3

The sign is certainly in the right place.

When the Gazette reported that there were large numbers of people gathering inappropriately we mentioned that there were no signs in place.

We reported that story on Monday (it did great things for our readership) – this afternoon we got a response from Chris Glenn who sent us three pictures of signs that are in place in the park.

Chris Glenn reported: “The signage is in place at SSP and other locations. Included a couple examples below.

The park ambassadors and other compliance monitoring / enforcement options are being discussed with council this week, primarily at the EICS meeting under the COVID verbal update. Will know more after this discussion.”

They are scrambling but they are on top of it.  Realize that much of the communication between staff members is by cell phone from their homes.

sign spencer smith COVID

The message is certainly clear enough. Add a couple of bylaw control officer ans the small crowds will disappear.

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Spencer Smith Park - that Jewel in the Burlington Crown - didn't appear to have a single sign explaining to people what the Stay at Home order meant

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 3, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

What would we do without informed readers with cameras.

A Gazette reader sent us the following.

Her comments:

“So much for the “stay at home” order. These were taken Saturday. It was not even the busiest time. There is zero enforcement happening. Sunday was worse.

Spencer collette 1

The blossoms are beautiful – but where were the park Ambassadors the city was going to have in place to “educate” people and explain what the rules were and why they needed to be adhered to?

 

spencer colette 2

The new version of the Gazebo proved to be a popular gathering spot. There wasn’t as much as a sign to tell people what the Stay at Home order meant.

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Covid19 vaccination phases -

News 100 redBy Staff

May 2nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When and where can you get the vaccine?

Ontario has a three-phase plan that prioritizes vaccines for those at greatest risk of severe illness and those who care for them. As vaccine supply is delivered across the province, public health units may have different vaccine administration rates based on local context.

Ontario is using different channels to administer the vaccines and reach most of the population. Implementation will vary as each channel, priority population and vaccine has specific criteria that require flexibility.

Vacination phases May 2

All of this depends on the reliable delivery of the vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine is now being delivered in volume regularly.

vaccine delivery

Vaccines arriving regularly –

Ford getting vaccinated AZ type

Premier Doug Ford getting his receives first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine. .

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Urban Forestry staff want to tell you about their street tree planting initiatives

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 30th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington is inviting residents, business-owners and landowners to a virtual information session to learn more about urban forestry initiatives in the city, including the Street Tree Planting program and the annual Gypsy Moth Control program.

Geese on Guelph Line and the apple trees

There were five apple trees on Guelph Line – the drive way leads to a church. The trees were cut down because the geese, who ate the apples, were pooping on the driveway. The promised replacements were never planted.

The open house will take place on Wednesday, May 12, from 7 to 8 p.m. on Microsoft Teams. Registration is not required and there is no cost to attend.

Link to join the meeting will be available on getinvolvedburlington.ca/forestry.

During the meeting, City of Burlington forestry staff will share information about:

• 2021 Gypsy Moth control program – As part of a multi-year pest management program, the City will be using a low-flying helicopter to aerial spray a bio-pesticide over four parks and wooded trail areas (City View Park, Killbride Park, LaSalle Park, Zimmerman Park) to control gypsy moth populations and protect city forests from heavy defoliation. More information about this year’s program, including locations and timing will be discussed at the open house.

• 2021 street tree planting program – Staff will provide insight about the goals for the future of Burlington’s canopy; plant healthcare challenges with growing trees on a street side; and plans to protect the city against future invasive species.

Trees Pine street

Cut down for a development

Quick Facts
• In total, Burlington plants approximately 1,000 trees annually as replacements, through capital projects, development and in response to resident requests for street trees. Trees are typically planted in boulevard settings but are also planted in parks.

• The trees within Burlington’s urban forest provide a wide range of environmental, economic and social benefits, including improved air quality, reduced storm-water runoff, energy savings, noise reduction, natural bird and wildlife habitats, higher property values and overall beautification of city streets and parks.

• The city’s Urban Forestry section is responsible for the city’s ongoing operations and maintenance of municipally-owned trees, forest planning and health, and forest protection. Key programs include: preventative maintenance through grid pruning, tree planting and stumping programs, and the administration of public and private tree protection bylaws.

Background:
Burlington struggles with the tree issue. Everyone loves them but far too many people want to ignore the need for a solid sustainable tree canopy when it gets in the way of what they want to do with their property.

The bureaucrats at city hall understand what the urban part of the city needs but are out of touch with what the rural property owners have to deal with.

mnbh

Old trees in Roseland – not nearly enough new trees being planted.

Roseland – many many really good trees but far too many tress that do not have much time left – there hasn’t been an intelligent planting program – something that should have started years ago.

The most contentious public meetings in the past ten years have been about trees and the private tree bylaw the city has in place.

Burlington really isn’t walking the talk.

Pity – when you pause at the New Street – Gooderam intersection and look south you see what the city has – there is no certainty that this is going to be the same in 25 years.

Belvenia trees-1024x768

What a beautiful street to walk or drive down. The properties on this street sell for a premium because of the trees. But even on this street some homeowners have demanded that they be given permission to cut down a tree.

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Norm Sterling named as Chair of Greenbelt Council; was a former Minister of Environment

News 100 green By Staff

April 29th 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario government has appointed Norm Sterling as Chair of the Greenbelt Council. The former minister of environment, and founding member of the Niagara Escarpment Commission, will help guide the province as it undertakes what could result in the largest expansion of the Greenbelt since its creation in 2005.

Norm Sterling

Norm Sterling, former Minister of Environment named as Chair of the Greenbelt Council.

“Mr. Sterling brings important experience to the Greenbelt Council, and I am confident that under his leadership there will be incredible work done to support growing the Greenbelt,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “As a fellow grandparent, we understand the importance of leaving all of our grandchildren, and great grandchildren, with an enhanced version of the gem that is the Greater Golden Horseshoe.”

The Greenbelt Council was created to provide advice to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on land use matters related to the Greenbelt, including education and outreach to promote the goals of the Greenbelt Plan.

In December, six members of Ontario’s Greenbelt Council stepped down — joining David Crombie, the council’s chair — to protest proposed government rules they say would gut environmental protections in the province.

Crombie DAvid

David Crombie, served as the Chair of the Greenbelt Council – resigned in protest.

Crombie, a former Progressive Conservative federal cabinet minister and Toronto mayor, says his resignation, which takes effect immediately, comes in response to measures contained in an omnibus budget bill tabled last month by the provincial government.

Sterling, doing his best to fill the Crombie shoes said: “It is an honour to serve as Chair of the Council as we work towards growing the Greenbelt. I will leverage my experience to work collaboratively with our council to ensure that we are working toward protecting and growing the Greenbelt.”

NEC mapOntario’s Greenbelt protects farmland, communities, forests, wetlands and watersheds. It also preserves cultural heritage and supports recreation and tourism in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe.

• Established under the Greenbelt Act, 2005, the Greenbelt is a broad band of protected land that currently includes over 800,000 hectares of land in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

• The Greenbelt currently contains 21 urban river valleys and associated wetlands. These are the valleys of rivers that pass-through cities or towns and act as urban gateways to the Greenbelt.

• The term of Mr. Sterling’s appointment is for three years.

• All Greenbelt Council Members receive a per diem for attending meetings.

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