Halton Region invests in local programs that deliver vital services supporting the health, safety and well-being of residents

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 29th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Halton Region is investing $3.5 million in programs and services that support the health, safety and well-being of residents through the Halton Region Community Investment Fund (HRCIF) in 2021. This investment also supports the needs of vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic and addresses needs identified through the Halton Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) planning initiative.

Region - Carr

Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr.

“By investing in community-based non-profit organizations, we can help ensure that essential services are available to those who need them most,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “This funding is one of the ways we are supporting our community during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Thank you to everyone who is helping us move forward together.”

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Region of Halton administrative offices in Oakville

Programs that have received funding through the HRCIF continue to address a broad range of human service needs and priorities, including initiatives that strengthen the health, safety and well-being of our community. A total of 31 new grants have been approved to date in 2021. Some of the investments include:

• $30,000 to the Bob Rumball Canadian Centre of Excellence for the Deaf to support active living, education and inclusion among older adults who are deaf;

• $80,480 to the Oak Park Neighbourhood Centre to provide hub based supports for residents in an at-risk community in Oakville;

• $30,000 to Halton Women’s Place to upgrade the security system at its shelter locations;

• $26,690 to Christian Horizons to provide workshops that support internet safety for individuals with a developmental disability;

• $30,000 to the Syrian Canadian Foundation to provide online education and social connection sessions for Arabic speaking newcomer women;

• $139,895 to the Housing Help Centre for Hamilton-Wentworth (operating in Halton) to support clients with complex needs to have long-term housing success; and

• $107,540 to support the Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable to implement initiatives to strengthen equity and inclusion.

Applications for funding through the HRCIF will continue to be accepted on an ongoing basis in 2021 to respond to emergent needs and address the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations that meet eligibility criteria may submit their application through the application form on halton.ca. Applications will be reviewed regularly until all available funding has been allocated.

For more information on the HRCIF and a full list of the programs and services that received funding, visit the HRCIF webpage on halton.ca or call 311.

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Burlington Mundialization Committee coordinates a virtual celebration of spring, including a live photo stream of the Japanese cherry blossoms in Spencer Smith Park

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Watching the Cherry Blossoms Bloom.
The City of Burlington’s Mundialization Committee invites residents to celebrate spring and the city’s friendship with its twin cities, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands and Itabashi, Japan.

To help limit the spread of COVID-19 and following the current provincial Stay-at-Home order, all celebrations will be held virtually this year.

These trees have been in place for close to 25 years and each spring their blossoms come out first in pink and then change to white and then fall to the ground. Each spring the hope, the beauty and the relationship with the people of Japan who gave us the trees is renewed.

These trees have been in place for years: each spring their blossoms come out first in pink and then change to white and then fall to the ground. Each spring the hope, the beauty and the relationship with the people of Japan who gave us the trees is renewed.

Virtual Sakura Festival
This year’s virtual Sakura Festival commemorates Burlington’s 32-year twin-city friendship with Itabashi, Japan and includes:

• Live photo stream of cherry blossoms: Follow the progress of the Japanese cherry blossoms on the Sakura trees in Spencer Smith Park as they get ready to burst into bloom over the coming weeks, with a live photo stream available on burlington.ca/CherryBlossoms.

Through the photo stream, residents can view new photos of the trees, taken every day, or select the time lapse feature to see the progression of the blooms to date.

• Videos celebrating Japanese culture: Between May 5 – 12, follow the City’s social media channels, @cityburlington on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, for videos featuring traditional Japanese performances in music, dance and more.
Canada Netherlands Day

This year’s virtual celebration recognizes the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by the Canadian Armed Forces and the 16th anniversary of Burlington’s twinning with the City of Apeldoorn.

• May 5 – Follow the City’s social media channels, @cityburlington on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, to see two videos featuring distinguished guests, and musical performances from groups in Apeldoorn and Burlington. Highlights include a speaker who shares his experiences as a small boy at the end of World War II, and a unique performance by elementary school students from Trinity Christian School in Burlington.

Commisso and Mayor in Japan

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward leads the parade in Itabashi, Japan, with city manager (white shirt center) Tim Commisso following and showing fine form.

Itabashi, Japan

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward had this to say: “The cherry blossoms of the Sakura trees in Spencer Smith Park are one of our city’s most picturesque landmarks our community, and visitors, look forward to every year.

This year, as we do our part to stay home and limit outdoor gatherings to members of the same household, this virtual experience means that residents can enjoy these beautiful pink blooms no matter where there are. I’m also looking forward to commemorating an important milestone in Canada Netherlands Day marking the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian Armed Forces – arguably the birth of the deep connection and friendship between our two nations.

We are very fortunate in Burlington to have formed strong friendships with our twin cities – Itabashi, Japan and Apeldoorn, the Netherlands — and I thank our Mundialization Committee for coordinating this year’s virtual events in honour of these important and special relationships.”

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Registration for Summer Camps and Park Play Program opens May 1

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Is that light at the end of the tunnel?

The small buds on the trees are turning into leaves; the Farmer’s Market has announced they are opening in the middle of May.
And now the city Parks and Recreation department has announced that registrations for summer camps will open on May 1st.

This is progress.

The City is hopeful that Summer Camps and a new Park Play program will be able to run, with registration for both opening May 1, 2021 at 9 a.m. As always, any City-run program will be subject to the Provincial and public health regulations and could be cancelled as we continue to respond to this pandemic.

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, summer programs will meet health regulations designed in consultation with Halton Region Public Health and in alignment with provincial health regulations. Precautions include lower ratios of participant to staff and capacity, physical distancing, mandatory health screening and enhanced facility cleaning.

Natural parks

No one within six feet.

Park Play Program
The Park Play program is for children and youth ages 8 to 14 years and includes fun, active and creative games run by City staff in four local parks: Iroquois Park, Mohawk Park, Cavendish Park and Leighland Park. The program will run July 19 to Aug. 13, 2021.

The participants may choose not to stay the entire time, they can leave and go home for lunch and come back or bring their lunch to the park to eat. Sign in and out procedures are the same as Drop- in programs, but only registered participants are permitted to participate with the group.

Summer Camp
Similar to 2020 summer camps for youth ages 4 to 16 years, this year’s program will offer outdoor and physical activities, active and quiet games, arts and crafts, and nature-based activities. These camps are inclusive for all participants and feature additional staff for a smaller camper to leader ratios to help maintain physical distancing in camp and ensure safe supervision of campers.
Summer Camps include:

• SNAP 4 to 10 years old
• Youth 9 to 14 years old
• Junior Leadership 12 to 14 years old
• Leaders in Training for 14 old 16 years old
• Music Camp for 7 to 10 years old
• Student Theatre:
o Arts Camp for 6 to 15 years old
o Theatre Specialty Camps for 9 to 15 years old

All programs have spaces for Individuals with Disabilities within each camp group.

To register or for more information, visit burlington.ca/summer.

Recreation Fee Assistance
Recreation Fee Assistance is funding made available to individuals or families who need help to pay for City of Burlington recreational programs.
For more information or to apply, visit burlington.ca/feeassistance. Information available by telephone – call 905-335-7600, ext. 8501 to leave a voice mail.

Glenn Chris

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, community and Culture said: “Last summer’s camp programs went very well and we’re hoping to build on that success for this year. The new Park Play program is not a day camp but will offer many of the same fun games and activities that people of all abilities can participate in. ”

Links and Resources
www.burlington.ca/summer
www.burlington.ca/feeassistance

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Lions Farmer's Market to OPEN May 19th at the Burlington Centre

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Burlington Centre Lions Farmers Market to Open Wednesday May 19, 2021at the Burlington Centre

The outdoor Market operated by the Burlington Lions Club has been approved by Burlington Centre management and the Halton Region Health Department.

Farmers Market LionsNow in its 63rd year, the Market continues to be immensely popular, drawing customers from Burlington, Hamilton, Waterdown and Oakville to the Burlington Centre to purchase fresh produce. Vendors come from all over Southern Ontario, and we’ve added 10 new Vendors this year bringing the total to 50.

The Market is open on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays:  open from 8 am to 2pm – 3 pm on Fridays

The new virus variants required enhancements to last year’s comprehensive Covid precautions. Elements of the 2021 Safety Plan include: Customers are to maintain 2-metre (6-foot) distancing at all times, especially if wait lines occur due to heavy attendance. Personal Masks are prudent and required in close proximity and encouraged in lines. And of course Vendors, Volunteers and Customers are to remain home if feeling unwell, and seek testing as necessary.

New provisions:
We will post the allowed capacity of Customers at one time in the Market.
Products purchased should not be consumed while inside the Market.
We cannot accommodate entertainers/buskers as in the past.

Unchanged from 2020, but with increased emphasis:
Entry and Exit are separated at one location only, to enable counting customers to manage the capacity limit. Customers are required to respect the perimeter cones and rope flags when arriving and leaving.

Social Distancing at all times. Hand Sanitizer stations at Entry/Exit. Service dogs on duty only, other pets not permitted.
Signage will remind visitors of the daily one-way direction of travel, distancing at stalls, patience and courtesy. Our goal is “Shop ‘n Go!” since others may be waiting. Come early!

Vendors’ stall displays are set up for “Point to Buy” service without customer contacting the produce. (Sorry, no samples.)

It takes 40 Volunteer 2 hour shifts each week (in addition to the Vendors’ work) to set-up and put away the Safety Plan Items and staff the Entry Point. New Volunteers are invited to contact the Market Manager on site, or visit the market website, or leave a message at 905-634-4002 for a call back. An opportunity for you to do some Community Service!

Burlington Centre Lions Farmers Market – For further information contact Perry Bowker at 905-632-5832

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Film on how we manage contentedness and disconnectedness during a pandemic

News 100 redBy Staff

April 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Emergency Preparedness Week (EPW) is an annual Canada-wide initiative encouraging all Canadians to take actions to be better prepared to protect themselves and their families during emergencies.

In line with the pressures of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and this year’s EPW theme of Emergency Preparedness: Be Ready for Anything, the City of Burlington is launching the first of multiple screenings of the film The Great Disconnect.

Residents can sign up for the free May 4 or 6 virtual screenings of The Great Disconnect which will include a panel discussion with local leaders and film crew members.

Link to the Eventbrite site to register: CLICK HERE

Great disconnect pic

Two screening: one during the day and a second in the evening.

About the film

The Great Disconnect uncovers why, in a world seemingly more connected than ever before, people are feeling more and more socially isolated – and the true cost this has on our lives and communities. It was written, directed and produced by passionate people wanting to make a difference in the lives of those who live in their communities, neighbourhoods and abroad. Since its official launch in October 2019, the film has screened across Canada through multiple municipalities, non-profits and NGOs, and has been shown in ten countries across Europe. It has also been featured in over twelve independent film festivals, and in October 2020, the documentary won the award for Best Feature Film at the prominent Better Cities Film Festival. The judges’ panel included the famous architect Jan Gehl alongside other esteemed architects and urbanists.

disconnect awaards graphic

Acclaimed.

Synopsis

Experts who were interviewed for The Great Disconnect, described our time as the “age of loneliness.” Despite Western advances in technology, living conditions, education and healthcare, we as a society, are isolating ourselves from one another and because of this, facing a health crisis that affects all ages, genders, races, and cultures. But how have we become so disconnected? And what can we do to change the status quo and fulfill our potential for health and well-being? Join wellness expert Tamer Soliman as he journeys through North American cities to meet with local citizens, community activists, and leading authorities on social, economic, and urban planning to discover the true factors that have profound and lasting impacts, not only on our health, but the health of the communities in which we live.

Virtual screenings

Residents can sign up for one of the free May virtual screenings on Eventbrite and take our quick survey to help inform the discussion with the panelists at Great Disconnect Survey.

Tuesday, May 4, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The panel will include:

  • Tamer Soliman, Director, Producer and Co-Writer of The Great Disconnect
  • Sarah Douglas, Writer and Story Editor of The Great Disconnect
  • Lisa Crapsi, Recreation Coordinator for Neighbourhood Development, City of Burlington
  • Susan Biggs, A/ Superintendent – #1 District |Milton|Halton Hills, Halton Regional Police service

Thursday, May 6, 6 to 8 p.m.

The panel will include:

  • Tamer Soliman, Director, Producer and Co-Writer of The Great Disconnect
  • Sarah Douglas, Writer and Story Editor of The Great Disconnect
  • Steve Jones, Master Trainer, Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • Karen Roche, Fire Chief, City of Burlington
  • Lisa Crapsi, Recreation Coordinator for Neighbourhood Development, City of Burlington
  • Sergeant Ryan Smith, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Halton Regional Police Service
  • Beth Martin, Founder, Together Burlington
  • Ryan Gallagher, Founder and Host, Mental Edge Lifestyle Podcast

This Emergency Preparedness Week event is an opportunity for community members to view this timely documentary that invites people to reflect on the relationships we have with those around us and raises the question: is it possible to overcome our modern culture of disconnectedness and rediscover how truly essential we are to one other?

In an emergency, residents may need to evacuate or stay in their homes for long periods of time. Everyone needs a kit with enough supplies to keep you and your family self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Either build your own kit or buy an emergency kit online and in stores across Canada.

Amber Rushton, Community Emergency Management Coordinator explains the context in which the film is being screened: “With the pandemic impacts we have all experienced in our own way, social connectedness, other-centred action, and neighbourhood preparedness will help us recover and build our new normal as a community.

“Everyone has a role to play in an emergency and building community resilience and mental health readiness is critical in protecting ourselves and our loved ones. The City of Burlington is proud to provide this virtual viewing opportunity to residents to help shine a light on the importance of the health of our communities.”

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People with hearing impairment will benefit from hearing loops to be set up in the city

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 27, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington will receive $59,700 from the Ontario Government’s Inclusive Community Grants program that will be used to install hearing loop systems in city recreation centres to help individuals with hearing aids and cochlear implants get clearer sound, participate more fully and enjoy their experiences in programs and activities.

As part of the Burlington Active Aging Plan, the City has expanded recreational programs for older adults and seniors across the city. As this segment of the population grows in Burlington so does the demand for recreational services. This initiative will help keep older adults and seniors active, healthy and engaged in the community and offer them recreation and social programs that will enrich their quality of life. These projects are planned for completion by March 31, 2022.

hearing hand at ear

4 million people in Canada have some degree of hearing loss.

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association estimates that 4 million people in Canada have some degree of hearing loss, which works out to almost 1 in 10 Canadians. Hearing aids are an effective solution to improving hearing quality. However, hearing aids are not always effective in all environments on their own. Induction loop systems (hearing loops) are a great way of improving sound quality for individuals wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Many individuals in City programs rely on hearing aids. By installing hearing loops in City facilities, it will make it easier for these individuals to hear and have a more positive experience.

Hearing loops will be installed in areas including customer service counters, meeting rooms, multi-purpose program rooms and auditoriums in City facilities that host the majority of adult and senior programs. Initially, the City will focus on five community centres:

Haber name in sign

Haber Recreational Centre is one of the locations for the hearing loops.

The Burlington Seniors’ Centre, Tansley Woods Community Centre, Haber Community Centre, Mountainside Community Centre and Brant Hills Community Centre.

The next phase will look at customer service counters at various City pools.

Ward 4 Councillor, Shawna Stolte said: “As our older adult and senior population grows in Burlington, it’s important for the City of Burlington to invest in safe, accessible community spaces for individuals of all ages and abilities to enjoy.

“I am proud of my fellow council members for recognizing this need and investing City funding to augment this grant. This will allow the City to install hearing loops in as many facilities and spaces as possible to enhance the recreation experience for those in our community with hearing loss.”

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Community Development Halton places a $ value on the volunteer work done in the Region

opinionred 100x100By Mike Nixon,

April 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I have always been a very avid reader of anything of an historical nature. After all, it seems that the best, and sometimes most unbelievable stories find their basis in truth. And of such great importance especially now, I firmly believe that there is truth in Maya Angelou’s statement that, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”

Amelia Earhart

The Airborne Activist, Amelia Earhart on the cover of Canada’s History magazine – why did that happen.

It probably isn’t so surprising then to learn that I recently read through an issue of Canada’s History magazine which captured my eye with a photo of Amelia Earhart on the cover. I have tremendous admiration for the many accomplishments of Ms. Earhart – her story is quite amazing! But my immediate thought upon seeing her picture on the cover of a Canadian history publication was, “what on earth was Amelia Earhart’s connection to Canada?” The answer was remarkable and is a beautiful story which ties into this month’s National Volunteer Week in Canada!

The story goes that in the latter part of WWI, Amelia visited her sister (who was enrolled at St. Margaret’s College in Toronto) during Christmas, 1917. While walking along King Street one day with her sister they came upon four soldiers, each missing a leg and supporting each other. This so shook Amelia that she had to duck into a local store – perhaps not a surprise given that the U.S. had only that year entered the war, and the ravages of battle were not so much a common sight there.

Instead of returning to the U.S., Amelia decided to stay in Toronto so she could help in the war effort. She completed courses in first aid and home nursing at the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade becoming the sole American to enroll in wartime for the Volunteer Aid Detachment. Dubbed “Sister Amelia” by those she tended to, Earhart spent several years here volunteering her time in everything from working 12-hour days emptying bedpans, making beds, washing patients and serving food to preparing laboratory slides and cultures.

This is a singular example of volunteerism at the time, but not by any means remote. Volunteering is a way of life for many Canadians – it is now and has been since confederation. Some volunteers and volunteer organizations have been inspired – like Earhart – by compassion, some by injustice, others by the simple want to help and support their neighbours and communities.

This Canadian tradition of helping fellow citizens in many ways started on the concept of ‘loving our neighbours,’ building on the values of our Native communities, Canada’s first Christian settlers and the members of virtually every religion which have arrived in Canada since.

And it’s fascinating to know that the roots of many of our volunteer efforts now have a direct relationship to the traditions of our multicultural heritage, from practices adopted in the Maritimes from the English Poor Laws of the 18th century, to Canadians of German descent forming the first funeral or burial society in Halifax in 1753, the founding and work of the Chinese Consolidated
Benefit Association in the late 1800’s, to the founding of the CNIB as a direct effect of the 1917
Halifax explosion.

Winners--Burlingtons-Best-2017---May-12th_-2

Burlington’s Best was one of the way the city recognized those who went above and beyond in serving their community. Mayor Meed Ward made the wise decision to reorganize the way the city recognized people – then Covid19 hit and the event was halted. The expectation is that it will be revived.

Fast-forward to present day, volunteerism in Canada connects people, communities, non-profit and public organizations and, quite frankly all that we do now like at no other time. In 2018 almost 13 million people volunteered for charities, non-profits and community organizations in Canada, accounting for approximately 41% of Canadians aged 15 and over. They dedicated about 1.7 billion hours to their formal volunteer activities (people giving unpaid help through groups, clubs, and organizations) – a volume of work equivalent to more than 863,000 full-time year-round jobs.

Perhaps not surprisingly Baby Boomers and Matures (ages ranging from 56 – 103) were over 70% more likely to iGens (born 1996 and up) to be ‘top’ volunteers, spending 132 hours more on volunteer activities.

But hold on …. and perhaps a silver lining of the current pandemic – with many baby boomers and matures now struggling to keep their businesses afloat or working from home, concerned about their own health and isolating, and in some cases caring for elderly parents, this group has had less time for volunteering during the pandemic. During this time there has been a remarkable surge of iGens, Millennials, and Gen Xers who have been committing to informal volunteering – volunteers providing unpaid help as an individual to others (non-relative) through activities such as shoveling snow, shopping for the elderly and many other examples.

In our own backyard – in the Region of Halton it is estimated that approximately 200,000 volunteers (age 15 and over) put in over 325,000 hours per year. If we apply an average wage of $27 (76% of the economy wide average wage of $35.50/hr), this equates to approximately $870,000,000 + or 17,000 full-time jobs – or 11% of all full-time jobs in Halton.

Last week was National Volunteer Week in Canada. And of course, as part of Community Development Halton, Volunteer Halton has been very actively involved. We would have liked to have hosted our annual (in-person) Volunteer Recognition Breakfast – which obviously we couldn’t. That wasn’t going to stop us, however from focusing on the most important aspect of that event – the amazing volunteers in this Region who give of their time, helping our neighbours and make living in Halton so fulfilling.

Through interaction with many of our community groups in the four major centres in Halton we were able to identify 8 individuals who CDH and Volunteer Halton were proud, and quite frankly privileged to present our 2021 Volunteer Impact Awards. In all honesty, every single volunteer whose names were put forward – and those who were not – deserved awards as well! Every ounce of commitment put into individual acts of volunteerism within our communities was so well appreciated by the community groups through whom the volunteers participated and especially by those for whom they served.

I personally had the immense joy of being on hand for each of these presentations. It is so easy to get down during this pandemic, but I must say that each of the days in which my colleague, Heather Thompson and I had the pleasure of meeting these volunteers and the organizations who nominated them, was pure joy for me. To see the passion which drives these individuals, the commitment they have provided – many of them for years and for several organizations – and to
experience ‘vicariously’ through the volunteers the fulfillment which they receive by giving of themselves, well, it was so gratifying for me and filled me with immense pride. Not only to meet these incredible individuals and families but to feel even just a little part of the amazing compassion that they provide to their ‘neighbours.’

I can’t say strongly enough how important these volunteer efforts are to the communities in which we are all most fortunate to live. Our volunteers make lives and living better for us all and I can only suggest that more of us get involved with the wonderful missions which each of Halton’s community groups operate throughout the year – you will be overwhelmed at how good it feels.

I invite you to please take a look at the beautiful stories of those to whom Volunteer Halton had the privilege to present awards. You can read these stories on CDH’s website or through this link https://cdhalton.ca/2021/04/23/halton-volunteer-impact-award-2021.

How important is it to one who gives so much of themselves through their volunteer work? I can answer quite simply by quoting one of the lovely individuals with whom I had the pleasure of meeting last week …. “volunteering is as necessary to me as breathing.”

Mike NixonMike Nixon is the Executive Director of Community Development Halton.

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Downtown and lake front were quiet and civil on Saturday and Sunday

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It wasn’t tank top and short shorts weather but it was an improvement over the weather the city experienced the past two weeks.

Previously, when the weather was warm and did invite short shorts there were complaints about the number of people who were using the Promenade at Spencer Smith Park and just hanging around the downtown core.

Promenade Apr 24

No crowds, many people were masked and traffic moved nicely.

The Covid19 infection reports are still a serious threat – the prevailing attitude in Burlington seems to be that those reports concern Toronto and the Region of Peel – Burlington is safe.

Far from the truth – many people in Toronto and within the Region of Peel do the best they can to get out of their communities and visit places like Burlington.  The waterfront is a huge attraction.

Family at square opp ciity hall

Families gather in the Square opposite city hall enjoying the warmer weather.

The Emergency Control Group that oversees just how the city administration responds to the infection threat is working double time putting together plans to limit the number of people who use the park and the Beachway where there are long stretches of sandy beachfront that will become very inviting when the summer weather is upon us.

For City Manager Tim Commisso this is a problem that keeps him awake at nights; he knows full well that should there be a spike in the number of Covid19 infections in Burlington the public howl will fall on his shoulders.

Commisso Apr 17

Running a city with some exceptionally good people supporting him is a job Tim Commisso, City Manager could do with his eyes closed – that may be why he took on the job when asked to serve as interim and then applied for the job. The task he deals with now is not what he saw coming – but it is something he has to deal with.

The public doesn’t hear all that much from the Emergency Control Group.  At their most recent report to Council Commisso said that he expected to have to meet with Council more often than the on average monthly report in that takes place.

The Emergency Control Group is tasked with adjusting service delivery levels and allocating staff to where it is needed most.

There are now 10 bylaw enforcement officer on the payroll – while parking is something they used to spend a lot of time on – parking is no longer getting the same attention.

The rate of calls to the bylaw enforcement office is up over 200% from last year.  The staff in that office often have to tell people that it is going to be awhile before they can get the attention they want.

Meanwhile, the running of a city has to take place, with the city hall basically closed; open if you need a marriage license – by appointment only.  Transit is still running the system.

Parks are now open and the people at Parks and Recreation have acquired an ability to pivot on about two hours notice skill set.

For people at the municipal level everything is in a state of flux; with the vast majority of the 700 plus full time people working from their homes.  They have all gotten very good at slipping into Zoom meetings.

Finances are in good condition; the province has provided short term and long term funds creating enough of a cushion for Joan Ford, City Treasurer to have the confidence she needs to assure the public that we will not be going broke.

 

 

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Lowville Park and the attraction of Bronte Creek that runs through it was a weekend destination for many

graphic community 2By Pepper Parr

April 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was a burst of decent weather and it drew small crowds to Lowville Park where there was parking space throughout the day.

Once the renovations and upgrades to the park are completed there will be a reservation policy in place – people will have to go on line to get a permit to enter the park. A lot of people are going to be both surprised and upset.

But on Saturday it was wide open to everyone.

kids with nets

These guys were out to catch fish or maybe pollywogs.

Men with fishing rods

These guys were out for fish – no pollywogs for them.

Family with baby

Many were out for the open air and a chance to walk about without a mask – a family of five – kept them within the rules.

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An interesting Mother's Day option: A Tea Treat at the Ireland House Museum

eventspink 100x100By Staff

April 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Coming up with something to do for Mom on Sunday May 9th will be a little more challenging this year.

It will be the second year in a row when the traditional visit can’t take place.

What are the options out there?

If Mom has a taste for quality tea in a different setting give some thought to the online Mother’s Day Victorian Tea and Treats.

Museum Tea Treat

Tickets are $30 and include a Victorian Dessert Trio (Victorian sponge cake, currant scones, lemon shortbread), three 20g samples of Monarch Tea Co. loose leaf tea, and a 45-minute tea tasting led by certified Tea Sommelier, Katie Cyr.

Tea and treat package pick-up is Saturday, May 8 between 11:00 am – 3:00 pm at Ireland House Museum.

The online portion of the event takes place from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm on Sunday, May 9. It includes a hearth demonstration and a tour of the ladies’ parlour at Ireland House Museum.

Tickets can be ordered by clicking here

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Lowville Park: construction and parking lot updates

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Construction of Lowville Park has begun for the 2021 construction season. As part of the Lowville Park Master Plan, work continues on park improvements. The return of park reservations will occur later in the spring.

A river runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

A river runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

Parking Lot Closures

During construction, the park will be open to the public but there will be temporary parking lot closures:

Weekdays – Monday, April 26 to Thursday, May 20
Entire parking lot closed

There will be no parking; the parking lot will be closed for construction

Weekends – Saturday, May 1 to Sunday, May 16

A third of the parking lot will be closed for construction staging

The rest of the parking lot will be open for public parking. First come, first served.

Rob Peachey, on the left, Manager Parks and Open Spaces for the city, talks through some solutions to managing the very large weekend crowds.

Rob Peachey, on the left, Manager Parks and Open Spaces for the city, talks through some solutions to managing the very large weekend crowds. They are standing on the school house steps overlooking the park.

Vehicles parked illegally will be ticketed and/or towed at the owner’s expense by City of Burlington Parking Bylaw Officers.

The park will remain open for pedestrians and cyclists. Areas of the park under construction will be closed. For your safety, please stay out of the areas marked as closed.

Park Reservations
Visitors are reminded to continue to be vigilant about public health practices and provincial directives to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Starting May 24, visitors to Lowville Park will be required to make an online reservation before they can enter the park. The reservations are free and available in three-hour time slots.

Reservations are open to book:
o Weekdays between 4 and 8 p.m.
o Weekends between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

• Due to the limited number of spots available, we ask that one spot per day be booked to allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy the park
• One vehicle per reservation
• Reservations for those walking or biking into the park are not required
• Visits are three hours in length. Arrive and depart within your scheduled times
• An automated gate will match vehicle license plates match the reservation
• Changes/cancellations can be made up to 48 hours before your arrival time, including change of date, name, license plate and number of people
• Late grace period: we understand unexpected circumstances may arise. It’s ok to be a few minutes late
• City of Burlington reserves the right to cancel park visits due to adverse trail conditions. Trail networks may close completely if conditions are too wet and damage will be unavoidable. Should your visit be cancelled, you will be notified by email
• City of Burlington reserves the right to cancel park visits due to COVID orders and restrictions. Should your visit be cancelled, you will be notified by email
• Details about how to make a reservation will be made available next month.

Washrooms are available at Lowville Park and visitors are reminded to continue to be vigilant about public health practices and provincial orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

• Maintain a physical distance of at least 2-metres from others.
• Only visit the park with members of your immediate household.
• Stay home if you feel sick.
• Wash and sanitize your hands before and after visiting the park.

Burlington is a City where people, nature and businesses thrive. City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at Burlington.ca/Enews and download the free City of Burlington app.

Vito Tolone

Vito Tolone, Director of Transportation

Vito Tolone, Director of Transportation explains some of the issues people need to be aware of: – “We are working to open the parking lot for the summer season. Through the initial construction this spring, please bear with us when the parking lot is closed and keep in mind that there are very few parking spaces available on Lowville Park Road.

The City saw success in reopening and managing parking and park capacity using the reservation system last summer. This year, we have been able to automate this system so we can allow residents the chance to reserve their parking spot. This reservation system allows us to manage the number of visitors and control parking.”

 

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Federal grants help three community groups to continue helping others

graphic community 3By Pepper Parr

April 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The big dollar grants from various levels of government can overwhelm a bit – just how any zeros are there in a billion?

It is the smaller grants, those under the $100,000 level that are understood and appreciated.

This afternoon, Karina Gould announced three grants to Burlington organizations that we all know about.

There was $71,000 distributed with $25,000 going to Community Living; $24,900 going to the Legion and $21,667 going to Community Development Halton.

seniors grant screen

This is how media events now take place. I need a haircut so badly that I chose not to be seen.

All the grants had a Covid19 connection.

Community Living cares for 400 people and is the oldest community organization in the city.

Their grant got applied to technology which allows them to take basically all of their programs virtual. This includes the music classes, the art classes and the friendship circles.

The cheer leading team and the news team wouldn’t be able to do anything were it not for the ability to Zoom .

The residential program is able to continue but under very strict limitations. Those in the residential program have at times gone for a significant number of days without seeing family.

Gould in the Legion kitchen

A Friday evening Fish Fry at the Legion; they managed to coax MP Karina Gould into the kitchen

The Legion once got MP Karina Gould into their kitchen during one of the Friday Fish Fry Nights – that will be back on once the level of social mobility improves. The Legion needed to upgrade the HVAC system – the grant will help them get that job done.

Community Development Halton, (CDH) a non profit organization that does social planning research and operates Volunteer Halton as well as running an Age Friendly program.

CDH partnered with Food for Life preparing meals for 800 people who are isolated during the pandemic.

They found when talking to people while the meals were being delivered that many were finding the social isolation very difficult.

CDH has this practice of talking through problems and issues; they began to brain storm over what could be done to alleviate the sense of being alone and isolated.

Lap blanket were knitted and distributed; young people were encouraged to write cards to people they had never met – the cards were included with the meals when they were delivered.

Heather Thompson told the people taking part in the media event virtually of an occasion when one woman opened her lunch and found the card – burst into tears.  An act of kindness she didn’t expect struck a chord.

The funds that were distributed came from the federal New Horizons for Seniors program.

Those dollars made a huge difference to three organizations in this city who take care of people with real needs.

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Is Online Poker Ready to Keep Up with Next-Gen Gaming?

sportsgold 100x100By Harry Green

April21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

PAID CONTROLLER

 

 

Since its advent, online poker has, in many ways, represented a closed ecosystem – a self-sustaining microcosm of the wider world of gaming – which continues to thrive and succeed within a significant, global player base despite the slightly more capricious tides of the gaming industry as-a-whole.

What it offers is something that was capable of withstanding years of development and innovation across the entire industry. When gaming moved away from browser-based titles, and toward expensive and powerful console shaped by the AAA developers of the world, the realm of online poker persisted – buoyed up by its own prestige within a growing market.

But that was then, and now represents an entirely new phase for the gaming industry. Since early 2020, the promise of a new generation of gaming – one that would be ushered in by the near-simultaneous launch of new, power-hungry consoles from Sony and Microsoft – has begun its long and highly anticipated journey into realization.

And, to be sure, the future does look bright for gaming – and for the 2.69 billion active gamers in the world. With cloud gaming promising unbridled freedom of choice to gamers, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X enabling better speeds and graphics than gamers could have imagined in their wildest daydreams, and other factors such as 5G ensuring that the framework is there for this new order to fall into place.

With this in mind, can the usual status quo continue on? Or will this genre begin to suffer beneath the weight of the entire industry?

gaming tournament

Australian gamers have descended on California for BlizzCon, a video gaming competition.

Read more below.
Events Continue to Grow in Significance
In the real world, poker has long since represented a significant sport, drawing in spectators and professionals from far and wide. As the internet found its foothold in everyday usage, poker’s global influence naturally trickled across the boundary that lies between IRL and online gaming, thus giving rise to a wide variety of online and hybrid tournaments.

Most notably, the World Series of Poker – an event which finds its origins in the 1970s – has made waves via its online circuit in recent years. Just last year, leading online destination and official partner of the WSOP GGPoker broke a Guinness World Record for the prize pool generated within its tournament, which totaled more than $27,500,000.
Continued Growth Enabled Continued Improvement

It stands to reason that the larger a site is, the more scope it has for organizing a near-continuous stream of promotions and tournaments throughout any given day. This is why so many players are drawn to the industry’s largest providers – a continuously expanding pool of players naturally entails that the provider is able to expand their offerings, and hone the daily, monthly and annual events on offer.

In this way, the ecosystem of online poker is essentially self-sustaining. The industry’s biggest providers make use of the growing availability of competitors to ensure a steady stream of cash games and tournaments, and, in turn, they attract yet more players onto their site. This has been one of the key driving forces within this industry for many years, and will continue to push it forward indefinitely.

Software Development Stands at the Forefront of the Gaming World
In the very early days, online poker rested on software that would, by today’s standards, be considered pretty simple and in many ways primitive. Now, however, providers need to be prepared to keep up with their players – and players are growing increasingly discerning when it comes to strong game design and development.

Between their browser-based titles, downloadable software and their mobile platforms, the best providers are well aware of the necessity that exists to remain at the cutting-edge of development, and will continue to prioritize this going forward.

PAID gaming intense

Players are primed and ready for a new ‘high standard’, and an increasingly discerning global player base, as they emerge in the coming months and years.

While it remains a universal truth that the gaming world is accelerating far beyond the parameters that have, for many years, defined it, the fact remains that the world of poker – both online and off – is primed and ready for a new ‘high standard’, and an increasingly discerning global player base, as they emerge in the coming months and years. We can anticipate plenty more development in this arena, and for the world’s biggest operators to continue to push the bounds further still, and ensure that players never grow restless within this historic and massively influential genre.

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Housing Strategy Working Group needs volunteers

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It might become the next big thing your city Council takes on.

The concept has merit and there is certainly a need.

It is going to take a number of bright people to think their way through this challenge.

Housing strat logoComing up with a way to create housing that people can afford to buy or rent – the name given to this is “attainable” housing.

The City needs a Working Group to support the Housing Strategy. They are looking for a diverse group of volunteers from government, not for profit, co-op, businesses and residents.

If you are interested in applying, fill out the form below. More details about the role of the Working Group will be available in the draft Engagement Plan that will be presented to CPRM Committee in April and that will be posted on the project page on getinvolvedburlington.ca/housingstrategy.

Space on the working group is limited to 20 people. There will be multiple opportunities to engage throughout the Housing Strategy Project. Stay tuned for additional opportunities to get involved in the Housing Strategy in the upcoming draft engagement plan.

Applications will be open until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2021.  CLICK  HERE to get the application form

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Future of work

background graphic redBy Staff

April 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON,, ON

Local new is our focus but from time to time we drift and include background on a bigger picture.

As the next new normal expected after the pandemic takes shape, this week’s MIT Sloan CIO Symposium examined how the workplace might change yet again in the coming months.

MIT is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  the Sloan School of Management is part of MIt.

While many organizations continue to maintain remote operations, a foreseeable end to the COVID-19 pandemic means there is a very real prospect for bringing at least part of the workforce back to the office. A discussion on the future of work, moderated by Allan Tate, executive chair of the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, drew upon earlier event sessions as well as findings presented by Irving Wladawsky-Berger, research affiliate at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and a fellow of MIT’s Initiative on the digital economy and of MIT Connection Science.

Wladawsky-Berger said MIT’s future of work task force found that the momentum of innovation nurtured these changes alongside the circumstances that accelerated remote work. “Technology is simultaneously replacing existing work and creating new work,” he said. “That has always happened through the history of technology.”

internet - early

Remember when – this was it?

When brand-new technology appears, Wladawsky-Berger said there can be widespread excitement, but it can still take time before the deeper effects are felt. This was seen with the advent of the internet in the mid-1990s and rise of smartphones in later years. “It really takes a while for the technologies to deploy at scale, and it’s only when they deploy at scale that it starts having a really impact on jobs and the workplace,” he said. “That takes time, often decades.”

That impact can have significant repercussions on the human element. “One of the biggest problems of the last four decades, while technologies raised productivity, the productivity has not translated into increasing income for many workers,” Wladawsky-Berger said. Automation has left many workers behind, he said, and globalization made it easy to transplant jobs to countries that were less expensive.

“People with less of a college education are the ones who paid the biggest price for the changes that have happened, and that has led to the rise in inequality,” Wladawsky-Berger said. That compares with people who possess at least a college education who tend to continue to do well with job prospects that continue to grow, he said, along with salaries. Wladawsky-Berger said this trend has led to many middle-class individuals and families taking the brunt of the widening disparity.

evolution of markets

The acceptance of new technology has followed new ideas – but not always that closely.

As evolving technology affects the workplace, he said there is also a need for new thinking from policymakers. “For the last 40 years, our labor market institutions and government policies did not adjust to the realities of the digital economy,” Wladawsky-Berger said. “The view has been that the market will take care of all problems and government should do as little as possible — that doesn’t always work.”

There has been some change on this front, he said, but MIT’s report argues that with better policies in place, more people could explore career opportunities as new technology transforms the nature of work.

Governments around the world are starting to adopt this way of thinking, Wladawsky-Berger said. “Innovation is what got the US to its preeminent position, especially post-World War II,” he said. That included investments in infrastructure, interstate highways, and the work of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In spite of gains made on those fronts, Wladawsky-Berger said such efforts scaled back over time. “A lot of investments in R&D and innovation have been going way down in the intervening decades,” he said. “We must do more to cultivate new jobs and new worker skills.”

It’s difficult to stop supply chain attacks if partner accounts are compromised. What can you do when these attacks are indistinguishable from insider threats?

Zoom room

Are Zoom Rooms going to become a permanent part of the office?

While there have been conversations about the hybrid workplace representing the future, there are also new considerations that can come into play. “We have a very clear model for remote work and a clear model for office work, but a hybrid creates a problem,” Tate said. For example, if part of the team on a video call is together in a conference room, he said they might have side discussions after the call that the others are not privy to. Tate suggested guidelines need to be introduced to address these changes to the workplace.

The future of work might be hybrid, but it can have a profound effect on recent hires who have not formed bonds with co-workers in-person. “It is a huge difference applying remote work to somebody that just joined the office than to people who have been working with each other the last 20 years,” Wladawsky-Berger said. Colleagues who were familiar with each other prior to the pandemic can already have memories of interacting with their co-workers, he said, which can be a different experience than with a recent hire. “We have to learn over the next five to 10 years what works and doesn’t work,” Wladawsky-Berger said.

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Data on mobility shows where the problem is - has the province made the right decisions that will lower the mobility?

News 100 redBy Pepper ParrScience table logo

April 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

                       One of a series of articles on the Science Table data that led to the decisions the Premier made to limit mobility.

Three hours before Premier Doug Ford stood before the podium Friday afternoon for a virtual media event, the Science Table held its media event during which they set out the evidence they had given the government a day before.

That evidence is what the government used to justify the decision they made to order people to stay in their homes.

The evidence was compelling and there was a lot of it.  The Gazette will report on that evidence in a series of shorter articles.

adelsteinn brown

Dr. Adelstein Brown

Dr. Adelstein Brown, who headed up a team of 120 volunteer scientists who gathered the evidence and did the analysis said, had some cogent comments for people who took the position that they could “work around this and do it their way” .

Many seem to think that is “not such a big deal”; they are more “angered by the rules than they are of getting Covid”.
Ignoring the rules is what got us to this point and why we now have to clamp down very hard.

Dr. Brown said there was “some” hope that we might still have a summer but there are huge obstacles to overcome before that can happen.

The focus for the medical community is getting people vaccinated, increasing capacity at the hospitals, dealing with the staff shortages and praying that doctors do not have to begin triaging patients.

For Dr. Brown and Dr. Williams the immediate concern was limiting mobility, forcing people to stay in their homes.

The data makes the point.

 

 

mobility 1 cell phone

Mobility has to be driven down to below that threshold dotted line. The scientists know where it is happening and why – the challenge now is to stop it.

 

mobility 2

A breakdown of why people are traveling is revealing: workplace travel leads. People are being infected by a very contagious variant of Covid

 

Dr. Brown made it very clear – there is no silver bullet. The hope for a summer is with strong adherence – without that adherence to the Stay at Home rule – summer is gone.

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Keeping the faith that we will hear that applause again one day soon; because the show must go on!

artsorange 100x100By Tammy Fox

April 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I find it beyond belief that we have been existing in this Twilight Zone of a pandemic for over an entire year now.  COVID has, and continues to have, absolutely devastating effects on everyone – personally, professionally, economically, socially – you name it.

Fox Tammy with glasses

Tammy Fox, Executive Director, Burlington Performing Arts Centre

We invested a great deal of time, effort and funds in developing a sold COVID-safety plan for BPAC last summer so that by early fall we would be in a position to welcome back reduced-capacity audiences in the safest way possible.  We increased our air filtration, purchased plexiglass screens and every type of PPE available.

We invested in a socially-distanced ticketing system and seating plans, as well as patron self-screening software.  We thoroughly sanitize the venue at least three times daily.  When we were finally permitted live audiences of up to 50 people for October and November we scrambled to put together an exciting ‘mini-season’ of incredible artists, like Tom Cochrane, Chantal Kreviazuk, The Spoons and more.

We sold out every performance and I watched as my technical staff’s eyes welled up with tears on our ‘opening night’, overcome with emotion at having the opportunity to finally return after 6 months of suspended operation to what it is that we all do best.  To the industry that we love.  And then just like that we were slammed back into the ‘red zone’ and the stage lights went dim once again.

Now we are once again in lockdown.  We are struggling to understand why we are not permitted to support our community and the Canadian arts ecology when we all need it most, by at the very least offering livestream performances.  A typical livestream production might involve 5 – 10 people, between staff and artists, carefully and safely socially distanced in our incredibly spacious venue – but no, the province has deemed that too risky.

Film shoots involving 100 cast and crew are ok.  For a long while, allowing hundreds to cram into malls and big box stores was ok.  But no livestreaming allowed!  Once simply can’t help but feel that the notion of the arts being somehow superfluous, non-essential to the health and spirit of a community is now up in lights on the marquee for all to see.  It’s a very scary time for our industry, which has been deemed ‘the hardest hit’.  Our industry will be the very last permitted to return to full operations.  Ours will take the longest to fully recover.

With that said, there is an incredible amount of heart and effort going into advocacy efforts for the live entertainment sector.  Federal agencies are doing what they can to keep us sustainable until life can return to ‘normal’.  I do believe that people are eager to return.  I feel that people are now truly becoming aware of the cavernous gap left in our lives and in our communities when the performing arts go dark.  You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone – but absence will make the heart grow fonder!

burlington-performing-arts-centre-hall-03-leed-gold@2x

There will come a day when there will once again be a full house

At present, I think that the best that we can hope for is offer a series of performances outdoors on our Plaza this summer. I hope to see us being permitted to operate at a percentage of capacity by the fall.  At some point someone has to do the math and see that 250 patrons spread out across a 718-seat venue is safer than 50 people crammed into a Walmart check-out line.

Jazz-SRO-768x451

An outdoor performance on the plaza where the best seats were on a marble bench.

In the meantime, we are constantly trying to find ways to support our staff, our patrons and our local artists and arts organizations and to keep our volunteers informed and engaged.  We have been working with the HDSB by offering students a virtual education series, and we are developing an artist residency program that will see us offering our space and services to local artists.  And mostly, we are working towards remaining optimistic and keeping the faith that we will hear that applause again one day soon.  It will happen.

Because the show must go on!

Tammy Fox is the Executive Director of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre

 

 

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Some seedlings need a foster home while they get themselves ready for their new home in gardens

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 15th,2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

crocusSpring – even though it may not feel like it today it is the time of year that we turn our attention to the gardens.

With the stay at home order we are not able to get into our own plots at Maple Gardens however the community gardens don’t usually open up until May anyway.

Right now though there is a way you can help us out. We have seedlings that are in need of foster care and are looking for volunteers to care for them. Please contact Sam (our Food Bank Garden coordinator) at garden@burlingtonfoodbank.ca if you would be able to help her out with this and/or over the spring and summer.

We can see one of our plots already growing a nice crop of garlic, thanks to Lisa who had planned it all out last season for us.

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help PLEASE have them email us at info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at their door or make arrangements to pick it up through our curb-side pickup option. If you are a resident in Burlington, we are all here to help. Don’t struggle – give us a call.

Grow to Give
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City manager asks people to be kind - 'we are here to help you so let us do our jobs'

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 13th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is disturbing when the City Manager feels he has to send out a message to the public asking people to be kind and considerate when dealing with people – adding a focus on the city staff he manages.

“We’re all in this pandemic together – Please be kind.

Tim Commisso H&S 2

A very poor quality screen shot of City Manager Tim Commisso taking part in a virtual Council meeting. He must be working out of a very uncomfortable location.

“We get it. We’re in another Provincial State of Emergency that includes a Stay-at-Home Order, with additional restrictions to help control the spread of COVID-19. People are tired of having to stay home, wear masks, wash their hands a lot and anxious about vaccines.

“This is why it is more important than ever to be patient and be kind to your neighbours, fellow residents and workers that serve you in our community.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, the health and well-being of our community and staff has been and continues to be the City of Burlington’s top priority.

“The City continues to coordinate efforts to protect the public and staff from the spread of COVID-19, while maintaining essential City services.

“We ask that you be considerate and kind to City staff doing their jobs. Frontline City personnel have been working tirelessly to serve the public, despite the risk, throughout this pandemic and City staff continue to work remotely whenever possible to ensure seamless delivery of programs and services.

“Under the City’s Zero Tolerance Policy and as part of the City’s social media commenting guidelines, unacceptable, abusive behavior will not be tolerated. Words hurt: Using abusive language can have a direct and harmful impact on the people who are doing their best to help you.

“As residents continue to rediscover many of their favourite spaces and activities in the city, City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority.

“We are all in this together. We’re here to help you so let us do our jobs by being respectful and following the rules and bylaws that are in place to protect us all.”

“We are all in this together” – apparently some don’t appear able to get that message.

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What is it we aren't hearing - and why?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The weather was wonderful. Lots of people out and about.

I was driving south on John Street turning right onto Lakeshore where there were a good sized gathering of people sitting about. Traffic was a little clogged on Lakeshore – I was heading west to see what things looked like in the Beachway.

I was stunned by the number of people I saw sitting around – unmasked, side by side enjoying the sunshine.

Earlier in the day I was given the number of new infections reported by the province,

4456 new Covid19 cases.

The projection had been that we would reach 6000 new infections daily by the end of the month if we didn’t shut everything down.

Non-essential, elective surgery has stopped – the beds are needed for those who are very very sick due to Covid. My partner had her vaccination earlier in the week – she experiences  pain and tightness in her arm. You worry – are you Ok, because I don’t think we know what Ok is anymore.

We are in trouble.

Most of the people I saw were young – high school maybe. They live in Burlington – and we are safe in Burlington. It is those other people who live elsewhere and in circumstances that aren’t as good as they are in Burlington that have to worry.

True enough – but this virus travels and it seems to be able to find groups of five to ten people and settle in.

NHL hockey games are cancelled because a team member has a temperature.  One would think that those million dollar men on skates would be watched very closely and kept away from other people.

None of us are safe. That isn’t meant to be alarmist – it is the reality we have to live with.

That “abundance of caution” phrase is used by the politicians when they shut things down – it doesn’t appear to be something that most of us put in our pockets when we leave the house.

We are no longer able to gather as a “public” to express our concerns, offer our opinions or just enjoy the company of close friends. We learn of friends who have relatives facing critical health issues and we can’t drop by and visit with a casserole and some freshly baked bread in hand.

They miss out on needed support and we miss out by not being able to give that support. We are caring people put in a position where the opportunities to care get limited.

What is it we aren’t hearing?

And why?

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