Public School Board asks parents to keep in touch

News 100 redBy Staff

March 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a letter to parents and guardians of Halton District school board students, the Director of Education Stuart Miller said:

Stuart Miller

Halton District Public School Board Director of Education Stuart Miller.

As communicated yesterday evening, the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health announced that all publicly-funded schools in Ontario will be closed for two weeks following March Break in response to the emergence of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) in the province.

As a result, all schools and Board offices in the Halton District School Board will be closed from Saturday, March 14 – Sunday, April 5, 2020. At this time, schools are scheduled to re-open on Monday, April 6.

We recognize the significant impact this will have on students, families, staff and communities. This precautionary measure is being taken to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our communities safe.

We are committed to supporting families and providing you with accurate information and resources. We are compiling a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) which will be posted on the HDSB website in the following week.

The purpose of this closure is to slow the spread of the virus by reducing the amount of personal contact. This extraordinary measure, taken in the interests of public health, and the safety of our students and staff, can only be effective if we all minimize our exposure, and maximize our diligence, during this period.

We encourage all HDSB families and staff to follow the advice of public health authorities and the federal government. Today, the Government of Canada announced that Canadians should avoid all non-essential travel outside of the country effective immediately.

As a Board, we want to ensure we use the two-week closure period to reduce the risk of contagion when schools re-open. We therefore ask that during this time, you follow the advice of public health authorities and avoid public gatherings and travel outside Canada, and self-isolate as required, so that when schools re-open we can be confident that we have all done our part to keep students and staff safe.

Child care, EarlyON Centres, March Break camps, school rentals
As HDSB schools will be closed from March 14 – April 5, all child care centres, March Break camps and EarlyOn programs operating in school facilities will not be running. We have cancelled all community use rentals and bookings for the duration of the shut-down.

Online Learning Resources
The Ministry of Education is exploring online learning resources for students during the two-week period following March Break. We will communicate with families once we receive further information.

Status of the School Year
At this time, we have no information to share about whether the school year will be extended. That decision will be communicated as soon as we have that information.

Stay in touch
While schools are closed, we encourage families to continue to check for updates from us through SchoolMessenger, www.hdsb.ca, and the Board’s social media pages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

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Keeping calm and vigilant, and maintaining our humanity by looking out for each other, will get us through this

News 100 redBy Staff

March 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Hall announced Friday afternoon that all public indoor facilities were being closed.

The purpose of this closure is to slow the spread of the virus by reducing the amount of personal contact.

Burlington activated its Crisis Management Team (CMT) to coordinate City efforts to protect public and staff from the spread of COVID-19, while maintaining essential City services to the community.

To aid efforts in reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the community, the City of Burlington has made the decision to close all City recreation facilities for a minimum of three weeks, as of this evening (Friday).

With the recreation facility closures, the following services will be suspended: March Break programming, arenas, pools and community centres, including the Seniors Centre.

All City organized large public meetings and gatherings are also cancelled, with the exception of Committee and Council meetings at City Hall.

The CMT will be reviewing internal City meeting guidelines and issuing an update on Monday, March 16. City Hall will remain open for business with enhanced health and safety protocols for staff.

Some members of Council had difficulty with the way city handled the release of the decision on Friday afternoon.

Some residents expressed concerns at the way the city handled the COVID19 problem.

One resident felt that

“essential services should be clearly identified in the disaster management plan which should be reviewed and updated annually.

“A chief spokesperson on these issues should be clearly identified. An upper echelon planning team comprising key municipal employees should be identified.

“A protocol should be in place to deal with the redeployment of human resources to critical and essential functions. Most importantly, there should be regular ongoing tests and exercises to practice and evaluate emergency responsiveness and to refine protocols where necessary.

“We’ve been through SARS. We’ve been through 9-11. We’ve been through the 2013 ice storm, and the 2014 flood. Protocols and measures on how to deal with emergencies and contingencies should have been in place long before now. The City shouldn’t be cobbling this together in the midst of a pandemic at the 11th hour.”

There does not appear to be a single spokesperson. News comes out of city hall with a comment from both the Mayor and the City Manager.

There is not yet a single place one call send an email to or call for information in Burlington. The Regional 311 service is limited in what it can provide.

The Regional Police are screening all telephone calls.

The Regional Medical Officer of Health has chosen to use “privacy” as a reason for not providing information or saying a matter is “under investigation.”

curve 2What the public does have going for it is common sense and listening to what the science has to tell us.

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Art Gallery joins the list of locations that will be closed to the public.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Art Gallery of Burlington has joined with other community organizations in an effort, led by the City of Burlington, to protect the health of our community by suspending all of our programs and services and closing our facility beginning Saturday, March 14, for a minimum of three weeks.

Prepaid Nash AGB

The seven day a week operation ends during the shutdown of everything in the city.

Although we know this will be an inconvenience to many and a burden to some, we are proud and determined to do everything we possibly can in response to the challenge of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

Please rest assured that we will happily provide full refunds for all of the camps, courses, tours, venue rentals, and other paid services that will be impacted by this closure, although we request your patience due to the large number of clients involved.

We will be posting all updates on our website, and a staff member will be available by telephone from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Friday, until the gallery reopens.

Guilds 2018 levee

Guilds will not be able to meet at the Gallery

To our colleagues in the Guilds of Arts Burlington and to our many volunteers, we regret that we will not be able to offer any use of the facility during this closure, and we also regret that all of the work we have planned together with you must be postponed throughout this time, but we ask you to please be in touch with us if you require our assistance.

At this time we are working to review and revise our plans for our programs and services, and we look forward to welcoming the whole community back into the Gallery as soon as we are able.

We are very grateful to our friends at the City of Burlington for their leadership under extraordinary circumstances, and we harbour no doubt whatsoever that together we are doing the right thing for this community.

With Hope and Confidence,

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Ireland House and Brant Museum to be closed for three weeks

eventsred 100x100By Staff

March 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Due to recent developments regarding COVID-19, it has been decided that the Museums of Burlington will be closed for three weeks, from March 14 – April 5.

det

Ireland House – closed along with Brant Museum closed for three weeks.

All museum events and programs, including March Break Camps are cancelled or postponed. Full refunds will be processed as soon as possible.

The Museum had earlier said it would remain open.

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Coping with COVID19 - having a plan and working that plan: Law firm does it right

News 100 redBy Staff

March 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) a pandemic there were different reactions from different sectors of society.

The city of Burlington said their Emergency Management Team was meeting to outline plans and that there was a Rapid Response Team in place.

Gowlings WLD, a national law firm with an office in Hamilton put out a message for their clients. It is a model of what can and should be done. It is clear that Gowlings has been preparing for a situation like this.

Peter Lukasiewicz, Chief Executive Officer at Gowlings explains the approach the law firm has taken.

Gowling logoFrom numerous public health measures to ongoing market turmoil, it’s no secret that the virus continues to take a major toll on populations and businesses around the world — and our clients in Canada and around the world.

Given these circumstances, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you that Gowling WLG has been preparing for this unfolding situation since it first began to develop and we are positioned to assist you with the many unforeseen challenges you may face as a result of it.

How we have been preparing our firm
Gowling WLG has a robust continuity strategy in place designed to mitigate potential interruptions to our business — even during the most challenging of times. As circumstances change, we continue to adapt our plans and protocols to address the safety of our people, our clients, and others with whom we work.

All of our offices across Canada and around the world are open. We will apprise you of any changes to the delivery of our services — at the moment, there are none.

How we are helping clients
virus imageIn response to the outbreak of COVID-19, our firm has assembled a global taskforce to help clients navigate the many legal and business obstacles that have occurred as a result of the virus. With a view to further assisting our clients, we have also launched an online COVID-19 resource centre comprising timely thought leadership relevant to a range of sectors, as well as a list of key contacts ready to assist you. We will continue to update this page on a regular basis.

As we all continue to monitor the impact and progress of the pandemic, know that our thoughts are with everyone whose lives and businesses have been affected to date.

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Schools to be closed for two weeks after Spring break - Performing Arts Centre to remain open.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 12th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Minister of Education has issued a Ministerial Order to close all publicly funded schools in Ontario for two weeks following March break, in response to the emergence in Ontario of COVID-19.

This order was approved by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

This means that Ontario schools have been ordered to remain closed from March 14 through to April 5, 2020.

classroom empty

Classroom to remain empty for two weeks after Spring Break

The Cineplex movie theatre chain and the Burlington Performing Arts Centre have said they will continue to operate.

The National Hockey League has shut down for the balance of the season.

There are mixed message here which is the last thing we need.

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Community Climate Action Plan lumbers forward

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

March 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The citizens of the city got an opportunity to have their say on how Climate Change was going to be managed. More than seventeen delegated at city hall earlier this week.

We are looking at a 30 year challenge during which everyone is going to have to change the way they do some things.

neutral - what will it take

52,000 homes will need to be retrofitted in the next ten years; 100% of new vehicles purchase in ten years to be electric; 50% of all vehicles to be electric. Is this actually possible?

The City Action Plan has seven sections – with three getting the immediate focus.

Program areas

The red bars are the immediate thrust.

The seven are:

1.Low Carbon New Buildings
2.Deep Energy Retrofit Program (existing buildings)
3.Renewable Energy Co-operative
4.Integrated Mobility Initiatives
5.Electric Mobility & equipment
6.Waste Reduction
7.Industry

The very lengthy report in which the challenge and the plan was set has the feel of something written by lawyers with numerous provisos.

This analysis has been undertaken to identify a low carbon energy pathway for the community of Burlington.

Reasonable skill, care and diligence have been exercised to assess the information acquired during the preparation of this analysis, but no guarantees or warranties are made regarding the accuracy or completeness of this information. This document, the information it contains, the information and basis on which it relies, and factors associated with implementation of the pathway are subject to changes that are beyond the control of the authors.

The information provided by others is believed to be accurate, but has not been verified.

The population and employment projections that inform the analysis are based on information from the June 26, 2015 Region Official Plan Consolidation to 2031 at the time the document was published, and further projections from 2031 to 2050 are an estimate for the purpose of the Burlington Climate Action Plan, and were developed by the authors of this report for this exercise, and do not constitute projections for the purposes of land use planning.

This analysis includes high level estimates of costs and revenues that should not be relied upon for design or other purposes without verification.

Bus as us - lc

BAU is Business as Usual; LC is low carbon, The challenge is in the graph.

Of the seven parts to the Plan, three are the focus at this point in time

1.Low Carbon NewBuildings
2.Deep Energy RetrofitProgram (existingbuildings)
3.Renewable Energy Co-operative

The bigger picture will be supported by a lot of community engagement. The work that has to be done cannot be done by staff at city hall alone.
This is an all hands on deck exercise

While it is a world-wide problem it comes down to what each household does. The role of the city of Burlington is to be the Organizer –capacity builder, Collaborator, Community engagement –education & awareness champion, Leading by example, processing permits & approvals, advocacy –senior levels of government, programs, incentives, regulator & funder

How this will all come together:
City Staff will lead; there will be a Stakeholder Advisory Committee, three Task Teams: Energy Retrofits; Renewable Energy and Electric Mobility & Equipment.
Partnerships will include Bay Area Climate Change Office/Council–Halton Climate Collective–Clean Air Partnership & Council–QUEST–The Atmospheric Fund Implementation Structure

Robichaud 3 Mar 10-20

Lynn Robichaud

The objective is to make Burlington a carbon neutral community

Lynn Robichaud, serves as the Senior Sustainability Coordinator

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Teaching assistants sign agreement with public school board

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Halton District School Board logoThe Halton District School Board announced on Friday that earlier in the week the Board of Trustees ratified an agreement with the Halton District Educational Assistants Association (HDEAA).

HDEAA represents more than 1,300 permanent and occasional Educational Assistants.
Progress – now to get the teachers to come to an agreement with the province.

The agreement was ratified by the Halton District School Board at its Board of Trustee meeting on March 4, while HDEAA’s ratification process was completed on March 3.

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Racoon babies being born earlier this year - the result of climate change?

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 6th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A company involved in removing unwanted wildlife got a call for humane removal of 5 baby raccoons in an attic.

racoon 2

Cute at this point perhaps – you just don’t want it in your attic when it gets older.

“This is unique since raccoons don’t normally give birth until closer to April” explained Nick Nick Shewchuk, who is with Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control.

“This marks the second year in a row we have discovered babies in a home this early in the year. We believe this is triggered by the change in our winter season.

Skedaddle wants residents to know this can happen and what to do if they have babies in their home.

In anticipation of mating season for most urban wildlife, raccoons specifically, a video has been sent out.

 

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Spring run off can create dangerous situation for children playing near water - keep them away until it is safe

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Conservation Halton reminds residents of dangers that can exist near streams, rivers, ponds and lakes around this time of year and urges people to keep family and pets away from any water’s edge.

Kids near winter water

This is not where you want your children playing.

Spring is quickly approaching and with warmer temperatures, people look forward to getting outdoors.  Warmer temperatures, however, also usually bring rain, melting snow and shifting ice which can contribute to higher, faster flowing water in watercourses.

Although Conservation Halton’s watershed received a typical amount of snow this winter, the warmer temperatures experienced through January and February has resulted in an early snowmelt.

Notwithstanding, the ground within Conservation Halton’s watershed remains saturated in many places and in periods of intense rain, there could be a higher amount of runoff in a much shorter interval than usual.  In addition, slippery and unstable streambanks and extremely cold water temperatures can also lead to very hazardous conditions close to any body of water.

Conservation Halton sign - angleBe safe this spring and remember the following tips:

  • Keep family and pets away from all bodies of water
  • Avoid all recreational activities in or around water
  • Where you can, move objects such as chairs or benches away from the water’s edge to avoid losing them during the spring high water

 

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Council wants more information before deciding if cannabis edibles can be legal in the city

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

February 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The province appeared to be ready to legalize the sale of cannabis based edibles – they wanted to get feedback from the public and specifically the municipal sector on:

cannabis ‘lounges’ where people could buy and consume cannabis; and

cannabis at festivals and events through the Special Occasion Permit (SOP) process, similar to how alcohol is allowed at events.

Burlington approved the opening of cannabis retail stores in the city with certain limitations – the most significant being how close these establishments were to schools.
Five of the seven members of Council voted for the idea: Councillors Bentivegna and Stolte were opposed.

At this point there are four commercial operations in the city with a fifth due to open soon.

The city wanted to know what the public thought and they put a survey up on the GET INVOLVED portal the city has. The survey was open for a short period of time between February 14th and February 23rd, seeking input on the future of cannabis sale and use in consumption venues such as cannabis ‘lounges’ and at public events such as outdoor festivals and concerts and found that:

969 respondents:-50% were in favour of allowing the sale and consumption of cannabis in places like cannabis lounges and cafés (5% undecided, 45% not in favour).

lounge suvey

57% were not in favour of allowing the sale and consumption of cannabis at festivals and events such as music or food festivals, etc. (3% undecided, 40% in favour)

67% felt that municipalities should be able to decide/govern the sale and consumption of cannabis in cafés and lounges (11% undecided, 23% not in favour)

SOP headingSOP pie chart72% felt that municipalities should be able to decide/govern the sale and consumption of cannabis at special events (7% undecided, 21% not in favour)

Question optionsThe province wanted public reaction in hand by March 10th – which pushed the city administration a bit. They felt they didn’t have enough information to take a position on February 24th and decided to defer the motion until March 9th when they will squeeze a City Council meeting into a scheduled Standing Committee meeting.

The motion that was deferred read as follows:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:

The Council of the City of Burlington is open to the sale and consumption of edible cannabis products in additional locations such as cannabis lounges so long as these locations do not also permit the sale and consumption of alcohol nor conflict with our existing distance criteria for retail cannabis store locations.

The City of Burlington does not support the sale or consumption of any cannabis products in public spaces or at public events such as outdoor festivals and concerts.

We ask the government of Ontario to allow municipalities to make their own local decisions on these matters and permissions.

We ask the government of Ontario to ensure that no additional permissions on the use of cannabis would be granted in such a manner as to contravene the Smoke-Free Ontario Act of 2017 or any HaltonRegion bylaws that exist at the time of their decision.

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Bullying - explaining it to younger children

eventspink 100x100By Staff

February 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Bullying in the school yard and the hallways of an elementary school has an impact that is life defining for some children.

How do parents handle the problem? What is the approach that will put a stop to the behaviour? What if your child is the bully?

Bunny - BullyLana Button, an award-winning creator of delightful stories to help young people learn, will be at The Different Drummer to introduce her new picture book, the playful, poignant and pointed story of a troubled student who overcomes her aggressions with the help of her concerned classmates.

Lana will present What If Bunny’s Not a Bully? with crafts, treats, and her inimitable storytelling in a fun-filled event this Sunday, March 1 at 11am.

Admission is free. Everyone is welcome. Please join us!

What If Bunny’s Not a Bully?
Sunday March 1, 11am
A Different Drummer Books
513 Locust Street Burlington
www.differentdrummerbooks.ca

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Community Development Halton taking a closer look at Human Rights for those in the not for profit sector.

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

February 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Community Development Halton is holding an introductory workshop to basic human rights principles as it relates to volunteers in the Nonprofit Voluntary Sector.

CDH right collageKey learnings:

1) Introduction to basic human rights principles
2) Human rights as it relates to volunteers in the workplace
3) Harassment/ Sexual Harassment – avoiding the pitfalls
4) Duty to Accommodation and Duty to Investigate

CDH Wayne PWade Poziomka, Partner at Ross & McBride LLP is a Partner at Ross & McBride LLP, representing both employees and employers in human rights matters. Wade currently sits as one of three Applicant-side representatives to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s Practice Advisory Committee, is the Vice-Chair of ARCH Disability Centre’s Board of Directors and is the Past Chair of the Ontario Bar Association’s Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section Executive.

Wade’s law degrees are from the University of Toronto (J.D.) and Cornell University Law School (LL.M.). Wade speaks regularly at major conferences on human rights and has been recognized for his commitment to human rights, having been recognized by Best Lawyers Canada in 2020 for Employment and Labour Law and been awarded the Top 40 Under 40 Achievement Award.
Registration: cdhalton.ca/events
Fee: $75 Community Associate (CDH member)
$95 Non Community Associate (non-member)
Contact for more information: 1-855-395-8807 or Rose Marie at office@cdhalton.ca
Tuesday
March 24, 2020
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Check-in starts at 8:30 am
Community Development Halton 3350 South Service Road
Burlington, ON

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Another survey - this one is on a values issue: think in terms of opium dens

News 100 redBy Staff

February 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington is asking residents to share their thoughts about whether cafes and lounges serving and allowing the consumption of cannabis should be allowed to operate in the city.

This survey will help inform the discussion at Burlington City Council on February 24th, to respond to the Ontario Government’s online consultation for potential cannabis business opportunity additions.

The City’s survey will also ask residents their feedback on potential extension of Special Occasion Permits (SOPs) identified in the Ontario Government’s online consultation. SOPs would allow cannabis to be served and consumed at festivals and events in public places and spaces.

To help gather the community’s input, the City has also launched an online survey at www.getinvolvedburlington.ca open to Burlington residents until Sunday, Feb. 23.

To complete the brief survey, residents must first register or be a member of Get Involved Burlington.

cannabis yes no logo

Your opinion on lounges where cannabis flavored products can be sold.

The city of Burlington city council voted to permit the sale of cannabis in locations that were not close to schools.  It was a split vote with Councillors Stolte and Bentivegna opposed and Mayor Meed Ward, Councillors Galbraith, Kearns, Nisan, Sharman voting to approve.

There are currently at least five retail cannabis locations operating in Burlington.

The Ontario Government’s public consultation was announced on Monday, Feb. 10, 2020 and the province will accept feedback until Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

Visit www.getinvolvedburlington.ca/cannabissurvey to register and take the survey about cannabis lounges and at events in Burlington. CLICK HERE to start.

The registration process is a little tricky – pay attention; the city will be using the Get Involved site as its primary way of gathering information.

Quick Facts
• On Oct. 17, 2018, recreational cannabis was legalized by the federal government of Canada.

• On Jan. 14, 2019, Burlington City Council voted to allow the operation of retail cannabis stores in Burlington

• On Apr. 1, 2019, the first round of brick and mortar, privately-operated retail cannabis stores opened across the province

• The AGCO is licensing and enforcing regulations related to retail cannabis stores in Ontario

• On June 26, 2019, Health Canada published regulations for the production and sale of three new classes of cannabis products:

o cannabis edibles – cannabis products that can be consumed in the same manner as food (e.g. food or beverage)

o cannabis extracts – cannabis products that are produced using extraction processing methods or by synthesizing phytocannabinoids (e.g., oils, capsules, hash, wax)

o cannabis topicals – cannabis products that can be used on a body surface (e.g. lotion)

• These new federal regulations came into force on Oct. 17, 2019 and the new classes of cannabis products became available for sale in Ontario on Jan. 6, 2020.

• The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 (SFOA, 2017) and the regulations under that Act prohibit the smoking of cannabis and the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to vape any substance (including cannabis) in enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places, as well as other prescribed places (e.g., restaurant and bar patios or within nine metres of these patios).

Links and Resources
• Provincial online consultation – comments due March 10

• For more information about legal cannabis and the City of Burlington, visit www.burlington.ca/cannabis.

• Visit Halton Region for more information about Smoke Free Ontario

• For more information about legal cannabis in Ontario, visit Ontario.ca/cannabis

• For more information, on an open market for retail cannabis sales in Ontario please visit https://news.ontario.ca/mag/en/2019/12/ontario-opening-cannabis-retail-market.html

• Visit, Health Canada for their rules for edibles, extracts and topicals

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Halton District School Board joins nine others in an agreement with Mohawk college to focus on students and climate change

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board announced an historic agreement today with Mohawk College and nine Ontario school boards for a voluntary agreement establishing a large-scale learning partnership offering students opportunities for new skills, curriculum connections and research, as they learn first-hand how to reduce the carbon footprints in their schools.

istem Cafeteria-crowd-Nov-2018-768x371

Parents listening to how the iStem program at Aldershot was going to work. The second grade 9 class will start in September.

The initiative, called Climate Change Leaders, has a potential audience of 270,000 students in the participating school boards, giving young people a more active role in reducing carbon emissions in their schools while helping Canada move one step closer to meeting its obligation to the Paris accord.

In addition, Mohawk College will introduce micro-credits in Climate Change and related topics for students, teachers and staff.

This exciting partnership is exploring enhanced experiential learning opportunities for students and teachers in the areas of science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), offering new pathways for students toward co-op placements, apprenticeships and new jobs in a low carbon, circular economy.

To transform schools to lower carbon will require school boards to examine deep building system retrofits for mechanical and electrical building systems. Once most of the energy waste is removed, the next phase is to develop on-site renewable energy systems such as solar, geothermal and battery storage. The investment funding aspiration is to use energy saved from retrofits and energy produced from renewable technologies to fund capital investment. Financially, this will have no impact on taxpayers, while exploring the creation of many new jobs, apprenticeships and student co-ops.

Stuart Miller

Stuart Miller, HDSB Director of Education

Today, the partners gathered to sign a non-binding, collaborative memorandum of understanding, agreeing that the climate crisis is well documented and the path is clear: we must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy. Working together, they commit to increase their efforts to help solve the climate crisis and explore opportunities to combine technology demonstrations with experiential learning, while building the capabilities and capacity to transform to a low-carbon community.

Stuart Miller, who was interviewed on CBC Radio earlier on Tuesday said that the MOU between Mohawk College and a number of School Boards in this area is a wonderful opportunity and an example of educational bodies collaborating to address the challenges of climate change.

The school boards represent 250,000 students and it is the synergy of us all working together that will do much to address our environmental issues in this part of Ontario.

 

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How to Reduce the Cost of Car Insurance in Burlington

News 100 blueBy Jason Cartwright

February 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

car accident paid

Accidents happen – be sure you are effectively covered.

Car insurance is a necessity for any and all driving in Canada. If you don’t have enough coverage, you could be at risk for having your assets claimed in the event of a collision or major accident. Having the right type of insurance can provide you with the protection you need if this problem occurs, and it’s important whether you own the vehicle outright or have a loan on it. It’s important to know the costs associated with insurance as well as methods for reducing these fees.

Average Costs
The premium rate you pay for coverage really depends on the specific company you’ve chosen. As with all other types of insurance, some providers are simply pricier than others. Residents of Burlington will find that coverage is comparable to many other cities in the area. For this reason, it is important to compare rates and receive quotes before you actually sign up for any one plan. However, the majority of drivers in Burlington who are looking for coverage can find plans that are reasonably priced at under $2,000 a year, though it’s not unusual to find options that cost $5,000 or more annually. This amount is broken up into 12 payments, so the costs are usually low for individuals who need either full or partial protection.

How to Find the Best Rates
Before signing up for a policy, you need to compare rates with several companies. This allows you to know what’s available to you so that you’re opening an account without it becoming a financial burden. If you’re currently paying too much for the insurance that you have, it’s time to make a change and switch providers.

car insurance screen

You can buy your insurance on-line – there are some great offers.

The fees associated with taking out a new auto insurance policy will have to do with your age, driving record and the type of vehicle and driving that you do. For example, someone who is younger, has had a few accidents and drives regularly in the city may pay more than someone who is middle-aged with no accidents and who drives leisurely. Car insurance quotes for Burlington drivers can be easily obtained online and takes just minutes. You could save yourself thousands of dollars each year simply by receiving these quotes and making a switch.

Tips for Reducing Costs Associated with Auto Insurance
There are several ways for you to reduce the costs associated with coverage. First, you’ll want to consider altering the amount of coverage that you actually have. If you don’t need a specific type of protection, like comprehensive, removing this can prevent high costs associated with taking out a policy with a provider.

You might even want to consider taking a defensive driving course, as this can help to improve safety behind the wheel and reduce insurance-related fees. Taking this type of course is essential if you have a bad driving record, as it’ll prove to the insurance company that you’re looking to change your ways and clean up your presence on the road. The type of car you drive can also cause some policies to become more or less expensive. Sporty, bright vehicles are more expensive to insure while SUVs and minivans are typically less pricey.

Jason Cartwright is a retired insurance professional who now advises both insurers and people looking for the best insurance buy on what their options are.

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Accessibility and Heritage Advisory Committees looking for new members..

News 100 redBy Staff

February 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington is currently recruiting volunteers to be members of the Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee and the Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee.

Heritage locations

The blue markers indicate heritage properties – a citizen’s committee makes recommendation to city council on what happens to them as developments take place.

These two advisory committees are legislated and report to Burlington City Council to provide advice and promote issues related to the conservation of Burlington’s built and cultural heritage, and to identify, remove and prevent barriers to people with disabilities in the municipality’s bylaws, policies, programs and services.

Applications can be submitted online or are available at City facilities. The deadline to apply is Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.

Is this house a Heritage property? The owners don't think so and they made a very compelling case to have it removed from the list. Not as simple as it seems

Is this house a Heritage property? The owners don’t think so and they made a very compelling case to have it removed from the list.

These are important committees that need people with a genuine interest in the welfare of people in Burlington and the preservation of its heritage.

Be prepared to learn, work hard and speak truth to power when you report to city council.

Background
• In May 2019, the City of Burlington sought online and in-person feedback from current citizen committee members and members of the public to explore how citizen committees might provide advice to Council and staff.

• A working team of residents are writing a report of their findings from these engagements that will be presented at a Council Workshop on Feb. 25, 2020.

• The Heritage Burlington and Burlington Accessibility committees are legislated and are the only two committees currently recruiting.

• To learn more about the review of Burlington City Council appointed advisory committees, visit getinvolvedburlington.ca

• To apply to become a member of the Heritage Burlington Advisory Committee or the Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee, visit burlington.ca/committees

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Information sessions on what you can and cannot do with the trees on your property: private tree bylaw now in effect

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

February 5th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Now for the hard part – convincing those seriously opposed to the Private Tree Bylaw that it can work and that the city is going to be both reasonable and understanding.

That is a tough sell at this point. In the past the forestry people h ave not been all that reasonable and not very understanding either.

Sharman folded

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman

While Council voted for this bylaw unanimously, Councillor Sharman was very vocal saying that the plan had been rushed and not thoroughly thought through.  He fully expects to see this bylaw back before council at some point.  His comments are linked below.

Part of the agreement when the bylaw was passed was that the city was going to hold a series of public information sessions to help residents and businesses learn about the newly adopted Private Tree Bylaw.

The information sessions will be held in various parts of the City at both afternoon and evening times to better accommodate people’s schedules.

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020
Appleby Ice Centre, Community Room 1
1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020
Central Arena, Auditorium
1 to 3 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020
Burlington Seniors’ Centre, Freeman and Indian Point Rooms
7 to 9 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020

Aldershot Arena, Community Room
7 to 9 p.m.

Registration is not necessary. Presentation and Q&A will begin 15-minutes after start-times.

Belvenia trees-1024x768

The issue is the tree canopy – saving what we have and growing even more.

Interesting to note that there are no presentations for the communities north of the QEW and south of Dundas/407.

The rural communities are exempted from the bylaw until more research is done and a there better understanding of rural needs.

The sessions will cover when a permit is required, when it is not, replacement trees and costs. Participants will also be able to ask questions of Forestry staff.

sharman and AB in huddle

Councillors Paul Sharman and Angelo Bentivegna conferring on an issue.

Councillor Sharman and Bentivegna were opposed to the approach the city was taking.  Bentivegna wanted the city to spend money on planting more trees and not spend money on preventing people from removing trees to improve their property.

About the Private Tree Bylaw
As of Jan. 27, 2020, anyone within the City’s urban boundary will need to apply online for a permit and on-site consultation to remove a tree greater than 20 cm in diameter (8”) measured at 1.4 m from the ground, or if you would like to remove more than five trees between 10 and 20 cm (4-8”) measured at 1.4 m from the ground in a calendar year. Heritage trees and endangered species are also protected.

Permits are also needed for any activity that may injure or damage a tree.

To apply for a permit or to read the full bylaw, including information on permits, protected trees, exemptions and fines, visit Burlington.ca/PrivateTree.

Steve Robinson Forestry Manager

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry is the lead on this. His challenge is to convince people to work with him. If he does that he could grow professionally and get elevated to one of those Executive Director positions the city has created.

Robinson said: “This bylaw is an important piece of legislation. I encourage any homeowner thinking of doing any backyard or home renovation to attend one of these sessions to learn about what requires a permit, what doesn’t, replacement trees, costs and the process.

Contractors, developers, arbourists, pool companies and landscape tradespeople are encouraged to attend as well.”

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NDP candidate hammers the government - points out that Deputy Ministers have been given 14% increases over a 4 year period

opinionred 100x100By Andrew Drummond

February 5th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This week, across Halton region there will be three days of education disruption. The elementary teachers will be striking Monday and Thursday while their counterparts in the Secondary system will be striking Tuesday. The reasons for the strikes are many, but the attitude of the Minister of Education has been puzzling throughout. Despite the obvious false nature of many of his comments, the Minister has stuck to the talking point of this being entirely about compensation for teachers. It feels occasionally like the reason we are in such a mess with education in Ontario was that because Minister Lecce and Premier Ford hate teachers, they assumed that everyone hated teachers. Then, once they discovered that to be untrue, they had no backup plan to build a plan that would be palatable to the public.

Teachers elementary strike

Teachers take over the side walks across Halton.

Regardless of the reasons, Ontario is now in a state of distress regarding its education systems. For the first time in decades, every union representing educators is in a strike position. And for all the bluster with press releases and accusations, there are only three primary areas of contention between the two sides: class sizes, salaries, and mandatory e-learning. One of these, salaries, has some limited legitimacy as a contentious issue, but the other two are such terrible ideas that the government has been unable to even defend them effectively.

The biggest hole in the government’s plan is the planned implementation of mandatory e-learning. The government’s dictum for students graduating in 2024 and beyond (typically students in Grade 8 today) will be that in order to get a Secondary School Diploma, they will need to have earned 2 e-learning credits, meaning credits taken online rather than in a classroom. The government had previously intended to require 4 credits but reduced the decision in November after public outcry.

When asked to explain the rationale for this requirement, the government stated that mandatory e-learning will allow Ontario to be “a global leader of modern and digital education,”. Unfortunately, there is very little evidence to suggest that making e-learning mandatory will accomplish that goal. Five jurisdictions in North America (Michigan, Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, and Virginia) have experimented with 1 mandatory credit, but none of those programs has been successful with lowered passing rates from every data point available.

In reality, the government is just looking to cut more teaching positions. The e-learning courses would be offered with a teacher to student ratio of 35:1 which would be considerably higher than the in classroom 22.5:1 currently or even the 25:1 proposed. Of note, when e-learning was implemented in Alabama, it was done with LOWER teacher to student ratios in order to give students the best chance of success. If student success was truly the goal in Ontario, there would be additional resources to support the program. However, by presenting it as a reduction in teacher support it is clear that for Ontario, e-learning is only a mechanism to reduce the number of teachers.

Teachers Education workers

It it’s not just the teachers looking for an increase – educational works take to the picket lines.

The second major issue in negotiations is salary. The government’s talking points in this dispute revolve entirely around the strike being an issue of teacher compensation. Minister Lecce has stated repeatedly “We prioritize student investment over compensation.” The government has publicly offered the educators a salary increase of 1% per year for three years. The concern is that the inflation rate in Ontario is 2.3%. Therefore, a compensation increase of 1% is really a cut of 1.3% in purchasing power. The ask of the teachers matches most private sector companies. In the private sector, most offer their employees a minimum of a 2% increase every year as “Cost of Living” and performance dictates any increase beyond that. This is seen as necessary to retain talent, but the government is trying to restrain that expected increase for the teachers.

In November, the government also passed the “Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act” to mandate by law that teachers not be eligible for an increase greater than 1%. While not frequent in its talking points, the law is nevertheless used as part of the government’s case (though it is being challenged in court as unconstitutional). The hypocrisy though is that while the legislation would cap increases for teachers and nurses among others, there is a lengthy list of professions that are exempt including:

– OPP officers who won a 2.15% increase in an arbitrated settlement earlier this year
– Doctors, who won an arbitrated settlement to increase fees earlier this year
– Crown Attorneys, who are currently negotiating their next agreement
– Deputy Ministers, whose salary has increased by 14% across the past 4 years

A quick analysis of this list shows the government aggressively fighting wage increases for low earners, but allowing bigger increases for highly paid professions. Limiting compensation is an expected position for the government to take in a bargaining negotiation, but legislation to cap an increase below both inflation and other higher paid positions is not bargaining in good faith.

Teachers strike at Nelson

Teachers line the sidewalk outside Nelson high school.

The last of the primary demands from the government is the increase in secondary class sizes from a student:teacher ratio of 22:1 to a ratio of 25:1. This again, is a retreat from the government as the initial demanded ratio was 28:1. The government nonsensically states that this can be achieved with no teacher layoffs, though the layoffs in every board as a result of increasing to the 22.5:1 ratio in September 2019 shows this to be categorically untrue.

The additional frustrations of this government demand is the clear deception regarding no layoffs (simple math shows that 12% fewer teachers are needed at 25:1 rather than 22:1), but also that the government messaging continues to suggest they prioritize student resources over compensation. It begs the question, what resources are more important to students than their teachers? By essentially removing 1 out of 8 teaching positions, they are depriving students of the very resources they are trying to say they prioritize.

In short, it is clear that the government’s attempts to enforce mandatory e-learning are actually a cover to reduce the number of teaching positions. It is clear that the increase in class sizes will do nothing for student achievement, but will reduce the number of teaching positions. And, it is clear that the government intends to use whatever means necessary to reduce the compensation of whatever teachers remain after these cuts.

Teachers at Central with Horvath

Another photo op for the New Democratic leader. Andrea Horvath with teachers.

The government has an obvious hatred for teachers shown in the false and duplicitous nature of Minister Lecce’s public statements. The government is clearly forcing e-learning for the purpose of cutting teachers and classroom support. And the government mandated class size increases, while profitable, will degrade the quality of public education in Ontario. Is it for those reasons and others, that such an unprecedented number of parents, students, and community members have been joining teachers on the picket lines to help fight these cuts, and to fight for the education resources that Ontario’s students deserve.

Andrew Drummond HeadshotAndrew Drummond was the New Democrat candidate in the 2018 provincial election.  He placed second behind Jane McKenna who won the seat in a previous election. VOTES in the 2018 election were: 25,504 PC; 18,053 NDP; 15,515 Liberal; 2828 Green

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Teacher strikes could make it a bumpy week.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 31st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Get ready for a bumpy week.

Teacher strikes at three different levels threaten confusion in households all over the city.

Teachers’ unions are planning a series of one-day strikes if an agreement is not reached by the following dates:

Feb. 3: Halton District School Board elementary schools
Feb. 4: All Halton Catholic District Schools
Feb. 6: Halton District School Board elementary schools

teachers picketingThere will be no school during these days; however, community rentals will not be impacted.

Picketing may occur.

The City is advising parents and users of pools and facilities at Haber Community Centre, Aldershot Pool and Centennial Pool as well as gym renters at all schools to arrive for their programs earlier to give extra time to find parking and enter the buildings as there may be delays from picketing.

All City facilities will remain open with regularly scheduled programming.

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