Black History Month will feature noted Much Music host who will talk about growing up Black in America.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 29th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In recognition of Black History Month in February, schools in the Halton District School Board have planned events and initiatives to celebrate and honour the contributions of Black Canadians, past and present.

“Black History Month is a tremendous learning opportunity for our students to gain greater understanding of the significant contributions Black Canadians have made to the very fabric of our country,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

”This month of recognition provides students and staff in our Board opportunities for deeper learning about the extensive role Black Canadians have played in the settlement, growth and development of Canada. In addition to embedding this learning into classroom instruction throughout the year, Black History Month elevates the ongoing experiences, contributions and achievements of Black Canadians.”

Much Music VJ Michael

Michael Williams

The events taking place at Burlington’s Robert Bateman High School include former Much Music VJ Michael Williams on February 7 for a speaking engagement with students. He will show clips from a short film he and former journalist Jojo Chintoh directed and produced called, Black in Canada: The Obama Effect.

The talk will also include Williams’ experiences as a child growing up amidst the civil rights movement in America and his work in the entertainment industry, with a focus on overcoming adversity and discrimination.

Bateman high school

Bateman High School

Celebrating Black History Month aligns with the Equity and Well-being goals contained in the Halton District School Board’s Multi-Year Plan. The goal is to ensure every student learns in a respectful culture of high expectations that values diversity, and that students will see themselves reflected in their learning.

The event may well be one of the last large major student events held at Bateman.  The school is scheduled to close with Bateman students moving to Nelson High School.

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Naming people who have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The information set out below is provided to media by the Halton Regional Police who are committed to road safety through prevention, education and enforcement initiatives.

The Gazette takes the position that an informed society can make informed decisions. Which leads us to a bit of a predicament: for those who are found not guilty of an offence or for whom the charges are dropped there is no public record because the police do not report on what happens to a case that they turn over to the Crown prosecutor.

That is why we stopped publishing the information the police provide.

The police would prefer to have the information published and suggested we work with the Crown prosecutors. Our editorial resources are stretch to the limit as it is. We just don’t have the time to chase after Crown Prosecutors.

We are going to take different approach and put a statement at the top of each media release that will read as follows;

If you have been named in a police report and after going through the judicial procedure and were found not guilty of what you were charged with, or the police dropped the charge, be in touch with the Publisher of the Gazette and we will pull the original report and publish the results of the trial if you wish.

On January 24, 2020 just before 7:00 pm, Halton Police officers investigated a collision in the area of Royal Windsor Drive and Ford Drive in Oakville. As a result of an investigation, Michael Borre (25) of Lindsay was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On January 25, 2020, just before 5:00 am, Halton Police officers responded to a citizen-initiated complaint in the area of Upper Middle Road and Trafalgar Road in Oakville. As a result of an investigation, Zivko Kovacevic (42) of Oakville was charged with blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On January 25, 2020, just before 10:00 am, Halton Police officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of Queen Street and Wellington Street in Acton. As a result of an investigation, Donald Reavely (48) of Kitchener was charged with blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On January 26, 2020, just before 1:00 am, Halton Police officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of Wilson Street and Rebecca Street in Oakville. As a result of an investigation, Donna Hoffman (64) of Toronto was charged with blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On January 26, 2020, just after 1:00 am, Halton Police officers were conducting a R.I.D.E. initiative in the area of Guelph Line and No.15 Side Road in Milton. As a result of this initiative, Laiju Kazhuthamalayil Paulose (37) of Scarborough was charged with blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On January 26, 2020, just after 9:00 pm, Halton Police officers were conducting a R.I.D.E. initiative in the area of Mill Street East and Main Street North in Acton. As a result of this initiative, Kyle Gorda (32) of Burlington was charged with dangerous operation, operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On January 26, 2020, just after 10:00 pm, Halton Police officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of Mountainview Road South and Sinclair Avenue in Georgetown. As a result of an investigation, Thomas Diardichuck (45) of Georgetown was charged with blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On January 26, 2020 just after 11:00 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of River Glen Boulevard and Towne Boulevard in Oakville. As a result of an investigation, Kelly-Ann Cassidy (22) of Oakville was charged with blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

Members of the public are reminded that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a crime in progress and to call 9-1-1 immediately to report a suspected impaired driver.

The Service’s Twitter and Facebook accounts should not be used for this purpose as they are not monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Please be reminded that all persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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There are some 'tin ears' in the Office of the Mayor; bit of a problem with values as well.

News 100 blackBy Staff

January 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Penny Hersh, a citizen, wrote the Mayor’s office asking if the city’s flag could be lowered today to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the German death camp where a reported million Jews were put to death.

The request was denied. “We can unfortunately not lower the flags every year in remembrance as there are just too many international remembrance days.”

man bones auschwitz

Despite the cruelty some managed to survive – but antisemitism is still rampant in this world

The liberation of Auschwitz is not just another Remembrance Day.

Hersh pointed out to the Mayors office that the flag was lowered for the citizens of New Zealand who died when there was a mass shooting on the Muslim Community.

There appear to be some “tin ears” in the office of the Mayor who reported that there would be a mention in the Mayor’s social media.

It’s not quite the same.

There is however, an opportunity to do the right thing at this evening’s council meeting: A moment of silence for the six million that are no longer with us because they were Jews.

Children at Auschwitz

They were children whose playmates were ushered into a gas chamber to die of Zyklon B poisoning.

 

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Provincial government and Halton Board of Education working with Regional Public Health to keep parents up to date on the novel coronavirus.

News 100 redBy Staff

January 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, issued the following statement in response to the first presumptive case of the Wuhan novel coronavirus in Ontario and following a briefing of the province’s directors of education:

“The health and well-being of Ontarians, including and especially our students and school staff, is our number one priority. To that end, earlier today Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, briefed Ontario’s directors of education on the province’s extensive protocols to monitor, detect and contain any cases of the Wuhan novel coronavirus.

Ontario continues to work directly alongside our partners at the Public Health Agency of Canada and local public health units to monitor the situation closely. Newly strengthened protocols for identification and control are working to keep the public safe.

We want to assure students, parents and school communities that officials at the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education are working together in close cooperation with our partners in both the education and health care sectors to ensure the continued safety and well-being of students and staff.”

To help educate Ontarians about Wuhan novel coronavirus, how they can protect themselves and what to do if they suspect they may be at risk, the province has launched a dedicated webpage.

Stuart_Miller___Gallery

Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board

Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board said in a statement he released to the Gazette last night that he is in “close contact with Halton Region Public Health” and is “jointly working on a communication to school administrators and families” which he expects to have out to these people before the  end of the day on Monday.

 

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Mental health on Facebook Live - from JBH

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 27th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Steven Selchen JBH

Dr. Steven Selchen, Chief of Psychiatry at Joseph Brant Hospital

On Bell Let’s Talk Day, Dr. Steven Selchen, Chief of Psychiatry at Joseph Brant Hospital and colleagues invite you to join them on Facebook Live as they have a conversation about mental health and access to programs.

Mental Health is not something that gets the serious attention it needs; many people still want to hide the fact that there are problems within the family.

The hospital is taking a very welcome step in opening up the subject in a way that is less public for those who face mental health issues every day. Kudos to the hospital.

Date: January 29, 2020 Time: 9:00 a.m.

Just log into:
www.Facebook.com/JosephBrantHospital

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Performing Arts Centre putting on three great workshops - register early.

artsorange 100x100By Staff

January 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It might be cold outside but there will be more than just the normal heat inside the Performing Arts Centre during the month.

The Centre has announced a series of Public Education and Outreach Workshops for people 16+ throughout the month of February aimed at developing artistic practice for local artists and providing enhanced arts experiences for audiences.

Workshops and panels happening next month include a Navigating the Music Industry panel, a Memoir Writing Workshop, and a Triple Threat Workshop.

On February 8, the Navigating the Music Industry panel will discuss what is involved in being an Agent, Manager, or Presenter in today’s music industry by going behind the scenes to discuss the music business. The panel will feature Artist Manager at SRO Management, Cynthia Barry; Senior Vice President of The Feldman Agency, Tom Kemp; Director of Programming, Marketing & Business Development at The Corporation of Roy Thompson and Massey Hall, Jesse Kumagai; and Artist Manager at ZED Music, Steve Zsirai.

Navigating the Music Industry,

Saturday, February 8, 2020 @ 4pm
Tickets: Regular $20 (All-in)  Ages 16+

Deep detail

Alison Wearing

Alison Wearing

On February 22, the Memoir-Writing Workshop with Alison Wearing will focus on elevating personal writing. Participants will learn about the different tools and tactics needed to find their voice and put their own personal stories on paper.

 

Memoir Writing Workshop,

Saturday, February 22, 2020 @ 2pm
Tickets: Regular $30 (All-in)  Ages 16+

Deep detail

Amanda Nuttall

Amanda Nuttall

On February 23, the Triple Threat Workshop will give everyone a chance to audition, receive personal advice and then get an all-important second chance to knock it out of the park. The workshop will be led by director, writer, and performer Richard Ouzounian, who will give advice on everything from what to wear and what to sing and choreographer Amanda Nuttall will give advice on how to present oneself at a dance call even with two left feet.

Triple Threat Workshop,

Sunday, February 23, 2020 @ 10am
Tickets: Regular $40 (All-in)  Ages 16+

Deep detail

 

Each one of these workshops /panels is being led by Canada’s ‘best in show’.  These people are working professionals who are leaders in their fields.

You have to register, and there is a nominal cost.

 

Register on the Performing Arts web site CLICK here to get there.

The Performing Arts Centre aims to develop comprehensive, impactful and accessible learning experiences for all ages, and are committed to fostering artistic appreciation, development and participation through this Public Education & Outreach Series.

 

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Halton is not a leader when it comes to the degree to which we pollute.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Weren’t we supposed to be the good guys – the number one (#1) mid-sized city in the country. The greatest place to live play and work.

Then we learn that Halton has the highest per capita emissions in the GTHA when industry sources are excluded. This is despite the fact that Halton’s per capita transportation emissions are at the GTHA median, and the region’s percentage of long car-based commutes is not as high as in Durham or York.

BG chart 1

These are the root causes of our green house gas emissions.

Natural gas — captured in the buildings sector data — is responsible for a large portion of Halton’s emissions. This natural gas is primarily used for water and space heating, so the warmer winter (with less heating demand) in 2017 is partially responsible for the large overall decrease in emissions that Halton is showing from 2015 to 2017

BG chart 2 tcoLet’s let Chair Gary Carr explain that one!

Burlington city council did the right thing by declaring a Climate Emergency – other municipalities followed but other than assuring that there is an “environmental lens” made a part of every Staff report Burlington can’t claim they have done very much.
Halton’s Pathway to Carbon Neutrality

All the municipalities in Halton declared a climate emergency in 2019, suggesting that the region plans to accelerate climate action.

Halton’s emissions from natural gas are high compared to most other parts of the GTHA. Although this is due in part to industrial consumption of natural gas, undertaking energy efficiency retrofits will have to be a critical part of Halton’s plan to reach net-zero emissions.

Further, green standards for new buildings should be developed to ensure that the region can continue to grow while still reducing emissions.

SCALABLE SOLUTION FROM HALTON, FOR THE GTHA
Oakville-based company BerQ RNG produces renewable natural gas from Ontario’s food waste. In 2019, TAF invested $1.15 million in a 15-year project with BerQ to install and operate new refining equipment. Not only will this investment reduce carbon emissions by displacing fossil fuels, it will demonstrate the business case for renewable natural gas.

BG chart 3 stats

When industry and commerce see an opportunity they move and basically take over. Unfortunately there are all kinds of places where there isn’t a profit to be made – which results in little getting done.

We all know that plastic packaging is hurting the environment. Why then, we ask, doesn’t the federal government declare that in xxx years – let’s say five – plastic can no longer be used to package foods. That leaves the packaging industry five years to re-tool and re-think the way food is packaged. The federal government could also put up millions (they did that to buy a pipeline) and let those smart minds out there come up with solutions.

It can be done – all it takes is political will and the courage to make hard decisions.

We’re not banking on it though – are we?

However, we did it with seat belts and cigarettes.

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Photo radar - now has a new name and it is coming to Burlington.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 7th, 2020

Whitby, ON –

 

Officially it is known as ASE – Automated Speed Enforcement. Photo radar to the rest of us.

The NDP government brought it in in 1993.

Mike Harris killed it within a week of taking office.

The Ford government brought it back but for use just in school zones.

The Ontario Traffic Council (OTC) today announced its support for and endorsement of the program via the launch of Driving Safer Communities, a campaign to raise awareness of the use of ASE to reduce speeds in school zones and Community Safety Zones where the posted speed limit is under 80 kmph.

Photo radar sign

Coming to a street near you.

Over the past two and a half years, the OTC has worked alongside its participating municipalities as well as the Ministry of Transportation to develop a transparent, consistent and sustainable ASE program that is designed to change driver behaviour in order to increase speed compliance in school zones and community safety zones. With the regulation giving Ontario’s municipalities the ability to adopt new and enhanced tools such as ASE to promote road safety in these designated areas, Ontarians can expect to see ASE systems deployed across the province as early as this spring.

The Driving Safer Communities campaign, comprised of a microsite at www.ASEOntario.com, including a comprehensive list of FAQs, is designed to ensure the public is well educated about the benefits of this important speed reduction tool and how vehicle owners may be affected. In addition, the OTC has launched a campaign Facebook page at @ASEONT to provide the public with access to a platform for engaging in important dialogue about road safety.

An automated system that uses a camera and a speed measurement device, ASE is one of many methods used – along with engineering activities, education initiatives and police enforcement – to enforce speed limits in areas with vulnerable populations. Participating municipalities will implement ASE technology via a data-driven approach that reflects information they have been capturing in their own communities including the exposure of vulnerable road users in relation to vehicles; prior collisions; zone environment such as the location of schools, bridges, bicycle paths, etc.; speed data; public input; and enforcement input with this data used to identify locations where speed is a factor in road and pedestrian safety.

For example, 2018 data from the City of Toronto demonstrates that in just one week more than 50,000 drivers were identified going over the posted speed limit of 30 kmph along Rockcliffe Blvd, which is in a Community Safety Zone, with the maximum speed clocked at 156 kmph.  And 2019 data from Niagara Region shows the critical need to address speeding in school zones and Community Safety Zones with more than 25,000 and 100,000 drivers identified going over the posted speed limit of 50 kmph along Pelham and Montrose Roads, respectively.

“Despite speed being a contributing factor in approximately one third of fatal collisions across Canada, data being collected by municipalities across the province clearly demonstrates that vehicles are continuing to speed,” said Geoff Wilkinson, executive director, OTC. “On behalf of the OTC, and our members, we wholeheartedly endorse the province’s implementation of ASE, and to further support the program we have launched the Driving Safer Communities campaign to ensure Ontario residents are well informed about this safety tool as a proven method for enforcing the posted speed limits in school zones and community safety zones.”

Photo radar Toronto

This is what Toronto is using – might be the same type for Burlington.

Toronto, Ottawa, Brampton and Niagara Region will be the first of Ontario’s municipalities to implement ASE with several other municipalities also anticipated to follow in the coming months including Burlington, London, Durham Region, Mississauga, Peel Region and York Region, among others. Clear ASE signage will be posted everywhere ASE is placed including signs installed prior to the issuance of tickets to provide motorists with a warning that ASE systems will be coming to each specific location.

“With the most recent Ontario Road Safety Annual Report from the Ministry of Transportation showing that the number of people killed in Ontario in speed-related collisions increased by 13 per cent from 2015 to 2016, there is no better time for the launch of the OTC’s Driving Safer Communities campaign to raise awareness of ASE and support its use in locations where speed is a proven factor in road and pedestrian safety,” said Peter Sejrup, staff sergeant, Peterborough Police Service and director, OTC. “Ultimately, this is about safety and adhering to the posted speed limit is the law. We welcome ASE to Ontario’s school zones and Community Safety Zones as an effective way to improve road user safety.”

About the Ontario Traffic Council
The Ontario Traffic Council (OTC) is a leading voice in multi-modal transportation in Ontario, offering diverse expertise in traffic engineering, transportation planning, safety and traffic enforcement.    Established in 1950, the association was created to improve traffic management in Ontario by drawing on the knowledge and expertise of those in the field of enforcement, engineering and education.

Today, the organization promotes excellence in the multi-modal transportation field through education, guidance and sharing expertise supported by its members across Ontario regions, cities, towns, counties and industry businesses (consultants and vendors). Membership also includes individuals who have an interest in and responsibility for traffic and active transportation engineering, planning and road user safety including engineers, planners, police services, parking enforcement, other municipal staff and elected representatives.

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Halton District School Board survives 2019 - looking for opportunities to serve more effectively in 2020

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

January 3rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Miller with students Mar 7-17

Miller works well with students – he can remember the names of students he taught science to 20 years ago. At heart he is a teacher.

For Halton District School Board Director of Education Stuart Miller, 2019 was not an easy year.

The labour issues, that are ongoing, and the penny pinching at Queen’s Park has created confusion and havoc. The one positive part of all this for Miller is the “very good working relationship we have with the local union groups”. It is the larger province wide collective agreement part that is troubling.

This government looks at education quite a bit differently than the previous government. Burlington gets a very disproportionate share of funding from the province based on population and student size.

istem Cafeteria-crowd-Nov-2018-768x371

The first public information meeting drew 1000 people to Aldershot high school.

Despite the drawbacks Miller can point to some significant successes – the launch of the iSTEM program at Aldershot High School has been a resounding success. So much so that Miller thinks the Board might be able to offer a similar program for the new high school being built in Milton and scheduled to open in 2021.

The Board is still working at finding ways to partner with other organizations in the Region – not much to report at that level.

Miller needs a new administration building but has not managed to get the support he needs from the community at large and the trustees haven’t found a way to make the case with the public.

The Board has the land in Burlington – at the intersection of Upper Middle Road and Guelph Line; Miller needs a partner who can build what is needed and had hoped someone could come forward with a proposal.

MMR Clair Proteau

MMR principal Claire Proteau pointing to some of the changes being made in the school when the Pearson high school students became part of MMR

The upheaval created when the decision was made to close two of Burlington’s seven high schools in 2017 has worked itself out. The merger of the Lester B. Pearson population with that of MM Robinson has gone exceptionally well, due in large measure to the work done by MMR principal Claire Proteau and Superintendent Terri Blackwell. They understood the need to work with the parents and students at both schools and make them a part of the process that everyone had to go through.

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

The Bateman parents were passionate about keeping their school open – closing was as much a political issue as it was a student population issue.

The merger of the Bateman and Nelson high schools hasn’t gone as well; the fight to keep Bateman open lasted much longer – many thought the wrong school was being closed. Space had to be created at Nelson for the Bateman students – that work is underway now.

The Bateman high school site has yet to be declared as surplus to the Board’s needs. When that decision is made the Board has to first make the property available to a legislated list of institutions. Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has plans for the space and HDSB trustee Amy Collard, who fought valiantly to keep the high school open, wants it used by the community. The building has an indoor swimming pool that the city Parks and Recreation people make significant use of. The fear that the building would be torn down and turned into a condo site is not in the cards.

The International Baccalaureate program that was at Bateman has already moved to Central where it is doing very well.

While the iSTEM program at Aldershot is a runaway success – the HDSB is not doing as well with trades training – at a time when the needs for men and woman in the trades is not being met. That is a challenge to which this school board and many others in the province have not yet figured out how to meet.

The HDSB was at one point the sponsor of The Centre for Skills Development that delivers free government-funded programs and fee-based programs to help people at various stages of life (youth, job seekers, second career seekers and newcomers to Canada) get on a path to career success.

That organization went on to become an arms length part of the board and then became a separate entity that the Board is no longer part of.  The Centre appears to be doing a good job of serving the needs of the commercial-industrial sector.

Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis, probably the most passionate speaker in the country was to speak at a Human Rights Symposium – a teacher strike meant cancellation. The event is scheduled to take place in 2020.

A major 2019 disappointment for Miller was the need to cancel the day long Human Rights Symposium that was to feature Stephen Lewis and Michel Chikwanine. Miller told the Gazette that he has been able to convince Lewis and Chikwanine to take part in the 2020 Symposium – the 2019 event had to be cancelled when the teachers used the scheduled date to strike.

The Symposium has Miller’s signature all over it. It was his idea and he has been the driving force behind it; Superintendent Rob Eatough was in place to make it actually happen. The Trustees, who give Miller a lot of latitude, quite frankly they don’t really hold him to account – not that there is any need to, Miller delivers, but the Trustees are there to ask the hard questions; few of those are heard at the Halton District School Board.

Miller prep at Central

Stuart Miller

Miller became Director of Education six years ago on a five year contract that was extended for a year and might get an additional extension. Miller is far too young to think in terms of retirement but he does have something he wants to do up his sleeve. He just wasn’t ready to show that card during our conversation.

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Finding the right Path for students entering high school is no small matter. Series of information sessions set up within the Region.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 23rd, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board is hosting several Pathways Information Evenings in January 2020 to allow Grade 7 – 12 students and their families to explore program opportunities offered at high schools in Halton.

The Board offers more than 80 regional Pathways Programs designed to meet individual needs and help students succeed after high school, whether they are pursuing a pathway toward apprenticeship, college, community, university or the workplace. The Information Evenings help students to be better prepared for a rapidly changing world while receiving a relevant and engaging education.

All are welcome to attend and registration is not required.

The meetings will be held at the following locations from 6 – 8 p.m.:

Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020: Georgetown District High School, 70 Guelph Street, Georgetown
Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020: Craig Kielburger Secondary School, 1151 Ferguson Drive, Milton
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020: Garth Webb Secondary School, 2820 Westoak Trails, Oakville
Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2020: M.M. Robinson High School, 2425 Upper Middle Road, Burlington

Pathways Programs include the Specialist High Skills Major programs, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship programs, Specialty School to Career programs, the Employability Skills Certificate program, Dual Credit college programs, Grade 8 – 9 Transition programs, and more.

Agenda for Pathways Information Evenings:

6 – 6:30 p.m. – Pathways displays and meet the Pathways Program teachers
6:30 – 7 p.m. – Pathways presentation (programs and planning for post-secondary)
7 – 8 p.m. – Teacher displays and elementary transition to high school workshop

basketball robots

High school show that they have been able to do with robotics. The piece of business was built to be able to , find, pick up and throw a basketball.

The Halton District School Board recently held a Find the Fit event at the Mattamy Velodrome in Milton where more than 1500 students from within the Region spent two hours talking to people from institutions offering different academic programs and getting a sense of what was out there in terms of post high school programs.

Huntley Gibbs looking left

Superintendent of Education Julie Hunt Gibbons

Superintendent of Education Julie Hunt Gibbons is responsible for for Secondary curriculum and school program, Student success and Pathways destinations, Elementary schools: Brookdale, Eastview, Gladys Speers, Oakwood, Pine Grove, WH Morden and TA Blakelock High School.

She said that preparing students for high school is a much different challenge than it was a decade ago.  The world these students are going to work within is a lot more complex and ever changing than anything their parents took part in.

Many of the jobs that exist today will not exist when they graduate from high school – education for them is going to be a lifelong task.

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The community is seriously divided on the private tree bylaw - so is council but the

News 100 greenBy Staff

December 18th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It has been a contentious issue for close to a decade.

It was impossible to find a consensus – positions were deeply divided. The environmentalists had a view point and they believe they are right; the property rights people know the environmentalists are wrong and have all kinds of documentation to show the law is on their side.

Positions taken by King George III were brought up by the property rights people who argue that the municipality don’t have the right to tell the owner of a tree what they can and cannot do with or to that tree.

City Council did get to vote on the bylaw that has several sections of which have been deferred to a January Council meeting.

The bylaw will not come into force until April 1st, 2020.

The fear amongst many in the city is that those who have trees on their property may choose to cut them down before the bylaw is in force.

Anthony Fac

Albert Facenda, a frequent council delegator.

Albert Facenda, a frequent council delegator said in a Gazette comment: “Arborist’s, Start your Chainsaws and Chippers!!  Between now and April 2020 tree service companies will be going crazy to get ahead of the deadline.”

Before the vote took place Councillor Paul Sharman tabled 12 amendments to the bylaw. Some were deferred but there was nothing of substance that was approved as an amendment.

Sharman hand up

Councillor Sharman: “”This Council couldn’t wait for Roseland pilot project to complete.”

In his closing comments Sharman said:

“This Council couldn’t wait for Roseland pilot project to complete.

“This Council couldn’t wait for the forestry management plan.

“This Council doesn’t even know the capacity of the built area was even designed to hold a bigger UTC than 15%, this whole thing may be a wild goose chase.

“As Arborist, Thomas Wright, says, this Council does not even know whether the City has a significant loss of tree canopy happening.

“So, it is proposed that the City of Burlington impose heavy fees, possibly significant fines and replanting costs on potentially 10’s of thousands of home owners in the next 10 years all with the single ideological goal of stopping them from cutting trees down that will die in any event.

“This bylaw may trigger a number of unintended consequences, including:

1) Providing home owners, the incentive of selling their land to assemblers who will convert single family home neighbourhoods into blocks of townhomes, especially south of the QEW. All because this Council has made it prohibitively expensive to improve their homes.

2) Disincentivizing home owners from ever planting trees on their own property because when they grow to be over 20cm’s they represent a significant financial risk in the event they wish to reorganize their property.

“People will not be allowed to manage their own property without paying huge, punitive fees to the City all to protect someone’s good idea.

Sharman picking

There were times during the private tree bylaw debate when Councillor Sharman was distracted.

“The reason the Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) in the urban area is only 15% is precisely because it was developed with homes. But no one in City Hall has checked that out.

“This whole rushed and ill-conceived bylaw is premised on the desire to sustain and increase the UTC significantly, but no one in the city has bothered to check how feasible that lofty goal is. All that is being done here is a huge penalty on anyone who wishes to improve their property. The property they have worked hard to own. The city is going extort huge sums of money to satisfy an idealistic fantasy.

“I cannot support this decision Council is about to make in the complete absence of evidence. I repeat myself again, this bylaw is rushed and ill-conceived.

Shawana Stolte 1

Councillor Stolte: “As a community …we are playing “catch up” to other more progressive municipalities.

Councillor Shawna Stolte responded saying: “I by no means see this Bylaw as being “rushed and ill-conceived” as presented by my colleague on Council.

“Staff have worked very hard on this policy framework and members of the Forestry Department have worked towards this goal for nearly a decade.

“As a community we are not leading the way…we are playing “catch up” to other more progressive municipalities that enacted tree protection bylaws years ago. If these policies had not been effective, those communities would have repealed them long ago.

“One silver lining of the City of Burlington taking so long to enact our own tree protection bylaw is that we have benefited not only from the research conducted by other municipalities but also from the benefit of their lived experiences. This does not mean however that we should merely replicate another municipality’s solutions.

“We are unique, we are special and we have worked hard to collaborate and come up with an initial framework that fits our unique community.

“There remains some details to finalize, especially with the financial impact to the residents, but the purpose and objective of the bylaw is clear and I am proud to support this proactive, positive step forward for our community.”

 

Angelo - not getting it -deferal

Having seconded the 12 amendments to the Private Tree Bylaw Councillor Bentivegna had questions about many of them.

The 12 amendments Councillor Sharman put forward (they were seconded by Councillor Angelo Bentivegna who at times wasn’t certain where Sharman was going).
Council Meeting December 16, 2019
1. Direct staff to prepare a Forestry Management Plan equally as comprehensive as the Oakville Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan Town of Oakville, 2008 – 2027 by Q1 2021
2. Direct staff to update the Burlington Private Tree By-Law relative to the Burlington Forestry Management Plan when complete by Q2 2021
3. Direct staff to a) compare the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to Oakville’s 2017 By-Law and explain differences, and whether to modify Burlington’s b) update the Burlington Private Tree By-Law for review at March Committee Meetings
4. Amend the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to forego replanting or cash in lieu and planting of 1st 20 cm of any tree cut down under the tree by-law application process.
5. Amend the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to revise the aggregate planting policy and replace it with the Modified Oakville replanting requirement Attachment 1 and include adjustment for tree condition.
6. Amend Burlington Private Tree By-Law to increase 2mtrs set back from house allowance (whereby no application fees or replacement is required) to equal drip distance line or 4mtrs, whichever is less
7. Amend the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to include the following clause from the Oakville 2017 By-Law “5. The provisions of this By-law do not apply to the removal of trees: (g) to permit the construction of a building or structure, where the removal, injury or destruction is required under a building permit.”
8. Amend the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to require replacement tree diameter of 30mm instead of 50mm and adjust the associated cash in lieu accordingly
9. Amend Burlington Private Tree By-Law to exclude invasive species e.g. Norway Maple from application and tree replacement
10. Direct staff to develop firm policies for the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to define forestry assessment standards in order to allow citizens to clearly understand the basis of all City arborist’s assessments, decisions and ruling to ensure transparency and accountability for the February 2020 meeting cycle
11. Amend the Burlington Private Tree By-Law to exclude rural farm property other than up to 4 acres that are used for residential purposes. Exclude all wood lots that are subject to existing municipal by laws.
12. Direct staff to return of cash in-lieu funds to applicants if not used to plant trees on private property within 3 years proportional to contribution and actual plantings accomplished

 

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Long long debates - strong differences of opinion - but council voted to create a Private Tree Bylaw on a 5-2 vote.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 17th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They did it.

City Council passed a private tree bylaw during debates that got close to rancorous.

A number of items that are to be in the bylaw that will become effective April 1st, 2020 were deferred to a meeting in January.

There were 12 amendments put forward by Councillor Sharman – Bentivegna seconded the amendments.

The vote was 5-2 for with Councillors Sharman and Bentivegna opposed.

Trees Pine street

The tree was cut down to make way for a development – nothing has replaced it.

Tree Guelph line close up -no name

A Private Tree bylaw would have saved this tree or put some serious cash in city coffers if it had been cut down. There was no bylaw in place at the time this tree came down.

There is a lot that has to be adjusted before this bylaw will actually work.

Mayor Meed Ward was challenged twice on rulings she made as Chair of the Council meeting.

There were a number of delegations, two that brought solid information to the discussion.

The decision is historic for the city – will it bring about the results that this council wants?  Only time will tell.

The fear amongst some is that residents will begin cutting down trees to ensure that they don’t find themselves needing permits to cut down trees – permits that could cost tens of thousands.

This is a controversial bylaw – it is going to take some very deft management on the part of the Forestry department to convince people that there is a better solution than cutting down a perfectly good tree just because, as one resident put it, “it had become a nuisance”.

This by-law has the potential to come back and bite the city, this council and the Mayor.

 

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Party Clean Up - At the very least, you should clear up the dishes and glasses and put them in the dishwasher.

News 100 blueBy Jeremy Biberdorf

December 17th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Hosting a party is fun and exciting. Whether it’s Christmas, New Year or a special birthday celebration, you get to hang out with all of your favorite people.

party cleaning

At the very least, you should clear up the dishes and glasses and put them in the dishwasher.

However, cleaning up afterwards is not nearly as enjoyable. Ideally, you should clear up as much as you can as soon as the party ends. At the very least, you should clear up the dishes and glasses and put them in the dishwasher. You should also check for any spillages that may be a lot harder to deal with the next day. Here are some other tips to make after party cleaning slightly less of a headache.

Make sure that you have the utensils you need:
Before you start the cleaning process, you should make sure that you have all the utensils and cleaning products that you need. This means that you do not need to run to the store and stock up half way through the process. Items that you may need include:

Dishwasher tablets.
● Clean and dry cloths.
● Antibacterial spray.
● Kitchen cleaning spray.
● Floor cleaner.
● Polish.

Check what needs to be done and make a list of the items that you need. This helps to make sure that you have all the necessary items.

Let some air in:
Even if no-one was smoking at the party, there is still likely to be a stale smell in the air. You may also be able to smell unpleasant scents such as body odour and stale alcohol.

This is why it’s so important to let some fresh air in. Open doors and windows and use air freshener spray if necessary.

Collect dishes and bottles first
It makes sense to collect dishes, glasses and bottles first. As mentioned earlier, this should ideally be done as soon as the party ends.

party cleaning 1

Pour unfinished drinks down the sink and clean any bottles that can be recycled

Pour away unfinished drinks and clean any bottles that can be recycled. Dishes and glasses should be emptied and placed in the dishwasher. Remember to check all rooms for dishes and glasses. You would be surprised where people leave things at parties.

Be methodical
Once rooms are emptied of obstructions like dishes, you can clean them. Clean rooms one at a time. You should also plan your cleaning so that you do not trail through rooms that you have already cleaned.

Clean the floors last
Do not clean floors until you have finished all of the other cleaning. This stops you from getting dust and debris on clean floors. Once you start cleaning the floors, vacuum first and then clean wooden floors and wash carpets if necessary.

Get rid of stains as soon as possible
You should try to identify potential stains as soon as the party is over. Doing this makes them easier to deal with. Some stains, such as red wine, present a particular problem. If you encounter a red wine stain, it’s a good idea to use soda water to try and remove it. Add soda water, then blot the stain. You may need to repeat this process several times.

Take care of repairs
Hopefully, everything in your home will be intact after your party. However, accidents do happen. This is why it’s so important to carry out a thorough check for damage, such as cracked ornaments and broken chairs. Repairs should be completed as soon as possible, to prevent them from worsening. Depending on what the damage is you may be able to use one product for all cases of damage.

It’s important to make sure that hosting a party is a fun experience that you remember for the right reasons. Paying attention to these cleaning tips can help make this happen, by removing some of the stress.

Jeremy Biberdorf is a guy with answers to almost any question you have on maintaining a household – be it a 500 sq ft closet in New York or a 2500 sq ft home in the suburbs.  Ask him a house maintenance problem and he will have an answer.

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Walking the talk - crafting a budget that focuses on climate change issues hasn't put members of council in electric cars.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 16th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

We were advised by the Office of the Mayor this afternoon that “The vehicle the Mayor uses is an electric plug-in.  Our apologies for any embarrassment we might have caused her Worship.

The climate has dominated the 2020 budget deliberations. Trying to get electric buses as soon as possible, pushing a private tree by law onto the books, setting aside funds to work on the Climate Action Plan, buying level two charging stations that would be set up at community centres.

Electric car fill up

If you get to the Locust Street parking garage early enough you can park your electric car and charge it at the same time. But get there early – they get taken up quickly.

Getting people out of their cars and onto buses by making it free for those under twelve, putting together a deal with the school boards that will have high school students riding a bus to school. During the summer there was a program that had seniors using transit free during the off peak hours.

Progress – Mayor Meed Ward would like to make transit free for everyone and if the buses they ride were all electric she would be ecstatic.

But there is a fly in this ointment; none one of the city councilors drives an electric vehicle.

BMW hydro EV charging device

Burlington Hydro leased an electric BMW and made it available to members of the 2014-18 city council and covered the cost of a charging station outside city hall to introduce the elected to electric vehicles. Nothing happened.

One reported that he drives his boys to school in his pickup truck and admitted that he found himself following the school bus in his pick-up truck explaining that the school bus didn’t come close enough to his home to make it convenient.

That is not exactly walking the talk.

The Mayor is provided a car as part of her benefit package – to the best of our knowledge it is not an electric car. (See correction at the top of this story) To her credit to the Mayor walks to city hall when she doesn’t have to travel – which isn’t very often.

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Public school board supports free transit for high school students - city will give it the nod on Monday.

Budget 2020 redBy Staff

December 12th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Trustees of the Halton District School Board (HDSB) encourage the Burlington community to add their voices to ask the City of Burlington to support free municipal transit for high school students. The City is currently in budget talks, which includes a process of prioritizing such initiatives.

School buses

High school students might get an upgrade to the traditional orange school bus to a nice new electric bus. Not this year – but soon if the four boards and the city can work out an understanding.

Halton District School Board Trustees will be delegating Burlington City Council on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019 in favour of continuing talks to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for all Burlington high school students to ride municipal transit free of charge beginning September 2020.

Grebenc - expressive hands

HDSB Chair Andrea Grebenc.

Tracey Ehl Harrison

HDSB vice chair Tracey Ehl Harrison

Earlier in the year the HDSB re-elected Andrea Grebenc as chair and Tracy Ehil Harris as vice chair – this is the third term for each woman.

This item will be on the Council agenda on Monday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Burlington City Hall.

Currently, school boards pay for student municipal transit passes for specific high school students who commute to specialized programs offered at schools other than their home school. One of the possible Halton District School Board commitments under the MOU could be to maintain the current level of financial contribution to help offset the costs to the City.

The school board trustees are asking people to consider attending the December 16 meeting to support the Trustee delegation, delegating yourself or sending in a letter of support.

The city has allocated $42,500 to cover the cost and is looking to the other school boards to chip in.

Burlington City Council is trying hard to get electric buses into the fleet, add to the size of the fleet and install EV chargers for the buses – they come in at $1 million each.

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Entrepreneurship for women: thinking big and going global

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 11th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is a new women’s accelerator program called Beyond Boundaries that is being run by HalTech

The program will offer:

• Skills development in financial acumen, technology expertise, and scaling up
• Targeted connections through networking events and strategic introductions.
• Mentorship, advisory support and peer learning circles.
• Exploration of new markets and global opportunities.

Boundaries Haltech graphicThe Government of Canada is advancing women’s economic empowerment with the first ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES), a $2-billion investment that seeks to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025. Doubling the number of women owned businesses requires a strong ecosystem of support, expertise and connections.

As part of WES, Haltech Regional Innovation Centre and the Halton Region Global Business Centre are pleased to introduce an accelerator program designed to unleash the power and potential of women entrepreneurs. Created with the unique challenges and opportunities faced by the diversity of women who start and run businesses.

The first cohort of the program will start in early 2020.

CLICK HERE for an application form.

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Joseph Gaetan sees an upside to online learning - it worked for him.

opinionred 100x100By Joseph A. Gaetan

December 9th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At the moment, the secondary school unions and the Ontario government are at loggerheads over whether 4, 2 or 0 online classes should be offered. Having experienced both traditional and e-learning firsthand I can attest to the fact that in both cases some courses are delivered better than others.

Online 1

Take your courses when you want – where you want and if you didn’t get it the first time yo can replay the class.

In my experience there is room for improvement on both fronts and not every subject is a candidate for e-learning. One of the criticisms I have heard about e-learning involves access to tutors, something I found to be both a problem and an opportunity. On one hand not having instant access to a tutor can be frustrating, on the other hand, from personal experience, it can make you dig deeper for the solution. In education, as in life, some of the things that stick with us the most are the things we had to work the hardest to achieve. Easy and instant access to resources is not always the answer and is not always the best form of education.

Say or think what you want about online learning, it has been here a while and it is here to stay, and, it’s growing in leaps and bounds. For many people it is a game changer as it may be the only way they can earn those last few credits or a credential that they otherwise would not be able to earn. For some it is a matter of cost or a way to balance raising a family while earning a living.

According to the “Ontario Learn” website, in 1995 seven colleges put their heads together and started to offer online courses, today 24 Ontario colleges offer high quality online education. The original seven realized that by pooling resources, they could extend their reach by offering online courses and programs to students who would not otherwise have access to them.

“Athabasca University” (AU) is a Canadian Open University specializing in online distance education and is one of four comprehensive academic and research universities in Alberta. Founded in 1970, it was the first Canadian university to specialize in distance education. Athabasca offers online undergraduate and graduate programs and courses. AU serves over 38,000 students (over 7,900 full-load equivalents) and offers over 900 courses in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs in a range of arts, science and professional disciplines.

If you haven’t heard of a MOOC, you aren’t alone. MOOCS or Massive Open Online Courses have unlimited participation and open access via the web. EDx is just one online MOOC platform that has about 14 million learners and is the second largest MOOC provider in the world. The global MOOC market size was estimated to be $4 billion in 2018.

When I wanted to brush up on my knowledge of social media marketing, I turned to EDx and promptly found 10 offerings. One course from Boston University not only met my needs but allowed me, should I so desire, to earn a credit towards a Micro Masters. The course starts in April of 2020 and currently has 69,871 registrants.

So why all the fuss and push back here in Ontario? Online learning is anything but new. Online learning may also be the only choice for some people who have different learning styles or disabilities. My granddaughter is in grade 10 so I sought her opinion on the topic. Her response; she prefers having a teacher in front of her. Good enough. Online learning is not for everyone. Some students like my granddaughter prefer a live teacher, some may learn better, as I did, with online learning.

The current generation of high school students are prodigious users of online technology. So why not offer them online learning as part of our high school curriculum? Failing to offer online learning in this day and age is a missed opportunity.

Athabasca University has been around since 1970 and Ontario Learn since 1995, and 2020 is just around the corner, so let’s get on with it, but do it right, and by that I mean involving the right stakeholders be it parents, students, teachers and the government in the process.

There is but one pool of taxpayer money, some of that pool is dedicated to education, some of that pool goes towards paying for infrastructure, some for books and supplies, some for school repairs and maintenance, and some to teachers and other staff.

Online 2

There are strengths and weaknesses to online education. It does cost the governments less.

We have one of the best and most expensive education systems in the world. In order to continue to be the best we must find a way to make online learning part of that system and we can either lead the way, or we can sit back and suffer the consequence of lagging as did Research in Motion (RIM) aka Blackberry.

At the moment online education is geared to post-secondary learning. I see two pathways for primary and secondary student e-learning. One has the government and other stakeholders working hand in hand to figure out how to make e-learning part of Ontario’s education future.

The other path is market based where the government with the help of e-learning experts such as EDx create a series K to 12 courses that are optional for those who would benefit the most. In the end this approach will only work if there is value to members of the target market, “the student”.

Joseph GaetanJoseph A. Gaetan has a BGS degree in applied studies, earned through studies at The University of Waterloo and Athabasca University. He also earned a Province of Ontario Engineering Technology Certificate through Fanshawe College, and for 8 years worked at earning a trade becoming a Journeyman Machinist. He also studied French at the Centre Linguistique du Collège de Jonquière and Italian at Mohawk College. In addition, he has taken online courses through the EDx platform taking courses from Harvard, The University of Queensland, Wellesley and Delft Wageningen, he is currently working at learning 6 languages through Duolingo. His work career includes being a Machinist, a CNC programmer, a business owner, a consultant and the Director of Organizational Development for a Fortune 100 company. All of this thanks to life-long learning.

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Police to regularly report on intimate partner violence

Crime 100By Pepper Parr

December 5th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a media release the Halton Regional Police Service said: “Incidents of intimate partner violence threaten the very sense of safety and well-being that defines our region.

“Last year, our officers responded to more than 3,300 intimate partner domestic violence calls. We also know that intimate partner violence is overwhelmingly under-reported.   Statistics Canada estimates that more than 80 per cent of these incidents go unreported.

“Starting this week, the Halton Regional Police Service will periodically publish media releases that capture a de-identified incident of intimate partner violence in the community. No names. No residence details. We will, however, disclose the nature of the incident and what charges were laid as a result of an investigation. Each media release will also include key messaging that:

domestic violence

Intimate partner violence damages the very fabric of the society we live in.

i) reinforces that no one has the right to abuse another person;

ii) encourages victims and witnesses to contact the Halton Regional Police Service; and

iii) provides a comprehensive list of community resources for those affected.

“Our goals with this new approach to community-facing messaging are two-fold:

i) create an opportunity to connect others who are at-risk, or who may already be victims of intimate partner violence, with the resources and support they need and deserve; and

ii) heighten the awareness of the general public regarding how pervasive this violence is in our community.

“Intimate partner violence reaches across socio-economic, cultural, racial and class distinctions. It is a community problem that requires community engagement to address,” says Deputy Chief Jeff Hill. “It is impossible to fix what you can’t see, so we are broadening the conversation to clearly signal that this insidious violence is not solely an issue of concern to victims. If you see something, say something.”

Diane Beaulieu

Diane Beaulieu, Executive Director of Halton Women’s Place

Diane Beaulieu, Executive Director of Halton Women’s Place applauds the  Police Service for taking this bold step saying “An increase in public awareness will help de-stigmatize the issue of gender-based violence, and particularly violence against women. Every person in the community is entitled to feel safe in their home.”

“Given the prevalence of intimate partner violence in the region, it is imperative that all stakeholders shed light on this issue. In collaboration with our community partners, through ongoing education and shared information, the Halton Regional Police Service hopes to further prevent and reduce future victimization.”

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High school students considering educational options.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

November 28th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Students were arriving at the Mattamy Velodrome in Milton Friday by the busload from every public high school in the Region.

They were there to look at some of the educational opportunities available to them once they have completed high school.

Velodrome

1500 students from public high schools throughout the Region took part in an opportunity to see what their educational futures might look like.

A total of 1500 students were expected to go through two hour sessions looking at the offerings at community colleges and opportunities in both the public and the private sectors.

The exhibits filled the oval of the velodrome, which from time to time, had cyclists speeding around on the track.

The Halton Pathways: A Future that Fits program is designed to give students as many opportunities as possible to decide what they want to do in the way of work once they have completed their education.

DSC00016

Burlington’s Nelson High School pitching their SHSM program.

Several of the Community Colleges were on hand with representatives who could talk about various programs, at least one university was represented. The Regional Police had equipment on the site.

Part of the Pathways program is the Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM).

SHSM programs allow students to specialize their education around their chosen field of interest. Each SHSM program includes a bundle of 8-10 Grade 11 and 12 courses related to that area of interest.

Grade 11 and 12 students choose a major sector area such as:

Huntley Gibbs looking left

Superintendent Julie Hunt Gibbons.

Business, construction, arts and culture, energy, environment, information and communications technology, justice, community safety and emergency services, health and wellness, horticulture and landscaping, social justice, sports, transportation, manufacturing, hospitality and tourism.

The opportunity to specialize will result in notations on their report cards that often leads to a job as soon as they graduate because they have marketable skills.

Julie Hunt Gibbons, Superintendent of Education responsible for Secondary curriculum and school program, Student success and pathways destinations, Elementary schools: Brookdale, Eastview, Gladys Speers, Oakwood, Pine Grove, WH Morden and TA Blakelock High School.

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Region holds an Emergency Measures Exercise - How do we get People out of a High Rise when it is on Fire?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 27th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We seldom think about a fire in a high rise – when we do, I think most of us shudder and say – this doesn’t effect me – I live in a house or a four story apartment building.

However, fires do take place in high rise buildings and Burlington appears to be in the process of putting up as many of them as possible.

Evacuation HAber to High Rise 1

Halton Region Paramedic Services Operations Superintendent Michael Mitchell plans next steps.

The Region, which is responsible for the Emergency Measure Operation Centre, held an Emergency Evacuation exercise on November 22 with the city to assess the Region’s plans.

The scenario focused on a fictional fire in a Burlington high-rise building, which required residents to leave their units and take shelter at the Region’s Emergency Evacuation Centre located at Haber Community Centre.

“This exercise was another step forward in our ongoing work to help protect individuals and families during emergencies,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Testing our response allows us to improve the way we deliver essential services and supports to residents. Our strong partnership with the Local Municipalities, first responders and community organizations ensures we are ready for emergencies in Halton.”

Haber to high rise 2

Halton Region Children Services Supervisor, Stephanie Houghton, acting as the Haber Evacuation Centre Commander, briefs Canadian Red Cross volunteers.

The exercise, “High-rise to Haber”, tested specific response processes, including how the Region and City would communicate with residents, partners and staff at the evacuation centre. Participants assessed their joint response to identify strengths, challenges and areas for improvement.

The following participants supported the emergency exercise:

• City of Burlington Recreation Services Department
• Canadian Red Cross
• St. John’s Ambulance Burlington
• The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
• Halton Region Paramedic Services
• Halton Regional Police Service

In addition to exercise “High-rise to Haber”, which was the largest scenario planned for 2019, the Region also participated in 12 smaller exercises and drills earlier this year. Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that involves residents, businesses, all levels of government and the community.

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