Library services limited during a software system upgrade, Nov 2 to 18

By Staff

October 22nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington Public Library will start a major move to a new library software system and service provider on Tuesday.November 2.

“The new system, designed to manage our collections and customer information, brings many improvements to help us serve you better. Still, we regret that there will be limited services while all our data relocates to its new home. We expect to complete all work and be back to business as usual by November 18.

“We need to minimize any data changes to make sure no information gets lost between the old and new systems.”  Here’s what to expect during the transition and important changes to note:

1. NO online catalogue access; CHECK OUT only.

  • No searching or browsing the online catalogue.
  • No access to your My BPL account.
  • No placing holds. Holds already waiting for you won’t expire. No new holds will be available for pick-up.
  • No renewals.
  • No returned items will be checked in. You can still return items but they will not show as returned in your account until after Nov 18.
  • No payments will be taken for fees or other financial transactions.
  • Check-out kiosks will be unavailable.
  • No online self-registration for a library card.
  • Some digital resources may be temporarily unavailable during the transition. This information will be posted on our website as needed.

You will be able to:

  • Check out books and other items available on our shelves.
  • Check out eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines and stream movies and music directly through the resource’s website (for example, OverDrive, Hoopla, Kanopy) or the resource’s app (such as Libby, Hoopla, Kanopy etc)
  • Register in person at any branch for a library card.
  • Register to attend virtual library programs.
  • Use public computers, printers, and free wireless access at all locations.

2. NEW – PIN reset
During the data migration, your PIN will be reset to the last four digits of the telephone number we have on file for you. You can reset your PIN after Nov 18.

3. NEW – Borrowing history
BPL now retains the borrowing history on all customer accounts to serve you better and bring collections of the highest interest to our community. We will use the data to understand our general use trends; we will not access information at the individual level. If you wish to access your borrowing history, you must enable this feature in your My BPL account. Library staff will only access your borrowing history with your permission.

We encourage you to contact us online, stop by and talk with our staff, or give us a call at 905.639.3611 if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Innocent eyes: remove the fear of failure and art like this is possible

By Staff

October 22nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This was passed on to us – we haven’t had an opportunity yet to talk to the people behind this work done by young students.

We just had to share the art work with you.  Call it Innocent Eyes.

Fishbowls from the eyes and hands of young students

The comments that came with the pictures went like this:

It’s a gum ball machine

“After working with educators and students for 30 years, we have developed curriculum that works! Our techniques remove the fear of failure that can block creative expression. As a result, our students produce artwork beyond their imagination.”

Some of the results:

 

 

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Families from Halton and beyond are invited to view livestream of virtual Open House to learn about the innovative four-year iStem program

By Staff

October 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board (HDSB) is holding a virtual I-STEM Open House on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. at www.hdsb.ca for students, families and community members to learn about the innovative, regional program for secondary students. The four-year program begins with students entering Grade 9.

This was just part of the parent crowd that showed up for the first ever iStem briefing session. The program is one of the hottest educational programs in the Region.

The I-STEM program will be offered at Aldershot School in Burlington and Elsie MacGill Secondary School in Milton for the 2022-2023 school year.

Available to students in Halton and beyond, I-STEM (Innovation – Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) enables students to develop innovation skills related to engineering design and design thinking, entrepreneurial thinking skills and global competencies.

Students will have enhanced learning opportunities through community and post-secondary partnerships.

I-STEM Virtual Open House Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021
7 p.m. www.hdsb.ca

The presentation will be hosted by I-STEM faculty, followed by a live Question & Answer session. The Open House will be recorded and posted on the HDSB I-STEM webpage. Those interested in viewing the Open House can submit questions, before and during the presentation, through this form: https://forms.gle/uzrrv51K55aZ9ewb7.

During the Open House, students and families will learn about the:

four-year program and I-STEM certificate,
unique opportunities and partnerships (in person and virtually),
STEM learning resources,
new location for the program at Elsie MacGill SS in Milton (in addition to Aldershot HS in Burlington), and
the application process.

Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education for the HDSB.

“I-STEM has been designed to prepare students for future trends in the workforce and help students solve complex economic, social and environmental problems,” says Terri Blackwell, Superintendent of Education for the HDSB. “With the success of the I-STEM program at Aldershot School in Burlington, our Board is excited to expand the program at Elsie MacGill Secondary School in Milton.”

“We look forward to sharing with families and the community what current I-STEM students and faculty are accomplishing in the program and showcase the innovative learning space.”

The I-STEM program has been developed in collaboration with innovators, educators, industry leaders and community members. I-STEM Program Development and Advisory Partners include: McMaster University, Mohawk College, Canada 2067, Let’s Talk Science, Engineers of Tomorrow, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), TechLink, and I-THINK.

To learn more about the I-STEM program, visit www.hdsb.ca (Search “I-STEM”) or email I-STEM@hdsb.ca. Follow I-STEM on Twitter @ISTEM_hdsb and Instagram @ISTEM_HDSB.

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Public School Board hosting Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for Parents/Guardians this Fall

By Staff

October 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board is hosting Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for parents/guardians this Fall.
Covering specific topics based on feedback from parents/guardians, each session will be led by a mental health expert in that area who will share their knowledge and provide helpful information and resources.

Sessions include:
• Building Executive Function Skills in Teenagers: How Can Parents Help? – Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
• Diving Deeper into Anxiety – Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
• Stress, Coping and Resilience – Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Registration is required for these sessions as limited spots are available. Parents/guardians can register by completing the Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions Registration Form. Sessions will be held on Google Meet and registrants will be emailed a link to access the session. Sessions will not be recorded.

Register HERE

Parents/guardians will have the opportunity to submit questions when completing the registration form or during the session.

The Board’s Mental Health & Well-Being webpage has information for parents/guardians and students on mental health, ways to support positive mental health and well-being, and how to get additional support at school and in the broader community.

 

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Planning the new Aldershot - time for public input - there is a workbook to help

By Staff

October 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington has embarked on a huge city building project.

When completed the city will have three distinct neighbourhoods; the eastern part of the city will have a new neighbourhood centered on the Aldershot GO station.

This is the western boundary of the Station West Development built by the ADI Group.

A significant part of the community building has already taken place in Aldershot.  The Station West development by the Adi Group is well underway with three more towers to be built on the south west corner of the property that edges onto Masonry Road.

The other two new neighbourhoods will be centered on the Burlington and Appleby GO stations.

The city Planning Department is now working to get feedback from the people who will be impacted by these very significant changes.

A public meeting was held to explain what is planned.  To get feedback from the public the Planners have devised a WORKBOOK that they say will take 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

Completing the WORKBOOK is voluntary and the information people provide is confidential (even to city staff).

The Planners recommend you complete the workbook on a laptop, tablet or PC to view the images in a larger format and keep a copy of the Preliminary Preferred Precinct Plan open in another tab or browser window to assist you in answering the questions and as a point of reference.

The link to the WORKBOOK is HERE.  It is a little complicated.  Just scroll through the pages, click on the images and then return to the page.  There is enough instruction to get you through it.

The workbook is available in other languages. To request, e-mail getinvolved@burlington.ca.  You may also use the “Select Language” translate button found on the project page to translate both the page and workbook.

An MTSA (Major Transit Service Area) is the area within 500 to 800-metres of a higher order transit station (these are the three GO stations) that are expected to be about a 10-minute walk from the GO station.

These are seen as the three most critical locations within the urban area expected to accommodate the majority of the City’s forecasted growth to 2031 and beyond.

Through the preparation of the new Official Plan, new policies were developed to guide development and change in the Downtown and Uptown (at Appleby Line and Upper Middle Road). The MTSAs are now the remaining priority locations for which detailed planning must be completed to establish the vision for growth, to guide development, investments in transit, infrastructure and public service facilities, including parks, and to support significant future population and employment growth.

To some this project may feel familiar.  From 2017 to 2019 the City worked on developing area-specific plans (ASPs) for the three GO Station areas, then called the Mobility Hubs Study.  The MTSA ASP project will build upon, and advance, the work done through the Mobility Hubs Study.

The objective of this project is to plan to accommodate new residents and jobs by setting a vision for three unique, complete communities that are centered around the City’s three GO Stations along the Lakeshore West rail line.  These communities will be environmentally friendly, infrastructure-efficient, walkable, bikeable, and will support local and regional transit with a diverse mix of employment, housing, recreation, and shopping features.

What have we heard so far?

Engagement was a key element of the previous Mobility Hub Study work. From the feedback received through 2017 and 2018, a number of key themes emerged to provide guidance in planning for these areas:

Increase, Improve and Support…

Public spaces by supporting existing and new open spaces, parks and other community spaces that are safe, usable, inclusive and interactive, and incorporate public art, landscape features etc. to enhance placemaking.

Community amenities by encouraging an increased scale and mix of commercial/retail uses at grade, including grocery stores, coffee shops, community and recreational space etc.

Mobility by designing a well-connected, safe and accessible public realm with active animated streets and robust cycling and pedestrian networks, focused on direct connections to and from GO Stations.

Housing options by planning for a diverse range of different and affordable housing choices to cater to all ages and abilities.

Private Spaces by encouraging sustainable design and variety of architectural styles to create distinct buildings and enhance neighbourhood character, and by reinforcing midrise corridors.

Public engagement by providing residents with enough time to engage and increase resident engagement and clearly explaining the required growth targets for Burlington.

Parkland by planning for park and public spaces that consider the needs of the entire area including developing fair approaches to meet that objective.

Traffic congestion by supporting the public transportation network and investing in additional facilities for walking and cycling.

Solid Gold site as it exists today.

Building height and transition concerns by clearly explaining planning rationale for where height is being located, ensuring and explaining how height will be regulated, and by reducing losses of sunlight and privacy through appropriate building height transitions.

Speaking of height limitations – this rendering represents what the owners of Solid Gold want to build on a site that currently has a single story structure.

Protect…

Established residential neighbourhoods by ensuring built form, height and transition support and respect existing character, and providing clear policies for heritage protection.

The planners learned that:

Beyond the broad themes highlighted above, a number of key themes specific to the Aldershot GO MTSA also emerged, including the consideration of:

– opportunities for new bike paths, including through Aldershot Park;

– opportunities for amenities to support residents and employees;

– opportunities for complete streets, including Cooke Boulevard;

– ways to manage the impacts of increased traffic along Plains Road;

– opportunities to incorporate mid-rise development along Plains Road and Waterdown Road; and

– excluding the low-density residential properties located on Clearview Avenue and a portion of St. Matthew’s Avenue.

 

A little more detail on what might go where

Now the planners need your feedback. The input you provide may inform:

– Refinements to the vision (i.e. land uses, building heights, urban design considerations etc.);

– Precinct changes (i.e. policy directions, boundaries, built form directions, etc.);

– The preparation of the area-specific plans or the development of policy.

There are more specific details about all of the work that has informed the preliminary preferred precinct plan, including technical studies, can be found at getinvolvedburlington.ca/mtsa.

 

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Is the province about to end the State of Emergency it put the municipal world into?

By Pepper Parr

October 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

From a source that has been reliable in the past there is word that the current Emergency State put in place across the province that has the day to day operation of the city in the hands of the administration

All the municipalities have been in that state since March 17th, 2019, less than a month later Mayor Meed Ward declared a State of Emergency for the city.

Municipalities created Emergency Coordinating Groups that meet regularly and can meet in minutes if they have to should there be an emergency.

The City Manager keeps the Mayor up to date and the Mayor takes part in meetings but is not believed to be a member of the ECG.

The Mayor does have one on one meetings with the City Manager on a regular basis.

From the left: City Manager, Tim Commisso; Treasurer Joan Ford and Executive Director Sheila Jones kept it all together as the city weathered a pandemic.

At least once a month, usually during the week Standing Committee meetings take place, Sheila Jones, one of the Executive Directors, takes Council through everything the city staff plan to do or change in the way city services are delivered.

There is also an update on where things stand financially as well as updates on anything that pertains to the administrative functioning of the city.

With an ECG handling changes in the way services are delivered municipalities had access to funds which city manager Tim Commisso at the time said was a good position to be in.

The city’s financial picture has benefited significantly as the result of the tens of millions that have flowed from the province to the city.

It is not clear at this time if the city will revise the way Council meetings are held if the Emergency is lifted. At this point in time they are all virtual – the sentiment apparently being that members of Council like it that way, see it as an alternate version of real engagement.

Kudos to Kearns for holding ward meetings that were both live and virtual.

Ward 2 Council member Lisa Kearns has been holding ward meetings that are both live and virtual. Kudos to her for breaking the barrier that most members of council are quite happy to keep in place.

The Mayor has said that she prefers the “virtual approach” – the city “gets more work from me when I can work from home”. We also get to hear the dog yelping.

A benefit that might not be recognized or appreciated right away is just how well many senior staff members have performed.  Executive Director Sheila Jones has come into her own; rallying the troops and delivering all kinds of support and positive feed back every chance she gets.

City treasurer Joan Ford, always reliable – proved to be a rock that both Jones and the City Manager Tim Commisso could rely on.

There were a couple of staff members who, Amber Rushton in particular, who served the city manager in a way that certainly impressed him.

Related news article:

Province declares State of Emergency March 17, 2019

Mayor declares State of Emergency

City Manager gets close to a blank cheque

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Conservation Halton doing a virtual event on flood planes: if you are near one of the major creeks this is for you

By Pepper Parr

October 13th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington certainly knows something about floods – that downpour in 2014 was not forgotten.

Conservation Halton (CH) really wasn’t  prepared for the amount of rain that fell but they learned what was needed and there is now a solid set of protocols in place to measure the flows and to get warnings out to people,

The Conservation people are updating floodplain mapping for the Tuck, Shoreacres, Appleby and Sheldon Creek watersheds of Burlington and Oakville.

A significant amount of work has been done on several of the creeks but there is still a concern; given the vagaries of climate change that concern is very real.

 

 

Floodplain mapping is used by CH and its municipal partners to identify areas that may be susceptible to riverine or shoreline flooding and to inform flood forecasting, emergency response, community planning, infrastructure upgrades, and other flood prevention efforts.

A floodplain is an area of land that is flooded by a nearby creek or lake during large storms.

There will be a virtual public engagement session on October 14, 2021 at 7:00pm to learn more about the work being done and an opportunity to ask questions.

To register, please visit https://lnkd.in/e9BhEpaV

For those who cannot join live, a recording will be posted online after the session.

 

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Burlington does OK on a Municipal Democracy Index; Oakville does better

By Staff

October 13th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We count our calories, watch our pounds and measure our blood pressure. But who’s measuring our democratic health? Is our political heart pumping smoothly or are we heading for the ICU?

The inaugural Municipal Democracy Index measures the political health of Ontario’s 32 largest municipalities.

The results are sobering and reveal a democratic deficiency, particularly in the areas of public participation and diverse representation.

Burlington was just a whisker short of being in the top ranking.

The full report can be found HERE.

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Oakville Community Foundation setting out to hear what the Mississaugas of the Credit have to say about Treaty Rights

By Staff

October 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mississaguas of the Credit First Nation and the Oakville Community Foundation have launched “Debwewin”– the Oakville Truth Project, to further a shared understanding of Oakville’s Indigenous past and support local Truth & Reconciliation.

‘Debwewin’ refers to one of the Anishinabek seven grandfathers teaching for “truth.” This project will raise questions about Oakville’s Truth such as:

“What happened to the local Treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation?” and

“Why did Treaty 22 which includes coverage of Oakville main waterways, Sixteen Mile and Bronte Creek leave the Mississaugas  homeless?”

This project brings together leadership of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) to share their knowledge and perspective. ”The Mississauga people have long historical roots in Oakville,” said Mississauga Gimma (Chief) Stacey Laforme.

“Understanding the local history of the Indigenous people in Oakville from an Anishinaabe perspective is an important first step on the path towards Truth and Reconciliation.”

Elder Peter Schuler is advising the Oakville Community Foundation

The Oakville Community Foundation’s Indigenous Cultural Advisor, Mississauga Elder Peter Schuler has graciously agreed to lead the multi-year “Debwewin” project.

 “I believe this project is an important step in educating our community and recognizing Indigenous peoples in Oakville and beyond,” said Elder Peter Schuler. “This community collaboration allows us to create necessary changes and continued learning opportunities.”

“We are honoured to work on this initiative with the Mississaugas and support this important work that will benefit both of our communities, Oakville and the Mississaugas,” stated Bindu Cudjoe, The Foundation’s Board Chair.

This project will bring together Indigenous knowledge keepers, claims experts, historians and researchers to act as an Advisory Council to guide the project. Full details of the Advisory Council will be shared in the coming months.

Mississaugas of the Credit are an Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) First Nation with 2,600 Members, approximately 850 of whom live on the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Reserve near Hagersville, Ontario.

The Oakville Community Foundation is a registered charity focused on Building Community Through Philanthropy. The Foundation acts as a vehicle for community members to fulfill their charitable passions and has granted $52.4 million to charitable organizations since its inception. The Foundation also supports investments of more than $110 million in assets. We welcome families, businesses and residents into our community and give everyone the opportunity to be a philanthropist. The Foundation is one of the largest members of a national network of more than 190 Canadian community foundations.

This is an interesting collaboration. A First Nation wanting a fairer interpenetration of a Treaty getting into a dialogue with an organization that manages philanthropic gifts from those that have title to the land that once belonged to the First Nations people.

Treaty 22 might reveal more than most residents of Oakville will want to hear or know about.  The Mississaugas of the Credit traditional territory covers much of Burlington.

Background on Treaty # 22 – there were others

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What does cipher and encryption mean? A fascinating exhibit that will appeal to students with a bit of a science bent

By Staff

October 7th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is a fascinating exhibit coming to the Joseph Brant Museum – this is one for both parents and the older children.

What ciphers are and the role they play in encryption is explained very well.

Cipher | Decipher, a new exhibition developed by Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation, in partnership with the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) will open on October 15th providing visitors with a rare and exciting opportunity to view an authentic Second World War Enigma cipher machine.

Cipher | Decipher breaks down communications encryption: what it is, how it works, and how it affects our lives. The 500-square-foot exhibition showcases a wide range of historic communications encryption artifacts on loan from the CSE, and contains both hands-on and digital experiences, as well as custom illustrations that visually demonstrate key processes in cybersecurity, and making and breaking ciphers.

You will be able to encrypt a message with the wheel.

Visitors will be able to scramble their own messages using a cipher wheel, see how an Enigma cipher machine works, and tackle puzzles to learn if they have what it takes to work in the field of cryptology.

The exhibition runs from October 15, 2021 to January 8, 2022. Museum hours of operation are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 3:30pm. In accordance with COVID-19 protocols, the Museums of Burlington has procedures in place to allow the public to safely enjoy the galleries and exhibitions currently on view.

Visitors to the Museum are asked to pre-pay admission online for a designated entry time. Entry times are available on the 1/2 hour.

Walk-in visitors will be accommodated space permitting.

This is the kind of exhibit that will fascinate – especially those students who are taking the iStem program at the Aldershot High school.

 

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Regional MoH has yet to determine if RAT will be used in schools.

By Pepper Parr

October 6th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The provincial Medical Officer of Health announced earlier this week that Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) would be used at the school level but only in areas where the level of new infections was high.

It is a painless process – takes just seconds and the results are available in just minutes.

Halton Region Public Health is reviewing the information received today from the Chief Medical Officer of Health  and will work with school boards should the need arise for RAT distribution at a local school.

In its announcement the Halton Region MoH said: “We will continue to work closely with our school board partners to prevent COVID-19 transmission in schools through multiple strategies.

Rapid COVID-19 antigen tests can detect COVID-19 in a preliminary fashion, providing results faster than a traditional PCR test. The trade-off is rapid tests do not provide a definitive result or diagnosis.

As a reminder, it is important to continue with the current strategies that have been working effectively in our community including masking, cohorting, daily screening and vaccination for all those eligible in the school environment.

Covid19 data for Burlington as of October 5th.

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Province to educate businesses and employees about proof of vaccination requirements

By Staff

October 5th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As part of Ontario’s education campaign for businesses, between Tuesday, October 5 and Thursday, October 7, Provincial offences officers will be visiting Halton businesses that are impacted by Ontario’s proof of vaccination requirements.
The primary focus of these visits is to educate employers and staff on vaccination proof requirements and ensure businesses are following COVID-19 safety requirements.

Regional Chair Gary Carr

“I would like to thank the Halton business community for supporting Ontario’s proof of vaccination requirements and all that they have done over the past 18 months to keep employees and customers safe,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “In addition to these Provincial educational activities, our Economic Development and Public Health teams at Halton Region continue to offer supports and resources to ensure business owners and operators have all of the information they need to operate safely and stay open.”

Over the coming weeks, in consultation with local public health units, Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development inspectors and other provincial offences officers will conduct inspection and education campaigns to ensure businesses across Ontario are following COVID-19 safety requirements.

Halton’s team of public health inspectors, municipal by-law officers and Halton Regional Police Service officers will also continue to educate and support business owners and operators on proof of vaccination requirements and current COVID-19 public health measures. Provincial offences officers and inspectors may issue tickets to businesses and patrons who are not in compliance with measures set out in the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

Regional Medical Officer of Health

“I continue to encourage all patrons, business owners and employees to be patient and kind as we all take precautions available to protect each other and stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Halton Region Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani. “As we approach colder weather and with the continued spread of the Delta variant, please get both doses of COVID-19 vaccine to prevent severe illness and hospitalization and prevent infecting those who are immunocompromised or not yet eligible for vaccination. We all must continue to do our part to bring an end to the pandemic.”

 

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A day to pause and remember the teachers we had - they played a large part in making us who we are

By Staff

October 4th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

What would we do without them?

Every adult can pause and think about a specific teacher they had and remember fondly the part they played in your growing up.

Introducing a child to books has to be one of the most gratifying things a teacher gets to do – they do it every day don’t they?

The Halton District School Board is proud to recognize World Teachers’ Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021, as proclaimed by the United Nations (UN) Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

World Teachers’ Day has been held on October 5 since 1994 to celebrate teachers around the world and commemorate the anniversary of signing the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which sets standards for the rights and responsibilities of teachers. Eighteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s theme is, “Teachers at the heart of education recovery”.

“The Halton District School Board values and recognizes the incredible work, dedication and commitment our teachers have made to their students, families and profession particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

The teacher that works with high school students taking them through the complex issues – you remember them for life.

“Our teaching staff have persevered and continue to demonstrate a desire and willingness to provide the best education to our students. Given the mental health strain the past few years has brought on many students, HDSB teachers have been sensitive and attentive to the needs of students who have been learning in-person or remotely. Educators have shown their resilience and determination to ensure every student is provided collaborative, safe and welcoming learning environments to learn from, grow with and inspire each other. We appreciate and thank crucial support teams that assist teachers in providing a respectful place of learning for all students, free from discrimination.”

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Fiorito on the choice: economy or environment - have both is his view

By Vince Fiorito

October 2, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Regarding the “choice” between the environment versus the economy Vince Fiorito explains that this is a false dichotomy. We can also have both or neither.

Another way to describe the “environment” is the “global life support system”.

Would an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) be forced to choose between his job and the ISS’s life support system?

Would we even give an astronaut a task that would make the ISS uninhabitable?

If the life support system fails on the ISS, the repercussions would be immediate. Any task that would adversely affect the ISS’s life support system would not likely be attempted. That’s because humans react to immediate problems pretty well.

What we aren’t that good at, is reacting to and managing long term problems, like climate change, the biodiversity crisis, environmental toxification and potable water shortages. These human created problems impact the “global life support system” and must be solved immediately and simultaneously.

Unfortunately, most of the environmental protest industry has focused on climate change; neglecting, for the most part the others.
These groups have held protests during elections that interfere with political environmentalist efforts to identify and get out the environmental vote.

Effectively the environmental protest industry has increasingly become an obstacle to positive progressive political change. Since these groups must protest to recruit volunteers, fundraise and grow their movements, their relationship with status quo governments they help greenwash during elections and then protest afterwards, is mutually beneficial. Most environmental groups seem uninterested in helping to elect governments that solve environmental problems. Without status quo governments that increase our economic dependence on converting fossil carbon into GHG emissions, who would they protest? How would they grow their movements?

Many of them are dependent on the status quo governments for grants and other funding. Why would these organizations bite the hands that feed them?

Another part of the problem is that during an election, political opportunists will say anything to win the environmental vote including nonsense like “balancing the environment with the economy” as if improving the economy always comes at the expense of creating environmental problems… or solving environmental problems always comes with an economic cost. The truth is that solving environmental problems would create economic growth and new jobs.

The cost of solar has now dropped to the point where it is cheaper than all other energy sources. Monthly payments on a loan to install a solar power system to go off grid would be cheaper for most homes and businesses, than their current monthly electricity bill. After the upgrade is paid off, the cost of electricity would be near zero, whereas the monthly electricity bill would continue to increase.

This change to a distributed network of micro energy producers and consumers would create more jobs that pay better than those that would be lost due when the nuclear power plants and gas turbines become stranded assets.

I understand why people who have invested in the status quo would oppose this change, but why electrical unions and the construction industry haven’t embraced this change remains a mystery to me.

Probably the biggest opportunity to grow the economy and save the planet at the same time is through energy conservation. Most homes and businesses can be made more energy efficient, reducing costs. The monthly savings would pay off the upgrades in a relatively short time. Why the housing construction industry hasn’t embraced this change is also a mystery to me.

The energy industry is lying to us, for the same reasons why the tobacco industry lied in the past.

I believe we have been manipulated by wealthy people who profit from the status quo of laying waste to the earth’s biosphere for short term profits and union jobs. These people refuse to embrace change. The energy industry is lying to us, for the same reasons why the tobacco industry lied in the past.

I used to believe that people could be convinced to make better decisions if they were presented with good accurate information. I now realize that most people are overwhelmed by bad inaccurate manipulative misinformation.

Solutions exist to all our problems, but we won’t implement these solutions, not because it doesn’t make economic sense, but because the people who profit from the status quo are better at manipulating public opinion, than scientists and engineers.

Fiorito didn’t tell me if the hare got away.

For this reason, I’ve moved on to acceptance. Humanity isn’t going to make better choices to save ourselves and the earth’s biosphere. That’s why I am up north, trying to document what’s left, before its destroyed by logging companies intent on converting old growth forest into mostly toilet paper and consumer products that end up in landfills. While the rest of the species that share the Earth’s biosphere with us don’t deserve what’s coming, most of humanity does, including the environmentalists who are more interested in protesting the status quo, rather than meaningful action to change the status quo.

Watching –

Watching – ready to pounce.

Vince Fiorito now lives 300km north of Thunder Bay, near Wabakimi Park where he took the photographs.

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Did we see a lot of Truth yesterday?

By Pepper Parr

October 1st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With the first Truth and Reconciliation Day celebrated I find myself asking – just how much truth do I have today that I didn’t have yesterday?

Dancing that reflect centuries of a culture we are now learning much more about.

As I listened to people who know far more about this than I do I heard one woman say: Truth and Reconciliation – yes. But let us make sure, she said, that Truth comes before Reconciliation because without Truth there can be no Reconciliation.

I didn’t hear yesterday anything I didn’t already know.

We know information exists that will shed much light on what really happened, and we know there are people who hold that information very close to their chests for to let it out into the public domain will severely damage their interests.

The churches, the Catholic churches for the most part, have the names and numbers but they aren’t releasing that information.

They should be able to tell us how many cemeteries there were, where they are precisely, and the names of the children they laid to rest.

Why we are making the various tribal bands spend thousands of dollars with specialized radar scanning equipment that can see below the surface is beyond me.

I did hear some statements made by students at schools that were impressive and inspiring. One school wrote a Call to Action asking the province to make the day a paid holiday for every Aboriginal person who is a teacher whose parents were sent to Residential schools.

Another young man wrote a poem that took the breath away from the broadcaster who was doing the interview.

There were a lot of tribal dances, colourful headgear and much singing and drumming which are nice to see and hear. But surely there is more to Truth and Reconciliation than this?

It was a start – we owe those people much more than we are ever going to be able to give them. What we can give them, something we can individually demand, is that it be given and that it is the cold hard truth.

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Public School Classrooms will be Focusing on the Meaning of the Truth and Reconciliation reports

By Staff

September 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In recognition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Thursday, Sept. 30, the Halton District School Board and individual schools will be honouring this important day with a number of acknowledgments and learning opportunities, in addition to lowering the Canadian flag at all schools and Board offices.

Traditionally, this day has been commemorated as Orange Shirt Day. Inspired by the story of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, Orange Shirt Day is held annually on Sept. 30. Phyllis was a student at St. Joseph Mission Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C. Orange Shirt Day is inspired by her experience on her first day at a residential school.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation seeks to honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis residential school survivors, their families and communities, and to ensure that public commemoration of their history and the legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.

Stuffed animals were placed in front of the former Kamloops Residential School Monday in a community vigil that encouraged attendees to wear orange, a Canadian tradition that aims to raise awareness for the atrocities of residential schools.

“As we recognize this day, we must ensure that we go beyond wearing orange shirts,” says Rob Eatough, Superintendent of Education. “Creating meaningful learning opportunities that centre Indignenous voices, focus on Indigenous rights, contributions, histories, truths and contemporary realities that are rooted in colonization helps create a more complete picture of the historical truths and realities of First Nations, Métis and Inuit. We all play a part in upholding the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.”

“In upholding our responsibility to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action #62 and #63, resources have been shared with staff leading up to Sept. 30 and will be a part of ongoing learning throughout the school year.”

In many classrooms, a week of learning is planned for students and staff, which has included resources from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. As the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has stated, education holds the key to making things better.

Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board, has shared a video message for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

 

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Memorial Walk Will Take Place on Thursday Starting at the Western End of Spencer Smith Park

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

September 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington will observe the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation this Thursday with a memorial walk at Spencer Smith Park.

The event begins at noon and runs until 6 p.m. on September 30th.

The memorial walk from Beachway Park to the gazebo begins at 3:30 pm and will be followed by a ceremony at 4:30 pm. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange.  Beachway Park is an extension of Spencer Smith Park – they come together at about where the Brant Museum is located.

City employees will observe the holiday from Sept. 27th through Sept. 30th by focusing on educational events and opportunities reflecting Canada’s commitment to understand the truth about Indigenous relations and advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Unidentified graves at a Residential school IN Western Canada

In June 2021 the federal government passed legislation to proclaim September 30th a public holiday. The holiday was created to honor Indian Residential School survivors and to remember the lives lost there. The implementation of the holiday was one of 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation originated with “Orange Shirt Day ” in 2013, where Canadians would wear orange shirts to signal their support for Indigenous communities, this year is the first time the day will be observed as a holiday.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action urged all levels of government-federal, provincial, territorial, and aboriginal-to work together to change policies and programs to address the harm done by residential schools and move toward reconciliation.

The calls to action are divided into two parts: legacy and reconciliation. The legacy calls to action are those seeking to address ongoing structural inequalities marginalizing Indigenous people, intentionally or not. Reconciliation calls to action are meant to advance the inclusion of Indigenous peoples in various sectors of society, educate Canadians about the truth of Indigenous relations, and affirm Indigenous rights.

The 94 calls to action were released in 2015, as of the Yellowhead Institute’s (a First Nations-led research center based in Ryerson University) 2020 report – only 8 had been followed through on to date

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Public School Board wants feedback on the Long Term Accommodation Plan

By Staff

September 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Parents/guardians, staff members, students and the broader community are invited to review and provide feedback on the Halton District School Board’s 2020-2021 Long Term Accommodation Plan (LTAP).

This plan addresses the existing and projected accommodation needs of students in elementary and secondary schools and identifies new capital project initiatives such as the need for new schools.

Before the LTAP is approved by the Board, feedback on the document is welcomed until Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021.

It’s a 300 plus page report. Not for the faint of heart.

The LTAP, along with documents and resources outlining key points for Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville are available on the Long Term Accommodation Plan webpage on the Halton District School Board website (www.hdsb.ca).

The public is asked to provide feedback by Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 at 4 p.m. using:
● The online feedback form, or
● Email: plan@hdsb.ca

Once feedback has been collected, staff will provide a report for Trustees at the Oct. 20, 2021 Board meeting.

The LTAP is not a short document – it is data laden and not exactly bedtime reading.  The Gazette will review the documents and do our best to provide some clarification.

Some background information on just what the LTAP is and why it is in place can be found HERE

The full report is more than 300 pages long – it is not for the faint of heart.  It is broken out by municipality.

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Former Burlington Elementary School Teacher Charged with Historical Sexual Assault

By Staff

September 22, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has arrested a male in relation to a sexual assault that occurred at a Burlington elementary school in 1982.

It has been ranked as the best elementary school in Burlington.

In July, 2021 a former female student at John T. Tuck Elementary School in Burlington, contacted the HRPS to report that she was sexually assaulted by a teacher when she attended the school in 1982.

Michael O’Grady (72) of Burlington, has been charged with:

  • Indecent Assault to a Female

O’Grady was released on an Undertaking.

O’Grady taught at various schools within the Halton District School Board and police believe there may be additional victims.  Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact Detective Constable Carly Irwin of the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit, at 905-825-4747, ext. 8976, or by email at carly.irwin@haltonpolice.ca.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

Every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Victims of sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in Halton Region for victims of sexual violence:

  • Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777
  • Halton Women’s Place 905-878-8555 (north) or 905-332-7892 (24-hour crisis line)
  • Halton Children’s Aid Society 905-333-4441 or 1-866-607-5437
  • Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
  • Thrive Counselling 905-637-5256 or 905-845-3811
  • Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)

 

 

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Reader takes exception to language used on part of the city web site

By Perry Bowker

September 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Mr Bowker sent us a note, saying: “I finally lost my temper. You are welcome to publish my thoughts.
Perry had received a note from the Get Involved section of the city web site, probably because he asked to have his name placed on a list of people who wanted regular updates.

I was dismayed to see the authors of this e-letter carelessly parroting the social media falsehoods about Ryerson. I know it is fashionable to jump on the bandwagon to lynch this man in absentia, but I expect more from representatives of my city.

The name of the school will be changed.

To wit, “mass graves” – this phrase deliberately invokes the image of bodies piled into a hole in the ground. Even the indigenous people are careful to describe what has been found as multiple unmarked graves, and caution against assuming they are all indigenous children who were killed at the schools.

Next: “Ryerson was also instrumental in the design of Canada’s residential school system.” Hardly. Ryerson was instrumental in designing the Ontario public education system, for the benefit of all Ontarians including the indigenous band of which he was an honorary member.

He was long dead before later governments of the day created residential schools as we now know them.

This careless and casual misuse of known historical facts does no credit to our collective efforts to reconcile with our indigenous fellow Canadians.

My vote. Rename, or more properly, re-launch Ryerson Park with proper respect for what the man stood for and where we are today.

Related news story:

HDSB trustee rationale for changing the name of a school

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