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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You've got mail - MoH has information for you

By Staff

September 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

You’ve got mail!

The Medical Officer of Health for the Region has issued an amended Letter of Instructions to workplaces to keep staff and patrons safe

The Class Order has also been revised to reflect Provincial directions for case and contact management

Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani.

Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, has issued an amended Letter of Instructions to businesses and organizations to support their efforts to protect their staff and customers/patrons from COVID-19, preventing the spread in their workplaces and our community.

The amended Instructions will replace two existing sets of Instructions issued on May 8 and February 12, consolidating the information and making it easier for businesses and organizations to understand and implement these requirements and current Provincial Rules for Step 3.

The amended Instructions outline key public health measures that workplaces must take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and also provide guidance to workplaces on what to do if one or more of their workers has COVID-19 presenting the potential for a workplace outbreak.

New in the amended Instructions are requirements for businesses and organizations with 100 or more workers physically present at the workplace (including those working in the community) to:

• Establish, implement and ensure compliance with a COVID-19 safety plan
• Establish, implement and ensure compliance with a COVID-19 workplace vaccination policy

The amended Instructions also provide additional contact tracing measures in certain settings, including the collection and maintenance of customer/patron contact information for places where there is a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure through closer contact or lack of masking.

This will help Halton Region Public Health to achieve prompt contact tracing for high-risk COVID-19 exposures – essential to preventing further spread of the Delta variant, which we know to be highly transmissible and present greater risk for severe illness and hospitalization especially for the unvaccinated.

The amended Instructions are effective Friday, September 10, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

To read Dr. Meghani’s amended Instructions to businesses and organizations and for more information and guidance, please visit halton.ca/COVID19.

Class Order updated to align with Provincial guidance for case and contact management

Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health has also amended Halton’s Class Order under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Effective 12:01 a.m. on September 10, 2021 to reflect new Provincial directions for case and contact management of COVID-19.

Key amendments to Halton’s Class Order, which requires those with or exposed to COVID-19 to self-isolate to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, include:

• Updated guidance for how long people must self-isolate based on their symptoms

• Reducing the length of time people with high-risk exposures must self-isolate from 14 to 10 days

• Relieving people with high-risk exposures who are vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 infections of the requirement to self-isolate, at the discretion of Halton Region Public Health

 

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School board will rename Ryerson school - city will rename the abutting park

By Staff

September 7th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board wants ideas from the public on the renaming of Ryerson Public School.

The city wants idea from the public on renaming the park that abuts the school.

Could they not create a joint committee and come up with a single name ?

Not on your life – there is too much political upside for all the politicians to share this one.

The school will be renamed – as will the park that abuts the property.

The decision to dump the name of Egerton Ryerson was done very very quickly – basically on one delegation from an Indigenous parent.

The statue of Ryerson was toppled shortly after it was splattered with paint. The head of the statue ended up on an Indigenous reserve at the end of a pole.

There is tonnes of research on just what Ryerson did and didn’t do but those documents aren’t going to get much attention.

This is classic rush to judgement and lets pile on a good thing.

Community members are encouraged to submit a suggestion for the new name of the school by Sept. 24

In a media release the HDSB said: “Ryerson Public School was named after Egerton Ryerson for his contributions to the Ontario education system, however, Ryerson was also instrumental to the design of Canada’s residential school system.

Students, families and community members are encouraged to submit suggestions for a new name for the school between Sept. 7 – 24, 2021.

The HDSB recognizes the significance of naming a new school as an opportunity to:

• reflect the geography, history, local environment, culture or traditions of the community;
• consider equity, diversity and inclusion in the school community;
• name a renowned person of historical significance to the Halton community, or a real person whose contribution to society or humanity is recognized and valued across Canada.

Suggestions can be made:

• By completing the online form
• By fax — 905-335-4447
• By mail — Communications Dept., Halton District School Board,
PO Box 5005 STN LCD 1, Burlington, ON L7R 3Z2

Suggestions will be accepted until Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Each name that is submitted will be reviewed by a committee which will include parent/guardian representation. A shortlist of names will be prepared and presented to the Board of Trustees who will select the final name at one of the regularly scheduled Board meetings in November 2021.

The selected name for the school will be announced in a news release and posted on the HDSB website (www.hdsb.ca) and social media.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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For parents there is going to be one question: Is my child's teacher vaccinated? Unfortunately - it is not a question you are allowed to ask

By Pepper Parr

September 6th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Tomorrow morning when parents pack their children off to school or clear the dining room table and set them up for a virtual classroom they will begin the third years of living through a pandemic.

Classroom experiences will be different.

The Halton District School Board (HDSB) is as ready as it can be for the start of the school year.

Few fully appreciate that the HDSB has to comply with the guidance that comes from the province in terms of what they are required to deliver in the way of an education to the students.

The Board then has to coordinate with the Medical Officer of Health to ensure that the best practices are in place.

The province for their part seem to be always late getting out of the gate leaving the professionals who have to make it all work to continue to do “last minute” stuff

The Superintendents have to scramble to get the message down the line to the principals who will open the doors on Tuesday.

Board of Education cannot mandate that teachers need to be vaccinated – there is a mandatory vaccination disclosure policy.

That disclosure is confidential.

Don’t ask.

The Boards are required to advise the province how many people have been vaccinated, how many people are exempt and how many people chose not to be vaccinated and are being tested and going through an educational program.

The reporting to the province is done monthly. The first report will be sent in on September 10th.

The requirement to disclose applies to everyone: teachers, staff, volunteers, contract people working for the Board

The Rapid Tests those who chose not to be vaccinated are required to administer can be done at home and are paid for by the Board – they are not cheap.

The testing is to be done weekly.

The School boards report to the province and the province is understood to be publishing that information by September 10th – so we will know how many un-vaccinated people there are in the schools.

A teacher or teaching aide can choose not to be vaccinated.  So we have a teacher who is vaccinated who may have to work beside a teaching aide who has chosen not to be vaccinated and doesn’t have to tell anyone – other than the Board and that information is confidential.

Those who choose not to be vaccinated do have to undergo regular tests once a week – the test can be administered at home.

The testing kits come in boxes of 25 units.  The Board has to find a way to get those test units to those who chose not to be vaccinated without putting their personal private information at risk.

It might be like those sanitary napkin products that were wrapped in plain brown paper when I was a young man.

Councillor Shuttleworth wanted to know how long the Board would continue to pay for the testing kits – no one was able to give her an answer.

Milton Trustee Danielli wanted to know if a kindergarten teacher was vaccinated but the teaching aide was not vaccinated – did the teacher have to work with the unvaccinated person.

The rules are that no one is allowed to ask a person if they have been vaccinated.

Expect some blow back when this situation sinks into the minds of parents who are worried about what could happen to their child.

The Delta variant of Covid19 travels much more easily that previous variants.  The most recent report from the province for Saturday, September 3rd was: 807 new infections – six deaths.

Of those infected 628 were not vaccinated.

The Public Health people believe that the province is into a fourth wave and the Science Table has reported that numbers will rise in October when people will be indoors much more.

To add to the issues that have to be managed are the school buses.

Getting the buses out of the parking yard on time might be a bit of a problem the first couple of weeks.

There are enough drivers trained and in place – the problem is getting buses out of the yard they are parked in overnight.  First Student Transportation has their yard on Dundas where the Region is doing some major road work – there might be some delays in getting the buses out of the yard on time for them to make their rounds

 

 

 

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Curtis Ennis: Well grounded with a welcoming approach to getting the job done

By Pepper Parr

September 3rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Curtis Ennis started his new job as the Director of Education of the Halton District School Board on August 1st.  There was a lot of work to be done and Ennis was confident that the staff he had was more than up to the job.

His job was to get to know them better and to get to know as much as he could about the Halton Region with its 2,934 elementary teachers, 1,373 secondary teachers and 2,500 non-teaching and support staff.  Add to that the more than 200 principals and vice-principals that are on the front line.

Curtis Ennis: From the largest school board in the country to the Director of Education at one of the highest ranking school boards in the province.

Ennis came to Halton Region from the Toronto District School Board.  His first career choice was not teaching – he studied business at Ryerson and spent more than a decade in the financial sector including a stint as an Assistant Manager with Bank of Nova Scotia.

It was when he found himself in front of students while volunteering in a school that he found his true calling.  “The missing link in my life was waiting for me in those classrooms” explained Ennis.

He returned to the classroom – this time as a student at York University where he earned a degree and was ready for a classroom filled with students.

Ennis takes a welcoming approach to what he does. “I made everyone of my students feel welcome; that I wanted them in my classroom and that they knew I was there to help them.

“I said good morning to every student and good day when they left the classroom.  They knew I was happy to see them.”

Curtis Ennis is a Jamaican.  He was born on the northern part of the Island – has four brothers and a sister.

His cultural base is West Indian.  That he was Black became evident when he came to Canada. ” I knew I was different; that awareness is something you learn to live with and adapt to as best you can.

“Yes it has an impact on you but I was fortunate to come out of it with an understanding that I was different but so were they”

“The big lesson for me was that  what matters is that there be a sense of equity – that we are all born equal.

“That has been the driving force that guided me as a teacher and what I took with me when I moved into management with the Toronto District School Board.

“It is what guides me as I get the feel of the people of Halton.”

He is married with four daughters; all study at the undergraduate level.  He and his wife Beverly; 29 years as a couple, face the challenges that every couple experience.

Heading up an organization that has more employees than the Ford motor plant in Oakville is not something you run into.

What you see is what you get – at least at this point: a straight shooter with a well grounded philosophy on what the classroom is all about..

The approach Ennis takes is to know your people at the granular level – that takes time but if you are open and transparent and make it clear that you are there to listen you can lead and you will succeed.

The challenge for Ennis is just that much bigger as he, along with the rest of the province deal with having to operate while the 4th wave of the pandemic is dealt with; the predictions that by October the 4th wave will be worse then the third wave don’t make it easy.

Ennis leaves you with the impression that you take it all in stride.

During his Director’s Report at his first Board of Trustees meeting earlier this week we got a sense as to how he works with his people.

He delegates and follows through.

During the meeting we learned that the Halton District school Board is going to report a deficit for the third year in a row.

We don’t know yet what kind of a spender Ennis will be nor do we know what his big picture is.  Right now he is working with a Multi Year Plan the trustees approved last year.

There are some big issues and still some emotional baggage from the closing of the two high schools.

We learned that the expansion of Nelson High School needed to handle the students from Bateman that now attend Nelson is not complete.  The library is on the second floor and the second floor and the second elevator is not in place yet.

Curtis Ennis will-work his way through the problems; working with his team adapting to the pandemic problems.  We will need a year to get a sense as to just how well he is working with the trustees.

Right now they are as proud as punch with the choice they made.

 

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Parkinson's in the Park - exercising and socializing

By Staff

September 2nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation is excited to announce  that our Parkinson’s in the Park exercise programs  will be offered in Burlington as well as Mississauga-

These include –  Tai Chi and Walking/Pole Walking classes. These classes are designed to help those with Parkinson’s get moving , get outdoors and also provides a social environment. Our experienced instructors will ensure  everyone’s  health, safety and enjoyment.

The Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation is a non-profit corporation focused on fundraising to support and enhance the lives of individuals and families living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel. Our decision to form the PFPF facilitates our commitment to keeping the funds raised in our Community.

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Public Pensions are still Banking on Fossil Fuels

By Staff

August 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Everyone on a pension or people who rely on the investments to live comfortably – will want the best investment they can find.

If you belong to a public sector pension plan you want them to make wise investments.

Is investing in the fossil fuel industry a good investment?

The dividends are good and the share price is holding.  If the biggest issue we face as a society is climate change how does that square with investing in the fossil fuel business

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives had some comments to make on this conundrum saying that Canada’s biggest public pensions are still banking on fossil fuels.

Two of Canada’s biggest public pension plans could lead the way toward a global transition to a greener, more sustainable economy, but their commitments to climate action may be more talk than walk. The Canada Pension Plan and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec say they are serious about tackling climate change, however, they continue to bank on fossil fuels, this Corporate Mapping Project report shows.

The Canada Pension Plan has increased its shares in fossil fuel companies since Canada signed the Paris Agreement in 2016 and while the Quebec plan has slightly decreased its fossil fuel shares in the same period, it has over 52 per cent more fossil fuel shares than the Canada Pension Plan. The investment patterns of both plans do not reflect the urgent action needed to address the scale of the climate crisis. Both are heavily invested in member companies of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which has a history of obstructing the necessary transition away from fossil fuels required for Canada to meet the targets set out in the Paris Agreement.

The authors question why the fund managers of these public pension plans are investing in companies that are actively derailing necessary climate action.

The report includes recommendations for Canadian public pension fund trustees and investment boards and for the federal and provincial governments regarding how Canadians’ pension funds should be invested.

Full report

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New police SUV recognizes the Black Community

By Staff

August 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Pride is breaking out everywhere; this time it is within the Black community that took part in the presentation of a police SUV that was decorated with images that came from the community.

The Regional Police have decorated another SUV – those colours are certainly West Indian.

Earlier today the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) Black Internal Support Network and community partners gathered at Police Headquarters to unveil the HRPS Black Heritage Police Cruiser.

Colours just burst from the cruiser.

The cruiser design was conceived by the Queen of Heaven Catholic Elementary School’s Inclusion, Diversity, Anti-Racism and Equity (iDARE) Committee, comprised of Bonnie Wiltshire, Valerie Nelson, Sokomba Effiong, Gabriella Ball, Margaret Keats, Andrea Domenico, Jane Thomas, and Amos Olujide. The group submitted the design as part of a design contest held in February 2021.

“This design concept seeks to lay a foundation for healing and a path forward for the Black Halton community and the HRPS working together with a common understanding and a common purpose,” says Bonnie Wiltshire, Chair of the iDARE Committee, the winning design team.

“The intertwined ribbon design on the cruiser weaves the narrative of enslavement of Black Peoples in North America to the resilience as they fled to safety, whose stories became footprints of success on the landscapes of both Halton and Canada. The words inscribed along the ribbon are just merely some of the ways the Black community in Halton and Canada have contributed to the very fabric of these communities and paved the way for others,” adds Wiltshire. “Further, the ribbon is symbolic of the strong threads that bind the Black community and their allies together as we create new paths to success and strengthen our community as a whole. The ribbon is composed of the colours that represent both Black History Month 2021 and the HRPS to further emphasize those symbolic connections.”

The cruiser also features a quote from Jean Augustine that resonated with the design team for its overarching message about the celebration of Black history. The quote reads, “Black History is not just for Black People. Black History is Canadian History.”
The vision for the HRPS Black Heritage Police Cruiser was created by members of the HRPS Black Internal Support Network and funded by African and Caribbean organizations, who have graciously provided a one-time $2,500 academic scholarship to the winning design team.

The iDARE Committee has presented St. Francis Xavier Catholic Secondary School graduates, Vanessa Broomfield-Bryce and Alisa Robinson, a Queen of Heaven High School Graduate Scholarship in the amount of $1250 each, with the funds from the contest. The two students will use this to help support their post-secondary studies.

The HRPS would like to thank the following community partners for their support:

• African Caribbean Council of Halton
• Black Mentorship Inc.
• Burlington Caribbean Connection
• Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton
• Caribbean and African Coalition of Canada
• Halton Black History Awareness Society
• Halton Regional Police Association
• I am. I can. I will.

These partnerships represent relationships both new and old for the HRPS, and we are eager for the opportunity to learn from their lived experience, not only through this initiative but also through future endeavours.

“I am so proud  says

Jean Augustine – first African Canadian Women to be elected to the House of Commons.

Dr. Jean Augustine, the first African-Canadian to be elected a Member of Parliament, who paved the way for Black History Month in Canada was proud   to “participate in the unveiling of the HRPS Black Heritage Cruiser where the message is around who we are as a community,”

“From police services, to community groups and educators, this work around diversity and inclusion is an important message for people to see. Black history is Canadian history and we all need to recognize that.”

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A fascinating science project turned out to be a great wager

By Jelena Direct

August 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

When Derek Muller had first started his YouTube channel Veritasium, he had no idea it would go viral and that a more significant sum of money could get involved. At the end of the video there is a fascinating discussion, and someone has to pay. No spoilers.

Big Money in Question

Derek Muller: A Physics Prof Bet Me $10,000 that I was Wrong

“Derek, can you just turn Veritasium into a gambling channel where scientists with opposing views put money on the table and face off to try to convince one another of the true answer? I’d watch that.” – is the text of the comment that got 74k likes under Muller’s YouTube video about a physical experiment.

Moves faster than the wind – with no engine

Spicing things up is always fun, right? Although excitement as this science bet on the favourite YouTube science and education channel doesn’t sound as exciting as sports betting, this was not an ordinary bet. Alex Kusenko, a physics professor from UCLA, has challenged Derek Muller to prove that his experiment works and the discussion went viral and brought out a bet from a scientist. However, Derek Muller went for a chance to have its 10 thousand dollars multiplied. That is a lot of money, but probably Muller couldn’t have said no to Kusenko while he claimed his YouTube channel was terrific.

It started in May when Muller published a video in which he is driving the Black Bird, a car powered only by the wind with no motor and no batteries. Additionally, Black Bird has a propeller at its back end. The propeller connects to the wheels over a gear system, and it turns the opposite way of the wind direction.

Fan Mechanism

The propeller on the Black Bird pushes air backward, so it functions as a fan. The wind is driving the propeller, but the wheels are turning. Because of this, it moves in the opposite direction to how the wind is pushing it. That accelerates the car.

Once Muller gets up to wind speed, there is no visible, apparent wind on the vehicle. If the propeller were spinning like a windmill, this would mean that there can be no more thrust. But, since it is operating as a fan, it can accelerate air backward, generating thrust.

The key to this car experiment is that the power is being harvested at a higher speed with lower force and deployed at a lower rate, higher strength. It’s possible due to the existence of a tailwind, and it wouldn’t have worked in still air.

Science Is (Not) All Fun and Games
Science videos are golden Internet content – they can be educational, inspirational, and motivating. Veritasium is one of those channels. That is probably the reason it has got more than 9.5M subscribers on YouTube.

Most people who had watched the first video with the Black Bird just had to watch the latest one, where the severe bet is in question.
When a respected scientist like Alex Kusenko challenges an idea (and the formula), and when he is a big fan of the channel, how could anyone say no to that?

Science can be fascinating, as well as profitable. Muller’s video is the best proof of that. However, when money gets involved, there is always a certain kind of tension. Watch the video yourself, and see for yourself how it all went.

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