Rivers asks: Has Ford Been Playing Us ?

 

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

May 22nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

Doug Ford is right about one thing. Ontario residents will only stop getting sick and dying after we’ve all had our shots. That is because he has been unable and/or unwilling to control the transmission of the virus.

It’s been over a month since he applied his famous emergency brake. And despite the so-called shut down we’re still hitting a couple thousand cases and a couple dozen deaths a day. Yet the reason why it’s taking so long is obvious.

Ford gregarious

Ontario had elected a populist – when the pandemic hit he was expected to lead – many were disappointed.

He shut down the wrong part of Ontario’s economy. Almost 70 percent of COVID transmission in hot spot Toronto, for example, has been taking place in the workplace among factory and warehouse workers and the construction trades.

Had Ford made these folks stay at home we might have seen real and rapid reductions in the numbers. Killing the provincial sick pay plan just made it worse. According to a Peel region study 25% of the industrial workforce had been showing up at work with COVID symptoms.

Ford promised to be brutal at his disastrous April media conference, and he was. But he brutalized the wrong folks. Shutting down outdoor recreational activities, including golf and tennis, which had never reported a case of COVID, was just mean… and stupid.

Doug Ford covid t shirt

Leading the province through a pandemic proved to be more than the Premier and his Cabinet could handle.

But if Ford really wanted to bring the numbers down he should have focused on the sectors where transmission is high. Instead, it was all a smokescreen. He declared residential construction an essential service. How could building a new subdivision in a time of COVID be considered essential?

Mr. Ford’s legislative record makes it clear that he has used the pandemic as a cover to fast track development in the province. His government passed a number of COVID recovery laws last year. And they were more about development than anything else. He has enacted his autocratic Minster’s Zoning Orders, ignoring and bypassing local councils and their voters’ wishes on development.

Ford has unearthed a plan to build a new 400 series highway (413) on property held by a group of developers, who collectively have contributed close to a million dollars to Ford’s party since 2014. They own 39 properties along the proposed route covering 3,300 acres, which is worth about half a billion dollars in today’s market. But their windfall profit is expected to inflate wildly from adjacent sprawl development once the highway is approved.

Ford Doug with graph Apr 16

Scientists were providing solid data – the Premier seemed to use what worked for his agenda.

He has stripped conservation authorities of their role in the approval of new developments that can affect them and all of us. In protest, former Toronto Mayor and Mulroney cabinet minister David Crombie, has resigned as chair of the Greenbelt. And in an insult to everyone who cares about the environment, Ford replaced him with former Harris environment minister Norm Sterling, of Walkerton crisis fame, who actually voted against establishing the Greenbelt.

The speed with which this government is undoing decades of environmental protection in the province is stunning. One has to ask whether Ford is packing in as much development as he can before the next election. And that, apparently, takes priority over controlling COVID.

Ford OPEN for business

It was always about business – the closer they could get to the Premier the better it was for the development community. And they certainly did manage to get very close.

But as the numbers surged this past March, and infected people overwhelmed Ontario’s hospitals, Ford needed to appear to be doing something – to be taking charge. So he scapegoated the federal government and played the rest of us.

His stay at home order was brutal and tough, especially on children and their parents. But it has had little effect on COVID transmission. The numbers are falling because we are getting vaccinated. The stay at home order was mainly just for show.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province.

 

Background links:

Friends with Benefits –     Sick Pay –     Under Cover

Emergency Order –     Construction COVID –       Small Gatherings –

MZO –      Crombie Resigns

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Gypsy Moth Spraying to take place Tuesday - early early in the day

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On Tuesday, May 25, the City of Burlington will be using a low-flying helicopter to apply a bio-pesticide over four wooded areas to control gypsy moth populations. The gypsy moths eat the leaves of trees, causing significant defoliation and potential long-term impact to the City’s urban forest.

gypsy moth

This moth will eat your tree bare

Application of the pesticide will be completed between 5 and 7:30 a.m. and is expected to take 5-10 minutes for each park.

The areas identified for spraying include:

  • City View Park
  • Kilbride Park
  • LaSalle Park
  • Zimmerman Park

City staff will be stopping traffic on roads nearest the park while the helicopter is spraying. The road closure will take 15 minutes or less.

aerial spraying gypsy moth

The aerial spraying is being done as safely as possible.

An interactive map is available on burlington.ca/gypsymoth that allows residents to enter an address so they can see where the address is in relation to the spray areas.

The second spray date will be posted on the City’s Twitter and Facebook accounts @CityBurlington and online at burlington.ca/gypsymoth at least 48-hours before the spraying.

Steve Robinson Forestry Manager

Steve Robinson Forestry Manager

Steve Robinson, Manager of Urban Forestry explains:  “The weather forecast shows good conditions for the aerial spraying and the gypsy moth larva are at the right stage in their development for the treatment to have maximum impact on them. A successful reduction in their number will help protect the health of our trees and the environment which is a win for everyone.”

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Halton's MPs meet with disabled community - promise more funding

News 100 redBy Staff

May 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Yesterday, the Honourable Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington, the Honourable Anita Anand, Member of Parliament for Oakville, Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington, and Adam van Koeverden, Member of Parliament for Milton were joined by community advocates and local service providers to discuss support for people living with disabilities in Halton.

Paul WHO in wheel chair - Senior

The objective is to ensure that people with mobility limitations are able to take part in all community activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the long-standing barriers Canadians with disabilities have faced for decades. Since the start of the pandemic, many have faced higher costs in accessing food, medication, social services or health care.

As Members of Parliament in Halton, we remain committed to advancing policies that build inclusivity from the beginning and will continue to work to reflect the principle of ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’ when it comes to creating a society that is inclusive by design and promotes belonging for everyone.

Important stakeholders including Community Living Burlington and Community Living Oakville, Charter Ability, the Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee, Stroke Recovery, Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics, and Goodwill Amity came together to share their thoughts on how we can continue to push for more inclusive spaces in our communities.

One of the overwhelming pieces of feedback was that we as a society need to engage in an attitudinal change. Inclusiveness for those living with a disability should be built into planning and policy procedures from the very beginning to ensure that all of us are included.

Our community spaces need to be inclusive and accessible. While we have made progress in this space, there is more work to be done to ensure that everyone can access and utilize spaces that many of us take for granted, such as public washroom facilities.

We also need to work harder to ensure that housing is not only affordable but accessible and that job opportunities are available and accommodating to all interested applicants.

We will also continue to work to foster inclusion and belonging in the workforce for people living with disabilities, recognizing the unique skills and talents they bring to employment.

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada has made significant proposals to support people living with disabilities and ensure our communities are more accessible, including:

• Undertaking consultations to reform the eligibility process for federal disability programs and benefits. This work would feed directly into the design of a new disability benefit;

• Triple funding for the Enabling Accessibility Fund and support small and mid-sized projects with not-for-profit organizations, women’s shelters, child care centres, small municipalities, Indigenous organizations, territorial governments, small businesses, and businesses of all sizes;

• Improving access to the Disability Tax Credit;

• Extending disability supports under the Canada Student Loans Program;

• Providing $29.2 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to ESDC through the Enabling Accessibility Fund to support child care centres as they improve their physical accessibility;

• Support the creation of a National Autism Strategy and;

• Renewing Funding for the Office of Public Service Accessibility.

 

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Joseph Brant President Updates the Community - things are better - still some very sick people to take care of

News 100 blueBy Eric Vandewall

May 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Over the past few weeks, I have been sharing these regular updates with our community to keep you informed of what is happening at Joseph Brant Hospital and to seek your help to move out of this third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, I would like to say thank you. Thank you for following public health measures. Thank you for getting vaccinated. Thank you for continuing to show your support for our hardworking staff and physicians in your emails, phone calls, Join the J lawn signs, available at www.jointhej.ca, and social media posts. With your help, we are moving in a more positive direction.

We are starting to see the pressure on critical care bed capacity easing. Today the number of COVID-19 patients receiving critical care is 718: 494 of these patients are on a ventilator. Today, JBH is at 82% capacity. We are currently caring for 13 patients with confirmed COVID-19 as well as presumed and resolved cases – 11 of the confirmed COVID-19 patients are in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Yesterday it was announced that hospitals across the province can gradually resume surgeries and procedures as able, based on capacity and resources. Our teams are planning the resumption of scheduled care, ensuring the safety of our patients, staff, and physicians. If you were impacted by a deferral, your surgeon or physician will contact you with more information as soon as available.

While we are seeing a decrease in acute care cases, as well as daily new COVID-19 case numbers, it is important to put this information into perspective. The daily case numbers we are seeing now are equal to the number reported during the peak of the second wave. Ontario’s hospital occupancy rate is still very high and it will take time for this rate to decrease to acceptable levels.

The reality is we are still very much in this third wave. By following public health measures, the risk of transmission decreases, and so does the number of severely ill COVID-19 patients in our hospitals.

Vaccination is also a key ally in our fight to stop the spread of the virus. As of today, more than 260,000 Halton residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine offered through regional clinics, pharmacies and family physicians. I am proud to report that since March 12, the Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Joseph Brant Hospital has administered over 22,000 doses. We have also started to increase the number of available appointments per day. In less than a week, we expect to reach 25,000 doses.

There is more good news – anyone age 18 and up is can now make an appointment to get vaccinated. This is a very positive development that will also help us out of this third wave safely and stronger than before. I encourage everyone who is eligible to make an appointment: either online at www.halton.ca/covidvaccine or call 311 if you need assistance.

Some of you may have questions or concerns about getting vaccinated. Please talk to your doctor or go to credible sources like Halton Region, the Ontario government and Health Canada for more information. During the recent Immunization Awareness Week, our own Dr. Dale Kalina answered a series of questions from our community related to vaccine. I invite you to watch these short video clips on our Instagram page.

Please continue to look after each other. Stay safe and thank you once again for your unwavering support of our hospital.

Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital CEO is about to tell us what he gets paid annually. He didn't volunteer this information.

Eric Vandewall: President and CEO Joseph Brant Hospital

Eric Vandewall is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Joseph Brant Hospital.  He was appointed in 2009 and took on the task of adding additional space and a completely new wing to the hospital.

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The Road to Normality - Premier Lays it Out

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario government has released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the province wide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. In response to recent improvements to these indicators, Ontario will allow more outdoor recreational amenities to reopen, with restrictions in place, effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

Doug Ford finger pointing

Doug Ford: He is a happier man today. Thinks the Leafs are going to win tonight.

“As a result of the strict public health measures we introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19 variants, we are seeing a steady improvement in our situation as ICU and hospital numbers begin to stabilize,” said Premier Doug Ford. “While we must remain conscious of the continued threat the virus poses, with millions of Ontarians having received at least their first dose of vaccine we can now begin the process of a slow and cautious re-opening of the province in full consultation with our public health professionals.”

Roadmap to Reopen outlines three steps to easing public health measures, guided by the following principles:

• Step One – An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and permitting retail with restrictions. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.

• Step Two-  Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, personal care services where face coverings can be worn and with capacity limits, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity.

• Step Three – Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.

The province will remain in each step for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators. If, at the end of the 21 days, the following vaccination thresholds have been met, along with positive trends in other key public health and health system indicators, then the province will move to the next step:

• Step 1: 60 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose.

• Step 2: 70 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses.

• Step 3: 70 to 80 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent vaccinated with two doses.

Based on current trends in key health indicators, including the provincial vaccination rate, the government expects to enter Step One of the Roadmap the week of June 14, 2021. The province will confirm closer to the expected start of Step One.

“While we know that now is not yet the moment to reopen, Ontarians deserve to know the path forward on what we will carefully reopen and when, starting with the settings we know are safest,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Brighter days are ahead and we believe this Roadmap represents a path out of the pandemic and will encourage Ontarians to get vaccinated and to continue following public health advice.”

The province-wide emergency brake restrictions remain in effect while the province assesses when it will be moving to Step One of the roadmap with the Stay at Home order expiring on June 2, 2021. During this time, the government will continue to work with stakeholders on reopening plans to ensure full awareness of when and how they can begin to safely reopen.

Due to the continuing success of Ontario’s vaccine rollout and the collective efforts of Ontarians in following public health and workplace safety measures to date, effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. the province will reopen outdoor recreational amenities with restrictions in place, such as the need to maintain physical distancing.

These amenities include, but are not limited to, golf courses and driving ranges, soccer and other sports fields, tennis and basketball courts, and skate parks. No outdoor sports or recreational classes are permitted. Outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events will be expanded to five people, which will allow these amenities to be used for up to five people, including with members of different households. All other public health and workplace safety measures under the province wide emergency brake will remain in effect.

At this time, publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools in the province will continue to operate under teacher-led remote learning. Data will be assessed on an ongoing basis and medical experts, including the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and other health officials will be consulted to determine if it may be safe to resume in-person learning.

“Due to the stringent efforts of Ontarians following public health and workplace safety measures, we have reached the point where we can begin preparing to exit the province-wide emergency brake and lift the Stay-at-Home order,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “We must remain vigilant however, as the fight against COVID-19 is not over and our case counts, ICU capacity and hospitalizations are still concerning. It remains critical that all Ontarians continue to follow all public health and workplace safety measures currently in place to help further reduce transmission and save lives.”

The government will continue to work with the Public Health Measures Table, Public Health Ontario, and other public health and scientific experts to determine public health guidance for Ontarians to follow, including protocols for masking and outdoor/indoor gatherings, after being fully vaccinated.

Quick Facts
• Based on the latest modelling data COVID-19 case, positivity and hospitalization rates are decreasing, and control of the pandemic is improving. Maintaining the current rate of vaccination and public health and workplace safety measures will help to ensure Ontario starts to safely and gradually reopen.

• Ontario has administered first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to over 58.5 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over. Over two million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario since the start of May, and the province remains on track to have administered first doses to 65 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over by the end of May.

• The government has extended the province wide Stay-at-Home Order until June 2, 2021, and has maintained all public health and workplace safety measures under the province wide emergency brake to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives.

• The Stay-at-Home order currently in effect requires everyone to remain at home except for specified purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.

• If passed by the Legislature, powers under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) will be extended to December 1, 2020 to ensure public health measures currently in place can be extended and adjusted as necessary, to deal with the impacts of COVID-19 and support a gradual re-opening of the province. There are currently 29 orders in effect under the ROA. Orders can be extended for up to 30 days at a time under the ROA, and the government must report on all order extensions to the Select Committee on Emergency Management Oversight.

As of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, individuals aged 18 and over in 2021 across Ontario are eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through the provincial booking system and call centre, or directly through public health units that use their own booking system.

 

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Public school board appoints new Director of Education; a lot of Toronto based experience

News 100 yellowBy Staff

May 19th, 221

BURLINGTON, ON

Trustees of the Halton District School Board are pleased to announce the appointment of Curtis Ennis as the new Director of Education, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Board, effective August 1, 2021.  

curtis Enns

Curtis Ennis, newly appointed Director of Education for the Halton District School Board

Ennis’ career portfolio during the past 22 years has included a variety of senior leadership positions with the Toronto District School Board, Canada’s largest school board, as well as the Ontario Ministry of Education. Ennis began his career as a primary teacher and advanced through various leadership roles as a Superintendent of Education with increasing responsibilities.

He is currently the Associate Director, Equity, Well-Being and School Improvement (Interim). 

Ennis has led numerous strategic planning initiatives in the TDSB, as well as gaining leadership experience with the Ministry of Education’s Toronto and Area Regional Office. Ennis holds a Bachelor of Business Management (Accounting/Finance) and a Bachelor of Education and Master of Education (Language, Culture & Teaching) from York University. 

Following the retirement announcement of the current Director of Education, Stuart Miller, trustees began a search process in early December 2020. With the help of Joan M. Green and Associates/Lough Barnes Consulting Group (LBCG), an extensive consultation took place. The search involved consultation with stakeholders in the education community including HDSB staff, local unions, trustees, students,  community partners and beyond to develop the Halton-specific Director position profile.  

“The Trustees of the Halton District School Board (HDSB) were impressed with, and grateful for, the strong show of interest and outstanding qualifications of the candidates who applied for the position of Director of Education,” says HDSB Chair Andréa Grebenc.

“We are excited to welcome Curtis Ennis as the HDSB’s incoming Director.  Curtis brings a wealth of knowledge gained through senior leadership roles in the Ontario education sector. He has diverse experiences that will be invaluable in building strong relationships with students, staff, families and community members, as the HDSB continues its journey to fulfilling the goals outlined in the 2020-2024 Multi-Year Strategic Plan, and providing outstanding opportunities for every student.” 

 

Ennis has a proven-track record of strategic planning and leadership with a focus on student achievement and well-being, equity and inclusion, communication and relationship building. 

“I am truly honoured and excited to be joining the Halton District School Board as Director of Education, says Ennis. “I am grateful to the Trustees for their confidence in me and I look forward to leading and learning with the students, staff, families and community partners of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville in the years ahead. Leadership for me has always been about service and I am deeply committed to working with all staff and the Board to carry on the Halton tradition of excellence in education while being acutely mindful of those who have been historically under-served and have faced barriers to positive outcomes.

“Working collaboratively with students, staff, trustees and communities, I will be intentional and focused on ensuring the success and well-being of students of all identities in HDSB.” 

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Road Safety Week: a 7-day national campaign aimed at making Canada's roads the safest in the world.

graphic community 5By Staff

May 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Today marks the beginning of Canada Road Safety Week, a 7-day national campaign aimed at making Canada’s roads the safest in the world.

With what we have seen take place earlier this week in York, the importance of this message has never been more obvious. Our heart breaks for our neighbouring community.

car-accident-lawyer2

Auto accident consequences include criminal charges, fines, suspensions, or vehicle impoundment.

This annual awareness campaign is designed to increase public compliance with safe driving measures in order to save lives and reduce injuries. The focus of this campaign continues to be on behaviours that put drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users at risk: impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and not wearing a seat belt.

Unsafe driving behaviors come with increased risk of injury or death. Other consequences include criminal charges, fines, suspensions, or vehicle impoundment.

There is no excuse to justify unsafe driving behaviour. It is simply #NotWorthTheRisk.

We want Halton residents and all Canadians to remember the decisions they make and the consequences of their actions impact everyone on or near our roadways.

The Halton Regional Police Service thanks those in our community who recognize that they share the roads with others.

Car-Accident-Injuries-1000

Often takes months to recover accidents like this.

Whether you are a motorcyclist, a pedestrian, a driver, or a cyclist, remember… road safety starts with YOU.

The Halton Regional Police Service is proud to be participating in this year’s Canada Road Safety Campaign. While this public safety initiative is part of a national effort to help make Canada’s roads the safest in the world, we are confident that our local efforts will help make the roads here in Halton among the safest in Canada.

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Bentivegna points to growing tax rate problem: his colleagues ignore it

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Every once in a while ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna casts a vote intended to make a point.

Angelo B

Councillor Angelo Bentivegna: thinking it through.

This time he was asking what impact changing the business model for the Tyandaga Golf Club would have on the 2022 budget – and then reminded his colleagues that the projected tax rate for 2022 was 5.25%

Council was about to pass the item as part of a collection of issues that had been pulled together as a consent item, which is council’s way of voting on a number of decisions at the same time.

Any member of Council can ask to have an item pulled from the consent list so that it can be voted separately.

Bentivegna wanted more information on just what the change in the business model would have on the tax rate.

He was told that it would likely be between .07% or .08% – which would put the 5.25% projection over 6%

Staff did their best to assure Bentivegna that the public wouldn’t see any increase in 2022 and probably not in 2023 either.  Any funds the golf course needed would be for capital items and would go on a list to be considered by the Capital expense people.

Angelo - not getting it -deferal

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna making a point at a council meeting.

Bentivegna’s point was that – yes it would be going on a list and at some point the public would be asked to pay.

When it came to a vote on the item Bentivegna asked that it be a recorded vote.  He was going on the record and wanted his colleagues to do the same thing.

The vote was 6-1: Bentivegna had made his point with his “no”  vote.

The public will at some point be asked to pay for capital items at the golf course.  The fear in the minds of many is that the public might be asked to pay for some of the operating costs as well.

 

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Beachway Weekend Parking Fees begin May 22

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

May 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON
New this summer, the City of Burlington is introducing a summer parking fee on weekends through the HONK mobile app.

Users do not have to download the app but can scan the QR code on parking lot signage to pay for parking.

Fees will be charged from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends beginning Saturday, May 22, 2021 until the last weekend in September, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2021.

It was people, people, people - for almost as far as the eye could see along the Beachway.

The Beachway is busier – visitors from outside the city come to enjoy the sandy beach – nothing like it in elsewhere in the Region.

The City is working to make sure residents can safely enjoy the outdoors while following all public health recommendations. The Beachway has gotten more popular over time and last summer saw record demand for parking due to the pandemic, resulting in the City having to use barricades, a drop-off zone, and parking ambassadors to help manage the demand for parking. Illegal parkers were given a warning and issued tickets.

Beachway + Jan 16-15 028

Parking on the median is prohibited – there is a pipeline underneath.

This year, especially those parking on Lakeshore Road shoulders and the grass boulevard over the pipeline, will be towed.

Visitors must pay for parking on weekends. It is an hourly rate of $2.50 or a daily flat rate of $20. Users can scan the QR Code or download the HonkMobile app.

There is a transaction fee of $0.35 for each payment. Dashboard tickets are not needed as every payment is linked to a license plate number.

Parking is free in Downtown Burlington on weekends and holidays. Beachway visitors are encouraged to extend their walk or use the drop-off zone, park and meet their household members at the beach. For parking downtown, visit burlington.ca/downtownparking.

Visitors are also encouraged to consider taking Burlington Transit, cycling, walking or rolling to the beach and leaving their cars at home.

Starting Thursday, July 1, Burlington residents can take advantage of 10 free days of parking per year at Beachway Park. It is recommended that residents wait to fill out the parking exemption form once arriving at the beach and parked in a legal parking spot.

The exemption doesn’t guarantee a spot, but it does give residents free parking for the day.

For more information about parking at Beachway Park, visit burlington.ca/paypark.

Transit - Vito Tolone

Director of Transportation Services, Vito Tolone

Director of Transportation Services, Vito Tolone explains what his department has to cope with: “Parking spaces at Beachway Park are very limited and the lots fills quickly. We are introducing paid parking on weekends this summer to help manage the parking and traffic flow.

“We are still under a Stay-at-Home Order from the province so we’d like to remind Beachway visitors to plan ahead and possibly consider coming back another time if the parking lot is full, or to park in an alternative location. Please avoid parking illegally – City bylaw officers will be actively ticketing and towing to further help manage parking and ensure safe traffic flow.”

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Ward Councillor sees a North Burlington solution differently than Regional Planners

News 100 green

By Pepper Parr

May 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In one of the four public meetings, albeit as virtual events, the Regional government has done a superb job of engaging the public as they explained what the issues were and listened to what the public had in the way of responses and solutions.

Regional planning staff were open and transparent and offered to take calls during office hours to answer questions for those who wanted more detail.

rural - urban - NA

North Aldershot is treated as a separate area with different development rules.

The land in the North Aldershot area was described as not the best place for urban development. The topography and the creek systems made urban development problematic and suggested that there were other locations in the Region that were better options for urban development.

Tom Muir is an Aldershot resident who has followed plans to develop in the North Aldershot community.

He wanted to know why the “Minutes of Settlement” that were signed in the 1990’s  were not being discussed.

Minutes of Settlement are an agreement between a government and a developer setting out what is permitted in the way of development for a specific location. The Minutes are very detailed.

Regional Staff seemed to feel that those minutes could be set aside. That will be something that will get worked out going forward.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith took a different view on development potential saying “I completely understand the Region’s position in that they act as an upper tier government for the four municipalities and when it comes to growth, they look to the most efficient areas in terms of servicing.

North aldershot boundary

Boundary of North Aldershot

“I think the North Aldershot area is beautiful and would make a very nice community development of low density residential housing that is in such high demand at the moment. It would be very similar topography to the Tyandaga community which includes lots of valley lands and water features and mature trees. They mentioned that it is very complicated in that the elevation difference between the 403 highway and Waterdown is 100 meters and we know that water does not run up hill naturally.”

Galbraith at King Paving

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith standing just south of the Waterdown Road bridge over the 403.

Instead of this type of community on beautiful valley lands, the Region has opted to take another easy farm field in the north areas of Milton and Halton Hills and recommend servicing there.

“Where would you rather live as a resident? The choice is easy for me.”

Eagle Heights may very well be that community and that would be it for North Aldershot. Tom Muir asked a good question tonight but the Region did not want to speak to site-specific lands. What complicates their recommendations is that they need to recognize the approvals that Eagle Heights already has.

Eagle Heights is a development that the Paletta interests have an Ontario Municipal Board (now known as LPAT)  approval to proceed, however the Regional government has to service the area – putting in water and sewage infrastructure in place.

“This means that the region is obligated to at least service the OMB approvals. If Paletta decides to proceed with his approvals then the next North Aldershot review will be different as the boundary opening will need to be considered.”

 

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Victoria Day: What’s open and closed at the City of Burlington

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City of Burlington administrative services will be closed for Victoria Day on Monday, May 24. For a list of which City services and facilities are available on the Victoria Day holiday, please see the summary below or visit burlington.ca

Queen Victoria

The event celebrates the birth of Queen Victoria – a women that reigned when the British Commonwealth was the biggest power in the world. Her reign’s impact is still being felt.

*Important information regarding COVID-19: The information provided below is accurate as of May 17, 2021. In the event of any changes made by the Province of Ontario to the current COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order, please visit burlington.ca/coronavirus for potential impacts to City services and programs.

Residents can also stay informed about city news on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington.

City Service Holiday Closure Information
Animal Services
The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.
To report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit www.burlington.ca/animal.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate a Sunday schedule on Victoria Day. For real-time bus information and schedules visit myride.burlingtontransit.ca.

The downtown terminal at 430 John St. and Specialized Dispatch will be closed on Monday, May 24.

City Hall The Service Burlington counter at City Hall (426 Brant St.), will be closed to all appointments and walk-in service on Monday, May 24.
Many service payments are available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Halton Court Services Provincial Offences Office Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will be closed on Monday May 24.

With the exception of the Victoria Day closure, telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. All in-person services are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or online at Halton Court Services.

Parking Free parking is available downtown, on the street, in municipal lots and in the parking garage (414 Locust St.) on weekends and holidays, including Victoria Day.

NOTE:
• The Waterfront parking lots (east and west at 1286 Lakeshore Rd) do not provide free parking on statutory holidays.
• Paid parking, on weekends only, at Beachway Park (1100 Lakeshore Rd) begins Saturday, May 22, using HONK Mobile.
Parking exemptions are required to park overnight on city streets and for longer than five hours. Visit burlington.ca/parkingexemptions

Recreation Programs and Facilities Lending Library
Play Equipment
• Horseshoes, glow in the dark soccer balls, Kanjam, washer toss, tennis, Spikeball and more are available to borrow.

Visit burlington.ca/playlending
Pickleball Equipment

• Borrow pickleball equipment for free, including noise-reducing paddles, ball packs and portable nets that can be used in your backyard or driveway. Visit burlington.ca/pickleball

kids running

Get out and have fun – just follow the rules and we will soon see the end of the pandemic

Outdoor Activities
If you need some fresh air and activity, it’s okay to walk, cycle or jog through your neighbourhood park, but please do not linger. Please stay two metres (six feet) away from everyone else in the park, or on a trail, and take your waste home with you to dispose of it.

Active at Home
Options to stay active at home are available online at burlington.ca/activeathome, including a series of virtual activities from fitness to crafts for everyone to enjoy. All videos are free and new videos are added frequently.

 

 

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Is there a solution to what gets done with North Aldershot?

News 100 greenBy Tom Muir

May 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Part 1 of a series.

The North Aldershot/Eagle Heights issue is not only a Regional issue, but is a city-wide and neighborhood issue as well.

rural - urban - NA

North Aldershot has planning policies that are distinct and separate from rural and urban Burlington.

North Aldershot (NA) is a separate Planning Zone (like Urban and Rural) and has its own policies with very detailed zoning. The City has had a long history of Official Planning (OP) and by-law planning policies written specifically for North Aldershot.

My experience in this dates back to 1993/94.

It is the last remaining parcel of largely undeveloped land in Burlington, and if fully serviced, the last “greenfield”. But it’s not just any greenfield. It is a distinct mixed landscape, with deeply incised creeks and watercourses, and rolling slopes from the escarpment down to the flats of Plains Road.

If you know the area, you know that it is unique and very special, even idyllic I would say. Over many years, public efforts, including the many agencies of the North Aldershot Inter-agency Review (NAIR), have recognized this distinctiveness, and expressed the goal and principles to keep it distinct, while still trying to allow some development form designed to co-exist, but not replace.

North aldershot boundary

Waterdown Road, at the bottom is the eastern border. The 403, on the left, is the southern border. The property is a total of 1365  hectares

I’m writing here because I think that special place is in grave danger from ever increasing demands for more development than was  ever contemplated.

The crux issue in the development proposals for North Aldershot and specifically Eagle Heights, is density. As you can see, the wanted unit numbers in the applications have steadily increased as time went by, right up to 2019. There is a history in development proposals over 1962 to the present.

The number of units to be built on the property kept growing as appeals were made.

October/November 1995 resulted in  plan for 501 units in the Central Sector.  The Paletta (PIC) lands included 363 units with a park block and a school block, while the former “Taylor” lands included 46 units. The remaining 92 residential units were permitted on areas owned by other landowners in the Central Sector.

December 2010, PIC and Taylor submitted revised draft plans of subdivision to permit the development of 870 residential units (815 units on the PIC lands and 55 units on the Taylor lands).

In 1993/4 the Parkway Belt West Plan policies were in effect as the decision foundation. Under the umbrella of this Plan, at that time, the (NAIR) undertook a lengthy multi-agency and citizen group  Land Use Concept exercise for NA.

area + the players

There are a number of different agencies that have their own policies that apply to the 1,365 ha that make the North Aldershot property.

This Review was concurrent with an application for 1100 units from Paletta International Corporation (PIC). This application represented two landowners; PIC and Taylor.

With the NAIR multi-party conclusions and recommendations that 232 units were acceptable, the City of Burlington chose this number to take back to the developer. The PIC appealed to the OMB.

An eight week OMB hearing took place in the spring of 1995 and another eight (8) weeks in 1996. In subsequent meetings, with no citizens present, the city planning/legal and the PIC planning/legal, negotiated a settlement to take to OMB for a Hearing.

The settlement plan was approved by the OMB in October/December 1996.

These Settlement negotiations between the parties in October/November 1995 resulted in a plan for 501 units in the Central Sector.  The PIC lands included 363 units with a park block and a school block, while the former “Taylor” lands included 46 units. The remaining 92 residential units were permitted on areas owned by other landowners in the Central Sector.

This was a very controversial settlement and the citizens, including myself, were left feeling betrayed. The basis and facts as they appear in the Minutes of Settlement are covered in a follow up report.

The OMB approved this settlement in 1996. Then the never ending applications for revisions to increase the unit count began.

On July 19, 2002, PIC and Taylor submitted Official Plan Amendment, Zoning By-law Amendment draft plan of subdivision applications to the City of Burlington. An application was made for residential development for a total of up to 665 (596 PIC, 69 Taylor) residential units.

The owners appealed the applications to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in October 2002 for lack of decision. This decision was appealed twice by City but both rulings went to the applicant.

In December 2010, PIC and Taylor submitted revised draft plans of subdivision to permit the development of 870 residential units (815 units on the PIC lands and 55 units on the Taylor lands).

This 2010 application revision included 4, four story apartment condominium buildings in the Paletta lands.

The 2010 proposal revision was subject to a public meeting, comment, and multi-agency staff refusal was seen as inadequate.

The present development application as of 2019 is the following, totaling 924 units.

  • The proposed development of the PIC property, a 97-hectare parcel on the north side of Flatt Road, is for 203 single-detached houses and 587 cluster houses (attached units) for a total of 790 units. The apartment buildings from 2010 are still part of this application.
  • The proposed development of a 9.6-hectare parcel on the south side of Flatt Road, is for 32 single-detached houses and 102 cluster houses for a total of 134 units.
  • The applications have been appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal by the applicants.

This history is important for people to be aware of – most people don’t know and are  confused by the changing numbers.

Also, most important, only the 1996 unit counts are approved.

None of the other amendment applications submitted has been moved into a Hearing at LPAT (OMB), either contested or negotiated settlement.

What citizens want to see is a detailed, concrete, and replicable evidence trail that leads to the decision, or staff advice, about what density is defensible and can be recommended under current science and policy regimes. Agency and public concerns and comments number in the hundreds, and we want to see them answered explicitly.

I will be following the presentations on Tuesday and reporting on the public input and the discussions that take place.

Muir making a point

Tom Muir

Tom Muir is an Aldershot resident who is persistent and at times acerbic.  More often than not he has the facts and a knowledge of the development that exceeds what many, if not most of the people in the planning department.

For Muir this has been a long battle – he isn’t at all certain that the public interest will be served when this phase is over but he is certain there will be more appeals.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lakeside Plaza still has some life in it.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Lakeside Plaza has not been sold, is not for sale but was put on hold while the owners met with both elected officials and members of the community.

The initial application proposed an overall redevelopment that included a mix of single storey, mid-rise and high-rise buildings that provided 900 new residential units, 2,700 square metres of office space and 11,955 square metres of service commercial and retail uses.

Lakeside Plaza May 14

There is too much upside for a developer to walk away from this opportunity.

A revised redevelopment plan that addresses technical and community comments is being prepared by the applicant’s project team.

Following a meeting with the community, staff, Ward Councillor and Mayor Meed Ward in December 2019, the project team commenced some additional work to update the concept plan based on the principles discussed with the group and based on additional technical studies that were ongoing at the time.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project was put on hold. The project has recently been restarted (April 2021) following an update meeting with the owner’s representative and the consulting team.

In the next few months the project team will be revising the conceptual plans and technical studies with the goal of reconnecting with the community group and staff in late summer or early fall to present updated plans and eventually reaching out to the broader community following a re submission. Further updates will be provided as this work progresses.

Several questions have been raised about the sale of the site and a change to the consulting team. There has been no sale of the site and the consulting team remains as it was since the last update.

Related news story

Statutory meeting – developer wasn’t able to change a lot of minds – then a pandemic slowed everything down.

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Temporary Lane Restrictions - Glastonbury Road plus

notices100x100By Staff

May 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

road closedTemporary Lane Restrictions – Glastonbury Road, Tintagel Lane, Cotswold Crescent, Montgomery Drive, Shropshire Place, Lynington Court, and Tweedsmuir Court

There will be temporary lane restrictions from May 17 to Sept. 3, 2021 on Glastonbury Road, Tintagel Lane, Cotswold Crescent, Montgomery Drive, Shropshire Place, Lynington Court, and Tweedsmuir Court.

One lane will remain open to traffic at all times.

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Ward Councillor talks to his constituents virtually - forgets to tell them he will seek re-election

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Being in a situation where every event that takes place to advise and inform people has to be virtual, ward Councillors have to struggle to get some attention.  Some Councillors seem to have given up.

Galbraith with two women in Tim

Galbraith meeting with constituents shortly after being elected. Councillor says he will be running for a second term.

Last night ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith put on what turned out to be a packed agenda.

I fully expected the event to be short – not more than an hour and not all that much in the way of new information.  I was wrong.

It went for two hours and there was no shortage of new information.

Earlier in the week we got a media notice from the city on some traffic limitations on Waterdown Road while hydro poles were moved on the east side of the road.

There is a lot more than hydro pole relocation work going on.

Tentative Timelines

Enbridge Gas Relocations: Complete

Minor Hydro/Bell Relocations

 Advanced Works: Ongoing – Summer 2021

(East side Retaining Walls & Tree Removals)

 Hydro Pole Relocations: Mid May 2021 to Summer

(Buried Hydro Duct at South Hydro One ROW) 2022

Halton Region Advanced Watermain Replacement: Summer to Fall 2021

(Regional Reservoir to Flatt Road – approx. 360m length)

 Road Construction Public Meeting : Q2 2022

 Main Construction Contract: Fall 2022 to 2024

The original budget for the work came in at $14.8 million – it has since ballooned to $30 Million.  The road on the west side will include a 2.5 – 3 metre multi user path that will allow bicycles.

The road will eventually become 4 lanes.

Waterdown - resevoir region

The reservoir that is being upgraded is shown bottom right.

The ongoing work comes at a time when the Regional government is holding a public meeting (virtually) on a review of the Region’s Official Plan that is to include a meeting focus on North Aldershot and the Eagle Heights development that has been in the works for decades.

Much of Aldershot doesn’t have the the tree canopy coverage other parts of Burlington has – but it does have the only recognized heritage tree in the city.  The oak tree is one of the markers for the original land grant given Joseph Brant.

During a Forestry meeting earlier in the week residents learned that each household will be given a free tree that will be planted on city property outside their homes.

Tyandaga sign

New business model to be approved by Council on Monday

Galbraith brought his constituents up to date on the plans for the  Tyandaga golf course but slipped up on any mention of the tax payer being asked to pick up part of the cost for a location that used to be completely supported by fees.  There are some capital costs that the current business model can’t handle. Galbraith was very good at taking questions at the close of the meeting – and the questions kept coming and coming.

It was when asked directly that The Councillor explained what the new financial outlook was going to be.

The North Aldershot meeting takes place on Monday the 17th in the evening.  There is a link to the event on the Regional website: halton@ropr

Tom Muir, a well-informed Aldershot resident on the North Aldershot lands, which are outside the Burlington urban boundary, points to the growth in the permitted level of development going from 400 in in 1996 to 665 in 2001, to 870 in 2010to a total of 100 in 2020 – without as much as a shovel in the ground.

Brant property tree on Allview in Aldershot

A White Oak tree in Burlington that is at least 300 years old has been given a heritage designation by the province. The city-owned, 30-metre (100-foot) high tree has a circumference of nearly 500 centimetres (16.7 ft.) and is quite likely one of the oldest and largest Quercus alba specimens in Canada, according to the Burlington Historical Society. Located at Allview Avenue, a short street on the north shore of Burlington Bay, the White Oak was part of an historic boundary line for nearly 250 years. Before 1957, it also marked the starting point of the border between Burlington and Aldershot. According to the historical society’s website, “In 1789, the Allview White Oak was a surveyor’s benchmark for a treaty arranging the purchase from the Mississauga First Nation, for the British Crown, of a block of land that soon afterwards became the 3,450-acre parcel of land known as Brant’s Block.

The lands border on Waterdown which is part of Hamilton which is why the city of Hamilton is paying 95% of the cost of the reservoir that is being upgraded.

Galbraith told his constituents that he had nothing he could add about the ownership of the LaSalle Park property other than to say that talks were still taking place.

The park is in Burlington but the land is owned by the city of Hamilton.  Complex.  The city owns the infrastructure and covers all the operating costs and pay Hamilton rent of $1 a year.

Links to related stories:

How Burlington got the deal of a lifetime – LaSalle Park rental for $1 a year.

New business model for Tyandaga Golf Course

 

 

 

 

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Police marine patrol watching the Beachway on Thursday

News 100 redBy Staff

May 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

police boat May 13

Boat from the Regional Police Marine unit were cruising the waters opposite the Beachway.

While Halton Regional Police Chief Tanner may have said his people would not be involved in crowd issues in Burlington there was one of the boats from the Marine fleet patrolling the waters off the Beachway on Thursday.

Those boats do not patrol on a regular basis – someone told them to be out there.  Watch for them on the weekend.  We might see a much needed shift in police involvement.

The boat didn’t come in very close – but the Officer was on deck with binoculars.

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Temporary Lane Restrictions - Waterdown Road north from Craven

notices100x100By Staff

May 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

From May 12 to Nov. 26, 2021, there will be temporary lane closures as hydro pole relocation work is done along Waterdown Road from Craven Avenue to Mountain Brow Road.

waterdown road

Those telephone polls are going to be re-located. At some point there is gong to be major development further north along Waterdown Road.

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Long term growth plan for Burlington

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

In an earlier version of this article we neglected to mention that ward 1 Councillor Galbraith did take part.

The bigger picture is often the one that gets missed.

Big picture - who does what

The Planning Hierarchy – each of these policy statements and plans have to be adhered to. The Region reviews each municipal plan to ensure that everything in the hierarchy is met. It is a very complex process.

Last night the Regional government took people through a two hour discussion on what population and job growth is going to have to look like in 2051

2051 is a long time out – the future however gets determined to a large degree by decisions we make today.

Burlington certainly learned that lesson when in 2016 a bus terminal got identified first as a transportation hub and then as an MTSA (Major Transportation Service Area) that allowed a developer to put up a 26 storyey building on the corner of Martha and Lakeshore Road. They are digging the hole in the ground now for what will be called the Nautique.

The Regional Planning department, which has to approve anything and everything in terms of the Official Plan for the municipalities of Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills, is doing the required five year review of its Official Plan and figuring out how it will integrate the growth in the Region the province has called for.

The meeting last night was focused on how the Region thinks things should be approached for Burlington.

Growth concept

Regional Staff and their consultants working from data already collected developed four concepts – each of which would have a different outcome in terms of population growth, where it would take place and new ob potential. The objective is to take the best from each concept and come up with a preferred concept and present that to the public; ideally in June..

More than 80 people took part in the virtual meeting that included eight people from the Regional Planning staff and presented the current growth concepts.  There were just two elected representatives from Burlington; Mayor Meed Ward and Councillor Bentivegna. Perhaps those that chose not to take part have decided they won’t run for re-election

Former Mayor Rick Goldring and former Councillor Rick Craven took part. Is Goldring looking at the possibility of a comeback?

The meeting took on the task of getting the views of those taking part using several on-line polls and setting out what might be decided by setting out four possible concepts and explaining the impact each of those concepts would have on how the community evolved.

For Burlington, the over riding concern was development of the land north of the Hwy 407 – Dundas boundary. Urban to the south – rural to the north of that boundary.  Burlington’s identity as a city rests on two fundamental and foundations beliefs: never touch the Escarpment lands and keep your development fingers off Spencer Smith Park and the Beachway.  They are part of the city’s DNA.

population and growth for region to 2051

The planning that will get us to 2031 has for the most part been done. The focus now is what does Burlington want to build between 2031 and 2051 and where do they want to growth to be located.

circle graphic 1.1 million peoplecircle 500k jobsWhile much of the planning is a numbers game, there is room for community values and growth aspirations.

The Region is given a number by the province that has to be met.  The Region divides up the provincial number between the municipalities.

147,00 people and 69,000 jobs in next 10 years in current approved urban areas

334,000 people and 150,000 jobs between 2031 and 2051 which must be planned for now

How do we make that happen.  Later this week the Gazette will be dig into some of the data and the choices Burlington faces.  Do your homework or don’t complain when you learn five years from now that your Burlington is going to look a lot different.

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Mayor says the parks are open - some private community parks are not open

graphic community 5By Staff

May 12th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The parks were closed by the province; then they were opened when the province realized the closing was a dumb decision.

Georgian - closed playground

This boy just wants to play and that yellow tape is in the way.

But not all the parks are open and that is a concern for an Aldershot parent who lives in the Georgian Court community where the park put in place and maintained by the housing company is closed.

Mayor response

Mayors says: Go ahead and use the park. It wasn’t a public park.

Her unit looks right out over the park and her son just does not understand why he can’t be outside playing.

Nor does his Mom who is a stay at home parent and asked not to be personally identified.

She is part of a group of parents who are all stay-at-home mothers and do everything they can to keep their children active and outdoors as much as possible.

In Burlington when you have a problem – you call the Mayor, who explained to our parent that indeed the parks are open.

Georgian message

Georgian Court Management explains their position – which isn’t the same as that of the Mayor. Problem is they are talking about different kinds of parks.

Some miscommunication in there somewhere – the Office of the Mayor didn’t understand that the park that had been closed was not a city park.

Our parent didn’t know who her ward councillor was. We’ve put the two of them together to see if someone can explain to the community when the private community park can be opened.

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Halton municipalities asking province to safely open outdoor activities

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mayors of the four Region of  Halton and the Chair of the Region reiterate their call to safely reopen outdoor activities

Regional boundariesAs the Province of Ontario considers extending the Stay-at-Home emergency order beyond May 20, today, Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair are reiterating our call to safely reopen outdoor activities.

Outdoor activities done safely with physical distancing and masking are a necessary support to physical and mental health, especially during this prolonged period of lockdown. Guidance provided by the COVID-19 Science Advisory Table for Ontario, that has also been endorsed by the Ontario Medical Association, encourages safe outdoor activities. •

Keeping people safely connected: Maintaining social connections and outdoor activity are important to our overall physical and mental health. This means allowing small groups of people from different households to meet outside with masking and two-metre distancing.

It means keeping playgrounds open and clearly encouraging safe outdoor activities. As noted by the Science Table: “Policies that discourage safe outdoor activity will not control COVID-19 and will disproportionately harm children and those who do not have access to their own greenspace, especially those living in crowded conditions.”

While the Halton Mayors and Regional Chair continue to discourage large gatherings in any setting, small groups can be at the same amenity at the same time as long as they are following the health guidelines. We also stand with our Halton students who are calling for a safe return to sports when health guidance and evidence suggests it is safe to do so.

The Halton District School Board’s (HDSB) Student Senate recently passed a motion declaring sports essential in students’ lives and created a Safe Sports subcommittee, co-chaired by two Halton students. The committee seeks to work with the Province to develop a plan for the safe return of sports, beginning with low-contact sports such as track and field, tennis, badminton, and swimming.

Given that many sporting activities occur in city facilities, the four Halton municipalities stand ready to partner with the Province, school boards and our local fitness providers in planning for a safe restart of sports.

In light of the evidence and advice from the Science Table, we renew our call to the Province to review and reconsider the list of currently prohibited outdoor activities. We further call on the provincial government to consult with school boards and our youth to design a safe return to sports plan, so that low-contact sports can resume as soon as it is safe to do so.

 Halton Regional Chair, Gary Carr;  Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, City of Burlington;  Mayor Rob Burton, Town of Oakville;  Mayor Gordon Krantz, Town of Milton;  Mayor Rick Bonnette, Town of Halton Hills

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