Medical Officer of Health is in an awkward situation: Advises us to limiting close contact to those within the household but makes no comment on dining in restaurants.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health wrote media earlier this week setting out and explaining why she asked the public to trim how they send their time and the places where they gather with other people.

“I appreciate the inquiries from the media and working together to ensure the public is informed in a timely manner. Through this statement, I am hoping to address your questions and provide a consistent message to you and the public.”

She is in an awkward situation.

Dr Meghani at news conference Hamilton

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health

She urged residents to “take additional steps to stop the spread, including limiting close contact to those within their household and limiting non-essential activities. I also recommended that team sports be limited to training only, that all indoor fitness classes be suspended, and that indoor dining take place only with those from the same household.”

But there was no word on restaurants – is it safe to have lunch at the places we like to dine?

The damage done to the hospitality sector is severe. They are hurting and that is very unfortunate. The city set up a grant program to help cover the additional costs of PPE. $2500.00 was available but there wasn’t enough money to give everyone that asked that amount.  $2500 doesn’t go very far.

The relaxation of restrictions and individual attention to public health measures over the summer has led to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, creating a concerning upward trend this fall. Although daily COVID-19 case counts fluctuate in Halton and elsewhere, the overall trends in Halton remain concerning.

The numbers province-wide are discouraging and if the current direction of the trend line holds winter is going to be very dark.

The development of a vaccine is being advanced – despite what that nut case south of us is saying the best date that is being published from reliable sources is maybe May of 2021.

“Public Health Units across the province have been working 24/7 to keep people safe and stop COVID-19 and we will continue that important work. Public Health Units will also continue to provide information to the Province daily on trends.

“Every individual action matters and can make a difference. Thank you to everyone for staying in this together, taking this seriously and above all for being kind and respectful of one another.”

The kid glove words from the MoH, who has been doing a very good job, fall a little short of the mark.

The Regional Public Health organizations now have very sophisticated tracking software.  What the public would like to see is:

Where are people getting infected?

Metrolinx - cleaning arm rest #1

GO train coaches get a scrub down at the end of each trip – mask wearing is not an option

At work?

While using public transit?

In restaurants?

At supermarkets?

The Public Health people know who has been infected.  The number of those infected based on a percentage of those tested is climbing – and that is not a good sign.

That 1042 number last Sunday was a shocker.  It has hovered in the 800 level since then yet the Mayors from the four municipalities in the Regions wrote the Premier and the Provincial Medial Officer of Health pleading not to be moved back into a Stage 2.

Would they prefer another solid lock down?

Everything we have seen and heard of Dr. Meghani backs up the reputation as a very proficient professional with a kind heart.

A little sternness in her voice could be used right now.

Hopefully she is working on the message she is probably going to have to give for the Christmas season.

 

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Male Arrested for Human Trafficking Offences: Regional police changing the way these offences

Crime 100By Staff

October 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Human trafficking is a heinous crime that robs victims of the fundamental right to live free of violence and fear.

HRPS crestThere are times when we are unable to publish a fulsome media release regarding a human trafficking investigation because doing so would pose a personal risk to the victim. In these instances, the Halton Regional Police Service will publish a de-identified media release that outlines the arrest(s) made as a result of the investigation. No names. No residence details. We will, however, disclose the charges laid.

Each media release will also include key messaging that:

i) reinforces that trafficking is a violation of human rights and a criminal offence in Canada;

ii) encourages victims, and those who have reason to believe someone they know might be a victim of trafficking, to contact the Halton Regional Police Service; and

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

Our goals are two-fold: i) create an opportunity to connect those who are at-risk, or who may already be victims of human trafficking, with the resources and support they need and deserve; and ii) heighten the awareness of the general public that trafficking is not a ‘far away’ problem in the developing world, but rather, one that is happening right here in our region.

Male Arrested for Human Trafficking Offences
Earlier this month, the Halton Regional Police Service – Human Trafficking Unit became aware of a young (adult) female who had been the victim of human trafficking dating back to 2017. The trafficking took place across the Greater Toronto Area. As a result of the ensuing investigation, police were able to locate and arrest a male in his thirties. The male was charged with the following offences:

• Material Benefit from Sexual Services
• Procuring to Provide Sexual Services
• Procuring by Exercise Control
• Advertising Sexual Services

The accused was held in custody pending a bail hearing.

Upon arrest of the accused, the victim was referred by the Halton Regional Police Service to our Victim Services Unit, and to support agencies in the community.

For the protection of the victim, no additional details (including the name of the accused) will be provided to the media.

The Halton Regional Police Service firmly believes that every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Victims of violence and/or 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 our region for victims of violence and/or sexual assault:

• Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777 ext. 5239 or by email at VictimServices@haltonpolice.ca
• Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
• Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)
• Radius Child & Youth Services 905-825-3242 (Oakville) or 1-855-744-9001
• Kid’s Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (24-hour crisis line)
• THRIVE Counselling 905-845-3811 or 905-637-5256

Signs / Indicators of Human Trafficking
• Not being allowed to speak for themselves;
Not having control of their own money or cellphone;
• Suddenly having a new or second cell phone with a secret number;
• Being controlled by others and escorted at all times;
• Not being allowed to contact family or friends;
• Withdrawing from family and friends;
• Providing rehearsed answers to casual questions;
• Being secretive about their activities;
• Showing signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc.
• Having a new boyfriend, girlfriend or friend who they won’t introduce to friends/family; and
• Having new items (clothing, jewelry etc.) outside their financial means.

What Should I Do if I Think Someone is a Victim of Trafficking
If there is immediate danger or if you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 9-1-1.

You may also call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24/7 to connect victims and survivors with social services, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as receive tips from the public. The hotline uses a victim-centered approach when connecting human trafficking victims and survivors with local emergency, transition, and/or long-term supports and services across the country, as well as connecting callers to law enforcement where appropriate.

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.

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Miller on disrupting the systemic Black racism that exists in the Halton District School Board

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

For Stuart Miller, Director of Education of the Halton District School Board, it was a problem he really didn’t need but when it landed on his desk – he moved quickly to get to the bottom of it and ensure there was a resolution.

Stuart Miller

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

It took a couple of weeks – he met with the people who were impacted by what Miller called Anti-Black discrimination. “I had to determine where it happened and how it happened.”

A student at Oakville Trafalgar high school felt she had been discriminated against because of the colour of her skin. She posted her views on Instagram – they went viral.

Miller  learned quickly that resolving the issue for a student wasn’t enough.  “I believe our Board has levels of systemic racism that need to be rooted out” said Miller who had all the Halton District School Board teachers take part in a full day of anti-discrimination training during a PD day in September”, adding that there will be a lot more training in the months and years ahead.

“There will be no more excuses or just talking.  I want to disrupt the practices and habits that our teachers have let develop. We owe that to the students who attend our schools.”

The HDSB has always had an Equity department.  When Miller was appointed Director of Education more than six years ago it was headed up by one part time principal.  Today that unit has a full time principal in place – he will be very busy.

“We will be rolling out an Equity Action and Accommodation Plan that will help people realize the biases they have and just what a bias is – they need to learn just what this stuff is” said Miller.  The Equity department has been expanded and Miller has hired Jewel Amoh who holds a doctorate in law to  advise him on equity issues.

Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis

A number of years ago Miller had put plans in place to have former provincial NDP leader Stephen Lewis speak to teachers across the Board.  The event got cancelled on two occasions – mostly due to conflicts and administrative reasons.

“We are going ahead with that this year” said Miller.  “This time it will be done virtually and I am going to ensure that every student of colour in the HDSB has an opportunity to take part.  There isn’t a more compelling voice than that of Stephen Lewis when it comes to battling discrimination.

Bringing about changes in the way a large organization handles relationship problems is no small matter. The way we behave is ingrained and we often don’t realize the impact we are having.

We are now a society that is much more diverse culturally: adapting to the changes does not happen because a memo was sent out.

Watching how Stuart Miller shifts the way discrimination issues in Burlington, Oakville and Milton are handled and at the same time getting to the point where it just doesn’t happen is going to be interesting.

BLM march June

It was a quiet disciplined march to city hall to say that Black Lives Matter.

Last year there was a march on Burlington’s city hall. A reported 4,000 young people quietly walked along New Street and sat on the street in front of city hall.

The Black Lives Matter signs made it clear that these young people were getting it. Now to spread that understanding throughout all of Halton…

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Threatening Letters Distributed in Halton - THE ARE A SCAM

Crime 100By Staff

October 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) is warning the public of a new extortion letter scam that is taking place in Halton Region (similar letters have also been distributed throughout the Greater Toronto Area).

The HRPS has received multiple complaints about the same letter. This letter is typed on a computer and tells victims that a person in their life has hired the writer to harm them in some way.

The writer offers to deny this request to harm them in exchange for a payment of Bitcoin from the victim. The suspect then promises to reveal the identity of the person who wants to harm them.

These extortion letters can be convincing, are often tailored to an occupant of the residence, and arrive by Canada Post.

This is a scam.

Police are urging residents not to follow the instructions in the letter and not to send a payment of Bitcoin. If you receive this letter and would like to report it to police, please contact our non-emergency line at 905-825-4747.

If you have fallen victim to this scam and made a payment in Bitcoin, please contact police.

The HRPS is investigating the source of these letters.

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It will be a much different looking Brant Street even if the development is limited to 17 floors

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Rendering - initiial Oct -20

This is the first view the city had of the development

The opposition to the building started the day the public saw the rendering for the first time.

Renimmob Properties Limited, a developer new to Burlington bought the property from the south end of the No frills Plaza where the Bank of Nova Scotia is located south the lot that Joe Dogs is located on. The Joe Dogs site was not part of the land assembly.

The proposal is to put a 26- storey mixed use building with approximately 248 residential units, including a mix of one, two and three bedroom units (subject to change) and ground floor commercial.

accessThe tower would sit on a three story podium. Vehicle access would be on a road that will have to be created – it would run between John and Brant on what is now the northern edge of the Bank of Nova Scotia.

Traffic and transportation were the issues that came up again and again.  Both of which were going to be the result of the height which no one wanted.  Under the in-force Official Plan the property is zoned for four to eight storeys.  Under the Official Plan that has been adopted by Council but not yet approved by the Region, the height could be 17 storeys.

Brant Street is just two lanes at this point – there is no room to widen the road.  The developer said there would be an eight metre sidewalk in front of the development.

street view

Looking north from the Joe Dogs location – which is not part of the development.

Looking south

Looking south on Brant Street with the development on the left side. The rendering shows four lanes of traffic plus a bicycle lane. The street currently has a limit of two lanes of traffic.

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It will turn out to be a defining battle for the heart and soul of Brant Street - Mayor finally goes one on one with Carriage Gate

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Is this the hill she will choose to die on?

Monday evening another of the Virtual Preconsultation meetings was held at which Renimmob Properties Limited listened to what the community thought of the plans for the property they bought on the west side of Brant street north of Caroline.

Faletta

David Faletta – Renimmob Properties Limited

At one point one of the callers asked what the relationship was between Renimmob Properties Limited and the Carriage Gate Group. David Faletta, one of the Renimmob operation said said they bought the property and and then brought the Carriage Gate in as advisors on managing the preconsultation process and getting an application through the city’s Planning department.

Strategically that was a brilliant move for the Renimmob people.

Carnacelli

Nick Carnecelli, Carriage Gate Development

If anyone has managed to get things through the Planning department it would be Carriage Gate.

They were the first developer to get shovels into the ground on Brant Street where they are in the process of digging the garage levels for the 24 story The Gallery.

The have completed The Berkeley on John Street but have yet to start on the above ground garage or the planned six story medical centre that has been beefed up to 17 storeys.

The also have an application in the works for the tallest, (so far) planned structured on the north side of Lakeshore Road slightly to the east of Bridgewater Development and to the west of the Nautique.

The ask is a reported 29 storeys.

MMW

Mayor Meed Ward listening to the speakers taking part in the Virtual Pre-consultation meeting.

The Mayor has been going head to head against what the Carriage Gate Group wants to do.

For the Renimmob people to bring Carriage Gate in as consultants suggest this one is going to be a battle royal.

Fur and feathers will fly.

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A November to Remember at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre

artsorange 100x100By Staff

October 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It gets dark early in Burlington come November – and it gets cold even earlier. Come in out of the weather and experience the first-class lineup of entertainment at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre (BPAC) next month.

“We have put together a diverse program for November that highlights the depth and breadth of Canadian performers today,” said BPAC Executive Director Tammy Fox. “The people of Burlington deserve the very best and we will be hosting award-winning artists, recognizable performers, classic concertos and Broadway blockbusters.”

Health and Safety Precautions
BPAC is perfectly positioned to welcome back audiences with patron safety at the forefront, with its spacious Lobby, increased ventilation, physical-distancing ticketing system and additional health and safety measures to put theatregoers’ minds at ease.

All patrons must wear a mask, hand sanitize upon entry and maintain social distancing outside of their social circle. Patrons are expected to self-screen, and of course to stay at home if experiencing COVID-related symptoms or if suspecting recent exposure to the virus. Health and safety measures are also being implemented backstage to protect artists, and throughout the venue to protect staff and volunteers.

Kevin Fox

Kevin Fox

Stacked Lineup for November
Kevin Fox leads off the November lineup with two shows on Sunday, November 1, combining his beautiful voice with his signature instrument, which he plucks, taps, and loops, creating a unique and intoxicating blend of cello-driven folk/pop. Tickets are $39, or $34 for BPAC Members, with VIP packages featuring lots of goodies for $69, or $64 for BPAC Members.

Sarah Slean has published two volumes of poetry, starred in short films and a movie musical (spawning two Gemini Award nominations), penned two string quartets, held numerous exhibitions of her paintings, and shared the stage with 10 of the country’s professional orchestras over her 20-year-career. Tickets are $39, or $34 for BPAC Members, with VIP packages for $69, or $64 for BPAC Members.

Sarah Slean

Sarah Slean

Tom Allen and Lori Gemmell’s A Poe Cabaret features music by the brilliant and troubled impressionist Claude Debussy, his modernist student André Caplet and by the versatile Canadian composer Alexina Louie. The show combines the compelling and tragic life story of Edgar Allan Poe with great music conjured in his honour. Tickets are $39, or $34 for BPAC Members.

Into The Woods in Concert is a musical journey that intertwines the several beloved Brothers Grimm characters and explores the consequences of their individual’ wishes and wants. Characters like Little Red Riding Hood, Jack (and the Beanstalk), Rapunzel, Cinderella and others encounter each other as they fight for what they believe is their happily ever after. Tickets are $49, or $44 for BPAC Members.

The ALTdot Comedy Lounge has been one of Toronto’s premiere comedy shows for 24 years. The show has encouraged alternative, untraditional comedy and continues to discover the best talent on the Canadian Comedy scene, providing an alternative to the mainstream in a comfortable cabaret atmosphere. BPAC presents Rhiannon Archer, Peter White, Keith Pedro and Tim Rabnett on November 27 and Courtney Gilmour, Alex Wood, Nigel Grinstead with host Ali Hassan on November 28. Tickets are $35 or $30 for BPAC Members.

Leslie Kinton

Leslie Kinton is one of Canada’s best-known and sought-after chamber musicians.

Leslie Kinton is one of Canada’s best-known and sought-after chamber musicians and has been a founding member of many established ensembles, including ARC (Artists of the Royal Conservatory), the resident chamber ensemble of The Glenn Gould School. In 2019, Kinton and his duo partner James Anagnoson were named Honorary Fellows of The Royal Conservatory of Music, awarded to a distinguished group of individuals and organizations who have made an extraordinary contribution to arts and culture in Canada and beyond. Tickets are $39, or $34 for BPAC Members.

BPAC November Lineup
• KEVIN FOX: Songs for Cello & Voice (November 1, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.)
• SARAH SLEAN (November 7, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.)
• A POE CABARET featuring Tom Allen and Friends (November 8, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.)
• Talk is Free Theatre: INTO THE WOODS in Concert (November 27 to December 6, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. shows)
• ALTdot COMEDY LOUNGE: Rhiannon Archer, Peter White, Keith Pedro, and Tim Rabnett (November 27, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.)
• ALTdot COMEDY LOUNGE: Courtney Gilmour, Alex Wood, Nigel Grinstead with host Ali Hassan (November 28, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.)
• LESLIE KINTON Celebrates Beethoven (November 29, 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.)

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre
440 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario
Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 | burlingtonpac.ca/bpacpresents

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Mayor's schedule for week of October 26th, to October 31st

News 100 redBy Staff

October 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Her Worship Marianne Meed Ward, Mayor of the City of Burlington publishes her schedule for each week.

How many of you out there could maintain that schedule?

She is on the air – literally everywhere but has yet to hold an open press conference.

Mayor Oct 26-31 a

Mayor Oct 26-31 b

Mayor Oct 26-32 c

Mayor Oct 26-31 d

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The anti-Black racism problem is now very front and center in Oakville

background graphic redBy Pepper Parr

October 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The issue came to the surface when Medina Jones posted her complaint about the way she had been treated by the Guidance office at her high school, Oakville Trafalgar in Oakville, on her Instagram account

The item went viral.

Oakville Trafalgar HS crestThe Grade 12 student at Oakville Trafalgar High School in the Halton District School Board, has been working her entire high school career with the aim of attending a prestigious British university where she could excel in her selected field of study.

To apply to the U.K., Jones required a letter from her school providing a set of predicted grades based on both her previous achievements and what she and her teachers expected she would achieve in her courses this year.

The British system leaves room for discretion, according to the U.K.-based Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS), though it outlines policies to guide educators on how to ensure grades are neither inflated nor suppressed.

“Students should be given the opportunity to discuss their predicted grades with you,” reads UCAS’s recommendations.

“It may be that they can demonstrate progress, and you’re comfortable in changing their prediction. Equally, you may not be aware of extenuating circumstances that have affected their performance to date.”

Yet Jones claimed that the school’s guidance department didn’t consult with her past teachers, nor did it speak to her about her goals. Instead, she was dismayed to find she was provided with several predicted grades that were below what her record indicated she would likely achieve.

From Jones’ perspective, this was just one more example of a pattern of anti-Black racism in which Black and racialized students at the school were discouraged from pursuing ambitious goals.

Instagram_logo

Instagram

She took to Instagram to share her story earlier this month. The video went viral, racking up over 15,000 views, liked and commented on by past and present students, some who shared their own experiences of racism.

In the meantime, her mother Rowda Mohamud wrote to the school and to the board’s Superintendent of Equity and Inclusive Education.

The Superintendent followed up with the school principal. After a frustrating back and forth, Jones eventually received revised predicted grades she felt more fairly reflected her capabilities, though without any further transparency.

The Board superintendent responsible for the school ,Tina Salmini told the family an investigation was underway, saying only that the allegations “are serious and will be responded to accordingly and in conjunction with our policies and procedures.”

Stuart Miller

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

The Director of Education for the Halton District School Board, which administrates the public schools in Oakville met with Mohamud and Jones, and later tweeted that “although the specific incident that came to light this week has been resolved, the much larger issues both she and the comments illustrated have not yet been fully addressed.

“It is clear from the comments and sentiments expressed by her and the other Black and racialized students of the HDSB that there is much work for us to do to end anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism.”

(Jones and Mohamud said they won’t consider their issue “resolved” without an apology and accountability.)

That same day, Jones’ principal sent out a statement to the school community acknowledging concerns around “systemic discrimination” and inviting students to submit experiences through an online form.

Alexsis Morrison, who is Black and currently a second-year college student, said she took the school up on its offer. Back in Grade 10, she was told her 80 per cent average wasn’t good enough for her to transfer to the school by the same guidance counsellor accused of discriminating against Jones. She said her brother, currently in Grade 11, was also treated unfairly and discouraged from pursuing academic-level courses.

In an interview with CBC this morning Miller said the “short term issue circumstances” have been resolved. “We know what happened and how it happened.”

“We now have to be responsive and accountable to this community and that is going to require more work and more time.

“Being accountable is what we now have to focus on. These feelings are real,” said Miller after meeting with parents and students, “and they are going to be addressed and resolved.”

Asked by Ismaila Alfa, on CBC, how he was going to be accountable to the wider community on what happened, Miller didn’t duck the issue nor did he equivocate.

He acknowledged there are problems within the system saying that not only more has to be done to fix the problems, it has to be done faster.

HDSB’s Equity and Inclusive Education department is working hard to address systemic racism and the board will take the experiences of these students seriously and will be held accountable for necessary change.

“We will listen to parent and student feedback of their experiences and will work to eliminate the experiences of systemic racism for our Black and Indigenous students,’ Miller said in the statement.

The issue of colour is not new to Oakville, a prosperous community just to the west of Toronto.

Che-Marvel

Che – Marvel,

In 2016 Che Marvel, a woman of colour ran as a Black Woman in a privileged white community. In a local newspaper she said:

“In Canada we don’t talk much about race, not really. Sometimes an event will ignite public outrage, and then only some of us talk about it with in our own groups. It then disappears into the ether.

“We take great pride and solace knowing that we live in a relatively integrated and diverse society. Our racial gaze is often fixed on our neighbours in the United States, on their spectacle, their violence, their long unresolved racial history as though we don’t have our own. We have more conversations about the “Oscar So White” debate than Islamaphobia or Carding. We seem unable to have our own unique Canadian conversation on race and are unwilling to deliberately delve into the murky water of the politics of race.

“Maybe we are too polite, too uncomfortable, in too much denial, too afraid or perhaps we just don’t know how to really begin. Even in the midst of our own potent examples: the backdrop of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Findings, Carding, the over representation of First Nations and Afro Canadians in our prisons, and the Niqab firestorm.

“Incredibly, we can still act as though race is not a legitimate topic for public dialogue; and yet it is there. Always, it seems to be someone else’s problem. “

The “problem” is now very front and center in Oakville.

Significant parts of this article were picked up from the Toronto Star and the Oakville News

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Will Halton be moved back to Stage 2 this week?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Is it time for a painful reality check?

Are we paying attention to the COVID-19 numbers?

1042 new cases identified in Ontario – highest number ever and the colder weather that will keep us inside more often has yet to really start.

Region graph Oct 25

We are in the beginning of a second wave – it was expected. How long will it last?

Burlington MPP Jane McKenna penned a letter to the Chief Medical Officer for the province urging him not to put Halton back into Stage 2. York, Peel and Toronto were moved into Stage 2 earlier in the month when their numbers kept climbing.

With Peel in Stage 2 there are reports of people from those communities driving into Halton for dinner at our local restaurants.

A tough question: Are restaurants essential?

More than 15 schools in Halton have reported infections – not huge numbers but infections nevertheless.

A Burlington MacDonald’s reported an infection; a very popular Oakville supermarket reported an infection.

Is it time to think in terms of mothballing the hospitality sector?

These are tough decisions that have to be made.

McKenna has asked the Provincial Medical Officer to hold off – isn’t that a decision that is made by the Halton Medical Officer of Health?  In her letter McKenna said: “In June, when we began to emerge from the lockdown, the advice given by our medical experts was to wait two weeks (the incubation period), before lifting any restrictions. When taken together with our decreasing case counts, there is no evidence to suggest that moving Halton to a modified Phase 2 will have any meaningful impact on reducing case counts. One thing that is certain, is that many people and businesses can not financially withstand another shutdown.”

Noteworthy is the fact that neither Oakville Mayor Rob Burton nor Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette signed the letter – perhaps they were unavailable?

Burlington is spending very large sums of money to protect the people who work at city hall. The majority are still working from their homes and for the most part doing a good job.

The economy is vitally important – is a healthy population not just as important?

Do we really have to get out for a beer and mix with people? Can we not buckle down, find within us the personal discipline and do what is in our best interests and see ourselves through what is a crisis that has the potential to rip us apart as a society?

What will we do if a third of the schools are shut down for a couple of weeks at a time? What happens when the number of classroom teachers who become infected are in the hundreds?

Is this being alarmist?

That 1042 number of infections reported on Sunday by the province was a fact.

The Premier will be sweating this one out when it is the public that needs to do the sweating. The people from Toronto and Mississauga who travel to Burlington and Oakville for an evening out have to learn to stay within their own communities and spend time with the people who are in their immediate circle.

This virus may be very hard to beat and we may have to wait until there is a vaccine – but in the meantime we can limit its growth by limiting what we do.

Do your best to not pick up the infection from someone else and do your best to not pass it along if you do get it.

In the meantime we wait for the numbers from the province Monday morning and wait to hear what the Halton Regional Medical Officer of Health has to say.

Her job just got a lot harder.

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Mayor skirts the offer of quarry land being turned into park land - no political upside in thisfor her or the ward Councillor.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has a regular television show on the Cogeco cable network.

Cogeco provides the free time as one of the conditions attached to their license.

Late in September the Mayor and Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan took part in a virtual conversation with Curt Benson, the Regional planner about the Nelson Aggregate application for new licenses to continue open pit mining for aggregate needed for the concrete used in construction for everything from high rise towers to sidewalks in the city.

MMW + Nisan + Benson on Cogeco

Mayor Meed Ward, Councillor Rory Nisan (lower right) and Regional Planner Curt Benson on the Cogeco cablecast.

There is considerable opposition to the license applications from people who live in the rural part of the city.

The process and level of public involvement is complex and involves five levels of government and agencies.

The Mayor had Benson take her through the process that would be used. It is complex and time consuming and will take at least two years before they are anywhere near a decision. A municipal election will have taken place before the issue is ready for a decision.

Burlington’s city council is one of the bodies that makes a decision but it is the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) that has the clout. If they decide the granting of licenses is not in the public interest and does not meet with the NEC mandate there will be no license.

The provincial Ministry is the body that will actually issue the license.

At this point in time the focus is ongoing through the thousands of pages of documents that were submitted with the application. It will take a couple of years for this to be completed.

Quarry time line

There are a lot of hoops for the application to get through before this gets to a decision point.

During the half hour broadcast Meed Ward and Nisan talked about community involvement, protection of the environment and the interests of the citizens – especially those who live in rural Burlington. Ward 3 covers the North West part of the city and while the population is not all that large – they certainly have clout.

Meed Ward and Nisan want to be able to say that they have done their best to save rural Burlington. They are half way through their first term of office and can be expected to shift the shape of the way they see things and move into election mode.

As elected officials they are not in place to focus on just the immediate and short term interests but the longer term interests of the city.

And that is where Meed Ward and Nisan failed miserably.

Neither made any mention of the offer to turn the mined out properties over to the city to be used as a public park.

Meed Ward did say that the area did have a park – she was referring to the Cedar Springs Golf Club – private and expensive.

Much mention was made of the community group that is opposed to future development of the open pit mines – little mention of the citizen’s group that would like to see a park created out of the land once the aggregate is mined out.

Spencer Smith Park and the Beachway are packed on the weekends when the weather is good.

The Conservation Authority is now charging a fee to enter their parks and limiting the amount of time you can spend there.

Lowville Park, a destination for large family gatherings, now meters the number of vehicles that can be in the park and limits the amount of time people can stay – which puts a real damper on family groups that often spend the best part of a day in what is a very nice park.

If there are limits now on where people can enjoy the outdoors what will Burlington do when they have added 15,000 to 20,000 people to its population by the time the quarry is ready to be closed?

The long range look is part of a city Councillor’s job – a Mayor is expected to take a long term view and to prepare the public for what is coming and to make the best of an opportunity.

The public didn’t see much of that when the Mayor dragged the Regional Planner into the fray.

Benson was pretty good at keeping his distance by being the professional he is – he was not about to be co-opted by a Mayor.

Nelson Aggregates may be talking to the wrong level of government. The Conservation Authority operates the Mt Nemo property which is a couple of football field lengths away from the quarry. They would be more suited to operating any park that might be developed in the future.

More on this in the weeks ahead.

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.

Related new stories:

Citizens organize to oppose quarry expansion

Nelson Aggregates releases plan to turn quarry into parkland

 

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Will those hydro towers ever disappear and the cables be buried?

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Region of Halton is in talks with Hydro One about burying the hydro cables that are now strung from tower to tower along the Beachway and on up through the city.

Hydro towers - Burlington

Hydro towers along the Beachway are said to be nearing their end of life cycle – burying the cables underground is being discussed.

The towers are said to be at the end of their natural life cycle which would suggest that if the cable is going to be buried this would be a good time to talk about it.

The cost of burying hydro cables is high and there are concerns that were brought up by the Hydro One operations people about ensuring there is always access to the cable in the event of a problem.

Oil and gas pipeline have access points – something similar would have to be put in place for the hydro lines.

The Region thinks there might be some provincial money available to cover the cost.

At the Regional Council last week Regional Chair Carr said that he and Mayor Meed Ward would write a letter to the senior people at Hydro One and see if they can get some movement on the file.

Kelvin Galbraith headshot_Super_Portrait

Burlington’s ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith wants to be in on hydro tower removal conversations.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith piped in asking that he be made a part of that letter writing exercise – pointing out that the towers were in his ward. Galbraith is making it clear that he is no “shrinking violet” and is as capable as the Mayor in ensuring that he is at the tables that count.

It is hard to imagine a Burlington skyline without those towers.

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Beachway evolves from a robust community to a park waiting to be put in place.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It has been some time since we have heard anything about progress on the development of the Beachway Park.

We do know that the Region has been using their “willing buyer to willing seller” approach to buying up as many of the houses that are left in that once robust community.

Beachway - two storey + roof deck

Bought by the Region and then torn down

Beachway 1011 sold for $600k

Sold to the Region by the owner who rented the house for a few years. Then it was torn down

The Region recently released a map showing who owned what – not much left in private hands.

Beachway housing

There was a time when there was a small community made up of people with modest incomes who lived in this part of Burlington where one of the best beaches in the province exists.

Once the Region acquires a property they have it bulldozed to the ground, sprinkle some grass seed on the land and it becomes just another open space.

There are plans to turn the area into a park – not much news from the planners working on the project.

The public did get to see some renderings setting out what would be done. All there is at the moment are the six area park areas that have names attached to them.

Beachway Master plan Oct 2020A study is in the works – not a lot of detail on just what the objective of the study is.
We will see what we can pry out of the communication advisers the Region pays to keep us all well informed.

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Halfway through this term of office Council may want to reflect on what they have managed to get done and if this is really the job for those new to the job.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

 October 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

For most of us it’s a Friday, another weekend where there are more restrictions than things to do.

But for most of the members of city council Friday matters. Marianne Meed Ward was elected Mayor, Angelo Bentivegna, Kelvin Galbraith, Rory Nisan, Lisa Kearns and Shawna Stolte were elected to council for the first time.

Full council

Paul Sharman was re-elected – he wasn’t certain that he was going to pull it off – but he did.

Mayor Meed Ward

Minutes before the Chain of Office was placed on her shoulders in December of 2018

Meed Ward has certainly made her mark during this first two years as Mayor. She has and is moving the needle.

The Gazette will report in depth on how each of the newly elected have done now that they are at the half way point and their minds get turned to re-election or deciding that being a council member isn’t everything they thought it was going to be.

It is certainly a harder job than any of the five new members thought it was going to be.

Some have grown into the job, for others it’s clear they shouldn’t be there.

There have been some surprises – the job is clearly a calling for them.

COVID-19 hasn’t helped these people adjust to the job.  There is still a little trying to figure out just what they can do and what they can’t do as members of Council when a lot of the decision making is in the hands of the City Manager and senior staff.

This Friday the five newbies deserve congratulations – they have worked hard; they have struggled and they are learning.
Mayor Meed Ward is, for the most part, doing what she said she would do. There are parts of her promise she may not be able to keep but it won’t be for lack of trying.

Like the five newbies she is adjusting to a role she has thirsted for, fought for and won.

Much to her chagrin she has found that some of her colleagues are not looking to her for the leadership she would like to provide. In the municipal world the Mayor is just one vote with a bully pulpit along with some bling.

The money is decent, more than most of the members of this council have ever earned in their lives.

The newbies have power; they can make things happen.

Power often does funny things to people; it tends to eat into whatever humility they had before they took the oath.

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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City gets a close-up look at the process-timeline that will apply to any expansion of the Nelson quarry

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 22, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With the application from Nelson Aggregates complete and accepted, the process of going through the numerous documents presented to support the request for additional licenses can begin.

The process is going to be daunting.

An extension of the Burlington Nelson Quarry would require Provincial, Regional and City approval. There is a sequencing of decisions required and parallel review processes happening at the provincial, regional and city level.

It will be years before there is a decision.

Nelson quarry aerial

This site is close to being mined out – Nelson Aggregates has applied for additional licenses to expand

The City of Burlington received an application to amend the Burlington Official Plan designation of the subject lands to expand the existing Nelson quarry operation on May 14th.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan said “Council is committed to a transparent process and I look forward to the project coming before the council table. I urge Burlington residents to get involved and to ensure their opinions about this application are heard.”

An extension of the Burlington Nelson Quarry would require:

Public consultation and engagement, including a statutory public meeting
Amendments to the Niagara Escarpment Plan and issuance of a Development Permit
Amendments to the Region of Halton Official Plan
Amendments to the City of Burlington Official Plan
An Aggregate License from the Province of Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for the proposed expansion area

An application to the Niagara Escarpment Commission, Region of Halton and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry were received at the same time the City received an application.

A conceptual flowchart showing the parallel review process for the application is set out below.  This process includes statutory timelines, application benchmarks, decision points and highlights opportunities for public consultation and engagement.

Quarry time line

An inter-agency Joint Agency Review Team (JART) framework will be used to review the application for the proposed quarry expansion to ensure coordinated review by all agencies. The JART consists of technical staff from the Niagara Escarpment Commission, Region of Halton, Conservation Halton and the City of Burlington. The function of JART is to review the completeness of the application and analyze the proposal on its technical merits. JART itself does not make a recommendation on whether or not the application should be approved.

There will be regular reporting to Burlington City Council with progress updates and clarity on timing as the review process unfolds.

Prior to any decisions being made, public consultation will occur, including a statutory public meeting. The timing of the statutory public meeting has not yet been determined and will be scheduled once the technical review of the proposal has progressed further. Residents are encouraged to subscribe to the City’s Nelson Quarry Extension webpage Burlington.ca/nelsonquarry for up to date information on the application.

MMW + Nisan + Benson on Cogeco

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward along with Regional Planner Curt Benson (top right) and Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan taking part on the Cogeco cable channel. The quarry is in ward 3

Communications will go out to residents informing them about the opportunities to engage and provide their feedback on any requests for comments

Both the NEC and the MNRF will be releasing requests for comment on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. This is anticipated to occur within 2020, and the ability for the public, the City and other agencies to comment will be open for a limited time.

Mayor Meed Ward has said: “I know residents across our city and region are watching this very carefully because it affects us all. Our primary consideration will be how this will affect the health and safety of our community and the environment of this very sensitive area. I want to credit our Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan in ensuring residents know what is happening and are informed about the process so that they can be involved.  There is a long road ahead.”

Related news story:

Residents don’t want an expansion – raising funds to oppose.

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CORE gets off to a good fund raising start: pumpkins worked the first time

News 100 greenBy Gord Pinard

October 22, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

There are two things we would like to share with you today.

The first is this: we raised $8140 with our Pumpkin Fundraiser! We are absolutely floored by this number. Never in our most optimistic moments did we imagine that we could raise that much money from the sale of pumpkins. Thank you so very much to all of you who donated in varying amounts to this fundraiser. We are feeling encouraged in the truest sense of the word: your generosity has given us courage to continue this fight to protect our beautiful escarpment from the permanent environmental destruction that will arise if Nelson Aggregate’s application for two more open-pit mines is approved.

Nelson quarry aerial

The existing quarry has a number of years left. Community resident want this to be the end of open pit mines on the Escarpment.

Which brings us to the second thing: CORE Burlington consists of thirteen of your neighbours who have been working our hearts out for a year now, trying in every way we know how to stop this application from succeeding. We’re researching, reading dry reports on subjects that are new to us; we’re communicating to the public via our website, social media and email, in order to educate and update; we’re calling for critical emails-to-officials as required throughout the application process—which is complicated and involves approval from five different agencies!

Quarry map

The shaded areas to the left and at the bottom are where Nelson Aggregates wants to expand

But mostly, lately, we’ve been fundraising. Unquestionably the best shot we have at beating Nelson is to counter the case put forth in the review process by their lawyers and experts, with the case put forward by ours. We’ve raised just over $50,000 thus far, which we think is incredible. But we need to raise another $50K over the next few months and additional funding in 2021/22 in order to continue funding the expert help that has already begun.

Our fundraising team needs more worker-bees. We need help with planning and doing and donating and delivering. We also need some place to store the ‘in-kind’ donations we’ve been accumulating. Our next project is likely to be a pre-order gift basket sale for Christmas. We’d like to do an online silent auction as well, since we’ve had several wonderful silent auction items donated in the past while.

Is there anything you can do to help? Are you willing and able to join the CORE Burlington fundraising team? We’ve been doing our work via phone-calls, zoom meetings, emails and outdoor, distanced meetings. It’s been challenging to do this work during a pandemic, but we’re pretty pleased with our fundraising results so far. And we’re (honestly) having fun. Doing this sort of work is not such a bad way to find light and inspiration in these darkening COVID days.

Related news story:

The CORE argument

Gord Pinard is the spokesperson for Conserving our Rural Ecosystems

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Council gets an in-depth look at what the Planning department has to manage in the next couple of years

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was one heck of a meeting, delivered in a workshop format

Angelo Bentivegna got to serve as chair; Jamie Tellier, currently the Interim Director of Community Planning, set out all the work the Planning Department has ahead of it. Councillor Stolte learned why zoning bylaw reports are numbered the way they are and city manager assured council that the 22 people that have to be added to the planning department staff will not all be taken on in one year – building the staff compliment will take about five years.

Angelo as chair

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna is in the Chair

Tellier has a delivery style that is a delight to hear – he laughs at the few mistakes he makes and chuckles frequently when he is explaining something. He is the kind of person who really puts the J in Joy. He used a number of slides to get his message across.

Wk Dev activity

The numbers startled several of the Councillors – there was more to come.

Tellier started out by telling Councillor that with the Scoped Review of the Downtown portion of the Official Plan completed and the Interim Control Bylaw in place until all the appeals at that level are completed, the planners now get on with the real job of growing the planning department so that it can cope with the work that is ahead of it.

Tellier set out the organizational structure that is in place with three different working groups set out in the graphic below.

functional design

Council has always believed that development should pay for the work the planning department has to do.  A consultant has been hired to do a Planning Application Fee Review; that report is due sometime in November.

Once full cost recovery is in place the planners will be able to bring in the staff they will need.

Tellier didn’t even try to hide his excitement over just how big a deal the passing of the Official Plan earlier in October was.  “It was the end of a very long journey,” he said.

The next phase of that journey will take place at the Region on Wednesday (today) where the matter of the Urban Growth Boundary will be reviewed as well as the boundaries for what used to be called transportation hubs. They are now described as Major Transit Service Areas. (MTSA)

Wk ugc mtsa

Urban Growth and transportation – residential housing locations will be debated at the Region on Wednesday.

The John Street bus terminal that was once called an MTSA has been deemed to be just a bus terminal – which is not defined in the the Planning Act and therefore not a concern.

At the Regional Council meeting Mayor Meed Ward expects to be vindicated for her long held position that the John Street bus terminal designation be removed.

There were those in Burlington who said this would never happen.  They were wrong.

Burlington will have three MTSAs: Burlington GO station; Aldershot Go Station and the Appleby GO station.  Boundaries have been established for all three but have yet to be made final. These MTSA’s are where the growth in residential housing is to take place.

The Gazette will report on what takes place at the Regional Council meeting in detail.

A draft version of the Regional review of the Burlington Official Plan is expected early in November.  Council will go over that document – send its comments back to the Region after which the city will have an Official Plan that will be appeal-able at LPAT.

While all this is taking place there is a Land Use Study being done by Dillon that the city expects to see in November.

The Region is also doing a phased Municipal Comprehensive Review as part of its Official Plan Review.  The MTSA and UGC questions are part of that process.

Tellier took some delight in pointing out that the fist change to an Official Plan that is yet to be fully Official is on its way.  He added that all this is very complex and can be confusing.

The work being done on what were originally known as Transportation hubs, now called MTSAs, will be referred to as Area Specific Plans. That work was started in 2017 and paused in 2019 and has now become part of the work plan for which the city is going to have to hire as many as 22 additional staff.

Tellier and City manager Tim Commisso stressed that these jobs would not be filled in the immediate future and that when they are filled the work they do will be paid for by the fees collected from the developers.  The developers will of course add those fees to the cost of the housing they build.

The Planning Department and the Office of the City Solicitor have both submitted their budget requests.

Tellier spent most of the two hours explaining the work the Planning department now had to take on.

There is to be a community housing strategy.

There is to be a review of heritage sites in the downtown core.

WK urban design

There are Guidelines for everything now.

There is the Urban Design thinking, which Tellier described as “the glue” that keeps everything together.

There is a Pre-building permit process that is being put in place – this was intended for individuals who want to build a deck or install a swimming pool who don’t have the experience or skills to work their way through the way city hall works.  The intention is to have a single person point of reference.  This is covered by the Service Review Study that has taken place.

COVID has forced the city to find a better way of getting documents filed.  Developers would come in with boxes and boxes of reports; now everything comes digitally.

Site Planning co-coordinator Jamie Tellier explans what is going to be built whereon the JBMH campus.

Jamie Tellier explains what is going to be built where on the Joseph Brant Hospital campus.

Tellier explained that Planning has had to lean heavily on Information Services for both direction and support.

The Core Commitment is due for a serious review as well.

Tellier gave some insight into the complexity of the work to be done.  Much of it involves liaising with legal, roads, transit, transportation and community planning.

In summing up, Tellier cheerfully said: That’s it!

Following all this is going to be a challenge.

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The politics of COVID 19: it is reshaping our political world

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

COVID 19 is helping to reshape our political world. Nowhere was that better seen than in the re-election of New Zealand’s young prime minister, who has led her country and shown the world how to deal with the coronavirus. She was rewarded by the voters with a landslide victory and a first ever parliamentary majority since New Zealand adopted proportional government back in the 1990’s.

By contrast there is the US presidential race and if Trump loses, which appears likely, it will be because of his mishandling of the pandemic. Americans are constantly reminded of the quarter million folks who have died under his watch, despite his assurances that the virus was just a flu and would be gone by last May.

NZ prime minister

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern is a very talented leader who built a coalition with the Green Party on the left and the NZ First on the right and ably governed to the respect of New Zealanders during the devastating global pandemic. But unlike Canada, New Zealand was prepared for the pandemic and it acted swiftly to contain and eliminate the virus months ago.

There have been the inevitable outbreaks since then, a consequence of allowing returning nationals into the country, but they have been contained by contact tracing and mandatory quarantine. Like Canada, New Zealand closed its borders, but it did so much earlier and avoided much of the initial spread we allowed.

Being a unitary state it was easier, no doubt, to effect a consistent national health care policy. That was also true for the early lock down rules which kept people from spreading the virus. New Zealand is an Island but the virus arrived there as it did here – by airline passengers, so that is no excuse for Canada’s much poorer performance.

NZ sports audience

New Zealanders are now able to attend sports events and concerts – the Covid19 virus

New Zealand’s success can be attributed to its viable and consistent plan which was followed and enforced until the virus was gone in addition to a compliant population who followed the rules and a strong and visionary leader, of course. Today there are only a few active cases remaining – all of which are contained and under quarantine. Meanwhile the rest of the country has gone back to normal. The shops and businesses have re-opened and even crowded sporting events are back.

Masks are no longer required, even on public transport.

The New Zealand economy has taken a hit, along with just about every nation on the planet. International tourism makes up a large portion of the country’s economy. And since the airports are mostly closed to non-citizens, domestic tourism is being promoted to help keep that business sector going.

New Zealand should be a model for how other nations deal with the epidemic and protect their populations. But it is not the only model. Uruguay, another small nation, bordered by Brazil and Argentina, both of which have significant contagions, has done remarkably well. Taiwan with a population five times that of New Zealand has suffered only 7 deaths. And both Uruguay and Taiwan have come through without a lock down so far.

And then there is China, where the virus originated, but which managed to virtually eliminate it in short order and has dealt effectively with the inevitable periodic outbreaks related to foreign travel. But unlike most other nations China’s economy is showing a marked rebound and life is mostly going back to normal.

Ford - dumb thoughtful

Day after day Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario goes before the TV cameras to explain the most recent decision on combating Covid19

So what about Canada? Canada’s focus has always been on ‘Flattening’ rather than ‘Eliminating’ the curve. So when the provincial lock downs had been successful in flattening the infection curve we got carried away with our success, declaring victory and opening up the economy so people could mingle and spread the disease again. We did ask people to wear masks and distance, but the messages were mixed and the test/tracing practices unsuccessful. As sure as night follows day the contagion got a second wind.

Bringing the infection rate down will be much harder this time. Schools are open, cold weather has pushed people inside where the virus is where it wants to be, and we’re COVID fatigued, tired of it all. We’re sick and tired of the restrictions, and the steady stream of bad statistics, and the daily media briefings, and the mixed messages from our politicians, and the economic malaise, and the ever-rising debt we’ll have to reconcile one day.

So perhaps next time our leaders will take a lesson from nations, like new Zealand, which have been successful in overcoming this contagion the first time. And if they do perhaps political rewards, like one kind Jacinda Ardern has just been given, will be in their future as well.

Background links:

Jacinda –   New Zealand Gets IT–    China Gets It

Rivers in maskRay Rivers, born in Ontario earned an economics degree at the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s degree in economics at the University of Ottawa.  His 25 year stint with the federal government included time with Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, Agriculture and the Post office.  Rivers is active in his community,

 

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No consensus on the re-development of the Waterfront Hotel site

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 20th. 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Waterfront hotel with pier at foot

The owner of the hotel had plans to tear it down and rebuild closer to the edge of the lake

One of the deeply concerning issues for almost everyone who lives in Burlington and spends some time each year at Spencer Smith Park is what is going to get built south of Lakeshore Road where the Waterfront Hotel is now located.

Plan B page 3

The Plan B people have been consistent and insistent that the public be at the table when decisions are made about how the Waterfront Hotel is to be re-developed.

Council learned today that the Planning department has not been able to get consensus from the property owners which puts any work done on how  the site is developed gets pushed back into 2021 for pthe creation of a work plan, and figuring out what the timing will be and what will be required in the way of budget.
This is a development area that has several sets of eyes on it – not just the planners.

Plan B, a small but very very effective group of people who have come up with an alternate set of plans that have not gone away despite precious little in the way of deserved attention from a former Director of Planning who left the city.

Related news stories:

Plan B people remind the city that they are watching what happens to the Waterfront Hotel site

Mary Lou Tanner – last paragraph in the story

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Tellier suggests that the Burlington business association get in bed with the one in Aldershot.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

During the lengthy and very detailed report on Planning Department plans going forward given by Interim Director of Community Planning Jamie Tellier, a couple of gems were dropped on the table.

BDBA logoHe told council he wanted to plant a seed – take a look at the way the Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA) works (Tellier called it a BIA) and consider adding the Aldershot BIA to the work the BDBA does.

The downtown merchants have used special shopping bag promotions in the past. Last summer we all got to see BDBA General Manager Brian Dean in shorts that must have been on sale somewhere.

BDBA Executive Director Brian Dean working his territory.

Tellier saw community planning as something that doesn’t work all that well with boundaries

He might have added that it is perhaps time for a BIA to represent the commercial activity in and around Dundas, especially on the eastern side of the city.

Expect to see Brian Dean, current Executive Director of the BDBA, delegating on that issue.

 

 

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