Seasonal Flu shots are the next step - they have nothing to do with the pandemic

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 22, 2020



The flu shot is free - and it doesn't hurt THAT much.

The flu shot is free – and it doesn’t hurt THAT much.

Flu shots – flu shots – not the hoped for COVID-19 vaccine – this is the normal seasonal flu we are to be protected against.

Great – the province has ordered more than 5 million doses and is spending $70 million.

So I can call my doctor’s office and head in for that quick jab in the arm?

How do I do that?

And that’s the rub – there is no protocol in place for all of us to get the flu shot.

Those in long term care homes are first on the list – good.

The seniors are next – so how do we seniors learn where we are supposed to go and when?

Have you noticed that the medical people tend to avoid email – so they will call me?

The pharmacies are said to be given permission to get into the game. That’s being worked out.

The province released step 1 in the six step plan they have to keep us all safe.  Meanwhile the increase in people infected rises.  No idea what the other five steps in that plan are – many suspect that just what those others steps are has yet to be worked out.

The graphic below is evidence enough – that curve is going in the wrong direction. And we the people are the only ones who can change its direction.

Ont covid 19 Sept 22

The slope of the curve is now rising steeper than it was when we had hit a peak.

Return to the Front page

Culture Days extended to a more inclusive and interactive four-week schedule of activities - Sept. 25 to Oct. 25

artsorange 100x100By Staff

September 22, 2020



Residents are invited to take part in the interactive online events and activities during the 11th annual Culture Days.

Culture Days is extending beyond the traditional Culture Days weekend to a more inclusive and interactive four-week schedule of activities. Kicking off Sept. 25 and running until Oct. 25, Culture Days invites everyone to participate in and show appreciation for arts and culture in their own community and nationwide.

Culture days - Burlington markThis year’s theme is Unexpected Intersections – encouraging creative and outside-the-box thinking to reveal new avenues of discovery, learning, and expression. In light of the current situation with COVID-19, Culture Days is featuring digital presentations, do-it-yourself activities and self-guided programs.

The Culture Days website showcases thousands of virtual and in-person activities. Visitors can find small-gathering or self-guided events near them, while going digital allows participants to virtually cross the country and discover live-streamed performances and other online presentations.

You can find a Culture Days event HERE

About Culture Days
Culture Days has become the largest cultural event in Canada, attracting an estimated 2.5 million annual attendees to thousands of free activities and performances hosted by artists, cultural organizations and municipalities in hundreds of communities across Canada.

Return to the Front page

Burlington is going to be enticed to take part in the Hamilton bid for the 2026 Commonwealth Games - the Paletta's will be with her

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 22nd, 2020



We are going to hear a lot about the 2026 Commonwealth Games and the bid Hamilton is making to have them held in that city.

The original Games were held in Hamilton in 1930 – known then as the British Empire Games.

The Empire no longer exists and if the Games do come to Hamilton for 2026 there is no certainty that there will even be a Commonwealth.

But we digress.

Back in May the Commonwealth Games Federation asked the Hamilton contingent to consider a bid for 2026 because it likely wouldn’t be challenged.

Early logoThat got the Hamilton people changing gears and getting really serious – even though the number to pull this off is set at $1.4 BILLION – much of which would come from the federal and provincial levels.

Mayor Meed Ward is meeting with top level lawyers at Gowlings in Hamilton where she will chat with the Paletta people about how Burlington can be part of the pitch that is being made to get the games to Hamilton for 2026.  No word on whether this is to be a virtual meeting or in the Gowling Board room that is big enough to let everyone sit six feet apart.

Bronte Creek Meadows - Paletta

Bronte Creek Meadows: Zoned as Employment – would an Olympic Village qualify?

The Paletta’s have significant property interests in Burlington – some of which are zoned as Employment Lands – what if there were a Games Village on the Meadows on Upper Middle Road where it turns into Burloak.

Bronte Park is right across the street – can you see the picture that is developing?

The Mayor will be meeting with Louis Frapporti, Managing Partner at Gowlings and a huge believer in all things Hamilton.

It will be interesting to hear what the Mayor has to say at the September 28th City Council meeting.

Now if the Mayor would get into the habit of holding regular media events we could put the question to her.


Return to the Front page

Council does not approve every development that gets proposed.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 22, 2020



Wrong building, wrong place and miles outside the Official Plan and zoning for the property.

The development was to be located on the west side of Guelph line just south of New Street.

The Staff recommendation was to refuse the application for official plan and zoning by-law amendments submitted by Weston Consulting, on behalf of Valour Capital Inc. for the development of a 13-storey residential building on the property located at 420 Guelph Line.


Council debated this one for more than an hour and urged the developer to do a makeover and perhaps work with an abutting property owner.

The immediate area already has several development applications in the works – five years from now you will probably not recognize the area.

Guelph Line 420

The developer was asking for too much and the neighbours didn’t like it.

Return to the Front page

15th application for a license to sell cannabis in Burlington being considered by the AGCO

News 100 greenBy Staff

September 21st, 2020



Isn’t there some kind of limit?

Is this what the city bought into when it approved having cannabis retail locations in the city? We could have said no.

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has received an application for a 15th cannabis retail store in Burlington called Verde Luv Inc. The proposed location at 1900 Walkers Line, Unit 7 is now up for public comment.

cannabis - opening day

People lined up outside a cannabis store in Burlington.

This application does not meet the City of Burlington Council approved guidelines. A previous application, currently under review by the AGCO, for a 14th cannabis retail store in Burlington has a proposed location at 3505 Upper Middle Rd., Unit D003 and is within 500m of this applicant’s location. This is “clustering” which is discouraged; each applicant should propose a location that is at least more than 500m from another cannabis retail store in Burlington.

Written comments about the proposed location will be received by the AGCO until Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020 and may be submitted online at The AGCO will accept submissions from:

• A resident of the municipality in which the proposed store is located
• The municipality representing the area in which the proposed store is located and/or its upper-tier municipality.
Comments submitted to the AGCO should relate to the following matters of public interest:
• Protecting public health and safety
• Protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis
• Preventing illicit activities in relation to cannabis

After Oct. 4, the AGCO will consider all written comments and available information to decide whether the application for the proposed store location will be approved.

Currently there are eight licensed cannabis retail stores in Burlington, including three approved since the ACGO moved to an open licensing system for cannabis retail store applications earlier this year. The eight stores include:

• Relm Cannabis Co. 4031 Fairview St. Suite 103
• Corner Cannabis 3007 New St.
• The Hunny Pot Cannabis Co. 1505 Guelph Line, Unit 3-4
• Friendly Stranger Plains Road 1025 and 1059 Plains Rd. E., Unit 3
• Pioneer Cannabis Co. 1200 Brant St., Unit B-004
• mihi 3500 Dundas St., Unit A1B
• Canna Cabana Burlington 2400 Guelph Line, Unit 2
• Welcome Cannabis 1401 Plains Rd., Unit 5

Six additional cannabis retail stores are under review by the AGCO and one is out for comment, including this one.

Return to the Front page

Millcroft development meeting with residents in a virtual setting - certainly a technical challenge.

News 100 greenBy Staff

September 21st, 2020



A Pre-Application Community Meeting will take place this evening between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Millcroft Greens is hosting a virtual consultation meeting this evening to discuss a proposal to redevelop portions of the Millcroft Golf Course. The owners are proposing to develop five (5) parcels of land for residential uses. The intention is to also make design improvements to the existing course layout while retaining an 18-hole golf course.

Millcroft current Sept 21

Current golf course layout.


Millcroft proposed Sept 21

Proposed golf course layout.



The meeting will have an interactive format with live questions and answers.

Telephone and video-conferencing participation options will be available. Millcroft Greens is working with representatives of residents’ groups (Millcroft Against Development and We Love Millcroft), city staff, the Mayor and Council to design the format of the meeting.

This consultation meeting is the first step in a comprehensive review of the draft proposal. The purpose of the consultation meeting is for Millcroft Greens to address key questions and obtain community feedback prior to the submission of any development applications.

The City will assist with hosting the meeting in a virtual capacity and the meeting will be hosted and broadcast live from Council Chambers. Councillor Bentivegna and Mayor Meed Ward will be in attendance to listen to the discussion and hear from residents, they also welcome any resident feedback.

Participate On-Line via Zoom:

Webinar ID: 944 1949 4959 (internet connection required – Zoom User Guide available at

Participate by Telephone: 1-647-374-4685 (audio only)

Return to the Front page

COVID-19 infections have been identified in three Halton elementary schools; nothing in Burlington

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 21st, 2020



The Halton District School Board started their second week of having students in the schools – and no serious COVID-19 infections.

As of this morning there were 4 people in three schools who were sent home due to a suspected infection.

Emily Carr, Sunningdale (2 people) and Maple Grove reported people that were sent home. No detail on whether these were all students or if any teachers were involved.

None of the schools were closed.

Miller July 22

Director of Education, Stuart Miller on a ZOOM cal with the Board of Trustees

Director of Education Stuart Miller reports that the classes being delivered virtually are working their way through the early stages.

“We had some experience with the software last April, May and part of June when all that was available to students was the virtual classroom.

Now something in excess of 20% of the student population opted for a virtual education. Miller said that a bit of a sense of the new normal was beginning to take shape. The students are back in the classroom and learning new rules and procedures they have to follow.
“Perfect, it isn’t”, said Miller – but then there is no such thing as a perfect classroom situation.

Most of the schools are located in Oakville where all the data matrices are high. Miller was not able to say why the Oakville numbers are consistently high other than that perhaps more Oakville people have returned to work and are using some form of public transit.

Everyone from the Board administration, the trustees , parents, and everyone at the Public Health Unit, are watching the daily numbers very closely.

Toronto and Peel are the dangerous hot spots – the Premier talks loudly about putting parts of the province in another lock-down.

Return to the Front page

Police reporting a significant increase in bicycle thefts

Crime 100By Staff

September 21st, 2020



Halton Police are advising the public that there is an increase in bicycle thefts in the City of Burlington over the past few months.

Theft of bicycles continues to be a concern in Burlington and Halton Police would like to remind the public to ensure their bicycles are locked up when they are left unattended.

Police also encourage citizens to report any suspicious persons.

Locations that have been targeted by bike thieves:

• Burlington GO Stations
• Shopping Centers and Plazas

Police are reminding the public of the following prevention tips:

bicycle theft video

A video of what police believe was of a person suspected of stealing bicycles in Burlington at the YMCA

• Ensure your unattended bicycle is locked up to an immovable object.
• If possible, select a bike rack with at least two points of contact in order to lock both the frame and wheels..
• Consider removing a tire or seat to discourage would-be-thieves.
• U-locks provide a greater deterrence to theft when compared to cable locks. Consider using (2) locks.
• Lock the bicycle in a well-lit and attended areas whenever possible.
• Ensure your garage door is closed when a bicycle is left inside.
• Document information of the bicycle (have serial number and photo of the bike) to provide to police if required.

Halton Police have made a number of arrests after bicycles have been stolen in Burlington over the past few months and will continue to target these crimes of opportunity. Community safety is a shared responsibility. If you see suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, please report it immediately.

Anyone with information in regard to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Constable Matt Spina of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2338.

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


Return to the Front page

Mayor's schedule for the week of September 21st to the 27th

Mayor calendar 21-27 Sept AMayor calendar 21-27 Sept B

Return to the Front page

City Clerk doubles down on Council members who talk too much

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 21st, 2020



There hasn’t been much in the way of an opportunity to get to know the city’s Clerk.

The job is one of the most critical and powerful at City Hall.

In ranking he comes right after the City Manager on the administration side.

Every bylaw passed by City Council has to be signed by the City Clerk and the Mayor before it has the force of law.

Kevin Arjoon

Burlington City Clerk Kevin Arjoon

Kevin Arjoon arrived in Burlington just before the province went into a lock down last March. He came to the city via Halifax where he developed a reputation for being a strong advocate of citizen engagement – something that got a solid going over during Council last week.

With all council meetings being done virtually, the City Clerk is in the Council Chamber for the full Council meeting and is there to advise and interpret.

Arjoon’s approach to the running of Council turns out to be quite a bit different than previous Clerk’s.

We are not certain of the date but in the not too distant past Arjoon sent a memo to members of Council pointing out to them that their questions of Staff and delegations are to be for seeking clarification and not to be advancing a project of their own.

Arjoon is reported to have advised Council members to be in touch with Staff directly for any clarification they might want or need.

He apparently pointed out that agenda management for the current council was out of control with some meetings running for as long as ten hours and on occasion items had to be put over to the next cycle of Standing Committee meetings.

Two Councillors in particular were apparently guilty of wandering all over the place with their questions. Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna and Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns are reported to have been the object of some of the Clerk’s attention.

Bentivegna often seems to be asking questions out of simple curiosity. Kearns, who is a smart woman, often digs a lot deeper into an issue than is necessary.

During the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability (CSSRA) meeting Chair Rory Nisan clamped down on members of council when they wandered.

Councillor Sharman took umbrage with the stiffer protocol Nisan was following. He perhaps thought his two prior terms of office gave him some privileges.

Return to the Front page

Youth Fall Recreation programs from Parks and Rec are open for registration

News 100 greenBy Staff

September 20th, 2020



After a bumpy six month period during which Parks and Recreation had to shut down everything they normally do while the province was put into a lock-down mode – they are now operating an interesting COVID (abundance of caution) program. Registration started yesterday at 9:00 am.

The youth fall recreation programs will be available for online registration starting Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. at Programs available are for youth ages 0-18 years, school breaks and individuals with disabilities. Programs are available for viewing now at

Program Information
Fall programs will look different this year due to COVID-19 but have been designed to offer the highest levels of quality, safety and a variety of activities.

Programs will run for three sessions, each three weeks long, starting on Oct. 13, 2020, and include:

• Pre-school (0-5 years) – Offering parents an opportunity to play and create with their little ones, while using both indoor and outdoor space. These programs will give parents and their tots the chance to run and play with our gym equipment, and to create their own works of art. Pre-registration and COVID-19 screenings are required for all programs and participants must attend with a parent or caregiver.

student hand art NOT HDSB

Different artistic expressions

• School-Age (6-12 years) – Looking for some fun after school? Whether you want to play a sport casually or let your creativity fly, we have a program for every interest. Learn to play pickleball and disc golf as we make the most of our gyms and parks. If art is more your jam, then join our staff as we explore different artistic expressions. Pre-registration and COVID-19 screenings are required for all programs.

• Teen (11-18 years) – Haber welcomes back No Socks for Ivan on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Youth can come shoot hoops and listen to music.

Tansley Woods

Tansley Woods Community Centre

There will be limited space in the gym and staff will be monitoring the capacity at all times. Participants can still drop-in for free but must complete a COVID-19 screening prior to accessing the program. If sports are not for you, we have a creative program at Tansley Woods Community Centre on Wednesday evenings. This is a paid program and participants will need to pre-register before attending.

• Individuals with Disabilities (4 years+) – New this year! Welcome to our new opportunities for families to partake in physical activity and socialization at our Brant Hills Community Centre. Play a game in the gym using our equipment or enjoy some passive activities in our program rooms. Pre-registration and COVID-19 screenings are required, and participants must attend with a parent/caregiver or support worker.

Pks and Rec youth programs• School Breaks (4 -12 years) – Following the success of our summer camps, join us on days when school is not on! Come enjoy a day of active games, crafts, and awesome activities. Using the same safety guidelines as our summer camp programs, participants will be in small groups with reduced staff-to- participant ratios, and assigned specific equipment and supplies to avoid sharing, and designated areas to maintain physical distancing considerations. Pre-registration and COVID-19 screenings are required.

Recreation Fee Assistance
Recreation is for all, regardless of financial situation. Recreation Fee Assistance is funding made available to resident individuals or families who need help to pay for City of Burlington recreation programs.

For more information or to apply, visit You can also leave a confidential voicemail message at 905-335-7738, ext. 8501 and our staff will return your call to assist you.

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation Services touted the new program saying: ““Recreation and socialization in a positive environment have significant impacts on kids of all ages. Our redesigned programs will give them opportunities for creativity, socializing and physical activity in a safe, welcoming environment.”

Return to the Front page

Grandfather wants more invested in the education of his grandchildren

News 100 greenBy Ray Rivers

September 18th, 2020



These are scary times especially if you are grandparents. When it comes to educating our youth, no one should doubt that school boards, teachers and maintenance staff are doing the best they can in the circumstances. But then nobody can say the schools are as safe as they could be – or used to be before the pandemic hit us. The circumstances have changed.

Seven months have passed since the schools were shut down as part of the provincial COVID-19 lock-down. The Premier warned us that this was not going away, that we’d have to change how we do things if we are to avoid getting infected. So what about the children? Aside from some widening of the aisles between students’ desks very little seems to have changed.

Yes, there are the masks and the single cohorts and the managed crowd control, coming and going. But the students, for the most part, are still captive and crowded within their inadequately ventilated classroom environment for most of their day – another petrie dish for the virus and another opportunity for viral transmission.

Leo at desk

Leo taking part in a class exercise

So when my wife and I had heard that school would be returning pretty much business-as-usual, we reached out to the parents of our youngest grandchildren and offered to help with their children’s grade 2 and 4 French immersion schooling. There are in excess of 20,000 children who receive homeschooling every year in Ontario, so we’d be in good company, we thought.

Fortunately the education ministry had announced that parents could opt out of sending their children back to the classroom and engage in their program of online or distance learning instead. Students would pretty much get their regular course load but learn at home rather than trucking off to school. The Halton Board sent out requests to parents asking them to opt for the option of their choice.

Teachers, apparently some also teaching regular classes, would appear online through the application of Google online conferencing tools, mainly Google Meet and Google Classroom. Teachers use various media to assist in their online teaching and students are even invited to submit contributions, such as, photos.

There are three teaching blocks of 100 minutes each covering the 8:45 am to 3:05 pm day, and duplicating the essence of what would be learned in a regular classroom. Students may even be given homework assignments. And the online platform allows students to see their teacher as well a number of fellow students, making the experience feel a little less remote.

When we undertook to invite the children to our house we expected that we would be heavily involved in preparing classes. Both of us do have some pedagogical training. As it turns out our role is little more than supervision and coaching as the teachers do the heavy lifting of bringing the curriculum to life on the small screen.

How is it going? Well there was some minor stumbling at the beginning, something one should expect with the introduction of this new way of conducting regular classroom instruction. But the students appear to be excited about what they are doing. And the teachers, in our experience, have been wonderful, clearly competent, enthusiastic and responsive to the needs of the students and their coaches.

While being able to conduct regular classes online sounds pretty amazing, the truth is the technology is still not as user friendly as it could be. But the biggest problem is the size of the online classes. There are close to thirty students in each of the children’s classes.

Bea at work

Bea doing math.

It is impossible to practically see all of one’s classmates on a computer screen. And so it is a difficult for the teacher to stay on top of what everyone is doing. And that makes it a huge challenge for effective immersion language training, for example.

Going through the roster of students can take an inordinate amount of time and that can be really boring to those waiting their turn. Students can lose interest and drift off, even with the best of teachers. And that is the big fear – that students will lose interest, shut down, and their performance will reflect that failing.

This is the same problem one sees in over overcrowded regular classrooms only magnified by the remote learning complication. The solution is obvious – hire more teachers for distance learning. In a country where the unemployment rate is currently above 10% and governments are spilling money like rain water, you’d think this was more than possible.

Of course teachers need some training and a program to follow but this is not rocket science – unless they actually are teaching rocket science. And of course experience counts. But our children are the future, why wouldn’t we want to invest more in their education?

Distance Learning

Online Learning

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers usually writes about politics and the environment.  His grandchildren are doing elementary school as distant learners.

Return to the Front page

Has council had an impressive peek at its next city manager?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 17th, 2020



About once a month – there is this tour de force that takes place at a Standing Committee.

Sheila Jones, the former City Auditor, found herself going toe to toe with a member of Council.  The Councillor lost.

Sheila Jones

Sheila Jones: Executive Director of Strategy, Risk and Accountability.

The difference of opinion had to do with just how much information Jones was prepared to release when all hell was breaking loose over the Customer Relation Management software that had gone off the tracks and was badly in need of some resuscitation.

That occasion was the first time we saw the feistiness that is very much a part of the Jones persona. It wasn’t something we saw in her as a shy auditor.

City Manager Tim Commisso was in the process of redesigning his senior management team; every city manager seems to need to do a re-ordering of the Colonels in his army. Jones got chosen in a competition for an Executive Director of Strategy, Risk and Accountability.

Several months before her appointment Jones led Council and Staff in a workshop session on risk and strategy. She acted like a cheerleader – pushing the importance of risk when creating a strategy.  That kind of positive push is seldom seen at city hall.

When COVID-19 hit the world Commisso wisely put Jones in a command role. She pulls together the data she needs from throughout the departments – she knows their role, the department strengths and weakness – she used to audit them.

Earlier today she took council through a review of where things stood given the COVID environment – financially, and the status of the work being done by each department.

On occasion she refers (not defers) to Commisso for a comment.

Sheila Jones - in group

Sheila Jones, second from the right – went to to toe with a council member – we saw real leadership.

In the past couple of months we hear less and less from Commisso. The pace for him has been brutal – it certainly wasn’t what he thought he was taking on when he was asked to serve as the interim city manager when James Ridge was shown the door.

Commisso had worked for the city for a number of years earlier in his municipal career – he knew where all the bones were buried. This was going to be a another layer of income for his retirement years.


Commisso raising his hand – not something we see very often. He tends to be quiet, laid back and delegates much of the time.

Then COVID hit the fan – and his world changed. And he really didn’t have that great a team in place. There was some baggage that he had to pack and ship out. And some of his stronger people had to leave their jobs – behavioral issues.

In his re-design Commisso found this gem – did he know how well Jones would serve?

Hard to tell but there is no denying that she has a firm grip on the wheel and is determining the course much of the time.

Hard to find a negative word about the woman.

The question that comes to mind is this: what is the city going to do when the Commisso contract comes to an end. It won’t (shouldn’t) be extended.

Jones Audit-Jones-said-no-1

Some much needed energy and positivity from Sheila Jones.

Is Sheila Jones a possible next city manager?

Why not – Hamilton has a woman doing the job – and based on what we have seen so far Sheila Jones could (and should) lead.

Would she be able to work with Mayor Meed Ward? Not that many woman find they can work with this Mayor; her very competitive nature and habit of using up all the oxygen in a room makes it difficult at times.

Mayor Meed Ward has other political mountains to climb – Jones could make her look very good allowing the Mayor claim she made it all possible as she moves on to the provincial level.

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.

Return to the Front page

A possible tax increase of 4.9% did get put on the table - the treasurer said that if there was no room to cut - that's wat the city was looking

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 17th, 2020



The number was put on the table.

Wait for it.

4.95 % as a “possible” tax increase.

Meed ward looking askance

A tax increase of 4.5% just did not taste all that good. But when the numbers were added up – it was at least in the wind.

Mayor Meed Ward wanted to make sure that the number was not something council was signing off on – that was not the kind of tax increase that she wanted to be known for.

Treasurer Joan Ford made it clear that she wasn’t chiseling that number in stone.

She did say that: ”If there is no room to cut anywhere we don’t want you to be surprised – and think we didn’t tell you.”

The Mayor also said that she didn’t want to even think in terms of reducing service levels – she wanted to be able to increase service levels.

That would be called sucking and blowing on the same water hose.

Return to the Front page

Hockey ice pad to be used for covid testing - yes, the ice will be removed

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 17th, 2020



Nelson arena

Ice pad to be used as a COVID testing location?

There has been complaint upon complaint about the length of time it takes to get a COVID-19 test and then about how long it takes to get the results.

covid testing

Simple procedure – takes minute or two – testing backlog is big.

The city is working with the hospital to use one of the rinks at Nelson to use as a place tests can be done.

For reasons that are not at all clear – this has become a hush hush matter.

During a Standing Committee meeting earlier today Director of Parks and Recreation said an announcement would be made “very soon”.

Return to the Front page

Looks like the city is going to scrape through financially this year - next year is where it could really begin to hurt

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 17th, 2020



The city will be short about $2.9 million with its 2019-20 budget but there is enough money in various reserve funds to get us through.

The concern is with the 2020-21 budget – assuming we are still dealing with COVID-19 – which the Mayor is certain we will be dealing with into 2022.

Director of Finance Joan Ford does a great job of providing the data ad her department does a good job of collecting the taxes as well. It's the spending side that is causing the long term financial stress. Ms Ford doesn't do the spending.

Director of Finance Joan Ford

City Treasurer Joan Ford laid out the numbers.

Joan chart 6

This is the money the city didn’t get.

Joan mitigation 7

Where the city was able to save; normal expenses that were lower and funding available from other levels of government.

There was a fair amount of good news. Tax collections for the period ending in April were at 97%.

There is adequate tax revenue to meet the day-to-day costs.

On the down side, the revenue loss was $18.5 million

Money that didn’t have to be spent was $9.5 million leaving a balance of $9 million as the shortfall.

There was some federal money – from the Safe Start Funds – $6.1 million which got the shortfall to that $2.9 million level.

Treasurer Ford and City Manager Tim Commisso both made mention of additional funding from the federal government.

Some interesting questions were asked. Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna wondered aloud what would happen to the malls when some (perhaps many) of the tenants turned in their keys.

Treasurer Ford explained that it is the mall corporation that is taxed – they collect from their tenants – but it is the mall that is responsible for paying the taxes.

Joan 1

Tax collections are holding.

The biggest hits to the city on the revenue side were Parks and Recreation fees that couldn’t be collected – programs had to be cancelled.  Transit had a  serious shortfall – ridership fell badly.

The city collects all the taxes – including the Regional tax levy and the Board of Education levy.

The city was able to hang on to those funds for a period of time.  The money collected for the Boards of Education has to be paid in December.  No word yet on just how much has to be paid.

Return to the Front page

Final meeting at which the public could review and ask questions on the document that will go before Council in October to be adopted

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 17th, 2020



It was to be the last of the meetings where the public could learn more about the Scoped Review of the Revisions to the approved but not yet adopted Official Plan.

This is the plan that was voted on during the closing days of the 2014 – 18 city council that was then turned back by the Region where it has to be approved.

When the document was returned to the city the new council had an opportunity to make additional changes that were more in line with the new agenda.

The document that was being prepared now has 21 appendices, the latest of which was released shortly before the meeting.

The document will go to a meeting of Council where it will be heavily debated. That meeting is on September 30th.

On the 6th of October it goes to city council again and will be voted upon.

Neighbhood centers

growth areas - not main focus

This is a map of the Growth Framework with the Neighbourhood centres shown.

op map used Sept 16

This is the map with the Urban Growth Centre boundaries in place and each of the precincts colour coded. This map has gone through numerous revisions. .

The public was introduced to where the neighbourhood centres are to be located. There are eight of them.

It will be passed at city council. Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman might vote against it.

It then goes to the Region where it has to be approved.

Then back to Burlington city council where any last minute touch ups get done – it then becomes the law of the land.

Unless of course it is appealed to the Local Planning Act Tribunal.

Last night the public got to see some new maps.

Return to the Front page

Aldershot gets another development proposal - the ADI's want to add to their project next to the Aldershot GO station

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 16th, 2020



Another one.

Adi - Saud and Tarif

The Adi brothers – probably the largest developer in this city – certainly the most aggressive.

This one is planned for the Aldershot community – part of the now underway Station West – developer is the ADI Group.

Billed as a Pre-application Consultation Virtual Meeting the ADI Development Group is exploring the opportunity to transform 1120 Cooke Boulevard into a transit oriented community.

Station West is to the east of this latest proposal; ADI has always planned additional structures on the site.

If ADI Development Group chooses to pursue this redevelopment, it would require an amendment to the City of Burlington Official Plan and Zoning By-law.

The pre-application consultation is scheduled to seek community feedback that will assist in shaping the future proposal. The current design options will require an amendment to the City of Burlington’s Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw. The current Official Plan designation of the site is Mixed Use Corridor, and the current Zoning is Mixed Use Corridor.

ADI Cook Rd - option 1Adi cook rd dev 2

No development applications have been submitted to the City of Burlington at this time, and the City has not made any decisions on this proposal.

A Pre-application Community meeting has been scheduled to discuss this potential redevelopment, so that public can provide feedback to Adi Development Group at this early stage.

The Pre-Application Community Meeting will take place:

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.
Participate Online via Zoom:

Webinar ID: 918 7380 9076

(Internet connection required – Zoom User Guide available at

Participate by Telephone- (audio only) 647-374-4685

During the meeting, City planning staff will provide an overview of the development application review process and opportunities for public participation in the process. Adi Development Group will provide an overview of their redevelopment plans.

This proposed development consists of two different design options for community feedback. The first of which consists of three towers with heights ranging from 29 to 39 storeys, and the second option consists of four towers with heights ranging from 18 to 39 storeys. Both options yield the same approximate number of units, 1,258.

Gailbraith Station west + cranes

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith standing on the spot where the proposed development would be built. Cranes in the background are putting up Station West.

There will be a question and answer session to share your thoughts about the proposal with Adi Development Group. Councillor Kelvin Galbraith and the Mayor will also be in attendance to hear your input.


Nautique – the legal fight over this tower revealed just how creative lawyers for developers can be. It was the existence of a bus terminal, smaller than most kitchens that made it possible. Planning blew the OMB hearing – the developer got everything they wanted.

Residents can subscribe to the proposed development’s webpage at development projects to receive any updates about this proposal.

The meeting is not going to result in any decisions; it is an opportunity for the developer to hear what the public thinks and for the public to see what the developer has in mind.

These meetings are now required by the city before a development application can be submitted.  Comments made at the meeting are recorded and become part of the application when it is filed.

ADI is a major development in Burlington.  The Nautique at the intersection of Martha and Lakeshore Road is now underway.

Station West is well underway – this most recent proposed development is really a part of the very large Station West plan.

ADI Masonry - Station West

Early site plan for Station West that is now under construction. The Cooke Street towers would be to the left of this project.


Return to the Front page

Government puts out an interactive self-assessment application - will it make a difference?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 16th, 2020



The province is doing everything they can to get people to use the preventative measure they know work to slow down the spread of the Covid19.

Doug Ford MAr 17

Premier does a media event almost daily – begging – beseeching the public to observe the social distancing rules. But the number of new infections is climbing – daily.

The Premier is his now almost daily web cast where he brings people up to data on what is happening; what they province is doing and putting critical data into the public realm.

He often beseeches, beg the public to be careful and cautious.

A significant part of the public isn’t listening all that well.

Today the province announced a new interactive self-screening tool. It is direct and the province wants people to use it every day.

CLICK HERE to access the app.

That isn’t likely to happen – the questions asked are pretty fundamental and we suspect that after a few days the people that need to hear the message and pay attention will be the first to get bored and stop doing the self-assessment.

Go to school


At the risk of being a cynic this Premier might have to announce on a Thursday morning that come Friday at noon all bars and places where people gather for non-essential purposes are closed until the following Monday.

Or perhaps a curfew to make the point. British Columbia put a curfew in place.

The number of new infections are still climbing. At some point these infections will work their way into the school system.

The public reaction will not be pretty.

Return to the Front page

Hospitals in the wider region coordinate their plans for increased COVID infections and more hospital stays

News 100 redBy Staff

September 15th, 2020



The comments made in the video that accompanied the report from the Joseph Brant hospital on how they expected to use the Pandemic Response Unit – another phrase for what is a “field hospital” – were a little on the jarring side.

field hospital - long look

Totally self contained with very high air exchange features. No television, virtual visits.

The words “expected surge” are now used commonly.  Newspaper headlines make mention of the “surge” in reported COVID-19 virus infections.  Public Health people are always asked – will there be a second wave while others answer that we are now in a second wave.

A number of months ago Eric Vandewall approved the purchase and installation of what amounted to a small hospital – a little like the convalescent hospitals we had when tuberculosis was rampant.

It didn’t get used and some thought it was a waste of money.  Vandewall knew what he was doing – being proactive in the best possible way.

The hospital produced a short video explaining how the unit – called a PRU – will be used. Worth listening to – CLICK here.

The hospitals are not as clear as they can be in explaining how the PRU – Pandemic response unit will be used.

Basically it is in place to handle COVID-19 patients that a hospital cannot accommodate.

Field hospital

It’s a short term facility. People will be there to recuperate. The structure probably has a life cycle of less than ten years – more like five.

Hospitals in Hamilton, Niagara, Haldimand, Norfolk, Brant and Burlington (HNHNBB Region) are working together to create a regional COVID-19 model of care for COVID-19 positive patients requiring hospital care.

Together, their goal is to be ready to support the increases in COVID-19 care needs, while minimizing any potential disruption of scheduled, regional, and community care across our region.

The hope is that transmission rates in our region remain low, any increases in COVID-19 care will be managed within each of our hospitals, and that the regional COVID-19 model of care will not need to be activated.

However, creating this regional approach is critical to our pandemic response planning and ensures we are prepared for any potential surge in COVID-19 cases.

Regional COVID-19 Model of Care Strategy

Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH), and all HNHNBB’s hospital emergency departments, will care for persons under investigation for COVID-19. Patients who present to JBH, testing positive and requiring hospitalization, will be cared for at our hospital.

Four designated hospitals will be providing acute COVID-19 care:

Hamilton Health Sciences (Hamilton General Hospital)
Joseph Brant Hospital
Niagara Health (St. Catharines Site)
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Norfolk General Hospital and Brant Community Healthcare System will continue to provide local COVID-19 care, and may transfer COVID-19 positive patients as needed to designated hospitals.

field hospital - installed AprilPandemic Response Unit

Joseph Brant Hospital’s Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) will be the HNHNBB’s regional resource to provide care for COVID-19 patients.

The PRU is an external all-season structure designed specifically to care for stable COVID-19 positive patients who have mild to moderate symptoms.

Patients admitted to the PRU require care and support that cannot be provided at home, including oxygen therapy, medication management, monitoring of symptoms and some personal support. Support for virtual visits and engagement of family/caregivers will be provided while in the PRU.

As admitted patients who are transferred to another hospital recover from COVID-19, they will either be discharged home with community supports as needed, or they will be transferred back to their community hospital for ongoing care as soon as possible.

We are told that there are going to be more COVID infection reports – the numbers are already well above where they were in June and after the lock down.

The solution for everyone is to continue to protect yourself and others by following public health advice including  keeping the required social distance, washing your hands frequently, wearing a mask when appropriate and getting a flu shot when available.

The solution is in our hands – how serious this probable second wave turns out to be will be determined by how responsible we each are.

Return to the Front page