Some council members are finding that the Mayor isn't quite what was advertised.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 8th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mayor was in a bit of a bind.

She was, uncharacteristically, tip toeing around the issue of face masks.

Meed Ward style

Mayor Meed Ward at a council meeting before things went virtual

In her most recent public comment the Mayor set out a lot of rationale and examples of what other municipalities were doing.  But she still hadn’t taken a strong position.

She followed that up by saying that the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) wasn’t on side – so she, the Mayor, wasn’t going to take a position.

The Gazette published a very strong opinion piece on that.

When it became evident that there wasn’t much in the way of support for the Mayor’s indecision (Social media was crucifying her) she announced that she was going to put forward a motion requiring people to wear face masks in specific situations.

Hold on chimed in ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stole, who is proving to be a rather strong first term councillor. She was the one who pushed for turning some of the road space over to pedestrians – and that is what we have.

Stolte felt very strong that face masks should be required in public places. Transit requires that riders wear a mask; one 9f the major supermarkets asks people to wear a mask.

Stolte - the chair

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte: bringing a stronger sense of purpose to council that was not seen when she was elected.

Stolte felt that the Mayor was undercutting her initiative and she decided, after a flurry of emails between the two, that a face to face meeting was necessary. That is believed to have taken place last Sunday.

Prior to the Sunday meeting, in an email to a resident Councillor Stolte said:

“I am sitting in my office as we speak finishing my Motion to Council seeking Mandating the Wearing of Masks in all indoor spaces that are accessible to the public.

“I had advised the Mayor and other Councillors repeatedly since June 23 that I would be advocating for a Mandatory Mask Bylaw as I am completely on the same page as yourself and 85% of the population of Burlington.

“The decision announced by the Mayor this past Tuesday was a complete surprise to all of us on Council as there had been no input or conversation about the issue prior to the announcement.

“This has resulted in very intense conversations between the Mayor and myself about respect and the decision making process.

“My Motion will still be coming forward this week, there is certainly not consensus on Council, so not sure how the vote will go.
The Mayor announced this morning that she will be bringing her own Motion (different theme than mine) to Council as well this week, so I just finished an email to the City Clerk asking what the procedural process is for this particular conflict.

“We continue to be in interesting times, but I promise you I will be pushing for this.

“By the way, if you have (name redacted) email could you please forward this message to him as well.”

The two worked something out – because today we see a very lengthy motion sponsored by the two woman (with the name of the Councillor placed before that of the Mayor (and that stuff matters in the worlds of politics)

“We have heard from our community and together” said the Mayor in her Newsletter, “we are bringing forward a proposed mandatory mask bylaw for Burlington. It will be discussed at the July 9 Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability (CSSRA) Committee, with a final vote at council Monday July 13. The proposed temporary bylaw would mandate the wearing of face coverings in all indoor, public spaces in the City of Burlington.

How did they get to his point and are the issues between the Mayor and her Council patched up? Hard to tell.

Meed ward election night 1

They all loved her on election night.

It looks as if the Councillor and the Mayor ironed out the differences. Those differences are not between just Stolte and Meed Ward. There have been concerns about the Mayor not working with the Council members and not giving them the respect they believe they have earned.

The five members of council elected in October of 2018 wanted to pull together and not only be seen to be working together but actually working together.

How did the Mayor square things with the Councillor who was not a happy camper. We may never know – only time will tell if the Mayor has the capacity to listen to the members of Council.

Not what we thought we were electing as Mayor that October 18th was it?

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Deep Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program has council excited - staff puts forward a time line council wants to change. This is a biggy - but awkward administratively.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

July 6th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

If you don’t own a house or are not interested in upgrading your property and contributing to lower GHG emissions – take a pass on this story.

 

Have you heard of the Deep Energy Retrofit Program?

Few have.

Discussed at some length at council on Monday the report brought to the table some novel ideas that were enthusiastically endorsed by most council members.

Councillor Bentivegna wanted to know where the money to pay for it all was going to come from.

What is a Deep Energy Retrofit Program?
A deep energy retrofit program involves a systems approach to reduce carbon emissions from existing buildings, with a focus on those measures which will reduce and/or eliminate the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy. Typically, there is a hierarchy of measures which can be implemented:

Angelo - not getting it -deferal

Ward 4 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna wanted to know who and how the xxx was going to be paid for. He didn’t get much of an answer

• Adding insulation
• Sealing air leaks
• Upgrading mechanical systems
• Replacing windows and/or doors
• Water efficiency upgrades
• Thermal controls
• Renewable energy

Depending on the work required, a full energy retrofit can cost up to $30,000. Retrofits can be more cost effective if timed with home renovations.

Now you know why Bentivegna wanted to know where those dollars were going to come from.

Council was more focused on how they were going to educate the public on the benefits and then how to take part in the program.

What they wanted most was to get on with it.

The Deep Energy Retrofit Program was a sort of next step once the city had declared a Climate Change emergency followed by a Climate Action plan.

Council was presented with a number of options in a report that was to be Received and Filed. This report however was not going to be placed on a shelf to gather dust.

Interestingly – Council also got a report on the 75th Burlington Hydro Anniversary. During the Deep Refit debate Burlington Hydro was pulled into how the program would roll out – it wasn’t what they were expecting.

The Hydro people may have logged out of the Zoom based meeting before the refitting of the residential structures was debated. City Manager Tim Commisso assured Council that both he and the Mayor site on the Hydro Board – they would be reminding that Board that the city owns the company.

Direct the Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services to continue to work with partners, stakeholders and municipalities listed in an environment, infrastructure and community services report and report back before the end of 2020 with final recommendations, including resources and actions required to implement a deep energy efficiency retrofit program for homes in Burlington.

Council didn’t want to wait that long.

Expect them to make a decision on a possible pilot program that will be made available to those citizens who are sold on the climate change issue and will be ready to put their money on the table.

Sharman hand up

Councillor Sharman wants to see a list of reliable contractors.

Councillor Sharman told his sad story (several times actually) on his troubles getting a Backwater Valve set up in his home.

The Mayor reported that her Backwater Valve installation was a breeze and offered to help Sharman on his next upgrade.

The purpose of this report is to provide options to deliver a residential deep energy retrofit program in Burlington, a priority program area identified in the recently approved Climate Action Plan for Burlington.

This report provides a summary of the measures required to support the development of a Deep Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program for homes in Burlington, including the development of a community engagement plan, which would involve:

• Updating the city’s Environment webpage with information;
• Supporting the Bay Area Climate Change Council (BACCC) to develop a home energy efficiency retrofit accelerator program;
• Working with BACCC and the Clean Air Partnership to engage the business sector (contractors, trades and retailers);
• Working with the Burlington Climate Action Plan community stakeholders, such as Enbridge, to promote specific measures to improve home energy efficiency;
• Co-promote related actions such as home resiliency measures and electric cars, bikes and equipment.
• Pursue partnerships to develop a demonstration centre to promote home efficiency and resiliency measures.

That didn’t really convey what this council wants to do. In that regard the report was on the weak side.

In April of this year Council approved the Climate Action Plan.

At that time they Direct(ed) the Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services to report back in Q2 2020 after the release of the federal budget with the latest information and updated proposed timelines for the home energy retrofit program and human resource requirements to meet the goals of the climate action plan.

Problem was – the federal government didn’t release a budget. It got consumed with the economic and social fallout of the COVID19 virus that was wreaking havoc across the country – we were all suddenly in various stages of a lockdown that the public was having difficulty coping with and complying with as well.

GHG carbon dioxide

These are 2018 numbers – the carbon dioxide must be reduced.

The Deep Energy Retrofit Program was seen as a way to get something going economically and put a decent dent in the GHG that we put into the environment.

It is estimated in the Climate Action Plan for Burlington that 21,300 person years of employment will be created in total if the low carbon scenario pathway is followed to 2050, with 5,600 of those person years in the renewable energy market.

Municipalities benefit from the implementation of a home energy retrofit program through greenhouse gas emission reductions to help meeting community targets, improved reputation as an environmentally progressive community, reduced pressure on energy infrastructure and reduced air pollution.

In 2016, Burlington households, businesses and institutions spent $700 million on energy (fuel and electricity). As noted in the Climate Action Plan for Burlington, the local carbon scenario can reduce this amount by 36% or $270 million, energy saving dollars that can be invested back into the local community.

Homeowners benefit from a home energy efficiency retrofit by mitigating future energy cost increases; achieving a healthier and comfortable home; increasing property value; and improving resiliency to power outages and extreme temperatures.

The optics of a program like this for the current city council are wonderful – they love this one.  Making it happen is much much easier said than done,

The report says: Developing a comprehensive building energy retrofit program is not easy – if it was, there would be more programs in existence in Ontario than just Toronto given that Ontario municipalities have had the authority to use Local Improvement Charges (LICs) as a means of financing since 2012. Developing and delivering a program requires funding and staff time to administer applications, agreements, and deal with legal and financing issues. The residential home sector is challenging to target as it is disbursed and varies by demographics, home condition, type and age, household incomes, etc.

Successful uptake is challenging – a comprehensive marketing program is required.

energy graphicFrom a property owner perspective, the process can been seen as challenging both from technical knowledge and implementation. Very few people really want to manage contractors for renovations – different contractors are required for insulation and air sealing, mechanicals, windows, EV chargers and renewable energy. Addressing the building envelope upgrades and fuel switching to low carbon fuel requires a longer term for a financial pay back which is made even more challenging with the relatively low cost of natural gas as a source of energy.

Lastly, the market expects rebates to be available as incentives, not financing.

Factors for a Home Energy Retrofit Program
There are many factors to consider when developing a home energy retrofit program, such as:

• Marketing plan to promote the benefits of energy retrofits and the program to homeowners
• Home energy audit assessment and report (and follow-up after efficiency measures have been implemented)
• Contractor engagement (specifying upgrade works, selecting & managing contractors; completing improvements; verifying improvements)

Where the homeowner is seeking financing assistance:

• Development of an application pre-qualification process (own home, no tax arrears, etc.)
• Funding application process – review and approval
• Property owners agreement & financing schedule
• LIC repayment process
• Loan loss reserve fund – to cover loan defaults (based on other jurisdictions, this is a rare occurrence)
• Support to guide homeowners through the process (concierge approach)

Municipal Role for Promoting Home Energy Efficiency Retrofits
Municipalities can play a role in helping home owners understand what is meant by a deep energy retrofit and the specific energy efficiency measures involved in a retrofit. Similarly, an engagement program is necessary for trades, contractors and retailers on measures involved in a deep energy retrofit program so that the industry is aligned with this program.

Fortunately, the city can work with other entities and local municipalities on reaching out to these sectors. The Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk is working with the Bay Area Climate Change Council (BACCC) to create an Implementation Team which could pursue the development of a retrofit accelerator program, providing support to homeowners. BACCC also recognizes the need to reach out to trades and retailers to increase knowledge and skills in this area, hosting workshops and conferences. The Clean Air Partnership (CAP) is also working with local colleges and organizations to develop training and certification programs in this area. Both BACCC and CAP plan to develop one stop shop websites to support deep energy retrofit programs, with BACCC representing local resources for Hamilton and Burlington communities and CAP’s taking a provincial approach but linking to local websites.

Financing Alternatives for Implementing Home Energy Retrofits
As previously indicated, comprehensive home energy retrofits can be significant financial investment to property owners that have the benefit of increasing home value and decreasing on going energy costs over the long term. Options available for financing these improvements including utilizing own source funds or savings or borrowing through financial institutions including utilization of homeowner lines of credit or re financing mortgages for more significant projects that may be part of larger home renovations. Municipalities also have the ability to support financing deep energy retrofit programs by providing low interest loans to homeowners through the Local Improvement Charge (LIC) program on property tax bills.

Local Improvement Charges
LICs are special temporary charges that are added to a property tax bill to pay for improvements that benefit the property owners. Traditionally, these charges have been used in Ontario as a mechanism to recover the costs from affected properties for local block level infrastructure improvements (sidewalks, lighting, sewage projects, etc.).

The province amended the Municipal Act in 2012 to allow municipalities to enter into voluntary financing agreements with property owners who will benefit from the improvements. LICs are available to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation measures voluntarily carried out by individual property owners on their buildings. An LIC program provides homeowners with a loan to carry out these measures on their property. The homeowner pays for the measures and repays the loan through regular charges added to the property tax bills. The full cost of the program, including all associated administration costs and interest charges, are included in the loan or charged as a separate fee.

To date, the City of Toronto has been the only municipality in Ontario to implement an LIC program. In 2014, the City of Toronto launched two programs: HELP (home energy loan program) and Hi-RIS (high rise retrofit improvement support program for multi- residential buildings). As of June 2019, almost $14.9 million in financing has been committed to over 202 properties participating in the programs, reducing over 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Under the HELP program specifically, $4.87 million in financing was issued to support 187 home retrofits (average loan of $22,000), resulting in a 30% reduction in home energy consumption and 28% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Participants also pay an administration fee on top of the loan of 2%.

The Clean Air Partnership has completed a ‘Toolkit for Municipalities – Accelerating Home Energy Retrofits Through Local Improvement Charge Programs’ with the support of a number of municipalities in Ontario, including Burlington. The following description of LICs is based on the information provided in the toolkit.

A unique characteristic of LIC financing is that the loan is tied to the property and can be transferred to the new owner when the home is sold. LIC financing is one tool in the toolbox available to encourage residents to invest in energy efficiency retrofits.

Challenges to Utilizing LIC Financing Mechanism
The initial capital costs required to facilitate widespread adoption of retrofit projects through LIC programs are significant. Many municipalities are already struggling to fund programs, services, and infrastructure upgrades, particularly during the Covid crisis.

There has been concerns related to whether LIC loans adversely impact the municipal debt limit imposed on municipalities by the province; this is to be further explored. The debt recovery related to LICs are recovered from individual property owners and not through general revenue collection from property taxes

Mortgage lender approval can be difficult due to the priority lien status of local improvement charges. There is a very small, potential of a financial risk to financial institutions who are providing mortgages for a property with a LIC lien attached to it.

For municipalities, a loan loss reserve fund covered by the tax base may be required to manage the low risk of loan defaults. For example, staff have been advised that the State of California, with $3.6 billion in loans, set up a fund to cover defaults, yet no claims have been made since its establishment in 2014.

Options to Deliver a Home Energy Retrofit Financing Program
Two options are available to setting up a financing program to support homeowners interested in completing a home energy efficiency retrofit.

Guelph Our Energy One Energy

Guelph merged their hydro operation with Hamilton’s. Burlington is one of the few hydro operations that has not become part of the consolidation that is taking place in local hydro operations.

1. City Run Program:
Burlington could opt to develop its own residential energy retrofit program and follow the lead of other municipalities that have completed detailed feasibility studies and business cases utilizing funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). As examples, the City of Windsor and Town of Newmarket each spent approximately $200,000 to complete feasibility studies. Windsor is planning to set up a separate arms-length municipal service corporation (Windsor’s recommended approach) with $400,000 as seed funding to hire a general manager and develop a business plan. Guelph has also set up a separate organization called Our Energy Guelph with an executive director and board of directors, with start-up funding acquired through the merger of Guelph Hydro with Alectra. Our Energy Guelph plans to focus their energy retrofit efforts on commercial and multi-residential properties. Burlington could pursue FCM funding to support a feasibility study to develop a local deep energy retrofit program.

2. 3rd Party Municipal Consortium Program:
Late in 2019, the Clean Air Partnership announced a consortium approach with the IESO (Independent Electricity System Operator), AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario), HRAI (Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada) and City of Toronto to serve as a 3rd party entity that would deliver on many of the above mentioned program actions in order to reduce the administrative burden home retrofit programs would have on municipalities. This approach would be able to achieve efficiencies of scale related to the start-up costs infrastructure investments required as part of these programs. There are four related objectives: 1) provide municipalities with a program that is flexible and adaptable to local circumstances and capacity; 2) provide customers with a simple, user-friendly program through a one-window service delivery model; 3) increase marketing and promotional opportunities in order to drive program uptake; and 4) achieve deep GHG emissions reductions through targeting old buildings for deep energy retrofits.

home renovation work

Finding the trades to do the work is one task – finding reliable, proven tradesman is a problem Councillor Sharman worries about – he would like to see Burlington Hydro involved in some of the trades vetting.

Next Steps to Develop a Home Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program Community Engagement Plan and Activities:
The following actions are recommended to build the knowledge and skills in the local community to support home energy efficiency retrofits, which can be implemented within the year. Due to Covid, creative approaches may be required in the shorter term to engage the various sectors online versus in person events. Staff will develop a community engagement plan to support home energy efficiency retrofits in the community, coordinating this work with local partners in this area, including:

1. Updating the city’s Environment webpage with additional information and links to support home energy efficiency retrofits. For example, the City of Toronto has developed a comprehensive website to promote energy efficient building measures – www.betterhomesTO.ca, supported by Natural Resources Canada, Toronto Hydro and Enbridge provides a great one stop shop for this type of information. The city may not need to duplicate this work but provide links to existing pages such as this one.

2. Continue to work with the Bay Area Climate Change Council and the Centre for Climate Change Management create a business case to develop an accelerator program in the Bay Area to assist homeowners with the process of implementing home energy efficiency measures. This approach would help to overcome one of the barriers that homeowners have of hiring contractors to complete renovations. This concierge service could be implemented prior to the development of a full energy retrofit program and may complement the work of the Clean Air Partnership but be provided at a local level.

3. Work with the Bay Area Climate Change Council and Clean Air Partnership to engage and increase knowledge in the local business sector, representing contractors, trades and retailers on measures required to complete a deep energy retrofit on homes.

4. Work with the city’s own Climate Action Plan community stakeholders to promote measures that homeowners can implement to improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. For example, Enbridge Gas and other local contractors have expressed interest in the installation of hybrid heat pumps along with leak sealing and smart energy controls to improve energy performance.

5. In addition to promoting home energy retrofit actions, consideration can also be given to support measures to improve home resiliency (flood proofing) and adoption of electric vehicles, e-bikes and e-equipment (lawn mowers, trimmers and leaf blowers).

6. Consider the creation of a demonstration project at an existing city facility where property owners could visit to learn about energy efficient and resiliency measures to improve local buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Local partnerships and sponsorships could be pursued to participate in this project.

Developing a Home Energy Efficiency Retrofit Financing Program:
It is recommended that staff pursue joining the 3rd party municipal consortium program led by CAP with AMO, the IESO, HRAI and City of Toronto to develop and deliver a home energy retrofit program in Burlington. Joining the consortium would ensure that Burlington has the necessary support and expertise to develop a comprehensive program and overcome some of the challenges listed above.

Benefits to participating would include:

• A wider Ontario marketing campaign will be coordinated to enable holistic and consistent messaging delivered to as wide an audience at the least cost.
• A team approach to promote the program to the Ontario contractor community.
• Generic marketing material will be created for each municipality to customize by adding logos to the standard templates.

• Partnerships with other stakeholders to market the program by identifying and acting on promotion opportunities and monitor uptake to inform future outreach efforts.
• Streamline process for municipal onboarding.
• City of Toronto will support with program delivery advice based on their experience.
• CAP is proposing to assume the role of a concierge, providing support to guide applicants through the different stages of the process, by:
o streamlining the program application and approval processes;
o providing objective guidance to customers re: contractor selection, costs, and management;
o providing market research on some of the key questions/issues from customers and creating resources/processes to address them; and,
o gathering and documenting feedback on program improvements/issues.

The program is being designed to reduce the resource burden, but municipalities will still be required to complete the following:

• Pass an LIC by-law through council
• Define eligible measures and financial verification requirements (part of by-law)
• Final approval/rejection of application/contract with property owner
• Set up the structure to attach the loan to the property tax system for repayment
• Manage the payments to homeowners once they are accepted into the program
• Identify possible avenues to support uptake of the program via municipal and/or community outreach and promotion opportunities (bottom-up marketing approaches)

The Staff report opted for a home energy retrofit program as the recommended priority action in the Climate Action Plan, approved by council earlier this year, following a comprehensive community engagement program. Finance and Communications staff were engaged on this report. Stakeholders and agencies engaged in this report included the Centre for Climate Change Management at Mohawk College, the Clean Air Partnership, QUEST and Enbridge Gas. Discussions continue to be ongoing with other local and regional municipalities including Oakville, Halton Hills, Guelph, Waterloo Region, London and Windsor, among others.

The ‘Toolkit for Municipalities – Accelerating Home Energy Retrofits Through Local Improvement Charge Programs’ (2020) and the ‘Local Improvement Charge Financing Pilot Program Design for Residential Buildings in Ontario’ (Dunsky Energy Consulting 2013) were used as reference materials.

Financial Matters:
A recent Debt Policy Review report described the city’s ability to borrow money and assume non-tax supported debt which is widely used to support infrastructure requirements of community groups, stakeholders and other community partners. Non-tax supported debt is repaid by user fees, surcharges or loans. In the example of a deep energy retrofit program, loans to property owners would be recovered through a local improvement charge mechanism as described earlier in the report. LICs have traditionally been classified as non-tax supported debt as per the city’s debt policy similar to the city’s historical use of the local improvement charge for new road amenities such as sidewalks and included within the city’s debt limits.

Total Financial Impact
As per the strategy described above, the parameters of a Burlington tailored program are still to be developed, this is largely dependent upon further discussions with the municipal consortium and continued discussions with neighboring municipalities.

There is a possibility of shared resources, however, additional work is required to determine overall structure of the program and corresponding financial impact. Details include financial and staff support required to administer the program as it relates to LIC loans, agreements, interest rates, payment schedules, etc. Staff will work internally with the Finance and Legal Departments to address these details, associated funding requirements, and participate in meetings with the consortium group to help define the final program. As an example, to support 200 home energy retrofits using an average of $22,000 per home, the amount required would be $4.4 million.

Source of Funding
Further discussions with the Finance Department are required to finalize the financial support required to effectively administer a deep energy retrofit program for homes in Burlington. As discussions continue with the municipal consortium program, further clarity around the program will become available. Staff will report back on details surrounding financing required to deliver the program in the fall 2020, along with other program details as described above

Preliminary information was released earlier this year regarding the $300 million Community Efficiency Financing program announced by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to help municipalities deliver energy efficient financing programs to the low rise residential sector. Funding is available through loans and grants.

Generally, FCM will provide a smaller percentage of the financing via grants. Municipal applicants must contribute 20% of the total amount of the application, which can be capital dollars to support home energy loans as well as in-kind contributions.
Burlington was ineligible for the first phase of funding as it was only open to those municipalities that had completed a feasibility study for a home energy retrofit program. The next round of funding through this program is expected to support municipalities wishing to complete a feasibility study to implement a deep energy retrofit program.

FCM has advised that the round of funding applicable to the consortium of municipalities working together to develop a deep energy retrofit program will be available in early 2021. Participating municipalities will submit individual but coordinated applications. The funding would provide capital dollars to support the implementation of a home energy retrofit program and may be issued in a combination of a loan and a grant. Burlington would need to be prepared to contribute 20% of the program budget, some of which can be an in-kind contribution. This will be reviewed and considered as part of the 2021 budget process.

In addition to the FCM Community Efficiency Fund, the federal government has not issued any information about zero interest loans to homeowners to support home energy retrofit programs. If the federal government does follow through with program, it may negate the need to apply for FCM funding and implement a LIC program, unless the funding flows through municipalities.

Other Resource Impacts
It is expected that an additional full-time employee will be required to help support the delivery of a home energy retrofit program in Burlington, including coordinating efforts with municipal departments to set up the LIC program. Additional responsibilities will include coordination with local partners, overseeing marketing, communications and outreach, engaging trades and contractors and looking for ongoing opportunities to drive uptake of the program. However, staff will continue to work with our local partners and other nearby local municipalities to identify measures where we may be able to share and maximize the coordination of resources.

Climate Implications
Implementation of a Deep Energy Retrofit Program is one of the priority program areas as identified in the Climate Action Plan to reduce emissions and meet the goal for the Burlington community to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050. Based on the modelling completed by SSG (Sustainability Solutions Group) for the Climate Action Plan there is an opportunity to reduce over 1,400 kilo tonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide (ktCO2e) by implementing a residential deep energy retrofit program for existing residential buildings by 2050. In addition, over 2,600 ktCO2e can be reduced by installation of heat pumps (residential and commercial combined).

Climate change - flood

We see this all the time – it happened to us in 2014. It can be lessened – but someone has to begin to do something measurable. The current council has made this one of their defining programs.

Engagement Matters:
Staff will work with Communications and local partners/stakeholders to create a robust community engagement and marketing plan to promote the deep energy retrofit program, targeting homeowners as well as trades and contractors. Although a significant amount of promotion can occur online and through our community networks, additional funding may be required depending on some of the measures proposed in the plan.

The City of Burlington has set a target for the community to be net carbon zero by 2050. The development and implementation of a deep energy efficiency retrofit program for homes is necessary to achieve the low carbon scenario described in the Climate Action Plan for Burlington.

 

 

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Courageous response by an assault victim leads to arrest.

Crime 100By Staff

July 6th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service has made an arrest in relation to an assault against an 18 year old female in the City of Burlington.

HRPS crestOn the 5th of July 2020, the female victim was out for a walk along Palladium Way and observed a grey minivan drive past her a couple times slowly. As the female continued walking she came up to a forested area when she was suddenly grabbed from behind. The accused male proceeded to place one hand over her mouth preventing her from screaming and then grabbed her around the waist attempted to drag the female into the forested area. The female struggled with him causing them both to fall to the ground. The victim was able to escape at this point and proceeded to scream for help causing the male to flee the scene.

The accused ran back towards his parked grey minivan van which was previously observed by the victim. The female victim was able to take a cell phone video of the male driving away in his van at a high rate of speed. The victim called 911 and provided details of the incident as well as the license plate of the grey minivan to police.

The Burlington and Oakville Criminal Investigation Bureaus continued investigation into this stranger assault and arrested the accused outside of his residence in the Town of Oakville without incident.

Investigation by the Burlington Criminal Investigation Bureau has led charges against the following individual;

Tanos EL-KHOURY (41 years old from Oakville)
• Forcible Confinement
• Assault

EL-KHOURY was held for a bail hearing in Milton on July 6, 2020.

Anyone with information in regards to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Melissa Parsons of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2307.

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.

People charged with a criminal offence are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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It is Time to Wear a Mask. If Governments will not act to protect us, we must protect each other.

opinionred 100x100By Jim Young

July 6, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As we watch our neighbours to the south descend into self-inflicted chaos over their refusal to grasp the importance of wearing masks in a pandemic, I am reminded that we Canadians sometimes feel superior to Americans. We are not, and viruses treat us equally. We are however different. Our founding principles make us so. While Americans seek the “unalienable rights to the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, we in Canada settle more modestly for “peace, order and good government”.

Nothing highlights this more than the issue of face covering to reduce the spread of Covid 19. The evidence is conclusive, health experts estimate that 30 to 60 % of all spread, by proximity, breathed droplets or hand contact, may be asymptomatic. Figures from New York suggest the Covid19 transmission rate in health care workers is reduced by 61.3%. (12.2% compared to 19.9% of the general public.) Those working closest to infected people have lower infection because they wear face coverings and other PPE. Have we learned nothing from the resurgence in the USA, where freedom from masks has become the political war cry of the US re-opening?

Our politicians vacillate. The Feds say the provinces must act, Ontario Premier Ford says it should be decided locally, GTHA municipal leaders beg the province for universal standards. Everyone agrees that mandatory face covering in close public proximity is a good idea. Yet none of them act. They claim it will be difficult to enforce. Sorry, but a good idea is still a good idea! If enforcement is a barrier, eliminate the barrier not the idea. Public smoking, speeding and drunk driving are tough to enforce, and we do that. The job of leaders is to lead. Please don’t squander the months of sacrifice by millions of Ontarians, putting lives, jobs and businesses on hold, to fight this virus and save lives. That fight is not yet over.

What drives this reluctance to enforce face coverings? It should not be fear of offending voters on the “civil liberties” left or the “don’t infringe my freedom” right. This virus may be the only non-partisan thing in North America today. It is neither Liberal, Conservative, Democrat, Republican, left or right. Covid 19 is coming for all of us, straight down the middle.

For retail corporations, keen to resume business as usual, mandating masks seems not to be a priority. Need we remind them, as they seek every minor competitive advantage, failure to enforce face covering puts their own employees at risk as it does their customers? Any perception of reduced risk spells danger for their reopening too. The virus is still out there; and putting customers at risk has never been a good business strategy.

The US re-opening failure should remind us that abandoning caution and masks, in the “pursuit of happiness”, and economic recovery has consequences. Avoiding a similar disaster will mean re-opening smarter. The more Canadian approach of “order and good government” demands that our political leaders get off the fence and mandate wearing face coverings when safe distancing is difficult or is not an option.

Other than a very small number of pulmonary health limitations, there is no argument for not wearing a mask. They are not too warm. The places we should be wearing them are mostly air conditioned, in malls, stores and indoor spaces. The time spent masked up is minimal. No-one is asking you to wear one at home, in your car, or walking in the park.

To those who demand the freedom not to wear a mask, store workers and other customer’s rights must be equally respected. The saying: “Your right to swing your fist freely, ends at my nose!” makes: “No Mask …. No Entry” a reasonable position. Considering all the freedoms we have sacrificed until now to fight this virus, giving up the freedom to make others sick seems hardly worth of defending.

My mother would have said: “For goodness sakes top whining and put your mask on.” Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Lilian Abbo said it better: “If you don’t like wearing a mask ….. You sure as hell won’t like wearing a ventilator.”
Face coverings will not end Covid 19, and we must be careful not to let masks lull us into a false sense of safety, but they will help and If you won’t wear a mask to protect your neighbours, please wear one to protect the front line health worker beside you in the check-out line or reaching past you for that last bottle of hand sanitizer. They wear them all the time to protect you!

Jim Young is an Aldershot resident who comments frequently on public issues.

 

 

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Mayor now says she has the support of the MOH for a face mask bylaw. She also has a motion planned for a meeting next week.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Gazette published an opinion piece on the difficulty Mayor Marianne Meed Ward was having on the matter of face masks.

Does she bring in a bylaw or does she equivocate and rely on social media to tell her story.

Our opinion piece is HERE

The Mayors response the day after is set out below.

Meed ward election night 1

Marianne Meed Ward – the night the city elected her Mayor.

Thanks to everyone who gave me feedback regarding a mandatory mask bylaw in Burlington. I am bringing forward a bylaw proposal for discussion at the July 9 Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee. Your continued feedback is welcome to mayor@burlington.ca

In the last few days we have received confirmation from the Region of Halton Medical Officer of Health of her support for a bylaw, and I have received overwhelming support from the community and a number of businesses for such a bylaw.

I’ve been researching Section 22 mask orders directed by a Medical Officer of Health & municipal/regional bylaws (only Toronto has so far passed one). The language is similar except that Section 22 comes with $5000/day fines for businesses. There are no set fines yet for a bylaw.

Only the Medical Officer of Health can order a Section 22. For reference, the Wellington/Dufferin/Guelph Medical Officer of Health Section 22 order is here.  The following to links are in the pdf format – you will need access to Adobe Acrobat Reader.

The City of Toronto bylaw provides for exceptions & no one can be required to show proof of how they meet those exceptions. There are no set fines yet. The bylaw is temporary. Read it here.

It is acknowledged a bylaw would be difficult to enforce but can help with voluntary compliance. As TO put it: “Whereas it is believed that the existence of an enforceable temporary by-law requirement will help to educate the public on the importance of a properly worn mask or face covering and encourage voluntary compliance”

The city of St. Catharines is also looking at a bylaw. Read the proposed motion here.

Please continue to provide me with your feedback on this important discussion.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte is believed to be preparing a motion calling for Face masks to be worn.  She is reported to be working with the City Manager, the City Clerk and legal to put bring forward a Motion to Council this week to implement a temporary bylaw requiring masks be made mandatory inside all public indoor spaces.

Stolte appears to be a step or two ahead of the Mayor these days.

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To mask or not to mask - Mayor isn't going to lead on this issue. The downside on this one is something we will all pay for.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On the matter of face masks that many commercial establishments require you to wear when you enter the premises; that you are now required to wear if you are using public transit in Burlington – the Mayor is being disingenuous.

“Many of you have reached out to ask about a mandatory mask order” she explains in her Newsletter.

The Mayor does not do press conferences where she can be asked questions by media. She instead uses social media and Newsletters plus Statements she makes as Mayor – all of which she controls – no accountability – just what she wants to say.

MMW new post - masks

Mayor Meed Ward’s A Better Burlington Newsletter

“I understand the concerns people have raised and the desire for a mandatory order. We are all committed to doing everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“In all our decisions, we are guided by the advice of our Medical Officer of Health (MOH).

“The communities around us who have issued a municipal or regional bylaw (Toronto and Peel) did so on the advice of their Medical Officer of Health (MOH) , or by direction of their MOH under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act (Wellington/Dufferin/Guelph and Kingston).

“Our Halton MOH has not, to date, used her authority under Sect. 22 to issue a mandatory mask order. However, there are ongoing discussions with her, including in the last few days, about using the bylaw tool. With her support we could consider that as an added measure.

This is all just poppycock – the Mayor does not need a blessing from the MOH to issue an order that masks are required when the science is very clear.  Burlington is indeed fortunate in that we don’t have that many infections.  That isn’t because we are behaving so well – we are a bit of a social backwater in that the people who do go into Toronto aren’t taking public transit – they are driving.

We don’t have that many long term care homes which is where most of the infections are taking place

It is clear that the COVID19 disease is spread from person to person by a virus that enters the body through the nose and the mouth. And the virus that is entering your body comes from another person – not the grass we walk on.

Meed ward looking askance

Marianne Meed Ward – listening.

But the Mayor knows all this.

She just doesn’t want to issue the necessary order. Is she waiting for the MOH to do so – so that she, the Mayor, doesn’t have to do something that is going to annoy people?

Great leadership!

The Mayor adds

“The good news is the voluntary actions of our citizens have, to date, led to the lowest infection rates in our Region and beyond. This has remained true, even as there has been travel to and from other communities for work or other reasons since the beginning of the pandemic, and even after we moved into Stage 2 reopening two weeks ago. Our infection rates have remained among the lowest in the province — that is something to be proud of.

“We have been able to achieve through voluntary compliance what others around us are trying to achieve with a mandatory mask order.

Speaking of that voluntary compliance – does that explain the scores of people wading and swimming in Lake Ontario on Canada Day?

Beach with canal bride

Not much evidence of six feet of social distancing. These people either do not know we are in the midst of a pandemic or they don’t believe what they are being told.

“Of course, we must remain vigilant, especially as we contemplate moving into Stage 3 reopening. I remain open to further dialogue with our community, elected leaders and our MOH about the potential for a bylaw mandating masks as an added tool to keep our community safe.”

Sophistry Your Worship – pure sophistry and you know better.

Leadership is hard sometimes. The job of Mayor is not to strive to be continually liked – it is to be continually responsible and to do the right thing.

Note that we have never seen the Mayor wear a faced mask. Because she doesn’t believe in the science? President Trump doesn’t believe in the science either.  “Please continue to share your thoughts with me, as we consider this potential tool.adds the MAyor

Now here is the funny part in the Newsletter:

“In the meantime, we will lead by example. We have required masks on public transit as of today (July 2), and are discussing whether masks will be required in our city facilities once they reopen. We will continue to encourage people to wear masks in indoor spaces where physical distancing is a challenge. Halton Region is embarking on a public education campaign to encourage mask wearing.”

Shawna and daughter

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte, on the right with one of her daughters,  wears a mask and carries several in her purse to hand out to others.

This isn’t the woman we saw stand before Council as a citizen demanding transparency and accountability.

This isn’t the woman who forced her colleagues to stand six times at one Council meeting forcing them to put their votes on the record.

Something happens to people when they have power and are in a position to make decision that may not be popular.  Do you make the tough decision and lose some of the admiration or do you make the tough decisions and stand by what you know is best for the community.

Masks are best for the community Your Worship: get one, wear one and ask your citizens to do what is best for all of us.

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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The pools will be open - you will need to wade through a lot of bureaucracy to register. Open ONLY to Burlington residents

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 3rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Summer is in full force.

The pools are open – well at least most of them.

LaSalle Pool Opening July 4; Mountainside and Nelson Outdoor Pools Opening July 11

The opening dates are a little earlier than Parks and Recreation expected; they will be open for lap and leisure swims.

No snow? There are always swimming pools. Check out the available programs and register for a spot.

Swimming pools are open. Check out the available programs and register for a spot.

This isn’t however going to be a normal summer. While things look good on the surface there is amongst us a virus that can’t wait to jump from someone who has COVID19 to someone who doesn’t.

This virus is passed from person to person.

The Provincial Guidelines on the safe reopening of pools means pool access will now be done through online registration and pre-payment for Burlington residents only.

There will be no walk-in pool access accepted at this time. To create an account CLICK HERE  t

To help ensure physical distancing, the number of swimmers allowed in each pool will be restricted. Time-limits will also be in place to allow more people to enjoy the pools and for staff to disinfect the area for the next group of swimmers.

To view the programs and times: Click Here ,

Residents will have an opportunity to register no more than 25-hours before the start of the program. Residents are asked to book only one swim per day to help accommodate as many swimmers as possible and to complete a health screening questionnaire.

Nelson swimming pool

Nelson pool

New Procedures at the Pools
The health and safety of Burlington residents is of the upmost importance. In compliance with the Provincial Guidelines for opening aquatic facilities and for the health and safety of all guests, the following standards will be in effect:

Bring proof of registration to the pool
• Enter the pool using only the entry point; exit the pool using only the exit point at the opposite end of the pool
• Outdoor showers will be available for use before entering and re-entering the pool
• Use of changerooms is limited to washroom use only; guests should arrive wearing swimming attire and to change and shower at home afterward

• On-deck viewing is not available
• Physical distance of 2m (6ft) must always be maintained; within the pool and on the pool deck
• Guests will be asked to exit the deck area without delay after each swim to allow for cleaning and disinfection before the next swim
• Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs as use of deck furniture will be restricted
• Guests are encouraged to bring their own filled plastic water bottles – water fountains will not be available;
• All play equipment will not be in use, including splash features, diving boards, climbing wall, and waterslide
• Regular supervision requirements apply. Visit burlington.ca/playstandards

Lap Swimming
The pools will be divided into double lanes. Registered swimmers are to swim clockwise on the black line of one lane and come back on the black line of the next lane, forming a loop.

Leisure Swims
To help support physical distancing,

Mountainside and Nelson Pools will be divided into shallow, middle and deep areas.

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Provincial Court offences scheduled until Sept. 14, 2020 will be rescheduled. Do not attend court.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 3rd, 2020

Burlington, on

 

NOTICE TO PUBLIC REGARDING PROVINCIAL OFFENCES ACT MATTERS
Revised July 3, 2020

All Provincial Offences Act matters (e.g., traffic tickets and offences under provincial legislation) scheduled until Sept. 14, 2020 will be rescheduled. Do not attend court.

Court House - newAll Provincial Offences Act matters scheduled from Monday, March 16, 2020 through to and including Monday, Sept. 14, 2020 will be adjourned and rescheduled to a later date. If you have a matter scheduled during this time, do not attend court. This applies to all POA courts in Ontario.

A notice of your new court date will be sent to you by mail to the address on file with the court. For more information, please contact your local Provincial Offences court.

Contact information for all municipal courts is available here: https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/Court_Addresses/poa/

Updated information about court proceedings at the Ontario Court of Justice can be found on the Court’s website at https://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/.

Please also be advised that the Government of Ontario made an order pursuant to s. 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA), suspending any limitation periods in statutes and regulations for the duration of the State of Emergency. This will impact timelines under the Provincial Offences Act and related proceedings.

A copy of the order is available online at: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/200073.

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Third Telephone Town Hall on the 16th - good place to get answers to your questions and concerns

News 100 redBy Staff

July 2, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mayor is going to hold another one of her COVID19 Town Hall meetings.

Meed WArd at PARC

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

She runs a tight ship and gets the questions to the right people. The event is another virtual thing where the people taking part are scattered about the city – all connected via Zoom.

It works. Many of the questions are for information that should be known by everyone but there are many that are very sensible – and at time the experts the Mayor has with don’t have an immediate answer

The next COVID19 Town Hall is on Thursday, July 16, between 6 and 7:30 p.m.

The Mayor will be joined by a panel of local leaders to help answer residents’ questions, including:

Hammil + Miller

Halton District School Board Director of Education Stuart Miller

• Denise Beard, Manager of Community Development at the City of Burlington
• Tim Commisso, City Manager at the City of Burlington
• Pat Daly, Director of Education at Halton Catholic District School Board
• Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington
• The Honourable Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington
• Dr. Dale Kalina, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control at Joseph Brant Hospital
• Stuart Miller, Director of Education at Halton District School Board
• MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos, Member of Provincial Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington
• Eric Vandewall, President and Chief Executive Officer at Joseph Brant Hospital.

With the Director of Education on the call – there will be an opportunity to see some clarity on what parents might expect come September.

How to Participate
Residents who would like to participate in the town hall can do so in the following ways:

1. Register in advance: Burlington residential phone numbers will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone town hall. Residents who would like to be added to the telephone call list can email getinvolved@burlington.ca by the end of the day on July 14.
Please note: if you registered for any of the previous town halls (held on March 26, April 14 or June 4), you are not required to register your phone number a second time. To remove a name from the call list, email getinvolved@burlington.ca by the end of the day on July 14.

2. Join by telephone: Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-410-5909 just before 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 to join the town hall. For those individuals calling in, please be advised more than one attempt may be required due to the high volume of traffic on the phone lines. If the first call does not connect, please hang up and dial the 1-800 number again.

Once the call begins, a moderator will provide participants with instructions for how to submit their questions to the leadership panel.

Questions not answered during the call will be posted, with answers, to the City’s website at burlington.ca/townhall, along with an audio file and full transcript of the call after July 16.

“While we continue to navigate a world with COVID-19,, said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, ” we have taken many steps to get people back to working and playing as much as possible so that we can maintain our physical and mental health.

Our next town hall will focus on what summer looks like in Burlington now that our splash pads, pools, parks and camps are reopening, and what we can expect as we head into the fall when our kids are hopefully back to school, and our businesses continue to reopen more fully. There is always a wealth of helpful and timely information on these calls and I look forward to connecting with our community and our experts once again on July 16.”

Quick Facts
• Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the City of Burlington has hosted three telephone town hall events, on March 25, April 14 and June 4, to provide updates about what the City is doing to protect the health and safety of our community and to address concerns from the public related to COVID-19.
• Audio recordings and full transcripts from the previous telephone town hall events are available online at burlington.ca/townhall. Answers to the questions asked by the public during these town hall events are also available at the same location on the City’s website.

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Three trails in the city need names - Council wants to hear what you think.

News 100 greenBy Staff

July 2nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Part two of the Trail Naming project is starting and residents can now vote for the names of three trails. Earlier this year residents were asked to submit names for the trails. More than 300 names were received.

A committee made up of City staff and members of the Burlington Cycling Advisory Committee and the Integrated Transportation Advisory Committee created a short-list of names. The entries with the most votes will be brought to City Council for approval to become the official names of the trails.

Voting on name-this-trail will be open from July 2 to July 24.  Link to voting booth is shown below.

Trail locations and name options

Trail 1

Trail # 1

Location 1: Hydro corridor trail, north of the QEW, between the North Service Road at Roly Bird Park and Berwick Drive.

• Unity Trail: A trail that connects many communities and symbolizes inclusion
• Crosstown Trail: A trail spans across most of north Burlington
• Powerline Trail: In reference to the use of the land as a hydro transmission corridor

Trail # 2

Trail # 2

Location 2: New downtown hydro corridor trail, east of Maple Avenue, between Ontario Street and Graham’s Lane

• Core Trail: Combines the double meaning of core as it relates to fitness and the location of the trail
• Old Rail Trail: Recognizes the former railway that ran through the corridor years ago
• Maple Trail: The trail is in the neighborhood commonly referred to as Maple and is close to Maple Avenue

Trail # 3

Trail # 3

Location 3: New trail east of Centennial Drive, between Upper Middle Road and Heathfield Drive (extending in the future to Mainway.)

• Palmer Trail: The trail is in the neighborhood commonly referred to as Palmer
• Washburn Trail: In reference to Halton Region’s Pump Station and Reservoir facility
• Upper Mainway Trail: References the north and south boundary of the trail between two major roads

You vote for the name you want for each trail RIGHT HERE

 

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Congratulations - you are now Canadian citizens

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 1st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Canada Day is a good time to think about Citizenship.

Those of us born in Canada take it for granted and for the most part we are grateful that we live in this country.

For many – they choose to become Canadian citizens.

When that choice is made these people take part in a Citizenship Ceremony that is presided over by a Citizenship Court Judge.

The federal government often calls upon members of the Order of Canada to take on the task for what is a rather short ceremony that has one sentence that matters: Congratulations, you are now Canadian citizens.

Ron Foxcroft was made a member of the Order of Canada two years ago.

He presided over his first Citizenship Court in Hamilton recently.

Judge Ronnie cropped

Fifty nine people became citizens of Canad in a ceremony earlier this year when Citizenship Judge Ron Foxcroft presided.

It is an emotional moment for all the participants.  Foxcroft said he was a “little nervous” but once he got into the procedure he said he was “fine”.

Working from a document provided by the federal government Foxcroft said:

“In a few minutes you will be sworn in as Canadian Citizens.  You will swear or affirm your Oath to the Queen, which means you are swearing allegiance to Canada in her name and in her person.

“This is a proud moment for all of you.  It is a memory you and your family will always cherish.”

Foxcroft then turns to the land acknowledgement that is now a part of almost every political event that takes place.

“I would like to acknowledge that this citizenship ceremony is taking place on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit and the the Haudenosaunee Nations.

“It is essential that all Canadians move forward together on the road to reconciliation, so that we can leave a proper legacy for future generations.

“Candidates for citizenship, I am happy that you have chosen to become citizens of this wonderful country, and it is a privilege for me to be here with you today.  You are following in the footsteps of generations of great Canadians before you.

“Our first Prime, Sir John  A. MacDonald, came here as an immigrant from Scotland with his family when he was five years old. They settled in Loyalist country beside Lake Ontario.  He worked hard all his life and earned the everlasting gratitude of the Canadian people.

“My personal story is one of great gratitude to Canada for all that my country has given me.  My family enjoyed all that this country has to offer.  I was educated in Ontario, became a National Basketball Association referee, bought a trucking company and formed a business that exports to more than 100 countries around the world.

“I was honoured to be made the Honorary Colonel of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, a renowned Armed Forces unit that fought in Europe in both world wars.  That Regiment is based here in Hamilton.

Citizen group - Foxcroft

Four of Canada’s newest citizens

“Many of you have travelled far and some have struggled to make a new home in Canada. Your decision meant adapting to a new culture, a new climate, and for most of you a new language.

“You are joining the Canadian story, one that you are now quite familiar with after studying Discover Canada and passing your citizenship test.

“You have learned about Canadian symbols like the Crown, the flag, the coat of arms and our motto, From “Sea to Sea”.

getting a citizenship certificate

The presentation of a Citizenship certificate

“Being a Canadian citizen means a lot more than simply having a piece of paper. It means sharing a common set of Canadian values; having rights and responsibilities, such as being a full member of the Canadian family and the responsibility to obey Canadian laws.

“As a Canadian citizen, you live in a democratic country where individual rights and freedoms are respected.

“Thousands of brave Canadians have fought and died foe these rights and freedoms. The commitment to Canada of our men and women in uniform should never be forgotten or go unrecognized.  We thank them.

“As a Canadian you have the right to vote and to run as a candidate in municipal, provincial and federal elections.  It is your responsibility to find out about the issues in each election, to make your choice and to cast your vote.

“You are free to live and work in any province or territory.  Take responsibility for yourself and your family.  Get involved in our community by becoming a volunteer.  These are responsibilities and privileges we all share and must act upon.

“The future of Canada, our freedom, our democracy, our peaceful society, equality under the law and our prosperity, depends on all of us together.

“You area about to take the Oath of Citizenship.  As you pronounce the words of the oath, take then to heart; they are your commitment to do your best for Canada.

“Please repeat after me:

I swear

That I will be faithful

And bear true allegiance

To Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second

Queen of Canada

Her Heirs and Successors

And that I will faithfully observe

The laws of Canada

And fulfill my duties

As a Canadian citizen

At this point Ron Foxcroft would have stood tall, beamed a great big smile upon the 59 people in the room and said:

“Congratulations, you are now Canadian citizens.”

And then lead them in the singing O Canada

 

 

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Canada Day will be different - this year we will have to decide just how we individually want to celebrate. Start with a rack of ribs in a parking lot

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 30th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Canada Day this year isn’t going to be the same.

This year’s Celebrations will be unique.

For starters, we will be having our Ribs in the Burlington Centre parking lot.  And the Farmer’s Market will be open.

Rick Campanelli

Rick Campanelli

The City, with funding support from the Government of Canada, is hosting a virtual Canada Day celebration with former TV host for MuchMusic and ET Canada Rick Campanelli, special events online, musical guests (by video) and activities individuals and families can do while practicing physical distancing.

Following Provincial orders and public health directives, large gatherings will not be permitted. There will be no gatherings or planned activities in Spencer Smith Park.

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation Services, City of Burlington spells out the situation:

“We know this isn’t the big party that everyone has come to know and love that always earns us a Top 100 Festival ranking from Festivals and Events Ontario.

He is no longer "acting"; it's now the real deal as Chris Glenn gets appointed the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city.

Chris Glenn Director of Parks and Recreation for the city.

“Being in a pandemic means we need to be flexible and adapt to what is happening in a safe and responsible way. Large gatherings will not be happening this year but that doesn’t mean we can’t all celebrate and show our Canadian pride in our own special way with our household.

There is a great lineup of activities and performances. If you miss any of the “premiers”, all videos will still be posted on burlington.ca/canadaday.” — Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation Services, City of Burlington

Virtual Schedule and Activities

All virtual activities, a schedule and links to videos will be posted on burlington.ca/canadaday.

Online message from Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and Rick Campanelli, Burlington resident and former TV host for MuchMusic and ET Canada

BTTB - O canada

Burlington Teen Tour Band: They make the city proud

O Canada played by the Burlington Teen Tour Band

Bucket drumming experience with Burlington’s CRASH Rhythm. Watch for the how-to video released the weekend before and get ready to join CRASH Rhythm members on Canada Day for two interactive drumming sessions

White Pine Dancers

One of the White Pine Dancers.

Join First Nations Storyteller and founder of the White Pine Dancers, Aaron Bell for a six-part series of traditional stories that reflect the Indigenous culture and way of life

Special musical guest appearance, by country music star Tim Hicks

Join cities across Canada to celebrate Canada Day, promote diversity, multicultural harmony, and thank all front line essential workers with simultaneous drumming. Pre-registration is required and the link can be found at burlington.ca/canadaday.

Participate in Virtual Fireworks Presented by Bunzl, through the Snap’d Community Hub

Share your Canada Day spirit by decorating your home and posting a photo to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #BurlONCanadaDayCanadian flag at Quebed referendum

Participate in the Canada Day Play Challenge. With Canadian inspired trivia and activities starting June 27 until July 1, 2020, with new activities added each day. Download the free app at goosechase.com and search for the Canada Day Play Challenge. We have prize packages available for the top three highest scoring teams, with support from Canadian Tire. The grand prize winner will receive a prize package worth $500.

Mayor Meed Ward said: “Canada Day celebrations in Burlington will look a bit different this year and I know our community will safely celebrate this important holiday with the same energy and gratitude we always do.

“We have so much to be thankful for in this country: our democracy, our healthcare, our arts and culture, our gorgeous landscapes and environment, and the diverse and passionate people who contribute to our ongoing evolution as a society. I look forward to enjoying the talented entertainment and creative activities our teams have pulled together for our city.”

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Public Health data good - the people of Burlington are listening.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 30th,2020

Burlington, ON

 

The notice at the top of the update on Covid19 infections – set out in red was a sign that the pace at Halton Region’s public Health Unit has slowed.

They were probably all close to burn out.

Please note that effective the week of July 6, the Monday edition of this report will be discontinued for the summer of 2020. The report will return to a weekly format, with updates sent every Thursday.

The data as at June 26th is re-assuring.

The public, for the most part is paying attention and following the Stay Safe rules.

The PHN has advised that the public can now get out and not have to stay away from people that are a big part of their day to day lives.

The Mayor managed to get out for a brew on the patio of The Poacher.

Fig 1

Figure 1: COVID-19 cases, by episode date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Jun. 28, 2020

Figure 1: COVID-19 cases, by episode date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Jun. 28, 2020

 

Figure 1  shows the 833 COVID-19 cases among Halton residents reported by end of the day on June 28. All cases have been graphed according to their episode date, which is used to estimate the date that symptoms began. Figure 1 shows the number of new cases per day, while

Figure 2 shows how cases have accumulated over time. Counts for the past 14 days should be interpreted with caution (indicated using the grey shaded area on the graph), since there is a delay between when a person becomes infected and when they develop symptoms, get tested and are reported as a case. Please note the large increase on April 11 is due to expanded testing and identification of COVID-19 among asymptomatic individuals at Mountainview Residence.

Individuals who are lab-confirmed cases are shown in green. Individuals who are probable cases are shown in orange. Probable cases are individuals presumed to have COVID-19 because they have symptoms of COVID-19 and are travelers returning from an affected area, have had close contact with a confirmed case and/or lived/worked in a facility experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, or have indeterminate test results.

Fig 3Figure 3: 7-day moving average of confirmed non-institutional COVID-19 cases, by collection date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Jun. 28, 2020

For each day, Figure 3 shows the average number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past seven days, including only those cases that are not staff or residents/patients associated with an outbreak in an institutional or congregate care setting. Cases have been graphed according to their collection date, which is the date that a sample was taken from them to be tested for COVID-19. The graph suggests that the average number of new cases per day was highest in late March/early April, with another increase in mid-May. Counts for recent days should be interpreted with caution (indicated using the grey shaded area on the graph), since there is a delay between when a person is tested and when their test results are reported to Public Health and entered into the system.

 

Fig 5

Figure 5 shows that by end of the day on June 28, the greatest number of COVID-19 cases were among residents of Oakville (with 277 cases, or 33%).

Figure 5 shows that by end of the day on June 28, the greatest number of COVID-19 cases were among residents of Oakville (with 277 cases, or 33%). Please note this figure shows counts, and therefore does not take into account the different population sizes or age structures of the four municipalities. Counts in municipalities can also be inflated by outbreaks that have occurred within institutions in their boundaries.

 

 

Fig 9

Figure 9 shows the 22 confirmed outbreaks of COVID-19 in Halton institutions reported by end of the day on June 28. Institutions are defined as long-term care homes, retirement homes and hospitals. 18 of the outbreaks have resolved, and four are ongoing. Among the 22 confirmed institutional outbreaks reported to date, 14 (64%) have been in long-term care homes, seven (32%) have been in retirement homes and one has been in a hospital (5%).

 

Fig 10Figure 10: Number of people tested for COVID-19 and percentage of people tested who had positive results, by week, Mar. 1-Jun. 20, 2020, Halton

The green bars in Figure 10 show the number of Halton residents who were tested for COVID-19 each week, beginning the week of March 1-7. Data for the most recent week (June 14-20) is incomplete due to reporting lags. The number of people tested decreased the week of May 17 compared to past weeks as mass testing of institutional residents was completed. The number of people tested then began to increase again, as the provincial government permitted more widespread testing.

The orange line in Figure 10 indicates the percentage of tested Halton residents who were positive for COVID-19. The percent positivity was highest the week of April 5-11, when 10.3% of Halton residents who were tested for COVID-19 had positive results. In the most recent week (June 14-20), 0.5% of people tested for COVID-19 tested positive, although this number is subject to reporting delays.

 

Data limitations and data sources
Halton case data: integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS), extracted at 7:00 AM on June 29, 2020, to reflect data entered by the end of the day on June 28, 2020

Halton lab data: Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Number of individuals who were confirmed positive for COVID-19, COVID-19 Testing Period: 15 Jan 2020 to 20 June 2020. Received on June 22, 2020.

Ontario case counts: Public Health Ontario, Epidemiologic Summary, COVID-19 in Ontario: January 15, 2020 to June 28, 2020, posted on June 29, 2020 to https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus.

Denominators for Halton and Ontario age-specific rates: Population projections [2020], IntelliHEALTH Ontario, extracted on April 8, 2020.

Data notes
All cases of diseases of public health significance diagnosed in Ontario are entered into iPHIS by local public health units. iPHIS is the Integrated Public Health Information System. It is a dynamic disease reporting system which allows ongoing updates to data previously entered. As a result, data extracted from iPHIS represent a snapshot at the time of extraction and may differ from previous or subsequent reports as data are updated.

The data only represent cases reported to public health and recorded in iPHIS. As a result, all counts will be subject to varying degrees of underreporting due to a variety of factors, such as disease awareness and medical care seeking behaviours, which may depend on severity of illness, clinical practice, changes in laboratory testing, and reporting behaviours.

Cases are included if their “diagnosing health unit” in iPHIS is Halton Region, which means counts include only individuals whose primary residence is in Halton Region. The case may not necessarily have been managed by Halton Region, if they were temporarily residing elsewhere during their case management period. Cases managed by Halton Region who normally live elsewhere but who were managed by Halton Region staff because they were temporarily residing in Halton during their case management period have not been included.

Cases for which the Disposition Status in iPHIS was reported as ENTERED IN ERROR, DOES NOT MEET DEFINITION, DUPLICATE-DO NOT USE, or any variation on these values have been excluded.

Cases are considered “currently active” if they are open in iPHIS.

Figures 1 and 2 distinguish between lab-confirmed and probable cases. Probable cases are defined as epi-linked cases, which means they are presumed to have COVID-19 because they have symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and have travelled to an affected area; have had close contact with a confirmed case; and/or lived in or worked in a facility known to be experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19; or have indeterminate test results. All other figures and numbers include both confirmed and probable cases combined, except Figure 3, which uses confirmed cases only.

Figures 1 and 2 use episode date, which is a field that is intended to approximate the symptom onset date for each case. It is calculated hierarchically, using symptom onset date if available; when it is not available, specimen collection date is used; if neither symptom onset nor specimen collection date are available, the lab test date is used; and finally, if none of these other dates are available, the date the case was reported to Public Health is used.

In subsequent reports, counts in Figures 1-3 may increase as cases are added from past dates as individuals become symptomatic, get tested, and their results are reported to Halton Region Public Health, as well as any past results are added due to delayed data entry or new arrival of lab results.

Cases are considered to be patients or residents of an institution experiencing an outbreak if they are linked to a confirmed Halton institutional outbreak in iPHIS, and they are not known to be a staff person at the institution.

Cases are considered to work in health care if they are known to have an occupation that involves caring for patients, e.g. physician, nurse, occupational therapist, recreational therapist, chiropractor, paramedic, midwife, orderly, etc. Individuals who work in health care settings but do not provide direct care to patients (e.g. managers, cleaning staff) have not been included.

Exposure type is determined by examining the exposure and risk factor fields from iPHIS to determine whether a case travelled, was a resident/patient or staff member in an institution or congregate care setting experiencing an outbreak, was a contact of a case or neither. A hierarchy has been applied as follows:
• Cases with episode date before April 1: Travel > Associated with any type of outbreak (institutional, congregate care, or workplace) in or outside of Halton > Close contact of a confirmed case > None of the above (indicating community acquisition) > Information pending.
• Cases with episode date on or after April 1: Associated with any type of outbreak (institutional, congregate care, or workplace) in or outside of Halton > Close contact of a confirmed case > Travel > None of the above (indicating community acquisition) > Information pending.
It is important to note that cases can have multiple exposures, and these data reflect only their primary exposure category. Differences between municipalities have not been assessed for statistical significance. Known cases reflect only individuals who were prioritized for testing prior to the expansion of testing in May, which means that differences between municipalities are currently difficult to ascribe to other factors.

Case outcomes (hospitalizations, recovered/resolved, deaths) reflect the latest available information reported to Halton Region Public Health and recorded in iPHIS by the extraction time. Cases for whom public health follow-up was discontinued and the case was closed while still hospitalized are not considered to be ‘currently hospitalized’.

Cases are considered to have been reached within 24 hours if their investigation start date and case reported dates in iPHIS are no more than one day apart.

Contacts are manually tracked to determine if they were reached within one day. Any contacts referred to Public Health Ontario for follow up have not been included.

Institutional outbreaks include outbreaks of COVID-19 in settings such as long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals and prisons. Outbreaks in congregate care settings (e.g. group homes) and workplaces are not included.

Lab testing data reflects only lab tests that have been assigned to Halton Region based on the methodology used by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. There are several known limitations associated with this data which result in the numbers being underestimates:
• The unit of analysis is the tested individual. Once an individual is confirmed positive, subsequent tests for that individual are excluded from the daily totals;
• The COVID-19 test results were captured in the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS). The testing date represents the date of specimen collection: “observation date” in OLIS. Due to the time required for transportation and processing of specimens, it takes six days for approximately 95% of results to be finalize

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Councillor moving to undelegate the Site Review of a massive residential mixed use development on Fairview

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 29th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The public is going to get a chance to see what that massive development on Fairview between the Go Station and Drury Lane on the north side is going to look like.

The development met the requirements of the current and in-force Official Plan and also met the zoning for the properties so it didn’t have to go to Council.

Seven buildings - not that much in park space and a layout that reflects what developers put up in the 50's

Seven buildings – not that much in park space and a layout that reflects what developers put up in the 50’s. Building something like this without public input was just plain bad practice. But the Councillor was prepared to do just that.

The Planning department would do a site plan review and that would be it.

There was considerable blow back when the ward Councillor Lisa Kearns let it be known that she had talked to the developers and “convinced” them that the 47 storeys they were looking for on one of the seven buildings that are going to be on the site.

The development is being built in a part of the city that this council, and its predecessor wanted to see the growth take place in.
With a development his size – seven towers – the quality of the development and the amenities become critical – and no one knew what they were going to be.

Councillor Kearns did say that she did a walk-through of the site with people she apparently chose – we don’t know who these people are.

It just didn’t look right.

Kearns said earlier today that she was bringing forward a motion to have the site undelegated – which means the Site Plan Review is done by Council and not the Planning department.

The Planning department will certainly be at the table but the driving and the directing force will be with Council

Good move. It took giving Kearns a bit of a nudge for her to figure out which direction the wind was coming from.

She has used the IAP2 template as her justification to include more public participation.

In her motion to have the undelegation Kearns said:

Undelegate the site plan approval for application 535-001/20 (2020, 2243, 2269 Fairview Street and 864 Drury Lane – CLV Group Inc) from the Director of Community Planning to Council.

Background:
On April 6th, City of Burlington Planning confirmed that a Site Plan Application was deemed complete and materials circulated for review 2020 2243, 2269 Fairview Street & 864 Drury Lane (CLV): 535-001/20.

File 535-001/20 proposes a phased mixed-use development consisting of 7 towers with heights ranging from 29-37 storeys. Towers will include a combination of residential and commercial uses. Parking will be accommodated both underground and at the rear of the property in a parking structure utilizing the required 30 metre setback from the rail.

details

details

Undelegation of site plan will provide the public with an opportunity to engage in IAP2’s Spectrum of Public Participation which is designed to assist with the selection of the level of participation that defines the public’s role in any public participation process. For clarity, the public will participate within:

INFORM: To provide the public with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problem, alternatives, and opportunities and/or solutions.

CONSULT: To obtain public feedback on analysis, alternatives and/or decisions.

Constituents have continually requested updates, information, and insight into the large scale development submitted for the lands known as “Holland Park”.

Therefore, recognizing that a variety of resources may be used for communication, it is imperative that Council have a direct opportunity to bring onto public record the decisions made in accordance with Site Plan for 2020 2243, 2269 Fairview Street & 864 Drury Lane (CLV): 535-001/20.

The justification the Councillor uses isn’t an issue – that she took the step to bring about the undelegation is what matters.  It was a nice little end run though.

Related news stories:

Big big development – no public input.

Development of the properties on the north side of Fairview. 

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Summer in the city - coping with COVID19

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 29th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON’

The Gazette web site, we call it our press room, is undergoing a security upgrade. The content has been hacked into several times and someone is playing with the comments section. Thus, unfortunately, the comments section will not be available until security is solid enough to prevent people from removing what you want to say.

The weather was great.

Loads of people out.

Too many cars with drivers who felt that had to let us know just how much noise their mufflers could make.

The patios weren’t as full as we thought they would be.

Spencer Smith Park was busy but not crowded when we were there and the lines on the Naval Promenade kept people far enough apart.

Kids in the water

It’s what summer at the beach is all about – except that this is not a normal summer.

 

Beach closed sign

Perhaps we have more people in Burlington for whom English is not their first language?

That small Beach created at the foot of the Pier attracted kids that were enjoying making castles in the sane – despite the sign clearly saying the Beach was closed.

That Beach by the way was not planned. While the Pier was being built the currents pulled sand into that spot on the waterfront. That sand by the way drifted all the way from the Scarborough Bluffs.

Walking around downtown was quite nice. The traffic cones that were put up to create walking space for pedestrians did the job.

It made for tight traffic at times – but the public was given the space they needed.

Brant Strret - Wendell rest

The walkway on the street was great for pedestrians. The traffic cones were rather ratty and tattered looking.

The cones that were set out on Brant Street were a little “ratty: looking. The barrier set up on John Street and Lakeshore had really nice clean look to them

Those traffic cones on Brant were an embarrassment.

The ward Councillor and the head honcho at the Downtown Business Association might want to look at the traffic cones in front of Wendell Clark’s and see if they can’t find something a little more attractive. Brant is the prime street in the city.

John Street looking south

These barriers leave a nice clean, rather smart look to the streetscape. Unfortunately, other than the ice cream shop – no one was getting much in the way of traffic.

 

Pump walkway BEST

The patio at The Pump is on the sidewalk – last year the patio was on the street. This set up is much better.

David Barker, an astute observer of what goes on downtown took issue with the way traffic was being managed, particularly at Brant and Lakeshore Road.

He explains:
“If you are driving West along Lakeshore Road and you wish to turn right, north, up Brant Street, and your traffic signal is green, you are unlikely to be able to make a right turn due to pedestrians crossing east/west and west/east across Brant Street. Say, the light then turns red against you but you wish to take advantage of “right on red”, you’re likely unable to be able to do so because pedestrians are now crossing Lakeshore Road in front of you, north/south and vice versa.

“Now consider should you be driving south on Brant Street and you wish to turn either east or west on to Lakeshore Road. When the light is green in your favour you are probably unlikely to be able to do so. That is because pedestrians likely will be crossing Lakeshore Road both on the east side and west side of Brant Street. Southbound traffic on Brant street is more often than not backed up beyond Elgin Street.

“So as you can see the situation is one where both vehicular traffic and pedestrians are vying for the same space on the road at the same time. That combination is not a good mix. Really pedestrians and vehicles should be separated.

“Would it not make more sense to:
(1) have the traffic going east and west along Lakeshore Road have it’s time to move when both south bound traffic on Brant Street and pedestrians are halted.
(2) Then halt pedestrians and traffic on Lakeshore (both directions) allowing traffic south bound on Brant Street to be able to turn East or West without obstacle.
(3) then have all vehicular traffic halted so pedestrians may cross Lakeshore Road and Brant Street in any which direction they like, even diagonally across the intersection if they wish.
(4) Then the cycle starts over.

“This plan allows for pedestrians and vehicles to move freely without obstruction and more importantly safely without frustration.

:The unregulated, unmarked crosswalk at Lakeshore Road and Locust Street adds to the chaos and confusion. It should be regulated and be in step with the traffic signals at both Lakeshore Road and Brant Street and Lakeshore Road and Burlington Street.

“With the great summer weather attracting people, who are already eager to get out after lockdown, to the downtown and Spencer Smith Park there will be more cars back on the road (with reduced lanes) and more pedestrians looking wander around and take advantage of the patios and Spencer Smith Park therefore crossing this intersection.”

City Council’s objective was to ensure that the space on the streets was made available to pedestrians – shared with the vehicles.

It’s not as smooth as people would’ve liked it – but it is a first step.  Many people want all of Brant closed to vehicles from Caroline south – the merchants are dead opposed to that idea.  In many cities closing a road to vehicles improves the pace of business.  The is a great opportunity to give it a try.

One of the sadder signs was the number of former retail locations now store fronts with For Rent signs in the windows.

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Woman sexually assaulted in Duncaster Park, Burlington

Crime 100By Staff

June 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

On Friday, members of the Halton Regional Police Service were contacted after a  woman was approached while in the trail system at Duncaster Park, which is located near Upper Middle Road and Duncaster Drive in the City of Burlington.

Duncaster ParkA male suspect approached the victim from behind while her attention was momentarily diverted towards her infant child. The suspect then proceeded to sexually assault the victim before fleeing the area.

The suspect is described as: male, white, 30-35 years old, short brown hair, approximately 5’9″ with a medium build. The suspect wore a blue medical mask obscuring his facial features. He also wore a plain black baseball hat, black t-shirt, dark shorts and running shoes. The suspect is believed to have a scar on the back of his right hand.

Police would like to remind the public to be particularly vigilant while walking in secluded areas and report any suspicious incidents to the Police immediately.

Investigators are asking anyone with information regarding this or similar incidents to contact the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit – Detective Joe Barr (905) 465-8969 or Detective Constable Andrea Moss (905) 465-8971.

Crime stoppers logoAnyone having dash-cam / surveillance video recording for June 26th between 9:30am to 10:30am in the area of Upper Middle Road/ Duncaster Drive near Duncaster Park is also asked to contact investigators.

Tips can also be submitted 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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Hospital visiting hours expanded - hospital’s post-partum unit to have better access on July 2

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Things are opening up and easing up around the city.

Starting Monday, June 29th, Joseph Brant Hospital will begin to gradually reduce visitor restrictions and increase access to the hospital, providing much-needed support for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospital support signRecognizing the importance of family and caregivers in patient care, JBH is implementing new guidelines to allow inpatients to see their family members or caregivers during their stay, while also protecting the health and safety of everyone in the hospital.

New Visitor Guidelines

• Each inpatient can identify up to two family members/caregivers to visit during their stay
• Only one family member/caregiver may be at the bedside at one time
• Clinical units will provide approved visitor names to entrance screeners daily
• Visiting hours are 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
• Ambulatory Care patients are not permitted to have a visitors accompany them at this time, with very limited individual exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Visitor must pass COVID-19 screening before entering the hospital and follow all health and safety measures while in the hospital, including physical distancing and wearing Personal Protective Equipment when necessary.

In addition to these new guidelines, more private rooms on the hospital’s post-partum unit will be opened to allow a patient’s designated care partner to safely remain with them during their entire stay. This change will take effect on July 2.

Additional Entrances Opening

The hospital is also opening more entrances starting June 29.

Patients and visitors can enter the hospital at the North Tower, South Tower and Pedestrian Bridge following successful completion of the screening process. People who require entry to the hospital between 11:30 p.m. – 5:30 a.m., can enter through the 24-hour Emergency Department.

While encouraged, patients and visitors are no longer required to wear masks while in the hospital, provided they successfully complete the screening process prior to entry. Hospital staff and physicians will continue to wear masks, and other Personal Protective Equipment as appropriate, to ensure the health and safety of all.

JBMH president Eric Vandewall is reported to be working on his schedule and aking tme to meet with the city. Dinner with senior city staff was a good start.

JBH president Eric Vandewall

Eric Vandewall, President and CEO, Joseph Brant Hospital, who has managed a sticky situation rather well said: “We appreciate the vital role family and caregivers play in supporting patients while in hospital, and understand how challenging it has been for them to be separated from their loved ones during the pandemic.

As the province starts to reopen and Joseph Brant Hospital continues to gradually reintroduce scheduled surgeries and outpatient care, we are easing visitor restrictions so patients can be with their loved ones and caregivers during their stay. We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding, and thank them for their support throughout this challenging time.”

 

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Covid19 Data up to End of Day on June 24, 2020

covid virusBy Staff

June 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We are holding our own – but there are situations that are falling between the cracks.

We know that this virus, COVID19, is passed from person to person.

That means we have to be vigilant about who we spend out time with – we don’t always know where they have been.

And – wash your hands and when you are out – wear a mask.

Here is the data. All the data can be found HERE.

We have passed along excerpts – they make the point and tell the story. For a deeper dive into the week – click on the link above.

Fig 1

Figure 1

Figure 1: COVID-19 cases, by episode date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Jun. 24, 2020

Individuals who are lab-confirmed cases are shown in green. Individuals who are probable cases are shown in orange. Probable cases are individuals presumed to have COVID-19 because they have symptoms of COVID-19 and are travelers returning from an affected area, have had close contact with a confirmed case and/or lived/worked in a facility experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, or have indeterminate test results.

Fig 3 corrected

Figure 3

For each day, Figure 3 shows the average number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past seven days, including only those cases that are not staff or residents/patients associated with an outbreak in an institutional or congregate care setting. Cases have been graphed according to their collection date, which is the date that a sample was taken from them to be tested for COVID-19. The graph suggests that the average number of new cases per day was highest in late March/early April, with another increase in mid-May. Counts for recent days should be interpreted with caution (indicated using the grey shaded area on the graph), since there is a delay between when a person is tested and when their test results are reported to Public Health and entered into the system.

 

Fig 5

Figure 5

Figure 5 shows that by end of the day on June 24, the greatest number of COVID-19 cases were among residents of Oakville (with 269 cases, or 33%). Please note this figure shows counts, and therefore does not take into account the different population sizes or age structures of the four municipalities. Counts in municipalities can also be inflated by outbreaks that have occurred within institutions in their boundaries.

Up until very recently Burlington has had the lowest infection rate in the Region.  Halton Hills is a much smaller municipality which would account for the lower number.

People are now getting out more – enjoying the nice weather.  We can keep the infections low if we are careful.

 

Fig 10

Figure 10

The green bars in Figure 10 show the number of Halton residents who were tested for COVID-19 each week, beginning the week of March 1-7. Data for the most recent week (June 14-20) is incomplete due to reporting lags. The number of people tested decreased the week of May 17 compared to past weeks as mass testing of institutional residents was completed. The number of people tested then began to increase again, as the provincial government permitted more widespread testing.

The orange line in Figure 10 indicates the percentage of tested Halton residents who were positive for COVID-19. The percent positivity was highest the week of April 5-11, when 10.3% of Halton residents who were tested for COVID-19 had positive results. In the most recent week (June 14-20), 0.5% of people tested for COVID-19 tested positive, although this number is subject to reporting delays.

The rest of the world – not a pretty picture:

 

 

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Theft of Land Rover following Intentional Motor Vehicle Collision Leaves owner Standing in the Road Stunned

Crime 100By Staff

June 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It all happened so fast – by the time it was over there she was standing in the middle of the road watching her Land Rover being driven away.

The Halton Regional Police Service is investigating a theft of a Land Rover motor vehicle that occurred on June 25, 2020 at 7:47 pm in the area of Wheat Boom Drive and Post Road, in the Town of Oakville.

The victim was operating a 2014 Land Rover on Post Road approaching Wheat Boom Drive when she stopped for a 4-way stop sign at that intersection. While stopped, a white coloured vehicle (possibly an SUV) intentionally rear-ended the victim’s vehicle at low speed. This prompted the victim to exit her vehicle to assess the damage sustained.

At the same time, a male exited the driver side of the suspect vehicle and engaged the victim in conversation pertaining to the collision. While the victim was outside the vehicle the male entered her driver side and drove off in her car while a second occupant of the suspect vehicle drove the suspect vehicle away.

The victim was not injured as a result of the theft and there were no threats or weapons used during this incident.

Brazen for sure – is that the kind of crime we are getting iin the Region. Disturbing.

Police are reminding the public of the following safety tips:
• If you believe you were intentionally contacted in a vehicle remain in your car and dial 9-1-1
• If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision and exit the car remove the keys from the ignition
• Be vigilant – report any suspicious activity if you think someone is following you
• Do not attempt to stop the fleeing motor vehicle

Community safety is a shared responsibility. Help keep communities safe and immediately report any suspicious activity.

Crime stoppers logoAnyone who was travelling in the area and may have dash cam video or anyone with information about these vehicle thefts is asked to contact Det. Omar Nadim at the 2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4747 ext. 2278.

Tips can also be submitted 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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Roadways are now going to be available to pedestrians - city doing what they can to accommodate the number of new popup patios.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With the downtown area now open for all kinds of new sidewalk patios – the tussle between cars and people might get a little tense.

The city has made some adjustments to parking and use of the sidewalks – there may be changes and there may be more.

Sidewalk sections, some on-street parking has been closed: specifically areas of Brant Street, John Street and Lakeshore Road in Downtown Burlington

John street looking nth from Lkshore

John Street – looking north from Lakeshore

Some on-street parking and one traffic lane on Lakeshore Road has been closed to accommodate downtown physical distancing on:

Brant Street – west side from Wendell Clark’s Classic Grill & Bar, 380 Brant St. to Pine Street

John Street – east side from Lakeshore Road to Pine Street

Lakeshore Road – north side from Elizabeth Street to Locust Street

A new pedestrian walkway has been created on the roadway in these areas and sidewalk traffic is being redirected to the walkway. The walkways include ramps at each entry/exit point to accommodate accessibility.

On-street parking on John Street and Brant Street has been removed and one westbound travel lane on Lakeshore Road in the areas where the sidewalk patios are being installed.

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