Canadian Armed Forces will be on Provincial highways next week

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you happen to be on both highways 400 and 401 between June 14th and June 17th and you see a large number of Armed Forces vehicles – relax.

These are troops returning to Kingston from a training exercise at Camp Borden North West of Toronto close to Alliston.

English/Anglais VL2011-0086-5 5 May 2011 Convoys from 2 Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment (2 R22R), set out to assist residents of the Montérégie region of Quebec who are struggling to cope with rising flood waters. Operation LOTUS(E) 1-11 is the Canadian Forces (CF) joint response led by Canada Command and conducted through Joint Task Force East (JTFE) to the floods in Montérégie, Québec. The domestic humanitarian relief mission incorporates Canadian Forces Army, Navy and Air Force assets to deliver much needed assistance to communities affected by these floods. In coordination with the Federal Government of Canada and the Provincial Government of Québec, approximately 500 members from the Land Domestic Task Force, based in Valcartier, along with approximately 100 reservists from the Territorial Battle Group, based in Montreal, are deployed in the affected areas. They are engaged in multiple tasks, including: protection of infrastructure by placing sandbags, assistance in the evacuation of people in the affected areas and the conduct of safety patrols. Photo: Cpl Kate Duggan, Imagery Section, Valcartier Garrison © 2011 DND-MDN Canada Français/French VL2011-0086-5 5 mai 2011 Les convois du 2e Bataillon du Royal 22e Régiment (2 R22R) partent pour aller soutenir les sinistrés de la région de la Montérégie, qui sont aux prises avec des inondations. L’opération LOTUS(E) 1-11 est l’intervention interarmées des Forces canadiennes (FC) dirigée par le Commandement Canada et menée par l’entremise de la Force opérationnelle interarmées (Est) à la suite des inondations en Montérégie, au Québec. La mission nationale d’aide humanitaire comprend des éléments de l’Armée de terre, de la Marine et de la Force aérienne afin de fournir l’aide dont on grandement besoin les collectivités touchées par ces inondations. En collaboration avec le gouvernement du Canada et le gouvernement du Québec, quelque 550 membres de la Force opérationnelle terrestre, basée à Valcartier, et environ 1

Canadian Armed Forces troop movements

Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members from Canadian Forces Joint Operational Support Group (CFJOSG) will conduct a road move, returning to their home unit at CFB Kingston, between June 14 and June 17.

While at CFB Borden, the team practiced opening a theatre of operations by building a tented camp during a pandemic environment. The camp is designed to house 250 people with all necessary real-life support capabilities.

The public is advised that vehicles will carry tentage, generators, ablutions, cots/furniture, and kitchens. The CAF is committed to creating and sustaining well-trained, well-equipped, and well-led units to meet a diversity of challenges in any environment around the world.

Drivers and pedestrians are asked to remain patient and show their support to the troops on the road as our soldiers make their way back to Kingston.

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Your social circle can now be up to ten people - which ten?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This could become just a little awkward. Embarrassing as well

The province has said we can make our get close and comfortable circle which the province calls our bubble – also known as a social circle.

We were limited to five people – at first we all had to live in the same house.

No one followed it all the tightly – the Premier broke that rule when it was convenient for him

The province, despite the fact that the number of new infections each day is nowhere near being flat, as decided that we can now have social circles of up to ten people – with some rules.

You can only belong to one circle and you have to swear the equivalent of a loyalty oath that you won’t wonder into a different circle.

5 point social circle

Only a bureaucrat that has worked for the government too long could write rules like this.

Here are the rules.

How do you decide who will be in your circle – Is Mom a given?

Yes to Mom

Is Mom on the list ? How do you manage that issue?

Close friends who aren’t family but they are great conversationalists and they always bring really good wine.

People that had a habit of dropping by can be managed – the “boy” who brings his laundry home when he visits – along with the girlfriend that you don’t particularly approve of.

Do you now have a solution to that problem?

What do you do for your damaged ego when you don’t get included in a bubble you thought you were already a part of?

 

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There will be a Parks and Recreation program - rules are not yet known.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 12th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There will be something in the way of a summer program if and when the province decides to let Burlington move to Stage 2 of the re-opening of the province.

Kids in splash pad

Splash pads will be open.

Splash pads will open – not all of them.

Mountainside - ice rink with chnage rooms BEST

Some rinks will be open – Appleby and Aldershot will not be opened – nor will Skyway

Some of the ice rinks will be open but only for groups that have the permission of their Sports organization. The one expected to make the most use is the figure skating people.

The Parks and Recreation people need to be assured that there will be at least 40 hours of ice time rented, preferably 60 before they begin to make ice – a process that will take two weeks.

Nelson swimming pool

Outdoor pools will be open

Outdoor pools will be opened – subject to whatever the province puts in place in terms of rules and approval from the Regional Public Health Unit.

Mayor Meed Ward said she would like to see at least one indoor pool made available.

There will be something in the way of a Summer Camp program – here as well – the city is waiting for the rules.

How many children can there be in any one camp; where will the camps be held. At this point the Standing Committee that met virtually on Thursday has more questions than answers.

It did give the Parks and Recreation people an additional $300,000 to spend – that was on top of the $500,000 that was already in the budget.

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Is the rainbow going to be on Burlington Street - looks as if they are trying to sneak it in at night.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 12, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Lakeshore Road at Burlington Avenue will be reduced to one lane in each direction (half the road will be closed at time) from June 15 to June 16 between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m.,

The lane restrictions are to allow for the installation of a multi-coloured pedestrian crosswalk.

Work will be completed during nighttime hours.

Lane reductions will be in place for the duration of this work. Priority will be provided to emergency services as required.

Kearns at Rainbow crossing

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns posing beside a rainbow painted cross walk – she just might be getting one in her ward. The city media release just says multicolored.

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Police Investigating Body Found in Lake Ontario in Burlington

Crime 100By Staff

June 12th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police service is investigating the discovery of a body in Lake Ontario, in the area of Burloak Waterfront Park (Burlington).

Police presence in the area can be expected as the investigation is ongoing. There is no risk to public safety.

Crime stoppers logoAnyone with information is asked to contact the 3 District Staff Sergeant at 905-825-4777 ext 2310.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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Council getting a look at a lot of bad financial news - they have to depend on what the federal government is going to come through with

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It has been a tough week for members of Council.

They have been dealing with normal day to day business; looking at some fascinating tools related to win and shadow studies and trying to get a handle on just what the lock down is doing to the local economy.

Burlington Hydro reported on how much of a financial hit they have taken.  Their numbers are not that bad – and they have only cut off service to one location for non-payment.

The Tourism people talked about the vacancy rates.

tourism Pam Belgrade

The data was obtained from a screen shot of material that was shown to members of council who were meeting in a virtual session.

And the finance people are looking at where we are likely to be financially when this is all over – and at the same time casting an eye on what the 2021 budget might look like.

losses graph

This graph sets out the revenue lost from the shut down of programs and fees tat were not paid

savings mitigation graph

This graph shows what the city has done to offset as much of the revenue loss as possible.

Director of Finance Joan Ford produced two graphs that set out what the financial picture looks like.  The biggest financial draw has been for transit where there is no revenue and a lot of expense.

 

Neither mall has paid their taxes – the city is expecting them to be caught up by the end of June.

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Metrolinx updates public on what they are dong to keep the GO trains safe from a health perspective

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At some point people will begin going back to work.

Will they drive?

That will plug the roads and highways.

Will they take transit? Would you?

The risk is certainly there.

Metrolinx has published a video on what they are doing to make the GO train service safe and clean enough to ride.

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Region releases data on where Covid infections are highest - Orchard wins that prize for Burlington

News 100 redBy Staff

June 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Halton Region released data on where Covid19 infections are located by neighbourhood.

Number of infections per 100,000 population. Data is based on the 2016 census.
Rate-of-cases-by-neighbourhood-June6Acton (Ac) 5.7
Aldershot (Al) 7.6
Central Burlington (CB) 5.9
Central East Burlington (CEB) 6.5
Central West Burlington (CWB) 3.6
East Milton (EM) 15.6
Escarpment (E) 12
Glen Abbey (GA) 11.4
Lower East Milton (LEM) 17.2
North Bronte Oakville (NBO) 11.2
North Burlington (NB) 4.8
North Central Oakville (NCO) 24.0
North East Oakville (NEO) 9.7
North Georgetown (NG) 14.1
River Oaks (RO) 8.2
Rural North Halton (RNH) 11.6
South Central Burlington (SCB) 6.3
South Central Milton (SCM) 15.0
South Central Oakville (SCO) 12.7
South East Burlington (SEB) 8.4
South East Oakville (SEO) 8.9
South Georgetown (SG) 11.3
South West Oakville (SWO) 10.3
The Orchard (TO) 9.8
Upper East Milton (UEM) 11.2
Upper Glen Abbey (UGA) 17.8
West Milton (WM) 25.7

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Planners wanted $1 million +; developer thought he could slide by for $9,000 - a majority went for the developer.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was an arm-wrestling contest worth watching – except you couldn’t see the contestants.

With city council meetings now viral – we don’t get to see the players – we can hear them though.

Yesterday, Dana Anderson, of MHBS, a planning consulting firm, was before council delegating for an extension to the development application the Emshie interests had before the city.

Street and lot GArden Trails

The original plan of sub-division for what has been named Garden Trails looked something like this. Conservation Halton had some issues.

The problem with the application is that it came out of an Ontario Municipal Board hearing in 1958 when Tony Millington and Associates was representing the Emshie people.

It had languished for years – with as much as five years passing with nothing being done.

The city planners had issued a number of extensions – they felt the one had reached the end of the line. They asked council to force Emshih to file a new application, partly because all the technical reports would have to be updated.

In the Staff Report planners concluded that:

Staff must confirm that the draft approved lot configuration is able to achieve compliance with the current policies. Given this uncertainty, it is not appropriate to grant an extension request for the draft approved plans. Staff are of the opinion that the current proposal should be reviewed against current policies, regulations and standards as part of a new application.

The policy framework has changed substantially since draft plan approval in 2001, and given the ecological significance of the lands, it is important that current standards and regulations are considered and maintained. It is not appropriate to assess the proposal using outdated policy framework given that the applicant has not actively been working toward clearing conditions. In the opinion of staff, these requirements are not minor and should not be considered as part of an extension request; but rather, be more appropriately comprehensively reviewed as part of a new plan of subdivision application.

Dana Anderson planner

Dana Anderson – MBHS

The problem was that – creating a new development application file carried fees that approach 1 million dollars – whereas staying with the current application the fees would come in at around $12,000.

You can see what the issue was – Council spent more than half an hour debating that one with the Mayor saying that if the planners have to do the same amount of work on the extension as they would have to do on a new file – then she wanted them to be paid for the work they were going to have to do.

Councillors Stolte and Nisan agreed with the Mayor but the other four felt that Emshie should be give some time to do what they could to get the issues resolved.

Councillors Galbraith, Kearns, Sharman and Bentivegna voted for an extension to not later than December 31st.

The planners left the meeting feeling they were being taken – the city manager wasn’t happy.

When this gets to a Council meeting one of the four who voted for the extension might flip.

While discussing the fees involved we learned that the city take a bundle, the Conservation Authority takes a bundle and the Region takes a bundle – then they all take an additional fee per house built.

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HDSB invites parents/guardians and students to provide input on distance learning through survey from June 10-25

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Distance learning – It has been a contentious issue in a lot of Burlington households.

The Halton District School Board is providing families and students with the opportunity to provide input through online surveys on their experiences with distance learning and to comment on the impacts COVID-19 has had on student mental health. The information gathered will help inform how the Board delivers education and mental health supports in the fall.

All HDSB families, and students in Grade 4-12, are invited to provide input online between June 10-25 by completing these anonymous surveys:

Links to the surveys are:

 Student survey:

Parent/guardian survey:

David Boag

David Boag, Associate Director of Education.

As we prepare for the next school year, we continue to monitor information and advice from the Ministry of Education and public health experts,” says David Boag, Associate Director of Education. “We anticipate that schools will not return to ‘normal’ but will instead likely continue to use some aspect of distance learning. The feedback and perspective we receive through the surveys will help guide our planning and direction for reopening schools in the fall, as well as help us prepare to support student mental health needs.”

The anonymous surveys are available on the HDSB website (hdsb.ca) on the Distance Learning a nd Well-Being survey page. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Electronic translated versions are available in these languages: Arabic, Farsi, French, Hindi, Korean, Mandarin – Simplified Chinese, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, Urdu.

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Are summer jobs in Burlington being handed out on merit?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When a golfing buddy hires the daughter of his golf partner for a summer job – is that nepotism?

summer jobsNo – but it is certainly bad practice and needs to be nipped early before the stupid decisions escalate.

A person in the City of Hamilton Finance department has a golfing buddy in Burlington Finance department. The daughter of the Hamilton golfer is reported to be working in Burlington on a summer project.

Someone might want to look into that.  The Burlington Finance department is one of, if not the, best run department in the city

 

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Biggest high rise development in city history: seven towers up to 37 stories - no public input

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 10th,  2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is a massive development planned for Fairview Street – just east of the Burlington GO station.

It is the biggest development ward 2 has seen – the only development bigger is the Georgian Courts in Aldershot. In that situation it is the complete redevelopment of an existing community.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The former Holland Nursery lands are now known as the Holland Park development, a tribute to the garden supplier that was on the site for years. It is on the North side of Fairview.

The lands are owned by a joint venture announced in June 2019. Brookfield Property Group joined a partnership with InterRent REIT and CLV Group to develop a multi-family-anchored, mixed-use project.

Because the development meets the current Official Plan and the zoning for the area it doesn’t have to go before City Council. It does have to undergo a Site Plan Review – that process is managed by the Planning department and they aren’t required to hold public meetings.

In an interview in March with ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns we commented on the heights that will be permitted and the density.

We asked at the time why the development wasn’t on the list of properties being developed.  Kearns told us that it met wit the Official Plan and the Zoning – all the city had to do was review the Site Plan and that was not a public process.

There is no maximum height for buildings on the site – the sky is the limit.

Kearns said that her “own platform position was to work towards a collaborative relationship.”

In her discussions with one of the partners, the CLV Group; known apartment operators in the city Kearns said there was mention of a possible curling rink.

We asked Kearns if she had any concerns about the 47 storey height the developer had asked for.  Kearns replied “Over my dead body”.

Due to the size of the development and the impact it will have on that part of the city the public will want to have the opportunity to make some comment.

At this point public input has come from the ward Councillor and people she has chosen to involve. Kearns has not identified those people.

The review of the site plan is in the hands of the Planning department where a senior planner manages the file

However, there is a process where Council can undelegated the authority the Planning department has to proceed with the Site Plan Review.

They just pass a motion undelegating the Site Plan review – which means that Review is overseen by Council.

Kearns hasn’t made any mention of getting this site Plan Approval put in the hands of Council where citizens can look at what is being proposed and delegate to comment on the plans

The Gazette asked the Planning Director Heather MacDonald how this might be done. Jamie Tellier, Manager of Planning Applications,  responded through Kwab Ako-Adjei, Director, Corporate Communications & Government Relations who wrote:

“The approval authority for site plan applications is delegated to the Director of Community Planning. Notwithstanding this, Council can “undelegate” the approval authority for a specific site plan application from the Director of Community Planning back to Council.”

The Gazette was not permitted to talk to Tellier directly.

In a recent Newsletter ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns said: “Many residents are taking a keen interest in the lands for development near the Burlington GO – casually known as ‘Holland Park’. ”

The site is a very short walk to the Burlington GO station and the location many felt high rise should be located in. Did anyone expect this many buildings on a site this size?

The site is a very short walk to the Burlington GO station and the location many felt high rise should be located in. Did anyone expect this many buildings on a site this size?

“The owners have been working with City staff to develop the plan over the past 2 years. Meetings included Planning pre-consultation, Burlington Urban Design Review Panel, public site walking tour and several other informal meetings with various City of Burlington departments.

“My Councillor Office has met with the applicants in 2019 and 2020, as captured in the Ward 2 Business Meeting Registry.

The Councillors meetings are interestng; does she meet with just developers and are there any detailed minutes?

The Councillors meetings are interesting; does she meet with just developers and are there any detailed minutes?

“There is a proposed 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.

Kearns Lisa side view Mar 2019

Kearns listening

“The site is an 8.5-acre parcel located east from the Brant and Fairview main intersection – within 250 and 500 metres of the Burlington GO Station (3-5-minute walk), which is recognized under provincial policy as a Priority Transit Corridor and a Gateway Mobility Hub.

“The proposal features a public realm experience that includes a linear park located on top of the parking structure, Public Park, focal intersection at the heart of the site and POPS (privately owned public space).

“This site is zoned MXT in the City’s existing zoning bylaw, which is a Mixed Use Corridor zone in proximity to the Burlington GO Station.

The MXT zone does not have an established maximum height in the existing zoning bylaw. This application will be reviewed in accordance with the City-initiated Zoning By-law Amendment 2020.418 that resulted from the findings of the 2019 Interim Control Bylaw Land Use Study and which was approved by Council on Jan. 30, 2020.

“Zoning By-law Amendment 2020.418 requires a maximum building height of six storeys within the first 10 metres of Fairview Street and Drury Lane to ensure that future development will achieve an appropriate transition to adjacent areas through a mid-rise, pedestrian-scale built form along these streets.

Councillor Kearns at one of her ward meetings.

Councillor Kearns at one of her ward meetings.

“However, this Zoning Bylaw amendment is currently under appeal and therefore the Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) is still in effect. As a result, no approvals will be granted until the appeals have been resolved and the ICBL is no longer in effect.

Kearns adds: “ This is one of the rare sites in the City of Burlington where the applicant intends to comply with the Zoning By-law, the site is zoned MXT. This means that a development application proceeds straight to Site Plan – which it now has – and does not follow the process many are familiar with.

In contrast, when a Zoning By-law Amendment is requested, the proponent will go through community meetings, a statutory public meeting, and receive a planning recommendation report for Council to vote on. None of these steps are required for applications that are in compliance with the regulations of the Zoning By-law – as is the case for the lands known as “Holland Park”.

“For the property including 2243, 2269 Fairview Street & 864 Drury Lane, a subject Site Plan Application was deemed complete and materials have been circulated internal and external review.

“Currently in the review phase, this file has not come to the Councillors office for comments as of yet, nor is there an established timeline to announce, including what the impacts of the ICBL on the site’s zoning.

“Residents have inquired why this development is not available for public review on the City of Burlington website Current Developments – Ward 2. This is because, unlike a Zoning By-law Amendment and/or Official Plan Amendment, Site Plan Applications are not a public process under the Planning Act.”

But the Site Plan Review can be made public – if the Councillor asks her colleagues to approve a motion to undelegated that work and put it in the hands of Council where the public can be included.

“As Councillor, I know how important it is to keep the community informed and engaged on such a significant development” said Kearns.  “I intend to continue a collaborative approach on this development and bring options to create a complete community with useful the facts amenities on an established transit line. In all likelihood, this will be a size and scale unseen in Burlington, potentially bringing with it anxiety and unrest; without doubt there will be lessons learned to apply to future applications.

Audit Kearns 5

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns at a council meeting

“I continue to work with City Staff on new ways to provide the public with technical information and timely progress updates. It is important to be clear that the applicant is working within the existing zoning (set by previous Council) and that decisions on height and density will not come before this Council to grant planning permissions. That said, I remain optimistic and diligent that this development can be done right.”

It could be done very right if the Councillor includes all the public and not just her chosen few.

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Halton Mayors write the Premier: Make us a stage two Region

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Today, Halton’s Regional Chair along with the Mayors of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville sent a letter to the Ontario Premier outlining how the Halton community has, in fact, met the criteria set by the province to move Stage 2.

Halton region does not have the same issues as other municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area and Greater Golden Horseshoe, and given this should be allowed to move to Stage 2.

In the letter, the Halton Municipalities detailed how the community has met the Provincial criteria. As of June 8:

• Halton has 745 confirmed cases and 91 active cases of COVID-19;

• no known institutional outbreaks;

• Halton’s COVID-19 case numbers make up a small fraction of the total provincial cases;

• local hospitals are sustaining adequate capacity;

• 90 per cent of new COVID-19 contacts are being reached by Halton Region Public Health within one day; and

• strong adherence to physical distancing and public health measures within our community.

“Halton Region is appreciative of the Provincial Government’s leadership in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 and partnerships with all levels of government continue to be important” said the letter, adding that “As the focus turns to recovery both locally and across Ontario, the Halton Municipalities will continue to protect residents from COVID-19 and support our local economy.

Burlington wants a Stage 2 designation.

Burlington wants a Stage 2 designation.

“The Halton Municipalities strongly urge the province to reconsider allowing Halton Region to transition to Stage 2 of the reopening.”

All Mayor Meed Ward had to do was add that Burlington is the best city in the country to live in and that should get us something. Other than that all the phrase does is take up space on media releases and perhaps business cards.

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Making more space for walkers and cyclists on city streets not setting any speed records as it works its way through the bureaucracy

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was a good idea at the time – but by the time the city gets around to this one much of the summer might have passed us by.

Councillor Stolte looking for a response to her motion - put forward last April

Councillor Stolte looking for a response to her motion – put forward last April

A motion was presented to Burlington Council on April 20, 2020 by Councillor Shawna Stolte which sought to direct staff to prepare a list of potential streets under the City’s jurisdiction that could be closed for the purpose of allowing space for walking and cycling within the roadway/road allowance in a manner that does not conflict with provincially mandated social distancing regulations. This motion failed, however in its place, the following staff direction was approved:

Defer item 14.1 “Shared Streets Burlington” (ADM-02-20) regarding road closures to aid social distancing during the COVID-19 emergency to staff to determine criteria and return back to Committee or Council in May.

It is now June

In preparing this report, staff kept the following significant principles in mind:

• There must be demonstrated and measurable need for increased space for pedestrians and/or cyclists.
• That any road space re-assignment does not encourage large gatherings.
• That any road space reassignment be sensitive to the impacts to neighbourhoods and businesses and will be effectively communicated.
• A “one size does not fit all” approach to developing solutions to identified problem areas.

After careful consideration and taking into account the above principles, staff recommend a “responsive” approach as the best way forward when considering whether to implement road or sidewalk closures. This approach involves the identification of an issue requiring consideration of closures and developing a plan that addresses those site-specific conditions.

Once a particular roadway section, intersection or sidewalk has been verified as a problem, staff can take a phased approach commencing with education, signage, coning off areas of conflict and/or proceed with the closure option from the very beginning.

With several variables to consider when closing roadways and/or sidewalks, it was determined that setting pre-determined criteria for closures would not give staff the flexibility needed to address a wide range of issues and changing conditions at locations across the city.

For example, finding solutions for the downtown or the Aldershot business areas require distinctively different approaches given the needs of merchants versus other areas of the city who may have the luxury of underutilized private parking lots.

Given the State of Emergency it is further recommended that the Emergency Control Group (ECG) and Task forces be advised of any need to close roads and sidewalks to ensure consistency and alignment with provincial orders

Through the City’s Delegated Authority By-law (099-2012), authority is given to the Director of Transportation Services, Director of Engineering, Director of Roads and Parks Maintenance, and Fire Chief, or their designate(s) to approve short-term emergency and temporary road closures. Any closures which could involve a longer time period will require consultation with Legal Staff and Council approval.

In response to the varying needs already identified, the following initiatives have been undertaken by Transportation Services staff:

Traffic Signal Timing Changes
As a measure to address issues of social distancing for pedestrians waiting to cross at signalized intersections, traffic signal timing changes have been implemented at intersections with high pedestrian volumes. Specifically, wait times for pedestrians were reduced through eliminating advanced left turn phases where possible and activating the pedestrian walk symbol automatically during every cycle to reduce the need to use the push button.

Paid On-street Parking Conversion to 20 min. Drop Off Zones
As Burlington retailers begin to re-open and offer curbside pickup, the City of Burlington has made changes to all on-street parking within the downtown. Changes include converting all on-street paid parking areas to 20-minute parking only. This initiative, developed in conjunction with the Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA), is intended to aid businesses in providing curbside pickup and was implemented on May 22, 2020.

Will Burlington see special lanes opened up for cyclists and walkers?

Will Burlington see special lanes opened up for cyclists and walkers?

The downtown is an obvious source of high numbers of pedestrians, so it is not surprising that it has emerged as an area that requires attention. A number of intersections on Lakeshore Road through the downtown are continually being monitored by staff in order to quickly respond to changing conditions. City By-law staff who are continually circulating around the city are reporting hot spots so that staff can focus their attention on developing solutions.

Staff recognize and appreciate the importance of Burlington residents communicating with their ward Councillors. Staff plan on using this intelligence by holding an open weekly invitation to Council members to convey what they hear from their constituents as it relates to pinch points around the city.

Options Considered
A pre-determined list of criteria to support road and sidewalk closures was considered, however, the varying nature of roadways across the city and the limited number of issues identified to date has resulted in staff preferring to take a responsive approach that examines the merits of each request and considers context-sensitivity when developing a solution.

This one gets debated in a virtual city council Standing Committee meeting.

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A wag said to me last week - 'would you like to hear what I think about City Council ?' This was a reliable source. Listen in

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 8th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We have a city Council that is approaching the half way mark of the term. It has been a roller coaster of a ride so far. From firing the city manager on basically their first day on the job to having to deal with a totally different form of doing their jobs – locked down in the homes and doing everything via Zoom while the City Manager runs the city with in a way he didn’t think he would be doing when he signed on.

City Council meeting - before COVID

City Council meeting – before COVID

Five of the seven had absolutely no civic government experience; they were flying close to blind with nothing but their aspirations to guide them. Every one of the five have learned that this was not a simple gig. All have never worked harder in their lives. Some may decide this isn’t the business for them – and for some this isn’t the business for them.

There are people who live and breathe what goes on at city hall.  We refer to then as “local wags” people who have their ear to the ground.
One of them gave us their view at what we were getting from our politicians. These are the views of people other than Gazette staff.

And no – we are not going to identify the wag. This person has been a very useful source of information.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith – wants Aldershot to secede from the city so he can become Mayor of Aldershot. Could be – you never know.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns – wants to be Mayor at some future date. Don’t put any real money on that every happening.

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan – wants to serve as the Mayors Lieutenant. Isn’t he already doing just that?

Ward 4 Shawna Stolte – not bad for a former social worker. Tough on the spending side.

Ward 5 Paul Sharman – the moment he thinks the Mayor is about to slip on a banana peel he will be at city hall filing nomination papers for the Office of Mayor.

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna – he is better than the person he replaced but not by that much. Has serious difficulty fully understanding the issue in reports.

Mayor Meed Ward – she leads a council but that council doesn’t work as a team under this Mayor. And this is a Council that wants to be led in a collegial fashion.

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Public art to get some funding - at a time when money might get a little tight

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

June 8th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Despite some tough financial days ahead the public art program is continuing its annual Local Artist Program this year.

The program commissions local artists to create a variety of small to medium scale artworks throughout the community. The City is inviting local artists to submit their design ideas that will be installed on traffic control signal boxes throughout the city later this year.

Councillor Sharma n talking to Angela Paparazzo at an arts event.

Councillor Sharma n speaking to Angela Paparazzo

Councillor Sharma n speaking to Angela Paparazzo

Artists are encouraged to submit artwork that focuses on inspiring and uplifting the community during these challenging times. This artwork will form an urban art gallery that can be experienced by residents while still practicing appropriate social distancing.

Artists wishing to apply to this project can get help to prepare their application and learn how to transfer their artwork/designs into a digital format. These educational opportunities will be offered via videoconference and email to make sure appropriate social distancing is practiced.

For deadlines and more information on how to get application help and/or apply, please visit www.burlington.ca/publicart.

Timeline

Timeline

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Mayor forgetting some of the reasons she was elected: transparency and engagement not as front and center as they used to be

News 100 redBy Staff

June 8th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor Meed Ward met with members of the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) via webcast last week and discussed the urgent need to get financial support from upper levels of government to municipalities in dire need.

Guelph Mayor and LUMCO Chair Cam Guthrie explained, “Municipalities are facing a perfect storm of increased costs and decreased revenues in the face of this public health crisis; this threatens our ability to deliver critical services when our residents need them most.

“While we have heard for weeks that the Prime Minister and Premier have been talking about this pressing need, the time has come for action. Mayor Guthrie asserted that “On behalf of Ontario’s big city mayors, please, conclude your negotiations and start supporting our residents and the services we all need to support the recovery.”

Nothing new here. Mayors are always money grubbing the province and the federal government for funds.  Meeting via Zoom broadcasts isn’t new anymore either.

What was different was that those participating in the LUMCO event were able to see each other on their computer monitors. Same thing with the Halton Regional Council meetings

LUMCO webcast June 5

All the LUMCO participants are on the screen. Public doesn’t get that advantage in Burlington.

Burlington city Council now holds all council meetings in what we call a virtual format. But citizens of Burlington do not get to see the people taking part in the meeting other than the Mayor.

Kearns on line at virtual

The Mayor and the Clerk are in the Council Chambers – rest of Council sit elsewhere with their photograph coming up when they speak

MMW as MAyor and ChairOn the plus side, Meed Ward does a good job of running a smooth meeting; she continually has to remind participants to press the mute button.

The city explained that the reason we cannot see the participants is because the captions are running beneath the visual and the system cannot handle both running “closed captions” and giving full video. That might be true – however just how many people read the “closed captions” – they are often incorrect.

There is the belief that council prefers that their official photograph appear on the screen when they are talking.

Meed ward election night 1

The winner does take all.

We have a Mayor who thank the media for participating and refers to her 22 years as a journalist and the importance of media to the democratic process – while at the same time doing precious little to ensure that media has access to the full proceedings of Council.

Due to the pandemic conditions everyone is under there are numerous Special Meetings of Council – often called at short notice. These are all done “at the call of the Mayor”. The notice that there will be a Special meeting is posted to the city calendar. To keep on top of the meeting schedule one would have to log into the city calendar twice a day to ensure they didn’t miss anything.

Not a reason in the world for the Mayor not to advise media that she has called a Special Meeting – our belief is that she just doesn’t want to.

During the October 2018 election Marianne Meed Ward met with media whenever they asked.

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Will school be the same come September? What does the public want to say about that at this point?

The government of Ontario is currently looking for feedback on what to do with schools in September. The feedback e-mail is: EDU.consultation@ontario.ca (Include your name and the name of your school board/organization, use “Ontario’s Plan to Reopen Schools” in the subject line, attach your submission as a PDF or Word document.)

 

opinionred 100x100By Greg Woodruff

June 6th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ontario needs to provide options to parents. They need a mostly traditional school, a COVID-19-adapted school and a virtual school option for the upcoming years. Parents must be able to select the appropriate environment for children.

The primary problem is Ontario’s new Learning Framework presents the overarching priority to “ensure the utmost safety of those returning to school.” Safety must be balanced by social development and educational priorities.

Please imagine for a moment the parents’ goal of utmost safety. Your child requests a playdate with another child. When you call this child’s parent, they say that they can’t condone a playdate, as driving poses a minute risk to the safety of their child. Safety is their utmost priority. Even if you offer to drive your child over, reducing the astronomically small chance of harm to their child, a small risk still exists to others. After all, you can not guarantee a mechanical failure in your own car won’t pose a hazard to yourself or others. The other parent similarly bans unnecessary driving, walking outdoors, biking, playing, swinging, sports or even running. Any protests about the value of these activities are met with a simple reply: You must not care about the safety of your children as much as they do.

This idea — clearly pathological — when presented by a person with a healthy child, now seems to be accepted wisdom when presented by the school administration. While extreme safety may be appropriate in some cases, parents must make that decision. The goal of raising children is not to keep kids safe at all costs; it’s to prepare them for life. Without an assessment of benefit, no activity more than sleeping and eating can be justified. The reverse is also true; All restrictions designed around safety have to be balanced by the harm that limitations do.

screen-time-and-students-banner

He knows what he want to get done and is confident he will be able to do it.

I don’t think we should pretend that instead of encouraging kindergartners to share, now in the name of COVID-19, forbidding them from sharing items won’t hurt them. We are considering telling kids not to play with friends at school because those friends might be diseased. The long-term effects of these ideas on the socialization of children are unknown. Some kids lacking healthy development will likely lack social skills and die from deaths of despair later. I don’t see how you will easily remove these ideas once the threat is “minimal” because the threat to these children is below minimal now. COVID-19 is not a disease seen in children anywhere. We are already below any conceivable threshold of COVID-19 danger to children.

The idea that children can’t normally interact at no harm to themselves because they might later pass the disease on to others is not reasonable. If this is the fear, then interventions need to take place at the point of contact with vulnerable populations. It’s more efficient to place distancing or testing protocols when children visit grandparents then prevent two million school-age children from playing with friends and doing group work in class. We can’t force children to carry a heavy burden for others just because they don’t vote and can’t defend themselves. I realize that some parents or siblings will themselves be immunocompromised and need additional safety measures.

Students at Lincoln Centennial public school. Ontario school boards are struggling to find low-cost options to school additions to accommodate full-day kindergarten. Some options may include bussing kids. Reading are Heyley Ta and Zeynep Coskan-Johnson. Feb 21 2013. Bob TYmczyszyn/St. Catharines Standard/QMI AGENCY

Students getting the play time, exploring and learning in a traditional school setting.

That is why we also need a COVID-19 adapted school. Some families will not be able to accept any risk, and virtual options are needed for them. I am not suggesting COVID-19 is something to be ignored; it just needs to be handled in a more customized way than one school solution meets all families’ needs.

Heath experts and school board staff should not be in a position to place kids in damaging environments. The burden of making tradeoffs falls alone on parents. Thus, I suggest we must let parents decide what situation represents the best fit for the kids they know. I suggest allowing parents to select if they prefer a mostly traditional environment for children, an environment with intrusive COVID-19 interventions or virtual school options. The administration can then select locations for each type of school for the next one or two years. The staff can similarly be asked which setting they prefer. Kids can then be bussed to the location that fits them. This is already done for four different school boards; surely, one more configuration is possible.

Simply relying on “health experts” to draw up school rules is not appropriate. Although they may be disease experts, they are almost certainly not experts in the education and development of children. Without being an expert in children, they cannot evaluate the harm caused by COVID-19 measures correctly. If no harm is recognized now, then there is no incentive for removal later. As time goes on, more children will be exposed and have immunity naturally. We could end up with highly tortured school environments where 99% of children are immune to COVID-19, but where we have no structure to normalize school.

We have to face the fact that for political reasons, many proposed COVID-19 measures will likely go on for years. COVID-19 interventions do not represent some response to a temporary emergency. In September, COVID-19 will have been present in our community for six months. The best case is then another year or two to a vaccine. Perhaps we will never have a COVID-19 vaccine. Thus, the damage to children is occurring over the years of developmental time and is likely permanent.

Any interventions established as the “new normal” will be demanded by some number of parents forever, even if COVID-19 is eradicated.

As an example, let’s say “no gym” in the name of possible transmission of the disease. If you try to restore gym class later, any parent in the school can now say, “Gym is now a danger to my child. The school board has defined it so.” Even if the risk of flu is low to them, it risks spreading the flu to Grandma, whose immune system is compromised. This is the same logic used to justify interventions now. Once “gym” is defined as a danger now under what construction is, it no longer dangerous? Again, COIVD-19 does not affect children at any significant rate.

Child getting off school bus

Is the day of the happy student charging off the school bus to get to the classroom behind us?

I would put forward that some easy COIVD-19 interventions can be added to schools without damaging the social development of children. Measures like preventing febrile children from attending, washing hands every hour or disinfection of shoes when entering school grounds should be taken. It’s not that COVID-19 transmission should be ignored; it’s that heavy interventions that damage the normal social growth of children should not be globally applied without parental approval.

Ontario needs to support families by providing the school environment best suited to them. Three options need to be provided: traditional school, COVID-19 adapted school and virtual school.

WoodruffGreg Woodruff is an Aldershot resident with children at the elementary school level.  He is an active participant in social issues and has run for public office on more than one occasion

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Drug trafficking investigation results in five arrests - all released on bail

Crime 100By Staff

June 5th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A Burlington drug trafficking investigation that began in May, resulted in five being arrested on multiple charges.

The Burlington Street Crime Unit arrested and charged the following individuals;

Marcie JORDAN (39 years old from Burlington)

• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking- GHB (2 counts)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking- Methamphetamine
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking- MDMA
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking- Oxycodone
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking- Psilocybin
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking- Fentanyl
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime

Darcy TAYLOR (30 years old from Burlington)

• Possession of a Controlled Substance – Fentanyl
• Breach Form of Release

Shad ATKIN (32 years old from Hamilton)

• Possession of a Controlled Substance- Methamphetamine
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime
• Breach Release Order

Anita MARTINEZ (48 years old from Burlington)
• Possession of a Controlled Substance- Methamphetamine

Marc VINCENT (45 years old from Burlington)
• Possession of a Controlled Substance- Methamphetamine
• Possession of a Controlled Substance- Oxycodone
• Possession of a Controlled Substance- Psilocybin

On June 5th 2020, Investigators with the assistance of the Tactical Rescue Unit and K9 executed search warrants at two residences and two storage units in the City of Burlington. The following items were seized:

Drug Seizure Burlington June 5• 69 grams of methamphetamine
• 70 oxycodone pills
• 7 grams of MDMA
• 21 grams Psilocybin
• 180 Milliliters GHB
• 16.3 grams Fentanyl
• Five cellular phones
• Four digital scales
• $580 Canadian currency
• Replica Uzi Machine Gun
• Stolen TREK Mountain bike
$9,350 worth of drugs was seized as a result of the search warrants.

All parties have been released from custody pending a court appearance in Milton.

Anyone with information in regards to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Scott Heyerman of the 3 District Street Crime Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 2342.

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.

Please be reminded that all persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Fences will come down on the Beachway - beach will be open to the public.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 5th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Those fences along the Beachway didn’t last all that long – they certainly raised the hackles on the back of a lot of necks.

Some felt the city was a little heavy handed – but the rules were were pretty clear – Beaches were closed.

At a Special Meeting of Council on Wednesday, Council approved interim modifications to the City’s parks operations service, including the removal of the fencing currently in place at Beachway Park.

Beachway Chld-Fest-2013-Family-sand-castle-1024x733

If the people in the center are all from the same family this would be legal. The rules are in place for a very good reason – they prevent the transmission of the virus.

The changes to the parks service also allow for temporary washroom facilities to be installed at Spencer Smith Park, Beachway Park and Burloak Park with enhanced service.

The fencing at Beachway Park will be taken down next week and the portable toilets and handwashing stations will be installed at Beachway Park, dependent on availability.

When walking along the beach, residents are reminded to continue to be vigilant about public health practices and provincial directives to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:

• Maintaining 2 metre physical distance from anyone you don’t live with
• Gathering in groups of 5 or fewer
• Staying home if you feel sick
• Washing and sanitizing hands before and after visiting the area.

Beachway washrooms

The washroom facilities in the Pavilion on the Beachway are in terrible shape. They have been in need of an upgrade for some time – that work is not scheduled to start until September.

Access to washrooms
The washrooms in the pavilion at Beachway Park will remain closed as a result of pre-existing structural issues which are scheduled to be corrected with construction in September 2020. In their place, portable bathrooms and hand washing stations will be made available and cleaned by City parks staff on a regular basis.

The temporary washroom facilities at Spencer Smith Park, Beachway Park and Burloak Park will be installed once available from the supplier, approximately the end of June. The re-opening of other city park washrooms, with enhanced cleaning, will be phased in.
Beach maintenance and safety

City Council approved the hiring of students and temporary staff to assist with this important service and general parks maintenance. City parks staff will provide reduced beach maintenance, including grooming the beach and enhanced cleaning of washrooms. Please place waste in receptacles or take it home with you for disposal to help keep the beach safe for everyone.

Halton Region monitors public beaches to help ensure safe water quality for swimmers. Water quality testing at Beachway Park by Halton Region Public Health is currently not taking place. For updates and more information, please dial 311.

The resumption of City services and spaces is something everyone is looking forward to, but caution that it is vital to continue to do it slowly and carefully with the right precautions.

The city is asking for your patience and understanding as the City works to ensure it has resources and policies in place that align with Provincial regulations and the latest guidance from Halton Region public health to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

City pools and splash pads are still closed until the province loosens up the rules.

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