Rivers drops the hammer on Alberta Premier Jason Kenney

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

June 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It’s not the first time that America has come to this point over race relations. Meanwhile Canadians are embroiled in a debate about whether there is systemic racism in this country, and asking why we still haven’t done anything about the legacy of missing and murdered indigenous women. Still the sudden prominence of racial issues almost provides a relief from COVID 19 crisis, allowing the the news media to change the channel.

sars cover newsweek

The lessons to be learned from SARS was lost

It has been about six months since we first heard about this novel coronavirus. We understand it most likely originated from an exotic animal in one of those disgusting wet markets in the heart of the Chinese city of Wuhan. Apparently we don’t learn from history so are having to relive the SARS epidemic of only a few years ago. Except that COVID 19 is far deadlier and more contagious, so perhaps we’ll get the message this time.

Six months in, and beyond the sickness and death and the economic collapse, we are witnessing changes in the mental health of our society.

The extent of protests over the George Floyd killing is perhaps a manifestation of people living on the edge, angry about all the sickness and death, out of work, tired of the isolation, and asking why.

Rivers in mask

Ray Rivers in his latest mask: He jabbered and jabbered until his message began to be heard.

Even mild mannered columnists, like me, are finding it harder to stay positive in light of all the bungling and betrayal by our federal and provincial governments.

The US is a basket case, but many other nations have safeguarded their population from the disease much better than Canada has. Some didn’t even have to lock down their economies and others are almost back to normal now.

One columnist recently complained that Mr. Ford has mismanaged the lockdown, squandering the effort without significantly lowering the infection rate. Others have contrasted how B.C., after an early long term care (LTC) home outbreak, mobilized to effectively protect its seniors, while Ontario dragged its feet while all those seniors died. And, of course, eliminating annual inspections of Ontario LTC homes didn’t help.

But it is the feds who got us here in the first place. Primarily concerned about the political optics of restricting travellers from China, they refused to close the borders until we had established our own homegrown contagion. And then the chief medical officer of health instructed Canadians not to wear protective face masks – something which might have saved thousands of lives.

handwashing

Wash your hands at least eight times a day.

Research shows that physical distancing and being outdoors are the safest ways to interact with others. Research has also cast doubt on whether the virus is actually spread from contacting surfaces, and thus the high priority given to hand washing. Though hand washing is always a good idea – epidemic or not.

But since the virus is spread primarily from our mouths and noses, being in close quarters without face protection is a front seat to the virus. Seniors’ homes, hospitals, prisons, meat processing and other industrial facilities, grocery stores and schools head the list of dangerous places.

Face masks are now mandatory in over 50 countries globally. Had nursing homes insisted that guests and staff wear masks, much of the carnage could likely have been avoided. As it is, the elderly in these close-contact places have accounted for the bulk of this country’s fatalities – victims through no fault of their own.

And so it is upsetting to hear, Jason Kenney, the noisy premier from Alberta rant about why he thinks his province’s economy should be fully opened up. According to his numbers the average age of death for all people in his province is 82 and of those dying from COVID is 83. So bring it on!

There were casualties among younger folks at the Cargill meat plant and from those working the oil patch as well. But I guess those lives don’t count anymore than those parents and grandparents who might otherwise live into their nineties? Somehow it is strange to hear Mr. Kenny bang on about the immorality of a woman’s right to choose, but promote letting old folks die prematurely from COVID.

Rivers - Kenney H&S

Jason Kenny: It was a grossly irresponsible comment and demonstrates a willful misuse of statistics.

It was a grossly irresponsible comment and demonstrates a willful misuse of statistics. But that’s Mr. Kenny, and that perhaps reflects why his personal polling is near the bottom compared to the other premiers.

Renewed emphasis on racism in North America has moved the needle away from sexism and the Me Too movement, at least for now. But there is another ‘ism’ that also needs public attention. You may not see swaths of senior citizens brandishing their placards on the streets and setting police cars on fire – something they might have done in their youth. But they are still the victims of ageism, at least in Alberta.

It is said that the true measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable members – in this case our elderly. At least we know where Mr Kenny stands. He has shown his hand… and it isn’t pretty.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers

Background links

Six Months –    Squandered Time –     Canada Bungles

Early Action Mandatory Face Masks –     Doctors on Masks

More MasksNot Just Alberta Seniors Kenny –  Mental Health

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Inconvenience while eastern part of New Street is resurfaced - possible internet disruption.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 3rd,2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

More grief in store of those who depend on or live near New Street.

The final phase of the renewal of the street – from Walkers Line to Burloak where resurfacing is to be completed.

The City of Burlington is making improvements to New Street as well as Shane Court, Patrick Place and Bower Court.
The work to be done is extensive. All the details are set out below.

New street - being rebuilt

New Street west of Walkers Line was done more than a year ago.

The biggest concern for many might be the disruption to home internet or telephone service which may occur. The city is aware of the heightened concern with respect to families who are working from home and has raised this concern with utility companies and their need to react quickly to disabled services. Our goal is to have affected internet connections repaired by the utility companies within 24hrs of an issue occurring. The contractor typically contacts the utility company, however if you lose service, please feel free to contact us.

The City of Burlington and Halton Region are working with the contractors to make sure this work is done in a safe and timely way.

This construction site is managed by Associated Paving Ltd (APL). It is APL’s Health and Safety Policies and Procedures that will govern the job site. City of Burlington staff, Halton Region staff and all other consultants that go to the project site will follow APL’s policies for onsite health and safety.

Project Contacts
Inquiry/Concern Contact Contact/Road construction inquiries
Jason Forde
Construction Inspector
905-220-6682
jason.forde@burlington.ca

All other inquiries

Marc Daffre
Contract Administrator
289-208-2606
marc.daffre@burlington.ca

June 2020 Project Scope
New Street – Walkers Line to Burloak Drive

• Resurfacing
• Base repairs as required
• Curb and sidewalk repairs as required
• Bus stop landing pad improvements
• Minor drainage improvements
• Pavement markings
New Street at Walkers Line (in addition to the above noted works)
• Pedestrian accessibility improvements
• Remove traffic island north east corner
• Renew traffic signal
New Street at Longmoor (in addition to the above noted works)
• Widen Longmoor Drive to accommodate right turn lane
• Pedestrian accessibility improvements
• Minor traffic signal improvements
New Street at Belvenia Road (in addition to the above noted works)
• Pedestrian accessibility improvements
• Minor traffic signal improvements
New Street at Shoreacres Road (in addition to the above noted works)
• Pedestrian accessibility improvements
• Minor traffic signal improvements
New Street at Appleby Line (in addition to the above noted works)
• Full depth asphalt replacement
• Pedestrian accessibility improvements
• Minor traffic signal improvements
New Street at Timber Lane (in addition to the above noted works)
• Pedestrian accessibility improvements
• Minor traffic signal improvements
New Street at Adams Street (in addition to the above noted works)
• Pedestrian accessibility improvements
• Minor traffic signal improvements
New Street west of Wedgewood Drive (in addition to the above noted works)
• New Street widening to extend centre turn lane
New Street at Hampton Heath Boulevard (in addition to the above noted works)
• New Street widening to create centre turn lane
• Pedestrian accessibility improvements
• Minor traffic signal improvements
New Street at Amanda Crescent (in addition to the above noted works)
• New Street widening to create centre turn lane
New Street at Burloak Drive (in addition to the above noted works)
• Pedestrian accessibility improvements
Shane Court
• Full depth asphalt replacement
• Curb repairs as required
• Minor drainage improvements
Patrick Place and Bower Court
• Asphalt resurfacing
• Curb repairs as required
• Minor drainage improvements

Project Schedule and Temporary Lane Restrictions
Construction Start: May 2020
Construction Completion: November 2020
New Street works including the road widenings, curb and sidewalk repairs as well traffic signal improvements will be completed weekdays during daytime hours. The removal and replacement of the asphalt surface on New Street will be completed at night.

Work on Shane Court, Patrick Place and Bower Court will be completed weekdays during daytime hours.

The roadworks will progress from east to west over the project duration.

Traffic signal work will be completed in advance of the roadworks.

Single lane restrictions will be in place in the area of the active work.

Sidewalks will be closed where work is being undertaken.

Access to Businesses
Vehicle access to and from businesses will be maintained. Where a business has two driveways, one may be closed temporarily when work is being carried out in the immediate area.

Access to Your Residence
Vehicle access to and from your residence may be affected during normal construction hours, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Driveways will be temporarily closed when work is being carried out in the immediate area.

Burlington Transit
This project will include upgrading most of the bus stops between Walkers Line and Burloak Drive.
During the construction, Routes 4, 10 and 25 will be impacted with possible delays and stops may be temporarily inaccessible or moved. Signage will be installed at all affected bus stops.

Lawn Irrigation System
If you have a lawn irrigation system where a curb and sidewalk are to be replaced, please disconnect and remove any sprinkler heads within the City’s road allowance. Please flag all other irrigation heads.

Vibration
You may experience some minor vibration in your home during construction. We recommend you remove small, light objects from shelving in your house.

Waste Collection
Please continue to put your garbage and recycling out on the usual day. It is the contractor’s responsibility to move your bags and containers to a location that can be reached by the waste collection vehicles and return your containers. To help the contractor, please mark your house numbers on your garbage cans and recycling bins.

For more information, please contact:
Bob Jurk, C.E.T.
Senior Project Manager, Design and Construction
Capital Works Department
905-335-7600, ext. 7682
bob.jurk@burlington.ca

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Government will seek an additional 28 day extension of the State of Emergency

News 100 redBy Staff

June 1st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Queen's Park slight angle

Legislature will meet on Tuesday to get a motion to extend the State of Emergency

Assuming the Provincial Legislature approves the motion the state of emergency, which was set to expire on June 2, will be extended until June 30.

Included under the province’s state of emergency are a number of emergency orders. The emergency orders include restrictions on social gathering limits.

This morning, Premier Ford said his government is “aggressively” working on a plan to continue reopening the economy.

“If numbers go down, we’ll be looking at other stages,” Ford said. “I want to get the economy going but we have to do it safely.”

The province was hoping to make an announcement on allowing larger social gatherings last month but said it was due to an uptick in cases.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Christine Elliott said the province “still needs to go some distance” before moving to stage two of the reopening plan.

“We need to take a careful and measured approached based on four factors: the number of new cases needs to go down, make sure that we have sufficient capacity in our hospitals, make sure we’re doing adequate testing and we need to do contact tracing with public health units.”

A list of the Order the government has issued and the details behind the order is set out below.  Just click on the link and you will be able to read the orders.  This is what government is all about.

 

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Arrests Made After Investigation into Objects Thrown at Vehicles on the QEW

Crime 100By Staff

June 1, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Regional Police Service (HRPS) has made three arrests in connection to the investigation into objects being thrown at vehicles on the Queen Elizabeth Way. This incident took place on Sunday May 10, 2020

HRPS crestOn Sunday May 31, 2020 police arrested and charged:

Alias Ouzzine (20) of Burlington
• Mischief Cause Danger to Life

Geoffrey Prins (18) of Burlington
• Mischief Cause Danger to Life

A 17 year old male from Oakville was also arrested and charged with Mischief Cause to Danger Life however police will not be revealing the identity of the youth.

Investigation confirmed the accused were throwing eggs at vehicles driving on the QEW in Burlington.

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

Snow 2 QEW btwn Walk and Apple

Dropping eggs on cars as they pass under an overpass was really stupid. Hours and hours of community service is called for

Investigators would also like thank residents for their assistance in this investigation. Police received a large amount of information from the public after the initial media release, and that information helped investigators immensely.

A social media video was posted on Sunday May 10, 2020.

In the video two male persons are observed on the South Service Road and were throwing objects at moving motor vehicles in the eastbound lanes of the QEW. The males are observed doing this numerous times and laughing as they attempted to hit vehicles with objects.

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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That $300 bonus from the federal government for the senior set has yet be to be sent. Soon.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 1st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Is the cheque in the mail?

Not yet, but Burlington Member of Parliament Karina Gould (who is also a Cabinet Minister) assures everyone that – well let’s let the MP speak for herself:

Karina Gould - fingers apart

That cheque is close but it isn’t in the mail yet. For most people the $300 will go directly into your bank account.

“Over the past week, a number of Burlington residents have contacted my office asking when they will be receiving the one time Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement Payments.

“This one time payment will be a separate payment to the OAS and GIS cheques that seniors receive at the end of each month. I can assure you that these payments will be delivered automatically as soon as possible and that beneficiaries do not need to apply. Further details will be available soon.”

Soon is the best they can do at this point.

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How Do Canadian and American Gambling Laws Differ?

News 100 red

By Claire Nash

May 31st, 2020

BURLINGTON. ON

 

The gambling scene has certainly come a long way over the last few decades.

With the proliferation of online casinos and gambling platforms, the opportunities for high-quality and dynamic playing have never been greater. Although America tends to enjoy the more robust reputation for gambling possibilities – it is home to Las Vegas after all – there are actually a few key differences in gambling legislation that give Canada’s casinos a bit more freedom. That’s good news if you’re looking for an awesome online casino for Canadians that will present few obstacles to the gameplay. There’s no doubt that you can certainly find excellent gambling sites no matter where you are, but it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to understand the different laws that govern this activity in Canada and the United States.

 The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act 

Back in 2006, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act  (UIEGA) was introduced into US legislation under President Bush. Although it has since been clarified and it’s restrictions loosened, it initially served to prevent payments on various kinds of online gambling. Although in its current iteration it focuses mostly on determining how betting on sporting events can be done, it still causes some headaches below the border. Ultimately, it can make it difficult for players to use certain types of payment when playing at online casinos. The way it is implemented varies state-to-state, meaning that some places enjoy more streamlined access to online casinos.

You can learn more about that here.

There is less red tape in Canada

Despite the fact that the UIGEA doesn’t necessarily prohibit online gambling, it can simply add another step and therefore acts as a big enough inconvenience to dissuade some players from taking advantage of all the online gambling opportunities that exist.

gambling illustration NashIn Canada, on the other hand, there is no need to overcome these limitations. No federal framework governing the parameters of online casinos exists, and therefore they can operate more freelance and are only subject to the controls imposed by each jurisdiction. Overall, the lack of an overarching legal requirement makes it easier to transfer money directly to the gambling site of one’s choosing, using a variety of payment methods, and to be able to withdraw without hassle. With fewer impediments to account for, it provides a pleasant and coherent online casino experience.

You should still do your research 

 That being said, there are always going to be crooks out there ready to take advantage of a loosely governed situation, and it is therefore important to do a bit of research before deciding where to play. Keep in mind that having a gambling license is just the first step in running a fully legal operation, and in order to ensure that everything is being done above board, you should dig around a bit and see what you can find about the casino in question. If anything seems fishy, you’d be well advised to look elsewhere. There are plenty of great gambling opportunities that are 100% legal, so there’s absolutely no need to put yourself at risk.

The last word.

Online gambling is legal in both Canada and the United States, and both countries offer plenty of legal online casinos to choose from. Due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which exists exclusively in the United States, it can be a little bit more difficult to transfer and withdraw funds for certain types of gaming. As it stands, there is no equivalent legislation in Canada so it presents a more economically flexible environment in which to explore the world of online casinos and gambling. Nevertheless, it is also advisable to research a specific casino before playing.

 

 

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New Covid19 infections reported in Burlington, Oakville and Milton

News 100 redBy Staff

May 31st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

New Covid19 infections show up in Burlington, Milton and Oakville, reports the Halton Public Health Unit.

The data released by the Halton Public Health brings the total confirmed and probable cases in Halton to 717.

Eight more residents across the four local municipalities are now listed as recovered — two in Oakville, two in Milton, three in Halton Hills and one in Burlington — bringing the total number of resolved cases to 581.

Summary:
Oakville has 212 confirmed cases and 196 recoveries

Milton has 167 confirmed cases and 147 recoveries

Halton Hills has 140 confirmed cases and 125 recoveries

Burlington has 122 confirmed cases and 113 recoveries

Among the total Halton cases, 11 % have been residents or patients associated with a confirmed institutional outbreak.

There have been 25 Halton residents whose death has been attributed to COVID-19.

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When public refuses to follow the rules on use of the beach city puts up metal screens.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 31st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It started on the 25th when the weather was great – that Beach was either just too tempting to stay away from or there are a lot of people who are hard of hearing and can’t read.

On the 28th, Thursday, the city decided they would take strong steps and put up fences to keep people off the beach.

Babes on beach

People want to be near the water – it’s the lake and beach that make much of what Burlington is all about.

The province mandated that Beaches were to stay closed period.

Many appear to have thought that if they respected the six foot social distance rule they were Ok – they weren’t.

The Premier of the Province has taken part in a media event every week day for some weeks. We expect that he will be on TV again on Monday – maybe that rule about beaches being closed will be relaxed.

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

It used to be people, people, people – for almost as far as the eye could see along the Beachway. Province said No and the sound has fenced off the area.

There are a lot of people who aren’t happy with those Beaches being closed.

The Mayor isn’t one of them. When asked why, she is reported to have told other media that they can look to the FAQ section on the city website for the details.

MMW hair disheveled May 2020

Mayor Meed Ward presiding over a virtual city council meeting

The Mayor’s statement is reported to read: “Unfortunately, despite announcements and signage asking people to comply with the Provincially-mandated beach closure, last weekend, we saw a high volume of users on the beach who even when approached with educational measures by our bylaw team, still refused to leave,” reads the statement.

“Our options at this point are either: to issue a high volume of costly tickets; to accept increasingly higher numbers of COVID-19 in Ontario as we have seen since May 10; or to put up a fence.”

Public beaches across Ontario are currently closed following the provinces Emergency orders.

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Fire Chief will be packing his bags - City parted ways with Chief Lazenby earlier this week

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Parting ways with a senior member of the team is never easy.

Today the city parted ways with Fire Chief David Lazenby.

Fire chief + swimmer

Fire Chief David Lazenby. during a presentation to a fireman who saved a senior having difficulty in a swimming pool.

The standard practice when a senior member of the team that runs the city when they decide to move on is to thank them for their service and to wish them well.

Our colleagues at the Bay Observer caught this try before we did – the picked it up from a Twitter feed and published a short piece.

We popped a note along to Kwab Ako-Adjei, Director, Corporate Communications & Government Relations who responded with:

The City of Burlington does not comment on specifics of personnel matters. We would like to thank Dave Lazenby for his service as Fire Chief over the last 3 years.

So Dave got turfed.

He was a good Fire Chief. He worked well with most people and was very accommodating with the Finance people during budget discussions.

Lazenby was one of the few people on the Emergency Coordinating Group (ECG) with command and control experience; something critical in an emergency environment.

Of interest is the part of the city council meeting that went into closed session on a “Human Resources” matter earlier this week.  I think one can connect the dots.

While the City Manager makes the staffing decisions – for the Fire Chief position he would be obliged to take it to Council

Was the Human Resources matter a behaviour issue or was there a significant difference of opinion between the City Manager and the Fire Chief.

We will never know – we might pick up some scuttlebutt in the days ahead – the fire people are a tight group.

In the meantime – the city needs a new Fire Chief and Tim Commisso needs some new weight on his Emergency Coordinating Group

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Upcoming telephone town hall on June 4 will focus on what summer in the city will look like in the current COVID-19 situation

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON
Thursday, June 4, between 6 and 7:30 p.m., the City of Burlington will hold another telephone town hall event to share information and answer resident questions about what summer in the city will look like during the current COVID-19 situation.

The town hall will be hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, who will be joined by a panel of local leaders to help answer residents’ questions.

Telephone town hall logoHow 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 day on June 3.
Please note: if you registered for either of the two previous town halls (held on March 26 and April 14), you are not required to register your phone number a second time.

2. Join by telephone: Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-779-7154 just before 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 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.

Any 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 June 4.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will be connecting directly with the community on what will be the third public telephone town hall since this crisis began. With the volume of ever-changing information people are dealing with on a daily basis, the Mayor wants to create the opportunity to answer questions about current health advice and testing, programs and facilities that are resuming throughout the city, and how we can continue to mitigate the spread of this virus while we adjust to the reopening of many businesses, services and popular activities this summer.

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Using the parks, playing in the parks, sports in the parks and private swimming pools - just what does five people mean?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington’s elected Council meets in different ways.

Sometimes in Workshop mode where the procedural rules are thin – the objective is to exchange ideas – there is usually a speaker making a presentation involved.

Council also meets as a Standing Committee; there are three of those

EICS: Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services Committee
CPRM: Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility Committee
CSSRA: Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee

The Standing Committees is where the real debates take place.

Usually there is a Staff presentation, delegations and opportunities for Council members to ask questions. This interaction allows staff to get a better sense of what the community thinks – frequently changes are made during the meeting so that the report can go to Council for approval.

Then they meet as a Council where they pass bylaws that approve action that will be taken.

council chamber with fans May 25

Four people in the Council Chamber – was the air conditioning shut off.

Monday evening the seven elected members met as a Council in a virtual setting, no public in the Council Chamber and other than the Mayor, the Clerk and two administration staff the room was empty.

The Mayor strutted her stuff and zipped through the agenda in very short order. There were no delegations.

Then there was discussion on support for organized sports and what kind of use the parks can be put to.

The parks are open but there are limits as to just how they can be used.

The province has a rule – no more than five people congregating and those people should be people who live together in the same house.
When the question as to how this applied to private swimming pools the conversation came close to being silly.

The province has the five people rule; Burlington has a six foot social distance bylaw. “How” asked Councillor Sharman “are you going to apply that to a private swimming pool when there are three people who are members of a family and two who are not.”

The idea of a six foot rule applying to a swimming pool is a stretch – good luck with that one.

Sharman added that his understanding of the provincial five people rule was that the members of a family (say three people would count as one – allowing five friends to join the group – making it five

Trinity Bellwoods PArk

Crowding got out of hand in one Toronto park. In two weeks we will know if virus infections increased. If they do we will know where and how the contamination is spread.

Not so said Heather MacDonald the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility who had earlier said “We consider a group of five to be five people who live in the same house”. Later adding that “we interpret what the province has told us it is to be”.

Sharman did not have a follow up question.

Clearly a need for better communication on this issue

Mayor Meed Ward cleared it up when she wondered what the difficulty was in figuring out what five people was. If you have two children and a parent and an additional two children who ate not part of the family – that is an acceptable group of five. That’s the provincial rule.

In Burlington members of a family can walk side by side – others have to be six feet away.

Councillor Angelo Bentivegna wanted to know why the skate parks were open but the Bocce Ball courts were not open.

That was easy: Chris Glenn explained that the actual bocce balls would have to be wiped clean after each use and that wasn’t possible – just didn’t have the staff to do it.

The City has created Park Ambassadors – teams of two people who roam the parks to explain to people what they might be doing might not be permitted.

There are two such teams – they are staff people who have been pulled from their normal duties and sent out into the sunshine to try and ensure that there is some order in the parks

The Beaches are closed. The Splash Pads are closed. The Public Pools are closed.

Chris Glenn seemed to suggest that it might come down to putting out garden type hoses for kids to use to cool down.

Keeping people six feet apart in parks was described as a problem by Councillor Kearns. She wanted to know what Burlington was going to do to ensure that Burlington doesn’t experience what Toronto experienced.

Heather MacDonald mentioned the idea that had been used in San Francisco where large circles were painted that would hold five people.

social circles May 2020

Will Burlington see social distance circles painted in park grass ?

Mary Battaglia, Director of Roads and Park Maintenance told Council that if circles were painted on the grass in Burlington she would have to hire people to do the work and added that she didn’t have budget for that.  Also the circles would have to be repainted in two weeks.

One Council member wanted to know what she thought of the Vancouver idea where there were circles painted on the grass. Mary explained that in time the grass would grow and eliminate the circles and she didn’t have the budget to paint new circles.

Director of Parks and Recreation, Chris Glen and his sidekick Rob Axiak said they were working up ideas on how the sports fields could be more effectively used – one would have thought that would have been given the attention needed back in early April.

With the warm, Ok hot weather, people will want to be outdoors. The children are no longer in school and while some might be doing a bit of school work – it’s outdoor for most. To do what?

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Emergency Order extended for another 13 days.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is getting a little confusing.

Emergency Orders are being extended for very short periods of time.

The most recent date is June 9th – a mere 12 days away.

We don’t seem to be getting clear reasons other than the “government continuing to protect the health and safety of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak.” And that “Public health and safety remain top priorities.”

We got that – we know that.

Could we have more in the way of detailed information on the why of it all ?  Why are an additional 13 days needed?  What difference will it make ?   The people of Ontario are law abiding people – they are also capable of asking sensible, responsible questions.

Trinity Bellwoods PArk

The six foot rule didn’t seem to mean anything to this crowd. will we see a spike in infection 10 days from now. And if we don’t – what does that tell us?

Have we got testing under control?  Is the province looking for specific details to come out of the testing that will guide their next decision?

Premier with deputy May 19th

Day after day the Premier and a few of his Ministers parade before the TV cameras. Good communications practice – the message has not become more focused. The public has trusted the Premier – the Premier now needs to trust the public.

The Premier put himself and a couple of his Ministers before the television cameras every day.  He will do a rant on the “greedy landlords”; he will rant about the irresponsible behaviour of those who gathered in Trinity Bellwoods Park last weekend.

He broke the rules on Mother’s Day and made that trip to his cottage.

There is a bit of discomfort building up – the public isn’t buying it all they way they were two weeks ago.

The provincial government is “extending all emergency orders in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.”

That is a very power piece of legislation and so far, for the most part, the public has gone along with their political leadership.

I have this sense that their grip on things isn’t as firm as I’d like it to be.

“Current emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery.

“Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules remain in place for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters.

“We are extending these emergency orders to protect the health and safety of all individuals and families as we begin to gradually and safely reopen our province,” said Premier Doug Ford. “To build on the progress we have made to contain COVID-19, people should continue to follow these simple public health guidelines, practice physical distancing, wear a mask when it is a challenge to physical distance, and wash their hands regularly.

The following emergency orders have been extended until June 9, 2020:

• Closure of Establishments
• Prohibiting Organized Public Events, Certain Gatherings
• Work Deployment Measures for Health Care Workers
• Drinking Water Systems and Sewage Works
• Electronic Service
• Work Deployment Measures in Long -Term Care Homes
• Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses
• Traffic Management
• Streamlining Requirements for Long-Term Care Homes
• Prohibition on Certain Persons Charging Unconscionable Prices for Necessary Goods
• Closure of Outdoor Recreational Amenities
• Enforcement of Orders
• Work Deployment Measures for Boards of Health
• Work Deployment Measures in Retirement Homes
• Access to COVID-19 Status Information by Specified Persons
• Service Agencies Providing Services and Supports to Adults with Developmental Disabilities
• Pickup and Delivery of Cannabis
• Signatures in Wills and Powers of Attorney
• Use of Force and Firearms in Policing Services
• Child Care Fees
• Agreements Between Health Service Providers and Retirement Homes
• Temporary Health or Residential Facilities
• Closure of Public Lands for Recreational Camping
• Work Deployment Measures for Service Agencies Providing Violence Against Women Residential Services and Crisis Line Services
• Limiting Work to a Single Long-Term Care Home
• Work Deployment Measures for District Social Services Administration Boards
• Deployment of Employees of Service Provider Organizations
• Work Deployment Measures for Municipalities
• Limiting Work to a Single Retirement Home
• Work Deployment Measures for Mental Health and Addictions Agencies
• Congregate Care Settings
• Access to Personal Health Information by Means of the Electronic Health Record
• Certain Persons Enabled to Issue Medical Certificates of Death
• Hospital Credentialing Processes
• Education Sector
• Management of Long-term Care Homes in Outbreak

Doug Ford - habd to head

The strain on the Premier is becoming evident.

The following orders have also been extended:

• Electricity Price for RPP Consumers (until May 31, 2020)
• Global Adjustment for Market Participants and Consumers (until June 1, 2020)

That’s a lot of orders.

We are all partners in this – help us feel more confident about what you are doing Premier.

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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Late in the year but Council approves the collection schedule for the taxes that are levied. You may not see numbers like this for awhile

Budget 2020 redBy Staff

May 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington City Council Monday evening approved the 2020 Tax Levy Bylaw.

The bylaw allows the City to bill 2020 property taxes and set payment due dates for final tax bills on Aug. 20 and Oct. 20, 2020. Final tax bills will be mailed in early July.

That may sound a little confusing. City Treasurer Joan Ford explains.

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

Director of Finance Joan Ford found a way to provide some tax relief for people pressed financially during the Pandemic.

“We have two property tax billings mailed out each year – Interim and Final

“The bills are mailed out in January for Interim and normally in May for Final (this year the final bills are being mailed out in July instead of May)

“Each billing has two installment due dates

Here is where it gets tricky. The COVID19 Pandemic and the crisis it created resulted in the city giving people more time to pay their taxes.

The February payment stood as it was; the April payment was moved to June 30th (they called it Pandemic relief) That covered the Interim Billing – which is basically the first half of the year.

The June and September payment dates for the Final Billing were moved to August and October.

The 2020 Tax Levy Bylaw reflects the budget processes that determines tax rate for both the City and Halton Region. The province determines the education tax rates.

The overall city property tax increase is 2.43 per cent or $18.03 for each $100,000 of urban residential assessment. Tax impacts will vary by property based on actual changes in the assessed value of the property relative to others.

Interim billing generally represents 50% of last years taxes in which the payment is divided into the two installments.

Final billing represents the remaining 50% plus any budget changes for the city & region and changes in education taxes divided into two installments

The Final tax bill will show what the total taxes are for the year less what was levied earlier in the year as part of interim taxes with the balance split between the two installments.

COVID-19 Property Tax Relief
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Council approved temporary property tax relief which allows businesses and residents additional time to pay their April property tax installment, without incurring late payment charges.

For property taxpayers impacted by COVID-19 who require additional assistance for repayment of the April 21 instalment beyond June 30, the City is offering enrollment in a monthly pre-authorized payment plan.

This plan will provide for monthly withdrawals from Aug. 1 to Dec. 1 to pay the remaining 2020 property taxes (April, August, and October instalments). No penalty or interest is charged for taxpayers enrolled in this plan. Please visit Burlington.ca/propertytax for more information or email pap@burlington.ca to register.

Taxes May 2020

Here is where the tax money collected goes – the city Treasurer collects for the Boards of Education and the Regional government which includes the police.

The City of Burlington collects property taxes for the city, Halton Region and the Halton district school boards. The total combined tax levy for all three entities is approximately $431 million. The city’s levy is $174 million; the city collects $138 million on behalf of Halton Region; and $119 million on behalf of the Halton district school boards. The taxes levied for Halton Region and the Halton district school boards are remitted to them.

Related news story:

Keeping the city solvent when there isn’t much in the way of revenue and expenses unheard of before

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Conservation Halton park reservation system reported to have work as expected

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Last weekend, Conservation Halton opened their gates to five of their seven parks—Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Rattlesnake Point, Mount Nemo and Kelso Summit—to members and the public; they were using a new reservation system, which is now required to visit the parks.
The re-opening of the parks last weekend saw about 6500 reservations made with more than 17,000 people entering the parks.

CH Vis exp graphThe reservation system was developed to provide a way of coping with the need to limit the number of people in any place at any one time; the system let Conservation Halton (CH) handle the physical distancing required.

Now, with their first week behind them, Conservation Halton says they will use the information they have collected to make improvements: adjusting reservation times and offering exclusive reservation spaces for members, seniors and healthcare workers are being considered.

CHParks parkvisit.ca

When registering you get a screen that is reasonably easy to navigate. Get read to see a lot of FULL locations and time slots

“We have talked about a reservation system for years. When we closed the parks, due to COVID-19, it didn’t suddenly become convenient, it was necessary for us to manage our parks in a more efficient and sustainable way,” says Hassaan Basit, Chief Administrative Officer at Conservation Halton.

“Thanks to the dedication and innovation of our team, we now have one of the most data-rich, user-friendly systems for multi-park, day-use reservation in Ontario, and we are quite proud of that. This system uses an integrated software platform, license plate scanners, touch-less payment and automatic gates to provide access to nature for our community, without compromising on physical distancing.”

The turn out told us that:

• 87 percent of reservations were made for hiking
• 48 percent of reservations were made by Conservation Halton members
• 62 percent of visitors were from Halton—others were from as far away as Niagara Falls and Ajax
• 96 percent of visitors said they would recommend the reserved park visits to a friend
• Visitors rated the “overall” reservation and visitation experience 4.6 out of 5 stars

Park visit reservations can be made here: parkvisit.ca

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Suspect charged with: Flight from Peace Officer (2 counts), Dangerous Driving, Possession of Property Obtained by Crime (3 counts). Was he released on bail?

Crime 100By Staff

May 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Regional Police Service made an arrest in relation to a male who was in possession of stolen vehicles from the City of Hamilton and the City of Burlington.

HRPS crestOn May 25th 2020, the Burlington Street Crime Unit identified and located a male suspect parked at an address in Burlington. This male suspect had fled the scene of a search warrant executed by the Street Crime Unit last week.

As a result of the investigation police seized a stolen pickup truck, a stolen motorcycle, a stolen Ontario licence plate and 16 grams of methamphetamine (street value of $1120.00).

The following individual has been arrested, charged and held for a bail hearing;

Matthew KAIRYS (24 years old of Hamilton)

• Flight from Peace Officer (two counts)
• Dangerous Driving
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime (three counts)
• Possession of a Controlled Substance
• Breach Probation (two counts)

Anyone with information with 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. The police report does not say whether or not the accused was released on bail

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The curve is about to flatten - and the weather is about to get very hot

covid virusBy Pepper Parr

May 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

That COVID19 infection curve for the Region of Halton iis beginning to flatten – it’s nit quite there yet – but it is close and if we continue to behave the way we have in terms of distancing ourselves we should see the curve begin to descend.

By episode date

The curve is very very close to flattening – now to get it to descend.

bu municipality

The level of infections in Burlington are the lowest in the Region.

The distribution of cases by municipality is a positive sign for Burlington; the city has the lowest number of infections.

The distribution of the gender and age of those infected is troubling – women are more frequently infected than men and the age bracket indicates these are people who are probably working in the health sector.

cases by age sex

The age demographic numbers are troubling.

Another piece of news to add to our current woes: A heat warning has been issued by the Region.

As a result of extreme heat and humidity, Environment Canada has issued a Heat Warning for Halton Region starting May 25, 2020.

bright sum - thermometerThis warning is issued when forecast temperatures are expected to reach 31 degrees Celsius or more with overnight temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius for two days, or when a humidex of 40 or higher is expected for two days.

Many of the locations that provided relief from heat such as libraries and community centres are not available due to COVID-19. Therefore, it is extremely important that you check-in regularly, by phone or video, with vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, especially seniors who live on their own, to make sure they are staying cool and hydrated. This includes:

• older adults (over the age of 65), infants and young children, people who work and exercise in the heat, people without adequate housing and those without air conditioning

• people who have breathing difficulties, heart problems, kidney problems or take heat-sensitive medications

If phone or video is not possible, when checking-in with vulnerable individuals, remember to practice physical distancing and wash your hands regularly. If physical distancing is difficult to maintain, wear a non-medical mask.

The full Regional Health Unit COVID report is available at

 

 

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Is City Council going to give the Mayor a boost up the political ladder?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

 May 25th, 2020
 BURLINGTON, ON
 
The Association of Municipalities of Ontario represents the bulk of Ontario’s 450 municipalities.  It has clout.
It works to make municipal governments stronger and more effective while promoting the value of the municipal level of government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and Canada’s political system.

The AMO Board of Directors is comprised of elected municipal officials from various member municipalities.  AMO has issued a call for nominations to their Board of Directors for the upcoming term of August 2020-August 2022.

AMO is not the only player in the political game – there is also LUMCO,  The Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario which represents 67% of Ontario s population. Currently there are 26 Big-City Mayors who make up LUMCO – Burlington’s Mayor Marianne Meed Ward is one the 26.

Someone at city hall saw an opportunity to forge a closer relationship between LUMCO, the GTHA Mayors, and AMO through the Mayor’s participation on the Large Urban Caucus (an AMO sub-group) to achieve shared goals when speaking with a unified voice;Thus a resolution before this evening’s Council meeting: Be it resolved, that Burlington City Council endorses the nomination of Mayor Marianne Meed Ward to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Board of Directors, Large Urban Caucus for a two-year term beginning August 2020 and ending August 2022.

Meed ward election night 1

Marianne Meed Ward – the night she won the election in 2008

No one has stood up to take credit for seeing this opportunity.

What isn’t totally clear is – is this an opportunity for the Mayor or an opportunity for the city.

All this appears to being done to the strains of Leonard Cohen’s song: First we take Manhattan – then we take Berlin.

Mayor Meed Ward and Premier - Dec 2018

Premier Doug Ford meets Mayor Marianne Meed Ward on her turf,  a tour of the Joseph Brant Hospital – does he realize that she has her eyes on his turf?

It is well known that our Mayor has political aspirations – what isn’t clear is – are they at the federal or provincial level.

Council is expected to order the Clerk to forward the resolution indicating City Council’s support to AMO before noon on June 22nd, 2020 to qualify Mayor Meed Ward as a nominee for a position on the AMO Board of Directors, Large Urban Caucus for a two-year term ending August 2022.

The City of Burlington’s Government Relations fund will assume any costs associated with Mayor Meed Ward attending AMO’s Board of Directors, Large Urban Caucus meetings.

 

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City Council is expected to endorse a request to the federal government for transit financial support

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

When revenue from the transit fare box drops by $475,000 a month something has to be done.

Burlington Transit wasn’t the travel mode of choice for the majority of people in Burlington. It was however building the ridership with some impressive gains. Transit experienced a 14.2% increase in ridership from September 2019 to February 2020, due to the introduction of new service, schedules and a grid network.

Burlington Transit getting new buses - to deliver less service.

The hope for Burlington Transit was that this might have been one of the last diesel powered buses in the fleet. There isn’t a clear path for transit yet as the country works through the COVID19 virus.

That growth came to a sudden and financially painful halt in March when the COVID19 Pandemic was declared.

Burlington is not alone with this problem. The unprecedented drop in public transit ridership provoked by the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting public transit agencies right across Canada putting in jeopardy their financial viability and future ability to operate.

Collectively the transit operators across the province are working with the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) Canada’s largest public transport lobby, the membership of which includes most Canadian transit agencies, has called for urgent emergency funding to address the immediate liquidity issues of transit operators while providing financial stability while ridership rebuilds; and

CUTA estimates as many as 40 per cent of systems may require bridge funding over the coming months requiring some $1.2 billion to help them keep the buses and trains running.

CUTA is seeking $400 million a month to keep services running as fare box and other revenue drop by up to 100 per cent.

CUTA points out that it will likely take some time for transit operators to rebuild ridership to February 2020 levels during a gradually return to more normal economic activity and that without a quick infusion of funds by the Government of Canada it is impossible to assure that the gains made over the past decade in growing the modal share of all rides taken via collective transit will not be lost;

City Council expects to endorse CUTA’s request to the Government of Canada at its Council meeting this evening.

Sue Connor at mike

Director of Burlington Transit Sue Connor

When Burlington appointed Sue Connors to be the Director of Transit she quickly changed the culture at Transit and assembled a team that worked hard to bring about changes – they were succeeding.  Now Connors, the kind of person who wants to get things done, finds herself sitting with a fleet that needs upgrading for a client base she isn’t sure is going to be there when the drivers are back behind the wheel.

Connors was working on plans to create an electric fleet that was in line with city council’s direction.  It was going to be expensive, however Council had taken the view that Climate Change mattered and keeping bus exhaust out of the environment had to be done.

Council was excited – the transit staff were delighted – they were finally being led by someone who cared deeply about public transit.

What now ?  The focus  is to secure funds just to keep the buses on the roads.

It will be interesting to hear what Council has to say this evening.

 

 

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Burlington residents can call 905-632-3737, ext. 6550 to book an appointment for a test at Joseph Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Clinic.

covid virusBy Staff

May 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Province has it would expand COVID-19 testing across Ontario to include people who are asymptomatic.

Premier Ford also encouraged individuals to attend assessment centres for testing whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms or if they are concerned that they may have been exposed.

The Province remains responsible for testing directives and guidance, processing lab tests and online test results.

Rose parking spot

Designated parking spots for those being tested at Joseph Brant Hospital

In the Region of Halton, the Assessment Centres are operated by and located at our four hospitals.

Burlington residents can call 905-632-3737, ext. 6550 to book an appointment for a test at Joseph Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Clinic.

Ontario Health president and CEO Matthew Anderson advised COVID-19 Assessment Centre leaders of the change in direction to test anyone who is:

Symptomatic or

Asymptomatic.

In medicine, a disease is considered asymptomatic if a patient is a carrier for a disease or infection but experiences no symptoms. If you are concerned about exposure to known or potential cases; and/or have risk from exposure in line of duty – essential workers and health care workers.

The purpose of the change, according to Ontario Health, is to support and monitor more actively the essential workers who are at risk, as well as anyone who is worried that they have been exposed or have contracted COVID-19, even if they don’t have symptoms.

Ontario Health also notes that most transmissions occur in a home-based setting, so expansion to asymptomatic individuals may help us detect any further disease spread and most importantly, help as the economy is reopened.

Assessment Centres are being advised not to turn anyone away. Also, people no longer need to be referred to an assessment centre by Telehealth Ontario, Primary Care, or Public Health.

The Ministry of Health will soon be listing all of the assessment centres on the www.ontario.ca website, with addresses, etc., so the public can find assessment centres easily. It will also be starting a public education campaign very shortly that will encourage essential workers, as well as anyone who is worried that they have COVID-19 (even if they don’t have symptoms) to be tested.

Meed Ward - tight head shot

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward – has she been tested?

Mayor Marianne Ward supports the changes announced by Premier Ford and the Province to increase testing. “We know increased testing capacity is critical as the provincial government moves to allow more businesses and facilities to open. Testing is especially critical among people who may not yet be experiencing symptoms, as these may take one to two weeks to appear, in which time, individuals may be at risk of infecting others.

“Enhanced testing is one of the key criteria in any reopening strategy, alongside contact tracing, hospital capacity, and sustained reduction in new infections.”

The number of new infections has not decreased enough for the province to open things up. Unfortunately many don’t seem to understand that the virus is out there hopping from person to person.

A well known Burlington resident active in the running community said on his Facebook page:

“It was good to see the young people of Toronto hanging out and enjoying Bellwood Park this weekend. “People are becoming more relaxed. On my return home this past week my neighbor and his wife met us with a big hug. While up North my neighbor from Toronto his daughter and I worked closely putting his motor on his boat. It is also encouraging to see the small but gradual increases in our local business sector. We need to lengthen our stride and move on to the road of recovery.”

The Premier has some advice: Get tested and take your friends with you

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Provincial Court has put all cases on hold until July 3rd.

notices100x100By Staff

May 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

NOTICE TO PUBLIC REGARDING PROVINCIAL OFFENCES ACT MATTERS

All Provincial Offences Act matters (e.g., traffic tickets and offences under provincial legislation) scheduled until July 3, 2020 will be rescheduled. Do not attend court.

Court House - new

No need to visit until July 3rd.

All Provincial Offences Act matters scheduled from Monday, March 16, 2020 through to and including Friday, July 3, 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.gton | 426 Brant Street, PO Box 5013 | Burlington | ON | L7R 3Z6 | Canada | 905-335-7600

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