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

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 25th, 2020


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



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


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 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




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:

Updated information about court proceedings at the Ontario Court of Justice can be found on the Court’s website at

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: | 426 Brant Street, PO Box 5013 | Burlington | ON | L7R 3Z6 | Canada | 905-335-7600

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It is a different world now - and the way the city operates will be different as well

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 25th,  2020



Back in March when the city closed city hall and had all staff working from home – except for the 700 part timers that were laid off – no one was certain as to how long this was going to last.

It has lasted longer than many expected and it may last for quite a bit longer.

City staff now have to figure out how the affairs of the city should be handled until September.

The Emergency Coordination Group (ECG) will continue to run the departments that deliver services while council determines when it will meet next to give the necessary approvals. A number of changes were made to the Procedure By- law  after city hall was closed.

The background and lead up to where we are today is set out below.


City is still doing business – just not that much at city hall.

March 16, 2020 – All city facilities, including city hall, were closed to the public. It was determined that all meetings during a three-week period would be cancelled including the regularly scheduled March City Council meeting.

March 19, 2020 – Ontario legislature passed Bill 187, the Municipal Emergency Act, 2020, to enable municipalities, during a declared emergency, the ability to allow for virtual participation, and to conduct council meetings electronically with members who participate remotely being counted for the purpose of quorum.

March 24, 2020 – Special Council meeting held to enact necessary Procedure By-law amendments to allow remote participation. A meeting guide was posted to the city’s website which provides additional information on how virtual meetings will occur.

April 20, 2020 – Procedure by-law amendments to enable to virtual delegations and to re-establish Committee of the Whole to allow for the city to be nimble when agenda planning.

May 25, 2020 – Proposed path forward to allow for statutory public meetings in accordance with the Planning Act R.S.O. 1990, (the Planning Act) and the addition of an August cycle of committee meetings.

With the initial phase of the emergency having occurred, the City of Burlington created virtual meeting procedures to ensure that business can continue. On March 31st the City of Burlington announced that municipal closures would extend until June 30, 2020.

It is not certain that after June 30, 2020 Council would resume its customary way of doing business. Resumption of services will be contingent on Provincial and established municipal timelines for a staged re-opening and must adhere to public health guidelines. In the creation of a robust yet scalable remote participation system, which can then be modified, will support the continuation of Council business for the foreseeable future.

The proposals set out below will have to be approved by council which meets Monday evening.

Addition to the Council schedule –
there goes the summer vacation – they had nowhere to go anyway.
Staff are recommending adding an extra cycle of meetings in August to help facilitate with any backlog or any items that may be required for approval. The proposed August dates have taken into consideration the conference for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) which may shift and provide some of their events virtually.

In addition, for the foreseeable future there will be a special Council meeting scheduled to deal with COVID-19 related items. The special Council meeting will be scheduled after Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability Committee, and allow for quick approvals to service resumption or time sensitive COVID-19 matters.

August 2020 – Proposed Meeting Schedule
Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services Committee

Monday, August 10, 2020
Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility Committee

Tuesday August 11, 2020
Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability Committee

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Special Burlington City Council – time sensitive COVID-19 ratifications

Thursday, August 13, 2020 Burlington City Council Monday, August 24, 2020

Legislation Changes March 20 and April 15, 2020

On March 20, 2020 the Province passed Ontario Reg 73/20, which suspended procedural timelines in connection to any statute in effect in Ontario. On April 15, 2020 the Province, by way of Ontario Reg 149/20, Bill 189, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020 provided some clarification.

In clerks department report CL-09-20, it stated that the new regulation indicated that legislated timelines are still in effect. This interpretation was not correct. The regulation did clarify that planning matters were not applicable to the suspension of timelines in Ontario Reg 73/20, however it went further to provide a framework. Most of the regulation assists with providing clarity on notice, however the following two bullets provide clarification on what occurs if the municipality chooses to pause or process applications.

• If a decision on an application in process was not made before April 15, 2020, then it is not required to be rendered throughout the duration of the state of emergency. Processing timelines required by the Planning Act, and rendering a decision are suspended until the emergency is over, and only after the timeline would resume. Further, no appeals from non-decisions until after the emergency has been lifted.

• Should Council proceed to render a decision during the state of emergency, the customary Planning Act notice requirements and appeal timelines apply to the decision. However, timelines for the city to prepare the appeal package, and forward to the LPAT is suspended until the end of the state of emergency.

In consultation with Legal Services and Community Planning, matters in abeyance could be brought forward to ensure that items are dealt with in a timely manner. In addition, since the shut-down of City Hall, staff have worked out a way to accept and process minor applications remotely and continue to develop a strategy to process larger applications, with the intention to have that implemented in the near future.

Therefore, there may be more land use planning applications received and worked on by staff. By proceeding with scheduling statutory public meetings, when the City returns to in-person meetings there may not be a backlog of items to be scheduled.

Council should be aware that a return to large in-person meetings may be gradual, and there may be limitations or restrictions on public access to Council Chambers for an extended period. Therefore, the recommendation is to proceed with bringing land use applications forward for Council, and that virtual statutory public meetings be conducted until further notice. It is anticipated that the earliest statutory public meeting could occur in July.

Core model-3-d-0f-the-site-768x929

CORE presented an elaborate model of their proposed development. Things like this are unlikely to be done during the approach for Community Presentations.

Statutory Public Meetings
Statutory public meetings are used for land use planning applications under the Planning Act. They balance public participation, with natural justice principles to ensure that land use applications are conducted in an equitable manner. In bringing items to a statutory planning meeting and a recommendation report to Committee and Council, there are significant notice requirements that are required through the Planning Act, in advance, and after a Council decision has been rendered. During the public meeting there are certain rules to allow for equity for all participants. After Council makes its decision, there is an appeal process involving the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

In accordance with the natural justice principles, public participation at statutory public meetings are dealt with differently than customary delegations which have a deadline for registration. At statutory public meetings, as of right, individuals are able make an oral submission without pre-registering. Some individuals choose to pre-register and at the meeting they are allowed to speak in order of when they registered. At the end of all pre-registered delegates, the Chair will then open the floor for any other individuals that may wish to come forward and address committee. This in-person process keeps with the spirit of the Planning Act by way of sections 17(19.2), and 34 (14.2), supporting that every person who attends a public meeting, required under the Planning Act shall be given an opportunity to make representations in respect of the proposed by-law.

In addition to making an oral submission, residents could elect to submit a written submission which would allow the individual the ability to have their views on the proposed matter known. All correspondence on a matter before committee or Council is circulated to all members and forms part of the public record.

It is proposed that the City of Burlington move forward with allowing virtual statutory public meetings. In doing so, there will need to be a process in place in order for the mechanics of a virtual meeting to work as closely as possible to an in-person meeting, and to preserve the right of residents to be able to not register and still be able make an oral submission before committee. The next section of the report provides a path forward on how this will work. In addition, staffing protocols will be in place to ensure that, live in meeting requests are dealt with appropriately, and in a timely manner.

How will Virtual Statutory Public Meetings be Conducted?
The Electronic Meeting during a Declared Emergency Remote Participation Guide will be amended to include a new section for public participation at statutory public meetings. Staff will work with ITS to ensure that the system is adequately configured to allow for delegates to be added and onboarded during the course of a live meeting.

Staff will use learnings from public delegations, in May and June and any Committee of Adjustment meetings, to help inform the process. Refining the process will take an iterative approach, and after the first statutory public meeting there may be further changes to the procedures or to internal staff processes to improve delegate experience. The following will be incorporated into the Remote Participation Guide:

6. Public Participation at Statutory Public Meetings

6.1 All requests to make oral submission at a statutory public meeting under this section shall be made by way of electronic submission through the online delegation request form or submitted to the Clerks Department by Where possible, those making a request are suggested to do so by noon the day before the statutory public meeting.

6.2 All requests to delegate should contain a copy of the delegate’s intended remarks which will be circulated to all Members in advance as a back-up to technology. It is understood that those who register during the course of the meeting, may not have the ability to draft and submit written submissions. All rules in the Procedure By-law with respect to delegations (Section 41 Delegations) shall apply to remote delegations.

6.3 Confirmed registered delegates will be provided with all applicable access codes and instructions to enter the teleconference or video conference system.
6.4 On the day of the meeting, all registered delegates should log into the system 30 minutes in advance of the meeting start time to check-in with appropriate staff and to ensure that their audio settings are appropriate for the meeting webcast.

6.5 When waiting to be called upon by the Mayor/Chair, all delegates will have their audio on mute.

6.6 The Mayor/ Chair or the City Clerk/designate may indicate when the delegate has one minute left to complete their delegation.

6.7 During the course of the statutory public meeting, those who want to make a request to provide an oral submission are able to do so by making a submission in accordance with section 6.1. A tickertape of registration information will be visible on the webcast which provides details on how submit a request.

6.8 If there are requests during the course of the meeting, speakers may be added to the delegate list. This will be communicated to the City Clerk/designate who will advise the Chair.

6.9 After all registered delegations are completed the Chair would then make a last call for delegations and indicate the deadline time. (As individuals may be following along by way of the webcast, the time would be 5 minutes in the future to compensate for any lag with the webcast.)

6.10 A recess would then be called to ensure that all requests made in advance of the deadline can be provided with all applicable access codes and instructions to enter the teleconference or video conference system.

6.11 When all requests are dealt with administratively to the satisfaction of the Chair and the City Clerk/designate then the meeting shall resume, and the remainder of delegates will be heard by Committee.

Community Meetings

Community meetings are public meetings hosted by the developer in advance of submitting a land use planning application. Planning Staff have been in contact with Clerks Department staff and ITS on options to use videoconferencing technology.

Planning will work with applicants to assist with technology and ensure that provisions are in place, and that meetings are conducted within a set standard. Work will be completed to ensure that notice for these meetings are prepared to effectively communicate ways to participate.

Messaging will reinforce that whether an application has yet been received by city, that this is one of many opportunities to submit comment on a proposal through the course of the application review process, and that there are several channels, and opportunities to submit comments.

Committee of Adjustment, Court of Revision, Property Standards
The Committee of Adjustment is comprised of appointed residents under authority by way of the Planning Act to consider matters in connection to the zoning by-law; minor variances, variation on existing legal non-conforming uses, and conformity for a particular use. It also deals with land division matters. The Committee also serves as
the city’s Property Standards Committee, in accordance with the Building Code Act, and the Committee of Revision, in accordance with the Municipal Act 2001, Ontario Reg 586/06. The Committee of Adjustment’s terms of reference indicates that the Committee will meet twice a month, if required.

There are several items that are ready and could be dealt with by the Committee. Staff in Community Planning will work with, ITS, Clerks, and Communications to ensure that these meetings can resume virtually during COVID-19.

Council Workshops
Council Workshops are meetings which include all members of Council. These meetings are used when time is required for training, discussions with other levels of government, and outside agencies, workshops on complex matters or strategic planning. Customarily, workshops feature a freer flow of dialogue with members of Council with the speaking limits associated with formal meetings not applied.

Staff will proceed to have Council Workshops, and they will occur virtually. However, they may have some limitations such as no breakout sessions. Through meeting preparation, staff will work with the presenters to facilitate any workarounds, that may help to ensure that the virtual meeting best replicates the presenter’s intended format or vision for the meeting.

Any changes will be communicated in advance to Council and be indicated by way of the agenda or during the meeting to allow the public to be able to follow along. It is anticipated that our next Council workshops (virtual) will be held on June 23, 2020.

With the current situation presented by COVID-19 and the public health recommendations to physically distance, holding in-person committee and Council meetings have become a challenge. With the recent amendments made by the Province of Ontario with the Municipal Emergency Act 2020, remote participation at Council and committees of Council has created an opportunity to allow for the business of Council and its committees to continue. Staff are currently leveraging technology to ensure that members of Council and the public can participate in meetings of Council and its various committees.

Options Considered
Other models or combinations of participation were discussed at length. One proposal was putting a deadline two hours before the meeting for requests for delegation. This would be different from the customary delegation request deadline. However, based on consultation, having a deadline in advance of the meeting may not meet the principles as outlined in the legislation. It was determined that the electronic version of the statutory public meeting should mirror as closely as possible the in-person experience. Staff are confident that the proposed approach, with the public notice and on meeting modifications will meet the test presented by the Planning Act.

Financial Matters:
The cost of a Zoom license to support virtual meetings for Committee and Council will be funded from the ITS operational budget. Planning may get their own Zoom license to ensure that there is no overlap of meetings, as one license can only conduct one meeting at a time.

Climate Implications
As the City of Burlington will be conducting virtual meetings, there will be less travel for residents, staff, and members of Council. Lowered travel rates will help to reduce the carbon footprint associated with in-person public meetings.

Engagement Matters:
No outside groups were consulted. This will allow for statutory public meetings under the Planning Act to commence. Public participation at statutory public meetings is essential to the process, therefore, access, accessibility and notice provisions have been considered and may be augmented during this time. A staff team comprised of Planning, Communications and the Clerks Department will ensure that these principles are met.

Scobie 3

Hearing Gary Scobie give as good as he gets won’t be possible with him at one end of a Zoom broadcast and council members at the other end.

• The notice will contain detailed information on how to connect, participate, the timelines to pre-register and indicate how participation will work during the meeting. All information will be communicated to residents in plain language.

• The city will continue the practice to allow pre-registering to delegate and encourage the public to do so. Deadlines will be aligned with current public delegations to avoid confusion with other items, with the caveat that those wishing to speak during the statutory public meeting portion may request to do so during the meeting. Written submissions will be encouraged, which may help those with technical difficulties provide input on applications.

• The broadcast will be casted via customary channels which will assist with resident’s ability to follow along. The procedures afford for any delays in broadcast to provide the public with a reasonable time to submit a request to delegate. During the meeting a tickertape feature will be part of the broadcast, which will provide information on submitting a request. The Chair will be provided with connection information that will be read out loud as part of the meeting.

• Staff will work with Communications to ensure that a comprehensive approach is taken to ensure that residents understand the ways in which they can participate.

Jim Young answering RG

The public might get to hear a delegation from Jim Young but it will not be the same as his in person, on the spot, in the room style.

• Access to technology and accessibility concerns will be considered. Staff will work to help mitigate issues if there are residents with a lack of technology. Also, for those who present accessibility concerns staff will work with the individual to find a solution, this may also help improve the overall service to the public in future iterations.

• Although the use of alternative technology to help facilitate the meeting, the city still maintains the ability to include closed captioning during the live broadcast and the captioning is maintained when the recording is posted to the website.

Approving an August meeting cycle will assist in ensuring that the business of the corporation can continue during COVID-19. Providing for statutory planning meetings, will ensure that land use applications are processed during this time. It may be some time before members of the public are allowed in the Council Chambers, or the City is able to host large gatherings. The proposed path forward is nimble and can be scalable if the Province or public health provides further guidance on public gatherings to ensure city business continues.


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City acknowledges receipt of an application to expand the Nelson quarry.

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 25th, 2020



In an announcement from City Hall notice is given that Nelson Aggregate has filed an application to expand the quarry they operate in north Burlington.

The application was delivered to the city, the Region, the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as well as the members of the Joint Agency Review Team (JART)

Tighter view of the sites

The existing quarry is top centre, the golf course on the left has been purchased; the southern section has always been owned by Nelson Aggregates. It is the southern portion that had, and still has, Jefferson Salamander present. The design leaves the right side of the southern portion for the salamanders.

“The proposed expansion to the Burlington Quarry will require approvals under the Aggregate Resources Act, the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, and the Planning Act. A Regional Official Plan Amendment and a City of Burlington Official Plan Amendment are required to permit the quarry expansion. The objective of the JART is to conduct a coordinated review of all materials in support of these amendments simultaneously.

“At this time, the Nelson Aggregate Co. application for their proposed expansion has not yet been deemed complete. An internal technical meeting has been scheduled for later this month to begin the review process. JART members will review the application for completeness and determine if it can be accepted for processing.”

Is the city suggesting that the document might not be accepted?  That is a stretch.

“The City will create a project page for this application under Ward 3 Current Development Projects. Here residents will be able to find all relevant information related to this project as it moves through the planning process, including:

the complete application submission (once received)
relevant studies as those are received
contact information for the applicant and the city planner on the file
public meeting announcements
relevant staff reports

“Last year, the Nelson Quarry in Burlington announced proposed plans to expand its operations to its property to the west and south of its current operations. On its project website, Nelson briefly outlines its proposal and focuses on plans to turn the quarry over to the public once operations are finished in 30 years.

“On Jan. 15, 2020, Halton Regional Council received a public report updating council members on the proposed expansion to the Burlington Quarry (Nelson), pre-consultation meeting.

“The recommendation to Regional Council was to receive and file the report for information and forward a copy to the City of Burlington and Towns of Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills, the Niagara Escarpment Commission (NEC) and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).

“City staff are working on an updated report that will go to council this summer responding to the Staff direction from Councillor Nisan and the Council Meeting Motion.

Rory Nisan

Ward 3 Councillor Rory Nisan – the park is within his ward.

Angelo B

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna advocates for anything and almost everything rural.

Mayors Meed Ward said: “Councillors Nisan and Bentivegna, who represent our rural constituents, and I are deeply involved in this matter. We understand the concerns of our residents about the potential impact of a quarry expansion in a World Biosphere Reserve. Council has been fully briefed on the history of this site, including the previous application for expansion that was refused by the JART due to impacts on the habitat of the Jefferson Salamander.

“We do not take a position on applications until they have gone through a full review with analysis by our City staff, appropriate agencies and the public. We encourage residents to stay involved throughout this process and continue to provide your feedback to all of Council.

Nelson Aggregates applied for an expansion in 2012 – a Joint Tribunal denied the application citing the damage that would be done to a traditional home of the Jefferson Salamander.

Details on the actual application

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City manager keeps the wheels on when it comes to services; Mayor fills in the cracks on needed support.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 24, 2020



City Manager Tim Commisso, and Executive Director Alan Magi, co-chair the Emergency Coordination Group (ECG) – they meet at least every day – the several sub-committees of the ECG meet regularly as well.

It is a grind – but they keep on top of all the issues and so far the wheels are still on the cart.

Meed WardMayor Marianne Meed Ward formed the Burlington COVID-19 Task Force; they held their 7th meeting last week.  The focus was responding to the changes that were happening  as a result of provincial announcements related to reopening Ontario, including parking lots and parks, golf courses and tennis courts, off-leash dog areas and more.

The Burlington Restaurant Association is now represented by Ted and Shelley Kindos who own Gator Ted’s Tap & Grill as well as nearby Barra Fion.  The restaurant industry has been particularly hard hit by this pandemic, and even though they are permitted to offer take-out and curbside pick-up, their revenues have been significantly diminished – we have already seen the closure of Emma’s Back Porch/The Water Street Cooker.

Reopening the restaurant sector and better understanding what controls need to be in place to ensure everyone’s health & safety. Emma’s is expected to re-open when the re-opening process is further along.  The owners of the building are believed to have interviewed a large number of the staff; preparing them for a re-start.

Eric Vandewall, President & CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital spoke about the issue of hospital capacity as it relates to COVID-19.

Eric andewall TITLE

Eric Vanderwall, President and CEO Joseph Brant Hospital

While there is, indeed, capacity at this time, it is a fine balance to maintain the space and staffing that also allows for the treatment of other conditions the people of our community are facing.

Having enough room for COVID-19 patients is not the only concern – the hospital needs to have room for elective surgeries and the other urgent and acute care that residents depend on.

Robin Food Bank with milk

Robin Bailey, Burlington Food Bank – feeding hundreds – delivering to homes.

Providing food and learning more on the status of food scarcity in the community and how government financial supports are enabling people to rely less on food banks and see positive impact to their mental health.

Subcommittee to address the issue of food security and actively identifying those at risk/in need and matching up with support.
May 20 Update: Denise Beard

Gift of Giving Back food drive still in planning phase based on gathering size as we wait on more direction there.

Basic Income Program: support from government has helped get many people to a basic income level and get them to a point where they no longer need the targeted food support and has had a very good effect on their mental health and well-being.

Worth considering what we can do to advocate making this more of a permanent solution.
Burlington Together (formerly Care Mongering) has a new program called Grow a Row – offer to grow a row for the food bank at the end of the season. Share/spread the word.

Jamie from MP Gould’s Office: Emergency Community Support Fund was also launched this week for organizations who help vulnerable organizations: support-fund.html

Dan VanderLelie – Burlington Professional Firefighters Assn members are helping to deliver food to in-need families for Eid in partnership with Mosque.

Promoting the Friday Night Porch Clap more effectively:
May 20: No additional updates at this time.

Burlington Foundation / United Way funding and grants:
May 20 Update: Additional Funding Announced for both Burlington Foundation as well as United Way Halton & Hamilton.
Tyler Moon – $2.4M available July 31 so apply via United Way, rolling intake for Halton & Hamilton – website has guide, criteria and applications.

As per a press release shared by Colleen Mulholland, Burlington Foundation received $336,450 and starting on May 19 will begin accepting applications for funding from qualified donees. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes, including to cover staffing or resource needs, purchase assistance and more.

Funding will be issued on an ongoing basis through July 2020.

Create a directory of where residents can purchase consumer safety masks (not the same as medical grade PPEs procured by the federal and provincial governments and reserved for front line workers).

Directories are now available on Chamber/Team Burlington site + there is a provincial directory for businesses to use as of last meeting.

May 20 Update: Mayor conveyed the City’s approach to masks is wear them where you can’t maintain physical distancing at this time.
Jamie from MP Gould’s office – Use of non-medical face masks in community settings: eng.php and

How to make your own mask: health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention- risks/sew-no-sew-instructions-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html

Burlington Restaurant Association:
– Rent relief is a top priority, some rent forgiveness has happened but not broadly. The business revenue can never be recouped for the lost time being closed so deferrals really just become debt.

– Despite being open for takeout, liquor revenue is almost nil and used to account for a considerable part of revenue. Overhead continues to be high including liability insurance that has not been discounted at all despite significantly less clientele on premises.

– Credit card companies have offered some interest free respite – would help to have more from hydro, gas, etc.

Pop up on rant Coop BEST

Will pop up re-appear on Brant.

– Concerns persist about revenue going forward even once open due to limits expected on capacity.

– Additional patio/parking lot/pop-up capacity will be helpful especially in the north. Partner with landlords but also city zoning.

– Council resolution advocating for commercial rent relief will be brought forward on Monday with wording related to where landlord does not take advantage of the rent relief, tenant needs ability to bypass and access the support.

– Mayor / City Manager Commisso – we will support restaurants opening as soon as Province gives green light + assist with any additional measures at the city level that can help with capacity such as expanded patio space zoning, etc.

MPP Triantafilopoulos – cannot yet confirm timing for restaurants to open – so much depends on covid numbers in next 2-4 weeks. Rent support opens end of next week and Premier will watch uptake and if it is not adequate, further action will be taken.

– Anita Cassidy, BEDC – early June outreach to BRA to continue the conversation around support for restaurant industry both short and longer term.

– Carla Nell, Chamber – seeking specific data to support reform in addition to anecdotal evidence.

Hospital Capacity:
– While Covid19  has not surged, the rest of hospital activity has to be maintained at a certain level to support capacity should it be needed. While some people in the community with other health issues have been staying home rather than seeking treatment and care at the hospital, they are now presenting at emerg/acute care because they can’t maintain their health at home any longer.

– Surgeries that were delayed need to come back online soon and per provincial guidelines, hospital capacities need to be less than 85% for elective surgeries to be reintroduced.

– Looking to leaders to get the message out that it is still essential to follow provincial orders to minimize Covid19  spread so that everyone in our community can access healthcare for any issue, not just covid. Eric Vandewall

– There are concerns about the fall flu season and volume that may create.

Modular - full view

Built it a cost of $2 million and put up in very short order – the Pandemic Response Unit, a Field Hospital, was a responsible move – it might yet be needed.

– The Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) remains available with no plans to take it down at this time. Eric would like to see us get through the fall flu season before making a decision on whether it is no longer needed and that decision would be made in partnership with the Province.

There are those who have that 20-20 hindsight that ask if the unit was really necessary.  They would be the first to scream bloody murder if the hospital had found itself facing a surge of infected people that it could not accommodate.

The decision to purchase the PRU (field hospital) was a sound decision; Vanderwall deserves credit for doing what could be done to ensure there would be the hospital capacity if it was needed.

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City treasurer does a masterful juggling act keeping the city solvent - municipalities cannot run a deficiit

Budget 2020 redBy Pepper Parr

May 24th, 2020



Joan Ford, the Director of Finance for the city got dealt a bad hand and now has to juggle like crazy to keep the city financially stable

Ms Ford collects the taxes – all the taxes. She collects the city property taxes, the Boards of Education taxes and the Regional government taxes.

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 does a great job of providing the data; her department does a good job of collecting the taxes as well.

At predetermined times of the year she sends the appropriate portion of the taxes levied to the people they were collected on behalf of; she has to send them the tax that was levied – even if she didn’t collect it.

Ms Ford explains that “it isn’t all that hard to do because in Burlington the city is able to collect 98% of the taxes levied. In any given year, we are required to remit the amount of taxes levied to the region and the boards of education, regardless of whether all of the taxes have been collected.

For this reason, municipalities that collect the taxes are able to charge penalty and interest to assist with cash flows regarding the non-payment of property taxes.

Historically, the City of Burlington has an excellent property tax collection record, approximately 98% of the taxes levied are collected in the current year.

Joan Ford, the city's Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

Joan Ford, the city’s Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

As part of a presentation Ms Ford recently made to committee/council, she included cash flow projections which consider all payments out ( payroll & property tax remittances) as well as revenues in (property tax collection. The projected June 30th cash flow position is estimated at $20.6M after making the Region of Halton tax remittance of $33.4M for the April installment share of taxes levied.

“The next school board remittance payment is scheduled for Sept 30th deferred from June 30th. The deferral of the property tax remittances by the Region and the Province (for education taxes) has certainly assisted given delayed tax collection for the months of April through June as well as delayed final billing due dates” added Ms Ford.

This is financial juggling at its best.


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Street sweeping begins on Monday

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 24th, 2020



The annual spring street sweeping blitz will begin Monday, May 25.

The cleaning of winter sand and debris from roads is expected to take two weeks with a crew of six vehicles working seven days a week.

street sweeper

Sweepers are out starting on Monday.

Crews will work through two zones in the City with each zone expected to take up to one week, depending on weather and the number of obstacles on the road. Progress updates will be shared through social media.

Street sweepers are exempt from the noise bylaw; however, to reduce noise disruption, residential streets will only be cleaned between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The rest of the time will be spent cleaning industrial areas, primary and secondary roads.

If possible, residents are asked to avoid parking cars on the roads and to remove encroaching basketball and road hockey nets from the street so the sweepers can move quickly and efficiently.

street sweepMark Adam, Manager of Road Operations advises: “We know people are working from home and residential parking enforcement rules are relaxed during our COVID-19 response but during the days that your home-zone is being swept, it would help us out a lot if you could remove your vehicles from the street. Road hockey nets and basketball nets should always be stored off of sidewalks and roads.

The fewer obstacles our sweepers have, the faster they can move while doing a more complete job without having to return.”

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This is serious stuff - the Regional Officer of Health has issued a Class Order; failure to comply could result in a $5000 fine.


Made pursuant to section 22(5.0.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.7, as amended

May 22, 2020

TO:  All persons residing or present in The Regional Municipality of Halton1(“Halton Region”) who:

a. Are identified as a person diagnosed with COVID-19;

b. Have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test;

c. Otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they now have one or more symptoms(even mild symptoms) of COVID-19, or have had such symptom(s) within the past 14 days;

d. A re a close contact of a person identified in a., b. or c.; or

e.  Are a parent, or person with responsibilities of a parent, of a person under 16 years of age identified in a., b., c. or

d.  who resides or is present in Halton Region.

NOTE:The symptoms of COVID-19 and what is “close contact” are explained below.

I, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Medical Officer of Health, The Regional Municipality of Halton (Halton Region Public Health), ORDER YOU TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS, effective12:01 a.m. on May 22, 2020:

1. Isolate yourself immediately and remain in isolation from all other persons (“self-isolation”).

While in self-isolation you must conduct yourself so you do not expose any another person to infection or possible infection from COVID-19.

The instructions you must follow are set out in paragraph 3 below.

2. Remain in self-isolation:i.If you are a person described in a., b. or c. above, you must remain in self-isolation for 14 days after the day on which you first showed symptom(s)of COVID-19, were tested for COVID-19 or were diagnosed with COVID-19, whichever is earliest, as long as on the 14thday you have no fever and your other symptom(s) are improving.

“No fever” means that your temperature is 37.7 degrees Celsius or lower. 1Halton Region Health Unit as designated by s.1 and Schedule 11 of R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 553 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

2  If you have a fever and/or your other symptom(s)are not improving on the 14thday, contact Halton Region Public Health for direction: 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866. If you have been hospitalized for COVID-19 and remain in hospital 14 days after your symptom(s) began, you need testing to be cleared from self-isolation. This will be done at the hospital.

ii.If you are a person described in d. above, you must remain in self-isolation until 14 daysafterthe day on which you last had close contact with a person described in paragraphs a., b. or c. above.

iii. If you have questions about what you must do, contact Halton Region Public Health for direction: 311(in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866.3.The instructions you must follow during self-isolation are in the Public Health Ontario fact sheet, How to Self-Isolate dated April 10, 2020 (or as current), attached as Schedule 1 to this Order.

All instructions in How to Self-Isolate(attached) form part of this Order.This fact sheet may be updated from time to time. You must follow the instructions in the current version attached to this Order as posted at:

Inform Halton Region Public Health if you need help to properly self-isolate or while you are self-isolating, e.g., food, water, accommodation, clothing, appropriate medical treatment and family or other religious arrangements. To do so, contact Halton Region Public Health at: 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866.5.

Seek immediate medical attention if your illness is worsening(e.g., you have difficulty breathing) by calling 911. Tell them of your COVID-19 diagnosis or symptom(s)and answer all screening questions accurately (including symptom and travel history) so that you will receive appropriate care and the right infection prevention and control precautions are taken.

3. The instructions you must follow during self-isolation are in the Public Health Ontario fact sheet, How to Self-Isolatedated April 10, 2020 (or as current), attached as Schedule 1 to this Order. All instructions in How to Self-Isolate(attached) form part of this Order.This fact sheet may be updated from time to time. You must follow the instructions in the current version attached to this Order as posted at:

4. Inform Halton Region Public Health if you need helpto properly self-isolate or while you are self-isolating, e.g., food, water, accommodation, clothing, appropriate medical treatment and family or other religious arrangements. To do so, contact Halton Region Public Health at: 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866

5.  Seek immediate medical attention if your illness is worsening(e.g., you have difficulty breathing) by calling 911. Tell them of your COVID-19 diagnosis or symptom(s)and answer all screening questions accurately (including symptom and travel history) so that you will receive appropriate care and the right infection prevention and control precautions are taken.

6. The requirements of this Order are subject to necessary modifications for the following people, who should contact Halton Region Public Health for direction specific to their circumstances (311 in Halton or toll-free 1-866-442-5866):

i. A person who, in my opinion as Medical Officer of Health, provides an essential service, for the limited purpose of providing that essential service;

ii. A person receiving essential medical services or treatments, whether related to COVID-19 or not; or

iii. Where a person’s self-isolation, in my opinion as Medical Officer of Health, would not be in the public interest.

7. Follow any further directions provided to you personally by Halton Region Public Healthpertaining to COVID-19 and the terms of this Order.

8. As provided by section 23 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the terms of this Order apply to all persons under 16 years of age as served upon their parent(s), and any other person(s) who have the responsibilities of a parent, in relation to the person under 16 years of age, who shall ensure compliance with the Order by the person under 16 years of age.

The reasons for this Order are that:1.COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel coronavirus, is designated as a disease of public health significance and a communicable disease pursuant to Ontario Regulation 135/18 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.2.COVID-19 can cause acute and severe respiratory illness in humans.

The spread of COVID-19 is of immediate and compelling public health importance in Halton Region:

a.On January 23, 2020, Halton Region Public Health initiated its Infectious Disease Emergency Response Plan in response to COVID-19;

b.On March 11, 2020, the spread of COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization;

c. On March 17, 2020 the spread of COVID-19 was declared an emergency in Ontario pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.9, as amended, on the basis that COVID-19 constitutes a danger of major proportions;

d. On March 23, 2020, Halton Region declared a State of Emergency in support of Ontario’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic;

6. As of end of day on May 20, 2020, Ontario’s Ministry of Health reports:

a. 24,187 confirmed cases, including 1,993 deaths, for an overall case fatality rate of about 8%;

b. About 13% of cases have ever been hospitalized;c.Of those hospitalized, about 22% have received ICU care.

7.  As of end of day on May 20, 2020, Halton Region reports:

a .595 confirmed and 75 probable cases of COVID-19, including 25 deaths, for an overall case fatality rate of 4%;

b. About 13% of cases have ever been hospitalized;

c. Of those hospitalized, about 19% have received ICU care.

8. The number of cases and deaths continues to rise in Halton region and Ontario

9 .COVID-19 is now present in Halton region and therefore poses a risk to the health of the residents of Halton region.

10.The COVID-19 virus is spread from an infected person to a close contact by direct contact or when respiratory secretions from the infected person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person.

11.To contain the spread of COVID-19, individuals experiencing one or more symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or who are infected with COVID-19, as well as their close contacts, are required to isolate themselves from other people and remain in isolation until they are no longer infectious or potentially infectious; self-isolation reduces the risk that these people will spread their infection to others.

I am of the opinion, on reasonable and probable grounds that:

a. a communicable disease, COVID-19, exists or may exist or there is an immediate risk of an outbreak of this communicable disease in the health unit served by me;

b. this communicable disease presents a risk to the health of persons in the health unit served by me; and

c. the requirements specified in this Order are necessary in order to decrease or eliminate the risk to health presented by this communicable disease.

I am also of the opinion that the delivery of notice of this Order to each and every member of the class to whom it is directed is likely to cause a delay that could significantly increase the risk to the health of any person residing in Halton region, so notice shall be provided through the public media and the internet via posting at:

The following definitions apply to this Order:

“Close contact”means you are a person who, within the past 14 days:

Provided care for a COVID-19 patient, including health care workers, family member or other caregivers; or

Had other similar close physical contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 while the case was ill;or

Lived with or otherwise had close, prolonged contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 while the case was ill; or

Have been identified by Halton Region Public Health as a close contact of a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

“Halton Region Public Health”means the Medical Officer of Health or Halton Region Public Health staff acting under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health.

“Symptoms”of COVID-19as listed on the Halton Region website,

TAKE NOTICE THAT each member of the class to whom this Order is directed is entitled to a hearing by the Health Services Appeal and Review Board if the member has delivered notice in writing to me (at the address below) and to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board (at 151 Bloor Street West, 9th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1S4) requesting a hearing within 15 days after publication of this Order or otherwise in accordance with applicable law. In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak:

All requests for review, submissions, materials, and inquiries should be sent to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board by e-mail to or faxed to the Board at 416-327-8524.

Instead of mail or courier, you may email your request for review to me at: Should you wish to do so, however, please carefully consider the use of electronic communication for sensitive information. Halton Region will use reasonable means to protect your information but, due to the inherent risks of electronic communication, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

AND TAKE FURTHER NOTICE THAT although a hearing may be requested this Order takes effect when it is delivered to a member of the class or brought to the attention of a member of the class.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS ORDER may result in further legal action being taken against you under sections 36(2), 35, 102 and other relevant provisions of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS ORDER is an offence under section 101 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act for which you may be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more that $5,000.00 (for a person) for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues. If you have any questions about this Order, please contact Halton Region Public Health by telephone at 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866, or by e-mail to

Megani signature

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With Seven Cannabis Stores Operating in Burlington Police are still Arresting Suspects on Charges of Drug Trafficking

Crime 100By Staff

May 23rd, 2020



HRPS crestThe Regional Police Service made arrests in relation to a drug trafficking investigation in Burlington which began in April, 2020.

An investigation by the Burlington Street Crime Unit has led to charges against the following individuals;

Daniel GIGNAC (34 years old of Burlington)

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Methamphetamine)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Fentanyl)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
  • Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to the Public (Stun Gun and a Flick knife) – (2 counts)
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (Stun Gun and a Flick Knife)– (2 counts)
  • Possession of Stolen Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000

Yassin MOHAMED (33 years old of Burlington)

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Methamphetamine)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Fentanyl)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
  • Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to the Public (Stun Gun)
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (Stun Gun)

On May 22nd 2020, Investigators executed a search warrant at a residence in the City of Burlington and as a result, the following items were seized:

  • HRPS Seizure May 23
  • 10 grams Methamphetamine
  • 22 grams of Fentanyl
  • 23 grams of Cocaine
  • $1480.00 Canadian Currency
  • 4 cell phones
  • 3 digital scales
  • 1 Stun Gun
  • 1 Flick Knife
  • Stolen Ontario licence plate

$8,500 worth of drugs was seized as a result of the search warrant. (Photo attached).

Both Daniel GIGNAC and Yassin MOHAMED have been released from custody pending a court appearance in the Town 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

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


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Round two on the Nelson Aggregate expansion begins: applications have been filed and the Jefferson Salamander has a home.

16 Rendering of bowl Golf club or main quarry

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 22nd, 2020



Brian Zeman packed five cartons of documents into his car last Thursday, put cheques totaling $350,000 into his brief case and headed south from his Barrie office.

He was filing an Application for an extension of the quarry license held by Nelson Aggregates on Colling Road west of Guelph Line.

He isn't exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

He isn’t exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

That quarry was the object of a lengthy re-licensing application in 2012 – the application was turned down because the land they wanted to mine was the habitat for the Jefferson Salamander.

Zeman is a planner who provides urban and regional planning analysis and research for MHBC clients that are involved in the aggregate resource sector.  He has considerable experience in aggregate site planning and licensing and processes relating to aggregate applications. He is a qualified and experienced aggregate Compliance Assessment Report inspector.

Having worked on this file for more than a decade Zeman knows it inside and out and can spit out statistics better than anyone I’ve heard before.

He will tell you that the application meets all the rules and regulations; that the Region has defined the area for aggregate extraction; that the City of Burlington’s Official Plan sees the area as compatible for aggregate extraction. The city will be asked to  Amend the Official Plan from Escarpment Rural Area to Mineral Resource Extraction Area.

Tighter view of the sitesNelson Aggregate believes they are onside with the Niagara Escarpment Commission and Conservation Halton.  There is a very good argument for the Conservation Authority running the parks when they are eventually  – they have solid experience with seven parks that they operate.

Each of those agencies received copies of the application, along with the appropriate fee and will now look for consultants to review the documents and return with an opinion.  The consultants that will be hired will also be paid for by Zeman’s client – Nelson Aggregates, to review the documents.

There are different views on any extension to the expansion. Under the current license the quarry can quarry where they are for the next 50 years and then sell the land to anyone who wants to buy. Zeeman points out that once the quarry has been filled with water the site would become very attractive to anyone who wanted privacy on a small island surrounded by a large lake that is private,

The current license is for a 218 hectare area from which they can extract from 210 hectares.

The demand for aggregate is solid and is expected to be so for some time. Zeman has all kinds of numbers on what has been built with aggregate from the existing quarry as well as a very strong argument for using local aggregate for local area projects: 60% of the cost of a truck load of aggregate is the cost of getting it from the quarry to the construction site.

He is quick to point out as well that the Nelson quarry contains the highest quality aggregate resource in southern Ontario.

How has aggregate from the quarry been used in Burlington?

71,375 private dwellings
47,217 driveway
734 km of city roads
34 public schools
7 community centres
The Joseph Brant Hospital and City Hall.

The province has a “close to market” policy on where aggregate is extracted.  The Nelson site has served the Halton, Hamilton and Peel markets for some time.

The Nelson quarry site is identified in the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Regional and City Official Plan as locations that can be considered for expansion of the quarry.

The licence application is to expand the area by 78.3 hectares and allow for aggregate extraction in 50.2 hectares from which they will extract +/- 30 million tonnes.  The application makes the assumption that 1 million tonnes will be extracted each year

Phasing and extraction

These are the new extraction areas.  A former golf club (still operating) on the left and farm land on the right.

When there is quarry work being done – there are water concerns. The Nelson site is no different. The site has been operational since 1953 during which time there have been no adverse impacts to existing residential and agriculture wells. There have been studies including hydrogeology, karst, surface water modelling. The predicted effects on ground water levels are consistent with existing quarry, and significant available groundwater resources remain through the development and closure phases.

Nelson has, on several occasion re-drilled a well for an area resident or farm operation.

Air pollution and noise – they are also part of extraction work.

There have been complaints yet the reports from the consultants, who are all certified, maintain that “with respect to health impacts (for air quality) the study determined that no significant health impacts are expected.”

Quarries are seen as noisy operations. The dynamite blasting is tightly controlled – they can blast once a week and only at a prescribed time. In the past there have been complaints about blasting when there was no blasting taking place.  The blasting that does take place is carried out by professional engineers who design the blast and monitor what takes place. Nelson doesn’t get anywhere near that blasting. Sirens are sounded and the blasting takes place on a specific day (Add to this) and at a specific time that is broadcast to the community. An email is sent out.

A quarry is a big hole in the ground that does impact the natural heritage.  The proposed southern extension does not contain any key natural heritage features.

The proposed west extension is predominantly an active golf course with a single butternut tree; three golf course maintenance building.
Traffic patterns will not change as a result of either extension.  The proposed extension includes a maximum limit of 2 million tonnes each year. Nelson expects to ship 1 million tonnes each year.  Shipping will continue from the existing exit-entrance on #2 Side Road east to Guelph Line.

Rickli studio

The Walt Rickli studio, that produce sculptures that have been sold world wide were once done on the site

While there isn’t all that much in the way of cultural heritage resources in the area; the biggest cultural resource was the Walt Rickli sculpture operation that once rented space from the quarry. He had to find a new home when Nelson wanted to aggregate underneath his big shop. Rickli is quick to say that Nelson was very fair and gave him all the time he needed to move his equipment.

There are no significant built heritage; there are no significant archeological resources nor are there any significant heritage landscapes.

The application points out that the site is private property and could continue to operate as a quarry for another 50 years. It would operate at reduced production and would primarily supply the onsite asphalt plant.

They believe there is potential for future underground mining that could further extend the life of the quarry.

Private landThe quarry is prepared to consider selling the land with the following:

Private lake with 1 residence
8 rural residential lots
2 farm lots

Taking up 317 hectares

The Nelson quarry application takes a much bigger view – they believe there is an opportunity to create a magnificent park – two of them actually.

One on the north side of #2 Side Road where there would be the Jefferson Salamander habitat and then a small lake.

On the north side of the road there would be a huge park with every amenity you would want to see in a park.

Nelson describes it as a unique opportunity to significantly enhance public open space.

What could be doneLegendNelson quarry would deed the land to either the Region or the city who would be expected to develop the park.

Yes – that park would be built sometime in the future’

However – some of the land would be turned over quickly

To date there hasn’t been much in the way of comment or reaction from either the ward councillor or the Mayor.

Rory Nisan, the ward Councillor at one point said he was not going to meet with the Nelson Aggregate people because he didn’t want to have anyone influence his thinking.

Mayor Meed Ward has said she has no interest in the idea until the rehabilitation of the site has been completed.  Most recently she said she is waiting until the application is complete. To be politically realistic there isn’t all that much in the way of political Brownie points for the politicians.

The residents of the community have no time for the quarry they have; they were delighted when they won the last battle for an expansion application.  They see the rural community as something that is there home and they don’t want any change. Nimbyism defined.

Burlington’s population is growing – people will want to get out into the country where they can do something.  The locals would just as soon keep that country side to themselves.

Long term thinkers would have cozied up to this opportunity and begun now crafting how the opportunity could be maximized.

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Five Conservation Authority parks are open - reservations required.

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 22nd, 2020



CH Kelso Summit

Late afternoon sun bounces off the wall of the Kelso Summit

Conservation Halton will be opening five of its seven parks this weekend.

But you won’t be able to just drive up and walk along trails.

The Conservation Authority wants to control the number of people in each park and has set up a reservation system. It is a little on the complex side.

The reservation system will go live on May 21. Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Rattlesnake Point, Mount Nemo and Kelso Summit (biking only) will be open to members and to the public, for paid access, from 9am-9pm. Other parks and facilities will be added in the coming weeks.

Park reservation graphic

To get to the reservation system CLICK HERE.

The new reservation system will allow the Conservation Authority to predict and monitor the number of people in the parks through an online reservation platform. From this point forward, parks visitors and members will be required to make a reservation prior to their visit. (The pilot has shown us that this process should take no more than 1 minute.)

Here is how it works: After you have made your online reservation, and arrived at the park, you will drive up to the gate and stop. Your license plate will be scanned and the gate will open. If there is any issue with your license plate, a gate attendant will scan the barcode on your ticket. (The pilot has shown us that this process should take no more than 10-15 seconds.)

Being able to predict and monitor the number of people in the parks means that we can create the conditions needed for physical distancing, but this system will offer a number of other benefits, even once things are back to normal.

CH Rattlesnake Point

Rattlesnake Point

For you, as a visitor, this system will show you which parks are busy and which are not, right down to the minute, before you leave your house. We know it can be frustrating to get ready for a hike, drive out to a park and then be faced with a lineup, so we hope that this system will prevent that. For us, this system will allow us to improve the experience of visiting our parks and reduce the impact that visitors have on our parks for a more efficient, enjoyable and sustainable approach to park management. We want you to enjoy nature when you come to our parks, not wait in lineups.

How many spots will there be?

With five parks open, we estimate there are about 15,000 time slots per week available for visitor households to reserve, to safely accommodate about 75,000 visitors across the parks, each week. We feel this should be enough to meet the needs of our members and the public, but we will be using feedback to improve our model as needed.

CH Mt Nemo

Mt Nemo offers relaxing walks and stupendous views.

Having to pay for admittance to the parks may come as a surprise to some people. In a study done a number of years ago people were asked how they felt about their being an admittance fee. Most were comfortable with a fee providing it was reasonable.

The temporarily reduced rates are $6.50 for adults, $5 for child or senior, under 5 are free.  Members will be able to access the parks as part of their membership.


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Bateman High School Closing has to a viral event.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 22nd, 2020



It was a different school. It had character and was truly diverse

It was a vibrant school.

FIRE Bateman principal at siren

School principal Mark Duley using an older model of a fire siren to get student attention.

The fight to keep it open lasted longer than many people expected but the end has come

Closed for the last quarter of the year Robert Bateman will hold a virtual closing event on June 18th.

The Halton District School Board is organizing a virtual celebration of Robert Bateman High School (2004-2020) on Thursday, June 18, 2020, 7 p.m. at in lieu of an in-person event, given current public health restrictions on large gatherings.

Robert Bateman High School will close its doors at the end of June 2020 after 16 years; with students moving to nearby Nelson High School and the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) students moving to Burlington Central High School.

Closing Bateman was part of the re-alignment of the seven high schools that were reduced to five.

High school students have taken to the streets in the past to make their point; in this situation the Robert BAteman High School made their point.

High school students have taken to the streets in the past to make their point.

The original plan was to close Central high school along with Lester B. Pearson. After vigorous public debate the decision was to close Bateman and Pearson high school.

The closing celebrations will recognize and honour the diversity and talents of current and former students and staff.

Robert Bateman High School students, staff and alumni are encouraged to share their memories of RBHS with a picture or short video sent to the organizing committee via email at by Tuesday, June 2. These memories will be included in the online school closing celebrations.

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

Despite vigorous protests the parents were not able to make the board, particularly the trustees make the best choice.

Current students, staff, and alumni who wish to have an artifact or piece of memorabilia from Robert Bateman HS are encouraged to visit the RBHS Memorabilia and Artifact website to see what is available and learn how to request an item. The website will be live on Monday, May 25. Please check back as items will continue to be added.

Further information and event updates will be posted on the Robert Bateman High School website (, Facebook Page RBHS Celebrations, Twitter @RBHScelebration and Instagram @RBHScelebrations.

If schools are able to move forward with large in-person gatherings for graduating students this fall, in accordance with public health guidelines, the HDSB plans to incorporate school closing activities into that event.


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City manager: The emails, the emails - they're killing him

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 21st, 2020



The day to day operations of the city are in the hands of the Emergency Coordinating Group (ECG) which reports directly and daily to both the Councillors and the Mayor.

The ECG is a Committee of Council that operates under Council’s emergency management bylaws.

That group is in the hands of City Manager Tim Commisso (he co-chairs with Alan Magi – they rotate daily) they are ably supported by the best the city has in terms of administrative leaders.

Tim’s day start at a bit before 7:30 – and he is at it for the full day and at times into the evening.

His lens is his computer monitor and Zoom where he talks to the different sub groups that have been created,

Tim Commisso - finger up hard eyes

City manager Tim Commisso is facing the most challenging problem he has ever faced in his career.

He is tired – not burnt out – but there are limits on how long anyone can last.

Commisso has been around the municipal world much of his professional life so he knows the lay of the land – he has a depth of experience that is critical at this point.

There isn’t an issue that crops up every day that doesn’t impact on other issues – which is normal but with a COVID crisis going on the safety of the public becomes paramount.

And that public is not always that easy to serve. The bylaw problems with people who seem unable to understand simple basic rules that related to the way they had to handle their dogs in parks has been taking up valuable time.

Commisso faces financial pressures – revenue has gone to the rats – expenses keep climbing. The number of monitors the city had to buy for people working at home from lap tops wasn’t something that was budgeted for. Every communication, at least the important ones where a number of people are involved gets done on line. Three months of that without a high end monitor – not possible.

In an exclusive interview Commisso said the situation he faces is more difficult than anything he has had to deal with before.

The biggest problems is the emails “they never stop coming”

All the part time staff were laid off – 700 of them – when the shutdown of the city took place – now he has to begin calling some of them back; he has called back 92 so far and expects to have to bring back more.

Sheila Jones

Sheila Jones Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability

Dealing with the COVID based issues is prime – at the same time Commisso has Sheila Jones,  Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability working on the service re-design. COVID has taught the city that they will have to do things differently in the post COVID world.

Municipalities have always been the bottom rung on the political ladder; the crisis has ratcheted up the directions the province hands down and there are problems when what the province says publicly isn’t always fully reflected in the regulations. And in Tim Commisso’s world the regulations are the meat on the bones.

Normally the interaction with the Regional Public Health Unit is limited to some rabies cases and an outbreak of measles. Now Commisso has to be constantly aware of the reports that come out of the public health unit – if the number of new infections rise – he has to scale back some of the services, especially in parks and recreation or anything that involves people directly.

It is the minutia that keeps Commisso hopping from issue to issue.

By law person

Grant Ziliotto – Manager of Municipal Law Enforcement, Licensing and Animal Services

There are eight bylaw control officers, some are working 12 hour shifts on duty from 8 am to 11pm.

Ensuring that the team is functioning and being aware of those who aren’t doing all that well is a challenge. Every Commisso interaction is through the monitor where it isn’t always easy to catch the small signs that someone needs some help. “The BLT (Burlington Leadership Team) has proven to be a great resource – the managers can talk very openly about where the problems are in their domains and where the help is needed.

The stress is part of every day and at times, said Commisso, they have to figure it out on their own.

Keeping it all together is challenging – even more challenging for the administration is the really big decisions that will have to be faced once we are out from under the virus. No one really knows when that will be – the experts maintain that every pandemic the world has experience has had a second wave. Some in the medical world argue that we are not ready for a second wave of infection.

Commisso, who technically no longer reports to city council – he is working under Emergency legislation, is grateful for the way city Councillors have been supportive.

Those big decisions are going to land in the Council Chamber where they will rub up against budget constraints.

City hall - older pic

Changes to the first floor of city hall – hopefully it will be more welcoming.

Before the shutdown the city was in the process of creating a new Customer Support service – it was being centralized and designed to be more responsive and create ways for individuals to look in on the issue they had with the city and find out how it was progressing – all on line.

Commisso wanted a friendlier looking main floor at city hall and a better working environment for staff and more room – what was going to call for some construction.

There isn’t that much money available for anything new – Commisso and Treasurer Joan Ford are scouring the Reserve funds to see if there is a funding source and if that work can be done while city hall is closed.

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Leash free parks for the dogs - open at 3:00 pm today.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

May 21st, 2020



Straight from the mouth of the Mayor.

Leash free dog space open at 3:00 pm this afternoon.

Expect to see Her Worship at the park closest to her home.

Leash free MMW

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Region hopes to convince the province to defer the construction of a new Court House rather than cancel it.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 21st, 2020



Yesterday, Regional Council unanimously endorsed a resolution asking the Provincial Government to postpone, rather than cancel, the Halton Consolidated Courthouse project. The new courthouse was expected to replace aging courthouses in Milton and Burlington which have experienced ongoing resourcing and security issues.

It also would have brought much needed economic stimulus to Halton along with approximately 600 jobs. Council feels strongly that the shovel-ready project is critical to post-COVID-19 recovery of the local economy and it is ideal as a federal-provincial infrastructure stimulus project.

Milton Court House

The existing Court House has been stretched beyond its limit – the property it sits on in Milton on Steeles will be a prime location for something in the distant future.

“Halton Region along with Halton Regional Police Service and other key stakeholders in the justice system have strongly supported the position that the Milton and Burlington courthouses are unable to serve the needs of residents in our community and that without question, both need to be replaced,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “We fully recognize the financial challenges facing the Provincial Government as a result of the pandemic but are asking them to postpone this project, not cancel it, based on the critical services it would provide to our community and the impact on our Regional economy.”

This has been a long standing advocacy issue for Halton, in 2015 Council passed a resolution urging the Provincial Government to proceed with a new courthouse in Halton. The new facility would bring the Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice operations in Milton and Burlington together in one state of the art, accessible and efficient facility in Oakville.

The conditions of the courthouse facilities have long been a source of concern for many in Halton. Both the Milton and Burlington courthouses do not have enough functional courtrooms and lack resources. Halton Police Chief Steven Tanner has stated that the Milton courthouse is “dangerous and is considered beyond repair and beyond renovation.” The Honourable Geoffrey B. Morawetz Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice has acknowledged that the cancellation of the Halton Consolidated Courthouse Project is an access to justice issue and underscores the overall lack of functional courtrooms in the Central West Region.

Court house location - McMahon

The Liberal Wynne government,represented by then MO Eleanor McMahon, made the announcement to build a new Court House – it was to be located in Oakville on land the province already owned.

With today’s Council resolution, Halton Regional Council is adding their voices to call on the Provincial Government to reconsider their decision. The Province has already invested a significant amount of money in the project which was already in the procurement stage. It is the hope of Regional Council that with enough community pressure, construction of the Halton Consolidated Courthouse could go ahead at some point in the future.

The existing Courthouse in Milton is certainly limited. During the Air Park trials those who wanted to attend were literally packed into a tiny room.

But at some point someone has to look at the spending – if the hope is to deferal – it will be a decade before a shovel goes into the ground.

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Dog owners get a break - they have been feelings like a harassed community. End of Friday is there freedom at last day

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 19th, 2020



The dogs won.

City hall is working furiously to open leash-free dog areas and most City park parking lots by end of day on Friday, May 22, 2020.


Dogs have been waiting for months to be able to do this legally. City expects their owners to adhere to the six foot rule.

Toronto made the move – Burlington is feeling the pressure from the dog owner community – the plea from the city is to encourage everyone to follow public health directions and Provincial orders to physically distance themselves a minimum of six feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The bylaw officers have had a very difficult time getting people to keep their dogs on short leashes and to not congregate – they clearly don’t understand dog owners and dog owners clearly don’t take all that well to bylaw.

There was one day last week when a reported seven tickets – with a potential $750 fine – were given out in a single day.

Runners two dogs we know what this is about

Not hard to figure why the guy in red is out for a walk.

All City-owned leash-free dog areas, parking lots and tennis courts are scheduled to be opened by end of day Friday, May 23 with the exceptions of:

1. The west parking lot at Spencer Smith Park (ongoing construction)
2. LaSalle Park Marina parking lot (ongoing construction)
3. Lowville Park parking lot (continued crowd management)

Residents are encouraged to leave their cars at home when visiting a park. Walk, bike or roll to your neighbourhood park.
City Multi-use Sports Fields

social distance - rural

Congregating is lovely – just adhere to the six foot rule. Our failure to do that gives the virus opportunities to spread itself every where.

The Province announced today that multi-use sports fields (such as baseball diamonds and soccer fields) can be opened. Families can now enjoy our publicly accessible sports fields (areas not locked and enclosed with fencing) with members of their own household for casual play. Only family members from the same household are able to be within six feet of each other. The City of Burlington will provide further information regarding our sports fields by Friday, May 23.

In the meantime, organized group sports are still not permitted due to Provincial emergency orders. Requirements need to be in place by provincial sport organizations before permitted field use can be re-introduced. The City will work in collaboration with local sport organizations and as the specifics are provided, an implementation plan will be finalized.

Provincial emergency orders remain in effect that limit the number of people in a gathering to five. If sports fields are used for casual purposes they are to be used at resident’s own risk; the City has not maintained or inspected sports fields during the pandemic.

IInfections by date cropped

The number of infections in the Region are increasing regularly – that is because the virus is amongst us in the community and being passed from person to person. Don’t be the person that picks it up from someone else – maintain that six foot distance.


By Provincial order, park amenities, including all washrooms and playground equipment remain closed.

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Premier Ford threatens to hammer the 'greedy landlords'

News 100 redBy Staff

May 19th, 2020



Wow – the Premier laid it on the line.

He was addressing what he called “greedy landlords” and said they needed to begin to cooperate with their tenants and find a compromise.

If they don’t he said, he was going to come down on them very hard. He was going to hammer them

He wasn’t smiling when he was speaking.

Premier with deputy May 19th

Premier threatening to hammer the “greedy landlords.”

Will it make a difference to the small business operators that are renting from large property owners?

While the Premier was speaking in a media Q&A that was running live Deputy Premier Christine Elliott was smiling in the background. We thought we could hear her saying: Go get em Dougie.

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Schools closed for the balance of the school year; summer day camps, both indoor and outdoor, may be permitted in July and August - no overnight camps

News 100 redBy Staff

May 19, 2020



The decision the province made to keep the schools closed for the balance of the school year  involved consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, and medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Group of students MMR

This is what the province doesn’t want to see – students congregating the way students do – the virus would jump from person to person in situations like this.

The government is planning for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year, the gradual reopening of child care, and the opening of summer day camps subject to the continuing progress in trends of key public health indicators.

Today’s announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

All students who were on track to graduate from secondary school before the initial school closure order was made in March will be able to graduate, and all students will receive report cards.

MMW with students

Classroom scenes like this return in September – if the COVID infection rates are kept low.

Later this summer, the government will announce a plan to strengthen learning and safety protocols to enable students and staff to return to in-class instruction for the 2020-21 school year. That plan will be bolstered by an enhanced province-wide virtual learning program that will allow all students to learn, regardless of the challenges that may transpire in the coming months.

Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed for the safety and protection of children, families and staff through Stage 1 of the Framework for Reopening the Province. Emergency child care will continue to operate and provide support for health care and other frontline workers. A gradual reopening of child care is expected to begin when the province is ready to transition to Stage 2 based on public health criteria, which will include robust safety protocols for the safety of Ontario’s youngest learners and their staff.

Funny hats and smiling faces - all part of the summer day camp experience.

Funny hats and smiling faces – all part of the summer day camp experience.

Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, summer day camps, both indoor and outdoor, may be permitted in July and August of this year with strict health and safety guidelines to be developed in partnership with local public health, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and municipalities.

Overnight camps will not be permitted to operate in the summer of 2020.

The province also unveiled an expanded seven-point summer learning plan to ensure Ontario students have every opportunity to continue their learning through the summer months. Summer learning programs are being expanded to reach the most students in Ontario history, to ensure they remain on track to start the 2020-21 school year with the confidence and knowledge required to succeed.


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Closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout in force until May 29th

News 100 redBy Staff

May 19th, 2020


The hard news is in the first couple of paragraphs.

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force until May 29, 2020.

Brant street getting ready

Those chairs are going to have to stay empty for a little while longer.

That includes the closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only, restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters. The government is also allowing drive-in religious gatherings.

Today, the province officially enters the first stage of its Framework for Reopening the Province. As part of this initial stage, the government is permitting the reopening of some outdoor recreational amenities, including outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, off-leash dog areas, and outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in parks and recreational areas, effective as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, fitness equipment, public swimming pools, splash pads and similar outdoor water facilities will remain closed until later stages of the province’s reopening plan.

driving range May 16

Six feet – swinging those clubs can work up quite a sweat.

“Although we are entering the first stage of our framework to reopen the economy, it’s critical that we continue to do so in a safe and responsible manner,” said Premier Ford. “The people of Ontario have been doing a fantastic job to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of this terrible virus. With warmer weather beginning, individuals and families will now be able to enjoy many outdoor amenities, but everyone must continue to maintain physical distancing from those outside of their household.”

To ensure that individuals and families have safe access to outdoor spaces, it is critical they take everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus, such as maintaining physical distancing by staying two metres apart from anyone outside of their household, washing hands regularly, and staying home if feeling unwell.

Extending the dates supports the government’s plan to cautiously and safely reopen businesses, services and amenities in a way that will enable the province to continue to protect the health and safety of Ontarians.

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