Community Development Halton announces new Executive Director

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Community Development Halton announces the appointment of a new Executive Director.

CDH logo“After a thorough and rigorous search process the Board of Directors of Community Development Halton announced that Michael Nixon will become the Executive Director, effective immediately.

Miike Nixon

Mike Nixon: newly appointed Executive Director of Community Development Halton.

“Nixon is a Halton resident and brings significant business experience and community knowledge.

“Nixon will take over from the recently retired Dr. Joey Edwardh.

“A business entrepreneur during the past couple of years, Mike comes to us from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. A 30-year veteran of the non-profit sector, Mike holds a BA from McMaster University and has served on several Boards of Directors. He brings a high level of corporate interaction as well as fundraising and donor relations experience.

“Nixon is a highly experienced, successful and well-regarded business leader. He will provide leadership to the organization, oversee program management, community relations, financial planning and management, and support to the board of directors. Mike will serve as the main public contact and spokesperson for the organization and represent the company and all professional business capacities.

“Nixon and his wife, Cindy, have been married for almost 35 years and are the proud parents of two daughters. He is an avid golfer and home renovator and at home has a passion for baking. He and his family have long supported Halton Children’s Aid through the fostering of several babies over the years.

“Over the coming weeks Nixon will be connecting with major stakeholders and officials throughout the Region to introduce himself and to better understand their needs and concerns”.

“Nixon can be reached via email at mnixon@cdhalton.ca or by phone at 905-632-1975, or toll-free at 1-855-395-8807.”

Community Development HAlton is funded by the Region of Halton and the Hamilton-Halton United Way. It has a staff of about seven; some of whom have been laid off during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Return to the Front page

Burlington has the lowest number of COVID19 cases in the Region - but this week was 10 higher than last week.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Despite a report that there are infections at two units of the Joseph Brant Hospital the picture overall for the Region is, on balance, showing the results of staying home and being very careful when you do have to go out.

A full report on data released by the Regional Public Health Unit will follow later today – there is one indicator that will leave Burlingtonians feeling quite positive.

Figure shows that by end of the day on April 12, the greatest number of COVID-19 cases were among residents of Oakville (with 122 cases, or 34%). Please note this figure shows counts, and therefore does not take into account the different population sizes or age structures of the four municipalities. Counts in municipalities can also be inflated by outbreaks that have occurred within institutions in their boundaries.

bu municipality

Data as at April 8th, 2020

The visuals tell part of the story.  Number of COVID-19 cases for each municipality in the Region.

Municipal level

Data as at April 12th, 2020

Return to the Front page

This is about as brazen as you can get.

Crime 100By Staff

April 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is about as brazen as you can get.

Man drops by a used car dealership – looks over a car – goes for a test drive with the sales rep. The engine is shut down. Sales agent heads for the office to get some papers, customer asks if the sales guy will turn the engine on again – he wants to listen to it – we will let the police tell the rest of this story.

The Halton Regional Police Service is asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect involved in a series of daytime vehicle thefts.
On April 8, 2020, the male suspect attended a dealership on Fairview Street in the City of Burlington. The male inquired about a 2017 Black Range Rover at the dealership. The male requested to see the vehicle in order to check out some of the features. Once the sales person shut the vehicle off; the male asked to hear the engine again and asked for the keys to start the Range Rover. The male suspect then proceeded to get into the Range Rover and drive away at a high rate of speed out of the dealership lot.

This same suspect is responsible for two other similar style vehicle thefts. These thefts took place on March 29, 2020 in the Town of Oakville and again on March 30, 2020 in City of Burlington. During those vehicle thefts, the male suspect proceeded to steal a 2015 Black Mercedes S550 (Oakville Dealership) and a 2018 Black Mercedes E400 (Online Private Sale). During all three incidents, male suspect was left alone with the vehicle keys briefly and was able to drive away with these vehicles.

Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect responsible for these vehicle thefts.

Brazen - keys 1

If you know this man and can identify him …

Brazen keys 2

Call Crime Stoppers.

Suspect is described as a male, white, with a slim build, 170lbs and was between 5’11” and 6″ in height with short brown hair. He was wearing a black jacket and white shirt and had black sunglasses on. The suspect appeared to be between the age of 30-40 years.

If anyone has information about the identity of the suspect, please contact Detective Constable Colin MacLeod of the 30 Division Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825 4747 ext. 2357.

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

 

Return to the Front page

Drivers are still getting caught while impaired, blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours

Crime 100By Staff

April 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With a near total lock down of the community a number of people managed to find time to ingest or swallow stuff that doesn’t register so well with a police office who pulls you over.

Impaired Driving Offences Within Halton Region

On April 6, 2020 just after 3:30 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Kerr Street and Speers Road in Oakville. As a result of an investigation, Khaleq Noori (27) of Barrie was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On April 6, 2020 just before 8:30 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Main Street South and Guelph Street in Halton Hills. As a result of an investigation, Adam Knee (38) of Georgetown was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On April 7, 2020 just before 1:30 am, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Guelph Line and Prospect Street in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Brent Lalonde (27) of Burlington was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On April 8, 2020, just before 4:00 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a citizen-initiated complaint in the area of Thomas Alton Boulevard and Columbus Drive in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Stacey George (42) of Burlington was charged with blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On April 11, 2020, just after 2:30 am, Halton Police officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of Millside Drive and Martin Street in Milton. As a result of an investigation, Carlos Marticorena (24) of Hamilton was charged with operation while impaired.

On April 12, 2020, at approximately 9:30 pm, Halton Police officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of Britannia Road West and Thompson Road South in Milton. As a result of an investigation, Nitin Jain (42) of Milton was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

The Halton Regional Police Service remains committed to road safety through prevention, education and enforcement initiatives.
Members of the public are reminded that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a crime in progress and to call 9-1-1 immediately to report a suspected impaired driver.

The Service’s Twitter and Facebook accounts should not be used for this purpose as they are not monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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

If you have been named in a police report and after going through the judicial procedure and were found not guilty of what you were charged with, or the police dropped the charge, be in touch with the Publisher of the Gazette and we will pull the original report and publish the results of the trial if you wish.

Return to the Front page

Food Bank takes a break to re-organize and sort what they have to put in the hampers that they deliver.

News 100 blueBy Robin Bailey

April 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help have them email us at info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at the door. If you live in Burlington, we are here to help.

Diane Gris

Diane Gris – the woman who manages the volunteers – keeps an eye on things while doing an interview.

Robin Bailey reports that: “Diane Gris was in this morning organizing our the volunteers as we prepare for the week ahead.

“Our doors are closed today however several volunteers are working in order to prepare for Tuesday.
“It’s a much-needed chance to regroup; Volunteers are busy going through the stock we have in house and doing some organization.

Jane F Food Bank

Jane Newton – all-star volunteer with more than 100 hours logged – so far.

“Jane Newton started going through the personal hygiene, cosmetics and toiletry inventory. Jane is one of our hall of fame volunteers having donated over 100 hours already. Having a long-weekend doesn’t mean the same thing as it used to but for our Food Bank it means we can relax a bit more and prepare.

“Diane mentions that it’s been three weeks since we implemented the delivery at home model and we had hoped to transition completely to delivery by now. I guess this week will tell how successful we’ve been doing that. We can’t thank our volunteers enough.

You can follow just what it is the volunteers do at the Food Bank.  Latest Today’s update

 

Return to the Front page

To 'retain our humanity in times of such crisis and give our patients’ family some solace that they were treated with dignity'.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 12th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Sunday habit is for one of us to walk up the lane to pick up the newspapers: she reads the Star; I read the Sunday New York Times.

I am convinced I get the better value but we share headlines and editorial cartoons.

covid virusThe Times this Sunday is almost wall to wall COVID-19 coverage or where President Trump dropped the ball.

New York City is reporting COVID-19 deaths of 800 a day and putting bodies in refrigerated trucks until they can determine where they can be sent.

A reporter managed to get into two hospitals, the Jack D Weiler Hospital and the Montefiore Medical Centre’s Moses division in the Bronx, to witness and document the chaos, panic, fear and bravery that takes place minute after minute.

Dr. Michael Jones who runs the physician resident program at both hospitals sent his young doctors an email last month asking them to go out of their way to comfort the COVID-19 patients.

Take a few moments if you can to talk about patients’ families, their lives, their dreams. Ask if there is a loved one you can call. And lastly, two very different things; hold your patient’s hand for a minute as they near death or pass, and ask your entire team to stop for five or ten seconds, bow your heads, state the patient’s name and ask for silence.

This helps us retain our humanity in times of such crisis and gives our patients’ family some solace that they were treated with dignity.

Return to the Front page

You elected her - now please listen to her: STAY HOME

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mayor is pushing the message again and again – she has been relentless, which at this point in time is the most important job she has.

In the photograph below people are milling about in Union Square in New York City. The photograph was taken March 21, a scant three weeks ago.

Union Sq markeet garden NY City

Photograph taken three weeks ago – the COVID-19 virus was in the air then – they didn’t know that.

Yesterday, the Governor of the State of New York announced that there were 799 deaths in one day in the city.

covid virus

This red spikes are the part of the virus that attaches itself to us. Fascinating article in the Saturday Globe and Mail that explains what we are up against in great detail.

The COVID-19 virus is literally in the air – we are transmitting it from person to person and in the process killing each other.

The way we stop this is to just stop going outside.

Difficult, yes. Very hard for some. Close to impossible for others.

But that is what we are up against.

We have to dig down deep and do what we are being asked to do. Stay inside; if you decide to go out – stay away from other people.

For those who would like to understand this disease we are fighting there is an excellent news feature in the Saturday Globe and Mail. It is complex, actually quite fascinating, to learn how this virus attaches itself to us and how the scientists are looking for way to combat it.

The Mayor’s message is clear – sure you may have heard it yesterday, and the day before. Listen to it again and pay attention – your life depends on it.

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Please stay home and self-isolate, engage in physical distancing and only go outside for essentials, such as food and medical needs or appointments.

Residents with symptoms are to self-isolate at home for 14 days and ask family, friends or neighbours to safely drop off supplies to you.

This is required to keep each other safe and healthy and to “flatten the curve.”

The longer we stay apart now, the sooner we can come together again.

Look at those numbers out of New York City – 799 dead in a single day.

Return to the Front page

276 calls related to intimate partner abuse were made to the police in March alone - 150 charges laid.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Maintaining a healthy intimate relationship is a challenge at the best of times. And these are not the best of times.

There is a lot of emotional stress, financial stress and worry over how things are going to work out.

In many households, far too many – the stats make it clear that there is significant violence in some relationships.

In March 2020, our officers responded to 276 calls related to intimate partner violence and laid 121 charges. For reference from the previous year in March 2019, our officers responded to 289 calls related to intimate partner violence and laid 150 charges.

The police recognize that intimate partner violence often goes unreported to police.

violence intimate

Every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

That is why is the Service is asking that everyone looks out for their relatives, friends, neighbours and co-workers, who they suspect may not be safe at home. Check in on them regularly, establish a ‘signal’ word and call for help if you think that they are in danger.

“Now, more than ever, victims of intimate partner violence need the support of their community,” says Deputy Chief Hill.” In a time of isolation, we must show victims that they are not alone and that help is available.”

Victims or friends/family of victims are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service, Halton Women’s Place or other community resources if intimate partner violence is happening. Shelters across Halton are still open at this time and Halton Women’s Place continues to offer services. Help is available.

You are not alone. Victims of intimate partner violence or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in Halton Region for victims of intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence:

• Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777
• Halton Women’s Place 905-878-8555 (north) or 905-332-7892 (24-hour crisis line)
• Halton Children’s Aid Society 905-333-4441 or 1-866-607-5437
• Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
• Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)

Return to the Front page

It could be more than two years before we learn just how expensive that CRM system that never really got off the ground is going to cost to achieve lift off

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Keeping up to date on the reports the Finance department sends to council means learning something new every day.

There was an item in the operating budget performance report that caught our eye. It has to do with computer software maintenance and the positive variance (which means they didn’t spend all the money they had budgeted) item in budget performance

Audit Morgan and FAbi

Former City Clerk Angela Morgan, on the right, explaining to council part of what went wrong with the CRM system. Morgan is now the Executive Lead on Customer Experience.

We thought that the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that had all the wheels fall off at the same time and had to be sent back for a complete rebuild would have come under that computer software maintenance entry.

Turns out that is not the case.

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.

City Treasurer Joan Ford runs the tightest shop in the city.

Joan Ford, City Treasurer explained that “The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software is a capital project (not part of the operating budget performance report). Capital projects are generally carried out over more than one year. We annually provide a capital closure report to council (the next one will be on the May cycle of meetings). The CRM capital project is not ready for closure at this time so will not be included in the report.”

Which means it will be as much as another 18 months before the project is re-done and then we see a closure report. That’s so far off that we could well be into deciding who the members of the next city council will be.

The screw up with the CRM took place before the current council was elected – before the current city manager was brought in.

Ridge shilling 2

James Ridge – CRM mess took place on his watch.

The prize for this cock-up goes to the former city manager James Ridge; he was ushered out the door some time ago.

The problems with the CRM became public when Council members found the CRM didn’t work for them. What no one knew at the time was that Sheila Jones, who was then the city auditor, was writing a report on how serious the problem was. It was a humdinger. Her report resulted in what had been done getting redone and the people who dropped the ball were no longer around to be held accountable.

Most of those who quietly left the city will probably be found working in some other municipality.

That’s the way things tend to work in the municipal sector.

Related news stories:

Councillor Kearns has a beef.

The report

The fallout

Return to the Front page

Mayor unable to take part in the Front Line Clap this Friday evening.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor with iPad on deck

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward preparing her iPad for the Front Line Clap Out she performed from the veranda of her house.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will not be talking part this Friday in the Front Line Clap Out she organized hoping that it would be celebrated across the city.

Her office reports that she is otherwise engaged.

While the response to the event was tepid at best on the street the Mayor lives on it was popular elsewhere in the city.

Quite popular actually.

Comments from Gazette readers:

 

  • FYI The Strata at 551 Maple was there front and centre, shouting from balconies, clapping, blowing horns,whistling. We are also there every day at 6 p m. and join in on other tributes. Kind of like if a tree falls in the woods and you didn’t see it did it really fall? So, yes for the record, we supported our Mayor and our front line.

  • Alfred

    A Frontliner Day should be declared for Halton Region or Burlington. So we have some time to notify and inform the masses and really show our gratitude. I’m sure we can work with social media and businesses to promote this day and work within the parameters of safe social distancing.(No group settings). Burlington Stay Strong!

  • numnum

    we should have an ENCORE..this time we will spread the news and we should use pots and pans and even car horns.Let our noise reach toronto to show the frontliners that we really appreciate what they are doing

  • Jim Young

    Great response on Daryl Drive in Aldershot. Lots of folks on balconies at Drewlo building at 945 banging pots, ringing bells, waving flags to neighbours on porches in surrounding courts. We’ve been doing this every night for a week now. The two minutes we spend on our balconies to thank all who are helping fight this, is also a great way to break the monotony of 24 hour isolation and reconnect with neighbours at a safe distance. Doing this every night we find the numbers keep growing. Those working to combat this pandemic deserve our two minutes.

  • Angela

    Sorry we weren’t louder over at Pearl and Lakeshore for Marianne to hear us. All three buildings were clapping, making noise and cheering with thanks for the front line workers … with a special thx to the staff at Pearl and Pine Retirement for the tremendous job they are doing taking such good care of the residents. We are out/will be out each night at 7:30pm in recognition of these amazing heroes..

  • William MacKinnon

    South East Burlington. We were out there with our neighbours. Clapping and cheering.
    Helps break the feeling of isolation. Chatted safely and checked in with neighbours.
    William

  • Susan

    Silvan Forest drive north walkers line. There was some noise up here
    I don’t believe everyone was aware of the event

  • Lots of activity where I live near the hospital

  • Don Fletcher

    There were people clapping & banging pots on their balconies along Lakeshore, in view of Joseph Brant Hospital, but not in large numbers. I’m married to a career ER nurse at JBH and President of the nurses’ union there, and I know that all front line staff value gestures of kindness & appreciation. Theirs are largely thankless jobs. We are in the calm before the storm on COVID-19 & I am confident residents will become more enthusiastic in their support in the tough weeks to come.

 

 

Return to the Front page

COVID results for the Region of Halton - Burlington numbers are re-assuring

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Data – data and more data.

Getting a grip on what is actually happening in Burlington and how we compare to those next door to us – is now possible. The Region released a report earlier today setting out where things stood as of April 8th.

It’s a sobering report but Burlington is going Ok – much better than the province overall.

There were 140 COVID-19 cases reported to Halton Region Public Health since the last update (125 confirmed + 15 probable)

There were 264 COVID-19 cases reported to Halton Region Public Health to date (249 confirmed + 15 probable)

report date

Figure 1: COVID-19 cases, by reported date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Apr. 8, 2020: shows the 264 COVID-19 cases that had been reported to Halton Region Public Health by end of the day on April 8. All cases have been graphed according to the date they were reported, which is often several days after the onset of symptoms. Among the cases in this figure, 140 were reported since the last update (meaning they were reported between April 2 and April 8, 2020).

Individuals who are lab-confirmed cases are shown in green. Individuals who are probable cases are shown in orange. Probable cases are epi-linked cases, which means they are presumed to have COVID-19 because they are symptomatic close contacts of cases or returning travelers who have COVID-19 symptoms.

Case demographics

bu municipality

COVID-19 cases, by municipality of residence, Halton Region, 2020. graphic shows that by end of the day on April 8, the greatest number of COVID-19 cases were among residents of Oakville (with 102 cases, or 39%). Please note that because Burlington and Oakville have larger populations, it is expected that they have more cases.

by exposure

Graphic shows that by end of the day on April 8, 106 of Halton Region’s COVID-19 cases (40%) had no known travel or contact history, and therefore were believed to have acquired the virus within Ontario, making them community cases. 68 of the cases (26%) had a history of travel that was believed to have been the source of their infection. 56 cases (21%) had contact with a confirmed case that was believed to be the source of infection. Information on exposure source was pending for 34 cases (13%).

Age specific

Chart shows that by end of the day on April 8, the most COVID-19 cases were among Halton residents aged 40-59 (with 113 cases, or 43%). 144 of the 264 cases (55%) were female. Please note age groups have shifted since the last report, to align with provincial reporting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gender

COVID-19 cases, by age, Halton Region, 2020

38 Halton cases of COVID-19 have ever been hospitalized to date

69 Halton cases of COVID-19 have recovered to date

4 Halton cases of COVID-19 have died to date

5 institutional outbreaks of COVID-19 reported to Halton Region Public Health since the last update

6 institutional outbreaks of COVID-19 reported to Halton Region Public Health to date

Among the six institutional outbreaks reported to date, four (67%) have been in retirement homes, while the remainder have occurred in long-term care homes. Five of the outbreaks were reported since the last update (meaning they were reported between April 2 and April 8, 2020). None of the outbreaks have yet been declared over.

Comparison to Ontario

5,759 total confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Ontario to date

Figure 5: Age-specific rates of COVID-19 (per 10,000 population), Halton Region and Ontario, 2020
Figure 5 shows age-specific rates of COVID-19 for Halton and Ontario. Rates take into account the population size of each age group to make it possible to compare between different areas. Halton’s age-specific rates are similar to the provincial rates, except for residents aged 80+.

Currently, Halton has a statistically significantly lower rate of COVID-19 cases for residents aged 80+ compared to Ontario, with 6.3 cases per 10,000 residents aged 80+ in Halton, compared to 10.9 cases per 10,000 residents aged 80+ in Ontario. and prisons.

Return to the Front page

City records a surplus in the 2019 budget; they call that a favourable variance - most of the upside came from investments

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We are not likely to see numbers like these in the 2020 financials – linger over them.

Surplus graphic

Most financial statements use the phrase profit/loss or surplus/deficit. Municipalities are different – they refer to what we know as a surplus as a “positive variance” and what we know as a deficit is a “negative variance”.

Municipalities are not permitted to have a loss – which is why they have reserves; funds they can draw upon when a particular account eats up what the departments had budgeted.

Snow removal is one account that is almost impossible to budget for – the 2014 flood was another example. When they need funds for unexpected events like these – they turn to a reserve fund.

The Tax Stabilization fund is the “piggy bank” that gets tapped frequently. It is also the account that any “surplus” or positive variance gets deposited into.

Where were the budgets over and under from the Strategic Plan viewpoint?

Op budget perf 2019

The four strategic plan pillars – how the budget was allocated.

Spending looked at from a departmental viewpoint.  Where things went well and where things slipped up.

The expensive mistake of getting the Customer Service software in place and operation isn’t reflected in this report – some questions to ask at this level.

The earnings on investment appears to be what made the positive variance.

Does this report give the city finance department an A or a C?

Acct document

Corp rev part 2 of acct doc

The investment revenue sort of papered over the problem areas.

This report provides an overview of the financial performance of the 2019 Operating Budget and additional variance commentary for select services as at December 31, 2019.

Return to the Front page

City-wide burn ban effective April 13th

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Fire Department has issued a City-wide burn ban and suspending all Open-Air Burning Permits until further notice. The ban is effective April 13th, 2020

brush fire

Brush fires can easily get out of control – not what the fire department wants to have to deal with at this time.

As part of the COVID-19 response, a burn ban is being implemented as a preventative measure to ensure that Fire Department resources are available when and where needed most. Additionally, the Fire Department is trying to limit non-emergency interactions with residents and respect physical distancing requirements at this time.

Fire works

Fire department is discouraging the use of fire works this year.

Firework displays for the Victoria Day weekend are also being discouraged due to the potential fire hazard and concerns around social gathering.

Emergency orders currently in place to address the COVID-19 outbreak include the prohibiting of organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people. Failing to comply with any of the emergency orders is an offence under the Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act and may result in fines.

Park Closures
All amenities in City parks are closed, including parking lots. Please continue to respect the caution tape and keep off playgrounds, sports fields, skateboard areas, tennis and basketball courts.

Only walking, jogging, riding a bike or scooter/wheelchair through a park or trail is permitted. Remember to keep two metres away from others – about the length of a hockey stick.

The best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community, is stay home.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward “supports the decision to ban open fires and fireworks for the time being as we manage the COVID-19 response throughout our city. Removing additional risk helps us ensure our emergency responders are better able to focus on the urgent work ahead of us in this unprecedented global health challenge.”

Lazenby David

Dave Lazenby, Fire Chief

Dave Lazenby, Fire Chief and Operations Section explains: “The open-air burning ban is a temporary measure to assist with the strategies put in place during this time of COVID-19, including physical distancing to help “flatten the curve”. It will also allow fire crews and fire inspectors to focus only on essential services without the need to deal with the issues and workload created by open-air burns. We anticipate lifting the ban as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Return to the Front page

Proximity bylaw now has massive fines if people do not stay at least six feet apart. Error in the first version

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

In an early version of this article we featured a picture of the Mayor and her family on the veranda of their home and suggested they were not adhering to the six foot requirement. They weren’t – what was neglected was that the six foot rule does not apply to family members living in the same house.

Our apologies to the Mayor and her family for our error.

Yesterday at a special meeting of council, city council unanimously approved a new physical distancing by-law to support efforts in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

Council considers the protection of health and safety of the public to be of paramount concern, and the direction for the proposed by-law comes from the City’s Emergency Control Group.

The Medical Officer of Health has recommended physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres from other individuals who are not members of the same household.

The City of Burlington’s by-law states that while on public property, no person shall stand less than a 2 metre distance to any other person that does not reside with them in a single household or permit a child under the age of 16 to stand less than a 2 metre distance from any other person that does not reside with them in a single household.

Upon conviction of an offence under this by-law, a person would be liable for a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $100,000.

The by-law is expected to be in effect through the duration of Burlington’s State of Emergency. More information can be found on the city’s website.

“We must all act responsibly to ensure the health and well-being of everyone in our city. It is my sincere hope that residents in our community will respect the repeated advice of healthcare experts and voluntarily maintain physical distancing so that no tickets need to be issued under this by-law.

“The longer we stay apart now, the sooner we can come together again.”

Return to the Front page

Mayor hands out a tax relief goody - you still have to pay those property taxes - just not right now

News 100 redBy Staff

April 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The wheels are still turning at city hall.

Other than the Chair of the meeting and people from the Clerk’s Office, the Council Chamber is empty. Everyone else is “on-line” waiting for their opportunity to speak.

The day started out at 9:30 with a meeting of the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Standing Committee.

When they had finished their business the Mayor took the Chair and convened a special meeting of council to hand out a goody – relief of penalty and interest for property taxes in the months of April and May 2020 and relief of the administration charge for any returned payments during that time.

In her Statement the Mayor said:

The City has received numerous concerns from both the business community and homeowners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic impact. The City currently has one property tax installment date remaining for interim billing on April 21. The temporary property tax relief will allow businesses and homeowners to make their April 21 installment by June 30 without incurring late payment charges.

Financial supports from the federal and provincial governments are also being introduced to support individuals and businesses. The temporary changes being recommended would mean that for the months of April and May 2020:

• No penalty will be charged for the April 21 installment for all property owners
• No month-end interest will be charged for all property owners in April and May
• No returned payment admin fee will be charged by the City for any returned tax payments (i.e. insufficient funds, stop payment)
• The next tax payment is not due until June 30

Pre-Authorized tax payments will continue to be withdrawn. Individuals on a preauthorized payment plan that are unable to make payment can temporarily suspend their withdrawals from their account by emailing pap@burlington.ca. The City requires notification at least three business days prior to the withdrawal date.

Taxpayers who sent a postdated cheque to the City for their April 21 tax installment and can no longer make payment have been asked to put a stop payment on the cheque at their bank.

Property taxes are the most important revenue source for the city to ensure we continue to provide essential services for residents of the City of Burlington during these challenging circumstances. Taxpayers are encouraged to make payments where possible during these unique times. This temporary relief will be reviewed by staff and council on an ongoing basis until the State of Emergency related to COVID-19 is lifted.

 Nice gesture – what will it do to the city coffers?  The public will get to learn just how deep in the hole the city will be when this is all over.

Remember the Mayor’s comment:  “Property taxes are the most important revenue source for the city”    When they run short of cash they turn to the property tax rate.

We are getting Statements from the Mayor on a regular basis – two so far this week

We aren’t seeing any Statements from the members of Council.  Maybe they aren’t allowed to speak; that must be particularly difficult for a couple of them – they always have something to say.

During a State of Emergency the deal is that the Mayor is the mouthpiece – they want the message to be consistent – makes sense.  But this council isn’t made up of high school drop outs.  They are innovate, committed and focused.  They were elected and they need to be heard.  And the public needs to hear from them.  The administration is in place to carry out the will of council.

Other than Statements from the Mayor this city has no clear idea what the will of Council is.  We did manage to get a sense as to what Councillor Sharman thinks – he is not a happy camper.

 

Return to the Front page

City to hold a second Town Hall call-in on April 14th

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

April 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City is going to host a second town hall – April 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. to provide updates about what the City is doing to protect the health and safety of our community and to address concerns from the public related to COVID-19.

The objective is to answer the questions the public has about the COVID-19 virus – the town hall has been extended to two hours and will take place between 7 and 9 p.m.

The two-hour town hall will be hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and provide the public with an opportunity to hear from a panel of leaders confirmed to date including:

Commisso stare

City Manager Tim Commisso didn’t have much to say first time around

• Members of City Council
• City Manager Tim Commisso and senior staff
• MP for Burlington, the Honourable Karina Gould
• MP for Oakville-North Burlington, Pam Damoff
• MPP for Burlington, Jane McKenna
• MPP for Oakville-North Burlington, Effie Triantafilopoulos
• President and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital, Eric Vandewall
• Fire Chief, Dave Lazenby

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

Register in advance: Burlington residential phone numbers will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone town hall. Residents who would like to be added to the telephone call list can email getinvolved@burlington.ca by the end of day April 13.

Please note: if you registered for the previous town hall (held on March 26), you are not required to register your phone number a second time.

Join by telephone: Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-231-0276 at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14 to join the town hall. For those individuals calling in, please be advised more than one attempt may be required due to the high volume of traffic on the phone lines. If the first call does not connect, please hang up and dial the 1-800 number again.

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

Any questions not answered within the two-hour call will be posted, with answers, to the City’s website at burlington.ca/townhall, along with an audio file and full transcript of the call.

The first Town Hall call-in – on March 26, 2020, drew a reported 4200 people.

Return to the Front page

Service is still available for those that need help from city hall - by telephone. Response time is reported to be very good.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

service customerAs part of the City’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Burlington continues to maintain our essential services and those services that provide direct support to keep our residents and staff safe.

ServiceBurlington remains available to respond to community questions and requests for essential services.

On Tuesday, the 6th, there were over 100 calls by mid-afternoon.

The City of Burlington has suspended all City-run spring programs and extend the closure of all recreation facilities, parks, playgrounds, sports fields and City administration facilities to the end of June.

Contact ServiceBurlington by phone at 905-335-7777, by email at city@burlington.ca or online

Return to the Front page

Regional Health unit assures public nursing homes are being tightly monitored

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 6th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the number of COVID-19 related deaths were reported at a single nursing home in Bobcaygeon exceeded ten there was concern about what was being done for people who are part of the very at risk.

The Gazette wanted to know what the Regional Health unit was doing to ensure that the same kind of outbreak did not occur locally.

We asked some questions:
What is being done to protect residents and staff at long-term care facilities in Halton (geographic area) from the spread of COVID-19?

Allendale

The Allendale Long Term care facility in Milton.

• Halton Region Public Health runs three accredited, non-profit long-term care homes: Allendale in Milton, Creek Way Village in Burlington and Post Inn Village in Oakville.

• To provide a safe and secure environment for all residents, Halton Region long-term care homes currently restrict entry of non-essential visitors.

• The Region follows all Ministry of Health directives for COVID-19 and is ensuring infection prevention best practices to reduce the risk of infection in our homes.

• Halton Region’s long-term care homes take a number of other measures to protect residents and staff, such as:

o enhanced cleaning and disinfecting;
o active screening of anyone who enters the home (including staff, new admissions, etc.);
o using personal protective equipment when necessary;
o maintaining physical distancing (social distancing) between staff; and
o ensuring proper hand hygiene.

• If a resident starts to show symptoms of COVID-19, he/she will be isolated immediately.

• Halton Region has also been communicating with families of residents and all staff members about the current COVID-19 situation.

Have there been any COVID-19 positive cases at Halton Region-owned long-term care homes?
• One staff member at Allendale in Milton and one staff member at Post Inn Village in Oakville have tested positive for COVID-19.

• Halton Region Public Health is working with the long-term care and retirement homes to take important precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of other residents and staff in the home:

o Any symptomatic residents or staff will be tested and isolated appropriately. All infection prevention and control measures are in place.

o Halton Region Public Health is helping to facilitate testing and identifying infection prevention and control measures the home needs to take.

• Families of residents in these facilities have also been notified and are receiving regular updates about the outbreaks.

Is testing being done for residents and their care providers?
• Long-term care homes must consult with Public Health and the resident’s primary care provider if the resident:

o exhibits symptoms of COVID-19;
o has been exposed to the virus; or
o if there has been confirmation of transmission of COVID-19.

• Public Health or your primary care provider will determine if any additional health and safety and clinical actions are required.

• As of March 9, 2020, when homes submit specimens for standard respiratory testing, these specimens are also tested for COVID-19 automatically. There is no change to the usual practices for submitting respiratory outbreak specimens.

• At this time, LTC residents and healthcare workers who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 are being tested.

Post Inn Oakville

Post Inn long term care facility in Oakville

Are visitors allowed?
• To provide a safe and secure environment for all residents, the Ministry of Health directed all long-term care homes to restrict entry of non-essential visitors until further notice.

• Only essential visitors with a family member who is critically ill will be permitted to visit the home. Our long-term care staff will notify families directly if this exception applies to them.

Does Public Health monitor the Halton Region-owned long-term care homes to ensure the care is at least adequate and that frontline workers are given what they need?

• Yes, Halton Region ensures our staff have the resources and training they need to support residents. At Halton Regional Long-Term Care homes, our primary focus is the health and well-being of our residents. We are committed to using evidence-based resources to support and sustain best practices that ensure the best possible resident care. For example, Public Health provides guidance and support for infection prevention and control; assists in managing outbreaks; and provides regular updates and communication to ensure that residents and staff are protected and safe.

Does Halton Region know how many private long-term care homes, nursing homes and retirement homes there are in Halton?

• There are three regional homes (Post Inn, Creek Way Village and Allendale), 15 private long-term care homes and 30 retirement homes in Halton.

 

Return to the Front page

The kids are back in school - just not in classrooms - it is going to be an interesting and revealing week for everyone

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 6th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Child getting off school bus

Students will not be on school buses for the next couple of months.

Classrooms won’t have students in them this morning – but there will be thousands of students sitting in front of computers communicating with teachers at the other end of an internet connection.

Every restaurant in town will be empty – except for those who have decided to offer a take-out service.

Just about all of them are not certain they will ever be able to open again.

The schools will, at some point, re-open.
The Gazette will report on the hospitality industry later in the week. The federal government loan program has been announced – it will take a few days for the hospitality people to get a clear sense as to what this will mean for them. A $40,000 loan doesn’t really go all that far.

Sagar behind screen

Kerry Sagar didn’t know that she would be teaching from a computer screen several months ago.

This morning Kerry Sager will begin her classroom session with the iStem students at Aldershot high school. Sager

Julia Hunt Gibbons is a Superintendent with the Halton District School Board. When the schools were closed by the province her work load increased as she, along with all the other Superintendents who had to reflect, refine, and plan roll outs of continuity of learning/distance learning.

Hunt Gibbons

Superintendent Julie Hunt Gibbons will be doing a lot more explaining and advising for the next few months – by telephone and online.

Hunt Gibbons won’t be doing any direct teaching to students, although she does spend a lot of time “answering their questions on the Board FAQ.”

Her primary role is “more of a supporter of teachers, a writer — along with Secondary Program Department members offering lesson suggestions, assessment and evaluation, IT on-boarding, problem-solving and Ministry/board messaging.”
What Superintendents really have to do will become much clearer in the next few days as both parents and students adjust to how an education is going to be delivered.
One of the ironies with how students are going to be taught now (electronically) is that this was one of the issues teachers were fighting the Ministry of education over. Teachers wanted limits on just how much education would be delivered electronically – now that is all they a have to work with.
The biggest job now for everyone is facilitating the sharing that has to take place between teachers across the system, largely through Google Hangouts these days.

graphic coping redThe Gazette has created a small team of parents who have children in elementary classes. They are as concerned as the teachers who have to make the best of what they have. We will report on what the parents have to say. You can follow their views and comments in the Coping series.

As for Kerry Sagar, she is organizing her day getting ready to teach.

Related news story

How parents are coping with having the kids at home.

Return to the Front page

The rate at which the virus is spreading is staggering. The worst for North America has yet to be recorded

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The numbers just keep climbing with New York State death toll from coronavirus on Saturday surpassed 3,500 as confirmed cases rose to 113,704, bringing the U.S. total to more than 7,700 fatalities and 287,000 cases.

Canadians now settle in for the onslaught and the surge that has been predicted and is now being experienced.

The Canadian experts have given the public instructions – they are simple – stay indoors; if you are out distance yourself from others.
Stay away from crowds and wash your hands frequently.

The rate at which the corona virus has spread world wide is staggering.

Livde screen Mar 23

March 232rd, 2020

March 27

March 27th, 2020

April 4th, 2020

April 4th, 2020

Return to the Front page