Terry Fox: 'Anything is possible if you try'.

By Staff

July 29th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington is going to do it again.

If you haven’t yet registered for this year’s Terry Fox Run, register online by August 10 for exclusive access to a special virtual after-show experience of Terry Fox: The Power of One.

Enjoy never-before-seen content and extended footage of incredible musical performances! Everyone who registers for the Terry Fox Run by August 10 will be sent a backstage pass link to this special virtual after-show on August 12, following the premiere of Terry Fox: The Power of One on Monday, August 9 at 8 pm (8:30 NT) on CBC. Register TODAY!

Terry Fox running along LAkeshore yards away from the monument that commemorates the event.

During his Marathon of Hope 41 years ago, Terry Fox said, “Even if I don’t finish, we need others to continue. It’s got to keep going without me.”

You are being invited to help keep Terry’s dream alive by joining us for the annual Terry Fox Run on September 19, 2021.

Be part of a powerful movement and get involved in a way that feels right for you! Whether you run, walk, bike or wheel—any way you choose to participate will make a meaningful difference and help us fund critical cancer research.

You can take part wherever you are—around your neighbourhood, backyard, down the street, or around the block. We will unite in spirit across the country and collectively raise funds for cancer research in honour of Terry’s enduring legacy.

 

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Rivers offers: A Post Mortem for the Green Party

“I’ve always been fond of dogs, and they are the one animal that knows the proper treatment to give to poles (polls).” (Former PM – John Diefenbaker)

By Ray Rivers

July 29, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

We are expecting a federal election call anytime soon. Most Canadians think we don’t need one yet. But the Liberals are stuck in a minority situation and beholden to the other centre-left or left-of-centre parties to bring their agenda forward. So with the polls moving in their favour they will do what political parties do.

The opposition parties are complaining that it has only been two years since the last election and we’re still not out of the pandemic. But the real issue is that they don’t like what the polls are telling them. After all this would not be the first election during COVID. If we can believe the polls, an election today would mean that the ruling Liberals would improve their seat position and possibly even garner a majority.

The Greens are still polling around their traditional 5%, which means they may not do as poorly as they should this time. After all, the party has shown that it can’t even manage itself, let alone the nation.

Greens have always been a fringe party. Their raison d’être has been protection of the environment and mitigating climate change, which today, to their credit, is one of the most important priorities for Canadians. Still, Elizabeth May, try as she did, never got anyone to take their social and economic policies seriously.

Annamie Paul, current leader of the Green Party

In fact, when new leader, Annamie Paul, decided to venture into middle eastern politics, even with a seemingly balanced position, all hell broke loose. The party ended up losing a third of its elected members to the Liberals, falling back to only two seats. As a result, Paul came within a hair of being turfed out as leader and her Green Party membership revoked. An arbitration process saved her skin, though that in itself is now the subject of even more discord.

The Greens need to shake their collective heads. They are supposed to be a party which preaches social harmony, tolerance and understanding. Yet racism, mud slinging, conspiracy and cronyism are in the makings of this internal war. The party executive has even held back funding Paul’s personal election campaign, in what can only be described as a desperate attempt to get rid of her.

Paul is hoping that the existing executive will be replaced at the upcoming party convention, which may end up coinciding with the federal election. But who knows? And with party executive at war with their leader, why would anyone vote for these folks? Unless Paul can pull a rabbit out of a hat they are another political entity on a road to extinction.

Though it’s not certain, the Greens may at least hope to hang onto Elizabeth May’s traditional B.C. riding. Beyond that, no one should be betting on them. Their future is not likely bright. Besides, the NDP and Liberals have already stolen most Green policies, making the Greens more of a postscript rather than a viable electoral option.

From the perspective of the Conservative Party the Greens are, in fact, a political ally. They and the NDP represent votes which, thanks to our first past the post electoral system (FPP), won’t otherwise go to the Liberals. It is little wonder then that the Conservatives have always rejected changing the electoral system.

But a proportional electoral system, as is commonplace in most democracies (94), might even enable the Greens to become a part of a governing coalition, as they have in other countries. So it was unsurprising that some Green voters supported Mr. Trudeau and voted Liberal when he first promised electoral reform in his first election campaign.

Elizabeth May and Annamie Paul.  May was the leader of the Green Party – she was replaced by Annamie Paul.

At best, the Green Party of Canada, which was formed back in 1983, is unlikely to win enough seats to form even a minority government in the foreseeable future, even if Canada changes its electoral system. And, given the internal strife the Green Party is now experiencing, no one would be surprised to see it go the way of Social Credit, Natural Levitation, the Communists and Marxists, the Reform Party, and very likely the People’s party.

The Liberals, to their credit, have seen the writing on the wall, borrowed environmental policies mostly scripted by the Greens, and is undertaking the most massive restructuring of the Canadian economy and society in our lifetimes, in order for this country to become a global leader in carbon freedom. For that the Green Party needs to be recognized for their prescience and forbearance, anyway.

Annaimie Paul has been remarkably self-restrained and controlled through all that is going on, including personal attacks. She deserves better.

As for Paul, who has been remarkably self-restrained and controlled through all that is going on, including personal attacks, she deserves better. One can only hope there is a future for her to bring her qualities and strengths to work in some other way, or with some other political party, for the benefit of us all. But if her party membership really has a point about her leadership failings, perhaps there is some other kind of career opportunity waiting for her.

Next time we’ll take a look at the federal NDP.

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

Background links:

Election Polls –  Green Party –    Climate Change Polls

Paul –   Green’s Dispute –    More Discord

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Local artists adding some colour to drab looking telephone connection boxes

By Staff

July 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Bell Canada is paying local artists to decorate the connection boxes that are spread throughout the city.

No idea yet how many there will eventually be – the photograph sent us by a Gazette reader is being installed in front of the Performing Arts Centre

 

 

This a one is across from BPAC on Locust St. The artist has been working away on this for several days now.

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Regional Public Health Unit begins to wind down clinics

By Staff

July 28, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a release to media Halton Region reports on the tremendous success they have achieved vaccinating residents at its community clinics.

Halton’s vaccination rate for residents 12 years and older continues to exceed the Provincial average. With more Halton residents now fully vaccinated, Halton Region will begin consolidating its community clinics in August to focus on targeted community outreach and school-based immunization programs.

Effective August 16, the COVID-19 vaccination clinics at Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) will be closed. This decision was made in collaboration with Joseph Brant Hospital and Halton Healthcare.

Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr.

“We have reached a significant milestone in our COVID-19 vaccine rollout, with 81 per cent of residents having received one dose and 65 per cent of residents fully vaccinated,” said  “Thanks to the commitment of Halton residents to get vaccinated and the tremendous work of our clinic staff. Over 250,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered at our hospital clinics, and I am extremely grateful for our hospital partners for their dedication and contributions to the vaccine rollout over the past several months to get us to this pivotal point.”

Residents who had vaccine appointments scheduled at Joseph Brant Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital on or after August 16 are being notified that their appointments will be cancelled, with options to reschedule at another Halton clinic, pharmacy or primary care provider.

Halton Region is working on a plan to also begin consolidating community vaccination clinics by the end of the summer. Coupled with expanded access to COVID-19 vaccines through pharmacy and primary care offices, Halton Region Public Health will continue to deliver and expand its targeted community outreach to support anyone who may experience barriers to vaccination and ensure no one is left behind.

In addition, several clinic locations will transition to immunization clinics that will offer non-COVID vaccines to students in Grade 7, 8 and 9 as part of the school immunization program. This will provide Halton with an opportunity to catch-up eligible students who were not able to get vaccinated with these important vaccines due to the pandemic.

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health.

“I am grateful for our hospital partners who have been instrumental in the Halton vaccine rollout and provided high quality care to our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “While this is an important step to return to normal, it’s critical that more residents get fully vaccinated as soon as possible to protect themselves and our community. Each and every dose counts, and getting your second dose will give you better protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant. #RollUpYourSleevesHalton and let’s make it a two dose summer so we can avoid a fourth wave in the Fall.”

“It was a privilege to be the first Vaccination Centre in Halton Region and to be part of the largest immunization rollout in a generation,” said Denise Hardenne, President & CEO, Halton Healthcare. “By August 15 we expect to have administered 200,000 vaccines at the OTMH Vaccination Centre. With community clinics now well established and the demand for vaccines decreasing, the closing of hospital vaccination centres will provide us with the opportunity to focus on our recovery plan. I couldn’t be more proud of the efforts of our staff and physicians for their dedication and tremendous efforts in the fight against COVID-19.”

“Since opening in March, over 58,000 vaccinations were administered at the Joseph Brant Hospital vaccination clinic,” said Eric Vandewall, President and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital. “I would like to thank our hard-working staff, physicians and volunteers who helped make this clinic a success, and for their ongoing commitment to meet the needs of our community during the pandemic. I also would like to thank the residents of Halton Region for their overwhelming support of our clinic, our people and our hospital – we are so grateful and honoured by your kind and encouraging words, emails, social media posts, lawn signs and letters.”
Important information & instructions

• Effective August 16, vaccination clinics at Joseph Brant Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital will be closed. Residents 12 years of age and older can reschedule their appointments at any of Halton’s seven Community Vaccination Clinics through the online booking system.

o Bookings for Halton residents are not available through the Provincial booking system; residents who access the Provincial booking system will be redirected back to Halton’s system.
o Walk-in appointments are currently available at some Halton Region Vaccination Clinics on a first come, first served basis and dependent on supply. Learn more about current walk-in locations and times.
o To maintain physical distancing and safety measures, please arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment (not earlier) and remember to wear a mask. Please note: you will be required to bring proof of age to your appointment, and are asked to complete a wellness check before attending a clinic, using Halton’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Screening Tool.
o Residents are asked to attend their appointments alone if possible in order to limit the amount of individuals in our clinics and maintain adequate physical distancing. You may bring one support person, if required (for example, a caregiver or interpreter).
o There are also more than 100 pharmacies in Halton are offering walk-in or booked appointments and select primary care offices offering booked appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. Please contact the pharmacy or primary care office directly to learn more.

• The quickest and easiest way to schedule or reschedule an appointment is online. Residents who require booking support can also call 311.

o Residents should cancel their appointments as soon as possible if they find earlier appointments through a pharmacy. By cancelling your appointment, this ensures that someone else who is eligible can get the vaccine.

• Residents have the option to book same-day (“last minute”) vaccine appointments through our online booking system. These appointments will become available when there are last minute cancellations at a vaccination clinic. This option is only available to those who are currently eligible and residents must arrive at the selected clinic within 45 minutes of booking.

• Residents who need assistance with transportation (if transportation is a barrier to getting to the appointment) can contact 311. Halton Region continues to offer transportation services to and from appointments for residents who require support, free of charge.

The infection numbers for the Region and Burlington are manageable.  Of the 46 active cases in the Region as of July 28th 22 were in Burlington.

The concern at this point is the anti-vaxers.  There is work to be done on that cohort.  The solution for those of us who understand the need for vaccinations to continually correct the information that is out there.

 

 

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Artists use maple leaf design cut out of aluminum on which artists will paint to raise funds hospital: target is $375,000

By Ryan O’Dowd

July 28th,2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Throughout August the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation (JBHF) will showcase local artists to raise funds with a big boost from Burlington Artscape.

The initiative features fifty local artists who have painted 4 foot leaf-shaped canvases with a unifying theme of the love of Burlington.

Ashley Davison, the Chief Development Officer with the JBHF, spoke about the love of Burlington theme, at a time when a celebration of city and community seems particularly poignant.

“Bringing people together to create beauty out of a time when things have been so challenging might be a nice way to celebrate nearing the end of the pandemic and to start to bring life and beauty back to the community through the installation.

“Many local artists have a connection to the hospital and Burlington.  Burlington Artscape marries the art with the beauty of Burlington, as well as the pivotal role the hospital has played over the last 18 months, meeting the needs of our community at a time when they’ve never been needed more.”

Burlington artist Jodi Harrison founded Burlington Artscape in 2021 to support the hospital with the help of the art community.  August 8th,15th and 22nd are dates for an outdoor showing of all the completed leaves. It will run from 10am to 4pm at Grace United Church located at 2111 Walkers Line, Burlington. Leaves will be available to order August 7th, 2021 at 8 a.m. Orders will be available online or at the outdoor art shows.

Although COVID-19 added considerable pressure to the hospital, Annisa Hilborn, the president of the JBHF, pointed out that the need for corporate and community support is constant – taxes don’t cover everything.

Annisa Hilborn, President of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation

“If we all come together to support our public health care system it’s only going to get better,” said Hilborn. “The pandemic reminded our community of the need and urgency to support these important foundational elements of our society, to ensure we are a healthy society and get through things like the pandemic…and when it’s not the pandemic it’s something else that’s coming.”

“The theme resonates with the feeling of the last 18 months,” Hilborn added, “there’s a greater appreciation of the community getting together because we wouldn’t have been able to get through what we’ve gone through unless everyone participated. We say at the hospital, ‘we’re here in the moments that matter’ and we ask that the community be there for us too.”

Cathy Lorraway with the leaf shaped canvas she will paint on.

The 50 leaf-shaped canvases will be on display on the 8th, 15th, and 22nd of August at Grace United Church. The artwork is available for purchase now for $750 which will go toward Burlington Artscape’s goal of $37,500. 100% of proceeds will go to support the critical needs of the hospital.

COVID-19 safety precautions have been taken for the event.

Hilborn and Davidson praised community support throughout the pandemic but are looking forward to future events in person as restrictions loosen.

“We’re on our toes about it, responding as the regulations and guidelines change,” Davidson said, “seeing where we can, safely and responsibly, have people interacting in person because I think the community will be ready for that.”

The featured paintings can be viewed now on Burlington Artscape’s website and their Instagram account.

Many paintings depict lively visions of Burlington, a bustling Spencer Smith Park, the Burlington Teen Tour Band marching, a crowded beach, distantly familiar after 18 months of the pandemic.

As the city opens and Burlington Artscape calls upon the community to celebrate and be celebrated perhaps the city has turned over a new leaf.

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Local area MP gets to announce plans for 36 EV chargers

By Staff

July 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Government of Canada is making it easier for Canadians to drive electric — transforming the way Canadians get to where they need to go.

Malls are installing electric charging stations. Burlington has a few spread around the city.

Today, as part of #EVWeekinCanada, Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport), on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, announced a $2.3-million investment to Anvil Crawler Development Corporation to install 36 electric vehicle (EV) chargers across Ontario to put Canadians in the driver’s seat on the road to a net-zero future.

Anvil Crawler, Opus One Solutions, SWTCH, Energy+ Inc. and Elexicon Energy, along with site host partners, are also supporting this initiative, bringing the total project cost to $6.7 million.

This project is funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Infrastructure – Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration Program, which aims to accelerate the market entry of next-generation clean energy technologies. All chargers will be available for public use by September 30, 2022.

Since 2015, Canada has made a historic investment of over $1 billion to make EVs more affordable and charging infrastructure more locally accessible. These investments are building a coast-to-coast network of fast chargers and installing chargers in local areas where Canadians live, work and play. The government also provides incentives of up to $5,000 to help Canadians buy EVs and full tax write-offs for businesses purchasing them.

Scotia Bank set an EV charger outside a branch in the east end

These investments support Canada’s new mandatory target of 100-percent zero-emission light-duty vehicle sales by 2035. Driving down transportation emissions is critical to achieving Canada’s ambitious climate change targets and requires a combination of investments and regulations to support Canadians and industry in this transition.

The big question is – how big a dent will 36 charging stations make on the demand once there are more EV cars are being sold than pick-up trucks.  Someone somewhere must have some data on what the demand is likely to be.

Another interesting piece of data would be:  How many Members of Parliament drive EVs and when will the limo that gets the Prime Minister from place to be electric?

 

 

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Halton Police Board appoints a Chief Governance Officer

By Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Police Services Board wants to ensure that policing is aligned with the community’s evolving needs, values and expectations; to that end they have created the role of Chief Governance Officer, or ‘CGO’.

Fred Kaustinen first Chief Governance Officer for the Halton Police Service Board.

It is part of Halton Police Board’s comprehensive board-modernization initiative.

The CGO will help modernize the Board’s policies and plans, create a new reporting and evaluation system, and develop a state-of-the-art governance training program.

The Board has appointed Fred Kaustinen as the first Chief Governance Officer.

Oakville Councillor and Chair of the Halton Police Board, Jeff Knoll said “Kaustinen is the foremost expert on police governance in Canada. He has a wealth of experience working with the Ontario, Alberta and Canadian Police Governance Associations, plus the Manitoba Police Commission and numerous municipal and First Nations police boards.”.

Kaustinen, in a media release from the Board said: “The members of the Halton Police Board are recognized for their openness to new ideas, creativity, and relentless pursuit of service excellence. The progress we can make as a team of innovative leaders will set new national standards for police governance. It’s a really exciting opportunity for the whole community.”

We had a number of questions about the appointment including:

Is this a full time job for the CGO?

He reports to the Board – correct?

While he would not be involved in operations – to what degree can he probe, look and investigate if necessary?

Is this an appointment with a time frame?

Was the job advertised?

We will let you know when we get answers.

 

 

 

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A look back at what the planners and a citizen's group thought should be done with the Waterfront Hotel site

By Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is worth going back and reviewing where things were before the current city council was elected and recalling what the issues and objectives were when a study was to be done on how the Waterfront Hotel site was to be developed.

At the time, June 2018,  “a clear consensus on direction had not yet been achieved.” An election was about to take place which put a lot of work on hold.

The Planning department wanted some direction from Council and asked for a Staff Direction.

The Gazette reported at the time that:

The Waterfront Hotel planning study will guide the property owner in the redevelopment of this site. Located next to two of Burlington’s most significant landmarks, Spencer Smith Park and the Brant Street Pier, input from residents is needed to ensure the new development reflects a high quality of urban design that enhances the community’s access to the waterfront and the downtown.

The planning staff had asked council to “endorse the key policy directions”. Those directions are set out below:

Extensive engagement was done through three community workshops (a total of six sessions), the Planning and Development Committee held on November 28, 2017, and significant contributions from the Vrancor Group and the Plan B Citizen Group were relied upon to create key policy directions to move forward.

Waterfront concept 1

Concept 1 from the city planning department: – the buildings are much closer to Lakeshore and the height will disturb a lot of people.

The key policy directions for the Waterfront Hotel site are intended to align with the vision statement, accommodate an iconic landmark building, and reinforce the site’s unique location as a major gateway to the waterfront.

Waterfront – Concept 2

Concept 2 from the city planning department shifts everything to the right creating a much more open approach to The Pier.

The city produced two concepts, neither of which gained all that much traction.  A small group who live in the downtown core didn’t like the way the city was handling public participation – they came up with ideas of their own that have shifted some of the thinking being done by the planners.  PLAN B, the name of the citizen’s group,  took a much different approach suggesting that a red Line starting at the NE corner of Brant and Lakeshore become  the demarcation from which there are no building West/ Southwest of the red line.

The objective of the citizen group thinking was to create a clear generous view from Brant and Lakeshore out to the lake.

Don Fletcher, spokesperson for the group,  explained the concerns that included:

the adopted OP for downtown and the intensification designations will impact the application and approval of the Waterfront Hotel redevelopment

The participation that Fletcher saw at the Citizen Action Labs sessions caused the Plan B people additional concern about the process and that both City Concepts 1 & 2 seem designed to meet same intensification goals as former Adopted OP – LPAT defensible.

– Tall buildings permitted in Lakeshore Mixed Use Concept 1 at both NE corner w/Brant & NW corner w/Locust transition poorly to neighbouring precincts, but yield higher density

– Podium setback in Lakeshore Mixed Use Concept 2 of only 3m is to compensate for lower density of mid rise building

Fletcher believes that the electorate voted on Oct. 22nd, 2018 for fundamental change to intensification levels and the enforce-ability of the Official Plan.

He concludes that key OP policies should:

– Preserve connections & views to the waterfront
– House mid- to low-rise buildings downtown with taller ones toward Fairview
– Maintain small town character and preserve heritage
– Reflect the community’s vision for the area

Fletcher argued that many attendees at Citizen Action Labs viewed Concepts 1 & 2 as different versions of same over-development and added that a different result from the 2018 Adopted OP demands a different approach.

Citizens’ PLAN B proposes that the city continue to refine recommended Concept (1+2)

Create an alternate What-if Concept to support growth downtown, without Mobility Hub/ MTSA and Urban Growth Center designations and accelerate Land Use Study and publish the report.

Some of what Fletcher wanted has come to pass – the bus terminal is just that – not a Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) and the Urban Growth Centre boundary has been moved north.

Policy Directions

The key policy directions have been organized around the study’s three frameworks and guiding design principles of Land Use and Built Form, Public Realm, and Mobility and Access, as follows:

Land Use and Built Form

1) Create building frontages along Lakeshore Road and Elizabeth Street with building placement that establishes a defining street wall and frames the street zone.

2) Provide active uses at grade along Lakeshore Road and Elizabeth Street.

3) Achieve active and animated edges adjacent to Spencer Smith Park, with a requirement for retail and service commercial uses at grade:

a. Built form next to the south property line shall activate and animate this edge, respect the existing grade, and be scaled to the waterfront trail with higher levels stepping back as necessary.

b. Built form next to the west property line shall activate and animate this edge, respect the existing grade, and be scaled to Spencer Smith Park with higher levels stepping back as necessary.

4) Require a minimum of two uses within buildings and where feasible, encourage three uses.

5) Establish an iconic landmark building on the site subject to the following:

a. A new public, pedestrian space is provided at the foot of Brant Street where public views to the Lake and Pier are enhanced;

b. The iconic landmark building must contain a destination use or function;

c. The iconic landmark building shall enhance the City of Burlington’s image/identity.

6) Require design excellence in all matters of architecture, landscape architecture, sustainable and urban design and require that all public and private development proposals on or adjacent to the site be evaluated/reviewed by the Burlington Urban Design Advisory Panel.

At one point what was called an “Emerging Concept” was on the table. Wow – that s one whack of development.

Public Realm

7) Protect public view corridors to Lake Ontario from Brant and Elizabeth Streets, and, where possible, John Street.

8) Enhance the Brant Street view corridor to frame views to the Brant Street Pier, and require a significant building setback from the west property line.

9) Create new and enhanced publicly accessible green/open space, which would include new north-south pedestrian connections between Lakeshore Road and Spencer Smith Park (mid-block and along the site’s edges).

10) Minimize changes to the existing grade along the southern edge of the site and enhance the interface with Spencer Smith Park.

11) Integrate a public washroom within the future redevelopment; with an entrance that is accessible, highly visible and within close proximity to Spencer Smith Park.

12) Identify opportunities for the placement of public art on, and adjacent to, the site.

13) Vehicle access shall be from Elizabeth Street.

14) Vehicle access from Brant Street will be closed and converted to a pedestrian orientated gateway to the waterfront.

15) All required on-site parking shall be provided underground (parking structures shall not be visible from the public streets and park).

Council is going to be consumed with coming up with a budget that the taxpayers don’t choke on. As they get into 2022 their focus will become more political and their energy will go into getting elected.

Will any attention be paid to getting a decision in place on just what is to happen to the Waterfront Hotel site before Councillors go into re-election mode?

The Ontario Land Tribunal might have something to say on that.

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Theft at the retail and LCBO locations increasing

By Staff

July 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On July 12, 2021, at 3:30pm, two suspects entered the Sephora store at Mapleview mall. After a few minutes, the suspects made their way to the back corner of the store where they proceeded to place $1,450 worth of skin care products in shopping bags. The suspects continued shopping for a few minutes before leaving the store without paying for the items.

It’s all very casual – these young people walk in and put expensive products in a shopping bag and walk out with out paying. Pretty brazen. This was happening at LCBO stores. Now it is being seen in high end products.

Suspect #1: female, white, blond hair, wearing white tank top, white crocks and blue denim. The suspect was also wearing a mask-PPE.

Suspect #2: female, white, brown hair, pregnant and wearing grey leggings, back tank top and black and white runners. The suspect was also wearing a medical mask-PPE.

If you have any information on this case, please contact the HRPS or Crime Stoppers.

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City hall has gotten stingier about what it wants the media to know

By Pepper Parr

July 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Tom Muir was bothered about the run around Spectator columnist Joan Little was getting from the city.

“Her narrative on a problem she had in getting information through appropriate senior planning channels is one I am familiar with” said Muir.

Little had said she “… got a rude awakening about how some things are done today in Burlington. I had questions about a city report on the Regional Official plan, so e-mailed a senior planning person to check that my understanding was accurate. The reply came from a name I didn’t recognize. Too late I realized it had been filtered through the communications department – read PR people!”

Muir said: “I sympathize with this reaction as I recently had a similar experience writing a comment to City and the Mayor about the Millcroft development proposal and the Mayor justifying not making a decision and therefore allowing the application go the LPAT (OLT). I pointed out that the Mayor is on the record from taking office as saying she would never approve of such a non-decision ever again.

“But instead of a response from the Mayor, or a senior planning official, I got the same communications department, Mayor, PR response and they didn’t really know what they were talking about except excuses. I never got answers to my concerns and the Mayor remained silent my question on her pledge to never doing non-decision to LPAT again.

“What I also see, that I don’t like, is the communications PR folks put in charge of answering important questions of City business that are not their purview or competency. What I got from them was just usual PR crap, that didn’t address my questions or concerns, and my second reply on this was ignored.

“Typical PR non-response to the central issue.”

Part 1 of a series.

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Gazette Comments Section Open Again

By Pepper Parr

July 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

So far the fix to the comments is holding.

It took some binder twine and duct tape and there is no guarantee that it will hold all that long – but the comments section has been reopened.

The re-design, using a different design theme, is a work in progress.

Our techie spent hours trying to figure out where the issues were – thinks he has found them. We did trial runs late Sunday and this morning – they are holding.

Thank you for your patience.

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Is a height of 35 stories for the Waterfront Hotel site redevelopment on the table?

By Pepper Parr

July 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Revisions have been made to this story since it was first published.

There appear to be two Facebook based news outlets – both with the name Burlington News.

There also appears to be some significant hearings taking place at what we used to know as Local Planning Act Tribunal now called the OLT – Ontario Land Tribunal.

The Burlington News logo has a green logo and is the site we have drawn material from. It is popular.  WE have not been able to identify the owners of this site.

The Burlington News with the red logo has been around a long time – no one knows who is behind that one but there are members of Council who follow what they publish.

There is yet another web site that was set up by former Mayor Rick Goldring.  Former Councillor Craven writes for this site along with former city general manager Kim Phillips.

During an OLT  meeting that was focused on the Carnacelli development on the corner of Pearl and Lakeshore Road the argument was over the 29 storeys the developer wanted and the 17 storeys most people believed the city could live with.

The Waterfront Hotel stands at six storeys – plans have been in the works for more than a decade to replace it with a series of structures that would be closer to the water’s edge and more to the east.

During that meeting in July, David Bronskill, speaking for the Waterfront Hotel owners is reported to have said the following:

“… our client has concerns with the proposed implementation of this intensification potential. In particular, the ongoing delay in planning for the Property is of serious concern and can no longer be accepted by our client. The Property has not been included within the scope of review related to the new official plan, despite our client having invested approximately two hundred and fifty thousand dollars over five years ago to assist the City in determining the appropriate form of redevelopment for the Property. It would appear that this study is now further delayed with a report on a proposed revise action plan suggested for Q4 2020.”

“During a discussion about height in the downtown, a pending application for the redevelopment of the Waterfront Hotel was revealed. The acknowledgment of a proposed 35 storey development on the Waterfront Hotel site was surprising as there is no information available on the City’s web site, and the lack of transparency regarding the possible future of our waterfront is astounding.

“This proposal will not be a surprise to City staff, the Mayor or Council as they would have known about a pending application as far back as Sept. 2020 when a letter from the landowners representative, David Bronskill advised them of their client’s concerns regarding the City’s delay and their intentions to seek approval of their proposal were made clear.

Bronskill said: “This is unacceptable to our client. We can no longer wait for the City and our client’s intention is to proceed to finalize the study on its own and submit an application to secure approvals for the Property in an expedited fashion.”

“As the city learned with the Interim Control By law, (ICBL) planning and development does not stop and wait for the Mayor and Council. It continues and is considered within the approved policy framework that is in force at the time of the submission of the applications.

” It is not clear if this application has been submitted yet or if it will be in the next few weeks however, there is clearly very little, if any, transparency regarding the status of the Waterfront Hotel redevelopment.”

What would a 35 storey building on the edge of the Lake look like?  The Bridgewater condominium is 22 storeys high.

To give you a sense of the height we took a photograph of the Harbour Commission building in Hamilton that is six storeys with a 17 storey building beside it.

Hamilton Harbour Commission on the left – six storeys; apartment building to the right – 17 storeys. The proposal for the waterfront is 35 storeys -twice the height of the apartment building.

What is being talked about is 35 storeys where the current Waterfront Hotel is located.

What the Burlington Local News does not tell is the working arrangement that has been in place for close to a decade, one that had the developer putting up a significant amount of money to pay for a study on how any replacement of the Waterfront would relate to the Naval Promenade.

The lawyers do what they are paid to do at OLT hearings – what is surprising is that the Waterfront Hotel re-development is not before the Planning department yet – there is no word on just where the study is – but legal counsel for the developer has gotten their number on the table.

Related news stories:

Plan B

Is Plan B getting the attention it deserves?

 

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The target is to have 90% of us vaccinated. Do your bit

By Staff

July 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Given that a picture is said to be worth 1000 words – let the picture do the talking.

If you, or anyone you know is not part of the graphic above urge them to roll up their sleeves.

Getting to that 90% vaccinated level is what will prevent a possible fourth wave. The only people who can prevent that are you and me.

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Child admitted to hospital after swimming incident

By Staff

July 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At 1:48 pm on Sunday 25th July, 2021, the Halton Regional Police Service responded to a resident reporting a child having drowned in a swimming pool.

Police and Paramedics were quickly on scene. Lifesaving measures were performed. The child was transported to hospital where he/she remains in a critical condition.

An investigation at the scene continues in an effort to determine the circumstances.

Anyone with information regarding this incident who has not yet spoken with Police are asked to contact the Duty Staff Sergeant at Burlington Police Station on 905-825-4747 ext: 2310.

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Rivers: A Premier for the Lobbyists and Developers?

By Ray Rivers

July 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

“Despite being the epicentre of the COVID pandemic in Ontario, for-profit nursing homes, from a business point of view, did incredibly well over the past 15 months. The Ford government indemnified them against liability from lawsuits, paid them out at full capacity no matter how many residents they had, and even offered them subsidies for other lost revenues.

The profitability of the long term care sector is astonishing.

In fact, many of the investment-backed, corporate players in the nursing home industry will emerge from COVID-19 in better shape than they entered it, thanks in large part to the province’s aggressive and generous plan to refurbish old homes and build new ones.” (Toronto Star July 2021)

The authors of this in-depth report (link below) concluded that throughout Ontario’s COVID crisis, premier Doug Ford simply followed the advice of the last person he had met with, and those were all too often corporate lobbyists or his friends in the development sector. Apparently when it comes to COVID Ford has one rule for the lobbyists and another for all the rest of ‘his people’.

Construction hours have been extended at the request of the developers.

Why for example, was construction allowed to continue pretty much business-as-usual when so many other businesses with lower COVID transmission rates were forced to shutter? Construction is known to have one of the highest transmission rates of all industries, and yet, curiously, residential construction was declared an essential service.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to appear to be acting tough on public health measures, recreational golf and tennis, which had no previous record of COVID transmission, were banned. Small non-grocery business owners, with a tiny public footprint, were outraged that their big box competition at Walmart and Costco could continue to operate while they had to close.

And despite being among the hottest spots for viral transmission in the province, meat packing, the Post Office and Amazon, were allowed to continue unabated. In the end it took the local medical officers of health, not the province, to shut them down.

The way Mr. Ford has tailored his priorities helps explain why it has taken Ontario so long to get our COVID infection rates down. This policy of allowing high risk activities to continue while curtailing safer options is not just unfair, it’s also negligent.

The opening up of the hospitality sector too soon brought about a third wave from which we are just emerging.

“….since Ontario first declared a state of emergency in March of 2020 the government has made decisions that align with the interests of lobbyists — many of whom have close ties to the premier, his party or both — and the businesses they represent. Those decisions have often favoured certain sectors over others and have, at key moments in the pandemic, gone against public health advice, delaying or fracturing lockdowns. Those decisions have often favoured certain sectors over others and have, at key moments in the pandemic, gone against public health advice, delaying or fracturing lockdowns.?” (Toronto Star July 2021)

If only a lobbyist for vaccine passports or mandatory vaccination for health care workers could make their way over the premier’s office?

Background links

Star Report –   Construction Sector –   Building Trades –  Retaining and Big Box

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The Hurley Burly of the political arena.

By Staff

July 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington’s Mayor makes major use of social media and every other form of communications. Her journalism degree from Carleton University put her into the world of media where the worked at newspapers, as a columnist (she has never worked as a reporter), as an editor of a magazine and on television where she was very effective. The camera liked her and she liked the camera.

As a citizen using the Save our Waterfront banner Marianne Meed Ward was effective. When she got elected to Council she was described as divisive but she changed the way that Council did business.

A painful Ward 1 election loss in 2006 against Rick Craven led to her moving into the downtown core and setting herself up to run for that council seat.

She won in 2010, was elected Mayor in 2018 and was seen as the Mayor that would make the big difference – and she did make a difference.

The decision to drop an Interim Control Bylaw on the developers was not popular with that cohort.  What was to be a one year hold on development has stretched into what is pretty close to three years.  The reason for the stretch – there are dozens of appeals which have to be heard before the Interim Control Bylaw can be lifted.

The moving of the Urban Growth Centre north and away from the Downtown Core and getting the ridiculous MTSA designation taken off a bus terminal that couldn’t hold ten people were also wins for this Mayor.  And make no mistake about it – she was the driving force.

Political positioning at its very best.

Unfortunately for the Mayor’s image, something she and her husband cultivate and groom with great care, her goof  with the Rainbow Crosswalks issue has drawn blood.

Many politically informed observers think Marianne Meed Ward threw three of her council colleagues under the bus when they voted against the Mayor to have six additional crosswalks done as soon as possible rather than the more fiscally prudent approach to adding one each year.

The Mayor wanted to again raid reserve funds to pay for the additional six – Kearns, Stolte and Sharman had no problem with the crosswalks – just not all at the same time.

With that as background it was surprising to see the Mayor with Councillor Stolte at the Poacher enjoying a cool one.

In a social media posting with the photograph the Mayors said: “Great to step out with Shawna Stolte last night at The Poacher for food, conversation and supporting local business. Friday + sun = patio weather. So many great Burlington restaurants to choose from! Where are you headed this weekend?”

Mayor Meed Ward with Councillor Shawna Stolte. Is this what damage control mode looks like? Who paid for the beer?

One Gazette reader, who misses the comments section, wrote us to say: “How ignorant does this mayor think the residents of Burlington are?

“Making nice with the Councillors she threw under the bus a few weeks ago.

“First a joint statement with Lisa,

“Now drinks etc. with Shawna.

“Let’s see if Paul Sharman either gets an invite or decides not to play the mayor’s game.”

 

Related news stories:

Mayor tries to torpedo three of her colleagues.

The three fight back.

Both sides of the story

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Summer - great time for picnics - how about twelve of them? Check the Councillor Stolte calendar

By Staff

July 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a normal world members of Council would be in full vacation mode with most of the seven out of town, maybe out of the province or out of the country.

This is not yet a normal world.

Councillor Sharman has two major events in his riding; Councillor Bentivegna has a number of back yard meetings planned.

Mayor wasn’t specific but she will be out there meeting and greeting and accepting the adulation from her tribe.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte stunned us when she released her summer plans: twelve pop up events in parks within her ward where she will be waiting for people who want to talk to her.

They will ask: Is she running again?  She is.
The pop ups run from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm There will be signage in place – you won’t be able to miss her.

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The push is on to help prevent a fourth Covid19 wave in the Fall.

By Staff

July 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As vaccine supply increases, many appointments available in July and August

Halton Region Public Health is encouraging all residents 12 years of age and up to get both doses of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible in order to gain full protection against COVID-19 and help prevent a fourth wave in the Fall.

“We are making great progress with our vaccine rollout, with 81 per cent of residents with one dose and 60 per cent of residents fully vaccinated,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “With a more steady and predictable supply of vaccine from the Federal and Provincial governments, there are many options to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Halton and make it a two dose summer.”

Here are the many ways to get first and second doses in Halton:

• New! Walk-in vaccinations now available at Gary Allan Learning Centre clinic (3250 New Street in Burlington). Daily, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for individuals 18+.

• New! More clinic options in Milton – appointments can now be booked online for the St. Francis Xavier Secondary School clinic – appointments available in July!

• Quickly and easily book online at one of Halton’s community clinics, located across Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville – appointments available in July and early August!

o All residents are eligible to get a second dose at a minimum 28 days. Anyone who has appointments booked in September and October, are urged to reschedule to an earlier date as soon as possible.

o Same day or “last minute” appointments available based on cancellations. Anyone with a booked appointment can check daily.

• The Province continues to host local pop-up clinics, with one happening July 24 and 25 at Holy Trinity Secondary School in Oakville.

• More than 100 Pharmacies in Halton are offering walk-in or booked appointments.

• Select Primary Care Offices are offering booked appointments.

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health.

“We are in a race against COVID-19 and its variants. We need to get everyone fully vaccinated to avoid a fourth wave in the Fall,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Make it a two dose summer – get your second dose to gain better protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant as soon as possible. We need 90 per cent fully vaccinated and every dose counts. Be part of the community level protection we need to get back to normal…and stay there. Now is the time to #RollUpYourSleevesHalton!”

Important information & instructions
• All individuals 12 years of age and older who have received their first dose can get their second dose at a minimum 28 day interval.

All new appointments are booked at a minimum 28 day interval.

o Anyone who has appointments booked in September and October, are urged to reschedule to an earlier date as soon as possible.

o Anyone who has found earlier appointments elsewhere (e.g., through a pharmacy) or has completed both doses must cancel their existing appointment at a Halton clinic.

• The quickest and easiest way to manage appointments, including booking or rescheduling an appointment at a Halton clinic, is online. Residents are asked to avoid calling 311 unless they need immediate booking or rescheduling support.

• Individuals requiring additional assistance, language supports or other accommodations can contact 311 prior to their appointment to arrange for additional supports.

o Transportation services to and from appointments are available, free of charge, for those who require it. Parking is free at all clinic locations.

• To maintain physical distancing and safety measures, please:

o arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment (not earlier);
o wear a mask;
o complete a wellness check before entering a clinic, using Halton’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Screening Tool; and
o attend appointments alone if possible. You may bring one support person, if required (for example, a caregiver or interpreter).

To learn more about Halton Region’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program, including how to book an appointment, please visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines.

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Library transformed into a space for community support, equity and inclusivity to cope with pandemic

By Maddy Van Clieaf, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

 July 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Public Library, BPL, has served as a community hub for information, engagement and literacy since 1872. With the unprecedented events of the pandemic, the library has transformed into a space for community support, equity and inclusivity.

Lita Barrie, CEO and President of BPL

Lita Barrie, CEO and President of BPL, and her team of librarians and staff have been working throughout the pandemic with other community groups and libraries to establish comprehensive services that capture the community’s needs.

The library worked in two ways to accommodate the community. Barrie explained that “it was about what we could do in our capacity as the library to help keep our community safe and our staff safe.”

Just as Burlington shifted online, the library closed its doors on March 13, 2020. Staff and patrons alike adapted to the digital format, with the library seeing a 103% increase in eCheckouts.

This might be social distancing to the extreme.

To respond to the increased demand for online services, BPL transformed their website into a ‘virtual branch’ offering a wide variety of staff picks eBooklists, online learning resources and activities for children at home, as well as a list of community resources for those in need.

As well, a partnership with the Mississauga, Hamilton, London and Ottawa Public Libraries boosted BPL’s digital book collection, expanding the total digital collections to 330,000+ titles.

All the pandemic did for the library was increase the demand for something to read.

Barrie continued, “The second way BPL accommodated the community was in trying to adapt to whatever constraints the pandemic was presenting at one time or another to provide meaningful library service. Part of what we tried to reimagine through the pandemic is how we could continue to be open to the community while our physical branches couldn’t be.”

Reimagining the way a library works and functions in the community means the services provided by the library are constantly changing to adapt. They provide for a broad demographic; young kids learning to read, students, and senior citizens.

Maddy Van Clieaf is a second year journalism student at Carleton University.  She is with the Gazette as part of the federal governments Local Journalism initiative.

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Peculiarities of Gambling in Canada

By Kate Elder

July 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Although Canada is not considered to be the gambling capital, there are many good casinos, bookmakers, and other gambling establishments operating here. Online casinos are also available to residents of the country. However, you should be aware of the fact that different areas of Canada have their own legislation driving the gambling market. And you need to adhere to your local rules to be 100% sure that you are not breaking the law.

Key Features of the Local Business
The fact the different legislative acts are driving the industry in different states complicates the life of a gambler. You may be legally allowed to make bets in one province but have serious problems because of playing your favourite casino game in a different state. For example, in Alberta, you can participate in gambling if you are 18 years old or older. In British Columbia, it is allowed to make bets at a casino only if you are not younger than 19.

The situation is completely different in the northwestern regions of the country, where only the government lottery is legal. To stay on the safe side, you need to check local gambling laws and stick to them. The same refers to playing online slots here — you either need to clarify the legal status of online gambling or start the game on the offshore casino site.

The situation is somehow stable for casino owners. In states where casinos are allowed, you can legally become a gambling business owner if you purchase a license. Many new gambling businessmen start their business from scratch. The gaming license is issued by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission  of Ontario. Besides that, the government of each Canadian province determines the type of permitted gambling business on its territory. So you should check it out as well.

Local Casinos

In Canada, most casinos and gambling venues offer a decent level of service. Of course, it is difficult to name the best ones since it is rather a subjective matter. However, the below casinos are considered to be the most popular gambling halls in the country:

Northlands Park — The most popular luxury game complex is located in Edmonton. The casino is called Northlands Park. For all visitors, it offers numerous slot machines, table games, and sports betting options;

Medicine Hat Lodge Resort casino — You can find the establishment in Montreal. The casino hosts over a hundred tables and three thousand machines under its roof. Players can place virtual bets at the racetrack and have a great time playing other games of chance. The Medicine Hat Lodge Resort casino operates on the territory of Alberta and is considered one of the largest gambling establishments in Canada;

Casino de Mont-Tremblant — The luxurious Casino de Mont-Tremblant is located in Quebec. This club is renowned for its high level of service and many great deals available for players. The two-level establishment occupies a vast area and includes a thousand slot machines, as well as isolated areas for playing poker.

Of course, Canadian casinos are not as famous all over the world as the establishments in the neighbouring USA. However, each province of the country offers its residents and tourists good gambling clubs. All in all, gambling fans will hardly get bored in Canada.

Industry Level as a Whole
The gambling business in Canada is a huge industry with a massive turnover of 13 billion a year. The development of gaming clubs is actively supported by the state. There is a positive image of gambling here, and the Canadian government follows the successful example of the neighbouring United States in its loyalty to the gambling business. More than 60 casinos in Canada are licensed and equipped with the latest gaming technology. The owners of gambling clubs pay great attention to the quality of customer service and gameplay level delivered.

According to industry experts, the gambling business in Canada can gradually achieve American gambling success. Today, the country’s gambling industry regularly receives investments from foreign businessmen who confidently invest their finances in Canadian gambling establishments.

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