75% of Halton has had first dose - 15% have both

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 19th, 2021




As of Friday, June 18, 2021, 453,614 doses have been administered in Halton, which includes 376,399 first doses and 77,215 second doses.

needle and vaccineThis represents 75 per cent of Halton’s population aged 12 and up who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 15 per cent who have received both doses.

Yesterday, the MoH announced that individuals who received their first dose on or before May 30 can reschedule their second dose appointment at a shortened interval through Halton’s online booking system starting today.

Return to the Front page

Statement from Burlington Mayor Meed Ward on City Council to Consider Renaming Ryerson Park

News 100 redBy Staff

June 18th, 2021



I recently received correspondence from the Chair of the Board of the Halton District School Board (HDSB) notifying me that the Trustees, at their June 16, 2021 meeting, approved a motion to rename Ryerson Public School on Woodview Road in Burlington in accordance with the Board’s Naming and Renaming Schools Policy and Governance Procedure.

A city-owned park adjacent to the school also bears the Ryerson name.

Ryerson Park

The Mayor is now ashamed of the man who created the public education system that has served everyone very well.

Ryerson statue

The statue to commemorate the man who created the public school system in Ontario was first defaced and then toppled

Ryerson Public School and adjacent Ryerson Park are named after Egerton Ryerson for his contributions to the Ontario education system, however, Ryerson was also instrumental in the design of Canada’s Residential School system. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded this assimilation amounted to the genocide of Indigenous peoples.

The City of Burlington is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and the names we choose for our municipal properties must reflect that commitment – both going forward, and in retrospect. As part of that commitment, Burlington City Council recently unanimously endorsed the Halton Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Charter produced by the Halton Equity and Diversity Roundtable. We have also recently updated our naming policies to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion is integrated in all our asset naming.

There have been growing calls to remove Ryerson’s name from public buildings and institutions, including Ryerson University in Toronto, where a report on the matter is expected to come before their president and board of directors this fall.

I support the change the HDSB is making and the reasons behind it.

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

As part of our continued commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, I am working with City of Burlington staff to bring forward a report to Committee and City Council in July 2021 recommending removing the Ryerson name from our park and embarking on the council-approved naming process. We expect this process to be complete by November 2021. We will keep you updated on this process and opportunities for members of the public, including the HDSB, to provide input.

Our Indigenous community needs to enjoy our parks and public spaces without a reminder of one of the architects of the Residential School system and the legacy of harm it created for their people. Renaming our city park is one step we can take toward reconciliation with our Indigenous residents.

Return to the Front page

Lawmakers look to reverse banning sports betting in Canada

sportsgold 100x100By Nicholas Jerome

June 18th, 2021



The worldwide sports betting industry is huge, to say the least. To countries such as the UK, it is worth an estimated £14 billion a year to their economy. The explosion of online betting, as well as gambling in online casinos over the last decade or so, has only led to an increase in the popularity of sports betting. That is unless you are a resident in Canada.

hockey players

Betting on individual games is not possible at this point in time.

Where sports betting is concerned, Canada seemed to be left in somewhat of a time warp: lawmakers refusing to allow the country to follow where the rest of the world was heading. The criminal code of Canada meant that it was illegal to bet on single events in the country.

This left Canadians unable to bet on their favorite sports unless they turned to unregulated markets. As we are half way through 2021, is this something that is about to change?

It’s been a long road

Those in Canada have long sought changes to the law surrounding sports betting. For sports fans, the appeal was obvious, but for politicians and those in power, there were also clear indications of how such a change could benefit the economy. The last major change to betting laws in Canada came way back in 1985 and have long needed an overhaul.

House of Comm

The federal government level changes the Criminal Code.

There have been regular attempts to have gambling laws reviewed and to open the world of sports betting to residents in Canada with some already on the lookout for a bet365 bonus code. Each time there has been an insurmountable hurdle. With no specific laws against match-fixing, betting on single events remained a concern for lawmakers and posed issues when reviewing the current betting laws.

Where Canada is now

November 2020 saw the introduction of Bill C-13 by the Liberal government. This bill sought to bring Canada into the present and open the future of sports betting. With the bill having had its first reading back in December 2020, Canada had hoped that the law would have seen a change before Christmas was upon us all.

The hope is that the bill will be revisited and passed, early in the new year. This would see new laws surrounding sports betting coming into effect in the spring of 2021.

Sports betting in Canada, 2021 and beyond

For sports and betting enthusiasts, the upcoming law change can only be a positive. The opportunity to participate in betting in a regulated market has long been sought by those in Canada.

gaming data

The data shows the impact gambling has on an economy.

The legalization of sports betting is also sure to draw a new crowd: rather than those who had risked a grey market for years, others are now sure to enter the world of betting. Preparing for, and harnessing, the growth in demand can only lead to a positive ripple effect through the Canadian economy.

With the deal being already done, 2021 will be a year that defines change and one that will be looked back on as truly groundbreaking.

Return to the Front page

Housing is more than a profit center - it is homes that determine the quality of life reputation of the community

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2021



It was a solid exchange of views between the Chief Executive Officer of the West End Home Builders Association and members of Burlington’s city council.

Meed Ward - tight head shot

Mayor Meed Ward

Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

Mike Collins–Williams was opposed to the shifting of the Urban Growth Centre boundaries to well north of the downtown core up to the Burlington GO station where there are plans for significant development.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward had gotten what she wanted and took exception to Collins–Williams suggesting that downtown had been sterilized when the boundary was moved.

Councillor Nisan termed the use of the word sterilize as disgusting, inappropriate and “inflammatory”.

421 Brant

The construction cranes are in place – the building will rise floor by floor in the months ahead.


Construction is underway.

It didn’t get any better for Collins-Williams when Councillor Kearns asked him to explain what it was that the home builders association wanted that city policies were not giving them.  She followed this up by asking: “What might we be missing that the policies in place do not address?”

The debate was part of a Statutory meeting taking place at Regional Council last Wednesday.

The debate at the Region was never the kind of debate that took place at Burlington city hall between 2010 and 2018.  The stark differences between the interests of the developers and the intentions of the current council was laid bare.  It was the driving issue in the 2018 election and the voters liked what Meed Ward was offering better than what either Rick Goldring or Mike Wallace had put on the table.

Someone paid a third party advertiser to do what they could to influence the views of the voters – it didn’t work.

The debate heard on Wednesday was never heard in Burlington’s Council chambers in previous Statutory meeting occasions.

When the then Golding council approved the Carriage Gate development that would put a 26 storey tower opposite city hall the then city manager is reported to have gotten up to shake hands with the developer.


If the developers get their way there won’t be much park space for the public in that football shaped property.  There are three developments working their way through the planning process.

The development opportunities on Brant Street south of  Caroline are exceptional, as are those in the football between Lakeshore and Old Lakeshore Road where there are a number of developments working their way through the planning process (clogged up at LPAT hearings at the moment) that will result in a significantly different Burlington if they get built.

Development in Burlington is focused on profit, not on the creation of community. The building of high rise condominiums changes the scale, scope and streetscape, which determines how people relate to the community.

There is little in the way of input from the people who are going to live with the buildings. The condominium going up opposite city hall is built right out to the property line and soars straight up for 26 floors.

Some developers do create designs that embrace the street. The Molinaro group has a development that puts two towers on either side of Brant Street at Ghent, that have slight curves,  which leave the impression the buildings are communicating with each other.  If built they will become the gateway out of the downtown core to a different Burlington that will rise beside the Go station.

Appreciation for architecture rests in the eye of the beholder and what the public is seeing now is quite different than what was built along Lakeshore decades ago.

During the required Statutory meetings the developers set out what they want to do and explain that they are meeting all the required rules.

Collins Williams

Mike Collins-Williams represented the interests of the developers during the required Statutory meeting on the changes being made to the Regional Official Plan.

What doesn’t take place is a dialogue between the architect and the public on what the public would like to see built on the streets they will live, work and play on.

Usually the first time a citizen sees a building is when they look at a glossy brochure.

Architects are hired by developers to create a pleasing looking building that meets the aspirations (and at times the egos) of the developer and doesn’t cost a fortune to build.

Developers are not in the housing business, they are in the profit-making business – and in a capitalistic society that is the way the game is played and accepted.

Selling housing isn’t the same as selling soap.

The homes that are built determine to a large degree the kind of society we have. Human beings need space; the developers refer to that space as amenities.

This isn’t a Burlington problem – it is one that plagues the country. However there is no reason a change cannot at least begin in Ontario. And if Mayor Meed Ward can pull that off – good on her.


Related news story

Lobbyist states the case for sticking with old Urban Growth plan

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

Return to the Front page

Builders Association wants the move of the UGC boundary squashed or revised to include the downtown core

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 17th, 2021



Regional Council met Wednesday morning and on their agenda was a Statutory meeting required under the Municipal Act to permit the public to respond to changes in the Regional Official Plan.

There were a number of delegations. The one from the West End Home Builders Association (WEHBA) formerly the Hamilton Halton Home Builders’ Association) which represents approximately 300 member companies across Hamilton and Halton Region with the industry employing over 22,700 people, paying $1.4 billion in wages, and contributed over $2.6 billion in investment value within the local economy in 2019, was delivered by Michael Collin-Williams.

As a key partner to Halton Region in the delivery of new housing supply and the building of complete communities, WE HBA wishes to ensure we can effectively work together towards a range of housing choices at prices and rents people can afford in Halton Region.

ROPA 48 and the Future of Halton Region’s Growth
Our region is growing rapidly – The Greater Golden Horseshoe is anticipated to grow from approximately 10 million people today to just under 15 million by 2051 – to put this into context, that is the equivalent of the entire population of Greater Montreal moving here over the next 30 years.

Halton Region is forecast to take on its fair share and to grow by 485,000 residents and 220,000 jobs by 2051.

In its current form, ROPA 48 presents risks to Halton Region’s ability to effectively and efficiently promote housing development and construction in accordance with the Housing Supply Action Plan.

Through consultation on Halton’s IGMS, City of Burlington staff recommended Growth Concept 3A/B as being most closely aligned to the City’s goals.

Aerial COB - frm Region

Development lobby wants to squash the permitted change to the Urban Growth Centre.

Therefore, Halton Region should not approve ROPA 48 without modification to the proposed relocation of Burlington’s Urban Growth Centre given the change to the Downtown Burlington UGC runs contrary to this very ambitious growth scenario through higher levels of intensification.

Downtown Burlington & ROPA 48:
The Burlington Downtown UGC was established as one of 25 UGCs in the initial growth plan in 2006 to direct both growth and investment to downtown Burlington.

Each review of the Growth Plan through both Liberal and Conservative governments maintained the Downtown Burlington UGC to establish long-term planning certainty.

Currently, ROPA 48 proposes to change the boundary of the Downtown Urban Growth Centre to exclude almost all of Downtown Burlington, including the existing regional public service facilities, commercial, recreational, cultural and entertainment facilities.

Gallery under construction

The first downtown condo to have shovels in the ground is opposite City Hall.

The WE HBA is disappointed by the announcement yesterday that the provincial government will permit the removal and relocation of the Downtown Urban Growth Centre.

While we absolutely support intensification and growth of the Burlington GO Lands that are designated as MTSAs – we believe that the downtown and the GO station areas represent different markets and should both have planning frameworks that support growth and intensification.

Complete Communities and the Flip of the Downtown Urban Growth Centre
WE HBA maintains that directing growth away from Downtown Burlington—an emerging complete community—does a disservice to the City and Halton Region.

With Halton Region proposing aggressive intensification targets, WE HBA believes the Region should be capitalizing on significant investments that have been made in Downtown Burlington by both the public and private sectors.

The WE HBA believes that redirecting growth away from downtown Burlington loses sight of the progress that has been made in revitalizing downtown Burlington.

Further to this, WE HBA notes that the land by the Burlington GO Station serves a different purpose in the City than downtown Burlington.

The WE HBA recognizes BOTH populations and locations are important components of the Burlington community, and supports a greater focus on planning towards creating a complete community for residents surrounding the GO Station.

For this reason, WE HBA recommends ROPA 48 be amended to either:

not relocate the Downtown Burlington Urban Growth Centre OR as a compromise to expand the boundary of the existing Downtown Urban Growth Centre to include BOTH Downtown Burlington and the Burlington GO Station lands.

Our association respects that this is a long and multi-layered process and is strongly supportive of the Region of Halton continuing to work with stakeholders to advance ROPA 48 through the process to achieve conformity with the Growth Plan by July 1, 2022.

Lastly – we support the conformity deadline of July 1, 2022.

There were questions of the delegate – you can just imagine how his comments went over with Burlington Mayor Meed Ward who pointed out that there would still be growth in the downtown core but that it would not be the kind of over development the city has seen in the past five years.

Meed Ward added that there is never any affordable housing in the developments in the downtown core and that the provincial policy focuses on new growth at the MTSA’s.

The Mayor pointed out that the relocation of the UGC was community inspired and that its focus is on where development should take place in each of the precincts.

Meed Ward hands out frnt city hall

Mayor Meed Ward in front of city hall

Meed Ward said the existing UGC was misused to justify over development; going forward downtown growth will be managed more reasonably in keeping with the vision determined by the public.

It was back and forth between Collins-Williams who countered that “long term plans should not sterilize opportunities on where people want to live, work and play”.

Meed Ward had pointed out that Burlington is very close now to reaching the required 200 home/jobs target for 2031 (which is the minimum target) and that development beyond that point will be determined by good planning principles, adding that Provincial Policy calls for development to be directed toward the MTSA’s.

Collins-Williams said the city should not be jamming development growth  into a couple of areas and that political changes which have impacted how some of the changes have been brought about.

He added the need to lower political temperature and build complete communities.

Collins Williams

Mike Collins-Williams, Chief Executive Officer, West End Home Builders Association.

Meed Ward responded that if Collins-Williams meant by being political meant listening to community input in a democratic fashion then democracy is alive and well in Burlington.

The Mayor is scheduled to meet with the builders association in a few weeks where this conversation will no doubt be continued.

In responding to the Burlington Mayor Colin Williams said moving the Urban Growth centre would “limit and sterilize” grow in the downtown core.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns asked Collins-Williams to help her to understand his definition of the downtown core. “What might we be missing that the policies in place do not address?”

Collins-Williams remarked that the province had never before changed an UGC boundary to which Kearns responded “we have had the history lesson before  – my question to you was more forward looking and asked again “what did we miss that your association members are looking for in the way of complete communities”.

Collins-Williams said seniors wanted to be able to downsize and still remain in the community – the downtown condo market met that need but if the UGC was moved north there would be an imbalance.

Kearns - trhe like

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns puts Chief Executive of Builder Association through an impressive jujitsu exercise.

More back and forth before Kearns said “I don’t see anything compelling in your responses – the supply and demand claim being out of balance does not hold water.”

And with that Kearns dismissed Collins – Williams bringing to a close the Kearns  Collins -Williams verbal jujitsu exercise.

He wasn’t out of the hit set yet.  His sterilized downtown remark had Councillor Nisan speak on a Point of Order saying the words were “disgusting”, “inappropriate” and  “inflammatory”



Return to the Front page

Bruce Trail Conservatory putting in Trail Ambassadors

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 17th, 2021



On the Bruce Trail this summer, you’ll see a few new faces helping with onsite education.

The Bruce Trail Conservancy has hired six Trail Ambassadors to perform visitor outreach and litter clean-ups at popular places in three regions: Hamilton/Halton, Beaver Valley, and the Bruce Peninsula.

Bruce Trail at Guelph LineAs more people seek the physical and mental benefits of walking in nature, some areas of the Niagara Escarpment have become hot spots, seeing more human-caused impact than the environment can handle. The high volumes of trail users include those who may not be familiar with trail etiquette.

Litter, trespassing, and other poor behaviours are impacting the trail, the environment, other trail users, and landowners whose property the Bruce Trail crosses.

Mt Nemo - Bruce Trail parking lot - Walkers + #2 sideSo together with Bruce Trail Club volunteers, these summer staff will visit busy trail destinations to promote leave-no-trace practices and safe trail use. They’ll even be distributing “Hike it. Love it. Keep it Clean” badges to those who join them in picking up litter or who are demonstrating low impact hiking.

bruce trail sign

The wear and tear on the Bruce Trail is becoming noticeable. Some TLC from the people who use the trail would be nice right about now.

“More people using the Bruce Trail is not a bad thing in itself. It is wonderful that people have discovered the Bruce Trail as a way to connect with nature,” explains Adam Brylowski, Manager of Conservation and Trail. “For these trails and protected areas to continue to thrive, the Bruce Trail Conservancy, its partners, and all its supporters must work together to ensure that the cumulative impact of all our visits is minimized”.




Return to the Front page

Public School Board gets in on the erasing of history

News 100 redBy Staff

June 17th, 2021



At the June 16, 2021 meeting of the Halton District School Board, Trustees unanimously approved a motion to rename Ryerson Public School on Woodview Road in Burlington in accordance with the Board’s Naming and Renaming Schools Policy and Governance Procedure.

Ryerson statue

Egerton Ryerson statue

The renaming process will begin in September 2021 to ensure the parent/guardian, student and broader community has the opportunity to provide their input. The process to rename the school will be completed by the end of November 2021. The current exterior school sign will be covered until a new name is chosen. Information and signage will also be posted to indicate a renaming process will take place in Fall 2021.

As part of the Board motion, the Chair of the Board will also send a letter to the Mayor of Burlington to inform her of the initiation of the HDSB process to rename the school, as the community park adjacent to the school bears the same name.

Ryerson Public School was named after Egerton Ryerson for his contributions to the Ontario education system, however, Ryerson was also instrumental to the design of Canada’s residential school system. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada concluded this assimilation amounted to the genocide of Indigenous people.

There have been growing calls to remove Ryerson’s name from public buildings and institutions and the HDSB has received formal requests to remove Ryerson’s name from the school. At their June 16, 2021 meeting, Trustees also heard a delegation from a Ryerson Public School parent in support of renaming the school.

As part of the HDSB’s Multi-Year Strategic Plan 2020-2024, the Board has committed to champion supportive and inclusive practices, and to promote knowledge and understanding of Indigenous perspectives and realities. One of the first steps taken is to assess how the HDSB can raise awareness.

“As Trustees, we need to lead by example and have the courage to approach these difficult conversations,” says Chair Andréa Grebenc. “As years have gone by and truths have been uncovered, we have a responsibility, in collaboration with our staff and communities, to reevaluate past decisions and address accordingly.

Ryerson H&S

Portrait of Egerton Ryerson

“The perspectives of the diverse communities of Halton must be valued and honoured. Indigenous students, staff and the broader community should be able to enter a school without being harmed by the HDSB upholding the name of a person that has contributed to genocide.”

Egerton Ryerson did more than contribute, he created the public school system we have today. Erasing history doesn’t mean it disappears – all we have done is hide it.

Ryerson was reported to have “done more than any other man of his day for the cause of public instruction in Ontario.”

Return to the Front page

The Burlington CleanUp - GreenUp is back on

graphic community 2By Staff

June 17, 2021



Burlington Green has announced that the city-wide Clean Up is back on.

cleanup greenup BACKSign up to participate in this popular and rewarding city-wide opportunity to safely collect litter from our communities.

You can also register to participate in various at-home green up activities to help grow the local tree canopy and strengthen local biodiversity.

Since BurlingtonGreen began hosting this inclusive event back in 2011, a whopping 109,000+ people have participated in these collective efforts, resulting in cleaner and greener parks, streams, schoolyards and neighbourhoods. Join in the fun and be part of the change!

You can find all the details, benefits, tips and perks when you register your activities by Registering  HERE

Return to the Front page

Ribfest will take place again on Canada Day

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 17th, 2021



Canada’s Largest Ribfest is “Popping” back up this Canada Day!

RibfestCanada’s Largest Ribfest, a fundraising initiative of Rotary Burlington Lakeshore, is thrilled to be returning to Burlington Centre for a “Pop-Up” drive-thru event, this Canada Day, July 1st, 2021.

The public is invited to the Burlington Centre parking lot, at 777 Guelph Line from 10am to 7pm to experience the fun and flavour of Rotary Lakeshore’s Drive-Thru Ribfest in a safe, socially-distant way. “The safety of our guests, rib teams & volunteers is top priority, while also supporting the charities who need us most right now.”, said Jay Bridle, Co-Chair of Canada’s Largest Ribfest.

Over the course of 25 years, through Canada’s Largest Ribfest, Rotary Burlington Lakeshore has raised over $4.5 million for local, national, and international charities.

Ribfest 2020 lines

It worked just fine last year. It will be even better this year.

“Canceling our Labour Day weekend event that attracts upwards of 175,000 guests for a second year
in a row is a huge disappointment and really impacts our ability to support those charities and
individuals who need it most, now more than ever.” remarked Canada’s Largest Ribfest Co-Chair,
Brent Paszt. “Our Drive-Thru Rib Events enable us to continue that support”; he added.

Rotary Burlington Lakeshore President Jay Thomblison stated that, “after the success of last year’s
Rotary Drive-Thru Ribfests, we saw fit to try it again, not just once, but twice this summer! Proceeds
from this event, along with those generated from our upcoming Labour Day Drive-Thru, will enable
us to continue that support that our charitable friends rely on.”

Guests are asked to enter Burlington Centre from the Fairview Street entrance and will remain in
their vehicles for the duration of their visit. Food vendors will take orders and payment (cards
preferred) and will deliver each completed order to your vehicle. Gloves and masks will be worn by
all staff, vendors, and volunteers.

Four award-winning rib teams in attendance will include Camp 31 BBQ, Billy Bones BBQ, Uncle
Sam’s BBQ, and Sticky Fingers BBQ. There will also be food offerings from East Side Mario’s,
Blaze Pizza, Tiny Tom Donuts, and Ontario Corn Roasters, ensuring that there’s something for the
entire family. The event will also include live music for guests to enjoy while they wait in the
comfort and safety of their vehicles.

Special thanks to our lead sponsors, Burlington Centre and Cogeco, who are once again supporting
the event, showing that the community is dedicated to helping Rotary Burlington Lakeshore raise
funds for their important work.


Return to the Front page

There will be growth - just where is being determined

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 16th, 2021



The Regional government is working on an amendment to its Official Plan.

Burlington’s Official Plan has to be approved by the Region – so what the Region approves is what we are permitted to and expected to do.

Planning is about growth.

From Lakeshore and Martha

A proposed Carriage Gate development at the east end of the football – a stone’s throw from the ADI Nautique that is now under construction.

For the people of Burlington growth is what they don’t want to see in the downtown core.

The province has mandated that future growth is to be focused around the three GO stations where some significant growth has taken place.

The Aldershot GO station has a large new community that will be home to some 2500 people when it is complete. It is more than halfway completed at this point with more to come.

Paradigm from the west Nov 2017

The Paradigm from the east side

Burlington has the  Molinaro development that is entering into stage 2. Nothing in the Appleby GO – yet.

Longer term – out to 2051 here is what the numbers look like as the planners at the regional and municipal levels work through what the province has mandated.

Regional growth to 2051

About 350,000 + people will pour into the Region between now and 2051 – planners are currently working out what each municipality will have to absorb.

Return to the Front page

12 and up can now get vaccinated at more than 100 pharmacies in the Region

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 16th, 2021



The push is on.

The new COVID19 infection rate is low but it is not low enough – and from time to time it spikes a bit.

And the Delta variant is out there and it is dangerous.

The scientists believe the answer is to get everyone vaccinated.

There are eight clinics and 100 pharmacies in the Region that will vaccinate you.

needle and vaccineResidents can get their first or second doses at:

  • one of eight Halton Vaccination Clinics in all Halton municipalities;
  • almost 100 pharmacy locations in Halton; or
  • select Primary Care Offices offering COVID-19 vaccines to community members
  • Starting Wednesday, June 16, residents 12 years of age and older can book appointments at a Provincial Pop-up Clinic in Oakville through Halton’s online booking system.

The Regional web site location for finding the pharmacy closest to you isn’t all that elegant but it works.

Click HERE for that site:

We are in the process of winning the fight to beat back the pandemic.  The scientists have done marvelous work and the people that invented the doses that are now being used did something modern medicine has never seen before.





Return to the Front page

Aldershot residents can get a closer look at the plans for the re-design of parts of Plains Rd - online

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 16th, 2021



It is a sign of the way Burlington wants to configure the way streets are used – the car is no longer king.

Kaylan Edgcumbe, Manager of Integrated Mobility, explains that “Cycling is becoming more popular for commuters and recreational riders and is great for the environment and our collective health.”

The City of Burlington is hosting an online public information centre (PIC) on June 23rd, in the evening via Zoom to inform residents about road resurfacing and installing new cycling infrastructure on Plains Road from Spring Gardens Road to Waterdown Road in 2022.

Plaind Rd bike lanes

Map showing where the re-designed road will be.

Aldershot Plains Rd at WAterdown

The newly designed Plains Road will begin at the intersection of Waterdown and Plains Road and run right out to the RBG.

Part of the City’s Integrated Mobility Plan and Cycling Plan, this infrastructure will be the first of its kind in Burlington and will improve safety of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.

The new infrastructure will include cross-rides, cycle tracks and protected intersections while maintaining existing vehicle lanes.

Cross-rides – Similar to crosswalks for pedestrians, they allow cyclists to safely cross intersections and stay on their bikes. They are generally connected to dedicated cycling features such as segregated bike lanes, cycle tracks and other cycling infrastructure.
Cross-rides will allow cyclists to travel in one direction or both directions.

Cycle tracks – Cycle tracks are dedicated cycling lanes that run beside the road but are physically separated from vehicular traffic by either a curb or buffer space. Depending on the style of cycle track, they may be at the same or different level as the sidewalk.
Cycle tracks are for cycling only and are generally different from sidewalks as they are made of asphalt, while sidewalks are made of concrete.

Cycle tracks are usually one-way and follow the direction of traffic.

Protected intersections – To make intersections safer and more comfortable for people walking, cycling and driving or riding in motor vehicles, the City of Burlington is implementing the ‘protected intersection’ concept where possible. The concept is based on a tested Dutch design that has been implemented throughout the United States and Canada. Features include: corner safety island, forward stop-bar, setback cross ride and cross walk, and designated bike signals.

Online Public Information Centre
This virtual PIC will offer residents information on the project scope, scheduling, traffic impacts and the chance to discuss any construction disruptions from the work.

Date: June 23, 2021
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

How to join:
Step 1: Visit burlington.ca/PlainsRoadResurfacing on your computer or mobile device.
Step 2: Click on the Zoom Meeting Link
Step 3: Enter Passcode: 2xiAQa

hydro poles north side Plains

The poles carrying utility wires (cable and telephone) wires on the north side will be removed and the cable buried.

Residents may also join the PIC by phone:
Dial: 1-647-374-4685 or 1-647-558-0588
Webinar ID: 957 7126 2277
Passcode: 072754

International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/aktOjgFpP
infrastructure for Burlington.

The work being done here will enhance the safety for everyone – not just cyclists – while maintaining the existing vehicular lanes. Cycling is becoming more popular for commuters and recreational riders.

Part of the re-design job being done includes the removal of all the poles carrying telephone and cable TV wires. – the cables will be buried.

The project is a pilot – the city wants to learn how people adapt when there is an opportunity for them to make more use of bicycles.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith thinks it’s a great idea and was pleased when his ward was chosen as the location for the pilot.

All he wants now is a Rainbow Crosswalk outside the RBG that would tell people entering the city from the Hamilton side that Burlington is an inclusive city.


Return to the Front page

Ford invokes Not Withstanding Clause to extend the length of time third party advertisers can spend money before a provincial election

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 14th, 2021



We get about eight, sometimes as many as a dozen media releases announcing what different Members of Cabinet were doing in the way of public statements.

Anything would justify an announcement – it was difficult to keep up at times.


Ontario Premier Doug Ford

Today, the government invoked the “Notwithstanding Clauses in the provincial governance protocols that we have.

The Gazette re-published an opinion published by the Globe and Mail this morning.

We can add to that the statement put out by the Leader of the Liberal Party in Ontario, Steve Del Duca, who does not yet have a seat in the Legislature. He was the Minister of Transportation in the Wynne government that went down to a disastrous defeat during the last provincial election when the Liberals were left with seven seats.

Many feel that the use of the Not Withstanding clause was the first step in a plan to call an early election once the pandemic recovery is in its third stage and the province is close to getting back to whatever the new normal is going to be.

Del Duca issued a statement today saying:

“Today is a sad day for our democracy. In the cover of darkness, Doug Ford has rammed through legislation that will undermine our right to free speech by silencing his critics.

Doug Ford’s power grab is nothing more than an attempt to save his own political skin while changing the rules of an election he’s already running in.

Make no mistake, Doug Ford is silencing the frontline heroes — the nurses, doctors, teachers, essential workers, and personal support workers who are speaking out against his government.

This didn’t have to be today’s reality. In 2018, Ontario Liberals fought to prevent the routine use of the Notwithstanding Clause in Ontario’s governance, but with the help of Andrea Horwath and the NDP, Doug Ford’s majority shut down our motion.”

This is a black day for everyone in the province.

Related editorial item:

Globe and Mail opinion piece.

Return to the Front page

Halton MOH updates Class Order to align with Provincial guidance

The Regional Municipality of Halton
For Immediate Release
June 15, 2021

Halton MOH updates Class Order to align with Provincial guidance and further protect residents

To align with Provincial guidance, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health has made important amendments to her Class Order requiring self-isolation under Section 22 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act. Effective 12:01 a.m. on June 16, 2021, the amendments revise and clarify self-isolation requirements to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the community.

“A key role of Public Health in controlling the spread of the virus is to identify, contact and make sure high risk individuals are isolating as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is a community effort and as we enter Step 1 of the Roadmap to Reopen we need to make every effort to further reduce the spread and severity of the virus in our community. It is important that our community continues to follow all public health direction and has clarity on what they need to do to stay healthy and protect others.”

Amendments to the Class Order reflect new provincial guidance and include an exemption for some fully vaccinated individuals from the requirement to self-isolate. Key amendments to the Order include:

  • clarification that Halton Region Public Health may require people to self-isolate to prevent COVID-19 transmission in circumstances beyond the categories itemized in the Class Order; and
  • an exemption to self-isolation requirements for some fully vaccinated individuals, based on specific requirements and in consultation with Halton Region Public Health.

Details of the changes to self-isolation requirements in the Class Order include:
Fully vaccinated individuals who are a close contact of a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 may not be required to self-isolate if:

  • they received their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, or first dose of a one-dose vaccine series, 14 days or more before the day on which they last had close contact with the confirmed case or probable case of COVID-19;
  • their vaccine history has been confirmed by Halton Region Public Health;
  • they are asymptomatic; and
  • they are not a resident of a long-term care or retirement home, a patient admitted to a health care setting, or an individual with an immunocompromising condition (for example, organ or stem cell transplantation recipients, undergoing chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapies).

Fully vaccinated individuals who meet these requirements may still be required to self-isolate if Halton Region Public Health has information that links their exposure to a Variant of Concern of the COVID-19 virus for which vaccine effectiveness is not well established.
Even if Halton Region Public Health has told you that you do not need to self-isolate:

  • you must report your exposure to your employer and follow any restrictions from work as specified by your employer; and
  • if you develop new symptoms (even mild symptoms) of COVID-19, you must self-isolate immediately and report your symptoms to Halton Region Public Health.

Halton Region and Ontario have now experienced outbreaks and community transmission of Variants of Concern (VOCs) of the COVID-19 virus—even in vaccinated individuals. Following public health measures is the best way to protect the community against the spread of COVID-19, including VOCs. To protect yourself and others this summer:

  • get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two doses);
  • practice physical distancing by maintaining a 2-metre distance from others outside of your household (or 3-metres if and as required for some newly permitted activities);
  • wear a non-medical mask where required and when physical distancing cannot be maintained;
  • wash hands frequently with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub; and
  • get tested if you think you have COVID-19 or may have been exposed to it, even if you’ve been vaccinated.  Stay home, and self-isolate.

To learn more, please read the Class Order and the Class Order fact sheet. To learn more about COVID-19 in our community and what you need to do to protect yourself and others, including under the Class Order, please visit halton.ca/COVID19.

Return to the Front page

School bus drivers spend a day raising funds, having some fun and getting caught up - expecting to be back behind the wheel in September

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 15th, 2021



The person who is present with children in school, especially at the elementary and middle school levels is the teacher.

the drivers

First Student school bus drivers taking part in a fun day to get caught up and get a sense as to whether or not students will get taught in classrooms come September.

But there are two other people who interact with the children every day. The crossing guard for those who walk to school and the school bus drivers who pick the kids up and drive them home. Each of them steps into the bus where the driver gets a good look at them.

Most long term drivers have known the kids for years, have watched them grow and mature.

Getting the last of the condiment

Getting the last of the condiment out of the bottle.

Tuesday after noon some 165 drivers and 35 management people gathered in the bus parking lot to do the best they could in the way of an awards events – something they hold each year.

Covid19 has upset just about every event – the First Student Transportation group, that does a large portion of the student transportation, held an event that had managers taking a seat atop a dunk tank.

big guy in waiting at tank

Waiting for someone to decide they want to dunk

Drivers go to buy balls that they would throw at a target that loosens a bar that lets the person sitting in a seat drop into the water.

All of the dunking had taken place by the time the Gazette reporter arrived.

We did meet several of the people who took their turn in the tank who proudly said they were either the first second or third person to get dunked.

The dunking was set up as a Fund Raiser for the Halton Food 4 Kids program that feeds kids breakfast at schools throughout the Region.

They raised just over $800 and were delighted. The people who put their hands in their wallets aren’t paid all that much which makes the amount raised impressive.

First Student operates 180 buses under a contract from the Halton Student Transportation Services (HSTS) – which is a collaboration between the Public and the Catholic School Boards that ensures there are enough buses available.

A school bus has a ten year life cycle and is inspected every three months.

All the mechanical maintenance is done on site.

First Student has contract operations in Canada, including Quebec, the United States and Britain.

Dave Colloy runs HSTS and works closely with both school boards and the operations people at each of the two transportation companies who hold contracts.

Kevin Bergman at the wheel

Kevin Bergman at the wheel of the bus he trains people to use.

Kevin Bergman, who oversees safety and the training of the drivers. They end up with a B Class license which is the highest you can get, said Bergman who is an MTO (Minister of Transportation) certified instructor.

He gives the drivers 40 hours of instruction: 10 hours in skills training, 17  hours in class, 15-17 hours on the road.

The drivers are then tested on the classroom training and again in a bus on the road.

The classroom work is done in one-on-one settings.

Bergman was the last of the managers to sit on the seat waiting to be dunked. When we saw him he was standing in the water, literally shivering, waiting for someone to pony up a couple of bucks to dunk him again.

The drivers stood around in small groups getting caught up with who was doing what during the lockdown.

These are people who deal with change every day. Weather is what determines how their day is likely to go.

The day for the drivers starts as early as 4:00 am when they have to get the keys to the bus they drive, learn of any changes in the route they are driving, gas up and do the walk around of the bus to make sure everything is where it is supposed to be.

For the drivers – they see their colleagues as part of a group providing a vital service. They see the students they transport as part of a family.

You gotta’ like kids, is the way Kevin Bergman describes the job.

Transportation and transit are undergoing serious changes. While the drivers see diesel buses as real work horses with a ten year life span they can see electric buses on the horizon. The comment from all the drivers is about how quiet the electric buses are.

Kevin in the tank CLOSE up

Shivering in the tank Kevin Bergman waits for someone who wants to pay to dunk him.

The changes in class hours for high school students that are in pilot mode at a couple of school boards will mean big changes. It might mean additional hours for some of the drivers who would transport elementary students early in the morning and high school students in time to get them to class for 10:00am.

Should the pilot be made policy by the Ministry of Education there will be some significant changes.

It all comes back to the drivers who can usually spot a kid having a tough time.  “We see the bullying and we break up that stuff very quickly.”

Problems at home are always reflected on the faces of the students who clime on board.  When they are happy the drivers see it the moment they step into a bus.

“When my drivers are happy – I am very very happy.” said Bergman.

Return to the Front page

Shift of the Urban Growth Centre closer to GO station is approved by Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs - a big win for the Mayor

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 15th, 2021



For those who said she couldn’t do it – fess up and admit you were wrong.

Meed ward election night 1

Her election was based on changing the way the core would be developed. They elected her and today the promise was delivered.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward believed she could present a strong enough case to convince the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs Minister of Municipal Housing and Affairs that the city should be allowed to determine what the Urban Growth Centre boundary should be.

Today the Minister visited Burlington and stood with the Mayor and MPP Jane McKenna for the announcement that Burlington can adjust UGC Boundary

The adjustment of the boundary of the UGC, once centered on the downtown core, will put the focus of the designation on the Burlington GO Station, allowing the City to direct future height and density near mass transit and help build more complete communities.

This decision supports the work already incorporated into Burlington’s revised new Official Plan (OP), already approved by Halton Region. Burlington’s new OP includes stronger protections for green space, heritage, jobs, the rural community, established low-density neighbourhoods and a special focus on preserving the character of the downtown.

The existence of an Urban Growth Centre in the downtown resulted in development applications that brought a number of developments into the core; two are currently being built.

Others are in various stages of applications; several are before LPAT.

Mayor Meed Ward acknowledges the work MP Jane McKenna put into getting the approval from the Ministry but make no mistake about this – it was Mayor Marianne Meed Ward who made it happen over the doubts of many.

McKenna’s contribution included a photo op of the start of construction for a 20+ condominium tower across the street from city hall.

Ground break - Oct Suz Hammel, +

The ground breaking for the tower that has changed what Brant Street used to look like was celebrated by MPP Jane McKenna as she took part in the event.

The building should never have been approved. Responsibility for that one lies with previous city councils.

There is more to say about the significance of the announcement – but for today let the Mayor revel and celebrate a decision that will result in a much different Burlington in the decades to come.

The decision is more than enough to re-elect her – would anyone take a chance and try to run against her.


Return to the Front page

Walmart delivers a significant cash contribution to the Food Bank

graphic community 3By Staff

June 15th, 2021



One of the things that makes the Burlington Food Bank the success it is are the partnerships they have developed.

It took some time for the understandings to be worked out and the trust to be built but over time Robin Bailey and the folks at Walmart have created a program that has Walmart sending food that is in perfect condition but is not going to get sold for a number of reasons. They may have over stocked; weather may have impacted traffic to their locations, or what they had in stock was not going to get sold.

They communicate with the people at the Food Bank and talk at least every couple of days to arrange for the shipment of food. This is the ongoing part of the relationship.

Walmart hunger campaign

Walmart ran a very successful Fight Hunger Spark Change that raised both funds and a better awareness of what happens when people are hungry.

Walmart has a Fight Hunger Spark Change campaign that resulted in the generous donation of $26,765.72 to the Burlington Food Bank. The funds will allow for the purchase of healthy nutritious food for people needing support in our community.

The need remains steady and this is excellent timing for relief. We would like to encourage everyone who is able to support our local businesses and restaurants to enjoy a nice lunch on a patio in this great weather. And please be kind to one another as we all keep trying to get through this pandemic. Don’t forget the essentials to safely distance, wear masks as needed and wash/sanitize your hands often.

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help, PLEASE have them email us at info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at their door or make arrangements to pick it up through our curb-side pickup option. If you are a resident in Burlington, we are all here to help. Don’t struggle – give us a call.

Return to the Front page

Brazen thefts from LCBO stores have taken place recently - latest was earlier this week

Crime 100By Staff

June 15th, 2021



On Wednesday, June 9, 2021, at 5:15pm, a male suspect attended the LCBO store located at 321 Cornwall Road in the Town of Oakville and stole four bottles of alcohol valued at $306.40.

LCBO theft suspect June 15th

Images are very clear – someone should know the suspect.

Suspect: Male, White, appears to be in 30’s, brown hair, approximately 5’8 and 175lbs., wearing a white tank top style undershirt, teal coloured baggy pajama pants and grey coloured croc shoes. The suspect had a black backpack with white dots on it. The suspect was wearing a medical mask PPE.

The suspect has visible tattoos on both forearms.

There have been a number of thefts of liquor from LCBO shops.

The images captured are of very high quality – someone should recognize the man with expensive drinking habits.

What is confusing is how do the police know the exact value of what was stolen? Did the suspect stand before the cashier who rang in the purchase and the suspect walked out CrimeStopper_Logowithout paying?

Pretty brazen!

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

Return to the Front page

It was a painful week for everyone - there was a bit of sunshine in a handmade poster

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

June 14th, 2021



The week that is now behind us was filled with so much heavy news.

The discovery of the remains of 215 children in Kamloops, British Columbia, and the news that four people were killed when a man behind the wheel of a pickup truck deliberately ran them down killing four members of a family out for a quiet evening walk. A nine year old son was in hospital unable to attend the funeral of his parents that took place on Sunday.

The city opened up some of the restrictions that were limiting what people were permitted to do. The opening of patios was a welcome change but couldn’t remove the weight on our hearts.

Muslims in prayer

Muslim community taking part in a public Call to Prayer last Friday.

On Friday the Muslim community held their Call to Prayer in Spencer Smith Park. It wasn’t a huge turnout but certainly respectful.

There were a few police cars parked on Lakeshore Road and the Gazette spotted a high end drone over the site.

Did the police expect people to be anything other than quietly respectful ? Shame on anyone who felt “those people” should not be in a public place.

Dennis a

Who wrote this sign? It would be an honour to meet the woman. What a profound statement.


There was a handmade sign held up by a Muslim woman that spoke to my heart.
One Gazette reader sent in a comment suggesting that the Mayor was a little early in publicly mourning the death of the Afzaal  family suggesting she should have waited until there was a full investigation.

Investigation of what ?

The police have charged the man with four counts of first degree murder and a charge of second degree murder. They have added a charge of terrorism to the four murder charges.

That kind of comment is veiled racism. We did not publish it – but it is out there. The way to change that behavior is to speak out every time.

I don’t know who made the sign we photographed. It would be an honour to meet the woman.

Return to the Front page

Rural Burlington should have access to broadband internet before the end of the year

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 14th, 2021



It was a long awaited announcement that means a lot to the people in north Burlington.

avk best june 14

Milton MP Adam Van Koeverden

Milton MP Adam van Koeverden spoke to a small group of people via Zoom this morning announcing that broadband internet access was going to be available in the not too distant future to homes in a catchment area bound by Hwy 407/Dundas on the South, Bell School Line on the East, and Walkers Line on the west. Derry Road is the northern boundary.

The work is being done by Standard Broadband under a federal funding project that has a Rapid Response element that works with communities that are basically shovel ready.

The federal government has pumped $2.75 billion into the Rapid Response that covers the country.

Halton currently has six Rapid Response projects on the go with two in the Milton area. The most recent reached into the northern part of Burlington and is called the Zimmerman project.

The work started in mid-February. Mostly research and determining where equipment would go – that will continue into late July.

Tom Williams Standard Broadband

Tom Williams, the President of Standard Broadband

Tom Williams, the President of Standard Broadband said he expected the system to be in place and operational sometime in November.

The longer term objective is to have everyone in the region with broadband level access to the internet.
One member of a group called the “broadbanders” who did the original due diligence work on what was needed and possible agreed with MP  van Koeverden that the internet is to Canada today what the building of railways was in the late 1800s. Every community of any size was going to have a rail line.

The event was important enough for the Rory Nisan Councillor for ward 3 and ward 6 Council member Angelo Bentivegna to be on the call.

Mayor Meed Ward was there for a couple of minutes – connecting as best she could from her cell phone.  She was on her way to an event at Backed by Bees in north Burlington to take part in the announcement that Backed by Bees was donating to the Burlington Food Bank. Products like honey are not usually donated to the food bank said Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Food Bank, however families love receiving it when it’s available so the wonderful folks at Backed By Bees are proud to offer raw honey for donation at a reduced cost specifically cared for and harvested for The Burlington Food Bank.

Bentivegna said it was “a great day for all” and that he was “beyond ecstatic”.

Williams explained that the work being done in this initial phase is part of the backbone of the system that will be in place eventually.

The federal department overseeing the project nationally is the Innovation, Science and Economic Development ministry.

Return to the Front page