Halton's MPs meet with disabled community - promise more funding

News 100 redBy Staff

May 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Yesterday, the Honourable Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington, the Honourable Anita Anand, Member of Parliament for Oakville, Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington, and Adam van Koeverden, Member of Parliament for Milton were joined by community advocates and local service providers to discuss support for people living with disabilities in Halton.

Paul WHO in wheel chair - Senior

The objective is to ensure that people with mobility limitations are able to take part in all community activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the long-standing barriers Canadians with disabilities have faced for decades. Since the start of the pandemic, many have faced higher costs in accessing food, medication, social services or health care.

As Members of Parliament in Halton, we remain committed to advancing policies that build inclusivity from the beginning and will continue to work to reflect the principle of ‘Nothing About Us, Without Us’ when it comes to creating a society that is inclusive by design and promotes belonging for everyone.

Important stakeholders including Community Living Burlington and Community Living Oakville, Charter Ability, the Burlington Accessibility Advisory Committee, Stroke Recovery, Meals on Wheels, Special Olympics, and Goodwill Amity came together to share their thoughts on how we can continue to push for more inclusive spaces in our communities.

One of the overwhelming pieces of feedback was that we as a society need to engage in an attitudinal change. Inclusiveness for those living with a disability should be built into planning and policy procedures from the very beginning to ensure that all of us are included.

Our community spaces need to be inclusive and accessible. While we have made progress in this space, there is more work to be done to ensure that everyone can access and utilize spaces that many of us take for granted, such as public washroom facilities.

We also need to work harder to ensure that housing is not only affordable but accessible and that job opportunities are available and accommodating to all interested applicants.

We will also continue to work to foster inclusion and belonging in the workforce for people living with disabilities, recognizing the unique skills and talents they bring to employment.

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada has made significant proposals to support people living with disabilities and ensure our communities are more accessible, including:

• Undertaking consultations to reform the eligibility process for federal disability programs and benefits. This work would feed directly into the design of a new disability benefit;

• Triple funding for the Enabling Accessibility Fund and support small and mid-sized projects with not-for-profit organizations, women’s shelters, child care centres, small municipalities, Indigenous organizations, territorial governments, small businesses, and businesses of all sizes;

• Improving access to the Disability Tax Credit;

• Extending disability supports under the Canada Student Loans Program;

• Providing $29.2 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to ESDC through the Enabling Accessibility Fund to support child care centres as they improve their physical accessibility;

• Support the creation of a National Autism Strategy and;

• Renewing Funding for the Office of Public Service Accessibility.

 

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Women's Health Issue to be Subject of a Podcast by two Certified Menopause Practitioners

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 20th 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Every woman experiences menopause differently but the onset of menopause can mean a variety of symptoms (hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings etc.) and a marked increase in certain health risks. While there are women that immediately seek treatment, menopause symptoms are just as often left untreated due to misconceptions about the treatment options available. As a result, 70% suffer in silence or miss the window for seeking treatment options that can actually make life more comfortable.

There are healthcare providers available known as Menopause Practitioners, that are dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of women through an understanding of menopause. These specialists see patients to help them assess and determine treatment protocols, and they may be more accessible in your community than you think!

Menopause women

Kerry Roberts & Carolyn Whiskin, Certified Menopause Practitioners at Brant Arts IDA have helped hundreds of women through their transitional years and now they are heading online to empower more women in their quest towards a healthier postmenopausal life.

Brant Arts IDA Pharmacy is home to two experts in women’s health: both are Certified Menopause Practitioners.
Kerry Roberts and Carolyn Whiskin. Together, Roberts & Whiskin have been referred by many doctors and met with hundreds of patients to help them through their transitional years. Their expertise includes a vast knowledge of women’s health concerns such as: sleep disturbances, hot flashes, low libido, mood swings, irregular menstruation and more.

These two energetic experts are offering a free online education session entitled: “Menopause Symptoms… Do I REALLY Have To Live With Them?” This session provides a casual and relaxed online environment for postmenopausal women to learn what should be expected with regards to menopause symptoms. “We’ll discuss the benefits and risks of many treatment options so women can feel in control about choosing the best treatment for them!” Roberts explains.

They will then evaluate the impact of the education they provide and this research will be used to help improve the future of women’s health. Roberts & Whiskin are looking for females that have experienced menopause symptoms but have yet to seek treatment to participate in their free upcoming education sessions. While their first few sessions filled up quickly, the next available date is June 8. Space is limited. Details can be found at: www.brantarts.ca/menopause

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Joseph Brant President Updates the Community - things are better - still some very sick people to take care of

News 100 blueBy Eric Vandewall

May 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Over the past few weeks, I have been sharing these regular updates with our community to keep you informed of what is happening at Joseph Brant Hospital and to seek your help to move out of this third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, I would like to say thank you. Thank you for following public health measures. Thank you for getting vaccinated. Thank you for continuing to show your support for our hardworking staff and physicians in your emails, phone calls, Join the J lawn signs, available at www.jointhej.ca, and social media posts. With your help, we are moving in a more positive direction.

We are starting to see the pressure on critical care bed capacity easing. Today the number of COVID-19 patients receiving critical care is 718: 494 of these patients are on a ventilator. Today, JBH is at 82% capacity. We are currently caring for 13 patients with confirmed COVID-19 as well as presumed and resolved cases – 11 of the confirmed COVID-19 patients are in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Yesterday it was announced that hospitals across the province can gradually resume surgeries and procedures as able, based on capacity and resources. Our teams are planning the resumption of scheduled care, ensuring the safety of our patients, staff, and physicians. If you were impacted by a deferral, your surgeon or physician will contact you with more information as soon as available.

While we are seeing a decrease in acute care cases, as well as daily new COVID-19 case numbers, it is important to put this information into perspective. The daily case numbers we are seeing now are equal to the number reported during the peak of the second wave. Ontario’s hospital occupancy rate is still very high and it will take time for this rate to decrease to acceptable levels.

The reality is we are still very much in this third wave. By following public health measures, the risk of transmission decreases, and so does the number of severely ill COVID-19 patients in our hospitals.

Vaccination is also a key ally in our fight to stop the spread of the virus. As of today, more than 260,000 Halton residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine offered through regional clinics, pharmacies and family physicians. I am proud to report that since March 12, the Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Joseph Brant Hospital has administered over 22,000 doses. We have also started to increase the number of available appointments per day. In less than a week, we expect to reach 25,000 doses.

There is more good news – anyone age 18 and up is can now make an appointment to get vaccinated. This is a very positive development that will also help us out of this third wave safely and stronger than before. I encourage everyone who is eligible to make an appointment: either online at www.halton.ca/covidvaccine or call 311 if you need assistance.

Some of you may have questions or concerns about getting vaccinated. Please talk to your doctor or go to credible sources like Halton Region, the Ontario government and Health Canada for more information. During the recent Immunization Awareness Week, our own Dr. Dale Kalina answered a series of questions from our community related to vaccine. I invite you to watch these short video clips on our Instagram page.

Please continue to look after each other. Stay safe and thank you once again for your unwavering support of our hospital.

Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital CEO is about to tell us what he gets paid annually. He didn't volunteer this information.

Eric Vandewall: President and CEO Joseph Brant Hospital

Eric Vandewall is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Joseph Brant Hospital.  He was appointed in 2009 and took on the task of adding additional space and a completely new wing to the hospital.

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The Road to Normality - Premier Lays it Out

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario government has released its Roadmap to Reopen, a three-step plan to safely and cautiously reopen the province and gradually lift public health measures based on the province wide vaccination rate and improvements in key public health and health care indicators. In response to recent improvements to these indicators, Ontario will allow more outdoor recreational amenities to reopen, with restrictions in place, effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m.

Doug Ford finger pointing

Doug Ford: He is a happier man today. Thinks the Leafs are going to win tonight.

“As a result of the strict public health measures we introduced to stop the spread of COVID-19 variants, we are seeing a steady improvement in our situation as ICU and hospital numbers begin to stabilize,” said Premier Doug Ford. “While we must remain conscious of the continued threat the virus poses, with millions of Ontarians having received at least their first dose of vaccine we can now begin the process of a slow and cautious re-opening of the province in full consultation with our public health professionals.”

Roadmap to Reopen outlines three steps to easing public health measures, guided by the following principles:

• Step One – An initial focus on resuming outdoor activities with smaller crowds where the risk of transmission is lower, and permitting retail with restrictions. This includes allowing outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people, outdoor dining with up to four people per table and non-essential retail at 15 per cent capacity.

• Step Two-  Further expanding outdoor activities and resuming limited indoor services with small numbers of people where face coverings are worn. This includes outdoor gatherings of up to 25 people, outdoor sports and leagues, personal care services where face coverings can be worn and with capacity limits, as well as indoor religious services, rites or ceremony gatherings at 15 per cent capacity.

• Step Three – Expanding access to indoor settings, with restrictions, including where there are larger numbers of people and where face coverings can’t always be worn. This includes indoor sports and recreational fitness; indoor dining, museums, art galleries and libraries, and casinos and bingo halls, with capacity limits.

The province will remain in each step for at least 21 days to evaluate any impacts on key public health and health system indicators. If, at the end of the 21 days, the following vaccination thresholds have been met, along with positive trends in other key public health and health system indicators, then the province will move to the next step:

• Step 1: 60 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose.

• Step 2: 70 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 20 per cent vaccinated with two doses.

• Step 3: 70 to 80 per cent of adults vaccinated with one dose and 25 per cent vaccinated with two doses.

Based on current trends in key health indicators, including the provincial vaccination rate, the government expects to enter Step One of the Roadmap the week of June 14, 2021. The province will confirm closer to the expected start of Step One.

“While we know that now is not yet the moment to reopen, Ontarians deserve to know the path forward on what we will carefully reopen and when, starting with the settings we know are safest,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Brighter days are ahead and we believe this Roadmap represents a path out of the pandemic and will encourage Ontarians to get vaccinated and to continue following public health advice.”

The province-wide emergency brake restrictions remain in effect while the province assesses when it will be moving to Step One of the roadmap with the Stay at Home order expiring on June 2, 2021. During this time, the government will continue to work with stakeholders on reopening plans to ensure full awareness of when and how they can begin to safely reopen.

Due to the continuing success of Ontario’s vaccine rollout and the collective efforts of Ontarians in following public health and workplace safety measures to date, effective May 22, 2021 at 12:01 a.m. the province will reopen outdoor recreational amenities with restrictions in place, such as the need to maintain physical distancing.

These amenities include, but are not limited to, golf courses and driving ranges, soccer and other sports fields, tennis and basketball courts, and skate parks. No outdoor sports or recreational classes are permitted. Outdoor limits for social gatherings and organized public events will be expanded to five people, which will allow these amenities to be used for up to five people, including with members of different households. All other public health and workplace safety measures under the province wide emergency brake will remain in effect.

At this time, publicly funded and private elementary and secondary schools in the province will continue to operate under teacher-led remote learning. Data will be assessed on an ongoing basis and medical experts, including the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and other health officials will be consulted to determine if it may be safe to resume in-person learning.

“Due to the stringent efforts of Ontarians following public health and workplace safety measures, we have reached the point where we can begin preparing to exit the province-wide emergency brake and lift the Stay-at-Home order,” said Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “We must remain vigilant however, as the fight against COVID-19 is not over and our case counts, ICU capacity and hospitalizations are still concerning. It remains critical that all Ontarians continue to follow all public health and workplace safety measures currently in place to help further reduce transmission and save lives.”

The government will continue to work with the Public Health Measures Table, Public Health Ontario, and other public health and scientific experts to determine public health guidance for Ontarians to follow, including protocols for masking and outdoor/indoor gatherings, after being fully vaccinated.

Quick Facts
• Based on the latest modelling data COVID-19 case, positivity and hospitalization rates are decreasing, and control of the pandemic is improving. Maintaining the current rate of vaccination and public health and workplace safety measures will help to ensure Ontario starts to safely and gradually reopen.

• Ontario has administered first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to over 58.5 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over. Over two million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Ontario since the start of May, and the province remains on track to have administered first doses to 65 per cent of Ontarians aged 18 and over by the end of May.

• The government has extended the province wide Stay-at-Home Order until June 2, 2021, and has maintained all public health and workplace safety measures under the province wide emergency brake to help to stop the rapid transmission of COVID-19 variants in communities, protect hospital capacity and save lives.

• The Stay-at-Home order currently in effect requires everyone to remain at home except for specified purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services (including getting vaccinated), for outdoor exercise, or for work that cannot be done remotely.

• If passed by the Legislature, powers under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA) will be extended to December 1, 2020 to ensure public health measures currently in place can be extended and adjusted as necessary, to deal with the impacts of COVID-19 and support a gradual re-opening of the province. There are currently 29 orders in effect under the ROA. Orders can be extended for up to 30 days at a time under the ROA, and the government must report on all order extensions to the Select Committee on Emergency Management Oversight.

As of 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, individuals aged 18 and over in 2021 across Ontario are eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through the provincial booking system and call centre, or directly through public health units that use their own booking system.

 

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Different groups in the Beachway during the week - Moms with the kids and trades people getting it ready for the weekend

graphic community 3By Pepper Parr

May 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There were two groups active in the Beachway yesterday; one of them will be busy today and Friday getting that part of the city ready for the thousands that are expected to want to spend time on the sandy shores of Lake Ontario.

BoardwaLK new

New outdoor planking has been put in place around the Convenience Shack; public washrooms may not be ready for this weekend.

Contractors and maintenance people are beavering away to get washrooms set up, signs in place, and barriers where they are needed to keep people from putting their vehicles in the wrong places.

Mom with 4 kids at Beach May 19

Mom, the boys and a girl with a pail – heading for the lake.

Then there are the Moms – those we saw were driving pickup trucks and trundling down to the Beachway with their children in tow and all the stuff you need to play in the sand and enjoy the sunshine.

Then there was the couple; two people who have known Burlington most of their lives, who have found a quiet spot where they could sit side by side and enjoy the blessings.

seniors looking over lake Beachway

Listening to the silence and counting the blessings.

They were all their earlier this week; few of them will be there in the weekend.

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Public school board appoints new Director of Education; a lot of Toronto based experience

News 100 yellowBy Staff

May 19th, 221

BURLINGTON, ON

Trustees of the Halton District School Board are pleased to announce the appointment of Curtis Ennis as the new Director of Education, Chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Board, effective August 1, 2021.  

curtis Enns

Curtis Ennis, newly appointed Director of Education for the Halton District School Board

Ennis’ career portfolio during the past 22 years has included a variety of senior leadership positions with the Toronto District School Board, Canada’s largest school board, as well as the Ontario Ministry of Education. Ennis began his career as a primary teacher and advanced through various leadership roles as a Superintendent of Education with increasing responsibilities.

He is currently the Associate Director, Equity, Well-Being and School Improvement (Interim). 

Ennis has led numerous strategic planning initiatives in the TDSB, as well as gaining leadership experience with the Ministry of Education’s Toronto and Area Regional Office. Ennis holds a Bachelor of Business Management (Accounting/Finance) and a Bachelor of Education and Master of Education (Language, Culture & Teaching) from York University. 

Following the retirement announcement of the current Director of Education, Stuart Miller, trustees began a search process in early December 2020. With the help of Joan M. Green and Associates/Lough Barnes Consulting Group (LBCG), an extensive consultation took place. The search involved consultation with stakeholders in the education community including HDSB staff, local unions, trustees, students,  community partners and beyond to develop the Halton-specific Director position profile.  

“The Trustees of the Halton District School Board (HDSB) were impressed with, and grateful for, the strong show of interest and outstanding qualifications of the candidates who applied for the position of Director of Education,” says HDSB Chair Andréa Grebenc.

“We are excited to welcome Curtis Ennis as the HDSB’s incoming Director.  Curtis brings a wealth of knowledge gained through senior leadership roles in the Ontario education sector. He has diverse experiences that will be invaluable in building strong relationships with students, staff, families and community members, as the HDSB continues its journey to fulfilling the goals outlined in the 2020-2024 Multi-Year Strategic Plan, and providing outstanding opportunities for every student.” 

 

Ennis has a proven-track record of strategic planning and leadership with a focus on student achievement and well-being, equity and inclusion, communication and relationship building. 

“I am truly honoured and excited to be joining the Halton District School Board as Director of Education, says Ennis. “I am grateful to the Trustees for their confidence in me and I look forward to leading and learning with the students, staff, families and community partners of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville in the years ahead. Leadership for me has always been about service and I am deeply committed to working with all staff and the Board to carry on the Halton tradition of excellence in education while being acutely mindful of those who have been historically under-served and have faced barriers to positive outcomes.

“Working collaboratively with students, staff, trustees and communities, I will be intentional and focused on ensuring the success and well-being of students of all identities in HDSB.” 

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Road Safety Week: a 7-day national campaign aimed at making Canada's roads the safest in the world.

graphic community 5By Staff

May 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Today marks the beginning of Canada Road Safety Week, a 7-day national campaign aimed at making Canada’s roads the safest in the world.

With what we have seen take place earlier this week in York, the importance of this message has never been more obvious. Our heart breaks for our neighbouring community.

car-accident-lawyer2

Auto accident consequences include criminal charges, fines, suspensions, or vehicle impoundment.

This annual awareness campaign is designed to increase public compliance with safe driving measures in order to save lives and reduce injuries. The focus of this campaign continues to be on behaviours that put drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users at risk: impaired driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, and not wearing a seat belt.

Unsafe driving behaviors come with increased risk of injury or death. Other consequences include criminal charges, fines, suspensions, or vehicle impoundment.

There is no excuse to justify unsafe driving behaviour. It is simply #NotWorthTheRisk.

We want Halton residents and all Canadians to remember the decisions they make and the consequences of their actions impact everyone on or near our roadways.

The Halton Regional Police Service thanks those in our community who recognize that they share the roads with others.

Car-Accident-Injuries-1000

Often takes months to recover accidents like this.

Whether you are a motorcyclist, a pedestrian, a driver, or a cyclist, remember… road safety starts with YOU.

The Halton Regional Police Service is proud to be participating in this year’s Canada Road Safety Campaign. While this public safety initiative is part of a national effort to help make Canada’s roads the safest in the world, we are confident that our local efforts will help make the roads here in Halton among the safest in Canada.

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Farmers' Market opens for the season - covid rules are being sensibly enforced

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was the first day of operation this season for the Lions Farmers Market that set up in the south end of the Burlington Centre parking lot.

The weather was perfect; people strolled in, cleared the entrance where you are expected to squirt the disinfectant on your hands and begin looking at the produce.

Right to your tableAnd produce there was – the pictures tell that story.

The crowds weren’t great and there were a lot of empty places for the significant list of farm participants this market has had in the past.

It was week day – Saturday will tell the story.

There were plenty of Lions people on site welcoming as you came in and ready to answer any question.

Table laden with vegetable

You need a big bag when you leave this table – they had something of everything that comes out of the ground.

 

potato table + truck

 

Empty spaces

Lot of space for additional farmers – expect it to be busier on the weekend.

 

market - entry point

Squirt your hands at the entrance and enjoy what is being offered for sale.

Markets operate Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – well worth the time.

Hours of operation: Wednesdays   8:00 – 2:00   Fridays  8:00 – 3:00    Saturdays  8:00 – 2:00

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Is there a better park location in store for the residents of Station West in Aldershot?

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith was doing his virtual community meeting earlier this week he made mention of a change that had been made to the Station West development the ADI Group has underway. Word is that the town houses are basically sold out.

ADI Masonry Court south boundary

Part of the Station West complex. The residents are going to want to organize a community group to ensure that their interests are fully protected. Not something the ward councillor will do for them

Next phase will be the condominiums that will be built at the northwest corner of the development where Waterdown Road intersections with Masonry Road.

Sometime in April the ADI people asked the community where they would like the park to be and put up a graphic showing what they had in mind.

Many were stunned by what was being offered.

option-1-3-towers

The small patch of land at the bottom of three high rise condos (in the 29 to 34 storey range) was the original park location.

According to Galbraith ADI has seen the error of their ways and decided to place a park to the north of the condo towers closer to the pond.

During a short tour of the property with camera in hand we photographed the pond and the piece of property the park would be located on. It could work – it is certainly better than what was offered back in April.

Site for the 3 conos

North of Masonry Road at the Waterdown intersection – three condo site.

park new area

What is understood to be the park space to the west of the town houses.

Pond - park with colour boundaries

Storm water pond to the left and what is believed to be the new space for the park.

Waiting for some response from the ADI people.

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Bentivegna points to growing tax rate problem: his colleagues ignore it

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Every once in a while ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna casts a vote intended to make a point.

Angelo B

Councillor Angelo Bentivegna: thinking it through.

This time he was asking what impact changing the business model for the Tyandaga Golf Club would have on the 2022 budget – and then reminded his colleagues that the projected tax rate for 2022 was 5.25%

Council was about to pass the item as part of a collection of issues that had been pulled together as a consent item, which is council’s way of voting on a number of decisions at the same time.

Any member of Council can ask to have an item pulled from the consent list so that it can be voted separately.

Bentivegna wanted more information on just what the change in the business model would have on the tax rate.

He was told that it would likely be between .07% or .08% – which would put the 5.25% projection over 6%

Staff did their best to assure Bentivegna that the public wouldn’t see any increase in 2022 and probably not in 2023 either.  Any funds the golf course needed would be for capital items and would go on a list to be considered by the Capital expense people.

Angelo - not getting it -deferal

Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna making a point at a council meeting.

Bentivegna’s point was that – yes it would be going on a list and at some point the public would be asked to pay.

When it came to a vote on the item Bentivegna asked that it be a recorded vote.  He was going on the record and wanted his colleagues to do the same thing.

The vote was 6-1: Bentivegna had made his point with his “no”  vote.

The public will at some point be asked to pay for capital items at the golf course.  The fear in the minds of many is that the public might be asked to pay for some of the operating costs as well.

 

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Food Bank will be closed on Monday of the ong weekend

graphic community 3By Staff

May 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you are in need of food support, please call us or email before Thursday this week so that we can arrange for delivery on Friday. If you need your delivery for Thursday evening then please contact us by Wednesday this week.

Bailey Food Bank March 31-20We hope you all enjoy a nice Victoria Day long weekend and have a chance to get outside and enjoy this wonderful warm sunny weather. Great for our mental health!

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.

The people who handle the food intake and then pack the food packages that go out to homes in Burlington need a break and it is a public holiday.

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Survey for the Not for Profit Sector

graphic community 3By Staff

May 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

CDH logoCommunity Development Halton speaks:  They are reaching out to the numerous Not for Profit organizations in the Region and asking them to take part in an important survey.

“As Ontario moves into pandemic recovery and rebuilding, the Not for Profit sector needs responsive policy solutions and supports to meet the immediate and long-term needs of our organizations and the communities we serve.

“Data is key! This is a crucial time to gather evidence to plan and to advocate to government and other funders for a more equitable and sustainable recovery.

“That’s why we are asking you to be part of a COVID-19 impact survey led by the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) and l’Assemblée de la Francophonie de l’Ontario (l’AFO). This one-year follow up will build on data from previous surveys by these provincial organizations, most recently in June 2020.

“Part of the survey focus is to gather regional data, which will help better understand the impact of the pandemic in Halton and the unique regional supports needed. As a survey partner, Community Development Halton (CDH) through Social Planning Network Ontario (SPNO) will be analyzing the data for our region to inform our work. We will report back on local context and action for our members, networks, and communities, and facilitate further dialogues for action. As well, we will be looking to ONN’s policy recommendations after the survey and those which connect locally.”

Three reasons to complete the survey

  1. Inform public policy solutions and other supports to strengthen your nonprofit and the sector
  2. Include the voices of nonprofits from our region and provide a local context for the pandemic’s impact and evidence needed for sustainability planning. Data will be available in de-identified data sets, with province-wide and region-specific data, to support your own work, community engagement, and advocacy.
  3. Bonus! Enter to win two free tickets to ONN’s annual conference Nonprofit Driven 2021.

Survey details

The bilingual survey is open to all nonprofits in Ontario (including charities, nonprofit co-operatives and grassroots groups) with a mission to serve a public benefit.

“We need 10 minutes of your time to provide vital data on the financial, operational and human resource impacts of the pandemic on your organization, access or barriers to government measures, and rebuilding opportunities and challenges. This survey closes on June 4, but we would appreciate your response as soon as possible.

“Together, we can collect vital data to advocate for a rebuilding strategy that meets the needs and aspirations of our region and those of other diverse communities across Ontario.”

survey logo

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Beachway Weekend Parking Fees begin May 22

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

May 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON
New this summer, the City of Burlington is introducing a summer parking fee on weekends through the HONK mobile app.

Users do not have to download the app but can scan the QR code on parking lot signage to pay for parking.

Fees will be charged from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends beginning Saturday, May 22, 2021 until the last weekend in September, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2021.

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

The Beachway is busier – visitors from outside the city come to enjoy the sandy beach – nothing like it in elsewhere in the Region.

The City is working to make sure residents can safely enjoy the outdoors while following all public health recommendations. The Beachway has gotten more popular over time and last summer saw record demand for parking due to the pandemic, resulting in the City having to use barricades, a drop-off zone, and parking ambassadors to help manage the demand for parking. Illegal parkers were given a warning and issued tickets.

Beachway + Jan 16-15 028

Parking on the median is prohibited – there is a pipeline underneath.

This year, especially those parking on Lakeshore Road shoulders and the grass boulevard over the pipeline, will be towed.

Visitors must pay for parking on weekends. It is an hourly rate of $2.50 or a daily flat rate of $20. Users can scan the QR Code or download the HonkMobile app.

There is a transaction fee of $0.35 for each payment. Dashboard tickets are not needed as every payment is linked to a license plate number.

Parking is free in Downtown Burlington on weekends and holidays. Beachway visitors are encouraged to extend their walk or use the drop-off zone, park and meet their household members at the beach. For parking downtown, visit burlington.ca/downtownparking.

Visitors are also encouraged to consider taking Burlington Transit, cycling, walking or rolling to the beach and leaving their cars at home.

Starting Thursday, July 1, Burlington residents can take advantage of 10 free days of parking per year at Beachway Park. It is recommended that residents wait to fill out the parking exemption form once arriving at the beach and parked in a legal parking spot.

The exemption doesn’t guarantee a spot, but it does give residents free parking for the day.

For more information about parking at Beachway Park, visit burlington.ca/paypark.

Transit - Vito Tolone

Director of Transportation Services, Vito Tolone

Director of Transportation Services, Vito Tolone explains what his department has to cope with: “Parking spaces at Beachway Park are very limited and the lots fills quickly. We are introducing paid parking on weekends this summer to help manage the parking and traffic flow.

“We are still under a Stay-at-Home Order from the province so we’d like to remind Beachway visitors to plan ahead and possibly consider coming back another time if the parking lot is full, or to park in an alternative location. Please avoid parking illegally – City bylaw officers will be actively ticketing and towing to further help manage parking and ensure safe traffic flow.”

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The Pearle - it will quickly become the destination point in the city

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

May 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The best kept secret in town is on the southern edge of the downtown core.

It has been decades in the making and now when it is at the point where it should have broken into the public imagination – a pandemic gets in the way.

Leanne and Aaron Ciancone, a brother and sister team wait patiently for the rate of infections to get to the point where it will be safe to gather in large groups.

With some luck – there will be a New Year’s Eve event in The Pearle Hotel and Spa.

The Gazette has featured the site and follows the construction of what is going to be the biggest draw the city will have.

Last week we got a look at the construction of a grand stair case that will lead from the reception area to the ballroom and at the same time saw some of the best coffered ceiling work this city has ever seen.

Jean Valery Lacasse took a few minutes to get us access to the site.

JV waiting

Jean Valery Lacasse waiting while a photo shoot is completed.

Lacasse was born and raised in the Quebec countryside, Jean Valery (known to most as JV) was brought up to respect and enjoy farm fresh food while enjoying meals made from his mother’s garden.

After graduating from University Laval with a political science degree, JV moved west to improve his English in Vancouver.  He went on to work in some of the best hospitality locations in Canada, including the Sassafraz in Yorkville, the Canoe and the Auberge du Pommier.

He worked in France staging restaurants including  Les Trois Gros and Guy Savoy. Lacasse also spent a number of years in Japan.

He was then brought on by IconInk to open the now infamous Cluny restaurant in the Distillery district and was then promoted to act as Corporate Food and Beverage Manager for the company’s newest property, the Bisha Hotel.

JV brings his expertise in food, wine, and hotel operations to Pearle in his new role as Food and Beverage Director for The Pearle Hotel & Spa. While his exceptional experience lends itself to JV’s work ethic, his genuine and thoughtful delivery of hospitality is what makes him stand out from the rest.

 

crown moulding

The coffered ceiling is atop the grand stair case leading to the ballroom

When you meet the guy you quickly realize he is everything they say he is. He is also patient; waited for me to finish the photo shoot and then moved onto his next task.

Stairway to ballroom

Front view of the stair case that will lead to the ballroom. Th sweep of the structure is very dramatic.

 

stairway to ballroom 2

A side view of the staircase – thousands of brides will be photographed on those stairs.

Getting the Pearle Hotel and Spa to the point where they are open and operational has taken a long time.

This trip we got to look at the grand staircase that will take people from the reception area to the ballroom.  Thousands of young brides are going to have their pictures taken on that sweeping staircase.

The coffered ceiling above the staircase is fantastic.  I doubt there is anything in the city that rivals this work.  Toronto would be hard pressed to equal this.

The kitchen and the swimming pool are underway with work on outside the building still taking place.

The Pearle is part of the building that is at the intersection of Lakeshore R0ad and Elizabeth Street that rests on the edge of the lake.

Bridgewater - frpm lakeshore to lake public

This opening in the Bridgewater development runs from Lakeshore Road to the edge of the lake with stairs leading to the water’s edge. The development includes two condominiums and a hotel.

Stairs to water edge -three levelsThe stairs leading to the edge of the lake will be a great place to sit and watch the fire works displays at the Pier.  There was snow on the stairs when this picture was taken.

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Ward Councillor sees a North Burlington solution differently than Regional Planners

News 100 green

By Pepper Parr

May 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In one of the four public meetings, albeit as virtual events, the Regional government has done a superb job of engaging the public as they explained what the issues were and listened to what the public had in the way of responses and solutions.

Regional planning staff were open and transparent and offered to take calls during office hours to answer questions for those who wanted more detail.

rural - urban - NA

North Aldershot is treated as a separate area with different development rules.

The land in the North Aldershot area was described as not the best place for urban development. The topography and the creek systems made urban development problematic and suggested that there were other locations in the Region that were better options for urban development.

Tom Muir is an Aldershot resident who has followed plans to develop in the North Aldershot community.

He wanted to know why the “Minutes of Settlement” that were signed in the 1990’s  were not being discussed.

Minutes of Settlement are an agreement between a government and a developer setting out what is permitted in the way of development for a specific location. The Minutes are very detailed.

Regional Staff seemed to feel that those minutes could be set aside. That will be something that will get worked out going forward.

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith took a different view on development potential saying “I completely understand the Region’s position in that they act as an upper tier government for the four municipalities and when it comes to growth, they look to the most efficient areas in terms of servicing.

North aldershot boundary

Boundary of North Aldershot

“I think the North Aldershot area is beautiful and would make a very nice community development of low density residential housing that is in such high demand at the moment. It would be very similar topography to the Tyandaga community which includes lots of valley lands and water features and mature trees. They mentioned that it is very complicated in that the elevation difference between the 403 highway and Waterdown is 100 meters and we know that water does not run up hill naturally.”

Galbraith at King Paving

Ward 1 Councillor Kelvin Galbraith standing just south of the Waterdown Road bridge over the 403.

Instead of this type of community on beautiful valley lands, the Region has opted to take another easy farm field in the north areas of Milton and Halton Hills and recommend servicing there.

“Where would you rather live as a resident? The choice is easy for me.”

Eagle Heights may very well be that community and that would be it for North Aldershot. Tom Muir asked a good question tonight but the Region did not want to speak to site-specific lands. What complicates their recommendations is that they need to recognize the approvals that Eagle Heights already has.

Eagle Heights is a development that the Paletta interests have an Ontario Municipal Board (now known as LPAT)  approval to proceed, however the Regional government has to service the area – putting in water and sewage infrastructure in place.

“This means that the region is obligated to at least service the OMB approvals. If Paletta decides to proceed with his approvals then the next North Aldershot review will be different as the boundary opening will need to be considered.”

 

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A perfect spring weekend in the city - were you there?

graphic community 2By Staff

May 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

How well did Burlingtonians behave on Sunday when the weather was about as good as it gets this time of year?

The Parks Culture and Community Department decided not to have staff in the parks keeping an eye on people – looks as if it wasn’t needed.

The pictures that follow are worth a thousand words.

tulips + women

Pictures like this get put on post cards.

 

 

LaSalle Geese

Watching the geese at the LaSalle Marina.

girl with chipmunk RBG

Feeding the chipmunks at RBG – these are the best fed creatures in the city.

Easterbrook ;ined up

This is typical Burlington – spending some time at one of the few places in the city that deserves to be called iconic

canal social distancing at its best

This is what social distancing is all about. Now if we can get this across to the younger set – we just might have a complete summer.

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Metrolinx staff make a young women’s final wish to operate a train come true

graphic community 3By Anne Marie Aikins

May 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Transit vehicles, especially big commuter trains, can inspire imagination and even a bit of awe. But for some, they become the thing of dreams and wishes.

If given the opportunity to ask for anything – anything in the world – what would be your last big wish?

For one determined young woman, it was to operate a train like the GO trains she often took rides in with her parents. It was always her dream, but now seemed like an impossible feat for someone on her last journey in palliative care.

metrolinx girl with her dad

Romina stands next to a GO Transit Safety officer and his K9 partner at the UP Express terminal at Union Station.

Born with Down syndrome, Romina Asrani is now 21 years old. The endearing and determined wisp of a young woman saw her wish come true at Union Station this past weekend (May 16) when Metrolinx and Alstom Canada staff worked together to create an incredible, joyful experience that no one will soon forget.

This past year has been filled with sadness and loss for everyone. There is a proverb, however that says sorrow is a requirement for finding moments of true joy. This story may seem terribly huge, but because a young woman believed her dream was possible, it also made us believe it too.

And we felt joyous even for a few minutes because of her.

I was first introduced to Romina Asrani and her family when Sick Kids reached out to tell us about her dream to “drive a big train like her grandfather”.

Hesitant at first because it seemed impossible under the circumstances, but I was willing to try and do what we could and agreed to meet with them by video. The Thornhill parents, Mansour and Soraya, told me about their daughter Romina, who was born with Down syndrome and has suffered with multiple illnesses since she was a little girl. She’s a fighter, Soraya said, but is now in palliative care.

metrolinx asrani h&s

Romina Asrani: She’s a fighter, Soraya, her Mother said, “but is now in palliative care.”

Romina told me about her wish to drive a train some day. They often, at least before she became gravely ill and the pandemic began, took the GO train for trips, and she would take the train in Europe too, she said. Her dad would tell her stories about her grandfather who was a train engineer and his stories always fascinated her.

Well, I fell in love with her immediately of course, so proposed we wait until we were out of lockdown and it was safer. She wouldn’t be able to exactly drive a train, I said, but I would see if our rail team could give her a fun trip, nonetheless.

Unfortunately, they were concerned that waiting wasn’t really an option, so we agreed on a Sunday afternoon with barely three days to plan. The parents also requested a reporter be there so they could have her story documented. Romina cheered as we ended the call saying: “Yes, I am going to drive a train!”

I hung up on our video call wondering: ‘What on earth am I going to do? I cannot disappoint her.’

For readers who don’t know, my little sister Jenny was one of the greatest sources of joy in my life. Like Romina, she was also born with Down syndrome and died the day before our first lockdown in March 2020. Jenny would have kicked my butt if I didn’t fulfill Romina’s dream.

So, I reached out across our organization – to senior leadership in rail, transit safety, operations, stations, and beyond – and told them about Romina’s last wish. I pressed send on the email and waited – within minutes everyone responded with the same message.

And then I sat back and watched our teams create some magic. Metrolinx staff worked with Alstom Canada to plan a special UP Express train and a crew to work personally with Romina. Stations staff ensured we were ready to escort the family around safely with a wheelchair for Romina to carry her oxygen and reduce the amount of walking. Transit safety arranged to be on site with Dougie from the K9 team. Souvenir gifts were planned. And a safety plan was meticulously prepared to ensure we remained COVID-safe and were prepared for any type of emergency.

Staff thought of everything and really reached out across our entire organization to prepare for Romina’s special train.

The day finally arrived. As the family pulled up in front of Union Station, I was taken aback just how frail and tiny Romina was as she approached and glad we thought about bringing a wheelchair.

After I greeted Romina and her parents, transit safety and stations staff met with the family as they arrived, took them to the UP Express station and provided her with special gifts including official transit safety badges, a GO bear and plenty of masks. She loved the UV cleaner in the station and made her parents clean their phones. 2

Once the regular scheduled train was loaded with customers and left for the airport, with Romina watching from the platform, the station grew quiet and over the loudspeaker came this soothing voice:

“Attention please, we have an extraordinary announcement. Please join me and all our staff at Metrolinx in welcoming Romina and her family to UP Express as our very special guests today. The next train arriving is Romina’s train.”

metrolinx girl with police dog

“This is the coolest thing, the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I will never forget it, ever.”

Romina’s joy was palpable, and she was giddy with excitement as the specially arranged train arrived and the doors opened. As we entered the train, staff and customers in the station spontaneously cheered loudly.

“This is the coolest thing, the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I will never forget it, ever.”

The crew met Romina and toured her through the train, explained their jobs and when they asked her if she wanted to sit in the conductor’s seat in the cab, she turned to me and said: “Really, you are making this happen for me?”

I’m not sure there was a dry eye at this point. Certainly not mine.

The Alstom crew, engineer Tony Borek and conductor Aaron Trude, took her into the cab, let her hold the key, which she held like it was the most precious treasure and then explained all the gadgets. The microphone was a huge hit; they showed her how to use it to make announcements and toot the horn.

Although she wasn’t technically operating the train, the crew made her feel like she was in control as the train moved the very short trip to platform 3 and back.

Once we were back at the station, Romina sat in the opposite end cab and showed off her skills on the microphone.

“I’m so excited,” she said.

While Romina learned the tricks of the trade, Soraya and I chatted like moms do. She told me just how hard the last year has been for her daughter, the loneliness, her worsening breathing and stays in the hospital. Worrying about contracting a potentially deadly virus added to their anxieties.

Soraya spoke with such fondness and gratitude for their amazing Sick Kids family – the same hospital Jenny was treated at for years.

Then the crew presented her with an official honorary locomotive engineer certificate.

metrolinx certificate

“I could not be happier than I am right this minute,”

“This is the coolest thing, the best thing that has ever happened in my life,” Romina said. “I will never forget it, ever.”

As the family wished, Global News (including Global National) was there to document her journey. When Mansour was asked to speak to the reporter, Romina tugged his sleeve to let him know she had this covered. And then she articulated much better than any of us could what this experience meant to her.

“I could not be happier than I am right this minute,” Romina said. “Thank you all for making my wish come true for me. I love you all. You are my angels.”

When I passed on her thanks to Savio D’Gamma Rose, a manager in the operations centre who helped bring all the details together behind the scenes, his response spoke for all of us: “This was my absolute pleasure. I was lucky to be a part, even in a small way, of bringing some happiness and joy to Romina today.”

Thank you, Romina from all of us.

 

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We have a Mayor who does not walk her talk - ducks the opportunity to support local news

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Tuesday afternoon, tomorrow,  Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will take her seat in Council Chambers as Chair of a meeting of city council.

Along with her is the City Clerk, the audio visual technician – who should be referred to as the magician given the way he manages to keep the video feed stable. It is no small matter.

Part of getting a Council meeting underway is to read a land acknowledgement and to read out any proclamations that are to be made.

The following are the proclamations that are to apply for this meeting of Council

Proclamations:

Day of Action Against Anti-Asian Racism: May 10, 2021

Apraxia Awareness Day: May 14, 2021

National Public Works Week: May 16 – 22, 202

National AccessAbility Week: May 30 – June 5, 2021

World Sickle Cell Day: June 19, 2021

Senior Volunteer Appreciation Week: June 1-8, 2021

Hidradenitis Suppurative (HS) Awareness Week: June 7 – 13, 2021

Month of Play: June 2021

National Indigenous History Month: June 2021

National Deaf/blind Awareness Month: June 2021

Pride Month: June 2021

Her Worship speaks frequently about her 22 years as a journalist and when there were people in the council chamber the Mayor would acknowledge the presence of media.

One would have thought that the Mayor would have chosen to recognize the National News Media week and take up the opportunity to support local news media.

A web site organized by a group of senior journalists with the humorous name inkstainedwretches took on the task of asking municipalities across the country to support local news.  The “wretches” are asking Canadian municipalities to pass a journalism-support resolution between May 3, 2021 and Canada Day.

The petition read:

Given that the creation and distribution of reliable information is crucial for our individual and collective well-being, democracy and civil society;

Given the point to which digital platforms have evolved during the past decade has severely damaged an ecosystem that enables news outlets to provide reliable information (the damage is evident from the number of established news media outlets that closed or merged in Canada since 2008, and has become more critical due to the novel coronavirus pandemic).

We encourage our elected leaders to enact legislation to shape an ecosystem that supports one of the crucial foundations of a functioning democracy: reliable, local journalism.

The following is a lost of all the municipalities that passed a resolution of support to date – look as hard as you may – Burlington is not in the list.

    City of Winnipeg, Man. (April 29, 2021)

    City of Kamloops, BC (April 20, 2021)

    City of London, ON (April 13, 2021)

    Chatham-Kent, ON ( April 12, 2021)

    City of St. John’s, NL (April 5, 2021)

    City of Prince George, BC (March 22, 2021)

    City of Toronto, ON (March 10, 2021)

    Town of Saugeen Shores, ON (Nov. 23, 2020)

    District of Tofino, BC (Oct. 27, 2020)

    City of Kitchener, ON (Sept. 14, 2020)

    Town of Essex, ON (Sept. 8, 2020)

    Town of LaSalle, ON (Sept. 8, 2020)

    City of Cambridge, ON (Sept. 8, 2020)

    City of Kingston, ON (Sept. 1, 2020)

    City of Windsor, ON (Aug. 24, 2020)

    City of Hamilton, ON (July 17, 2020)

    Township of Wellesley, ON (June 30, 2020)

    Township of Woolwich, ON (June 23, 2020)

    Township of North Dumfries, ON (June 22, 2020)

    Township of Wilmot, ON (June 22, 2020)

    City of Waterloo, ON (June 22, 2020)

    Region of Waterloo, ON (June 3, 2020)

While quick to talk about the importance of the media Mayor Meed Ward has yet to hold a press conference since donning the Chain of Office.  Requests to her office for a comment on an issue results in someone from the communications department who ask what it is we want to know.  The Mayor has a full time communications operative working for her.

The Gazette has served the city for ten years. Before becoming Mayor there were numerous interviews with Marianne Meed Ward; nothing since taking the Oath of Office.

Her Worship might surprise us all and produce a resolution before Canada Day.

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

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Victoria Day: What’s open and closed at the City of Burlington

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City of Burlington administrative services will be closed for Victoria Day on Monday, May 24. For a list of which City services and facilities are available on the Victoria Day holiday, please see the summary below or visit burlington.ca

Queen Victoria

The event celebrates the birth of Queen Victoria – a women that reigned when the British Commonwealth was the biggest power in the world. Her reign’s impact is still being felt.

*Important information regarding COVID-19: The information provided below is accurate as of May 17, 2021. In the event of any changes made by the Province of Ontario to the current COVID-19 Stay-at-Home order, please visit burlington.ca/coronavirus for potential impacts to City services and programs.

Residents can also stay informed about city news on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington.

City Service Holiday Closure Information
Animal Services
The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.
To report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit www.burlington.ca/animal.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate a Sunday schedule on Victoria Day. For real-time bus information and schedules visit myride.burlingtontransit.ca.

The downtown terminal at 430 John St. and Specialized Dispatch will be closed on Monday, May 24.

City Hall The Service Burlington counter at City Hall (426 Brant St.), will be closed to all appointments and walk-in service on Monday, May 24.
Many service payments are available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Halton Court Services Provincial Offences Office Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will be closed on Monday May 24.

With the exception of the Victoria Day closure, telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. All in-person services are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or online at Halton Court Services.

Parking Free parking is available downtown, on the street, in municipal lots and in the parking garage (414 Locust St.) on weekends and holidays, including Victoria Day.

NOTE:
• The Waterfront parking lots (east and west at 1286 Lakeshore Rd) do not provide free parking on statutory holidays.
• Paid parking, on weekends only, at Beachway Park (1100 Lakeshore Rd) begins Saturday, May 22, using HONK Mobile.
Parking exemptions are required to park overnight on city streets and for longer than five hours. Visit burlington.ca/parkingexemptions

Recreation Programs and Facilities Lending Library
Play Equipment
• Horseshoes, glow in the dark soccer balls, Kanjam, washer toss, tennis, Spikeball and more are available to borrow.

Visit burlington.ca/playlending
Pickleball Equipment

• Borrow pickleball equipment for free, including noise-reducing paddles, ball packs and portable nets that can be used in your backyard or driveway. Visit burlington.ca/pickleball

kids running

Get out and have fun – just follow the rules and we will soon see the end of the pandemic

Outdoor Activities
If you need some fresh air and activity, it’s okay to walk, cycle or jog through your neighbourhood park, but please do not linger. Please stay two metres (six feet) away from everyone else in the park, or on a trail, and take your waste home with you to dispose of it.

Active at Home
Options to stay active at home are available online at burlington.ca/activeathome, including a series of virtual activities from fitness to crafts for everyone to enjoy. All videos are free and new videos are added frequently.

 

 

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Is there a solution to what gets done with North Aldershot?

News 100 greenBy Tom Muir

May 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Part 1 of a series.

The North Aldershot/Eagle Heights issue is not only a Regional issue, but is a city-wide and neighborhood issue as well.

rural - urban - NA

North Aldershot has planning policies that are distinct and separate from rural and urban Burlington.

North Aldershot (NA) is a separate Planning Zone (like Urban and Rural) and has its own policies with very detailed zoning. The City has had a long history of Official Planning (OP) and by-law planning policies written specifically for North Aldershot.

My experience in this dates back to 1993/94.

It is the last remaining parcel of largely undeveloped land in Burlington, and if fully serviced, the last “greenfield”. But it’s not just any greenfield. It is a distinct mixed landscape, with deeply incised creeks and watercourses, and rolling slopes from the escarpment down to the flats of Plains Road.

If you know the area, you know that it is unique and very special, even idyllic I would say. Over many years, public efforts, including the many agencies of the North Aldershot Inter-agency Review (NAIR), have recognized this distinctiveness, and expressed the goal and principles to keep it distinct, while still trying to allow some development form designed to co-exist, but not replace.

North aldershot boundary

Waterdown Road, at the bottom is the eastern border. The 403, on the left, is the southern border. The property is a total of 1365  hectares

I’m writing here because I think that special place is in grave danger from ever increasing demands for more development than was  ever contemplated.

The crux issue in the development proposals for North Aldershot and specifically Eagle Heights, is density. As you can see, the wanted unit numbers in the applications have steadily increased as time went by, right up to 2019. There is a history in development proposals over 1962 to the present.

The number of units to be built on the property kept growing as appeals were made.

October/November 1995 resulted in  plan for 501 units in the Central Sector.  The Paletta (PIC) lands included 363 units with a park block and a school block, while the former “Taylor” lands included 46 units. The remaining 92 residential units were permitted on areas owned by other landowners in the Central Sector.

December 2010, PIC and Taylor submitted revised draft plans of subdivision to permit the development of 870 residential units (815 units on the PIC lands and 55 units on the Taylor lands).

In 1993/4 the Parkway Belt West Plan policies were in effect as the decision foundation. Under the umbrella of this Plan, at that time, the (NAIR) undertook a lengthy multi-agency and citizen group  Land Use Concept exercise for NA.

area + the players

There are a number of different agencies that have their own policies that apply to the 1,365 ha that make the North Aldershot property.

This Review was concurrent with an application for 1100 units from Paletta International Corporation (PIC). This application represented two landowners; PIC and Taylor.

With the NAIR multi-party conclusions and recommendations that 232 units were acceptable, the City of Burlington chose this number to take back to the developer. The PIC appealed to the OMB.

An eight week OMB hearing took place in the spring of 1995 and another eight (8) weeks in 1996. In subsequent meetings, with no citizens present, the city planning/legal and the PIC planning/legal, negotiated a settlement to take to OMB for a Hearing.

The settlement plan was approved by the OMB in October/December 1996.

These Settlement negotiations between the parties in October/November 1995 resulted in a plan for 501 units in the Central Sector.  The PIC lands included 363 units with a park block and a school block, while the former “Taylor” lands included 46 units. The remaining 92 residential units were permitted on areas owned by other landowners in the Central Sector.

This was a very controversial settlement and the citizens, including myself, were left feeling betrayed. The basis and facts as they appear in the Minutes of Settlement are covered in a follow up report.

The OMB approved this settlement in 1996. Then the never ending applications for revisions to increase the unit count began.

On July 19, 2002, PIC and Taylor submitted Official Plan Amendment, Zoning By-law Amendment draft plan of subdivision applications to the City of Burlington. An application was made for residential development for a total of up to 665 (596 PIC, 69 Taylor) residential units.

The owners appealed the applications to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) in October 2002 for lack of decision. This decision was appealed twice by City but both rulings went to the applicant.

In December 2010, PIC and Taylor submitted revised draft plans of subdivision to permit the development of 870 residential units (815 units on the PIC lands and 55 units on the Taylor lands).

This 2010 application revision included 4, four story apartment condominium buildings in the Paletta lands.

The 2010 proposal revision was subject to a public meeting, comment, and multi-agency staff refusal was seen as inadequate.

The present development application as of 2019 is the following, totaling 924 units.

  • The proposed development of the PIC property, a 97-hectare parcel on the north side of Flatt Road, is for 203 single-detached houses and 587 cluster houses (attached units) for a total of 790 units. The apartment buildings from 2010 are still part of this application.
  • The proposed development of a 9.6-hectare parcel on the south side of Flatt Road, is for 32 single-detached houses and 102 cluster houses for a total of 134 units.
  • The applications have been appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal by the applicants.

This history is important for people to be aware of – most people don’t know and are  confused by the changing numbers.

Also, most important, only the 1996 unit counts are approved.

None of the other amendment applications submitted has been moved into a Hearing at LPAT (OMB), either contested or negotiated settlement.

What citizens want to see is a detailed, concrete, and replicable evidence trail that leads to the decision, or staff advice, about what density is defensible and can be recommended under current science and policy regimes. Agency and public concerns and comments number in the hundreds, and we want to see them answered explicitly.

I will be following the presentations on Tuesday and reporting on the public input and the discussions that take place.

Muir making a point

Tom Muir

Tom Muir is an Aldershot resident who is persistent and at times acerbic.  More often than not he has the facts and a knowledge of the development that exceeds what many, if not most of the people in the planning department.

For Muir this has been a long battle – he isn’t at all certain that the public interest will be served when this phase is over but he is certain there will be more appeals.

 

 

 

 

 

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