Federal government upping the Old Age Security Benefit by 10%

seniorsBy Staff

April 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Councillor Sharman has held two public sessions with Senior's as part of his effort to understand their needs and develop policy that Council can put in place to serve this vital community. At most of the sessions Sharman holds his Dad is often in the audience.

Those seniors who are 75 and over will see a 10% increase in the Old Age Security Benefits.

It is often difficult to see something in a federal budget that impacts your pocket.  Real dollars that you are going to receive directly – to your bank account if you are smart enough to use direct deposit.

The budget also proposes to increase Old Age Security by 10% for seniors 75 and over, beginning in 2022.

The current Old Age Security benefit maximum is:  $615.37.

These just may be the Golden Years.

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Ontario Safely Expands Age Eligibility for AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine to 40+

News 100 redBy Staff

April 20th 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Starting Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Ontario will offer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to individuals aged 40 and over at pharmacy and primary care settings across the province.

In the media release the province announced: “As we continue to fight COVID-19, we are doing everything possible to get as many vaccines into arms as quickly and safely as possible. We continue to be actively engaged with Health Canada on updated AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine safety. Last week, based on the review of available data from Europe and United Kingdom, Health Canada announced that it was not restricting the use of AstraZeneca vaccine in any specific populations at this time.

shoppeers vaccine line up

The line-ups are not that long. 40 and over are eligible for a vaccination.

“By extending vaccination eligibility for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at pharmacies and primary care settings to individuals aged 40 and over, Ontario will be able to offer the protection of the vaccine to more Ontarians earlier than anticipated. With supply of AstraZeneca available at this time, the expansion of eligibility will also significantly increase access to vaccines in hot spot communities.

“The health and safety of Ontarians is always our top priority, and for that reason, only COVID-19 vaccines that Health Canada determines to be safe and effective are approved for use in Ontario. All COVID-19 vaccines available in Ontario have been shown to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death. Adverse reactions are extremely rare. We strongly recommend that everyone book their appointment as soon as they are eligible.

“Ontario has administered over 3.86 million doses of the vaccine to Ontarians to date, and all of our partners and health care workers are continuing to work hard to administer doses as quickly as possible to Ontarians.”

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The people thought to be spreading the Covid19 virus are caught between federal and provincial benefit programs

opinionred 100x100By Andrew Drummond

April 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON,, ON

 

Monday morning the Ford government again voted down an NDP motion to introduce paid sick days to Ontario.

Doug Ford covid t shirt

Difficult to say that we are actually conquering the virus.

Ford and the Conservatives have been consistent in opposing any implementation of paid sick days with their most common excuse being that it would conflict with existing federal programs. However, despite this, paid sick days has been a key recommendation from many groups to fight the COVID pandemic. Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe; The Ontario Medical Association and the Ontario Hospital Association are among those beyond the NDP who have consistently called for this to be a primary measure in Ontario’s fight against COVID, and the lack of its implementation is a key reason Ontario has fallen behind in this fight.

As of April 18, there have been more than 21,000 COVID-19 cases directly attributable to workplace outbreaks according to the Ontario government’s data (Likely source of infection | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario). That is in addition to the massive but difficult to quantify numbers of people who have been infected with COVID-19 from caretakers or other health employees.

Throughout this pandemic, workers have been going to work sick because they have no other reasonable choice. Until that is stopped, Ontario will still be at risk.

Canada sick benefits apr20The most common excuse the Ford government has given for why they won’t implement a paid sick leave policy is that is conflicts with the federal government’s Canada Sickness Recovery Benefit (CSRB). Ford has repeatedly referenced this program. “There’s paid sick leave from the federal government,” Ford said on April 7. However, there are many differences between the CSRB and a mandatory sick leave policy and showing the details of the limitations of CSRB, helps to understand why it hasn’t been enough to slow workplace outbreaks.

The first major limitation with CSRB is that it is only paid out if a person actually has COVID or is isolating because a close contact does. You do not get any payments if you were sick for any other reason. So, if you have a cough and are having trouble breathing, you need to get a COVID test. However, you also must still go to work in the meantime, and you are not eligible for CSRB unless that test comes back positive. This obviously doesn’t help people stay home the first day they are symptomatic, which will also be the time where they are most likely to communicate it to others. This limitation alone makes it unlikely that CSRB is doing anything to reduce the spread of COVID in Ontario.

The second major limitation is that CSRB doesn’t provide any job protection. If you are a worker in a factory or warehouse and you catch COVID, CSRB will give you 2 weeks of income. However, your employer can still fire you for not showing up to work. For anyone whose employment is precarious, this is an obvious dealbreaker. It doesn’t matter if that worker gets 2 weeks pay, they are still without a job in an economy that isn’t doing well. If a worker must choose between trying to hide their illness or losing their job, many will choose to try and save their job. In some of those cases, it leads the rest of the workplace to get sick.

The third limitation of CSRB is the logistics of receiving the credit. There are two major technical limitations. First, the benefit only pays out in full weeks. You cannot get the benefit for any part of a week (since all COVID cases would require multiple full week’s isolation). Secondly, a worker won’t receive any money until 4 weeks after they have applied as the government processes the claim. This means that anyone living paycheque to paycheque will have no ability to get the money they need for rent or food because their income would be delayed for 4 weeks. Another reason that precariously employed workers can’t take time off and depend on this program.

Ontario at one time was a province that had mandated sick leave for all workers. It was only 2 days per year, but it offered some protection. However, Ford’s government removed those days in 2018 when they took office. Since that time, the pandemic has made clear what a disastrous mistake that was. Hopefully with all the public pressure being put on the government by Andrea Horwath, the NDP, and various community and medical groups, Ford will relent to the expert’s advice and bring in a long overdue program to ensure that we reduce the number of workplace outbreaks in the future.

Andrew Drummond was the NDP candidate in the last provincial election.

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Housing Strategy Working Group needs volunteers

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It might become the next big thing your city Council takes on.

The concept has merit and there is certainly a need.

It is going to take a number of bright people to think their way through this challenge.

Housing strat logoComing up with a way to create housing that people can afford to buy or rent – the name given to this is “attainable” housing.

The City needs a Working Group to support the Housing Strategy. They are looking for a diverse group of volunteers from government, not for profit, co-op, businesses and residents.

If you are interested in applying, fill out the form below. More details about the role of the Working Group will be available in the draft Engagement Plan that will be presented to CPRM Committee in April and that will be posted on the project page on getinvolvedburlington.ca/housingstrategy.

Space on the working group is limited to 20 people. There will be multiple opportunities to engage throughout the Housing Strategy Project. Stay tuned for additional opportunities to get involved in the Housing Strategy in the upcoming draft engagement plan.

Applications will be open until 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2021.  CLICK  HERE to get the application form

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Future of work

background graphic redBy Staff

April 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON,, ON

Local new is our focus but from time to time we drift and include background on a bigger picture.

As the next new normal expected after the pandemic takes shape, this week’s MIT Sloan CIO Symposium examined how the workplace might change yet again in the coming months.

MIT is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  the Sloan School of Management is part of MIt.

While many organizations continue to maintain remote operations, a foreseeable end to the COVID-19 pandemic means there is a very real prospect for bringing at least part of the workforce back to the office. A discussion on the future of work, moderated by Allan Tate, executive chair of the MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, drew upon earlier event sessions as well as findings presented by Irving Wladawsky-Berger, research affiliate at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and a fellow of MIT’s Initiative on the digital economy and of MIT Connection Science.

Wladawsky-Berger said MIT’s future of work task force found that the momentum of innovation nurtured these changes alongside the circumstances that accelerated remote work. “Technology is simultaneously replacing existing work and creating new work,” he said. “That has always happened through the history of technology.”

internet - early

Remember when – this was it?

When brand-new technology appears, Wladawsky-Berger said there can be widespread excitement, but it can still take time before the deeper effects are felt. This was seen with the advent of the internet in the mid-1990s and rise of smartphones in later years. “It really takes a while for the technologies to deploy at scale, and it’s only when they deploy at scale that it starts having a really impact on jobs and the workplace,” he said. “That takes time, often decades.”

That impact can have significant repercussions on the human element. “One of the biggest problems of the last four decades, while technologies raised productivity, the productivity has not translated into increasing income for many workers,” Wladawsky-Berger said. Automation has left many workers behind, he said, and globalization made it easy to transplant jobs to countries that were less expensive.

“People with less of a college education are the ones who paid the biggest price for the changes that have happened, and that has led to the rise in inequality,” Wladawsky-Berger said. That compares with people who possess at least a college education who tend to continue to do well with job prospects that continue to grow, he said, along with salaries. Wladawsky-Berger said this trend has led to many middle-class individuals and families taking the brunt of the widening disparity.

evolution of markets

The acceptance of new technology has followed new ideas – but not always that closely.

As evolving technology affects the workplace, he said there is also a need for new thinking from policymakers. “For the last 40 years, our labor market institutions and government policies did not adjust to the realities of the digital economy,” Wladawsky-Berger said. “The view has been that the market will take care of all problems and government should do as little as possible — that doesn’t always work.”

There has been some change on this front, he said, but MIT’s report argues that with better policies in place, more people could explore career opportunities as new technology transforms the nature of work.

Governments around the world are starting to adopt this way of thinking, Wladawsky-Berger said. “Innovation is what got the US to its preeminent position, especially post-World War II,” he said. That included investments in infrastructure, interstate highways, and the work of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In spite of gains made on those fronts, Wladawsky-Berger said such efforts scaled back over time. “A lot of investments in R&D and innovation have been going way down in the intervening decades,” he said. “We must do more to cultivate new jobs and new worker skills.”

It’s difficult to stop supply chain attacks if partner accounts are compromised. What can you do when these attacks are indistinguishable from insider threats?

Zoom room

Are Zoom Rooms going to become a permanent part of the office?

While there have been conversations about the hybrid workplace representing the future, there are also new considerations that can come into play. “We have a very clear model for remote work and a clear model for office work, but a hybrid creates a problem,” Tate said. For example, if part of the team on a video call is together in a conference room, he said they might have side discussions after the call that the others are not privy to. Tate suggested guidelines need to be introduced to address these changes to the workplace.

The future of work might be hybrid, but it can have a profound effect on recent hires who have not formed bonds with co-workers in-person. “It is a huge difference applying remote work to somebody that just joined the office than to people who have been working with each other the last 20 years,” Wladawsky-Berger said. Colleagues who were familiar with each other prior to the pandemic can already have memories of interacting with their co-workers, he said, which can be a different experience than with a recent hire. “We have to learn over the next five to 10 years what works and doesn’t work,” Wladawsky-Berger said.

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A health crisis and a confidence issue - how much can the public handle ?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There are a lot of people very unhappy with the Premier.

Brown and Williams

Dr. Adelstein Brown, Chair of the Science Table , keeps a safe distance from Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Members of the Science table who advise the Chief Medical Officer of the province who then advises the Premier are talking about resigning.

They don’t think the Premier understands the gravity of the Covid19 situation and how close we are to being out of control.

Leader of the provincial Liberals want the Premier to resign – Stephen Del Duca said: ““Doug Ford is the worst Premier in Ontario history at a time when leadership matters the most. He should resign now before he makes things any worse. If he does, I will be the first to commend him, because it takes real guts to get out of the way when he’s screwed up this badly. But he won’t. Because he only cares about himself and his special friends.”

That’s just politics – Del Duca has yet to win a seat to even sit in the Legislature.k

It is becoming very clear that this government cannot seem to get ahead of the crisis. Paid sick leave for those people who have the crummy jobs, live with large families, often in congested space, work for a bit more than the minimum wage and having to use public transit doesn’t seem to be something the province is prepared to do.

Ford Doug with graph Apr 16

Premier Ford uses data provided by the Science Table as a prop during a media event – but doesn’t follow the recommendations that came with the data.

Money can’t be the issue – the Premier keeps saying “whatever it takes”. It takes taking care of the people who work in the hospitals who are approaching burn out, the single parent who works in the supermarket and now has to figure out how she is going to care for her children with schools closed.

The decision to give police the authority to stop people at random and have them justify why they are out of their homes was a stretch when the public was informed – then at least 30 police forces in the province declare they aren’t going to use the authority – the province backs off.

There is a health crisis that is barely under control.

There is a confidence problem as well.

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Rare Saturday council meeting - long on conversation - no decisions

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

state of emergency logoIt was a City Council meeting called by the Mayor for 10 am on a Saturday morning.  The first Saturday morning Council meeting  this reporter recalls in the ten years I have been covering council.

There were no desperate holiday weekend meetings in 2014 the parts of the city were flooded.

That State of Emergency means that an Emergency Control Group (ECG) runs the city but must defer to Council when there is a change to the level of service delivery or when there is a need for additional funds that were not part of the budget Council has approved.

mmw Apr 17

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

There was no agenda, other than the audio visual technician there was no one in the Council Chamber.  The Mayor, members of Council and city staff taking part were all working from their homes.

There was one item to be considered and that had to do with parking in the areas around the public parks and the use of public washrooms.

Three hours after the Mayor called the meeting to order and confirmed that there was a quorum they adjourned with the “matter to be considered” referred to a scheduled city council meeting to take place on Tuesday evening.

Mayor Meed Ward explained that the meeting was critical and was called because of the impact provincial orders were having on the city’s responsibility to provide services.

Executive Director Sheila Jones, who oversees any changes that are made to the level of service delivery, set out what the issues were and expecting that Council would go along with the following:

motion

 

The City was working on the understanding that the province had said parks were to be closed.  The province later modified that decision but council didn’t know this while it was meeting on Saturday.

People want and need to get out side for exercise and do something for their mental health.  Burlington has 130 parks – Council wants people to walk to the local park and have the children play in a local park rather than have everyone heading for the Beachway or Spencer Smith Park.

The people putting together a ACultural Action Plan for the city went to the community and asked people: What is culture to you and where do you look for it in Burlington. The group took a booth at the Children's Festival and had children make their mark on a choice list. Interesting approach.

Parents are going to want to be outside when the weather gets warmer.

Everyone, well almost everyone, understands that we are in a crisis – and yet for the people of  Burlington we are not seeing a crisis.  We don’t have the concentrations of populations that exist in the Peel Region, Brantford and Toronto.

The Parks and Recreation people are doing an admirable job at reacting to an ever-changing scenario.  They need time to make the changes and at the same time coping with a public that wants their children to be able to play out doors.

The provincial decision to forbid golf courses to operate had the parks people scrambling to get concrete barriers in place to prevent people from getting on the gold courses –  the Tayandaga course was sold out for Saturday.

The numbers are daunting – 1200 case levels being reported at the end of February – 4800 0n Saturday and 7500 at best in six weeks.

When the province makes  policy decisions – they are followed by very detailed regulations.  On Saturday all the city had were draft regulations – which City Solicitor Nancy Shea Nicol explained do get changed.

As a process that was understandable – the problem for senior staff was – how do we deal with real situations that are going to have to deal wit the next day.

City manager Tim Commisso said that city park use is going to have to be regulated adding that there is “no possible way to enforce rules in recreational parks”.  The focus will be on educating people.

Did he make it? If you were one of many at the Norton Skateboard PArk on Saturday you would have seen some impressive acrobatiocs going on.

Skate Park in the Alton community will be closed.

Director of Parks and Recreation Chris Glenn had to close down skate board facilities, basket ball courts and tennis courts.  And trying to figure out if the leash free parks could be kept open.

Could picnic tables be used, boats can apparently be put in the water but people couldn’t take the boats out on the water – figure that one out!

Community gardens were thought to be Ok.

The recreational space at schools is a school responsibility.

The Bylaw enforcement people have seen a 200% rise in complaints – their challenge is to keep problems from becoming confrontational.

The city is having some difficulty with the form of communication with the Public Health Unit.  Local doctors are giving advice that the city likes but would like to see that advice confirmed by the Public Health people.  Council Sharman has the Mayor talking to the doctors at Joseph Brant asking if they would put their advice in writing.

Mayor Meed Ward said she was just not hearing from the Health people at the Region.

Commisso Apr 17

City manager Tim Commisso – the public needs directions.

City Manager Commisso said the “public is waiting to be told and if the are not told what they can do  – they will do what they think is best for them if they do not get clear instructions from the elected leadership”.

The pressure is being felt by everyone at every level.

There were a lot of comments – but the issue in front of Staff was what do we do with public washrooms and parking lots at the public parks.  Of the 130 parks – 35 have parking lots.  Do we board up those parking lots and do we open the public washrooms?

washrooms

Park use – how to manage a situation where the rules are not clear.

If the decision is to implement the closure of parks (which is now not going to happen) – the province changed their minds) there was a priority list created.

park parking lots

Council agreed that there were risks in deferring a decision to Tuesday – but there just wasn’t enough information – and the concern was that the province would change some of the decisions they had made.

Commisso said the “fear is that the parks situation will only get busier and that means the risks will get higher making it difficult to manage when the weather gets warmer.”

After a two hour and fifty minute meeting the decision was to:

Refer the closure of the park parking lots and park washrooms to the Director of Roads, Parks and Forestry and the Director of Recreation, Community and Culture to report back to the April 20, 2021 council meeting with a recommendation.

Before getting away Sheila Jones reminded Council that street parking rules have been lifted (for now) and transit has not changed.

parking and transit

These decisions get recommended by the city leadership team and approved by the Emergency Coordinating Group who then inform council

With that the the Mayor moved into an Emergency Control Group meeting – the rest waived their hands for the camera and went back to figuring our what had actually been achieved.

bye wavw Apr 17

Waving goodbye after a three hour meeting.

Stay tuned

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Halton Region offering emergency child care to health care and frontline workers during remote learning

News 100 redBy Staff

April 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the Ministry of Education announced that students would return to on-line learning when the Spring Break ended on April 19th, thousands of parents who are part of the front line that keeps the wheels moving suddenly had to find support in finding some way to care for their children and keep them in school at the same time.

child care

In today’s environment these children would be wearing masks. The Region is working at getting the help needed by the frontline workers.

In response to the Province’s announcement and decision to move all Ontario students to remote learning following the April break, Halton Region has partnered with the Ministry of Education and select operators in Burlington, Georgetown, Milton and Oakville to provide emergency child care services.

The spaces will be available full day starting Monday, April 19 for eligible health care and frontline workers with children aged four to 12 who are registered for school in Halton.

“Our health care and frontline workers continue to make significant sacrifices to respond to the pandemic and keep our community safe, “said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “We will keep doing whatever it takes to make sure that these critical workers are supported throughout this time. I want to thank our Children Services team, the Province and all of our partners for working to ensure that these workers have access to child care services while elementary schools are closed to in-person learning.”

The targeted emergency child care spaces are fully funded by the Province to eligible health care and frontline workers who may not be able to support their child(ren)’s learning/care at home and who have no other child care alternatives. Child care for infants up to four years of age will remain open.

supermarket worker

The people working retail and those working in the medical sector need help. The Region is supplying whatever space they can find. Will it b enough?

To apply for emergency child care, eligible workers are asked to contact one of the approved emergency child care operators directly. If you have previously applied for targeted emergency child care you will need to reapply. Spaces are limited and will be filled in order of the applications received.

Halton Region Public Health is working closely with the Ministry of Education to open these child care spaces and are taking extra measures to maintain a safe and healthy environment, including daily screening of children and staff and regular cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces.

For more details on targeted emergency child care, eligibility criteria and to view the list of approved emergency child care operators in Halton, please visit our Child care Services webpage or call 311.

The link to that page on the Regional web site is HERE

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Rivers: When is a Tax Not a Tax ?

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

April 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

When you are wrong, you are wrong. The adult thing to do is to just admit it. The debate on carbon taxation is over and Mr. O’Toole has his job cut out educating those dinosaurs in his party who couldn’t even concede that climate change is real.

o'tOOLE SMUG 1

With O’Toole’s ‘green’ rewards, the more often you fill up your car the more more points you earn.

Everyone had been expecting to see his long promised Tory environment policy, ‘Secure the Environment’. But no one expected O’Toole to include a carbon tax, after all the criticism he had heaped on that idea.

Perhaps that is why O’Toole’s tax actually resembles a loyalty card, a kind of Petro-Point collector. Though since it is mandatory, it’s still a tax, something he doesn’t get. And he clearly also doesn’t understand that the incentive should be to reduce green house gas emissions. With O’Toole’s ‘green’ rewards, the more often you fill up your car the more more points you earn. And those points in your personal low carbon saving account entitle you to a ‘green’ prize of the government’s choosing – rather than a guaranteed fixed rebate on your taxes each year.

Some environmental groups have lauded O’Toole though they note that the bar for him to jump was pretty low. And this may all seem like heady stuff for the Tories, but his environmental plan reads like something the Liberals might have written a couple of decades ago – before we all wasted so much time talking about climate change instead of doing something about it.

Setting a goal of 30% for electric vehicles (EV) sales by 2030, may sound new age, but 30% pales when compared to Quebec’s decision to ban all gasoline car sales by 2035. And the Tory policy document offers no real plan on how to get there.

For a party which sells itself as a tax fighter and calls out its opponents as big taxers and spenders, fiscal conservatives will be holding their noses on election day. There are new taxes proposed for luxury vehicles, frequent flyers and even second homes, in addition to the new carbon tax. It is no wonder that the folks at the Taxpayers Federation are going ballistic, calling O’Toole out for breaking his promises.

O'Toole smug 4

Another billion for car battery development, another billion for hydrogen power from natural gas and five more billion for carbon capture and sequestration

And there are billions of dollars in new spending thrown in, as if the traditional Tory pre-occupation with debt no longer matters. There is a billion promised to develop mini nuclear power plants, another billion for car battery development, another billion for hydrogen power from natural gas and five more billion for carbon capture and sequestration – which involves pumping oil sands emissions into the ground and praying they will stay there.

O’Toole has borrowed from Andrew Scheer’s environment playbook, promising more natural gas exports to other countries to help them reduce their coal burning, whether they want it or not. And that probably would lead to more discussion of new pipelines. Interestingly he has backtracked on his party’s opposition to the Liberal’s low carbon fuel standard much as he has now accepted federal carbon pricing for industrial polluters.

There is a brief mention of ‘carbon border trade tariffs’ to level the field for Canadian companies competing against producers in other countries with less constraining environmental standards. This is something the Biden administration is also considering, though it’s an uphill battle against the free trade lobby. Still O’Toole is only committing to study the idea.

While O’Toole talks about increased energy supply he ignores the lowest cost option, the lowest hanging fruit – renewable energy. The Biden administration, south of the border, is banking on wind and solar to drastically shave US carbon emissions. Driving electric or hydrogen powered vehicles will not get Canada to its carbon goals if the electricity that charges/powers them comes largely from carbon based fuels.

O'Toole smug 3

O’Toole’s proposed carbon tax is seriously flawed and may actually lead to increased carbon emissions, rather than reduce them

O’Toole understands that the party he leads is out of step with the majority of Canadians, even in Alberta, who expect the country to deal with its pollution and meet its international climate goals. ‘Secure the Environment’ was intended to correct that imbalance. Unfortunately the plan is still too ideologically driven and still too overly consumed with a dying resource sector.

O’Toole’s proposed carbon tax is seriously flawed and may actually lead to increased carbon emissions, rather than reduce them. Further, his decision to introduce his own carbon tax and claim that it isn’t a tax, is shameful behaviour for someone aspiring to Canada’s highest office.

Why not just admit he’s changed his mind and now accepts the existing carbon tax framework, much like he has done for the industrial polluters. And why not confirm the reality that the carbon tax has neither proven a drag on the economy, nor overly hurt working Canadians. Otherwise he wouldn’t be promoting carbon taxation, even if by another name.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province.

 

 

 

Background links:

Secure the Environment –    Loyalty Cards –    Worst of Both –

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Regional Police: We will not be stopping vehicles or individuals randomly

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A statement from the Regional Police sets out how they plan to respond to the decisions made on Friday by the provincial government.

Ford Doug with graph Apr 16

Premier Doug Ford referring to data prepared by the Science \table during his media event on Friday.

On April 16, 2021, the Government of Ontario announced new restrictions, including a two-week extension of the current province-wide shutdown, in order to curb the concerning transmission rates of COVID-19. The Stay-at-Home order requires everyone to remain home except for essential travel such as grocery and pharmacy needs, health care services, outdoor exercise, and work.

The Government of Ontario also announced enhanced enforcement measures for provincial offences officers, including police officers, under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).

The Halton Regional Police Service is reviewing the new regulations. At this time, our current enforcement response will remain the same, with a focus on the 4 Es:

• Engage
• Explain
• Educate
• Enforce

We will continue to work with our Municipal By-law partners and Public Health officials to respond to complaints and support proactive efforts to raise awareness. Our focus will remain on education and using enforcement only as a last resort.

We would like to reassure our community that our officers will not be conducting random stops of vehicles or individuals.

With the healthcare system at critical capacity, the Halton Regional Police Service continues to urge residents to take personal responsibility to follow all restrictions to limit the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.

Let’s do this, Halton.  Continue to be kind to one another. Many people are struggling with the duration of these restrictions and are very isolated. Ask people how they are doing. Then, ask them how they are really doing. A list of mental health supports and resources is available here.

As a final note, on behalf of every member of our Service, we extend our thanks to all essential workers and the frontline healthcare heroes of Ontario who are risking their lives every day to protect us all.

wef

Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner

Chief  Stephen Tanner added a personal note:  “We will always be committed to the safety, protection and security of the entire community.

It is my hope and expectation that our officers will not be put in the position of having to use enforcement as a mechanism to achieve what should occur through voluntary compliance. That is why we are committed to engage, explain and educate our public and we will resort to enforcement only as a last resort.

We will not be stopping vehicles or individuals randomly but will respond as required and when necessary. It is my hope that our citizens will continue to work cooperatively with us and with all levels of government throughout the weeks and months ahead.”

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In the next two weeks the infection numbers are going to rise dramatically - so will the death rate

News 100 redBy Pepper ParrScience table logo

April 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

One of a series of articles on the Science Table data that led to the decisions the Premier made to limit mobility.

Is there anything that can be done to change these numbers asked a reporter at the Science Table media event Friday afternoon.

The answer from Dr. David Williams was a one word stark answer:  N0

His colleague Dr. Adelstein Brown added  that “those numbers are baked in”

icu occupancy

The hospitals do not have the capacity currently to care for the number of people that need intensive care. The Premier has said 700 to 1000 beds are being added – most as field hospitals.

The reference was to the number of people currently in intensive care.  We know now roughly how many of those people will die.

One reporter wanted to know: Is this the disaster that was expected if the province relented back in February?

We did relent back in February and this is what we have to show for it responded Dr. Williams.

There was a choice to be made between economics and public health.

Brown and Williams

Dr. Adelstein Brown, on the left is head of the Science Table. Dr. Williams is the Chief Medical Officer for the province. His role is to advise the politicians.

The sudden appearance of particularly  contagious variants of Covid made a tough situation much worse.

It can get a lot worse added Dr. Williams who was on the media event with Dr. Adelstein Brown.

Brown heads up the Science Table while Williams is the Chief Medical Officer for the province.

The data presented shows clearly where the mistakes were made.

Chart April 10 0 covid

Many are of the belief that if the province had not relented late in February the dire crisis we face now could have been avoided.

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Data on mobility shows where the problem is - has the province made the right decisions that will lower the mobility?

News 100 redBy Pepper ParrScience table logo

April 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

                       One of a series of articles on the Science Table data that led to the decisions the Premier made to limit mobility.

Three hours before Premier Doug Ford stood before the podium Friday afternoon for a virtual media event, the Science Table held its media event during which they set out the evidence they had given the government a day before.

That evidence is what the government used to justify the decision they made to order people to stay in their homes.

The evidence was compelling and there was a lot of it.  The Gazette will report on that evidence in a series of shorter articles.

adelsteinn brown

Dr. Adelstein Brown

Dr. Adelstein Brown, who headed up a team of 120 volunteer scientists who gathered the evidence and did the analysis said, had some cogent comments for people who took the position that they could “work around this and do it their way” .

Many seem to think that is “not such a big deal”; they are more “angered by the rules than they are of getting Covid”.
Ignoring the rules is what got us to this point and why we now have to clamp down very hard.

Dr. Brown said there was “some” hope that we might still have a summer but there are huge obstacles to overcome before that can happen.

The focus for the medical community is getting people vaccinated, increasing capacity at the hospitals, dealing with the staff shortages and praying that doctors do not have to begin triaging patients.

For Dr. Brown and Dr. Williams the immediate concern was limiting mobility, forcing people to stay in their homes.

The data makes the point.

 

 

mobility 1 cell phone

Mobility has to be driven down to below that threshold dotted line. The scientists know where it is happening and why – the challenge now is to stop it.

 

mobility 2

A breakdown of why people are traveling is revealing: workplace travel leads. People are being infected by a very contagious variant of Covid

 

Dr. Brown made it very clear – there is no silver bullet. The hope for a summer is with strong adherence – without that adherence to the Stay at Home rule – summer is gone.

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Burlington reacts to the mobility restrains put in place by the peovince - Mayor calls special meeting of Council for Saturday.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 16th,, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward has called an emergency meeting of Council for 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, Saturday, April 17 that will be held virtually to make some immediate decisions. Council will receive additional COVID-19 updates at the regularly scheduled Council Meeting on Tuesday, April 20 beginning at 1 p.m.  A livestream of Council meetings is available from the burlington.ca homepage.

Impacts to City services and programs

City Hall
City Hall, located at 426 Brant St., will remain closed.

One of the new buses added o the Burlington Transit fleet. There were busses that had more than 15 years on their tires - those old ones certainly rattled down Guelph Line when I was on one of them.

Part of the Burlington Transit fleet.

Burlington Transit
Burlington Transit is an essential service and will continue to run as scheduled including specialized transit and trips to vaccination clinics. The transit terminal at 430 John St. will remain open to provide PRESTO services including SPLIT passes. Presto services are available at Shoppers Drug Mart or online at prestocard.ca. Transit schedules are available online at myride.burlingtontransit.ca.

Parking
Parking enforcement is limited to safety-related issues such as fire routes, accessible parking, no parking/stopping areas and blocked parked areas. City parking time-limit restrictions have been relaxed to help those working from home or self-isolating. Parking permits and exemptions are not required until further notice.

Recreation Services, Parks, all Amenities and Facilities
City of Burlington facilities and recreation programming remain closed, and all indoor programs have been cancelled.

Outdoor gatherings in all City parks, such as Spencer Smith Park, Lowville Park and Beachway Park, are limited to members of the same household. Those living alone may join one exclusive household.

Tayandaga golf course

Tyandaga Golf Course.

Outdoor recreation amenities will close, effective April 17 at 12:01 a.m., including: playgrounds, sports fields, outdoor courts, skate parks, dog off-leash areas and Tyandaga Golf Course. 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 2 metres (6 feet) away from everyone else in the park or on a trail and take your waste home with you to dispose of it.

Roads, Parks and Forestry
Essential services provided by the Roads, Parks and Forestry Department will continue as needed. Residents with questions or issues can email RPF@burlington.ca or call 905-333-6166.

Construction
Non-essential construction sites as defined under the Provincial emergency order will be put on hold and closed off for public safety until restrictions are lifted.

Please stay home and only go out for exercise in your own neighbourhood and essentials such as groceries. Let’s continue to work together to keep each other safe from new COVID-19 variants. More than ever, we need to support our local healthcare heroes who continue to care for those who need it and preserve hospital capacity.

As the situation evolves and staff receives and reviews the updated order from the Province of Ontario, we will continue to comply and keep you informed on available essential services and what must be closed to keep City of Burlington staff and residents safe.

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Province limits mobility big time - police will have the right to pull you over and if they don't like the answer you give can issue a $750 ticket

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The message from the Science Table at 1:00 pm was direct.

You cannot meet with people who are not part of your household indoors

mobility 1 cell phone

We are way above the acceptable mobility threshold – if we do not reduce it the infections will spread leading to catastrophic conditions.

If people you meet are not part of your household – you meet them outside – six feet apart and wearing a mask

Get vaccinated when it is your turn.

Those instructions plus about 15 charts showing how big a mess we are in led to a 4:00 pm Press event with the Premier who put the province in the tightest movement situation since the War Measures Act was invoked in 1970.

The Premier said effectively immediately personal mobility was being restricted. You do not go anywhere other than outside for some exercise and when you do that – you do so alone or with family members.

Police and bylaw officers will be given the right to stop yo and ask you where you are going and why – and if they don’t like the answer you give they have the authority to issue you a ticket which the Deputy Premier said would amount to $750.

police trafficHeader

The police and bylaw officers will have the right to pull you over, ask where you are going and why.

Interesting note – it is the Chief Justice of the province who set that amount.

The Premier said mobility was being limited; enforcement will be increased and vaccinations will be prioritized and focused on those people most likely to get infected.

They were identified as people who have to work and live in households with people who also have to leave for work.

Big Box stores are limited to 25% of capacity

Worship – not more than 10 people

Golf courses are closed.

All non-essential construction is stopped.

Weddings limited to 10 people

The borders with Quebec and Manitoba are closed.

The province is working on having the borders closed to international travellers.

“We had few options left” said the Premier in his news briefing. “We are doing this at massive cost to the economy.”

The current Stay at Home order is being extended two more weeks.

A more detailed in depth article will follow

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Public school as we know it could disappear

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A number of years ago, when the Halton District School Board found itself having to closes some of the high schools we had citizens who were prepared to march on city hall to vent their frustration.

school-closing-banner

The plan to close high schools in 2014 didn’t go quite the way originally planned – parent protests resulted in a much different decision.

The center of the anger was Central High School, one of the schools on the first list of recommended schools to close.

The people at Central did not let than happen – and the school is still open and in the months ahead they just might get air conditioning that would make life a lot easier for both students and teachers.

The next battle for parents will not be with the school board – the province has taken steps that threaten education as we have known it in Ontario to go through a radical change.

Set out below are a number of slides from a deck that was presented to a group of people at the Ministry of Education.  We do not have a list of just who attended – but we are able to see just what it was they were considering.

Parents need to pay very close attention to this initiative.

We note with regret that there hasn’t been a word from the MPP for Burlington, Jane McKenna,

Ed first slide

Note the name of the committee – and the date on which they met.

Note the date -mere weeks ago.

Here is what they are setting out to do.

Ed - prov time lines

That is a pretty aggressive time line – what’s the rush?

Note even a mention as to when parents might be asked for their views. The province will just make an announcement, pobably on the Friday of a long weekend – which is when the really hard news gets released.

The province sets out what they will have to do legislatively to make this possible.

Ed legislation

This puts the school boards out of business – the province would centralize the content and have third parties deliver it via the internet.

What can parents do? Do what they did when the school board wanted to close Central high school. Protest, let the MPP and the Ministry of Education know that you are not on for this.

If you are on for this – just sit back, watch what the government decides to do – and kiss one of the best educational systems in the world goodbye.

Links to related news items.

The full presentation presented to Ministry of  Education

What parent groups and academics think of the idea – and the consequences i this goes forward.

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Halton Municipalities that oppose the CN rail hub planned for Milton are going to court to demand ompliance with laws

News 100 redBy Staff
April 16th, 2021
BURLINGTON, ON

 

Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton resumed their 2018 Ontario court case against the proposed Milton CN truck-rail hub to ensure CN complies with laws that protect the health of residents and the environment.

This Ontario case by the Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton seeks to protect the thousands of residents that live near the CN lands in Milton. “We are taking immediate action to address the serious concerns of Halton residents with respect to the proposed CN truck-rail hub in Milton,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “No proposal should be allowed to go ahead before it complies with our laws. CN must be accountable to those who will be most affected by the project, and not just the Federal Government, which ignored its duty to protect the health of Halton residents when it announced its approval of this project.”

The Ontario case follows the January 21, 2021 decision by the Federal Government on this CN proposal. This federal decision allows CN to proceed further in the approvals process without addressing the conclusion reached by its own review panel that this proposal is likely to cause significant adverse effects on human health that cannot be mitigated. This Federal decision was also contrary to the panel conclusions that the proposed intermodal was likely to cause five other significant effects on air quality, the environment, and farmland that cannot be mitigated.

gordon_krantz_mayor

Milton Mayor Gord Krantz

“The Federal Government has let us down and ignored the expertise of the panel it appointed,” said Milton Mayor Gordon Krantz. “Let me assure all Miltonians, we will continue fighting and advocating for you at all levels of government and in the courts.”

Since CN announced this proposal, the community has voiced its opposition because of serious concerns with its adverse effects on air quality and human health, the safety of local travel in the surrounding area, and the site’s close proximity to more than 34,000 current and future residents, one hospital, 12 schools, and two long-term care homes.

This Ontario court case is the second court action taken this year by the Halton Municipalities. On February 21, the Halton Municipalities and Conservation Halton filed an application with the Federal Court of Canada to have the court review the decisions made by Federal Cabinet and the Minister of Environment and Climate Change that has allowed CN’s proposal to proceed further without addressing the many serious problems identified by the federal panel.

“The Federal Review Panel found that this project is likely to cause harm on human health,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward. “Regional Council has a responsibility to do everything in its power to hold CN accountable and ensure compliance with provincial and municipal laws.”

“While the Federal Government has given highest priority to the economic interests of CN, we put our duty to protect the health and safety of residents first,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton.

“Our communities and local representatives at all levels have voiced their concerns about CN’s proposed project,” said Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette. “We need to continue to be a unified voice for Halton residents.”

CN site

A fear bigger that the proposal is that if it does get built – it will be expanded at some future date

“Protecting the environment and safety of our communities remains Conservation Halton’s top priority,” said Conservation Halton Board Chair Gerry Smallegange. “We stand with our municipal partners and will continue to advocate for the well-being of residents in our watershed.”

CN’s proposed truck-rail hub in Milton would create only a small number of jobs and not provide the kind of investment that has been planned for and approved in Regional Official Plan Amendment 38 (ROPA 38). Although concerns with significant adverse environmental effects on air quality and human health are paramount, this proposal’s permanent harm to anticipated employment, investment, and municipal finances is also significant. CN is ignoring the substantial benefits it promised in 2008 when it sought and ultimately obtained changes to Regional Official Plan Amendment 38. The low employment and investment numbers now advanced by CN for the current proposal could be achieved elsewhere by modernizing its existing Brampton facility.

 

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Keeping the faith that we will hear that applause again one day soon; because the show must go on!

artsorange 100x100By Tammy Fox

April 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I find it beyond belief that we have been existing in this Twilight Zone of a pandemic for over an entire year now.  COVID has, and continues to have, absolutely devastating effects on everyone – personally, professionally, economically, socially – you name it.

Fox Tammy with glasses

Tammy Fox, Executive Director, Burlington Performing Arts Centre

We invested a great deal of time, effort and funds in developing a sold COVID-safety plan for BPAC last summer so that by early fall we would be in a position to welcome back reduced-capacity audiences in the safest way possible.  We increased our air filtration, purchased plexiglass screens and every type of PPE available.

We invested in a socially-distanced ticketing system and seating plans, as well as patron self-screening software.  We thoroughly sanitize the venue at least three times daily.  When we were finally permitted live audiences of up to 50 people for October and November we scrambled to put together an exciting ‘mini-season’ of incredible artists, like Tom Cochrane, Chantal Kreviazuk, The Spoons and more.

We sold out every performance and I watched as my technical staff’s eyes welled up with tears on our ‘opening night’, overcome with emotion at having the opportunity to finally return after 6 months of suspended operation to what it is that we all do best.  To the industry that we love.  And then just like that we were slammed back into the ‘red zone’ and the stage lights went dim once again.

Now we are once again in lockdown.  We are struggling to understand why we are not permitted to support our community and the Canadian arts ecology when we all need it most, by at the very least offering livestream performances.  A typical livestream production might involve 5 – 10 people, between staff and artists, carefully and safely socially distanced in our incredibly spacious venue – but no, the province has deemed that too risky.

Film shoots involving 100 cast and crew are ok.  For a long while, allowing hundreds to cram into malls and big box stores was ok.  But no livestreaming allowed!  Once simply can’t help but feel that the notion of the arts being somehow superfluous, non-essential to the health and spirit of a community is now up in lights on the marquee for all to see.  It’s a very scary time for our industry, which has been deemed ‘the hardest hit’.  Our industry will be the very last permitted to return to full operations.  Ours will take the longest to fully recover.

With that said, there is an incredible amount of heart and effort going into advocacy efforts for the live entertainment sector.  Federal agencies are doing what they can to keep us sustainable until life can return to ‘normal’.  I do believe that people are eager to return.  I feel that people are now truly becoming aware of the cavernous gap left in our lives and in our communities when the performing arts go dark.  You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone – but absence will make the heart grow fonder!

burlington-performing-arts-centre-hall-03-leed-gold@2x

There will come a day when there will once again be a full house

At present, I think that the best that we can hope for is offer a series of performances outdoors on our Plaza this summer. I hope to see us being permitted to operate at a percentage of capacity by the fall.  At some point someone has to do the math and see that 250 patrons spread out across a 718-seat venue is safer than 50 people crammed into a Walmart check-out line.

Jazz-SRO-768x451

An outdoor performance on the plaza where the best seats were on a marble bench.

In the meantime, we are constantly trying to find ways to support our staff, our patrons and our local artists and arts organizations and to keep our volunteers informed and engaged.  We have been working with the HDSB by offering students a virtual education series, and we are developing an artist residency program that will see us offering our space and services to local artists.  And mostly, we are working towards remaining optimistic and keeping the faith that we will hear that applause again one day soon.  It will happen.

Because the show must go on!

Tammy Fox is the Executive Director of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre

 

 

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Ontario government is discussing making full-time online schooling permanent in public education.

opiniongreen 100x100By Lana Parker

April 16, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Despite the lack of data documenting benefits to children, and emerging evidence of several drawbacks and harms, the Ontario government is discussing making full-time online schooling a permanent “choice” in public education.

This idea is being introduced without adequate research, and stands to become the latest measure that raises inequality and threatens the viability of education as a public good.

The Globe and Mail obtained an Ontario Ministry of Education presentation dated March 22, 2021, detailing the prospect of continued virtual learning after the COVID-19 pandemic. The province aims to partner with TVO to offer “fully independent online learning” for “Ontario and out-of-province secondary students” and also mentions continuing “synchronous remote learning” for elementary students.

The proposal coincides with apparent plans to continue to help fund Ontario education by selling curriculum abroad. In 2015, Ontario reported it had agreements with 19 international private schools that pay the province to deliver the Ontario curriculum.

Unpacking the known harms

empty classroomWhile the COVID-19 environment has produced unique challenges, many of the greatest difficulties for young people have been associated with the forced shift out of schools and into online learning. Online learning does not replace the complex, relationship-oriented learning and social environment in schools.

Fully online learning has had consequences for mental health, with increased feelings of social isolation. There have also been challenges to physical health, as youth grappled with a lack of physical activity and deteriorating eyesight. Even among older youth learners, motivation and engagement prove difficult to sustain online, with a higher potential for dropping out and worse outcomes for disadvantaged students.

Despite the negative outcomes associated with full-time online study for youth and without sufficient data to support its rationale, the Ontario government is introducing an unasked for “choice” that would set a detrimental precedent for public education.

Prov plan education

More screen time?

Some might argue that getting students comfortable with online technologies prepares them for future study and the workforce. In my research on youth literacy and online engagement, however, I explore how student proficiency in navigating technology should not be mistaken for understanding complex information.

students at computer screensMy work is part of a wider body of emerging research that examines how students make sense of the online environment — and how being online affects their literacy skills, including their capacities to form critical questions and navigate misinformation and disinformation.

I have also determined that literacy learning can be strengthened when students and teachers explore the emotional implications of contentious issues in a classroom community. In other words, leaving students alone in front of screens for even more of their already online-immersed day does not improve their critical thinking or engagement.

learning on lineFor adolescents, learning online doesn’t replace in-person interactions with teachers, other students and community members. These interactions, far from superficial or inconsequential, are at the heart of how students learn well. In the pandemic, many teachers have voiced concerns about how an online environment hampers their ability to tailor learning and to support their students with the full range of strategies that are available in the classroom.

Yet another worrying aspect is the risk to student privacy. There is ongoing concern about how tech companies may be gaining unprecedented insight into children’s lives and how data may be used.

There are also issues of tech monopolies that muddy the line between public education and private enterprise.

Generating revenue

Students have opportunities to engage with online learning in Ontario’s current framework. There is no need to introduce compulsory online courses or the option of full-time online learning.

With all the issues implied by full-time online learning, why would Ontario consider making this a permanent feature of public education? Before the pandemic, in February 2020, the government .

In a confidential Ontario government document written sometime between March and August 2019 and obtained by the Toronto Star, the current Ford government detailed a plan to dovetail cuts to school board funding with the opportunity to “to develop (a) business model to make available and market Ontario’s online learning system to out-of-province and international students.” It is telling that the document did not foreground the benefits of full-time online learning for students.

The reasons for this shift can be attributed to the ongoing drive to privatize public education through the twin aims of reducing costs and generating new revenue. The 2019 document also mentioned examining “feasible options for selling licensing rights to courses/content to other jurisdictions.”

Curriculum sales

The current discussions should be seen in the context of Ontario’s drive to create revenue streams through international student tuition and sales of curriculum to international schools.

Ontario’s March 22 proposal for online schooling describes a plan to develop curriculum and offer an education with little teacher support.

This “business plan” follows Minister of Education Stephen Lecce announcing the appointment of a former CFL commisioner to the role of TVO’s CEO. TVO’s website has been recently retooled to include an emphasis on “digital learning.”

Potential future harms

For children, fully online learning creates the conditions for further educational inequality. It is a particular risk for children with special education needs.

It can also produce unintended consequences: a recent study based in Ecuador showed female students working online were more likely to spend time doing housework than their male counterparts. It is not unimaginable that some families could select online schooling for their children so they could help with household work, care for family members and potentially supplement family income by entering the labour market earlier. The move also risks limiting opportunities for extra-curricular socialization and learning, including experiences with the arts and sports.

Once poorly researched educational policy comes into practice, it is difficult to undo irrespective of data that details its harms. Such has been the case with the introduction of standardized testing in Ontario, which marginalizes newcomers and students with exceptionalities, and encourages a narrow curriculum.

Over time, a policy of “choice” for full-time online schooling weakens public education by diluting in-person opportunities for students and eroding funding. An impoverished public system drives families into private schools, which further erodes the public good. Defunding and marketization will leave public education in a race to the bottom.

Background links:

Expanding student access to on line and remote learning – the provincial government agenda

Toronto reveals secret provincial government report about on-line learning –

 

Laura Parker is an Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Windsor

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Conservation Halton wants a tighter communications link with citizens.

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 15th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Conservation Halton had an item in a recent newsletter that included the following notice:

Conservation Halton sign - angle

Administrative offices on Britannia Road

“Conservation Halton is looking for a better way to engage with residents about flood risks on their property and within their community and we’re hoping you can help. If you live in Burlington, Oakville, Milton or Halton Hills, please click here to complete a short survey. (It should only take five minutes of your time!):

A Gazette reader said: “Residents of south Burlington have been trying to impress upon the City the myriad water issues experienced in our community, and they’ve just heard numerous Millcroft residents express concerns about what will happen if the Argo development gets the green light. This is something that all Burlingtonians should be concerned about.”

CH Rivers and streamsEver since the 2014 flood Conservation Halton has upgraded the data gathering equipment they now – they are able to spot problems as they are developing and take appropriate action.

Their colour coded notices appear in the Gazette regularly.

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Damoff announces federal funding to cover air conditioning in Halton schools

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 15th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North Burlington brings some good news for the educators and their students:
$656.5 million dollars in funding to upgrade Ontario’s schools to make them safer for kids and teachers. Over $26 million dollars will be provided to schools in Halton Region to foster a safe and healthy environment for our valued educators, students, parents, and school staff.

Damoff ofice opening

MP Pam Damoff speaking with a constituent in her Oakville office

“The wellbeing of our community is of the utmost importance as we continue the fight against COVID-19.

“This investment is being made jointly with the provincial government through the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream, with 80% of the funding from our government” explained Damoff who added that: ” The majority of the funding will support ventilation projects that improve air quality in classrooms.

Central High school

Students at Central High would be mighty pleased to see air conditioning installed.

Additional projects include installing water bottle refilling stations to improve access to safe drinking water, investing in network and broadband infrastructure to support remote learning, and space reconfigurations such as new walls and doors to enhance physical distancing.”

The students at Central high school will watch with some anticipation to learn if their school is going to see some air conditioning equipment. Climate change and the need to circulate air in schools built decades ago is no longer something nice to have.

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