City gets into some serious borrowing: $15 million line of credit for Hydro

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Council met yesterday for a meeting that was expensive.

The biggest spend was the approval given to Burlington Hydro to borrow up to $15 million (TD Bank will be the lender).

No mention as to what the line of credit will be used for.

Other long term borrowing:

Angela Coughlan Pool

Angela Coughlan Pool

A bylaw to authorize a request for the issuing of debentures by the Regional Municipality of Halton for Angela Coughlan Pool Revitalization

A bylaw to authorize a request for the issuing of debentures by the Regional Municipality of Halton for Fairview Street Bus Bays – Teen Tour Way Shelters

A bylaw to authorize a request for the issuing of debentures by the Regional Municipality of Halton for the Sinclair Circle and Autumn Hill work

A bylaw to authorize a request for the issuing of debentures by the Regional Municipality of Halton for the Ester Drive area Reconstruction, Water Main and Wastewater Main

A bylaw to authorize a request for the issuing of debentures by the Regional Municipality of Halton for Ghent and Hager Avenue Minor Reconstruction.

When Burlington needs to borrow longer term funds they don’t go to the bank – they arrange for the Regional government to issue debentures.
All four Halton municipalities take their longer term financial needs to the Region. Sort of like a rich uncle who has a better credit rating than you do.

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Almost everything you want to know about the vaccines that are being used.

graphic thinkpiece 5By Staff

March 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Millions of Canadians want to know — of the four COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada — which one is the best one? Numbers and statistics are flying around and it’s fair to have a lot of other questions.

Are the Moderna and Pfizer shots really the ‘Cadillac’ of vaccines? Is the AstraZeneca shot effective? Does it matter which vaccine you get? We explain what vaccine efficacy really means and why comparing them is like comparing “apples to oranges”, the real differences between the ‘jabs’ and why out of all the numbers, 100% is the big one to focus on.

CLICK HERE for an excellent report on just what all that medical means.  (When you get to the link, scroll down for the podcast.) It runs for 15 minutes but you will leave knowing a lot more and have fewer questions.

needle and vaccine

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Spring break and PA Day programs open for registration on March 26

eventspink 100x100By Staff

March 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City’s spring break programming, which includes Youth Camp and Student Theatre Camp, and PA Day programming will be open for registration at burlington.ca/schoolbreaks on March 26, 2021, at 11 a.m.

Programs are available for viewing now.

students distant standing

Students will be able to be outside but programs will be much different this Spring Break.

Youth Camp and PA Day programming will take place at Tansley Woods Community Centre, 1996 Itabashi Way.

Student Theatre Camp will take place at Burlington Student Theatre, 2131 Prospect St.

If residents have questions about programs or need help with registering, contact the City by email at liveandplay@burlington.ca, or if you need to speak to someone, call 905-335-7738, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

Recreation Fee Assistance

Recreation is for all, regardless of financial situation. Recreation Fee Assistance is funding made available to resident individuals or families who need help to pay for City of Burlington recreation programs.

For more information or to apply, visit burlington.ca/feeassistance. You can also leave a confidential voicemail message at 905-335-7738, ext. 8501 and staff will return your call to assist you.

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture explains that while: “Programs may look different we have designed them to still offer the highest quality programming, staff and participant safety and a wide range of fun and exciting activities.

“Kids will love the programs and parents can feel confident their child is not only safe, but having fun, too.”

Links and Resources
www.burlington.ca/schoolbreaks

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Were we asked to leave? Or did they just forget the best mid sized city in Canada to live in.

graphic community 3By Staff Burlington missing

March 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Where did Burlington go?

Were we asked to leave the Region or did they kick us out?

Halton Health seems to have forgotten us.

A sharp eyed reader explains:

“Halton Healthcare” is a hospital corporation with hospital sites in Georgetown, Milton, and Oakville. Jo Brant Hospital is a separate hospital organization in Burlington and has never been part of Halton Healthcare.

This is different from Halton Public Health, which is regional and includes Burlington.

 

 

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Seven confirmed variant infections at an area steak house where 200 dined

News 100 redBy Staff

March 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON,  ON

 

The Regional Medical Officer of Health issues instructions for food & drink establishments a few days after the public learns of the spread of a variant Covid19 at an area steak house that is reported to have served 200 people.  Seven have been found to have been infected with the variant.

On March 20, 2021, the Province announced adjustments to dining capacity limits at restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments for regions in the Grey/Lockdown, Red/Control, Orange/Restrict and Yellow/Protect levels of the COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open.

For Halton in the Red/Control level, changes include allowing up to 50 per cent capacity of the indoor dining area, to a maximum of 50 patrons, so long as physical distancing requirements are met.

As an added measure to protect the safety of staff, patrons and the broader community, Dr. Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health has issued instructions to owners, operators and other persons responsible for restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other indoor and outdoor food or drink establishments.

These instructions are being issued as we continue to see cases of COVID-19 in Halton region and have experienced outbreaks and community transmission of Variants of Concern (VOCs). These instructions take effect at 12:01 a.m. March 23, 2021, and are in addition to Provincial measures identified in the Framework.

Olivers steakhouse

Regional Health Unit contacting 200 people who dined at Oliver’s

Oliver’s Steak House

Further to our investigation, Halton Region Public Health has confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of staff infected to seven. As a result, Halton Region Public Health is extending the exposure period to up to and including Thursday, March 18. We are asking all patrons who dined at Oliver’s Steakhouse between March 8 and March 18 to self-isolate for 14 days after their visit, and to get tested for COVID-19.

All seven confirmed cases are of a variant of concern. The  Halton Region Public Health’s investigation and case and contact management is ongoing, it is estimated that the total number of people exposed during this time is more than 200.

Let me see if I have this right.  The Public Health Unit loosens up the restrictions on dining out while the units investigation, case and contact management teams are scrambling to get in touch with the people who dined at the restaurant.

Sometime in April we will learn how many people were infected and if there were any deaths as a result

 

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Public School Board hosting Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for Parents/Guardians on March 29 and 3

graphic community 5By Staff

March 22nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The strain from the restrictions on what we can and cannot do while we weather ourselves through this pandemic are beginning to show.

The warm weather is going to attract all kinds of outside activity – and dinner at an outdoor patio – but only with people in your household – who are probably the last people you want to dine with – you’ve been cooped up with them for months.

The Halton District School Board is hosting two Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for Parents/Guardians on Monday, March 29 and Tuesday, March 30 at 7 p.m. at www.hdsb.ca.

mental health HDSB

Discussion will include parent, child and youth mental health and well-being, ways in which parents/guardians can support their children, and resources available for youth and families. Each session will feature four panelists (parents, mental health experts, HDSB school social workers and community partners) who will share their experiences of parenting during COVID-19 and provide helpful information and resources.

The information session on Monday, March 29 will include information for parents/guardians of elementary students (Kindergarten – Grade 8) and the session on Tuesday, March 30 will include information for parents/guardians of secondary students (Grade 9 – 12).

These sessions will help parents/guardians learn about:
• How the pandemic may be impacting their, and their child’s, mental health and well-being
• Coping and well-being strategies for them and their children to support better mental health and well-being
• Resources and support available through their child’s school and within the community

Elementary Session: Monday, March 29 from 7 – 8:15 p.m. at www.hdsb.ca
Presenters:

• Noorie Soni, HDSB parent and PIC member
• Kim Menezes-Francispillai, School Social Worker, HDSB
• Shivani Patel, Lead, Access and System Navigation, Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK)
• Nathan Pillai, Clinical Psychologist, Bayridge Counselling Centre

Secondary Session: Tuesday, March 30 from 7 – 8:15 p.m. at www.hdsb.ca
Presenters:
• Darlene Wierski-Devoe, Parent and Program Supervisor, Halton Families for Families
• Melinda Dougan, School Social Worker, HDSB
• Shivani Patel, Lead, Access and System Navigation, Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK)
• Nicole Callander RSSW, Therapist, Bayridge Counselling Centre

Parents/guardians are encouraged to submit questions they would like the panelists to answer during the information sessions. Questions can be submitted through this form: Questions for Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions until Thursday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m.

The sessions will be livestreamed through the HDSB YouTube channel. Parents/guardians can visit www.hdsb.ca at 7 p.m. on March 29 and/or March 30 to tune in. Registration is not required.

The HDSB is planning additional information sessions for parents/guardians on specific mental health & well-being topics to take place in the spring. The Board’s new Mental Health & Well-Being webpage has information for parents/guardians and students on mental health, ways to support positive mental health and well-being and how to get additional support at school and in the community.

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Toronto Maples Leafs Gunning For The Stanley Cup

sportsgold 100x100By Nikolas Sargeant

March 22nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It has been some 52 seasons since the Toronto Maples Leafs navigated their way to NHL’s Stanley Cup, an unwanted record, it is fair to say. The long wait could be over because the Maple Leafs are flying high in the Scotia North division and are only two points behind Florida Panthers in the overall league.

Toronto Maples Leafs have 13 Stanley Cup titles to their name, but winning their 13th was unlucky because it was the last time the Maples Leafs reached the final. They won the coveted trophy during the 1966-67 season but have failed to reach the final since then.

The NHL looks a little different this season, courtesy of all the Canadian teams bundled together in the North division. League officials came to this decision after the Government of Canada imposed cross-border travel restrictions. The change has done the world of good for the Maples Leafs, so much so that the best Canadian sports betting sites price them as the third-favorites for Stanley Cup glory.

A third-place finish in the Atlantic Division equated to an eighth-place finish in the Eastern Conference for the Maple Leafs last season. The Maples Leafs faced Columbus Blue Jackets in the Eastern Conference Qualifying Round, where they fell to a 3-2 defeat.

PAID hockey Toronto

Toronto Maple Leafs seen as contenders but they are going to have to get past Montreal.

A Solid Start But Terrible March For The Maples Leafs

The Maple Leafs started the reduced game 2021 season at a blistering pace. They accumulated 15 points in January thanks to a 7-2-1 record and improved on that start in February by banking 19 points from their 9-2-1 record.

March has been a difficult month for the Maple Leafs, and they have slipped down the league standings as a result. A 3-5-0 record has seen them reel in only six points, but five defeats in six games is a record that needs fixing and rectifying soon.

Twenty-three goals conceded in their last six times on the ice shows where Maples Leafs’ problems are right now. They score plenty of goals themselves (15 in the previous six games), but their defense is like Swiss cheese. You do not win many hockey games if you ship an average of 3.83 goals per game.

You would expect the Maples Leafs to return to winning ways when they take on Calgary Flames in back-to-back fixtures. The Flames are nine points behind the Maple Leafs in the Scotia North division but are on the back of a three-game winning streak. They then travel to division whipping boys Ottawa Senators before a pair of tricky ties against the Edmonton Oilers. The second-placed Winnipeg Jets are the team the Maple Leafs last take on in March.

PAID hockey Oilers

The Oilers celebrating – still working to get out of the Northern Division and move on to the Stanley Cup.

Oilers Need More Consistency

The Oilers are another Canadian NHL team that has been away from the Stanley Cup finals’ excitement for too long. They won their fifth Stanley Cup in 1990 and last competed in a final back in 2006, where they lost 4-3 to the Carolina Hurricanes.

January saw the Oilers finish with a disappointing 5-6-0 record. Still, everything came together in February, where they finished 9-3-0, including five straight victories between Game 18-22, which included a 7-1 demolition of Calgary Flames.

Oilers won four games on the spin in February but are currently 4-4-0 thanks to back-to-back defeats at Vancouver Canucks and the Flames.

Of all the Canadian hockey teams, Ottowa Senators look certain not to even reach the playoffs. They have only 22 points from 32 games, with the teams under them having played at least five games less (New Jersey Devils have played seven fewer). The Senators have been highly inconsistent, and their dreadful 1-7-0 start to the season has left them with a mountain to climb.

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Regional Police arrest Gavin Reid on multiple charges related to human trafficking.

Crime 100By Staff

March 22nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Human trafficking is despicable. There is no other word for it. That is takes places at all is a reflection of the people who deal in this kind of business as well as the people who pay the traffickers.

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has made an arrest in a human trafficking investigation and believe there may be additional survivors.

Following a brief investigation, 29 year-old Gavin Reid of Brampton was arrested on March 20, 2021, in Barrie.

Reid has been charged with the following:

• Trafficking in Persons
• Procuring – Provide Sexual Services for Consideration
• Knowingly Advertise Sexual Services
• Withhold or Destroy Identity/Documents
• Receive Material Benefit resulting from Trafficking in Persons
• Receive Material Benefit resulting from Sexual Services
• Forcible Confinement
• Aggravated Assault

The accused also goes by the alias of “Blaze”. The survivor in this investigation was trafficked within Halton and surrounding jurisdictions.

The HRPS would like to thank the Barrie Police Service for their assistance and collaboration in this investigation.

“This investigation reminds us all of the prevalence of human trafficking in southern Ontario. This is an abhorrent crime that knows no jurisdictional boundaries. If you are a survivor of forced prostitution or forced labour or believe someone else might be, or if you know individuals involved in trafficking in persons, call the Halton Regional Police Service, Crime Stoppers or the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline,” says Inspector Dave Costantini of the HRPS Human Trafficking Unit.

Police believe there are additional victims in regards to this investigation and are asking anyone who has come into contact with Gavin Reid or has information to contact the Human Trafficking Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 5331.

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

The Halton Regional Police Service firmly believes that every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Victims of violence and/or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in our region for victims of violence and/or sexual assault:

• Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777 ext. 5239 or by email at VictimServices@haltonpolice.ca
• Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
• Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)
• Radius Child & Youth Services 905-825-3242 (Oakville) or 1-855-744-9001
• Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (24-hour crisis line)
• THRIVE Counselling 905-845-3811 or 905-637-5256

TraffickingSigns / Indicators of Human Trafficking
• Not being allowed to speak for themselves;
• Not having control of their own money or cellphone;
• Suddenly having a new or second cell phone with a secret number;
• Being controlled by others and escorted at all times;
• Not being allowed to contact family or friends;
• Withdrawing from family and friends;
• Providing rehearsed answers to casual questions;
• Being secretive about their activities;
• Showing signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc.
• Having a new boyfriend, girlfriend or friend who they won’t introduce to friends/family; and
• Having new items (clothing, jewelry etc.) outside their financial means.

What Should I Do if I Think Someone is a Victim of Trafficking?
If there is immediate danger or if you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 9-1-1.

You may also call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24/7 to connect victims and survivors with social services, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as receive tips from the public. The hotline uses a victim-centered approach when connecting human trafficking victims and survivors with local emergency, transition, and/or long-term supports and services across the country, as well as connecting callers to law enforcement where appropriate.

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Extended hours in effect at Transit terminal for two days near the end of the month

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 22, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington Transit has extended their Customer Service hours.

Do you need to pick up your SPLIT pass or want to access PRESTO services?

The hours at the Burlington Transit Downtown Terminal will, at the end of March be extended to give you more options. This month, in addition to our regular hours, the Downtown Terminal will also be open:

werv

Location will have extended hours for two days near the end of the month.

• Thursday, March 25, 2021 – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and
• Saturday, March 27, 2021 – 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

To keep our customers and employees safe during COVID-19, only one customer is allowed in the Terminal at a time and you must wear a mask.

For more information, contact Customer Service at contactbt@burlington.ca or 905-639-0550

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Toxicity in the public square ... tears at the social fabric of communities.

graphic thinkpiece 5By DIANE KALEN-SUKRA

March 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A concurrent path towards systemically addressing toxicity in the public square and fostering a culture of civility, respect, mutual care and wellbeing includes efforts to enhance the skills of both citizens and civic leaders in civil discourse, critical thinking, social emotional regulation, secular ethics and the centrality and importance of human well-being and compassion in a healthy society.

Toxicity in the public square causes harm to individuals and organizations, results in a loss of diversity, lost productivity, costly lawsuits, and tears at the social fabric of communities. Ultimately, it undermines our democracy and the ability for governments to work collaboratively and effectively with the public to solve the many complex problems communities face. COVID has only exacerbated these challenges, threatening local economies, main streets, and downtowns as well as the further deepening of systemic urban inequalities and local government funding shortfalls.

In short, we need each other. A notable global effort to improve the quality of civic participation and social trust is called Citizen Discourse, which promotes the practice of healthy civil discourse skills. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to voluntarily sign a Compassion Contract – a type of social contract committing them to a set of shared values that inform a community’s norms for engagement.

They are centred on a few principles—namely, be respectful; listen to understand; act with good intentions; support ideas with evidence and experience; disagree without being disagreeable; critique the idea, not the person; invite wonder.

Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue recently published the results of a two-year survey in which they found that 60 percent of Canadians want improved civic education and 44 percent would like more avenues for democratic participation.

Then there are the 450 cities that have adopted and signed the Charter for Compassion – a public commitment to foster safe, inclusive, and resilient communities for all that are rooted in ethical conduct and compassionate integrity.

One such Charter Compassionate City, the District of Sooke, British Columbia was already well-positioned to adapt to pandemic-exacerbated social and economic challenges. In 2019, Council adopted the Sooke Compassionate Action Plan that committed the District to partner with the community to address homelessness, the affordability crisis, social isolation, inadequate health services, and enhance public communication and collaboration. In July of this year, new homeless shelter space was quickly secured as multiple agencies rapidly banded together in the district to meet evolving community needs.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait says part of embracing ‘the new normal’ during the pandemic is thinking outside the box, forging new relationships with community partners, and finding solutions that work for everyone. “I am grateful, but not surprised, that community partners came together under tight timelines, and found a better way to help our most vulnerable residents.”

“Our lives have been disrupted [by COVID] at local and global levels. Inequities have surfaced into full view. While our situation could be frustrating, frightening and even depressing, signs of potential for positive change and community growth have also emerged. We are all being urged to display creativity, compassion in these trying times. To become anything of true worth requires commitment and learning.

Where do we begin? I began with myself and my office. We were some of the first to take Compassionate Integrity Training. Even though compassion may sound like a soft skill set, it has very hard outcomes. Research shows that businesses that practice compassion increase their bottom line, that compassion decreases bullying in schools and increases the body’s immune system and other healing properties. We need compassion now more than ever.”

As this column goes to press, the first such training tailored uniquely for civic leaders, called Resilient Civic Leadership: Compassionate Integrity Training for Civic Leaders will be graduating its first cohort representing elected officials, Chief Administrative Officers, and other senior civic leaders from 16 different municipalities across Canada. Graduates receive a university certificate from the Centre for Compassion Integrity and Secular Ethics, Life University.

COVID has laid bare our interconnectedness as people, communities, and nations. As we work together to protect and heal ourselves physically from the ravages of COVID, we can also heal the fabric and soul of our communities, democracy, and planet. For better or for worse, we really are in this together.

Diane Sukra Toxic civic squareDIANE KALEN-SUKRA, MA, CMC is PSD’s Civic Resilience columnist. She is an author, speaker, educator, coach and certified culture change consultant with the Barrett Values Centre. Diane’s firm Kalen Consulting inspires and equips leaders to build resilient communities through good governance, asset management, servant leadership, compassionate culture, and civic education.

 

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The Race is On and We’re Losing

 

“You have a variant (B.1.1.7) that’s 50 per cent more transmissible and you’re using the same tool box and control efforts that barely worked against the previous variant…So of course the prevalence will increase. It might be a bit more or a bit less but if you’re reopening and you have a more transmissible variant, cases will increase. It’s not even really rocket science.” (Chris Bauch, University Research Chair in the Department of Applied Mathematics,  University of Waterloo).

Rivers 100x100

By Ray Rivers

March 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

That vaccines are rolling out across the province is comforting, except that we’ve hardly made a dent in getting to herd immunity. About a million doses have been administered and we need more like 20 times that amount to allow us to get back to some kind of normal. And now we hear that there is a third wave of infections on our doorstep, driven by the variants which are as much as 50% more contagious, demand more hospitalization and are more deadly. So, we are in trouble.

sunnybrook field hospital

A field hospital set up by the Army in a parking lot at Sunnybook hospital

For over a year now we’ve been in some kind of tiresome on-again-off-again series of restrictions against interpersonal contact. But Ontario’s premier has an itchy trigger finger and can’t break the habit of jumping the gun. He’s done this before. Despite predictions of a second wave last autumn, Ford relaxed public health restrictions resulting in record breaking infection numbers, nearly full hospitals and about 1000 more fatalities. And then Ford refused to re-impose further restrictions until the end of the year, again despite medical advice, and after the virus had firmly embedded itself in our community.

And now, even as Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table has told him that we are headed for an ever greater third wave of infections, Mr. Ford is threatening to lessen restrictions on congregate activity rather than tighten them. Having rescinded the stay at home order he has just recently authorized more establishments to reopen. Despite all the impressive compassion he delivers at his media briefings, he clearly doesn’t get it – doesn’t understand the dynamics in play – or it’s all just an act.

Covid variants

The image on the right is what scientists think the spike portion of a variant virus looks like.

Right now we are in the midst of a race between the new virus variants galloping at full speed to infect and kill more people versus protecting enough folks from the virus through vaccination. And the virus is winning. We know this virus continuously mutates, and it’s pure math that the more virus present, the greater the probability of mutation. Just look at the UK, South Africa, Brazil and more recently California. Who knows, there may be an even more powerful variant around the corner?

We have been told that by September everyone in the country should have been administered the vaccine. In as little as six months, then, we might be in a position where the viral contagion no longer will keep our businesses shut and our families and friends distant from their loved ones. It’s a long time but not as long as what the Premier’s failed public health policy has put us through so far. We either choke the virus by locking down or we face the potential consequences of a viral epidemic largely left unchecked.

So Mr. Premier. It’s time to stop gambling with our health and declare a proper lockdown. This province needs a new game plan to check the virus while we get the rest of our population protected with vaccines.

We need a complete province-wide shut down of all congregate activities which are not completely essential, and some kind of compensation for those people whose incomes will be lost in the process. We need another stay at home order and possibly a Quebec styled curfew. We need to close the Ontario border to interprovincial travel, as Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces have done. And we need to keep it that way for at least three weeks, from what the experts are telling us.

It’s not an impossible task. China, where the virus originated, did this last year. The country has had an occasional outbreak since, imported from outside the country, but has been able to trace and isolate all contacts. And life is pretty much back to normal there now. It is the same story with Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. There are no Chinese or New Zealand variants being created. And their communities have not had to experience second, let alone third waves of infection.

We only need to look at the Atlantic provinces which are Canada’s star performers in fighting the epidemic. History will show that those jurisdictions which dealt effectively with the epidemic have come out of it relatively unscathed. Meanwhile those which failed, like Ontario, have seen their small businesses devastated by the on-again-off-again restrictions; witnessed increases in inequality, mental illness, government debt; and, sadly, unforgivable loss of human lives.

New Zealanders went back to normal last year after only a few weeks in total lockdown. Today, the only way the virus enters there, as it did everywhere else, is by international travel. But even a single new case warrants a total lockdown there, including area roadblocks and severe penalties for those flaunting the rules. Had Mr. Trudeau followed the lead of his friend, Jacinda Ardern, we would have had an effective quarantine system in place over a year ago, holding those foreign variants in check.

New Zealand Jacinda

New Zealand Premier Jacinda Ardern, won re-election based on her leadership during the Covid 19 crisis in her country. Will Ontario re-election Doug Ford based on his performance.

Prime Minster Ardern is a hero in her country for leading the people in their fight to eliminate the epidemic. She won an overwhelming parliamentary majority in her last election, something rare for any country with a proportional representative electoral system, and the first such win in New Zealand’s history. She is so well regarded that NZ scientists recently named a newly discovered subspecies of the weta, a giant flightless cricket after her – the Hemiandrus jacinda.

We also recently uncovered a new species here in Canada, identified first in the west end of Toronto. It has been tentatively named the the Etobicoke slug. Still, I doubt anyone would suggest renaming it after our premier, despite the sluggish way he has been dealing with the epidemic. And besides wasn’t there a 70’s Canadian pop group with that moniker?

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”

Third Wave –    Variants      The COVID Story –      Australians –     Atlantic Success

Jacinda –    The Etobicoke Slug –   Doug and the Slugs

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Missing is any sense of grace or civility.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Set out below is a statement the Mayor posted on her Facebook page.

What disturbs me is what a colleague described as “… so much “me too, me too” that it’s embarrassing – like something out of High School.”

Meed Ward style

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Missing is any sense of grace or civility. Mayor Marianne Meed Ward knows that her Council colleague Lisa Kearns earned the identical professional designation but our Mayor was not able to congratulate the ward 2 Councillor for her accomplishment.

Missed was an opportunity to tell people that Burlington is probably the only municipality in Ontario (perhaps the whole country) to have two people on council who have earned the designation and both are female.

What is wrong with this woman – it isn’t just all about her.

Where are her oft used phases: collaboration, working together as part of a team. Meed Ward says frequently that Burlington has a “giddy up” city council.

The statement explains why several of the Councillors don’t want to put up with the way the Mayor interacts with them. Not a good sign as Council moves into the final term of their mandate.

Time for a reset if she expects to get re-elected.

This is such a disappointment after the success of getting a new Official Plan in place and changing where high rise developments will appear.

She can be better than this.

mmw on desigbation

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Burlington gets yet another award - this one is a little dubious

opinionred 100x100By Blair Smith

March 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A press release received today from PSD CITYWIDE announced “North America’ Top 20 Open Cities”.

PSD is a corporation with offices in Burlington that serves the municipal sector as consultants, advisors and software providers.

PSD graphic

The organization that gave the city the award published a lot of background material for the municipal sector.

Their award sounded  like something worth knowing about and certainly something worth celebrating. The ‘presser’ begins with “Today, PSD announces North America’s Most Open Cities with the City of Edmonton, Alberta maintaining their number one spot for the fifth consecutive time. Next, Ottawa, Ontario moves into the second place spot, with Winnipeg, Manitoba coming in third. All top 3 organizations achieved excellent scores and made great strides this year in all three competency categories.” According to the ranking, the City of Burlington is tied with the City of Coral Gables as the 9th Most Open city in North America.

On its face this appears to be a remarkable achievement and one certainly worthy of having a temporary primacy of place on the COB and/or Mayor’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and various other social media accounts. However, appearances (and awards) can be deceptive. First, just how many jurisdictions were included in the ‘competition’ and analysis? Remember there are over 400 municipalities in Ontario alone. How many more (or comparable governance bodies) across Canada; how many state and county organizations? The number must be well into the thousands. But, according to the press release, only 41 organizations across North America participated. Is the response then even statistically relevant?

Secondly, to implicitly associate Open Government with the survey’s three evaluation contexts for “open data” is perhaps both misleading and inaccurate.

Open data does not automatically equate with open information and most certainly does not, in itself, constitute open government – not even close. So, the sampling is statistically insignificant, the association perhaps misleading and the ranking virtually meaningless when you consider the sample size. Even so, how did the responding organizations do? How shining is their example? Well, the average score of the 41 was a completely miserable 34.9%. Burlington in the exalted 9th position was barely above 50%.

Really, this is hardly something worthy of a press release; if it does perhaps the banner should read “North America’s Top 20 Most Open Cities Are Still Closed Shops To Their Citizens”.

Blair Smith is a retired provincial civil servant who delegates frequently at city hall and has very strong views on both open data and open, transparent municipal government.

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BellyUp and Tone up - 8 week class to take place while the city is in the Red Zone

News 100 redBy Staff

March 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Belly Up

Registration is open for BellyUp Bellydance’s 8 Week Spring Session.

Is this just a fun event or is this preparation for a public performance?

Register for in-person at the studio or live online.

In-Studio class sizes are reduced to 10 per class as per the Province of Ontario’s “Red Zone” restrictions which means their classes fill faster than ever. Join them for an inspiring session that’ll make you feel alive, build your self-esteem, strengthen and tone your body and so much more.

Click here for in-studio registration!
Click here for live online class registration!

Related news items:

Classic Belly Dancing

belly dancers

Feel alive, build your self-esteem, strengthen and tone your body.

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Good news: those 75 and older can register on line for vaccination

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Starting Friday, March 19, Halton residents who are 75 years of age and older and Indigenous adults (including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations) 55 years of age and older who live in Halton can book an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic. Appointments are available to book in March and April.

“This is another important step in our plan to get our most vulnerable Halton residents vaccinated as quickly as possible, as supplies are available,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “I would like to thank Halton Region, Joseph Brant Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital staff who have been working tirelessly to open our vaccination clinics in each of our municipalities, and our teams who have been doing a tremendous job administering vaccinations.”

Halton Region continues to follow Provincial directions on eligibility, including vaccinating vulnerable populations as part of the Province’s three-phase vaccine implementation plan. To ensure Indigenous voices were included in decision-making for Halton’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program, the Region initiated engagement with Indigenous communities and organizations in and around Halton, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Credit River Métis Council, Indigenous Affairs Ontario, Urban Indigenous Organizations servicing the GTHA and highly regarded Indigenous healthcare professionals. These engagements will continue to ensure that Halton’s clinics are respectful of both the priority given to vaccinating this population and Indigenous cultures.

vaccination signHalton has opened COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in Burlington, Halton Hills, Oakville and Milton. Eligible Halton residents 75 years of age and older and Indigenous adults 55 years of age and older can book their vaccination appointment at any one of the clinics, including the COVID-19 Vaccination Centre at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital starting March 19. Additional locations will continue to be identified as required. Residents are reminded that appointments must be booked through Halton’s online booking system or through 311. Bookings for Halton’s clinics are not available through the Provincial booking system; residents who access the Provincial booking system will be guided back to Halton’s system.

“As our vaccination program ramps up, I want to remind residents that the COVID-19 virus and the transmission of the variants is still very concerning,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “Vaccines are just one important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and we must remain vigilant – please continue to stay home as much as possible, limit close contact to people you live with and go out for essentials only. These everyday decisions are critical over the next few weeks and months to prevent the severity of a third wave and will help to get us back to normal sooner.”

Important information & instructions:

In addition to groups currently eligible, on Friday, March 19, the following groups (or someone booking on their behalf) will also be able to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment through Halton’s online booking system:

o Halton residents who are 75 years of age and older (born in 1946 or earlier); and,

o Indigenous adults (including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations) living in Halton who are 55 years of age and older.

• While booking online is the fastest way to schedule an appointment, residents can also call 311 if they require booking support. Residents who are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine are asked to please not call 311 or visit the online booking system to ensure eligible residents have access.

• Vaccinations are by appointment only (no walk-ins) and must be booked through Halton Region’s online system or through 311. Please do not contact clinics directly. Bookings are not available through the Provincial booking system; residents who access the Provincial booking system will be guided back to Halton’s system.

• All appointments are contingent on the availability of vaccine supply.

• Halton Region continues to offer transportation services to and from appointments for residents who require support, free of charge.

• To maintain physical distancing and safety measures, please arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment (not earlier) and remember to wear a mask/face covering.

To learn more about Halton Region’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program, including who is currently eligible, transportation options and how to book an appointment, please visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines.

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Football Association looking for referee recruits

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

March 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Lakeshore Football Officials Association needs more in the way of people who can serve as officials on the field.

It is no secret that officiating is an integral part of football. The Lakeshore Football Officials Association is beginning a campaign to recruit individuals who have a passion for football and are eager to stay engaged with the game.

The students on the Bateman High School football team would love an opportunity to play in the rain. According to their side of the story they are not being given the chance they feel they deserve.

Bateman High School football team students .

“We are reaching out to women and men, teens and adults who may be interested and have a passion for football. If you bring that passion, you will be mentored by some of the best football officials in the country,” commented Referee-in-Chief Murray Drinkwalter.

“There are many reasons to “Say Yes to Officiating”

For the love of the Game

Maybe you want to stay engaged and be a part of the game you loved to play, or maybe you are looking to get more engaged in the game your kids are playing. Either way, being an official will give you access to, and an appreciation for, the rules and strategies of the games you officiate like nothing else can.

Earn extra money

There is no better part-time job or hobby for you to make a little extra money doing something you enjoy. It’s the perfect extra gig for anyone from a high school student, to a parent to a retiree.

Give Back

Many officials like to pay it forward to football for what it has given them. Officiating is also a way to guide and enrich the lives of the athletes who are playing by teaching the value of sportsmanship and fair play.

It was raining, the ground was wet, slippery and football was hard to hang onto - but the game went on.

It was raining, the ground was wet, slippery and football was hard to hang onto – but the game went on.

Stay Active

Maintain a healthy lifestyle by engaging with a sport you love. Also, who doesn’t like getting paid to exercise?

Sense of Community

The fellowship and humour officials share with one another are incomparable. You will quickly realize there is no community like officials. Many of them will become your closest friends — lifelong friends.

Life skills

Officiating teaches independent thinking and the ability to see the big picture — a skill that translates outside of officiating. It also requires dedication, togetherness, and ability to work as a team that is important everywhere.

Opportunity

Football officials are often identified and associated with the sport and are known outside of officiating by coaches, players and fans. Even if people don’t know you specifically, many people associate officiating with trustworthiness, impartiality, dedication and integrity – all qualities that can open doors for you in other areas of life.

The organization is making a concerted effort to recruit individuals who have the availability to officiate high school football from September to November, the busiest time for the organization. High school football games are normally played Tuesday-Friday with most doubleheaders kicking off at noon, 1 p.m. or 2:30 pm.

All new officials must complete a Level 1 Football Canada Officials’ Certification Program, which has yet to be scheduled.

If you are looking to stay or get involved with football, make some extra money, be a part of a community, and enjoy being active, then please visit www.lfoa.ca to learn more and see the links to social media. 

Have more questions? E-mail info@lfoa.ca and someone will contact you.

footballAbout the Lakeshore Football Officials Association

The Lakeshore Football Officials’ Association, (LFOA) established in 1963, is responsible for officiating all community and high school tackle football in the regions of Halton, Peel, and Niagara. The organization offers Football Canada Certification Programs, rules and positioning clinics, and a personal mentoring program to assist in the development of all officials. Many of the organization’s officials are former or current members of the Canadian Football League and Ontario University Athletics officiating staffs.

 

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Big $$ on the table for community led ideas

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Think big Burlington; Community-led projects could receive up to $10,000

The City of Burlington is now accepting applications for the Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund (NCMF), where approved projects could receive up to $10,000.

The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2021.

Lakeshore ball park - matching grant winners

A number of years ago these boys wanted to fix up the neighbourhood ball park They succeeded – using grant money and sweat equity.

Created to inspire residents to champion community-led projects, the goal of the NCMF is to improve neighbourhoods by creating a sense of belonging and community pride, while building meaningful connections.

Burlington residents are encouraged to submit community-led project plans that help make our city a better place to live and play. Inspired by the unique needs of residents and community groups, projects can increase walkability, promote beautification, encourage recreational activity, build social connections and improve safety or accessibility. These projects are to be planned, led and implemented by, and for the community in a public setting.

All projects must comply with the current public health regulations and provincial framework during development and implementation.

For 2021, the Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund will focus on small projects that enhance infrastructure amenities within parks, gardens, buildings on public lands or on lands that are accessible to the public that meet the goal of the fund.

Burlington residents interested in applying for funds are encouraged to visit burlington.ca/matchingfund to learn more about the application process, guidelines and past projects.

How the fund works
The NCMF provides up to $10,000 in funding to support selected neighbourhood and community group-led projects in Burlington.

Approved projects receive up to 50 per cent of the funding for the project from the city to a maximum of $10,000.

That means the project could be something that comes in at $20,000.

The neighbourhood or community group will match this funding with an equal contribution made up through any combination of volunteer hours, donated services, donated materials and supplies or other funds raised, such as cash donations.

For more information or to apply, visit burlington.ca/matchingfund.

There have been some really interesting projects that have benefited a lot of people.

 

Chris Glenn

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture believes that “Grassroots community building is where we get great value for money. Community-led initiatives that can build connectedness, walkability, visual appeal, recreation opportunities and better understanding can have lasting and meaningful impacts for years to come. If you have an idea for your community, take a look at the website and consider moving it from idea to reality.”

 

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Alert citizen spots injured Swans on the ice at LaSalle Park; calls the Swan Coalition - rescue follows

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

March 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier this week we did a story about how the Trumpeter Swans were doing at LaSalle Park. What we didn’t know at the time that even earlier in the month some of the swans were stuck in the ice on the lake and needed help.

A citizen, Greg Alderson, called the Trumpeter Swan Coalition on March 5 to report that two Trumpeters appeared to be stuck on the ice at LaSalle harbour, that they were injured because of being stuck and there was blood on the ice around them.

Swans stuck on ice 1

Stuck in the ice – needing help to get out. An alert citizen saw the problem and knew who to call.

He reported that they seemed to be covered in some kind of tarry, gritty substance and that he had noticed this substance on those two Trumpeters and another the day before when he was at the Park.

The Coalition reached out to the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Group and Kyna Itini and her father were able to rescue one of the swans soon after the phone call and went back later in the day to rescue the other.

Wing Damage 2

Some significant damage to the wings that was healed

swan Wing Damage 2

Despite the experience, good care at the right place and the pair – a Mother and daughter, were returned to the wild.

Kyna is a licensed rehabber so the swans were taken to her facility where they were cleaned up and cared for. It turned out that they were a mother (M58) and daughter (Z00) pair.

Greg Alderson rescue

Greg Alderson bringing the injured swan in from the lake ice.

The good news is that they have now healed up and were released yesterday to a private pond to continue their recovery and are free to fly off whenever they are up to it.

The third swan, Z74, was also located but had managed get himself cleaned up and didn’t need to go into care.

A good news story about how an alert citizen, the Coalition and the TSRG worked together to help two Trumpeters in distress and return them to the wild.

Trumpeter Swan Restoration Group run by Kyna Itini uses Canada HELPS to raise funds.  If you think you’d like to send Kyna and her organization (Amherst Wildlife Foundation) some of the money you’re not able to spend GO HERE

Related news story:

Taking care of the swans.

Pictures of the injured Swans were taken by Greg Alderson; the one of the rescue was taken by Kyna Itini.

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Burlington city Councillor has part of her valedictorian speech published in the Globe and Mail

G&M page 5 Kearns

ROB section of March 18th edition of the Globe and Mail

News 100 redBy Staff

March 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There it was – on page 5 of the March 18th issue of the Globe and Mail, in the Report on Business section.

A promotional piece paid for by the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Business touting the 89 graduates of the ICD-Rotman Directors Education Program.

The copy accompanying the 89 pictures read:

“At any time, especially in a time of global change, board of directors must be positioned to successfully lean into challenge.  Today’s directors must drive value, improve diversity, navigate opportunity and risk with a dutiful focus on contributing to the pursuit of excellence. Bottom line, ICD Rotman Directors fully recognize that organization strategy and performance are intrinsically linked and board accountability for results is absolute.”

All this was said by Burlington’s ward 2 City Councillor Lisa Kearns who was the class valedictorian

There is a political launch if we ever saw one.

Congratulations Lisa, the provincial Liberals are going to just love you once you are nominated.

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Clean Up Green Up weekend April 22nd - Register now

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is that time of year again – and there isn’t much the pandemic can do about it.

It is Clean Up Green Up time and registration is now open CLICK HERE to REGISTER.

clean up world logoSign up your family, friends, social bubble, colleagues or community group for this safe and impactful, eco-action opportunity. Give back to the planet by participating in an Earth Week Clean Up starting on April 22nd!

FREE clean-up supplies will be available for pick-up at two locations, and we’ve got some great prizes available this year too! Visit our website to learn more and to register your participation.

Great for families, friends, social bubbles and small community groups!
Spend quality time with your loved ones taking eco-action that not only helps the environment but also supports the local community. This safe outdoor activity is a great way to connect outside in nature and get some exercise too.

Great for businesses!
This is a great opportunity to gather your team or coworkers for a safe outdoor team-building activity that helps both the environment and the community. Are you currently working remotely? No problem! You can still be physically apart AND work collectively to clean up – have team members complete their own clean-ups at home on behalf of your workplace, team or business. Amalgamate photos from everyone’s clean up and see just how BIG your impact can be!

Great for the classroom!
Whether you are in a classroom or virtual classroom, this is a great opportunity to have students safely get outside, get some exercise and help the local environment too. Organize a clean-up with your class, or encourage parents to organize a family clean-up at home. Make it an exciting class project and encourage students to take photos of the litter they collect. We have a great complement of resources to support related curriculum – check out our Eco-Educators page for more.

How It Works:

1. Determine a location in Burlington that your family, friends, coworkers, community group or classroom would like to clean up.

 Location ideas include parks, trails, plazas, hydro fields, bike paths, the beach, creeks, roadsides, etc. You can also visit Friends of Sheldon Creek Watershed Facebook page to discover opportunities to help them out.

Visit this space regularly, we will be posting litter hot spots and some popular locations around the city that have already been cleaned up.

We encourage you to use your own clean up supplies, however, you can request free clean up supplies for your group. Supplies will be available for pick-up (while quantities last) at our supply depots;

2019 Community Clean Up Participants

Perks of registering:

  • We have FREE clean up supplies including disposable gloves, garbage and recycling bags available for pick up, by request, while quantities last.
  • When you register your Clean Up your group will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a $50 gift card to the Burlington Centre! We will be drawing for 2 gift cards for groups that register before May 2nd, and 2 more for groups that register between May 2nd and October 31st.
  • We’ve got extra prizes for groups that share their photos with us – so take photos of your Clean Up and tag us on social media or e-mail them to us for EXTRA chances to win! (Note: Submission of photos provides permission to BurlingtonGreen to use your photos in print, or in digital materials including social media platforms with permission to edit, alter, copy, or distribute the photos for media advertising and marketing)

3. Have a fun and safe Clean Up! Remember to:

  • Review our 2021 Clean Up Green Up Tip Sheet (PDF) for important safety and waste collection information.
  • Review our Volunteer Activity Waiver Informed Consent to Participate form.
  • Follow the most up-to-date Halton COVID-19 safety guidelines.
  • Count the number of full bags of litter you collected, take a photo of your (physically distanced) group with your collected litter and tag us on social media or send us an email!
  • Let us know about any larger waste items or “hot spots” with lots of litter that you encountered during your clean up, so we can flag it for further attention.
  • Bring ALL collected waste home with you and dispose of it through your residential curbside collection. Please do not leave collected waste at any parks, trails, businesses or green spaces, as city waste collection services are limited during the pandemic.

That’s it!  By participating,  you are contributing to a city-wide effort for a cleaner, beautiful Burlington.

Thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the City of Burlington, Cogeco, YourTV and our growing list of supporters for helping to make this impactful opportunity possible. Interested in sponsoring this impactful event? Contact us today!

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