Parts of South West Milton Declared a 'Hot Spot': vaccinations available for those over 16

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This isn’t a Burlington story – at least not yet.

Milton water towerStarting Friday, April 30, residents who are 16 years of age and older living in the Milton L9E postal code area can book an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic. Residents must have had their 16th birthday on or before the date of their first appointment in order to be eligible.

Milton has concentrations of industry that have large numbers of workers in conditions that result in the passing along of an infection.

The Milton L9E postal code area is a designated “hot spot” in Phase 2 of the Province’s prioritization plan due to historical and ongoing high rates of COVID-19.

The L9E area is in the south west part of Milton.

People undoubtedly travel from Milton to Burlington and the variants of Covid19 seem to move quickly.  Some extra caution would be wise.

Halton Region continues to follow Provincial direction on prioritization and does not have the authority to grant exceptions. Residents who are 40 years of age and older can also book appointments through multiple pharmacies in Halton offering the AstraZeneca vaccine. This vaccine is safe and effective, and another way to gain protection from severe illness and complications from COVID-19.

“The expansion to more residents in hot spot communities that are seeing a higher rate of COVID-19 transmission and severe health outcomes is critical,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “While vaccination is an important tool in curbing the spread of the virus and preventing severe illness and death, I urge all residents to continue to follow public health direction, including staying home except for essential trips, sticking to your household and not attending any indoor or outdoor gatherings.”

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Kearns now needs to be transparent and accountable and keep her constituents informed

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The demand that Lisa Kearns resign immediately is foolish.

Were she to do that there would then be the need for a by-election which this city can do without.

Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

What Ms Kearns should be doing in issuing a Newsletter to her constituents announcing her plans (a tweet is what high school girls do – time to grow up) explaining why she will be running as a Liberal in the next provincial election which will be on June 4th, 2022 unless the Premier feels he needs to return to the people for a new mandate. Not something he is likely to do.

Choosing to drop bits and pieces of her situation here and there or have long chats with her female friends who then pass along the evolving story is a poor way to communicate with a public that elected her in the first place.

Ms Kearns is an intelligent young woman with a first rate mind who has served the city well in a relatively short period of time.

There is now a nomination meeting that has to take place; given that the provincial Liberal’s approached Ms Kearns she may well face nomination uncontested.

The party needs to now focus on putting together a team and raising the dollars to run a strong campaign.  There are many that want the compliant MPP to hold the seat.

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

 

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Does Doug Ford still have the moral authority to continue as Premier ?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

The Science Table released their recommendations to Doug Ford and his Cabinet on Wednesday of last week and made them public on Thursday of last week.

Most people fully expected the Cabinet decisions would fairly reflect the recommendations.

Science table logoThey didn’t.

That was the moment when everything just flipped. Police forces across the province said they would not follow the provincial directions that would permit them to stop people and ask where they were going .

Municipalities across the province said they could not see how they could close the public parks.

Several very prominent people on the Science Table were prepared to resign.

Burlington’s Mayor called an Emergency Council meeting for the Saturday.

The Premier reversed his position on a number of items on the Monday but by then the damage was done.

Ford tired April 21

A weary, tired Premier – battered by media, pummeled by public opinion.

During a brutal media event that followed, CTV News reporter Colin D’Mello said to Ford: “… you say the buck stops with you, but I think people across this province are wondering, what does that actually mean? Columnists have recently said there is no effective leadership at Queens Park. Another one said you are showing raging ineptitude, and some are calling for your resignation.”  D’Mello then asked:  “Premier, do you still have the moral authority to lead this province as Premier?

The penny had just dropped.  The public has not seen the Premier since.

John Doyle in his Globe and Mail column on entertainment was just as brutal. On Monday of this week he said: “If you live in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford has been ubiquitous on TV for more than a year. Almost every weekday – rarely on weekends – he’s been part of the local newscasts.

“During this pandemic period, his TV appearances and news conferences have had a strange trajectory. It’s been an up-and-down, zigzagging media strategy that was always going to lead to his recent blubbering, blustering mea culpa-filled news conference from a backyard in northwestern Toronto.

“Ford is not a natural on TV. But, watching him, you suspect he thinks he is. His natural mode is combative, dismissive and inflexible. And that has led him and his handlers down a disastrous road. Only media strategists who are themselves right-wing populists with a pro-business, anti-union agenda could possibly think it was ever going to work long-term through a human catastrophe.

“There was a time, at the start of all this, when Ford’s angry inflexibility fit the occasion. Then it didn’t, mainly because Ford and his communications team ceased to focus on the broad public good and began spinning a narrow political agenda that confounded the public and was aimed at a political base only. Inflexible became insincere and then deceitful.”

Ford gregarious

In his first year he couldn’t be stopped – he was everything to everyone. Then the penny dropped

March of last year Ford was on TV, enraged by price-gouging when a high-end grocery chain began selling hand wipes, usually costing about $8.49, for $30. “Nothing gets me more furious than someone taking advantage and price-gouging the public that are in desperate need of these items,” Ford thundered. He announced he would enact legislation to outlaw the gouging. The grocery chain backed off and apologized.

Ford’s media strategy went awry precisely when he began to ignore medical experts – that’s an example of media-savvy strength vaporizing – and made explicitly political and ideological decisions.

We’ve seen many things in Ontario this past year and among the most bizarre has been the unraveling of a communications plan that, as soon as Ford’s angry inflexibility became a liability, was always going to end in tears.

And so where are we now? The news Monday reporting the death of a 13 year old girl who died at home of a Covid19 infection while her Mother was in the hospital recovering from a Covid19 infection.

The child’s father, the family breadwinner, had to work if the family was to be fed.

The public fully expected the Premier to announce something that reflected the Science Table recommendations. Sick days pay was front and centre along with target vaccinations programs aimed the “hot spots”.

On Friday of last week  – nothing

Saturday, Sunday nothing. Premier Ford does not work weekends.

Surely there would be something on Monday.

Nothing.

Ford - editorial cartoon

Editorial cartoonists had found there mark – they were merciless.

While the provincial leadership appeared to be frozen,  Medical Officers of Health in Brampton and Toronto were inspecting work places where there were large numbers of employees working in crowed conditions.  The different Medical Officers of Health shut plants down for for periods of time.

Not a word from the Chief Medical Officer of Heath for the province reporting on what was happening.

Each day the number of new infections and deaths were reported – positivity rates were above the 10% level.

There had been no action on the desperate need for paying people who should not be reporting for work.

Yesterday and today the public learns that the federal government and the provincial government were bickering over a plan that would put $1000 a week into the pockets of those who  had to stay home from work.

The sticking point was who would run the program.  The federal government has their CERB program – all a person had to do was apply and then wait for the money to appear in their bank account..  The federal program was limited to $500 a week – Ontario said they would top it up to $1000 if the federal government ran it.  The federal government said the computer application wasn’t flexible enough to be revised.

What the public was seeing was the equivalent of a bunch of chickens running around with their heads chopped off – blood all over the place.

Factory and assembly line workers in the Brampton area were, in the words of one scientist, “being left to burn”.

The province was reported to be anxious about how their stakeholders would react to being forced to pay people who did not report for work because they were ill.

Meanwhile Amazon, Sobeys, Loblaws and others were reporting massive revenue gains.

There is a simple solution – have the province order the corporations to pay people if they are not well enough to work and then let the corporations turn to the federal and provincial governments for reimbursement.

Those companies have payroll procedures in place – they can move money into bank accounts in literally minutes.

All we have to do is coax the Premier out of hiding and do another media event where he tells his Minister of Finance and Minister of Labour to get into a conference room (wear your masks – keep six feet apart) and figure this out and have a solution they could take to Cabinet.

The provincial bureaucracy would arrange for pizza and some of that buck a beer to sustain them while they figure it out

We are facing a disaster – we know what has to be done – other jurisdictions have solved this problem.

Ontario, the economic engine of the country, is now relying on medical people from the Maritime provinces and the armed forces to fly in and help us through this.  The last time that happened was when Mel Lastman called in the army to clear snow from the streets.

Andrea_Horwath 2

Could Andrea form a government?

Doug Ford has has shown that he is not up to the job that has to be done.  There isn’t all that much in the way of leadership on the opposition benches to replace the current government and one can’t see any of the Cabinet members itching to be Premier.

Later this week there will be a funeral for a 13 year old girl who died despite her father using CPR to get oxygen into her young lungs.

Nothing in the way of condolences from the Office of the Premier.

These tragedies have to stop.

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

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The Latest Online Casino Trends in Canada

sportsgold 100x100By Jocelyn Bell

April 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

More people are gambling at online casinos than ever before. In particular, Canada is experiencing a huge growth in online gambling that has surprised a lot of people. This means that this year, there are going to be a lot of changes in the industry. Online operators have to keep offering new and trending products in order to keep their players interested. So, here are the latest online casino trends in Canada.

Paid 3 aces Ocere Apr 26

Playing along in real time with a hand like this is as exciting as being in a casino.

More Live Games

Have you ever played a live game at a casino online? This is becoming very popular and it is likely that more operators are going to start offering live games. Players are demanding more from online casinos this year.

They want to have an authentic casino experience from home. This means that operators have to provide this if they want to beat the competition. Namely, this is coming through live games.

The idea of a live casino game is that there is a dealer working in real-time with the player. They are recorded live from another location and technology means that they can interact with the player. This allows a player to play along in real-time as if they were at a real casino.

This creates excitement for roulette tables and some card games. It is a trend that we are going to continue to see in Canada.

Cryptocurrency as a Payment Method

It is common knowledge in the online casino industry that players like choice when it comes to payment methods. For example, this is why bonusninja.com lists a lot of big online websites. They are popular because players like the freedom they can enjoy from choosing what type of payment method they want to use for deposits and withdrawals.

Of course, there are some common payment methods that you see a lot. This includes VISA, Mastercard and Paypal. But, an emerging payment method that some major casinos are starting to offer is cryptocurrency. Now, it is possible for players to pay with Bitcoin or other common cryptocurrencies. This is something that can be beneficial if you have crypto and it can help to build trust between the casino and the player.

Offering Better Promotions

If you have played at online casinos before, you will know that a lot of them offer deals and promotions for first-time players. This is something that is set to continue for the future in this industry. The reason is that there is so much competition. A lot of online operators are having to fight to capture players and this means that they have to do everything they can to get their business. Often, this is through offering deals and free spins. Thus, if you are a player, you can look forward to a lot of benefits. It can be beneficial to play at several online casinos to take advantage of the promotions.

Playing with Virtual Reality

Trends in the casino industry that we are likely to see soon in Canada is virtual reality. This is something that a lot of people like and it can create an immersive experience. A lot of players want an authentic casino experience and this is something they are definitely going to get with virtual reality. Right now, the technology for this is expensive in Canada. But, this may change in the future. It can mean that players can step into a casino and play games virtually rather than using animated games on the computer.

Betting on Esports

Have you heard of Esports before? This is a name for electronic sports or it can be referred to as competitive video gaming. Players take on others from around the world and try to beat them at their favorite games. This is something that a lot of people enjoy taking part in. But, when it comes to online casinos, we are seeing a trend of betting on esports. Not only are more people taking part in competitions, but there are a lot more spectators. This has led to betting on esports and creating more excitement around tournaments. Therefore, it is likely that this year in Canada, more casinos are going to allow players to bet on big esport competitions.

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Watching the political hopefuls begin to jockey for position.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Things are heating up across the provincial political spectrum.

The Liberals are sending out several messages a day on their social media feeds – they want the Premiers head on a pole and think they have him on the ropes..

Potential candidates are getting calls from media asking for comment.

McKenna + Drummond

Is there just a little defensiveness in the McKenna body language ?  Andrew Drummond is on the left.

That moved Andrew Drummond to touch base and advise that he has formally applied to be the NDP candidate in Burlington provincially. Drummond adds: “I have begun to assemble a campaign team and with our record fundraising in 2019 and 2020, I am extremely excited to be preparing to launch a robust campaign to take this seat from Jane McKenna.

He continues: “More than 55% of Burlington voters have chosen a progressive candidate in the past three elections and with Jane McKenna making statements about how worrying about COVID compares to Chicken Little, I am confident that I can win this seat for the NDP.”

With the news from Lisa Kearns that she will be the Liberal candidate there is a race.

Watch for distinct changes in the way Jane McKenna begins to behave.

 

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Kearns makes it official - she will be the Liberal candidate in the next provincial election

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

You first read about it in the Gazette.

Kearns Lisa side view Mar 2019

Lisa Kearns – expected to be the Liberal candidate for the Burlington seat in the Legislature. Watch for a change from blue to red in her clothing choices.

WARD 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns made a mention in her Twitter account that she is being vetted by the provincial Liberals as the candidate in the next provincial election – which may be much sooner than expected.

With the ward 2 seat now in play – the political musical chairs gets interesting.

More on that later in the week – you will never believe who Kearns is said to be grooming to take her place on city council.

The provincial seat is currently held by Jane McKenna, who won it, lost it and then won it again.

Related news stories

Lisa Kearns being considered as the provincial  Liberal candidate

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People with hearing impairment will benefit from hearing loops to be set up in the city

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 27, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington will receive $59,700 from the Ontario Government’s Inclusive Community Grants program that will be used to install hearing loop systems in city recreation centres to help individuals with hearing aids and cochlear implants get clearer sound, participate more fully and enjoy their experiences in programs and activities.

As part of the Burlington Active Aging Plan, the City has expanded recreational programs for older adults and seniors across the city. As this segment of the population grows in Burlington so does the demand for recreational services. This initiative will help keep older adults and seniors active, healthy and engaged in the community and offer them recreation and social programs that will enrich their quality of life. These projects are planned for completion by March 31, 2022.

hearing hand at ear

4 million people in Canada have some degree of hearing loss.

The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association estimates that 4 million people in Canada have some degree of hearing loss, which works out to almost 1 in 10 Canadians. Hearing aids are an effective solution to improving hearing quality. However, hearing aids are not always effective in all environments on their own. Induction loop systems (hearing loops) are a great way of improving sound quality for individuals wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants.

Many individuals in City programs rely on hearing aids. By installing hearing loops in City facilities, it will make it easier for these individuals to hear and have a more positive experience.

Hearing loops will be installed in areas including customer service counters, meeting rooms, multi-purpose program rooms and auditoriums in City facilities that host the majority of adult and senior programs. Initially, the City will focus on five community centres:

Haber name in sign

Haber Recreational Centre is one of the locations for the hearing loops.

The Burlington Seniors’ Centre, Tansley Woods Community Centre, Haber Community Centre, Mountainside Community Centre and Brant Hills Community Centre.

The next phase will look at customer service counters at various City pools.

Ward 4 Councillor, Shawna Stolte said: “As our older adult and senior population grows in Burlington, it’s important for the City of Burlington to invest in safe, accessible community spaces for individuals of all ages and abilities to enjoy.

“I am proud of my fellow council members for recognizing this need and investing City funding to augment this grant. This will allow the City to install hearing loops in as many facilities and spaces as possible to enhance the recreation experience for those in our community with hearing loss.”

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Community Development Halton places a $ value on the volunteer work done in the Region

opinionred 100x100By Mike Nixon,

April 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I have always been a very avid reader of anything of an historical nature. After all, it seems that the best, and sometimes most unbelievable stories find their basis in truth. And of such great importance especially now, I firmly believe that there is truth in Maya Angelou’s statement that, “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”

Amelia Earhart

The Airborne Activist, Amelia Earhart on the cover of Canada’s History magazine – why did that happen.

It probably isn’t so surprising then to learn that I recently read through an issue of Canada’s History magazine which captured my eye with a photo of Amelia Earhart on the cover. I have tremendous admiration for the many accomplishments of Ms. Earhart – her story is quite amazing! But my immediate thought upon seeing her picture on the cover of a Canadian history publication was, “what on earth was Amelia Earhart’s connection to Canada?” The answer was remarkable and is a beautiful story which ties into this month’s National Volunteer Week in Canada!

The story goes that in the latter part of WWI, Amelia visited her sister (who was enrolled at St. Margaret’s College in Toronto) during Christmas, 1917. While walking along King Street one day with her sister they came upon four soldiers, each missing a leg and supporting each other. This so shook Amelia that she had to duck into a local store – perhaps not a surprise given that the U.S. had only that year entered the war, and the ravages of battle were not so much a common sight there.

Instead of returning to the U.S., Amelia decided to stay in Toronto so she could help in the war effort. She completed courses in first aid and home nursing at the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade becoming the sole American to enroll in wartime for the Volunteer Aid Detachment. Dubbed “Sister Amelia” by those she tended to, Earhart spent several years here volunteering her time in everything from working 12-hour days emptying bedpans, making beds, washing patients and serving food to preparing laboratory slides and cultures.

This is a singular example of volunteerism at the time, but not by any means remote. Volunteering is a way of life for many Canadians – it is now and has been since confederation. Some volunteers and volunteer organizations have been inspired – like Earhart – by compassion, some by injustice, others by the simple want to help and support their neighbours and communities.

This Canadian tradition of helping fellow citizens in many ways started on the concept of ‘loving our neighbours,’ building on the values of our Native communities, Canada’s first Christian settlers and the members of virtually every religion which have arrived in Canada since.

And it’s fascinating to know that the roots of many of our volunteer efforts now have a direct relationship to the traditions of our multicultural heritage, from practices adopted in the Maritimes from the English Poor Laws of the 18th century, to Canadians of German descent forming the first funeral or burial society in Halifax in 1753, the founding and work of the Chinese Consolidated
Benefit Association in the late 1800’s, to the founding of the CNIB as a direct effect of the 1917
Halifax explosion.

Winners--Burlingtons-Best-2017---May-12th_-2

Burlington’s Best was one of the way the city recognized those who went above and beyond in serving their community. Mayor Meed Ward made the wise decision to reorganize the way the city recognized people – then Covid19 hit and the event was halted. The expectation is that it will be revived.

Fast-forward to present day, volunteerism in Canada connects people, communities, non-profit and public organizations and, quite frankly all that we do now like at no other time. In 2018 almost 13 million people volunteered for charities, non-profits and community organizations in Canada, accounting for approximately 41% of Canadians aged 15 and over. They dedicated about 1.7 billion hours to their formal volunteer activities (people giving unpaid help through groups, clubs, and organizations) – a volume of work equivalent to more than 863,000 full-time year-round jobs.

Perhaps not surprisingly Baby Boomers and Matures (ages ranging from 56 – 103) were over 70% more likely to iGens (born 1996 and up) to be ‘top’ volunteers, spending 132 hours more on volunteer activities.

But hold on …. and perhaps a silver lining of the current pandemic – with many baby boomers and matures now struggling to keep their businesses afloat or working from home, concerned about their own health and isolating, and in some cases caring for elderly parents, this group has had less time for volunteering during the pandemic. During this time there has been a remarkable surge of iGens, Millennials, and Gen Xers who have been committing to informal volunteering – volunteers providing unpaid help as an individual to others (non-relative) through activities such as shoveling snow, shopping for the elderly and many other examples.

In our own backyard – in the Region of Halton it is estimated that approximately 200,000 volunteers (age 15 and over) put in over 325,000 hours per year. If we apply an average wage of $27 (76% of the economy wide average wage of $35.50/hr), this equates to approximately $870,000,000 + or 17,000 full-time jobs – or 11% of all full-time jobs in Halton.

Last week was National Volunteer Week in Canada. And of course, as part of Community Development Halton, Volunteer Halton has been very actively involved. We would have liked to have hosted our annual (in-person) Volunteer Recognition Breakfast – which obviously we couldn’t. That wasn’t going to stop us, however from focusing on the most important aspect of that event – the amazing volunteers in this Region who give of their time, helping our neighbours and make living in Halton so fulfilling.

Through interaction with many of our community groups in the four major centres in Halton we were able to identify 8 individuals who CDH and Volunteer Halton were proud, and quite frankly privileged to present our 2021 Volunteer Impact Awards. In all honesty, every single volunteer whose names were put forward – and those who were not – deserved awards as well! Every ounce of commitment put into individual acts of volunteerism within our communities was so well appreciated by the community groups through whom the volunteers participated and especially by those for whom they served.

I personally had the immense joy of being on hand for each of these presentations. It is so easy to get down during this pandemic, but I must say that each of the days in which my colleague, Heather Thompson and I had the pleasure of meeting these volunteers and the organizations who nominated them, was pure joy for me. To see the passion which drives these individuals, the commitment they have provided – many of them for years and for several organizations – and to
experience ‘vicariously’ through the volunteers the fulfillment which they receive by giving of themselves, well, it was so gratifying for me and filled me with immense pride. Not only to meet these incredible individuals and families but to feel even just a little part of the amazing compassion that they provide to their ‘neighbours.’

I can’t say strongly enough how important these volunteer efforts are to the communities in which we are all most fortunate to live. Our volunteers make lives and living better for us all and I can only suggest that more of us get involved with the wonderful missions which each of Halton’s community groups operate throughout the year – you will be overwhelmed at how good it feels.

I invite you to please take a look at the beautiful stories of those to whom Volunteer Halton had the privilege to present awards. You can read these stories on CDH’s website or through this link https://cdhalton.ca/2021/04/23/halton-volunteer-impact-award-2021.

How important is it to one who gives so much of themselves through their volunteer work? I can answer quite simply by quoting one of the lovely individuals with whom I had the pleasure of meeting last week …. “volunteering is as necessary to me as breathing.”

Mike NixonMike Nixon is the Executive Director of Community Development Halton.

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Downtown and lake front were quiet and civil on Saturday and Sunday

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It wasn’t tank top and short shorts weather but it was an improvement over the weather the city experienced the past two weeks.

Previously, when the weather was warm and did invite short shorts there were complaints about the number of people who were using the Promenade at Spencer Smith Park and just hanging around the downtown core.

Promenade Apr 24

No crowds, many people were masked and traffic moved nicely.

The Covid19 infection reports are still a serious threat – the prevailing attitude in Burlington seems to be that those reports concern Toronto and the Region of Peel – Burlington is safe.

Far from the truth – many people in Toronto and within the Region of Peel do the best they can to get out of their communities and visit places like Burlington.  The waterfront is a huge attraction.

Family at square opp ciity hall

Families gather in the Square opposite city hall enjoying the warmer weather.

The Emergency Control Group that oversees just how the city administration responds to the infection threat is working double time putting together plans to limit the number of people who use the park and the Beachway where there are long stretches of sandy beachfront that will become very inviting when the summer weather is upon us.

For City Manager Tim Commisso this is a problem that keeps him awake at nights; he knows full well that should there be a spike in the number of Covid19 infections in Burlington the public howl will fall on his shoulders.

Commisso Apr 17

Running a city with some exceptionally good people supporting him is a job Tim Commisso, City Manager could do with his eyes closed – that may be why he took on the job when asked to serve as interim and then applied for the job. The task he deals with now is not what he saw coming – but it is something he has to deal with.

The public doesn’t hear all that much from the Emergency Control Group.  At their most recent report to Council Commisso said that he expected to have to meet with Council more often than the on average monthly report in that takes place.

The Emergency Control Group is tasked with adjusting service delivery levels and allocating staff to where it is needed most.

There are now 10 bylaw enforcement officer on the payroll – while parking is something they used to spend a lot of time on – parking is no longer getting the same attention.

The rate of calls to the bylaw enforcement office is up over 200% from last year.  The staff in that office often have to tell people that it is going to be awhile before they can get the attention they want.

Meanwhile, the running of a city has to take place, with the city hall basically closed; open if you need a marriage license – by appointment only.  Transit is still running the system.

Parks are now open and the people at Parks and Recreation have acquired an ability to pivot on about two hours notice skill set.

For people at the municipal level everything is in a state of flux; with the vast majority of the 700 plus full time people working from their homes.  They have all gotten very good at slipping into Zoom meetings.

Finances are in good condition; the province has provided short term and long term funds creating enough of a cushion for Joan Ford, City Treasurer to have the confidence she needs to assure the public that we will not be going broke.

 

 

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Lowville Park and the attraction of Bronte Creek that runs through it was a weekend destination for many

graphic community 2By Pepper Parr

April 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was a burst of decent weather and it drew small crowds to Lowville Park where there was parking space throughout the day.

Once the renovations and upgrades to the park are completed there will be a reservation policy in place – people will have to go on line to get a permit to enter the park. A lot of people are going to be both surprised and upset.

But on Saturday it was wide open to everyone.

kids with nets

These guys were out to catch fish or maybe pollywogs.

Men with fishing rods

These guys were out for fish – no pollywogs for them.

Family with baby

Many were out for the open air and a chance to walk about without a mask – a family of five – kept them within the rules.

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Councillor attendance at Committee of Adjustment meetings seen as less than appropriate by some

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Committee of Adjustment (CoA) is the place you appeal to when you need a small adjustment  to the zoning of a piece of property

The CoA is an independent body appointed by Council under authority granted by the Province of Ontario. The Committee has seven members and two alternates who are all residents of the City of Burlington.

Kearns on the Burlington & Caroline development

Item posted on Kearns Facebook page

The Committee of Adjustment is authorized by the Planning Act to consider applications for:

Minor variances from the zoning bylaw.

Extensions, enlargements or variations of existing legal non-conforming uses under the zoning bylaw.

Land division and consents – severing a new lot from an existing lot, adding land to an existing lot, easements, mortgages or leases in excess of 21 years.

Conformity to the zoning bylaw for a particular use.

There have been some boisterous CoA meetings in the past; the hearing that related to the Jack Dennison application to sever  the property he once owned on Lakeshore Road took years to be completed and in the end went to the OMB where the CoA  decision was set aside.

Dennison, who was the ward 4 Councillor at the time eventually got the decision he wanted – it raised more than eyebrows.

Members of Council are rarely involved in CoA meetings.  However in the past former Councillors Rick Craven and John Taylor have appeared.  Craven attended but did not speak to an application nor did he identify himself as a ward Councillor.  John Taylor did speak to an application.

Kearns - trhe like

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

The current Councillor for ward 2, Lisa Kearns has appeared before the CoA twice and in a notice on her Facebook page is advising people of the meeting this week.

Maurice Desrochers, talking to residents who live near the block long development he is proposing for the St. Luke's ward.

Maurice Desrochers, talking to residents who live near the block long development he was proposing for the St. Luke’s ward.

The application she refers to is one made by Maurice Richard Desrochers, no stranger to CoA procedures. There are three separate applications,  all related to a property on the corner of Caroline and Burlington Street, a part of the city that is seen as a choice location to live where re-sale prices are well into the million dollar level.

There appear to be people either on the CoA or involved in the administration of the hearings who take exception to members of Council appearing.

The Gazette source asked not to be identified

 

 

 

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JBH has admitted 33 patients with COVID-19, several are critical and on ventilators in the ICU

News 100 redBy Staff

April 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

A message to the community from Eric Vandewall, President & CEO Joseph Brant Hospital

Across the province, the hospital system is experiencing significant pressures, as the Variants of Concern have now become the predominant strain of COVID-19. Hospitals are reaching full capacity.

Joseph Brant hospital rendering

33 Covid19 patients in Intensive Care Unit

As of today, (April 22, 2021) Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) is sitting at 91% capacity. Last week, the Ontario government expanded the four-week lockdown to six weeks, in the hopes of bringing down case numbers. They are also working to increase critical care capacity and bring in health care workers from other jurisdictions.

Long-Term Care homes are expediting admissions for Alternative Level of Care patients, as the need for acute care beds is rising faster than the system can currently accommodate. At JBH, for over a year we have been preparing for what is happening now – the worst-case scenario.

Our teams continue to work hard to review and revise plans for potential situations we may experience. To manage capacity pressures, JBH has enacted a team-based model of care on some patient care units. Team-based care shifts patient care from “I” (i.e. nurse as the “primary” caregiver) to “We”, where nurses are paired with other care providers. In a team approach, each team member’s skills and knowledge are utilized to share the responsibility for meeting patient care needs.

It is all hands on deck to ensure that we keep our patients and our community safe. Yet, as I referenced last week, it is distressing to see continued skepticism on social media and through ongoing anti-lockdown demonstrations. Many falsely contend – still to this day, despite urgent, emotional pleas from the medical community – that the severity of this pandemic is over-inflated.

Today, at JBH we are caring for 33 patients admitted with COVID-19, including several critically ill patients on ventilators in our ICU.

Our critical care department is currently working at 160% of its standard capacity, with nine additional ICU patient beds added in the last week. Some of these patients were immediately hospitalized after going to emergency with symptoms that were non-existent only days prior. These are people with families, loved ones, living their lives before contracting this virus. I cannot state our current reality more clearly. It is the same reality taking place in hospitals across Ontario, and across parts of this country. The numbers continue to increase daily and we are living and working in extraordinary times.

This is not a time for skepticism, but empathy, understanding and hope. Because yes, despite the bleakness of this picture, there is much hope. I’m happy to report that we are actively hiring more healthcare workers. This week, we put a call out to the community to apply for temporary full and part-time Pandemic Assistant positions to help support our clinical teams or assist in our screening stations.

Visit www.josephbranthospital.ca for more information and to apply.

This week, we surpassed 13,000 vaccinations administered at JBH, and we continue to vaccinate over 400 community members daily. We will continue to vaccinate as many as we can, based on available supply. I am also encouraged to see eligibility for the Astra Zeneca vaccine expand to the 40-59 age group. If you are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination, please remember:

• Book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment – in Halton, visit www.halton.ca/covidvaccines or call 311 to book by phone • If you vaccinate elsewhere (i.e. pharmacy or doctor’s office) and book multiple appointments in an attempt to get the earliest time, please do not forget to cancel your appointments at the other locations. This causes a significant backlog with wait lists and further delays for those waiting to get the vaccine

Eric andewall TITLE

Eric Vandewall. President & CEO Joseph Brant Hospital

• Read the scientific evidence available online to support that vaccination is a key factor in stopping the virus – Halton Region and the Province of Ontario share evidence and FAQ information

• As always, continue to follow public health measures including washing your hands, wearing a mask, adhering to physical distancing, before and after vaccination.

Thank you again to our community for the ongoing support, encouragement and cooperation. We must take collective action to get through Wave 3. I know that many people are tired and concerned about the road ahead – but together, we are strong and we will rise to the challenge, and we will get through this extraordinary time.

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Gardener in chief recruiting volunteers for the Food Bank community garden.

graphic community 2By Pepper Parr

April 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Food Bank managed to have 7 plots in the community Garden on Maple Avenue assigned to them.

They then had to find a volunteer who would oversee the operation of those 7 plots.

That volunteer would then have to recruit a volunteer crew to manage each of the plots.

Sam LaGRand 2

Sam LeGrand and Robin Bailey at the market garden site on Maple Avenue

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Food Bank did the interviewing and felt he had the ideal volunteer – Samantha LeGrand, who prefers to be known as Sam.

The two of them did a short interview on-site where Sam asked for people to foster some of the seedlings she has – she has run out of space at her own dwelling.

Sam LaGrand 1

Sam LaGrand – Good Bank gardener

If you think you could look after some of those seedlings please go to the Food Bank web site and register as a volunteer and then select the tab on the registration to do with Community Garden help.

In early May Sam will need volunteer help for planting, and then subsequently help for watering and weeding throughout the season.  You can contact  Sam at garden@burlingtonfoodbank.ca

Sam brings an eclectic education to the gardening she is going to supervise – she is the kind of gardener who gets her fingers dirty.

She was a student at OCAD, the Ontario College of Arts and Design where she studied drawing and painting – she has had a number of gallery showings.  She was also a student at Western University where she studied astro-physics and creative writing.

She said she loved the job she has at the Children’s Place; retail was something she liked.

Gardening is as much a passion as it is working.  Sam knows gardening – she has some ideas for the different designs she wants to use – high yield is one of her objectives.

The community gardens in Burlington – there are now seven of them – was the result of work done by Michelle Bennett and Amy Schnur when they approached city council in 2015 looking for support on an application they had made to the provincial government to create community gardens.

The province required municipal support for every grant they provided – at the time city council wasn’t all warm and fuzzy about the idea.  They were reluctant to put up some real dollars.

Amy and Michelle weren’t prepared to walk away from the project – they convinced the Parks and Recreation department to put in the water service that was needed.  From that point on community gardens were real – they sold out the day they were opened.

Related news stories

Community gardens a hit

How Burlington community gardens got started

 

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A new approach to budget setting gets revealed at Councillor's ward meeting

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

April 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The week was a media bonanza for ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns.

Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

On Wednesday she handled a two hour webcast on what is known now as Fairview LP, the gigantic development that will rise on the 8.5 acre property to the east of the Burlington GO station; on Thursday she held a ward meeting in which she jammed in everything she could possibly tell you about what she is achieving at city hall.

There was one item of significant interest in the city hall recap – that was what appears to be a new and very welcome approach to creating budgets.

Kearns first explained that the 4.14% increase on the city portion of your tax bill was really necessary – that can be argued at some future date.

Kearns also explained how hard council had worked to get a budget in place before the end of March.

The Finance department prefers to get a budget in place before the end of a calendar year but Covid19 has screwed up everything everyone is trying to get done.

wervbg

The practice in the past was to invite the public to “review” the budget that had already been decided upon. It was community engagement at its worst – getting public input before city departments did their work would be classic community engagement.

The plan, if we heard to ward Councillor correctly, was to start budget thinking in June and ask the public what they would like to see before having the various departments submit their first cut on a budget.

The Gazette has been advocating this for years – maybe, just maybe, they will ask the public how they would like to see their money spent.

Done properly this could be very effective.

Time will tell.

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

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Lowville Park: construction and parking lot updates

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Construction of Lowville Park has begun for the 2021 construction season. As part of the Lowville Park Master Plan, work continues on park improvements. The return of park reservations will occur later in the spring.

A river runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

A river runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

Parking Lot Closures

During construction, the park will be open to the public but there will be temporary parking lot closures:

Weekdays – Monday, April 26 to Thursday, May 20
Entire parking lot closed

There will be no parking; the parking lot will be closed for construction

Weekends – Saturday, May 1 to Sunday, May 16

A third of the parking lot will be closed for construction staging

The rest of the parking lot will be open for public parking. First come, first served.

Rob Peachey, on the left, Manager Parks and Open Spaces for the city, talks through some solutions to managing the very large weekend crowds.

Rob Peachey, on the left, Manager Parks and Open Spaces for the city, talks through some solutions to managing the very large weekend crowds. They are standing on the school house steps overlooking the park.

Vehicles parked illegally will be ticketed and/or towed at the owner’s expense by City of Burlington Parking Bylaw Officers.

The park will remain open for pedestrians and cyclists. Areas of the park under construction will be closed. For your safety, please stay out of the areas marked as closed.

Park Reservations
Visitors are reminded to continue to be vigilant about public health practices and provincial directives to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Starting May 24, visitors to Lowville Park will be required to make an online reservation before they can enter the park. The reservations are free and available in three-hour time slots.

Reservations are open to book:
o Weekdays between 4 and 8 p.m.
o Weekends between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

• Due to the limited number of spots available, we ask that one spot per day be booked to allow everyone the opportunity to enjoy the park
• One vehicle per reservation
• Reservations for those walking or biking into the park are not required
• Visits are three hours in length. Arrive and depart within your scheduled times
• An automated gate will match vehicle license plates match the reservation
• Changes/cancellations can be made up to 48 hours before your arrival time, including change of date, name, license plate and number of people
• Late grace period: we understand unexpected circumstances may arise. It’s ok to be a few minutes late
• City of Burlington reserves the right to cancel park visits due to adverse trail conditions. Trail networks may close completely if conditions are too wet and damage will be unavoidable. Should your visit be cancelled, you will be notified by email
• City of Burlington reserves the right to cancel park visits due to COVID orders and restrictions. Should your visit be cancelled, you will be notified by email
• Details about how to make a reservation will be made available next month.

Washrooms are available at Lowville Park and visitors are reminded to continue to be vigilant about public health practices and provincial orders to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

• Maintain a physical distance of at least 2-metres from others.
• Only visit the park with members of your immediate household.
• Stay home if you feel sick.
• Wash and sanitize your hands before and after visiting the park.

Burlington is a City where people, nature and businesses thrive. City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at Burlington.ca/Enews and download the free City of Burlington app.

Vito Tolone

Vito Tolone, Director of Transportation

Vito Tolone, Director of Transportation explains some of the issues people need to be aware of: – “We are working to open the parking lot for the summer season. Through the initial construction this spring, please bear with us when the parking lot is closed and keep in mind that there are very few parking spaces available on Lowville Park Road.

The City saw success in reopening and managing parking and park capacity using the reservation system last summer. This year, we have been able to automate this system so we can allow residents the chance to reserve their parking spot. This reservation system allows us to manage the number of visitors and control parking.”

 

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Federal grants help three community groups to continue helping others

graphic community 3By Pepper Parr

April 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The big dollar grants from various levels of government can overwhelm a bit – just how any zeros are there in a billion?

It is the smaller grants, those under the $100,000 level that are understood and appreciated.

This afternoon, Karina Gould announced three grants to Burlington organizations that we all know about.

There was $71,000 distributed with $25,000 going to Community Living; $24,900 going to the Legion and $21,667 going to Community Development Halton.

seniors grant screen

This is how media events now take place. I need a haircut so badly that I chose not to be seen.

All the grants had a Covid19 connection.

Community Living cares for 400 people and is the oldest community organization in the city.

Their grant got applied to technology which allows them to take basically all of their programs virtual. This includes the music classes, the art classes and the friendship circles.

The cheer leading team and the news team wouldn’t be able to do anything were it not for the ability to Zoom .

The residential program is able to continue but under very strict limitations. Those in the residential program have at times gone for a significant number of days without seeing family.

Gould in the Legion kitchen

A Friday evening Fish Fry at the Legion; they managed to coax MP Karina Gould into the kitchen

The Legion once got MP Karina Gould into their kitchen during one of the Friday Fish Fry Nights – that will be back on once the level of social mobility improves. The Legion needed to upgrade the HVAC system – the grant will help them get that job done.

Community Development Halton, (CDH) a non profit organization that does social planning research and operates Volunteer Halton as well as running an Age Friendly program.

CDH partnered with Food for Life preparing meals for 800 people who are isolated during the pandemic.

They found when talking to people while the meals were being delivered that many were finding the social isolation very difficult.

CDH has this practice of talking through problems and issues; they began to brain storm over what could be done to alleviate the sense of being alone and isolated.

Lap blanket were knitted and distributed; young people were encouraged to write cards to people they had never met – the cards were included with the meals when they were delivered.

Heather Thompson told the people taking part in the media event virtually of an occasion when one woman opened her lunch and found the card – burst into tears.  An act of kindness she didn’t expect struck a chord.

The funds that were distributed came from the federal New Horizons for Seniors program.

Those dollars made a huge difference to three organizations in this city who take care of people with real needs.

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A 16 year old youth in a lot of trouble - where were the parents?

Crime 100By Staff

April 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In March of 2021, members of the Halton Regional Police Service – 2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau began an investigation into an individual who was trafficking drugs throughout the Town of Oakville. On April 22, 2021, a 16 year-old male from Oakville was arrested charged with the following offences:

• Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking – Fentanyl
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking – Cocaine & Crack Cocaine
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking – LSD
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking – Psilocybin
• Possession – Oxycodone
• Trafficking a Controlled Substance
• Possess Cannabis for the Purpose of Selling
• Young Person to Distribute Cannabis (of one or more classes of Cannabis the total amount of which is equivalent as determined with Schedule 3 to be more then 5g of dried cannabis)
• Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
• Possession of a Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized
• Careless Storage of a Firearm
• Possession of a Restricted Firearm with Ammunition

Following the arrest, a Controlled Drug and Substances Act warrant was conducted at a residence in Oakville. Through the course of the investigation the following items were seized:

• A loaded .45 calibre restricted firearm
• 14 rounds of .45 Cal ammunition
• 19.1 grams of Fentanyl
• 22.1 grams of Cocaine
• 20.9 grams of Crack Cocaine
• 0.6 grams of Oxycodone
• 0.7 grams of LSD
• 122.6 grams of Psilocybin
• 335.4 grams of cannabis marijuana
• 66 (22 gram-24.5 gram) packages of Cannabis Edibles
• 283 (1 gram each) Cannabis Vape Pens

The accused was held in custody pending a bail hearing.

The Youth Criminal Justice Act prevents the police from releasing the name of an accused.  Interesting that the police take steps to protect a youth that needs help – whereHRPS crest are the parents.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to contact the 2 District – Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext 2216.

Tips 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.

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Regional Public Health Unit releases video - some are quite lengthy

News 100 redBy Staff

April 23, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Region Public Health Unit released the follow:

Getting our community vaccinated and protecting our most vulnerable residents from COVID-19 continues to be Halton Region’s top priority. As of Thursday, April 22, 2021, 158,938 doses have been administered in Halton to priority populations identified by the Province. This represents about 30 per cent of Halton’s population who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Our vaccination status dashboard is updated Monday to Friday between 12 and 2 p.m. Please click here to view the full dashboard.

Our team would also like to share the following videos:
• April 21 COVID-19 Vaccine Safety from Dr. Hamidah Meghani      4:06 minutes
• April 21 COVID-19 Council update from Halton Region Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deepika Lobo   9:34 minutes
• April 21 COVID-19 Vaccine Council update from Halton Region Associate Medical Officer of Health Dr. Joana Oda and CAO Jane MacCaskill    25:53 minutes

Editor’s note: Keeping a public informed is vital; using video is often better than something written – putting out a video that is close to half an hour long is vert poor communications practice.

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2500 residents and almost 3000 cars will be part of a seven tower development next to Burlington GO station

graphic community 3By Pepper Parr

April 22nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

That the development is going to proceed is not in doubt.

3 phases

Development will begin at the back of the site – next to the railway line. Parking will be next to the tracks with green space on the roof of the parking structures. \this is a long term development which the developer has said they will be part of for decades.

Is it the best deal the city can get ? Probably not but the property on the north side of Fairview between Drury on the east and the Legatt auto dealership on the west has a lot of baggage.

Under the Official Plan this development comes under there is no height limit. Under the new Official Plan, which has not gotten to final approval yet, things would be different.

The 2010 and the 2014 Council, led by Rick Goldring,  had numerous opportunities to amend the zoning on the property and get reasonable height limits in place.  It was becoming clear in 2010 that the province was going to require high rise intensive development along the rail corridor. Was it a blind eye that couldn’t see or was it wilful neglect. All that is water under the bridge.

The development now has a slightly different corporate makeup and is described at Fairview LP (the LP stands for ‘limited partnership’)

CLV, an organization that has significant apartment interests in Burlington, along with a reputation for terrible service to tenants.

Check out CLV on line and read what past tenants have had to say about the way they were treated. Get the link HERE

Brookfield Property Group is one of the partners along with with InterRent REIT and CLV Group.  A REIT,  is an income trust – they are sometimes publicly listed companies.)

In an annual report Brookfield describes the company as a diversified global real estate company that owns, operates and develops one of the largest portfolios of office, retail, multifamily, industrial, hospitality, triple net lease, student housing and manufactured housing assets. Its investment objective is to generate attractive long-term returns on equity of 12%−15% based on stable cash flows, asset appreciation and annual distribution growth in-line with earnings growth. The company is listed on the following exchanges: NASDAQ: BPY, TSX: BPY.UN).

 

skyline best

The development will not appear to be over-bearing. It will change the look and feel of the mid-section of the city.

The development will not get a thorough public review. It does not require changes to either the Official Plan or the zoning bylaw.

The city’s planning department will be limited to a site plan review, which in itself does offer some opportunity for influencing the look of the project that sits on an eight acre site of which about two acres will be parkland in various forms.

area walking

The circles identify walking distances of 5, 10 and fifteen minute walks. Not much in the way of places to walk to other than places to shop.

A city council has the right to un-delegqte a site plan review – which means decisions are made by council and not just the planning department.  At this point all the discussion with the developer takes place with the Planning department.  Nothing gets put before Council until it decides to invoke the decision they made to take the authority away from planning.

The motion to undelegate reads a follows:

“Undelegate the site plan approval for application 535001/20 (2020, 2243, 2269 Fairview Street and 864 Drury Lane CLV Group Inc) from the Director of Community Planning to Council”

Ward two Councillor Lisa Kearns, who hosted the virtual community event Wednesday evening, that had 98 people taking part during a two hour session.

The Fairview LP people are not required to present anything to the public – that have done so willingly and have answered the questions put to them.

They have not proven to be media responsive.

The visuals that were made available were impressive.

middle path

These are architectural renderings. More aspirational than actual at this point. That walkway through the middle has the potential to become a self-sufficient community.

But a there are a lot of questions yet to be answered.

The schools boards have yet to say what they will need in terms of space for classrooms.

Traffic was a concern for many people on the call. The development will create something in the order of 2500 units, of which 60% will be condominiums and 40% rental units.

There will be affordable units – how many – no one said but it is obvious the developer has been working with the Region which has responsibility for affordable housing.

clv repJenn Morrison, the CLV person stick handling the progress of the site plan review  said they wanted 1.18 parking spaces per unit would work out to  3000 cars entering the site. There will be two entrances off Fairview and one off Drury Lane – add to that the traffic to the GO station parking lot and one is looking at a lot of cars.

A traffic study is being done – it wasn’t available last night.

When will the development have shovels in the ground ? Jenn said she hoped to be able to start in Q1 of 2022 – THAT is a stretch.

The property comes under the Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL) which has all development within the Urban WORD on hold until ICBL  which will not be lifted until all the LPAT appeals have been heard – there are 30 of them working their way through the Local Planning Act Tribunal.

In a document presented to Council on this development the planners explained the impact the ICBL and the LPAT hearings have on this development:

“While the City awaits the LPAT process to conclude, new applications, including the subject application, are being circulated for comment to relevant departments and agencies. No planning decisions are being formalized and recommendation reports are not being prepared until the LPAT has issued decisions on the aforementioned ZBA 2020.418 appeals. The application will be held in abeyance until the ICBL is no longer in effect.”

That however doesn’t stop the planners from collecting input from the numerous internal and external agencies that are required to comment.  The Fairview LP people said they are already in conversations with parks and recreation

site views

The development will have a ‘big city’ feel to it. Nothing quaint about it.

The site is a developers dream – with the demand for accommodation in Burlington higher than it has ever been the
The architectural renderings suggest an almost ‘swishy’ look to that part of the city. Mark Sindell, speaking for either Brookfield or the architects said there were plans for everything you can imagine on the retail side; a supermarket, several types of coffee shops, bars, restaurants, day care centres and maybe a nursery.

The Burlington Library has yet to set out what it might need in terms of accommodation.

At the start of the virtual meeting Kearns was most enthusiastic about the development. It is unusual for a city Councillor to wax as eloquently as she did did Wednesday evening.

One would expect the ward Councillor to be looking out for the public interest and not telling the audience how accommodating the developer has been.

Kearns pointed out that the development will be the biggest thing ever done in the city. Maybe – but that shouldn’t put stars in the eyes of the Councillor.

It is a huge development.  There is nothing the city can do to stop it – and there is no reason to do so.  Housing is needed and on the surface this development has much going for it.

bigger opic with legend

Almost one quarter of the 8.5 acre site will be green space – a real plus.

What has to be ensured is that transparency and accountability are front and center.  Someone has to speak up for the 2500 families that are going to call the place home. This reporter didn’t log out of the virtual event feeling that the public interest was in good hands.

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Municipal leaders in the Region of Halton call for sick pay for workers and a tightening of definition of what is an essential

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 22, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The following statement was released by the Chair of Regional Council and the fiour municipalities within the Region

Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair stand with the guidance provided by the COVID-19 Science Advisory
Table for Ontario supporting sick pay, encouraging safe outdoor activities and accelerating vaccines for
essential workers, among other measures to fight COVID-19.

Throughout this pandemic, Halton’s Mayors and Regional Chair have advocated for a targeted and
evidence-based approach and believe that measures should target the sources of community spread.

On behalf of all our residents and businesses hanging on during these challenging times, we add our
voices to the call from the Science Table to:

• Permit only truly essential indoor workplaces to stay open and strictly enforce safety measures;
• Pay essential workers to stay home when they are sick, exposed or need time to get vaccinated;
• Accelerate vaccination of essential workers and those who live in hot spots; and
• Encourage safe outdoor activities.

The guidance from the Science Table is that being safe outdoors means allowing small groups of people
from different households to meet outside with masking and two-metre distancing. It means keeping
playgrounds open and clearly encouraging safe outdoor activities.

While we continue to discourage large gatherings, small groups can be at the same amenity at the same
time as long as they are following the health guidelines.

In light of this advice, we ask the Province to review and reconsider the list of currently prohibited
outdoor activities. As noted by the Science Table:

“Policies that discourage safe outdoor activity will not control COVID-19 and will disproportionately harm
children and those who do not have access to their own greenspace, especially those living in crowded
conditions.”

Regarding closing non-essential businesses, further financial supports for workers must be in place if the
government is considering closing additional workplaces.

Yesterday’s comments regarding paid sick days by Labour Minister Monte McNaughton, Government
House Leader Minister Paul Calandra, Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy and Deputy Premier Christine
Elliot are welcome but they need to be backed up by urgent action and implementation, as well as a
timeline. To avert a fourth wave and break this cycle of lockdowns and restrictions, the government
needs to launch and fund a paid sick leave program in the coming days.

In addition, the Ministry of Labour should have further resources and staff allocated to increase
inspection blitzes and enforce safety measures. These blitzes should not be advertised or announced ahead of time, and they should target the facilities that have had multiple outbreaks ad employers that have not followed public health guidelines.
We need to focus on measures that work, backed by science and evidence, to get through this Third Wave and plan for recovery.

Sincerely,
Halton Regional Chair, Gary Carr Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, City of Burlington
Mayor Rob Burton, Town of Oakville Mayor Gordon Krantz, Town of Milton
Mayor Rick Bonnette, Town of Halton Hills

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