Spring Break moved to April 12 to 16

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The province has not cancelled the March Break – they did push t back to April 12 to 16.

Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education, issued the following statement regarding March break:

Stephen Lecce

Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education,

“In support of our collective efforts to keep schools safe, we are postponing March break until April 12-16, 2021.
This decision was made with the best advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and public health officials, including consultations with many local Medical Officers of Health.

“Many students have been learning remotely since the start of 2021. It is critical we follow public health advice to protect schools and avoid a repeat of the concerning spike in youth-related cases over the winter break, when students and staff were out of schools for a prolonged period of time. We are taking this precaution based on advice from health experts, including the province’s Science Table and the Chief Medical Officer of Health, to help protect against the emerging COVID-19 variants of concern.

“We appreciate the hard work of students and staff in the education sector and I want to be clear: March break is being postponed, not cancelled. To keep schools open, we must keep them free of COVID-19. The actions announced today serve to limit opportunities for congregation – while reaffirming the evidence that schools are safe for students. By continuing to follow public health advice, and by introducing additional safety measures and more testing, we are supporting our collective efforts to keep COVID-19 from entering our schools.

“With respect to travel, our government’s position on this is unchanged. Ontarians should refrain from travelling, particularly given the increase in new variants that pose a direct risk to our country. Please stay at home as much as possible and continue following the direction of public health officials so that we can keep schools open and protect our seniors, frontline health workers and all families.

“These decisions – based on the advice of medical experts – are never easy, but they are necessary to keep Ontario families safe.”

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There is a new millionaire out there - find that ticket and you will know if it is you

News 100 redBy Staff

February 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

olg logoIts good news for someone.

Terrible news in three weeks when the lottery ticket expires.

TICKET WORTH $1 MILLION UNCLAIMED IN BURLINGTON

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation announced today that there are two weeks left to claim a LOTTO MAX MAXMILLIONS prize worth $1 million from the Tuesday, February 25, 2020 LOTTO MAX draw.

The winning selection for this MAXMILLIONS prize was 06 – 13 – 14 – 17 – 31 – 34 – 50 and the winning ticket was sold in Burlington.

Players must match all seven numbers to win a MAXMILLIONS prize. Players have one year from the draw date to claim their prize.

The owner(s) of this ticket should fill in the back portion, sign it and contact the OLG Support Centre at 1-800-387-0098.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020 LOTTO MAX draw. The winning selection for this MAXMILLIONS prize was 06 – 13 – 14 – 17 – 31 – 34 – 50 and the winning ticket was sold in Burlington.

Players must match all seven numbers to win a MAXMILLIONS prize. Players have one year from the draw date to claim their prize.

The owner(s) of this ticket should fill in the back portion, sign it and contact the OLG Support Centre at 1-800-387-0098.

Will this news have thousands going through purses, wallets, the pockets of coats they haven’t worn for some time.

Someone thought there was a chance – and there was.  Lets see if the ticket comes to the surface.

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How well has city hall engaged during the Pandemic - and what will they do differently when this is all over?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

February 11, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Another survey –

This one about how we are going to engage during the balance of this pandemic and after it has come to an end.

You can access that document HERE

Engaging header graphic

The city wants your bright ideas

Michelle Dwyer, Manager of Engagement and Volunteers is one of the leads on the city’s efforts to communicate with a population that seldom goes beyond 30% turnout when it comes to municipal elections. .

With that kind of public response the hope of holding the city bureaucracy accountable,  is less than realistic.  The idea of a vigorous, vibrant community response on major issues is equivalent to one of those 25 watt light bulbs

They do their best with what they have.

We learned from a long time reader, a citizen who has been deeply involved at various levels of citizen engagement that the City is undertaking a “future of engagement” design initiative recognizing the impact of the CoVid pandemic. Many of you will already have been otherwise informed about this important opportunity.

Dwyer

Michelle Dwyer, facilitating a virtual Town Hall meeting. It went reasonably well – but there was something missing.

Dwyer asks people to feel free to share with your list of Burlington contacts, that we have a project that they may be interested in.  It is the Engaging During and After COVID-19 survey and poll https://www.getinvolvedburlington.ca/yourinput.  Below is a description of the engagement opportunity.  The survey closes on Feb 19th.

As per the City of Burlington’s Community Engagement Charter, engaging the community on issues that affect their lives and their city is a key component of democratic society. Public involvement encourages participation, actions and personal responsibility.

The goal of engagement is to lead to more informed and, therefore, better decision-making.

In an email Dwyer sent out to everyone she knows she highlighted what has been done in the past and what they hope to get done going forward.

COVID-19 has forced everyone to pivot, and engaging with the community is no exception. The City, in order to continue to get input from the community is/has:

Dwyer-Tanner-preg lady

Michelle Dwyer, second from the left, engages a group at a public meeting where people could meet without having to wear a mask.

hosting virtual public and council meetings, workshops and town halls

telephone town halls

online surveys

used the engagement platform, Get Involved Burlington for surveys, polling, mapping, ideas and discussion forums

Looking to the future, the City would like to gather your ideas as to how we can continue to safely engage with the community once in-person opportunities are allowed. We’d also like to know the types of topics you’re interested in.

 

 

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Colour codes will be used to advise citizens what can and cannot be done in different parts of the province. An 'Emergency Brake' will be used to change the status

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The current lockdown and Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply to 28 public health regions, including Halton Region until Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

For Toronto, Peel and York regions, it is proposed that the Stay-at-Home order will continue to apply until Monday, February 22, 2021.

Changes to retail
The government has updated the Framework to allow for a safer approach to retail. Limited in-person shopping in Grey-Lockdown zones will be permitted with public health and safety measures, such as limiting capacity to 25% in most retail settings. In addition, public health and safety measures in retail settings will be strengthened for other levels of the Framework.

Individuals will also be required to wear a face covering and maintain physical distance when indoors in a business, with limited exceptions.. Businesses are encouraged to review the COVID-19 Response Framework for sector-specific public health and workplace safety measures and public health advice.

The pressure on the province to re-open the economy has been intense. The Retail Council of Canada had its membership send thousands of letters to the Office of the Premier.

This government is a pro-business operation – it goes every grain of who they are to force small businesses to shut down.

Many are of the view that the number of new infections reported daily is just not low enough and the risk isn’t worth the benefit.

Should the infection numbers spike again – and the province is forced into yet another shut down, the response from the public will be severe.

Advocates for the front line workers want to see paid sick days for those people who have to work and put themselves and their families at risk when they report for work.

The evidence and the science seems to tell us that this virus can be brought to heel – but that we are going to have to hang tight and wait this out.

That doesn’t appear to be what the current government is prepared to do.

‘Emergency Brake’ System
Recognizing the risk posed by new variants to the province’s pandemic response, Ontario is introducing an “emergency brake” to allow for immediate action if a public health unit region experiences rapid acceleration in COVID-19 transmission or if its health care system risks becoming overwhelmed.

If this occurs, the Chief Medical Officer of Health, in consultation with the local medical officer of health, may advise immediately moving a region into Grey-Lockdown to interrupt transmission.

Covid status chart- colour code

The province has created a colour code system to advise people what the status is in each of the Regional Health Units. For Halton that means we rely upon the decision made by the Public Health Unit. .

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Ward 4 Councillor getting close to collecting 1000 lbs of food. She will be out again this Friday.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

February 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It’s a bit of a grind but something Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte has gotten into doing every Friday – taking the van and touring the ward to pick up any Food Offerings that have been left out for her to take to the Food Bank.

A number of weeks ago Stolte realized (it was her aha moment) that while driving around the ward to check in on what was happening she could also be picking up food donations and truck them over to the Food Bank.

She sent out a note, asked the Gazette if we would help out and delivered her first collection which amounted to 443 lbs of Food and $500 in cash.  “In just under 2 hours during my regular tour of the ward I had the pleasure of dropping by 33 participating households.”

The second round took place last weekend. To date, reports Stolte, “we have collected 856 pounds of food and hundreds of dollars in cash donations!

Stolte - this could lead to bigger van

Those single door step donations create the flow of food needed to take care of those that need a hand up. Results from the first week of the Stolte initiative.

Cash donations can be made directly to the Burlington Food Bank website and will automatically receive a tax receipt provided a full name and address are provided and please comment for your donation to be included in the Ward 4 Friday Food Drives so we can add your generous donation to our Ward 4 Grand Total!

Together we can keep the shelves at the Burlington Food Bank stocked and help our community through this challenging time.

Please spread the word to your Ward 4 friends and neighbours and have them register for pickup at
ward4@burlington.ca.

“I will be offering this safe, contact-free pickup every Friday.”

The following is a list of the Top Ten Most Needed Items this week:

Canned Meat (Ham, Turkey, Chicken)
Large Juice (1L Tetra or Cans)
Rice (1kg or 2kg sizes)
Peanut Butter
Cookies
Canned Tomatoes
Shampoo, Deodorant, Toothpaste and Toothbrushes
Hot Cereal (Oatmeal/Porridge Single Servings)
Canned Fruit
Large Soup (Ready To Eat)

Thank you and stay well,

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Molotov Cocktail thrown at house fails to explode - Police arrested suspect earlier this week

Crime 100By Staff

February 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

molotive cocktail

They were once a working too for the radical protesters. Always illegal.

Arson is not something that you read about very often; molotov cocktails went out of style in the sixties.

In December of 2020, the Halton Regional Police Service responded to a report of an attempted deployment of an incendiary device targeting an address on Bonney Meadow Road.

The investigation at the scene revealed a suspect attempted to utilize a breakable glass bottle containing a flammable substance, commonly referred to a ‘Molotov Cocktail’, however was unsuccessful and ultimately fled the area.

On February 8, 2021, the suspect, Sem Golov (24) of Brampton, was arrested and charged with the following:

• Arson
• Breach of Weapons Prohibition Order (2 counts)

The investigation revealed this was a targeted incident.

Anyone with information in regards to any of these occurrences is asked to contact Detective Barry Malciw, Oakville Criminal Investigation Bureau, 905-825-4747 extension 2218.

Tips can also be submitted 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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Scrambling for seats at the Burlington Lands Project Selection Table.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

February 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

The following series is lengthy.  It sets out what the city has decided it wants to do on development projects that will put tax money at risk.  None of what is now known as the Burlington Lands Project was discussed, nor even mentioned, during the last municipal election. It bears watching

Part 4 of a 4 part series.

 

When talking through the Terms of Reference for the latest hot idea from City Hall – members of Council were not shy about looking for a way to sit on the Selection Committee – the place where the decisions are going to be made.

Lisa in the chamber

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns preparing to take the Chair of a Standing Council Committee

The document that set out who would be on this all-important committee had the Mayor, the Chair of the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability (CSSRA) who, this year, is Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns.  The Chair of the four Standing Committees change each year.

stolte a

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte

Vice Chair of the CSSRA is Shawna Stolte who has made it clear that she feels she should be on the committee for several reasons.

She has a strong commitment to the concept of affordable housing and points to her private sector experience in the field and the fact that she is still a licensed realtor. And, she added, as the vice chair of the CSSRA she would bring some continuity to Council representation on the Burlington Lands Project because she will be chair next year.

Sharman a

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman – wants to sit on committees that have clout and influence. He misses the Economic Development seat he held – why did his term on that Committee end?

Councillor Sharman didn’t see the Stolte bonafides quite the same way. He went so far as to say there had to be some merit in adding someone to the Selection Committee and that experience is important.

The original plan was to have two members of Council on the Selection Committee. Adding the vice chair of the CSSRA to the two would take it up to three which was not quite what City Manager Tim Commisso had in mind when he structured this latest initiative for the city.

He was rather firm when he said that there was not going to ever be four members of Council on the Selection Committee – that would have amounted to a Council quorum.

The decision as to the membership on the Selection Committee as it is set out in the Terms of Reference appears to rest with the City Manager and the Clerk.

The decision on the final Version of the Terms of Reference will be decided when the issue goes to City Council on the 19th.

mmw a

Mayor Meed Ward has managed to put the members of Council in roles they were ready for and kept those with depth and experience far enough away.

The Mayor would rather do without Councillor Sharman. She’s not at all interested in giving the only real competitor on Council for her job as Mayor any oxygen.   The next election is just 20 months away; all kinds of things can happen in that period of time.

There are people prepared to run against at least some of the incumbents and there are at least two members of the current Council who are at risk.

Marianne Meed Ward will run for re-election and win – providing she doesn’t slip on a banana peel and slide under a bus and providing she finds a way to come up with a budget that enough residents can live with.

At this point there is no reason to expect a strong contender from within the development sector.  Some of the decisions coming out of the LPAT might change that.

There are two members of Council who have their eye on the Chain of Office but they are at least another term as Council members before they have the credibility to take a run at the job.

Sharman will run for Mayor if he sees an opening he can exploit. He will have been on Council 12 years.

Despite how polite the members of this council are to each other – this is not a bunch of really happy campers.  Meed Ward has yet to find a way to bring them around to the point where they buy into the dream she has and also a way to coax the five newbies into her tent.

We will know before the end of the month who will join her on the Burlington Lands Project Selection Committee.

Part 1 of a 4 part series

Part 2 of a 4 part series

Part 3 of a 4 part series

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Funding to Transform Public Spaces - applications close March 9th

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

February 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It isn’t all that much money but put in the right hands it can be very productive and useful.

The federal government set up a fund with $31 million in it.  That money was made available to a number of the community foundations who then look for places in their individual communities where it can be put to use.

The funds are to be used transforming public spaces in response to COVID19. I don’t think this was meant to put plastic shields up so we don’t bump into people when we are outdoors.

Foundations announcement graphicAn organization that goes under the title of the The Golden Horseshoe Hub in Southern Ontario announced today they will work together to distribute $1,840,190 to transform public spaces The funding will flow over two application rounds.

The Hub is led by the Oakville Community Foundation and includes: Brampton and Caledon Community Foundation, Brant County Community Foundation, Burlington Foundation, Community Foundation of Halton North, Hamilton Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Mississauga and Niagara Community Foundation.

The money comes from the federal government and their Healthy Communities Initiative and will support community-led organizations in developing local, small-scale infrastructure projects that respond to the immediate needs arising from COVID-19, while building towards a more pandemic-resilient future.

Photo for Foundation announcement

When people work together sharing ideas and collaborating on what they decide to do – the wider community benefits.

Starting today, organizations are invited to apply for funding between $5,000 and $250,000 to lead projects that help create safe and vibrant public spaces, improve mobility options, and provide digital solutions to help their neighbourhoods or communities navigate the pandemic and look to build back better in the COVID-19 recovery.

This could include projects that adapt crosswalks and access to public transport to allow for safe physical distancing, the creation of community gardens, and art installations, and free wifi in targeted public spaces. A variety of community-led organizations are eligible to apply, including local governments, charities, Indigenous communities, and registered non-profit organizations.

Organizations can apply for First Round funding from February 9, 2021 until March 9, 2021, at 8:00 PM EST.
A second application period for funding will start in May 2021.

Application forms and background information can be found HERE

Colleen Mulholland, President of the Burlington Foundation adds that: “Burlington Foundation is pleased to partner with seven community foundations located across Southern Ontario, forming The Golden Horseshoe Hub, to provide just over $1.8M to a variety of locally-lead infrastructure projects that respond to needs resulting from this pandemic. Transforming public spaces through the addition of new community gardens, ensuring free WIFI is available in open spaces, and adapting our crosswalks, are just a few examples of how we can adapt to support immediate needs while also ensuring long-term community resiliency. This funding is part of the Government of Canada’s new $31M Healthy Communities Initiative.

Applications are now open. Visit our website for details: https://burlingtonfoundation.org/about/leadership-initiatives/canada-healthy-communities-initiative/

The Burlington Foundation expects to announce their 4th round of financing for projects.  Should be able to tell you more around the middle of the month.  These will be above and beyond funding from the federal government.

 

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Should Canada take a pass on the 2022 Chinese Olympic Winter Games ?

“The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.”  (Article 2 of the Olympic Charter)

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

February 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

There is an open letter signed by parliamentarians from all of Canada’s political parties, indigenous leaders and human rights organizations demanding that, given China’s record of human rights abuses, the 2022 Olympic Winter Games must be relocated away from China.

Those abuses are so significant that the former and current US governments have labelled China’s actions with its minority Uighur population as genocide.

Hitler

Hitler hijacked the 1936 Olympic Games – would China do the same in 2022

Not relocating the games would be an unfortunate case of history repeating itself.  The 1936 Olympics were hijacked by Adolf Hitler.  Opponents of the Berlin games argued that allowing the Nazi regime to host the games would just embolden Hitler and allow him a propaganda victory.  Showcasing the international games would demonstrate to the German people that the rest of the world was OK with his policies of second class citizenship, ethnic cleansing and ultimately genocide (eventually) for Germany’s Jewish population.

In addition to the Canadian effort, there is group of 180 international human rights associations calling for a complete boycott of the games.  Boycotts are problematic, as history has shown, and they rarely work.   For example, after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan most western nations boycotted the 1980 Olympics which were being held in Moscow.  The games still went ahead; the Soviets continued to occupy Afghanistan for a decade thereafter; and the western athletes, whose careers were on the line, suffered the most.

coal China

Coal being shoveled off rail cars in China for use in generating plants

There is a long list of grievances which China’s president for life, Xi Jinping, has been ramping up over recent years.  Of course China has a terrible human rights record with respect to its treatment of the Uighur, Falun Gong, Hong Kong and Tibetan populations.   China has also replaced the US as the leading source of climate change emissions, and despite participating in the Paris climate agreement, the country is building more new coal burning power plants than the rest of the world combined.

The nation has been developing its military at break neck speed.  And with its now powerful navy has claimed sovereignty over the South China Sea which puts it on a collision course with any number of it neighbours and the USA.   And of course there is a long simmering cold war with India over their mountainous shared border.

China has threatened war and forced occupation of Taiwan, an island of 24 million people with a democratic government, and which has been independent since 1949.  And its history before that, except for a brief period post WWII, had been as a colony of Japan.  The USA may have no formal security treaty with Taiwan but has 30,000 troops stationed there.   So it is doubtful that the US would stand by and allow the Chinese to invade without a fight.

China wet market

Patrons at a wet market in Wuhan, China

It has been a year since we first heard of COVID, but World Health Organization (WHO) inspectors have finally been allowed to visit the birthplace of the virus which caused COVID 19.  Though, nobody really expects them to discover how this pandemic actually got started.  Chinese officials have sanitized the wet (seafood) market which they claim have been location zero.  And all of the Chinese citizens or officials who could have shed light on the situation have either been kept out of sight or been velcro-lipped.

The theories propagated by Chinese authorities are that the virus arrived in Wuhan aboard a load of American frozen food or that SARS-CoV-2 originated from a bat virus which transited through an infected pangolin to complete a zoonotic leap into the respiratory tract of an unsuspecting shopper in Wuhan’s extensive wet market.

But neither theory holds water.  For one thing neither bats nor pangolins were on sale at the Wuhan wet market at the time.  The closest candidate bat would have been a 7 hour train ride away but was probably too busy hanging upside down in its bat cave to make the journey.

Another theory, once advanced by former president Donald Trump, and largely dismissed because of that, is that there was an accidental leakage of the virus from the Wuhan Virology Laboratory.  Located just up the street from the wet market, this is China’s only Level 4 bio-safety laboratory with a mandate to study and experiment with these kinds of viruses.   And located behind its walls is the greatest collection of dangerous bat viruses ever assembled in one place.

The Chinese obviously deny this lab leak theory.  And the team of visiting WHO inspectors say it’s a long shot.  But this would not be the first time that WHO has been pressured by the Chinese.  And given the lack of transparency and all the secrecy, can one be sure all the inspectors have seen is a really thorough cover-up of the evidence?

For Canada there is another reason to avoid the games in China. Just ask our two Michaels who have been held in miserable captivity for over two years.  Their crimes were that they were valuable hostages which China’s strongman thought would make good trading fare for their Huawei executive whom we, in turn, continue to detain.   Australia has recently updated its travel advice for China to warn that authorities have detained foreigners on alleged national security grounds and that Australians may be at risk of arbitrary detention.

Olympics - Canada

The Canadian Olympic Team at Winter Olympic Games

The choice for Canada is pretty clear.  We need to work with other nations to convince the international Olympic committee to either cancel the games or shift the location to a more appropriate venue in keeping with the mandate, goals and the spirit of the Olympics.  Unless that happens Canada should boycott the games in Beijing and seek alternate venues and exhibitions for our athletes.

The last thing Canadians need to see on their television sets next February are our proud athletes marching through Beijing sporting a large maple leaf flag as they pass by prison cell holding one of our Michaels.

As a postscript China is now claiming it will sanction any nation which boycotts the games.  Seriously?

What would they do if the games are moved to a more acceptable location?

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers, born in Ontario earned an economics degree at the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s degree in economics at the University of Ottawa.  His 25 year stint with the federal government included time with Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, Agriculture and the Post office.  Rivers is active in his community; has run for municipal and provincial office.

 

Background links:

About the Olympics –    Olympic Charter –     Wuhan Lab

A Lab Leak –     Was it the Lab –     More Lab Leaks

US and Wuhan Lab –     A Leak? –    Move the Games – 

Human Rights Groups –     All Parties Call for Moving Olympics – 

 

 

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With $250,000 in Hand and a Terms of Reference Document Waiting for the Nod from the City Solicitor - City Hall is Off and Running. Watch this one carefully

background graphic redBy Pepper Parr

February 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Part 3 of a four part series

What is the Burlington Lands Partnership?

The Burlington Lands Partnership (“BLP”) is a flexible, multi-dimensional and integrated approach that seeks to address multiple areas of municipal strategic land management including acquisition and development.

For the City, the BLP will initially focus on achieving tangible and measurable community benefits and returns in three areas: supporting economic growth and direct job creation, completing “city building” projects and delivering much needed affordable housing.

Oversight and strategic direction will be provided by a new steering committee that is ultimately accountable to Burlington City Council. The committee is proposed to consist of the Mayor, the City Manager, the Council member serving as current Chair of the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee, key senior municipal staff, and representation from Burlington Economic Development (both the Board and staff).

Additional partner-based stakeholders such as community leaders, the heads of community organizations, and representatives of private corporations are proposed be part of smaller project specific task forces that are accountable and report out to the BLP Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee, which is the group that will look for partnership opportunities they can research, determine the risk and decide if there is enough in the way of benefits to the city to proceed.  If they come to consensus, they take their decision/recommendation to city Council where the decision to proceed will be made.

There doesn’t appear to be much in the way of public participation or opportunities for people to delegate.  The Steering Committee meetings will not be public.

Why is the Burlington Lands Partnership Needed?
• There are several strategically positioned and emerging municipal land development opportunities within Burlington, but there is no single entity that has the mandate and resources to realize the opportunities for the long-term benefit of the City.

• There is widespread support for the City to take a greater strategic role in targeting municipal land development in Burlington.

• Burlington has many active community organizations and not-for-profits which could engage in mutually beneficial partnerships to aid in developing communities within Burlington.

• A partnership in this form allows for the City, Burlington Economic Development (Burlington EcDev), and a coalition of public and private sector partners to pursue additional funding and strategic partnerships including but not limited to the Halton Region, Province of Ontario and Government of Canada.

The widespread support is not something that Gazette has heard of or become aware of and this council does not have a mandate to undertake something as large as what is being proposed..

Mandate of BLP

Throughout 2020, urbanMetrics was engaged by the City of Burlington to assess the viability, function and structure of a municipal corporation or other strategic land entity to facilitate the development of City owned lands with a focus on economic development and city building initiatives.

Parking lot CArolina and John June 2019

There was once a house on the corner of this property that was owned by the city. It was torn down to increase parking in the Caroline – John Street intersection. Little thought was given to creating a parking lot with a permeable surface to aid in rain water run off. City bureaucrats seldom have their ear to the ground and are rarely aware of what the public wants.

The study was undertaken in conjunction with a governance study conducted by MDB Insight to examine the role of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation. The recommended approach to a strategic land development entity, which was subsequently brought forward and recommended by the City Manager as the Burlington Land Partnership (BLP).

• The internal strategic real estate structure would involve Burlington EcDev, as well as other, potential partners, such as Halton Region, other public agencies, private industry and private and public institutions including not-for-profit community groups, as required.

• Oversite and strategic direction would be provided by a steering committee that would ultimately be accountable to Council. The City Manager, as staff lead, would be responsible for strategic managerial leadership and would serve as chair of the steering committee. Outside consulting expertise would be engaged as needed.

The mandate of the organization or partnership would be on leveraging real estate to:

o Maximise opportunities for economic growth and job creation;
o Develop and implement city building projects; and
o Create opportunities for the development of affordable housing.

Ultimately the BLP should have access to City staff and other resources to seek, identify and develop strategic land opportunities into viable projects; to direct the acquisition and disposition of related City lands; to undertake land and facility development visioning and design; to obtain necessary planning approvals; and to fully engage with outside partners.

• Initially, the BLP should be tasked with seeking, identifying and developing opportunities into viable strategic land projects. A number of opportunities have been presented through the urbanMetrics and Cresa studies. These, as well as others that may be identified in the future, need to be more formally prioritized and envisioned complete with detailed project plans, recommended by the BLP Steering Committee and approved by City Council.

• The BLP would be the first step towards the creation of a municipal development corporation, however this would not occur until 2023 (at the earliest) following a reporting to Council on the activities and accomplishments of the BLP in 2021/22.

• Establishing the BLP as a first step, achieves a good balance among the opportunities, the desire for augmented internal strategic land capabilities, the current resource capacity limitations and the need for due diligence and caution.

The longer term goal is to have the city getting into the the development business.  Is there a supportable collection of data that identifies the public buy in on an idea of this magnitude?  The is not a small potatoes idea.

After an initial start-up period of two years, the organization should be evaluated on an annual basis, with respect to achieving measurable results related to:

o Supporting job creation, business creation and economic expansion;
o Developing and implementation of community-wide “City building” projects;
o Realizing tangible affordable housing opportunities and increased housing supply;
o Fiscal impact (increased assessment base/taxes, development charges, other fees);
o Enhancing the profile of the City and contributing to the public identity of Best City to Live in Canada;
o Supporting the City’s 25-year Strategic Plan, Council’s Vision to Focus 4-year work plan and community planning and other land related policies; and
o Delivering value for money and cost effectiveness to Burlington taxpayers.

Bare bones Pier from high with trestle

The city basically built the Pier twice.

Seeing a set of benchmarks that would be used would certainly help the public decide if the idea has merit and serves the public and not the career aspirations of the bureaucratic cohort at city hall.

Remember the Pier.

BLP Working Groups

To be determined by the Steering Committee with approval by Council on a project- by-project basis as part of a separate project brief/plan.

Duration and Transition
The Burlington Land Partnership will function during an initial “pilot period” of two years including 2021 and 2022. A report on the strategic activities and outcomes of the BLP will be presented to Council prior to the end of their 2018-2022 terms and will include recommendations for consideration for the 2023-2026 term of Council.

The BLP represents a transitional approach that allows for the expansion of organizational capacity and a build-up of expertise that will in turn enable further consideration by Council of a formalized municipal development corporation (MDC) in line with other municipalities in Ontario and utilizing the powers allowed under the Municipal Act related to municipal corporations.

Overall, the Steering Committee will make recommendations to Council and decisions (where applicable) in the best interest of the City as a whole.

BLP steering terms 1

BLP steeriing terms 2

Agendas and Meeting Notes:
Agendas (including confidential materials as it related to property and legal matters) will be published ahead of meeting date, including attached documents required for discussion and decision making. Deadlines for attachments need to be respected to provide adequate time to read all required material to allow for comprehensive participation. If required, agenda items may be deferred at request of BLP member if materials are not distributed by deadlines.

BLP agendas and meeting notes will managed/prepared by the City Manager’s Office (CMO) and shared confidentially with Steering Committee members, City Clerk and Council Members.
blp steering terms 3

blp steering terms 4

The only thing left to do is order the new business cards.

Part 1 of a 4 part series.

Part 2 of a 4 part series

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Former Mayor, former city General Manager and a former Council member couldn't shake the city hall bug - became journalists.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

February 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

local news logoThere is another on-line news source in town.

It’s been around for a number of months.

People we talk to regularly tell us that they don’t communicate that well.  Email sent to the local news doesn’t always get a response or if there is a response, there is no detail.

Rick Craven

Former ward 1 city councillor Rick Craven covers city hall with a focus on Aldershot.

Phillips made is clkear to council that absolute clarity was needed by both staff and the BPAC administration on what was meant by "sustainability".

Kim Phillips, at one time was City Clerk and moved up to serve as a General Manager. She took retirement when Jeff Fielding was City Manager – the chemistry between the two was never very good.

Right now former Councillor Rick Craven and former City General Manager Kim Phillips have been contributors.

The owner hasn’t, to the best of our knowledge, hasn’t written a word.

The web site was registered in July of this year by former Mayor Rick Goldring.

Many thought that Goldring had returned to his financial management routes and was putting together a client list.

It appears that he has found an interest in journalism – but you won’t see his name anywhere on the web site.

Not a word on who owns what is known as www.local-news.ca

The fact that Goldring registered the site does not mean he is the beneficial owner. We will track down the corporate records for  Local-News.ca Inc., and find out who the directors are.

There are some administrative issues with the site.

One reader advised us that the Twitter feed for the site has been suspended.

new tweet account

Twitter account for the local news was suspended.

“Go onto the local-news.ca website, click on twitter symbol
I get:”

@localnewsburl
Account suspended
Twitter suspends accounts which violate the Twitter Rules.

There are a reported 24 followers on the Facebook page.

We can remember when the Gazette got as few as 500 readers in a day; hang in, stay patient, deliver value to your readers and be transparent.

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A Burlington Lands Partnership: Has a budget of $250,000 - now settles down to thinking what to do first

background graphic redBy Pepper Parr

February 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

The following is lengthy.  It sets out what the city has decided it wants to do on development projects that will put tax money at risk.  None of what is now known as the Burlington Lands Project was discussed, nor even mentioned, during the last municipal election.

Part 2 of a four part series

What is the Burlington Lands Partnership?

The Burlington Lands Partnership (“BLP”) is a flexible, multi-dimensional and integrated approach that seeks to address multiple areas of municipal strategic land management including acquisition and development. This strategic forward-looking approach will encompass the leveraging of future municipal land investments to maximize the potential benefits for the City and related partners.

For the City, the BLP will initially focus on achieving tangible and measurable community benefits and returns in three areas: supporting economic growth and direct job creation, completing “city building” projects and delivering much needed affordable housing.

Oversight and strategic direction will be provided by a new steering committee that is ultimately accountable to Burlington City Council. The committee is proposed to consist of the Mayor, the City Manager, the Council member serving as current Chair of the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee, key senior municipal staff, and representation from Burlington Economic Development (both the Board and staff).

Additional partner-based stakeholders such as community leaders, the heads of community organizations, and representatives of private corporations are proposed to be part of smaller project specific task forces that are accountable and report to the BLP Steering Committee.

Why is the Burlington Lands Partnership Needed?

Burlington wants a Stage 2 designation.

There are parts of this fair city that could use some development – or to use the language planners use – put the land to better use.

• There are several strategically positioned and emerging municipal land development opportunities within Burlington, but there is no single entity that has the mandate and resources to realize the opportunities for the long-term benefit of the City.

• The establishment of a full-scale municipal development corporation (MDC), under the Municipal Act, would involve an onerous amount of capital investment and resources, which would challenge the City’s current strategic priorities, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. As reported to CPRM Committee (CM-29-20, Oct. 6,20), a different approach is needed at this time.

• There is widespread support for the City to take a greater strategic role in targeting municipal land development in Burlington.

• Burlington has many active community organizations and not-for-profits which could engage in mutually beneficial partnerships to aid in developing communities within Burlington.

• A partnership in this form allows for the City, Burlington Economic Development (Burlington EcDev), and a coalition of public and private sector partners to pursue additional funding and strategic partnerships including but not limited to the Halton Region, Province of Ontario and Government of Canada.

Mandate of BLP
Throughout 2020, urbanMetrics was engaged by the City of Burlington to assess the viability, function and structure of a municipal development corporation or other strategic land entity to facilitate the development of City owned lands with a focus on economic development and city building initiatives.

The study was undertaken in conjunction with a governance study conducted by MDB Insight to examine the role of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation.

In addition to a case study review of the land development entities in other municipalities and an assessment of development opportunities within the City, the urbanMetrics study included an extensive consultation program with the Burlington business community, Council and City staff and the Burlington Economic Development Corporation. The recommended approach to a strategic land development entity, which was subsequently brought forward and recommended by the City Manager as the Burlington Land Partnership (BLP), involved the following:

• The internal strategic real estate structure would involve Burlington EcDev, as well as other, potential partners, such as Halton Region, other public agencies, private industry and private and public institutions including not-for-profit community groups, as required.

• Oversite and strategic direction would be provided by a steering committee that would ultimately be accountable to Council. The City Manager, as staff lead, would be responsible for strategic managerial leadership and would serve as chair of the steering committee. Outside consulting expertise would be engaged as needed.

• The mandate of the organization or partnership would be on leveraging real estate to:

o Maximize opportunities for economic growth and job creation;
o Develop and implement city building projects; and
o Create opportunities for the development of affordable housing.

• Ultimately the BLP should have access to City staff and other resources to seek, identify and develop strategic land opportunities into viable projects; to direct the acquisition and disposition of related City lands; to undertake land and facility development visioning and design; to obtain necessary planning approvals; and to fully engage with outside partners.

• Initially, the BLP should be tasked with seeking, identifying and developing opportunities into viable strategic land projects. A number of opportunities have been presented through the urbanMetrics and Cresa studies. These, as well as others that may be identified in the future, need to be more formally prioritized and envisioned complete with detailed project plans, recommended by the BLP Steering Committee and approved by City Council.

• The BLP would be the first step towards the creation of a municipal development corporation, however this would not occur until 2023 (at the earliest) following a reporting to Council on the activities and accomplishments of the BLP in 2021/22.

• Establishing the BLP as a first step, achieves a good balance among the opportunities, the desire for augmented internal strategic land capabilities, the current resource capacity limitations and the need for due diligence and caution.

• The BLP will:

o Place a priority corporate focus on realizing strategic land opportunities.

o Build on and leverage existing skills, relationships and expertise within the City and Burlington EcDev.

o Enable an interim integrating structure to build organization capacity and expertise and deliver key outcomes related to strategic land management.

o Provide increased organizational capacity through the development and approval of ongoing due diligence contracts with external services firm(s) that have expertise across all facets of strategic land management.

o Provide an integrated and accountable organizational structure including a steering committee, designated staff leads and enhanced business processes including Council oversight (both open and closed session reporting in keeping with the City’s existing procedural by-law).

After an initial start-up period of two years, the organization should be evaluated on an annual basis, with respect to achieving measurable results related to:

o Supporting job creation, business creation and economic expansion;

o Developing an implementation of community-wide “City building” projects;

o Realizing tangible affordable housing opportunities and increased housing supply;

o Fiscal impact (increased assessment base/taxes, development charges, other fees);

o Enhancing the profile of the City and contributing to the public identity of Best City to Live in Canada;

o Supporting the City’s 25-year Strategic Plan, Council’s Vision to Focus 4-year work plan and community planning and other land related policies; and

o Delivering value for money and cost effectiveness to Burlington taxpayers.

Vision
Burlington remains a prosperous, vibrant and affordable community that continues to be one of Canada’s best places to live and do business, with a remarkable quality of life strengthened through partnerships, economic development and city building initiatives.

Mission
Through innovation, strategy and partnerships, the Burlington Lands Partnership, will pursue and unlock the potential of strategic land opportunities that enhance the quality of life and growth of Burlington residents and businesses.

Principles
The Burlington Lands Partnership will:

• Place a priority corporate focus on realizing strategic land opportunities.

• Build on and leverage existing skills, relationships, and expertise within the City and Burlington EcDev.

• Facilitate coordination and cooperation between community organizations, not-for- profits, private corporations, and the City and Burlington EcDev.

• Enable an interim structure to build organization capacity and deliver key outcomes related to strategic land management.

• Provide an integrated and accountable organizational structure including a steering committee, designated staff leads and enhanced business processes including Council oversight (both open and closed session reporting).

Strategic Focus
The Burlington Land Partnership will use a wide range of approaches depending on what is appropriate or possible and contingent on the needs, interested partners, and resources available for any one specific strategic land related project or opportunity.

The BLP will:
• Lend expertise and enable connections to commercial and residential land development that is undertaken by the City of Burlington, land holding community organizations or not-for-profits or private developers interested in working with the BLP.

• Work with private businesses to foster job-creating commercial real estate developments in strategic areas such as the Innovation District and Major Transit Station Areas.

John - Wellington tower + bus office

The Wellington Tower is part of the Regional Government Housing inventory.

• Partner with Halton Region and other organizations with an affordable housing mandate, to develop affordable housing or seek to incorporate additional affordable housing into future private or public housing developments, including but not limited to the completion and implementation of the City of Burlington Comprehensive Housing Strategy starting in 2021.

• Work with other interested potential partners and key stakeholders to ensure all surplus school sites within Burlington are evaluated and where possible, developed in a manner that improves quality of life in the local neighbourhoods and generates public value.

• Place a strategic focus on the following three priorities:

1) Encouraging Economic Development.
Objective: To maximize business development opportunities and advance future economic growth and job creation.
Key Stakeholders:

– Local businesses
– Regional businesses seeking to expand their presence
– New businesses to the region
– Commercial property developers
– Regional Municipality of Halton
– Provincial and Federal funding partners

2) Implementing City-Building Initiatives
Objective: To facilitate the implementation of city building projects that enhance the quality of life for all citizens.

Key Stakeholders:

– City Building project partners
– Regional Municipality of Halton
– Local landowners and property developers
– Provincial and Federal funding partners

3) Delivering Affordable Housing

Objective: Develop and implement projects that deliver an increased supply of affordable housing through proactive long-term strategies and innovative partnerships.

Key Stakeholders:
– Regional Municipality of Halton
– Residential Property Developers
– Housing Focused Not-for-Profits (such as Habitat for Humanity)
– Provincial and Federal funding partners

GOVERNANCE

Overview
The Burlington Lands Partnership governance structure borrows from lessons in other municipalities and the ongoing operations of the Burlington Economic Development Corporation. First, BLP is led by and accountable to Burlington City Council. Second, BLP provides an integrated and accountable organizational structure including a steering committee, designated staff leads, and enhanced business processes with Council oversight including both open and closed session reporting.
Oversight and strategic direction are provided by a steering committee that is ultimately accountable to City Council. The committee is comprised of the Mayor, the City Manager, selected members of Council and appropriate senior staff, and representation from Burlington EcDev.

BLP Steering Committee
The BLP Steering Committee will provide ongoing strategic leadership and oversight and will be established by City Council with approval of BLP Terms of Reference.
Membership consisting of the following for a period of 2 years (with exception of Chair of CPRM committee which is 1 year concurrently with their term as chair).

– Mayor.
– Current Chair of the Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Committee of Council.
– City Manager (Chair).
– Chief Financial Officer.
– Executive Director – Legal Services and Corporate Counsel.
– Executive Director – Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility.
– Executive Director – Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services
– Executive Director – Burlington Economic Development.
– Board Member – Burlington Economic Development.

The BLP will meet on a regular basis (anticipate 3-4 meetings/year) with agenda management including meeting notes prepared/completed to the satisfaction of the City Clerk in keeping with City’s procedural by-law.

BLP Working Groups
• To be determined by the Steering Committee with approval by Council on a project-by-project basis as part of a separate project brief/plan.

Duration and Transition
The Burlington Land Partnership will function during an initial “pilot period” of two years including 2021 and 2022. A report on the strategic activities and outcomes of the BLP will be presented to Council prior to the end of their 2018-2022 terms and will include recommendations for consideration for the 2023-2026 term of Council.

The BLP represents a transitional approach that allows for the expansion of organizational capacity and a build-up of expertise that will in turn enable further consideration by Council of a formalized municipal development corporation (MDC) in line with other municipalities in Ontario and utilizing the powers allowed under the Municipal Act related to municipal corporations.

There is a lot to be said about this initiative.  That it gets presented to the public just before the current Council begins to move into election mode (the next municipal election is just 20 months away) and put on the table while the country is fighting a second wave of the COVID-19 virus can be seen as a little foolhardy.

Part 1 of a 4 part series.

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The provincial government is easing us into a gradual re-opening of the economy - or is the Premier reacting to the tremendous pressure from the Retail Council

News 100 redBy Staff

February 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ontario will begin to gradually reopen its economy on Wednesday but the government could use an “emergency brake” to move regions back into lockdown if cases spike.

Doug ford in mask

Premier Doug Ford announcing a transition out of the strict lock-down.

Premier Doug Ford said Monday that a state of emergency will be allowed to expire as scheduled on Tuesday and regions will transition back to the province’s colour-coded pandemic restrictions system over the next three weeks.

A stay-at-home order will remain in place for communities until they move over to the tiered system.

“We can’t return to normal, not yet,” Ford said. “But we can transition out of the province wide shut-down.”

As part of its reopening efforts, the province is changing the rules for the strictest category of the restrictions system to allow previously closed retailers to reopen with capacity limits of 25 per cent.

“To those business owners who are struggling, I want you to know that we have listened,” Ford said.“We’ve been working day and night to find every possible way to safely allow more businesses to reopen.”

Where will reopening start?

Three health units — Hastings Prince Edward; Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington; and Renfrew County — will move into the least-restrictive green category on Wednesday, which means restaurants and non-essential businesses can reopen.

The Timiskaming Health Unit, which was also expected to move to the green category Wednesday, will be held back for a week since a COVID-19 variant was discovered in the region over the weekend, the province said.

On Feb. 16, all remaining regions (this includes all of Halton and Hamilton) but not the three hot spots in the Greater Toronto Area are set to move to the restrictions framework. The category they are placed in will depend on their local case infection rates.

Toronto, Peel Region and York Region are expected to be the last to make the transition on Feb. 22, but the province said any sudden increase in cases could delay that plan.

Christine Elliott

Deputy Premier Christine Elliott saying this is not a re-opening – it is a transition with a hand brake at the ready.

The province will also have an “emergency brake” in place to allow the government to quickly move a region back into lockdown if it experiences a rapid increase in cases or if its health-system becomes overwhelmed.

Health Minister Christine Elliott said the measure is meant to help deal with the risk posed by new variants of COVID-19.

“This is not a reopening, or a return to normal,” she said of the changes announced Monday. “It’s an acknowledgement that we are making steady progress.

“Without those stronger public health measures, (Ford) might be dooming us to the cycle of illness and lockdowns, again and again,” she said.

 

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Ticketing for Overnight Parking Resumes on the 11th.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington is reinstating parking enforcement of 5-hour limit on Feb. 11.

Residents got a break on-the-street parking rules – it does seem a little early to crack down. – maybe the city needs the money.

det

The Councillors in wards 4 and 5 can expect phone calls on this one.

Parking enforcement will resume for those illegally parked on neighbourhood streets past the five-hour limit in addition to safety-related issues such as fire routes, accessible parking, no parking/stopping areas and blocked areas, including parking lots at City parks.

Residents needing to park on-street past the 5-hour limit can apply for a parking permit or exemptions online beginning on Feb. 11 at www.burlington.ca/parkingexemption.

Parking Supervisor, Hayley Parkinson explains: “The City parking team has been monitoring parking over the past 11 months. We’ve been tracking parking trends and noticed that some drivers are parking on-street for extended periods of time, while others working in the area are parking illegally. Drivers are also continuing to park on-street when it snows, making it challenging for snow plows to get through safely and do their job to clear our streets.

“With the potential end of the Ontario Stay-at-Home order, it seems like an appropriate time to start enforcing the 5-hour on-street parking limit to help keep our roads open to drivers and snow plows and keep our residents safe.”

Notice how public safety is trotted out for almost everything the city doesn’t want you to do.

Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 905-335-7777, by email at city@burlington.ca or online.

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What if there is a spiteful, vengeful streak?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper

February 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A regular eagle eyed reader who follows the Mayor on Twitter brought this to our attention.

MMW tweet re flag

He points out that the flag used in the tweet is not the correct version

He then adds that we cannot use his name saying “I don’t want to be in her bad books.” adding that “errors are errors.”

The unfortunate part of this is that there are people who feel they will be in the “bad books” of an elected official if they call them out on something.  This is really unhealthy for a democratic society.

What, though, if we have a Mayor who is spiteful with a vengeful streak?

What do you do then?

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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2021 - is staying home the new going out?

eventspink 100x100By Frank van Dam

February 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON ON

 

For people who love to go out, 2021 is likely to be another dismal year, unfortunately. None of the recent news has been overly positive, and much less so for those of us who like to move around a lot.

Queen's Head patio

The picture inside isn’t any better. The hospitality sector has been hit very hard.

Unfortunately, with the way things are going, it looks like a lot more curtailing of movement and sacrifice is on the cards for us for the foreseeable future. In short, things are getting better for Burlington residents, but they are getting better very slowly. There is light at the end of the tunnel for all of us, but it’s still very far away.

Where we stand right now
Doug Ford’s lockdown orders are into their third month now and show no sign of letting up. In fact, in neighbouring Oakville, Halton Regional Police recently chased a crowd of socially-distanced families off a very popular local tobogganing hill. Technically, apart from emergencies, we are expected to not even leave our region. There is no indoor dining at all at this time, something most of us didn’t think we would miss as much as we do. Everything is closing earlier, which is leading to more stress and sometimes more traffic jams, which in turn add even more to the stress.

For people who like to travel, the news might be even worse. The federal government has imposed new and very strict quarantine measures for returning international travellers. In fact, they are so strict, they are facing legal challenges now. However, they are still very much in effect. The Trudeau administration has also issued an order banning cruise ships from docking at Canadian ports for the next year, that is until February of 2022! People either support or hate these measures, and it’s not to spark an argument, but the regulations are in place, and we will have to obey them.

Moderna bottle

First we had it – then we didn’t have it – and now we aren’t certain as to just when the vaccine will arrive.

Vaccines delayed… again
On the vaccine front, the news isn’t the best, either. Both Pfizer and Moderna (the only two companies the Canadian government has approved to sell vaccines as of now) are unable to deliver the required orders of the vaccines on time. This pushes the whole timetable backwards. Honestly, this news could be much worse, and we suppose that gratitude is still in order because the vaccination program is still advancing. It’s just that it is approximately 20 or 25% slower than it was supposed to be. But it’s hard to keep a positive frame of mind with so much uncertainty.

It also bears no small mention that there is a psychological price to pay for all this confinement, all this uncertainty, and all this upheaval in our personal and professional lives. We’ve all literally had to completely redefine and overhaul so many aspects of our lives, often things we thought would never change. And let’s be honest here, none of us really knows what a post-pandemic world is actually going to look like. New industries may spring up out of nowhere before this is over, and many other types of businesses may well wind up having being made permanently obsolete.

Winter walk Burlington

There are walk-able winter trails within minutes of the downtown core.

So, what are we to do?
We strongly recommend that readers get their daily fresh air and exercise by walking around Burlington, which is truly a beautiful little city and very walkable. Anybody who isn’t doing this every day is missing out on an important little piece of sanity. For people who have too much time on their hands (many of us), online entertainment is a great option. Play card games or free online casino games, stream some movies or pick up a gaming console. Realize that this time shall pass.

We will get through this mess by sticking together like we always do.

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City is in the process of creating a Lands Partnership that will look for and create development opportunities

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

February 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Part 1 of a 4 part series.

On October 19, 2020, City Council approved the following recommendation related to the establishment of a new organizational structure called the Burlington Lands Partnership (BLP) –

Using the language of the Vision to Focus (V2F) which is the part of the 25 year Strategic Plan the city has in place,  the purpose of the BLP is to:

Increase economic prosperity and community responsive city growth

Support sustainable infrastructure and a resilient environment

Increasing options for housing across the city

There is quite a bit more to it than that, which we will get to.

Last week, Council approved the Terms of Reference and funding in the amount of $250,000 from the Strategic Plan Reserve Fund to support the year one operations.

The City Manager was directed to report back on the following:

Burlington wants a Stage 2 designation.

How much of the city will the new BLP want to put shovels into the ground? Is there a risk the public should be willing to take?

• In Q2 2021, following consultation with the BLP Steering Committee, with the proposed Burlington lands partnership operating model and the 2021/22 business plan objectives; and

• In Q3 2022, with a status update report on the Burlington lands partnership including overall 2021/22 performance/accomplishments, detailed financial report, both operating and capital budget related and recommendations for future strategic land management.

In an Appendix to the City Manager’s report in 2020 Strategic Land Priorities and Business Model Framework Options were set out.  They were to:

Business development opportunities and advance future economic growth and job creation.

Implement major city building projects that enhance the quality of life for all citizens.

Deliver increased supply of affordable housing through proactive long-term strategies and innovative partnerships.

Direct the City Manager to engage further with the Burlington Economic Development Corporation and key City staff in the development of the Burlington Lands Partnership Terms of Reference and the Proposed 2021/2022 Business Plan and report back for Council consideration and approval in December 2020

An RFP was awarded December 2019 to MDB Insights led by the Executive Vice- President Lauren Millier and to urbanMetrics with Partner Rowan Faludi.

The consultant worked through a Steering Committee to complete the work outlined in the RFP and also engaged the Board of Directors for Burlington Economic Development (Burlington EcDev), Council and City staff.

The consultant’s report was presented and received by the Community Planning, Mobility and Regulation Committee on Oct. 6, 2020. Several options as to the structure of what the city council thought they wanted to do were debated. Among the organizational options were:

1. New Municipal Development Corporation (MDC)

2. New Burlington Lands Partnership (BLP) – APPROVED

3. Internal COB Strategic Lands Project Team

4. Hybrid: Build strategic land management capacity and expertise and re-consider need for MDC in 2 years.

The Lands Partnership is a significantly new and different direction for Burlington.

Other than reports to Council there has been little in the way of informing the public on just what it means to have a Lands Partnership.

The BLP has the $250,000, taken from the  Strategic Plan Reserve Fund, which has has an uncommitted balance of $548,877.

Commisso stare

City Manager Tim Commisso will be the strong man behind the Burlington Lands Project. He will chair the Steering Committee which will in turn take projects to the city for approval.

The funding will be used to support the ongoing work of the BLP including and dependent of the needs of each strategic land initiative, completion of external due diligence across a broad range of disciplines (e.g. land economic analysis, professional services including architectural/urban design, engineering, financial planning, fiscal impact analysis etc.).

The language in the paragraph above clearly indicates that the BLP wants to acquire land or use land the city already owns and build things and create partnerships with other organizations that have land the city thinks can be put to use.  Think in terms of the Region of Halton, Burlington Hydro.

This could be seen as a municipal administration playing a revised form of monopoly with public money.

Responsibility for the ongoing financial management and reporting related to the BLP will be through the City Manager’s Office with oversight by the BLP Steering Committee which includes the Chief Financial Officer as a member.

It deserves very close attention.

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Public Art for Regal Road - city wants input from residents

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington is commissioning an artist to create a public art piece for the Regal Road bridge.

Residents are invited to share their thoughts on three finalists chosen by an independent jury. The three proposed designs can be viewed and commented on by logging into or joining the City’s engagement platform: getinvolvedburlington.ca/regalroadbridgepublicart. The comments received, along with the technical and detailed design proposals, will inform the jury’s final selection.

Regald Rd bridge over Tuck Creek

Looking south along Tuck creek

 

 

The artwork will be 10 laser-cut steel panels installed on the concrete sidewall of the bridge this summer. An independent jury reviewed 54 applications and selected three artists to develop detailed design plans.

The jury chose:
• bau & cos, www.bauandcos.com
• Karen Ho Fatt Lee, www.karenhofatt.com
• Laura Wood & Dawn Tyrrell, https://laurawood.ca/

Regal bridge - both sides

Public art will be put in place on both sides of the bridge.

Artwork Location
The Regal Road Bridge crosses Tuck Creek and is located on Regal Road, between Oakwood Drive and Swinburne Road. The bridge was upgraded in 2019 as part of the City’s flood mitigation project. One artist will be commissioned to create a series of 10 unique laser cut steel panels to enhance the bridge.

The panels will celebrate the community and/or natural environment surrounding Regal Road and Tuck Creek.

Submit Feedback on Three Proposed Designs
Burlington residents are invited to review the three proposed designs and say what you think. These comments, along with the technical and detailed design proposals will help the jury make their final selection.

 

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There is a Gazette reader with just too much spare time on his hands

background graphic redBy Staff

February 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Being in lock-down mode and being asked to “stay at home” leads to some interesting results.

One Burlington resident, known for catching our typos, decided to learn what Wikipedia had to say about his home town.

The author of the following has asked to remain anonymous; could it be that he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the city?

Do read on.

Many school age Burlington students are forced by this prolonged pandemic to get their information online; their Go-To source for instant information is Wikipedia.

The best mid-size city in Canada is Burlington (as everyone already knows) and researchers will Google us to find: Wikipedia. Burlington Ontario.

Let us examine what Wikipedia says about Burlington. Our: History, Elected officials, Economy, Media, Shopping.

Burlington, Ontario
Burlington is a city in the Regional Municipality of Halton at the northwestern end of Lake Ontario in Ontario, Canada. Along with Milton to the north, Burlington forms the west end of the Greater Toronto Area, and is also part of the Hamilton metropolitan census area. Burlington lies between Lake Ontario’s north shore and the Niagara Escarpment.

That truly boring descriptive tells readers we are “at the west end of Toronto alongside Milton”.

What else can we learn?

History. By 1906, the town boasted its own newspaper—the Burlington Gazette—as well as a town library and a local rail line that connected Burlington to nearby Hamilton.

Allow us to update – The Original Burlington Gazette ran 1899-1956 and by 1906 – Burlington was already on its third railway station at Freeman. The “local Rail Line” was an integral part of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, at that time the LONGEST railway in the world.

Who are we?

Wikipedia says people who live here are either: Burlingtonians or Burlingtonites.
Only the first name sounds familiar, maybe it’s for day use?

Then Wikipedia shows us this image of our flag:

Flag 1 NOT…but wait, that’s NOT our flag.

flag 2 YESThis is our flag – with a full three masted schooner – not some puny rowboat.

Burly, our beautiful moo-cow, should grace the upper left corner of the shield not a My Little Pony Bridled Unicorn. Nay I say. Wikipedia must fix this immediately.

Let us keep going to “print media”,

The following publications are either published in or around Burlington, or have Burlington as one of their main subjects:
• Burlington Post
• Snap Burlington
• Burlington News
• View Magazine
• Burlington Gazette

A closer inspection of these five:

This is what the original Burlington Gazette office on Brant Street used to look like.

This is what the original Burlington Gazette office on Brant Street used to look like.

• Burlington Post – we know (and love)

• Snap Burlington – Is that Snap’d Burlington – (let’s let Snap’d fix their own listing)

• What is this “Burlington News”??? Clicking on Wiki’s link reveals “nothing found”there

• View Magazine. This paper is out of Hamilton and what does VIEW Magazine’s search engine say about Burlington…?
View’s latest article dated Feb 1 2020 tells us:

Burlington’s Shane Wright lives up to ‘exceptional’ status in OHL and is averaging over a point per game in first year with Kingston in the Ontario Hockey League.

Shane’s a good Burlington boy – he’s a beauty – and a pretty good hockey player up there in Kingston, eh?

• Last but not least – it is good to see our own Burlington Gazette listed. Perhaps they could add a link.

• Remove “Burlington News” and add Hamilton Spectator instead.

• Also add “The Bay Observer”

Elected officials
Moving on to Wikipedia’s section on our elected officials and most of this public record is right – well, except…

• Oakville North-Burlington (the area bounded by Highway 407 to the north, Dundas Street to the south, Guelph Line to the west and Oakville to the east): Pam Damoff (Liberal).

Damoff with big wide open smiles

The MP for Oakville North Burlington would be very surprised to what Wikipedia thinks her constituency boundaries are.

What kind of crazy is this?

Wikipedia has removed 90% of Pam Damoff’s riding constituents, including everyone living between Dundas and the QEW? Certainly this needs to be fixed even if just for the integrity of our elections.

Shopping

COVID’s impact notwithstanding, according to Wikipedia, there are only two shopping areas in town: Mapleview Mall and Burlington Mall.

Breaking news: Burlington Mall’s name was changed to Burlington Centre years ago.

Their picture  shows a jam-packed frenzy of shoppers doing their Xmas shopping at the Old Mall. Methinks it is time for a new photo.

And by the way, there are plenty of other shopping areas in town. Big box stores, strip plazas, power marts, and so on. Wikipedia could mention those.

Economy
How about the economy? Who are Burlington’s main employers – the “big-name heavy hitters” according to Wikipedia?

The top five private sector employers in Burlington are Fearmans Pork Inc, Cogeco Cable, Evertz Microsystems, Boehringer Ingelheim and EMC2.

Yes – those are some of the biggies? Who are the other notable businesses??

Other notable businesses include The EBF Group, ARGO Land Development, and The Sunshine Doughnut Company.

Donut - sunshineWait – what? Hold the phone. The Sunshine Doughnut Company makes top 10?

Voortman Cookies didn’t make the cut?

Nor did Samuel Steel, Pinty’s Foods, Thermo-Fisher, Pollard Windows?

This donut photo is NOT on Wikipedia – instead they have posted these drab glamour shots of Burlington doing its best impression of Tombstone Arizona.

Let’s look in greater detail next week – and not just bring problems but bring solutions.

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Several of Canada’s finest instrumental jazz musicians, will be on-line February 10th - 7 pm via Zoom - not to be missed

eventsred 100x100By Staff

February 7th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Several of Canada’s finest instrumental jazz musicians, will be on-line February 10th  – 7pm via Zoom  – not to be missed.

Thanks to a generous grant from the City of Burlington’s Community Support Fund, a special program created to support Burlington artists during the pandemic, One Burlington has commissioned Joe Sealy and his colleague Paul Novotny to create a special 25-minute video version of Africville Stories to be launched in Burlington at 7 pm on Wednesday February 10th , 2021.

Joe Sealy and Paul Novotny will be available for a Q&A immediately after the showing. The video will subsequently be provided to both Burlington school boards for telecasts during the week of February 15th.

Africville

Africville was seen as a slum – but it was home to a small but very robust black community that was forgotten until the city of Halifax wanted to develop the land.

Joe Sealy is one of Canada’s premier jazz pianists and composers. His Africville Suite won a Juno Award as Best Jazz Recording of 1996. Joe Sealy subsequently created an attraction called Africville Stories, which relates the stories behind the various musical selections in the Suite. He wrote several additional songs for the great Canadian jazz/gospel/blues singer Jackie Richardson, who serves as Narrator for the 75-minute work. Africville Stories also features several of Canada’s finest instrumental jazz musicians, including saxophonist Alison Young, bassist Paul Novotny and percussionist Daniel Barnes.

Africville is a community on the outskirts of Halifax that had little, if anything, in the way of municipal services. The residents of that community were treated terribly.

One Burlington, Burlington’s organization dedicated to the celebration of faith and culture in the City of Burlington, is planning an event in commemoration of Black History Month.

Africville Stories is Joe Sealy’s musical tribute to the Halifax community of Africville, a neighbourhood built by generations of Black immigrants to Nova Scotia subsequent to their arrival from post-Revolutionary America. The community was razed to the ground in 1960 as part of a Halifax urban renewal project. Joe Sealy’s mother was born and raised there.

 

Paul Novotny

Paul Novotny

Africville Stories fit well into One Burlington’s mandate to celebrate the cultural diversity of its citizenry, and especially those communities that are under-served, and to provide insights into the often difficult histories of these multicultural communities. We stand proud in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Joe Sealy’s Africville Stories, featuring Jackie Richardson and Paul Novotny.
Wednesday February 10th, 2021 at 7 pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.usj8507806860?pwd=MFVlKzZsTnBEbWZCNCt5MkkyWGd1UT09

Meeting ID: 885 0780 6860
Passcode: 231098

If that link doesn’t work, please go to zoom.us and enter the Meeting ID and Passcode to get in that way!

For more information contact Robert Missen at 905-632-6047 or rmissen@sympatico.ca

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