Damage done to local economies as a result of COVID19

News 100 blackBy Staff

February 3rd, 2021



Anita Cassidy put it bluntly when she said, “It is not a pretty sight”.

In an update report to the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Standing Committee, Cassidy reported that:

Anita inactive 20 + 21181,000 Canadian small businesses consider shutting down permanently

• CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business) estimates 1 in 6 Canadian small business owners consider permanently closing

– Ontario could lose close to  75,000 businesses

• Economy risks losing 2.4 million jobs, equal to 20% of all private sector jobs
– Ontario can see over 873,000 jobs lost

• Businesses in the hospitality and arts and recreation sector most at risk
– 1 in 3 businesses considering closing.

Small Business Recovery will be an average of 1 year 5 months (across all sectors)

Anita sector recovery rates

Anita the damage 1

Return to the Front page

Armed Robbery at Burlington Pharmacy - staff ordered to lie down on the floor - cash and drugs taken

Crime 100By Staff

February 1st, 2021



On January 31, 2021, at approximately 3:50 pm three suspects entered a Shoppers Drug Mart store located near the intersection of Walkers Line and Dundas Street in Burlington. One of the suspects was armed with a handgun. The suspects threatened store employees and forced them to lie on the floor.

car used in armed robbery

Bandits fleeing the scene of an armed robbery in a stolen vehicle.

The suspects then stole a large quantity of Tylenol pills, Percocet pills and a quantity of cash before fleeing the store in a waiting vehicle.

They were last seen driving northbound on Walkers line in a stolen 2017 White Hyundai Elantra (see photo attached to website).

No employees were physically injured during the robbery.

There are no suspect descriptions available at this time.

CrimeStopper_LogoAnyone with information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825 4747 ext. 2316.

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.com


Return to the Front page

One Burlington Promoting Share the Love Week February 6 to 13

News 100 yellowBy Staff

February 3rd, 2021



In partnership with the Burlington Food Bank, One Burlington is organizing a city-wide food drive named Share the Love from February 6-13, 2021 just before Valentine’s Day.

Drop-Off Locations:

  • City hall - share bannerCity Hall
  • Burlington Fire-Halls
  • Grocery Stores with
  • @BurlFoodBank Bins

You may also donate online.

We all know what to do.  Let’s ensure than the Food Bank has what it needs to take care of those who need help.

There was an occasion in January when 58 households were taken care of.


Return to the Front page

A chance to remember what the Brant Inn was like

eventsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

February 2nd, 2021



It sounded like a great idea. It was certainly imaginative and done right it could be a great way to spend an evening during what are difficult times.

The price seemed just a little steep: $55 per person.

Brant Inn eveningMarch 12

In the 1940s and ‘50s, Burlington’s very own Brant Inn was host to some of the most famous entertainers in the world. Join us for “An Evening at the Brant Inn” for a joyful glimpse into our past.
The Brant Inn was famous for a period of time.

Brant Inn outdoors

Outdoors on a summer evening – it must have been a great place to get out for dinner. The Inn closed when the ownership changed – poor management led to its demise.

Your ticket includes a take-out dinner prepared by Pepperwood Bistro Brewery & Catering, dessert from COBS Bread Headon Forest, a beverage by Nickel Brook Brewing Co., dance lesson and demonstration by danceScape via Zoom, and live musical entertainment broadcast from the Joseph Brant Museum.

Brant inn front

Front entrance – it was the place to be on New Year’s Eve

Order by March 5 for pick up on March 12 from the Joseph Brant Museum between 12 noon to 6 pm, then tune in from home at 7 pm for your evening entertainment.

Regular price, $55/person, ($49.50 for Museum members), includes tax. Limited quantity available.

Return to the Front page

Male Arrested in Online Extortion Investigation In the summer of 2020

Crime 100By Staff

February 1st, 2021



In the summer of 2020, the Halton Regional Police Service started an online extortion investigation when two separate victims reported being contacted over social media. The victims were asked to send a nude image in exchange for money. The suspect indicated the image would only be viewed for a few seconds before being deleted.

After receiving the image the suspect was able to save a copy and threatened to distribute it unless additional images were sent. No money was exchanged.

The suspect ultimately distributed the images without the consent of the victims and in one case the victim was under the age of 18.

On January 28, 2021, the suspect, Nathan Haslett (25) of Oakville was arrested and charged with the following:

• Extortion (3 counts)
• Distribution of Intimate Image Without Consent (5 counts)
• Distribution of Child Pornography (4 counts)
• Possession of Child Pornography (3 counts)

Police believe there may be other victims and are asking anyone who had contact with the online identity of “Jason Tottersmith” and/or Instagram account “jay.totts” or Snapchat account of “jtottersmith” to contact police.

Police want to remind the public of the following:

• All images shared over the internet can be saved without your knowledge.
• Never send images to unknown persons over the internet.
• Increase all privacy and security settings to all of your social media accounts.
• For additional internet safety tips, please visit https://www.cybertip.ca/app/en/

CrimeStopper_LogoAnyone with information in regards to any of these occurrences is asked to contact Acting Detective Stephane Verreault of the Oakville Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2260

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.
Media Inquiries:

Return to the Front page

New Home Construction Regulatory Authority Launches Operations Today

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 1st, 2021



A new Ontario regulator, improving protection for new home buyers, starts operations today. The Home Construction Regulatory Authority (HCRA) is now responsible for regulating and licensing the people and companies who build and sell new homes in the province.

The Village isn't completely built out yet - there are still pockets of construction taking place. Still room for new people.

The Village isn’t completely built out yet – there are still pockets of construction taking place. Still room for new people.

“The HCRA will enforce high professional standards for competence and conduct in the homebuilding industry, giving new home buyers confidence in one of the biggest purchases of their lives,” said Tim Hadwen, Interim CEO of the HCRA. “We will also ensure consistency across the sector, curtailing unethical and illegal builders and maintaining a fair marketplace.”

In addition to licensing, the HCRA provides educational information for consumers on their home buying journey, and manages the Ontario Builder Directory (OBD) – the official source of background information about each of Ontario’s more than 5,000 new home builders and vendors. The OBD provides current information on each builder and vendor’s licence status and specifics such as whether they have had any convictions, the number of homes they have built, and their warranty history. It also lists illegal builders and provides details about charges and convictions to better inform and protect consumers.

The HCRA is also implementing a streamlined complaints process, providing a clear, straightforward way for a new home buyer to raise real concerns about a builder or vendor’s conduct.

Community residents have held up the construction of these homes as they fight a city decision to change the zoning on six properties.

New regulatory agency to support home buyers who run into problems. These prices have not been seen in Burlington for some time.

An independent regulator, the HCRA takes over the licensing function from Tarion. Previously, Tarion was responsible for both licensing and warranty administration. Tarion will continue to deliver Ontario’s new home warranty and protection program.

A separate licensing body was recommended by a major review of Ontario’s homebuilding sector.

“In essence, the HCRA will ensure professional standards for the builder, and Tarion will backstop responsibility for the building,” Hadwen said.

Recognizing that some consumers and builders may not immediately know where to turn, the HCRA and Tarion are committed to a “no wrong door” approach, seamlessly directing stakeholders to the right place to deal with their specific issues.


Return to the Front page

Female takes $1,200 worth of fragrance product - by passes the check aisle

Crime 100By Staff

February 1st, 2021



On Saturday January 30th, 2021, at approximately 3:40pm, a lone female entered the Shoppers Drug Mart located at 4525 New Street in the City of Burlington. The female proceeded to the fragrance area and concealed $1,200.00 worth of product in a large purse. The female exited the store, making no attempt to pay for the items.

fragrance theft

Lady on a shopping spree – forgot about the check-out aisle.

If you can identify this suspect, please contact Cst. Kate Bechard at 905-825-4777 ext.7501 or kate.bechard@haltonpolice.ca.

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.

Return to the Front page

Mountainside Outdoor Pool to be Revitalized - Parks and Recreation Looking for Community Input

News 100 yellowBy Staff

February 1st, 2021



Mountainside Outdoor Pool has served the community well for over 50 years.

The City of Burlington is planning a future revitalization of this popular community outdoor pool. The renewal project is anticipated to begin after the 2021 summer swim season. The pool will remain open for use this summer, pending public health and provincial COVID-19 direction.

Ward 3 Mountainside Pool update July 30

Time for an upgrade. The ward Council is now a happy camper – he has delivered something for his constituents

The City is inviting and encouraging all families and individuals who use the pool to take the online survey to help guide them with the style and themes of amenities and features planned for the new pool. The survey is open until Feb. 19, 2021: CLICK HERE for the survey.

Styles and themes of amenities in the survey include:

  • Pool water spray features
  • Climbing wall
  • Water slide
  • Shade structures

The revitalization will create an attractive, fun, active and welcoming multi-use outdoor swimming pool, that invites the community to participate and experience swimming and water play while encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle.
Construction is scheduled to begin in September 2021, with completion expected in the spring of 2022.

About Mountainside Outdoor Pool
Mountainside Outdoor Pool and Splash Park (2205 Mount Forest Dr.) is an important community hub and aquatic recreation destination in the Mountainside neighbourhood. The pool is well used and serves on average 27,000 participants in a wide variety of activities including recreational swimming, lap swimming and learn to swim lessons each summer.

Chris Glenn

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture explains what the City is doing and the timeline for the revitalization.   “Mountainside Outdoor Pool is over 50-years old and has served the community and the city very well. It’s now time to revitalize it and make the needed upgrades, repairs and updates so it can be a community activity hub for another 50-years. By starting the construction in the fall, we can ensure people have another opportunity for healthy, active recreational swimming this summer, and weather and construction permitting, have it open for the 2022 outdoor swimming season.”

Return to the Front page

Halton Regional Police Service Launches Black Heritage Cruiser Design Contest

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 1st, 2021



In honour of Black History Month, the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) and its Black Internal Support Network are soliciting the community’s help in the design and creation of a Black Heritage Police Cruiser.

“Due to the pandemic, we are unfortunately unable to organize or participate in Black History Month events like we historically have,” says Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie. “This cruiser is a unique way for us to highlight our commitment to working with and learning more about our region’s African and Caribbean community, not only during Black History Month, but year-round.”

This initiative is in collaboration with and supported by the following community partners:

HRPS cruieser with rainbow stripes

The Regional Police have in the past wrapped a vehicle supporting a part of the community.

• African Caribbean Council of Halton
• Black Mentorship Inc.
• Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce
• Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton
• Caribbean and African Coalition of Canada
• Halton Black History Awareness Society
• Halton Regional Police Association
• I am. I can. I will.

Together, the HRPS and these community partners envision this dedicated police vehicle featuring key figures and imagery that celebrate the region’s rich history of African and Caribbean culture.

“This wrapped vehicle will symbolize the Service’s commitment to, and solidarity with, the black community,” says Constable David Joseph, who proposed the design project in collaboration with members of the HRPS Black Internal Support Network. “Together with our community partners, we hope this project will help expand our collective awareness and appreciation of black heritage in Halton.”

All residents of Halton are encouraged to submit design proposals that highlight the rich history of African and Caribbean culture in the Region of Halton. From contributions to the Underground Railroad, to key figures, and significant historical landmarks, the vehicle wrap could highlight a number of contributions from right here in our own region.

Submissions will be accepted throughout Black History Month, February 1 – 28, 2021. A selection committee comprised of the HRPS Black Internal Support Network and community partner representatives will select a winning design. The individual who submits the winning design proposal will be awarded a one-time $2,500 youth scholarship to be used personally or by someone of their designation for post-secondary education. This one-time scholarship is proudly funded by the HRPS and the eight community partners listed above.

Visit to learn more about the contest and submission criteria, and to submit your design.

The HRPS would like to thank its community partners for their support of this initiative. This project is just one of many ways we are working together to strengthen the way we serve our diverse community.

The HRPS would also like to thank the community in advance for its submissions. The final design and content of the cruiser will be at the discretion of the HRPS, in consultation with the submitter and the HRPS Black Internal Support Network.


Return to the Front page

Burlington COVID-19 Task Force members announced

News 100 blue

By Pepper Parr

February 1st, 2021



The City has created a Burlington COVID-19 Task Force

It is huge.

Halton has a very good student immunization rate - 93% of students are immunized.

It is all about getting a needle in your arm. – a Task force with more than 25 people is not what people want to hear – Tell me when I will get my inoculation and where do I go.

The Task Force will share information and mobilize community and agency resources to support our hospital and healthcare workers as we prepare for an anticipated surge of patients in the coming days and weeks and work through a recovery period, as well as coordinate our broader community efforts on COVID-19.

Members will bring information and/or requests for assistance back to each of their own organizations and emergency response tables.

While this information-sharing and collaboration is already happening, the Task Force simply formalizes this effort and adds some structure as we collectively serve our community.

Membership includes community leaders and decision-makers representing various organizations and agencies involved in the COVID-19 response. New members may be added as the situation evolves.

Each participant is likely to be a member of their own organization’s COVID-19 response group, with an ability to bring information from that table, where appropriate, to the Task Force, and vice versa.
Invitees are similar to the panelists on the Mayor’s recent public telephone town hall.

Community response to that event was overwhelmingly positive, with residents specifically mentioning that they appreciated the assembled panel of cross-functional experts and leaders, and seeing the evidence of collaboration, sharing of information and coordinating of efforts to serve them.

Invited guests/organizations at this time:

Chair, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

City of Burlington Emergency Control Group:

Burlington Fire Department:
Karen Roche, Deputy Fire Chief
Amber Rushton, Business Continuity and Emergency Planning CEMC
Dan VanderLelie, President, Burlington Professional Firefighters Association

City of Burlington:
Tim Commisso, City Manager

Joseph Brant Hospital

Eric Vandewall, CEO and President
Dr. Dale Kalina, Medical Director of Infectious Disease

Halton Regional Police Service:
Roger Wilkie, Deputy Chief of Police
Superintendent Anthony Odoardi

Halton District School Board:
Stuart Miller, Director of Education

Halton Catholic District School Board
Pat Daly, Director of Education

Halton Region:
Lynne Simons, Senior Advisor to the CAO

Members of Parliament:
The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, MP, Burlington
Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville-North Burlington
Adam Van Koeverden, MP, Milton

Members of Provincial Parliament

Jane McKenna, MPP, Burlington
Effie Triantafilopoulos, MPP, Oakville-North Burlington
Parm Gill, MPP, Milton

TEAM Burlington:
Carla Nell, Burlington Chamber of Commerce
Anita Cassidy, Burlington Economic Development
Pam Belgrade, Tourism Burlington
Brian Dean, Burlington Downtown Business Association
Judy Worsley, Aldershot Business Improvement Area
Lita Barrie, CEO, Burlington Public Library

United Way Halton & Hamilton, Halton Poverty Roundtable
Tyler Moon, Senior Manager, Community Impact

The Burlington Food Bank:
Robin Bailey, Executive Director

Burlington Hydro:
Gerry Smallegange, President & CEO

Reach Out Centre for Kids:
Kirsten Dougherty, Chief Executive Officer

Royal Hamilton Light Infantry:
Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer Alex Colic

Diocese of Hamilton
Rev. Rob Thomas, Chaplain, Burlington Fire Department

Halton Islamic Association
Sr. Osob

NUVO Network
Bridget and Shawn Saulnier, Owners

Burlington Foundation
Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO

Food for Life
Graham Hill, Executive Director

Return to the Front page

Adam van Koeverden says the CN hub

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 1st, 2021



Addressing the Speaker of the House of Commons Friday morning Adam van Koeverden said:

Milton NO signMr. Speaker, last week, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change released a list of the 325 conditions that the CN intermodal project must meet before it could proceed with any development in my riding of Milton. I recognize that these conditions address some of the concerns raised by my community and that this conditional approval is a technical assessment not an endorsement by the federal government. However, let me be very clear that these conditions do not change my position. I have always advocated for a rejection of this project and I remain strongly opposed.

AVK with two women

Adam van Koeverden speaking to Milton residents

Today, I want to directly address this to CN. Its own regulations recommend against new residential development within a thousand metres of an existing intermodal facility. Therefore, why would CN consider building one that same distance from a strong, growing and vibrant residential neighbourhood?

This fight is far from over. Miltonians will not give up. I will not give up. For me and our community, our top priority will always be protecting our people’s health and a clean environment. In instead, I encourage CN to invest its time and energy in a community that welcomes this development and all the benefits it claims an intermodal will bring.

Return to the Front page

Federal government gets thanked by the Chamber of Commerce - Region of Halton and its municipalities feel they have been betrayed.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 31srt, 2021


hud ad star

Full page advertisement in the weekend Toronto Star


The good people of Milton don’t see the federal government decision to allow the inter-modal hub that CN Rail has planned for the Town of Milton.

While the direct and immediate damage is focused on Milton the damage the truck traffic will do to the northern part of Burlington is significant and will never end as long as there are freight trains using the rail lines that will lead into the inter-modal hub.

There will be a reported 1600 trucks a day coming and going and while they all won’t pour onto the north Burlington roads – there will likely be more than the roads were built to withstand.

CN is of course delighted and they convinced all their friends at many of the local Chambers of Commerce organizations to take part in the sponsoring of a full page advertisement in the weekend edition of the Toronto Star thanking the federal government.

What seems to have been forgotten is that while the Chambers of Commerce represent the business interests in a community those very business interests stand to suffer and lose once the inter-modal hub is operational.

Tractor-trailer traffic in the community will increase, housing developments will suffer – the value of the homes in the immediate locale of the inter-modal hub will be assessed at a lower value than they would have been if the inter-modal hub was built somewhere else


Return to the Front page

Oakville Burlington MP touts for Terry on the new $5 bill

News 100 redBy Staff

January 30th, 2021



You have to give Oakville North Burlington Member of Parliament Pam Damoff more than a high five for giving the drive to get Terry Fox on the new five dollar bill more than the old college try.

The Petition she presented to the people at the Mint who will be printing the new $5 bill had 1251 Burlington signatures on it.

An announcement is due soon on who will be on the currency.

What the Gazette didn’t know was that Ms Damoff is a football fan.

Here she is speaking in the House of Commons yesterday:

Damoff polar ear dip

Pam Damoff taking the Polar Dip on a New Year’s Day – not this past year though.

“Mr. Speaker, eight worthy candidates are being considered by the government for the new five-dollar bill, but one stands out from the rest: Terry Fox.

“I am proud to sponsor an e-petition initiated by Burlington resident and CFL Hall of Famer, Tony Gabriel, to have Terry Fox chosen to be on the five-dollar bill.

“In 1980, Terry embarked on the Marathon of Hope to raise funds for cancer research. When he came through Ottawa, he participated in a ceremonial kickoff at an Ottawa Rough Riders game. Tony told him there was not one person on the team that could possibly physically do what Terry was doing.”

Damoff and Gabriel at marker

Tony Gabriel and Pam Damoff beside the Terry Fox marker on the Burlington waterfront.

This gave Terry an emotional lift. The Marathon of Hope made Terry Fox a household name and a Canadian hero. Over $800 million has been raised for cancer research in Terry’s name.

As Tony would say, let us get Terry in the end zone. It is time to put him on the five.

Return to the Front page

Mayor struggles with meaning of

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 29th, 2021



“Hope is certainly on the horizon” said the Mayor who voted along with her colleagues to extend the face mask bylaw to the end of the year.

MMW at swearing in with Chain - superior look

“Hope is certainly on the horizon”

The hope the Mayor was talking about was the arrival of a vaccine which, according to the information the Mayor got from the Provincial COVID19 Vaccination Task Force, vaccination efforts will take through the spring and summer, and likely into the fall.

Not exactly on the horizon is it ?

For the foreseeable future, additional health measures will still be necessary – washing hands, wearing a mask, staying 6ft apart from anyone we don’t live with.

Foreseeable future isn’t exactly on the horizon either.

Meed Ward in a mask

Mayor Meed Ward: Clearly there was a struggle in determining just what “on the horizon” means.

“We want to be up front with the community about that” said the Mayor, “and be clear about the need for continued health measures and our bylaws for some months. Council did discuss ending the bylaws sooner, and in the end unanimously voted to extend to the end of December.

“My own view in supporting this extension till the end of December is that it is better to be up front and honest with our community.”

We are still in this pandemic for a long period of time, and that it is preferable to be able to lift the regulations early, than dash the hopes of our residents if we had to continually extend the bylaw.

Clearly there was a struggle in determining just what “on the horizon” means.

What is perfectly clear is that this council has extended the bylaw that governs the wearing of face masks to December 31st, 2021.

Return to the Front page

Senior Well-being During COVID-19 - not that good

background graphic greenBy Staff

January 29th, 2021



CDH Community Lens graphicCommunity Development Halton publishes material relevant to the well-being of the Region. The following is their most recent in a series referred to as a Community Lens.

We know that the impact of COVID-19 has affected many in Halton and, in particular, older adults. With restrictions on accessing stores and the financial constraints brought about by the pandemic, there has been an impact not only on accessing healthy, appropriate food, but also on interaction with others. This change in interaction can lead to social isolation and loneliness, especially amongst older adults and those living with lower incomes.

There is evidence that shows the negative impacts of social isolation and loneliness. According to a recent report by Angus Reid, more Canadians report being socially isolated and lonely since the pandemic began.

The Putting Food on the Table project is a partnership between Sheridan Centre for Elder Research, Food for Life, and Community Development Halton to better understand the needs of older adults who receive food supports from Food for Life. A survey went out in the summer of 2020 to approximately 1,000 older adults (aged 50 and over) in Halton who receive food supports from Food for Life asking about their nutrition, food security, food needs, health, and overall well-being. A total of 217 surveys were returned.

This Community Lens provides an overview of some of the responses to questions related to feelings of social isolation and other impacts of COVID-19.

The majority of the respondents (74%) to the survey were women, with the largest group consisting of women in their 70s. The survey also found that the women who responded have different living situations than the men. They tended to be widowed, whereas the men tended to be married or living with a common law partner. Almost three quarters of the women who responded to the survey lived alone, compared to less than a quarter of men, who lived alone.

A series of questions were asked to understand the impact of COVID-19. As shown in the chart below, respondents were more likely to leave their homes to get groceries and other supplies versus for recreation or socializing.

CDH Graph on seniors getting out

Furthermore, of the 31% of respondents who reported leaving their homes less than once a week for groceries or other supplies, it was found that 90% of them reported leaving their homes less than once a week for recreation or socializing. This means that about a quarter of these older adults are leaving their homes less than once a week for any reason. This indicates the inclination for people to stay home due to the pandemic during the summer of 2020. A follow up question on the comfort of leaving home found that almost 40% of respondents said they were uncomfortable or very uncomfortable leaving their homes during the pandemic.

Senior on telephone

The telephone is the only access to other people for many seniors during the COVID19 crisis.

Knowing the importance of socialization for well-being and mental health, a set of questions were asked about socialization. When asked if they had someone to socialize with, 15% responded “No” and for those who did have someone to socialize with, 11% said they socialize less than once a week. When asked how they socialize with others, the responses were varied, with the telephone playing an important role in their lives. Given the move of many services to online delivery, 36% of respondents indicated challenges with access to the Internet and 32% indicated a level of discomfort learning new technologies.

Finally, when asked about their well-being during the pandemic, 41% said that it has stayed the same or is better while 40% said that their well-being is worse. In addition, when asked how much of a risk COVID-19 is to them, 77% of these older adults indicated being in the “high risk” or “somewhat high risk” category.

The CDH Research team has worked hard to develop changes to the “older adult food package” from Food For Life to improve the over all experience and provide additional resources to support the older adults. A second survey is currently underway to learn about the impact of this work, what changes may have occurred with the second wave of COVID-19, and what work still needs to be done.

Return to the Front page

Catch the Ace Lottery is Back - Brant Hospital and Rotary are the Sponsors

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 29th, 2021



Brant lottery

Someone is going to win $1,000 guaranteed

How does Catch the Ace Work?
Draws take place weekly, and one lucky person takes home 20% of all the ticket sales that week. And to celebrate the launch, the weekly prize for week 1 is $1,000 guaranteed!

The winner will have selected an envelope, containing one playing card from a standard 52-card deck. The envelope selected by the weekly winner is opened, and if it contains the Ace of Spades, the winner takes home the progressive jackpot. If it is any other card, 30% of ticket sales from that week are added to the progressive jackpot and tickets go on sale for the following week’s draw.

lottery ticket dealHow do I purchase tickets?
Tickets are only available online at catchtheacelottery.ca. The deadline for each draw is Wednesday at 3 p.m.

Lottery dateTicket purchasers will select one envelope per transaction, regardless of the number of tickets purchased.


The Catch the Ace Lottery is in support of the Rotary Club of Burlington North and
the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.


Return to the Front page

Damoff to hold on -line Town Hall on federal budget - February 11th

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 29th, 2021



Damoff with LiberaL sign

Oakville North-Burlington MP Pam Damoff in full election mode

Pam Damoff, the MP for Oakville North Burlington will be holding an on-line Town Hall on the federal budget.

The event is part of the federal government’s pre-budget consultations and will take place on Thursday, February 11, 2021, from 6:00pm – 7:00pm.

All residents of Oakville North-Burlington are welcome to attend. To register for the virtual Town Hall and for additional details about the discussion please click here.

At this point in time the federal government is throwing billions into the economy to keep things as stable as possible while everyone works at beating the COVID19 virus which keeps sprouting variants which makes the job very difficult.

Damoff explains that “when COVID-19 is under control, our government has a plan to make smart, targeted investments to jump start our economic recovery, restore growth, create jobs, build a greener, more competitive, inclusive and resilient economy and repair the damage done by the pandemic.”

Over the coming weeks, the government will host virtual round tables with diverse groups of people from a range of regions, sectors and industries, including those hardest hit by the pandemic, to allow our government to hear the best ideas from Canadians and experts across the country about how Budget 2021 can best support Canadians through the pandemic and help us build back better. The round tables are an opportunity to discuss the very real challenges Canadians are facing and listen to the ways that the government can ensure a robust recovery that leaves no one behind.

Participants will be able to share their ideas and priorities about how the government can best invest to create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and build a greener, more competitive, more inclusive, more innovative, and more resilient economy.

Prebudget graphic

Pam Damoff: “After the virtual Community Town Hall, my office will compile a report detailing the suggestions from Oakville North-Burlington residents to submit to the office of Federal Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Chrystia Freeland. The number of participants is capped at 100 and priority registration will be given to residents of Oakville North-Burlington.

“All Canadians are invited to share their ideas through an online questionnaire at LetsTalkBudget2021.ca, which will be available until February 19, 2021.

“In last year’s 2020 Fall Economic Statement, our government committed major federal transfers to the Provinces. Below, I have outlined the federal transfers to Ontario for reference.

“In Ontario:

• $16.2 billion through the Canada Health Transfer, an increase of $616 million from the previous year; and
• $5.8 billion through the Canada Social Transfer, an increase of $182 million from the previous year.
• $5.1 billion for Ontario through the Safe Restart Agreement:
o $1.2 billion support with the costs of increasing testing capacity, perform contact tracing, and share public health data that will help fight the pandemic;
o $466.0 million to support health care system capacity to respond to surges in COVID-19 cases and to support and protect people experiencing challenges related to mental health, substance use, or homelessness;
o $287.4 million to address immediate needs and gaps in supportive care and provide health and social supports for other vulnerable groups;
o $776.6 million to support municipalities with COVID-19 operating costs
o $1 billion to ensure critical transit services are maintained;
o $1.2 billion to ensure health and non-health workers have access to the personal protective equipment that they need; and
o $234.6 million to address the reduced availability of childcare spaces and the unique needs stemming from the pandemic.
• Up to $763.3 million available through the Safe Return to Class Fund
• $1.1 billion through the Essential Workers Support Fund

Pillars of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan by the Numbers in Ontario:

• Canada Emergency Business Account: as of January 21, 323,617 loans provided to businesses, worth a total of $16.35 billion.
• Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: as of January 10, 791,810 applications, for a total of over $23.32 billion in subsidies paid out, helping protect 1.72 million jobs.
• Canada Emergency Response Benefit: as of October 4, over 3.5 million Ontarians supported. In a population of 14.7 million, this is nearly 1 out of every 4 people.
• Canada Recovery Benefit: as of January 10, $3.3 billion provided to 682,080 Ontarians.
• Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit: as of January 10, $94 million provided to 110,220 Ontarians.
• Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit: as of January 10, $375.2 million provided to 106,690 Ontarians.

Return to the Front page

The Slo-Pitch league is taking registrations for the summer season - will we have a lock-down free summer?

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

January 28th, 2021



The crack of the bat that can be heard even if you are seated way up in the bleachers of a large ball park, a sound that North Americans just love to hear.

Given the way we have had to live our lives for the past year, taking in a ball game would be nice. Being able to sit with friends with a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other is something to look forward to and might aid us in getting through the current lock down.

The Burlington Oldtimers Slo-Pitch has begun to promote their summer league offering; we assume they believe the lock down will be lifted by then.  Running from the plate to first base wearing a mask doesn’t sound all that appealing.

summer baseball


The teams play on Wednesdays at 10:30 am at Sherwood Park where there are four diamonds – if that much space is needed.

Like everyone else they will be watching for changes from the provincial government on what people can do.  The moment there is even a hint the games can take place the Slo-Pitch people will be onto Teresa Campbell, their contact at Parks and Recreation, looking for approval to start the season.

 If you had previously registered and paid for 2020 then there is no further action required by you.

However, if you had previously requested a refund of your 2020 registration fee then the league treasurer will reach out to you closer to when the season is anticipated to start.

Become part of something special in your community. Let’s face it, what better way is there to get a little exercise on Summer nights! Get your friends and relatives to join too.

• Men’s 35+ league
• Way too many games… PLUS two tournaments!
• Twice a week
• All games in Burlington with short fences 🙂
• Best people ever

The league asks newcomers to do a self assessment in order to fit them into a team.  It is brutal.

bosl assesment

Looks like there is room for everyone in this league.

Return to the Front page

Photo of the day: Not for the faint of heart

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 28th, 2021



It was one of those bleak winter days that often follow a snow storm.

Close to blistering cold but not cold enough to freeze Lake Ontario water and not cold enough to keep those barking mad surfers out of the water.

The photo offering today shows someone pushing through the water hoping to catch a decent wave.

Not for the faint of heart.

surfer jan 27

Photo by Helene Dube

Return to the Front page

One item is vital; another doesn't seem to make much sense - and the city needs another lawyer

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 28th, 2021



The Operations draft budget suggests a tax increase of 4.99%.

The Mayor doesn’t like the look of those numbers and has said that she could live with a 3.99% increase and asked the Finance department to come back with some suggestions as to how this might be done.

Members of Council will be given Budget Action Requests (BAR) which is how the members of council ask (tell?) Finance where changes can be made to get the required number.

It is not at all certain that every member of this Council is as married to the 3.99% number as the Mayor. It difficult to see but the word we have from council sources (given to us as background and on a not-for-attribution basis) is that Council would like to have their views being equal to the Mayor’s.

The budget is far too big to do a really deep analysis – we certainly don’t have the resources to do that work and we are not at all sure that very many people would read through it all. So we have picked 10 items to comment upon, and asking the question – why this spend?

The Gazette doesn’t want to overwhelm with detail so we are going to do three at a time over the next few days.

First: a spend of just under $50,000 for a part time audio visual person.  Why?

Information Technology Services (ITS) is seeking to hire a part-time A/V Specialist to support audio and video technology within the Council Chambers, web streaming of Committee and Council sessions and virtual meeting services required due to COVID.

The ITS department currently has a single A/V Specialist and has no effective backup that would be able to support a meeting of Council in the event that this sole resource becomes ill or is otherwise unavailable.

Mayor plexi in place

The Mayor, the City Clerk and Dave – the AV guy are the only people in the Council Chamber when the meetings are “virtual”. Without Dave – no one would know that there was a council meeting taking place.

The part-time A/V Specialist will also provide backup and supplementary support of other types of public engagement meetings and corporate A/V including the Emergency Operations Centre, Halton Court Services, general meeting rooms and training facilities.

There a significant risk that a Council meeting could not be easily held and could only be conducted in a very constrained and modified fashion that would fail to meet the expectation of Council and the public. There currently is no viable plan B.

This spend is a must – vital actually. Right now a man named Dave Thompson runs the audio visual system that delivers council meetings to the public as a web cast on the city website.

Dave is run ragged every time there is a Council or Standing Committee meeting. There are at time some minor mistakes – they are usually corrected very quickly.

If Dave were to become victim of COVID-19, or slip on a banana peel somewhere, a council meeting would not be broadcast – and if it isn’t made public – is the meeting still deemed to have taken place?

We think Dave is pretty close to the hardest working man in the city – quite why a backup person wasn’t hired six months ago defies explanation.

Approve this one in a flash and find a way to get it approved before March – which is when the budget is expected to be approved.

The people who concern themselves with Risk Management certainly dropped the ball on this one.

Where do the numbers come from ? Figure this one out.

Municipal Finance people do accounting differently. All too often people with strong private sector experience and a lot of experience handling budgets and balance sheets are stunned when they look at city financial statements.

Frank McKeowan, the one-time Chief of Staff for Rick Goldring when he was Mayor once said that municipalities don’t have balance sheets or Profit and Loss Statements. To some degree he was right.

There is an item on the budget for $116,700..It is described as the cost for a service that is being delivered.

Transit - seniors with Gould

The Seniors pushed for years for a better transit deal. It took six years but with a new progressive thinking transit director and a council that saw transit as a necessary service – changes came about.

The service being delivered is free use of transit between 9:00 am and 2:30 pm Monday to Friday. Seniors will board any bus in the city use their Presto Pass and not be charged for the trip they are taking.

So what does the cost of $116,700 represent?

The buses are already on their routes – there is no additional expense.  Does the $116,700 represent money the city thinks it would have received if those seniors had been required to pay a fare ?

The free fare program has proven to be very popular – ridership numbers soared when it was first introduced.

Those ridership numbers do increase what the city gets in the way of gas tax rebates from the province.

The city seems to be budgeting for funds it would normally get at the fare box, and because it will not be getting these funds, the city has put in a figure of $116,700 to offset the loss!

Before the pilot began, seniors accounted for approximately nine percent of the transit ridership.

Key successes from the pilot include:

• Almost 70,000 rides were provided for seniors for free from June to December 2019
• Mid-day boardings increased by over 2.5 times, this is directly co-related to the increase in the number of seniors using transit
• Ridership did not change outside the free period, seniors who already used transit did not shift their travel times to the free period
• Senior ridership increased by 41% between June 2019 and February 2020
•• The growth in seniors made up approximately 35% of Burlington Transit’s overall ridership growth from 2018 to 2019
• Increased ridership could potentially increase provincial gas tax by $13,000

Based on the success of the program, it is recommended to continue this program on a permanent basis.

Great idea – but what does the $116,700 that the budget book shows as a project cost amount to.  How does not getting paid amount to a cost?

So why is the $116,700 figure even in the budget book.

Hiring another lawyer? Afraid so.

Ideally the person hired will save the city a reasonable amount of money and a lot of grief.

Local Planning Authority Tribunal (LPAT) hearings amount to groups of lawyers arguing the merits of the developers’ plans while the city lawyer argues why the LPAT appeal should be dismissed.

One additional solicitor position is being requested for the Planning, Development & Real Estate practice group in order to support the on-going work of Community Planning. At present, the practice group is led by one Deputy Corporation Counsel and consists of one Solicitor assigned to real estate law, and one Senior Law Clerk supporting planning, development and real estate. The demands for legal service has been steadily increasing and there simply isn’t sufficient capacity in the current staffing level to continue to “do it all”.

The Key Drivers of the growing demand for legal service support for Community Planning are the same drivers that are impacting Community Planning organizationally. Legal works very closely with Community Planning on policy initiatives, at the front and back ends of development files, and on any resulting appeals. As has been identified, Community Planning is expected to grow from current staff complement of 29 to 51 over the next 3 years.

The proposed development V a

Every development requires input from the legal department. This development has been “in the works” for at least six years.

– approximately 50 active major development files (7,000 residential units, 40 Tall/Mid-rise buildings, employment, commercial)

– 30 major development pre-consultations to date

– pre-building permit applications are up more that 50% over last year

– # of application approvals “on hold” due to ICBL continuation

– major policy development work either in progress or anticipated in the forseeable future including comprehensive zoning by-law review, housing strategy, Regional municipal comprehensive review, various urban design guidelines, cultural heritage study, adjusting the Urban Growth Centre and removing the MTSA from the downtown .

The addition of one solicitor position would resource the planning and development practice group to take on the day-to-day legal support for Community Planning.

The additional resource will create capacity for the Deputy Corporation Counsel to manage the sheer volume of LPAT work that is coming out of the planning and development area. The government has reversed changes made to the Planning Act with respect to how hearings are conducted. The legislative changes will result in more appeals for the municipality to defend, and lengthy and expensive hearings de novo.

The sheer volume of appeal work will be handled by a combination of internal and external legal resources. The magnitude of the job to be done requires a great deal of internal coordination. The nature of the appeals demands that the appeals are handled consistently so that the city doesn’t lose sight of the inter-relatedness of much of the work that is underway.

Finally, the additional position allows for greater succession planning in the Planning, Development and Real Estate practice group. The City is at a point where it will have a new official plan and new comprehensive zoning by-law. Bringing on a new solicitor will allow this individual to start “on the ground floor” as these new instruments are applied and tested. Building that internal capacity is important in a small department like Corporate Legal Services.

Failure to expand Corporate Legal Services internal capacity will have negative consequences for the City:

-Risk of failing to deliver key results on Council’s Strategic Plan (defend the new OP, defend the changes to the planning instruments, defend changes to the comprehensive zoning by-law, development of MTSA’s along major transit corridors)
– Risk of failing to provide timely advice to Community Planning on a day-to-day basis.
– Heavier reliance on the use of external counsel which is more costly to the municipality.
– Failure to develop our internal talent to the detriment of the individual and the corporation. Succession management is critical given that specialized positions have proven difficult to fill in the past.
– Reputational risk to the department if we are unable to meet the needs and expectations for legal services.
– Potential for increased legal risk to the corporation. Having legal involved early on in planning issues makes for better decision-making.

There are key applications being processed such as the Nelson Quarry expansion that may have environmental impacts. Dealing with these types of issues requires a lot of planning and legal resources and have the potential to end up in major, lengthy hearings.

Return to the Front page