Regional Chair will attend the Police Services Board Closed session meeting on Thursday.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

January 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Clarification:

Mayor Burton resigned from the Halton Police Services Board on January 11, 2021. The Police
Services Act,  provides that the Head of Council is to be one of the members of
the Board unless he chooses not to serve. Regional Chair, Gary Carr has decided to assume the
vacant position. This is effective immediately upon swearing- in and does not require confirmation
by Council. The term is for the remainder of this term of Council, to expire November 14, 2022 or
when a successor is appointed.

There is probably going to be a change in the way the police services for the Region are going to be managed and led.

The Police Services Board has held 15 hours of meetings so far to determine what, if anything, they want to do with the current police chief who was out the country with the permission of Oakville Mayor Rob Burton who was the Chair of the Police Services Board.

Burton Rob - glancingf left

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton

Burton resigned as the Chair last week but is still a member of the Board.

There has been considerable public reaction to the decision the Chief made in asking for permission and then actually leaving the jurisdiction when the province was under a lock down.

Burton realized he was in a difficult position and had to resign as Chair.  His political future is something that we will look at later.

What to do with the Chief.  There are clearly some differences within the Board –  fire him? – how, when he had permission.

Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner talks with Sgt Davies, the man who heads up the accident reconstruction unit. The two of them would really like to see fewer accidents.

Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner talks with Sgt Davies, the man who heads up the accident reconstruction unit.

One of the options is to find a way to settle with the Chief – that will turn out to be an expensive option and one that will be hidden from the public.  There will be a statement about thanking the Chief for his service and wishing him well in the future.

If the Board decides to fire the Chief he will most certainly sue for wrongful dismissal.  That law suit will be public and that’s something the Region does not want.

The rank and file police are not happy people.  Their Chief was not there for them when they needed him.

Clayton Gillis, the president of the Halton Regional Police Association, said Saturday he has heard claims made by a whistle blower on Twitter. He said he doesn’t engage in the social media platform.

“From my conversation with the Chief and the statement he released yesterday, I know that he has described his travels as ‘personal business matters’ and a ‘property matter.’ I don’t know any other details or if the rumours … are accurate,” he said.

“We will be seeking a more transparent, fulsome answer to why he travelled beyond what’s been given as an answer thus far,” Gillis added.

The Police Services Board will be holding another meeting on Thursday (January 21st) that will like the previous two, in a CLOSED session.

What will be different is that Halton Region Chair Gary Carr will be attending.  His decision to become involved suggests that a decision will be made.

Don’t expect whatever decision is made to be made public on Thursday.

The decision made will be released to the public at a meeting that is open to the public on January 28th.  There will be a Special meeting on Thursday the 21st.  It will have one item on the agenda – electing a Chair and a Vice Chair for the 2101 term.  There may be other items discussed but they will be done in a Closed session.

There are two options before the Police Services Board.  Fire the chief or accept his resignation.  If the Board fires Tanner it will result in a legal claim for a lot of money.  Any claim would be made public and be messy  – the optics will not be good.

The best in the way of optics is to carve out a deal with Tanner to pay him to just go away.  The Board will not make whatever payment there might be public.  It will get buried somewhere in the Regional Budget.

Tanner was a good police Chief; he was one of the police officers who earned a degree in psychology at the University of Guelph.  He was a strong supporter of promoting women and putting them in positions where they could gain the experience to become leaders.

When he returned to Halton from Kingston where he was Chief it was a homecoming event.  He was given his old police badge, returning to a community that was both fond of and proud of the man,

He made the wrong decision and a series of circumstances may result in a career coming to an end.  This is the hard part of being transparent and accountable.

As for Burton – his future prospects are cloudy at best.  The result of the 2018 election for the office of Mayor are set out below.

The people who run election campaigns will tell you that Burton can be beaten.

The first column is the election day vote, the second is the advance vote, the third is the total and the fourth is the percentage

Rob Burton 19,236 3,682 22,918 49.64 %
Julia Hanna 16,565 2,866 19,431 42.09 %
John McLaughlin 3,345 471 3,816 8.27 %

Rob Burton could be toast as Mayor of Oakville as well.

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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Mayor will direct Staff to find savings that bring the proposed 4.99% tax increase down to 3.99%

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 20th 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor Meed Ward doesn’t like the look of 4.99% tax increase and has advised her council colleagues that she will be bringing the following Staff Direction to Council tomorrow

1% imageDirect the Chief Financial Officer to provide a list of 2021 budget reduction items for Council’s consideration that could decrease the overall proposed tax impact (city, region, education) from 2.88% to 2.43% (representing a city tax increase of 3.99%) with the list being provided to members of Council by February 1, 2021 and included for public reporting as part of the February 23, 2021 Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability Committee -Operating Budget Review and Approval.

Staff will have to squeeze every department in the city and maybe even look at some of the reserve funds that are a little on the fat side to get the 4.99% proposed tax increase down full percentage point.

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First view of the 2020-2021 budget calls for a 4.99% tax increase

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A picture is worth 1000 words. What is a chart worth?

The chart below is from a report Council will receive on Thursday morning. It sets out what tax increases have been over a ten year period.

2021 tax picture

If averaged over 20 years they could have gotten the number even lower.

Council will begin work on a draft budget that proposes a tax increase of 4.99% for the 2020-2021 Operations budget.

There will be a Virtual Town Hall this evening at which participants can ask questions.  Unfortunately the public has, at this point very little in the way of information on which to base their questions.

The meeting this evening is putting the car before the horse.

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Changes in city council schedule. COVID is changing much of what happens at every level.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 19, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Council meetings now take place on a Tuesday and they begin at 1:00 pm

This kind of schedule is acceptable while we are living and working under COVID conditions.

Council chamber - new look

Virtual meetings mean we don’t see the Council members in their seats.

Mayor Meed Ward talks in terms of these conditions being in place for some time – possibly to the end of the year.  No one knows of course.  We all just wait and see: will the vaccine prove to be the solution?

Delegations have been slim to none

All City meetings continue to be held virtually.

Amanda Fusco, Manager of Records and Information, argues that “Shifting Council meetings from Monday to Tuesday ensures better customer service. It not only improves the delegate experience and aligns delegate deadlines with standing committees, but also provides Council members time to receive information and prepare amendments.”

You want to take that statement with a large dose of salt.

All the heavy lifting gets done at Standing Committee which are held in the evenings when there are statutory meetings.  The wind has been taken out of the delegation sails; those who were frequent delegators in the past are not rising to the challenges the way they have in the past.

Related news story:

Muir on why delegations are not taking place.

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Councillor said the public trusts us - Muir points to her false logic

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee was ready to adjourn last week after recommending that the Capital budget be approved, Ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna, who voted against the $80million Capital budget, said he was disappointed but that “he would get over it”.

Kearns direct smile

Lisa Kearns – before she was a member of city council.

Lisa Kearns, Councillor for Ward 2 said: This was a big exercise, a challenge for all of us noting that there wasn’t a single delegation adding that it was evident the public trusted council.

Tom Muir, a frequent Gazette commenter didn’t see it quite that way and said:  “I think that Lisa does not have the full sense of what she claimed about everyone being budget happy just because no one showed up.

“False logic indeed.

Muir making a point

Tom Muir brings decades of experience in municipal matters to his thinking.

“Has she completely forgotten that COVID has changed everything, including public engagement and delegations. There’s no real life left in these things.

“You don’t get to meet with all the people, see the body language all around, group conversations before and after, feel the sense of the room and so on. Now that’s fact as we all know, but it goes to the heart of Lisa’s thoughtless (in my view) remark.

“In my experience, I have no actionable desire to delegate to these virtual meetings, and especially, at this time, about the budget. This budget document is very large and takes a very long time to read, and even longer if you want to criticize. People more or less can’t really do this, and with COVID have indicated so.

“I have done so in the past and from the reaction I got it was a waste of time.

“I still see the percent increase expressed in terms of the overall Regional and Education budget amounts. This increase and the way it is expressed is a perennial complaint from people – the answer is always: we are looking into it. Doubling the tax take for Burlington is not a concern of City.

Muir with pen in hand

Tom Muir: Knows false logic when he sees it.

“Also, I still see $43 million budgeted for transit for buses (16 new and 52 replacements) that for many routes nobody rides. Good to go to Hamilton and back but that’s about all. What I have been told is that they are working on it and walking, busing and biking – the integrated mobility plan – is the future.

“Has anyone up there given any thought to COVID changing all of the basis of all of the planning that is based on getting back to “normal”? I see no signs of this anywhere, including, especially, the province, who wants to double down on the past, no change.

“But of course, COVID is busting budgets all over, and we have to pay. These holes are getting deeper and deeper and will have to be paid back and this will take a long time. Like it or not, COVID, being global, will be endemic and mutating, and is not going away.

“The economy and society we had is basically not compatible and sustainable without drastic changes, but I only see these changes being forced by the virus, and not in the plans and policies that I see that only try to support what exists.

“Reopening the economy, or trying to, will be another dangerous time in the not too distant future. I have said before that we cannot have an economy that works until we eliminate this virus.

“The only real cold comfort I get from the budget future is that I trust Joan Ford. Chief Financial Officer to figure it out.”

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Just how do they do it?

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Last week the Burlington Food Bank reached a high point in the number of families that took delivery of food baskets – 58 delivered and 16 picked up in the evening,

Staff was stretched a bit but they came through,’

Food bank volunteers

Throughout the week – the volunteers show up and get the job done.

When the Food Bank says staff they mean a team of volunteers who come through day after day.

This week looks like it is going to be just as busy.

Robin Bailey, Executive Director, is taking part in a virtual meeting of the Feed Ontario Advocacy Committee meeting that is trying to have a voice and impact with the Ontario government and try to determine how we can support families better – especially those who are on social assistance – they really can’t survive on what they’re given right now.

Robin Food Bank with milk

From time to time the Food Bank gets a delivery of fresh milk.

60% of the Food Bank clients are women; this breakdown of clients is consistent across the province.

The Food Bank is a small yet powerful impact organization that works on several levels.

Sourcing food wherever they can, raising funds to buy the food at wholesale prices to bring in what they need and at the same time advocating for a change in the way those who need help are served by the community.

The organization doesn’t see a dime from any level of government. The Region, the people who are responsible for social services, don’t contribute to the Food Bank budget.

Food bank - three young men

This crew -no names – just showed up with the food they had collected in their neighbourhood.

This is one of those organizations that learns where the need is and finds a way to fill the need.

Every media event they send out end with:

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help PLEASE have them email us at info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at their door or make arrangements to pick it up through our curb-side pickup option. If you live in Burlington, we are here to help. Don’t struggle – give us a call.

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City Hall wants to know how you want to engage with them.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Hall wants to hear from residents about how they would like to participate in engagements lead by the City and what topics they are interested in engaging on.

Grpw Bold - community engagement

The city looks for every avenue available to let the taxpayers know that they want them to be involved in the decision making process. The screen shown was in a Tim Hortons

Since the pandemic started, the City has offered virtual engagement opportunities as well as telephone and online town halls. The City wants to know from residents what their virtual meeting comfort-ability level is – and how likely they are to attend in-person meetings once it is safe to do so.

The engagement survey is now open and will close on Feb. 5, 2021. Residents can fill out the short survey right HERE

We have been down this road before.

Engagement Quick Facts
• In 2013, the Burlington Community Engagement Charter was approved and represents a partnership between the city and its citizens. The Charter is an agreement between and among Burlington City Council and the citizens of Burlington concerning citizen engagement with city government that establishes the commitment, responsibilities, and fundamental concepts of this relationship.

• In 2018, the City launched the online engagement site called getinvolvedburlington.ca that allows people to contribute their ideas and feedback on municipal issues and projects important to them.

• Residents can subscribe to the GetInvolved Burlington calendar to receive the latest City meetings and event information. Residents can also submit a community calendar event that meets the criteria and can visit calendar.burlington.ca for submission information.

• Engagement is an important part of the City’s regular operations and is one of the four strategic directions of the City’s 25-year strategic plan. Part of focus area 4 in the City’s 2018-2022 Plan: From Vision to Focus is also building more citizen engagement.

 

 

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Housing Strategy will go to Council to approve a $300,000 spend that could be the rock that the next municipal election will rest on

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is a bold proposal.

Create a housing strategy for a city that is one of the more expensive places in the province to live – save Toronto.

And get the policy in place before the end of the current term of this council.

The timeline suggests this is going to be THE platform the Mayor creates for her re-election in October of 2022. If she does it right the rest of Council might ride back into office on her coat tails.

The principal objective of the project is to develop an innovative Housing Strategy for the City of Burlington that sets out policies, tools and actions to address housing needs now and in the future.

Continuim graphic

The Housing Strategy will build on and support the Region’s Housing Strategy through the development of local solutions to housing issues in the City of Burlington.

The key outcomes of the City’s Housing Strategy include:

• Understanding the key players and their respective roles in housing;
• Understanding the current state of housing in Burlington and identifying current and future housing needs;
• Establishing a toolbox of best practices in housing, focusing on innovative practices and new, pioneering ideas;
• Developing of a set of action-oriented housing objectives and an associated implementation plan;
• Establishing where the City wants to focus or prioritize efforts to address housing issues in the City.

The creating of a strategy will provide an opportunity to look for creative and innovative solutions to address local housing issues through the consideration of a variety of planning policy and financial tools, partnership, collaboration and advocacy opportunities, strategies and initiatives.

The players

Big picture housing policies

The federal government has a finger in the pie – they create a national strategy, provide some funding and let the provinces work it out. Each province develops its plan, sometimes with funding. Burlington is part of the Halton Region – the Region creates the policy and for the most part, runs the plans. Burlington appears to want to break that pattern and do something unique on its own.

Just about everyone is in the housing game.

The federal government has been chipping away at a federal program with CMHC (Central Mortgage and Housing) playing an innovative leadership role.

The province’s Ministry of Housing has their fingers in the mix and, depending on the stripe and colour of the government, it can be developer-driven or something a little more liberal and progressive.

Toronto has always been a leader.

The Regional governments have played a role but in Halton’s case it was never very driven or creative.

The Region produces an annual report on what exists, what it costs and where the shortfall is.

That shortfall is always on the lower end of the economic scale.

Halton has a policy of buying units in high rise developments and renting those out. The co-op movement, including Habitat for Humanity, builds housing that puts homes in place.

During her first term as Councillor for Ward 2 Marianne Meed Ward was instrumental in convincing the Molinaro Group to work with the Region.  The result was 15 units being sold to the Region which became part of their inventory.

And then there is the individual investor who might own a small apartment complex or a couple of triplexes.

In Burlington the development community has found the high end condominium market to be their sweet spot.

Continuim with data

There is a clear division on what the governments will subsidize and what they leave to the private sector.

Burlington is a lower tier municipality within the Region of Halton; social housing is a Regional responsibility.

This current city council has decided they want to do better than the Regional policy partly for ideological reasons and partly to create housing for people in the local labour force.

Many people at the Fearman’s plant can’t afford to live in the city.  Same with the hospital – Burlington is an expensive city.

There really isn’t anyone committed to building housing for the lower, affordable market.  These are not houses for people on welfare; these are homes for people who want to get into the market and live in the city.

What exactly is this to phase of the project setting out to do within the next 18 months?

Project time line

The City of Burlington’s new Official Plan recognizes that housing is fundamental to the social, economic and physical well-being of the city’s residents, and promotes a land use pattern that supports a full range and mix of housing options across the city. The identification of an urban structure and the establishment of a growth framework in the new Official Plan identifies areas in the city where growth and transition is expected.

These areas identified as the most appropriate locations for intensification will support the provision of a wider range of housing options in addition to jobs and more mobility choices. Other housing policies within the new Official Plan relate to housing supply, including the use of surplus lands; housing tenure including rental conversion policies, as well as policies to support the development of affordable, assisted and special needs housing.

The new Official Plan also contains an updated policy framework for additional residential units and provides direction for the development of a city-wide housing strategy that will consider a number of elements, including strategies, financial incentives and tools such as an Inclusionary Zoning by-law program.

City policy baseBurlington works from the policies set out in the Strategic Plan, which is a document with a 25-year time frame.  Every term of Council (4 years) has a Vision to Focus (V2F) which sets out what city council hopes to achieve while they are in office.

Each year the city creates two budgets: One for Capital Expenses and a second for Operations expenses.

The Housing Strategy is something this council wants to have in place for the next municipal election.  They will pay for the work out of the current budget which is expected to be a whopper, due  in large measure to expenses due to Covid and revenue losses as a result of Covid.

The City’s Housing Strategy project has been divided into two phases.

Phase 1 time line - then ph 2 implementPhase 1 of the project will be consultant led and will deliver the necessary background information, data, analysis of needs and trends, and insight on best practices and more broadly new ideas to address local housing issues.

The Phase 1 deliverable will be the development of a made in Burlington innovative Housing Strategy, which will include a set of city-wide housing objectives supported by recommended action items, each with an associated implementation and monitoring plan.

The project consultant will also provide a recommended approach for phased implementation of the action items (short, medium and long term) for Council’s consideration.

Phase 2 of the project involves the implementation of the recommended actions contained within the Housing Strategy developed through the Phase 1 work and approved by Council.

Community engagement.
Council will always find time to talk about engaging the community.

The challenge is, when coming up with an engagement plan that actually engages, something falls between the cracks.

The Engagement Plan is a key deliverable to support the development of the Housing Strategy. The Plan is a strategic public document that will be developed and led by City staff and informed by feedback from Council, ChAT, the project Steering Committee, the Housing Strategy working group and other key stakeholders as outlined in the recommendation above. Additional resources may be required to deliver the Engagement Plan. Those additional resources will be identified at the time of the preparation of the Engagement Plan.

Engagement graphicA Housing Strategy working group will be established with a maximum membership of 20 people with volunteers from a variety of sectors including government, not for profit, co- op, the business community, as well as residents working together to support the development of the Housing Strategy.

Additionally, the working group will include the Mayor and at least one additional member of Council designated through an expression of interest brought forward by the City Clerk.

The working group will advise on local issues, be champions for the project, provide key insights given their diverse backgrounds, and will contribute to the refinement and implementation of the engagement plan.

An internal Housing Strategy Steering Committee comprised of city Staff will be established to give strategic advice on matters related to this project. The work of the Steering Committee will be guided by a Committee Terms of Reference to be developed at the time of the preparation of the Engagement Plan.

The Engagement Plan will identify opportunities for all interested parties to engage throughout the entirety of the process.
Although the details of the Engagement Plan will emerge in 2021, Staff have prepared a draft decision statement that guides engagement and communication strategies and tactics:

2022 objective statementIn 2022, Burlington City Council will vote to endorse a City of Burlington Housing Strategy to increase options for housing across the city.

The tab for this one will be $300,000 that will go to Council on Januaryclsua 19th, which is the day that the book with the Operational budget gets placed in the hands of council.

The day after the public will get a chance to take part in a virtual Town Hall on the Budget.

A housing Strategy is a good idea.  $300,000 is a lot of money to spend at a time when the budget the public will see later this week is going to have a lot of surprises.

Much more to learn about this latest idea from the mind of the Mayor and her Council.

 

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Four Arrested in Burlington Drug Trafficking Investigation

Crime 100By Staff

January 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

HRPS crestA one month drug investigation by the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) – 3 District Street Crime Unit has resulted in the arrest of two males.

With the assistance of area residents, investigators were able to identify a group of individuals who were trafficking drugs in the area of Marley Crescent and Francis Road in Burlington.

The following individuals have been arrested and charged:

Scott Ross (27) of Burlington
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (6 counts) – Cocaine, Fentanyl , Xanax, Codeine, Nabilone, Buprenorphine
• Trafficking – Cocaine
• Trafficking – Xanax
• Weapons Dangerous

Crystal McMullen (37) of Burlington
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (6 Counts) – Cocaine, Fentanyl , Xanax, Codeine, Nabilone, Buprenorphine

Braeden Bonhomme (28) of Burlington
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (2 counts) – Cocaine and Xanax
• Breach Probation

Jordan Hughes (27) of Burlington
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (2 counts) – Cocaine and Xanax

All accused were released on a Promise to Appear.

As a result of the investigation, the following items were seized:

• 5.6 grams Cocaine
• 2.4 grams Fentanyl
• 107 Xanax bars
• 404 Nabilone pills
• 720 ml Codeine
• 8 Buprenorphine pills
• $2040 cash

The estimated value of the drugs seized is $3700.

The HRPS were particularly pleased with the vigilance and support of area residents for their  assistance in this investigation; an example of residents coming together to make their community safer.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Sgt. Scott Heyerman of the 3 District Street Crime Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 2342.

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

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Notice to Public Regarding Provincial Offences Act Matters

News 100 redBy Staff

January 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Notice to Public Regarding Provincial Offences Act Matters:

All Provincial Offences Act in-person matters scheduled from Monday, March 16, 2020 to, and including, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 will be adjourned and rescheduled to a later date. If you have a matter scheduled during this time, do not attend court. This applies to all POA courts in Ontario.

Court House

A notice of your new court date will be sent to you by mail to the address on file with the court. For more information, please contact your local Provincial Offences court.

Halton POA administration counter services are currently closed due to the Emergency Order in effect in Ontario. Please conduct business online or by phone, where possible. Telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Many online services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or by visiting www.haltoncourtservices.ca

Contact information for all municipal courts is available here: https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/courts/Court_Addresses/poa/

Updated information about court proceedings at the Ontario Court of Justice can be found on the Court’s website at https://www.ontariocourts.ca/ocj/.

Please also be advised that the Government of Ontario made an order pursuant to s. 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA), suspending any limitation periods in statutes and regulations for the duration of the State of Emergency.

This will impact timelines under the Provincial Offences Act and related proceedings.

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Police Services Board puts in a 12 hour meeting; recesses and retursn today to debate fate of Police Chief

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Police Services Board met for 12 hours on Friday, adjourned to resume today (Saturday) at 11:00 am.

wef

Halton Regional Police Services Chief Steve Tanner

The Police Services Board was to meet on Friday – scheduled to begin at 9:30 am, to virtually discuss what they wanted to do about the time the Chief of Police spent time out of the country while the province was under a lock down.

He did so with the permission of the Chair of the Police Services Board.

The in camera meeting recessed yesterday (Friday) just after 10pm and was to resume today (Saturday) at 11 am.

That is a lot of talking time.

And rightly so – there are very serious issues on the table.

The Board had legal counsel taking part in the meeting along with members who have deep policing experience.

There is fault all over the place on this one.

Should the Police Chief have known that it might have been inappropriate to ask for permission with a lock down scheduled to start the day he left the country ?

Burton Rob - glancingf left

Oakville Mayor and Chair of the Police Services Board Rob Burton

Should the Chair have sounded out his fellow Board members on the advisability of the Chief being out of the country? Most certainly.

Should the Chairman have given the Chief permission to leave the country?  The answer to that one is an obvious – No.

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton who was the chair at the time should have explained to Chief Tanner that he could not give permission to leave the jurisdiction.

Burton’s Chairmanship of the Board should come to an end; leaving the Board would be advisable.

Those on the Board who feel the Chief should be dismissed face some tough issues.

The Chief did ask.

Rick Bonnette -Halton Hills

Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bnonette

Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette said in a statement published on the Town web site that “ The refrain, “we are all in this together’ is only as meaningful as exemplified through the actions of those who deservedly are held to a higher standard — particularly those in public office and highly ranked officials serving the community.”

Mayor Bonnette, looking to provide residents with a full and transparent account about having any prior knowledge of Halton Regional Police Chief Tanner’s recent travel plans, issued the following statement:

“We have all had to make sacrifices during COVID-19; not seeing loved ones, not socializing the way we wish and staying home as much as possible. I want residents to know, that no members of Halton Hills Town Council have traveled outside of Canada during this unprecedented time.

Further, let me say that recent events involving the Halton Police Chief’s travel are disappointing. Please know that none of us – including Regional Councillors Clark Somerville and Jane Fogal and me, had any knowledge of the Chief’s travel plans. I did learn that he had received approval from the Chair of the Halton Police Board.”

Clark Somerville is a member of the Police Services Board.

The police officers are reported to be very upset that the Chief left the jurisdiction.

What stoked the anger was that while the Chief was away a Detective Constable suffered a cardiac arrest while on an assignment. Detective Constable Mike Tidball, a 14 year member of the Halton Regional Police service died while on duty.

Tidball funeral

Detective Constable Mike Tidball, a 14 year member of the Halton Regional Police service laid to rest last Thursday.

His funeral took place on Thursday in Milton where his wife said: “The most unimaginable has happened and I stand here in utter disbelief that my husband isn’t here with me, Kenzley and Colton,” said Tidball’s wife Kim as she choked back tears at the service.

Tidball was 39.

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A tough period ahead with little to do but tough it out - this is serious business - we need to keep our wits about us.

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 15th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a media release sent out by City Hall we learn the following:

Earlier this week, the Province announced a State of Emergency, with additional restrictions to help control the spread of COVID-19. The State of Emergency began Thursday, Jan. 14 at 12:01 a.m., including a Stay-at-Home Order in place for all regions of Ontario, including Halton Region, for at least 28 days.

Impacts to City services and programs

City Hall
closed sign city hallCity Hall, located at 426 Brant St., remains open for in-person service by appointment only for commissioning services and marriage licences. Walk-ins are not permitted.

Please visit burlington.ca/commissioning, burlington.ca/marriage or call 905-335-7777 to book your appointment. Residents can also visit burlington.ca/onlineservices to access a variety of City services online.

Service Burlington is available to answer questions by phone during regular business hours, at 905-335-7777 and city@burlington.ca.

Building staff are processing building permit applications. Anyone wanting to apply for a building permit or follow up on an existing building permit application can email building@burlington.ca. Staff are responding to requests and are assisting applicants with the building permit process. For more information, visit burlington.ca/building.

Burlington Transit
Burlington Transit will continue to run as scheduled including specialized transit. The transit terminal at 430 John St. will remain open to provide PRESTO services including SPLIT passes. Presto services are available at Shoppers Drug Mart or online at prestocard.ca. Transit schedules are available online at burlingtontransit.ca to download and print, via Google Maps, Apple Maps and using myride.burlingtontransit.ca.

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office
Halton POA administration counter services are currently closed. Telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Many online services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or by visiting www.haltoncourtservices@burlington.ca

Recreation, Community & Culture Services and Facilities
Leaving your home for outdoor exercise is allowed under the current provincial regulations, as long as 2 metres of physical distancing is maintained at all times from anyone outside of your household. Exercise is an essential need for everyone. It is important to stay active for both physical and mental health.

Outdoor recreational parks and open spaces that are allowed to stay open include City-sanctioned toboggan hills, neighbourhood rinks, multiuse courts, playgrounds, trails, Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond and parks. Equipment lending (curbside pick-up) can continue.

Please cooperate with others using the outdoor space and follow all public health measures and posted signage.

Outdoor Skating
Skating rink Discovery LandingThe Rotary Centennial Pond at 1340 Lakeshore Rd. is open for skating daily from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Residents wishing to use the rink must pre-register and complete the online screening at burlington.ca/screening. Capacity on this rink is 35 people and meets the provincial regulations.

A new artificial outdoor rink at Hidden Valley Park, 1137 Hidden Valley Rd. is open for skating daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. All users must pre-register and complete the online screening at burlington.ca/screening. Capacity on this rink is 10 people and meets the provincial regulations.

For both skating rinks, as per new provincial regulations, additional measures are in place for outdoor activities that require the use of masks. Visitors must wear masks while standing in line and it is highly recommended during skating. For more information, follow @Burl_ParksRec and visit burlington.ca/pond for updates.

Outdoor Winter Play Challenge
Residents can also take the Outdoor Winter Play Challenge and see how many free activities they can complete by Feb. 19, 2021. Learn more at burlington.ca/playoutside.

Active at Home
Options to stay active at home are available online at burlington.ca/activeathome, including a series of virtual activities from fitness to crafts for everyone to enjoy. All videos are free and new videos are added frequently. Follow @BurlingtonParksRec on Facebook and @Burl_parksandrec on Twitter for the latest updates and videos.

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

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Public wants more information on when and where they will be vaccinated when the vaccine is available.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

January 15th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We are being asked to stay at home.

We are being asked to go out only when we must and we are being asked to not meet with people who are not part of our immediate circle.

Supermarkets, Big Box stores and other places people go to for the supplies they need are being told to limit the number of people in their premises.

There are all kinds of rules in place, many that are confusing. Bureaucracy run amok.

For the most part the public is complying and waiting.

Waiting for the information they need that will allow them to feel a little more settled and less anxious.

When am I going to get vaccinated and who is going to tell me when that will happen and where will I go to get that vaccination?

Will I get a letter? Will they tweet me?

Will the vaccinations be done by age group?

Will they bring people in for vaccination by alphabetical order within each age group that is decided upon?

Or will they have everyone in a family come in at the same time?

Has all this not been thought out?

In Burlington, no one, as of Tuesday, was all that certain as to which facilities would be used for the vaccinations.

A Task Force created to work through these issues advised that it thought school locations would be best but had not invited anyone from the School Boards to sit on the Task Force.

The Task Force is being led by the Fire Chief and the City Manager’s top aide on matters related to the managing of the issues related to Covid-19.

Both good people – now they need to create a consistent flow of information to settle an anxious public.

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Data on those testing positive for the Covid19 virus - not a pretty picture

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 15th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Understanding what is going on around us sometimes means looking at the data that has been collected.

table logoSet out is a chart that shows the positivity rate of the testing that was done.  Shown as a percentage of the tests done and broken out by week and then by age group we can see which age groups had the highest positivity.

The data was released by the Science Table, one of the Covid Advisory groups set up by the provincial government to provide data on which decisions could be made.

There are some surprises in the data.

Younger people are testing positive but not getting all that sick whereas older people have lower positivity rates but they are dying.

weekly positive data

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Regional Health Unit releases some information on the vaccinating of the public

News 100 redBy Staff

January 15th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At a time when information is critical there seems to be a paucity of it.

The Halton Region Public Health Unit released the following information:
“Halton Region is currently focused on transporting and administering the vaccine to residents and staff in long-term care and retirement homes.

“We are working closely with Directors of Care to provide regular communications with all long-term care and retirement homes, including administrators, staff, residents and caregivers about when the vaccine will be available in each home.

“Right now our primary method of communications is through our dedicated COVID-19 Vaccines webpage, which provides residents with information about:

Health Canada authorized vaccines Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech;

“The status of Halton’s vaccination program in Halton (including where we are at and information on planning for future phases as part of the Province’s vaccine implementation plan);

“We are also communicating through Halton Region social media (Twitter, Facebook), HaltonParents social media (Twitter) and our 311/Access Halton service continues to provide answers and information to residents.

“We also continue to be in regular communications with our partners to keep each other updated and ensure we are delivering a coordinated and consistent message to the community.

“We are also actively working with our partners on a communication strategy to effectively communicate to all residents about the vaccine program, with specific focus on priority groups as they are eligible. This will include social and digital media outreach and more targeted communications to ensure all audiences and groups are aware of when, where and how to get their vaccination.

“We know that many residents are very eager to get their vaccine and this is such welcome news. We continue to ask for patience as we vaccinate priority populations and we will communicate to residents when it is their turn, ensuring that the information is easy to understand and accessible. “

The Gazette is tracking the work being done by the city and the manner in which it will set up facilities once the vaccines are available for innoculations.

The effort at this point is working out which facilities will be used and ensuring that all the support needed is available.

This is not a simple task; it is complex and has to be done right the first time.

Stay tuned.

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Police Make Arrest in 2019 Shooting

Crime 100By Staff

January 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) has made an arrest in connection with a shooting that took place in Burlington in 2019. On August 10, 2019, at approximately 7:20 am, police responded to a shooting at a residence on Maple Avenue.

Suspects fired shots at a victim after ringing the doorbell at the residence. The victim was not hit by any of the shots and not physically injured. Suspects fled the area in a vehicle. No arrests were made at that time.

On January 13, 2021, investigators with the 30 Division Criminal Investigations Bureau executed a search warrant at a residence in Stoney Creek. One suspect was arrested and has now been charged in relation to this incident.

Evan Trites (25) of Stoney Creek has been charged with the following:
• Utter Threats
• Assault with a Weapon
• Reckless Discharge of a Firearm

Trites was held in custody pending a bail hearing in Milton.

CrimeStopper_LogoAnyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the 3 District 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.ca.

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Halton District School Board gets ready to register kindergarten student for September.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

January 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

School boards are looking at the bigger picture – the pandemic will end and a normal life will return.  We wish!

The province has treated the educational sector in a rather shabby way – schools are open, then they are closed, and then they are opened again.

Many parents are at their wit’s end.

The Halton District School Board said yesterday that they are now accepting registrations for Junior (Year 1) and Senior (Year 2) Kindergarten for September 2021.

September 2

Students at the kindergarten level – before the pandemic. Mask-less. Will the class of September 2021 look like this?

Families are advised to call their local elementary school to find out which dates have been established for Kindergarten registration in their area. Registration will be by appointment only (in-person and/or virtual). Parents/guardians are asked to register their child by Feb. 5, 2021.

Registration forms are available online at www.hdsb.ca (search: Registering for Kindergarten).

To determine your home school, visit the HDSB website at www.hdsb.ca (search: Find My Local School).

Families should contact the HDSB Welcome Centre to book an appointment if they hold a work permit and are registering their child with the HDSB for the first time, or if either the parent or child has a Study Permit/Visa, or the parent is a Permanent Resident applicant on visitor status.

Child getting off school bus

Hopefully the school boards will see students like this next September.

Please have the following original documents when registering:

• Proof of address (any two of the following current documents): lease or deed, car registration, utility bill, residential telephone bill, moving bill, property tax bill, bank statement, credit card statement, correspondence with a government agency

• Proof of age: birth certificate or passport or baptismal/faith record for your child

• Proof of citizenship: birth certificate or passport, Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Permanent Resident card

• If you are not the child’s parent, or if you have sole custody, please bring proof of custody (court order).

To register to begin school in Fall 2021, Junior Kindergarten (Year 1) children must be four years old by Dec. 31, 2021, and Senior Kindergarten (Year 2) children must be five years old by Dec. 31, 2021.

To learn more about the Halton District School Board’s Kindergarten Program, visit the HDSB website at www.hdsb.ca (search: Kindergarten).

At kindergarten.hdsb.ca, future students can explore a Kindergarten classroom to see what their classroom will look like next September. There are videos to watch, pictures to view and fun activities for kids. Parents/guardians can learn about the Kindergarten program at the HDSB, play-based learning, community resources in Halton and before-and-after school care. Families can also sign-up to receive a welcome package from the HDSB including a free children’s book.

Parents/guardians who require language assistance to register their child for school can contact the HDSB Welcome Centre:
• For schools in Oakville – 905-335-3665 ext. 3438
• For schools in Burlington – 905-335-3665 ext. 3452
• For schools in Milton, Georgetown, Acton – 905-335-3665 ext. 3438

Parents/guardians who require accessibility accommodations to register their child for school can contact the Principal/Vice-principal of the school.

 

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Major housing development south of the Burlington GO to be discussed at Council on Thursday - 2400 plus units

News 100 blueBy Staff

January 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is a huge development by Burlington standards.

It is what the current council used as the basic plank of their individual election campaigns back in 2018 and what the Mayor wanted to see when she took on the task of producing an Official Plan that moved the focus of development from the downtown – east and west of Brant Street and south of Prospect.

CLV size of property

The development, which could be as much as a decade to complete, will create a whole new community around the GO station – adding to the Molinaro development which is more than half done.

The development which will be discussed at the Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility Committee meeting on Thursday is to consist of:

Seven (7) residential towers on top of four (4) mixed use podiums.

Overall heights ranging between 29 and 37 storeys.

Podium heights ranging from 2, 5 and 6 storeys.

A total of 2,494 residential units of mixed type and tenure.

3993 m2 of commercial space.

41, 821 m2 of shared amenity space.

Five (5) levels of underground parking and a four (4) storey parking structure which will be integrated with the residential units.

Pedestrian connections to the surrounding neighbourhood and Burlington GO Station.

A Site Plan Application offers information to use existing zoning and gives you the chance to learn and be informed about the applicant’s plans.

CLV Fairview Jan 21

A drawing showing where the buildings will be located on the property.

For this application, formal engagement and public comments were received by the City of Burlington as part of the adoption of the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw policies and regulations that apply to this site.

The application was circulated with various internal staff and external agencies for review and comment.

The applicant recently responded with a re-submission which is currently under review.

A neighbourhood meeting will be planned in early 2021.

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Name change: From Burlington Economic Development Corporation to Burlington Economic Development - go figure

News 100 redBy Staff

January 13th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Breaking news?

“The Burlington Economic Development Corporation, also known as BEDC, announced today that effective immediately it will be revising its name to Burlington Economic Development and will drop the use of an acronym. When needed, Burlington EcDev will be used as the abbreviated name. The revised name will allow Burlington Economic Development to better represent their value proposition and provide a stronger, more obvious connection to the city it represents.

bedc data“The acronym BEDC does not resonate with our audience because there is no explicit connection to Burlington. The change will also help minimize confusion with private-sector companies using similar acronyms, a challenge we have experienced in the past,” explained Anita Cassidy, Executive Director of Burlington Economic Development.

This comes across as much ado about nothing. Don’t they have better things to do?

“In November 2020, Burlington Economic Development launched the brand new InvestBurlington.ca website. With a focus on storytelling and user experience, the new website features dedicated pages for Burlington’s key sectors and easy to navigate tools and resources that provide all of the qualitative and quantitative information businesses and investors need to locate or grow a business in Burlington.

“The site also features a number of success stories and testimonials from businesses that call Burlington home. The evolution of the name is a natural next step in building awareness of Burlington Economic Development, and its role in attracting new investment to Burlington, as well as in supporting Burlington’s existing business community.”

Not to be picky – but in in orderto be identified as a separate legal entity does the organization not require either Inc., or Ltd., or Limited, or Corporation as part of its name?

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Political reputations and police careers badly damaged: resignations are required but be polite and call them retirements

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

January 13th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Police Services Board will meet on Friday in a closed session.

The former Chair of the Board, Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, gave up the Chair but is thought to still be a member of the Board.

Jeff Knoll, an Oakville Councillor and a member of the Police Services Board will serve as acting Chair during a meeting that will have legal counsel on hand to advise.

On December 21st, Premier Ford announced a lock-down to take effect Dec 26.

On December 22nd, Police Chief Stephen Tanner asked the then Chair Rob Burton for permission to leave the jurisdiction to travel to Florida on a private matter.

Burton gave permission and said at the time that he didn’t have a problem with the Chief being away.

On December 26th, Chief Tanner left for the United States.

On December 26th, the province invoked a shut down for 28 days.

There has been considerable demand for the Chief to be fired.

He asked for and was given permission to travel.

Can he be fired?

In order to lead a leader has to have the confidence and respect of the people  being led.

The rank and file of the Halton Police Service are said to be “outraged”.

Driving their feelings is the fact that the Chief was not on hand to meet with the family of a Detective Constable who died while on an observation assignment in Burlington.

One of the Deputy Chiefs met with the officer’s family.

Burton Rob - glancingf left

Oakville Mayor Rob Burton

Chief of Police Steve Tanner explains that Social Media is not the same as a 911 call

Chief of Police Steve Tanner

It is a messy situation created when a foolish decision was made by Burton.

Can the mess be cleaned up?

The retirement of the Chief and the former Chair will resolve the problems.

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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