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Winter is here - the silence that comes with a healthy snow fall is something to enjoy

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Another lock down begins.

Another month of limitations on what we can do and who we can be with.

The only nice thing about Christmas Day and the realization that we have a difficult time ahead of us is the snow – there is something in the Canadian psyche and our DNA that welcomes snow.

Flower pots - snow

The flower pots lost their colour weeks ago – now they collect snow.

The silence the snow brings; the trees that are covered in the stuff; watching kids playing in it, and for those who enjoy  getting out on cross-country skis, the joy of winter is experienced again.

City hall reports that the streets have been cleared.

Still a day of pure holiday left. Enjoy.

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Brant hospital worker first to be vacinated

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Yesterday, Joseph Brant Hospital’s first health care worker received the hospital’s first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccine was administered at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH), the Vaccination Centre designated for Halton Region.

JBMH president Eric Vandewall is reported to be working on his schedule and aking tme to meet with the city. Dinner with senior city staff was a good start.

Eric Vandewall, President & CEO Joseph |Brant Hospital

“All Joseph Brant Hospital Staff and Physicians celebrate this important milestone in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Eric Vandewall, President & CEO.

“After many months fighting against COVID-19, it is a remarkable moment our teams are recognizing.

However, we must be vigilant in following the safety measures, to protect our community, our vulnerable populations and our front-line health care workers for many months to come.”

After Health Canada approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Ontario moved to rollout the vaccine to health care workers in high-risk settings, at 17 hospital vaccine delivery sites. OTMH is the Vaccination Centre for the Halton Region.

On December 22, 2020, COVID-19 vaccines began being administered to health-care workers across the Halton Region, who are providing care in long-term care homes and other high-risk settings.

Joseph Brant Hospital is working with Halton Healthcare and Halton Region Public Health to identify health care workers to receive the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the OTMH Vaccination Centre.

Planning is underway at Joseph Brant Hospital to prepare to open a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for staff and physicians at its own site in early 2021, as the vaccine becomes more widely available.

Although the news of the first vaccination at Joseph Brant Hospital is extremely positive, it is critical that everyone continues to follow public health advice to help keep everyone safe and stop the spread of COVID-19.

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Update on City services and programs during the COVID-19 province-wide shutdown

News 100 redBy Staff

December 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, 0N

 

The province-wide shutdown, with additional restrictions to help control the spread of COVID-19, is beginning Saturday, Dec. 26 at 12:01 a.m. The shutdown will be in place for all regions of southern Ontario, including Halton Region, until Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021.

Impacts to City services and programs

City Hall
Starting Jan. 4, 2021, City 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/marriages 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 email at city@burlington.ca.

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
Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will remain open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday. Visitors to the courthouse must self-screen using the provincial e-screening application at http://covid-19.ontario.ca/courthouse-screening and wear a mask or face covering unless exempted from by the Mandatory Mask Bylaw

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 Services and Facilities
City of Burlington indoor recreation facilities will close, and all programs are cancelled. Recreation Services staff are contacting user groups, renters and program participants affected by these changes. Residents are asked to please be patient during this time as it will take two to four weeks for staff to process the large volume of cancellations.

Those who paid using a credit card will receive a pro-rated refund to their card where possible. This applies to rentals and program participants. All other payment methods will receive a credit to their recreation account.
Cheque refunds can be requested by emailing liveandplay@burlington.ca. Please be sure to include your full mailing address in your request.

Individuals with questions can follow up with their sport provider or user group or call Recreation Services customer service at 905-335-7738.

Residents are encouraged to remain active by accessing outdoor recreation opportunities such as walking/biking on trails or visiting parks and playgrounds. 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. Options to stay active at home are available online at burlington.ca/activeathome.

Rotary Centennial Pond is open for skating, however all users must pre-register and complete the online screening at burlington.ca/screening. Capacity on the rink is 25 people. Please follow our social media channels and website for updates.

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.
Mayor Marianne Meed Ward made the following comments:

Meed Ward hands out frnt city hall

City Hall is an essential service – but you can’t just walk in. Appointments necessary.

“I support additional measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 and appreciate that the Province listened to our voices (and those of others) calling for capacity limits based on size, including for big box stores, supermarkets and malls. Essential services will remain open, with restrictions.

“What has changed in the last few days is the need to look at health indicators beyond a single public health unit as we have in the past, especially for hospital capacity. We will continue to make decisions based on health evidence, and adapt quickly in light of new information that can change daily, sometimes hourly.

“Having recently spoken with the President/CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital, we’re supporting communities around us, so it’s critical to bring the numbers down across the entire GTHA region.

“It’s also clear the current measures in lockdown/grey areas are not sufficient – their numbers are not coming down. More needs to be done to stop the spread at source. New measures must be effective, enforced and based on health evidence. More must be done to protect long-term care homes, essential workers, and improve workplace safety.

“The City of Burlington is an essential service and is prepared to enter the Province’s shutdown. Our staff will continue to work from home serving residents, and we have established safety protocols for those staff required to be on site.

“I remain grateful to our residents and businesses who’ve followed health advice to keep yourselves and others healthy. Your efforts are working, and we will continue to do our part to assist regions around us.”

Quick Facts
• To report an incident of non-compliance with the provincial emergency orders in Halton, please call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 hotline at 905-825-4722.

The hotline will accept non-compliance reports for the following Provincial emergency orders:

o Restrictions associated with level grey/lockdown of the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework
o Indoor/outdoor gathering limits
o Consolidated Mask Bylaw 47-20

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Sean Baird avoids criminal convictions

Crime 100By Pepper Parr

December 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The pandemic took our inquiring minds off some of the other important news items.

In the Courts we were surprised to learn that the  R. V. Sean Baird case had advanced a bit.

On September 8, 2020, the charges of fraud over and utter forged document against the accused were withdrawn.

Recall that Baird was originally charged with:

Uttering a Forged Document – Contrary to section 368(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada

Fraud over $5000 – Contrary to section 380(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada

Corrupt Practice (four counts) – Contrary to the Municipal Elections Act.

Meed Ward H&S

Marianne Meed Ward.

It would appear that Baird is still facing the four counts of Corrupt Practice.
A conviction under the Municipal Elections Act is pretty small potatoes.

The original complaint to the police is believed to have come from then newly elected Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

 

Related news stories:

Baird registers as a Third Party advertiser in the municipal election

Police issue arrest warrant for Sean Baird

Impact of Baird arrest not fully known yet

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Province dropping $200 into the households of parents with high school students

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

News about the schools  is pouring from every source, making it difficult for parents to keep up.

One piece of news that will help make their day – the province wants to give parents $200.

MMR students 1

Each of those students will attract $200 to the family budget.  Notice how this group is respecting the social distancing rules.

Parents of high school students in Ontario are eligible for a one-time payment of $200 per student to offset the cost of mandatory home learning this January.

Following the winter break, high school students will learn from home until Jan. 11 at the earliest, as part of the latest province-wide COVID-19 shutdown.

Premier Doug Ford announced on Dec. 21 that all schools in Ontario will remain closed after the winter break as part of the province wide COVID-19 shutdown, with secondary school students returning to the classroom on Jan. 11 in Northern Ontario and Jan. 25 in Southern Ontario.

Elementary school students across the province will also return to school on Jan. 11.

The province has made lump sum payments of $200 and $250 available twice this year for parents of children up to 12 years old or children and youth up to 21 years old with special needs, but this is the first time payments have been offered to parents and guardians of all students from 13 years old to those in Grade 12.

“While Ontario schools remain safe, we won’t take any chances following the holidays — we will pivot to teacher-led online learning to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said Education Minister Stephen Lecce.

“We are providing direct financial support to parents of elementary, and now high school children. to help them get through this pandemic.”

The provincial government will post application instructions to the Support for Learners web page in January.

Applications for secondary school students will be open from Jan. 11 to Feb. 8. The application deadline for payments for children up to 12 years old or children and youth 21 years old and younger with special needs — which was announced in November — has also been extended to Feb. 8.

The Gazette will let you know when the application forms are ready.

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BurlingtonGreen hiring: two positions open

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Established in 2007, BurlingtonGreen is an award-winning, non-partisan, registered charity. Through awareness, advocacy and action initiatives, we work with the community to protect nature, mitigate climate change and to create a healthier, more environmentally responsible Burlington.

BG hiring graphicOur “Branching Out” strategic plan guides our impactful work. We collaborate with residents, businesses, organizations, and governments to ensure the rights of the environment are respected and together we make direct and tangible improvements to the local environment through the delivery of a wide variety of programs, events and services.

If you are passionate about creating a healthier environment and want to create positive change for a more sustainable future in Burlington, we invite you to check out the rewarding employment opportunities outlined below.

Video or phone interviews will be scheduled during business hours and ideally, we aim to onboard the successful candidates at the beginning of March, working remotely and potentially returning to our office located at Nuvo (former Crossroads Centre) at 1295 N Service Rd, Burlington, ON.

APPLICATION PROCESS:

No later than January 10th, 2021 at 5:00 pm, please send a 1-page cover letter and resume to Amy Schnurr, Executive Director at hr@burlingtongreen.org with your name in the subject line and on the file name of each attachment. In your cover letter, tell us what’s motivating you to apply and what skills or expertise you have that will be most important to be successful in the role you are applying for, and where you might be challenged.

Please note that we will not accept résumés without an accompanying cover letter and we thank all applicants for their interest. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

More details on the job description and requirements CLICK HERE

 

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Conservation Authority asks people to stay on the trails and away from the water

News 100 greenBy Staff

December 22nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

School, what little there is left of it, will be out soon. This time for quite a bit longer.

Nothjing iminent - but Conservation Halton advises that rain expected has the potential to flood the creeks.

Winter ice on a fast flowing creek is not safe to walk on – stay away from the creeks.

With everything shut down and the kids still wanting to be outdoors the creeks and stream are inviting places to be adventuresome.

Conservation Halton reminds residents of dangers that can exist near streams, rivers, ponds and lakes around this time of year and urges people to keep family and pets away from the edges of all waterways.

wer

A trail in the winter is beautifully quiet. Get out and enjoy them.

While those of us in the environmental field know the call of the great outdoors only too well, this year more than ever, we want to remind all nature seekers to be extremely cautious when outside this winter. We ask that you “Target Trails and Steer clear of Streams”.

While temperatures have declined since November’s unseasonably warm days, we are experiencing frequent freeze-thaw cycles, resulting in the melting of accumulated snow and ice cover. This runoff will create hazardous conditions near all waterways, by contributing to higher water levels and increased velocities in local watercourses. As well, slippery and unstable streambanks and extremely cold water temperatures can also lead to very hazardous and dangerous conditions close to any body of water.

Be safe this winter and remember the following tips:

• Keep family and pets away from all bodies of water
• Avoid all recreational activities in or around water
• Tailor your winter outdoor activities to trails at your local parks and Conservation Areas

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City hall figuring out what they will be able to deliver in terms of services during lock down.

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 22, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Lock down graphicCity staff are reviewing the lock down restrictions to determine how it may impact city programs and services.

The Gazette will monitor what city hall decides to do and keep you fully informed.

In the meantime do the responsible thing – let’s not make this any worse than it is.

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City reviewing details from province to determine how different this lock down will be from the last one.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Province puts us into a 28 day lockdown – but city hall continues to do what it does; deliver the services needed as best it can under the circumstances.

Commisso stare

City Manager Tim Commisso

City Manager Tim Commisso said earlier today that his office got detailed instructions from the province which they are now reviewing and will get information out to residents as soon as everything has been figured out.

Commisso did say that “Some city service delivery differences compared to previous lockdown and we will get out an updated what’s open/what’s closed list out ASAP once we review the provinces detailed list that they provided minutes ago.”

From Commisso’s point of view there is “Really no change for the Emergency Coordinating Group (ECG) – it will still meet regularly during 28 day lockdown period.

Gymnasiums in Haber Recreation Centre

Haber Recreation Centre: Ideal place to do mass inoculations

We don’t know yet when city council will meet – given that everything is virtual they should be able to maintain their January plans – budget being one of the biggest hurdles to get over,

Commisso wasn’t able to add much to how the inoculations are going to go other than that “it is too early to say if city facilities will be needed for that purpose”

Commisso expects that in January we will start to see a picture of what is needed (in the way of municipal facilities) for Covid19 vaccinations.

Right now we just hunker down and do what we can to let the Covid19 virus die out while we wait for the vaccines to arrive.

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Gazette reader claims governments no longer have the moral authority to tax

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

We are all in this together.

Is there a member of council who hasn’t used this phrase?

Perhaps Councillor Sharman.

A Gazette reader sent in a comment which we have edited for length and clarity.

His concern was what a tax increase next budget might look like. His view was that a 0% increase was necessary because there are hundreds, perhaps thousands who are not working because their jobs disappeared or because they have been infected with the Covid19 virus.

“ I think we have entered a new reality. The costs of this pandemic have overwhelmingly and been shouldered by the private sector–layoffs, reduced wages, business closures and bankruptcies, increased private debt.
Governments and their employees have largely been sheltered from the worst economic impacts of this pandemic; even before the pandemic, public sector workers were enjoying higher wages, benefits, and pensions than their private sector counterparts. In this environment, governments have no moral authority to go to workers in the private sector and raise their taxes further depressing their standard of living in order to maintain the incomes and benefits of workers in the public sector.

“It is clearly time for governments of all stripes, including the current free spenders on Brant Street, to start reducing their spending …”.

What about a 10% pay cut for the members of Council – the savings would be put into a fund that would be available to those retailers in the city who are taking it in the ear,

The 10% would apply to just the salary – not the gold plated pension or the benefits.

When compared to the council members in the other three Halton municipalities Burlington Councillors have a very sweet deal.

A 10% piece of the base salary would amount to $5000 each.  We are talking about just the city salary – our Councillor are also Regional Councillors and the source of the other half of their $100,000 a year pay cheque.

Such a gesture might restore some of the moral authority our reader thinks this council no longer has.

Can this be done – it wouldn’t be easy but it could be done.  There was a time when Marianne Meed Ward didn’t think free parking was a benefit she could accept and said she would return the value of that benefit to the city.

Not certain if the Meed Ward followed through on that every year she was a Council member.

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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Public Health office instructs retail operations to tighten up how they handle people using their locations

News 100 redBy Staff

December 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Regional Medical Officer of Health, using the authority she has under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA), issued instructions to the commercial and retail sectors.

Dr Meghani at news conference Hamilton

Regional Medical Officer of Health, Dr. H. Meghani.

“I am issuing additional instructions to retailers ahead of anticipated higher volumes of shoppers this week,” said Dr. Meghani.

“Owners and operators must maintain capacity limits and physical distancing in retail spaces, common areas and indoor/outdoor line-ups to create safer spaces for both employees and patrons.

Our region is surrounded by areas in lockdown which will increase the number of visitors from neighbouring regions to our stores. It is more important than ever that we follow public health measures and I am hopeful that residents outside our region stay home or shop for essentials in their own community.”

Instructions issued by Dr. Meghani are intended to supplement the Regulations under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (ROA). Today’s instructions require that that all persons who own and/or operate one or more shopping malls and/or one or more retail stores in Halton region manage and actively monitor capacity to maintain adequate physical distancing. This is in addition to public health measures and regulations already in place

Dr. Meghani is also reminding all residents of their civic responsibilities to protect themselves and others.

“Patrons are also responsible for following all rules and protecting each other. In addition to wearing your mask, if you are shopping in person please keep a two metre (six foot) distance from others at all times,” Dr. Meghani added.

“This means being patient and courteous when shopping, waiting your turn to select items at grocery stores, following the directional arrows marked in store aisles, staying two metres apart in all line-ups and accepting that your trip may take a little longer than usual. Please take your responsibilities seriously and please continue to be kind to one another.”

This isn’t the first lockdown we have experienced.  We have been down this road before – so we know what we have to do.  Let’s just make sure we do it.

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The 19th application for a retail cannabis license has come in - ten have been approved so far

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Application for 19th cannabis retail store in Burlington received by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario: Written comments due to Province by Jan. 1

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has received an application for a 19th cannabis retail store in Burlington called Pleasantrees. The proposed location at 372 Brant St. is now up for public comment.

This application does not meet the City of Burlington Council approved guidelines because it is within 500 m of another cannabis retail store.

Written comments about the proposed location will be received by the AGCO until Friday, Jan. 1, 2021 and may be submitted online at www.agco.ca/iAGCO. The AGCO will accept submissions from:

A resident of the municipality in which the proposed store is located,
 The municipality representing the area in which the proposed store is located and/or its upper-tier municipality.
Comments submitted to the AGCO should relate to the following matters of public interest:
Protecting public health and safety
Protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis
 Preventing illicit activities in relation to cannabis

After Jan. 1, the AGCO will consider all written comments and available information to decide whether the application for the proposed store location will be approved.

Currently there are ten licensed cannabis retail stores in Burlington since the ACGO moved to an open licensing system for cannabis retail store applications earlier this year. The ten stores include:

• Relm Cannabis Co. 4031 Fairview St. Suite 103
• Corner Cannabis 3007 New St.
• The Hunny Pot Cannabis Co. 1505 Guelph Line, Unit 3-4
• Friendly Stranger Plains Road 1025 and 1059 Plains Rd. E., Unit 3
• Pioneer Cannabis Co. 1200 Brant St., Unit B-004
• mihi 3500 Dundas St., Unit A1B
• Canna Cabana Burlington 2400 Guelph Line, Unit 2
• Welcome Cannabis 1401 Plains Rd., Unit 5
• Spiritleaf 3295 Fairview St.
• Canada Buds 1860 Appleby Line, Unit 11B

Seven additional cannabis retail stores are under review by the AGCO and two are out for comment, including this one.

This latest application is for a location just down the street from City Hall

Quick Facts
• On Jan. 14, 2019, Burlington City Council voted to allow the operation of retail cannabis stores in Burlington
• On Apr. 1, 2019, the first round of brick and mortar, privately-operated retail cannabis stores opened across the province
• The AGCO is licensing and enforcing regulations related to retail cannabis stores in Ontario
• The ACGO introduced an open licensing system for cannabis retail stores in January 2020. On March 2, 2020, the ACGO began accepting store authorization applications.
• The provincial requirement for a cannabis retail store is 150 metres from schools (as defined by the Education Act), as per the provincial regulations. The City of Burlington guideline for a cannabis retail store is 500 metres from schools

 

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Hospital iissuing approved masks to everyone entering the hospital.Mask a MUST

News 100 redBy Staff

December 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When you next enter the Joseph Brant Hospital you will be given a mask to wear.

You may be wearing one of those snazzy decorative masks that are as cute as all get out.

Doesn’t appear to matter – the hospital administration wants everyone to wear the mask they give you as long as you are a visitor to the hospital.

 

JBH mask notice

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The Rise of Canadian E-Commerce and How Web Design Comes into Play

background graphic redBy Claire Ward

December 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The marketplace is changing, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the Canadian e-commerce boom.

While this increase in e-commerce sales has been growing for quite a while, only recently has the true weight of this trend become fully apparent.

How E-Commerce Took Canada By Storm
First, the facts: in total, there was around a 99.3% increase in retail e-commerce sales in Canada in May 2020 compared to February of the same year. This totaled about $3.9 billion in sales.

Those are huge numbers, but they are indicative of a much larger trend that has continued even over previous years. For example, e-commerce sales have recently doubled with a 110.8% increase compared to May 2019.

That’s a big jump in only a little more than a year. Digital industries, more than any others, are set to rise in the coming decade.

While it’s clear that COVID-19 and personal shopping restrictions definitely played a role in this astronomical growth, it’s also clear that e-commerce has been on the cusp of exploding for quite a long time. All the tinder needed was a match to light the first spark.

E commerce design graphic

Covid has taught how to use online retailers – now to find an organization that can do the job.

Now, this development has the potential to restructure the entire Canadian retail industry from the ground up. For example, retail sales plummeted by 29.1% from February to April 2020 (which, admittedly, is in lockstep with the coronavirus restrictions that were rolled out across the country).

Still, it’s hard to deny the advantages that e-commerce inherently has over retail locations:

It’s easier than ever for people to find more products that physical stores may not have.

Ordering online often feels more convenient than visiting a physical store – even when grocery shopping!

Most e-commerce stores now offer free shipping, putting their prices equal to or more affordable than prices for equivalent products in retail stores

All in all, the future is abundantly clear: e-commerce is the way of the future for retail in Canada and beyond.

Winners and Losers – How Web Design Impacts Successful E-Commerce Stores
This being said, not every Canadian retail outlet will automatically benefit from huge profits over the coming months and years. Factors such as web design, which affects the look, navigation, and loading time of an e-commerce storefront or website, will determine which retail outlets will be successful compared to those that fail.

The reasons for this are relatively obvious:

People would much rather spend their time on a site that feels easy to navigate and fun to use rather than have to navigate a site that’s clunky and unintuitive

Furthermore, people are more likely to recommend an e-commerce site (and bring in more business for the retailer) if they appreciate their experience while they are there

Perhaps even more importantly, good e-commerce web design can provide credibility to a retailer. It shows that they know what they’re doing

Does Great Web Design Really Matter?
Absolutely! Knowing the benefits that well-designed eCommerce sites can bring to any retailer, it’s more important than ever before that companies build their digital storefronts with excellent web design agencies.

It may particularly be a good idea to hire a domestic agency if you’re looking for great web design in Canada, as these agencies will be able to craft an online space that’s perfectly tailored to your industry and unique needs.

But regardless, any retailer looking to take advantage of the rise of e-commerce in the Canadian market should look for an agency that:

can successfully identify customer pain points
can build a website that addresses those pain points
can provide a fast loading and intuitive web experience for all users

Time will tell which retailers rise to the challenge and craft new e-commerce stores with the capacity to grow and capture new markets.

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The young people are coming up with the really neat ideas

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

December 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It’s the people in this city that make the difference. Sometimes the best ideas come from our youngsters.

Mayor Meed Ward learned of a 9 year old who came up with a neat idea.  A 9-year-old had a fantastic Christmas wish –  to have a tree in our City that anyone in our community could put an ornament on.

Halton tree - Humane societyThe City of Burlington’s Parks and Recreations Department made Patrick’s wish come true with the help of his big sister Julia.

A Halton Holiday Tree will be at the Rotary Centennial Pond in Spencer Smith Park from now until Dec. 25! Folks can leave a donation for the Burlington Humane Society and then hang an ornament on the tree.

Eight year old Emmett Stem decided to use his newly learned baking skills to make and sell cookies to support the Halton Women’s Shelter.

The Gazette bought five boxes and donated them to the fire fighters who will be working during the holidays.

emmett plus chief

Fire Chief Karen Roche with eight year old cookie baker Emmett Stem

While delivering the boxes to Fire Chief Karen Roche, he got a chance to sit behind the wheel of a fire truck.

Chief Roche had to lift Emmett into the truck – he legs were a little on the short side.

“What great and creative way to spread some much-needed holiday cheer this year” said the Mayor. She got that right.

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Few people turned out for Santa as he toured the Aldershot community; matters of the heart prevailed

News 100 redBy Denis Gibbons

December 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Good reporters don’t give up when the story they were out to cover doesn’t materialize. While driving around looking for Santa, Gibbons found two delightful little stories.  Enjoy!

Gibbons Sants in the truck - close up

Rain didn’t stop Santa – it did keep the public at home.

On a rainy Saturday, Santa Claus found very few children to greet as he made his way through Aldershot on the old Studebaker fire truck.

His tour however, coincided with two charming romantic events.

Ed and Jeanette Younglai got dressed up as if they were going to the altar again as they greeted well-wishers who passed by their Glenwood Avenue home.

Gibbons Dec 19 anniv 2

The Younglais received neighbours and friends on the 50th anniversary of their marriage.

The Younglais, who were born in Trinidad and met in England, renewed their wedding vows on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.

They were married at St. Charles Garnier church in downtown Hamilton in 1970. Father John Sherlock, later to become the Bishop of the Diocese of London, performed the ceremony.

Gibbons Dec 19 engage

Alyssa, centre, celebrates her engagement with her Mother and sister – Santa was nowhere in sight.

Meanwhile, only two blocks away Tanner Gruba and Alyssa Blakey were making their plans to duplicate the Younglais’ achievement of half-a-century together.

Gruba went down on bended knee and proposed to his fiancé while friends toasted them with champagne at a front lawn reception on LaSalle Park Road. Pictured, left to right, are the future bride’s mother Tracey, Alyssa and her sister Kristen.

The poor weather and the disappointing turnout didn’t prevent people from getting out and telling their stories.

Related news story:

What it was like when people did turn out.

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Public Health Unit issues some very disturbing comments on how people in Halton will be vaccinated.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We asked the media people at the Regional Public Health Unit what there were in the way of plans to vaccinate people in Halton once the vaccine is available.

We got the following response:

Plans are underway to establish a COVID-19 vaccination centre at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) for the region of Halton.

• Due to the current limited supply, the province is focused on getting vaccines to the most vulnerable populations. Halton Healthcare is working with Halton Region Public Health to prioritize the use of the vaccine for health care workers and essential caregivers in long-term care homes in our region as well as those working in high risk retirement homes (i.e. memory care provision).

For additional information on how priority populations are identified, please contact the Ministry media line at 416-314-6197 or media.moh@ontario.ca.

We received a note from a reader who said that Joseph Brant Hospital did not have the capacity to freeze the vaccines the required intensive freezing. The Public Health Unit said:

Please contact Joseph Brant Hospital regarding freezer capacity.

Are we all going to have to trek to the Oakville hospital?

A very disappointing response from the public health people.

Last week Burlington City Manager Tim Commisso said that his understanding was that vaccinations would be top level down with the federal government providing the vaccines to the provinces and the province passing it along to the municipal sector who would do the actual inoculation in municipalities using spaces that were large enough for people to enter, get their needle in the arm and leave the building.

The Nelson arena south of the QEW and the Haber Recreation centre north of the QEW were mentioned as locations.

The nurses doing the inoculation would be provided by and supervised by the Regional Public Health Health Unit.

This sounded like a sensible approach – but it certainly doesn’t jibe with what the Public Health Unit had to say.

There is a communications problem here.

What was that line Paul Newman gave: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

 

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Joseph Brant now clear of Covid infection problems

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Joseph Brant hospital advises that they are all clear of the Covid19 virus infection they experienced.

A COVID-19 outbreak on 3 North 700 (3N700), a medicine inpatient unit at Joseph Brant Hospital, was declared over on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, by Halton Public Health. The outbreak on this unit was initially declared on November 27.

brant-hospital-rendering-aerial

Illustration shows how the older part of the hospital was connected to the new section.

Effective Tuesday, December 15, 2020, Joseph Brant Hospital is no longer in outbreak status.

The public should be aware the Regional Public Health unit oversees what happens at the hospital. The oversight matters.

Joseph Brant Hospital remains a safe place to receive care, and continues to perform safe surgical and out-patient clinical care, including emergency and urgent care. Cancelling a procedure is not necessary, and delaying treatment can actually can pose a serious risk to a patient’s health. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your health care provider or the hospital.

For the latest COVID-19 updates, please visit our website for more information.

About Joseph Brant Hospital
Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) is a full service community teaching hospital serving more than 185,000 residents in the communities of Halton and Hamilton, including Burlington, Waterdown, Flamborough, Milton and Stoney Creek, with a skilled staff of 194 physicians, 1,911 full- and part-time staff and more than 700 volunteers. In conjunction with McMaster University, JBH is a Clinical Education site, and designated as an Academic Community Teaching Hospital with an expanded campus which includes the seven-storey state-of-art Michael Lee-Chin & Family Patient Tower which features a new Emergency Department, 172 acute inpatient beds, 9 new Operating Rooms and post-anaesthetic care unit to support expanded medical, surgical and outpatient services. JBH is also a partner member of the Burlington Ontario Health Team.

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Mayor works with police on a personal security plan

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Mayor said ” she has been in close contact with police and has a security plan.”

A little over-reaction perhaps?

The Gazette published an article yesterday about a group that announced it plans to do a citizen’s arrest as their way of protesting over the wearing of facial masks.

The group, Stand4THEE, created a web site, a Face Book page and an Instagram page.  Any nutcases can do the same thing.

The group did say in a note to the Gazette that a citizen arrest does not necessarily mean taking a person into custody. Their comment read: “It also should be noted that in order to exercise a citizen’s arrest, as per Bill C-26, the person being arrested does not need to be present.”

They might want to let the police know that.

Misguided? Most certainly. Perhaps we should have ignored them.

Was this important enough to call in the police? Does the Mayor think she is really at personal risk? Will we see a police officer in full SWAT level gear walking beside the Mayor for the next few days?

Meed Ward hands out frnt city hall

Mayor Meed Ward can usually be found at City Hall.

The mayor of Burlington says “she, and police, are taking precautions prior to a protest planned for Friday”, in which members of an anti-mask group claim they are attempting to place her under citizen’s arrest.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said she has been in close contact with police and has a security plan.

The CBC reports that the Mayor said: “I’ve taken appropriate measures to make sure that my safety is protected.”

She said police have told her there is “no reasonable grounds” for what the group is trying to do.

She said she supports people’s right to protest, and believes the group members will not attempt to use physical force based on their social media statements.

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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Province comes up with $5.4 million to get us through the 2020 budget

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In the municipal world, a deficit is not permitted.

When revenues do not cover all the expenses then treasurer people have to draw down funds from a reserve account.

Burlington, like every other municipality in the province, has dozens of reserve accounts.

The 2021 Operating budget that is being put together (it will go to Council in January) did not look all that good – a higher than the 2% tax rate the public finds they can live with looked as if it was going to rise – 4% was possible unless spending was cut drastically or if there was an infusion of cash from higher levels of government.

Burlington was advised this week that it would get more financial relief from the Province during COVID-19.

Mayor Meed Ward and Premier - Dec 2018

Premier Ford meets Mayor Meed Ward – smiles all around.

The province announced yesterday they are allocating an additional $695 million to provide financial relief for municipalities and help ensure they do not carry operating deficits into 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Burlington is one of 48 (out of 444 municipalities) to receive the “full” phase 2 funding allocation. The City is receiving an additional 2020 operating funding of $5.4 million, plus $1.9 million to help with 2021 COVID-related operating pressures.

This funding is in addition to $2.2 million in transit-related money provided to help with local transit pressures, which was also secured through the City’s phase 2 application through the Safe Restart program.

These funds build upon the first phase of the federal-provincial Safe Restart Funding Agreement announced this summer and will help municipalities deliver critical services during COVID-19.

The federal-provincial Safe Restart Funding Agreement is a historic partnership that secured up to $4 billion in emergency funding for Ontario’s municipalities to help them on the road to a safe recovery during the pandemic.

Audit Tim 1 more vocal

Tim Commisso, City Manager

“… great news for our City”, said the Mayor, who added that “the Province listened to us. This additional funding will help us as we enter a difficult 2021 budget to maintain and enhance the services our residents expect, while keeping it affordable.

Tim Commisso, City Manager pointed out that “… we still have a challenging 2021 operating budget forthcoming in January, this funding is a huge relief for the city as we continue to deal with the financial impacts of this pandemic.”

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