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.

Return to the Front page

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.

Return to the Front page

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.”

 

Return to the Front page

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.

Return to the Front page

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.

Return to the Front page

Return to the Front page

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.”

Return to the Front page

Citizen's group announces they intend to arrest the Mayor- date on which this is to happen is not clear

eventsblack 100x100By Pepper Parr

December 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The announcement certainly got some attention.

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward – the things she has to put up with.

A citizens group announced they were going to exercise their right to perform a Citizens Arrest – the object of this arrest was none other than the Mayor of the City.

Was this just another photo op?

A careful read of the document we were sent stated that the arrest would take place at City Hall this coming Friday, December 19th @ 11:45AM.

Huh!

The 19th of December is a Saturday – and while the Mayor may very well be at her desk putting in a couple of hours tidying up before she takes a well-earned break the Stand4Rhee group behind this exercise in citizen’s rights is probably not going to get beyond the Security Desk.

We were informed that a Citizen’s Arrest of the person acting as Mayor, Marianne Meed Ward, will be exercised as per Bill C-26, Canada Criminal Code 494-2 at the Burlington City Hall this coming Friday, December 19th @ 11:45AM.

The erroneous date was repeated in the material sent to us but elsewhere in the document the date of Friday the 18th was given.
The material we got said:

“The arrest will be conducted, peacefully, lawfully and without harm by a group of concerned parents. The police have been informed of the intent to conduct this arrest and have failed in their duty to uphold the oath and the law, leaving the parents no choice but to take action.

“It’s crucial that our children are protected from further harm and neglect. Children are suffering from depression, suicides, isolation and psychological damage from the unlawful and unjustified emergency measures.

• What: Citizen’s Arrest of the Person Acting as Mayor, Marianne Meed
• Where: City Hall, 426 Brant St, Burlington ON L7R 3Z6
• Who: Concerned Parents, Stand4THEE, Classical Martial Arts Canada and Stand Up Canada
• When: Friday, December 18 @ 11:45AM

“We hope that you will recognize the importance of protecting the children, and the rights and obligations of parents to keep their children safe from harm, and will attend this momentous event.

Who are these people?

Stand by – there is more to come.

They have a Facebook page which sort of makes them real.

Their opening statement read:

We will stand strong using lawful, peaceful and effective ACTION to end the tyranny of those who are actively attempting to take away our Rights & Freedoms. We will hold them accountable for their actions using truth & facts. We will act in service to others while rising up to defend ourselves and our families.

There are three people listen on the organizations’ web site.

Stand4Thee leaders.

The Stand4THEE founders.

Stand4THEE National Leadership Team
Web: https://stand4thee.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Stand4THEE
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stand4thee/

Return to the Front page

Mayor to the small business sector: 'We see you, we hear you'

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city is passing along $117,392 to 94 Burlington businesses.

Following a very successful first round of the program, Team Burlington (Burlington Economic Development, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Burlington Downtown Business Association, Aldershot Village BIA and Tourism Burlington), in partnership with the City of Burlington and POST Promise is pleased to announce that $117,392 will be awarded across 94 Burlington businesses in the second round of the Burlington Safe Restart COVID-19 Business Relief Grant.

Tough part of town to make a living in as a retailer. Consultants being asked to find out why it costs more to do retail downtown.

The small business sector has been badly hurt by Covid implications.

Efforts were made to ensure Round 2 of the Burlington Safe Restart Grant aligned with the provincial program in order to help small businesses get access to the capital they need without duplication. For this second round of funding, Team Burlington adjusted the assessment criteria to ensure alignment was achieved and deliver the funds to the businesses that have been the hardest hit due to COVID-19.

The Burlington Safe Restart COVID-19 Business Relief Grant was a direct outcome of the Burlington Economic Recovery Network (BERN), which aimed to create and deliver an innovative new program that would provide financial support to Burlington’s small business community during COVID-19.

The program is also proud to partner with POST Promise, a private sector-led initiative, for support to provide essential information on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. All grant recipients are required to make the promise through the POST Promise initiative.

Recipients in the second round come from a range of industries including salons, fitness facilities, retail stores and many more, all of which have been dramatically impacted due to COVID-19. A full list of companies supported will be published when it is available.

Meed Ward H&S profile

Mayor Meed Ward has done everything she can to bring support to the small business community.

Burlington Mayor, Marianne Meed Ward, who has worked hard to come up with resources that would materially aid the small business sector said: “COVID-19 has proven to be incredibly challenging for our business community. Our local small businesses remains resilient and respectful, and for that I am incredibly proud. Even though up to $2,500 was available, our business community only asked for what they needed and made it possible to support more applicants.:

In thanking the grant recipients for their tireless commitment the Mayor said “. We see you, and we support you.”

Related news story

First round of financial support  grants.

Return to the Front page

Young cookie maker meets fire Chief - she puts him behind the wheel

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

December 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Eight year old Emmet Stem decided he could help.

He had learned how to bake and decided he could make cookies and raise funds for a public organization.

He chose the Halton Women’s Shelter and started selling cookies at $5 a box.

We did a short piece on Emmet and his plans and decided to support him and ordered five boxes.

Emmett had undertaken to deliver the cookies to homes in Burlington.

emmett plus chief

Fire Chief Karen Roche checking out the cookies

I don’t live within the city boundary – so I told Emmett’s Mom that we would buy five boxes and Emmet could give them to the fire department – some of those fire fighters are going to be working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to keep us safe.

emmet 2 feet not touching

Emmett’s feet don’t quite reach the pedals.

Emmet’s Mom arranged to meet with newly minted Fire Chief, Karen Roche, and pass along the cookies.

The Chief decided to let Emmett take the wheel of one of the fire trucks for a couple of minutes. His feet didn’t quite reach the pedals.

Emmett raised $850 for the Women’s Shelter.

Related news story:

Eight year old gets in the cookie business – giving away what he makes

Return to the Front page

City recovers much of the money taken by an on-line fraud in 2019

Crime 100By Staff

December 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city has recovered $322,641.67 of a $503,026.66 fraudulent vendor payment made in May 2019.

The recovery of monies comes as a result of a Superior Court of Justice action commenced by the City, and a claim made by the City to its insurer pursuant to its Cyber Crime Policy.

In May 2019, the City discovered it was a victim of fraud, due to a single transaction made to a falsified bank account. This was a result of a complex phishing email to City staff requesting to change banking information for an established City vendor. The transaction was in the form of an electronic transfer of funds made to the vendor in the amount of approximately $503,000 and was processed on May 16, 2019.

Upon learning of the fraudulent payment, the City took immediate steps. The unauthorized payment was reported to the City’s financial institution and the Halton Regional Police, and the City put additional internal controls in place to prevent this type of fraud from occurring in the future. Criminal investigations are also underway by the appropriate authorities.

A full review of the City’s current processes has taken place. The City’s IT system was not compromised during this incident; no personal information was stolen or shared.

To maintain the integrity of ongoing investigations, the City will not be commenting further at this time.

Meed Ward style

Mayor Meed Ward: “… public will welcome news that we’ve been reimbursed for a substantial amount …”

The Mayor said this morning: “I know the public will welcome news that we’ve been reimbursed for a substantial amount of the funds stolen via fraud. The quick action of staff and the police has contributed to the recovery of these funds. I thank them for their efforts.

“There are additional avenues we are exploring to secure the remaining balance. We’ve also significantly increased our internal controls to ensure this never happens again.”

Tim-Commisso-finger-up-hard-eyes

City Manager Tim Commisso assures the public that the financial computer system is secure.

Tim Commisso, City Manager tells us that: “The City is committed to being open, accountable and transparent about the city’s finances. Thank you to staff and law enforcement who have worked diligently to help recover these funds. The City has thoroughly reviewed the underlying cause of this event and implemented enhanced internal controls to mitigate against any recurrence of this type of fraud.”

Return to the Front page

Majority of Canadians support a total shut down

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

The leading edge of the second wave of Covid19 infections has hit.

2275 new cases in Ontario yesterday.

Hospitals advised to set aside 15% of their beds for Covid cases and we are still not in a total lock-down phase.

Doug Ford covid t shirt

Premier Doug Ford at one of his many media events.

The Premier of the province has just not been able to fully understand what it is he has to deal with.

His focus is on the pain the private sector will have to cope with were he to shut everything down.

He understands how the world of business works, the Tories see the world that way.

This is no longer about business – this is about survival and being responsible.

The Premier has said again and again he doesn’t want the damage from the virus to land on the backs of the hard working Canadians who have put everything they have into the businesses they operate.

There are thousands of people who have not survived the virus. They died.

There will be many commercial organizations that will not survive.

Those are hard facts we have to accept

A public opinion survey done by the Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies reports that majority of Canadians support a lock down; 65% of the respondents would like to see everything shut down except for the essentials – drinking a beer in a public place is not essential – if it is there are support groups that can help you.

The vaccine that everyone has been waiting for is now available. It will take some time to get it into the arms of everyone. We each have to wait until it is our turn to roll up our sleeves.

We will get through this.

In order to actually get through this – everything has to be shut down.

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.

Return to the Front page

A burning issue -

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Back in January when the world was normal I was invited to serve as a judge of different online media for the Canadian Online Newspaper Awards organization.

The awards have been given for the past 12 years.

COPA logoI was assigned to student newspapers, a market segment close to my heart – having worked as the features editor for the Queen’s Journal when I was a student.

I had stories from three student on-line newspapers: The Signal from Kings College, Dalhousie University;The Thunderbird, University of British Columbia and the York University, Student Magazine.

The students at The Signal covered a murder trial, with a different student reporting each week.

When it came to actually doing the judging we were smack dab in the middle of a pandemic that had shut down large parts of North America – the day to day focus was on keeping a flow of needed Covid news and information to the Burlington community. Finding time to look at the entries from three university newspapers was a challenge.

I managed to get the judging done just in time for the finals to be determined.

My choice for the best article made it to the finals.

COPA story pic

It was the best piece I judged; about a subject few want to know much about. The headline was brilliant.

I was impressed with the talent and the quality of the entries. However there was one that really stood out – both because of the headline and the content – especially the subject. It wasn’t the kind of thing that I expected to read in a student newspaper.

I wrote the journalism course leader at UBC and asked for permission to re-print the piece, which is set out below.

The author, Akshay Kulkarni was born in Mysore, India, but has lived most of his life in Bengaluru. He has a BA (Hons) in Multimedia Journalism from Bournemouth University, and plans to work as a multimedia journalist when he graduates from the Master of Journalism program at UBC.

He got the idea for the piece after reading a long feature about end-of-life and how to make it sustainable. He then wondered whether aquamation, the eco-friendly body disposal method outlined in the article, was legal in British Columbia and the article arose from there.

COPA winner logoHere is a link to the story that made it to the finals. I’ll let you know how how it placed when the awards are announced in January.

CLICK HERE to read: A burning issue

 

Return to the Front page

Long way to go to reach 5000 signatures on the petition to put Terry Fox on the new $5 bill

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is really nothing that exciting about the statement that set out what a Legislature wants to do.

On this case – it is important.

Terry Fox has a relationship with Burlington that is unique.  He ran through hundreds of small communities – somehow his short trip through Burlington stuck. Citizens got behind the fund raising that was done each year. Burlington was always there in a big way.

A year or two ago a group of citizens got behind the creating of a marker that stands today in Spencer Smith Park for all to see.

Now there are Canadians who want to see the image of Terry Fox on the new $5 bill that is going to be created.

CLICK HERE to add your name to the petition.

Terry Fox five dollar billTony Gabriel, a Canadian Football Great liked the idea and told Craig Gardner what he would like to see done.

Gardner put Gabriel in touch with Oakville North Burlington MO Pam Damoff who arranged to have a petition created for people to sign.

The numbers have been a little on the disappointing side.  Just over 1000 signatures so far.

Burlington can do better than that.

Slip over to the petition and ask your friends and neighbours to sign with you.

Damoff and Gabriel at marker

Tony Gabriel and Pam Damoff beside the Terry Fox marker at Spencer Smith Park.

Here is the wording behind the petition.

Whereas:

Terry Fox has become a national symbol and is a true hero, universally admired for his ability to remind us of the power of hope and the possibility of dreams;

His example of grit, determination and selflessness have formed the embodiment of the modern Canadian identity;

After following extensive consultation, the Bank of Canada has submitted an eight-person short list to the Minister of Finance to select the next Canadian to be featured on the five dollars bank note; and

Terry Fox is one of the eight on the shortlist.

We, the undersigned, Citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to select Terry Fox as the finalist for the next great Canadian to be honoured and featured on the back of the newly proposed five dollars bank note.

Open for signature
December 3, 2020, at 4:06 p.m. (EDT)

Closed for signature
January 2, 2021, at 4:06 p.m. (EDT)

CLICK HERE to sign the petition

Return to the Front page

2020 Keys to the City awarded to two citizens

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Kendall Cooper and Ian Elliott have been named as the 2020 recipients of the Keys to the City.

Kendall Cooper

Kendall Cooper – multiple medal-winning hockey player

Kendall Cooper is a multiple medal-winning hockey player from the Aldershot community who, last year, received the Aldershot Honour Roll’s youth award and at age 16 was part of the gold medal winning team in Japan in Women’s Under 18 Hockey where she assisted in the gold-medal winning goal, and since then became Captain of the team for 2020 and won the silver medal as Captain.

Kendall is not only the first young person to receive Burlington’s Key to the City, she is also the first woman to do so since this program began in early 2019.

Ian Elliott

Ian Elliott – A Different Drummer Books.

Ian Elliott is the heart and soul behind our beloved local independent bookstore, A Different Drummer Books. Having worked there since 1990, Ian is now owner and helming this unique bookshop through it’s 50th year here in Burlington. With the many additional challenges businesses have faced throughout COVID-19, the continued success of a small local business is all the more meaningful.

Ian’s dedication to promoting emerging authors and engendering a love of literature in people of all ages from our community is truly remarkable. Countless community events, thoughtful reading recommendations, and quiet charitable contributions are just one of many reasons this business has survived five decades and enjoys a dedicated fanbase of loyal customers.

Key to the City

Art work by Teresa Seaton is given to the recipient.

Launched by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward in 2019, the Key to the City program at the City of Burlington honours individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to our community. Whether it be through sport, philanthropy, business, arts & culture, volunteering, advocacy or leadership, the recipients of a Key to the City will have created a unique and meaningful legacy that will positively impact our community for years to come. Keys may also be given to visiting dignitaries or in recognition of our twin city relationships.

Previous Key to the City recipients include Mike ‘Beard Guy’ Taylor, City of Itabashi Japan and Gordon Schottlander.

 

Return to the Front page

Early public response on the Council workshop not all that good.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Workshop city Councillors went through this morning was detailed and certainly informative.

With the exception of Mayor Meed Ward and Councillor Sharman there were few penetrating questions for the consultants who are putting together an Integrated Mobility Plan that will take traffic and transit-thinking forward to 2051

trip origins

The Workshop had plenty of data in the presentation: figuring out what it meant and then what to do with it is the next step.

One Gazette reader didn’t think very much about what was heard.

“Didn’t hear much talk about Transit from the Councillors.

“God forbid we remove any traffic lanes for pedestrians or bikes.

“And now that you mention this is a plan to take us to 2051, phew, we can sit back and kick the can down the (paved) road. Congestion parking – ha!

“Let’s just stick to the ‘destination paths’ that people seem to prefer (’cause there isn’t a bloody sidewalk in sight).

“And you wonder why people don’t delegate anymore.”

We are not identifying the writer of the comments who makes several important and relevant points.

Return to the Front page

Council workshop to hear details on a different approach to mobility

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

December 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The last council event for the year takes place this morning.

Angelo as chair

Angelo Bentivegna serving as chair during a virtual council meeting

Not surprisingly the focus of the workshop that will be chaired by ward 6 Councillor Angelo Bentivegna will be transit and how the city plans to create a system that will get people out of their cars and into some other mode of transportation.

A deeper look into the Integrated Mobility Plan is the only item on the agenda.

There was an exceptionally informative workshop a number of weeks ago that featured four speakers getting to the public via Zoom. They did some of the groundwork that is going to be needed to bring about the scale of change that is going to be necessary if people are going to be able to get around.

The Gazette will be covering the workshop.

The vision statement being used is certainly strong enough – can they make it stick and deliver on it is the challenge.

vision

A strong vision – delivering on it will be the challenge

Return to the Front page

Police RIDE program underway -

Crime 100By Staff

December 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We don’t usually publish the Impaired Driving Offences Within list the Halton Region release once every week.

sde

Police questioning drivers during a RIDE program.  One f the most effective police programs.

We found that the police do not collect or release the names of the people who were acquitted or situations where the charges were dropped.  We have had far too many people complain that we do not tell the whole story – and in a few cases found that the person charged suffered when the justice system wasn’t totally transparent.

Today we are publishing the list and asking some questions:

Are the bars not closed?

A number of those charges were laid at 9:30 am – who manages to get drunk at 9:30 and and then get behind the wheel of a car?

For those people who were charged and were acquitted – be in touch with us – we will publish that news as well.

On December 11, 2020, just before 2:00 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a citizen-initiated complaint in the area of Lakeshore Road and Locust Street in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, William Stanley (62) of Hamilton was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On December 11, 2020, just after 3:30 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a citizen-initiated complaint in the area of Third Line and Bridge Drive in Oakville. As a result of an investigation, Lynn O’Grady (57) of Burlington was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On December 12, 2020, just after 9:30 pm, Halton Police officers were conducting a R.I.D.E. initiative in the area of Walkers Line and Harvester Road in Burlington. As a result of this initiative, Aaron Baiano (35) of Welland was charged with blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On December 13, 2020, just after 7:30 am, Halton Police officers responded to a citizen-initiated complaint in the area of Winston Churchill Boulevard and 22 Side Road in Halton Hills. As a result of an investigation, Ravjot Singh (26) of Bolton was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On December 13, 2020, just after 9:30 am, Halton Police officers responded to a citizen-initiated complaint in the area of Pinedale Avenue and Appleby Line in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Derek Redwood (54) of Burlington was charged with operation while impaired.

On December 13, 2020, just after 10:00 pm, Halton Police officers were conducting a R.I.D.E. initiative in the area of Bronte Street North and Steeles Avenue in Milton. As a result of this initiative, Patricia Silverthorn (59) of Puslinch was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On December 13, 2020, just after 11:30 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Sixth Line and Lower Base Line in Milton. As a result of an investigation, Karina Alba Espinoza (29) of Etobicoke was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

The Halton Regional Police Service remains committed to road safety through prevention, education and enforcement initiatives.
Members of the public are reminded that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a crime in progress and to call 9-1-1 immediately to report a suspected impaired driver.

The Service’s Twitter and Facebook accounts should not be used for this purpose as they are not monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Please be reminded that all persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Return to the Front page

Too little too late: How does one say Merry Christmas after stealing it from you?

“Speaking with reporters during a regular briefing at city hall on Wednesday, [Toronto] Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said that the recent increase in cases is a “concern” but is not altogether surprising in the context of the broader reopening of the economy.” (Chris Fox, CP24.com, August 26, 2020)

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

December 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When I mention New Zealand’s success in eliminating COVID I am immediately lectured about it being a little island in the Pacific with a relatively small population. Canada may border the USA but we enacted essentially the same border restrictions as New Zealand. And as for being small, New Zealand’s population density is almost four times that of Canada and greater than Ontario’s.

nEW zEALAND - NO MASKS

Did Ontario miss a chance to do what New Zealand did. No one over there has to wear a mask.

Today New Zealand and its sister island in the Pacific, Australia, have eliminated COVID almost entirely. That means no transmission and no more deaths. In New Zealand it also means that masks are not required, even for public transit. Anyone can go to movies, concerts, bars and restaurants as if the pandemic never happened. And perhaps most importantly, they will get to enjoy having their loved ones around them at this special time of year.

Their success, according to the respected British public health journal ‘The Lancet’ lies in having a clear pandemic plan with a target of zero COVID infections. Quarantine requirements are strict and community spread has been eliminated. In the event of an imported infection they quickly and effectively test and trace and isolate. And were an infection to start to spread they are not afraid to undertake a complete lock down until it’s over. And significantly the government’s communication is clear and consistent.

Canada is a federation with shared responsibility for public health and the provinces have insisted on taking the lead in dealing with COVID. But one look at the extent and growing number of infections and deaths and it is clear they have messed up. New Zealand’s prime minister has offered advice to US president-elect Biden as he prepares to tackle COVID as his number one priority. Apparently our provincial premiers could use some as well.

flatening the curve

Ontario chose to flatten the curve. was that the best decision?

And the place to start would be our pandemic target, which was never zero transmission, let alone zero infection. Our pandemic policy is primarily focused on flattening the curve. We are willing to accommodates some level of the virus transmission providing the death rate isn’t too high and hospitals aren’t too full. That means that we will continue to experience these on-again and off-again quasi-lockdowns until, we all hope, the vaccine can give us ‘herd immunity’ so that the virus will disappear.

The problem is that hundreds of thousands more Canadians may get the infection in the interim; an unknown number will be afflicted with long term after effects; and hundreds, if not thousands, more will die. And the danger of hosting all of that virus in our community is that it might mutate to a more deadly form, as the 1918 Spanish Flu did, and possibly negate the effectiveness of our vaccines.

Doug Ford covid t shirt

This is not a happy man.

A glance at any Canadian newspaper will tell you how badly our provincial leaders and their chief medical people have failed us. Still they are not prepared to tolerate criticism, regardless how constructive. Alberta’s Kenny, with the worst infection rate in the country, and COVID soon to be the leading cause of death, calls it ‘Alberta bashing’, even when fellow Albertan’s complain. And Doug Ford labels his critics ‘arm chair quarterbacks’ even though they include some of the real-time front-line disease experts in the province.

Dr. Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer, dispassionately admits an average of 25 deaths a day in this province, a number which will be increasing as the virus skyrockets from just below 2000 per day to as many as 5000 per day. Hospitals and their ICUs are nearing capacity and surgeries are already being postponed. And Christmas has been effectively cancelled in the province. By any measure of public health this is a disaster.

As we get ready to roll up our sleeves here for a vaccine, which may not even last till the end of the pandemic, we find that New Zealand is in no hurry to vaccinate its population – they don’t need to.

From the beginning of the pandemic that country has lost 25 people to COVID, that is how many people die every day here in Ontario. Between now and Christmas there will be almost 200 fewer of us to see the holiday in this year.

For some bizarre reason Mr. Ford has been able to maintain his popularity despite such a miserable record. Though there won’t be much to celebrate for the rest of us this year, even as Zoom let’s us virtually speak to the family who won’t really be with us. And for the most vulnerable and/or those living alone this will be the worst Christmas ever. Hey, the truth is we’re all to blame for letting this outbreak get so bad, but Mr. Ford is supposed to be guiding us – he says he is there for all of us.

For now it is a soft lockdown for Burlington – the purgatory of the red zone, replete with its dozens of rules which seem to get changed every day as if just to confuse us. But still it’s too little and way too late. Somebody was sleeping at the switch again before this train of disease really got rolling. Now, what a mess! It’s little wonder that Ford is too embarrassed to even attend his daily COVID briefings anymore. Besides, how does one say Merry Christmas after stealing it from you?

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers

 

Background links:

Opening Up Too Soon –    New Zealand –     Kenny Alberta Bashing

Ontario Lockdowns –     Ontario Deaths

Return to the Front page

Hawthorne community digs deep and delivers for the Food Bank

News 100 redBy Staff

December 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They refer to it as the Hawthorne Community – made up of Hawthorne Dr., Juniper, Concord and Treminere.

Friday night the results of two weeks of local advertising using social media and whatever else was available to tell their neighbours about a local food drive.

Ward 4 Public School Board Trustee, Margo Shuttleworth, and her husband along with neighbours Colin and Trish Duncan called it a – ‘Hawthorne area light up the night’ event.

Margo - thank you

The community just showed up – with close to 3000 lbs of food.

It worked. The community brought in 2496 pounds of food items and $200 in cash.- people just came – dropped food off and went back to their homes.

It was silent and it was successful. Burlington’s communities at their very best.

Margo street lights

They light up the street – did hydro know about this?

Margo - garage

Filled the garage as well as the front lawn.

How many people took part. “No idea”, said Shuttleworth, who called the event super successful.

Return to the Front page

Eastern parts of the city see Santa in a Fire Truck

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

December 13, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Those that got the message and were aware – came out in small groups.

Gibbons Dec 13 1

Families gathered on the streets with the older ones running alongside to keep up.

The traffic on Twitter was heavy – so the word was being passed around.

Santa was in town – making visits to different parts of the city.

Kudos to the Parka and Recreation people for making this happen.

Use of face masks was spotty.

But people did have fun.

If a picture is worth a thousand words – here is several thousand.

Gibbobs Mon with kids on a blanket

A little warmer and it could have been a picnic.

Gibbons Dec 13 Dad with child shoulder

That child had the best view on the street.

Gibbons dec 13 kids waving

Santa had quite a welcoming crew on this street.

 

 

Gibbons Sants in the truck - close up

The old Ho Ho man himself

Gibbons Santa waves back

The snow man waves to Santa as he passes by.

Gibbons Dec 13 Staff SAnta

The message that was there for everyone to read – Stay Safe – Follow the rules.

Photography was done by Denis Gibbons who recently wrote a piece on how he thought the Canadian teams in the National Hockey League should be organized for the next season

Worth reading.

Gibbons on bringing the game back home.

Return to the Front page