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.

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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

 

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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

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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.

 

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Noted Burlington sports writer takes an amusing look at how NHL games should be played starting in January

sportsgold 100x100By DENIS GIBBONS

December 11, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Nothing good occurs during a pandemic, yet some of its side effects could bring positive changes.

The NHL, for instance, has decided to create an all-Canadian division for the 2020-21 season so that players do not have to cross the U.S. border, potentially leading to a spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets will play only in their own group.

Stanley Cup BESTI’m suggesting they take things a step further and award the Stanley Cup to the champion of the Canadian division.

Only the goals scored by Canadian players should count, except those scored against Canadian goalies, which would not!

However, the goalies who surrendered those goals would issue a coupon entitling the shooter to one free penalty shot.

That shot, if successful, would count as a goal.

Canadian networks, alone, should have the rights to telecast the games. And to steal a page, in reverse, from Donald Trump’s notebook, commercials should promote just Canadian-made products.

Before the season starts in January, each of the seven Canadian clubs would be allowed to draft five Canadian-born players from the rosters of the other 24 American teams. In return, each American club losing a player would be compensated with their choice of either two Europeans or three Americans.

That is deemed to be fair market value, according to the results of the last two Olympics and last two World Cups of Hockey, all of which have been won by Canada.

The champagne, traditionally sipped out of the Cup, would be replaced by Canadian Club whiskey, for those who imbibe. Tee-totallers could use maple syrup harvested from a Canadian bush.

Let’s make this a genuine Canuck Stanley Cup final by having the final series played in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, where the Ottawa Silver Seven defeated the Dawson City Nuggets to win Lord Stanley’s mug in 1905.

Gibbons north bay nuggetsGibbons silver sevenMuch has been written about the 1905 Stanley Cup Challenge when the Silver Seven played host to the Nuggets, a team with no league that traveled 4,000 miles from the Yukon by dogsled, ship and train to compete for the Cup.

It took them a month and, naturally, exhausted, they suffered humiliating losses by scores of 9-2 and 23-2. One-eyed Frank McGee, who lost the use of his left eye during an amateur game for a local Canadian Pacific Railway team scored 14 goals for Ottawa in the second game.

Sadly, McGee was killed fighting during the First World War in France. He was among the original inductees of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1945.

Since the Dey’s Rink, which hosted the 1905 games, no longer exists, I recommend the series be played in the ornate Aberdeen Pavilion, the steel and glass structure at Lansdowne Park that was the site of the 1904 Stanley Cup challenge, also won by the Ottawa Silver Seven.

The pavilion was designated a national historic site because it is the only large-scale exhibition building in Canada surviving from the 19th century.

There are plenty of good reasons to exclude American teams from competing for the Stanley Cup.

When the Cup first was awarded to the Montreal Hockey Club in 1893, it was designated for Canadian amateur teams only. That was 24 years before the NHL even began.

Professional clubs did not become eligible to compete for the Cup, which was donated by Canada’s Governor General at the time, Lord Stanley of Preston, until 1906.

Besides Lord Stanley, who was born in England, authorized the construction of an outdoor rink on the grounds of Rideau Hall and was a benefactor of the Ottawa Hockey Club.

Two of his sons, Arthur and Algernon, were teammates of James Creighton on the Rideau Rebels team.

It was Creighton who organized the first official indoor game of hockey at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal in 1875.

Lord Stanley’s daughter, Isobel, participated in the first recorded women’s ice hockey match, which took place on the Rideau rink on February 10, 1891.

This old blusterball welcomes the comments of all readers of The Burlington Gazette.

Denis Gibbons, a former editor of the Burlington Post has written frequently about hockey at both a local and international level.  He learned to speak Russian at McMaster University and served as a translator during several of the international contest.

Related news story:

He was once an alter boy

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Clerk's Office has difficulty responding to media requests - apparently has a protocol with directions and instructions

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We got another one.

This is the third or fourth – maybe the fifth time people within city hall have chosen not to respond to questions for basic information.  They do this because they are told not to respond.

The City Clerk who is mandated to ensure that citizens can access city documents and arrange to delegate to City Council as well as answer questions on procedure and process.

Earlier in the week there was a report delivered to Council about the contract with ADR Chambers being renewed for a three year period.

ADR Chambers serves as the Ombudsman for the city.

I was a little confused and asked the Clerk the following:

“Would you explain to me the different roles that ADR Chambers and Principles Integrity play and the service they provide your office.

“I don’t think I have a clear picture. ADR is the Ombudsman – what then does Principles Integrity do?”

Kevin Arjoon, the City Clerk replied:

“Hi Pepper, as you know the protocol is that all media requests go through communications. I’m sending this to Sharon Will my Communications rep.”

Two things:

The protocol that Arjoon mentions is not something I have seen. There have been requests that I work with the Communications Advisors in the past and I have on occasion done that.

On those occasions when the information I need is complex, often requiring a follow up – I choose to work directly with the person who has the information.

Communications Advisors are not journalists. They are employees of the city in place to first and foremost protect the interests of the city.

They issue media releases that set out the city’s side of the story.

That is not how a public is properly informed.

The organization that provides us with our credentials has a mantra that it uses to explain what journalism is and why we have a free press.

At this point, my experience with the city is that they have chosen to manage the flow of information.

Completely unacceptable.NNC landing

NNC logo plus

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No lockdown for Burlington

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Premier did not put any additional Regions in lockdown.

Toronto and Peel are the only two in that status.

The Mayor of Windsor asked the Premier to put his city in a lock down. The Provincial Medical Officer of Health and the Windsor Region Medical Officer of Health conferred and decided that a lock down for Windsor was not necessary.

Status until Jan 21Those in the red or grey zones should only leave their homes for essential purposes, such as work, school, grocery shopping, exercise, and medical appointments, the government says.

With different rules and restrictions flying around, it’s important to know which rules apply to certain regions. Residents from grey or red zones should not be entering other zones, especially when the province is asking that they limit trips outside of the home.
Let us hope that they have got this right.

During the media conference this afternoon General Hillier assured everyone that the vaccine intended for Ontario will arrive at Pearson airport on Monday and be sent to Toronto and Ottawa hospitals where inoculations will take place.

An additional 90,000 doses will be distributed to 14 hospitals late in January; they will arrange for public vaccination.

Related news story:

 

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Petition to have Terry Fox picture put on a new $5 bill

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 11, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Terry Fox five dollar bill

A rendition of what a Terry Fox $5 bill could look like.

There are still a couple of weeks left – to sign the Petition that has been created supporting the idea of having Terry Fox on the next version of the $5 bill.

Burlington and Terry Fox have a long standing, very tight relationship.

Oakville North Burlington MP Pam Damoff has joined forces with Canadian Football great, Tony Gabriel, urging people to slip over to the web site that has the petition.

Craig Gardner, who stage-managed the Terry Fox Run for Cancer in September, which set a new donation level despite the COVID circumstances, would very much like to see the petition go viral.

Damoff and Gabriel at marker

Tony Gabriel with Oakville North Burlington MP Pam Damoff in front of the Terry Fox Monument at Spencer Smith Park.

We can do it.

Link to the Petition is HERE

Log and share the link with your Facebook friends.

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Santa back on his Magical Tour this weekend follow hashtag #SpotSantaBurlON to see where he is.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

December 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

UPDATE: Due to heavy rain forecasted and exposure to the elements for Santa and his volunteer firefighter driver, Santa’s Holiday Magic Trail for Saturday, Dec. 12, has been rescheduled to Sunday, Dec. 20, weather permitting.

Affected neighbourhoods are Alton Village, the Orchard, Corporate, Pinedale and Elizabeth Gardens. Santa will be back on the trail on Sunday, Dec. 13.

When Santa’s Holiday Magic Trail resumes, follow along or post his whereabouts using the hashtag #SpotSantaBurlON.

The Parks and Recreation people pulled a chestnut out of the fire and came up with a way to get Santa in front of the people.

The traditional annual Santa parade became a COVID victim.

Pumper 4 a

Santa stepping into his “Sleigh” for his Magical Tour of Burlington.

The brain trust at Parks and Recreation sat around a table and looked for a way to provide a way for Santa to get to the children.
Pumper #4 got a mention – that was all it took.

The antique Studebaker Fire truck was hauled out of storage in Kilbride and became the “sleigh” that Santa would use to tour the city.

He has already waved at the children in Rural Burlington, Tyandaga, Brant Hills and Mountainside as well as Headon Forest, Palmer, Tansley and Millcroft

Famil watching santa c

Families gathered on street corners waiting for the fire truck with Santa waving.

On Saturday he is scheduled to be in Alton Village, the Orchard, Corporate, Pinedale and Elizabeth Gardens. The weather people are talking about rain much of Saturday – not to worry – there is a rain day in the schedule.

On Sunday, the 13th the fire truck will tour Longmoor, Shoreacres, Roseland and Dynes.

When you spot Santa use the hash tag: #SpotSantaBurlON to tell your friends and neighbours where he is.

The city is not releasing the route the fire truck will be taking – they don’t want to encourage crowds of people lining the street and spreading that nasty little virus that has really spooked Christmas for so many.

December 19th, Santa and the fire truck will be touring Aldershot, Central and Plains.

December 20th has been set aside as a Make-up inclement weather date, if needed.

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Premier to make an announcement on possible lock-downs today

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 12th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

UPDATE:  The Premier did not announce a lockdown for Halton Region

Sometime today Premier Ford is going to hold another media event.

Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and General Rick Hillier (retired), Chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, to make an announcement.

Date:

Friday, December 11, 2020

Time:

Remarks at 3:00 p.m.
A media availability will follow, via teleconference only.

Location:

Room 247, Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON

It will be one of the hardest things he has had to do – there are knowledgeable, respected medical practitioners who are saying much of the province should be put into a lock-down.

One doctor was saying – Toronto, York, Peel, Halton, Hamilton, Windsor-Essex and perhaps even Kitchener Waterloo.

Doug Ford - habd to head

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

The argument is that people are crossing regional borders making a tough situation much harder and creating situations where people who need surgery will not be able to get the critical attention they need.

This is very very serious. The announcement that a vaccine is on the way does not mean we are out of this crisis.

The Premier will speak today.

It is going to be a tough day for him.

The hope is that the Premier has the strength of character to do what appears to be needed.

This is the time for leadership, statesmanship and not political considerations.

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Freehold property listings much lower this November than a year ago

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Data and commentary from the Rocca Sisters Team sets out where they believe the Real Estate market in Burlington is going.

At the end of November, the Burlington market saw 100 freehold properties for sale – less than half as many as were active at the end of November 2019. There were 156 sales during the month of November 2020 which means that these active listings theoretically would be absorbed in just over 19 days (active listings divided by last month’s sales). Again, to put that into perspective, a balanced market would include inventory levels that would take a minimum of 120 days to absorb. What this means is, in order to achieve a balanced market, inventory levels would have to grow by at least 4 times!

During the month of November, on average, sales prices were up 13.4%, sales were up 20.2% and days on market were down 44.1% (properties sold in under 15 days, on average) as compared to November 2020. Year to date, on average, sale prices were up 14.4%, sales were up 10.1% and days on market were down 36.1% as compared to the same period in 2019. Just under ⅔ of November sales sold for the asking price or more with a list to sale ratio of 102.40.

A couple of very notable sales include a property that was listed on Irena in Alton Village. It was listed at $1,250,000 and in 3 days sold for 5% below the asking price. A property on Coventry Way was listed at $835,000 and within 6 days it sold for 3.3% below the asking price. At the other end of the spectrum, a 1033 sq. ft. bungalow on Mountain Grove was listed at $749,000, offers were held off for one week and the property sold for 20% over the asking price.

Rocca November residen data

The condominium market has its own data.

Inventory levels are slightly higher than average for this time of year, up by almost double when compared to the end of November 2019. During the month of November, sale prices were up 6.7%, price per square foot was up 1.8%, sales were up 20.8% and days on market were up 7.7%. List to sale ratio was 98.69 and about 25% of condos sold for the asking price or more. Older buildings with higher condo fees tended to take longer to sell.

Rocca condo data

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Gift of Giving Back sets up at Burlington Centre

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

BAgs of foodWhen the plans that worked wonderfully in the past can’t be used this year – what do you do?

You pivot and get creative.

The Gift of Giving Back, one of the most effective programs for collecting food and involving young people in the process – had ten years of success behind them. They were looking forward to another year – when BAM – COVID hit the world and everything was turned upside down.

Jean Longfield and her team at The Gift knew that food was going to be needed even more this year – they also knew that the food drives that has tonnes of food arriving at a selected high school in the city wasn’t going to be possible.

Blue bag ICONIC

Volunteers are the backbone of the people that have in the past collected tonnes of food. Above, a volunteer digs out a blue bag while the woman on the right stands by waiting to weigh the food that arrives.

Mam Bear + scaleThey needed to find a place that was easy to get to – storage space would be nice but they could get by with just enough space to hold what came in each day.

Front door to CentreBurlington Centre came through for them. (Have you noticed how often Burlington Centre has come through for those groups that are out there helping the community?)

The Gift people put together a program that would stretch out for several weeks and placed an order for hundreds of those iconic blue bags that get dropped off at houses throughout the city. People are asked to fill the bags and drop them off at the Burlington Centre.

So far it is working – there is the odd hiccup – but they seem to be able to overcome the small problems.

Hours of operation are set out below. If you don’t have a blue bag – put what you want to give in a box and drop it off.

HoursBest entrance to the Centre to get to the Gift of Giving Back is the main entrance on the Guelph Line side – lots of parking.

Walk in through the main doors – turn right when you get to the elevator and walk 50 yards or so – you can’t miss the place.

Be generous – there are a lot of people out there hurting about now.

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Council learns that Covid vaccinations will probably be done on a mass - public basis

Newsflash 100By Pepper Parr

December 10, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When I talked to my doctor last he mentioned that I would probably get my Covid vaccination around June or July.

I fully expected to visit my doctor when I was told to and get a needle stuck in my arm.

Turns out that is probably not the way vaccinations will be done.

Is this to be "home" for anyone in Burlington on Christmas Day?

This could well be the location for some of the mass – public vaccinations.

During a Council Standing committee earlier today we learned that there will likely be mass – public vaccinations at Nelson Arena and the Haber recreation centre,

When the vaccine has arrived the public will be told where to go to be vaccinated.

City Manager Tim Commisso said he expected this would probably be a top down process; the federal government will let the provinces know when the vaccine is available and the municipalities will handle the administrative part of the mass vaccination process under the guidance of the Regional Public Health Unit.

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Burlington Green has arranged for the screening via Zoom of an important film

eventsgreen 100x100By Pepper Parr

December 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There are some things that you don’t want to miss watching.

The tearing down of the Berlin Wall in Germany.

President Obama speaking to the students at Notre Dame University.

There are others of course.

This evening Burlington Green has arranged for a screening of the film I am Greta. Her story is one parents will want their high school level students exposed to – great stuff.

GRETAGreta Thunberg’s international crusade to bring climate justice to the forefront is an important story, the film explore the behind-the-scenes journey about how she become a force of nature.

Registrants will be sent a confirmation email with a ZOOM link to the event.

REGISTER HERE TODAY!

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