Redbit of Burlington wins prestigious Microsoft award

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 19th,2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

RedBit of Burlington has been announced as the Winner of the 2020 Microsoft Community Response and the Finalist of the Social Impact Partner of the Year INSPIRE Awards

Microsoft logoThe Microsoft Community Response award recognizes partners providing innovative solutions or services to help solve challenges for our customers and community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RedBit’s winning work was with Canada’s largest food rescue organization, Second Harvest which saw them scale their FoodRescue platform nationally to ensure that those in need of food during this pandemic could be reached.

Red bit logo“We here at RedBit feel thrilled about winning and being finalists for such prestigious awards. We would like to thank our hardworking and dedicated team for making this possible, as well as Second Harvest for trusting us to help them deliver their vision. It goes to show how transparent we have been and the value a trustworthy partnership can provide in making the impossible possible,” said Mark Arteaga, president at RedBit. “Our submission for both Social Impact and Community Response highlighted the work we have done with Second Harvest in providing food across the nation for those who needed it the most, especially during these trying times.”

Awards were classified in several categories, with honorees chosen from a set of more than 3,300 submitted nominations from more than 100 countries worldwide. RedBit was not only recognized as the global winner for community response during COVID-19, but also as a global and Canadian finalist for the Social Impact Partner of the Year award.

This award recognizes a partner who has helped the digital transformation of a nonprofit organization. RedBit successfully enabled Second Harvest to be more productive, more innovative, and ultimately, to drive greater societal impact.

Second HarvestThanks in large part to RedBit’s ability to help them quickly scale using Microsoft Azure and launch a mobile app integrated with Power Platform and Dynamics 365, Second Harvest’s Foodrescue.ca has made major strides in their ‘No Hunger, No Waste’ mandate. Since the pandemic the FoodRescue.ca platform has successful provided 1,173,219 meals to communities in need across Canada and averted over 4,890,504 kg of greenhouse gases.

RedBit Development is a software consulting, design and engineering company focused on delivering solutions that help companies and nonprofits reach new audiences, reduce costs, and increase impact. Its strategy is to align technology solutions with an organization’s mission to increase the productivity and efficiency of an organization. RedBit takes the time to learn about the inner workings of an organization’s goals and needs to determine where technology would be the best fit.

Second Harvest is Canada’s largest food rescue organization and expert in perishable food recovery, committed to safe food transportation, storage, and access. Every year food rescue expands to include more farms, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. They work with hundreds of businesses across the food supply chain, reducing the amount of edible food going to waste, which in turn stops millions of pounds of greenhouse gases from damaging our environment. The food Second Harvest recovers is redirected to social service organizations and schools, ensuring people have access to the good food they need to be healthy and strong. Second Harvest is a global thought leader and continually innovates processes and shares methods, to create a better future for everyone. For more information visit www.secondharvest.ca/

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Donated masks might be available to the public by Monday.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Shawna and daughter

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte with her daughter modeling masks made by community members.

Ward 4 Councillor Shawna Stolte advised people via her Facebook page that 14,000 face masks have been donated to the city and that she is looking into setting up distribution centres.

The city administration is working on a plan.

No work on what the other Councillors are doing.

The mask initiative was Stolte’s from the get go – she brought it to the Council table in June – she had to arm wrestle with the Mayor to keep control of her project and once the two women got that worked out off they went to Regional Council learned that the city for the most part was complying with the Regional Bylaw which goes into effect on Wednesday – the city’s goes into effect on Monday.

There is a lot of toing and froing going on here.

Related news stories:

Mayor and Councillor arm wrestle over who will lead the mask initiative.

Mayor comes around: masks play a large roll in limiting the spread of the infection

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Region releases the details of their mask bylaw.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 17, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The amount of time spent by the various municipalities is stunning. The mask by laws are temporary and will be reviewed again at the end of September.

The Region met earlier in the week while the 24 members of the Regional Council debated the xx of the bylaw.

When Mayor Meed Ward get to the end of the long series of debates held at Standing Committee meeting could only impress. Meed Ward declared the Burlington bylaw was the “gold standard”. The Region didn’t see it that way – they opted out of the idea of matching the $10,000 Burlington set aside for the purchase of masks.

While an inordinate amount of time was spent on what is an important issue – masks are a part of the new normal we have to follow if we expect to keep the number of new infections as low as possible.

We publish the Regional Bylaw which we understand is not yet on the Regional web site, as a matter of record.

Region meeting July 15

Regional Council sitting virtually – communicating via ZOOM.  The yellow box around a person indicated who is speaking.

THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF HALTON BY-LAW NO. 47-20
A TEMPORARY BY-LAW TO REQUIRE THE WEARING OF NON-MEDICAL MASKS/FACE COVERINGS IN ENCLOSED PUBLIC PLACES IN THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF HALTON.

WHEREAS subsection 11(2) of the Municipal Act, 2001 (the “Act”), provides the general authority for municipalities to pass by-laws for the “health, safety and well-being of persons”;

AND WHEREAS the spread of COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020;

AND WHEREAS an emergency was declared in the Province of Ontario on March 17, 2020, pursuant to Order in Council 518/2020 for the purposes of section 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and has been extended pursuant to section 7.0.7 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, due to the health risks to Ontario residents arising from COVID-19;

AND WHEREAS on March 23, 2020, the Regional Chair declared a state of emergency in support of the Province’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, made pursuant to subsection 4(1) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act;

AND WHEREAS the Province of Ontario has enacted Ontario Regulation 263/20 under subsection 7.0.2(4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to permit certain businesses to reopen for attendance by members of the public, subject to conditions, including the advice/recommendations/instructions of public health officials;

AND WHEREAS physical distancing (keeping distance from one another and limiting activities outside the home; when outside the home, staying at least 2 metres (or 6 feet) away from other people whenever possible) is difficult to maintain in enclosed public places;

AND WHEREAS a by-law requiring persons to wear a non-medical mask/face covering in enclosed public places is deemed a necessary, recognized, practicable, and effective method to limit the spread of COVID-19, and thereby help protect the health, safety and well-being of the Halton Region community;

AND WHEREAS a by-law requiring the Operator of an enclosed Public Place that is open to the public to adopt a policy to require persons entering the enclosed Public Place to wear a non-medical mask/face covering is deemed a necessary, recognized, practicable, and effective method to limit the spread of COVID-19, and thereby help protect the health, safety and well-being of the Halton Region community;

NOW THEREFORE THE COUNCIL OF THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF HALTON HEREBY ENACTS AS FOLLOWS:

1. THAT:

a) every person must wear a Non-Medical Mask / Face Covering when inside an enclosed Public Place within the geographic area of the Region of Halton;

b) such a Non-Medical Mask / Face Covering shall cover their mouth, nose and chin.

2. THAT every person that is the parent or guardian accompanying a child that is five
(5) years old or older in an enclosed Public Place shall ensure that the child wears a Non-Medical Mask / Face Covering.

3. THAT a “person” shall include any occupant within an enclosed Public Place and shall include, but not be limited to, any owner, operator, employee and worker in the enclosed Public Place and any customer, patron or other visitor in the enclosed Public Place, subject to the exemptions below.

4. THAT no person shall be required to provide proof of any of the exemptions set out below in Section 6.

5. THAT:

a) the Operator of an Public Place that is open to the public, shall adopt a policy as required under this By-law to ensure that no member of the public is permitted entry to, or otherwise remains within, any enclosed space within the Public Place, unless the member of the public is wearing a Non-Medical Mask/Face Covering, in a manner which covers their mouth, nose and chin;

b) the Operator of the Public Place shall, upon request, provide a copy of the policy for inspection by any person authorized to enforce this By-law.

6. THAT this By-law and the policy shall have the following exemptions from the requirement to wear a Non-Medical Mask/Face Covering in enclosed Public Places within Halton Region:

i. the person is under three years of age chronologically;

ii. the person is under three years of age developmentally and they refuse to wear a Mask or Face Covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;

iii. the person has an underlying medical condition where wearing a Mask or Face Covering would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe in any way;

iv. the person may experience a negative impact to their emotional well- being or mental health;

v. the person has a developmental disability which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;

vi. the person has a disability whereby the wearing of a mask or face covering would limit their ability to reasonably communicate with others or otherwise present a hardship for a person or persons assisting the individual;

vii. the person is unable to place or remove a Mask or Face Covering without assistance;

viii. persons temporarily removing their Non-Medical Mask / Face Covering when necessary for receiving services (such as having a meal), or while actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity; and

ix. employees and agents of the person responsible for the Public Place within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier;

7. THAT no person shall be discriminated against for not wearing a non-medical mask / face covering due to an exemption.

8. THAT this By-law and the policy, subject to the about exemptions, shall require that employees wear a Non-Medical Mask / Face Covering when working in the enclosed space within the Public Place.

9. THAT this By-law and the policy shall not require employees or members of the public to provide proof of any of the exemptions set out above.

10. THAT the Operator shall conspicuously post at all entrances to the Public Place clearly visible signage containing the following text:

ALL PERSONS ENTERING OR REMAINING IN THESE PREMISES SHALL WEAR A NON-MEDICAL MASK OR FACE COVERING WHICH COVERS THEIR NOSE, MOUTH AND CHIN AS REQUIRED UNDER THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF HALTON BY-LAW 47-20.

THE FOLLOWING PERSONS SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE REQUIREMENT TO WEAR A NON-MEDICAL MASK / FACE COVERING IN ENCLOSED PUBLIC PLACES WITHIN HALTON REGION:

i. the person is under three years of age chronologically;

ii. the person is under three years of age developmentally and they refuse to wear a Mask or Face Covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;

iii. the person has an underlying medical condition where wearing a Mask or Face Covering would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe in any way;

iv. the person may experience a negative impact to their emotional well-being or mental health;

v. the person has a developmental disability which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;

vi. the person has a disability whereby the wearing of a mask or face covering would limit their ability to reasonably communicate with others or otherwise present a hardship for a person or persons assisting the individual;

vii. the person is unable to place or remove a Mask or Face Covering without assistance;

viii. employees and agents of the person responsible for the Public Place within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier;

Please be respectful of the rights of individuals who are exempt from wearing a mask in conformity with the exemptions provided in the By- law.

To report an incident of noncompliance, contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE CALL 311.

11. THAT the Operator shall ensure that all persons working at the Public Place are trained in the requirements of the policy and this By-law.

12. THAT every person who contravenes any provision of this By-law is guilty of an offence, and on conviction, is liable to a fine as provided for in the Provincial Offences Act.

13. THAT the following definitions shall apply in this By-law:

a) “Non-Medical Mask/Face Covering” means a mask, balaclava, bandana, scarf, cloth or other similar item that covers the nose, mouth and chin without gapping;

b) “Operator” means a person or organization which is responsible for or otherwise has control over the operation of a Public Place;

c) “Public Place” means all places that the public has access to within the following:

a. premises or any portion thereof which are used as a place of business for the sale or offering for sale of goods or services;

b. churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or other places of worship;

c. community centres including indoor recreational facilities;

d. libraries, art galleries, museums, aquariums, zoos and other similar facilities;

e. community service agencies providing services to the public, including municipal administrative buildings;

f. banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums, and other event spaces;

g. premises utilized as an open house, presentation centre, or other facility for real estate purposes;

h. common areas of hotels, motels and other short-term rentals, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities;

i. concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos, and other entertainment facilities; and

j. public transportation and private transportation services (such as taxis, private limousine services, Uber, Lyft and other similar ride programs).

14. THAT despite Section 13c) above, the following premises are not a Public Place for the purposes of this By-law, even if they would otherwise fall within the definition of a Public Place:

a) schools, post-secondary institutions, and child care facilities, correction centres and jails;

b) hospitals, independent health facilities and offices of regulated health professionals;

c) staff-only areas within a Public Place;

d) court facilities and professional offices where clients receive purchased services (such as lawyer or accountant office) that are not open to members of the public except by appointment;

e) indoor areas of a building accessible to only employees; and

f) indoor/outdoor day care and day camps.

15. THAT this By-law shall not be interpreted so as to conflict with a Provincial or Federal statute, regulation, or instrument of a legislative nature, including an order made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

16. THAT this By-law comes into force seven (7) days after the date of enactment (being 12:01am on July 22, 2020).

17. THAT this By-law shall be deemed to no longer be in effect, and revoked at 11:59pm on November 30, 2020, unless extended by Regional Council.

READ and PASSED this 15th day of July, 2020.

REGIONAL CHAIR

REGIONAL CLERK

Report No. LPS59-20

Mator in a mask

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Rivers - takes his play on how people coped with quarantine during the lockdown. 18 and over only for this one.

eventsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

July 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Rivers hand to face

Ray Rivers

Ray Rivers, our political columnist is part farmer (he and his wife used to raise sheep) an academic and a thespian.

Strange Bedfellows – is his play about people coping with quarantine during the COVID 19 lockdown in Ontario. It is nothing less than an historical bookmark of this very scary period. The play is part of the Hamilton Fringe Stream Out Loud series running from July 21 to 26, 2020 and will only be accessible on-line.

This is the third production Ray Z Rivers has brought to the stage at Hamilton’s Fringe. Five actors, through the graces of the internet and ZOOM, each play their parts from their own homes as the play winds through its story.

Play dates are Tues July 21 @ 6:30pm – Fri July 24 @ 8:30pm – and Sat July 25 @ 9:10pm

Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/strange-bedfellows-at-what-the-fest-tickets-112334495500

Contact: Ray Rivers – rayzrivers@gmail.com – 905-659-2069

Note: This play is not recommended for those under 18 years of age.

Rivers Fringe Poster

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City set aside $10k to buy masks - they become mandatory on Monday - where are the masks?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 17, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

mask envelope

Several community groups worked together to produce 3000 masks that are being distributed in the community.

When the story of how Burlington coped with the first pandemic in 100 years is written the Great Mask Debate will have a chapter of its own. Covid19 is now well embedded in the lexicon of the world.

One of the features of the Burlington approach to keeping the spread of infections down was to set $10,000 aside to pay for masks that would be distributed to people who were not in a position to buy masks.

The by law that requires people to wear “when inside an enclosed Public Place “comes into effect on Monday July 20th, 2020.

Masks - Packaging Lynda & Connie

Connie Price and Lynda Hall pitting masks in envelopes where they are quarantined for 72 hours – then distributed.

The Region has a similar bylaw that comes into effect on July 22nd.

To the best of our knowledge the city does not yet have a supply of masks nor does there appear to be a policy in place as to who will distribute those masks – when they are available.

The Gazette along with a number of community groups produced the parts that went into the sewing of 3000 masks.

UPDATE

Kwab Ako-Adjei, Director, Corporate Communications & Government Relations informed the Gazette that “we are working on a plan for free masks. We will announce that plan once it’s complete.

“In the meantime, we have let residents know that many bricks and mortar stores and online retailers sell masks, and many small businesses that sell them on social media platforms like Facebook.”

 

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Why no masks in a Court House?

News 100 redBy Staff

July 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Parking - took his chances

This truck could have picked up a $250. ticket

If you are fined for a Parking Offence in the Beachway – that’s a provincial offence and you would go to the Court House on Palladium Way where your case would be heard..

If for some reason the city found a way to fine you for not wearing a mask – this is an iffy one. But if the wearing of masks doesn’t take with the public the city will have to do something to enforce.

In the event that either of these happened – you would not have to wear a mask inside the court house.

That is ironic.

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There is now a bylaw that asks you to wear a face mask - don't get silly and say the science doesn't support the benefits of a face mask - just wear the thing.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We now have two bylaws related to the wearing of face masks.

The city bylaw that was passed on Monday and the Regional by law that was passed yesterday.

If we got it right – Burlington’s bylaw complies with the Region so there is no conflict.

Burlington has some additional features in its bylaw – the spending of $10,000 on masks for people are not able to buy masks.

There are some basics in both bylaws that are essentially the same.

There are rules the public is being asked to follow.  They are

WHERE THE BYLAW APPLIES INDOORS:

CITY HALL Cobalt

Mask needed to enter City Hall

premises or any portion thereof which are used as a place of business for the sale or offering for sale of goods or services, and includes a mall or similar structure which contains multiple places of business;

churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, or other places of worship;

City indoor facilities open to the public, community centres including indoor recreational facilities and City Hall;

libraries, art galleries, performing arts centre, museums, aquariums, zoos and other similar facilities;

community service agencies providing services to the public;

banquet halls, convention centres, arenas, stadiums, and other event spaces;

premises utilized as an open house, presentation centre, or other facility for real estate purposes;

private transportation for hire, including taxis, limousines and rideshare services;

public transportation;

common areas of hotels, motels and other short-term rentals, such as lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms or other common use facilities; and

    concert venues, theatres, cinemas, casinos, and other entertainment facilities.

WHERE IT DOESN’T APPLY:

Court House POA

You do not need to wear a mask in the Court House.

schools, post-secondary institutions, and child care facilities and indoor/outdoor day camps;

premises or any portion thereof (including City indoor facilities and community centres) used for City run recreational programs that require registration;

court facilities;

professional offices where clients receive purchased services (such as lawyer or accountant office) that are not open to members of the public except by appointment;

indoor areas of a building accessible to only employees;

hospitals, independent health facilities and offices of regulated health professionals.

EXEMPTIONS:

    the person is under three years of age chronologically;

    the person is under three years of age developmentally and they refuse to wear

    a Mask or Face Covering and cannot be persuaded to do so by their caregiver;

    the person has an underlying medical condition where wearing a Mask or Face Covering would inhibit the person’s ability to breathe in any way;

    the person may experience a negative impact to their emotional well-being or mental health;

    the person has a developmental disability which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering;

    the person has a disability whereby the wearing of a Mask or Face Covering would limit their ability to reasonably communicate with others or otherwise present a hardship for a person or persons assisting the individual;

    the person is unable to place or remove a Mask or Face Covering without assistance; or,

    employees and agents of the person responsible for the Establishment within an area designated for them and not for public access, or within or behind a physical barrier.

IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE:

There is NO REQUIREMENT of proof of exemptions

This is the point at which we learn how civilized a society we are.  There is a 73 year old man who lived in Minden who was shot dead by police over the issue of his not wanting to wear a mask. He wasn’t shot because he wouldn’t wear a mask – he was shot dead because a situation got out of control.

You don’t to wear a mask and you don’t have to prove that you are exempt.  What our political leadership is asking – is that you wear a face mask to keep the other people safe – when they wear their mask you too will be safer.

There are those out there will argue that there is no science behind the mask.  That’s debatable – staying alive and safe is not something we want to debate – or do we?

Let us not fall into the disaster south of us.

We learned to wear seat belts.

We learned that we could no smoke inside public places.

We can learn to wear a face mask.

 

 

 

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Some seniors who got the $300 grant from the federal government have been donating the money to the Food Bankj

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is one of those nice warm feel good news stories.

Earlier this month those $300 cheques from the federal government began arriving at bank accounts.

Robin Bailey June 3rd-20

Robin Bailey Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank

Robin Bailey Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank told us earlier today that a number of people felt they didn’t need the money and passed it along to the Food Bank.

Bailey said: “We had quite a few of these donations and many let us know that they were just paying it forward. What a generous and heart-warming thing to do. Thank you so much Seniors for thinking of your community and of our Food Bank!”

The number of seniors the Food Bank helps has increased recently and we are hoping that many more will make use of our service as the hear about us. Hoping that the rest of us can all do our own part to keep our seniors safe by following all the recommended safety precautions.

Please continue to share our contact info with neighbours, friends and family members that the Food Bank is here to help alleviate some of the financial stresses.

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help PLEASE have them email us at info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at their door or they can now pick it up. If you live in Burlington, we are here to help.

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School board chair Andrea Grebenc puts forward a barn burner of a motion.

News 100 redBy Andrea Grebenc

July 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Chair of the Halton District School Board Andrea Grebenc moved a motion that was passed unanimously by the trustees – it was a barn burner of a speech.

Whereas Trustees are mandated by the Education Act to maintain focus on student achievement and well-being, to assist the board in delivering effective and appropriate education programs to its pupils and to bring concerns of parents, students and supporters of the board to the attention of the board;

And whereas the people of Halton enter into a social contract with the government to educate and act as childcare providers through paying taxes;

ndrea Grebenc July 15

HDSB Chair Andrea Grebenc immediately after read out her strong motion.

And whereas current Ministry funding for the hybrid/adaptive 15-student model does not allow for daily, in-person student attendance;

And whereas the hybrid model forces working parents to seek alternative childcare for younger children;

And whereas childcare for potentially 36,000 Halton District School Board(HDSB) Kindergarten to grade 6 students does not currently exist in Halton Region;

And whereas the hybrid model exposes younger students that require childcare during working hours to potentially unsafe and/or unsupervised environments;

And whereas unregulated, temporary childcare situations do not require inspection to show evidence of adherence to Public Health protocols that limit the spread of the coronavirus;

And whereas temporary childcare situations may mix students from various school classes, schools and boards, exponentially exposing the contained classroom “bubble” of students and staff and risking harder-to-trace-and-contain outbreaks in various classes, schools and across boards;

And whereas childcare costs money, potentially placing families into critical financial situations that may affect student achievement and well-being;

And whereas the hybrid model increases equity gaps, felt more profoundly by racialized, indigenous, and socioeconomically disadvantaged families, as well as students with special needs;

Grebenc - expressive hands

The Gazette always saw Andrea Grebenc as a woman with potential but timid – not prepared to make challenging statements. That changed on Wednesday

And whereas the hybrid model may increase mental health issues and system stress by compressing the time to meet curriculum expectations by half;

And whereas internationally respected children’s hospitals have indicated that full-time attendance is what is best for children;

And whereas model constraints and funding does not allow for truly innovative educational solutions to come forward;

And whereas recent messaging from the provincial government regarding who will decide which of the three models will be implemented in September 2020 has been unclear;

Be it resolved that the Chair write a letter on behalf of the Board of Trustees, copying all Ontario Boards, OPSBA and local MPPs, indicating their concerns with the current part-time hybrid/adaptive model as outlined by the Ministry of Education, requesting the hybrid/adaptive model, under its current funding level, be withdrawn as an option for September 2020 for students in Kindergarten to grade six, requesting appropriate funding for the 15-student model as a daily attendance model or adjusting the model cohort parameters, and

Be it resolved that the Chair ask the Minister of Education for clarification about who the decision maker is for the September school year start up.

In comments made after the motion was tabled Grebenc said that “there are in excess of 36,000 elementary students within the Halton Board – where are those children going to be cared for should they have to distant learn.

Miller in a huddle with Grebenc

Grebenc conferring with HDSB Director of Education Stuart Miller

“What will we get – quickly formed day care centre’s that are not regulated, not inspected with other children coming from who knows where.  The bubbles that most families created to ensure their kids were safe would not be feasible.”

In the years we have watched Grebenc slowly develop a platform she was passionate about. wondering if we would every see one.  It was on display at the school board on Wednesday.

Now Andrea Grebenc, try to move beyond a polite letter.

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City hall opens offering some services - no meetings and no public input.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Service Burlington counter at City Hall will be open for business on Monday.

City hall - older pic

Now open to the public

The space will be open to the public to make in-person payments for the following services:

  • Parking permits and tickets
  • Property taxes
  • Freedom of Information requests
  • Garbage tags
  • Dog licenses
  • Property information requests
  • Recreation services.

The counter will be open from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Service Burlington will continue to offer marriage licenses and commissioning services by appointment.  Please call Service Burlington at 905-335-7777 to schedule.

Anyone entering City Hall must wear a mask or face covering unless exempted from by the Mandatory Mask Bylaw. Residents are asked to bring and wear their own masks.

Payment methods accepted

At this time, customers can use debit or credit card payments for all payments except property taxes.  Customers can pay property taxes by debit or cheque.  Cash will not be accepted.

If cash is the preferred method of payment for property taxes, please visit your bank to make the payment. Residents can also use the drop box outside City Hall, located at the Elgin Street entrance for cheque payments, letters, or small packages.

Health and Safety procedures for visiting City Hall in person

To protect the health and safety of staff and residents and prevent the spread of COVID-19, visitors to City Hall will see a number of precautions in place, including:

  • One entrance to City Hall through the Elgin Street doors only, exit will be through the doors facing Brant Street.

Expect to experience

  • COVID-19 screening questions
  • Plexiglass screens at the counter
  • Floor markings to support physical distancing requirements of no less than 2m
  • Signage to assist with the number of visitors at one time and the movement of visitors through the main floor. Maximum of four people being served in City Hall at one time
  • Visitors must wear a non-medical face covering unless exempted from by the mandatory mask bylaw – please bring your own mask.

Online Services

While all other customer service counters within City Hall, including planning, building and the Clerks Department, remain closed at this time, the City encourages businesses and residents to use its online services:

  • Development Applications – The City is able to accept all types of development applications digitally including development applications for pre-consultation, committee of adjustment, demolitions, site plan control, zoning clearance and many more. Please visit burlington.ca//developmentinfo
  • Online Services at burlington.ca/onlineservices – includes business licensing, marriage licenses, dog licenses, reporting form for street lights, signs and signals, and many more online services.

As residents continue to rediscover many of their favourite spaces and activities in the city, City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority.

  • Property owners visiting City Hall to pay property tax bills are reminded payment of the April and August installments can be made up to Aug. 31, 2020, with no late payment charges in response to the COVD-19 pandemic. Property owners experiencing financial hardship may enroll in a monthly pre-authorized payment plan. This plan will provide withdrawals from Aug. 1 to Dec. 1 to pay the remaining 2020 property taxes (April, August and October installments). No penalty or interest will be charged to taxpayers enrolled in this plan. The deadline to enroll is July 27. For more information or help setting up a pre-authorized tax payment plan, email pap@burlington.ca or call 905-335-7750.
  • In an effort to continue to protect the health and safety of the community and stop the spread of COVID-19, Burlington City Council unanimously approved a temporary bylaw that makes masks or face coverings mandatory in enclosed public places in Burlington. The new mask bylaw takes effect on July 20 and expires on Sept. 30, 2020, unless extended or revoked by City Council.

The city media release uses the word mandatory to describe the bylaw but they do not have any way to enforce the bylaw.  They need your cooperation which should be given willingly.

 

 

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Ontario has produced some great sports talent - with a couple of tennis starts leading the way these days.

sportsgold 100x100By Lauren Wilson

July 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ontario has an impressive track record when it comes to producing incredible athletes. It’s no surprise that Ontario has given us some of the finest ice hockey players in history, with Bobby Orr hailing from the town of Parry Sound and Wayne Gretzky growing up in Brantford.

Burlington has its own tradition of churning out talented ice hockey players, but sport in Ontario is not all about the puck.

Davis cup

Harvard student Dwight Filley Davis spent $750 for the crafting of a beautiful silver bawl that was completed on February 9, 1900. It became the Davis Cup, the premier international team event in men’s tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format.

Canada has made massive waves in the tennis world in recent years, to the point where the nation reached the Davis Cup final in 2019. It took a strong Spain side, featuring a certain Rafael Nadal, to stop Canada from winning tennis’ premier team competition, with the youthful nature of the Canadian side boding well for the country’s future.

Quebec has played its part in making Canada a powerful tennis nation in the 21st century, with Eugenie Bouchard and Felix Auger-Aliassime both Montreal natives. However, Ontario has played an even more prominent role. Here’s a look at two tennis stars who have enjoyed highly successful careers in recent times, and two younger players who appear destined for greatness.
The established stars: Daniel Nestor and Milos Raonic

Daniel Nestor was born in Belgrade in 1972, but he made Toronto his home at a very early age. The adopted Ontario citizen became one of the sport’s greatest doubles players of all time, accumulating some incredible statistics during his career. Nestor became the first ATP doubles player to win 1000 matches, and he was ranked in the top 100 of the doubles rankings for 1134 consecutive weeks between April 1994 and April 2018.

That’s mind-boggling, but it gets even better; Nestor became the first player in doubles history to win every Grand Slam, every Masters event, the Tour Finals, and the Olympic competition at least once. Nestor’s partnership with Sébastien Lareau secured Canada’s first-ever Olympic tennis medal as they won gold in the 2000 Sydney games – proof of Nestor’s remarkable influence on furthering Canadian tennis.

Cats 3 Milos

Milos Raconic will go down as one of the most formidable tennis players in history.

Nestor amassed 12 Grand Slam titles in total, but such a title has eluded Milos Raonic. From an early age, Raonic was tipped as someone who could dominate men’s tennis. While his serve continues to overpower opponents and will go down as one of the most formidable in history, Raonic approaches his thirties with a 2016 Wimbledon final as his biggest Slam achievement. However, Raonic has still enjoyed a long and successful career on the ATP tour, with his career-high ranking of 3 the best achievement by a male Canadian singles player.

The future prospects: Denis Shapovalov and Bianca Andreescu
However, Raonic’s ranking record may be in danger from the 21-year-old Denis Shapovalov, a powerful hitter who grew up in Vaughan. Just like a young Raonic, Shapovalov has been tipped for big things. You’d expect to see Shapovalov among the favourites in online sports betting markets for Grand Slam events for years to come, with Canadian punters hopeful that Shapovalov can go one step further than Raonic and join tennis’ elite group of Slam champions. With a career-high ranking of 13 and a stunning win over Nadal under his belt, the signs look good that Shapovalov can go right to the top.

Cats3 Bianca

Bianca Andreescu, the 19 year old who took the tennis world by storm and stunned Canadians who immediately took her to heart.

Someone who has already got there is Bianca Andreescu, who was born on the shores of Lake Ontario in Mississauga. A 19-year-old Andreescu stormed her way to the US Open title in 2019, emerging as the first Canadian to win a Grand Slam singles title. How can she be included as a future prospect rather than an established star? Andreescu would be right to be aggrieved given her incredible achievements already (sorry, Bianca, if you’re reading this), but there’s still so much more to come from this remarkable talent.

Whereas Raonic appears to be on the decline following an outstanding career, the sky is the limit for Andreescu. CNN agrees that she has all the shot-making ability and the mental strength to go down as one of the all-time greats.

In fact, Ontario could watch two of its own dominate on both the WTA and ATP sides for years to come. The exploits of Andreescu and Shapovalov will no doubt inspire young tennis fans in Burlington to pick up a racket and follow in the footsteps of their fellow Ontarians.

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Female Found Without Vital Signs in Burlington

Crime 100By Staff

July 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Just before 10:30 this morning the Regional police responded to an incident in the area of Queensway Drive and Guelph Line in Burlington for initial reports of a female located without vital signs.

HRPS crestUpon arrival, officers and paramedics performed CPR and the female was ultimately revived. The female was transported to hospital, where she remains with unknown injuries.

A male was observed with the female prior to police arrival and left before talking with police. He was subsequently arrested, not in relation to the female’s injuries.

The investigation is ongoing at this time. Police will not be commenting on the relationship between the accused and the female.

Police do not believe there to be any known, ongoing, related risk to public safety in regards to this incident.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to contact the on-duty Staff Sergeant at 905-825-4747 ext 2310.

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

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Joseph Brant Museum has officially re-opened.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

July 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Giants, Dragons & Unicorns will be haunting the halls of the Joseph Brant Museum which is now officially open.

It is all part of the World of Mythic Creatures (organized by the American Museum of Natural History) that will be extended to January 3, 2021. Changes have been implemented to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. Learn more about what to expect and how to pre-book your visit on our website.

Museum re-opensThe Museums of Burlington is also offering a virtual summer program for kids. Virtual Visits are daily one hour Zoom sessions featuring live instruction by a Museum Educator who will guide a series of creative, hands-on, structured activities and crafts that relate to a weekly theme.

Programs are designed for children aged 8-12, parental supervision is required for some activities. Programs are one week in duration and take place from 11 am to 12 pm each day. The cost is $25/week and includes a craft supply bag.

How it works:

• Register online, you’ll receive an email receipt/confirmation.

• The week prior to the program start, you will receive the daily Zoom meeting links, daily itineraries and supply checklists.

• The Friday prior to the program start date, your supply bag will be packaged up and ready for pick-up at Joseph Brant Museum from 11 am to 3 pm. Please ensure you and your child prepare your supplies in advance so you’re ready to go for 11 am each day. There will be items required that are not included in the supply bag provided.

 

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Sports equipment available for one week free of charge at the Brant Hills Community Centre

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Are the kids bored – looking for something to do?

Very few families have every piece of sports equipment their kids would like to use.

The City has developed a program where sports equipment can be borrowed.

The program is being run out of the Brant Hills Community Centre. Equipment is borrowed for a one-week period from Tuesday to Monday.

Equipment booking can only be done online at burlington.ca/playlending with pick-up and drop-off at the east entrance of the Brant Hills Community Centre.

Some of the equipment available to borrow includes hockey sticks, croquet set, cornhole, bocce, tennis rackets, ladder toss and much more.

The full list is available on burlington.ca/playlending.

All equipment and bags will be thoroughly sanitized between uses to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

If you have questions – use the email address: communityconnects@burlington.ca.

Beard - hoola hoope - run jump play

Manager of Community Development, Denise Beard, on the right, demonstrates how to handle a hula hoop

Denise Beard, Manager of Community Development make a good point when she said: “Anyone wanting to try a new sport or activity should check out some of the equipment we have for free lending. You or your kids might find a new favourite activity they really like and want to pursue further. It can also be that it’s just something different to break up the monotony that can fall upon the dog-days of summer. Now that we have casual use of our parks, it’s another great opportunity to get out and play outside.”

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Gazette comments feature has been restored.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Gazette logo Black and red smallThe comments feature on the Burlington Gazette has been restored. It took a considerable amount of time and a cost that was not budgeted for.

The specifics of the why comments were not fully operational are still being investigated.

Our process for publishing comments will change in the very near future.

One active reader, who called to complain at least every third day made the remark that”you have the only place where people can air their view.  Gratifying to know that.

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Cedar Spring group doing the Terry Fox Run virtually.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier this week, a group of people gathered at the Terry Fox monument in Spencer Smith Park.

It was the evening of July 13th – the anniversary of the day that Terry ran through Burlington in 1980.

2020 Team Cedar Springs

Members of the Cedar Springs gym who have been doing the Terry Fox Run for a Cure for Cancer for the past six years decided they would not let the official cancellation of the run stop them – they are doing the run virtually. Far left in terry shirt Craig Gardner next Daniel Zai down low Kristy Smith behind Daniel in white top Suzanne Sawell beside Suzanne in black top (hiding behind monument) Nancy Demerling Right side of monument Mary Cook-Hyslop down low behind her in red top Sheilagh O’Drsicoll to the right of Sheilagh Colleen Clairmont beside Colleen Beth Buttenham and beside Beth Lisa Drewry Missing from the picture Kevin Bita and Graham Oakley.

In 1981 Burlington citizens decided they would hold an annual run to raise funds for the Terry Fox Foundation to Cure Cancer. They have raised more than $2.2 million.

The runners and there are thousands of them tend to be both corporate teams and small groups.

One such group, a team from Cedar Springs gym has been doing the Terry Fox run for six years and have raised over $17K

With the annual run cancelled due to COVID19, the team went virtual with everyone on the team of ten walking, running, hiking starting June 1 and keeping track of their km’s with a goal of reaching 3582 km’s by July 13.

That was the number of km’s Terry Fox had run when he past the spot of the Terry Fox Marker in Burlington on July 13, 1980.

The team was able to surpass that number and this year so far have raised $1,575.

The team is looking for other teams to come forward with unique virtual challenges.

Craig Gardner is the Run coordinator this year. He is using social media and every ear he can bend to encourage people not to give up just because we are in the middle of a pandemic.

“Terry Fox did his best” said Gardner “we can do the same”. He added that it does mean being creative and looking for way to get the exercise you know you need and turn it into a fundraiser.

The Burlington Terry Fox organization has published a series of articles about the people who made the run it has become during the past 40 years.

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Almost anything would have been better than the contract the PM gave WE - Rivers suggests a Basic Income or pay their tuition fees.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

July 15th, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

 

From all we know the WE organization does pretty good work. And despite recent complaints by some staff, this charity has been seen as a huge success. After all, the founding brothers have both earned the Order of Canada for their efforts to improve the lives of young people worldwide. So it is unsurprising that key political figures, like those around the PM and his finance minister are linked to this organization.

Rivers Mario Dion

Ethics Commissioner, Mario Dion

And so, nobody should be surprised when Canada’s Ethics Commissioner, Mario Dion, again sanctions the PM. This time the conflict of interest revolves around the PM planning to grant a billion dollar contract to WE when his family had a history of working with them. That includes his mother earning a quarter of million dollars over the last few years.

The Ethics Commissioner, Mario Dion, reports to Parliament but is otherwise virtually unaccountable so he can pretty much call the shots as he sees them. And it is patently obvious that Mr. Dion has no love for this PM. Dion’s criticism of Trudeau over the Lavalin fiasco had been challenged by some as inappropriate. But there was no question that Trudeau’s accepting a paid vacation by the Aga Khan, who is a recipient of federal dollars, was inappropriate.

This WE mess is almost inexplicable for a seasoned politician. Surely there is someone working in the Prime Minister’s office who could advise Trudeau when he is about to step into it – another conflict of interest? Are they afraid to tell the emperor that his new suit of clothes will only leave him naked?

The PM argued passionately that WE was the only organization capable of delivering such a broad reaching program. Clearly that is not really the case, as the regular public service has now stepped up to the task of putting this fragmented and complicated aid program into action.

But it’s not just the involvement of WE that should consume our attention. The student grant program, harkens back to the problematic 1960/70’s Company of Young Canadians. In the end it was Justin’s father who axed that experiment in cultural revolution, and for good reason. Channelling youth into doing good things, like everything else in life, requires a lot of coordination and effort as well as money. And that makes it expensive, particularly in the midst of a pandemic.

If the goal is youth engagement, an option would be a program of national service. For example, there is talk south of the border of doing just that. However, if the objective of Trudeau’s project is to help students get tuition money, there is a much simpler solution. Just pay a portion of the students’ tuition bills? What could be more progressive policy for the Trudeau Liberals than making access to post secondary education less costly and thus more of a human right and a public good?

Trudeau’s student grant program would have worked out to an average of $700 per university student had it been totally allocated to paying tuition fees. That amount would be even less if other post secondary students are included in the calculations. But since tuition fees vary among provinces with a national average around $6000, we are talking about just a small fraction of the costs facing students.

Sadly the flaws in the design of this federal emergency student grant program are typical of what’s wrong with all of the other federal COVID emergency programs. CERB, the showcase emergency package. is now demanding that 130,000 recipients return their cheques. Recipients who thought they were in compliance of emergency aid now find themselves being accused of dis-honesty. And in many cases the blame lies with the eligibility criteria or other aspects of CERB program design.

CERB application

The government saw the CERB as something that would meet an immediate need – has it?

The wage subsidy program should make everybody scratch their heads. Why should the government pay employers to pay employees three quarters of their regular pay while they sit at their work stations with no work? They would be better off receiving a job furlough and staying at home on EI/CERB payments, or taking up a part-time job. It is little wonder that the uptake is well below expectations. And if the goal of this program is to discourage major lay-offs, there are 20,000 former employees at Air Canada who would dispute that notion.

Most economists support the Prime Minister putting money into the pockets of Canadians who have lost their jobs. But playing Santa for every special interest group is awfully close to what was once called pork barrelling. Indigenous communities, farmers, and even seniors have been treated to money which eventually comes out of their own pockets.

The alternative is a universal basic income (UBI), guaranteed annual income, (GAI) or negative income tax program, any of which would end up costing Canadians less money in the long run. Indeed instituting a $1000 per month UBI would cost about the same in gross terms as this year’s expected deficit. Though $1500 or even $2000 might be more realistic and could be an eventual program goal.

UBI becomes far less costly overall when the potential exists to replace a myriad of socio-economic support programs, such as old age security, employment insurance, and even general welfare. Since every adult would be eligible there would need no scamming, game playing or breaking the rules. And because the UBI would be taxed back or clawed back at tax time, only those in real need would truly benefit. This should be a no-brainer for a truly progressive government.

UBI graphic

Universal Basic Income has been researched. No movement though.

And yet, there are members of all political parties who would support UBI and keep the minority government in power. So the question is why Mr.Trudeau, who talked of big change during his first election, has rejected UBI? What could be more important for a progressive politician than ensuring basic income security for all Canadians? What better way to soothe the minds of Canadians worried about how the government will pay for its extravagant COVID period spending than knowing they’ll be mostly alright when it comes to paying their bills?

This is not going to be the last pandemic nor major crisis we will experience in this country. Indeed we are far from seeing the end now, despite a recent downturn in the infection numbers. An income security program, like UBI, would allow governments to take the kinds of important actions they need to do to wipe out the virus, rather than trying to juggle virus control with economic consequences.

And since post secondary students would also receive UBI, the PM might be able to avoid embarrassing situations, like that ill-fated WE charity contract.

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:

WE Charity Mess –    WE Charity –     Student Grant Program –     US National Service –   How WE expected to manage they contract

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The city had a message on the use of the Beachway - many didn't see it quite that way.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is the story about what the city wanted to get across to people and how people reacted to messages they may not have heard.

rentals

Social distance was being observed for the most part.

As the hot summer temperatures continue, the City of Burlington continues to remind residents and visitors of some of the ways they can stay cool while continuing to protect the health and safety of the community and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

The problem is – the cool waters of Lake Ontario beckon – a part of town where there are more cars looking for a place to park than there are parking lots.

Beachway Park
Burlington’s beautiful waterfront at Beachway Park is a popular destination when temperatures are high, however, visitors to the beach are reminded:

Clothing was found in a pile in Beachway PArk - police seached land and water - no body recovered and no missing report filed.

Beachway – another of the city’s gems.

• The City of Burlington continues to be in a state of emergency due to COVID-19. Please continue to respect physical distancing measures at all times

• Keep two metres away from others (e.g. the length of a hockey stick) sitting on the beach and in the water

• Gather in groups of no more than 10 people who are part of your social circle

• Move to the right on the Waterfront trail to make room for others to pass safely.

The City will be taking some additional measures to educate residents and control parking around the Beachway. City of Burlington Park Ambassadors and Parking Enforcement Staff will also be in the vicinity to assist with these measures.

Increased Signage

Parking - took his chances

Not much more the city can do – if this vehicle got a ticket it amounted to $250.

Additional signs will be placed informing visitors of:
• No parking zones, tow away zones
• Cost of parking tickets on signs (where possible)
• “Parking lot full” signs at street entrances
• Physical distancing signs at more locations.

Parking at Beachway Park
Parking spaces at Beachway Park are limited and the lot fills quickly. Visitors are reminded to:

• Consider coming back another time if the parking lot is full, or parking their vehicle in an alternative location where parking is permitted and space exists on the beach to ensure physical distancing

• Avoid parking illegally – City bylaw officers will be enforcing ticketing and towing to discourage overcrowding at the beach.

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Community Support Fund created to fund a variety of virtual or limited in-person events. $5000 grants

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

One of the city’s more popular and effective programs has done a quick pivot and adapted to a Covid 19 environment.

Community Support Fund will be providing funding for innovative programs and projects that foster community connections during COVID-19:

This umbrella program will combine existing funding programs to provide financial support to residents and community groups who want to enrich and connect their communities through sport, recreation, art and cultural experiences during COVID-19.

The Community Support Fund temporarily brings together: Love My Hood, the Community Development Fund, The Neighbourhood Matching Fund and the Burlington Arts and Culture Fund. The combined fund will simplify the funding process and make it easier for Burlington residents and community groups to access financial supports and enhance their community’s well being.

Lakeshore ball park - matching grant winners

These four fellow got together to improve the condition of the ball park near their school. A community program helped with the funding.

The Community Support Fund will help fund a variety of virtual or limited in-person events, programs and projects in Burlington neighbourhoods and communities up to a maximum value of $5000 per application. It is a one-time annual funding program designed to recognize the importance of community during these challenging times. By providing access to funding, the City is looking for innovative ideas to connect and enhance our community.

Eligibility
The Community Support Fund is available to Burlington based:

• Informal, unofficial or formal community-based organizations, not-for-profit, grassroots groups, schools and faith organizations

• Individual persons, artists or community champions.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and evaluated monthly by City staff. Proposed projects must:

• Comply with public health and safety measures and any provincial orders
• Demonstrate the goals and outcomes expected from the project
• Explain how the project will benefit the community
• Demonstrate how the funds will be used
• Show how the project aligns with the goal and objectives of the Community Support Fund.

For more information, and to apply for the Community Support Fund, visit burlington.ca/funding.

He is no longer "acting"; it's now the real deal as Chris Glenn gets appointed the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city.

Chris Glenn  Director of Parks and Recreation for the city.

Chris Glenn, Recreation Services Director explains the rationale behind the program: “COVID-19 physical distancing measures have made it very challenging to connect in-person with friends and neighbours these last few months but we know there is still a great desire in the community to want to help each other and gather, in ways that are still safe and comply with provincial orders. With help from the Community Support Fund, we encourage groups and individuals to get creative and think about programs or projects that will give the community new ways of connecting and support our mental and physical well being.”

 

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We have a face mask bylaw - comes into effect July 20th - unless the Region comes up with something different

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At times it seemed like a gong show.

The Mayor was riding herd on a city council that wasn’t in the Council Chamber.

There was a motion on the floor that was being bombarded with amendments – then amendments on the amendments.  A field day for those who tuck Roberts Rules of Order under their pillows.

City Solicitor Nancy Shea Nicol and one of her staff spent a large part of the weekend writing the bylaw – which they then proceeded to re-vise via amendments on the fly.

It was a gong show indeed with Councillor Kearns getting close to emotional when she insisted the the signs that are to go up in every place of business had to point out that three year old children did not have to wear a mask.

At one point Councillor Sharman seemed throw his arms up in despair and say that “sure” I’ll go along with that.

We are going to have to wait for the minutes of the meeting to determine just how many amendments there were.

council chamber with fans May 25

The Mayor, an assistant, the City Clerk and the AV person are in the Council chamber – the rest are at home taking part via zoom

But City Council did approve a temporary bylaw that makes masks or face coverings mandatory in enclosed spaces open to the public in Burlington, as of July 20, 2020.

All seven members of Council will troop into a ZOOM Regional meeting and perhaps approve something different which would make the Burlington motion mute ?

Mayor Meed Ward was so proud of what her Council had done and said that she felt the Burlington bylaw would become the “gold standard”.

The bylaw is generally consistent with other mask bylaws whereby individuals or organizations that are responsible for operation of businesses or facilities with enclosed (indoor) space open to the public be required to ensure no member of the public is permitted entry or remains on the premises unless wearing a mask or face covering.

Solicitor Shea Nicol said what her office put together was based on the city of Toronto model.

Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, recommends the use of face coverings when physical distancing could be a challenge and is supportive of municipalities implementing bylaws that aim to increase the use of face coverings as an additional layer of protection to control COVID-19 in the community.

The new bylaw applies to all indoor spaces that are openly accessible to the public, including:

• retail stores
• convenience stores
• malls, shopping plazas
• grocery stores, bakeries, farmer’s markets (enclosed areas)
• restaurants, bars (when permitted to open for indoor service)
• indoor recreational facilities (unless exempted)
• libraries
• community centres
• community service agencies
• personal service settings
• churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and faith settings
• art galleries, museums
• banquet halls, convention centres, arenas and other event spaces
• real estate facilities such as open house, presentation centres
• common areas in hotels, motels and short-term rentals (e.g. lobbies, elevators, meeting rooms)
• entertainment facilities including concert venues, theatres and cinemas
• business offices open to the public

Although masks are widely available in retails stores and online retailers, plans are being developed for residents who are unable to purchase their own masks.

Exemptions and Exceptions
The bylaw includes exemptions for those who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons including mental health concerns, children under the age of three and other reasonable accommodations.

Children under three years of age should never be required to wear a mask or face covering.

The bylaw also permits the temporary removal of a mask or face covering when receiving services, having a meal or engaging in athletic or fitness activity. The bylaw does not apply to apartment buildings and condominiums, child care facilities and schools, and areas that are not enclosed (i.e. restaurant patios).

Adjusting to the mandatory mask bylaw will take some time. Residents are encouraged to be kind and compassionate with each other, and to approach fellow community members who may not be wearing a mask with understanding and offers of assistance, rather than judgement.

To report an incident of noncompliance, contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

As residents continue to rediscover many of their favourite spaces and activities in the city, City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority.

Meed Ward with chain Sept 23-19

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward – sitting as Chair of a City Council meeting.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward gets the last word:  “The situation around this pandemic changes daily and as new information emerges, we must be ready to respond quickly. We recently learned of our ability to pass a bylaw, and with the support of Halton’s Medical Officer of Health, we believe passing a temporary mandatory mask bylaw is another way to keep our community healthy and safe as we restart our economy and open more activities to the public. Halton Region will also be considering a bylaw on July 15, but we can’t wait. Passing our own helps us ensure the bylaw meets the needs of our local community. There will be exemptions and we will take an educational approach to enforcement, with ticketing as a last resort.

I implore everyone to treat each other with kindness and compassion, and not shame or stigmatize those who have legitimate reasons for being unable to wear masks. This has been democracy in action, based on health evidence and advice. I want to thank everyone who provided feedback. We tried to reflect the support, as well as the concerns we heard in this bylaw proposal.”

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