Profiles of Hope: Donald Carmichael - what to do to stay engaged and active with the cause for 2020

terryfox 4 final

Terry Fox running his Marathon of Hope along Lakeshore Road in 1980. There is a monument in almost this exact spot, closer to the water, commemorating that run

The Terry Fox Run for Cancer Research, an annual event in Burlington since 1981, won’t take place this year in its usual form. The physical distancing rules due to the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t permit large gatherings. And Terry Fox events are very large gatherings

This isn’t just in Burlington, but runs across the country. Volunteers from this outstanding community have worked hard for 39 years to grow the event to the point where it has raised $2.2 million for cancer research.

They were not prepared to just let the event dribble away – it was going to take more than a pandemic to close them down.

After the Foundation announced that the 40th Terry Fox Run would be a virtual event, the Burlington Terry Fox Run Committee decided to take a creative approach to informing the community and telling parts of the unknown story.

Profiles of the people who got the event to where it is today appear on the Terry Fox Lives in Burlington blog and are being republished by the Gazette with permission.

By Burlington Terry Fox Run Committee
July 27th, 2020
BURLINGTON, ON

Donald Carmichael’s first experience with the Burlington Terry Fox Run was as a participant running in the event. It wasn’t until later that he got involved with the organizing committee because of his close friend Greg Costa. He and Greg ran a couple Terry Fox Runs together before Don was recruited to help. There was actually a year, shortly before the 25th anniversary, where it looked like the run might not happen at all. That is how Don, Greg and a lot of the people who are still on the committee to this day got involved. They basically had to start the committee from scratch. This was around 2003/2004.

Fox 2013 Carmichael with radio person

Don Carmichael setting up registration before the start of the Run before it moved away from the Beachway location

Don was chair from 2011 to 2015. During our interview, we talked about what makes Terry Foxers special and what drives us. There’s something humbling about being part of a grassroots organization – it’s hard work, but it’s rewarding work. Don always respected Terry’s mandate to have no big corporate sponsors. But just because you cannot have big sponsors doesn’t mean you can’t do great things. During his tenure as chair the committee was involved in some pretty incredible projects and events, in addition to the September run.

During the five years that Don was chair, the Burlington Terry Fox Run started and ended at Beachway Park. Some of his fondest memories during those years included seeing the sunrise over Lake Ontario during those 5 am setups.

Setting a Guinness Book World Record
Something you need to know about Terry Foxers is that the year or months leading up to an anniversary is an important time for us. It’s when we brainstorm big ideas to celebrate the upcoming milestone. Heck, this blog started because we wanted to share stories from past chairs and important and interesting people in the community for the 40th. The same was true for Don and then chair, Duncan Alexander, leading up to the 30th anniversary in 2010.

Don and Duncan curled together at the Burlington Golf and Country Club. After a match, the two started chatting over beers – typical of the curling crowd, he says. At one point, Don pondered what the world record for the longest continuous curling match was and wondered whether or not that could be something to do to mark the 30th anniversary. He later did some research and found that breaking the record was doable – 52 hours – so they started to plan.

Curling group photo

Fred Fox, Terry’s brother, with Don and the other curlers – March 12-14, 2010

One catch when it comes to planning events outside of the usual September run is that you need to ask the Foundation’s permission to use Terry’s name. Don reached out to them and things got very interesting. The Foundation was fine with it, but had to check with the family first.

Don recalls the moment he got the answer.
“The phone rang…it was a voice I didn’t recognize. He said ‘this is Fred Fox’ and I almost hit the floor.”

Yes, Fred Fox, Terry Fox’s brother called Don at home to talk about the Curl-a-Thon.

“He said ‘I love the idea. I’m a curler and I want to come.’”

Well, that was it. The event not only received permission from the Fox family, but Fred himself was going to be there playing along with them for the two and a half days it would take to reach their goal.

After this, they had three weeks to pull it together. But with Fred’s involvement it was easier to raise money and get more publicity from the local media. They raised $30,000 in three weeks.

When it was all over, they had broken the Guinness Book World Record – a record they would hold for about two years before it was surpassed. Don still has the official framed certificate, and a copy is still hanging on the wall at the curling club.

Afterwards, Fred Fox was invited to stay at Don’s home – as both men needed to rest after days of curling. The Fox family often stays with other Terry Foxers when they travel, so this was a special moment for Don and his family when Fred accepted their hospitality. Don and Fred stretched out in the family room, watching The Briar (because they couldn’t get enough curling) and talking about Terry. Fred told stories about growing up with Terry – painting the picture of a typical brotherly relationship. Terry wasn’t just Canada’s hero, he was a brother and a son. When reflecting on that experience, meeting and talking to Fred Fox, Don said, “It kept me going for another bunch of years.”

Carmiachael at monument

(Left to Right) Rick Craig, Kevin MacKinnon, Marianne Meed-Ward, Greg Costa, Fred Fox, Jack Dennison and Don Carmichael – taken months after the unveiling.

It’s Got to Keep Going
Don stepped down as chair after the 2015 run, but he remains involved. Before that, he spearheaded the idea of putting a monument for Terry somewhere on Lakeshore Road, near the route he took when he ran through Burlington. A second committee was formed, headed by Greg Costa, and included people such as Casey Cosgrove and Cathy Brown to work on that project. The monument was completed and unveiled in May 2016.

Just like many of us, Don doesn’t know what to do to stay engaged and active with the cause for 2020. He had originally planned to do the run in P.E.I., where he has a summer home, and run across the Confederation Bridge. With the run going virtual this year, that plan is scrapped. But he, just like the rest of us, will keep thinking, trying and raising money to make this year special.

Thank you Don for sharing your stories and for your continued support.

Carmichael with Fox photo

Don Carmichael was chair of the Terry Fox Run from 2011 to 2015.

 

 

 

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Region Releases Community Investment Fund Grants for 2020

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

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Halton Regional government offices are located in Oakville

The Halton Region Community Investment Fund (HRCIF) supports a wide range of non-profit health and social service programs that enhance the health, safety and well-being of Halton residents.

The Fund provides one-year and multi-year grants to programs and initiatives through two categories of funding and is part of Halton’s overall approach to community safety and well-being planning.

Funding from the Federal and Provincial governments is included in programs that support the health, safety and well-being of residents as the community recovers from the impact of COVID-19.

Applications for single year and multiple year funding for 2020 have closed the Region released the programs that are funded.

• $193,340 to Wesley Urban Ministries to support case management and rehousing efforts for single individuals across Halton.

• $176,230 to Food for Life to expand food access points, deliver food boxes to high needs households and provide outreach programming.

• $67,937 to Acclaim Health to support the well-being and lessen the isolation of older adults.

• $29,869 to Canadian Mental Health Association – Halton Region Branch to provide free counselling for residents 16 years old and older.

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Has Party Politics Crept into the Serious Problem of Getting Students Back into Classrooms in September

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario Liberals have found their tongues and come out with a fully-costed plan to get students back into classrooms safely and in classrooms no larger than 15 students.

Steven Del Duca, leader of the Liberal Party in Ontario who does not yet have a seat in the Legislature announced a Schools Action Plan calls for 1,300 new classroom locations, the hiring of 890 additional educators and 340 additional caretakers in Halton. These measures enable safe, physically-distanced learning, which is the first step in getting parents back to work and reopening the economy.

“Students and their parents in Halton have been waiting for far too long to hear what will happen in September,” said Del Duca. “Living with this uncertainty has caused unnecessary anxiety during what has already been a stressful time. Getting our students back to school safely is what kids critically need for their own development and it’s the only way their Moms and Dads can have peace of mind to return to work.

Steven Del Duca

Steven Del Duca, a Cabinet Minister in the Wynne government that was defeated by Doug Ford, was elected leader of the Ontario Liberal Party recently.   He does not yet have a seat in the provincial Legislature.

“Since the government hasn’t unveiled a plan for the fall, I did,” said Steven Del Duca.

“Doug Ford should have made this a priority months ago by meaningfully consulting with school boards, teachers, education workers, principals and parents. He has not.”

“We need students in classrooms and we know that while distance learning obviously needs vast improvement as a complement to future learning, the high quality and safe in-class experience needs to be front and centre in our plans for this Fall. It is the responsibility of the Premier to develop a plan to achieve this safely, including sufficient training and support.”

“Reopening the economy without full day school in September puts families in impossible situations. It forces parents to choose between their children’s education and their work. We have heard too many stories of parents – working mothers in particular – who have had to give up their careers because Doug Ford has yet to share a plan and won’t help them with childcare.”

“Ford’s priorities are beer, bars and booze — it’s time to deliver on a better, stronger and safer public education for our kids.”

“We need to ensure schools are a safe place to learn and a safe place to work. That’s why my plan dramatically expands the number of classrooms and educators.”

Del Duca’s Students in Schools Action Plan will cost $3.2 billion* and will fund:

– 15,000 More Elementary Teachers to reduce class size to 15 – $1.30 billion
– 10,000 More Caretakers to keep elementary and secondary schools clean – $500 million
– 14,000 New Classrooms in Community Centres, Campuses, Arenas, etc. – $200 million
– 2,000 More Secondary Teachers – $170 million
– School Transportation (Cleaning, Retrofits, Staggered Starts) – $80 million
– Sufficient Cleaning/Hygiene Supplies and Equipment – $120 million
– 1,500 Special Education Professionals to Help Close Learning Gaps $120 million
– New equipment for students and educators (approx. 400,000 new devices) – $200 million
– Reverse PC Cuts to School Mental Health and hire 1,000 more Mental Health Professionals to support staff and students – $75 million
– Provincial Leadership in Centrally Procuring and Purchasing Personal Protective Equipment for Students and Staff (e.g., face shields, masks, gloves) – $110 million
– Support Parental Engagement and Communication – $25 million
– Public Health Coordination of Screening, Testing and Contact Tracing N/A – Contingency (10%) – $290 million

*This is a one-time funding plan for the 2020-21 school year, after which, a vaccine may likely be available. Regardless, the government should begin planning for 2021-22 as early as possible.

In Halton (HDSB & HCDSB) this means:

– 1,300 new classroom locations in community centres, campuses, arenas, etc.
– 890 additional educators to reduce class sizes
– 340 additional caretakers to keep schools and school buses clean

“The choice is between students in schools or the chaos that Doug Ford’s unclear approach will create. We need to make it safe for students in Halton to learn – it is the only way they will thrive, and it will enable their parents to go back to work,” concluded Del Duca.

Do we have a political party deciding that now is a good time to play some politics?

The Halton District School Board is meeting with the Ministry of Education virtually on Tuesday and will have a program in place and ready to be announced early in August.

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Look for tents to be set up to help the hospitality sector recover from the lockdown and limitations they had to live with during Stage 2.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

July 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There have been 38 applications for patios on private property and 12 on city property for outdoor locations where people can dine and enjoy a cool one.

There are a number of applications in process.

tents

Dining alfresco in downtown Burlington: it will be interesting to see how creative the restaurateurs can get.

The city is now going to consider allowing temporary tents as well.

The bylaw that is in place for outdoor patios has to be repealed first and a new bylaw out in place.

Council will meet as a Standing Committee Tuesday morning and will then meet as a Council and approve the new bylaw.

Let’s see how that goes. We will of course report on how this works out. There are a few locations that are in the process of erecting tents – which suggests this is a done deal.

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What if science is beaten by COVID-19 and our only recourse is permanent revision to our way of life?

background graphic redBy Pepper Parr

July 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

What’s next?

Does anyone know?

An interesting comment from an individual who brings an “intelligence, strategic analysis” lens to the COVID19 problem and posits that “none of us knows for sure what the virus will do tomorrow”.

covid virus

We still do not know with absolute certainty where COVID-19 comes from.

“This virus repeatedly defies rational predictions and empirical deductions based on cumulative experience with earlier viruses like Ebola, HIV and SARS.

“None of us knows for sure what the virus will do tomorrow. Experts predicted the virus would disappear over the summer and return over the fall and winter months. Instead, in some parts of the world, including the United States, the number of active cases has erupted. COVID-19 was also not supposed to spread so easily among youth; turns out it does, yet its severity among youth is so negligible that they don’t take it seriously. This renders it all the more difficult to prevent the virus from spreading.

“We still do not know with absolute certainty where COVID-19 comes from. An animal? (Which animal?) Was it an accidental leak from a laboratory? Experts are still arguing over the manner in which the virus becomes airborne: Big aerosol droplets, little aerosol droplets, or both? How far do they really “fly”? To which surfaces does COVID-19 stick, and for how long?

“In other words, half a year into this pandemic, we still do not know exactly where and why COVID-19 is likely to thrive or die, and how it is transmitted.

“Do those who recover from the virus have long-term immunity? Short-term immunity? Can they still transmit the virus? Ask again in five years when they are retested. Right now we do not know, and this is deeply disturbing.

“Meanwhile, we are deluged with predictions regarding the nature of our lives in the post-virus era. Distance learning? Virtual work? Masses demanding to leave heavily-populated areas? De-globalization? Ten years of recession? More expensive air travel? Radical shifts toward more authoritarian governance?

“All these questions are speculative, and no one really knows the answers. Two years from now we might be back to business as usual – or not.

“This, too, is extremely unsettling. Here is perhaps the most worrisome aspect of the COVID-19 conundrum: We tell ourselves that until there is an effective vaccine made available for universal use, this virus has to be understood as a very clever and dangerous enemy. Once this vaccine has been mass-produced and distributed globally, however, we can certainly go back to normal.

“But what if it proves impossible to create a viable vaccine with long-lasting effects? What if there is no post-virus era? What if science is beaten by COVID-19 and our only recourse is a radical and permanent revision of our way of life? Is our absolute confidence in the emergence of an effective inoculation any more justified than some of our earlier mistaken assumptions regarding this virus?

“In intelligence terms, we simply don’t know.”

Excerpted from an opinion piece by Yossi Alpher, Globe and Mail

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School Board Chair and Director of Education for HDSB comment on how plans for a return to school are being put together

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Trustees Grebencand Gray BEST

Trustee Grebenc with trustee Grey at a public meeting.

In an interview with Halton District School Board Chair Andrea Grebenc on the issue of masks for teachers and students while they are in schools Ms Grebenc said: “The Minister and Public Health officials have not decided about whether students require masks. I understand that decision may be coming next week.

“To supply PPE to staff it looks like it will cost about $20M over the year at the pricing we can get. We are asking the Province to help source PPE to get better pricing.

“We have $4M set aside for COVID contingency and as a result, we had to pass another deficit (but compliant) budget this year with a solid plan from our staff to return to the black.

“At this point, the Minister has provided a similar budget funding as previous years with an expansion of funds to help with the new math curriculum and some mental health initiatives. The increase in our dollar amount has more to do with increase in enrollment in Milton and Oakville, the decrease of the class size average(resulting in hiring teachers) and some money to support some positions won at the provincial level through education worker and teacher union negotiations.

Grebenc - expressive hands

Andrea Grebenc during a a first term interview .

“The Minister has added only $56M to the provincial budget for COVID – there are 72 boards – that is $750K each if divided equally (which I hope it’s not – TDSB shouldn’t get the same amount as a small board).

“This is to help with cleaning staff and supplies, PPE and transportation. If HDSB PPE costs $2M a month for staff, you can see how this amount of money from the Minister is completely unrealistic and could not support masking students as well.
We have over 66,000 students. There would have to see a massive influx of cash from the Province to cover that cost.

“If the Minister or public health state that masks were mandatory in schools, as a parent with kids in the system, I would then see masks like I see binders for courses or running shoes for gym class – something I would buy (or make) for my child so they are prepared for school.

“Also, I would want to make sure a mask fits well on my child, is comfortable and won’t get mixed up with other kids’ masks. You can get reusable masks inexpensively at a number of places ($3 each at Old Navy for example) and for Burlington residents, the Mayor and Councillor Stolte, in conjunction with the fire department, have set up a mask donation centre to help those that are having a hard time affording masks. Economically challenged families in our system could also contact the Halton Learning Foundation to help get a reusable mask so that students could attend school (if that is the law).”

Miller July 22

Director of Education Stuart Miller during a virtual school board meeting.

Director of Education Stuart Miller points out the principals in ever Halton school (there are 105 of them) know their students and is aware of households where things are tough;” a way is always found to ensure that students get what they need.”

Director Miller and several of his key staff will be doing a virtual interview with Ministry of Education officials on Tuesday at which time they expect to learn what the province is looking for in the way of a safe return to school program.

The province set out several scenarios that HDSB has responded to. “We have to be able to offer a program that meets the provincial mandate and at the same time be flexible enough to shift the way classes are delivered in the event that there is a hot spot in a school or a larger community.

“We will be working with the public health unit on a daily basis to monitor the students – watching for the tell-tale sign of a student who is not well.

“It is going to be a stressful time but we have done our homework and we believe we are prepared for students who will return to classes in one form or another on the 7th of June.

“We haven’t given the parents all that much in the way of information” said Miller, “because we don’t have decisions from the province.”

“Once we know what the program is going to be – we will communicate at every level with the parents.”

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Beachway Parking - still a problem ; the stiff fines don't seem to be making a difference

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Parking - took his chances

That sign says the fine for parking could be $250.

What the city calls “ an abundance of illegal parking” near Beachway Park, has resulted in the parking lots s being reconfigured with one entrance and one exit to maximize legal parking spots.

A drop off area has been created as well

Parking ambassadors are available on weekends to help direct drivers and will close parking lot entrances when they are full.

We encourage drivers to continue to abide by all signed parking regulations such as no stopping and no parking in loading zones.

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Stage 3 does open things up - it also calls for more in the way of individual responsibility.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Meed Ward with chain Sept 23-19

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward residing at a virtual meeting of city council.

As part of a media release Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “I know the Stage 3 reopening is welcomed news to many of our businesses and I encourage you to open only when you’re ready and have taken measures to protect the health and safety of staff and customers.

I urge both residents and businesses to be cautious and diligent, and do everything possible to safeguard each other and especially members of our community with more vulnerable immune systems, as more services reopen.

I urge residents to continue following all health directives, including physical distancing, wearing masks if you can inside public spaces, using hand-sanitizer and frequently washing hands, as well as staying home when sick. These measures will be especially critical in larger gatherings.”

Drewlo complex

Large apartment complexes like this require a little extra vigilance to stop the spread of infections.

The Mayor has reached out to the organizations that represent apartment building owners and condominium corporations asking them to adhere to the mandatory mask bylaw,

Those buildings with a large number of occupants could become “pinch points” for infections.

The move to Stage 3 does open things up – it also puts more of the responsibility on the individual to ensure that the really simple preventative measures are followed.

It is your health and safety that is at risk and you are the person that can put it at risk.

This is not over yet.

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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Stage 3 means children can use the playground equipment - note - it will not be sanitized by the city.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A real summer for Burlington seemed to have to wait until we got into Stage 3 – Playground equipment can now be used.  Restaurants will invite patrons inside and parks will be more accessible.

Beachway Chld-Fest-2013-Family-sand-castle-1024x733

Events like this on the beach aren’t going to be part of this summer.

That playground equipment is not being sanitized and standard health practices with heightened awareness such as staying home if sick, washing hands and not touching faces should be strictly followed. Parents and caregivers are advised to pack hand sanitizer as well as sunscreen.

Anyone using the playground equipment should still practice physical distancing of two metres with anyone not from their household or their social circle.

If a playground structure is busy, residents may want to consider one of Burlington’s many other parks or come back at another time.
Other Summer Activities

• Parks are open for casual use, such as exercising, picnics, kicking or throwing a ball

• Mountainside, Nelson and LaSalle Pools are open for leisure swims and lap swims with online pre-registration and payment only. Splash Parks at Nelson and Mountainside Pools are now open as well

Kids + water = fun and noise - all part of the Halton Children's Water Festival. A full day of fun at a cost of $5 per student.

Kids + water = fun and noise.

• Spray pads at parks are open

• Lowville Park is open. New, as of July 30, entry to Lowville Park will require pre-registration through parkvisit.ca/burlington. Reservations and use of the park remain free

• Redesigned summer camps are open. The next registration date is July 27 at 9 a.m. View camps at burlington.ca/summer

• Redesigned Adult 19+ and Adult 55+ programs are open. View programs at burlington.ca/summer.

Safety Precautions

• All City recreation programs are operating with public health safety precautions including increased cleaning (outdoor amenities like playgrounds are not sanitized), screening and reduced program capacities in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19

• Permits for picnics will not be issued in an effort to mitigate large gatherings at this time

• Physical distancing of two metres is still in place on public property with anyone not from your household or social circle and in groups of less than 10.

The Regional Public Health Unit will issue a report at the end of next week – we can expect a bit of an increase iin the number of people reported to be infected.  If that number is very high the provincial government may decide that we are not yet ready for Stage 3 and roll us back to Stage 2.

The virus is transferred from person to person – it is up to us to do everything we can to ensure that we each, individually, are not part of that transfer process.

Or are we going to be really, really stupid and drink the KoolAid?

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West Nile virus positive mosquitoes found in Halton Region

News 100 redBy Staff

July 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A batch of mosquitoes trapped this week in Oakville has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first batch of WNV positive mosquitoes for Halton this year.

The Public Health Unit is swamped with COVID19 matters – then we are reminded that West Nile Virus has returned.

WestNileVirus_transmission“Halton is committed to reducing West Nile virus in our communities through education and preventative programs such as larviciding,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Until the hard frosts of fall set in, Halton residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites.”

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, tires and other locations that hold water.

Residents can take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

• Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
• Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.
• Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects, where possible. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.
• Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.

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Hospital increases COVID19 testing capacity - drive thru clinic opened

News 100 redBy Staff

July 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Joseph Brant Hospital is increasing its COVID-19 testing capacity by opening a new drive-thru clinic.

The clinic is dedicated to testing individuals who are not experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, but who are concerned they may have been exposed or require testing. The Joseph Brant Hospital COVID-19 Assessment Centre will continue to operate as a testing centre for individuals who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital is a little like the provinces economy: a little the worse for wear and tear and in need of a fix up. Problem is the economy has to get much better before the hospital refurbishment can go forward,

Drive thru clinic is accessed via the North Shore Road entrance

The Drive-Thru Testing Clinic is located on the hospital grounds, easily accessed off of Joseph Brant Hospital’s entrance on North Shore Blvd. Appointments are required and can be booked online by visiting covidtesting.josephbranthospital.ca or calling 905-632-3737 x 6550.

To fast-track appointments, we encourage people to book their testing online. Testing is available seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The clinic will operate as follows:

• Signage will direct patients upon arrival
• The health care team will perform the COVID-19 swab test while you are in your car
• Patients will be sent home with information on self-isolation and how to view their test results
• If heat warnings are in effect on clinic days, out of precaution, we ask patients to not bring children and frail adults in cars who are not being tested, as well as pets

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, it is recommended that you book an appointment at the Assessment Centre calling 905-632-3737 ext. 6550 or booking online. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department:

• Severe difficulty breathing
• Severe chest pain
• Feeling confused or unsure of where you are
• Losing consciousness

Children under one year will not be swabbed at the drive-thru clinic and should be referred to their family health-care provider for testing.

COVID-19 test results are available within 3 to 7 days, and can be accessed in the following ways:

• Go to covid-19.ontario.ca and select “Check your lab results” (you must have a valid Ontario photo health card to use the website)
• Register for MyChart using your Ontario Health Card
• Contact your family doctor

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Joseph Brant Museum open - also offering virtual programming.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

July 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Joseph Brant Museum offering Virtual Visits for Kids

museum virtual visits week 6What is a virtual visit and why would you want to do one?

The Joseph Brant Museum has a daily one hour Zoom session featuring live instruction by a Museum Educator who guides a series of creative, hands-on activities that relate to a weekly theme. Next week’s theme is the “Age of Exploration”.

Cost: $25/week. Programs are designed for children aged 8-12, parental supervision may be required for some activities. Register today and pick up the activity bag tomorrow at Joseph Brant Museum from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm.

Registration right HERE

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Region sets 2% as the budget increase for 2021

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier this month the Regional government announced that it was going to aim for a budget increase for the 2020-2021 budget of not more than 2%

The 2021 Budget Directions Report provides guidelines to staff to maintain existing service levels for Regional programs with identified pressures, including COVID-19.

Carr Gary abd Any Schneider calling out prizes

Regional Chair Gary Carr at an event in Burlington

Regional Chair Gary Carr said: “The 2021 Budget Directions Report is an important step in our budget development process as it lays the foundation for our next Budget and Business Plan. Throughout COVID-19, there has been a number of uncertainties, but this Report provides guidelines that help us maintain our strong financial position, keep property taxes low and continue to support residents and businesses in our community as we recover from the pandemic.”

This Report guides the Region’s investments in 2021 to ensure resident access to essential services and supports critical program enhancements and financing plans to address community growth. It also ensures that Halton’s upcoming Budget will align with strategic themes, objectives and outcomes outlined in the 2019–2022 Strategic Business Plan.

Financial pressures related to the COVID-19 pandemic are also identified in the Report. Regional staff continue to closely monitor these pressures in coordination with the Region’s projected recovery plan, to identify any anticipated impacts that may extend to 2021. This will continue the Region’s history of addressing program pressures, reallocating resources to priority areas and maintaining service levels while maintaining tax rate increases at or below the rate of inflation.

Some of Halton’s budget priorities for 2021 include:

Public Health: maintaining service levels while continuing to respond to COVID-19.

Paramedic Services: addressing increased costs associated with inflation, rising call volumes, maintaining response times, population and other growth pressures.

Children’s Services: maintaining service levels following reductions in Provincial funding and uncertainty around funding levels for 2021.

Indigenous initiative, inclusion and diversity: creating an initiative with an Indigenous consultant that will support a comprehensive response to the Federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and the report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Climate change emergency: continuing to make corporate operations as carbon neutral as possible, using land use and transportation planning to design climate friendly communities, designing and building climate resilient infrastructure, and planning to respond to weather related events and other emergencies.

Community safety and well-being: continuing to deliver the objectives of the Community Safety and Well-Being Plan (CSWB) in collaboration with community partners on a wide range of issues to support residents who are vulnerable to negative social, economic or health outcomes.

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Skyway Waste Water Treatment plant in the Beachway.

Waste Management: continued planning and implementation for the short-term options recommended in the Solid Waste Management Strategy, and planning for the transition of the Blue Box program to full Producer responsibility with integration into the medium and long-term strategy options of the recommended final Solid Waste Management Strategy.

Transportation: investment to support increased costs associated with road maintenance, the road resurfacing program, and in the state-of-good-repair for existing roads and expansion to accommodate growth.

Growth of the water and wastewater system: support for costs associated with upgrades and treatment plant expansions, further improvements to levels of treatment and new and expanded pumping stations.

Flooding BSBVC effects in water

Burlington experienced flash floods in 2014 – managing these natural events is an expensive challenge.

Basement flooding mitigation: continuation of the Region-wide Basement Flooding Mitigation Program to help prevent basement flooding caused by severe weather.

Water and Wastewater state-of-good-repair: continuing to invest in the state-of-good-repair program to maintain the condition of assets as infrastructure ages and expands due to growth.

Staff will continue to focus on core services, ongoing improvement and finding efficiencies across all program areas to achieve these targets.

The 2021 Council Budget Meeting is scheduled for December 9, 2020, and the 2021 Budget and Business Plan is scheduled to be considered for approval by Regional Council on December 16, 2020.

Two percent eh! The proof will be in the pudding

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Back to School for the Public School Board - Part 1

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We are busy enough with the six feet thing; we’ve never washed our hands as often and there is a leeriness about going out for dinner and being inside the restaurant.

Can we invite friends of long standing over for dinner – perhaps sitting outside on the patio and cooking on the BBQ would be Ok.

Add to all that the concern with getting the kids back to school.

Are the schools going to open? What will the class schedule be and how am I going to find dare care if I need it.

Slide on subjectParents are frustrated – they want information – but the school boards don’t have much in the way of information they can share.

The Halton District School Board met in a Special Session yesterday. In a four part series, this being Part 1, we will tell you what we have learned.

The Halton Board is to meet with the Ministry of Education on Tuesday of next week (they have a two hour time slot) to present to the Ministry how they have responded to the three scenarios the province set out.

They are Conventional, Remote and Adaptive – Conventional being kids in the school, in classrooms all day with fewer kids in each class; Remote being everything will be done on-line with close teacher involvement in what is being called synchronous learning – everyone learns the same thing at the same tome – on-line.

3 delivery models

These are the models the Ministry set out. HDSB prefers the Adaptive and will be taking their ideas to the Ministry next week.

The school boards now have all kinds of technology to manage teaching in this manner.

The Board at this point doesn’t have much to go on other than trying to read the tea leaves and figure out where the Ministry of Education is going to go.

Intent to return elem

Once the Board knows which students are going to return – and then which form of instruction they prefer classes can be organized.

The Halton Board’s understanding is that they will know very early in August which model the Ministry has approved.  August 4th was a date mention – but nothing is carved in stone at this point.

With the model in hand the Board then needs to know what parents plan to do.  Will their children return to school orwill they opt for remote learning.

If they plan to attend what is their preference – conventional classes or the adaptive model.

The Board also needs to know how many teachers are going to return to a classroom.  Director of Education Stuart Miller did say that the Board has a solid list of occasional teachers they can call upon.

French is likely yo be limited.

Extra curricular and co-curricular are likely to be limited as well.

The Board and the trustees are critically aware of how important the “extras” are – they are concerned at this point in opening up classrooms and teaching students with mathematics and literacy being the focus.

Group of students MMR

This is student life. How do you change it? This group represents what a classroom size is likely to be.

Among the unknowns: are teachers going to have to wear PPE?  Will students be expected to wear masks?  What happens if an infection hot spot develops?  The Board is in constant contact with the Medical Officer of Health.

Classroom cleaning has to be included in the schedules.  The additional costs can only be guessed at today – but they are very real.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that at this point – most questions don’t have an answer – nothing can be decided upon until the Ministry approves the teaching model.

Until then, treat all this as background and begin thinking about what you are your family want to do.

 

 

 

 

 

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Quarry application for new licenses is complete - the JART review process can begin - public participation will be included.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

July 22nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Now to serious part can begin.

Nelson Aggregates advised the public earlier today that their application for new licenses to expand the area they are quarrying has been deemed complete by both the city and the Region.

That means the application can now go to the JART (Joint Administrative Review Tribunal) for a hearing and be judged on its merits.

Beach 1

The lake that Nelson Aggregates claim will be created when the quarry has been mined out.

Nelson President Quinn Moyer said that “The best experts in their fields spent two years preparing this application and ensuring it met or exceeded all standards. “We are pleased the Region and the City have determined the 5,000-page application is comprehensive and will move to the formal review stage.”

As part of the application, 19 independent studies examining the expansion’s potential impact on all aspects of the environment, from water to noise, conclude it would meet all provincial standards and have no adverse environmental impact.

Nelson Aggregates say that “This quarry has played an important role as Burlington’s main source of local gravel for more than 50 years. Expanding the quarry will help Burlington and Halton meet their growing needs for roads, homes and schools in an environmentally sustainable manner.”

The studies concluded “the proposed Burlington Quarry Extension is located where policy anticipates extraction to occur; appropriately balances economic, environmental and social considerations; and represents good planning taking into account provincial, regional and municipal planning policies.”

Map showing all

The land that is the issue

“This is a legacy project,” said Moyer, “one that will help Burlington and Halton grow sustainably over the next generation, and then give future generations the environmental and health benefits of a large urban park.”

The proposed park would be 5.7 times larger than Burlington’s City View Park, and would be donated to the public in stages following approval. The size and scale of the park would allow for abundant recreational opportunities, from biking and swimming to rock climbing and soccer.

The process for quarry expansion applications is laid out in the Aggregate Resources of Ontario Act, Provincial Standards. The Provincial Standards contain a set of standard application criteria for licence and aggregate permits.

No Quarry signThere is a community organization opposed to any further development of a quarry.  CORE: Conserving our Rural Ecosystems does not want to see the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on the Niagara Escarpment infringed upon.

Mayor Meed Ward issued a Statement as well setting out the process and adding: “On July 20, 2020, after a thorough review and consultation with the Joint Agency Review Team (JART) partners, the Region’s Chief Planning Official has deemed the application to amend the Regional Official Plan complete. City of Burlington staff have also deemed the companion Local Official Plan Amendment applications complete on July 20, 2020.

There will be a report on the September Halton Regional Council agenda that will profile key aspects of the application submission and will highlight for Council the next steps, including the work being undertaken by JART and opportunities for engagement and public input. The Region’s website will be updated to ensure the most up-to-date information is provided.

The city of Burlington has created a dedicated webpage for all materials and reports related to the Quarry Expansion application. You can find that here: https://www.burlington.ca/en/services-for-you/nelson-quarry-extension.asp.

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Driver of truck transporting pigs to Fearmans for processing charged with Careless Driving Causing Death

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On June 19, 2020, the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) responded to a collision on Harvester Road just east of Appleby Line in Burlington where a female had been struck by a transport truck, sustaining fatal injuries.

Pigs being watered - trial

Animal rights protesters would demonstrate and force trucks to stop while they watered the pigs.

A comprehensive investigation has been conducted by the HRPS Collision Reconstruction Unit. This investigation included the interview of several witnesses, analysis of physical evidence, and a technical reconstruction of the collision. In addition, video footage that captured the entirety of the incident was reviewed by investigators.

Pig protester killed

Regan Russell was at the front of the truck where the driver did not see her – she was run over.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, a 28-year-old male from the Municipality of North Perth has been charged with Careless Driving Causing Death under the Highway Traffic Act and will be required to appear in court. There were no grounds to indicate this was an intentional act, or that a criminal offence had been committed.

The Halton Regional Police Service extends its sincerest condolences to the friends and family affected by this tragedy.

Related news story:

Protester run over by truck transporting pigs to slaughter

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Ward 2 Councillor Kearns creates a loop for her commercial constituents - the Round Table meets weekly on line.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The COVID19 lockdown that hit the province in March was tough on everyone but devastating on the small business sector.

There were provincial supports and there was federal support as well but that small business person who did not have the resources the mid-size commercial operations had were sort of left to their own.

Kearns Lisa side view Mar 2019

Lisa Kearns – make her point – and usually has the facts to support what she is saying.

The city councillor for ward 2, Lisa Kearns, where a large part of the hospitality sector is located, created a Business Round Table and invited people to gather electronically to share their misery and look for whatever help there was.

There was a rent reduction program that required landlords to participate – many didn’t. The Kearns Round Table worked as advocates for the tenants.

The province put in a no evictions feature that may have helped some.

In the early stages there wasn’t much in the way of information. Everyone had gone to ground.

The participation in the Round Table wasn’t big – and it did involve a few commercial operations outside ward 2. Kearns described it as “small but mighty”; she does have a certain turn of phrase about her.

Kearns was the only Councillor to reach out to her business constituents in this way. The significant collection of hospitality venues in wards 5 and 6 got next to nothing.

The over-riding question for everyone was: What do you need to move into recovery?

Ensuring that the flow of information was consistent and accurate wasn’t so much a challenge but it ate up a lot of time.

Lisa Kearns is a first term municipal politician with the gift of being able to come back with some good quotes. She can at times leave you wondering what in heavens name she is talking about when she speaks of “walking the lived experience” which is how she described a walk along Brant Street with the Executive Director of the Downtown Burlington Business Association Brian Dean.

Kearns made mention of a PPE surcharge that some hospitality establishments felt they could levy.

Did she make a difference. Only those that took part can answer that question – she does deserve kudos for the effort.

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Final Arrest Made in Burlington Shooting Incident.

Crime 100By Staff

July 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service arrested the last outstanding male responsible for the shooting that occurred on June 17th, 2020 in the City of Burlington.

HRPS crestOn July 19th, 2020 investigators attended the City of Toronto and arrested this male without incident.

Charges have been laid against the following individual by Investigators from the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau:

Jordan CAREEN-SELLARS (20 years old from Toronto)
• Robbery with a Firearm
• Disguise with Intent
• Aggravated Assault
• Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
• Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose
• Conspire to Commit an Indictable Offence
• Fail to Comply with Probation Order (2 Counts)
• Fail to Comply with Undertaking

CAREEN-SELLARS was held for a bail hearing in Milton on July 20th.

Police have previously arrested and charged Pablo VIDELA and Jenna NANDLAL for this robbery involved shooting.
Investigation by Halton Police revealed that this shooting was a targeted robbery on the victim at his residence.
Charges have been laid against the following individuals by the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau:

Pablo VIDELA (21 years old from Toronto)
• Robbery Using a Firearm
• Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
• Possession of Weapon for Dangerous Purpose
• Pointing a Firearm
• Careless Use of a Firearm
• Disguise with Intent
• Conspiracy to Commit Indicatable Offence
• Aggravated Assault
• Possession of a Prohibited Device
• Possession of a Controlled Substance- Cocaine

Jenna NANDLAL (18 years old from Mississauga)
• Robbery
• Conspiracy to Commit Indicatable Offence
• Obstruct Police

On July 11th 2020, Investigators with the assistance of the Tactical Rescue Unit and K9 executed a search warrant at a residence in the City of Toronto. As a result; the following items were seized:

• Extendable magazine for a firearm
• Small quantity of Cocaine
• Clothing and Masks
• Cell Phone

A 23 year old male victim was found at the scene in serious but stable condition; he was transported to hospital.

Police believe this was a targeted incident and that there is no known, ongoing, related threat to public safety.

At the time police asked area residents to “shelter in place” on  Woodview Road (in the area of New Street and Walkers Line) in Burlington.

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Trustee motion is having an impact across the province.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr, Publisher

July 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Miller in a huddle with Grebenc

Andrea Grebenc in conversation with HDSB Director of Education Stuart Miller

For those of you who subscribe to the Toronto Star – you saw the front page story on the remarks Halton District School Board trustee chair Andrea Grebenc made about what she believes is a serious problem facing parents when school reopens in September.

The Star did their piece this morning – the Gazette published that story last Thursday.

Local news from a local source.

Grebenc’s comment were well worth reading. LINK here.

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The back to normal we all want is not here yet: stay vigilant and be careful - it is your health and safety we are talking about.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

News anal BLUEWe are approaching something that is a little closer to normal.

Burlington enters Stage 3 of the Emergency Measures on Friday with a bylaw in place that makes face masks mandatory.

What can you do – what can you not do?

What can open Stage 3

What will we see in the way of new infections in ten to 15 days?  Will there be an increase?  How severe will the increase be?

Much of this depends on how we behave individually.

The disastrous situation at the Long Term Care Centres is pat.  Hard lessons have been learned and hopefully plans are being prepared to ensure that never happens again.

The lesson that the civic leadership is pushing very hard – and spending a lot on to get out to the public –  is that we are not at normal yet.

Fig 5

Data from June 25th: The number of infections is increasing – even while we were in stage 2.

Infection by municipality

July 16th, 2020. This is the most recent report before we moved in Stage 3 – now that we are in Stage 3 how big an increase will there be. If it gets too big the province could push us pack into Stage 2

Far from it. Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health commented during a recent Regional meeting at which the wearing of masks was heavily debated that she felt we were going to be dealing with this pandemic well into 2021.

We have the traditional fall flu season to deal with – along with COVID 19 – the two viruses can apparently live together.

The province is about to have in place a much more sophisticated tracking application in place that will allow the public heath people to quickly identify any hot spots and be able to take quick action.

Hamidah Meghani

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health

The balance of July, all of August and the early parts of September might lull us into a false sense that we have this virus beaten.

The truth appears to be that we are far from beating it – the scientists are learning something new about the dynamics of the virus and the way different demographics are impacted.

 

 

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