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

News 100 redBy Andrea Grebenc

July 17th, 2020


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



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
  • Online Services at – 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 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



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



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

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Joseph Brant Museum has officially re-opened.

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

July 15th, 2020



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



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 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

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:

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



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



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



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



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.


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



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.

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

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



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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Online gambling is legal in Canada - each province determines it own rules

News 100 blueBy Alex Pattison

July 14th, 2020



Gambling is a popular hobby for many people, as it’s an activity that can not only be super fun, but it can bring in some extra money for the lucky ones too. A lot of individuals are intrigued by gambling and want to give it a go. If you are one of them but are new to this world, you might not even know where to start, whether it’s by playing some games or even betting on some sports matches. To assist you on this journey, we’ve made this simple guide to online gambling in Canada that will help introduce you to all the major aspects of this thrilling activity.

Paid Pattison gambling

Online gambling sites are good clean fun – just do your homework and be aware of who you are dealing with.

Is online gambling legal in Canada?
Playing at online casinos and sports betting is not illegal in Canada. However, Canadian online gambling regulations are not quite as straightforward. Each province has the freedom to draft and impose their own laws and rules. On the other hand, offshore companies are not allowed to operate casinos in the country but they’ve found a loophole and are basing their servers on the Kahnawake reserve territory. Therefore, as the situation is still a bit unclear, many provinces have been advocating for legislation on a national level that will eliminate all confusion.

For a casino to operate on Canadian territory, it has to have the right licenses and software certificates. Some licenses you should be on the lookout for include Kahnawake Gaming Commission, United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), and Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).

How to choose a casino?
In addition to checking for licenses, when choosing a casino, you should do some research to make sure they are reputable. For instance, look up their online reviews and see what other people have said. How good is their customer service? What kind of offers do they have? How long does it take to get your winnings? When it comes to making the right informed decision, Adam Nadeau, founder of recommends always playing at popular casinos with excellent player reviews. “Stick to a list of legit casinos that have been tried and tested. Also, research some of the most common scams to ensure you are not tricked out of your money,” Mr Nadeau advises.

How to stay safe?
Speaking of being tricked, you need to understand that casinos that have a licence are regulated by the responsible governing bodies, which protect and safeguard players from getting scammed. Moreover, top-rated casinos invest in encryption, meaning that all your personal and financial data is safe. However, if you decide to opt for other sites that are not approved, you might get an unpleasant surprise. Therefore, always do research on the casino you plan on joining and avoid those that have been blacklisted.

What games are available?
Once you’ve found a trustworthy casino you can join, you will want to check out their offer of games. If you are looking for casino games, you will be glad to hear that online casinos offer an even greater range of games than land-based venues. This is mostly due to the fact that there are many varieties of games available and traditional casinos simply don’t have enough space for everything on their premises. From card and table games to the ubiquitous slot machine, you can find a lot of ways to pass the time and have fun. On the other hand, if you prefer betting on sports, this option is also available. There is no need to leave your home to place a bet. Online sportsbooks often have better odds as well.

What to look for in terms of depositing and withdrawing funds?
Another thing that you have to pay attention to before you create an account is the types of payment methods a particular casino allows. For instance, most top casinos offer all the most popular methods such as e-wallets and debit and credit cards. Neteller and PayPal, as well as Visa and MasterCard, are accepted in most places. Then, you can also look into the option of having a prepaid card that you can pre-load with funds and use it to deposit the same into your account. The same methods are used when withdrawing your winnings. What you should do, however, is check how long it takes for a casino to pay you out and opt for those that don’t take unnecessarily long.

What should you know about bonuses?
Online casinos often offer all kinds of bonuses. While they may seem tempting, you need to know that they come with certain prerequisites. For example, there are free game bonuses that allow you to play a game without putting your money on the line. However, you also cannot withdraw your winnings until you put some money into your account. Whether it’s a welcome bonus or a refer-a-friend bonus, make sure you read the terms and conditions before committing to something.

From being aware of the legality of gambling in Canada to finding the best casino and knowing what to look out for, there is a lot to think about before you join a casino. Be sure to do your research, always read the fine print and you’ll be on your way to finding the right fit for your style of gameplay and your wallet. Good luck!

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GO improves transit option for those in the Dundas - Alton area

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 14th, 2020



With construction recently wrapping up on the Park & Ride lot at Highway 407 and Dundas Street, transit users now have access to new bus platforms that will provide access to GO, Oakville and Burlington transit services.

For instance, customers looking to connect to the Lakeshore West GO Train line could grab a GO bus at the new Park & Ride that will take them to Burlington GO Station and onto downtown Toronto.

Day trips to Niagara Falls have also become easier, with the Route 12 GO bus making all stops from Union Station to Niagara Falls GO, including a stop at Confederation GO Station in Hamilton.

Dundas GO parklot 1Eight bus platform bays will allow for even more options to get you to your destination. (Metrolinx photo)

The good news doesn’t stop there either, the existing Route 40 GO bus to Toronto Pearson International Airport added a stop at this lot back in January, providing an option to park, ride and fly for up to five days without the expense of airport parking.

Highway 407 and Dundas Park & Ride Facts

Features more than 300 additional parking spots
Eight bus platform bays
Two bus layover bays
Improved lighting throughout the lot and pedestrian stair access directly to Dundas Street.

Dundas GO parklot 2

The new lot includes an additional 300 parking spaces, for a total of 403 spots (Metrolinx photo)

Access to and from the stop has also been made easier with three new kiss and ride lanes, pedestrian connections, two new enclosed bus shelters with heating and lighting and a bike shelter.

The City of Burlington is also working to improve commuter experience. Work to finalize installation of new sidewalks along the nearby Palladium Way is expected to wrap up later this month.

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Terry Fox this day in 1980 - stopped in Aldershot at the RBG

News 100 yellowBy Brenda Glass

July 13th, 2020



It was on this day back on July 13, 1980, that I had the privilege to see and listen to Terry Fox.

Terry somehwere in Aldershot

Terry Fox at the RBG in Aldershot July 13, 1980

I was able to just go down the street from my family home in Aldershot to the Royal Botanical Gardens Headquarters, Plains Rd W., where Terry made a stop.

It was a small gathering but it was there nice and close. I was there with my Kodak Instamatic camera. The attached photos are a photo of my original photos.

I believe the man in the light suit with white hair was Peter Pomeroy, Chair of Halton Region.

PS. I used to deliver the Burlington Gazette in Aldershot

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Halton gets left off the Stage 3 list - another week at least of small groups and limits on things you can do

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 13th, 2020



Large parts of the province are being moved to Stage 3 of the Emergency Control measures in place – but the Burlington and the other Halton Region municipalities are not on the list.

This afternoon the Ontario government announced nearly all businesses and public spaces will reopen in Stage 3 of the province’s reopening framework with public health and workplace safety measures and restrictions in place.

As Ontario continues down the path to economic recovery, decisions were made on which regions will enter Stage 3 in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts and based on trends of key public health indicators.

“Our success in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and getting Ontario to a place where we are ready to reopen most of the province is a testament to the hard work of business owners, individuals and families right across the province,” said Premier Ford. “So many have stepped up and played by the rules, demonstrating that we can restart our economy safely and responsibly. Small actions can make a big difference. Now more than ever, we must continue to follow the public health advice to preserve the progress we have made together.”

As part of the Stage 3 reopening, Ontario will be increasing gathering limits for those regions entering the next stage to the following:

• Indoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 50 people;
• Outdoor gathering limits will increase to a maximum of 100 people;
• Gathering limits are subject to physical distancing requirements.

Public gathering limits apply to indoor and outdoor events, such as community events or gatherings, concerts, live shows, festivals, conferences, sports and recreational fitness activities, fundraisers, fairs, festivals or open houses. A two metre distance must still be maintained at such events.

Regions remaining in Stage 2 will maintain the existing gathering limit of 10. Social circles in all stages at this point will also be kept to a maximum of 10 people province-wide, regardless of stage.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, public health experts and other officials have advised the following, high-risk places and activities are not yet safe to open, even if a region has entered Stage 3, due to the likelihood of large crowds congregating, difficulties with physical distancing, or challenges maintaining the proper cleaning and sanitation required to prevent the spread of COVID 19:

• Amusement parks and water parks;
• Buffet-style food services;
• Dancing at restaurants and bars, other than by performers hired by the establishment following specific requirements;
• Overnight stays at camps for children;
• Private karaoke rooms;
• Prolonged or deliberate contact while playing sports;
• Saunas, steam rooms, bath houses and oxygen bars;
• Table games at casinos and gaming establishments.

The province is committed to working closely and collaboratively with businesses and sectors not yet able to reopen or who are experiencing significant challenges for reopening due to Stage 3 restrictions.

These businesses can visit to work with the government on a reopening proposal that will enable them to safely resume or increase operations. Government and public health officials will review proposals and contact businesses for feedback or clarifications.

Expect Regional Chair Gary Carr to be all over that opportunity. Halton has had very low infection growth

The following public health unit regions will be allowed to move into Stage 3 first, on Friday, July 17, 2020:

Algoma Public Health
• Brant County Health Unit
• Chatham-Kent Public Health
• Eastern Ontario Health Unit
• Grey Bruce Health Unit
• Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
• Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
• Huron Perth Public Health
• Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health
• Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
• Middlesex-London Health Unit
• North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit
• Northwestern Health Unit
• Ottawa Public Health
• Peterborough Public Health
• Porcupine Health Unit
• Public Health Sudbury & Districts
• Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services
• Renfrew County and District Health Unit
• Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit
• Southwestern Public Health
• Thunder Bay District Health Unit
• Timiskaming Health Unit
• Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

Businesses and municipalities will be permitted to enter Stage 3 based on their region and, as in the previous stages, may choose to take more time before reopening. The list of regions that will remain in Stage 2, visit FIX HERE

At the beginning of each week, the province will continue to reassess local trends in public health indicators, including rates of transmission, hospital capacity, progress on testing and contact tracing, to determine if additional public health unit regions can progress to Stage 3.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health and other public health experts will continue to closely monitor the evolving situation to advise when public health restrictions can be further loosened or if they need to be tightened or reapplied.

As the province safely and gradually enters Stage 3, child care centres and home child care providers across Ontario will be able to continue to operate with strict safety and operational requirements in place. Beginning on July 27, 2020, child care centres will be permitted to operate with cohorts of 15 children, which is an increase from the current cohort cap of 10. This change will allow parents to return to work, and bring the child care sector to approximately 90 per cent of its operating capacity before the COVID-19 outbreak.

The government, in partnership with health and safety associations, has released over 170 guidance resources at to help employers in multiple sectors ― including fitness, restaurant and food services, and the performing arts ― keep spaces safe for workers and customers. Guidance will be available for all spaces permitted to open in Stage 3. As they prepare to reopen, employers are strongly advised to review and implement appropriate measures to help protect their communities.

Based on community needs, some municipalities and local medical officers of health have implemented more restrictions or requirements, such as mandatory face coverings in commercial establishments and all indoor public places. Check your local public health unit’s or local municipality’s website.


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Adult Summer Programming will be on again at Burlington Seniors’ Centre and Central Park on July 27.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 13th,2020



Burlington residents will have another chance to connect, socialize and be active as redesigned Adult 19+ and Adult 55+ recreational activities are now set to safely resume with a small selection of activities on July 27, 2020 at the Burlington Seniors’ Centre and Central Park.

Residents can view program offerings online at

Registrations will be accepted starting July 20 at 9 a.m. and can be done online at Residents who do not have access to technology and are unable to register online can call 905-335-7738. Please note those you may experience longer than usual wait times in the phone queue; limited spots will be reserved initially for phone registrations.

Due to program size restrictions and precautions, summer programs have a limited number of spots available. From July 20 to July 22, participants can only register for two programs. On July 23, participants can register for additional programs. This temporary restriction is to allow for phone registrations. Only residents of Burlington will be able to register for the summer session.

Five-day program sessions for Adults 55+ will start each Monday and run for five consecutive weekdays in one of three rooms in the Burlington Seniors’ Centre. Programs include learning and discussion series, bridge strategy classes, group music lessons and jam sessions, arts and wellness programs.

Fitness programs for Adults 19+ or 55+ will move to outdoor open spaces behind Central Arena and to locations close to Rotary Youth Centre at 560 Guelph Line. Fitness programs include toning, stretching and wellness classes will be held during cooler morning and evening times each weekday. Outdoor Fitness Programs will run rain or shine and will only be cancelled and refunded due to extreme weather including high winds, thunder or lightning. Dress for conditions required.

Carrying equipmentParticipants must bring their own equipment. There will be no sharing equipment between participants or using BSC materials.

New Procedures at the Burlington Seniors’ Centre
The health and safety of Burlington residents is of the utmost importance. In compliance with the Provincial Guidelines for opening facilities and for the health and safety of all guests, the following standards will be in effect:

• Stay home if you are feeling ill or have been in contact with someone who is ill
• Participants must complete a health screening questionnaire each day, one hour before the start of the program. To complete it online, go to Assistance will be available for those who need help completing it.
• Masks will be required by all staff and participants at all times in indoor programs and highly recommended in outdoor programs. Individual consideration will be given to participants requiring alternate but similarly effective personal protection, provided staff have approved the alternate PPE prior to program session start dates
• Physical distancing will be maintained in all programs
• Group sizes will remain within regulations
• Program offerings reflect those that best fit within permitted activities, timeframes and cleaning requirements
• Equipment sharing or lending will be eliminated in lieu of Bring Your Own supplies
• Pedestrian traffic flow will be designated and distance markers will be in place in all locations
• All personal belongings will be required to be kept with participants at all times
• Planning ahead is encouraged to reduce the need for washroom use. Washrooms will be available to one guest at a time
• Change rooms will not be available and use of washrooms for changing is not permitted
• Bistro Express will only offer curbside pickup with cashless payment. Pre-order by 10 a.m. for same-day packaging and curbside pickup available between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. For menu options or to place an order, call 905-335-7888, ext. 6346
• The BSC will open 15 mins before class start times when staff will assist registered participants with entry to program rooms. Access to the Centre will not be available to non-participants. The facility will be closed following each program period to allow for deep cleaning

Virtual Festivals and events ahead
Based on the Province’s restrictions on group sizes and social gatherings due to COVID-19, the City will continue to investigate and implement virtual celebrations where possible. Given the recent success of the City’s virtual Canada Day event, City staff are exploring virtual Remembrance Day and Santa Claus Parade options. All in-person festivals and events will be cancelled until the provincial group size is increased to 1,000 people.

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. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at and download the free City of Burlington app.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward: “Given the huge success of the TelePALS program, virtual programming will also continue – allowing residents the choice of what services they feel most comfortable participating in. I know our residents are looking forward to gradually being able to meet in person, and staff has introduced measures to keep participants safe.   ”

Beard studious

Denise Beard, Acting Director of Recreation Services

Denise Beard, Acting Director of Recreation Services explains that:  “Being able to connect and socialize can be a challenge during a pandemic so we hope that our redesigned programs will offer a much-needed boost to those looking to be active and social while staying safe. Online registration will offer the quickest way of registering but we will also hold some spaces specifically for telephone registrations for those who cannot access or are not comfortable online.”

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Pat Burgess will do his 40th Terry Fox run this year - Covid19 will not deter him - third in a series

News 100 redBy Burlington Terry Fox Run Committee

July 13th, 2020



terry-fox-running-across-from-monumentThe 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.

In 1980, Pat Burgess was 25 years old and newly married. That year was also the year that he was inspired by Terry Fox’s daily running to raise money for cancer research. 1980 was the year Pat Burgess started running for Terry, to keep the Terry’s dream alive.

He hasn’t stopped.

Turning 65 in October, Pat plans to keep running, with “no end in sight,” he says. His knees are good, so he will just keep going. He has run in marathons and runs nearly every day.
Pat grew up in Niagara Falls, and was living in Toronto during Terry’s run. He didn’t see Terry run in person, but Pat was so inspired by

Terry’s challenge to others to carry on, that he incorporated Terry into his motivation for his running.

39 Years of Running for Terry

Every September since 1981, he has put on a Terry t-shirt and completed the 10 km course, dedicating his effort to Terry’s memory. Pat added to his personal memories when he visited the Terry Fox Monument outside Thunder Bay.

pat burgee - skyline background

Pat Burgess wearing a T shirt that has seen him through 39 Terry Fox runs.

His favourite shirt, one of his first among many bought over the years, bears the message, “We Can Do It,” and features Terry in front of a crowd. Pat likes the inclusiveness of all ages in the image. That’s something he has noticed over the years: that participation is ramping up, that there are more children and families involved. He likes that.

Pat likes the current route, along the Waterfront Trail, and is glad that runners can make the earlier start. But he adds that “most people are very courteous” to make room for the walkers and the slower participants. He also singled out the “very nice volunteers, the apples and fruit” that are part of each event.

So, 2020 is a big year for Pat Burgess: the 40th anniversary of Terry’s run, and his own 40th wedding anniversary.

Photographs provided by Pat Burgess from his personal collection

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Get some answers on the Thursday Telephone Town Hall on school opening in September

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 13th, 2020



The Premier is expected to announce today that he will move to Stage 3 and open things up in some parts of the province. Halton is expected to be part of what gets opened wider – people may be able to return to work and the commercial world might be able to open up more of their space.

Telephone-town-hall-logo-2-690x386While returning to work is important to getting our economy working closer to its potential – the issue for many is – what happens in September when the kids are normally returning to school.

Will the schools be open?

For how long each day?

What measures are being taken to ensure that those students are as safe as they can be?

There is a lot that is unknown about the COVID17 virus and the way it impacts younger people.

Stuart Miller

Halton District School Board Director of Education Stuart Miller.

Thursday evening the Mayor is hold another of her Telephone Town Halls – this time the Halton District School Board Director of Education will be on the line.

This will be the first opportunity for parents to put questions to someone who can tell you as much as anyone about how schools will be operated come September.

How to Participate
Residents who would like to participate in the town hall can do so in the following ways:

1. Register in advance: Burlington residential phone numbers will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone town hall. Residents who would like to be added to the telephone call list can email by the end of the day on July 14.
Please note: if you registered for any of the previous town halls (held on March 26, April 14 or June 4), you are not required to register your phone number a second time. To remove a name from the call list, email by the end of the day on July 14.

2. Join by telephone: Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-410-5909 just before 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 to join the town hall. For those individuals calling in, please be advised more than one attempt may be required due to the high volume of traffic on the phone lines. If the first call does not connect, please hang up and dial the 1-800 number again.

Once the call begins, a moderator will provide participants with instructions for how to submit their questions to the leadership panel.

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City does have a serious financial shortfall due to COVID19 - treasurer believes it is manageable

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

July 13, 2020



Tax due dates are be made a little longer, there are deferrals, and there is tax money that is just not coming in

On the other side of the ledger the expenses are not as high. All the part time people were laid off, there was no transit money coming in nor was there much revenue on the Parks and Recreation side

The books were pretty messy.

Treasurer Joan Ford prepared a presentation for a Standing Committee lat week and put two critical numbers forward. $18,091,423.00 and $4,017,732.00


Updated year end proj

The eighteen million is the total revenue losses and COVID related costs.

The four million is what the Treasurer expects to see as the shortfall – money the city will not have to to pay its bills.

Somehow Mayor Marianne Meed Ward convinced herself that the city was $18 million in the hole. She called it the “delta”.

There was also an Expenditure Restraint amount of $6,572,127 and Other operational savings of $3,330,272.

When these two are added to the withdrawals from Program Specific Reserve funds the shortfall of $4,017,732 which the Finance people are confident can be made up by withdrawing from other reserve funds.

Rev loss COVIID

This graph sets out where the revenue didn’t come from.

Miitigation measuresTreasurer Joan Ford did point out that treasurers are usually comfortable with total reserves of 15% – those total reserves are now at the 9% level. They are going to have to be built back up at some point.

The general message was that while things are tight – the city feels that they will come though the COVID pandemic with some change in their pockets.

Property tax collection did take a hit – some of the larger properties were either not able to pay their taxes the way they had in the past, several took advantage of the deferral program.

Many of the smaller businesses just didn’t have the cash flow.  Burlington has always followed a lenient approach to the collection of taxes – they bend over backwards to help a property owner get their taxes paid.  Treasurer Joan Ford told Council that in al her years wit the city they have only had to force the sale of a piece of property because the taxes were not paid.

Tax data 1

Data on the property tax collection level.

That assumes that things do not get worse – and with the current COVID situation – they just don’t know where things will be in 60 days.

The Treasury people have worked both long and hard and very creatively to keep the financial situation quite stable.

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