Northern Ontario Casino scene undergoing major changes.

News 100 blue

By George Keburia

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Casinos across Northern Ontario are hoping to be able to re-open soon amid COVID-19 uncertainty

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the entire world as the number of infections globally has now exceeded a whopping nine million bar.

With over 400 thousand deaths related to the novel coronavirus infection, the vast majority of nations are trying to keep their citizens safe by implementing and maintaining social distancing rules. In these unprecedented times, everyone is held accountable for not putting the national safety at risk. The recent case of Dominic Cummings in the United Kingdom was a great example of how the societies have shifted and become more cautious amid the pandemic.

Besides individual responsibility, the same kind of cautiousness extends to business. Both people and governments try to have a specifically tailored and well-researched approach when it comes to re-opening businesses and their future operations. The Canadian government was one of the first globally to introduce a nation-wide lockdown, resulting in thousands of businesses simply coming to a complete standstill. Many of them had to halt operations while others also were put in a position of having to cancel ambitious projects and future plans.

US border closed PAID

Border to the United States closed – with no clear re-opening date in place.

All of Canada’s industries and businesses came under extreme pressure as the government decided to close its border with the United States. The Americans are the biggest Canadian economic partner with over 85% of exports going to the United States. Under such circumstances, not only exporting businesses but also local companies were impacted negatively. Countless Canadian businesses used to benefit from Americans visiting them over the weekend.

The gambling business in a tricky position

With the mid-march decision of the Canadian government and the prime minister Trudeau, all entertainment businesses were closed indefinitely. These changes naturally affected gambling venues across the nation. They had to cease operations immediately without a chance to evaluate the situation and come up with a solution in a timely manner. Many of the businesses managed to go online within the few days of the new regulations but others had to work and invest heavily in order to survive the turmoil.

In general, the online gambling sector has been on a steep rise throughout the past decade. The representatives of Playamo Canada say, that the incomes from the business across the nation have also been growing.   For firms that were always focused on online gambling, the new regulations were a positive change. They now have a chance to attract customers that can no longer visit brick-and-mortar venues in Canada.

But what happens with those who were dependent on visitors for the majority of their incomes? Canada, particularly Northern Ontario, is home to a high number of luxurious casinos and resorts that have been completely shut for almost the past three months. Their bookings and were canceled while loyal customers have no option but to visit online gambling platforms run by other operators.

Gateway Casinos forced to halt its construction in North Bay

Among many of Canada’s famous gambling operators, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is truly a shining star. The customers’ favorite company provides high-quality luxury venues to its loyal customers across the entire country. It has popular venues located in Sudbury and Sault St. Marie.

Gateway North Bay PAID

North Bay Casino construction site.

However the pandemic meant operations of Gateway-owned casinos had to be closed.  Those crucial venues for the company remain closed to the public. The representatives of Gateway say, that the timing of the pandemic could not have been worse. Their new major project in North Bay, a casino resort that already has a green light for construction, had to be stopped. There is simply not enough certainty in the industry to continue the construction of a major venue. The costs of the construction are absolutely tremendous and the company can not afford it unless the already-existing venues are back up and running.

Therefore, ‘Gateway casinos and entertainment’ is now focusing on opening up its Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie venues to the public. The cash inflow from those venues is unlikely to result in the construction of the new North Bay venue. However, operational casinos would ensure the safety of jobs, as well as more security for the business. The latter is of utmost importance since, without any certain and specific timeframe on the process of opening casinos, Gateway’s future plans remain halted.

How can casinos open going forward?

Gateway Sudbury PAID

The thrill of the win

The chief of Gateway’s Sudbury venue, Richard Paquin commented on the company’s future plans: “We haven’t spoken to anybody about that because it’s too early in the process,” However, the Ontario’s government has recently announced its plans to gradually re-open entertainment businesses that could potentially include casinos. Gateway also had a brief communication with the government regarding the issues but no specific answers were given from the authorities.

However, what we know today for sure is that sooner or later, the casino business will start coming back. The question is in what form will it operate? What sacrifices will operators have to make? The expectation is that the opening of venues will be discussed individually.

Every space comes with its own specifications and needs to be rearranged considering those factors. One thing is apparent: the most affected part of the casino business will be the venues’ capacity. Fewer people will be allowed per room with fewer people sitting around tables. This could mean significantly lower incomes for businesses, but with social distancing remaining the only known and effective tool against the spread of the virus, the venues will have to adjust.

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School is out - it wasn't in for a good part of the school year.

graphic-coping-red-2By Nicki St George

June 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Nicki St George was one of two parents who wrote regularly during those months that children were out of school and parents learned just what it is that a teacher does – they were now struggling to get it right. St George, who is a teacher, a recovering cancer patient and a mother working on an MEd. She sums up what the pandemic experience has been for her and her two children and a husband who finally had a glimpse into what spending three consecutive months with the kids all day long is like.

I took a hiatus from writing about my COVID life for two reasons. Firstly, the doldrums were setting in and I felt like I had very little new to share. But mainly, it took me a while to absorb and process the horrors occurring in the US, and the world around race relations. I was busy, minding my own business and considering my feelings about school being cancelled for the rest of the year when the news of George Floyd and Christian Cooper broke, and the riots started. I did not feel, as a middle-aged, middle-class, white, suburban mum (no, I am not a KAREN!), that I should take up any space on social media with trivial complaints about watching a 6-year old type a sentence on the keypad or the frustrations of having to homeschool for the remainder of the school year.

Dan and Nicki - masksI still feel uncomfortable about sharing how I personally addressed the issues of anti-racism with my family, mostly because I am embarrassed that I did so little to engage in this work before, but also because talking about the things I have done to address these issues feels like I am patting myself on the back. This self-gratitude, in my opinion, can become a fine line between bragging vs publicly sharing my thoughts and actions with others so as it can provide some perspective. With that said, here are the things that I am doing to help put a stop to systemic racism:

• engaging in conversations about race and how racism exists in Canada (and Burlington) at every opportunity with friends, family (including my children) and colleagues,
• following anti-racism activists on Instagram,
• taking my family to BLM protests (when I feel that social distancing is being observed),
• adding a long list of fiction and non-fiction books by Black authors to my summer reading list so that I am better equipped to have conversations about white privilege and racism,
• addressing comments that show ignorance to the BLM movement,
• donating to charities committed to the anti-racist movement,
• seeking out and supporting retailers who are making a conscious effort to support Black owned businesses,
• not bragging about my efforts on social media.

Bea - first protest signSo, now that I have that off my chest, I can address what my column is supposed to be about – how to be a parent in the time of COVID (I think).

Homeschooling
Doing 1-2 hours of work a day is no substitute for being in school. It was better when I wasn’t working full time, and things definitely started to slip towards the end. Leo started taking ownership for completing his own work, which sounds great, but he was taking short cuts everywhere. On the plus side, he started taking advantage of his English teacher’s drop in Google Meets. He also wore his signature sombrero for every virtual class (which made me smile).

Bea with school workBea started having Google Meets with her class. Her teacher is amazing! I marvel at how she maintains full control of a group of Grade 1 students while using video conferencing. I know a lot of parents who gave up on the homeschooling towards the end. Personally, I found it useful; it gave us a purpose and something to do.

Summer Plans
Summer is normally a tense time in my marriage. As a teacher with summers off, I struggle to fill the days with the kids. Meanwhile, I dare not complain because ‘I’m on holiday.’ But my ideal holiday does not include being camp leader to two whingy kids all summer long. A positive thing that has come out of the pandemic is that Dan has finally had a glimpse into what spending three consecutive months with the kids all day long is like and I think we are on the same page now.

Last year, I had a whole summer bucket list and we did pretty well – library once a week, public pools, museums, and play dates, etc. This year is really going to push my creativity (and resourcefulness) to the limit. And since my summer holiday officially starts tomorrow, I’ve only started giving thought to how this is going to work.

The COVID vibe is weird. Mostly it seems like life has gone back to normal, but hang on, aren’t we still recording 300 odd cases a day in Ontario? The COVID numbers have completely dropped off the news cycle so I think most people are either coming to terms with the possibility that they might catch COVID, or they are just sick of social distancing. I’m still reticent to take my kids into any stores or public places that aren’t essential, but we are venturing out to the drive-in and planning to share a cottage with another family. Three months of isolation with my family has proven to me that we can all survive the togetherness, and gosh darn it, I really like these three people that I’m stuck with (even Bea).

Leo - candlesSeptember
Oh Lordy – this is going to be interesting. If regular citizens are acting cavalier about COVID, the Health Department and Ministry of Education sure aren’t. Parents and teachers are preparing for three possible scenarios which almost feels like kismet since last year teachers were fighting against eLearning and larger classes, and now we will likely see a compromise between these two issues. One thing is for sure, school is going to look very different for everyone. Teachers are going to be working hard over the summer to upskill and prepare for new delivery methods. My school is moving into a Hyflex Lyte model, which sounds fancy, but essentially will just enable us to move seamlessly from in-person to remote learning when the second wave inevitably hits. Plexi-glass, PPE, and sanitizing workstations every 75 minutes are inevitably in my future.

Nevertheless, I am looking forward to getting back into the classroom, whatever it may look like. And not just because it is a break from my kids; although, I may be taking them with me on odd days. And if we end up back at home…well, at least I’ve amassed an impressive amount of witty Zoom backgrounds to keep things light!

Related new stories:

Week 5

Week 6

Week 8

Week 9

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We can grow through this experience.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

People at the Burlington Food Bank are noticing a change in the conversations they are having with the people they serve.

Green beans - row

The Food Bank is looking forward to some fresh produce once those rows have done all their growing.

Yesterday they had a client call; upset about the food we delivered. Robin Bailey and Dominique drove to the client’s house and it turned out the complaint was very, very minor and easy to swap out the item they really wanted. But Robin and Dominique listened to the person for at least an hour… Robin said they were just really upset with everything else going on in our world right now and not so much the one grocery item.

The Food Bank has seen an increase in the number of families they serve and have noticed that the intake calls have been lasting much longer than at the beginning of the pandemic!

When we hear from clients via email they are adding more detail in regards to how they are feeling and the struggles they are facing. We realize that people are worried right now about a lot of things and we take the time to talk to them and hear about their situations and how they are affected.

If you have a neighbour or family member that is alone please take the time to see how they are doing and ask if you can help them out in any way. If it’s a neighbour you haven’t seen in quite a while, maybe drop a note under their door to let them know there are people that care about them and how they are doing.

Green bean climbing

This bean has grown itself to the point where it can attach to the wire ladder. We humans are going to have to grow ourselves out of this pandemic – it is not going to be easy.

We are all in this together and Facebook groups like #burlingtontogether are reaching out to offer a hand in any way possible. Please wear masks and respect others safety if you are out in busy areas. The Food Bank is here to help clients out with not just groceries but to be a small source of community and a connector to other community resources.

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

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Mayor has become a dog with a bone - doing everything she can to prevent a developer from getting an extension he is entitled to.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

That request for an extension from EMSHIH Developments and their Garden Trails II development is getting a little messy and revealing some cracks in the cohesion of city Council.

The request for an extension – several have been given in the past – on a development that is close to 20 years old.

Garden Trail Phase 2

EMSHIH Developments did the first Phasae of the Garden Trail subdivision tears ago. The area coloured green is their Phase II plan. The want an extension to the end of the year to complete the paper work and eventually get a building permit. Staff has argued so much has changed on the regulatory side that a new application should be filed.

Council spent more than an hour at a Standing Committee on this matter earlier in the month – ending up with a 4-3 vote to grant the extension.

That decision had to go to Council – same thing – more than an hour of debate during which the mayor commented on the amount of lobbying that Councillors Galbraith and Kearns has been involved in.

The vote was the same 4-3 with the extension limited to the just end of August. The Mayor worked the Council meeting and managed to get two Staff Directions added. One to the City Treasurer and another to the City Solicitor.

In her A Better Burlington Newsletter, Mayor Meed Ward sets out her position on this development:

It’s clear to me that the application has not met conditions of OMB — they’d had 20 years to meet those conditions and they haven’t. They expire in June. What should Council do? We’ve been told by staff that so much has changed, the studies the applicant will have to do, the work all agencies will have to do is the same as a new application. We’ve been told the applicant is willing to pay fees. We don’t make handshake deals, we have an accountable fees system. We heard the applicant’s concerns is time delays, not paying the fees.

MMW standing O Canada

Mayor Meed Ward standing during the playing of the National anthem at the start of a virtual city council meeting.

I believe the right path for us is to call this application what it is and that is a new one. The timeframe for processing this, we have been told, is roughly the same. We have an obligation to the applicant to ensure things are processed in a timely manner – we have new legislation to make sure. We’ve heard concerns that the new studies will cause the delays, but there are no ways around that — those studies must be done. The facts are fairly clear on this file.

This report from staff has been straightforward – the work required is that of a new application and the recommendation from them is for us to treat it as such. We need to give our planning staff the resources they need, so that Council is not the cause of any delays. A new application has protections in place for the applicant and the City.

With that said, I am OK giving a two-month extension on the deadline to hear from staff on the financial and legal implications on this file.

That is really very generous of the Mayor. She’s Ok a shorter extension wrapped with two Staff Directions that will eat up more than an hour of council time when it is on the agenda in August.  The will of Council is clear – a majority voted for the extension twice.

The last we heard a majority counted mattered. Kearns, Galbraith, Sharman and Bentivegnia voted to give the extension.

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GO adds increased cleaning to their fleet - several times each day.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At some point people will begin going back to work.

For those who use public transit or ride an elevator in their office building there is a concern.

For those of us in Burlington who do not ave to experience the Yong Street subway in rush hour – there isn’t a problem.  I don’t think I would want to be crammed onto that subway – even if I did have to go to work.

The joys of working iin the Big Smoke.

Metrolinx advises that starting this week, customers will notice more cleaning crews on GO buses, trains and in stations as the transit agency steps up cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day. Certain GO stations are also moving towards a self-serve model. Here’s what you need to know.

Metrolinx - cleaning arm rest #1

Arm rest, guard rails – anything people are likely to touch will get cleaned – several times each trip. Antonnette Clarke-Thompson wipes off an arm rest as part of her work to disinfect in-service GO trains (Mike Winterburn photo)

Because safety never stops, Metrolinx is stepping up in-service cleaning efforts across the GO transit network.

The transit agency is rolling out a newly enhanced midday cleaning program that complements the existing thorough daily disinfecting work.

By implementing these and dozens of other key safety measures, Metrolinx has kept GO services running safely since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How does it work?

Metrolinx is stepping up cleaning of GO trains, buses and stations. In addition to regular daily disinfecting, all surfaces customers commonly touch, such as handles, buttons, railings, armrests and ticket vending machines, will be given extra cleaning throughout the day.

In addition to the disinfecting buses already get when not in service, cleaning crews are disinfecting buses before nearly every new trip starting at the Union Station bus terminal, Hamilton GO Centre, Square One, the Jane & 407 bus terminal, Yorkdale and Oshawa GO.

In addition to the disinfecting trains already get when not in service, cleaning crews are riding trains throughout the day to make sure things like seat handles, armrests, buttons, washrooms and railings are cleaned regularly.

In addition to the regular deep cleaning underway at GO stations, station attendants are stepping up cleaning of frequently touched surfaces while also helping customers.

Station staff cleaning surfaces at Union Station

Cleaning efforts are being stepped up at GO Stations, on buses and trains. (Metrolinx photo)

Staffing Changes at GO Stations

Metrolinx clean waste bin #2

Station staff cleaning surfaces at Union Station. Cleaning efforts are being stepped up at GO Stations, on buses and trains. (Metrolinx photo)

Also starting this week, certain GO stations will become fully self-serve. Ticket sales and PRESTO services at Bloor, Exhibition, Downsview Park, Oriole GO stations will now be exclusively available through fare vending machines.

Starting this weekend (June 27), this will also be the case for weekend ticket sales and PRESTO services at Bradford, East Gwillimbury, Aurora and Maple GO stations.

This doesn’t mean safety or cleanliness will be compromised. All self-serve stations are receiving the same high level of cleaning by mobile station staff.

Safety Never Stops

Metrolinx spill kit #3

A cleaning person disinfects a GO bus. Cleaning crews will now be disinfecting GO vehicles while they are in-service, although customers will not be asked to move. (Metrolinx photo)

Though life feels different, what hasn’t changed is Metrolinx’s commitment to customer safety. More than 40 new safety measures have been introduced since the start of year including thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting trains, buses, and stations every day. There are new innovative measures being developed now and will be rolled out this summer.

Metrolinx is also asking customers to help keep everyone safe by following the guidance of public health officials and use a face covering when on transit.

Metrolinx face maskAs admirable as all this effort is – the facts are – Covid19 is transferred from person to person – the respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze are what carry the infection.  They come out of your mouth and nose – not the other orifices on your body that are exposed to the public.

That would make masks essential.  Mask up folks!

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Canadian Labour Congress asks for immediate action from the provincial and federal governments to provide emergency funding for municipalities

opinionviolet 100x100By Maureen Weinberger

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Dear Editor,

Letter to the editorLost revenue due to COVID-19 will have an immediate and devastating impact on the ability of our local government to deliver the vital services we all rely on.

Halton continues to be impacted by pandemic-related expenditures that are estimated to cost over $10 million by year-end.

Municipal governments provide vital services that include emergency response, transit, public housing, long term care, day care, libraries, recreation and many more services we take for granted on a daily basis.

We have already seen municipalities who are facing serious financial shortfalls, being forced to defer important projects, reduce services and lay off, furlough or redeploy the workers that provide these services.

Municipal governments are an important economic driver in our communities and in the greater Canadian economy. The emerging municipal crisis could act as a destabilizing force for our national economy. In addition, mass funding shortfalls at the municipal level would result in significant delays in local economic recovery and an increase in the numbers of community members who are experiencing lay off, reduced wages or job loss.

The Canadian Labour Congress has asked for immediate action from the provincial and federal government to provide emergency funding for municipalities in order to protect vital local services. Please join me in amplifying this call to save our cities, towns, and municipalities from financial devastation by providing immediate emergency assistance.

Maureen Weinberger is the President of the Oakville & District Labour Council

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Spray pads to open June 26; Redesigned summer camps and outdoor pools open July 13

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City announced the opening of spray pads on June 26. Redesigned summer camps and outdoor pool programs will begin on July 13.

Following public health recommendations and the Province’s emergency orders, COVID-19 precautions and preparations will be in place to reduce the spread of the virus. All redesigned programs and services will look very different from pre-COVID-19 programs and will still be high quality, fun, active and create great summer memories.

Kids in splash pad

This place will be busy on Friday.

To ensure crowd management, all programs and pool use (including lap and rec swims) will require pre-registration and payment. There is no registration required for spray pads.

All programs and offerings can be viewed online at burlington.ca/summer.

Registrations are only being accepted online at liveandplay.burlington.ca. If you need assistance, please call 905-335-7600 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday or email liveandplay@burlington.ca.

Anyone attending a camp or swim must follow strict COVID-19 procedures. Staying home if the participant or any family member is sick or has come in contact with anyone who is sick. Wash hands frequently, cough and sneeze into sleeve/arm and follow all City rules and regulations. Masks and face coverings will be optional.

sociial circles

Is this a summer day camp setting?

Summer Camps
Full-day summer SNAP camps for kids aged four to ten years will be held at Brant Hills Community Centre, Tansley Woods Community Centre, Aldershot Arena and Haber Recreational Centre.

Performing Arts Camp for kids ages nine to 15 years will be held at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.
Camp activities will include outdoor games, crafts, art and nature-based activities.

Funny hats and smiling faces - all part of the summer day camp experience.

Funny hats and smiling faces – all part of the summer day camp experience.

Camper’s safety is the first priority. Staff will receive enhanced training on the additional health and safety regulations. There will now be one dedicated staff to every four children, with a maximum of two staff and eight campers in a room.

Each camp group will stay together for the entire week, and not interact with other groups.

To support and enhance the safety of campers and staff, caregivers will receive a phone call before camps begin to emphasize the importance of following the camp code of conduct and do a pre-camp health check.

Completing the call with staff is required for your child to be admitted to camp. In addition, parents will learn about the cleaning of facilities with special attention to high touch surfaces like door handles and counters. Each camp group will have dedicated spaces and washroom facilities to further reduce exposure to other groups.

Caregivers will also be sent an email with a video link to where to drop campers off, facility layout and set up as well as were to pick up the camper at the end of the day.

 

Registration dates, beginning at 9 a.m.:
• Monday, June 29 for camp programs July 13 and July 20
• Monday, July 13 for camp programs July 27 and Aug. 3
• Monday, July 27 for camp programs Aug. 10 and 17
• Monday, Aug. 10 for camp programs Aug. 24
Outdoor Pools

Nelson Pool and Splash Park, Mountainside Pool and Splash Park and LaSalle Splash Park will be ready on July 13.

The number of people allowed in at any time will be kept low so people can maintain physical distancing. The play features at Nelson and Mountainside will remain closed. To register online for lap and rec swims 25 hours prior to start of program time, go to liveandplay.burlington.ca.

Splash pad LaSalle - swimming

The number of kids in those wading pool will be lower.

In addition to the outdoor pools, spray pads will open on Friday, June 26. For a listing of locations, go to burlington.ca/waterplay.

At the spray pads, please ensure your child stays two metres away from anyone not in your social circle or household. If a spray pad is crowded, please try another spray pad or come back another day.

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 Burlington.ca/Enews and download the free City of Burlington app.

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Parks and Recreation are thinking about how they might re-open the Seniors' Centre

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 24, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Parks and Recreation department is sounding out people on opening up the Seniors’ Centre.

People who provide some of the programing to the city on a contract basis have been called to see if they would be interested in running classes that would be limited to 10 people.

Seniors taking in the music

There won’t be audiences this size at the Seniors’ Centre – but small programs are being considered.

There would be a limit on the number of people permitted to be in the building – the number we are getting is 90.
Cleaning crews would do a wipe down after every class.

Parks and Recreation Director Chris Glenn said: “ We are preparing a report to bring to council in the next cycle of meetings, that talks about the proposed redesigned adult / older adult programming plan, based on the stage 2 provincial guidelines. More to come as council discusses the redesign plan.

Members of the Seniors Advisory Committee are reported to not have heard from anyone within Parks and Recreation.

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Putting the pandemic into perspective

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is the richest, most powerful country in the world.

But look at the numbers; the number of people infected, the number of people who have died – and it is far from over yet.

The man leading the country stands a chance of being re-elected.

Imagine that.

World covid numbers June 24

All one can do iis shakes their head when they review the numbers.

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LaSalle Park Community Marina update: Marina and sailing programs closed for2020 summer season

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

LaSalle Park - bring about a boat on its way to the water.

Tough year for the boating community. The boats will not be going into the water.

 

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of volunteers and boaters, the boards of directors for the LaSalle Park Marina Association (LPMA) and the Burlington Sailing and Boating Club (BS&BC) have announced the LaSalle Park Community Marina and BS&BC sailing programs will not operate for the 2020 summer season.

The decision to close the marina made sense – it puts into stark relief the decision to use $4 million from the Hydro Reserve fund to pay for the building of the wave break.  Talk about unintended consequences.

The decision to close the marina was made by the LPMA and the BS&SC, who took the following into consideration:

• Volunteer safety – in order to install the docks at the marina, volunteers are required to work within small boats where physical distancing is not possible.

• Shortened boating season – construction of the new wave break at the LaSalle Park Community Marina was delayed due to impacts from COVID-19. While the wave break is now completed, the LPMA estimates the installation of the docks and placement of boats in the water would take four to five weeks, resulting in a significantly shorter boating season.

• Financial impacts – with COVID-19 precautions and a shortened boating season, many boaters have indicated they will not be launching their boats, impacting the funding needed to operate the marina.

Public Boat Launch
The public boat launch at LaSalle Park Community Marina will also remain closed for the summer for boats on trailers. A portion of the parking lot typically used for boat trailers will not be accessible as it continues to be used for the storage of boats and finger docks.

Residents are still able to use the marina area to enjoy views of the water, bird watching and to launch canoes and kayaks that are not on a trailer.

Lurking in the background is the matter of how will Burlington manage to renew the lease they have on property owned by Hamilton and used as both a public park and the Marina Association.  Two years left on that lease.

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There will be a Lakeshore Rotary Ribfest on Canada Day - in a parking lot. All the details

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We had the gist of the story – but that wasn’t enough.

Our friends at the Bay Observer beat us to this one – it doesn’t happen very often.

The Observer reports that:

This Canada Day July 1 from 11am-8pm, the public is invited to stop by the Burlington Centre parking lot, at 777 Guelph Line (corner of Fairview Street and Guelph Line) to experience the fun and flavour of Ribfest in a safe, socially-distant way.

mall-parking

Ribfest will take place on Canada Day at the Burlington Centre on Guelph Line.

Guests are encouraged to enter from the Guelph Line entrance and will be asked to stay intheir vehicles for the duration of their visit. Food vendors will take orders and payment (cards preferred) from vehicles and will deliver each completed order to the vehicle. All staff, vendors, and volunteers will be wearing gloves and masks.

Four award-winning BBQ teams will be in attendance, serving the ribs, pulled pork, and chicken that guests have come to expect from Ribfest. Rib teams in attendance will include Camp 31 BBQ, Billy Bones BBQ, Pistol Pete’s Smokehouse, and Uncle Sam’s BBQ. There will also be food offerings from East Side Mario’s and Blaze Pizza, ensuring that there’s something for the entire family to enjoy.

Ribfest north side 2017

The Billboards and the grass – not the same as sitting in your car.

The event will also include live music for guests to enjoy from the comfort and safety of their vehicles, curated by the team from Rotary, so expect to hear some local favourites and familiar voices.

This event is a fundraising initiative of Rotary Burlington-Lakeshore, which for the last 23 years has hosted Canada’s Largest Ribfest in Burlington at Spencer Smith Park. They have raised over 3.5 millions dollars for local, national, and international charities through this event, and wanted to ensure their charitable giving could continue this year, despite the difficult decision to cancel their regular Labour Day Ribfest event due to the ongoing public health situation.

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Ribfest in a parking lot - on Canad Day? Really!

Newsflash 100By Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Story Update – link below

Chasing the one down.

wev

This is what a Ribfest is – picking up your Ribs in a paper bag through the window of your car isn’t the same.

Word is that there will be a Drive Thru Ribfest at the Burlington Centre (formerly The Mall) on Canada Day.

Nothing specific as to when on Canada Day.

More when we have more.

Drive Thru Ribs eh!

It just won’t be the same will it.

Story update

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New local art program will give 12 artists each an $800 commission to create art that will be put on traffic signal control boxes

artsblue 100x100By Pepper Parr

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city has been doing this for a couple of year.

The Local Artist Program is an opportunity for  Burlington artists – they MUST live in the city – to apply for an $800 commission to tell a local story through their art. There are 12 Design Commissions Available

The application deadline: August 21, 2020

Budget: $800 per commission

The objective in the past was to tell local stories through medium-scale artworks throughout the city. They took a variety of forms including murals, small-scale sculptures and functional artwork such as bike racks and benches. Free professional development opportunities are available to assist artists with the application process and project development.

2020 Program

Angela Papariza was a recreational planner when this picture was taken. Her job was changed to that of a cultural planner and she is now the goto person on the cultural file - at least until a cultural Manager is hired. Is she a candidate for the Cultural Manager position? Papariza talks with Trevor Copp one of the movers and shakers within the arts and cultural community.

Angela Paparizo, now the Manager of the City’s cultural program, talking with Trevor Copp, a Hamilton based performer during the unveiling of the Spiral Stella at the Performing Arts Centre.

Angela Paparizo explains that “Art plays a powerful role in bringing people together to share common experiences and explore new ideas.” Sometimes the agreement is that no one likes the work.

Artists deal in hope and inspiration – even in a time of crisis.

This year the city is inviting local artists to submit digital artwork that will be reproduced and installed on traffic signal control boxes throughout the city.

Artists are encouraged to submit artwork that will inspire and uplift the community during these challenging times. This artwork will form an urban art gallery that can be experienced by residents while still practicing appropriate social distancing.

More information and entry forms – right HERE

In the past there have been some interesting work put up on public places.

ART Apples-400x261

On the left, Tamara Kwapich did the mural in Orchard Community Park; once the location for some of the best apple orchards in the province.  On the right: Hannah Sell and Liam Racine did the art work that is located in the small Port Nelson Park.

ART Port Nelson site Couple-coloured-box-400x415

ART Freeman-public-art-400x248

This pice of art work was painted on the side of the Freeman Station.

ART King-Road-400x249

The public art painted on the King Road grade separation a number of years ago was done by Judy Mayer-Grieve.

 

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Mask making takes on a life of its own -3000 being put together by volunteers

News 100 yellowBy Connie Price

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the Burlington Gazette envisioned providing some free fabric face masks using donated material, to those in the community who most needed them, it wasn’t imagined that it would evolve into a small manufacturing operation with 20+ people involved.

Mask Heather Sewing

Heather sewing masks with all the parts in front of her.

Jan at sewing machine

Jan Mowbray stitching together the four ties needed for each of the 3000 masks.

The process starts with cutting the bolts of material to mask size, as well as the making of 1000s of ties, which then needed to be transported from Jan’s home in Milton to two Transfer Houses (in east and west Burlington), where the bags of material with 50 masks each are held by Lynda and Nadine, until the Sewers need them.

Design improvements, upgrades and suggestions have been welcomed and implemented from the dedicated volunteer Sewers, Heather, Helen, Sharon, Chris, Tina, Ann, Ruth, Bernie, Rosa & Clair, who are located across Burlington and even into Milton.

Several volunteer Drivers, John, Fred, Cathy & Wayne have the responsibility of transporting the material bags to the Sewers’ front porches and then picking the sewn masks up and returning them to the Transfer Houses, to be packaged, along with Canada’s Guidelines for the Use and Care of Fabric Face Masks, held for 72 hours in quarantine, before a member of the Burlington Lions Club picks them up, delivering them to the Agencies for distribution to those most in need of masks.

mask ties

Tie strings ready to go to the mask assemblers.

Masks at St. Luke's

Rev. Sheila Plant giving a quarantined mask to a food package from the St. Luke’s Food For Life Program

These masks are included in the porch-delivered Food Hampers to anyone in need of extra food by the Burlington Food Bank, with many also supplied for the people receiving the Take Home Dinners at Wellington Square Church on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays, 12 noon to 4pm.

These meals are cooked and prepared by the many dedicated volunteers from Wellington Square Friday Dinner crew, St. Christopher’s Open Doors and Glad Tidings Church cooks, as well as soups made by the cooking group at Next Door Social Space. Approximately 1000 meals a week are distributed by this very worthwhile endeavor.

Some masks have also been delivered to the tenants at Wellington Terrace Seniors’ Apartments, made available to Donors at St. Matthews Drive-through Drop-off Monday & Wednesday 12 noon-3pm Food Collection Blitzes for the Food Bank and Compassion Society and also to St. Luke’s Church, Food For Life Food Bag, Tuesday distributions.

Masks - Packaging Lynda & Connie

Connie P and Lynda H putting masks in envelopes where they are quarantined for 72 hours and then distributed within the community.

Behind the scenes of the mask making project, there are the very important support workers like Jim, at Burlington Baptist Church, who orders, prints the instruction sheets and Sponsor labels then affixes them to the mask packaging envelopes, Fred and Peggy who warehouse extra material and supplies, Penny overseeing distribution and ideas for upgrading with the Sewers, and Connie who does the overall organizing of where and what stages the masks are in and who needs what, when.

Shawna and daughter

Ward 3 Councillor Shawna Stolte and her daughter model the masks.

To date over 1600 masks have been distributed, with another 1400 in various stages of construction. These are planned to be supplied to other Food For Life locations, tenants at subsidized Seniors’ apartment buildings, as well as new clients at the Food Bank and Take Home Dinner project.

Two of the city’s council members wear and distribute the masks.

Masks Grace Anne Thank You 2

Grace at St. Matthews church where food donations are collected and masks handed out.

Masks are being supplied to other Food For Life locations, tenants at subsidized Seniors’ apartment buildings, as well as new clients at the Food Bank and Take Home Dinner project.

This mask endeavor has shown, without doubt, that there is a village of volunteers in our community, who care about and are willing to step up and help their neighbours keep as safe as possible during this difficult pandemic.

A HUGE Thank You to every one of the volunteers involved in the Gazette Community Face Mask Initiative.

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Population of the Region will more than double by 2051 - some of that growth is going to take place in Burlington

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON ON

 

Mayor Meed Ward is sharing her correspondence from the Hon. Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in which he outlined the proposed changes in population growth numbers issued by the province.

Each part of the province is assigned a number that sets out what the province expects the population to be between now and 2051

The information is in the provinces More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan.

The update is to three major pieces of legislation:

growth targets to 2051;

mineral aggregate operations; and

land-use needs/assessment.

Pop growth 2051

The two thick black lines at the bottom left mark the data projection. The figures are the number of people that will be added by 2051. The current population of the Region is about 550,000

Here are the direct links to the proposed changes on the Province’s website — the deadline for comments is July 31, and the City of Burlington will be submitting our comments to the provincial government.

According to the proposed growth targets for Halton Region, at the high end it is 1.156 million and at the low end it’s 1.060 million for 2051

Using the highest number, Halton will determine how much of the 1.156 million will go to each municipality: Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills.

Given the current population numbers Milton is likely to get the bulk. Halton Hills does not have the water infrastructure that is needed – Milton does.

The current population of the Region is in the 550,000 people.

In his letter the Minister said:

In 2019, our government introduced A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (‘the Plan’, ‘A Place to Grow’) as part of the More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan. Today, I am writing to notify you of proposed changes to the Plan including updates and policy changes to the population and employment forecasts, a change to the Plan horizon year, a new Land Needs Assessment methodology, adjustments to the aggregates policy framework, new policies to address Major Transit Station Areas within Provincially Significant Employment Zones (PSEZs), and other policy revisions that support our government’s objectives to increase housing supply, create more jobs, attract business investments and better align infrastructure. We are asking for your input on these proposed amendments to the Plan.

I realize the proposed changes come at a time of uncertainty when many municipalities are managing urgent matters related to our shared work to protect the health and well-being of our residents across Ontario. The Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) will be critical to economic recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak. The GGH is a key economic driver of both the province and the nation, with more than 85 per cent of the province’s population growth expected in this region by 2051. In fact, we are anticipating that by 2051 this region will grow to nearly 15 million people and accommodate seven million jobs. In order to support municipalities in preparing for this anticipated growth so that you can complete your municipal comprehensive review and official plan revisions, my ministry is proposing these targeted revisions to A Place to Grow to make it faster and easier for municipalities in the region to plan for growth.

Details of the proposed changes are as follows:

The proposed changes would work together to provide more flexibility and foresight to municipalities into demographic, employment, market demand, and housing affordability trends in the GGH. The consultation period will close on July 31, 2020.  We look forward to receiving any comments you may have.

The next phase of work on PSEZs, which will begin shortly, will examine how they can support post-COVID economic recovery to support the retention and expansion of existing industrial and manufacturing operations and attract investment. The government continues to view PSEZs as an important tool and looks forward to engaging with businesses, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, and the development industry to maximize opportunities within a PSEZ.

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Burlington Massage Therapist Charged with Sexual Assault

Crime 100By Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service arrested a massage therapist who was working at a clinic in Burlington.

The incident occurred in February 2020 and the victim was a client.

Dominic Carrasco (53) of Burlington has been charged with one count of Sexual Assault.

Police believe there may be additional victims.

Crime stoppers logoAnyone with information is asked to contact Detective Keith Nakahara of the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 8980.

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

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Pulling Together: Burlington Businesses Reach Out to Support Each Other

News 100 blueBy Clair Nash

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In these unprecedented times, it is always good to see local businesses supporting each other. Burlington’s various businesses and professional services are no different. In recent weeks, there have been multiple cases where local firms and specialists have been working to make life easier for residents.

In times that are unparalleled in recent history, it makes sense for businesses to reach out to one another. Competition reigns, but with uncertainty riding high, the time has come for Burlington to pull together. All manner of industries are facing tighter times – and those looking for entertainment in the local area are drifting towards Canadian online casinos for safe fun.

Conditions will not last forever, but Burlington is ready to offer comfort and care for as long as it takes.

Court room with lawyer

The law is complex and procedural and you need guidance at least should you need legal help.

Pro Bono Legal Support
A key way in which local businesses in Burlington are supporting residents is through legal care. At this time, many individuals and business owners will be looking for reliable legal support. Unfortunately for consumers, businesses need to make money, too.

However, recent news shows that the National Canadian Lawyers Initiative has stepped in to offer pro bono support. Specifically, people across Ontario will now be able to reach out to NCLI offices for free legal advice.

Residents in Burlington may never know when they need to help of a lawyer or attorney. However, for simple legal affairs, reaching out for advice is now more accessible than ever. It is just one example of how Burlington is making life easier for residents.

Celebrating Local Workers
Of course, businesses and local firms are celebrating hard-working people, too, in these hard times. For example, Sofina Foods, based in Burlington, recently received a special lunch in their honor. Workers at Sofina’s slaughterhouse are continuing to push themselves and to drive for quality produce during uncertain times.

Workers at Sofina’s facility in Burlington received free lunches on behalf of Foodies Anonymous and Ontario Pork. Due to restrictions, workers were only able to enjoy their lunches individually – but the gesture has not gone unnoticed.

Domenique W Food Bank

Volunteers putting together food hampers for those who are not employed due to Covid19

Key workers in Burlington are continuing to help provide essential services and sustenance to people across the town, and indeed across the region. While at the moment it may be difficult to celebrate our key workers as much as we may like, there are still ways we can show appreciation.

Pressing On Together
Burlington is a community that pulls together in hard times. It’s clear that, while current conditions may not last forever, people are relying on each other more than ever before.

With news media filling up with negative stories, it’s always worth looking to local sources for positive inspiration. The hard work of Sofina’s team and the NCLI’s pro bono support are just two examples. As time rolls on, it’s likely more Burlington businesses will pull together.

It’s always worth taking a moment to appreciate key workers in your area. Think about how difficult your life may be without them!

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Burlington Food Bank contacted by Feed Ontario to help the provincial government determine what the longer term food needs are likely to be

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Burlington Food Bank was recently contacted by Feed Ontario to help the provincial government get a better understanding of the effects of the Pandemic on Food Banks in regards to client usage and community support since Covid-19 took effect.

Bailey Food Bank March 31-20

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Food Ban said “They also wanted to know what we were doing to prepare for the long term needs that many in our community will face.

“For us at the Burlington Food Bank, we have seen an increase in usage and an increase in new clients and have also recognized great community support through Food Drives and financial donations.

“We have been able to support everyone that has called us for help, increased the fresh produce and other food we distribute and in addition, when local food agencies ask us for assistance, we do our best to support them as well. One of the other results of the current state is we have seen an increase in the number of people in Burlington offering to volunteer with us which has been a huge help in managing the extra work.

“So we are in excellent shape to support more clients as needed and we are now preparing for a transition in delivery method options as we see the City moving towards Phase 3.

Food bank volunteers

The volunteers that make the place work every day of the week.

“We have been able to support everyone that has called us for help, increased the fresh produce and other food we distribute and in addition, when local food agencies ask us for assistance, we do our best to support them as well. Nice to see them asking for our numbers and seeing that they are coordinating with all city Food Banks in Ontario.

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

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Lowville Park will partially reopen on Monday, June 29, 2020.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Lowville sign - orange aLowville Park will partially reopen on Monday, June 29, 2020.

Visiting Lowville Park will look different than it did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; the City of Burlington is putting measures in place to help visitors have a safe park experience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Parking

Parking lot capacity has been reduced to 50 per cent to allow for physical distance spacing and prevent overcrowding. The entrance will be monitored and vehicles may be turned away when parking has reached capacity. Street parking is not permitted, parking enforcement will be in effect. Illegally parked vehicles will be tagged and/or towed.

A river runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

Bronte Creek runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

What’s open and closed in Lowville Park
Washrooms will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Water is not potable and visitors are reminded to bring their own drinking water.

The playground portion of the park remains closed. Staff levels are reduced so please clean up your area and put waste in receptacles or take it home for disposal.
No picnic permits are being issued at this time to comply with municipal and provincial state of emergency group gathering restrictions.

 

Reduce the spread

Rob Peachey, on the left, Manager Parks and Open Spaces for the city, talks through some solutions to managing the very large weekend crowds.

View of the park from thee steps of the school house.

Visitors are reminded to continue to be vigilant about public health practices and provincial directives to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:

Maintaining 2 metre physical distance from others
Gathering in groups of 10 or fewer
Staying home if you feel sick
Washing and sanitizing hands before, during and after visiting the park.

The Lowville Park is a neighbourhood park during the week in the off season. During the summer it is a place where large families gather and cook meals on hibachis and enjoy their food.  On occasion there are several large families that become an event for everyone.

There will have to be some adjusting as we give people a place to enjoy themselves, respect the safety requirements and make allowances for each other.

Walt Rickli, often the spokesperson for the Lowville community, reported on their meeting with the Mayor and the ward councilor. “A number of Lowville residents”, reported Rickli, ” had expressed concerns about the potential for over-crowding, traffic management and the ability to adhere to Covid regulations, as we lead into Canada Day.  As a result of these concerns, the city advised us that over the short term they will be employing the follow measures for weekends and holidays when the park is most used:

Lowville Regulars - Rickli +

Walt Rickli, on the left, is often the spokesperson for the Lowville community.

“The city will be hiring two off-duty police officers.  One will be situated at the corner of Guelph Line and Lowville Park Road to control traffic coming in and out of the park.  If the park is full, traffic will not be allowed to enter Lowville Park Rd.  The second officer will be patrolling the park to ensure visitors are abiding by Covid social distancing requirements as well as park rules.  There will also be several Park Ambassadors to help out.

“The parking lot will only be permitted to fill to 50% of capacity.  To ensure this, there will be a parking enforcement/by-law officer at the entrance to Lowville Park.  As well, 1/2 the parking lot will be barricaded to prevent parking there.

“The children’s playground will be cordoned off to abide by current Covid regulations. Garbage cans which were removed during the Covid lockdown, will be returned.

“And finally, as per provincial Covid regulations, the washrooms will be manned and supervised to limit the number of people allowed in at any given time, and will be frequently cleaned and sanitized.

“During the meeting, a few points were raised that the city will be getting back to us to confirm. First are the hours the park will be manned on holidays and weekends ?  Residents advised that traffic on weekends and holidays often goes from 7:30 am to well into the evening.  The second point was regarding picnic tables.  Currently picnic tables are all grouped together which does not facilitate social distancing.  A suggestion was to remove some of the tables to ensure all are appropriately distanced from each other.

“Over-crowding has been an ongoing issue for Lowville Park, so the Mayor and Ward Counselor also advised us that a pilot project is in the works to help ease the stress on the park environment and the surrounding community over the long term.  They are looking at following a similar approach to what Conservation Halton has done with their parks, which would include installing a gatehouse with an arm among other things. This will replace the above measures once Covid regulations are reduced.”

 

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Burlington's Committee of Adjustment isn't holding meetings - small variances are being held up.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A seasoned commercial real estate developer bought a home in Burlington in 3Q 2019.

He and his wife and their child were looking forward to the move but before the moving trucks were called the met with an architect who drew up some plans they wanted to make to the house,

The architect met with the appropriate people in Burlington’s Planning department where the plans had to be approved before a Building Permit could be issued.

City-hall-plabbing-Christmas-2013-1024x814

City of Adjustment counter at city hall during a festive season.

There was a bit of confusion that got cleared up. The Planners weren’t the problem. The property owner needs a building permit which he can’t get until there is a decision from Committee of Adjustment (CoA). The planner’s hands are tied.

An application was made to the CoA for a minor variance– that was turned down.

The property owner understood, he knew the rules and was more than prepared to abide by whatever those who gave permissions required.

The plan for the addition to the newly purchased house were revised again and ready for the second submission to the CoA early in March

Then Covid19 hit – and everything came to a grinding halt.

The problem for the homeowner who now owned the Burlington residence was that he had sold his home elsewhere in the GTA.

The need to get before the Burlington CoA took on a new urgency.

The problem was made more complex when the CoA found that it could not give dates for hearing that were going to be virtual.

Hamilton was able to hold Committee of Adjustment hearings but none of the smaller municipalities were ready.

The homeowner met with a real estate agent in Burlington looking for a home that could be rented. He found one that would meet what was becoming a pressing need.

The home that was being sold was due to close at the end of June – which was fast approaching.

All the homeowner could get from Burlington’s Committee of Adjustment was that they expected to begin holding hearings in July – not when in July – just July.

The homeowner wanted to know where he stood in the pecking order – was he number 1 or number 101.

Everyone is being polite – what isn’t understood is – what is taking the Burlington CoA so long to get to the point where they can hold virtual hearings.

No one seems to have an answer.

The property owner wasn’t able to get much from the ward 4 Councillor.  He got a bit more from the ward 1 Councillor who was more attuned to development issues

Burlington city council has been doing business virtually for a couple of months. The Regional government has been doing things virtually for several months.

Why not the Committee of Adjustment? No one is talking.

The property owner needs to know how long he has to rent for.  He is currently looking at a year.  Yikes!

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