HDSB a couple of steps ahead of the province on what the return to school in September might look like.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The official end of the 2019-20 school year has yet to be celebrated. It will end with a deeply felt sigh of relief by most parents and some trepidation as well when discussions arise over how school will operate in September.

Cleaners - schools

The only people in the schools are the caretakers – and they aren’t putting in shifts at this point.

The Ontario government released its safety plan for the resumption of class for the 2020-21 school year on Friday, outlining scenarios for how students, teachers and staff can safely return to classrooms in September. The plan also provides choices to parents, enhanced online learning, and additional funding.

The decision to return to the normal school day routine will continue to be based on medical advice, boards and schools are being asked to plan for alternative scenarios that may need to be implemented in September depending on the province’s COVID-19 situation.

“Nothing is more important than protecting our kids in this province. Parents expect us to take every precaution to keep their children safe when they go back to school in September – and that’s exactly what we’re delivering today,” said Premier Ford. “This plan takes the best medical advice available from our public heath experts to ensure every school board and every school is ready to ensure students continue learning in the safest way possible.”

Ontario’s plan to safely reopen schools will provide options for parents – to send their children in-class or to enter online learning – with health, safety and well-being at its core. Boards will be asked to plan for the following three scenarios to be implemented in September, depending on the public health situation at the time:

1. Normal school day routine with enhanced public health protocols – Students going to school every day, in classes that reflect standard class size regulations.

2. Modified school day routine – Based on public health advice, an adapted delivery model has been designed to allow for physical distancing and cohorts of students. Under this model, school boards are asked to maintain a limit of 15 students in a typical classroom at one time and adopt timetabling that would allow for students to remain in contact only with their classmates and a single teacher for as much of the school day as possible. This model would require alternate day or alternate week delivery to a segment of the class at one time.

3. At home learning – Should the school closure be extended, or some parents choose not to send their children back to school, school boards need to be prepared to offer remote education. Remote education should be delivered online to the greatest extent possible, including the establishment of minimum expectations for students to have direct contact with their teachers at the same time on a regular basis, also known as synchronous learning. Synchronous learning can be used as part of whole class instruction, in smaller groups of students, and/or in a one-on-one context.

The government is instructing school boards to be prepared with a plan, should it be required, that includes an adapted delivery model, which could include alternate day or alternate week attendance, staggered bell times and recess, and different transportation arrangements, among a variety of other considerations to ensure the safety of students and staff.

Halton District School Board had a Task Team in place before the Provincial announcement.

The government’s safety plan for schools was created following extensive consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children, education sector partners, front line workers, parents and students. While this plan reflects the best medical and scientific advice and recommendations available, parents who do not feel comfortable having their children physically return to school will have a choice to pursue online remote learning.

Stephen Leece

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce doing a fist bump with a student.

“We are taking every precaution, investing more, and listening to the best medical advice in the country to keep students, staff, and families safe,” said Minister Lecce. “I want to assure parents safety is our guiding principle and the right supports are being put in place to ensure our students are set up for success. I am grateful to Ontario students, education staff, and communities for stepping up during this difficult period.”

“Having careful plans in place to reopen schools in September is of the utmost importance for the mental and developmental health of children and youth, as well as their academic success,” says Dr. Ronald Cohn, President and CEO of SickKids. “The risk posed by COVID-19 cannot be completely eliminated, however, there are significant steps that can be taken to mitigate risk and protect the health and well-being of students, staff and their families.”

Key elements of the safety plan include:

• guidance for developing health and safety protocols, including the use of personal protective equipment;
• expectations of an in-class school environment;
• professional development training for teachers on the new protocols and directions;
• supports for students with special education needs;
• enhanced mental health and well-being supports;
• proposals on how educators and students can move fluidly between in-class and remote learning;
• guidelines to help schools and boards in their communications with students and parents;
• guidelines for student transportation systems;
• expectations for the delivery of curriculum and assessment across subjects and grades;
• guidance for working with First Nations students, parents and communities;
• regional options for reopening based on the advice of local public health authorities; and
• a checklist to help boards in their reopening planning.

Moreover, the government announced $4 million in net new funding for cleaning, cleaning protocols, and financial support to hire additional custodial staff in September to ensure schools are safe.

Jean Vanier secondary school

These are hallways that haven’t seen students for more than 100 days

School boards have been asked to prepare their own safety plans for the upcoming school year and submit them to the ministry by August 4, 2020. The ministry will be providing all boards with an opportunity to share their draft plans and seek feedback from a formalized table of medical experts that the ministry will be convening.

School boards will also be required to communicate with parents and students prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year, outlining the safety plan, guidance on health and safety measures and protocols, and any other changes that will be implemented when schools open in September.

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So this is what Stage 2 looks like - we could do with more of this

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Gazette web site, we call it our press room, is undergoing a security upgrade.  The content has been hacked into several times and someone is playing with the comments section.  Thus, unfortunately, the comments section will not be available until security is solid enough to prevent people from removing what you want to say.

The city came out of its ‘lockdown” yesterday; people walked the streets and had a beer or a glass of wine and met with neighbours and friends.

Some of the distancing rules didn’t stick as well as they perhaps should have.

Earlier in the week city council decided they would go all out to give the hospitality sector all the help they could.

The rules for pop up patios were relaxed; fees were waived and there was staff in place to process applications.

Citizens saw how city hall could move when it wanted to. There was no bureaucracy to trip over.

The pictures tell the story.

Queens head BEST

The Queen’s Head was open for business and the suds flowed – masks for all the staff.

Joe Dogs

Joe Dogs made sure you understood the rules – happy hands during the Happy Hours.

Claachio on Brant

Social distancing strictly observed.

Lisa at Joe Dogs

Did they check her ID? She could walk home if it came to that. Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns checking on the hospital sector on the first night of limited re-opening.

Hairstylist

In the up close and personal services market – everyone wears masks. Getting appointment with a hair dresser is not as simple as a single phone call.

Emmas we knew

Not everyone bounced back right away. The Back Porch at Emma’s looks abandoned.

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Seamstress crafts face masks designed for deaf people

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

Jan 20th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Wearing a mask we are told is now what we should be doing to prevent the Covid virus from being transmitted from person to person.

Many of the handmade masks are quite creative and many retail locations now have a supply.

deaf masks 1

Kim Reid and Lisa Faria use sign language to communicate and rely on being able to read the faces of people they are communicating with. The masks allow their mouths to be seen. Both are at the Bob Rumball Canadian Centre of Excellence for the Deaf

What about segments of the population – particularly the deaf who depend on the facial expression of the person they are “talking” to?

Deaf mask 1

The masks are made of 100% cotton and come in bright patterns.

A former Milton Town Council member, Jan Mowbray, who led the making of 3,000 masks for Burlington residents serves as a Board member of the Bob Rumball Canadian Centre of Excellence for the Deaf.

She was acutely aware of the problems deaf people have and designed and then made 400 masks for Rumble residents.

Jan at sewing machine

Jan Mowbray at her sewing machine stitching the ties for the masks

Mowbray worked out a design, then created a template from which she cut the fabric and then glued in the piece of plastic that covers the mouth.

“It was long painstaking work” said Mowbray, who went through several designs to come up with what she was finally satisfied with.

Kim Reid and Lisa Faria are delighted with the masks they now have.

Note: Anyone wishing to purchase masks made for those who are hard of hearing and need to be able to read the lips of those they are communicating with please be in touch with:  seamstress@hwkp.com

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Protester run over by a transport truck and killed at the gates to the Fearmans plant on Harvester Road.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a Media release put out by the Halton Regional Police service earlier today the death of a 60 year old woman was reported to have taken place at Harvester Road and Appleby Line.

There was no mention of who the person was other than to say that next of kin had been notified.

Pig protester killed

Regan Russell at the intersection of Harvester Road and Appleby Line yards away from where she was killed by a truck transporting pigs.

Regan Russell, who was identified as the victim in a release by Animal Justice, was struck by a transport truck that was hauling pigs through the gates of Fearmans Pork meat processing facility at Appleby Line and Harvester Road at around 10:20 a.m. on Friday, June 19.

The truck with its cargo of pigs remained at the scene for several hours as police blocked off the area and began their investigation.

A Burlington resident sitting across the street from the plant in the Wendy’s parking lot when the incident happened, described what he saw:

“The truck was there for about four or five minutes. The protesters were there. Then they walked away from the truck when they were done,” said the observer.

“Then I saw a woman … I assumed the truck driver thought he was clear to go and didn’t see that last protester.”

Around 10 protesters who had been engaged in a regularly scheduled animal rights vigil at the plant remained on the scene following the crash.

Anita Krajnc, co-founder of the group Toronto Pig Save, talked about the victim, a Hamilton resident in her 60s.

While Krajnc was not on the scene when the collision happened, she noted Regan Russell and the other activists were bringing the trucks to a stop by standing in front of the gate to the plant and then giving water to the pigs in the truck, recording video and attempting to raise awareness of the pigs’ plight.

Animal Justice said in its media release that Regan Russell was run over by a transport truck as she attended a peaceful vigil outside of the facility.

pigs-leaving-truck

Firefighters and slaughterhouse staff attempt to corral pigs trapped in a transport truck that flipped on its side with a load of pigs.

“Ten thousand pigs are trucked into and slaughtered at the Fearmans Pork slaughterhouse every day. Advocates with the Animal Save Movement hold regular vigils outside of the slaughterhouse to document the suffering of these animals in transport. On a scorching hot day like today, many pigs are likely to arrive at the facility already dead from heat exposure.

“The tragic death comes two days after the controversial agricultural gag (“ag gag”) law, Bill 156, was passed in Ontario. Bill 156 is designed to cover up animal cruelty on farms and during transport. Among other troubling provisions aimed at preventing whistle blowers and animal advocates from exposing the abuse of farmed animals, the new law aims to restrict the peaceful protest rights of those who hold vigils at slaughterhouses across the province.

Silent vigil - pigs being photo'd

Protesters photograph the pigs in a transport truck – part of their documenting what they see as cruel.

“It does so by making it an offence to “interact” with farmed animals in a transport truck—a prohibition widely denounced by animal advocates and constitutional law experts as an unconstitutional restriction of rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Today’s vigil was one of the last opportunities for a vigil before the bill becomes law.

Pigs being watered - trial

Protesters giving pigs on the way into the slaughterhouse water.

Movement founder Anita Krajnc, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief for giving water to pigs in a transport truck outside of the Fearmans slaughterhouse. Ms. Krajnc was acquitted in 2017 after a much-publicized trial. Vigils at Fearmans Pork adhere to strict safety protocols.

“Regan Russell was a kind, elegant, strong, and courageous person,” said Anita Krajnc, founder of the Animal Save Movement. “She was a mentor to others, and she always did activism with kindness in her heart.”

“She had been an animal advocate since 1979, attended vigils weekly for years, and cared deeply about justice for animals, racial justice, and protecting the vulnerable.”

Related news story:

Police report on the death of a 60 year old female.

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Bus riders want the drivers to know that they too are appreciated.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The people of Aldershot do appreciate the transit service they get.

So much so that they have decided to use from June 22nd to June 29th to show appreciation to all Burlington Transit Employees and recognize that their efforts have not gone un-noticed, especially the Bus Drivers.

Christina Tellier is the Aldershot Senior Bus Rider who initiated the idea.

Burlington Transit getting new buses - to deliver less service.

Bus riders want to thank the men and woman who drive these buses.

Ridership might be low making the trips exceedingly lonely and having to incorporate all the additional COVID restrictions, they kept the buses running for people who had to get to work, to medical appointments or for grocery shopping Frequently the Drivers was the only person on the bus.

Expect to see Thank you Bus Drivers’ signs on lawns along bus routes or in windows.

Encourage children & families to make signs and holler & wave as busses go by on routes.

Encourage families to go to bus stops and show appreciation however they wish.

Bus riders to show personal appreciation any way they can.

When walking past a bus……. Holler & clap and let driver know it is for him.

When driving past a bus, honk with a thumbs up sign

Neighbours cheering, clapping etc. at different bus stops along & across from each other (social distancing)

Coffee Shops and Restaurants with a bus stop close could take out coffee to give to drivers or food at breakfast, lunch and supper times.

The ideas are endless, all with the same purpose…….. Thank You Burlington Transit

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Sixty year old female killed when struck by a transport truck at Harvester Rd. and Appleby Line

News 100 blackBy Staff

June 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Shortly after 10:20 am this morning, a 60 year old woman was struck by a transport truck at Harvester Rd. and Appleby Line in Burlington.

Halton Regional Police Service received a call regarding the event – the woman was pronounced deceased at the scene

Next of kin were notified.

The Collision Reconstruction Unit remains on scene to conduct an investigation. Harvester Rd. between Appleby Line and South Service Rd. will be closed for several hours, and we are asking motorists to avoid the area and take an alternate route.

Anyone who witnessed this incident, or anyone with dash cam footage from the area at the time of the collision is asked to call our Collision Reconstruction Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 5065.

Members of our Victim Services Unit were also deployed to the scene to provide support and assistance to all involved. If you have been impacted and need to reach us, please call 905-825-4747 ext. 5239 or email us at victimservices@haltonpolice.ca.

We extend our sincere condolences to the friends and family of the deceased.

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Three arrested in motor cycle theft investigation; two held for a bail hearing

Crime 100By Staff

June 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The results of an investigation of a stolen motorcycle  in May, the Halton Regional Police Service were able to execute warrants that resulted in the arrest of three.

HRPS crestInvestigation by the Burlington Street Crime Unit has led to charges against the following individuals;

Reuben DEEMER (32 years old from Hamilton)
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime – Trafficking (4 counts)
• Tampering With Vehicle Identification Number
• Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime
• Weapons Dangerous
• Possess Prohibited Weapon
• Possession Contrary to Order – Prohibited Weapon

Zachary MCMASTER (25 years old from Brampton)
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime – Trafficking (4 counts)
• Tampering With Vehicle Identification Number
• Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
• Obstruct Police
• Breach Release Order
• Breach Probation

Julia LOVASI (31 years old from Hamilton)
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime – Trafficking (4 counts)
• Tampering With Vehicle Identification Number
• Possession of a Controlled Substance – Methamphetamine
• Weapons Dangerous

On June 19th 2020, Investigators with the assistance of the Tactical Rescue Unit executed three search warrants at residences in the City of Burlington and Waterdown. As a result; the following items were seized:

• 4 confirmed stolen motorcycles
• 3 other motorcycles believed to be stolen and still under investigation
• 1 stolen licence plate
• 1 pair of brass knuckles
• 1 can of bear spray
• 1 extendable baton
• A small quantity of methamphetamine and cocaine

Both Deemer and McMaster were held pending a court appearance in Milton.
Lovasi has been released from custody pending a court appearance in Milton

Anyone with information in regards to this investigation is asked to contact Detective Scott Heyerman of the 3 District Street Crime Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 2342.

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.

Please be reminded that all persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Rainbow crosswalk now on Lakeshore at the foot of Burlington Street

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington announced its first rainbow crosswalk with Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, City Councillors and a few representatives from the LGBTQ2IS+ community.

To keep within the COVID-19 Provincial State of Emergency, the announcement was made virtually using Facebook Live from the new crosswalk location on Lakeshore Road at the base of Burlington Avenue. The crosswalk is in recognition of Pride and inclusivity.

On Sept. 23, 2019 Council approved a motion to bring a rainbow crosswalk to the city. Staff received requests for crosswalks at about 15 different city intersections. Some popular locations such as Lakeshore and Maple and Lakeshore and Nelson were not viable locations for the rainbow crosswalk because of the already existing coloured, patterned concrete.

Rainbow xwalk

Two stripes added to the traditional six; Brown for the Latino people and Black for the Black Community.

Transportation staff formed a Rainbow Crosswalk Project Team made up of representatives of the LGBTQ2IS+ community:

• Burlington Inclusivity Advisory Committee & HRPS
• St. Christopher’s Anglican Church
• Halton District School Board
• Positive Space Network
• Pflag Canada – Halton

The project team was provided a list of potential locations and criteria to consider when selecting their choices on behalf of their organization:

• Exposure -number of cars and/or pedestrians who could potentially see this location
• Future construction work
• Existing conditions, such as type of crosswalk, pavement treatment and how it ties into preferred design
• Greater community support around location

Using these criteria, each team member was asked to review the information and provide their top three locations. Once their selections were submitted, Transportation Services staff assigned points to each ranking to identify the preferred overall location at the base of Burlington Avenue on Lakeshore Road, leading into Spencer Smith Park.

The crosswalk is an important feature and a key landmark geographically and socially for the city.

Meed WardMayor Marianne Meed Ward said:  “Our Rainbow Crosswalk is one visible way to stand with our LGBTQ2IS+ community here and across our nation and world. It’s one way to send a strong message of support and welcome that Burlington is everyone’s city. We know that our residents have stories of experiencing discrimination and intolerance because of who they love, and this must stop. We have plans for more crosswalks around the city, and many requests from our young people to put these near schools to clearly show our support and welcome for all members of our LGBTQ2IS+ especially our youth.”

Audit Kearns 5

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns chimed in with: “I am thrilled to see Burlington showing support for Pride and the LGTBQ2IS+ community through the installation of this rainbow painted crosswalk. It is an important public statement of welcome and inclusion that will be available year-round in our City.”

HDSB Director of Education, Stuart Miller added:  “The Halton District School Board applauds the City of Burlington on the installation of the Rainbow Crosswalk. This show of support for the 2SLGBTQI+ community demonstrates a commitment our school board shares with the City to promote inclusion and acceptance of all students, families and staff. Through our actions in our schools and beyond, we will continue to advance a culture of respect, safety, acceptance and inclusion for all.”

This symbol is an important one and everyone will jump on the bandwagon rolling through the city.  Those who are opposed will not say a word.  Our issue is with the way the city pussy-footed around this.  They used the words multi-coloured instead of rainbow in an earlier public announcement.

Then they added a brown stripe and a black stripe to the design to represent the discrimination the Latino and Black members of society.  What will be used for the Aboriginal and Metis communities?

The first Rainbow crosswalk should have been in front of city hall or better yet at the foot of Brant Street with one on the east and another on the west side of Brant.

The stunner for a number of people might be the $10,000 it cost to paint the stripes.

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We’re Not Ready for the United Nations

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

June 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Chief Allan Adam of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation photographed after he was beaten by RCMP officers in Fort  McMurray, Alberta, Canada, March 10, 2020.

As we approach another Canada Day it is time to reflect on why the world community largely left Canada sitting on the shelf. Norway and Ireland, and not Canada, have been elected as the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. In fact Canada had fewer votes than when we last tried under the Harper government.

So who cares whether Canada gets a seat at the Security Council and would we have made a difference anyway? Hasn’t the UN and its Security Council (SC) been largely discredited since its creation over half a century ago? And there were all those times the UN failed us, like when Russia invaded Ukraine and the US bombed Iraq, and when we allowed a massacre in Rwanda.

Unlike Justin Trudeau, former PM Stephen Harper couldn’t have cared less when he tried and also failed to get a seat. But then he couldn’t even be bothered attending scheduled UN meetings. No doubt his animosity towards world governance has left Canada in a shadow. So it would be easy to just blame Harper but that’s not going to stick.

UN Canadians

Canadians that are part of the United Nations Mali Task Force

Losing says more about Canada and how we are seen by the rest of the world than whether the UN was worth the cost of Harper’s airfare there. There are a lot of explainers out there with a lot of excuses for why we failed this time. Canada came late to the party and had fewer committed votes. The EU clearly voted for European nations over Canada.

Although Canada has moved to increase its miserable levels of international aid and policing, it’s still too little too late. Perhaps the poorer nations would rather not vote for another rich G7 nation. And maybe China used its influence to discourage its client nations as a way of further punishing us over the Ms. Meng, Huawei mess.

How hard did the US work on our behalf given Trump’s mixed emotions about our PM? Renewing our contract to arm Saudi Arabia didn’t help our reputation as a peace loving nation. And the Saudis themselves are hardly going to vote for us after our recent human rights spat. And did I mention how Russia might be voting? Come to think of it Canada has earned itself a few good enemies lately.

Then there is Canada’s middle east policy, slavishly pro-Israeli and embarrassingly so during the Harper years. The Liberals have since nuanced that policy, voting against new settlements, Still, it is hard to see much daylight between the policies of the two governments as Israel mulls amalgamating the West Bank.

We’ve been bullied, abused and pushed around, by both China and the US. And we just sit there and take it as if we really believe that the meek shall inherit the earth. We used to be respected as a powerful military and manufacturing nation. Today we have fallen back in many ways to where we started out – hewers of wood and drawers of oil. Would a UN seat allow Canada to develop a backbone?

Huwai executive

Meng Wanzhou – Chief Financial Officer of Huawei wearing the tracking bracelet required under her bail conditions.

Even Canadians don’t understand why we’re still holding that Huawei executive prisoner for a dysfunctional US administration when she broke no laws in this country. And we don’t get why we haven’t responded in kind to China’s one-sided trade war with us when they export so much more than we do. Do we really expect other nations to vote for an international wimp?

Mr. Trudeau invested a lot of capital twisting the arms and peddling Canadian democratic exceptionalism to more than just a few dictators in his quest for the elusive UN seat. Had he paid as much attention to the budding global pandemic, fewer Canadians might have perished to COVID 19. Ireland has half the death rate and Norway doesn’t even register on the same scale. A pandemic is a matter of global security after all.

While the PM was selling his vision of an inclusive, tolerant and compassionate Canada to African leaders, racial warfare was breaking out at home. And the conflict was over another fossil fuel pipeline making a mockery of any credibility the PM might claim on the climate change file. Oh and isn’t Canada still subsidizing the oil industry, and aren’t the provinces still fighting the carbon tax?

There is no concealing that racial inequality was behind those spectacular protests last winter, which partially shut down our economy. But then racial inequality is embedded in Canada’s Indian Act, created back at the time of confederation. And beyond indigenous populations, the black lives matter demonstrations have challenged the reported successes of Canada’s immigration and multiculturalism policies.

Chief RCMP

Chief Allan Adam of Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation photographed after he was beaten by RCMP officers in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, March 10, 2020.

Then video footage appears telling everyone that Canada’s famous red coats are not much better than a pack of thugs and goons. The unending American style police brutality and even murder against indigenous minorities is carried on tape for all to see as the PM and his police commissioner debate how much systemic racism really exists in our police services.

We keep telling ourselves that we live in the best country in the world. And indeed life is pretty good here for some but that ego-centric view glosses over our many warts, especially when it comes to life conditions for our indigenous populations.

So as we approach another celebration of the founding of this country we should embrace some humility. The UN delegates sent us a message. We’re not ready to take a leadership role on the world stage when we haven’t even got our own act together here at home.

But we can do better and there is a lot of work to do. Are you ready for the challenge Mr. Trudeau? What about the rest of us?

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province. He developed the current policy process for the Ontario Liberal Party.

 

 

Background links:

Canada Fails –    Trudeau’s Loss –    COVID Death Rates

Foreign Aid –     Are We Listening

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Ontario's driver testing services provider, DriveTest, will begin to gradually offer limited driver testing services in a staggered, phased approach across the province

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On Monday, June 22, 2020, Ontario’s driver testing services provider, DriveTest, will begin to gradually offer limited driver testing services in a staggered, phased approach across the province. Driver Examination services will be reintroduced in three phases until full services are restored this fall. The gradual approach will ensure that strict protocols are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is part of the government’s efforts to ensure that critical services are in place so people can return to work as Ontario reopens.

Visiting DriveTest Centres

To reduce crowding and support new requirements for physical distancing, health checks and enhanced sanitation, most DriveTest centres will serve customers who want to take a knowledge test, exchange a driver’s licence and apply for or upgrade a commercial driver’s licence based on when they were born.

People with birthdays between January to June will be allowed to visit a centre the first week of reopening and people with birthdays between July to December will have access to DriveTest services the following week:

Driver test dates McKenna

Access to DriveTest services will continue to alternate weekly until full services are restored.

Plan Your Trip to DriveTest Before You Go

Learn more about available driver testing services, how to access DriveTest centres, and which customers are being served each week at DriveTest.ca.

Information will be updated every Monday.

Extended Driver’s Licence Status

The Ontario government has extended the validity of all Ontario driver’s licences to keep people safe and reduce the need for in-person visits to ServiceOntario and DriveTest centres to contain the spread of COVID-19. No one will lose their licence due to COVID-19.

Access to the different services available is being phased in.

Phase 1

On Monday, June 22, 2020, all 56 full-time DriveTest Centres will reopen for the following transactions:

G1 knowledge and vision tests

M1 knowledge and vision tests

Driver’s licence exchanges
Out-of-province licences
Out-of-country licences (jurisdictions with reciprocal driver’s licensing)
Out-of-country licences (non-reciprocating jurisdictions)

Commercial driver’s licence applications and upgrades
Knowledge tests
Vision tests
Medical report submissions
Criminal Record and Judicial Matters (CRJM) Check or equivalent document submissions
School Bus Driver Improvement Course certificate submissions

New Entrant Education and Evaluation Program (NEEEP)/ Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) Test

Commercial road tests (Class A, B, C, D, E, F and Z) at 28 locations across Ontario:
Barrie, Belleville, Brampton, Brantford, Burlington, Chatham, Clinton, Cornwall, Downsview, Guelph, Hamilton, Hawkesbury, Kitchener, Kingston, Lindsay, London, Newmarket, Oshawa, Orangeville, Orillia, Ottawa Walkley, Peterborough, Sault Ste Marie, St. Catharines, Simcoe, Sudbury, Thunder Bay and Timmins

Phase 2

Starting on Tuesday, August 4, the following services will be available:

Road-testing for G2 driver licences

Road-testing for all motorcycle licences

Commercial driver road testing will expand to the remaining 22 DriveTest locations across Ontario that road test commercial drivers.

Part-time Travel Point locations will resume driver examination services as locations become available for the public’s use.

Phase 3

Starting on Tuesday, September 8, all DriveTest centres and Travel Point locations will be fully operational, including G road-testing services.

Ontario will work with the service provider and with public health officials to ensure that the above dates are appropriate depending on the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

New Health and Safety Protocols

To protect the safety of Ontarians, DriveTest will also require customers to wear face coverings inside centres and during road tests, sanitize their hands when they enter the building and undergo temperature checks before road tests.

All DriveTest staff will wear personal protective equipment when serving customers. Driver examiners will also be equipped with face shields, sanitizer packages and seat covers when conducting road tests.

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Regional Public Health Unit data up to end of day on June 17, 2020

covid virusBy Staff

June 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

We are not where we want to be yet – the objective is going to be to ensure that it doesn’t get any worse.

People will be out mixing with other people.  Be careful – pay attention and realize what we are up against.

If there is a spike in infections at the end of the month the province will have to take away the play time we’ve been given.  Beating this virus is a job that we all share – don’t blow it.

This is the first Public Health Unit report where Burlington has not had the lowest number of infections in the Region.  Halton Hills is the lowest – just by one.

Cases over time

789
COVID-19 cases among Halton residents to date (710 confirmed + 79 probable)

83
COVID-19 cases currently active among Halton residents (74 confirmed + 9 probable)

Fig 1

Figure 1: COVID-19 cases, by episode date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Jun. 17, 2020

 

Fig 2

Figures 1 and 2 show the 789 COVID-19 cases among Halton residents reported by end of the day on June 17. All cases have been graphed according to their episode date, which is used to estimate the date that symptoms began. Figure 1 shows the number of new cases per day, while Figure 2 shows how cases have accumulated over time. Counts for the past 14 days should be interpreted with caution (indicated using the grey shaded area on the graph), since there is a delay between when a person becomes infected and when they develop symptoms, get tested and are reported as a case. Please note the large increase on April 11 is due to expanded testing and identification of COVID-19 among asymptomatic individuals at Mountainview Residence.

Individuals who are lab-confirmed cases are shown in green. Individuals who are probable cases are shown in orange. Probable cases are individuals presumed to have COVID-19 because they have symptoms of COVID-19 and are travelers returning from an affected area, have had close contact with a confirmed case and/or lived/worked in a facility experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, or have indeterminate test results.

Fig 3

For each day, Figure 3 shows the average number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past seven days, including only those cases that are not staff or residents/patients associated with an outbreak in an institutional or congregate care setting. Cases have been graphed according to their collection date, which is the date that a sample was taken from them to be tested for COVID-19. The graph suggests that the average number of new cases per day was highest in late March/early April, with another increase in mid-May. Counts for recent days should be interpreted with caution (indicated using the grey shaded area on the graph), since there is a delay between when a person is tested and when their test results are reported to Public Health and entered into the system.

Case demographics

78
cases were residents or patients of an institution experiencing an outbreak (10% of all cases)

111
cases work in health care (14% of all cases)

Fig 4

Figure 4: COVID-19 cases, by age and sex, Halton Region, 2020

Fig 5

Figure 5: COVID-19 cases, by municipality of residence, Halton Region, 2020

Figure 4 shows that by end of the day on June 17, the most COVID-19 cases were among Halton residents aged 40-59 (with 284 cases, or 36%). 441 cases (56%) were female.

 

Figure 5 shows that by end of the day on June 17, the greatest number of COVID-19 cases were among residents of Oakville (with 265 cases, or 34%). Please note this figure shows counts, and therefore does not take into account the different population sizes or age structures of the four municipalities. Counts in municipalities can also be inflated by outbreaks that have occurred within institutions in their boundaries.

Case exposure source

Fig 6

Figure 6 shows the percentage of COVID-19 cases by primary exposure category for Halton’s four municipalities and for Halton overall. For Halton overall, by end of day on June 17, 285 cases (36%) had contact with a confirmed case that was believed to be the source of their infection. 266 COVID-19 cases (34%) had no known travel or contact history, and therefore were believed to have acquired the virus within Ontario, making them community cases. 132 (17%) were residents/patients or staff associated with an outbreak in an institutional or congregate care setting. 99 cases (13%) had a history of travel that was believed to have been the source of their infection. Information on exposure source was pending for the remaining 7 cases (1%). These proportions vary by municipality. It is important to note that cases can have multiple exposures, and these data reflect only their primary exposure category based on information gathered during case investigation.

Case and contact follow-up

Fig 7

Figure 7: Percentage of COVID-19 cases reached by Public Health within one day of being reported, Halton Region, cases reported Jun. 11-Jun. 17, 2020

Fig 8

Figure 8: Percentage of COVID-19 community contacts reached by Public Health within one day of being reported, Halton Region, contacts identified Jun. 11-Jun. 17, 2020

Figure 7 shows that 100% of Halton cases reported over the past seven days (June 11-17) were reached by Halton Public Health within one day of being reported, which exceeds the provincial goal of 90%. Similarly, Figure 8 shows that Halton Public Health reached 100% of contacts identified over the past seven days (June 11-17) within one day, compared to the provincial goal of 90%.

Case outcomes

97
cases who have ever been hospitalized to date (14 listed as currently in hospital)

682

cases who are recovered/resolved

24
cases who have died to date (11 of the deceased were residents or patients of an institution experiencing an outbreak).

Institutional outbreaks

19
confirmed institutional outbreaks of COVID-19 reported to Halton Region Public Health to date (1 is ongoing)

Fig 9

Figure 9 shows the 19 confirmed outbreaks of COVID-19 in Halton institutions reported by end of the day on June 17. Institutions are defined as long-term care homes, retirement homes and hospitals. 18 of the outbreaks have resolved, and one is ongoing. Among the 19 confirmed institutional outbreaks reported to date, 11 (58%) have been in long-term care homes, seven (37%) have been in retirement homes and one has been in a hospital (5%).

Lab testing

>3,100
Halton residents were tested for COVID-19 within the past seven days of available data (June 7-13).

>24,400
Halton residents are known to have been tested for COVID-19 to date.

Fig 10

The green bars in Figure 10 show the number of Halton residents who were tested for COVID-19 each week, beginning the week of March 1-7. Data for the most recent week (June 7-13) is incomplete due to reporting lags. The number of people tested decreased the week of May 17 compared to past weeks as mass testing of institutional residents was completed. The number of people tested then began to increase again, as the provincial government permitted more widespread testing.

The orange line in Figure 10 indicates the percentage of tested Halton residents who were positive for COVID-19. The percent positivity was highest the week of March 29-April 4, when 8.2% of Halton residents who were tested for COVID-19 had positive results. In the most recent week (June 7-13), 0.8% of people tested for COVID-19 tested positive, although this number is subject to reporting delays.

Comparison to Ontario

32,917
total confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Ontario to date

Fig 11

Figure 11 shows age-specific rates of COVID-19 for Halton and Ontario. Rates take into account the population size of each age group to make it possible to compare between different areas. Halton’s age-specific rates are currently significantly different from the provincial rates for all age groups except youth aged 0-19. For example, Halton has 36.4 cases per 10,000 residents aged 80+, which is statistically significantly lower than the 84.3 cases per 10,000 residents aged 80+ in Ontario overall. It is important to note that these rates will fluctuate as numbers increase throughout the pandemic and that differences between age groups may reflect differences in the likelihood of developing symptoms and being tested.

Data limitations and data sources

Halton case data: integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS), extracted at 7:00 AM on June 18, 2020, to reflect data entered by the end of the day on June 17, 2020

Halton lab data: Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Number of individuals who were confirmed positive for COVID-19, COVID-19 Testing Period: 15 Jan 2020 to 13 June 2020. Received on June 15, 2020.

Ontario case count overall: Public Health Ontario, Epidemiologic Summary, COVID-19 in Ontario: January 15, 2020 to June 17, 2020, posted on June 18, 2020 to https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus.

Denominators for Halton and Ontario age-specific rates: Population projections [2020], IntelliHEALTH Ontario, extracted on April 8, 2020.

Data notes
All cases of diseases of public health significance diagnosed in Ontario are entered into iPHIS by local public health units. iPHIS is the Integrated Public Health Information System. It is a dynamic disease reporting system which allows ongoing updates to data previously entered. As a result, data extracted from iPHIS represent a snapshot at the time of extraction and may differ from previous or subsequent reports as data are updated.

The data only represent cases reported to public health and recorded in iPHIS. As a result, all counts will be subject to varying degrees of underreporting due to a variety of factors, such as disease awareness and medical care seeking behaviours, which may depend on severity of illness, clinical practice, changes in laboratory testing, and reporting behaviours.

Cases are included if their “diagnosing health unit” in iPHIS is Halton Region, which means counts include only individuals whose primary residence is in Halton Region. The case may not necessarily have been managed by Halton Region, if they were temporarily residing elsewhere during their case management period. Cases managed by Halton Region who normally live elsewhere but who were managed by Halton Region staff because they were temporarily residing in Halton during their case management period have not been included.

Cases for which the Disposition Status in iPHIS was reported as ENTERED IN ERROR, DOES NOT MEET DEFINITION, DUPLICATE-DO NOT USE, or any variation on these values have been excluded.

Cases are considered “currently active” if they are open in iPHIS.

Figures 1 and 2 distinguish between lab-confirmed and probable cases. Probable cases are defined as epi-linked cases, which means they are presumed to have COVID-19 because they have symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and have travelled to an affected area; have had close contact with a confirmed case; and/or lived in or worked in a facility known to be experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19; or have indeterminate test results. All other figures and numbers include both confirmed and probable cases combined.

Figures 1 and 2 use episode date, which is a field that is intended to approximate the symptom onset date for each case. It is calculated hierarchically, using symptom onset date if available; when it is not available, specimen collection date is used; if neither symptom onset nor specimen collection date are available, the lab test date is used; and finally, if none of these other dates are available, the date the case was reported to Public Health is used.

In subsequent reports, counts in Figures 1-3 may increase as cases are added from past dates as individuals become symptomatic, get tested, and their results are reported to Halton Region Public Health, as well as any past results are added due to delayed data entry or new arrival of lab results.

Cases are considered to be patients or residents of an institution experiencing an outbreak if they are linked to a confirmed Halton institutional outbreak in iPHIS, and they are not known to be a staff person at the institution.

Cases are considered to work in health care if they are known to have an occupation that involves caring for patients, e.g. physician, nurse, occupational therapist, recreational therapist, chiropractor, paramedic, midwife, orderly, etc. Individuals who work in health care settings but do not provide direct care to patients (e.g. managers, cleaning staff) have not been included.

Exposure type is determined by examining the exposure and risk factor fields from iPHIS to determine whether a case travelled, was a resident/patient or staff member in an institution or congregate care setting experiencing an outbreak, was a contact of a case or neither. A hierarchy has been applied as follows: Travel-related > Associated with institutional or congregate care setting outbreak > Close contact of a confirmed case > Neither (indicating community acquisition) > Information pending. It is important to note that cases can have multiple exposures, and these data reflect only their primary exposure category. Numbers are relatively low, and differences between municipalities have not been assessed for statistical significance. Known cases reflect only individuals who were prioritized for testing, which means that differences between municipalities are currently difficult to ascribe to other factors.

Case outcomes (hospitalizations, recovered/resolved, deaths) reflect the latest available information reported to Halton Region Public Health and recorded in iPHIS by the extraction time.

Cases are considered to have been reached within 24 hours if their investigation start date and case reported dates in iPHIS are no more than one day apart.

Contacts are manually tracked to determine if they were reached within one day. Any contacts referred to Public Health Ontario for follow up have not been included.

Institutional outbreaks include outbreaks of COVID-19 in settings such as long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals and prisons.

Lab testing data reflects only lab tests that have been assigned to Halton Region based on the methodology used by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. There are several known limitations associated with this data which result in the numbers being underestimates:
• The unit of analysis is the tested individual. Once an individual is confirmed positive, subsequent tests for that individual are excluded from the daily totals;
• The COVID-19 test results were captured in the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS). The testing date represents the date of specimen collection: “observation date” in OLIS. Due to the time required for transportation and processing of specimens, it takes six days for approximately 95% of results to be finalized and reported for a given testing date. Some laboratories did not report all or part of their COVID-19 test results to OLIS. Unconsented test results were excluded;
• Daily counts less than six suppressed;
• The location of tested individuals was based upon the test recipient’s postal code (and corresponding PHU) recorded in the OHIP Registered Persons Database (RPDB) for those residing outside a long-term care (LTC) facility, and the LTC address on the OLIS test requisition for specimens collected from LTC facilities. These address assignments lead to misclassification of PHU in approximately 14% of individuals.

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14 Charges Laid Against Motorcycle Driver in Burlington

Crime 100By Staff

June 18th.2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At around 6:30 pm, yesterday a sharp eyed police officer was following up with a citizen-reported traffic complaint in the area of Dynes Road and Woodward Avenue.

While conducting traffic enforcement, the officer noticed a northbound motorcycle with no licence plate.

The motorcycle was being followed by another motor vehicle with proper licence plates attached. The two vehicles were travelling together in a manner that made the officer believe the drivers of the two vehicles knew one other.

After following the motorcycle for a short distance, several Highway Traffic Act offences were observed. In the interest of public safety, the officer made the decision to cease following the motorcycle.

Motorcycle 9 - Tow

Police seized the motorcycle – then laid 14 charges

As a result of the follow up investigation, on June 17, 2020, a 19 year-old male from Burlington was identified as the motorcycle driver and charged with 14 offences from the Highway Traffic Act, Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act, and Trespass to Property Act. Those charges include:

• Drive Motor Vehicle – Perform Stunt
• Drive Motor Vehicle – No Licence
• Disobey Stop Sign – Fail to Stop
• Owner Operate Motor Vehicle on a Highway – No Insurance
• Engage in Prohibited Activity while on Premises

The motorcycle was also seized by police.

All drivers are reminded to operate under a valid driver’s licence, valid insurance policy, and to follow the rules of the road. Officers have many investigative tools at their disposal to properly locate and identify drivers operating on Halton roadways in an unsafe manner.

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Director of Education admits: 'We made some mistakes': has a Task Team in place to think through what will happen in September.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A week from today school would have closed for the academic year.

We just didn’t have all that much of an academic year.

Parents and students adjusted to the changes – not always easily. There are still grade 12 students who are working with their teachers to get to the point where they can graduate.

The Premier and his Minister of Education promised that every student who put in the effort would graduate – and if that required extra tutoring then extra tutoring would be available.

Now what ?

Does school start again in September?

School will start – just what form it takes is far from clear. The Province has said they will announce their plans for the Boards of Education across the province by the end of the month.

Miller prep at Central

Stuart Miller, Halton District School Board Director of Education speaking to parents at Central High School.

Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board isn’t leaving anything to chance.

He has appointed a Task Team co-chaired by two of his top Superintendents to take a deep look at what educators are up against and what the possible options are.

Terry Blackwell and Scott Podrebarac are co-chairs of the Task Force.

Scott Podrebarac was the Superintendent that oversaw the implementation of the Board decision to close two of Burlington’s seven high school. He didn’t get much in the way of brownie points for that job.

His job was to do what the Board of Trustees determined – it did get a little messy when the decision to close Central High School was rescinded and Bateman high school was closed instead. That decision did not go well with the Bateman parents.

Blackwell

Terry Blackwell

Terry Blackwell was the Superintendent tasked with creating an iStem program for Aldershot High School that turned out to be an amazing success. Miller and his staff were not at all sure that the parents in the Region would take to the idea.

Blackwell and Miller at itsem Nov 2018

Superintendent Terry Blackwell and Director of Education during the night parents showed up to register their children for the iStem program at Aldershot High School.

Registration was much higher than expected and while the first year, made up of grade nine students, wasn’t a full academic year, the students did very well.

The Gazette covered those iStem classes on several occasions – they are an amazing bunch of students.

The plan is for a second iStem program to be opened in Milton.

Scott-P-close-up-400x355

Scott Podrebarac

Scott Podrebarac showed an ability to handle a very tense situation over a long period of time.

Blackwell sounded every stakeholder she could think of as the listened to the community and what they thought a more science based high school program should look like.

Her listening tour was extensive – the most extensive we have seen within any organization during the ten years we have been reporting on Burlington.

These two Superintendents will be looking at possible directions the delivery of an education can take. Will there be more “on-line learning”? Can students adapt to the change and how much of a change is necessary.

One hope that at some point there will be an opportunity for the public to have significant input on a critical public service.

In commenting on what the province meant when the Premier said there would be a plan in place for September, Miller said “We don’t know what it means.”

Stuart Miller

Director of Education Stuart Miller – never to far from a cup of coffee

Everything hinges on the number of new infections that are reported – and that number, according to what the science community tells us, is dependent on people staying far enough apart so that the infection is not transferred person to person.

There are a lot of unknowns – which Miller said creates a huge challenge for staff and a lot of uncertainty for parents.

The school closures resulted in less spending on facility operations but very large sums had to be spent on technology and software so that teachers could communicate with their students and get them through the course load.

Miller said that the Educational Assistants were able to work the telephones and keep in touch with the students – in what we learned was a much needed support role.

Principals-table-768x438

Some of the Halton District School Board principals and vice principals at a PARC meeting. These people had to administer schools that weren’t open and support staff they could not meet with.

Asked what was the biggest challenge he has had to face Miller replied with: Everything was a challenge and we certainly made some mistakes. It wasn’t a day by day situation – in the early phases it was hour by hour.

Internet access turn out to be a big problem, teachers were not sure what the best approach was in many given situations. Students, as well as parents, were concerned that their children were not getting the education they needed and deserved but everyone realized that the classrooms were closed for very good reasons.

Miller realizes that this situation isn’t over nor is he at all sure what direction it is going to go in.

“We have great students and great teachers” said Miller. “I am fortunate to have a senior staff that comes through day after day.

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Eleanor McMahon to head up the Trans-Canada Trail organization

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

News today –Eleanor McMahon will not be the Liberal candidate running against Jane McKenna in the next provincial election.

Ms McMahon accepted an appointment as the CEO of Trans Canada Trail last December; she took over from Deborah Apps early in March. Apps had been TCT’s President & CEO since 2008.

McMahon with Wynne

McMahon campaigning with Kathleen Wynne – they both lost.

McMahon served in the Kathleen Wynne Liberal government for a single term during which she was a Member of Cabinet and later President of the Treasury Board.

“We are a very different organization today, thanks to Deborah’s dedication to building Canada’s national Trail – The Great Trail of Canada. Her forward-thinking leadership and determination helped achieve the connection of The Great Trail in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation – the most successful initiative of its kind in Canada,” says Valerie Pringle, Chair of the TCT Foundation Board.

Eleanor has over 30 years’ experience within the private, public and non-profit sectors. She spent the early years of her career working on Parliament Hill, including as press secretary to the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien.

Later, she brought her consensus-building know-how to a variety of other roles, including Director of Public Affairs at the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Vice-President at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Vice-President at United Way Ottawa. She was elected the MPP for Burlington from 2014 to 2018, and served as Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, as well as President of the Treasury Board.

“My fellow board members and I have great confidence that Eleanor is the right person to lead TCT into its future. Notably, her non-partisan approach and successful tenure as founder and CEO of the Share the Road Cycling Coalition gives her excellent experience for working with Trail groups across Canada,” says Neil Yeates, Chair of the TCT Board of Directors.

McMahon with a bike

Eleanor McMahon and her bicycle – it was a large part of a very important part of her life.

A passionate advocate for the safety of cyclists, Eleanor founded the Share the Road Cycling Coalition in 2008. Under her governance, this grassroots organization united cycling groups across Ontario to make communities more bicycle-friendly, and pressed the Ontario government to toughen the law regarding individuals who drive while suspended. In addition, she steered the movement that resulted in the launch of #CycleON, Ontario’s first bicycle policy update in 20 years. While in office, she was instrumental in two other legislative safety measures: Ontario’s One Metre Safe Passing Law (2015) and legislation strengthening the Careless Driving provisions of the Highway Traffic Act, creating Canada’s first Vulnerable Road User penalties in 2017. That same year, she announced a $100 million investment in cycling infrastructure in several communities across Ontario.

“As an avid cyclist and outdoor enthusiast, I am thrilled to join the team at Trans Canada Trail,” says Eleanor. “Like so many Canadians, I have watched the inspiring story of The Great Trail evolve from an ambitious idea to the incredible cross-Canada network it is today. I’m looking forward to building upon the significant legacy that Deborah Apps built during her tenure, and leading TCT in its mission to make the Trail a safe, accessible destination for all outdoor enthusiasts in Canada and beyond.”

McMahon - First public as Minister

Eleanor McMahon at her first public meeting after being appointed to Cabinet.

Moving forward, Trans Canada Trail’s mission will be to continue to enhance and improve the Trail. This involves creating more adventures by developing new Trail sections, converting more roadways to greenways, strengthening relationships with Indigenous communities across the country, making the Trail more accessible, funding emergency repairs and ensuring the long-term financial viability of this national icon.

McMahon was an exceptional campaigner – she had that ability to get through to people.

Burlington Liberals who focus on provincial issues have plenty of time to find a candidate. The current Conservative government was in trouble until the Covid pandemic – Premier Ford has done an exceptional job of leading the province during a very difficult time.

If there were an election tomorrow he would be returned to office and take Jane McKenna, the current MPP, in on his coat tails.
However in the world of politics, 24 months is a lifetime. A lot of things can change.

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Update on the targeted shooting in the New Street Walkers Line part of the city.

Crime 100By Staff

June 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Shelter in Place order given by the Halton Regional Police earlier today to residents in the Woodview Road area, near New Street and Walkers Line, has been removed.

The suspects remain outstanding and the investigation is ongoing at this time.

police cruiser second

The police investigation is ongoing

A 23 year old male victim is in serious but stable condition at hospital and is presently receiving treatment for a gunshot injury.

Based on current information obtained by investigators, it is believe that this was a targeted incident and that there is no known, ongoing, related threat to public safety.

Investigators are working to obtain an accurate description of the suspects involved in the incident. Suspect descriptions will be provided to the public as soon as available.

Anyone with dash cam video or home surveillance video from the area of Woodview Road, near New Street and Walkers Line, between the hours of 8:00 AM and 9:45 AM is asked to contact the Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-825-4777 ext. 2315 or 2316.

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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Life gets a little more pleasant and bearable - the suds will flow on Friday. City is still at Level 3 of the Emergency rules.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city will begin to open up later this week – people will be getting out and experiencing a much different dining experience.

The Gazette will have photographers out documenting how the city responds and behaves.

Brant street getting ready

Queen’s Head setting up for Sound of Music in better days. Will we see this on Friday?

Will there be lineups next to the pop up stands – How many patio places are there going to be?

The city is currently at a Level 3 under the provincial emergency legislation. City manager Tim Commisso reports that the city declared a level 2 on March 12th and moved to a level 3 five days later.

He said earlier today that the Emergency Coordination Group reviewed the criteria and said “we still meet the criteria for level 3 so no change.

The documentation and legislation, including the regulations amounts to a decent sized book. Commisso did say that he hasn’t read every page but is “generally aware of the policy” adding that he has “the benefit of having Amber Ruston advise me as our Emergency Manager – she is an expert staff resource in all things related to provincial and emergency municipal management.

So – we are still at level 3 but we can get out for a meal – with wonderful weather seats at Emma’s Back Porch and Spencer’s overlooking the lake will be at a premium.

There will be some pretty tight rules to be followed – follow them – they are in place for our benefit. When you come across an establishment that isn’t following – remind the operators that the rules are in place for a reason – your health.

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Identity theft during this pandemic has increased - read what you get carefully - if in doubt - don't.

IDTHEFT 100X100By Staff

June 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As identity theft scams go – this one is good.

Well written, sounds right – but it isn’t.

It was sent to us at the Gazette – we don’t bank with the Royal.

Here’s their pitch:

RBC continues to develop industry-leading digital capabilities for its clients. As we make our clients’ everyday banking experience easier, we continue to be guided by the imperatives of trust and security. Verifying and protecting our clients’ identities is among the most important things we do.The world-class technology underpinning these features will better protect clients.

A single digital platform gives us immense flexibility to reuse core capabilities that extend across the bank and design solutions with our clients and advisors in mind from the start. This means clients will enjoy a more consistent experience with RBC across our delivery channels.

For more details about this new technology and to keep your account at RBC up to date as required by law in your jurisdiction please find the document attached for a complete guide.

For your security the document as been password protected, please find the password below.

Document PassKey: NISTRBC3073

Bank Safely and Securely with RBC

Look at the url – RBC Online Registrations <registrationupdate@rbcd.com>  The letter d is what gives thiis one away.

Remember – if in doubt – don’t

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Rocca Sisters report on the real estate market for May - residential sales were down - prices up 9+%

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There were exactly half as many active listings at the end of May as compared to the end of May 2019.

Just to put this into perspective, at the end of May 2015, there were 615 freehold properties for sale in Burlington as compared to 203 active listings at the end of May 2020.

Given the inventory levels, you would expect a corresponding reduction in sales but in fact, sales were down only 36.8% which helps explain why we saw a 9.3% increase in sale prices whilst in the middle of a pandemic.

Year to date, sales are down 21% and sale prices are up 12.9% as compared to the same period in 2019.

Properties sold for 98.34% of the listing price and in 33 days, on average during the month of May 2020.

What Does This Mean?
The market has responded favourably to this otherwise distressing and unsettling time. Inventory levels have remained very low, demand seems to be strong and so of course, the result has been increases in prices paid. Economics 101. The larger question is, what will happen as the restrictions ease, people get back to work (or not) and the fallout becomes a reality. With no historical reference to help us predict the future, it’s anyone’s guess how this will all turn out. For now, we are experiencing a sellers market (but a restrained one) in all of our trading areas and it’s hard to imagine how that will change.

Rocca Residential May 2020

 

Condominium market

While inventory levels are still well below 2019 numbers (100 units for sale in 2019 compared to 84 in 2020), they are trending upwards. Sale prices were up 7.6% and sales were down 38.8% in the month of May, when compared to May 2019. Condo units sold for 99% of the asking price and in 20 days, on average during the month of May.

Rocca Condo May 2020

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One Burlington supports Black Lives Matter

News 100 redBy Staff

June 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

One Burlington, the multi-cultural organization that holds a not to be missed event in the summer (it will not take place this year) released a statement earlier today supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

Let us hope that their involvement goes beyond a Statement.

One Burlington statement.

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“Done properly and with true commitment, they (demonstrations) can conjure broad public support for long overdue change.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At what point do people being “politically correct” become the problem – getting in the way of what the issue is really all about ?

Black Lives Matter is not a new phrase. It was used by a Toronto Group a number of years ago when they sat down and closed a busy street to make a point.

Had they not done that they would have been ignored.

Canada has been a racist country since its founding.

Our treatment of the Aboriginal Community has been shameful. What we did during WW II to Japanese people who were born in this country was criminal.

Our Jewish friends were not spared either; a passenger ship was turned away from an Canadian port and ended up returning to Europe where many of the passengers were pushed into Nazi gas chambers.

We talk about how terrible all this is – but we don’t do much.

Can you imagine a community in this country not having potable water?

Can you imagine children in this country not being able to get the education they deserve?

The Tragically Hips’ Gord Downie publicly called out the Prime Minister at his last concert to extract a promise that the Aboriginal people would be taken care of –  hasn’t happened yet has it?.

BLM 3 JAmes and Brant

A large, well behaved crowd made their point – Black Lives Matter

Five thousand people marched on city hall earlier this month; when they got there they lay down in the street shouting the slogans that are now very “au courant”

A second protest demonstration was announced for last Saturday – it didn’t take place. There was no word from the people behind the planned event that it would not take place.

When a protect group or a group advocating for a change in policy is created and begins to have a public profile transparency and accountability applies to them. There is a level of responsibility that has to be met.

The Gazette reported on that “non-event” in Civic Square last Saturday.

Many took exception to the headline we used and let their politically correct sensitives get bruised.

No offence was intended – anyone who reads the Gazette knows where we stand on these issues.

One writer took issue with the spelling errors – he was correct on that one and we appreciate being called to task.

He was also bothered by the few words that were used explain an inflammatory situation. There were links to three previous articles as part of the story.

BLM march June

They marched along New Street to the Civic Square

Social media buzzed for almost half a day on the coverage we gave.

Gary Mason, a regular columnist for the Globe and Mail wrote recently saying “…media, generally, have helped train a light on on issues   – systemic racism and police brutality.” In the same column he comments on the nature of the relationship between media and those doing the demonstrating. He speaks to protest movements saying: “If you decide to close a major traffic corridor to draw attention to your issue, whatever it may be,  you’d better be prepared to be covered and and asked questions by the media.  It’s only fair that you spend some time explaining and justifying your actions.  Under no circumstances should demonstrators think they can stage events that effect the broader public and be exempt from scrutiny.

“It doesn’t work that way.

“Done properly and with true commitment, they can conjure broad public support for long overdue change. They can prompt some of us to look deeper within ourselves and see the world in a new way.

“The media have been, and will continue to be, an important conduit between those demanding change and those who need to be educated about it.”

Amen!

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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