We’re Not Ready for the United Nations

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

June 19th, 2020


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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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


cases who are recovered/resolved

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

Institutional outbreaks

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

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

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

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



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



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.


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 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.


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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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.”


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.

Related news story.

One Burlington stand with BLM


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Shooting on Woodview Road - victim with serious injuries transported to hospital.

Crime 100By Staff

June 17th, 2020



HRPS crestAt just after 9:00 am this morning the Halton Regional Police Service received a call regarding a shooting on Woodview Road (in the area of New Street and Walkers Line) in Burlington.

Upon arrival at the scene, one victim was located with serious injuries and has been transported to hospital.

Two possible suspects fled on foot. Suspect descriptions are not available at this time and suspects remain outstanding.

Area residents are asking to shelter in place until further notice.

Residents should expect ongoing heavy police presence in the area. Any witnesses are asked to call 905-825-4777 ext. 2310 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

For ongoing updates, please follow @HaltonPolice on Twitter.

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Mayor has soothing words for a troubled sector of the local economy - 'our beloved restaurants'

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 17th, 2020



In the eyes of the Mayor the provincial reopening strategy, will allow “our beloved restaurants” to welcome customers again to dine on-site – just in time for summer!

In her most recent Better Burlington Newsletter the Mayor explains that: “While indoor dining is not yet permitted, outdoor patios will be permitted to open for businesses as of this Friday, June 19th for those who are ready to reopen.

“I know our restaurant owners have been deeply engaged in the health and safety guidelines that will help them reopen in ways that keep our community health, such as the Dinesafe reopening guide and checklist from the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association and the comprehensive guidelines set out by the Province.

west plains bistro

Will that parking lot become a pop up patio quick quick

“To help our local restaurants manage provincial guidelines on physical distancing and serve as many customers as possible, the City of Burlington is working hard to enable patio expansions and pop-ups.

“Our teams have been working with the Burlington Restaurant Association over the past month to better understand their interest and needs so we could be ready to quickly work together on this initiative with a one-time detailed application form and an accelerated approval process.

“Restaurants can apply for patio permits that leverage city space downtown such as sidewalks or streets, and permits that expand into private property such as parking lots (in partnership with landlords) anywhere in the city.

“I know we are all looking forward to spending time outside together in a new and safely distanced way, and supporting our restaurants and small business owners who are very excited to see us again.

The Province’s framework for reopening includes additional details on this stage:

Food trucks

Will food trucks fill some of the outdoor gap?

Restaurants, bars, food trucks and other food and drink establishments (e.g., wineries, breweries and distilleries) can open for dining in outdoor areas only, such as patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent premises.

Establishments must take appropriate measures to ensure physical distancing of at least two metres between patrons from different households, including:

using reservations

limiting number of patrons allowed in the outdoor space at one time

ensuring enough space between tables, including to allow for movement

access to indoor facilities is limited to patio/outdoor dining area access, food pickup, payment, washrooms or other health and safety purposes

The big question is: Are you going to be able to get a table? Many people are about to find out just how much that restaurateur loves them.

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What's open and permitted - What isn't open - Your family circle and your more public circle

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 16th, 2020



At one minute after midnight on Friday the city will move into Phase 2 of the Emergency legislation that has determined what we can and cannot do.

The following businesses, services, recreational and outdoor facilities will be allowed to reopen in Halton region with proper safety measures in place:

Pop up on rant Coop BEST

There will be lineups to get a seat in a pop up patio. Lingering over a drink won’t be encouraged.

Outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties;

Select personal and personal care services with the proper health and safety measures in place, including tattoo parlours, barber shops, hair salons and beauty salons;

Shopping malls under existing restrictions, including food services reopening for take-out and outdoor dining only.

Tour and guide services, such as bike and walking, bus and boat tours, as well as tasting and tours for wineries, breweries and distilleries;

Water recreational facilities such as outdoor splash pads and wading pools, and all swimming pools;

Beach access and additional camping at Ontario Parks;

Camping at private campgrounds;

Outdoor-only recreational facilities and training for outdoor team sports, with limits to enable physical distancing;

Drive-in and drive-through venues for theatres, concerts, animal attractions and cultural appreciation, such as art installations;

Film and television production activities, with limits to enable physical distancing.

Libraries Libraries can provide limited on-site services & programs.

Community centres Community centres can re-open provided they comply with certain conditions including keeping communal kitchens and interior dining spaces closed.

Gatherings in vehicles for religious services, rites & ceremonies No limit on the number of vehicles that can attend provided that conditions in Sect. 8 of Provincial Reg. 52/20 are met.

Performing Arts and Cinemas Concert venues, theatres and cinemas remain closed (except for drive-ins).

Food and beverages can only be sold to people in attendance at the drive-in cinema / drive-in or drive-through concert, theatrical production, performance or artistic event, if they are delivered directly to the vehicle.

Nelson swimming pool

The Nelson Pool

Indoor and outdoor water amenities All pools can open (no waterparks).

Outdoor recreational activities & attractions Outdoor activities and attractions can open. No high contact with surfaces or being physically close.

Outdoor team sports training Team sport training can resume while staying physically distant (NO SCRIMMAGES OR GAMES). Access to amenities limited to equipment management and washrooms.

Private & provincial parks/campgrounds Car and RV camping can resume. Limited access to comfort stations (washrooms only).

Beach access and some services at Provincial parks Beach access at Ontario parks is permitted. Services and programming can resume with modified operations.


Social gatherings
Permitted with no more than 10 people (increase from 5).

Organized public events
Permitted with no more than 10 people, including a parade (increase from 5).

Indoor weddings, funerals or religious services, rites or ceremonies
Permitted with conditions, including limited indoor capacity (for example, cannot exceed 30% of the maximum capacity of any particular room in the building or structure).

Outdoor weddings, funerals or religious services, rites or ceremonies
Permitted with conditions, including cannot go over maximum of 50 people in attendance

Child care
Licensed child-care centres can reopen and emergency child-care services end.

Summer day camps
Day camps can open with modified operations, no overnight stays.
NOTE: Community centres or facilities for indoor sports and recreational fitness activities can also open province-wide, if used exclusively by summer day camps.

Training centres / training delivery agents
Certification, licensing and training programs, including apprenticeships, can resume.

Post-secondary education institutions
Post-secondary education institutions: universities, colleges, Indigenous Institutes, private career colleges and private universities can reopen effective Thursday, July 2, 2020.


5 point social circleThe Province of Ontario is encouraging residents to establish social circles.

You can have a social circle abd be involved in a social gathering.

The rules for social circles are different from the Rule of 10. Social gatherings can be any 10 people from outside your household, but where physical distancing of at least 2 metres should be maintained.

People may now establish a family or social circle of no more than 10 people who can interact with one another without physical distancing. This could include: hugging, carpooling, enjoying a patio and sharing a meal without staying two metres apart.

Social circles will also bring back supports from people outside of their household who can now help with children, seniors or those in need.

Keep in mind that the virus is transferred for the most part from person to person

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Halton District School Board grads earn some prestigious scholarships - none came from Burlington schools.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 16th, 2020


The Halton District School Board is proud to celebrate the accomplishments of numerous students who have received prestigious scholarships for September 2020 that recognize their outstanding achievements and will support their academic studies.

Miller prep at Central

Halton District School Board Director of Education Stuart Miller

“We are so proud of the accomplishments of our Halton students,” says Stuart Miller, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board points to the “…hard work, dedication and perseverance” that has caught the attention of many post-secondary institutions while inspiring all of us in the Board. We are confident you will enjoy much success in your studies and beyond, as you make a tremendous difference in this world.”

The following Grade 12 students have been awarded significant scholarships at Canadian universities based on their outstanding academic performance, leadership, involvement in extracurricular activities, or commitment to community service:

Yash Mulki, Abbey Park HS: Schulich Leader Scholarship to the University of Waterloo

Anya Sarma, Iroquois Ridge HS: Western University National President’s Scholarship

Rohan Atal, Iroquois Ridge HS: Queen’s University Chancellor’s Scholarship

Nicholas Chronis, Iroquois Ridge HS: Queen’s University Chancellor’s Scholarship

Cole Sweet, White Oaks SS: Schulich Leader Scholarship to Western University

Eric Xu, White Oaks SS: Western University National Scholarship

Madeleine King, Georgetown District HS: University of Toronto National Scholarship

Ahmed Raja, Craig Kielburger SS: Schulich Leaders Scholarship to McMaster University (along with other scholarships from McMaster)

Urmi Sheth, Oakville Trafalgar HS: York University Governors’ Awards of Distinction: Betty-Jean and John M. Bankes Scholarship.

That is a very impressive list. There were no Burlington grade 12 students recognized.


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Soar by Hooman Mehdizadehjafari selected for the City View Park public art commission

artsorange 100x100By Staff

June 16th, 2020



Mehdizadehjafari’s artwork, Soar will be installed in front of the new pavilion being constructed at City View Park.

A Request for Expressions of Interest was released in October 2019. Over 50 artists’ submissions were received and reviewed by a community jury made up of residents, local artists and project stakeholders.

Soar - art work city view park

Mehdizadehjafari’s artwork, Soar will be installed in front of the new pavilion being constructed at City View Park.

The jury selected three finalists to develop preliminary artwork concepts.

These three submissions were shown to residents for feedback on Get Involved Burlington and at two in-person displays at Brant Hills Community Centre and Burlington Public Library – Central Branch. More than 400 comments were received. Public feedback and the artist’s technical proposal were factored into the jury’s final scoring and decision.

City View Park Project
The council approved City View Park Master Plan is being implemented through several phases. To date, three artificial turf fields, creative playground, parking, pond/wetland, trails, natural restoration and a park maintenance facility have been added. The next phase for a pavilion is currently out for construction tender with that work scheduled to start in September 2020. The artwork will complement the park building.

Artwork Location
The artwork will be in a large naturalized area in front of the pavilion. This area will link together pathways from the future parking lot to the front entrance of the pavilion and a central roadway. The artwork will be viewable from inside the pavilion’s main lobby through large glass walls looking out.

Soar artist City View park

Hooman Mehdizadehjafari,, an Iranian-Canadian artist with an impressive body of work.

Artist Statement
Inspired by the oldest living creature in Eastern North America, the public art design Soar inherited its form from the Eastern White Cedar.

The 17-foot-tall metal sculpture reflects the rich natural heritage of the region, in particular the Niagara Escarpment.

The diversity of materials used creates a beautiful play of colours that can often be seen in nature and alludes to the diverse and united community of Burlington. Soar is a reflective mirror of the rich natural heritage of the site and celebrates the gracious and honourable ambition of appreciating and protecting the environment and ensuring its passing on to future generations.

The applied words THROUGH – NATURE – WITH – LOVE – WE – THRIVE in Soar, create an infinite circulation that reflects the ultimate message of this piece: by loving our nature, valuing and protecting it, we may grow and thrive within it peacefully.

Artist Biography
Hooman Mehdizadehjafari, creator of Hoomanart is an award-winning Iranian-Canadian visual artist and designer based in Vancouver, Canada. He was born in 1985 in Kerman, Iran and graduated from the Tehran University of Art with a Master’s in Sculpture and Painting.



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Arrest Made In Series of Identity Frauds. Police Seeking Assistance in Identifying Second Wanted Male.

Crime 100By Staff

June 16th, 2020


The Halton Regional Police laid charges against one male in relation to multiple identity fraud incidents.

HRPS crestBetween March and May 2020, there have been a number of incidents where a group of thieves targeted elderly females shopping in retail spaces. Suspects obtained the victims personal identification numbers of their financial cards as they observed them at these retail locations. As the victims returned to their vehicles in the parking lots, these suspects distracted them in order to steal their credit cards.

These suspects used the stolen credit cards for cash withdrawals and retail purchases in the Town of Oakville and the City of Burlington.

On June 12th, one accused male was arrested in Toronto.

Investigation by the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau has led to the charges against the following individual:

Constantin LITEANU (46 years of Burlington)
• Participation in Criminal Organization
• Fraud Under $5000 (7 counts)
• Personation with Intent (7 counts)
LITEANU was held for a bail hearing on the 12th of June 2020.

Fraud 1 June 16fraud 2 June 16Fraud 3 June 16

The Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau is also seeking the public’s assistance in order to identify the second suspect who is described as male, white, 25-30 years old, 5’9 to 5’10, medium build 170-180 lbs, with facial hair and dark rimmed glasses. This male is wanted by a number of police services throughout the Greater Toronto and Niagara Area. (Photos attached)

Shoppers are reminded to pay close attention to their surroundings and keep a close eye on their valuables. Purses should be kept on your person at all times. Do not leave items such as purses and cell phones unattended in grocery carts while shopping.

Any fraudulent activity on your financial cards should be reported immediately to your bank and to police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Older Adult Abuse Investigator at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344.

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.

Related news story.

Thieves preying on female seniors

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Gateway Casinos Slowed Down by the Pandemic

eventspink 100x100By George Keburia

June 16th, 2020


The coronavirus pandemic reached Canada quite some time ago, resulting in thousands of deaths.

Despite the timely measures and restrictions that were introduced by the province, the deadly virus still managed to spread all across Canada. Moreover, the nation’s biggest trade partner and neighbor the United States remains the most severely affected country in the world as the number of total coronavirus infections exceeds a thumping 2 million mark.

US border closed PAID

Travel into the United States has been suspended for all except vital transportation of goods.

When talking about the impact of the global pandemic on Canada, there are many factors that should be considered. Except for the internal issues that have emerged after the lockdown, the closure of the US/Canada border has also resulted in devastating consequences for Canadian businesses. Many gambling venues along the border were highly dependent on American visitors that would visit over the weekend and spend considerable sums of money. Yet, for almost three months now, these venues have not been able to accept even the local customers.

In mid-march, the government of Canada led by the prime minister Justin Trudeau announced that due to the global pandemic, all enclosed entertainment venues would have to shut down indefinitely. This changed the country drastically over the past two and a half months. The list of affected businesses included casinos, restaurants, bars, and entertainment centers. The gambling venues ended up being one of the hardest-hit businesses in the industry. Unlike restaurants, casinos can’t deliver orders and offer takeaways.

Yet, the vast majority of gambling businesses saw an alternative in moving onto the internet. The list covered all types of venues and as of now, the number of VIP online casinos in Canada is simply tremendous. This way, venues that previously hosted thousands of visitors per day can offer similar services to those loyal customers online. Obviously, this does not tackle the problem at a large scale but most certainly helps businesses survive throughout this turbulent period.

Despite the fact that many gambling businesses found the idea of online casinos helpful, there are still some major operators that simply can not substitute huge revenues with just a mere fraction of it. Such companies had to abandon not only their active venues but also major projects underway in different parts of the country. Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is one of such businesses that now faces lots of obstacles on the way of getting back up and running.

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment evaluating the current state of legislation in Ontario amid the pandemic

‘Gateway Casinos and Entertainment’ is one of the leading operators in the industry across Canada. It owns venues all across the nation and employs hundreds of people. Overlooking the operation of this scale, the company became one of the hardest-hit businesses over the past few months. From mid-march, Gateway casinos and entertainment along with others nationwide had to take its operations to a complete standstill. The company is still unable to operate amid the ongoing restrictions.

Gateway North Bay PAID

COVID 19 put the construction of the North Bay Casino on hold

The government of Ontario has recently talked about the potential of re-opening businesses, including those that fall under the entertainment umbrella. This could mean opening up the Gateway casinos and entertainment to the public. However, there is another crucial part that comes with the process of lifting regulations. The company has its ongoing construction project in North Bay. The government has already given a green light for construction work to recommence. Yet, the company seems to be careful about spending with no  casinos open at the moment.

Gateway is now trying its best to reopen its casino businesses. Without the venues up and running, it will likely have trouble financing major construction works in North Bay and beyond. Despite the government’s remarks about the possible opening of certain entertainment businesses, there are still no specific guidelines or time frames about the future of the business.

Casinos will have to adjust to the current state
Sooner or later casinos along with other entertainment venues will open to the public. This day will likely come sooner than we think but the cost of this process might be overwhelming for many businesses. With social distancing being the only effective tool for us to curb the spread of the COVID-19, everything inside of venues will have to adjust to the new reality. This will mean fewer seats and slot machines while customers will have to constantly keep the safe distance.

Gateway Sudbury PAID

Patrons at the Sudbury Gateway Casino where the delight in plying the slots is evident.

The Sudbury casino by Gateway has 70 active employees that are ready to get back to work. However, as the capacity of venues will be significantly reduced, the likelihood of them all coming back is very low. There will most certainly be some spending cuts which might result in the reduction of the staff.

Without any specific guidelines or frameworks for how casinos should operate under unprecedented circumstances, the Casino Rama Resort by Gateway in Orilla is reportedly preparing to open. The Gateway representatives say that they are cooperating with the government of Ontario regarding specific venues that could potentially open first in the row.

Many ideas are being considered about how Gateway could get back to doing business actively. There were plans to expand the floor space and add a separate smoking room for the customers. Yet, the idea was scrapped as it potentially stood as a great health risk for employees.

With the total coronavirus infection number globally exceeding 7 million, many new innovative frameworks are introduced for venues to operate safely. Hopefully, Gateway will be one of such innovators in the field.

George Keburia is a commentator on the entertainment sector in Canada

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Retail and hospitality sectors asked to make the Promise to follow the rules when they open on Friday.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 15th, 2020



Last week Oakville North Burlington MP Pam Damoff released the POST Promise.

The promise is a partnering with the private sector, including the Business Council of Canada, on their POST Promise program.

Post promiseThis initiative calls on businesses to commit to five key public health measures – like physical distancing and handwashing – to protect customers and employees.

I encourage all business owners – whether you have a restaurant, a tech start-up, or a boutique – to join in today at www.postpromise.com.

Together, we can keep people safe and give Canadians the confidence that’s needed to restart our economy.

The POST Promise is a self-declaration that a business is working to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Once completed, a business is provided with the necessary communication and implementation tools to educate employees on the five key steps to workplace safety, which were created to be consistent with what has been recommended by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Businesses who make the promise will be able to use and prominently display the POST Promise logo which is a nationally recognized symbol of a business’ commitment to doing their part to protect their customers’ and employees’ health and safety as COVID-19 restrictions ease. Participating business can also purchase a kit which will include additional communication tools like window decals, posters and tent cards which can be used to further build awareness of their commitment within their place of business.

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