The Care Mongers got Together and would like you to Grow a Row for the Food Bank

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington together logoThey called themselves Burlington Care mongers – and their presence on social media just took off.

They had people making masks; people running errands for people who had to self-isolate.

They were exceptionally well organized and effective.

Then they decided that the word “care monger” could use a little refinement and changed their name to Burlington Together. They are still exceptionally effective.

Beteh Martin Caremonger

Former Chief Care monger”, Beth Martin Snook with her children

Grow plants Jan

If you do it right – this is what you can produce.

The former Chief Care monger”, Beth Martin Snook popped us a note announcing the “Grow a Row” project through the Burlington Together Facebook group
They are encouraging people to grow an extra row of food in their gardens and donate that extra harvest to the Burlington Food Bank.

Beth is prepared to help anyone who needs it with seeds or gardening advice, and will also set up a seed swap if there is interest.

“I’m the contact for the project – you can reach me at – bethmarty@gmail.com or through Facebook at Beth Martin Snook or through the group at Burlington Together.

The link is a direct connection to the group.

growing a row Jan

Burlington Together would like you to Grow Row for the Food Bank

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Cith hall puts out a statement: summer program cancelled - you'll get your refund in four to six weeks,

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City hall has provided more information on the decision to close city hall that was heard at a Standing Committee; that committee recommendation will go to Council on Monday of next week.

“Following the Provincial and public health directives, the City of Burlington is cancelling all City-run summer programs. This includes activities such as summer camps, recreation programs, festivals and events, swimming and skating drop-ins that were originally offered in the Live & Play Guide.

“Organizations and residents are asked to please be patient during this time as we expect it will take 4-6 weeks for staff process these cancellations. Residents who paid for these programs using a credit card will be refunded to that same credit card if possible. All other payment methods will receive a credit to their Recreation accounts. Following the processing of cancellations, cheque refunds will be issued based on specific email requests. Please email liveandplay@burlington.ca for cheque refund requests, and be sure to include your full mailing address.

“As restrictions from the Province and Public Health are lifted, the City will implement a redesigned or modified program where possible.

“Any programs available will be advertised. To be notified of any new programs, visit and subscribe to burlington.ca/play.

Facility Rentals

No snow? There are always swimming pools. Check out the available programs and register for a spot.

Not this summer.

“All facility rentals up to and including Sept. 7, 2020, including arenas, pools, community centres, schools, sport fields and picnics are cancelled. Renters who paid by credit card will be refunded to that same credit card if possible. Others will receive a credit on account. A confirmation will be emailed once the rental cancellation has been processed.

“Requests for future booking dates are not being accepted until further notice.

“For questions about facility rentals or rental refund requests please email rentals@burlington.ca.

“For more information and FAQ’s on summer closures, cancellations and refunds visit burlington.ca/coronavirus.

“The City is monitoring the situation closely and will work with local organizations to determine any modified programs as we are able to.

“Any opportunity to re-open facilities or resume programming following health directives including physical distancing or reduced group sizes will be posted to the City’s website and social media.

baseball players

Probably not this summer either

Parks
While City of Burlington parks were never closed for walk-through traffic, residents can now enjoy a few more activities in their local City of Burlington parks and green spaces with members of their own household including:

• Playing catch, kicking a soccer ball and flying a kite
• Sitting on a blanket, grass or lawn chair
• Exercising and stretching on a yoga mat, but not in a class
• Letting young children run and burn off some energy

“We are asking everyone to remember they have a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The Mayor explains: “I know this news will be disappointing to our community; however, we need to continue to stay apart for now to protect ourselves and each other. Public health and safety need to continue to come first. I know our City staff are working on alternative programming that can be done virtually, so watch for that news.”

He is no longer "acting"; it's now the real deal as Chris Glenn gets appointed the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city.

Chris Glenn – Director of Parks and Recreation.

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation Services tells his side of the story:   “Summer programming is our busiest time with some wait lists forming as early as January. Please be patient as we process credits and refunds. These can take time but be assured that everyone who needs a credit or refund will get one. One of our adaptations to the COVID-19 physical distancing is our virtual programming. I encourage everyone to access our free virtual programming which can be found at burlington.ca/activeathome. There are golf tips, cooking lessons, crafts and more.”

Four to six weeks to process a refund for a cancelled programming is a real stretch.

 

 

 

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The weather last week put the kibosh on any plans that I had to see friends - heading into week 10

graphic coping redBy Nicki St George

May 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Gazette put together a team of parents who are at home taking care of their children while the province goes through school closures and the shut down of everything other than essential services.

Ashley Worobec and Nicki St. George write regularly on how they are coping. We invite parents to take part in this initiative by adding comments to each Coping with COVID19 & the kids article.

Ashley Worobec is a sports-based chiropractor living a life of fitness, health, and parenthood in Burlington.  Nicki St George is a teacher, a recovering cancer patient and a mother working on an MBA

WEEK 9-

This week has been a blur.

Dan was busy working on a deadline for the 9-week project that has been occupying his days and nights and I was back in full-swing at work with a flurry of emails and zoom meetings to attend. The children were often left to their own devices (literally and figuratively).  I now have the musical stylings of Molly and Daisy from something called Toy Heroes permanently stuck in my head. My penance for neglecting Beatrix.

Leo Bea sitting in chairs

Screen time – determining which level is the challenge.

Of course, while I am feeling overwhelmed by feelings of guilt over this, the children see completely oblivious and are happy to have fewer restrictions placed on their device time. My mantra this week has told me that this is all temporary, but I still worry about the longer-term effects of too much screen time and how that will stunt the creativity of my children.

I now separate screen time into the following categories: educational, games, and family TV time. This last category is the cause of some heated debates in our family. Nailed It seems to be the only acceptable compromise. Leo, a fellow night owl, sneaks out of his room every night after bedtime and begs me to watch Community with him – how can I say no? It seems the children are most amenable to compromises when they are breaking their bedtime curfew.

Leo’s bedroom is a library. There are stacks of books everywhere and he has read every one of them. So at night I am faced with the choice of allowing him to use EPIC (an online database with a huge selection of books that he likes), i.e. more screen time, or do I allow him to sneak out and watch TV with me? I know there is a third option, but he is good company and I love laughing with him. Sometimes he goes into Bea’s room and plays dolls with her. She likes playing with him the best.

I still managed to get out for my morning walks every day this week, and we ate dinner together every night as a family, so I am still going to consider this past week a win. I did burn an entire batch of homemade granola, a sign that I was slightly off my mom-game, but my homemade chicken soup and scones will make up for that (I hope). I ordered hand-sewn masks for the family by a local Burlington mother who has been laid off. The idea of leaving my house with the kids while we are all donning face masks fills me with both hope and dread.

Bea and Leo outdoors

When it is just Nicki and the kids – no such thing as social distancing.

I have felt frustrated all week by the lack of clarity around social distancing rules. In other provinces and countries, the citizens are given direction about how to expand their ‘bubbles’ or at least they are aware of when they might be able to start this process. Of my friends, some are being very careful and have not seen their boyfriends in 9 weeks and others are being a lot less careful.

I have reconciled that outdoor visits while maintaining a 2-meter distance is okay; however, the weather this week put the kibosh on any plans that I had to see friends in this way.

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4th phase of the ambitious Elgin Promenade on target - will the $$ needed to complete be available?

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Elgin Promenade, that pathway that serves as a pedestrian and cycling corridor will extend from Brant Street to Martha Street connecting the downtown core to the Centennial Multi-Use path is about to embark on the 4th phase.

The idea has been on the drawing boards for some time – when a funding opportunity came up in 2017, the city moved on it quickly.
It was a grad idea when it was first presented to the public in 2017, made possible by a federal gas tax rebate grant of $700,000.

Overall area - big pictureThe Promenade will eventually allow people to cycle or walk across the width of the city from the BurlOak Park in the east end to the Canal that separates us from Hamilton on the west end.

The first thing it did was open up the space opposite city hall and a little to the south of city hall. Some parking spots were removed and the first of four phases between Brant and John Street was done.

phases graphic all 4

Done in phases; the fourth one will begin in the Spring of 2021.

 

No one was really sure how many people would use the Promenade; when a pedestrian counter was installed on John Street from October 25th, 2019 to December 2, 2019 the counter showed approximately 346 people per day which is significant number of users, especially in the off-season.

A second pedestrian counter was also installed for all of 2019 at Martha Street and the Centennial Multi-Use Trail which is located beside the east end of the Elgin Promenade. The 2019 daily average count for 12 months at this location was 688.

Phase 4 connects Pearl Street to Martha Street – Site Constraints
The final phase that will connect Pearl Street to Martha Street, comes with a series of challenges and site constraints including land ownership, vehicular circulation of the adjacent parking lot and underground utilities.

The land for this proposed walkway is not owned the City however the City Realty Services department is in negotiation with the landowner of 425 Pearl Street to acquire the northern section of this parking lot in order to build the connecting link of the Elgin Promenade.

The proposed walkway is on top of two easements; Transnorthern (high-pressure gas pipeline) and Halton Region (sanitary and water). In advance of tendering this project, all those permits and approvals from various agencies have to be in place before a tender can be released.

The existing two-way driveway into the parking lot at 425 Pearl Street will be converted into a one-way in drive lane. A secondary driveway further south along Pearl Street will be built to accommodate egress from the existing parking lot.

concept plan BEST

All of phase 4

 

enlargement area # 1

A tighter look at the west side of phase 4.

area #2 enlarged

A closer look at the west side of phase 4

The Elgin Promenade Phase 4 – Design Program

The finished phase 4 will be a 4m wide pedestrian facility that is uninterrupted by cars (except at intersecting streets).

The illustrations for phase 4 represent approximately 60% design completion.

Two additional properties

Looking east. The two white structures are properties that will have to be acquired.

view looking west

Looking west. Phase four has space for more than just a walk – there are small areas where people can congregate.

Proposed Crossovers

There will be three pedestrian crossovers where the Promenade crosses Martha Street, Pearl Street and Elizabeth Street.

Martha Street and Pearl Street will be installed in conjunction with Phase 4 of the Promenade. Transportation Services staff are reviewing the Elizabeth Street pedestrian crossover to determine if it can be installed prior to completion of the Elgin Promenade.

In addition to the three pedestrian crossovers proposed, John Street is still under evaluation given the additional movements related to the Downtown

Parking Summary
The overall parking count from phases 1 to 3 resulted in a net zero loss of city parking stalls.

The project will result in 17 parking stalls being removed from a privately- owned parking lot at 425 Pearl Street. Currently, the owners of the lot do allow the public to use the space during evenings and weekends.

Capital funds have been committed in 2020 to complete a needs assessment with the goal of developing a plan to add parking supply to the downtown.

Project Schedule
The Elgin Promenade construction is anticipated to start in spring of 2021. Below is high-level schedule for the balance of this project.

High level time line graphicThe addition of a handsome rather splendid path for pedestrians and cyclists does present a repetition of a problem at Spencer Smith Park where cyclists tend to forget to respect the rights of those walking to safe passage.

This part of the city is rich in historically significant properties. The heritage value and appropriate protections (including possible Heritage Act designations) for the potential built heritage resources and potential cultural heritage landscapes will be addressed.

A report released last September, “Cultural Heritage Resource Assessment of the Downtown Mobility Hub”, will be reporting back to Council in 4Q; a funding source has yet to be determined.

One of the potential cultural heritage landscapes, the properties known as 431 and 435 Pearl Street, which are adjacent to the Elgin Promenade on the east side of Pearl Street.

Community Planning Department staff will report back to Council in spring 2020 concerning the scope and financial considerations for the heritage study.

Given the financial constraints brought about by the COVID crisis – could this part get put on hold ?

Part of Phase 4 includes new landscape construction on the rear portion of the city-owned property at 431 Pearl Street.

The project is going to significantly improve the way people use the downtown. It is going to require the purchase of a part of that parking lot, the purchase of the properties at 431 and 435 Pearl  – all at a time when dollars are going to be in short supply.

The success of the Elgin Promenade to date is a direct result of the number of stakeholders that have participated in the development of this multi-use pathway facility. Formal engagement with the downtown business community, members of council, advisory committees and area residents started in 2017. Since the project start, there have been two formal PIC sessions as well other related initiatives such as the Urban Parks Strategy Workshop and Downtown Streetscape Guidelines public engagement process.

dfer

Marianne Meed Ward as a citizen delegating to a council that she would lead in 2018

In Q2 of 2020 staff will host a design session, open to project stakeholders and members of Council, in order to complete the conceptual design for the area behind 431 Pearl Street.

view looking west

The view looking west

There was a phrase that Marianne Meed Ward used frequently when she was the ward 2 Councillor – ‘these are nice to have projects that we can’t afford.’ Didn’t hear that phrase once during the discussion of what was a Receive and File report from the Planning department on this project.

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A trip to the supermarket is 'not a social occasion'. Be efficient - in and out.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Part way through the long weekend our Member of Parliament, Karina Gould reminds on how we need to conduct ourselves now that the province has cautiously opened up some of the retail world.

In her message to us about the Queen Victoria holiday Gould adds that when we go shopping we are there to purchase food items – “this isn’t a social occasion”, she said.

Grocery shopping graphic Gould.Wow! Has COVID done this too us – when we gather at a market or a supermarket we bump into our friends and get caught up on the news and the gossip. – keeping that required safe distance of course.

The Victorian Era was known for its difficulty with touching and close relationships – at least in public.

Seems the Good Queen’s approach to the way she saw society working are  coming back.

Whatever happened to all that freedom we earned in the sixties?

Queen Victoria

This was not a woman to trifle with once she had matured and realized thee size of the Empire she ruled.

The Victorian period saw the British Empire grow to become the first global industrial power, producing much of the world’s coal, iron, steel and textiles.

The subject of Victorian sexuality, which continued to be a continuing topic of debate and fascination well into the 20’s – that was the 1920’s.

According to their own testimonies, many people born in the Victorian age were both factually uninformed and emotionally frigid about sexual matters. Historically, it appeared that the licentious behaviour and attitudes of the Regency period had been replaced by a new order of puritan control and repression.

That changed – but there are still strains of it out there. None of this of course was mentioned in the MP’s column.

She wishes us all well and urges us to make the best of the long weekend and be grateful for everything the Front Line workers are doing for us.

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One Burlington steps aside while COVID19 works it way through the world.

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

May 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

One Burlington, that annual event that strives to attract as many people as possible to participate and to learn about the diverse cultures and faith practices of our neighbors in a safe, joyful and relaxed environment announced the decision to cancel the August 2020 event.

One Burlington logoA key value at One Burlington is to encourage participation by everyone. We could not imagine a way to present our Festival and restrict attendance as it clashed with our mandate. Hence the decision to cancel this event for this year.

The One Burlington Festival did get funding from the Burlington Arts Council and have been advised that they can use those funds for marketing purposes.

Canceling the August 3, 2020 Festival event for this year is backed by every intention to put on the One Burlington Festival Day in Central Park in the summer of 2021.

One Burlington is planning to hold a special fall Outreach event and add an online component as well. They are hoping to hold this event indoors and restrict attendance to conform to the numbers recommended by the Province of Ontario health authorities.

One Burlington Canada-Burlington1-2017

Murals that invite anyone to pick up a paint brush and take part are part of One Burlington events.

They hope to either broadcast the proceedings online/or record it for repeat viewing on YouTube. The theme has not yet been chosen but it will involve speakers and professional performers; the Programming Committee will be working on that –  their first outreach event (in support and collaboration of the Black History Month was a huge success.

In addition, One Burlington is using the time afforded to it by the cancellation of the August 2020 event to renovate our presence on social media. We are taking money intended for marketing and promotion of the 2020 Festival and we will spend it on a comprehensive marketing/communications strategy.

By the end of 2020, they hope to be reaching the citizens of Burlington regularly through multiple social media platforms spreading the message of love, unity and building a united community in many different ways.

“We all recognize that the state of the world has made the need to render meaningful service to humanity even more urgent. I have no doubt that you as ambassadors of love, will with high resolve and intense endeavour use every interaction to spread hope, kindness and inclusivity”, said Shadi Salehian, Board Chair, One Burlington.

More on what One Burlington is all about – CLICK here.

 

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St Matthews takes a holiday break - closed holiday Monday - re-opens on Wednesday.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

May 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Hopefully we will get nicer weather on Monday.

People will be able to get out and about – however they won’t be able to drop off any Food donations that are collected by St. Matthews Anglican church every Monday and Wednesday.

St Matthews Not open Monday 18thThey are taking a break but do hope that you will visit them on Wednesday.

St. Matthews partners with the Burlington Food Bank and the Compassion Society/

Pick up a free 100% cotton face mask while you are there.

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Zoom for BurlingtonGreen - they are going to hold their AGM online

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association Board of Directors invites you to BurlingtonGreen’s 2020 Annual General Meeting, held virtually using ZOOM on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

B green AGMLearn more about what BurlingtonGreen has been up to for the past year, meet our Board and Leadership Team and tell us what matters to you!

 

When: Tuesday May 26, 2020, 5:30pm – 6:15pm

Where: Virtually via ZOOM webinar

Register today!

Don’t see all that much time to ask probing questions; no mention of their financial statements.  Transparency applies to the not for profit sector – not just the politicians.

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The evidence always tells the story; it can be enhanced by anecdotal information.

News 100 redBy Joe Gaetan

May 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Joe Gaetan is a regular Gazette reader who more often than not gets it right. He can be, has been, a trenchant critic. He is Italian.

“First, I would like to say that this will be the last issue of my reporting on the Covid19 pandemic. Secondly, I recently read an article entitled, “Seniors with Covid19 show unusual symptoms Doctors Say”. The premise of the article is that some seniors experience unusual symptoms, please read it and share as you see fit, https://khn.org/news/seniors-with-covid-19-show-unusual-symptoms-doctors-say/

“ When I first started doing this I did so because I wanted to see how Canada was doing compared to Italy. As time marched on I became interested in what was occurring in South Korea (for obvious reasons) and the USA (because they are our neighbor). And now it is time to move on and I am getting sick and tired of hearing phrases such as “during these difficult times” blah blah.

“This chart shows the average number of new cases per day for the months of March, and April and for May to the 15th. The U.S.A. is currently running at an average of 25,951 new cases per day while S Korea is seeing about 17 new cases per day. Canada is now seeing 1,419 new cases per day on average while Italy is at 1,228. We have a way to go.

Canada - Italy numbers 1

Cases per day, by month, comparing Canada and Italy.

“This series of charts and my favorite are the % Daily Change in Cases that tell us if we are winning or losing the battle against Covid19. Canada is within striking distance, but we need to be below 1%.

Canada daily changes 2

Canada’s curve – needs to be brought down to less than 1%

“S Korea is the benchmark for this. As you can see S.K was running at a rate of 1.85% back in March. The rest is history and their average % daily change rate for May is .16% down from an average of.32% for April. Canada per the above chart is at an average daily % change rate of 1.65%, so I suspect we may be 45 to 50 days away from where SK is today % wise but with way more cases.

 

Penny Hersh, a strong face mask advocate, said in a comment: “My concern has been that once things started opening up that residents would not do what they should to protect themselves and others.

“Yesterday, there was a huge lineup for ice cream at La Creme de la Creme on John Street. The lineup outside of the shop snaked all around the street and around the corner. No physical distancing was taking place and no one was wearing a facial mask.

“Friday evening, about 5 or 6 cars of residents( about 15 people) came together in the parking lot across from Emma’s and stood in the parking lot some drinking and all socializing once again no physical distancing or masks.”

The message is getting out to family’s – it doesn’t seem to be getting out to the younger people who seem to think they are immune to the virus.  The data does say that this cohort is infected less than other cohorts – but they are being infected.  No one has come up with a way to get this message across.

Youth on Beachway - balls

They are sometimes oblivious to the obvious.

South Korea daily changes

South Korea’s curve – this is where we need to get to.

Joseph GaetanJoseph A. Gaetan has a BGS degree in applied studies, earned through studies at The University of Waterloo and Athabasca University. He also earned a Province of Ontario Engineering Technology Certificate through Fanshawe College, and for 8 years worked at earning a trade becoming a Journeyman Machinist. He also studied French at the Centre Linguistique du Collège de Jonquière and Italian at Mohawk College. In addition, he has taken online courses through the EDx platform taking courses from Harvard, The University of Queensland, Wellesley and Delft Wageningen, he is currently working at learning 6 languages through Duolingo. His work career includes being a Machinist, a CNC programmer, a business owner, a consultant and the Director of Organizational Development for a Fortune 100 company. All of this thanks to life-long learning.

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Conservation Halton issues a flood warning - rain on a long weekend day. Phhtt!

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Well – there goes the weekend.

CH Rivers and streamsConservation Halton advises that the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry’s Surface Water Monitoring Centre is forecasting an incoming low-pressure system that will bring up to 40 mm of rain over our jurisdiction beginning Sunday afternoon with a chance of thunderstorms leading to an additional 10 to 25 mm locally. An additional 10 to 30 mm is possible on Monday before the system moves out of our jurisdiction.

Soil conditions within the watershed are saturated from recent rainfall meaning that much of the forecasted rain on Sunday and Monday will runoff into our rivers and streams. The combination of increased flows and water levels and slippery and unstable banks will create hazardous conditions close to any rivers, streams, or other water bodies.

Widespread flooding is not anticipated. Our reservoirs are still in range of our seasonal holding levels and have storage capacity available. However, fast flowing water and flooding of low-lying areas and natural floodplains may be expected. Municipalities, emergency services and individual landowners in flood-prone areas should be on alert.

Creek flooding - Halton

High water in the creeks and streams

Conservation Halton is asking all residents and children to keep a safe distance from all watercourses and structures such as bridges, culverts and dams. Elevated water levels, fast flowing water, and slippery conditions along stream banks continue to make these locations extremely dangerous. Please alert children in your care of these imminent dangers.

Conservation Halton will continue to monitor stream flow and weather conditions and will issue further messages as necessary. This Flood Outlook Statement will be in effect through Thursday May 21, 2019.

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What's Open - What's not -and why: Golf, City Parks, Marina, Conservation Parks

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

May 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The city opened up – a little today.

golfer swinging

There were golfers at some of the courses on Guelph Line.

The plant merchants were very busy. There were golfers on some of the courses and line up as the driving ranges.

Weather was nice.

3 carts on a slope

Most of the golfers we say were buzzing about in electric carts – 1 person per cart. No one was lugging a golf bag.

The city, for some reason wasn’t as prepared for the opening that everyone knew was coming. Parks and recreation announced on Friday that they have cancelled all of the summer Parks and Recreation program and were starting from scratch to figure out what they might be able to open as the rules from the province are clearer.

The LaSalle Park Marina could be open but won’t be – construction of the new water break is still taking place.

driving range May 16

Golfers at a driving range – wasn’t operated by the city.

The City’s Tyandaga Golf Course is preparing for opening Saturday, May 23, 2020 with COVID-19 safety precautions in place to help keep both golfers and staff safe by minimizing the spread of the virus.

Players wishing to book a tee time can do so online as of Saturday, May 16, 2020 at tyandagagolf.com. Booking by phone can be done starting Tuesday, May 19 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. by calling 905-336-0005.

New Rules and Operations

• Tyandaga will be open daily, 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Online tyandagagolf.com and phone booking for tee times only; no walk-in green fees
• Only credit card or debit cards will be accepted for payments (no cash)
• Food and beverage services will be limited to window take-out service only. Dining area is closed.
• No group events or tournaments at this time
• Clubhouse will be closed except for washrooms and pro-shop area. Only one person allowed in pro-shop and washroom at a time
• One person per power cart
• Lessons, practice greens, practice chipping area and rental clubs will not be available at this time
• Sand bunker rakes have been removed. Any shots in the bunker are a free drop
• All high-contact surfaces are regularly sanitized such as the payment terminals, all service-related surfaces, power carts and bathrooms
• All machinery will be sanitized daily to ensure public and staff safety

City hall had this to say about opening their parks:

Re-opening of the City parks and facilities is something everyone is looking forward to, but we must continue to do it slowly and carefully with the right precautions.

The City of Burlington remains committed to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 to protect its residents and employees.
While City of Burlington parks were never closed for walk-through traffic, residents can now enjoy a few more casual activities in their local City of Burlington parks and green spaces with members of their own household or groups of five of less, including:

• Playing catch, kicking a soccer ball and flying a kite (not on a soccer field or baseball diamond)
• Sitting on a blanket, grass or lawn chair
• Exercising and stretching on a yoga mat, but not in a class
• Letting young children run and burn off some energy
Facilities, amenities and spaces that continue to be closed in City parks include:
• playgrounds and play structures such as swings, slides, climbers
sports fields such as soccer fields, baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, running tracks
• outdoor exercise equipment
• skateboard parks
• off-leash dog areas
• benches, picnic tables and shelters
• beaches
• marinas and boat launch ramps
• park parking lots and washrooms
• recreation centre grounds and parking lots

Respect the caution tape and keep off playgrounds, sports fields, skateboard areas, tennis and basketball courts. The City has signage and barricades in the entrances of parking lots to block vehicles from parking.

Parking lots remain closed to encourage people to stay in the neighborhood and to help prevent overcrowding at some of our larger parks.

This will be reviewed as we consider additional phased opening of park uses.

Organized sporting activities and training, such as football, softball, ball hockey, soccer, ultimate frisbee and basketball – even if they are not being played on a court or sports field – are still not allowed in City parks. Similar activities that do not allow for proper physical distancing, like running a sports or fitness class in City parks, are not allowed until further notice.

Provincial emergency orders that remain in force include:

• Prohibiting events and gatherings of more than five people
• Closure of public places and establishments
• Closure of outdoor recreational amenities

I didn’t see the words “have fun” anywhere in the city’s words.  They sound like a crabby grandmother.

Sport Facilities

The Province announced some sport organizations are able to resume activities. The City of Burlington will work with our joint venture partners to ensure there are plans in place based on provincial guidelines and their sport governing body’s requirements. The City is also working to ensure these organizations can use the facilities while complying with provincial guidelines and protecting the health of athletes and city staff.

Conservation Halton Parks.

Turtle clan longhouse at Crawford Lake.

Turtle clan longhouse at Crawford Lake.

Few people realize that there are provincially operated parks as well as parks operated by the Halton Conservation Authority. THEY will be opening five of their seven parks for hiking and biking, using a simple reservation system, starting May 22.

Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Rattlesnake Point, Mount Nemo and Kelso Summit (biking only) will be open to members and to the public, for paid access, from 9am-9pm. Other parks and facilities will be added in the coming weeks.

What do I need to do to access the parks now?

The new system that we have mentioned above will allow to us predict and monitor the number of people in the parks through an online reservation platform. From this point forward, parks visitors and members will be required to make a reservation prior to their visit. (The pilot has shown us that this process should take no more than 1 minute.) Here is how it works: After you have made your online reservation, and arrived at the park, you will drive up to the gate and stop. Your license plate will be scanned and the gate will open. If there is any issue with your license plate, a gate attendant will scan the barcode on your ticket. (The pilot has shown us that this process should take no more than 10-15 seconds.)

When can we start making reservations?

Reservations will be open on Wednesday, May 20 or Thursday, May 21. You can visit our website or follow us on social media to be notified when the reservation system is made public.

Why do we need to reserve our park visit in advance?

Being able to predict and monitor the number of people in the parks means that we can create the conditions needed for physical distancing, but this system will offer a number of other benefits, even once things are back to normal. For you, as a visitor, this system will show you which parks are busy and which are not, right down to the minute, before you leave your house. We know it can be frustrating to get ready for a hike, drive out to a park and then be faced with a lineup, so we hope that this system will prevent that. For us, this system will allow us to improve the experience of visiting our parks and reduce the impact that visitors have on our parks for a more efficient, enjoyable and sustainable approach to park management. We want you to enjoy nature when you come to our parks, not wait in line ups.
Why not open the parks all at once?

Trust us when we say that we would if we could. Each of the parks is a little bit different, which means that the improvements to infrastructure and operations are a little bit different for each park. We are working incredibly hard to open as many of the parks as possible, as soon as possible, but this process does take time, so we appreciate your patience, and we promise it will be worth the wait.

How many spots will there be?

With these 5 parks open, we estimate there are about 15,000 timeslots per week available for visitors to reserve, to safely accommodate about 75,000 visitors across the parks, each week. We feel this should be enough to meet the needs of our members, and the public, however we welcome suggestions through a post-visit survey on how we can continue to adjust our model.
Can I get a refund on my membership?

Halton escarpment - long view up slope

One of the views from the top of Mt Nemo

Conservation Halton Parks memberships will be extended for the duration of the park closures but memberships are (and have always been) non-refundable. Considering that memberships provide access to the parks for an entire year, that the parks were closed for just a few weeks, that memberships pay for themselves in just a few visits and that we are extending memberships for the duration of the park closures, we are confident that you will still be able to find value in them. Memberships will resume on May 22.

When will the extension be added to my membership?

With parks open on May 22, memberships will be back in effect, and the full duration of the park closures will be added to your membership, automatically. There is nothing you need to do to receive this extension.

What about camping and picnicking?

With facilities still closed, we are not currently able to offer camping. Picnicking in the parks is permitted, as long as physical distancing is practiced, visit time limits are respected and no trash is left behind. Also, picnic tables will not be accessible, so you will need to bring your own blanket. We also expect all visitors to follow Provincial Orders and Guidelines related to group sizes when gathering for any activities and staying within their household groups. As the Province updates these guidelines, we will offer more activities and options at our parks.
What about the Bruce Trail that goes through Conservation Halton Parks?

The Bruce Trail Conservancy has recently started to open some sections of the trail. As of May 22, if a part of the Bruce Trail passes through one our parks, which is open, that part of the trail will be accessible. If a part of the trail passes through one of our parks, which is still closed, that part of the trail will not be accessible.

Over all rules for everyone and everything
It has been said 100 times – and it will be said again:

Physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most important steps everyone needs to take. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t move on its own; it needs people to move it. Remember to:

• Keep two metres away from others – about the length of a hockey stick
• Move to the right on pathways to make room for others to pass safely
• Carry out your garbage whenever possible

Do that and we can flatten that virus infection curve – we are still seeing new infections daily at the 300+ level

Residents who see groups of more than five people gathering or individuals using outdoor recreational facilities that remain closed can call the Halton Regional Police Service COVID hotline to file a report at 905-825-4722.

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Fascinating graphic presentation on the paths to virus took to get to Canada

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Covid19 virus has had a devastating impact on the health of people around the word; it has brought the economy of the world to its knees and has spurred scientist from around the world into different ways of tracking the virus, determining how it moves while others spend millions of hours in labs trying to create a vaccine that will inoculate us from its spread.

virus cbc presentation

The graphics that explain the way the virus works are very good.

There are others who have found new innovate ways to tell what has happen and teach something about how this virus works.
CBC recently produced a short piece on the trail the virus too.

You scroll through the presentation and trace the paths the virus took as it mutated several times.  Fascinating.

CLICK and take a look.

 

 

 

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Bryan Adams: Popular singer opens the kimono - not a pretty picture; racism never is .

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

May 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

“f….g bat eating, wet market animal selling, virus making greedy bastards.” ”My message to them other than ‘thanks a f…g lot’ is go vegan.” (Bryan Adams – Instagram)

Brsian adams

Bryan Adams: It will take decades to live down the rant.

Nobody is denying that Bryan Adams’ rant was stupid and pointless. He has apologized for offending anyone and taken down his post. We define racism as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race, based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. So was Adams being racist?

Of course not and those accusing him should be ashamed of themselves for playing the racist card. What do we call those people so consumed by their own ethnicity that see everything through a racial lens? Adams, a 30 year vegan, claims his rant was only about the consumption of meat, and wild animals in particular.

Besides being an outstanding musician and song writer, Adam’s philanthropic work to improve education around the world has earned him the Order of BC and the Order of Canada. None of his harshest critics, including a vocal MLA from BC, or the head of the Chinese Canadian National Council for Social Justice, Amy Go, can hold a candle to that kind of humanity. Ms. Go suggested that his Order of Canada be forfeited because of the rant.

wet market - meat

Chinese wet market

Wet markets still exist in a number of developing nations and bats and bat meat is  sold at some of them. Bats have been consumed throughout Asia, in Africa and even in early Australia for eons. In the Wuhan market the South China Morning Post reported that 120 wildlife animals across 75 species had been for sale before the Chinese government finally shut down the market and announced that wild animals would no longer be sold for consumption in China.

It used to be when we wanted to condemn someone we’d just call them Hitler. Both the British government and Hillary Clinton once compared Russian leader Vlad Putin to the Nazi dictator after he had invaded Ukraine. But that is so passé these days. Besides, if you have to invoke Hitler you’ve already lost the argument. Today the term is ‘racist’.

Sloan

Derek Sloan: rookie Conservative MP

The rookie Conservative MP and leadership candidate Derek Sloan questioned the loyalty and patriotism of Dr. Tam, Canada’s chief medical officer, by asking whether she was working for Canada or China. And suddenly there was this spontaneous chorus calling out… racism. Sloan presented no evidence of disloyalty so his insensitive question was… just an insult. And that dumb move has likely disqualified him, at least in the voters eyes, from winning the Tory leadership.

Sloan just needed to look at Tam’s record as chief medical officer to see she could never have been working for China. After all, China had almost completely eliminated its outbreak. But Canada, with less that 3% of the China’s population, has almost as many COVID 19 cases and more deaths than China, if we can believe their numbers.

Had Tam been working for China, or any of the neighbouring Asian nations, she might have thought to close our borders earlier, as the authorities in Hong Kong, where she was born, had done. Instead she advised keeping the borders open while thousands of Chinese, including some from disease ridden Wuhan, arrived by the plane load. That was followed by travellers from disease plagued Iran and then Europe and the United States bringing their disease here until the virus had become embedded in our community.

Theresa Tam 1

Dr. Theresa Tam

And If Tam had been working for China she would have mandated that all Canadians wear face coverings in public, the way they are required in South Korea, China, or her native Hong Kong. The seniors in long term care, who make up 80% of Canada’s fatalities from COVID 19, contracted the virus only from staff or visitors – few or none of whom were wearing masks when the care centres became infected.

After all, Dr. Tam had advised non-symptomatic people against wearing masks in public, suggesting they would be prone to wear them improperly and actually increase exposure. After the US government advised all Americans to wear a mask in public she had to backtrack a little. Still, Canada is one of the few countries which has still not mandated the use of face coverings in public.

Canadians are confused by this policy vacuum on protective coverings. How does one otherwise protect themselves, and others, on subways, narrow sidewalks and in grocery stores? Aren’t masks the key to being able to reopen the economy? In the end businesses like the Longo grocery chain have had to fill the policy gap by requiring all staff and customers to wear a mask inside the store. They’ll even give you one to wear.

Theresa Tam 2

Dr. Theresa Tam: doing an impossible job under impossible conditions

Dr. Tam is a paediatric infectious disease specialist and a former assistant deputy minister of the infectious disease prevention and control branch of Public Health Canada. She co-chaired Canada’s handbook on pandemic preparedness, following the SARS outbreak in 2006. Those are brilliant credentials and hard earned qualifications. So why haven’t the outcomes been more consistent with the potential of the person giving advice.

Derek Sloan is a social conservative and he has been soliciting support from socially conservative Canadians of Chinese origin who are deeply opposed to China’s current government. He even has a Chinese-language section on his website. That hardly sounds like a Sinophobe, or an anti-Asian racist.

According to a recent poll only 14% of Canadians rate China positively today. That is just slightly ahead of how we feel about Saudi Arabia (10%) and far lower than how we felt back in 2005 (58%). 85% feel China has been dishonest about the impact of COVID 19 and over three quarters want the government to have nothing to do with Chinese electronics giant Huawei.

But attitudes are also shifting in China. Many people in Wuhan apparently are still unsure of how the virus started there. They have been told by their government that it was introduced there by the US army. And the Chinese people are angry over why Canada is still keeping Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou under house arrest.

China, perhaps sensing widespread international resentment over the pandemic is turning inwards with a new five year plan focussed on domestic priorities. It knows that it has been all too successful as the world’s factory for everything, and that is almost certain to change.

Everybody wants to get back to normal, a time when we could go to a sit-down restaurant or hug our children and friends without worrying about the rising body count. We believe we are the victims of some dystopian scenario not of our own creation. And while we could have managed things better on our end, we are pretty sure where this horrible and relentless virus came from.

So it is not unremarkable that even we mild mannered and generally tolerant Canadians are beginning to see senseless acts of hatred and violence among us, as we have recently in Vancouver. And this kind of hatred is generally directed towards people who had nothing to do with wet markets in Wuhan, if that was even the birthplace of this pandemic.

racism

The message doesn’t always get through.

And those who falsely cry out racist, like the fabled creatures crying out wolf, just confuse and numb us. And that makes it easier to avoid confronting the real racism out there driven, as always, by ignorance – the absence of truth. And people want to know the truth.

Without the truth we are left with conspiracy theories like Mr. Sloan musing that Canada’s chief medical officer might really be working for China. But that wasn’t even the right question. Instead of national loyalty he should have directly challenged Dr. Tam’s professional judgement in her role as Canada’s chief medical officer of health. Though he’d probably still be accused of racism for that.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was once a candidate for provincial office in Burlington.  He was the founder of the Burlington citizen committee on sustainability at a time when climate warming was a hotly debated subject.   Ray has a post graduate degree in economics that he earned at the University of Ottawa.  Tweet @rayzrivers

Background links:

Bryan Adams Rant –   Bryan Adams –  Chinese Xenophobia

Wet markets –   Longo Masks –   Derek Sloan

Dr. Tam –   Attitudes –    Canada-China

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This weekend is a challenge - can we individually keep that two metre distance and prevent the transfer of the COVID virus from person to person

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

During a day long council session, working as a Standing Committee, Mayor Meed Ward made the comment that “if we continued doing what we normally do as a city until the end of June we will be looking at being $10 million dollars in the hole. If we continue doing what we usually do until the end of August we will be $18 million dollars in the hole.”

Her point is well taken. We do need to get people back at their desks and their factories and get to the point where the lock down is over.

Burlington has shown exceptional discipline in adhering to the rules. City manager Tim Commisso pointed out that the infection and death rate in Burlington is ¼ of what it is nationally.

The ceremonies over the Naval Promenade becomes the fous with the Seniors' out in force listening to the All MAle Welsh Choir. Strolling along is Craig Stevens, the city's project manager on the pier project. He direction and oversight kept the project going when it got a little wonky at times - but that's another story.

This kinf of congregating won’t be permitted – not fo awhile.

We are going to have to continue to come out of the lock down we are in very slowly. Commisso said it was very easy to shut everything down – what isn’t easy is starting everything up again.

The Parks and Recreation program that was planned for the summer has been scrapped. They are working on what they think they might be able to do come the fall.

The message here is – we are doing what we have to do and we really really need to continue to following that six foot rule. That means staying at home – when you do go out don’t congregate with other people. Live within your bubble – that is the people you live with.

For some this is very hard. For very young children its is even harder – they are not used to going without; this is something they have not experienced before.

This holiday weekend is usually the beginning of being outside much more. The weather forecasts suggest that it will be warmer – T shirt weather – maybe even shorts.

Follow the rules, follow the rules. If we blow it this weekend we will have put ourselves back and the restrictions will be back in place.

We will know in two weeks if we behaved the way we are going to have to behave. This virus is passed from person to person; don’t be one of those who picks it up from a person you didn’t know all that well and got too close to.

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Brass knuckles and switch blade knives part of a drug trafficking seizure; recreational drugs?

Crime 100By Staff

May 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A drug trafficking investigation by the Regional Police Burlington Street Crime Unit in April resulted in a number of arrests and charges against the following individuals;

Edlyn MILLER (27 years old from St. Catharines)
• Fail to Comply Release Order (2 counts)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance (Crystal Meth)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance (Fentanyl)

Naithan BACHIU-TAIT (25 years old from Hamilton)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance (Crystal Meth)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance (Cocaine)
• Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle
• Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to the Public (Brass Knuckles and Flick Knife) – (2 counts)
• Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (Brass Knuckles and Flick Knife) – (2 counts)
• Possession of Stolen Property
• Fail to Comply Release Order (6 counts)

James SHIELDS (28 years old from Hamilton)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance (Crack Cocaine)
• Possession of a Controlled Substance (Crystal Meth)
• Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to the Public (Flick Knife)
• Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (Flick Knife)
• Fail to Comply Release Order

Amanda HARPER (27 years old from Hamilton)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance (Crystal Meth)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance (Cocaine)
• Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to the Public (Brass Knuckles)
• Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (Brass Knuckles)

Ashley JACOBSEN-SMITH (25 years old from Hamilton)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance (Crystal Meth)
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance (Cocaine)
• Fail to Comply Release Order

On May 8th 2020, Investigators executed search warrants at residences in the City of Hamilton and the City of St. Catharines and the following items were seized from both locations:

HRPS drug seizure May 8 90 grams of Crystal Meth
• 7 grams of Crack Cocaine
• 1.5 grams of Fentanyl
• $2,252.00 Canadian currency
• 6 cellular phones
• 5 digital scales
• Pair of Brass Knuckles
• 2 Flick Knives
$7,400 worth of drugs was seized as a result of the search warrants.

Both Bachiu-Tait and Miller were held pending a court appearance in Milton.

Harper, Jacobsen-Smith and Shields have 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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Human Trafficking Charges Laid in Burlington Investigation

Crime 100By Staff

May 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The nasty, socially ugly business of human trafficking is in front of us again.

sex exploitationOn May 13, 2020, members of the Halton Regional Police Service attended a hotel in Burlington in regards to an unknown problem.

Officers arrived on scene where they identified a female victim who wished to speak with investigators about her involvement and exploitation in the sex trade.

The accused had fled the scene however responding officers located him nearby and placed him under arrest.

Charged: Amir Mehrani (46) of North York
Charges:

-Adult Procuring by Exercise Control
-Adult Withholding or Destroying Documents
-Adult Trafficking in Persons
-Adult Material Benefit Resulting From Trafficking in Persons Material Benefit

Mehrani has been held in custody pending a bail hearing.

The Drug and Human Trafficking Unit is continuing the investigation.

For human trafficking and exploitation of women to take place there has to be a someone who is prepared to pay to be able to take part in that exploitation.

We see far too many situations where a local hotel or motel is reported as the location. Doesn’t reflect well on what some people in Burlington are doing with some of their time

Anyone who may have additional information pertaining to the offences related to this accused are asked to contact Detective Dan Ciardullo of the Halton Regional Police Service – Human Trafficking Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 4973

HRPS crestThe Halton Regional Police Service is a member of the Halton Collaborative Against Human Trafficking along with several other stakeholders and agencies. This Collaborative is dedicated towards providing services and support to those who have experienced Human Trafficking in Halton and surrounding regions. Local organizations such as “SAVIS” (www.savisofhalton.org) are able to provide first response care and support to victims of human trafficking.

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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Major changes to service delivery in the works. Like it or not - it is scheduled to be imposed today

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is a new graphic related to what the city administration iis call Service redesign.

What we know graphic

Administration has been workiing on this for weeks. They will put it before a Standing Committee today and then make it official at a Special Meeting of Council. What’s the rush? No time for public engagement.

The item popped up on the agenda for a meeting of the CPRM Standing Committee as an addendum. It is a 64 page document about how the city administration wants to run things differently. It will be discussed at the committee this morning.

Immediately after the Standing Committee there will be a Special Meeting of Council to approve the changes – which the public knew next to nothing about.

No public engagement.

We should be getting an uncomfortable feeling just about now.

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With seven retail cannabis stores in Burlington now - there is an application for an eighth.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

An application has been received by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) for a retail cannabis store. If approved it will be the 8th retail cannabis in the city. The proposed location at 1860 Appleby Line, Unit 11B is now up for public comment.

Written comments about the proposed location will be received by the AGCO until May 25, 2020 and may be submitted online at www.agco.ca/iAGCO. The AGCO will accept submissions from:

A resident of the municipality in which the proposed store is located

The municipality representing the area in which the proposed store is located and/or its upper-tier municipality.

Comments submitted to the AGCO should relate to the following matters of public interest:

cannabis retail outlet

A normal cannabis retail operation

Protecting public health and safety
Protecting youth and restricting their access to cannabis
Preventing illicit activities in relation to cannabis

After May 25, the AGCO will consider all written comments and available information to decide whether the application for the proposed store location will be approved.

Currently there are seven licensed cannabis retail stores in Burlington, including two approved since the ACGO moved to an open licensing system for cannabis retail store applications earlier this year. The seven stores include:

Relm Cannabis Co.; 4031 Fairview St., Ste. 103
Corner Cannabis; 3007 New St.
The Hunny Pot Cannabis Co.; 1505 Guelph Line, Units 3-4
Friendly Stranger Plains Road; 1025 and 1059 Plains Rd. E., Unit 3
Pioneer Cannabis Co.; 1200 Brant St., Unit B-004
Mihi; 3500 Dundas St., Unit A1B
Canna Cabana Burlington; 2400 Guelph Line, Unit 2

Mayor Mead Ward has this to say: “These latest locations all conform to our City’s guidelines and are in locations where we want cannabis stores to exist. Cannabis is still a new venture in our city and we were one of the first municipalities to embrace this new form of business – having these stores in spots that meet our local guidelines ensures safe access to a legal substance to those who are legally allowed to purchase it.”

Odd isn’t it; restaurants that have served the city well for some time can’t open and are going broke; cannabis shops that weren’t all that popular by many citizens are now at seven locations with an eighth application in process.  And they can be open for business.

Something isn’t quite right. Are there now more cannabis shops than there are LCBO stores in Burlington?

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Kowalchuk put Emma's into bankruptcy on Wednesday

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Sometime on Wednesday, today, Craig Kowalchuk went to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy in Hamilton and filed notice of bankruptcy.

During the day there was all kinds of speculation as to just why the restaurant closed. In his announcement on the Emma’s Facebook page Kowalchuk said: “Circumstances have prevailed and we cannot move forward.”

NoticeThe decision to declare bankruptcy was a decision Craig Kowalchuk felt he had to make.

This afternoon the Gazette had an agent look at the premises of the restaurant to see if there was a notice posted on the door.  No one really knew, or no one was saying, that it was a bankruptcy.

Cropped notice pictureOur agent took a couple of photographs. “ When I stepped onto the property” said our agent” a uniformed security guards stepped outside. I asked what was going on said out agent and I was told by the security guard that the building had been sold and that the new owner intended to re-open but under a different name and not until the COVID crisis was over.

The first meeting of creditors is on June 2nd – it will be done via a conference call.

Let’s look at what we know.

Kowalchuck files a declaration of bankruptcy.  That wasn’t a decision that was made in 15 minutes. Craig Kowalchuck doesn’t work that way.

When we visit the premises we are told by a uniformed security guard that the building was sold and that the new owner would open a new restaurant at the location once the COVID crisis was under control and people were allowed to go to restaurants.

That sale will have to have taken place sometime earlier in the month and the negotiations leading up to it would have taken some time which suggests that the sale has been in the works for some time.

We have not had an opportunity to look at the sale documents.  We do know that the building was sold in April of 1994 to 2084 Lakeshore Holdings Ltd.

There appears to be a new owner.

There also appear to be some unanswered questions.

Was the balance sheet so bad that he knew he could not wait out the COVID crisis and bankruptcy was the only option ?

Was there a new landlord who took over the lease and created a situation that led to a bankruptcy?

Or was bankruptcy and very good strategic tool?

Will we see Craig Kowalchuck standing behind the bar of a New Water Street Cooker?

 

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BDBA regrets the closing of Emma's - lauds Kowalchuk for his leadership

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Downtown Business Association (BDBA) released as statement this afternoon on the surprising closing of Emma’s Back Porch & The Water Street Cooker

“Profoundly saddened by the announcement” said Brian Dean, Executive Director of the Association. Craig Kowalchuk is a longtime partner of the BDBA, an excellent corporate citizen and mentor to many in our dining and hospitality sector.

Emmas - front view

What will happen to the business – could it re-open?

“Craig is a resilient restaurateur and champion of our small business sector Downtown, the closure of Emma’s Back Porch- a Burlington institution – is a deep cut”, says Mark Eade, Chair, Board of Directors for the Association.

This sentiment is echoed by Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns, “Emma’s Back Porch has always been a place for everyone; a place that feels like home and a place to come home to. Burlingtonians have celebrated countless milestones under the warm hospitality of operator Craig Kowalchuk’s enthusiastic team. Emma’s has been a steadfast canvas for community events, from road races to fundraisers and campaigns to sporting victories.

The memories made will continue to galvanize our community with a sense of belonging and shared experience, for that we are forever indebted to Craig’s leadership. Always an advocate, Craig has stood tall in creating the downtown waterfront experience we have all come to love – his passion for safety, participation in community events, supporting local, and tackling tough business issues is unrivaled. As we look out to the horizon with sadness, let’s look upon Emma’s with smiling eyes and gratitude for all that we didn’t know Emma’s meant to us. Please join me in thanking Craig for his contribution to our community, hard work, and his passion which has humbly made our city a better place to live.”

Emmas lakeside

More often than not the place was packed.

Craig operated Emma’s Back Porch & The Water Street Cooker for thirty years and maintained the building’s storied history. Some will recall it as the home of the esteemed Estaminet Restaurant and Sharky’s On The Water. Others have fond memories of family outings to the lakefront, grabbing a bite at Emma’s Freeze & Fries.

Craig quickly emerged as a leader in Burlington’s hospitality industry, forming the Burlington Restaurant Association, championing countless local sports teams and charitable causes and providing a training ground for a generation of young restaurateurs.

Right up until the  Craig was leading the charge to advocate for measures that would help the restaurant sector recover quickly. We are thankful for all that he has given to our community over the years, he has left an indelible mark on our Downtown.

The Gazette has a question: “Who made the decision to close the restaurant?

Craig Kowalchuk or his landlord?

There is much more to this story.

Stay tuned.

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