City treasurer does a masterful juggling act keeping the city solvent - municipalities cannot run a deficiit

Budget 2020 redBy Pepper Parr

May 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Joan Ford, the Director of Finance for the city got dealt a bad hand and now has to juggle like crazy to keep the city financially stable

Ms Ford collects the taxes – all the taxes. She collects the city property taxes, the Boards of Education taxes and the Regional government taxes.

Director of Finance Joan Ford does a great job of providing the data ad her department does a good job of collecting the taxes as well. It's the spending side that is causing the long term financial stress. Ms Ford doesn't do the spending.

Director of Finance Joan Ford does a great job of providing the data; her department does a good job of collecting the taxes as well.

At predetermined times of the year she sends the appropriate portion of the taxes levied to the people they were collected on behalf of; she has to send them the tax that was levied – even if she didn’t collect it.

Ms Ford explains that “it isn’t all that hard to do because in Burlington the city is able to collect 98% of the taxes levied. In any given year, we are required to remit the amount of taxes levied to the region and the boards of education, regardless of whether all of the taxes have been collected.

For this reason, municipalities that collect the taxes are able to charge penalty and interest to assist with cash flows regarding the non-payment of property taxes.

Historically, the City of Burlington has an excellent property tax collection record, approximately 98% of the taxes levied are collected in the current year.

Joan Ford, the city's Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

Joan Ford, the city’s Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

As part of a presentation Ms Ford recently made to committee/council, she included cash flow projections which consider all payments out ( payroll & property tax remittances) as well as revenues in (property tax collection. The projected June 30th cash flow position is estimated at $20.6M after making the Region of Halton tax remittance of $33.4M for the April installment share of taxes levied.

“The next school board remittance payment is scheduled for Sept 30th deferred from June 30th. The deferral of the property tax remittances by the Region and the Province (for education taxes) has certainly assisted given delayed tax collection for the months of April through June as well as delayed final billing due dates” added Ms Ford.

This is financial juggling at its best.

 

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Street sweeping begins on Monday

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The annual spring street sweeping blitz will begin Monday, May 25.

The cleaning of winter sand and debris from roads is expected to take two weeks with a crew of six vehicles working seven days a week.

street sweeper

Sweepers are out starting on Monday.

Crews will work through two zones in the City with each zone expected to take up to one week, depending on weather and the number of obstacles on the road. Progress updates will be shared through social media.

Street sweepers are exempt from the noise bylaw; however, to reduce noise disruption, residential streets will only be cleaned between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The rest of the time will be spent cleaning industrial areas, primary and secondary roads.

If possible, residents are asked to avoid parking cars on the roads and to remove encroaching basketball and road hockey nets from the street so the sweepers can move quickly and efficiently.

street sweepMark Adam, Manager of Road Operations advises: “We know people are working from home and residential parking enforcement rules are relaxed during our COVID-19 response but during the days that your home-zone is being swept, it would help us out a lot if you could remove your vehicles from the street. Road hockey nets and basketball nets should always be stored off of sidewalks and roads.

The fewer obstacles our sweepers have, the faster they can move while doing a more complete job without having to return.”

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Spring plants growing in a pond and a child's painting. Hope prevails

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There were two scenes that I came across as I drove from Milton to Hamilton this morning to get some work done at the office. Both seemed to me to be a message – word that all was far from lost.

We are in a pickle, for certain, and we need to have our wits about us as we take care of ourselves and those close to us.

We also need leaders who have it within them to make the hard unpopular decisions to get us through this pandemic.

The scientists think they know what to do; the politicians need only to hear what the scientists are saying and then take the appropriate action. The solution seems to be to take every step possible to ensure that the virus does not spread through the community any further.  We aren’t doing that as well as we need to – there are still too many new infections being reported.

Yellow plants in pond

Plants floating in a pond on Watson Road South in Puslinch Township, Wellington County.

If we don’t keep our distance from others the lockdown we are in will get tighter.

Have hope + flag

The words of a child.

The Regional Medical Officer of Health (MoH) issued a Class Order. She wasn’t asking us to do what she believed was right and she wasn’t telling us to do what she believed was right – she was ordering us to do what she believed is right.

The Medical Officer of Health has a tremendous amount of power. Her words need to be taken very seriously.

I saw those plants in that pond and the child’s painting in front of a Canadian flag as signs that we can and will get through this.

Just follow the instructions and don’t be stupid.

The people who learned that they had been infected last week were people who picked up the virus from someone they may not have even known.

On Mother’s Day, May 10th, the Premier had his daughters over to the house for the first time since the lock down.  He certainly wasn’t setting a good example; if he can do that then everyone can.

The virus is understood to take 14 days to spread once you have been infected.  Today is the 24th – will the number of infections show a spike when the MoH reports on Monday?  – they did when the last results were reported on Thursday of last week.

Class Order issued by the Medical Officer of Health

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

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This is serious stuff - the Regional Officer of Health has issued a Class Order; failure to comply could result in a $5000 fine.

CLASS ORDER

Made pursuant to section 22(5.0.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.7, as amended

May 22, 2020

TO:  All persons residing or present in The Regional Municipality of Halton1(“Halton Region”) who:

a. Are identified as a person diagnosed with COVID-19;

b. Have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test;

c. Otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they now have one or more symptoms(even mild symptoms) of COVID-19, or have had such symptom(s) within the past 14 days;

d. A re a close contact of a person identified in a., b. or c.; or

e.  Are a parent, or person with responsibilities of a parent, of a person under 16 years of age identified in a., b., c. or

d.  who resides or is present in Halton Region.

NOTE:The symptoms of COVID-19 and what is “close contact” are explained below.

I, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Medical Officer of Health, The Regional Municipality of Halton (Halton Region Public Health), ORDER YOU TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS, effective12:01 a.m. on May 22, 2020:

1. Isolate yourself immediately and remain in isolation from all other persons (“self-isolation”).

While in self-isolation you must conduct yourself so you do not expose any another person to infection or possible infection from COVID-19.

The instructions you must follow are set out in paragraph 3 below.

2. Remain in self-isolation:i.If you are a person described in a., b. or c. above, you must remain in self-isolation for 14 days after the day on which you first showed symptom(s)of COVID-19, were tested for COVID-19 or were diagnosed with COVID-19, whichever is earliest, as long as on the 14thday you have no fever and your other symptom(s) are improving.

“No fever” means that your temperature is 37.7 degrees Celsius or lower. 1Halton Region Health Unit as designated by s.1 and Schedule 11 of R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 553 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

2  If you have a fever and/or your other symptom(s)are not improving on the 14thday, contact Halton Region Public Health for direction: 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866. If you have been hospitalized for COVID-19 and remain in hospital 14 days after your symptom(s) began, you need testing to be cleared from self-isolation. This will be done at the hospital.

ii.If you are a person described in d. above, you must remain in self-isolation until 14 daysafterthe day on which you last had close contact with a person described in paragraphs a., b. or c. above.

iii. If you have questions about what you must do, contact Halton Region Public Health for direction: 311(in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866.3.The instructions you must follow during self-isolation are in the Public Health Ontario fact sheet, How to Self-Isolate dated April 10, 2020 (or as current), attached as Schedule 1 to this Order.

All instructions in How to Self-Isolate(attached) form part of this Order.This fact sheet may be updated from time to time. You must follow the instructions in the current version attached to this Order as posted at: www.halton.ca/COVID19.4.

Inform Halton Region Public Health if you need help to properly self-isolate or while you are self-isolating, e.g., food, water, accommodation, clothing, appropriate medical treatment and family or other religious arrangements. To do so, contact Halton Region Public Health at: 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866.5.

Seek immediate medical attention if your illness is worsening(e.g., you have difficulty breathing) by calling 911. Tell them of your COVID-19 diagnosis or symptom(s)and answer all screening questions accurately (including symptom and travel history) so that you will receive appropriate care and the right infection prevention and control precautions are taken.

3. The instructions you must follow during self-isolation are in the Public Health Ontario fact sheet, How to Self-Isolatedated April 10, 2020 (or as current), attached as Schedule 1 to this Order. All instructions in How to Self-Isolate(attached) form part of this Order.This fact sheet may be updated from time to time. You must follow the instructions in the current version attached to this Order as posted at: www.halton.ca/COVID19.

4. Inform Halton Region Public Health if you need helpto properly self-isolate or while you are self-isolating, e.g., food, water, accommodation, clothing, appropriate medical treatment and family or other religious arrangements. To do so, contact Halton Region Public Health at: 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866

5.  Seek immediate medical attention if your illness is worsening(e.g., you have difficulty breathing) by calling 911. Tell them of your COVID-19 diagnosis or symptom(s)and answer all screening questions accurately (including symptom and travel history) so that you will receive appropriate care and the right infection prevention and control precautions are taken.

6. The requirements of this Order are subject to necessary modifications for the following people, who should contact Halton Region Public Health for direction specific to their circumstances (311 in Halton or toll-free 1-866-442-5866):

i. A person who, in my opinion as Medical Officer of Health, provides an essential service, for the limited purpose of providing that essential service;

ii. A person receiving essential medical services or treatments, whether related to COVID-19 or not; or

iii. Where a person’s self-isolation, in my opinion as Medical Officer of Health, would not be in the public interest.

7. Follow any further directions provided to you personally by Halton Region Public Healthpertaining to COVID-19 and the terms of this Order.

8. As provided by section 23 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the terms of this Order apply to all persons under 16 years of age as served upon their parent(s), and any other person(s) who have the responsibilities of a parent, in relation to the person under 16 years of age, who shall ensure compliance with the Order by the person under 16 years of age.

The reasons for this Order are that:1.COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel coronavirus, is designated as a disease of public health significance and a communicable disease pursuant to Ontario Regulation 135/18 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.2.COVID-19 can cause acute and severe respiratory illness in humans.

The spread of COVID-19 is of immediate and compelling public health importance in Halton Region:

a.On January 23, 2020, Halton Region Public Health initiated its Infectious Disease Emergency Response Plan in response to COVID-19;

b.On March 11, 2020, the spread of COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization;

c. On March 17, 2020 the spread of COVID-19 was declared an emergency in Ontario pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.9, as amended, on the basis that COVID-19 constitutes a danger of major proportions;

d. On March 23, 2020, Halton Region declared a State of Emergency in support of Ontario’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic;

6. As of end of day on May 20, 2020, Ontario’s Ministry of Health reports:

a. 24,187 confirmed cases, including 1,993 deaths, for an overall case fatality rate of about 8%;

b. About 13% of cases have ever been hospitalized;c.Of those hospitalized, about 22% have received ICU care.

7.  As of end of day on May 20, 2020, Halton Region reports:

a .595 confirmed and 75 probable cases of COVID-19, including 25 deaths, for an overall case fatality rate of 4%;

b. About 13% of cases have ever been hospitalized;

c. Of those hospitalized, about 19% have received ICU care.

8. The number of cases and deaths continues to rise in Halton region and Ontario

9 .COVID-19 is now present in Halton region and therefore poses a risk to the health of the residents of Halton region.

10.The COVID-19 virus is spread from an infected person to a close contact by direct contact or when respiratory secretions from the infected person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person.

11.To contain the spread of COVID-19, individuals experiencing one or more symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or who are infected with COVID-19, as well as their close contacts, are required to isolate themselves from other people and remain in isolation until they are no longer infectious or potentially infectious; self-isolation reduces the risk that these people will spread their infection to others.

I am of the opinion, on reasonable and probable grounds that:

a. a communicable disease, COVID-19, exists or may exist or there is an immediate risk of an outbreak of this communicable disease in the health unit served by me;

b. this communicable disease presents a risk to the health of persons in the health unit served by me; and

c. the requirements specified in this Order are necessary in order to decrease or eliminate the risk to health presented by this communicable disease.

I am also of the opinion that the delivery of notice of this Order to each and every member of the class to whom it is directed is likely to cause a delay that could significantly increase the risk to the health of any person residing in Halton region, so notice shall be provided through the public media and the internet via posting at: www.halton.ca/COVID19.

The following definitions apply to this Order:

“Close contact”means you are a person who, within the past 14 days:

Provided care for a COVID-19 patient, including health care workers, family member or other caregivers; or

Had other similar close physical contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 while the case was ill;or

Lived with or otherwise had close, prolonged contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 while the case was ill; or

Have been identified by Halton Region Public Health as a close contact of a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

“Halton Region Public Health”means the Medical Officer of Health or Halton Region Public Health staff acting under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health.

“Symptoms”of COVID-19as listed on the Halton Region website, halton.ca/COVID19.

TAKE NOTICE THAT each member of the class to whom this Order is directed is entitled to a hearing by the Health Services Appeal and Review Board if the member has delivered notice in writing to me (at the address below) and to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board (at 151 Bloor Street West, 9th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1S4) requesting a hearing within 15 days after publication of this Order or otherwise in accordance with applicable law. In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak:

All requests for review, submissions, materials, and inquiries should be sent to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board by e-mail to hsarb@ontario.ca or faxed to the Board at 416-327-8524.

Instead of mail or courier, you may email your request for review to me at: accesshalton@halton.ca. Should you wish to do so, however, please carefully consider the use of electronic communication for sensitive information. Halton Region will use reasonable means to protect your information but, due to the inherent risks of electronic communication, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

AND TAKE FURTHER NOTICE THAT although a hearing may be requested this Order takes effect when it is delivered to a member of the class or brought to the attention of a member of the class.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS ORDER may result in further legal action being taken against you under sections 36(2), 35, 102 and other relevant provisions of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS ORDER is an offence under section 101 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act for which you may be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more that $5,000.00 (for a person) for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues. If you have any questions about this Order, please contact Halton Region Public Health by telephone at 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866, or by e-mail to accesshalton@halton.ca

Megani signature

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With Seven Cannabis Stores Operating in Burlington Police are still Arresting Suspects on Charges of Drug Trafficking

Crime 100By Staff

May 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

HRPS crestThe Regional Police Service made arrests in relation to a drug trafficking investigation in Burlington which began in April, 2020.

An investigation by the Burlington Street Crime Unit has led to charges against the following individuals;

Daniel GIGNAC (34 years old of Burlington)

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Methamphetamine)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Fentanyl)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
  • Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to the Public (Stun Gun and a Flick knife) – (2 counts)
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (Stun Gun and a Flick Knife)– (2 counts)
  • Possession of Stolen Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000

Yassin MOHAMED (33 years old of Burlington)

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Methamphetamine)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Fentanyl)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
  • Possession of a Weapon Dangerous to the Public (Stun Gun)
  • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon (Stun Gun)

On May 22nd 2020, Investigators executed a search warrant at a residence in the City of Burlington and as a result, the following items were seized:

  • HRPS Seizure May 23
  • 10 grams Methamphetamine
  • 22 grams of Fentanyl
  • 23 grams of Cocaine
  • $1480.00 Canadian Currency
  • 4 cell phones
  • 3 digital scales
  • 1 Stun Gun
  • 1 Flick Knife
  • Stolen Ontario licence plate

$8,500 worth of drugs was seized as a result of the search warrant. (Photo attached).

Both Daniel GIGNAC and Yassin MOHAMED have been released from custody pending a court appearance in the Town 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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Round two on the Nelson Aggregate expansion begins: applications have been filed and the Jefferson Salamander has a home.

16 Rendering of bowl Golf club or main quarry

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 22nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Brian Zeman packed five cartons of documents into his car last Thursday, put cheques totaling $350,000 into his brief case and headed south from his Barrie office.

He was filing an Application for an extension of the quarry license held by Nelson Aggregates on Colling Road west of Guelph Line.

He isn't exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

He isn’t exactly pretty but nevertheless plays an important role in the local environment. Comes in different colours as well.

That quarry was the object of a lengthy re-licensing application in 2012 – the application was turned down because the land they wanted to mine was the habitat for the Jefferson Salamander.

Zeman is a planner who provides urban and regional planning analysis and research for MHBC clients that are involved in the aggregate resource sector.  He has considerable experience in aggregate site planning and licensing and processes relating to aggregate applications. He is a qualified and experienced aggregate Compliance Assessment Report inspector.

Having worked on this file for more than a decade Zeman knows it inside and out and can spit out statistics better than anyone I’ve heard before.

He will tell you that the application meets all the rules and regulations; that the Region has defined the area for aggregate extraction; that the City of Burlington’s Official Plan sees the area as compatible for aggregate extraction. The city will be asked to  Amend the Official Plan from Escarpment Rural Area to Mineral Resource Extraction Area.

Tighter view of the sitesNelson Aggregate believes they are onside with the Niagara Escarpment Commission and Conservation Halton.  There is a very good argument for the Conservation Authority running the parks when they are eventually  – they have solid experience with seven parks that they operate.

Each of those agencies received copies of the application, along with the appropriate fee and will now look for consultants to review the documents and return with an opinion.  The consultants that will be hired will also be paid for by Zeman’s client – Nelson Aggregates, to review the documents.

There are different views on any extension to the expansion. Under the current license the quarry can quarry where they are for the next 50 years and then sell the land to anyone who wants to buy. Zeeman points out that once the quarry has been filled with water the site would become very attractive to anyone who wanted privacy on a small island surrounded by a large lake that is private,

The current license is for a 218 hectare area from which they can extract from 210 hectares.

The demand for aggregate is solid and is expected to be so for some time. Zeman has all kinds of numbers on what has been built with aggregate from the existing quarry as well as a very strong argument for using local aggregate for local area projects: 60% of the cost of a truck load of aggregate is the cost of getting it from the quarry to the construction site.

He is quick to point out as well that the Nelson quarry contains the highest quality aggregate resource in southern Ontario.

How has aggregate from the quarry been used in Burlington?

71,375 private dwellings
47,217 driveway
734 km of city roads
34 public schools
7 community centres
The Joseph Brant Hospital and City Hall.

The province has a “close to market” policy on where aggregate is extracted.  The Nelson site has served the Halton, Hamilton and Peel markets for some time.

The Nelson quarry site is identified in the Niagara Escarpment Plan, the Regional and City Official Plan as locations that can be considered for expansion of the quarry.

The licence application is to expand the area by 78.3 hectares and allow for aggregate extraction in 50.2 hectares from which they will extract +/- 30 million tonnes.  The application makes the assumption that 1 million tonnes will be extracted each year

Phasing and extraction

These are the new extraction areas.  A former golf club (still operating) on the left and farm land on the right.

When there is quarry work being done – there are water concerns. The Nelson site is no different. The site has been operational since 1953 during which time there have been no adverse impacts to existing residential and agriculture wells. There have been studies including hydrogeology, karst, surface water modelling. The predicted effects on ground water levels are consistent with existing quarry, and significant available groundwater resources remain through the development and closure phases.

Nelson has, on several occasion re-drilled a well for an area resident or farm operation.

Air pollution and noise – they are also part of extraction work.

There have been complaints yet the reports from the consultants, who are all certified, maintain that “with respect to health impacts (for air quality) the study determined that no significant health impacts are expected.”

Quarries are seen as noisy operations. The dynamite blasting is tightly controlled – they can blast once a week and only at a prescribed time. In the past there have been complaints about blasting when there was no blasting taking place.  The blasting that does take place is carried out by professional engineers who design the blast and monitor what takes place. Nelson doesn’t get anywhere near that blasting. Sirens are sounded and the blasting takes place on a specific day (Add to this) and at a specific time that is broadcast to the community. An email is sent out.

A quarry is a big hole in the ground that does impact the natural heritage.  The proposed southern extension does not contain any key natural heritage features.

The proposed west extension is predominantly an active golf course with a single butternut tree; three golf course maintenance building.
Traffic patterns will not change as a result of either extension.  The proposed extension includes a maximum limit of 2 million tonnes each year. Nelson expects to ship 1 million tonnes each year.  Shipping will continue from the existing exit-entrance on #2 Side Road east to Guelph Line.

Rickli studio

The Walt Rickli studio, that produce sculptures that have been sold world wide were once done on the site

While there isn’t all that much in the way of cultural heritage resources in the area; the biggest cultural resource was the Walt Rickli sculpture operation that once rented space from the quarry. He had to find a new home when Nelson wanted to aggregate underneath his big shop. Rickli is quick to say that Nelson was very fair and gave him all the time he needed to move his equipment.

There are no significant built heritage; there are no significant archeological resources nor are there any significant heritage landscapes.

The application points out that the site is private property and could continue to operate as a quarry for another 50 years. It would operate at reduced production and would primarily supply the onsite asphalt plant.

They believe there is potential for future underground mining that could further extend the life of the quarry.

Private landThe quarry is prepared to consider selling the land with the following:

Private lake with 1 residence
8 rural residential lots
2 farm lots

Taking up 317 hectares

The Nelson quarry application takes a much bigger view – they believe there is an opportunity to create a magnificent park – two of them actually.

One on the north side of #2 Side Road where there would be the Jefferson Salamander habitat and then a small lake.

On the north side of the road there would be a huge park with every amenity you would want to see in a park.

Nelson describes it as a unique opportunity to significantly enhance public open space.

What could be doneLegendNelson quarry would deed the land to either the Region or the city who would be expected to develop the park.

Yes – that park would be built sometime in the future’

However – some of the land would be turned over quickly

To date there hasn’t been much in the way of comment or reaction from either the ward councillor or the Mayor.

Rory Nisan, the ward Councillor at one point said he was not going to meet with the Nelson Aggregate people because he didn’t want to have anyone influence his thinking.

Mayor Meed Ward has said she has no interest in the idea until the rehabilitation of the site has been completed.  Most recently she said she is waiting until the application is complete. To be politically realistic there isn’t all that much in the way of political Brownie points for the politicians.

The residents of the community have no time for the quarry they have; they were delighted when they won the last battle for an expansion application.  They see the rural community as something that is there home and they don’t want any change. Nimbyism defined.

Burlington’s population is growing – people will want to get out into the country where they can do something.  The locals would just as soon keep that country side to themselves.

Long term thinkers would have cozied up to this opportunity and begun now crafting how the opportunity could be maximized.

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Five Conservation Authority parks are open - reservations required.

News 100 greenBy Staff

May 22nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

CH Kelso Summit

Late afternoon sun bounces off the wall of the Kelso Summit

Conservation Halton will be opening five of its seven parks this weekend.

But you won’t be able to just drive up and walk along trails.

The Conservation Authority wants to control the number of people in each park and has set up a reservation system. It is a little on the complex side.

The reservation system will go live on May 21. 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.

Park reservation graphic

To get to the reservation system CLICK HERE.

The new reservation system will allow the Conservation Authority to 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.)

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.

CH Rattlesnake Point

Rattlesnake Point

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 lineups.

How many spots will there be?

With five parks open, we estimate there are about 15,000 time slots per week available for visitor households 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, but we will be using feedback to improve our model as needed.

CH Mt Nemo

Mt Nemo offers relaxing walks and stupendous views.

Having to pay for admittance to the parks may come as a surprise to some people. In a study done a number of years ago people were asked how they felt about their being an admittance fee. Most were comfortable with a fee providing it was reasonable.

The temporarily reduced rates are $6.50 for adults, $5 for child or senior, under 5 are free.  Members will be able to access the parks as part of their membership.

 

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Bateman High School Closing has to a viral event.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 22nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was a different school. It had character and was truly diverse

It was a vibrant school.

FIRE Bateman principal at siren

School principal Mark Duley using an older model of a fire siren to get student attention.

The fight to keep it open lasted longer than many people expected but the end has come

Closed for the last quarter of the year Robert Bateman will hold a virtual closing event on June 18th.

The Halton District School Board is organizing a virtual celebration of Robert Bateman High School (2004-2020) on Thursday, June 18, 2020, 7 p.m. at www.hdsb.ca in lieu of an in-person event, given current public health restrictions on large gatherings.

Robert Bateman High School will close its doors at the end of June 2020 after 16 years; with students moving to nearby Nelson High School and the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) students moving to Burlington Central High School.

Closing Bateman was part of the re-alignment of the seven high schools that were reduced to five.

High school students have taken to the streets in the past to make their point; in this situation the Robert BAteman High School made their point.

High school students have taken to the streets in the past to make their point.

The original plan was to close Central high school along with Lester B. Pearson. After vigorous public debate the decision was to close Bateman and Pearson high school.

The closing celebrations will recognize and honour the diversity and talents of current and former students and staff.

Robert Bateman High School students, staff and alumni are encouraged to share their memories of RBHS with a picture or short video sent to the organizing committee via email at RBHScelebrations@hdsb.ca by Tuesday, June 2. These memories will be included in the online school closing celebrations.

Bateman - crowd scene with Bull

Despite vigorous protests the parents were not able to make the board, particularly the trustees make the best choice.

Current students, staff, and alumni who wish to have an artifact or piece of memorabilia from Robert Bateman HS are encouraged to visit the RBHS Memorabilia and Artifact website to see what is available and learn how to request an item. The website will be live on Monday, May 25. Please check back as items will continue to be added.

Further information and event updates will be posted on the Robert Bateman High School website (rbh.hdsb.ca), Facebook Page RBHS Celebrations, Twitter @RBHScelebration and Instagram @RBHScelebrations.

If schools are able to move forward with large in-person gatherings for graduating students this fall, in accordance with public health guidelines, the HDSB plans to incorporate school closing activities into that event.

 

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Lakeshore Rotary cancels the late summer Ribfest

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 22nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington Rotary Lakeshore, has been closely monitoring developments relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and the global impact it is having, not only on the health and safety of the public, but also the social and economic impact it is having on individuals, businesses and charities such as ours.

Ribfest north side 2017

Lakeshore Rotary promises to come back in 2021 with a bigger and better Ribfest.

The information available to them has led to the decision to cancel the event scheduled for September. In a statement Rotary said: “While we have watched for positive trends and are seeing the beginning of gradual and cautious re-opening phases; we continue to face uncertainty as to what the coming summer months will bring in terms of access to parks, facilities or whether we will experience relaxed or further enhanced public safety protocols. It has become increasingly clear that large scale public events in 2020 will be impossible and impractical to take place.

“With that in mind it is with deep regret that the unfortunate decision has been made to cancel Canada’s Largest Ribfest for 2020.

If you looked around there was still some sitting room. The weather was close to perfect and the music was good - great way to bring a summer to a close.

If you looked around there was still some sitting room. The weather was close to perfect and the music was good – it great way to bring a summer to a close.

“This comes as a huge disappointment to everyone involved, those who have already spent countless hours working towards this years event, our club members, the hundreds of volunteers, vendors, partners and especially the Ribbers, Bands and the Charities we support as a result of the event.

Listening best babe

The audiences listen closely to the music.

“While we know it is impossible to replace and replicate an event that over the course of 25 years has become a local end of summer tradition and has raised nearly $4.5 million for local and international charities, work has already begun on organizing other new and exciting fundraising initiatives to help us support those most in need.

“While we may not be able to come together in 2020, we know that your community spirit remains strong. Please consider making a contribution to one of the following charities that would have benefited from this year’s event: Halton Food For Life, Burlington Food Bank, Salvation Army Food Bank, Food4Kids, Wellington Square Meal Program, Halton Women’s Place, The Carpenter Hospice, Joseph Brant Hospital or Rotary Burlington Lakeshore.

The need to cancel Burlington’s two main festivals amounts to a financial hit that can never be recovered

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City manager: The emails, the emails - they're killing him

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

May 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The day to day operations of the city are in the hands of the Emergency Coordinating Group (ECG) which reports directly and daily to both the Councillors and the Mayor.

The ECG is a Committee of Council that operates under Council’s emergency management bylaws.

That group is in the hands of City Manager Tim Commisso (he co-chairs with Alan Magi – they rotate daily) they are ably supported by the best the city has in terms of administrative leaders.

Tim’s day start at a bit before 7:30 – and he is at it for the full day and at times into the evening.

His lens is his computer monitor and Zoom where he talks to the different sub groups that have been created,

Tim Commisso - finger up hard eyes

City manager Tim Commisso is facing the most challenging problem he has ever faced in his career.

He is tired – not burnt out – but there are limits on how long anyone can last.

Commisso has been around the municipal world much of his professional life so he knows the lay of the land – he has a depth of experience that is critical at this point.

There isn’t an issue that crops up every day that doesn’t impact on other issues – which is normal but with a COVID crisis going on the safety of the public becomes paramount.

And that public is not always that easy to serve. The bylaw problems with people who seem unable to understand simple basic rules that related to the way they had to handle their dogs in parks has been taking up valuable time.

Commisso faces financial pressures – revenue has gone to the rats – expenses keep climbing. The number of monitors the city had to buy for people working at home from lap tops wasn’t something that was budgeted for. Every communication, at least the important ones where a number of people are involved gets done on line. Three months of that without a high end monitor – not possible.

In an exclusive interview Commisso said the situation he faces is more difficult than anything he has had to deal with before.

The biggest problems is the emails “they never stop coming”

All the part time staff were laid off – 700 of them – when the shutdown of the city took place – now he has to begin calling some of them back; he has called back 92 so far and expects to have to bring back more.

Sheila Jones

Sheila Jones Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability

Dealing with the COVID based issues is prime – at the same time Commisso has Sheila Jones,  Executive Director of Strategy, Risk & Accountability working on the service re-design. COVID has taught the city that they will have to do things differently in the post COVID world.

Municipalities have always been the bottom rung on the political ladder; the crisis has ratcheted up the directions the province hands down and there are problems when what the province says publicly isn’t always fully reflected in the regulations. And in Tim Commisso’s world the regulations are the meat on the bones.

Normally the interaction with the Regional Public Health Unit is limited to some rabies cases and an outbreak of measles. Now Commisso has to be constantly aware of the reports that come out of the public health unit – if the number of new infections rise – he has to scale back some of the services, especially in parks and recreation or anything that involves people directly.

It is the minutia that keeps Commisso hopping from issue to issue.

By law person

Grant Ziliotto – Manager of Municipal Law Enforcement, Licensing and Animal Services

There are eight bylaw control officers, some are working 12 hour shifts on duty from 8 am to 11pm.

Ensuring that the team is functioning and being aware of those who aren’t doing all that well is a challenge. Every Commisso interaction is through the monitor where it isn’t always easy to catch the small signs that someone needs some help. “The BLT (Burlington Leadership Team) has proven to be a great resource – the managers can talk very openly about where the problems are in their domains and where the help is needed.

The stress is part of every day and at times, said Commisso, they have to figure it out on their own.

Keeping it all together is challenging – even more challenging for the administration is the really big decisions that will have to be faced once we are out from under the virus. No one really knows when that will be – the experts maintain that every pandemic the world has experience has had a second wave. Some in the medical world argue that we are not ready for a second wave of infection.

Commisso, who technically no longer reports to city council – he is working under Emergency legislation, is grateful for the way city Councillors have been supportive.

Those big decisions are going to land in the Council Chamber where they will rub up against budget constraints.

City hall - older pic

Changes to the first floor of city hall – hopefully it will be more welcoming.

Before the shutdown the city was in the process of creating a new Customer Support service – it was being centralized and designed to be more responsive and create ways for individuals to look in on the issue they had with the city and find out how it was progressing – all on line.

Commisso wanted a friendlier looking main floor at city hall and a better working environment for staff and more room – what was going to call for some construction.

There isn’t that much money available for anything new – Commisso and Treasurer Joan Ford are scouring the Reserve funds to see if there is a funding source and if that work can be done while city hall is closed.

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Leash free parks for the dogs - open at 3:00 pm today.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

May 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Straight from the mouth of the Mayor.

Leash free dog space open at 3:00 pm this afternoon.

Expect to see Her Worship at the park closest to her home.

Leash free MMW

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The announcement that schools will not re-open was no surprise - 3.5 months before the children return to school in September

graphic coping redBy Ashley Worobec

May 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

Ashley Worobec writes regularly on how she and her family are coping.  Ashley Worobec is a sports-based chiropractor living a life of fitness, health, and parenthood in Burlington.

Well, we got the official announcement about the cancellation of the remainder of the school year. While we knew it was coming and it was a foregone conclusion that this announcement would be made, it’s still somewhat shocking to hear it and to see it written in black and white. With so many other closures still ongoing, it’s the obvious choice, and I’m thankful that some of the uncertainty surrounding schooling has now been eliminated.

family

Jersey Day in the Worobec household during the pandemic

In all honesty though, I’m glad they kept delaying the school start date- had I been told back in mid-March that schools were closed for the remainder of the school year, I would’ve had a hard time coping. My strategy has always been one day or one week at a time; I’ve been able to cope much better by focusing on the here and now rather than worrying about the what-ifs of the future. On March 13th, when the first school closures were announced, I would’ve been into panic mode if I’d known that would last into September.

The kid’s school has done a good job of keeping up a sense of community throughout this time, and we’ve participated in all of their spirit days, including the most recent Jersey Day.

This official education announcement won’t change much in regards to what we’re doing with our children though. We will continue to do the assigned tasks/projects that their teachers are giving on the e-learning platform, and at the end of June we’ll wrap up. My kids are in Grade 5 and Grade 2, so at the end of the year we’ll likely have some sort of celebration at home- we usually buy some sort of Summer outdoor toy to kick off Summer break, and I’m anticipating this year will be no different- in the past we’ve done road hockey pucks, sprinklers, and sidewalk chalk, but this year I’ve got my eye on a pogo stick. Any outdoor time is time well spent in my opinion.

My husband is a high school teacher, and his routine won’t change much for the remainder of the year either, although he’s anticipating less of a buy-in from his Grade 12 students now that the year has officially been shut down. Time will tell. He’s in the midst of organizing a virtual Athletic Banquet for his Phys Ed department so that the athletic awards can still be presented, albeit in a different format this year.

This year has been a challenge, no doubt, and it’s far from over. We still haven’t been given a timeline on when my clinic will be allowed to open, so we’re in a holding pattern at this stage. Once I go back to work, that’ll change our family dynamic, as I won’t be around as much, but my husband and kids are looking at another 3.5 months at home.

morning run

The morning run – its Mom who does the heavy lifting

I’ve attached a picture of our morning run, and we do this nearly every day- once I’m back at work, that morning run won’t happen as often, but it’s been something I’ve really treasured, so we will do it on the days that time allows. It’s not about the physical fitness- it’s about the time together, the time outside, the fresh air, and our mental health. Between the morning run, our daily hikes or walks, and backyard workouts, we’ve been coping with a lot of movement and physical fitness.

dog and cat

Determining the territory.

Our pets have brought us great joy during this time as well; our Golden Retriever is 2 years old, and at the very start of this pandemic, on April 2nd, we adopted a cat from a local cat rescue. Rosie has been a great addition to our family, and a wonderful source of distraction too.

I’ve heard that this pandemic has resulted in lots of pet adoptions, and I can see why!

We will get through this, and we will look back on this time and say “remember when.” For now, I am thankful for sunshine and warmer temperatures and the health of my family. One day at a time……

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A fun scavenger hunt - on line

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

May 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Freeman Junction sign BESTThe Friends Of Freeman Station are participating in the Toronto Railway Museum’s big online scavenger hunt.

Railway museums across the country have submitted clues for you to find online.

Virtually explore museums from across the country and discover the treasures in their collections.

For the inquisitive student this could be both fun, interesting and part of perhaps a geography or history class.

The list of clues will be released by The Toronto Railway Museum @TORailwayMuseum on May 24, National Scavenger Hunt Day get tuned in!

Check this link for more information.

on line scavenger

 

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Region hopes to convince the province to defer the construction of a new Court House rather than cancel it.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Yesterday, Regional Council unanimously endorsed a resolution asking the Provincial Government to postpone, rather than cancel, the Halton Consolidated Courthouse project. The new courthouse was expected to replace aging courthouses in Milton and Burlington which have experienced ongoing resourcing and security issues.

It also would have brought much needed economic stimulus to Halton along with approximately 600 jobs. Council feels strongly that the shovel-ready project is critical to post-COVID-19 recovery of the local economy and it is ideal as a federal-provincial infrastructure stimulus project.

Milton Court House

The existing Court House has been stretched beyond its limit – the property it sits on in Milton on Steeles will be a prime location for something in the distant future.

“Halton Region along with Halton Regional Police Service and other key stakeholders in the justice system have strongly supported the position that the Milton and Burlington courthouses are unable to serve the needs of residents in our community and that without question, both need to be replaced,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “We fully recognize the financial challenges facing the Provincial Government as a result of the pandemic but are asking them to postpone this project, not cancel it, based on the critical services it would provide to our community and the impact on our Regional economy.”

This has been a long standing advocacy issue for Halton, in 2015 Council passed a resolution urging the Provincial Government to proceed with a new courthouse in Halton. The new facility would bring the Superior Court of Justice and Ontario Court of Justice operations in Milton and Burlington together in one state of the art, accessible and efficient facility in Oakville.

The conditions of the courthouse facilities have long been a source of concern for many in Halton. Both the Milton and Burlington courthouses do not have enough functional courtrooms and lack resources. Halton Police Chief Steven Tanner has stated that the Milton courthouse is “dangerous and is considered beyond repair and beyond renovation.” The Honourable Geoffrey B. Morawetz Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice has acknowledged that the cancellation of the Halton Consolidated Courthouse Project is an access to justice issue and underscores the overall lack of functional courtrooms in the Central West Region.

Court house location - McMahon

The Liberal Wynne government,represented by then MO Eleanor McMahon, made the announcement to build a new Court House – it was to be located in Oakville on land the province already owned.

With today’s Council resolution, Halton Regional Council is adding their voices to call on the Provincial Government to reconsider their decision. The Province has already invested a significant amount of money in the project which was already in the procurement stage. It is the hope of Regional Council that with enough community pressure, construction of the Halton Consolidated Courthouse could go ahead at some point in the future.

The existing Courthouse in Milton is certainly limited. During the Air Park trials those who wanted to attend were literally packed into a tiny room.

But at some point someone has to look at the spending – if the hope is to deferal – it will be a decade before a shovel goes into the ground.

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Dog owners get a break - they have been feelings like a harassed community. End of Friday is there freedom at last day

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The dogs won.

City hall is working furiously to open leash-free dog areas and most City park parking lots by end of day on Friday, May 22, 2020.

dogs-off-leash-opening

Dogs have been waiting for months to be able to do this legally. City expects their owners to adhere to the six foot rule.

Toronto made the move – Burlington is feeling the pressure from the dog owner community – the plea from the city is to encourage everyone to follow public health directions and Provincial orders to physically distance themselves a minimum of six feet to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The bylaw officers have had a very difficult time getting people to keep their dogs on short leashes and to not congregate – they clearly don’t understand dog owners and dog owners clearly don’t take all that well to bylaw.

There was one day last week when a reported seven tickets – with a potential $750 fine – were given out in a single day.

Runners two dogs we know what this is about

Not hard to figure why the guy in red is out for a walk.

All City-owned leash-free dog areas, parking lots and tennis courts are scheduled to be opened by end of day Friday, May 23 with the exceptions of:

1. The west parking lot at Spencer Smith Park (ongoing construction)
2. LaSalle Park Marina parking lot (ongoing construction)
3. Lowville Park parking lot (continued crowd management)

Residents are encouraged to leave their cars at home when visiting a park. Walk, bike or roll to your neighbourhood park.
City Multi-use Sports Fields

social distance - rural

Congregating is lovely – just adhere to the six foot rule. Our failure to do that gives the virus opportunities to spread itself every where.

The Province announced today that multi-use sports fields (such as baseball diamonds and soccer fields) can be opened. Families can now enjoy our publicly accessible sports fields (areas not locked and enclosed with fencing) with members of their own household for casual play. Only family members from the same household are able to be within six feet of each other. The City of Burlington will provide further information regarding our sports fields by Friday, May 23.

In the meantime, organized group sports are still not permitted due to Provincial emergency orders. Requirements need to be in place by provincial sport organizations before permitted field use can be re-introduced. The City will work in collaboration with local sport organizations and as the specifics are provided, an implementation plan will be finalized.

Provincial emergency orders remain in effect that limit the number of people in a gathering to five. If sports fields are used for casual purposes they are to be used at resident’s own risk; the City has not maintained or inspected sports fields during the pandemic.

IInfections by date cropped

The number of infections in the Region are increasing regularly – that is because the virus is amongst us in the community and being passed from person to person. Don’t be the person that picks it up from someone else – maintain that six foot distance.

 

By Provincial order, park amenities, including all washrooms and playground equipment remain closed.

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Premier Ford threatens to hammer the 'greedy landlords'

News 100 redBy Staff

May 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Wow – the Premier laid it on the line.

He was addressing what he called “greedy landlords” and said they needed to begin to cooperate with their tenants and find a compromise.

If they don’t he said, he was going to come down on them very hard. He was going to hammer them

He wasn’t smiling when he was speaking.

Premier with deputy May 19th

Premier threatening to hammer the “greedy landlords.”

Will it make a difference to the small business operators that are renting from large property owners?

While the Premier was speaking in a media Q&A that was running live Deputy Premier Christine Elliott was smiling in the background. We thought we could hear her saying: Go get em Dougie.

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Schools closed for the balance of the school year; summer day camps, both indoor and outdoor, may be permitted in July and August - no overnight camps

News 100 redBy Staff

May 19, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The decision the province made to keep the schools closed for the balance of the school year  involved consulting with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, health experts on the COVID-19 Command Table, and medical experts at The Hospital for Sick Children.

Group of students MMR

This is what the province doesn’t want to see – students congregating the way students do – the virus would jump from person to person in situations like this.

The government is planning for the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year, the gradual reopening of child care, and the opening of summer day camps subject to the continuing progress in trends of key public health indicators.

Today’s announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

All students who were on track to graduate from secondary school before the initial school closure order was made in March will be able to graduate, and all students will receive report cards.

MMW with students

Classroom scenes like this return in September – if the COVID infection rates are kept low.

Later this summer, the government will announce a plan to strengthen learning and safety protocols to enable students and staff to return to in-class instruction for the 2020-21 school year. That plan will be bolstered by an enhanced province-wide virtual learning program that will allow all students to learn, regardless of the challenges that may transpire in the coming months.

Private schools, licensed child care centres and EarlyON programs will also remain closed for the safety and protection of children, families and staff through Stage 1 of the Framework for Reopening the Province. Emergency child care will continue to operate and provide support for health care and other frontline workers. A gradual reopening of child care is expected to begin when the province is ready to transition to Stage 2 based on public health criteria, which will include robust safety protocols for the safety of Ontario’s youngest learners and their staff.

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

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

Assuming trends in key public health indicators continue to improve, summer day camps, both indoor and outdoor, may be permitted in July and August of this year with strict health and safety guidelines to be developed in partnership with local public health, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and municipalities.

Overnight camps will not be permitted to operate in the summer of 2020.

The province also unveiled an expanded seven-point summer learning plan to ensure Ontario students have every opportunity to continue their learning through the summer months. Summer learning programs are being expanded to reach the most students in Ontario history, to ensure they remain on track to start the 2020-21 school year with the confidence and knowledge required to succeed.

 

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Closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout in force until May 29th

News 100 redBy Staff

May 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The hard news is in the first couple of paragraphs.

The Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, has extended all emergency orders currently in force until May 29, 2020.

Brant street getting ready

Those chairs are going to have to stay empty for a little while longer.

That includes the closure of bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery only, restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters. The government is also allowing drive-in religious gatherings.

Today, the province officially enters the first stage of its Framework for Reopening the Province. As part of this initial stage, the government is permitting the reopening of some outdoor recreational amenities, including outdoor sports facilities and multi-use fields, off-leash dog areas, and outdoor picnic sites, benches and shelters in parks and recreational areas, effective as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020.

Outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, fitness equipment, public swimming pools, splash pads and similar outdoor water facilities will remain closed until later stages of the province’s reopening plan.

driving range May 16

Six feet – swinging those clubs can work up quite a sweat.

“Although we are entering the first stage of our framework to reopen the economy, it’s critical that we continue to do so in a safe and responsible manner,” said Premier Ford. “The people of Ontario have been doing a fantastic job to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of this terrible virus. With warmer weather beginning, individuals and families will now be able to enjoy many outdoor amenities, but everyone must continue to maintain physical distancing from those outside of their household.”

To ensure that individuals and families have safe access to outdoor spaces, it is critical they take everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus, such as maintaining physical distancing by staying two metres apart from anyone outside of their household, washing hands regularly, and staying home if feeling unwell.

Extending the dates supports the government’s plan to cautiously and safely reopen businesses, services and amenities in a way that will enable the province to continue to protect the health and safety of Ontarians.

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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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