Gazette granted a funds award - will hire a writer and a photographer for as long as the funds last.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

April 13th, 2020



Even in the darkest days, there is a ray of sunshine.

The Local Media Association was asked to manage the distribution of $2 million in grants ($5,000 each) as part of the Facebook Journalism Project.

Gazette logo Black and red

In October the Gazette will complete its tenth year of publishing news, option and reader comment for the citizens of Burlington.

More than 400 local newsrooms across North America have received grants to support their reporting on the coronavirus.

Many publishers in many provinces and territories will receive a grant of $5,000 USD to cover unexpected costs associated with reporting on the crisis in their communities.

The Canadian branch of the program was run in partnership with News Media Canada.

The grants will help fulfill needs such as remote work, increasing frequency of publishing, combating misinformation and serving vulnerable and at-risk groups.

The program is run in partnership with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and Local Media Association in the US and News Media Canada and The Independent News Challenge in Canada. This announcement comes after the first round of 50 grant recipients was announced in March.

The Facebook Journalism Project doubled the total grant pool to $2 million after more than 200 publishers applied in the first 48 hours after the application launched. The expansion made it possible to help an even greater number of newsrooms navigate the economic impact of the outbreak.

The list for Ontario includes;
The Auroran Newspaper, Bancroft Times, Bancroft, Burlington Gazette, The Chatham Voice, Chatham, The Chronicle Journal, Fort Frances Times Ltd., Fort Frances, The Georgina Post, The Haldimand Press, The Highlander Newspaper, King Weekly Sentinel, Listowel Banner, The Logic, The Morrisburg Leader, New Canadian Media, New Pathway Publishers Limited, The North Grenville Times, Orangeville Citizen, The Ottawan, Peterborough Currents, The Review, Vankleek Hill, Salam Toronto, Thornhill, The Sarnia Journal, The Standard News Corporation, Port Perry, Temiskaming Printing, New Liskeard, Torstar Local – Torstar Corporation, Toronto, Freelancer – Trent Radio, Village Media Inc., The Voice of Pelham, The Walrus,Toronto, WHA Publications Ltd, Woolwich Observer.

The Gazette will hire a photographer and a writer for as long as the funds last.

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Drivers are still getting caught while impaired, blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours

Crime 100By Staff

April 13th, 2020



With a near total lock down of the community a number of people managed to find time to ingest or swallow stuff that doesn’t register so well with a police office who pulls you over.

Impaired Driving Offences Within Halton Region

On April 6, 2020 just after 3:30 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Kerr Street and Speers Road in Oakville. As a result of an investigation, Khaleq Noori (27) of Barrie was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On April 6, 2020 just before 8:30 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Main Street South and Guelph Street in Halton Hills. As a result of an investigation, Adam Knee (38) of Georgetown was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On April 7, 2020 just before 1:30 am, Halton Police officers responded to a collision in the area of Guelph Line and Prospect Street in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Brent Lalonde (27) of Burlington was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On April 8, 2020, just before 4:00 pm, Halton Police officers responded to a citizen-initiated complaint in the area of Thomas Alton Boulevard and Columbus Drive in Burlington. As a result of an investigation, Stacey George (42) of Burlington was charged with blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

On April 11, 2020, just after 2:30 am, Halton Police officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of Millside Drive and Martin Street in Milton. As a result of an investigation, Carlos Marticorena (24) of Hamilton was charged with operation while impaired.

On April 12, 2020, at approximately 9:30 pm, Halton Police officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of Britannia Road West and Thompson Road South in Milton. As a result of an investigation, Nitin Jain (42) of Milton was charged with operation while impaired and blood alcohol concentration 80mgs or more, within two hours.

The Halton Regional Police Service remains committed to road safety through prevention, education and enforcement initiatives.
Members of the public are reminded that driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is a crime in progress and to call 9-1-1 immediately to report a suspected impaired driver.

The Service’s Twitter and Facebook accounts should not be used for this purpose as they are not monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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

If you have been named in a police report and after going through the judicial procedure and were found not guilty of what you were charged with, or the police dropped the charge, be in touch with the Publisher of the Gazette and we will pull the original report and publish the results of the trial if you wish.

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Food Bank takes a break to re-organize and sort what they have to put in the hampers that they deliver.

News 100 blueBy Robin Bailey

April 13th, 2020


If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help have them email us at or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at the door. If you live in Burlington, we are here to help.

Diane Gris

Diane Gris – the woman who manages the volunteers – keeps an eye on things while doing an interview.

Robin Bailey reports that: “Diane Gris was in this morning organizing our the volunteers as we prepare for the week ahead.

“Our doors are closed today however several volunteers are working in order to prepare for Tuesday.
“It’s a much-needed chance to regroup; Volunteers are busy going through the stock we have in house and doing some organization.

Jane F Food Bank

Jane Newton – all-star volunteer with more than 100 hours logged – so far.

“Jane Newton started going through the personal hygiene, cosmetics and toiletry inventory. Jane is one of our hall of fame volunteers having donated over 100 hours already. Having a long-weekend doesn’t mean the same thing as it used to but for our Food Bank it means we can relax a bit more and prepare.

“Diane mentions that it’s been three weeks since we implemented the delivery at home model and we had hoped to transition completely to delivery by now. I guess this week will tell how successful we’ve been doing that. We can’t thank our volunteers enough.

You can follow just what it is the volunteers do at the Food Bank.  Latest Today’s update


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To 'retain our humanity in times of such crisis and give our patients’ family some solace that they were treated with dignity'.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 12th, 2020



The Sunday habit is for one of us to walk up the lane to pick up the newspapers: she reads the Star; I read the Sunday New York Times.

I am convinced I get the better value but we share headlines and editorial cartoons.

covid virusThe Times this Sunday is almost wall to wall COVID-19 coverage or where President Trump dropped the ball.

New York City is reporting COVID-19 deaths of 800 a day and putting bodies in refrigerated trucks until they can determine where they can be sent.

A reporter managed to get into two hospitals, the Jack D Weiler Hospital and the Montefiore Medical Centre’s Moses division in the Bronx, to witness and document the chaos, panic, fear and bravery that takes place minute after minute.

Dr. Michael Jones who runs the physician resident program at both hospitals sent his young doctors an email last month asking them to go out of their way to comfort the COVID-19 patients.

Take a few moments if you can to talk about patients’ families, their lives, their dreams. Ask if there is a loved one you can call. And lastly, two very different things; hold your patient’s hand for a minute as they near death or pass, and ask your entire team to stop for five or ten seconds, bow your heads, state the patient’s name and ask for silence.

This helps us retain our humanity in times of such crisis and gives our patients’ family some solace that they were treated with dignity.

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You elected her - now please listen to her: STAY HOME

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 11th, 2020



The Mayor is pushing the message again and again – she has been relentless, which at this point in time is the most important job she has.

In the photograph below people are milling about in Union Square in New York City. The photograph was taken March 21, a scant three weeks ago.

Union Sq markeet garden NY City

Photograph taken three weeks ago – the COVID-19 virus was in the air then – they didn’t know that.

Yesterday, the Governor of the State of New York announced that there were 799 deaths in one day in the city.

covid virus

This red spikes are the part of the virus that attaches itself to us. Fascinating article in the Saturday Globe and Mail that explains what we are up against in great detail.

The COVID-19 virus is literally in the air – we are transmitting it from person to person and in the process killing each other.

The way we stop this is to just stop going outside.

Difficult, yes. Very hard for some. Close to impossible for others.

But that is what we are up against.

We have to dig down deep and do what we are being asked to do. Stay inside; if you decide to go out – stay away from other people.

For those who would like to understand this disease we are fighting there is an excellent news feature in the Saturday Globe and Mail. It is complex, actually quite fascinating, to learn how this virus attaches itself to us and how the scientists are looking for way to combat it.

The Mayor’s message is clear – sure you may have heard it yesterday, and the day before. Listen to it again and pay attention – your life depends on it.

Mayor Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Please stay home and self-isolate, engage in physical distancing and only go outside for essentials, such as food and medical needs or appointments.

Residents with symptoms are to self-isolate at home for 14 days and ask family, friends or neighbours to safely drop off supplies to you.

This is required to keep each other safe and healthy and to “flatten the curve.”

The longer we stay apart now, the sooner we can come together again.

Look at those numbers out of New York City – 799 dead in a single day.

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276 calls related to intimate partner abuse were made to the police in March alone - 150 charges laid.

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 9th, 2020



Maintaining a healthy intimate relationship is a challenge at the best of times. And these are not the best of times.

There is a lot of emotional stress, financial stress and worry over how things are going to work out.

In many households, far too many – the stats make it clear that there is significant violence in some relationships.

In March 2020, our officers responded to 276 calls related to intimate partner violence and laid 121 charges. For reference from the previous year in March 2019, our officers responded to 289 calls related to intimate partner violence and laid 150 charges.

The police recognize that intimate partner violence often goes unreported to police.

violence intimate

Every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

That is why is the Service is asking that everyone looks out for their relatives, friends, neighbours and co-workers, who they suspect may not be safe at home. Check in on them regularly, establish a ‘signal’ word and call for help if you think that they are in danger.

“Now, more than ever, victims of intimate partner violence need the support of their community,” says Deputy Chief Hill.” In a time of isolation, we must show victims that they are not alone and that help is available.”

Victims or friends/family of victims are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service, Halton Women’s Place or other community resources if intimate partner violence is happening. Shelters across Halton are still open at this time and Halton Women’s Place continues to offer services. Help is available.

You are not alone. Victims of intimate partner violence or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in Halton Region for victims of intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence:

• Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777
• Halton Women’s Place 905-878-8555 (north) or 905-332-7892 (24-hour crisis line)
• Halton Children’s Aid Society 905-333-4441 or 1-866-607-5437
• Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
• Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)

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It could be more than two years before we learn just how expensive that CRM system that never really got off the ground is going to cost to achieve lift off

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 11th, 2020



Keeping up to date on the reports the Finance department sends to council means learning something new every day.

There was an item in the operating budget performance report that caught our eye. It has to do with computer software maintenance and the positive variance (which means they didn’t spend all the money they had budgeted) item in budget performance

Audit Morgan and FAbi

Former City Clerk Angela Morgan, on the right, explaining to council part of what went wrong with the CRM system. Morgan is now the Executive Lead on Customer Experience.

We thought that the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that had all the wheels fall off at the same time and had to be sent back for a complete rebuild would have come under that computer software maintenance entry.

Turns out that is not the case.

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.

City Treasurer Joan Ford runs the tightest shop in the city.

Joan Ford, City Treasurer explained that “The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software is a capital project (not part of the operating budget performance report). Capital projects are generally carried out over more than one year. We annually provide a capital closure report to council (the next one will be on the May cycle of meetings). The CRM capital project is not ready for closure at this time so will not be included in the report.”

Which means it will be as much as another 18 months before the project is re-done and then we see a closure report. That’s so far off that we could well be into deciding who the members of the next city council will be.

The screw up with the CRM took place before the current council was elected – before the current city manager was brought in.

Ridge shilling 2

James Ridge – CRM mess took place on his watch.

The prize for this cock-up goes to the former city manager James Ridge; he was ushered out the door some time ago.

The problems with the CRM became public when Council members found the CRM didn’t work for them. What no one knew at the time was that Sheila Jones, who was then the city auditor, was writing a report on how serious the problem was. It was a humdinger. Her report resulted in what had been done getting redone and the people who dropped the ball were no longer around to be held accountable.

Most of those who quietly left the city will probably be found working in some other municipality.

That’s the way things tend to work in the municipal sector.

Related news stories:

Councillor Kearns has a beef.

The report

The fallout

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Mayor unable to take part in the Front Line Clap this Friday evening.

News 100 redBy Staff

April 9th, 2020



Mayor with iPad on deck

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward preparing her iPad for the Front Line Clap Out she performed from the veranda of her house.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will not be talking part this Friday in the Front Line Clap Out she organized hoping that it would be celebrated across the city.

Her office reports that she is otherwise engaged.

While the response to the event was tepid at best on the street the Mayor lives on it was popular elsewhere in the city.

Quite popular actually.

Comments from Gazette readers:


  • FYI The Strata at 551 Maple was there front and centre, shouting from balconies, clapping, blowing horns,whistling. We are also there every day at 6 p m. and join in on other tributes. Kind of like if a tree falls in the woods and you didn’t see it did it really fall? So, yes for the record, we supported our Mayor and our front line.

  • Alfred

    A Frontliner Day should be declared for Halton Region or Burlington. So we have some time to notify and inform the masses and really show our gratitude. I’m sure we can work with social media and businesses to promote this day and work within the parameters of safe social distancing.(No group settings). Burlington Stay Strong!

  • numnum

    we should have an ENCORE..this time we will spread the news and we should use pots and pans and even car horns.Let our noise reach toronto to show the frontliners that we really appreciate what they are doing

  • Jim Young

    Great response on Daryl Drive in Aldershot. Lots of folks on balconies at Drewlo building at 945 banging pots, ringing bells, waving flags to neighbours on porches in surrounding courts. We’ve been doing this every night for a week now. The two minutes we spend on our balconies to thank all who are helping fight this, is also a great way to break the monotony of 24 hour isolation and reconnect with neighbours at a safe distance. Doing this every night we find the numbers keep growing. Those working to combat this pandemic deserve our two minutes.

  • Angela

    Sorry we weren’t louder over at Pearl and Lakeshore for Marianne to hear us. All three buildings were clapping, making noise and cheering with thanks for the front line workers … with a special thx to the staff at Pearl and Pine Retirement for the tremendous job they are doing taking such good care of the residents. We are out/will be out each night at 7:30pm in recognition of these amazing heroes..

  • William MacKinnon

    South East Burlington. We were out there with our neighbours. Clapping and cheering.
    Helps break the feeling of isolation. Chatted safely and checked in with neighbours.

  • Susan

    Silvan Forest drive north walkers line. There was some noise up here
    I don’t believe everyone was aware of the event

  • Lots of activity where I live near the hospital

  • Don Fletcher

    There were people clapping & banging pots on their balconies along Lakeshore, in view of Joseph Brant Hospital, but not in large numbers. I’m married to a career ER nurse at JBH and President of the nurses’ union there, and I know that all front line staff value gestures of kindness & appreciation. Theirs are largely thankless jobs. We are in the calm before the storm on COVID-19 & I am confident residents will become more enthusiastic in their support in the tough weeks to come.



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I have just gone and done something crazy.

sportsgold 100x100By Pepper Parr

April 9th, 2020



Got a note from my favourite long distance runner – Ashley Worobec. She said:

“I have just gone and done something crazy.  I have registered for a “virtual” ultra-marathon that starts at 7pm tonight.

“The way it works is that you must complete 8km running every 4 hours for 24 hours.  Myself and a handful of other running friends are taking on this challenge (each in our own neighborhoods to abide by social distancing rules) and we start at 7pm tonight.

Ashley Worobec - hair flying H&S

Ashley in a training run when the weather was much nicer.

“That means:

7pm- 8km

11pm- 8km

3am- 8km

7am- 8km

11am- 8km

3pm- 8km

“That’s 48km in 24 hours, which is more than I’ve ever run before!

“But at a time like this, a challenge like this seems PERFECT. ”


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COVID results for the Region of Halton - Burlington numbers are re-assuring

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 9th, 2020



Data – data and more data.

Getting a grip on what is actually happening in Burlington and how we compare to those next door to us – is now possible. The Region released a report earlier today setting out where things stood as of April 8th.

It’s a sobering report but Burlington is going Ok – much better than the province overall.

There were 140 COVID-19 cases reported to Halton Region Public Health since the last update (125 confirmed + 15 probable)

There were 264 COVID-19 cases reported to Halton Region Public Health to date (249 confirmed + 15 probable)

report date

Figure 1: COVID-19 cases, by reported date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Apr. 8, 2020: shows the 264 COVID-19 cases that had been reported to Halton Region Public Health by end of the day on April 8. All cases have been graphed according to the date they were reported, which is often several days after the onset of symptoms. Among the cases in this figure, 140 were reported since the last update (meaning they were reported between April 2 and April 8, 2020).

Individuals who are lab-confirmed cases are shown in green. Individuals who are probable cases are shown in orange. Probable cases are epi-linked cases, which means they are presumed to have COVID-19 because they are symptomatic close contacts of cases or returning travelers who have COVID-19 symptoms.

Case demographics

bu municipality

COVID-19 cases, by municipality of residence, Halton Region, 2020. graphic shows that by end of the day on April 8, the greatest number of COVID-19 cases were among residents of Oakville (with 102 cases, or 39%). Please note that because Burlington and Oakville have larger populations, it is expected that they have more cases.

by exposure

Graphic shows that by end of the day on April 8, 106 of Halton Region’s COVID-19 cases (40%) had no known travel or contact history, and therefore were believed to have acquired the virus within Ontario, making them community cases. 68 of the cases (26%) had a history of travel that was believed to have been the source of their infection. 56 cases (21%) had contact with a confirmed case that was believed to be the source of infection. Information on exposure source was pending for 34 cases (13%).

Age specific

Chart shows that by end of the day on April 8, the most COVID-19 cases were among Halton residents aged 40-59 (with 113 cases, or 43%). 144 of the 264 cases (55%) were female. Please note age groups have shifted since the last report, to align with provincial reporting.













COVID-19 cases, by age, Halton Region, 2020

38 Halton cases of COVID-19 have ever been hospitalized to date

69 Halton cases of COVID-19 have recovered to date

4 Halton cases of COVID-19 have died to date

5 institutional outbreaks of COVID-19 reported to Halton Region Public Health since the last update

6 institutional outbreaks of COVID-19 reported to Halton Region Public Health to date

Among the six institutional outbreaks reported to date, four (67%) have been in retirement homes, while the remainder have occurred in long-term care homes. Five of the outbreaks were reported since the last update (meaning they were reported between April 2 and April 8, 2020). None of the outbreaks have yet been declared over.

Comparison to Ontario

5,759 total confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in Ontario to date

Figure 5: Age-specific rates of COVID-19 (per 10,000 population), Halton Region and Ontario, 2020
Figure 5 shows age-specific rates of COVID-19 for Halton and Ontario. Rates take into account the population size of each age group to make it possible to compare between different areas. Halton’s age-specific rates are similar to the provincial rates, except for residents aged 80+.

Currently, Halton has a statistically significantly lower rate of COVID-19 cases for residents aged 80+ compared to Ontario, with 6.3 cases per 10,000 residents aged 80+ in Halton, compared to 10.9 cases per 10,000 residents aged 80+ in Ontario. and prisons.

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City records a surplus in the 2019 budget; they call that a favourable variance - most of the upside came from investments

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

April 9th, 2020



We are not likely to see numbers like these in the 2020 financials – linger over them.

Surplus graphic

Most financial statements use the phrase profit/loss or surplus/deficit. Municipalities are different – they refer to what we know as a surplus as a “positive variance” and what we know as a deficit is a “negative variance”.

Municipalities are not permitted to have a loss – which is why they have reserves; funds they can draw upon when a particular account eats up what the departments had budgeted.

Snow removal is one account that is almost impossible to budget for – the 2014 flood was another example. When they need funds for unexpected events like these – they turn to a reserve fund.

The Tax Stabilization fund is the “piggy bank” that gets tapped frequently. It is also the account that any “surplus” or positive variance gets deposited into.

Where were the budgets over and under from the Strategic Plan viewpoint?

Op budget perf 2019

The four strategic plan pillars – how the budget was allocated.

Spending looked at from a departmental viewpoint.  Where things went well and where things slipped up.

The expensive mistake of getting the Customer Service software in place and operation isn’t reflected in this report – some questions to ask at this level.

The earnings on investment appears to be what made the positive variance.

Does this report give the city finance department an A or a C?

Acct document

Corp rev part 2 of acct doc

The investment revenue sort of papered over the problem areas.

This report provides an overview of the financial performance of the 2019 Operating Budget and additional variance commentary for select services as at December 31, 2019.

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Worobec: Spring is in the air; family has been spending a LOT of time outside


The Gazette has 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 will 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.

graphic coping greenBy Ashley Worobec

April 8th, 2020



We have been doing pretty well.

The shock and awe is easing, and we’re adjusting to a new normal.

All four of us are home, as my husband is a teacher so he and the kids are obviously not at school, and my clinic was closed as of March 16th.

Ashley Apr 8 plant

Something that says Spring is on its way – bit warmer would be nicer.

We are filling our mornings with more structured activities- the kids have begun their daily online work, which has been a real help to provide some routine and concrete goals. I’ve been helping the kids with their work while my husband does his own computer work- creating assignments for his students and interacting with them online, checking in to make sure all have access to the work, phoning to see how they’re doing.

I’ve been really touched with how much communication we’ve had from the kid’s teachers and I’ve seen how much work my husband is putting in, keep his own students engaged and informed. It’s a trying time, but we’re all adapting. The afternoons seem to be more unstructured, and we do lots of walks, puzzles, and movies.

Ashley office team Apr 8For me, my clinic is having bi-weekly Zoom meetings and that’s been really helpful to keep morale high.

We are working hard on the business behind-the-scenes, and it’s been great to have that focus. We are also offering complimentary virtual or telephone appointments for our patients, which allows us to modify their rehab exercises and give advice if they’re in pain or looking for some guidance for their biomechanical health.

Spring is in the air, which I’ve found to be helpful as well. My extended family is all in Alberta, and they are still very much in the depths of Winter, so it’s been harder for them to be outside. My family has been spending a LOT of time outside, and yesterday the kids set up their slack line in our front yard- it’s basically a big tightrope and provides lots of fun for them.

Ashley slack line Apr 8The Easter bunny brought it a couple of years ago, and it seems that every year around Easter weekend, the slack line finds its way outside- it really marks the start of the nice weather, and this year has been no exception.

Of course the kid’s sports have all been cancelled, but we’ve been playing a lot of games in our yard – soccer, football, and lots of workouts in our driveway. We have a bit of gym equipment, including some dumbbells and kettlebells and it’s been really nice to see our kids taking an interest in that as well, as my husband and I are both workout junkies.

Related news stories

Week 1

Week 2

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If there is a 2020 baseball season, the first time we might hear an ump shout 'play ball' will be July

sportsgold 100x100By Pepper Parr

April 8th, 2020



A 101 year tradition is about to take a hit – the Inter County Baseball League is going to have to basically cancel their season.

Many of the communities that have a ball team have closed their ball parks.

Baycats player sports

The Barrie Baycats have been the IBL league leader for the past few years

The COVID-19 has had an incredible impact on every aspect of society and sports is no exception and after a century of continuous operation, The IBL and all its teams are resigned to the fact that a traditional IBL season in 2020 is not possible.

Several of the municipalities where The IBL has teams have already stated that those ball parks will be off limits until at least Canada Day.

The IBL is still hopeful that the pandemic is brought under control in the coming months and that some sort of modified IBL season is possible.

Batter IBL August

The crack of the bat as it meets the ball may not be heard this season.

What that season might look like is pure conjecture at this point. We do know there is no hope for a full season and playoffs like The IBL and its fans have experienced for 101 straight summers. We also know that some teams have already made the tough decision that they will not be playing this year.

All teams, including those that are still holding out hope for some baseball this year, realize that the prospects of a season of any kind seems unlikely and would only move forward with the full blessing of the province, medical officers of health and our municipalities. We realize a lot of good things would have to happen for us to have some baseball this year including the absolute safety of our players, umpires, volunteers and fans.

This is consistent with Baseball Ontario’s current direction and hope for a season in 2020.

At this point, The IBL can say in confidence that we will not have baseball of any kind before July 1; that the majority of teams, while realizing IBL baseball this summer may seem unlikely, are hopeful of playing a modified season; and that some teams have already resigned themselves that they will not operate in 2020.

Finally, to our fans, players, umpires, sponsors, volunteers and all the people past and present who have a relationship with The IBL – stay in, stay healthy, stay safe and hopefully, we see you all at the ball park as soon as this is over and it is safe to do so.

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Food Bank would like you to CALL them - dropping by for food doesn't work all that well

News 100 redBy Staff

April 8th, 2020



Robin Bailey is a kind man who works hard at making sure people who need food get the food they need.

Bailey Apr 8

Robin Bailey – Executive Director Burlington Food Bank

He is a friendly man – but he does not want to see your face.

He doesn’t want you to come to his front door either.

If you need food; if you are self-isolating and don’t have anyone who can shop for you – call Robin – he will get food to you.

Just don’t visit him.

“At the Food Bank” explains Robin “we are still trying to transition our clients over to a home delivery model. For those that still come to the store, we are grateful that you are all practicing social distancing and wearing protective masks – thanks for doing your part.
If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help have them email us at or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at the door. If you live in Burlington, we are here to help.

Donations are always welcome –

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City-wide burn ban effective April 13th

News 100 blueBy Staff

April 7th, 2020



The Burlington Fire Department has issued a City-wide burn ban and suspending all Open-Air Burning Permits until further notice. The ban is effective April 13th, 2020

brush fire

Brush fires can easily get out of control – not what the fire department wants to have to deal with at this time.

As part of the COVID-19 response, a burn ban is being implemented as a preventative measure to ensure that Fire Department resources are available when and where needed most. Additionally, the Fire Department is trying to limit non-emergency interactions with residents and respect physical distancing requirements at this time.

Fire works

Fire department is discouraging the use of fire works this year.

Firework displays for the Victoria Day weekend are also being discouraged due to the potential fire hazard and concerns around social gathering.

Emergency orders currently in place to address the COVID-19 outbreak include the prohibiting of organized public events and social gatherings of more than five people. Failing to comply with any of the emergency orders is an offence under the Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act and may result in fines.

Park Closures
All amenities in City parks are closed, including parking lots. Please continue to respect the caution tape and keep off playgrounds, sports fields, skateboard areas, tennis and basketball courts.

Only walking, jogging, riding a bike or scooter/wheelchair through a park or trail is permitted. Remember to keep two metres away from others – about the length of a hockey stick.

The best thing residents can do to protect themselves and the community, is stay home.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward “supports the decision to ban open fires and fireworks for the time being as we manage the COVID-19 response throughout our city. Removing additional risk helps us ensure our emergency responders are better able to focus on the urgent work ahead of us in this unprecedented global health challenge.”

Lazenby David

Dave Lazenby, Fire Chief

Dave Lazenby, Fire Chief and Operations Section explains: “The open-air burning ban is a temporary measure to assist with the strategies put in place during this time of COVID-19, including physical distancing to help “flatten the curve”. It will also allow fire crews and fire inspectors to focus only on essential services without the need to deal with the issues and workload created by open-air burns. We anticipate lifting the ban as soon as it is safe to do so.”

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Proximity bylaw now has massive fines if people do not stay at least six feet apart. Error in the first version

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 7th, 2020


In an early version of this article we featured a picture of the Mayor and her family on the veranda of their home and suggested they were not adhering to the six foot requirement. They weren’t – what was neglected was that the six foot rule does not apply to family members living in the same house.

Our apologies to the Mayor and her family for our error.

Yesterday at a special meeting of council, city council unanimously approved a new physical distancing by-law to support efforts in minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

Council considers the protection of health and safety of the public to be of paramount concern, and the direction for the proposed by-law comes from the City’s Emergency Control Group.

The Medical Officer of Health has recommended physical distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres from other individuals who are not members of the same household.

The City of Burlington’s by-law states that while on public property, no person shall stand less than a 2 metre distance to any other person that does not reside with them in a single household or permit a child under the age of 16 to stand less than a 2 metre distance from any other person that does not reside with them in a single household.

Upon conviction of an offence under this by-law, a person would be liable for a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $100,000.

The by-law is expected to be in effect through the duration of Burlington’s State of Emergency. More information can be found on the city’s website.

“We must all act responsibly to ensure the health and well-being of everyone in our city. It is my sincere hope that residents in our community will respect the repeated advice of healthcare experts and voluntarily maintain physical distancing so that no tickets need to be issued under this by-law.

“The longer we stay apart now, the sooner we can come together again.”

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Mayor hands out a tax relief goody - you still have to pay those property taxes - just not right now

News 100 redBy Staff

April 7th, 2020



The wheels are still turning at city hall.

Other than the Chair of the meeting and people from the Clerk’s Office, the Council Chamber is empty. Everyone else is “on-line” waiting for their opportunity to speak.

The day started out at 9:30 with a meeting of the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Standing Committee.

When they had finished their business the Mayor took the Chair and convened a special meeting of council to hand out a goody – relief of penalty and interest for property taxes in the months of April and May 2020 and relief of the administration charge for any returned payments during that time.

In her Statement the Mayor said:

The City has received numerous concerns from both the business community and homeowners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic impact. The City currently has one property tax installment date remaining for interim billing on April 21. The temporary property tax relief will allow businesses and homeowners to make their April 21 installment by June 30 without incurring late payment charges.

Financial supports from the federal and provincial governments are also being introduced to support individuals and businesses. The temporary changes being recommended would mean that for the months of April and May 2020:

• No penalty will be charged for the April 21 installment for all property owners
• No month-end interest will be charged for all property owners in April and May
• No returned payment admin fee will be charged by the City for any returned tax payments (i.e. insufficient funds, stop payment)
• The next tax payment is not due until June 30

Pre-Authorized tax payments will continue to be withdrawn. Individuals on a preauthorized payment plan that are unable to make payment can temporarily suspend their withdrawals from their account by emailing The City requires notification at least three business days prior to the withdrawal date.

Taxpayers who sent a postdated cheque to the City for their April 21 tax installment and can no longer make payment have been asked to put a stop payment on the cheque at their bank.

Property taxes are the most important revenue source for the city to ensure we continue to provide essential services for residents of the City of Burlington during these challenging circumstances. Taxpayers are encouraged to make payments where possible during these unique times. This temporary relief will be reviewed by staff and council on an ongoing basis until the State of Emergency related to COVID-19 is lifted.

 Nice gesture – what will it do to the city coffers?  The public will get to learn just how deep in the hole the city will be when this is all over.

Remember the Mayor’s comment:  “Property taxes are the most important revenue source for the city”    When they run short of cash they turn to the property tax rate.

We are getting Statements from the Mayor on a regular basis – two so far this week

We aren’t seeing any Statements from the members of Council.  Maybe they aren’t allowed to speak; that must be particularly difficult for a couple of them – they always have something to say.

During a State of Emergency the deal is that the Mayor is the mouthpiece – they want the message to be consistent – makes sense.  But this council isn’t made up of high school drop outs.  They are innovate, committed and focused.  They were elected and they need to be heard.  And the public needs to hear from them.  The administration is in place to carry out the will of council.

Other than Statements from the Mayor this city has no clear idea what the will of Council is.  We did manage to get a sense as to what Councillor Sharman thinks – he is not a happy camper.


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St. Matthews United Church Annual Plant Sale still a go

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

April 7th, 2020



It is a 20-year tradition – the Annual Plant Sale at St. Matthews United Church on Plains Road.

They are not about to let a pandemic shut them down.
The event has been re-branded and is now a “Drive-through Plant Sale”

Plant sate CORRECT

As usual, they will take Pre-orders now, paid for and picked up the first part of May, when the orders will be brought out and put in the trunks for people as they drive up. “Our way of living may have changed, but people will need to be in their gardens by that time for therapy and we at St. Matthews are adaptable. However, due to maintaining distance, this year there won’t be any sales on the day of pickup.  You place your order, pay in advance and pick them up” advised Connie Price.

If you don’t have a computer or on-line access drop off your order, with a cheque please, at the Church’s outside Mail-box on dates as shown on the flyer.

Deadline for Orders is April 12th.

The response to the Pre-paid Drive-through hands off Pick-up method has been very positive.

Thank you for sharing or ordering for yourself and stay safe.

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Raw cookie dough as a bed time treat; a 'quarantini' to celebrate the end of chemotherapy

graphic coping greenBy Nicki St George

April 7th, 2020



Nicki St George is the mother of two, Leo 11 and Bea 8. She is a teacher at a private school in Oakville and in the final stages of chemotherapy.  Nicki is part of a team of parents who write about their having the children at home experience

Saturday, March 28
It is a relief to have my husband back in the mix instead of being sequestered in his makeshift basement office. Bea does her dance class over Zoom. I am so impressed with how well the teacher has adapted to this new delivery method. Later, we organize a fashion show with two of my friends and their daughters over Houseparty.

I play music in the background and we all disappear to our rooms and emerge in our finery. I rock my mermaid sequin frock – any excuse to dig that beauty out! I read an article in the Atlantic about how pandemics are bad news for feminists – I reflect on the number of conversations I have had with my female friends about the current shortage of flour and yeast.

I have my first post-chemo alcoholic drink in four months. A quarantini.

Sunday, March 29
Since I have both yeast and flour, I decide to try making cinnamon buns. I keep promising the kids and then putting it off. They turn out okay. We go for a family bike ride after our weekly Houseparty get together with the grandparents and aunts and uncles. Bea masters getting herself started on the bike. This is a game changer!

Monday, March 30

Nicki task list Apr 6

What to watch for while we are on our travels.

I like Mondays. It is a great day to start fresh and set some good intentions and goals. This week our goal (that I set) is for me and the kids to get 10,000 steps every day. I make something called phyto broth which uses up all of the vegetable scraps that I’ve been saving for the last two weeks and creates a super vitamin packed broth. I take the kids to visit the grounds of my private school so that we can walk around the large lake-side property. We collect rocks by the shore and later spend time painting them. Leo likes his rocks too much to leave them anywhere for someone to find.

Tuesday, March 31

Eager to get our steps for the day and aware that Bea is not at her best (understatement) when walking around our neighbourhood, I devise a strategy to make it more fun. I give each kid a list of different items or animals to look for as we do our walk and take a tally. It is a roaring success until Leo gets fed up and crumbles his paper up. He is disappointed that Bea can count trucks as cars while he cannot include our local arena as a brick house. Most of the walk is spent with me encouraging the kids to keep going and to not give up. Leo is in a funk today. I give him some space and do my best to cheer him up. Neither of my kids have explicitly expressed unhappiness about the social distancing but I know it is taking its toll. Bea often uses the phrase, “when the virus is over…”

Golf course closed

The joke was supposed to be on my husband.

Wednesday, April 1st

The kids are eager to see Dan succumb to our April fool’s joke which consists of loading up the laundry hamper with all the weights in the house and then asking him to take it downstairs to the laundry room. I send him an image I created on a fake headline website which says that Doug Ford is closing all the golf courses until September (scary because this actually might happen).

Thursday, April 2nd

Nature walk Nicki Apr 6

Chickadees follow us and land on our hands even though we have no seeds to feed them.

We spend a lot of time outdoors today. My mood is much better when the sun is shining. I work hard clearing all the leaves out of the front garden. I find us a nature trail for our walk and chickadees follow us and land on our hands even though we have no seeds to feed them. I have been keeping off social media and the 24-hour news cycle lately. Instead we listen to Kidsnuz podcast and watch education TV shows during our downtime. I binge watch Friends in the evening. I find the banter on the show comforting.

Friday, April 3rd

Collis note Apr 6 Nicki

Why do I have to conform to this 5-day work week paradigm?

I am in a funk today. I will not get all my steps today and I don’t even care. I have no desire to plan anything. The past three weeks of programming every activity for our family has caught up to me. I wonder how long this period of self-isolation will last. All I want to do is drink coffee, watch TV and do my puzzle. I mean why do I have to conform to this 5-day work week paradigm?

Today is my rest day. I let the kids have as much screen time as they want. I fight off the feelings of guilt. So many people have it much worse than me. I really have nothing to complain about. Think about the people on the front line risking their lives to fight this virus. I try to convince myself this newfound misery is the side-effect of the new cancer drug I started taking this week and it to some degree, it probably is.

I have no energy for daily phone call to my mum. I tell myself that tomorrow is a new day, but I know that this is more than a single day funk and that Dan will have to take over as ‘camp leader’ tomorrow. I make raw cookie dough and eat it after the kids go to bed. More guilt.

Related news stories:

The idea

Week 1

Week 2

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City to hold a second Town Hall call-in on April 14th

eventsorange 100x100By Staff

April 7th, 2020



The City is going to host a second town hall – April 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. to provide updates about what the City is doing to protect the health and safety of our community and to address concerns from the public related to COVID-19.

The objective is to answer the questions the public has about the COVID-19 virus – the town hall has been extended to two hours and will take place between 7 and 9 p.m.

The two-hour town hall will be hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward and provide the public with an opportunity to hear from a panel of leaders confirmed to date including:

Commisso stare

City Manager Tim Commisso didn’t have much to say first time around

• Members of City Council
• City Manager Tim Commisso and senior staff
• MP for Burlington, the Honourable Karina Gould
• MP for Oakville-North Burlington, Pam Damoff
• MPP for Burlington, Jane McKenna
• MPP for Oakville-North Burlington, Effie Triantafilopoulos
• President and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital, Eric Vandewall
• Fire Chief, Dave Lazenby

How to Participate
Residents who would like to participate in the town hall can do so in the following ways:

Register in advance: Burlington residential phone numbers will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone town hall. Residents who would like to be added to the telephone call list can email by the end of day April 13.

Please note: if you registered for the previous town hall (held on March 26), you are not required to register your phone number a second time.

Join by telephone: Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-231-0276 at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 14 to join the town hall. For those individuals calling in, please be advised more than one attempt may be required due to the high volume of traffic on the phone lines. If the first call does not connect, please hang up and dial the 1-800 number again.

Once the call begins, a moderator will provide participants with instructions for how to submit their questions to the leadership panel.

Any questions not answered within the two-hour call will be posted, with answers, to the City’s website at, along with an audio file and full transcript of the call.

The first Town Hall call-in – on March 26, 2020, drew a reported 4200 people.

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