Libraries open during current heat wave

By Staff

June 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At 2:52 this afternoon the city released a statement advising the public that Cooling Centres Open –

A heat warning is in effect. Residents can stay cool at all open Burlington Public Library branches.

There was no mention as to how long the hear warning was to be in effect.

Central Branch

2331 New St.
905-639-3611

Aldershot Branch

550 Plains Rd. E.
905-333-9995

Alton Branch

3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.
905-634-3686

Brant Hills Branch

2255 Brant St.
905-335-2209

Kilbride Branch

6611 Panton St. Kilbride
905-335-4011

New Appleby Branch

676 Appleby Line
905-639-6373

Tansley Woods Branch

1996 Itabashi Way
905-336-5583

 

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A totally different use for donated equipment at Burloak Park

By Staff

June 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

 

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward opening the section of the park with the equipment more than a year ago.

A number of years ago the Burlington Seniors Community paid for the installation of specialized exercise equipment that was set up in the east end of Burloak Waterfront Park, Lakeshore Rd. at Hampton Heath,

The specialized Exercise Equipment is being used as a pilot location by Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation for their exercise program to help Parkinson patients.  Tomorrow, Thursday at 1:30 is the last of their 4 week pilot project at this location.

We feel that it’s important for the general public, rehabilitation professionals and seniors to be aware of the benefits this equipment can be and that it’s available free to use 24/7 at this wonderful picturesque location.

If you know of any families dealing with Parkinson’s – get in touch with the Foundation – they are there to help – and they do make a difference.  Reach out to Chair -Tamara 416-230-3215

Little did the Burlington Seniors Community know when they paid for the equipment that it would be put to this kind of use.

Good things do happen.

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Halton Region Public Health confirms first case of monkeypox

By Staff

June 8, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Halton Region Public Health has confirmed Halton’s first reported case of monkeypox virus. The individual is currently isolating at home and all contacts have been notified by Halton Region Public Health.

“While most people infected with monkeypox will have mild symptoms, some people such as children, pregnant women and those with immunodeficiencies are at higher risk for severe disease,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health.

An example of monkeypox

“If you have symptoms of monkeypox, it is important to stay home and call your doctor to be assessed. When seeking medical care you should wear a high quality medical mask and cover up all lesions.”

Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Symptoms of monkeypox typically include

fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, low energy, muscle aches and skin rash or lesions.

The rash usually begins within one to three days of the start of a fever. Lesions can be flat or slightly raised, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, and can then crust, dry up and fall off, much like chickenpox.

The number of lesions on one person can range from a few to several thousand. The rash tends to be concentrated on the face, palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Symptoms can start within five to 21 days after exposure to monkeypox, but usually appear in six to 13 days. Symptoms last between two to four weeks and go away on their own without treatment. A person infected with monkeypox can be contagious five days prior to the onset of rash until the rash has cleared and new skin has formed after a few weeks.

The virus can spread from person-to-person by respiratory secretions, direct contact with skin lesions, and/or contact with materials contaminated with the virus (for example, bedding, clothing).

The virus enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract or mucous membranes (for example, mouth, nose, eyes). Transmission through respiratory secretions requires prolonged face to face contact with close proximity to an infected person.

Halton Region Public Health continues to monitor the situation, investigate suspected and confirmed cases and complete contact tracing. For more information on the virus, visit Halton Region’s monkeypox webpage.

 

 

 

 

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How Not to Get Mad at Loved Ones: 6 Ways to Manage Emotions

By Kate Brown

April 28th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Everyone experiences negative emotions from time to time. You may have been taught as a child to suppress them, but it’s natural to be angry. The main thing is not to let your feelings become the reason for quarrels with other people. You can learn to control anger by understanding what causes it and expressing it in healthier ways.

Imagine the situation: you boil when the boss asks you to do extra work. Perhaps it’s not the first time it’s happened because another employee has again failed to complete his duties on time. You’re fed up and feel like you’re about to explode. Then you gather your coworkers and tell them what you think of them. Gradually your anger fades and you feel better, but you realize from the surprised looks on the faces of those around you that this was not the best way to deal with your emotions.

Usually the cause of anger is an underlying problem. It’s possible that you’re tired of doing everything for everyone at work and it’s high time you built personal boundaries. You no longer want to take on the responsibilities of colleagues who are not up to the task. Anger and quarrels will not help change the situation, it’s much more productive to learn to express emotions in other ways.

How to Control Anger
There are several ways to control anger. By following the simple instructions on this list, you can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which means you can calm down and relax. You’ll cope with anxiety and stress, your mood will improve, and your blood pressure will return to normal. Here’s what will help you not snap when you’re experiencing strong negative emotions.

Take a Break
Take time out and go for a short walk. This will allow you to reflect for a while before reacting to events emotionally. Go outside, feel the warmth of the sun, listen to the leaves rustling in the wind. Focus your attention on the world around you. Forget about the most pleasurable things, like gambling at a Canadian casino online or your favorite movie you’ve watched recently. This will activate your frontal cortex, and strong negative emotions will subside.

Awareness or Short Meditation
Close your eyes, slow your breathing, and allow yourself to calm down, relaxing your whole body. Take your mind to a place where you once felt happy. It could be the seashore, the mountains, or the arms of a loved one.

Writing a journal is an opportunity to put your feelings down on paper – you’ll be surprised how you feel when you go back and read them later.

Write a Diary
When you are angry, write an uncensored letter to the person who triggered your negative emotion. You can do this on paper or in your smartphone notes. Afterwards, reread the letter and try to figure out what experiences caused you to defend yourself through anger. Perhaps you feel humiliated or you are frightened by uncertainty. There is no need to send the letter to the addressee; it’s better to tear up the sheet or erase what you have written. This kind of practice helps you to structure your thoughts, find the true causes of your emotions, and cope with stress.

Deep Breathing
This method of anger management seems too simple, but it really works. The key is to start using it. If you are boiling over, but you cannot leave the room and need to continue talking to the person who provoked the negative emotion in you, turn away to breathe and count to ten. During this time, you will be able to determine the cause of your anger and outline a plan of action.

Exercise
If you are overcome by anger, do some simple exercises or swim in the pool. Exercise releases endorphins that make you feel better. It’s impossible to leave a workout with the same level of stress that you came to class with. Your anxiety level will decrease, making it easier for you to make informed decisions.

Anti-stress Accessories
The easiest and most affordable of these is a wrist expander. Squeeze and unclench the exercises in the palms of your hands. Monotonous actions will help to cope with stress and relax. Bonus – strong hands and excellent grip, the main thing – do not forget to change hands periodically. “I-affirmations.”

If you feel yourself boiling over, directly (but calmly) tell the person you’re talking to what you think about what’s going on. Use “I-affirmations” and don’t get personal. For example, you might say to your boss, “I’m puzzled by what you said.” My part of the project was done yesterday.” Such communication will provide new information and allow your boss to see the situation from a new perspective.

Speaking calmly and directly – takes the heat out of a conversation

Regardless of which way you choose to deal with your emotions, it’s important to identify the cause of your anger and recognize the difference between healthy and chronic stress. Understanding what makes you angry will help you deal with future outbursts of anger. If your anger is related to the other person’s actions, let them know how and why their actions affect you. The conversation should begin in a calm atmosphere – after you can pull yourself together. Together with the person, you are talking to, come up with a plan for how to communicate in the future.

Take time to get to know yourself better and develop emotional intelligence. If you learn to manage your emotions and stop snapping at others, you can strengthen communication and make your relationship healthier.

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There are solid reasons to be concerned about the Covid19 testing the government is not doing

By Staff

April 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Beachway water treatment plant in Burlington is the largest in the Region

The Covid19 infection numbers for the province are not encouraging – infection reports are climbing and the number of children not in school is alarming.

The Boards of Education don’t have any central reporting – what we are hearing from readers is that – a lot of kids are not in class.

With province wide reporting gone for now municipalities are relying on waste water testing.

While the numbers are not high – the trend is in the wrong direction

 

Location of the waste water treatment plans where testing is done. The test results are rising in every location

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Changing the way people view what has been a taboo subject - two women from Burlington appear to have made it happen

By Pepper Parr

April 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

How does change come about?

What makes people decide they want to change something that they think could be better.

Olivia Netto

Olivia Netto and Inman Nemar were both students at Nelson high school out riding their bikes and a situation arose that had them talking about those occasions when you really need a product there is nothing at hand.

The product in this instance was feminine personal hygiene products – a taboo for many people and something that young men just don’t know all that much about and are not comfortable asking questions either.  But for Olivia Netto and Inman Nemar it was a serious subject and they decided they wanted to try and bring about a change:  Getting free mental products in as many public locations as possible.

“Over the course of the past few years, we’ve noticed a lack of accessibility to feminine hygiene products both within the community and at schools. Our mission is to create a donation-based drive to cater to those in need. At school, in the workplace and in Burlington”, said Inman.

They took the view that offering free menstrual hygiene products in public washrooms is now considered as essential to the community as offering toilet paper, soap and paper towels.

Inman Nemar

Providing menstrual hygiene products in each of the public washrooms in the facility also provides a more inclusive approach to support the needs of transgender and non-binary individuals.

When they decided to try and involve the city they got a very good response.

Their focus was on Burlington – given the success they have had – they have their eyes on the Region, then the province and – why not the whole country.

They researched, they asked questions and they put together a presentation that went before city council.

They wanted the city to consider a pilot program

Olivia is studying Industrial design at Carlton University and Inman is studying Life Sciences at McMaster.

Asked how they can monitor the distribution and the take up Oliva said: “We have scouts out there.”

Why the apple? That’s something they will have to tell you. What they really want to talk about is their Pink Project.

There initiative is called the Pink Project; it was enthusiastically taken up by council – they approved the project as a pilot that will be in place until the end of the year.

Public response so far has been positive

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Covid19 outbreak at hospital declared over

By Staff

April 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Joseph Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 outbreak has been declared over in the Labour & Delivery area of Unit 2 North 600.

The outbreak was declared on March 25, 2022. In total, three healthcare workers contracted COVID-19. All appropriate actions were taken to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and physicians.

We thank our staff whose expertise and teamwork brought this outbreak to a close, and all our patients and their Essential Care Partners for their patience and understanding. Our thoughts are with those whose wellbeing may have been impacted during this outbreak.

Joseph Brant Hospital remains vigilant in following the Infection Prevention and Control safety measures in place to protect our patients, our staff and our physicians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Virtual Panel About Mental Health and Addictions - April 6th

By Staff

April 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) will be holding a virtual panel about mental health and addictions to shine a light on this important topic, help people discover the available services in the community and provide a forum for questions and answers at a time when many are looking for more support.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 7 to 8 p.m.

 Via Zoom – Link to Zoom webinar:

https://www.josephbranthospital.ca/en/programs-and-services/mental-health.asp

Taking part in the event are:

Moderator: Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga Central and Registered Nurse

Steve Selchen, Chief of Psychiatry, Medical Director, MHA (JBH)

Monidipa Ravi, Child and Adolescent Lead Psychiatrist (JBH)

Michelle Barr, Director of Services, Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK)

The need for mental health and addictions services has grown throughout the pandemic. One-third of Canadians aged 15 or older who reported having a need for mental health and addictions care said those needs were not fully met. By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness. JBH provides mental health and addictions programs and services for adults, children and adolescents.

 

 

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Is the Ford government already toast?

By Staff

April 1st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It’s their story and they are sticking to it.

The government is not going to impose any restriction as COVID cases surge

“It takes a worried worried man …”

The province is sticking to its reopening agenda despite hospitalizations increasing by 27 per cent in the last week and wastewater analysis pegging new daily cases at around 30,000.

What else is there to say?

The province is going to wait this one out – and hope that nothing breaks wide open in the next two months.

If the numbers do soar – this provincial government is toast.

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Halton District School Board hosting Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for Parents/Guardians this Spring

 

By Staff

March 31st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton District School Board is hosting Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions for parents/guardians this Spring. Covering specific topics based on feedback from parents/guardians, each session will be led by a mental health expert in that area who will share their knowledge and provide helpful information and resources.

Sessions include: 

Building Executive Function Skills in Teenagers – Tuesday, April 5 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Supporting a Child who is Grieving – Thursday, April 7 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Black Mixed-race Children & Identity – Wednesday, April 27 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Mental Health, Well-Being & Autism Spectrum Disorder – Thursday, May 5 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Celebrating Neurodiversity – Monday, May 9 at 7 – 7:45 p.m.

Supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ Students – Tuesday, May 17 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Anxiety & Depression in Youth – Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Registration is required for these sessions as limited spots are available.

Parents/guardians can register by completing the Mental Health & Well-Being Information Sessions Registration Form.

Sessions will be held on Google Meet, where closed captioning is available in various languages. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the session. Sessions will not be recorded.

Parents/guardians will have the opportunity to submit questions when completing the registration form or during the session.

The Board’s Mental Health & Well-Being webpage has information for parents/guardians and students on mental health, ways to support positive mental health and well-being, and how to get additional support at school and in the broader community.

 

 

 

 

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COVID19: Hospitalizations are rising - up to nearly 800 this week

By Staff

March 31st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Of course we know – but we don’t seem capable of doing all that much about what is going to happen next.

Epidemiologist Peter Jüni said the highly transmissible BA.2 variant of Omicron isn’t the main culprit — its peoples’ actions, bolstered by the relaxing of health restrictions. He calls it the “‘throw-caution-to-the-wind’ wave.”

Hospitalizations are rising, too — up to nearly 800 this week from around 600 just 10 days ago.

Meanwhile we have a Premier taking a major risk to public health while he scrambles to win re-election.  Why the public health people have not returned to wider testing is hard to understand,

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New Covid19 Outbreak at Joseph Brant Hospital - two staff tested positive

By Staff

March 25th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We were told that there would be small COVID-19 Outbreaks.

The Joseph Brant Hospital Inpatient Unit advised the public today that an outbreak has been declared on Unit 2 North 600 (2N600) at Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) after two staff tested positive for COVID-19. All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of patients, Essential Care Partners (ECPs), staff and physicians.

Joseph Brant Hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control team and Employee Health Services are ensuring all those who have been impacted will be contacted, monitored and tested as required.

A number of enhanced safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of our patients, staff and physicians. The unit remains open to new patient admissions. Essential Care Partners can enter the unit, adhering to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements including face masks.

JBH is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work to bring a safe end to the outbreak as soon as possible. Patients or loved ones who have questions or concerns can contact a member of the JBH Patient Relations team at 905-632-3737 ext. 4949 or by email patientrelations@josephbranthospital.ca.

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JBH Gradually Easing Public Health Measures: Surgical Activity has Reached 90 %

By Eric Vandewall

March 23rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As key public health and health system indicators continue to improve, Ontario and local governments are gradually easing public health and safety measures. While many of us welcome the opportunity to take part in indoor social activities such as sporting events, it is important to recognize that COVID-19 remains transmissible to vulnerable individuals receiving care in healthcare settings. We cannot lose sight of our role in protecting the health and safety of patients and healthcare workers at Joseph Brant Hospital.

Eric Vandewall: President and CEO Joseph Brant Hospital

Individual organizations and municipalities are responding and managing these new measures differently – some may choose to adopt current practices, while others may take a more careful and measured approach depending on local conditions and the populations that they serve. The lifting of public health measures by provincial and local governments is, at the end of the day, a judgement call.

Hospitals have the discretion to establish their own guidelines and review them on an ongoing basis. At this point, JBH will continue to require that all patients, essential care providers, and visitors wear a hospital-issued, medical grade mask while in the hospital. This decision is rooted in data, evolving science and evidence-based best practices – it is what is best for our patients, our staff, physicians, learners and volunteers.

We have not changed our COVID-19 vaccination requirement for Essential Care Providers (ECPs), with very limited exceptions. ECPs are still required to complete a COVID-19 screening before coming to the hospital. It is important for patients and their loved ones to review the visitor guidelines; we will continue to re-evaluate our policies in the weeks and months ahead, with input from our patients, their ECPs and our staff.

We have made changes to the limits on ECPs, recognizing the important role ECPs play in a patient’s care, well-being, and recovery. Patients staying in hospital can have two ECPs at their bedside, and individuals coming for appointments or coming to the Emergency Department can have one person accompany them.

I am pleased to report that our surgical activity has reached 90 per cent of pre-COVID levels, consistent with the changes in provincial direction. Our diagnostics are running at full capacity. We continue to explore additional strategies to address the surgical procedures backlog and are we are working closely with our surgeons to monitor deferred procedures very closely to ensure timely access for patients requiring  urgent and time-sensitive procedures.

Throughout the pandemic, we have shared what we are seeing in our community when it comes to care needs – this includes the growing need for mental health and addictions (MHA) services. I invite you to a virtual panel about Burlington’s current and future needs for these services on Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. The panel aims to shine a light on this important topic; help people to discover the available services in the community; and to provide a forum for questions and answers at a time when many are looking for more support.

Join our MHA experts, Dr. Steven Selchen and Dr. Monidipa Ravi; our moderator, Jane McKenna, MPP for Burlington and Associate Minister of Children and Women’s Issues; and Michelle Barr, Director of Services of Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK). Please go to www.keepcareclosetohome.ca for details on how to join the virtual discussion, and please take a moment to fill out a short survey about the mental health and addictions resources in our community.

These last two years have been incredibly difficult for everyone. The road behind us has been a long one, and we are moving in the right direction, with high vaccination rates and a decreasing trend in COVID-19 hospitalizations. As public health measures continue to lift, we encourage you to continue to follow the guidance of medical experts and public health officials.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our teams have continued to care for people in our community. I am so proud of our teams here at JBH and I would like to thank all of our dedicated staff, physicians, learners, and volunteers for their incredible efforts to provide safe and quality care.

Thank you for your continued support.

Please take care, stay safe and be well.

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Regional mask By-law will be rescinded effective 12:01 a.m. on March 21' city of Burlington bylaw also expected to be rescinded.

By Staff

March 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On Saturday, March 19, 2022, Halton Regional Council approved an amendment to Halton Region’s Consolidated Mask By-law 47-20 to rescind the by-law effective 12:01 a.m. on March 21, 2022. The amendment was approved at a Special Meeting of Halton Regional Council in order to update Halton’s by-law in alignment with the removal of the Provincial requirements related to the wearing of a mask or face covering in most settings.

Halton’s mask by-law was originally adopted by Regional Council on July 15, 2020, as an important measure to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and keep the Halton community safe. While the mask by-law is being rescinded in Halton, some Provincial and Federal masking requirements will remain in place.

Are these days behind us?

As of March 21, masking will continue to be required in select settings such as public transit, long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other health care settings, shelters, jails and congregate care and living settings, including homes for individuals with developmental disabilities.

In addition to the settings above, masks will also be required in the following circumstances:

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are required to wear a mask until day 10 following a positive test result or the onset of symptoms (whichever occurred first).
  • Close contacts and household contacts of individuals with COVID-19 are required to wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.
  • Individuals who have recently traveled outside of Canada, have to wear a mask for 14 days upon return.

Halton Region Public Health is also reminding residents that wearing a mask continues to be an effective public health measure for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and to be kind to those who choose to continue wearing a mask to protect themselves and others.

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health.

“There is still risk of transmission in Halton and we need to be mindful that the risk of infection and severe disease is greater for some individuals than others, including those who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions, and older adults,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health.

“Some individuals may choose to keep wearing masks in places where they are not required, and others, such as those who are close contacts of COVID-19 cases, will be required to wear masks for a period of time. Businesses and organizations may also continue to require or encourage mask use based on the risk in their workplaces and to their patrons. I encourage all Halton residents to continue to be kind and respectful to everyone, regardless of their decision to wear a mask or not.”

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Foundation created to identify and fully fund creative arts and exercise programs for those living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel.

By Tamara Boaden

March 18th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation is a non-profit corporation . Our primary objective  is to identify and fully fund creative arts and exercise programs targeted specifically to enhance and support the lives of those  living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative movement disorder affecting 25 new people daily in Canada.  Next to medication, exercise is the most beneficial therapy for managing this disease.

My husband was diagnosed with  Parkinson’s in 2011 and I have experienced what this debilitating disease does and understand how important these programs are for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

In May 2021, we  launched Parkinson’s in the Park ™which offered weekly walking, exercise, and Tai Chi programs in various parks In Mississauga.

In September 2021, we  expanded the walking and Tai Chi programs to Burlington.

Based upon our success and seeing the difference it made to our Parkinson Community, beginning April 2022, we are offering  and fully funding Arts and Exercise programs in Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington. Flyers are attached.

We plan to further  expand  our programs to Brampton and Milton by 2022/23.

We need your help to increase our community reach to attract new participants, volunteers, and financial supporters. Any assistance you can offer (i.e. share with your social media feeds, post flyers/brochures on community boards.

 

 

 

 

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Regional Council to debate an amendment to the mask bylaw in a rare Saturday meeting

By Staff

March 18th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Halton Regional Council will meet in a rare Saturday meeting to discuss an amendment to the bylaw relating to the Non-Medical Masks/Face Coverings in Certain Enclosed Public Places.

Notice of Amendment from Mayor Rick Bonnette and Councillor Clark Somerville re:  LPS26-22 – Update 5: Mandatory Non-Medical Masks/Face Coverings in Certain Enclosed Public Places in Halton Region

 

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Muir: Too early to change the masking rules - what's the rush?

 

By Tom Muir

March 17th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It isn’t popular to talk about masks and social distancing these days.

Everyone wants to see the pandemic declared over and get us to the point where we are dealing with an endemic and those are a piece of cake.

Tom Muir who contributes to the Gazette frequently focuses on just what it is we are dealing with and where the leadership is falling short.

I’m afraid I see too many cooks in the kitchen regarding Covid mandates, and too many splits of who has authority to decide.

Is this the time for the Medical Officer of Health to weight in with some comment?

I am particularly concerned about schools and the educational system, and have repeatedly expressed that concern. Now I find out from your message here that the City bylaw does not apply to schools. And also that the Regional Office of Health has authority, and could issue a Section 22 order, which could mandate masking in schools. Then, as well, you tell me the Medical Officers of Health at the Region is recommending lifting the mask bylaw.

So who has the responsibility to protect the children and the school system in this messy division of power? Regional Health has a conflict of interest between following orders that are “legal”, and the fact that something that is “legal” is not necessarily permissible, or morally justified in an ethical society, especially when the possible consequences for the most vulnerable in our society are known and are grave.

This conflict is very concerning as it raises questions of responsibility and accountability for a decision about children and schools – Who will be called to account for the decision and the consequences? Is the Board of Education responsible for this fiduciary duty of trust? If not, then why not?

I say again, it is just too soon to stop masking and other Covid controls in the school system right after all the interactions and mingling, and therefore increased virus transmission opportunities that will occur during school break. Several weeks are needed to see what happens. In addition, the City and Regional masking and other Covid bylaws, as you say, and I repeat –

“requires the wearing of masks or other face coverings within enclosed spaces open to the public, including:

  • City Hall and City facilities open to the public;
  • Burlington Transit;
  • Public areas of offices, retail outlets and malls; and
  • Inside common areas of apartment and condominium buildings.”

Is masking necessary for these children?

My point here is that enclosed public spaces are the areas of maximum transmission, and the masking is the first line of defence, then distancing, and this is an historical practice of public health infection protection.

Further, I say we need more time in general to consider lifting the masking bylaw because there is a lag in time to show what the health indicators are doing after the break, and in general.

I read this below in the Washington Post today, and it would do us well to heed the warning about the failure to be cautious in decisions with very serious consequences that we already know about very well. The whole article is worth a read in terms of what is going on with the virus.

“A surge in coronavirus infections in Western Europe has experts and health authorities on alert for another wave of the pandemic in the United States even as most of the country has done away with restrictions after a sharp decline in cases.”

“Infectious-disease experts are closely watching the subvariant of omicron known as BA.2, which appears to be more transmissible than the original strain, BA.1, and is fueling the outbreak overseas.”

My bottom line is that someone has to be called to be responsible to fulfill the Board of Education duty as Trustees – with root of Trust – to protect the children and the schools from the risk of this inherent policy harm, as stated by many independent experts, and by the known ways of how the virus acts. This is not safe policy for children, teachers, schools, or parents. It is not stated by Ford to be a safe policy, but a personal choice about risk tolerance.

The children themselves do not have the wherewithal to make such an independent choice for themselves, and are at the mercy of the politics, and what you decide to do. The rest of us will be collateral damage.

In my view, whoever gets to decide, whether it is the Board or not, will be guilty of negligence of fiduciary duty if they just obey Premier Ford’s orders.

Tom Muir is a retired federal civil servant who writes frequently on public issues

 

 

 

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Views on masking are mixed: many think the decision to remove the requirement came too early

By Staff

March 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON,  ON

 

The winding down of COVID-19 restrictions has begun in most of the country, and it’s being met with both confidence, and concern.

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, finds Canadians divided about the swiftness of public health measure reduction, and open to keep key restrictions in place for longer if necessary.

Indeed, large numbers say that removal is happening too quickly (36%), at the right pace (38%), or too slowly (22%). Significant regional differences define the overall findings, as people in various parts of the country react to the situation where they live and gauge the changes through the lenses of their own realities.

Nationally, 73 per cent say they would support continuing masking requirements in public spaces while 64 per cent support proof of vaccination at places like restaurants and theatres in their community.

These data help to underline an emerging trend as governments shift responsibility to Canadians to decide which health measures to continue to follow. While official requirements may soon no longer be in place, many are ready to continue with the habits they have formed over the past two years. Two-thirds (64%) will continue sanitizing their hands in addition to washing, three-in-five will maintain the practice of social distancing, and fully half say – at least for the time being – they will avoid large crowds (53%) and continue to wear a mask in public (50%).

Mayor Meed Ward with staff members at a restaurant chose not to wear a mask.

As premiers and public health officials make announcements about the plan for spring, they do so with varied public opinion profiles. In Atlantic Canada, B.C., and Quebec, premiers are perceived as having handled the previous two years well. A majority also say that Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam has done a good job (56%). On the other end of the spectrum, residents in Manitoba and Alberta are overwhelmingly critical of what they have seen from their premiers since the pandemic began.

 

 

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Milton, Oakville and the Region end their State of Emergency - Burlington still hanging in there

By Staff

March 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Town of Milton has ended its state of emergency for Covid-19. The state of emergency was first declared at the onset of the pandemic, on March 24, 2020.

The ending of the state of emergency follows the same announcements from Milton’s municipal partners – Halton Region and the Town of Oakville.

With the end of the state of emergency,  all residents are thanked for their resilience and commitment to keep our community safe. Residents are asked to remain kind, considerate ,and respectful toward those who continue to practice public health measures for their own well-being.

Residents are also encouraged to remain vigilant and practice what we have learned over the last two years. This includes staying home when sick and most importantly, getting vaccinated and boosted.

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Top five ways to prepare for a safe and healthy March Break

By Staff

March 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As provinces lift restrictions, many Canadians are itching to travel. With March Break upon us, the team at COVIDdetect has pulled together top five ways to help remain as safe as possible during these times of excitement, and a little trepidation.

Premier Ford was masked when he got his vaccination. The rest of us can do it

#1 Get vaccinated – get boosted

Getting vaccinated ensures you are adequately protected against the virus. It lowers your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. With over 80% of Canadians with at least two doses, many provinces and territories are loosening restrictions and mandates. A booster shot can increase your efficacy to hold off severe infection from COVID-19.

#2 Wear a mask, wash your hands

Wearing a mask and washing your hands are additional precautions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. These sustainable and effective measures can cut the risk of transmission of not only COVID-19 but also other viruses and illness.

#3 Be prepared – have rapid antigen test on hand

Forget the hassle of having to find a rapid antigen test while you’re away or the worry of not being sure if you should gather with friends and family. Carry rapid antigen tests with you to test before and after social gatherings, travel on planes, trains, and automobiles (and on public transit). Taking a rapid antigen test is quick, easy, and convenient. It allows you to get the results within 15 minutes without leaving the house. It is the perfect way to have peace of mind and enjoy yourself.

#4 Plan your trip carefully

Have a plan. Planning ensures smooth sailing for a trip and helps calm nerves, especially if this is your first time traveling in a long time. Look for activities with smaller crowds and gatherings or scheduling the activity at off-peak hours. Understand local restrictions and public health guidelines so you know what to expect. Reduce your risk by choosing outdoor activities. Check local travel blogs and community websites for a list of possible activities.

Get tested

#5 If you’re not feeling great, take a test

If you are not feeling well take the time to investigate. Using rapid antigen tests and common sense will limit exposing your friends and loved ones to whatever ailment you may have. With a rapid antigen test, you can better understand your symptoms and make informed decisions on taking care of yourself and when to seek treatment if necessary.

If you’re still worried about COVID-19, plan activities that are close to home, have a backup plan if activities become too busy and be creative! Additional resources are available on the Government of Canada travel and tourism website.

 

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