There are things to look forward to - once the majority is vaccinated and safe distances have been maintained

eventspink 100x100By Tom Geens

March 25th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Lift your eyes to the future – and the all-Canadian pursuits we can look forward to over the coming months.

By anyone’s standards, the last year has been extremely tough. Leaving aside the direct human suffering inflicted by COVID-19, the pandemic has also ground society to a halt, with lockdown measures meaning that so many of our favourite pastimes have either been put on hold altogether or severely curtailed.

Things are going to stay tough for a little while yet. But at least now, with the prospect of a vaccine-led recovery strengthening every day, it feels like we can finally lift our eyes to the future and the promise of a return to normality.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of Ontarians’ favourite all-Canadian pursuits – the things that we’ve been missing dearly, and that enrich our local and national life so much. Something to whet the appetite as we look forward to brighter days ahead.

PAID hockey Toronto

Hockey is the national sport – watched at both the professional and local levels.

Watching hockey

Our biggest national sport, over 1.3 million Canadians actively participate in recreational hockey games, and as much as 68% of the population watched the 2018 NHL playoffs. This is a sport deeply ingrained in our national psyche.

Yet in recent months, there have been COVID-19 outbreaks traced to hockey arenas all over the US and Canada, meaning that spectators are not being allowed into stadiums to watch their favourite pro teams play. However, a vaccine-led recovery raises the prospect of Ontarians returning to the stands in the not-too-distant future, watching their favourite players while gobbling down hotdogs, ice cream and beer.

Playing rugby again with our friends

We might not be the world’s most famous rugby nation – that accolade probably goes to New Zealand – but we still love the sport.

wer

In Burlington the local Rugby Clubs take part in events, including the annual Christmas parade.

It was introduced to this country by the Royal Navy back in 1823, and we now have domestic tournaments such as the Canadian Rugby Championship and we participate in continental matches such as the Americas Rugby Championship.

With Rugby Ontario announcing that rugby clubs in certain parts of the province are allowed to start playing again, it feels exciting to be returning to the rucks and scrums of this fiercely competitive sport and using up some of that excess energy that we’ve all been storing up from months spent indoors.

Enjoying galleries and our world-beating culture

What have you been doing to pass the time during stay-at-home measures? A decent novel always helps. Netflix may offer some entertainment. There’s also the world of online casinos – sites such as this one offer plenty of online games, chances to win money, and safety measures to ensure that you can keep track of what it is you’re spending. For as long as the economy remains at least partially closed, indoor pursuits like this may help to keep you sane.

AGB live auction - closer look

Patron looking at painting being auctioned.

However, we’re all craving a bit of culture – Canada is famous for it, after all – and our very own Burlington Art Gallery has re-opened its doors.  With its range of exhibits, including a prominent collection of Canadian ceramics, and free access for visitors, this is definitely a great day out for the family.

Further afield, in the cultural mecca of Toronto, just over 40 minutes’ drive away, the Art Gallery of Ontario also remains closed – though an excellent array of virtual courses and activities remain available. For example, artist instructor Amanda Arcuri is running an online series called ‘Drawing Larger Than Life’.

Elsewhere, the world-famous Toronto Symphony Orchestra has posted an update on its website saying that it hopes to be able to share further details about its 2021/22 schedule by late spring or early summer.

Running your model boats at Centennial Pond

Skating at the Centennial Pond is over the for season.  Soon the water will be ready for those model boats that scoot around at a feverish clip.

Everyone is looking forward to the point where the majority of people will have been vaccinated and we will be able to get out to wine and dine and maybe event get to a movie.  Too early to tell – but that is the hope – assuming we all maintain that two metre safe distance and wear masks.

Drinking craft beer in our enviable array of bars

The humble glass of beer. In a bar. With your friends. Surely, few simple pleasures are being missed quite as much as this one, with venues across Ontario still shuttered due to the pandemic.

However, we can find solace in the fact that our enviable craft beer culture will come back with a bang when lockdown does finally end – and Toronto’s craft scene and brewers, in particular, give us hope that one day soon, we’ll be experimenting with all manner of flavorful ales.

Places such as Bandit Brewery, with its devilishly good bar snacks and quirky beer selection, is just one of the establishments that we’ll be hoping to get back into soon.

beer guy

The Beer Guy will deliver the suds to your door while you watch the hockey game.

Until then, be sure to check out companies such as The Beer Guy in Burlington, and the range of local breweries offering deliveries of kegs and bottles to people’s front doors.

We’re so lucky to live in Ontario – our proximity to big cities, big culture and world-beating nature means that we’re well-placed to enjoy the economic and social recovery from COVID-19 when it finally sets in.

Until then, we’ll have to make the most of the activities that we’re still allowed to do under restrictions and meditate on the prospect of better days ahead.

Return to the Front page

If you are over 70 - log in and register for your vaccination

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 25th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The next cohort – those 70 and over – step up and register for your vaccination

The system the Regional Public Heath Unit has put in place is superb – there is no other word for it.

vaccination sign

Don’t show up more than ten minutes ahead of your appointment.

Well organized with all kinds of people on hand to step you through the process.

One little thing to keep in mind – don’t show up too early – 10 minutes before your slotted time is enough.

If you are over 70 – here’s the drill.

Starting Friday, March 26, Halton residents who are 70 years of age and older (born in or before 1951) can book an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic. Appointments are available in March and April.

To book an appointment CLICK HERE    Have your OHIP card in front of you when you book.

sder

Gary Carr when he was Speaker of the Provincial Legislature.

“We are making great progress with our vaccination program and we are continuing to book and vaccinate eligible residents as quickly as possible,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Our six vaccination clinics across Halton are running smoothly thanks to the commitment of Regional staff and our partners at Joseph Brant Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. We will keep moving forward with our program, dependent on vaccine supply from the Federal and Provincial governments.”
Halton’s six clinics are by appointment only and are located in Burlington (including Joseph Brant Hospital), Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville (including Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital).

Additional locations will continue to be identified as required. Residents are reminded that appointments must be booked through Halton’s online booking system or if you require assistance call 311.

Bookings for Halton’s clinics are not available through the Provincial booking system; residents who access the Provincial booking system will be redirected to Halton’s system.

Hamidah Meghani

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

“While we have made significant strides, it is important to remember that vaccine coverage is not yet widespread and we must continue to follow public health measures,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “COVID-19 can spread easily if we let it and our individual actions are critical to limiting transmission. Please continue to stay home as much as possible, limit trips to essential outings only, keep a distance and wear a mask around anyone you do not live with. As always, please stay home if you are not well, even if your symptoms are mild.”

 

Return to the Front page

Almost everything you want to know about the vaccines that are being used.

graphic thinkpiece 5By Staff

March 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Millions of Canadians want to know — of the four COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada — which one is the best one? Numbers and statistics are flying around and it’s fair to have a lot of other questions.

Are the Moderna and Pfizer shots really the ‘Cadillac’ of vaccines? Is the AstraZeneca shot effective? Does it matter which vaccine you get? We explain what vaccine efficacy really means and why comparing them is like comparing “apples to oranges”, the real differences between the ‘jabs’ and why out of all the numbers, 100% is the big one to focus on.

CLICK HERE for an excellent report on just what all that medical means.  (When you get to the link, scroll down for the podcast.) It runs for 15 minutes but you will leave knowing a lot more and have fewer questions.

needle and vaccine

Return to the Front page

Spring break and PA Day programs open for registration on March 26

eventspink 100x100By Staff

March 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City’s spring break programming, which includes Youth Camp and Student Theatre Camp, and PA Day programming will be open for registration at burlington.ca/schoolbreaks on March 26, 2021, at 11 a.m.

Programs are available for viewing now.

students distant standing

Students will be able to be outside but programs will be much different this Spring Break.

Youth Camp and PA Day programming will take place at Tansley Woods Community Centre, 1996 Itabashi Way.

Student Theatre Camp will take place at Burlington Student Theatre, 2131 Prospect St.

If residents have questions about programs or need help with registering, contact the City by email at liveandplay@burlington.ca, or if you need to speak to someone, call 905-335-7738, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

Recreation Fee Assistance

Recreation is for all, regardless of financial situation. Recreation Fee Assistance is funding made available to resident individuals or families who need help to pay for City of Burlington recreation programs.

For more information or to apply, visit burlington.ca/feeassistance. You can also leave a confidential voicemail message at 905-335-7738, ext. 8501 and staff will return your call to assist you.

Chris Glenn, Director of Recreation, Community and Culture explains that while: “Programs may look different we have designed them to still offer the highest quality programming, staff and participant safety and a wide range of fun and exciting activities.

“Kids will love the programs and parents can feel confident their child is not only safe, but having fun, too.”

Links and Resources
www.burlington.ca/schoolbreaks

Return to the Front page

Were we asked to leave? Or did they just forget the best mid sized city in Canada to live in.

graphic community 3By Staff Burlington missing

March 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Where did Burlington go?

Were we asked to leave the Region or did they kick us out?

Halton Health seems to have forgotten us.

A sharp eyed reader explains:

“Halton Healthcare” is a hospital corporation with hospital sites in Georgetown, Milton, and Oakville. Jo Brant Hospital is a separate hospital organization in Burlington and has never been part of Halton Healthcare.

This is different from Halton Public Health, which is regional and includes Burlington.

 

 

Return to the Front page

Seven confirmed variant infections at an area steak house where 200 dined

News 100 redBy Staff

March 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON,  ON

 

The Regional Medical Officer of Health issues instructions for food & drink establishments a few days after the public learns of the spread of a variant Covid19 at an area steak house that is reported to have served 200 people.  Seven have been found to have been infected with the variant.

On March 20, 2021, the Province announced adjustments to dining capacity limits at restaurants, bars, and other food and drink establishments for regions in the Grey/Lockdown, Red/Control, Orange/Restrict and Yellow/Protect levels of the COVID-19 Response Framework: Keeping Ontario Safe and Open.

For Halton in the Red/Control level, changes include allowing up to 50 per cent capacity of the indoor dining area, to a maximum of 50 patrons, so long as physical distancing requirements are met.

As an added measure to protect the safety of staff, patrons and the broader community, Dr. Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health has issued instructions to owners, operators and other persons responsible for restaurants, bars, food trucks, concession stands and other indoor and outdoor food or drink establishments.

These instructions are being issued as we continue to see cases of COVID-19 in Halton region and have experienced outbreaks and community transmission of Variants of Concern (VOCs). These instructions take effect at 12:01 a.m. March 23, 2021, and are in addition to Provincial measures identified in the Framework.

Olivers steakhouse

Regional Health Unit contacting 200 people who dined at Oliver’s

Oliver’s Steak House

Further to our investigation, Halton Region Public Health has confirmed two additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of staff infected to seven. As a result, Halton Region Public Health is extending the exposure period to up to and including Thursday, March 18. We are asking all patrons who dined at Oliver’s Steakhouse between March 8 and March 18 to self-isolate for 14 days after their visit, and to get tested for COVID-19.

All seven confirmed cases are of a variant of concern. The  Halton Region Public Health’s investigation and case and contact management is ongoing, it is estimated that the total number of people exposed during this time is more than 200.

Let me see if I have this right.  The Public Health Unit loosens up the restrictions on dining out while the units investigation, case and contact management teams are scrambling to get in touch with the people who dined at the restaurant.

Sometime in April we will learn how many people were infected and if there were any deaths as a result

 

Return to the Front page

Toxicity in the public square ... tears at the social fabric of communities.

graphic thinkpiece 5By DIANE KALEN-SUKRA

March 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A concurrent path towards systemically addressing toxicity in the public square and fostering a culture of civility, respect, mutual care and wellbeing includes efforts to enhance the skills of both citizens and civic leaders in civil discourse, critical thinking, social emotional regulation, secular ethics and the centrality and importance of human well-being and compassion in a healthy society.

Toxicity in the public square causes harm to individuals and organizations, results in a loss of diversity, lost productivity, costly lawsuits, and tears at the social fabric of communities. Ultimately, it undermines our democracy and the ability for governments to work collaboratively and effectively with the public to solve the many complex problems communities face. COVID has only exacerbated these challenges, threatening local economies, main streets, and downtowns as well as the further deepening of systemic urban inequalities and local government funding shortfalls.

In short, we need each other. A notable global effort to improve the quality of civic participation and social trust is called Citizen Discourse, which promotes the practice of healthy civil discourse skills. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to voluntarily sign a Compassion Contract – a type of social contract committing them to a set of shared values that inform a community’s norms for engagement.

They are centred on a few principles—namely, be respectful; listen to understand; act with good intentions; support ideas with evidence and experience; disagree without being disagreeable; critique the idea, not the person; invite wonder.

Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue recently published the results of a two-year survey in which they found that 60 percent of Canadians want improved civic education and 44 percent would like more avenues for democratic participation.

Then there are the 450 cities that have adopted and signed the Charter for Compassion – a public commitment to foster safe, inclusive, and resilient communities for all that are rooted in ethical conduct and compassionate integrity.

One such Charter Compassionate City, the District of Sooke, British Columbia was already well-positioned to adapt to pandemic-exacerbated social and economic challenges. In 2019, Council adopted the Sooke Compassionate Action Plan that committed the District to partner with the community to address homelessness, the affordability crisis, social isolation, inadequate health services, and enhance public communication and collaboration. In July of this year, new homeless shelter space was quickly secured as multiple agencies rapidly banded together in the district to meet evolving community needs.

Sooke Mayor Maja Tait says part of embracing ‘the new normal’ during the pandemic is thinking outside the box, forging new relationships with community partners, and finding solutions that work for everyone. “I am grateful, but not surprised, that community partners came together under tight timelines, and found a better way to help our most vulnerable residents.”

“Our lives have been disrupted [by COVID] at local and global levels. Inequities have surfaced into full view. While our situation could be frustrating, frightening and even depressing, signs of potential for positive change and community growth have also emerged. We are all being urged to display creativity, compassion in these trying times. To become anything of true worth requires commitment and learning.

Where do we begin? I began with myself and my office. We were some of the first to take Compassionate Integrity Training. Even though compassion may sound like a soft skill set, it has very hard outcomes. Research shows that businesses that practice compassion increase their bottom line, that compassion decreases bullying in schools and increases the body’s immune system and other healing properties. We need compassion now more than ever.”

As this column goes to press, the first such training tailored uniquely for civic leaders, called Resilient Civic Leadership: Compassionate Integrity Training for Civic Leaders will be graduating its first cohort representing elected officials, Chief Administrative Officers, and other senior civic leaders from 16 different municipalities across Canada. Graduates receive a university certificate from the Centre for Compassion Integrity and Secular Ethics, Life University.

COVID has laid bare our interconnectedness as people, communities, and nations. As we work together to protect and heal ourselves physically from the ravages of COVID, we can also heal the fabric and soul of our communities, democracy, and planet. For better or for worse, we really are in this together.

Diane Sukra Toxic civic squareDIANE KALEN-SUKRA, MA, CMC is PSD’s Civic Resilience columnist. She is an author, speaker, educator, coach and certified culture change consultant with the Barrett Values Centre. Diane’s firm Kalen Consulting inspires and equips leaders to build resilient communities through good governance, asset management, servant leadership, compassionate culture, and civic education.

 

Return to the Front page

The Race is On and We’re Losing

 

“You have a variant (B.1.1.7) that’s 50 per cent more transmissible and you’re using the same tool box and control efforts that barely worked against the previous variant…So of course the prevalence will increase. It might be a bit more or a bit less but if you’re reopening and you have a more transmissible variant, cases will increase. It’s not even really rocket science.” (Chris Bauch, University Research Chair in the Department of Applied Mathematics,  University of Waterloo).

Rivers 100x100

By Ray Rivers

March 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

That vaccines are rolling out across the province is comforting, except that we’ve hardly made a dent in getting to herd immunity. About a million doses have been administered and we need more like 20 times that amount to allow us to get back to some kind of normal. And now we hear that there is a third wave of infections on our doorstep, driven by the variants which are as much as 50% more contagious, demand more hospitalization and are more deadly. So, we are in trouble.

sunnybrook field hospital

A field hospital set up by the Army in a parking lot at Sunnybook hospital

For over a year now we’ve been in some kind of tiresome on-again-off-again series of restrictions against interpersonal contact. But Ontario’s premier has an itchy trigger finger and can’t break the habit of jumping the gun. He’s done this before. Despite predictions of a second wave last autumn, Ford relaxed public health restrictions resulting in record breaking infection numbers, nearly full hospitals and about 1000 more fatalities. And then Ford refused to re-impose further restrictions until the end of the year, again despite medical advice, and after the virus had firmly embedded itself in our community.

And now, even as Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table has told him that we are headed for an ever greater third wave of infections, Mr. Ford is threatening to lessen restrictions on congregate activity rather than tighten them. Having rescinded the stay at home order he has just recently authorized more establishments to reopen. Despite all the impressive compassion he delivers at his media briefings, he clearly doesn’t get it – doesn’t understand the dynamics in play – or it’s all just an act.

Covid variants

The image on the right is what scientists think the spike portion of a variant virus looks like.

Right now we are in the midst of a race between the new virus variants galloping at full speed to infect and kill more people versus protecting enough folks from the virus through vaccination. And the virus is winning. We know this virus continuously mutates, and it’s pure math that the more virus present, the greater the probability of mutation. Just look at the UK, South Africa, Brazil and more recently California. Who knows, there may be an even more powerful variant around the corner?

We have been told that by September everyone in the country should have been administered the vaccine. In as little as six months, then, we might be in a position where the viral contagion no longer will keep our businesses shut and our families and friends distant from their loved ones. It’s a long time but not as long as what the Premier’s failed public health policy has put us through so far. We either choke the virus by locking down or we face the potential consequences of a viral epidemic largely left unchecked.

So Mr. Premier. It’s time to stop gambling with our health and declare a proper lockdown. This province needs a new game plan to check the virus while we get the rest of our population protected with vaccines.

We need a complete province-wide shut down of all congregate activities which are not completely essential, and some kind of compensation for those people whose incomes will be lost in the process. We need another stay at home order and possibly a Quebec styled curfew. We need to close the Ontario border to interprovincial travel, as Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces have done. And we need to keep it that way for at least three weeks, from what the experts are telling us.

It’s not an impossible task. China, where the virus originated, did this last year. The country has had an occasional outbreak since, imported from outside the country, but has been able to trace and isolate all contacts. And life is pretty much back to normal there now. It is the same story with Vietnam, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand. There are no Chinese or New Zealand variants being created. And their communities have not had to experience second, let alone third waves of infection.

We only need to look at the Atlantic provinces which are Canada’s star performers in fighting the epidemic. History will show that those jurisdictions which dealt effectively with the epidemic have come out of it relatively unscathed. Meanwhile those which failed, like Ontario, have seen their small businesses devastated by the on-again-off-again restrictions; witnessed increases in inequality, mental illness, government debt; and, sadly, unforgivable loss of human lives.

New Zealanders went back to normal last year after only a few weeks in total lockdown. Today, the only way the virus enters there, as it did everywhere else, is by international travel. But even a single new case warrants a total lockdown there, including area roadblocks and severe penalties for those flaunting the rules. Had Mr. Trudeau followed the lead of his friend, Jacinda Ardern, we would have had an effective quarantine system in place over a year ago, holding those foreign variants in check.

New Zealand Jacinda

New Zealand Premier Jacinda Ardern, won re-election based on her leadership during the Covid 19 crisis in her country. Will Ontario re-election Doug Ford based on his performance.

Prime Minster Ardern is a hero in her country for leading the people in their fight to eliminate the epidemic. She won an overwhelming parliamentary majority in her last election, something rare for any country with a proportional representative electoral system, and the first such win in New Zealand’s history. She is so well regarded that NZ scientists recently named a newly discovered subspecies of the weta, a giant flightless cricket after her – the Hemiandrus jacinda.

We also recently uncovered a new species here in Canada, identified first in the west end of Toronto. It has been tentatively named the the Etobicoke slug. Still, I doubt anyone would suggest renaming it after our premier, despite the sluggish way he has been dealing with the epidemic. And besides wasn’t there a 70’s Canadian pop group with that moniker?

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province.

 

Background links”

Third Wave –    Variants      The COVID Story –      Australians –     Atlantic Success

Jacinda –    The Etobicoke Slug –   Doug and the Slugs

Return to the Front page

Good news: those 75 and older can register on line for vaccination

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Starting Friday, March 19, Halton residents who are 75 years of age and older and Indigenous adults (including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations) 55 years of age and older who live in Halton can book an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a Halton Region COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic. Appointments are available to book in March and April.

“This is another important step in our plan to get our most vulnerable Halton residents vaccinated as quickly as possible, as supplies are available,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “I would like to thank Halton Region, Joseph Brant Hospital and Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital staff who have been working tirelessly to open our vaccination clinics in each of our municipalities, and our teams who have been doing a tremendous job administering vaccinations.”

Halton Region continues to follow Provincial directions on eligibility, including vaccinating vulnerable populations as part of the Province’s three-phase vaccine implementation plan. To ensure Indigenous voices were included in decision-making for Halton’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program, the Region initiated engagement with Indigenous communities and organizations in and around Halton, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Credit River Métis Council, Indigenous Affairs Ontario, Urban Indigenous Organizations servicing the GTHA and highly regarded Indigenous healthcare professionals. These engagements will continue to ensure that Halton’s clinics are respectful of both the priority given to vaccinating this population and Indigenous cultures.

vaccination signHalton has opened COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics in Burlington, Halton Hills, Oakville and Milton. Eligible Halton residents 75 years of age and older and Indigenous adults 55 years of age and older can book their vaccination appointment at any one of the clinics, including the COVID-19 Vaccination Centre at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital starting March 19. Additional locations will continue to be identified as required. Residents are reminded that appointments must be booked through Halton’s online booking system or through 311. Bookings for Halton’s clinics are not available through the Provincial booking system; residents who access the Provincial booking system will be guided back to Halton’s system.

“As our vaccination program ramps up, I want to remind residents that the COVID-19 virus and the transmission of the variants is still very concerning,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “Vaccines are just one important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and we must remain vigilant – please continue to stay home as much as possible, limit close contact to people you live with and go out for essentials only. These everyday decisions are critical over the next few weeks and months to prevent the severity of a third wave and will help to get us back to normal sooner.”

Important information & instructions:

In addition to groups currently eligible, on Friday, March 19, the following groups (or someone booking on their behalf) will also be able to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment through Halton’s online booking system:

o Halton residents who are 75 years of age and older (born in 1946 or earlier); and,

o Indigenous adults (including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit populations) living in Halton who are 55 years of age and older.

• While booking online is the fastest way to schedule an appointment, residents can also call 311 if they require booking support. Residents who are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine are asked to please not call 311 or visit the online booking system to ensure eligible residents have access.

• Vaccinations are by appointment only (no walk-ins) and must be booked through Halton Region’s online system or through 311. Please do not contact clinics directly. Bookings are not available through the Provincial booking system; residents who access the Provincial booking system will be guided back to Halton’s system.

• All appointments are contingent on the availability of vaccine supply.

• Halton Region continues to offer transportation services to and from appointments for residents who require support, free of charge.

• To maintain physical distancing and safety measures, please arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment (not earlier) and remember to wear a mask/face covering.

To learn more about Halton Region’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program, including who is currently eligible, transportation options and how to book an appointment, please visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines.

Return to the Front page

Clean Up Green Up weekend April 22nd - Register now

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is that time of year again – and there isn’t much the pandemic can do about it.

It is Clean Up Green Up time and registration is now open CLICK HERE to REGISTER.

clean up world logoSign up your family, friends, social bubble, colleagues or community group for this safe and impactful, eco-action opportunity. Give back to the planet by participating in an Earth Week Clean Up starting on April 22nd!

FREE clean-up supplies will be available for pick-up at two locations, and we’ve got some great prizes available this year too! Visit our website to learn more and to register your participation.

Great for families, friends, social bubbles and small community groups!
Spend quality time with your loved ones taking eco-action that not only helps the environment but also supports the local community. This safe outdoor activity is a great way to connect outside in nature and get some exercise too.

Great for businesses!
This is a great opportunity to gather your team or coworkers for a safe outdoor team-building activity that helps both the environment and the community. Are you currently working remotely? No problem! You can still be physically apart AND work collectively to clean up – have team members complete their own clean-ups at home on behalf of your workplace, team or business. Amalgamate photos from everyone’s clean up and see just how BIG your impact can be!

Great for the classroom!
Whether you are in a classroom or virtual classroom, this is a great opportunity to have students safely get outside, get some exercise and help the local environment too. Organize a clean-up with your class, or encourage parents to organize a family clean-up at home. Make it an exciting class project and encourage students to take photos of the litter they collect. We have a great complement of resources to support related curriculum – check out our Eco-Educators page for more.

How It Works:

1. Determine a location in Burlington that your family, friends, coworkers, community group or classroom would like to clean up.

 Location ideas include parks, trails, plazas, hydro fields, bike paths, the beach, creeks, roadsides, etc. You can also visit Friends of Sheldon Creek Watershed Facebook page to discover opportunities to help them out.

Visit this space regularly, we will be posting litter hot spots and some popular locations around the city that have already been cleaned up.

We encourage you to use your own clean up supplies, however, you can request free clean up supplies for your group. Supplies will be available for pick-up (while quantities last) at our supply depots;

2019 Community Clean Up Participants

Perks of registering:

  • We have FREE clean up supplies including disposable gloves, garbage and recycling bags available for pick up, by request, while quantities last.
  • When you register your Clean Up your group will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a $50 gift card to the Burlington Centre! We will be drawing for 2 gift cards for groups that register before May 2nd, and 2 more for groups that register between May 2nd and October 31st.
  • We’ve got extra prizes for groups that share their photos with us – so take photos of your Clean Up and tag us on social media or e-mail them to us for EXTRA chances to win! (Note: Submission of photos provides permission to BurlingtonGreen to use your photos in print, or in digital materials including social media platforms with permission to edit, alter, copy, or distribute the photos for media advertising and marketing)

3. Have a fun and safe Clean Up! Remember to:

  • Review our 2021 Clean Up Green Up Tip Sheet (PDF) for important safety and waste collection information.
  • Review our Volunteer Activity Waiver Informed Consent to Participate form.
  • Follow the most up-to-date Halton COVID-19 safety guidelines.
  • Count the number of full bags of litter you collected, take a photo of your (physically distanced) group with your collected litter and tag us on social media or send us an email!
  • Let us know about any larger waste items or “hot spots” with lots of litter that you encountered during your clean up, so we can flag it for further attention.
  • Bring ALL collected waste home with you and dispose of it through your residential curbside collection. Please do not leave collected waste at any parks, trails, businesses or green spaces, as city waste collection services are limited during the pandemic.

That’s it!  By participating,  you are contributing to a city-wide effort for a cleaner, beautiful Burlington.

Thank you to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the City of Burlington, Cogeco, YourTV and our growing list of supporters for helping to make this impactful opportunity possible. Interested in sponsoring this impactful event? Contact us today!

Return to the Front page

Resident has nothing but good words for vaccination process

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Here is how it works.

A resident from the Tyandaga area had a vaccination appointment. When it comes to being critical and direct – he is amongst the best.

His experience in getting vaccinated follows…

Vax 1 change

A change in the second dose appointment date is handed out.

I arrived at the vaccination station and security asked my name and designated vaccination time. They checked a list for validation.

I was 30 minutes early and was asked to return in 15 minutes (they did ask if I came by car and could wait in it) since it appeared that there was no real waiting area available inside the building (probably to avoid ‘crowding’).

After Security at the front door, I was then asked by Halton Staff to show my health card.

They then led me to the vaccination hall. Here there were three rows (A, B, C) each row containing 10 chairs (5 chairs side-by-side) in the row – all the chairs were separated by at least 6 feet.

On each chair was the literature that I have attached.

Each row of 5 was serviced by a Vaccination giver and an assistant. They went from client to client in their designated row (back and forth).

Before the vaccination, a number of questions were asked mostly to do with medication currently taken and any allergic reactions to specific medication.

If all was OK, then they gave you the shot of Phizer mRNA vaccine (make sure you have a short-sleeved shirt / vest on!).

After the vaccination, you were given a time that you could leave the vaccination area – 15 minutes from the time of the vaccination.

On leaving you were directed to the exit and again met by Halton staff who presented you with a Ministry of Heath certification of your vaccination and also the time and date of your second dose (note: this has been extended from 3 weeks to 4 months in order to give more people their first dose.)

Note: NO photos were permitted in the vaccination hall and this was strictly yet politely enforced. There also seemed to be security cameras scanning the whole operation

This was a very well organized operation with pleasant and helpful staff and the whole procedure from start to finish took approximately 30 minutes.

In fact, in my experience, from the initial registration phone call to the actual Pfizer ‘jab’ Halton should be complimented at their efficiency of delivery.

Vax 3 correct

Vax 2 what to do

 

Return to the Front page

Bureaucracy run amok

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Our apologies to the City Communications department.  The provenance of the article was attributed to the city.  That was incorrect.

The following was released this morning by the Mayor’s Covid19 Task Force.

 

The Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency.

Purpose
The Task Force will share information and mobilize community and agency resources to support our hospital and healthcare workers as we prepare for an anticipated surge of patients in the coming days and weeks and work through a recovery period, as well as coordinate our broader community efforts on COVID-19. Members will bring information and/or requests for assistance back to each of their own organizations and emergency response tables.

While this information-sharing and collaboration is already happening, the Task Force simply formalizes this effort and adds some structure as we collectively serve our community.

Membership
Membership includes community leaders and decision-makers representing various organizations and agencies involved in the COVID-19 response. New members may be added as the situation evolves. Each participant is likely to be a member of their own organization’s COVID-19 response group, with an ability to bring information from that table, where appropriate, to the Task Force, and vice versa.

Invitees are similar to the panelists on the Mayor’s recent public telephone town hall. Community response to that event was overwhelmingly positive, with residents specifically mentioning that they appreciated the assembled panel of cross-functional experts and leaders, and seeing the evidence of collaboration, sharing of information and coordinating of efforts to serve them.

meeting table

A table this size could not hold the Burlington Covid19 Task Force. Fortunately they meet virtually – more fortunate – many of them don’t show up.

Invited guests/organizations at this time:
Chair, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
City of Burlington Emergency Control Group:
Burlington Fire Department:  Karen Roche, Deputy Fire Chief
Amber Rushton, Business Continuity and Emergency Planning CEMC
Dan VanderLelie, President, Burlington Professional Firefighters Association
City of Burlington: o Tim Commisso, City Manager,  Allan Magi, Executive Director of Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services,  Sandy O’Reilly, Controller and Manager of Financial Services.

City Council:
Ward 2 Councillor and Joseph Brant Hospital Board Member, Lisa Kearns
Ward 6 Councillor, business owner and past hospital fundraiser, Angelo Bentivegna
Joseph Brant Hospital: o Eric Vandewall, CEO and President,  Dr. Dale Kalina, Medical Director of Infectious Disease
Halton Regional Police Service:  Roger Wilkie, Deputy Chief of Police,  Superintendent Anthony Odoardi
Halton District School Board:  Stuart Miller, Director of Education
Halton Catholic District School Board , Pat Daly, Director of Education
Halton Region:  Lynne Simons, Senior Advisor to the CAO
Members of Parliament:  The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, MP, Burlington
Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville-North Burlington,  Adam Van Koeverden, MP, Milton
Members of Provincial Parliament
Jane McKenna, MPP, Burlington,  Effie Triantafilopoulos, MPP, Oakville-North Burlington,  Parm Gill, MPP, Milton
TEAM Burlington:   Carla Nell, Burlington Chamber of Commerce,  Anita Cassidy, Burlington Economic Development,  Pam Belgrade, Tourism Burlington,  Brian Dean, Burlington Downtown Business Association,  Judy Worsley, Aldershot Business Improvement Area
Lita Barrie, CEO, Burlington Public Library
United Way Halton & Hamilton, Halton Poverty Roundtable,  Tyler Moon, Senior Manager, Community Impact
The Burlington Food Bank:  Robin Bailey, Executive Director
Burlington Hydro: o Gerry Smallegange, President & CEO
Reach Out Centre for Kids:  Kirsten Dougherty, Chief Executive Officer
Royal Hamilton Light Infantry:  Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer Alex Colic
Diocese of Hamilton:  Rev. Rob Thomas, Chaplain, Burlington Fire Department
Halton Islamic Association,  Sr. Osob
NUVO Network, o Bridget and Shawn Saulnier, Owners
Burlington Foundation: o Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO
Food for Life,  Graham Hill, Executive Director

Meetings
Meetings are expected to be one hour weekly, or more often as necessary, by teleconference chaired by the Mayor. With this large of a group, sometimes full attendance will not be possible. We will plan to send out a summary of each call the next day to all members, as well as post highlights here for the public to read.

Action Items and Meeting Minutes
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #19 – March 15, 2021 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #18 – Feb. 22, 2021 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #17 – Jan. 26, 2021 [PDF]
2020 Action Items and Meeting Minutes
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #16 – Dec. 3, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #15 – Oct. 29, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #14 – Oct. 1, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #13 – Aug. 26, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #12 – July 16, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #11 – June 25, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #10 – June 18, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #9 – June 4, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #8 – May 28, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #7 – May 21, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #6 – May 15, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #5 – May 7, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #4 – April 30, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #3 – April 23, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #2 – April 16, 2020 [PDF]
• Burlington COVID-19 Task Force Meeting #1 – April 7, 2020 [PDF]

This is the media release the city distributed. This is bureaucracy run amok

Return to the Front page

When do I get vaccinated?

opiniongreen 100x100By Jan Mowbray

March 16th, 2021

MILTON, ON

 

I have a real problem regarding the dearth of information available with regard to vaccinations.

Living in Halton, specifically Milton, my friends and I are exhorted to visit the Halton Region website for vaccination information, which I have done several times now.  It’s been time wasted so far.  The only information there pertains to the 80+ crowd and while I would never wish to deny the group early dibs at the vaccine – God and everyone else knows how hard this pandemic has been on seniors – where am I in the picture?

covid needle 2But what about the 70 plus group, which is where I am?  Why is there no reference at all on the Region’s website for the rest of us – the +70s, the 60’s etc.?  Even a vague mention that you have our backs would be encouraging, that you know we’re here and waiting, with increasing impatience.

In Toronto, they’ve gone from vaccination information for the 80+ group, front line workers, and many others.  No mention of the 70+ cohort but I’ve seen quite a bit of information for the 60+ to get their shots.

All very good for those living in Toronto but meanwhile, back here in Halton, how about information for vaccinations for those below 80?

I got a Tweet today from one of our regional councilors telling me to visit the Halton website for vaccination information.  Thanks, Mike, been there, done that. I’m no more aware than I was before your Tweet.  Not happy. I just want some, ANY, information.

werv

Jan Mowbray was a member of the Town of Milton council for two terms

 

Return to the Front page

Who can get vaccinated now - how do they register.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Who can get vaccinated now – how do they register?

It is a little on the confusing side when you try to register for a vaccination.

The province opened up its web site yesterday – it didn’t work all that well – but they appear to have solved the problems.

So – if you live in Burlington, or anywhere in the Region, and you are using the provincial web site to make a vaccination appointment that web site will push you over to the Regional site which has worked very well from the day they opened it up.

Biggest concern is – who can register.

Those over 80.

Those working in the medical field – and they all go to the Oakville Trafalgar Hospital.

Those in long term care housing have been taken care of.  The Region went to extraordinary effort to ensure those people were vaccinated.  They had mobile units that went to each location.

The rest of us have to wait until the medical people know that they have vaccines in stock and that they can meet the demand.  Then, and only then will things open up for vaccination registrations.

Roll out plan Mar 16

 

 

There is a lot of data on the Regional web site. The link to that web site is HERE

We are going to have to learn to be patient and we must continue to follow the rules.

Six feet apart – wear the mask.  If you have to get out of the house and have dinner with people – make sure you are dining with people that you live with.  Yes that does limit things – the objective is to prevent the spread of a virus that is proving to be quite a bit smarter than anyone expected.

 

 

Return to the Front page

What the data tells us: It isn't a pretty picture

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With people now being able to register on line for a vaccination appointment and actual vaccinations taking place it is useful to look at the data the Regional Public Health unit has put together.

The data from a Regional perspective:

PHU data Mar 15 Region

The variant versions of the virus are the huge concern. They are proving to be more deadly than the first version of the virus and they spread much faster.

 

 

 

The data from a Burlington perspective:

PHU data March 15 Burl

The number of variant cases is low – but these variants travel very very quickly. Reports are that we are now into a third wave..

The data that related directly to Burlington. There are variant versions of the virus in the community.

There is a desperate race to get people vaccinated before the variant versions of the virus spread.

Related news stories:

Medical Officer of  Health concerned about variant version of the virus

Return to the Front page

Burlington Foundation sends 4th round of grants totaling $146,000 to community groups

graphic community 5By Staff

March 15th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington Foundation last week announced the charities that will receive $146,000 from Phase 4 granting from the Covid-19 Pandemic Response Fund, since the Foundation announced the fund on March 31, 2020.

The Pandemic Response Fund was established to support community-based relief efforts through four phases of granting that has taken place since early 2020. With these new grant awards, the Foundation’s Pandemic Response Fund has provided over $453,000 in grant relief to assist charities in their response efforts recognizing that this pandemic will have long-term implications for the non-profit sector.

“With the second wave of Covid-19 striking our community and driving even more demand for emergency relief, we are very pleased to provide Phase 4 funding of $146,000 to 26 local charities who are working tirelessly to help our community’s most vulnerable citizens during this time of ongoing need,” says Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO of Burlington Foundation.

Compassion

Aliya Khawari, Executive Director, Compassion Society of Halton

The Compassion Society of Halton received $7,000 in funding. Aliya Khawari, Executive Director, shares, “We are so grateful for the generous funding from the Burlington Foundation for Covid emergency response.

The Compassion Society has been able to provide all the care and basic needs for many who have been deeply impacted by the ongoing pandemic. With mental health issues on the rise and anxiety levels in red due to social isolation and curbing of many social services – accessing food, hygiene and self-care items, clothing and other basic needs should be the last thing for people to worry about.”

The ongoing pandemic also continues to present connectivity challenges for people living with developmental disability. Community Living Burlington received $7,000 to enable the organization to continue providing virtual opportunities and meaningful connections. “Community Living Burlington is incredibly grateful for the support from the Burlington Foundation. During these challenging times, our agency goal is to ensure the people we support still feel connected to their community, and this funding will help us ensure that people will continue to thrive during this pandemic,” says Emily Huang, Senior Manager, Community and Resource Development.

Providing these critical emergency grants in this time of tremendous need would not be possible without the kindness of donors. Our heartfelt thank you to our many donors including: The Paletta Family, Pioneer Energy, Randy and Denise Reeve Family Fund, Milne Family Foundation Fund, Pieczonka Family Foundation Fund, LKH Spirit Fund, BDO Burlington Community Fund, Dalton Timmis Group Fund, and several community donors.

About Burlington Foundation
BCF logoBurlington Foundation is a registered charity with over 20 years of experience helping people accomplish their charitable goals and address our city’s most pressing needs. As one of 191 community foundations across Canada, we are dedicated to having a significant impact in Burlington by building legacy endowment funds, providing vital charitable grants, and bringing people together to address important community issues such as flood relief, mental health and now the global Covid- 19 pandemic.

Return to the Front page

Grieving is not something you need to do alone - there is help

graphic community 4By Pepper Parr

March 15th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Grief is a part of life.

Grief 1We live in a world where for the most part there are family and friends to see you through the grief that has come into your life.

We survive and become better people, wiser people and more appreciative of what we have.

That has changed hasn’t it?

We normally attend funerals for people we knew well, admired, worked with, and will miss. We have not been able to do that, meaning one of the tools we use to come to terms with the grief we are experiencing is no longer there for us to use.

Frank and Doreen Kelly are leading a 13 week course on managing grief that will be held at Glad Tiding Pentecostal Church.

The next 13 week class starts May 5.  The meetings will run from 7:00p.m. -9:00p.m .

grief 2Registration is free – the program will take place on line.

The team has held three sessions and is ready to take registrations for the fourth session of 13 weeks that will start in May

You can register HERE.

When you get to the site you select Burlington as the location and then select Glad Tidings Church.

The course is free – there is a nominal cost for a Workbook.

The sessions at this point in time are done via Zoom.  The Kellys are part of the Glad Tidings Church in Burlington who are supporting this initiative.

Return to the Front page

Burlington MP Karina Gould in conversation with Ancilla Ho-Young

graphic community 3By Pepper Parr

March 13th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

I was looking for a way to close out a week in which we celebrated women.

A colleague sent me a link to a Facebook page that had Burlington MP Karina Gould talking to Ancilla Ho-Young, and the work she has done from the day she arrived in Canada in 1970.

Her first job was as a nurse at the Joseph Brant Hospital – it turned out to be her only job. During the 40 years she worked as a nurse she broke a lot of barriers and did a lot of pioneering work.

It was a treat, a real treat, to listen to Ancilla talk about the trials she experienced as a woman of colour. She saw it all and experienced much of it – some of it is still taking place, as she noted during a virtual conversation with MP Gould.

Ancilla + Gould

Ancilla Ho Young in a virtual conversation with Burlington MP Karina Gould

The last ten years of her career at Joseph Brant Hospital were spent as the lead in the sexual assault victims unit where she put in a full shift each day and was on the phone many evenings making sure that a victim who walked into emergency didn’t get shipped off to some other institution.

Ancilla developed strong working relationships with the police, which she still maintains.
She is one of these people you have to meet and experience. More often than not, at least in my experience, she would look at you with one eyebrow raised – and that sort of yeah? look on her face.

Ancilla Ho-Young was not a woman to trifle with.

Firm in her responses, which she will tell you “got me in trouble sometimes” she adds that, “There is still quite a bit of racism in Burlington but it has changed” remembering “there were times when I would be followed in a store by people thinking I was going to steal something”.

Retirement wasn’t an opportunity to do a little less – the week it became known that she had retired, the invitations to sit on different boards came flooding in.

Karina Gould asked Ancilla how she handled the transition from being a nurse with front line responsibilities within an organization that had both structure and hierarchy to being to be an activist and now able to put her views, beliefs and convictions into practice at a grass roots level.

A deep smile comes across her face as she respond “there is more work to be done”.

Return to the Front page

Covid infections reported to be more than 1600 in one day - same day the province announces that malls can be opened

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

T- shirt - what part no

Is the province listening?

There was a great phrase I once saw many years ago on a button a woman was wearing.

It read: What part of No do you not understand?

That one stuck with me.

Today I am asking anyone who can respond: What part of the following do I not understand.

The province released updated Covid19 infection numbers – more than 1600 with ten new deaths.

On the same day we are told that Toronto and Peel have been moved to the grey zone and the malls will be opened – albeit at 25% of capacity and that they will be doing screening for everyone entering.

Did someone at the decision making level not understand the numbers? 1600 + – the highest since early February.

The virus is still hopping from person to person in the community. Clamp down until it is at the 100 a day and most of us are vaccinated.

Return to the Front page

1400 households fed in one month an increase of more than 40% over the previous year

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 7th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Week after week we report on the job the Burlington Food Bank is doing.  A job they do with absolutely nothing in terms of funding from the City or the Region.  It is the Region that is responsible for social welfare.

Jane F Food Bank

The volunteers show up -day after day.

The volunteers at the Food Bank toil away – day in day out.

The results for the past year are a little on the startling side.

Looking back at their numbers for February 2021 they served 1,400 households.  In February of 2020  the Food Bank served 1000 households.

Food-bank-fire-truck-690x437

Week after week – donors show up with a cheque or food.

That is a 40% increase and it just cannot be sustainable.

Families needed the assistance for many reasons and the Food Bank was able to help because of incredible community support here in Burlington.

Robin Bailey, Executive Director said: “We understand that needing help isn’t something you choose to do, it’s often due to changes in circumstances.   Sometimes you have to reach out for a little assistance and that’s why we’re here.”

 

Return to the Front page