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Public Health Unit issues some very disturbing comments on how people in Halton will be vaccinated.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We asked the media people at the Regional Public Health Unit what there were in the way of plans to vaccinate people in Halton once the vaccine is available.

We got the following response:

Plans are underway to establish a COVID-19 vaccination centre at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital (OTMH) for the region of Halton.

• Due to the current limited supply, the province is focused on getting vaccines to the most vulnerable populations. Halton Healthcare is working with Halton Region Public Health to prioritize the use of the vaccine for health care workers and essential caregivers in long-term care homes in our region as well as those working in high risk retirement homes (i.e. memory care provision).

For additional information on how priority populations are identified, please contact the Ministry media line at 416-314-6197 or media.moh@ontario.ca.

We received a note from a reader who said that Joseph Brant Hospital did not have the capacity to freeze the vaccines the required intensive freezing. The Public Health Unit said:

Please contact Joseph Brant Hospital regarding freezer capacity.

Are we all going to have to trek to the Oakville hospital?

A very disappointing response from the public health people.

Last week Burlington City Manager Tim Commisso said that his understanding was that vaccinations would be top level down with the federal government providing the vaccines to the provinces and the province passing it along to the municipal sector who would do the actual inoculation in municipalities using spaces that were large enough for people to enter, get their needle in the arm and leave the building.

The Nelson arena south of the QEW and the Haber Recreation centre north of the QEW were mentioned as locations.

The nurses doing the inoculation would be provided by and supervised by the Regional Public Health Health Unit.

This sounded like a sensible approach – but it certainly doesn’t jibe with what the Public Health Unit had to say.

There is a communications problem here.

What was that line Paul Newman gave: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

 

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Joseph Brant now clear of Covid infection problems

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Joseph Brant hospital advises that they are all clear of the Covid19 virus infection they experienced.

A COVID-19 outbreak on 3 North 700 (3N700), a medicine inpatient unit at Joseph Brant Hospital, was declared over on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, by Halton Public Health. The outbreak on this unit was initially declared on November 27.

brant-hospital-rendering-aerial

Illustration shows how the older part of the hospital was connected to the new section.

Effective Tuesday, December 15, 2020, Joseph Brant Hospital is no longer in outbreak status.

The public should be aware the Regional Public Health unit oversees what happens at the hospital. The oversight matters.

Joseph Brant Hospital remains a safe place to receive care, and continues to perform safe surgical and out-patient clinical care, including emergency and urgent care. Cancelling a procedure is not necessary, and delaying treatment can actually can pose a serious risk to a patient’s health. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your health care provider or the hospital.

For the latest COVID-19 updates, please visit our website for more information.

About Joseph Brant Hospital
Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) is a full service community teaching hospital serving more than 185,000 residents in the communities of Halton and Hamilton, including Burlington, Waterdown, Flamborough, Milton and Stoney Creek, with a skilled staff of 194 physicians, 1,911 full- and part-time staff and more than 700 volunteers. In conjunction with McMaster University, JBH is a Clinical Education site, and designated as an Academic Community Teaching Hospital with an expanded campus which includes the seven-storey state-of-art Michael Lee-Chin & Family Patient Tower which features a new Emergency Department, 172 acute inpatient beds, 9 new Operating Rooms and post-anaesthetic care unit to support expanded medical, surgical and outpatient services. JBH is also a partner member of the Burlington Ontario Health Team.

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Majority of Canadians support a total shut down

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 16th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

The leading edge of the second wave of Covid19 infections has hit.

2275 new cases in Ontario yesterday.

Hospitals advised to set aside 15% of their beds for Covid cases and we are still not in a total lock-down phase.

Doug Ford covid t shirt

Premier Doug Ford at one of his many media events.

The Premier of the province has just not been able to fully understand what it is he has to deal with.

His focus is on the pain the private sector will have to cope with were he to shut everything down.

He understands how the world of business works, the Tories see the world that way.

This is no longer about business – this is about survival and being responsible.

The Premier has said again and again he doesn’t want the damage from the virus to land on the backs of the hard working Canadians who have put everything they have into the businesses they operate.

There are thousands of people who have not survived the virus. They died.

There will be many commercial organizations that will not survive.

Those are hard facts we have to accept

A public opinion survey done by the Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies reports that majority of Canadians support a lock down; 65% of the respondents would like to see everything shut down except for the essentials – drinking a beer in a public place is not essential – if it is there are support groups that can help you.

The vaccine that everyone has been waiting for is now available. It will take some time to get it into the arms of everyone. We each have to wait until it is our turn to roll up our sleeves.

We will get through this.

In order to actually get through this – everything has to be shut down.

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

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Too little too late: How does one say Merry Christmas after stealing it from you?

“Speaking with reporters during a regular briefing at city hall on Wednesday, [Toronto] Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said that the recent increase in cases is a “concern” but is not altogether surprising in the context of the broader reopening of the economy.” (Chris Fox, CP24.com, August 26, 2020)

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

December 14th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When I mention New Zealand’s success in eliminating COVID I am immediately lectured about it being a little island in the Pacific with a relatively small population. Canada may border the USA but we enacted essentially the same border restrictions as New Zealand. And as for being small, New Zealand’s population density is almost four times that of Canada and greater than Ontario’s.

nEW zEALAND - NO MASKS

Did Ontario miss a chance to do what New Zealand did. No one over there has to wear a mask.

Today New Zealand and its sister island in the Pacific, Australia, have eliminated COVID almost entirely. That means no transmission and no more deaths. In New Zealand it also means that masks are not required, even for public transit. Anyone can go to movies, concerts, bars and restaurants as if the pandemic never happened. And perhaps most importantly, they will get to enjoy having their loved ones around them at this special time of year.

Their success, according to the respected British public health journal ‘The Lancet’ lies in having a clear pandemic plan with a target of zero COVID infections. Quarantine requirements are strict and community spread has been eliminated. In the event of an imported infection they quickly and effectively test and trace and isolate. And were an infection to start to spread they are not afraid to undertake a complete lock down until it’s over. And significantly the government’s communication is clear and consistent.

Canada is a federation with shared responsibility for public health and the provinces have insisted on taking the lead in dealing with COVID. But one look at the extent and growing number of infections and deaths and it is clear they have messed up. New Zealand’s prime minister has offered advice to US president-elect Biden as he prepares to tackle COVID as his number one priority. Apparently our provincial premiers could use some as well.

flatening the curve

Ontario chose to flatten the curve. was that the best decision?

And the place to start would be our pandemic target, which was never zero transmission, let alone zero infection. Our pandemic policy is primarily focused on flattening the curve. We are willing to accommodates some level of the virus transmission providing the death rate isn’t too high and hospitals aren’t too full. That means that we will continue to experience these on-again and off-again quasi-lockdowns until, we all hope, the vaccine can give us ‘herd immunity’ so that the virus will disappear.

The problem is that hundreds of thousands more Canadians may get the infection in the interim; an unknown number will be afflicted with long term after effects; and hundreds, if not thousands, more will die. And the danger of hosting all of that virus in our community is that it might mutate to a more deadly form, as the 1918 Spanish Flu did, and possibly negate the effectiveness of our vaccines.

Doug Ford covid t shirt

This is not a happy man.

A glance at any Canadian newspaper will tell you how badly our provincial leaders and their chief medical people have failed us. Still they are not prepared to tolerate criticism, regardless how constructive. Alberta’s Kenny, with the worst infection rate in the country, and COVID soon to be the leading cause of death, calls it ‘Alberta bashing’, even when fellow Albertan’s complain. And Doug Ford labels his critics ‘arm chair quarterbacks’ even though they include some of the real-time front-line disease experts in the province.

Dr. Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer, dispassionately admits an average of 25 deaths a day in this province, a number which will be increasing as the virus skyrockets from just below 2000 per day to as many as 5000 per day. Hospitals and their ICUs are nearing capacity and surgeries are already being postponed. And Christmas has been effectively cancelled in the province. By any measure of public health this is a disaster.

As we get ready to roll up our sleeves here for a vaccine, which may not even last till the end of the pandemic, we find that New Zealand is in no hurry to vaccinate its population – they don’t need to.

From the beginning of the pandemic that country has lost 25 people to COVID, that is how many people die every day here in Ontario. Between now and Christmas there will be almost 200 fewer of us to see the holiday in this year.

For some bizarre reason Mr. Ford has been able to maintain his popularity despite such a miserable record. Though there won’t be much to celebrate for the rest of us this year, even as Zoom let’s us virtually speak to the family who won’t really be with us. And for the most vulnerable and/or those living alone this will be the worst Christmas ever. Hey, the truth is we’re all to blame for letting this outbreak get so bad, but Mr. Ford is supposed to be guiding us – he says he is there for all of us.

For now it is a soft lockdown for Burlington – the purgatory of the red zone, replete with its dozens of rules which seem to get changed every day as if just to confuse us. But still it’s too little and way too late. Somebody was sleeping at the switch again before this train of disease really got rolling. Now, what a mess! It’s little wonder that Ford is too embarrassed to even attend his daily COVID briefings anymore. Besides, how does one say Merry Christmas after stealing it from you?

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

 

Background links:

Opening Up Too Soon –    New Zealand –     Kenny Alberta Bashing

Ontario Lockdowns –     Ontario Deaths

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No lockdown for Burlington

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Premier did not put any additional Regions in lockdown.

Toronto and Peel are the only two in that status.

The Mayor of Windsor asked the Premier to put his city in a lock down. The Provincial Medical Officer of Health and the Windsor Region Medical Officer of Health conferred and decided that a lock down for Windsor was not necessary.

Status until Jan 21Those in the red or grey zones should only leave their homes for essential purposes, such as work, school, grocery shopping, exercise, and medical appointments, the government says.

With different rules and restrictions flying around, it’s important to know which rules apply to certain regions. Residents from grey or red zones should not be entering other zones, especially when the province is asking that they limit trips outside of the home.
Let us hope that they have got this right.

During the media conference this afternoon General Hillier assured everyone that the vaccine intended for Ontario will arrive at Pearson airport on Monday and be sent to Toronto and Ottawa hospitals where inoculations will take place.

An additional 90,000 doses will be distributed to 14 hospitals late in January; they will arrange for public vaccination.

Related news story:

 

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Santa back on his Magical Tour this weekend follow hashtag #SpotSantaBurlON to see where he is.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

December 11th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

UPDATE: Due to heavy rain forecasted and exposure to the elements for Santa and his volunteer firefighter driver, Santa’s Holiday Magic Trail for Saturday, Dec. 12, has been rescheduled to Sunday, Dec. 20, weather permitting.

Affected neighbourhoods are Alton Village, the Orchard, Corporate, Pinedale and Elizabeth Gardens. Santa will be back on the trail on Sunday, Dec. 13.

When Santa’s Holiday Magic Trail resumes, follow along or post his whereabouts using the hashtag #SpotSantaBurlON.

The Parks and Recreation people pulled a chestnut out of the fire and came up with a way to get Santa in front of the people.

The traditional annual Santa parade became a COVID victim.

Pumper 4 a

Santa stepping into his “Sleigh” for his Magical Tour of Burlington.

The brain trust at Parks and Recreation sat around a table and looked for a way to provide a way for Santa to get to the children.
Pumper #4 got a mention – that was all it took.

The antique Studebaker Fire truck was hauled out of storage in Kilbride and became the “sleigh” that Santa would use to tour the city.

He has already waved at the children in Rural Burlington, Tyandaga, Brant Hills and Mountainside as well as Headon Forest, Palmer, Tansley and Millcroft

Famil watching santa c

Families gathered on street corners waiting for the fire truck with Santa waving.

On Saturday he is scheduled to be in Alton Village, the Orchard, Corporate, Pinedale and Elizabeth Gardens. The weather people are talking about rain much of Saturday – not to worry – there is a rain day in the schedule.

On Sunday, the 13th the fire truck will tour Longmoor, Shoreacres, Roseland and Dynes.

When you spot Santa use the hash tag: #SpotSantaBurlON to tell your friends and neighbours where he is.

The city is not releasing the route the fire truck will be taking – they don’t want to encourage crowds of people lining the street and spreading that nasty little virus that has really spooked Christmas for so many.

December 19th, Santa and the fire truck will be touring Aldershot, Central and Plains.

December 20th has been set aside as a Make-up inclement weather date, if needed.

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Premier to make an announcement on possible lock-downs today

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

December 12th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

UPDATE:  The Premier did not announce a lockdown for Halton Region

Sometime today Premier Ford is going to hold another media event.

Premier Doug Ford will be joined by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones and General Rick Hillier (retired), Chair of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force, to make an announcement.

Date:

Friday, December 11, 2020

Time:

Remarks at 3:00 p.m.
A media availability will follow, via teleconference only.

Location:

Room 247, Legislative Building
Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON

It will be one of the hardest things he has had to do – there are knowledgeable, respected medical practitioners who are saying much of the province should be put into a lock-down.

One doctor was saying – Toronto, York, Peel, Halton, Hamilton, Windsor-Essex and perhaps even Kitchener Waterloo.

Doug Ford - habd to head

Ontario Premier Doug Ford

The argument is that people are crossing regional borders making a tough situation much harder and creating situations where people who need surgery will not be able to get the critical attention they need.

This is very very serious. The announcement that a vaccine is on the way does not mean we are out of this crisis.

The Premier will speak today.

It is going to be a tough day for him.

The hope is that the Premier has the strength of character to do what appears to be needed.

This is the time for leadership, statesmanship and not political considerations.

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Council learns that Covid vaccinations will probably be done on a mass - public basis

Newsflash 100By Pepper Parr

December 10, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When I talked to my doctor last he mentioned that I would probably get my Covid vaccination around June or July.

I fully expected to visit my doctor when I was told to and get a needle stuck in my arm.

Turns out that is probably not the way vaccinations will be done.

Is this to be "home" for anyone in Burlington on Christmas Day?

This could well be the location for some of the mass – public vaccinations.

During a Council Standing committee earlier today we learned that there will likely be mass – public vaccinations at Nelson Arena and the Haber recreation centre,

When the vaccine has arrived the public will be told where to go to be vaccinated.

City Manager Tim Commisso said he expected this would probably be a top down process; the federal government will let the provinces know when the vaccine is available and the municipalities will handle the administrative part of the mass vaccination process under the guidance of the Regional Public Health Unit.

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Burlington Foundation Delivers 2nd Round of Support Funding: $476,000 to 28 Charities

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington Foundation announced it has awarded $141,000 in funding to 10 charities through the second round of the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF), funded by
the Government of Canada.

Echoing the previous round, this funding supports charities who are addressing
critical needs affecting vulnerable community members in Burlington greatly impacted by COVID-19.   Through the first round, the Foundation was pleased to deliver $335,370 to 18 front-line charities serving Burlington, bringing the total funding delivered between Rounds 1 and 2 to over $476,000.

With the second wave of Covid-19 striking communities and driving an unrelenting demand for emergency relief, the second round of the ECSF has been a critical way that support has continued to flow to charities serving our most vulnerable.

Established by the Government of Canada as a $350 million fund in May, the fund
has been implemented with Community Foundations of Canada, in partnership with local foundations across the country, the Canadian Red Cross and United Way Centraide Canada.

BCF Mulholland H&S

Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO of Burlington Foundation.

“It is anticipated that one-third of charities may not survive the financial destruction of this pandemic,” says Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO of Burlington Foundation.

“That distressing potential reflects why Burlington Foundation continues to monitor community closely and is committed to bringing vital, rapid relief to our charities and the most vulnerable community members they serve.”
Charities Awarded Round 2 Funding:

Imagine Canada, an advocacy and research group that aims to strengthen the charitable sector, released a report earlier in the pandemic that vividly describes the devastating impact that Covid-19 is having on our charitable sector, with many charities struggling to stay open while having to rapidly pivot services and programs. As reported in May, 69% of charities have experienced decreased revenues with nearly three quarters of charities (73%) reporting that donations are down. In September, Imagine Canada shared that our charitable sector is expected to suffer a loss that could reach upwards of $15 billion in revenues this year.

“The staggering loss of revenues that we have experienced is likely to continue well into the immediate future – and at a time when the need for the services of many charities is on a steep rise, “says Colleen. “Since the start of this pandemic, Burlington Foundation has been honoured to partner with generous fundholders, donors and our federal government to deliver rapid relief – providing $783,540 to 65 charities working tirelessly to support
our community.

“As this challenging year comes to a close, we continue to monitor our most pressing needs and are pleased to currently have $150,000 in remaining Pandemic Response Funds for a further granting initiative early in the new year. Never has the support of community been more important than right now. Please considering giving what you can – 100% of your gift supports our local charities.”

 

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What will the students bring home with them - and what will they take back to school?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

December 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In a couple of weeks the kids will be coming home for the holidays.

I know of at least one student who expects to be on the plane on the 21st arriving from the Maritimes where the virus spread has been pretty limited relative to the rest of the country.

Her brother will be coming home from an Ontario university west of Burlington.

Christmas breakGiven the rules these students will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Count them – December 21st + 14 days gets them to January 2nd or third.

What are the chances of that actually happening ? These are decent people in the process of becoming adults.

They come from good families with parents who are going to want them to do the right thing.

Checking in with friends, getting together for coffee because there is nowhere they are able to scoot off to for a drink is what you do when you are home from school.

This kind of getting caught up doesn’t get done on the telephone but it does get done.

Expecting the rules to be rigidly adhered to is a huge stretch; the outcome will be a rises in the number of infections both in every town in the province and in the communities to which these students return.

Something to think about.

virus data Dec 9

How much higher will that blue line go once the students return to the universities and colleges?

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

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A first for the city: a heated bus shelter - paid for by a seniors group

eventsred 100x100By Pepper Parr

December 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Why the city could not say they were grateful for the initiative and the money that the Burlington Seniors’ Community Initiatives (BSCI) put up to refurbish a bus shelter and install the fittings to make it heated is hard to understand.

What we got was notice of a photo opportunity where the Ward Councillor, perhaps even the Mayor, will strut their stuff and talk about the how great the city is.

The Burlington leadership team, referred to as the BLT, will also be on hand for the photo op.

The people who raised the money were at one time the operators of many of the services that were provided at the Seniors Centre.

The Bistro, the heart of the Seniors'entre and the focal point for many of the administrative problems. The new agreement with the city didn't resolve this problem but they have agreed to give it a year to come up with a solution that works for everyone.

The Bistro, the heart of the Seniors’ Centre. 

The Bistro, which is a very profitable operation, was an idea the seniors came up with.

They were unceremoniously pushed out when the City Manager at the time sent one of his threatening letters telling them their time had come to an end.

There is a reason for the bus shelter being across the street from the entrance to the seniors’ shelter where the bus could pull up – no one has said just what that reason is.

Hopefully the recognition of Burlington Seniors’ Community Initiatives contribution towards the purchase and installation of the City of Burlington’s first heated transit shelter is full-throated and heartfelt.  Not a lot of respect of the one group for the other.

Will there come a time when the seniors get to have more direct involvement in their affairs?

Carr + MAyor at BSCI

Regional Chair Gary Carr getting a workout on a piece of equipment while Mayor Meed Ward does her Hallelujah while peddling away on equipment paid for by a senior citizen group.

BSCI put up the money for the sports equipment at Burloak Park; they recently put $5000 into the Meal Bag program at Wellington Square and paid for some much needed PPE at another church – the Baptist church got funds to do an upgrade of their kitchen.

Hopefully some of that remarkable history will get a mention at the photo op on Friday: 1:15 pm at Transit Stop 45 on Burlington Teen Tour Band Way.

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Burlington Lions make major donation to the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Fundraiser

News 100 redBy Staff

December 3rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

For many years, Burlington Lions Club members have had the great honour of ringing the bells as a group for the Christmas Kettle campaign on a Saturday in December at the two largest malls in Burlington, and were looking forward to doing the same again this year.

Bowker - Lions - Food bank - cheque

Lions Perry Bowker and Blair Greer look on as Lions President Ken O’Breza presents cheque to Laura Oros, Kettle Campaign Director

Elevated COVID restrictions meant it would not be possible to conduct the fundraiser this year.  The Lions Club  members immediately resolved to help in a small way to offset the loss of donations that they otherwise might have helped raise.

It is with great pleasure that the Lions Club made an emergency donation of $1,500.

 

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Outline of the 2021 municipal budget released today

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

December 2nd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The finance department is ready to take their numbers to city council and begin the process of setting the budget for 2021.

The budget consists of both an operating budget for the delivery of services to the community and a capital budget to invest in the construction and renewal of city assets and infrastructure.

An overview of the capital budget will be presented to Burlington City Council at a Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee meeting on Thursday, Dec 10 at 9:30 a.m. A livestream of the virtual meeting is available on the City’s website, along with a copy of the report being presented.

Proposed 2021 capital budget
The proposed 2021 capital budget is approximately $72.1 million, with a ten-year program of $786.4 million. From the 10-year capital program:

• 70% is focused on infrastructure renewal projects, e.g. repair, refurbishment or replacement of an existing asset to extend its useful life, in accordance with the city’s asset management plan

• 16% is for growth projects, e.g. capital to service growth in the city

• 14% is for new or enhanced projects, e.g. increases to current service levels that are not the result of growth.

A copy of the proposed 2021 capital budget will be available at burlington.ca/budget.

Budget 2020 Table of datesImpacts of COVID-19 pandemic on 2021 budget process
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is placing considerable pressure on the city’s financial position with a forecast of over $18 million in revenue losses by the end of 2020. While a large portion of these losses are being mitigated with an on-going expenditure restraint program and support from senior levels of government, the City is projecting an unfavourable variance at year end of over $2.7 million. It is anticipated these challenges will continue to impact city finances until such time as a vaccine is developed and provincial restrictions are fully lifted.

To partially mitigate the 2021 impact of COVID-19 on the city’s operating budget, the planned increase to the city’s dedicated infrastructure renewal levy in 2021 (1.25%) has been temporarily redirected to the operating budget for one year. This will provide $2.18 million of one-time funding to offset the anticipated one-time COVID-19 impacts in 2021, reducing the amount of 2021 capital funding.

City seeking community input
Through the budget process, choices are made to ensure the appropriate balance between affordability, service levels and financial sustainability is maintained. In a challenging budget year where the city has fewer options for how to spend its money, community feedback about which services are a priority for residents is more important than ever.

To gather feedback from residents, the City will be hosting an online survey at getinvolvedburlington.ca, open from Dec. 2 to Jan. 8, 2021.

Residents can also share their ideas and thoughts at a virtual budget town hall on Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, the live event will provide residents with an opportunity to learn more and ask questions about the proposed 2021 budget. More details about the town hall, including a link to join the meeting will be available on getinvolvedburlington.ca in the coming days.

As residents continue to rediscover many of their favourite spaces and activities in the city, City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at Burlington.ca/Enews and download the free City of Burlington

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Meal Kits: HelloFresh vs Chefs Plate vs MissFresh

 

News 100 redBy Steve Marks

December 2, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Canadian Meal Kit Standoff: HelloFresh Vs Chefs Plate vs MissFresh

It’s been a good few years since meal kits first hit the Canadian market. In the beginning, when companies like HelloFresh arrived fresh off success in Germany, they made a concerted effort to become household names. Chances are you have seen popular YouTubers reviewing various meal kits, doing their best to sell you on the concept.

If you are new to the idea, meal kits are an alternative to both cooking dinner from scratch and getting takeout. Instead, the provider sends you a box of prepared ingredients, including a simple recipe for you to follow. You get to cook healthy and fresh meals without spending ages chopping vegetables.

These companies have evolved over the years to suit a wide range of diets as well as price ranges. Since COVID-19 hit, they have been a great option for people who got tired of the few options available from restaurants and fast food chains.

But which Canadian meal kit is the best? Three of the most popular are HelloFresh, Chefs Plate, and MissFresh.

Let’s compare the features of HelloFresh vs Chefs Plate vs MissFresh.

HelloFresh vs Chefs Plate vs MissFresh

These three companies all offer specific features. As they each have subscription boxes, in which you can get three or four meals a week, it is possible to compare them fairly directly.

Let’s start with HelloFresh vs Chefs Plate. As a disclaimer, it is important to note that HelloFresh acquired Chefs Plate in 2018. While the two divisions still offer very different products, you will be dealing with the same company. Therefore, if you have an issue with one division’s customer service or company ethics, you will likely have the same issues with the other.

HelloFresh is the most comprehensive, wide-ranging meal kit solution. With HelloFresh, you can choose from 22 meals every week. These meals are somewhat more time-consuming than Chefs Plate meals, taking about thirty minutes each to prepare and cook. While this is still minimal compared to cooking from scratch, it might not suit those with a busier schedule.

HelloFresh offers excellent quality and range but it comes at a price. A weekly meal kit, that serves two people, will cost you close to $80. That amounts to $11.49 per serving.

chefs plate logo

Chefs Plate has become the budget option – same corporate commitment, same dedication

Chefs Plate has become the budget option within the parent company. While still offering quality in terms of healthy eating and delicious food, their range is smaller and individual meals are simpler. This will suit some in terms of time – their recipes take approximately fifteen minutes to cook, which nearly everyone can manage.

They have fifteen meals to choose from each week. A weekly box of three meals for two people will cost you just $30. That is only $5 per serving.

Let’s talk about MissFresh. MissFresh meal kits are on the more expensive side, which makes HelloFresh vs MissFresh the most appropriate comparison.

Montreal-based MissFresh is owned by the Metro grocery chain, and sources food from the same farms and vendors. If you love the grocery chain, you might appreciate the fact that MissFresh offers the option to add breakfast foods and snacks, although these are basic, packaged products rather than kits of their own.

MissFresh is only available if you live in Quebec or Ontario. While they have a decent range, especially for picky eaters and people with specific dietary needs, they still do not quite match the range and quality of HelloFresh.

Their meals are similarly priced, with each serving coming to between $8.75 and $11.17.

Therefore, as MissFresh still has some catching up to do on the big names, the competition comes down to Chefs Plate vs HelloFresh.

Chefs Plate vs HelloFresh: Suit Your Own Lifestyle

When choosing between Chefs Plate and HelloFresh, you are not deciding on quality. Both offer great tasting, healthy meals. Rather, you are choosing which one best suits your own lifestyle.

Hello fresh pic

HelloFresh provides more options every week and their food is more complex.

If you have the budget and time available, go with HelloFresh. They provide more options every week and their food is more complex.

However, if you are trying to save money or barely have a minute in the day, Chefs Plate offers the ideal alternative. Considering you are not going to be eating their meals every day of the week, and can always take a week off, there is no risk of getting tired of their range.

Both companies constantly update their range, providing new meals to match customers’ tastes. They are both convenient, with deliveries available throughout Canada. Because their boxes are well insulated, you do not even have to be home when they are delivered.

Give HelloFresh or Chefs Plate a try. Even if you tend to do your own cooking multiple days a week, you might find that meal kits offer meals not in your repertoire, and that the time it saves you is well worth it.

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One of those top level medical guys used the word 'precarious' to describe the Covid19 situation in Ontario

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

November 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It isn’t the best of news.

Two COVID-19 outbreaks at the Joseph Brant hospital.

Climbing numbers within the city and additional deaths.

PHU Nov 27

Data at the close of November 27th.

Shops, supermarkets and hardware stores are pretty busy. I really wish the supermarket I go to would limit the number of people allowed in the store at the same time. Yes it slows things down but it keeps everyone safer.

The future availability of a vaccine doesn’t look all that promising. The predictions are that in Canada we will not see the bulk of the population completely vaccinated until December of 2021.

You can bet that the politicians at the federal and provincial levels will be deemed to be front line workers.  The people working in the hospitals have to be first.

Can we keep on going the way we have had to for another full year? There are some that can’t keep away from their favourite watering hole for more than a couple of weeks.

Canada doesn’t appear to have the manufacturing capacity to make the stuff and bottle it.

Flu shot line up

We had long line-ups for the annual flu shot. It will be much different with the vaccine is available.

We have manufacturing capacity for run of the mill annual flu shots – the vaccine for COVID-19 is a much more complex product requiring equipment we just don’t have.

Worrying for sure.

While going through the Saturday papers I read that the word “precarious” was used by Dr. David Williams to describe the situation we are in – not very reassuring.

And have you noticed that the top people at the federal level are beginning to equivocate somewhat ? Where are they when you really need them?

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

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Second section at Brant hospital experiences Covid19 outbreak - two dead

News 100 redBy Staff

November 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

For the second time this month the Joseph Brant Hospital has informed the public that there has been an outbreak of COVID-19 in the hospital in an Inpatient Unit.

I inpatient unit, 3 North 700 (3N700), after a health care worker and two patients tested positive for the virus. All appropriate precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and physicians.

On November 18, Halton Public Health declared an outbreak on 7 South 100 (7S100). As of November 27, four (4) health care workers and six (6) patients have been linked to the outbreak that now includes both units.

Two patients connected to the outbreak have died.

Brant impact reportThe hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control team and Employee Health Services are working closely with Halton Public Health to monitor all patients, staff and physicians who had direct contact with those infected with COVID-19. All patients on the units, along with staff and physicians who have been exposed, are being contacted, tested and supported.

Additional important measures have been taken to protect the health and safety of our patients, families or care providers, staff and physicians, including:

• Enhanced daily deep cleaning on 7S100 and 3N700
• Monitoring patients for any new symptoms, especially fever, cough and shortness of breath. Tests will be immediately ordered for patients should they develop COVID-19 symptoms
• Closing 7S100 and 3N700 to visitors, with very limited exceptions. Family members and caregivers are asked to work with the patient’s care team to discuss arrangements

These enhanced protocols will remain in place for the duration of the declared outbreak, then reassessed on an ongoing basis with Halton Public Health to minimize further risks.

JBH Remains Safe To Receive Care

Joseph Brant Hospital remains a safe place to receive care, and continues to perform safe surgical and out-patient clinical care, including emergency and urgent care. Cancelling a procedure is not necessary, and delaying treatment can actually can pose a serious risk to a patient’s health. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your health care provider or the hospital.

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Five good reasons why you should exercise regularly

News 100 greenBy Nick Ostergaard

November 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Five good reasons why you should exercise regularly

Paid Denmark three women runningLosing weight, being healthier and more productive are some of the more obvious reasons why you should start exercising. But people often find it hard to stay motivated just by the thought of maybe losing weight and becoming more healthy in general. Often more people need even more persuasion – and this is where we enter the picture. Because in this article we present you our five top reasons why you should exercise on a regular basis. These reasons could also possibly help you maintain your motivation to exercise and work out. You see, there is much more to exercising than just physical health.

Reason no. 1: It will give you more energy and make you in a better mood
Exercising might not always feel absolutely amazing in the moment – on the contrary it often feels exhausting and overall not good. But if you think about the last time you exercised – how did you feel afterwards? Good, we presume. The feeling you get after finishing a run, a work out or a training session can sometimes feel similar to the feeling of winning the bit jackpot at an online casino or – some even say – it’s similar to the feeling of being in love. No matter what, it’s hard to compare the feeling of finishing a workout to something that feels just as good. And this feeling – some call it the “runner’s high” will give you more energy in your everyday life and will also boost your production of endorphins which will make you in a better mood. Not just after finishing your workout but in general – if you keep on exercising. Over time this will also reduce depression and axiety levens in your head and body.

Reason no. 2: Exercise reduces stress
Are you feeling stressed? Then go for a run, a walk or go to the gym! Exercising decreases the body’s own production of the stress hormone Cortisol in the bloodstream. This means that exercising will also reduce the possibility of you being stressed or even being diagnosed with stress. As mentioned before exercising will also release endorphins that will improve your mood and automatically reduce tension and stress signals in your head and your body.

Reason no. 3: Exercising will boost your immune system
Studies have shown that just 45 minutes of cardio training five days a week is enough to keep a cold away. This will also help decrease the risk of developing life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, strokes, cancer and diabetes by up to fifty percent. This alone should be reason enough for everyone to start exercising on a regular basis. Exercising will also lower your blood pressure and levels of cholesterol in your body. A study made at the University of British Columbia actually shows that exercise can also have an impact on your ability to remember – regular exercise will expand the hippocampus which is the area of the brain that is “in charge” of learning and verbal memory.

Reason no. 4: You will sleep better at night
Working out will exhaust you and make you tired, which is pretty obvious. But it does not only have an affect on the day of your workout. Regular exercise will also have an impact on how you sleep in general. When you have been physically active, it will be easier for the body to relax and fall asleep. This being said, you should not work out right before your bedtime, because exercise causes your body to produce adrenaline which will make it harder for you to find peace and fall asleep.

Pssst. Better sleep is not the only bedside perk that exercise can give you. Exercise actually increases blood flow to the genitals which will heighten your sex drive. In pace with you having more energy and feeling and looking better because you started exercising – this is what we would call a win-win situation.

Reason no. 5: You will become happier and gain more confidence!
Exercise increases the level of happiness-enhancing substances in the brain which automatically will make you happier. Actually the rush of happiness after a workout can last up to 12 hours after you finish working out! Also, training and exercising will make you change the perception you have of your own body, and, combined with everything mentioned above, will make you more confident and positive towards your body. Losing weight, feeling happier and becoming more fit will make you feel better in your own body which will also help increase the physical feeling of being well and happy.

Remember, the more you exercise, the easier it gets. Exercising regularly and making it a habit will make it feel like fun – which will make the benefits you gain from it even more evident. So what are you waiting for?

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Sports clinic owner looking at a million dollar claim for space they don't occupy - colourful situation

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 27th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The pandemic is hurting a lot of small business people.

Some of the claims being made by landlords border on the egregious.

The Elliott Sports Medicine Clinic is going through a very difficult period – they have managed to pivot and get back on their feet – the problem now is the lawsuit for very close to a million dollars.

$947,701.20 to be exact.

This from a landlord they have been with for 19 years.

Their rent each month was $12,800. The negotiations that stared at the end of March to renew the lease which was coming to an end in October had not gone well.

Elliott Erin MacLean

Erin MacLean

In March, with everything locked down Erin Maclean and her partner reached out to their landlord to discuss the problem they faced.

Everyone in the services or hospitality sector was scrambling – things were very tough.

One of the most successful hospitality venues, Emma’s Back Porch, chose to declare corporate bankruptcy and walk away from what the owner saw as a dire financial future.

Elliott Sports Medicine found themselves in much the same situation. Suddenly they could no longer conduct their business – they laid off the ten staff and began to wonder what they could do – what were their options ?

They immediately met with their landlord and laid all their cards on the table.

The landlord at first appeared amenable. The lease was due for renewal in eight months. MacLean was taken aback by the rent increase that was being asked for – $17,000.

“We reached out to our landlord in the middle of March being open, honest and upfront about our position due to Covid. We had been with this same landlord for 19 years – we expected to be able to work with him”, said MacLean.

“By that time we had laid off all of our employees and were effectively closed as a business and had no idea what the future held.

“We were never late or delayed in paying our very high rent anytime over the past 20 years.

“Rent relief was not something our landlord was interested in – unless the lease we had was renewed.

“The landlord wanted a rent increase to $17,000 a month and personal guarantees.

“After many, many long negotiations we decided not to renew the lease but to look for a new location.

Elliott Clinic

They gave their notice – didn’t realize that the lease had been renewed.

“We gave notice on June 4, 2020.

“We learned then that our landlord had taken the position that because we had not given six months’ notice the landlord decided to take the position that our lease was automatically renewed until 2025.”

In the middle of May (during negotiations) MacLean received a letter from the landlord demanding all the rent due be brought up to date; they were forced to pay, using borrowed money, for the almost three months they were closed.

“On June 4th we gave our landlord written notice of our final decision to stay in the premises until our lease expired on October 4th 2020.

“We moved on October 2nd having fulfilled and paid our lease in full.

“After some time, we were served with a claim that was filed with the Superior Court of Ontario in Toronto for $947,701.20 plus 18% interest per annum. The landlord as Plaintiff could have chosen the Superior Court in either Milton or Hamilton (anywhere in the province actually) – the Toronto choice would appear to have been strategic.

The corporation suing the clinic is 1100 Walkers Line Inc., which appears to be owned by Kamisa Investment Inc.; both are owned by a “prominent” businessman.

The 1100 Walkers line property a six story office building just off Walkers Line, has an interesting history of its own.

The land on which the office tower, completed in 2015, had been purchased by the City of Burlington for $5.4 million.

Walkers-North-Service-location-aerial with creek border

The owner of this property had plans to develop it beyond the single storey structure. His plans did not fit with the developing IKEA Plans. That red line is where Tuck Creek flows.

Walkers-North-Service-Hopewell-site

This is where IKEA wanted to relocate their Aldershot operation. They were going to build a bigger store and add quite a few head office jobs as well. The city went along with Official Plan and zoning changes. The Conservation Authority would not go along with the parking plans close to Tuck Creek. The green line is Tuck Creek.

The sale was a complex transaction. The owner of the property back in 2014 wanted to tear down a two story building and put up a larger building. An application was submitted to the planning department.

Walkers-North-service- city buys slice

City needed the piece outlined in red if the IKEA development was going to work.

Walkers-North-Service-left - owner gets to keep balance

Property owner got to keep the balance and put up a six storey building.

For reason which are not clear to this day the city moved to purchase the property because at the time IKEA was working through an application to move their operation from Aldershot to a property on the North Service Road west of Walkers Line.

Tuck Creek ran between the 1100 Wellington property and the land IKEA wanted to build on.

Also – at the time the Ministry of Transportation had concerns with the ramps that led off Walkers Line which was reaching a capacity point.

For Erin MacLean they are now in a new location running the business as well as we can with the Covid limitations.

The only difference is someone wants a million dollars from us – which we don’t have.

Related news story:

Property has a colourful history – and an astounding price

 

 

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Medical Officer of Health uses graphs to tell a sad story - we did this to ourselves.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 27the 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Region of Halton held a very lengthy meeting yesterday.

One of the reports they responded to was an update from Dr. Hamidah Meghani who produced a number of charts that were on the mind boggling level.

Have a look:

timeline

Dr. Meghani set out a time line showing her audience what we have been through.

graph

The slope of the graph in October and November was very troubling for the medical community. They found that the public was not listening to the steps they had to take – daily.

where they got it

Where were people getting the infections? Dr. Meghani told her audience that the virus was not being passed around at the school level. Students were bringing it to the schools from their homes.

work place breakout

There were a number of workplace outbreaks in Halton. One impacted people who lived in four different Public Health jurisdictions. Tracing at that level of complexity proved to be a major challenge.

cumulative deaths

There is something so very stark about this graph. Deaths were close to flat from May to October – then they sky-rocked. Those deaths were due to a society that would not exercise the personal discipline needed by everyone during a crisis.

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A treat - something to enjoy on one of those evenings you would be out during the Festive Season

News 100 redBy Staff

November 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Get your Fall Party in a Box before they’re gone!

Brant fall party box

A treat – something to enjoy on one of those evenings you would be out during the Festive Season

We could all use something to celebrate and our Fall Party in a Box has everything you need for a cozy night at home or as a special holiday gift for friends and family.

Each curated party box contains locally sourced luxury items including a variety of gourmet items and a custom live-edge charcuterie board, VQA wine, premium chocolates and much more!

Special thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, TD Bank.

Boxes are going fast so order today!  More info on the order link below

Order Now!

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