Male Arrested for Human Trafficking Offences: Regional police changing the way these offences

Crime 100By Staff

October 28th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Human trafficking is a heinous crime that robs victims of the fundamental right to live free of violence and fear.

HRPS crestThere are times when we are unable to publish a fulsome media release regarding a human trafficking investigation because doing so would pose a personal risk to the victim. In these instances, the Halton Regional Police Service will publish a de-identified media release that outlines the arrest(s) made as a result of the investigation. No names. No residence details. We will, however, disclose the charges laid.

Each media release will also include key messaging that:

i) reinforces that trafficking is a violation of human rights and a criminal offence in Canada;

ii) encourages victims, and those who have reason to believe someone they know might be a victim of trafficking, to contact the Halton Regional Police Service; and

iii) provides a comprehensive list of community resources for those affected.

Our goals are two-fold: i) create an opportunity to connect those who are at-risk, or who may already be victims of human trafficking, with the resources and support they need and deserve; and ii) heighten the awareness of the general public that trafficking is not a ‘far away’ problem in the developing world, but rather, one that is happening right here in our region.

Male Arrested for Human Trafficking Offences
Earlier this month, the Halton Regional Police Service – Human Trafficking Unit became aware of a young (adult) female who had been the victim of human trafficking dating back to 2017. The trafficking took place across the Greater Toronto Area. As a result of the ensuing investigation, police were able to locate and arrest a male in his thirties. The male was charged with the following offences:

• Material Benefit from Sexual Services
• Procuring to Provide Sexual Services
• Procuring by Exercise Control
• Advertising Sexual Services

The accused was held in custody pending a bail hearing.

Upon arrest of the accused, the victim was referred by the Halton Regional Police Service to our Victim Services Unit, and to support agencies in the community.

For the protection of the victim, no additional details (including the name of the accused) will be provided to the media.

The Halton Regional Police Service firmly believes that every person has the right to feel safe in our community.

Victims of violence and/or sexual assault and witnesses are encouraged to contact the Halton Regional Police Service. The following is a list of valuable support services and resources in our region for victims of violence and/or sexual assault:

• Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit 905-825-4777 ext. 5239 or by email at VictimServices@haltonpolice.ca
• Nina’s Place Sexual Assault and Domestic Assault Care Centre 905-336-4116 or 905-681-4880
• Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services (SAVIS) 905-875-1555 (24-hour crisis line)
• Radius Child & Youth Services 905-825-3242 (Oakville) or 1-855-744-9001
• Kid’s Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (24-hour crisis line)
• THRIVE Counselling 905-845-3811 or 905-637-5256

Signs / Indicators of Human Trafficking
• Not being allowed to speak for themselves;
Not having control of their own money or cellphone;
• Suddenly having a new or second cell phone with a secret number;
• Being controlled by others and escorted at all times;
• Not being allowed to contact family or friends;
• Withdrawing from family and friends;
• Providing rehearsed answers to casual questions;
• Being secretive about their activities;
• Showing signs of abuse, such as bruising, cigarette burns, fractures, etc.
• Having a new boyfriend, girlfriend or friend who they won’t introduce to friends/family; and
• Having new items (clothing, jewelry etc.) outside their financial means.

What Should I Do if I Think Someone is a Victim of Trafficking
If there is immediate danger or if you suspect someone is being trafficked, call 9-1-1.

You may also call the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-833-900-1010.

The Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline is a confidential, multilingual service, operating 24/7 to connect victims and survivors with social services, law enforcement, and emergency services, as well as receive tips from the public. The hotline uses a victim-centered approach when connecting human trafficking victims and survivors with local emergency, transition, and/or long-term supports and services across the country, as well as connecting callers to law enforcement where appropriate.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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Will Halton be moved back to Stage 2 this week?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

October 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Is it time for a painful reality check?

Are we paying attention to the COVID-19 numbers?

1042 new cases identified in Ontario – highest number ever and the colder weather that will keep us inside more often has yet to really start.

Region graph Oct 25

We are in the beginning of a second wave – it was expected. How long will it last?

Burlington MPP Jane McKenna penned a letter to the Chief Medical Officer for the province urging him not to put Halton back into Stage 2. York, Peel and Toronto were moved into Stage 2 earlier in the month when their numbers kept climbing.

With Peel in Stage 2 there are reports of people from those communities driving into Halton for dinner at our local restaurants.

A tough question: Are restaurants essential?

More than 15 schools in Halton have reported infections – not huge numbers but infections nevertheless.

A Burlington MacDonald’s reported an infection; a very popular Oakville supermarket reported an infection.

Is it time to think in terms of mothballing the hospitality sector?

These are tough decisions that have to be made.

McKenna has asked the Provincial Medical Officer to hold off – isn’t that a decision that is made by the Halton Medical Officer of Health?  In her letter McKenna said: “In June, when we began to emerge from the lockdown, the advice given by our medical experts was to wait two weeks (the incubation period), before lifting any restrictions. When taken together with our decreasing case counts, there is no evidence to suggest that moving Halton to a modified Phase 2 will have any meaningful impact on reducing case counts. One thing that is certain, is that many people and businesses can not financially withstand another shutdown.”

Noteworthy is the fact that neither Oakville Mayor Rob Burton nor Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette signed the letter – perhaps they were unavailable?

Burlington is spending very large sums of money to protect the people who work at city hall. The majority are still working from their homes and for the most part doing a good job.

The economy is vitally important – is a healthy population not just as important?

Do we really have to get out for a beer and mix with people? Can we not buckle down, find within us the personal discipline and do what is in our best interests and see ourselves through what is a crisis that has the potential to rip us apart as a society?

What will we do if a third of the schools are shut down for a couple of weeks at a time? What happens when the number of classroom teachers who become infected are in the hundreds?

Is this being alarmist?

That 1042 number of infections reported on Sunday by the province was a fact.

The Premier will be sweating this one out when it is the public that needs to do the sweating. The people from Toronto and Mississauga who travel to Burlington and Oakville for an evening out have to learn to stay within their own communities and spend time with the people who are in their immediate circle.

This virus may be very hard to beat and we may have to wait until there is a vaccine – but in the meantime we can limit its growth by limiting what we do.

Do your best to not pick up the infection from someone else and do your best to not pass it along if you do get it.

In the meantime we wait for the numbers from the province Monday morning and wait to hear what the Halton Regional Medical Officer of Health has to say.

Her job just got a lot harder.

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Taste of Burlington comes to an end on Saturday

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Having gone through a serious lock down Burlingtonians began to look for ways to at least try to get some normality into their daily lives.

Dealing with what the school board has been able to do, figuring out what the Parks and Recreation department has made possible, and learning to live with social distancing and hand sanitization, the idea of getting out for a drink or having a meal with friends has been a bit of a challenge.

Gator Ted logoThe Gazette took up the opportunity to report on the Taste of Burlington, a program that has restaurants in the city offering attractive meal opportunities in an attempt to coax people out of their homes and into the restaurants where rules to ensure public safety were in place.

The Taste of Burlington is a program gone run by the city’s Tourism and Events Department. The once vibrant Burlington Restaurant Association has gone disappointingly silent as its membership struggles to stay alive.

Rahoons Persian Eatery at Village Square won Best Overall Award.

Rahoons Persian Eatery at Village Square

For Michele Bogle the three things that matter when she is doing a review are: the service, the plating and the flavours. In the seven reviews she did for the Gazette the flavours at Rahoon’s stood out.

Knowing that there are serious public health concerns, Bogle was watching for how the restaurants were dealing with the need for the highest possible levels of cleanliness. She would have liked to have seen sanitation stations front and center – yes “they would have looked a little cluttered” she said “but it was important for people to be able to see the station and use it”.

Bogle found the devices to take temperatures were iffy at times. The small device that is placed near the forehead didn’t leave Bogle feeling all that comfortable. “They had to do my forehead twice in one place” said Bogle who found she was very comfortable with the full facial scanner.

The customer space was always done up nicely: tables were not set, staff were all wearing masks. Bogle said she “would have liked to have known what was going on in the kitchen” and wondered if perhaps a monitor could not have been set up with a camera trained on the kitchen so the public could see how health precautions were being carried out.

Taste Oct 18 Turtle Jack's

There were line ups – it was a Saturday night.

Traffic in many of the restaurants she reviewed was slow, which Bogle added was “being polite”. Her review of Turtle Jack’s reported line ups of people waiting to get into a space that was limited. “To be fair, many of the reviews were done during the week when patronage was slow.”

“People”, said Bogle “were not ready to go out”. I had to take my children with me, none of my friends were up to going out.

The Taste of Burlington is an event put on and promoted by the Tourism and Events department of the city. The hospitality sector decides if they want to take part. The event has those participating offering menu choices that are reasonable priced using prix fixe menus.

This year there weren’t very many restaurants from the ethnic communities taking part. “Everyone loses when that happens” commented Bogle.

“As an amateur cook and foodie, I find it difficult to be impressed when I dine out because I’m most particular about flavour profiles. Good service is a great part of the dining experience. I found service in most of the restaurants that I visited in this event to be above average.

“People in this position recognize the role that they play is not only to extract the greatest tip percentage at the end of each meal; but that their livelihood stands in the balance should the guests not have an ultimate dining experience. Plating is almost as important as the taste and more and more restaurants are on board with this reality.

“ I found most of the dishes I experienced in the past few weeks looked as delicious as they tasted. Finally, the flavours: I was impressed with many individual elements from various restaurants. I even had the pleasure of being introduced to new and exotic flavour combinations.

“Whether your reasoning for going out, be it social, to have an intimate dinner, or just because you’re too tired to cook for the family that day, a setting appropriate for any mood or event to celebrate can be found in a restaurant in the city of Burlington.

Eating out doesn’t just need to be an escape from the kitchen; it can be an ‘experience’. One to be enjoyed with friends or family.

“After your own research, if you can find some comfort level, even enjoying one of the participating restaurants on the patio, now is the time to support your local restaurants. If you wait until we are free of restrictions again, it may be too late for some of our city’s favourite eating establishments.

Burlington restaurateurs appreciate your continued support.  There are three days left to the event- Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Asked how much weight she had put on dining out three nights a week Bogle said. “That’s not a question I want to answer.”

The restaurant reviews:

West Plains Bistro

Gator Teds

Turtle Jack’s

Studebaker

Paradiso

Barra Fion’s

Rahoons

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The politics of COVID 19: it is reshaping our political world

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 21st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

COVID 19 is helping to reshape our political world. Nowhere was that better seen than in the re-election of New Zealand’s young prime minister, who has led her country and shown the world how to deal with the coronavirus. She was rewarded by the voters with a landslide victory and a first ever parliamentary majority since New Zealand adopted proportional government back in the 1990’s.

By contrast there is the US presidential race and if Trump loses, which appears likely, it will be because of his mishandling of the pandemic. Americans are constantly reminded of the quarter million folks who have died under his watch, despite his assurances that the virus was just a flu and would be gone by last May.

NZ prime minister

Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern is a very talented leader who built a coalition with the Green Party on the left and the NZ First on the right and ably governed to the respect of New Zealanders during the devastating global pandemic. But unlike Canada, New Zealand was prepared for the pandemic and it acted swiftly to contain and eliminate the virus months ago.

There have been the inevitable outbreaks since then, a consequence of allowing returning nationals into the country, but they have been contained by contact tracing and mandatory quarantine. Like Canada, New Zealand closed its borders, but it did so much earlier and avoided much of the initial spread we allowed.

Being a unitary state it was easier, no doubt, to effect a consistent national health care policy. That was also true for the early lock down rules which kept people from spreading the virus. New Zealand is an Island but the virus arrived there as it did here – by airline passengers, so that is no excuse for Canada’s much poorer performance.

NZ sports audience

New Zealanders are now able to attend sports events and concerts – the Covid19 virus

New Zealand’s success can be attributed to its viable and consistent plan which was followed and enforced until the virus was gone in addition to a compliant population who followed the rules and a strong and visionary leader, of course. Today there are only a few active cases remaining – all of which are contained and under quarantine. Meanwhile the rest of the country has gone back to normal. The shops and businesses have re-opened and even crowded sporting events are back.

Masks are no longer required, even on public transport.

The New Zealand economy has taken a hit, along with just about every nation on the planet. International tourism makes up a large portion of the country’s economy. And since the airports are mostly closed to non-citizens, domestic tourism is being promoted to help keep that business sector going.

New Zealand should be a model for how other nations deal with the epidemic and protect their populations. But it is not the only model. Uruguay, another small nation, bordered by Brazil and Argentina, both of which have significant contagions, has done remarkably well. Taiwan with a population five times that of New Zealand has suffered only 7 deaths. And both Uruguay and Taiwan have come through without a lock down so far.

And then there is China, where the virus originated, but which managed to virtually eliminate it in short order and has dealt effectively with the inevitable periodic outbreaks related to foreign travel. But unlike most other nations China’s economy is showing a marked rebound and life is mostly going back to normal.

Ford - dumb thoughtful

Day after day Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario goes before the TV cameras to explain the most recent decision on combating Covid19

So what about Canada? Canada’s focus has always been on ‘Flattening’ rather than ‘Eliminating’ the curve. So when the provincial lock downs had been successful in flattening the infection curve we got carried away with our success, declaring victory and opening up the economy so people could mingle and spread the disease again. We did ask people to wear masks and distance, but the messages were mixed and the test/tracing practices unsuccessful. As sure as night follows day the contagion got a second wind.

Bringing the infection rate down will be much harder this time. Schools are open, cold weather has pushed people inside where the virus is where it wants to be, and we’re COVID fatigued, tired of it all. We’re sick and tired of the restrictions, and the steady stream of bad statistics, and the daily media briefings, and the mixed messages from our politicians, and the economic malaise, and the ever-rising debt we’ll have to reconcile one day.

So perhaps next time our leaders will take a lesson from nations, like new Zealand, which have been successful in overcoming this contagion the first time. And if they do perhaps political rewards, like one kind Jacinda Ardern has just been given, will be in their future as well.

Background links:

Jacinda –   New Zealand Gets IT–    China Gets It

Rivers in maskRay Rivers, born in Ontario earned an economics degree at the University of Western Ontario and a Master’s degree in economics at the University of Ottawa.  His 25 year stint with the federal government included time with Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, Agriculture and the Post office.  Rivers is active in his community,

 

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81 year old male killed while trying to cross Mapleview early this morning

News 100 blackBy Staff

October 19th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

An 81 year old male from Burlington was crossing Maple Ave mid-block when he was struck by a black Honda Civic travelling northbound.

The pedestrian was transported to Joseph Brant Hospital and subsequently died from his injuries. The involved driver remained on scene and is cooperating with the police investigation. The Collision Reconstruction Unit attended and scene and has assumed carriage of the investigation.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation, and anyone who witnessed the collision who has not yet spoken to police is asked to call the Collision Reconstruction Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 5065.

The accident took place early this morning at around 7:00 am.

The name of the deceased has not been released.

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The Medical Officer of Health has written us all a letter

October 19th, 2020

Dr Meghani at news conference Hamilton

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health

To the Halton community:
Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Halton and without a doubt we are firmly in a second wave of the pandemic. I know that we have asked a lot of you over the past several months and COVID-19 fatigue is very real.

We cannot let our guards down. The time to take collective action is now in order to prevent a much worse scenario and stricter measures in the future. COVID-19 has no borders and we need to work together to stop the spread. It is out of concern for our community that I am strongly recommending that all residents take the following steps immediately:

Limit close contact to people within your household. This means minimizing interactions with people who don’t live in your house, including dining at restaurants and other social gatherings.

Limit non-essential activities. This means trying to stick to essential activities as much as possible such as going to school or work (if you work outside of your home) and using online delivery services for errands when possible.

As always, when you are in public keep a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from those outside of your household, wear a mask when physical distancing is a challenge or when required, wash and sanitize your hands frequently and please stay home if you are sick, even if you have mild cold-like symptoms.

We have learned that many cases are linked to private social gatherings and group activities. We know there is a greater risk of transmitting COVID-19 in particular situations and settings where individuals have close contact with one another, often without a mask and for prolonged periods of time. While Public Health values physical activity and participation in sport, we must take a balanced approach to reduce transmission. To control the spread of the virus, I am also recommending:

Limit all team sports to training only, with proper physical distancing between players and no scrimmages or games. 

Suspend all indoor fitness classes.I know this may be difficult to adjust to as fitness and sports are an important part of our routines and help us stay positive through these challenging times.

Please consider other ways to stay active such as online fitness classes for all ages, runs, walks or hikes, or play an outdoor game with people in your household.

Dine at restaurants with people in your household only. I also encourage residents to order take-out or use meal delivery services to continue to support local businesses.

These recommendations are not provincial orders and will not be enforced. While I am strongly recommending residents take these steps, I understand that these may take time to adopt and may not happen overnight. It is my hope that everyone follows these recommendations to the extent possible to protect one another and stop cases from rising in our community. We all have a choice to make right now –between what we want to do and what we need to do.

We still have time to reduce the severity of this second wave, but we need your help to achieve this. We did it before and we can do it again. Thank you to everyone for staying in this together, taking this seriously and above all for being kind to one another. Please continue to visit halton.ca/COVID19for the latest information on cases and public health guidance.

Yours in health,
Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health

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When an intimate relationship breaks down – things get very ugly and people are hurt

Crime 100By Staff

October 18th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When an intimate relationship breaks down – things get very ugly and people are hurt. The Regional Police have to deal with these situations all too often.

child abuse 2In early September, the Halton Regional Police Service received a 9-1-1 call late at night from a young child stating that they could hear a physical altercation and their mother screaming for help.

Officers were dispatched to the residence, arriving in minutes. Officers made contact with the female party who exited the residence crying, with visible signs of assault on her face and body. The female party stated that the male party involved in this incident had left the residence on foot.

Officers cleared the residence to confirm that the male party had not re-entered and to ensure the safety of the three children in the residence. Uniform officers remained on scene and spoke with the female party.

Officers learned that the male party had arrived intoxicated at the female’s residence and assaulted her following a verbal altercation. The male had punched, choked, pushed and kicked her. During the assault, the female party yelled out to her sleeping children to call 9-1-1.

Thankfully, one of her children heard her and called for help. This led the male party to flee the residence on foot. The female party was able to lock the front door, securing the safety of her children and herself.

The male was arrested soon after and subsequently transported to Central Lock Up. Thereafter, the Halton Regional Police Service Intimate Partner Violence Unit took carriage of the investigation. The accused was charged with Assault Causing Bodily Harm and Mischief Under $5,000.

domestic violenceThe female party received medical attention and was referred to the Halton Regional Police Service Victim Services Unit.

The Intimate Partner Violence Victim Coordinator worked with the victim to establish measures to increase her safety through a safety plan.

The Victim Services Unit also connects victims to appropriate support services in the community, assists with victim care, and, through the Victim Quick Response Program (VQRP+), can provide immediate short-term financial support toward essential expenses for victims of violent crime.

Unfortunately, this situation is not unique. This incident serves as an example of why we must look out for our neighbours, relatives, friends, and co-workers, especially if you suspect they may not be safe at home.

That is why the Halton Regional Police Service, in partnership with Halton Women’s Place and the Halton Regional Police Services Board, are unveiling a memorial site to commemorate victims of Intimate Partner Violence in Halton on Monday, November 2, 2020. Through this memorial, the aim is to:

• Honour ALL victims who have been killed in acts of Intimate Partner Violence, and
• Increase community awareness in relation to Intimate Partner Violence and, more specifically, gender-based violence.

Together, we must stand in solidarity to help end Intimate Partner Violence, because a life without violence is the only life to live.

The HRPS is urging victims or friends/family of victims to contact the Halton Regional Police Service, Halton Women’s Place or other community resources if intimate partner violence is happening.

Shelters across Halton are still open at this time and Halton Women’s Place continues to offer services. Shelters have taken precautions related to COVID-19 to ensure that no one is forced to choose between their safety and their health. Help is available.

sexual violence imageEvery person has the right to feel safe in our community.

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

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

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Use of city sports facilities is on pause until further notice

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

October 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As of Oct. 17, 2020 the city is “ Pausing all Burlington City-run indoor fitness classes for Adult 19+ and 55+, including indoor pickleball and aquatic fitness. Sports groups limited to training”.

Gymnasiums in Haber Recreation Centre

These spaces will remain unused until Public Health determines they are safe places.

Following the recommendation of Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health and emerging evidence indicating cases from indoor physical activity setting and contact sports are on the rise, the City of Burlington is taking action to help reduce COVID-19 transmission.
Any City of Burlington facility renter offering indoor fitness programs, including dance, Pilates and yoga, are also paused. To confirm if your program is still running, check with your organization.

Within City of Burlington facilities, activities are now limited to training only where proper physical distancing can be maintained. There will be no games or scrimmages until further notice.

The intent of this pause is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid going back into a modified Stage 2 status with further precautions.

The pause will be evaluated frequently and will be lifted once Halton Region Public Health deems it safe to resume these indoor activities in City facilities. The City of Burlington will continue to share updates with the public.

For information on recreation services, visit burlington.ca/fall. To reach customer service, call 905-335-7738.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward explains: “Taking this temporary pause now, will allow us to come together sooner. Despite our best efforts, we’re still seeing a steady increase of COVID-19 cases in our city. While this news will be disappointing to many residents, we must keep in mind these are truly extraordinary times and they require extraordinary efforts on all of our parts, as a community, to ensure we slow down the spread of this pandemic. We will beat this, as long as we stay patient, vigilant, and continue following the advice of our medical and health professionals.”

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Local trucking company gets Carrier of the Year award from two major brands: Coca Cola and P&G recognize Fluke Transport

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 17th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

What does a local trucking company with a name that catches your eye do as it celebrates its 100th year of operation?
Announce an award.

Usually Ron Foxcroft is the person who spreads the good news for Fluke Transport – but this time it was his son Steve who told us about the Carrier of the Year award that Coca Cola handed out to Fluke.

Fluke - Coca Cola award

It matters when your clients recognize the work you do for them. Fluke Transport got two of these for 2019

It’s not that big a deal but it is significant. Fluke hauls a lot of product for the Coca Cola Bottling Company and they like to let the carrier community know who they think is worthy of mention.

Coca Cola is a big deal.

Steve, who is a vice president at Fluke, added to the news when he told the Gazette that Proctor and Gamble also named Fluke as the Carrier of the year for their product line.

“We hauled a lot of toilet paper, paper towels and hand sanitizer for P&G” said the younger Foxcroft who added that Fluke is busy – their 105 truck, 450 trailer fleet is fully committed.

“There was a point at which we were hauling 25 loads of paper products every day for the company.”

Fluke also got a Platinum level award from their insurance company for their high level of safety management.

Everything a truck driver does now is logged electronically – Fluke has a sterling record for looking out for their drivers and keeping their fleet in top condition.

Asked for his views on business and how things looked going forward Steve said that they have all but eliminated any forward planning. “These are now day to day situations” we work at that level with the safety of our drivers and office staff being the number one issue.

The Foxcroft’s have owned and operated Fluke Transport for the last forty years –“ it’s a 100 year old company that has had just two owners” said Steve Foxcroft.

“We meet once a month to go over the numbers – Dad is in the room asking a lot of questions. We are fortunate to have a number of great customers in the food and household supplies business so we are doing OK, there are some others that aren’t doing as well.”

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Food bank misses the annual Gift of Giving Back food delivery

News 100 blueBy Staff

October 15th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The relationship between the Food Bank and the Gift of Giving Back people grew much stronger this year.

Cole, Thomas and Colby from the Burlington Eagles 07 team stopped by the Food Bank to drop off what they could gather from their family & friends during the holiday weekend. Last year at this time they were part of the huge annual Gift of Giving Back food drive where they actually filled three gyms with food.

Each year a number of teams make arrangements to stop by the Food Bank to take a quick tour and experience a little about what happens behind the scenes, as well as learn about a number of the struggles that some of their neighbours may be facing and needing the support of our services. We appreciate their visits and will miss them this year due to covid restrictions, nevertheless we appreciate any donations they are able to collect for families here in Burlington.

Weigh scales

When Covid19 was not ravaging the community Burlngton youth were collecting food as part of the annual Gift of Giving Back. Here volunteers are calculating what has been collected and sorting it into different bins for delivery.

The Burlington Eagles 07 team challenges other teams to do their best as well.

Scot Connor, a Food Bank volunteer, admits that he keeps blowing the horn of Gift of Giving Back – but adds that “these people are the absolute best of the best of all of our wonderful volunteers and charities. The people are great but its what they do to help teach our Burlington kids that makes them so special. it’s a real shame we don’t get to see a high school gym FULL of food again this year – and all the teams running around helping each other.

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Performing Arts Centre turns the stage lights on - very small audiences until province eases up on how many people can be in a theatre

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 13th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When the lock down was put in place Tammy Fox knew she had a problem – she just didn’t know how big a problem it was going to be.

Today – she knows.

Tammy Fay smile

Tammy Fox, Executive Director Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Tammy is the Executive Director of the Performing Arts Centre.

The two theatres in the building – one, the Main Theatre, holds 720 people; the other, the Community Studio Theatre, holds 165 people – have been empty for months.

The building needed some attention during the lock-down – while minimal, the costs were nevertheless real.

A very interesting production has been announced that will give young people who have a deep interest in theatre a chance to get some solid experience and mentoring.

Rebuilding the audience is going to take time. The immediate future is iffy at best. The province has limited the number of people who can attend events. “I can’t put much more than 50 people in the Main theatre – close to impossible to pull in the revenue needed to support the operations” said Fox.

“COVID social distancing cuts into what we can earn from the bar.”

On the upside, the Performing Arts Centre has a solid core of patrons who have stayed with us.

Our volunteers have been great – we had them in for a run-through on what it means to manage and direct people when they are entering the theatre and explaining the seating arrangements. We held three separate sessions – 90% of the volunteers have returned to usher people.

During the balance of October there will be:

Gord Downie

A fund raising concert that sold out – broadcast as a live stream of the performance featuring Tom Wilson

LEGACY – A Tribute to Gord Downie featuring Tom Wilson is sold out.

The Livestream of the fundraising concert and special evening to celebrate the man, the music and his enduring legacy take place on October 15th and 16th.

BENEATH SPRINGHILL: The Maurice Ruddick Story takes place on October 17th and 18th – at 1:00 pm on both days.
This is the dramatic true tale of seven miners trapped beneath a small mining town and the racial tension that surfaced as a result.

Elise LeGrow

Elise LeGrow; an impressive chanteuse

Elise LeGrow will perform on Sun Oct 25, 2020 at 4pm and at 7pm in the Community Studio.
Her voice and storytelling abilities are second to none. She has performed at the Performing Art Centre before to solid audiences.

Then there is the ALTdot Comedy Lounge on Friday Oct 30, 2020 at 7pm and again at 9pm

Featuring Sean Cullen, Jackie Pirico with host Ali Hassan! For 24 years, The ALTdot Comedy Lounge has been one of Toronto’s premiere comedy shows.

Nancy Brewer BPAC chair

Nancy Brewer, Chair Burlington Performing Arts Centre

The Performing Arts Centre has a new Chair, Nancy Brewer, a Chartered Professional Accountant in Burlington. Nancy is actively involved in community service having served as Chair of Joseph Brant Hospital and the Halton Learning Foundation.
Fox has put the finishing touches on the budget for next year – it is going to be painful.

Much depends on how long the current audience limitations are in place – assuming that we don’t slide back into a second lock down – and the arrival of a vaccine that proves to halt the spread of the virus.

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Beer Store closes Elizabeth Street Location: employee tested positive for COVID

News 100 redBy Staff

October 12th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

beer storeThe Beer Store announced today that its 396 Elizabeth Street location has closed while they complete a deep clean.

The Beer Store learned that an employee at the store tested positive for COVID-19. The Beer Store is working in consultation with Halton Public Health and has closed the location.

It will re-open on Tuesday, October 13.

All potentially affected employees will self-isolate and symptom monitor as a precautionary measure.

The Beer Store has implemented mandatory employee face coverings in all their stores, in addition to robust cleaning and public distancing protocols already in place.

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Thanksgiving Day - what's open - what isn't open.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

What’s open; what’s not open – Thanksgiving Holiday.
Animal Services
The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. remains closed to the public due to COVID-19.

To report an animal control-related emergency, call 905-335-3030 or visit www.burlington.ca/animal.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate a holiday schedule on Oct. 12. The downtown Transit Terminal, Specialized Dispatch and the administration office will also be closed on this day.

Schedules and specialized booking are available at burlingtontransit.ca. For real-time schedule information visit Google/Apple Maps or triplinx.ca.

City Hall Closed on Monday, Oct. 12.
The Service Burlington counter will re-open Oct. 13 and is available for the following in-person payments from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday to Friday:

– Parking permits and tickets
– Property taxes
– Freedom of Information requests
– Garbage tags
– Dog licenses
– Property information requests
– Recreation services

Service Burlington continues to offer marriage licenses and commissioning services by appointment. Please call Service Burlington at 905-335-7777 to schedule.

Cash payments are currently not accepted. Many service payments are also available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Anyone entering City Hall must wear a mask or face covering unless exempted from by the Mandatory Mask Bylaw.

Residents are asked to bring and wear their own masks.

Building and Planning
Service counters for building and planning are currently closed and staff continue to process applications electronically.

For more information about building permits and business licences, visit burlington.ca/building.

For information about development applications, visit burlington.ca/developmentinfo

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office Closed on Monday, Oct. 12.

Administration Counter Services, at 4085 Palladium Way, will re-open on Oct. 13 and are available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. Many online services are also available, please visit Halton Court or email burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca

Free parking is available downtown, on the street, in municipal lots and in the parking garage on weekends and holidays.

NOTE: The Waterfront parking lots (east and west) do not provide free parking on statutory holidays.
Parking exemptions are currently not required for overnight parking on City streets between 1 and 6 a.m., due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. burlington.ca/parking

Recreation Programs and Facilities Arenas will be closed on Oct. 12 and re-open on Oct. 13.

Angela Coughlan Pool will be open on Oct. 12. Pre-registration is required. For scheduled programming, visit burlington.ca/fall

Roads, Parks and Forestry Administrative office closed on Monday, Oct. 12.

Essential and reduced parks maintenance services will be provided.
rlingotn.ca

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Fire fighters and anonymous young men collect for the Food Bank

News 100 yellowBy Staff

October 10th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Burlington Dads drove to the Food Bank earlier this week  at the end of their Food Drive in Kilbride with 167 pounds of donated food.

Food bank fire truck

Heritage Firetruck used as a back drop for food collected in the Kilbride community by the volunteer fire fighters.

The Dads partnered up with the Kilbride Volunteer Firefighters Association to do a non-perishable food collection and stopped by numerous friendly local businesses that offered their offices as drop-off points along the way. One of the Dads (Jordan Bradburn) organized the event and drove an old 1937 Ford fire truck to lead the way, proudly flying the DADs flag.

Each year at this time the Burlington Dads host their annual Ride to Provide spin marathon as their own fundraiser. In lieu of the pandemic it was cancelled, however last year’s host’s – Cedar Springs Health Racquet & Sports Club squash members helped out by collecting 40 donated turkeys from their members for us to distribute to families this weekend!

Food bank - three young men

Three unnamed young men dropped off a bin of food they had collected.

Being Squash Members, a few of them included squash as well.

One last thing –the photo is of three young men who just showed up last night and dropped off a full bin of food as a donation – anonymously! Two hockey players and a soccer player (that’s all we know). Amazing!

Are there some proud parents who want to identify these young men?

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Burlington MP takes a strong stand on women's health rights in the House of Commons.

News 100 redBy Staff

October 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There was nothing queasy or slippery about a comment made in the House of Commons by Oakville Burlington North MP Pam Damoff.

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier this week Damoff said:

“Madam Speaker, this pandemic has disproportionately been felt by women and girls, intensifying societal issues of inequality, including access to critical sexual and reproductive health services.

Damoff ofice opening

Oakville North Burlington MP Pam Damoff

“I am disheartened by the closure of Clinic 554 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, limiting access for sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion. Even in Halton, women have limited access to abortion.
It is essential for governments to stand up for human rights and not exacerbate issues facing those most in need of care.

“The Leader of the Opposition has refused to condemn statements made by one of his members comparing abortion to slavery. Abortion is essential health care and the decision should be made by a women and her doctor, not by men legislating control of women’s bodies.

“We must always be firm in our support for women to have access to full reproductive and sexual health services. Access to these critical services is an issue of women’s rights.”

Crystal clear as to where Damoff stands on this issue.

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How many of the senior staff at city hall have been impacted by Covid 19?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 9th, 2020

BURLINGTON. ON

 

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns reports in her newsletter that her office is continuing to work at full capacity. Nice to know that.

What we don’t know is the degree to which city employees are able to work at full capacity.

Jones Audit-Jones-said-no-1

Executive Director Sheila Jones

In a report to Council yesterday Executive Director Sheila Jones took Council through a report on the status of Burlington’s financial position, where things are in terms of service deliver and an update on what is being done for the commercial sector.

These monthly reports are part of what Jones does very well. Her approach is very crisp, efficient and to the point. She calls on several people to participate, opens it up to questions and ensures that Council is well informed.

There is usually a comment from city manager Tim Commisso and often an occasion when they slip into a closed session for matters that relate to property issues or situations where an individual is named – which is a no no in the municipal world.

Commisso stare

City manager Tim Commisso

Yesterday, Commisso was getting ready to comment on staffing, he paused and said something to the effect that when talking about staffing individuals might get named and so he wanted to keep that level of detail private – as well he should.

There appear to be some people who are city employees who have been infected with covid 19. How many – we don’t know. We do know that most of the staff are working from home.

What is disturbing is the public doesn’t know how many people have been infected; how seriously the infections are and how diminished  staffing levels have become.

We certainly understand the need for personal privacy. However, the city manager could have created categories of staff. Top level senior people, Directors, Managers and the balance of the close to 1000 people who work for the city.

He could have then said that there are xx people at the senior level and that yy of them have had to quarantine themselves.

There are some departments where the leadership is critical: transit and finance, the city managers office and probably information technology are vital to the operation of the city – especially given the seriousness of the covid threat.

There is a practice of using provisions of the Municipal Act to slip into a closed session to discuss issues that are becoming habits. Not a healthy habit.

Be transparent and be accountable – please.

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Delegating at City Hall is not what it used to.

background graphic redBy Staff

October 8th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In the days before Covid, a delegation would be sitting in the Council Chamber, often amongst their peers.

You would be called up when it was your turn and you would address the members of council. On many occasions there would be questions from the members of Council which at times got quite frothy.

Scobie 3

Gary Scobie delegating. The public doesn’t get this kind of performance anymore – and we are the poorer for it.

I recall an occasion when Gary Scobie was delegating – and when it came to questions he was able to give as good as he got. That was during the days of the 2014-2018 council

A regular Gazette reader wanted to delegate on an issue that concerned him.

The Agenda for the meeting (and accompanying application form to delegate) was not online until Thursday afternoon. Our reader was busy until 7pm.

He filled out application form at 7am on Friday (to meet the deadline of noon the next day – weekends don’t count – for Monday’s Council meeting)

Friday morning – he was busy on a community matter.

Friday 4pm – open emails to find a note from Clerk’s department which read:

“I have received your request to delegate at City Council on September 28, 2020. Due to COVID-19, all requests to delegate must contain a copy of the delegate’s intended remarks which will be circulated to all Members of Council/Standing Committee in advance of the meeting as a back-up to any technology issues that may occur.

“Once I receive your delegation comments I will confirm your delegation.”

This was new to our reader.

Capture1

The first of four images sent by the city to the delegator.

He is a quick writer but commented that there was no way he could prepare anything reasonable in 30 minutes. So I wrote something, anything, over the weekend and sent it in.

As a back-up he emailed his Councillor ask him to intervene just in case there was a hiccup – there wasn’t.

Sunday 7:20PM Clerks office emails, got your remarks, you’re good to go.

Monday 1pm – into the Delegates Room. Was asked in the instructions sent to me to “open my video (thought about it but decided not to).

Capture2

The second of four images sent to the delegator

When it came to my turn to delegate and I was facing a screen with 15 little people staring back at me (council and staff). Just as well I didn’t open my video, I spent the whole time looking down to read.

Seeing the Councillors is also a new feature. Last time (one month ago) my screen displayed what you see at home “Delegate Speaking”. So when I did look up, it was a bit unnerving, and everyone’s face was too small to read reactions.

The “rooms” we are placed in are all virtual.

There was a virtual Room shared by the people getting ready to delegate and then a separate virtual room for people who were about to actually delegate.

Capture3

The third image sent to the delegator

Everything I did was from the comfort of my home in Aldershot.

I was first in what was referred to as the delegate room where I could look at a screen and see who the other people waiting to delegate were.

When it was my turn I was moved (again virtually) to were it was me and the members of Council along with whichever Staff members were taking part.

All I could see where the 20 or so people taking part – all set out before me on a computer screen.

When a particular person was speaking a yellow box was placed around their picture so I didn’t have to look all over the place for the speaker.

Capture4

The fourth image sent to the delegator.

Was it a satisfying experience? It certainly wasn’t the kind of experience that one had when they stood at the podium before council.

The request to send in the paper I was going to read from was offensive – the Council members were not going to reads my document; many of them have problems getting through the staff reports.

Is this the best the city can do in terms of giving the citizens a way to say their piece?

Could the technology not allow for something better.

To the person at home watching the event – there is something unreal; almost plastic. The public never gets to see the person delegating – which is possible with the technology being used. The city has chosen not to do that.

It is also possible to see the embers of Council when they are speaking. The image is not always that good – but at least it is an image.

Regional Council shows everyone taking part in a meeting.

It seems to be the best that can be done at this point.

The tradition of citizens delegating will be lost if the current Zoom process is all that is going to be available.

People don’t like the current process and are not comfortable with it.

We consistently get comments from readers saying they do not feel respected by members of Council. This was certainly the case with the 2014-18 council. Does it apply to the current council? Too early to make that call – but we are seeing dis-satisfaction galore with the on-line learning students who went the virtual route are getting and have every reason to believe that the same concern exists with the Council delegations.

We will look for some time to see what other municipal council’s are doing and report back.

A member of this council is going to have to take a stand and insist that something better be put in place.

Right now this council is fixated on telling each other how well everything is going.

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Is the problem with the people who are not getting it?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

October 8th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Why is it that we read the numbers, we know how to prevent the disease from spreading but the numbers keep climbing ?

What is it we are not getting or is the problem with the people who are not getting it.

Here is a breakdown of the total cases in Ontario by gender and age:

 

27,096 people are male — an increase of 406 cases.
29,249 people are female — an increase of 393 cases.
5,033 people are 19 and under — an increase of 126 cases.
20,126 people are 20 to 39 — an increase of 331 cases.
16,069 people are 40 to 59 — an increase of 225 cases.
8,973 people are 60 to 79 — an increase of 90 cases.
6,529 people are 80 and over — an increase of 22 cases.

Here is the solution one male came up with on the issue of wearing a mask.

Shorts as a mask

Funny, I suppose – but the issue is not a joke. We are in the process of losing this battle.

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Old Timers Hockey Club has suspended all games until further notice

sportsred 100x100By Pepper Parr

October 7th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The increase in COVID infections in the community has led the Old Timers Hockey Club to suspend games until further notice.

In a statement released early this morning the Club said: “ there has been an increase in coronavirus cases in our community. As a result of this, we too have experienced a number of positive tests over the last couple of days with some of our members. These positive tests have affected other members and has the potential of continuing to spread.

Old timers hockey logo“With this in mind, we discussed this issue, its impact on our members, the community and the Club and went through a variety of options of what we should do. Out of an abundance of caution, we have therefore decided to suspend the season at this time.

“We did not make this decision lightly and did so with the interest of all of our members’ health and safety in mind. The board of directors will be meeting to discuss this decision further and provide you with details regarding refunds; we ask for your patience in the meantime.

If you are concerned in any way about your personal health, please contact your health practitioner. To access Halton Regional Health advice click here

We will continue to monitor the current situation, learn from this experience and consider the club’s further options.

As of immediately however,
• ALL games have been cancelled.
• As mentioned, we will address refund details at a later date.
• Hectors is closed until further notice.
• The ice that we had contracts for is NOT available to players to use tonight and will not be ours going forward.

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Taste of Burlington begins on a wonderful fall day - dine in or take out offered

eventspink 100x100By Michele Bogle

October 5, 2020

BURLINGTON, ONTARIO

 

The Taste of Burlington 2020 launches today with 35 of your favourite participating restaurants offering their best under circumstances that are far from normal.

An event that started in 2008  with just 12 restaurants taking part has steadily grown.

The event starts Monday October 5th and runs through to the 25th.

This fall, each participating restaurant is again offering mouth-watering pre-fixe menus with appeal for anyone’s palate.

Taste of Burlington has made ordering easier, with extra perks.

Sign up for the ‘free’ Taste of Burlington Passport to view menus on-line. The more times you dine out, using the app, the more chance you have of winning the weekly gift card give-away, or the grand prize of $500 to a restaurant of choice.

Some participating restaurants have special offers for returning. Tallying of the contest used to be by ballot-box, but can now be done digitally.

Kelly Harris, Marketing Specialist with Tourism Burlington and Co-ordinator of Taste of Burlington writes, “Quite excited about this as especially with the pandemic, the ballots don’t have to touch so many hands.”

But wait!, there’s more. If you choose to dine in at any of the participating restaurants, the app allows you to order from the pre-fixe menu without touching anything but your own device.

Dining out at a new or favourite restaurant, has been made easier, safer and more economical with the Taste of Burlington Passport App.

As a cost-saving measure to the restaurateurs, if dining out, there is only pickup available. No delivery. The app also allows you to choose the patio, takeout, or dine in. As well it can be used to make reservations, required for this dining event.

Within this link to the list of participating restaurants, you’ll find the quick and easy application for the passport, if you don’t already have it.

Check each restaurant’s website for dates and times available. Not all locations have their own parking, so leave enough time to find city parking, if dining in.

When dining in, as a patron you can expect the Public Health Guidelines as set out by Halton Region to be rigorously observed.

As an on-going series, I’ll be reviewing some of the participating restaurants to assess, not only the value and quality of the pre-fixe menus offered, but of the safety measures exercised by those restaurateurs.

Michele BogleMichele Bogle is a Burlington resident who writes for the Gazette on community issues. Ms Bogle has taken part in the Food Network for the second year in a row to audition for the ‘Great Chocolate Showdown’ 2020 and 2021. She made it to the second stage of auditions for ‘Wall of Chefs’ 2019 and finished top 1% of auditions last year for ‘The Great Canadian Baking Show’.

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