Third Telephone Town Hall on the 16th - good place to get answers to your questions and concerns

News 100 redBy Staff

July 2, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Mayor is going to hold another one of her COVID19 Town Hall meetings.

Meed WArd at PARC

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

She runs a tight ship and gets the questions to the right people. The event is another virtual thing where the people taking part are scattered about the city – all connected via Zoom.

It works. Many of the questions are for information that should be known by everyone but there are many that are very sensible – and at time the experts the Mayor has with don’t have an immediate answer

The next COVID19 Town Hall is on Thursday, July 16, between 6 and 7:30 p.m.

The Mayor will be joined by a panel of local leaders to help answer residents’ questions, including:

Hammil + Miller

Halton District School Board Director of Education Stuart Miller

• Denise Beard, Manager of Community Development at the City of Burlington
• Tim Commisso, City Manager at the City of Burlington
• Pat Daly, Director of Education at Halton Catholic District School Board
• Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington
• The Honourable Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington
• Dr. Dale Kalina, Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control at Joseph Brant Hospital
• Stuart Miller, Director of Education at Halton District School Board
• MPP Effie Triantafilopoulos, Member of Provincial Parliament for Oakville North-Burlington
• Eric Vandewall, President and Chief Executive Officer at Joseph Brant Hospital.

With the Director of Education on the call – there will be an opportunity to see some clarity on what parents might expect come September.

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

1. Register in advance: Burlington residential phone numbers will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone town hall. Residents who would like to be added to the telephone call list can email getinvolved@burlington.ca by the end of the day on July 14.
Please note: if you registered for any of the previous town halls (held on March 26, April 14 or June 4), you are not required to register your phone number a second time. To remove a name from the call list, email getinvolved@burlington.ca by the end of the day on July 14.

2. Join by telephone: Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-410-5909 just before 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 16 to join the town hall. For those individuals calling in, please be advised more than one attempt may be required due to the high volume of traffic on the phone lines. If the first call does not connect, please hang up and dial the 1-800 number again.

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

Questions not answered during the call will be posted, with answers, to the City’s website at burlington.ca/townhall, along with an audio file and full transcript of the call after July 16.

“While we continue to navigate a world with COVID-19,, said Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, ” we have taken many steps to get people back to working and playing as much as possible so that we can maintain our physical and mental health.

Our next town hall will focus on what summer looks like in Burlington now that our splash pads, pools, parks and camps are reopening, and what we can expect as we head into the fall when our kids are hopefully back to school, and our businesses continue to reopen more fully. There is always a wealth of helpful and timely information on these calls and I look forward to connecting with our community and our experts once again on July 16.”

Quick Facts
• Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the City of Burlington has hosted three telephone town hall events, on March 25, April 14 and June 4, to provide updates about what the City is doing to protect the health and safety of our community and to address concerns from the public related to COVID-19.
• Audio recordings and full transcripts from the previous telephone town hall events are available online at burlington.ca/townhall. Answers to the questions asked by the public during these town hall events are also available at the same location on the City’s website.

Return to the Front page

Canada Day: Make it a trip to the Farmer's Market in the early morning and stick around for the Drive Thru Ribfest

News 100 redBy Staff

July 1st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There is more to do than expected.

Rotary - LAkeshoreThe Lakeshore Rotary got creative and pivoted from the fall Ribfest and are holding the event on Canada Day in the Burlington Centre (Mall)

It will be a drive a drive through situation with all kinds of signage – Rotary is very good at signage. Traffic will be directed – you pick out and pick up your Ribs – pay for them and drive on through to wherever you are going to chow down those Ribs.

No mention of a beer tent

Expect the Mayor to be there.

The Ribfest opens at 11 am and runs through to 8 pm with music, entertainment and a performance by the Teen Tour Band

Many people see the Terry Fox run as a unique thing that happened in Canada and was the result of one Canadian's supreme effort. The Canadian flag just seems to be a part of the event - and there were plenty of them handed out.

Will this woman be at the Burlington Centre (Mall) on Wednesday?

Earlier in the you can drop in at the Farmer’s Market – that opens at 8:00 am and runs to 2:00 pm.

Attendance by the produce people has been good. Lots of social distance rules in place with clear traffic lane markings.

Make a point of taking your mask. And perhaps wear something with a Canadian flag on it.

Return to the Front page

If you like to be outdoors and gardening appeals to you - the Food Bank has an opportunity for you

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

June 30, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Food Bank will be closed on Canada Day.

They deserve a bit if a break.

The Food Bank has seven plots in different community gardens – which means weed pullers and produce pickers are going to be needed.

Bailey Food Bank March 31-20

Robin Bailey, Executive Director, Burlington Food Bank

They are looking for early risers that can help with the garden work before the heat of the day hits. If you are interested and able to help please contact Lisa at garden@burlingtonfoodbank.ca

The volunteers are what make the Food Bank work. The food donations wouldn’t get out the door without them. A local Hair Salon stepped up and donated three haircut & styles to be won by our volunteers this week – just to spread some joy and make them feel good. Thank you to Willow Salon for that generous gift.

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help PLEASE have them email us at info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at their door or they can now PICK IT UP. If you live in Burlington, we are here to help.

Donate

Return to the Front page

Public Health data good - the people of Burlington are listening.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

June 30th,2020

Burlington, ON

 

The notice at the top of the update on Covid19 infections – set out in red was a sign that the pace at Halton Region’s public Health Unit has slowed.

They were probably all close to burn out.

Please note that effective the week of July 6, the Monday edition of this report will be discontinued for the summer of 2020. The report will return to a weekly format, with updates sent every Thursday.

The data as at June 26th is re-assuring.

The public, for the most part is paying attention and following the Stay Safe rules.

The PHN has advised that the public can now get out and not have to stay away from people that are a big part of their day to day lives.

The Mayor managed to get out for a brew on the patio of The Poacher.

Fig 1

Figure 1: COVID-19 cases, by episode date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Jun. 28, 2020

Figure 1: COVID-19 cases, by episode date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Jun. 28, 2020

 

Figure 1  shows the 833 COVID-19 cases among Halton residents reported by end of the day on June 28. All cases have been graphed according to their episode date, which is used to estimate the date that symptoms began. Figure 1 shows the number of new cases per day, while

Figure 2 shows how cases have accumulated over time. Counts for the past 14 days should be interpreted with caution (indicated using the grey shaded area on the graph), since there is a delay between when a person becomes infected and when they develop symptoms, get tested and are reported as a case. Please note the large increase on April 11 is due to expanded testing and identification of COVID-19 among asymptomatic individuals at Mountainview Residence.

Individuals who are lab-confirmed cases are shown in green. Individuals who are probable cases are shown in orange. Probable cases are individuals presumed to have COVID-19 because they have symptoms of COVID-19 and are travelers returning from an affected area, have had close contact with a confirmed case and/or lived/worked in a facility experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, or have indeterminate test results.

Fig 3Figure 3: 7-day moving average of confirmed non-institutional COVID-19 cases, by collection date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Jun. 28, 2020

For each day, Figure 3 shows the average number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past seven days, including only those cases that are not staff or residents/patients associated with an outbreak in an institutional or congregate care setting. Cases have been graphed according to their collection date, which is the date that a sample was taken from them to be tested for COVID-19. The graph suggests that the average number of new cases per day was highest in late March/early April, with another increase in mid-May. Counts for recent days should be interpreted with caution (indicated using the grey shaded area on the graph), since there is a delay between when a person is tested and when their test results are reported to Public Health and entered into the system.

 

Fig 5

Figure 5 shows that by end of the day on June 28, the greatest number of COVID-19 cases were among residents of Oakville (with 277 cases, or 33%).

Figure 5 shows that by end of the day on June 28, the greatest number of COVID-19 cases were among residents of Oakville (with 277 cases, or 33%). Please note this figure shows counts, and therefore does not take into account the different population sizes or age structures of the four municipalities. Counts in municipalities can also be inflated by outbreaks that have occurred within institutions in their boundaries.

 

 

Fig 9

Figure 9 shows the 22 confirmed outbreaks of COVID-19 in Halton institutions reported by end of the day on June 28. Institutions are defined as long-term care homes, retirement homes and hospitals. 18 of the outbreaks have resolved, and four are ongoing. Among the 22 confirmed institutional outbreaks reported to date, 14 (64%) have been in long-term care homes, seven (32%) have been in retirement homes and one has been in a hospital (5%).

 

Fig 10Figure 10: Number of people tested for COVID-19 and percentage of people tested who had positive results, by week, Mar. 1-Jun. 20, 2020, Halton

The green bars in Figure 10 show the number of Halton residents who were tested for COVID-19 each week, beginning the week of March 1-7. Data for the most recent week (June 14-20) is incomplete due to reporting lags. The number of people tested decreased the week of May 17 compared to past weeks as mass testing of institutional residents was completed. The number of people tested then began to increase again, as the provincial government permitted more widespread testing.

The orange line in Figure 10 indicates the percentage of tested Halton residents who were positive for COVID-19. The percent positivity was highest the week of April 5-11, when 10.3% of Halton residents who were tested for COVID-19 had positive results. In the most recent week (June 14-20), 0.5% of people tested for COVID-19 tested positive, although this number is subject to reporting delays.

 

Data limitations and data sources
Halton case data: integrated Public Health Information System (iPHIS), extracted at 7:00 AM on June 29, 2020, to reflect data entered by the end of the day on June 28, 2020

Halton lab data: Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Number of individuals who were confirmed positive for COVID-19, COVID-19 Testing Period: 15 Jan 2020 to 20 June 2020. Received on June 22, 2020.

Ontario case counts: Public Health Ontario, Epidemiologic Summary, COVID-19 in Ontario: January 15, 2020 to June 28, 2020, posted on June 29, 2020 to https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus.

Denominators for Halton and Ontario age-specific rates: Population projections [2020], IntelliHEALTH Ontario, extracted on April 8, 2020.

Data notes
All cases of diseases of public health significance diagnosed in Ontario are entered into iPHIS by local public health units. iPHIS is the Integrated Public Health Information System. It is a dynamic disease reporting system which allows ongoing updates to data previously entered. As a result, data extracted from iPHIS represent a snapshot at the time of extraction and may differ from previous or subsequent reports as data are updated.

The data only represent cases reported to public health and recorded in iPHIS. As a result, all counts will be subject to varying degrees of underreporting due to a variety of factors, such as disease awareness and medical care seeking behaviours, which may depend on severity of illness, clinical practice, changes in laboratory testing, and reporting behaviours.

Cases are included if their “diagnosing health unit” in iPHIS is Halton Region, which means counts include only individuals whose primary residence is in Halton Region. The case may not necessarily have been managed by Halton Region, if they were temporarily residing elsewhere during their case management period. Cases managed by Halton Region who normally live elsewhere but who were managed by Halton Region staff because they were temporarily residing in Halton during their case management period have not been included.

Cases for which the Disposition Status in iPHIS was reported as ENTERED IN ERROR, DOES NOT MEET DEFINITION, DUPLICATE-DO NOT USE, or any variation on these values have been excluded.

Cases are considered “currently active” if they are open in iPHIS.

Figures 1 and 2 distinguish between lab-confirmed and probable cases. Probable cases are defined as epi-linked cases, which means they are presumed to have COVID-19 because they have symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and have travelled to an affected area; have had close contact with a confirmed case; and/or lived in or worked in a facility known to be experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19; or have indeterminate test results. All other figures and numbers include both confirmed and probable cases combined, except Figure 3, which uses confirmed cases only.

Figures 1 and 2 use episode date, which is a field that is intended to approximate the symptom onset date for each case. It is calculated hierarchically, using symptom onset date if available; when it is not available, specimen collection date is used; if neither symptom onset nor specimen collection date are available, the lab test date is used; and finally, if none of these other dates are available, the date the case was reported to Public Health is used.

In subsequent reports, counts in Figures 1-3 may increase as cases are added from past dates as individuals become symptomatic, get tested, and their results are reported to Halton Region Public Health, as well as any past results are added due to delayed data entry or new arrival of lab results.

Cases are considered to be patients or residents of an institution experiencing an outbreak if they are linked to a confirmed Halton institutional outbreak in iPHIS, and they are not known to be a staff person at the institution.

Cases are considered to work in health care if they are known to have an occupation that involves caring for patients, e.g. physician, nurse, occupational therapist, recreational therapist, chiropractor, paramedic, midwife, orderly, etc. Individuals who work in health care settings but do not provide direct care to patients (e.g. managers, cleaning staff) have not been included.

Exposure type is determined by examining the exposure and risk factor fields from iPHIS to determine whether a case travelled, was a resident/patient or staff member in an institution or congregate care setting experiencing an outbreak, was a contact of a case or neither. A hierarchy has been applied as follows:
• Cases with episode date before April 1: Travel > Associated with any type of outbreak (institutional, congregate care, or workplace) in or outside of Halton > Close contact of a confirmed case > None of the above (indicating community acquisition) > Information pending.
• Cases with episode date on or after April 1: Associated with any type of outbreak (institutional, congregate care, or workplace) in or outside of Halton > Close contact of a confirmed case > Travel > None of the above (indicating community acquisition) > Information pending.
It is important to note that cases can have multiple exposures, and these data reflect only their primary exposure category. Differences between municipalities have not been assessed for statistical significance. Known cases reflect only individuals who were prioritized for testing prior to the expansion of testing in May, which means that differences between municipalities are currently difficult to ascribe to other factors.

Case outcomes (hospitalizations, recovered/resolved, deaths) reflect the latest available information reported to Halton Region Public Health and recorded in iPHIS by the extraction time. Cases for whom public health follow-up was discontinued and the case was closed while still hospitalized are not considered to be ‘currently hospitalized’.

Cases are considered to have been reached within 24 hours if their investigation start date and case reported dates in iPHIS are no more than one day apart.

Contacts are manually tracked to determine if they were reached within one day. Any contacts referred to Public Health Ontario for follow up have not been included.

Institutional outbreaks include outbreaks of COVID-19 in settings such as long-term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals and prisons. Outbreaks in congregate care settings (e.g. group homes) and workplaces are not included.

Lab testing data reflects only lab tests that have been assigned to Halton Region based on the methodology used by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. There are several known limitations associated with this data which result in the numbers being underestimates:
• The unit of analysis is the tested individual. Once an individual is confirmed positive, subsequent tests for that individual are excluded from the daily totals;
• The COVID-19 test results were captured in the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS). The testing date represents the date of specimen collection: “observation date” in OLIS. Due to the time required for transportation and processing of specimens, it takes six days for approximately 95% of results to be finalize

Return to the Front page

Summer in the city - coping with COVID19

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 29th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON’

The Gazette web site, we call it our press room, is undergoing a security upgrade. The content has been hacked into several times and someone is playing with the comments section. Thus, unfortunately, the comments section will not be available until security is solid enough to prevent people from removing what you want to say.

The weather was great.

Loads of people out.

Too many cars with drivers who felt that had to let us know just how much noise their mufflers could make.

The patios weren’t as full as we thought they would be.

Spencer Smith Park was busy but not crowded when we were there and the lines on the Naval Promenade kept people far enough apart.

Kids in the water

It’s what summer at the beach is all about – except that this is not a normal summer.

 

Beach closed sign

Perhaps we have more people in Burlington for whom English is not their first language?

That small Beach created at the foot of the Pier attracted kids that were enjoying making castles in the sane – despite the sign clearly saying the Beach was closed.

That Beach by the way was not planned. While the Pier was being built the currents pulled sand into that spot on the waterfront. That sand by the way drifted all the way from the Scarborough Bluffs.

Walking around downtown was quite nice. The traffic cones that were put up to create walking space for pedestrians did the job.

It made for tight traffic at times – but the public was given the space they needed.

Brant Strret - Wendell rest

The walkway on the street was great for pedestrians. The traffic cones were rather ratty and tattered looking.

The cones that were set out on Brant Street were a little “ratty: looking. The barrier set up on John Street and Lakeshore had really nice clean look to them

Those traffic cones on Brant were an embarrassment.

The ward Councillor and the head honcho at the Downtown Business Association might want to look at the traffic cones in front of Wendell Clark’s and see if they can’t find something a little more attractive. Brant is the prime street in the city.

John Street looking south

These barriers leave a nice clean, rather smart look to the streetscape. Unfortunately, other than the ice cream shop – no one was getting much in the way of traffic.

 

Pump walkway BEST

The patio at The Pump is on the sidewalk – last year the patio was on the street. This set up is much better.

David Barker, an astute observer of what goes on downtown took issue with the way traffic was being managed, particularly at Brant and Lakeshore Road.

He explains:
“If you are driving West along Lakeshore Road and you wish to turn right, north, up Brant Street, and your traffic signal is green, you are unlikely to be able to make a right turn due to pedestrians crossing east/west and west/east across Brant Street. Say, the light then turns red against you but you wish to take advantage of “right on red”, you’re likely unable to be able to do so because pedestrians are now crossing Lakeshore Road in front of you, north/south and vice versa.

“Now consider should you be driving south on Brant Street and you wish to turn either east or west on to Lakeshore Road. When the light is green in your favour you are probably unlikely to be able to do so. That is because pedestrians likely will be crossing Lakeshore Road both on the east side and west side of Brant Street. Southbound traffic on Brant street is more often than not backed up beyond Elgin Street.

“So as you can see the situation is one where both vehicular traffic and pedestrians are vying for the same space on the road at the same time. That combination is not a good mix. Really pedestrians and vehicles should be separated.

“Would it not make more sense to:
(1) have the traffic going east and west along Lakeshore Road have it’s time to move when both south bound traffic on Brant Street and pedestrians are halted.
(2) Then halt pedestrians and traffic on Lakeshore (both directions) allowing traffic south bound on Brant Street to be able to turn East or West without obstacle.
(3) then have all vehicular traffic halted so pedestrians may cross Lakeshore Road and Brant Street in any which direction they like, even diagonally across the intersection if they wish.
(4) Then the cycle starts over.

“This plan allows for pedestrians and vehicles to move freely without obstruction and more importantly safely without frustration.

:The unregulated, unmarked crosswalk at Lakeshore Road and Locust Street adds to the chaos and confusion. It should be regulated and be in step with the traffic signals at both Lakeshore Road and Brant Street and Lakeshore Road and Burlington Street.

“With the great summer weather attracting people, who are already eager to get out after lockdown, to the downtown and Spencer Smith Park there will be more cars back on the road (with reduced lanes) and more pedestrians looking wander around and take advantage of the patios and Spencer Smith Park therefore crossing this intersection.”

City Council’s objective was to ensure that the space on the streets was made available to pedestrians – shared with the vehicles.

It’s not as smooth as people would’ve liked it – but it is a first step.  Many people want all of Brant closed to vehicles from Caroline south – the merchants are dead opposed to that idea.  In many cities closing a road to vehicles improves the pace of business.  The is a great opportunity to give it a try.

One of the sadder signs was the number of former retail locations now store fronts with For Rent signs in the windows.

Return to the Front page

Hospital visiting hours expanded - hospital’s post-partum unit to have better access on July 2

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Things are opening up and easing up around the city.

Starting Monday, June 29th, Joseph Brant Hospital will begin to gradually reduce visitor restrictions and increase access to the hospital, providing much-needed support for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospital support signRecognizing the importance of family and caregivers in patient care, JBH is implementing new guidelines to allow inpatients to see their family members or caregivers during their stay, while also protecting the health and safety of everyone in the hospital.

New Visitor Guidelines

• Each inpatient can identify up to two family members/caregivers to visit during their stay
• Only one family member/caregiver may be at the bedside at one time
• Clinical units will provide approved visitor names to entrance screeners daily
• Visiting hours are 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
• Ambulatory Care patients are not permitted to have a visitors accompany them at this time, with very limited individual exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Visitor must pass COVID-19 screening before entering the hospital and follow all health and safety measures while in the hospital, including physical distancing and wearing Personal Protective Equipment when necessary.

In addition to these new guidelines, more private rooms on the hospital’s post-partum unit will be opened to allow a patient’s designated care partner to safely remain with them during their entire stay. This change will take effect on July 2.

Additional Entrances Opening

The hospital is also opening more entrances starting June 29.

Patients and visitors can enter the hospital at the North Tower, South Tower and Pedestrian Bridge following successful completion of the screening process. People who require entry to the hospital between 11:30 p.m. – 5:30 a.m., can enter through the 24-hour Emergency Department.

While encouraged, patients and visitors are no longer required to wear masks while in the hospital, provided they successfully complete the screening process prior to entry. Hospital staff and physicians will continue to wear masks, and other Personal Protective Equipment as appropriate, to ensure the health and safety of all.

JBMH president Eric Vandewall is reported to be working on his schedule and aking tme to meet with the city. Dinner with senior city staff was a good start.

JBH president Eric Vandewall

Eric Vandewall, President and CEO, Joseph Brant Hospital, who has managed a sticky situation rather well said: “We appreciate the vital role family and caregivers play in supporting patients while in hospital, and understand how challenging it has been for them to be separated from their loved ones during the pandemic.

As the province starts to reopen and Joseph Brant Hospital continues to gradually reintroduce scheduled surgeries and outpatient care, we are easing visitor restrictions so patients can be with their loved ones and caregivers during their stay. We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding, and thank them for their support throughout this challenging time.”

 

Return to the Front page

Covid19 Data up to End of Day on June 24, 2020

covid virusBy Staff

June 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We are holding our own – but there are situations that are falling between the cracks.

We know that this virus, COVID19, is passed from person to person.

That means we have to be vigilant about who we spend out time with – we don’t always know where they have been.

And – wash your hands and when you are out – wear a mask.

Here is the data. All the data can be found HERE.

We have passed along excerpts – they make the point and tell the story. For a deeper dive into the week – click on the link above.

Fig 1

Figure 1

Figure 1: COVID-19 cases, by episode date, Halton Region, Mar. 1-Jun. 24, 2020

Individuals who are lab-confirmed cases are shown in green. Individuals who are probable cases are shown in orange. Probable cases are individuals presumed to have COVID-19 because they have symptoms of COVID-19 and are travelers returning from an affected area, have had close contact with a confirmed case and/or lived/worked in a facility experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, or have indeterminate test results.

Fig 3 corrected

Figure 3

For each day, Figure 3 shows the average number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past seven days, including only those cases that are not staff or residents/patients associated with an outbreak in an institutional or congregate care setting. Cases have been graphed according to their collection date, which is the date that a sample was taken from them to be tested for COVID-19. The graph suggests that the average number of new cases per day was highest in late March/early April, with another increase in mid-May. Counts for recent days should be interpreted with caution (indicated using the grey shaded area on the graph), since there is a delay between when a person is tested and when their test results are reported to Public Health and entered into the system.

 

Fig 5

Figure 5

Figure 5 shows that by end of the day on June 24, the greatest number of COVID-19 cases were among residents of Oakville (with 269 cases, or 33%). Please note this figure shows counts, and therefore does not take into account the different population sizes or age structures of the four municipalities. Counts in municipalities can also be inflated by outbreaks that have occurred within institutions in their boundaries.

Up until very recently Burlington has had the lowest infection rate in the Region.  Halton Hills is a much smaller municipality which would account for the lower number.

People are now getting out more – enjoying the nice weather.  We can keep the infections low if we are careful.

 

Fig 10

Figure 10

The green bars in Figure 10 show the number of Halton residents who were tested for COVID-19 each week, beginning the week of March 1-7. Data for the most recent week (June 14-20) is incomplete due to reporting lags. The number of people tested decreased the week of May 17 compared to past weeks as mass testing of institutional residents was completed. The number of people tested then began to increase again, as the provincial government permitted more widespread testing.

The orange line in Figure 10 indicates the percentage of tested Halton residents who were positive for COVID-19. The percent positivity was highest the week of April 5-11, when 10.3% of Halton residents who were tested for COVID-19 had positive results. In the most recent week (June 14-20), 0.5% of people tested for COVID-19 tested positive, although this number is subject to reporting delays.

The rest of the world – not a pretty picture:

 

 

Return to the Front page

Roadways are now going to be available to pedestrians - city doing what they can to accommodate the number of new popup patios.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 26th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With the downtown area now open for all kinds of new sidewalk patios – the tussle between cars and people might get a little tense.

The city has made some adjustments to parking and use of the sidewalks – there may be changes and there may be more.

Sidewalk sections, some on-street parking has been closed: specifically areas of Brant Street, John Street and Lakeshore Road in Downtown Burlington

John street looking nth from Lkshore

John Street – looking north from Lakeshore

Some on-street parking and one traffic lane on Lakeshore Road has been closed to accommodate downtown physical distancing on:

Brant Street – west side from Wendell Clark’s Classic Grill & Bar, 380 Brant St. to Pine Street

John Street – east side from Lakeshore Road to Pine Street

Lakeshore Road – north side from Elizabeth Street to Locust Street

A new pedestrian walkway has been created on the roadway in these areas and sidewalk traffic is being redirected to the walkway. The walkways include ramps at each entry/exit point to accommodate accessibility.

On-street parking on John Street and Brant Street has been removed and one westbound travel lane on Lakeshore Road in the areas where the sidewalk patios are being installed.

Return to the Front page

Northern Ontario Casino scene undergoing major changes.

News 100 blue

By George Keburia

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Casinos across Northern Ontario are hoping to be able to re-open soon amid COVID-19 uncertainty

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the entire world as the number of infections globally has now exceeded a whopping nine million bar.

With over 400 thousand deaths related to the novel coronavirus infection, the vast majority of nations are trying to keep their citizens safe by implementing and maintaining social distancing rules. In these unprecedented times, everyone is held accountable for not putting the national safety at risk. The recent case of Dominic Cummings in the United Kingdom was a great example of how the societies have shifted and become more cautious amid the pandemic.

Besides individual responsibility, the same kind of cautiousness extends to business. Both people and governments try to have a specifically tailored and well-researched approach when it comes to re-opening businesses and their future operations. The Canadian government was one of the first globally to introduce a nation-wide lockdown, resulting in thousands of businesses simply coming to a complete standstill. Many of them had to halt operations while others also were put in a position of having to cancel ambitious projects and future plans.

US border closed PAID

Border to the United States closed – with no clear re-opening date in place.

All of Canada’s industries and businesses came under extreme pressure as the government decided to close its border with the United States. The Americans are the biggest Canadian economic partner with over 85% of exports going to the United States. Under such circumstances, not only exporting businesses but also local companies were impacted negatively. Countless Canadian businesses used to benefit from Americans visiting them over the weekend.

The gambling business in a tricky position

With the mid-march decision of the Canadian government and the prime minister Trudeau, all entertainment businesses were closed indefinitely. These changes naturally affected gambling venues across the nation. They had to cease operations immediately without a chance to evaluate the situation and come up with a solution in a timely manner. Many of the businesses managed to go online within the few days of the new regulations but others had to work and invest heavily in order to survive the turmoil.

In general, the online gambling sector has been on a steep rise throughout the past decade. The representatives of Playamo Canada say, that the incomes from the business across the nation have also been growing.   For firms that were always focused on online gambling, the new regulations were a positive change. They now have a chance to attract customers that can no longer visit brick-and-mortar venues in Canada.

But what happens with those who were dependent on visitors for the majority of their incomes? Canada, particularly Northern Ontario, is home to a high number of luxurious casinos and resorts that have been completely shut for almost the past three months. Their bookings and were canceled while loyal customers have no option but to visit online gambling platforms run by other operators.

Gateway Casinos forced to halt its construction in North Bay

Among many of Canada’s famous gambling operators, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is truly a shining star. The customers’ favorite company provides high-quality luxury venues to its loyal customers across the entire country. It has popular venues located in Sudbury and Sault St. Marie.

Gateway North Bay PAID

North Bay Casino construction site.

However the pandemic meant operations of Gateway-owned casinos had to be closed.  Those crucial venues for the company remain closed to the public. The representatives of Gateway say, that the timing of the pandemic could not have been worse. Their new major project in North Bay, a casino resort that already has a green light for construction, had to be stopped. There is simply not enough certainty in the industry to continue the construction of a major venue. The costs of the construction are absolutely tremendous and the company can not afford it unless the already-existing venues are back up and running.

Therefore, ‘Gateway casinos and entertainment’ is now focusing on opening up its Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie venues to the public. The cash inflow from those venues is unlikely to result in the construction of the new North Bay venue. However, operational casinos would ensure the safety of jobs, as well as more security for the business. The latter is of utmost importance since, without any certain and specific timeframe on the process of opening casinos, Gateway’s future plans remain halted.

How can casinos open going forward?

Gateway Sudbury PAID

The thrill of the win

The chief of Gateway’s Sudbury venue, Richard Paquin commented on the company’s future plans: “We haven’t spoken to anybody about that because it’s too early in the process,” However, the Ontario’s government has recently announced its plans to gradually re-open entertainment businesses that could potentially include casinos. Gateway also had a brief communication with the government regarding the issues but no specific answers were given from the authorities.

However, what we know today for sure is that sooner or later, the casino business will start coming back. The question is in what form will it operate? What sacrifices will operators have to make? The expectation is that the opening of venues will be discussed individually.

Every space comes with its own specifications and needs to be rearranged considering those factors. One thing is apparent: the most affected part of the casino business will be the venues’ capacity. Fewer people will be allowed per room with fewer people sitting around tables. This could mean significantly lower incomes for businesses, but with social distancing remaining the only known and effective tool against the spread of the virus, the venues will have to adjust.

Return to the Front page

We can grow through this experience.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

People at the Burlington Food Bank are noticing a change in the conversations they are having with the people they serve.

Green beans - row

The Food Bank is looking forward to some fresh produce once those rows have done all their growing.

Yesterday they had a client call; upset about the food we delivered. Robin Bailey and Dominique drove to the client’s house and it turned out the complaint was very, very minor and easy to swap out the item they really wanted. But Robin and Dominique listened to the person for at least an hour… Robin said they were just really upset with everything else going on in our world right now and not so much the one grocery item.

The Food Bank has seen an increase in the number of families they serve and have noticed that the intake calls have been lasting much longer than at the beginning of the pandemic!

When we hear from clients via email they are adding more detail in regards to how they are feeling and the struggles they are facing. We realize that people are worried right now about a lot of things and we take the time to talk to them and hear about their situations and how they are affected.

If you have a neighbour or family member that is alone please take the time to see how they are doing and ask if you can help them out in any way. If it’s a neighbour you haven’t seen in quite a while, maybe drop a note under their door to let them know there are people that care about them and how they are doing.

Green bean climbing

This bean has grown itself to the point where it can attach to the wire ladder. We humans are going to have to grow ourselves out of this pandemic – it is not going to be easy.

We are all in this together and Facebook groups like #burlingtontogether are reaching out to offer a hand in any way possible. Please wear masks and respect others safety if you are out in busy areas. The Food Bank is here to help clients out with not just groceries but to be a small source of community and a connector to other community resources.

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help PLEASE have them email us at info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at their door or they can now PICK IT UP. If you live in Burlington, we are here to help.

Return to the Front page

GO adds increased cleaning to their fleet - several times each day.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At some point people will begin going back to work.

For those who use public transit or ride an elevator in their office building there is a concern.

For those of us in Burlington who do not ave to experience the Yong Street subway in rush hour – there isn’t a problem.  I don’t think I would want to be crammed onto that subway – even if I did have to go to work.

The joys of working iin the Big Smoke.

Metrolinx advises that starting this week, customers will notice more cleaning crews on GO buses, trains and in stations as the transit agency steps up cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day. Certain GO stations are also moving towards a self-serve model. Here’s what you need to know.

Metrolinx - cleaning arm rest #1

Arm rest, guard rails – anything people are likely to touch will get cleaned – several times each trip. Antonnette Clarke-Thompson wipes off an arm rest as part of her work to disinfect in-service GO trains (Mike Winterburn photo)

Because safety never stops, Metrolinx is stepping up in-service cleaning efforts across the GO transit network.

The transit agency is rolling out a newly enhanced midday cleaning program that complements the existing thorough daily disinfecting work.

By implementing these and dozens of other key safety measures, Metrolinx has kept GO services running safely since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

How does it work?

Metrolinx is stepping up cleaning of GO trains, buses and stations. In addition to regular daily disinfecting, all surfaces customers commonly touch, such as handles, buttons, railings, armrests and ticket vending machines, will be given extra cleaning throughout the day.

In addition to the disinfecting buses already get when not in service, cleaning crews are disinfecting buses before nearly every new trip starting at the Union Station bus terminal, Hamilton GO Centre, Square One, the Jane & 407 bus terminal, Yorkdale and Oshawa GO.

In addition to the disinfecting trains already get when not in service, cleaning crews are riding trains throughout the day to make sure things like seat handles, armrests, buttons, washrooms and railings are cleaned regularly.

In addition to the regular deep cleaning underway at GO stations, station attendants are stepping up cleaning of frequently touched surfaces while also helping customers.

Station staff cleaning surfaces at Union Station

Cleaning efforts are being stepped up at GO Stations, on buses and trains. (Metrolinx photo)

Staffing Changes at GO Stations

Metrolinx clean waste bin #2

Station staff cleaning surfaces at Union Station. Cleaning efforts are being stepped up at GO Stations, on buses and trains. (Metrolinx photo)

Also starting this week, certain GO stations will become fully self-serve. Ticket sales and PRESTO services at Bloor, Exhibition, Downsview Park, Oriole GO stations will now be exclusively available through fare vending machines.

Starting this weekend (June 27), this will also be the case for weekend ticket sales and PRESTO services at Bradford, East Gwillimbury, Aurora and Maple GO stations.

This doesn’t mean safety or cleanliness will be compromised. All self-serve stations are receiving the same high level of cleaning by mobile station staff.

Safety Never Stops

Metrolinx spill kit #3

A cleaning person disinfects a GO bus. Cleaning crews will now be disinfecting GO vehicles while they are in-service, although customers will not be asked to move. (Metrolinx photo)

Though life feels different, what hasn’t changed is Metrolinx’s commitment to customer safety. More than 40 new safety measures have been introduced since the start of year including thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting trains, buses, and stations every day. There are new innovative measures being developed now and will be rolled out this summer.

Metrolinx is also asking customers to help keep everyone safe by following the guidance of public health officials and use a face covering when on transit.

Metrolinx face maskAs admirable as all this effort is – the facts are – Covid19 is transferred from person to person – the respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze are what carry the infection.  They come out of your mouth and nose – not the other orifices on your body that are exposed to the public.

That would make masks essential.  Mask up folks!

Return to the Front page

Canadian Labour Congress asks for immediate action from the provincial and federal governments to provide emergency funding for municipalities

opinionviolet 100x100By Maureen Weinberger

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Dear Editor,

Letter to the editorLost revenue due to COVID-19 will have an immediate and devastating impact on the ability of our local government to deliver the vital services we all rely on.

Halton continues to be impacted by pandemic-related expenditures that are estimated to cost over $10 million by year-end.

Municipal governments provide vital services that include emergency response, transit, public housing, long term care, day care, libraries, recreation and many more services we take for granted on a daily basis.

We have already seen municipalities who are facing serious financial shortfalls, being forced to defer important projects, reduce services and lay off, furlough or redeploy the workers that provide these services.

Municipal governments are an important economic driver in our communities and in the greater Canadian economy. The emerging municipal crisis could act as a destabilizing force for our national economy. In addition, mass funding shortfalls at the municipal level would result in significant delays in local economic recovery and an increase in the numbers of community members who are experiencing lay off, reduced wages or job loss.

The Canadian Labour Congress has asked for immediate action from the provincial and federal government to provide emergency funding for municipalities in order to protect vital local services. Please join me in amplifying this call to save our cities, towns, and municipalities from financial devastation by providing immediate emergency assistance.

Maureen Weinberger is the President of the Oakville & District Labour Council

Return to the Front page

Spray pads to open June 26; Redesigned summer camps and outdoor pools open July 13

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 25th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City announced the opening of spray pads on June 26. Redesigned summer camps and outdoor pool programs will begin on July 13.

Following public health recommendations and the Province’s emergency orders, COVID-19 precautions and preparations will be in place to reduce the spread of the virus. All redesigned programs and services will look very different from pre-COVID-19 programs and will still be high quality, fun, active and create great summer memories.

Kids in splash pad

This place will be busy on Friday.

To ensure crowd management, all programs and pool use (including lap and rec swims) will require pre-registration and payment. There is no registration required for spray pads.

All programs and offerings can be viewed online at burlington.ca/summer.

Registrations are only being accepted online at liveandplay.burlington.ca. If you need assistance, please call 905-335-7600 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday or email liveandplay@burlington.ca.

Anyone attending a camp or swim must follow strict COVID-19 procedures. Staying home if the participant or any family member is sick or has come in contact with anyone who is sick. Wash hands frequently, cough and sneeze into sleeve/arm and follow all City rules and regulations. Masks and face coverings will be optional.

sociial circles

Is this a summer day camp setting?

Summer Camps
Full-day summer SNAP camps for kids aged four to ten years will be held at Brant Hills Community Centre, Tansley Woods Community Centre, Aldershot Arena and Haber Recreational Centre.

Performing Arts Camp for kids ages nine to 15 years will be held at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre.
Camp activities will include outdoor games, crafts, art and nature-based activities.

Funny hats and smiling faces - all part of the summer day camp experience.

Funny hats and smiling faces – all part of the summer day camp experience.

Camper’s safety is the first priority. Staff will receive enhanced training on the additional health and safety regulations. There will now be one dedicated staff to every four children, with a maximum of two staff and eight campers in a room.

Each camp group will stay together for the entire week, and not interact with other groups.

To support and enhance the safety of campers and staff, caregivers will receive a phone call before camps begin to emphasize the importance of following the camp code of conduct and do a pre-camp health check.

Completing the call with staff is required for your child to be admitted to camp. In addition, parents will learn about the cleaning of facilities with special attention to high touch surfaces like door handles and counters. Each camp group will have dedicated spaces and washroom facilities to further reduce exposure to other groups.

Caregivers will also be sent an email with a video link to where to drop campers off, facility layout and set up as well as were to pick up the camper at the end of the day.

 

Registration dates, beginning at 9 a.m.:
• Monday, June 29 for camp programs July 13 and July 20
• Monday, July 13 for camp programs July 27 and Aug. 3
• Monday, July 27 for camp programs Aug. 10 and 17
• Monday, Aug. 10 for camp programs Aug. 24
Outdoor Pools

Nelson Pool and Splash Park, Mountainside Pool and Splash Park and LaSalle Splash Park will be ready on July 13.

The number of people allowed in at any time will be kept low so people can maintain physical distancing. The play features at Nelson and Mountainside will remain closed. To register online for lap and rec swims 25 hours prior to start of program time, go to liveandplay.burlington.ca.

Splash pad LaSalle - swimming

The number of kids in those wading pool will be lower.

In addition to the outdoor pools, spray pads will open on Friday, June 26. For a listing of locations, go to burlington.ca/waterplay.

At the spray pads, please ensure your child stays two metres away from anyone not in your social circle or household. If a spray pad is crowded, please try another spray pad or come back another day.

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 app.

Return to the Front page

Parks and Recreation are thinking about how they might re-open the Seniors' Centre

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 24, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Parks and Recreation department is sounding out people on opening up the Seniors’ Centre.

People who provide some of the programing to the city on a contract basis have been called to see if they would be interested in running classes that would be limited to 10 people.

Seniors taking in the music

There won’t be audiences this size at the Seniors’ Centre – but small programs are being considered.

There would be a limit on the number of people permitted to be in the building – the number we are getting is 90.
Cleaning crews would do a wipe down after every class.

Parks and Recreation Director Chris Glenn said: “ We are preparing a report to bring to council in the next cycle of meetings, that talks about the proposed redesigned adult / older adult programming plan, based on the stage 2 provincial guidelines. More to come as council discusses the redesign plan.

Members of the Seniors Advisory Committee are reported to not have heard from anyone within Parks and Recreation.

Return to the Front page

Putting the pandemic into perspective

News 100 blackBy Pepper Parr

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is the richest, most powerful country in the world.

But look at the numbers; the number of people infected, the number of people who have died – and it is far from over yet.

The man leading the country stands a chance of being re-elected.

Imagine that.

World covid numbers June 24

All one can do iis shakes their head when they review the numbers.

Return to the Front page

LaSalle Park Community Marina update: Marina and sailing programs closed for2020 summer season

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

LaSalle Park - bring about a boat on its way to the water.

Tough year for the boating community. The boats will not be going into the water.

 

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of volunteers and boaters, the boards of directors for the LaSalle Park Marina Association (LPMA) and the Burlington Sailing and Boating Club (BS&BC) have announced the LaSalle Park Community Marina and BS&BC sailing programs will not operate for the 2020 summer season.

The decision to close the marina made sense – it puts into stark relief the decision to use $4 million from the Hydro Reserve fund to pay for the building of the wave break.  Talk about unintended consequences.

The decision to close the marina was made by the LPMA and the BS&SC, who took the following into consideration:

• Volunteer safety – in order to install the docks at the marina, volunteers are required to work within small boats where physical distancing is not possible.

• Shortened boating season – construction of the new wave break at the LaSalle Park Community Marina was delayed due to impacts from COVID-19. While the wave break is now completed, the LPMA estimates the installation of the docks and placement of boats in the water would take four to five weeks, resulting in a significantly shorter boating season.

• Financial impacts – with COVID-19 precautions and a shortened boating season, many boaters have indicated they will not be launching their boats, impacting the funding needed to operate the marina.

Public Boat Launch
The public boat launch at LaSalle Park Community Marina will also remain closed for the summer for boats on trailers. A portion of the parking lot typically used for boat trailers will not be accessible as it continues to be used for the storage of boats and finger docks.

Residents are still able to use the marina area to enjoy views of the water, bird watching and to launch canoes and kayaks that are not on a trailer.

Lurking in the background is the matter of how will Burlington manage to renew the lease they have on property owned by Hamilton and used as both a public park and the Marina Association.  Two years left on that lease.

Return to the Front page

Burlington Massage Therapist Charged with Sexual Assault

Crime 100By Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service arrested a massage therapist who was working at a clinic in Burlington.

The incident occurred in February 2020 and the victim was a client.

Dominic Carrasco (53) of Burlington has been charged with one count of Sexual Assault.

Police believe there may be additional victims.

Crime stoppers logoAnyone with information is asked to contact Detective Keith Nakahara of the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit at 905-825-4747 ext. 8980.

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.

Return to the Front page

Burlington Food Bank contacted by Feed Ontario to help the provincial government determine what the longer term food needs are likely to be

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

The Burlington Food Bank was recently contacted by Feed Ontario to help the provincial government get a better understanding of the effects of the Pandemic on Food Banks in regards to client usage and community support since Covid-19 took effect.

Bailey Food Bank March 31-20

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Food Ban said “They also wanted to know what we were doing to prepare for the long term needs that many in our community will face.

“For us at the Burlington Food Bank, we have seen an increase in usage and an increase in new clients and have also recognized great community support through Food Drives and financial donations.

“We have been able to support everyone that has called us for help, increased the fresh produce and other food we distribute and in addition, when local food agencies ask us for assistance, we do our best to support them as well. One of the other results of the current state is we have seen an increase in the number of people in Burlington offering to volunteer with us which has been a huge help in managing the extra work.

“So we are in excellent shape to support more clients as needed and we are now preparing for a transition in delivery method options as we see the City moving towards Phase 3.

Food bank volunteers

The volunteers that make the place work every day of the week.

“We have been able to support everyone that has called us for help, increased the fresh produce and other food we distribute and in addition, when local food agencies ask us for assistance, we do our best to support them as well. Nice to see them asking for our numbers and seeing that they are coordinating with all city Food Banks in Ontario.

If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help PLEASE have them email us at info@burlingtonfoodbank.ca or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at their door or they can now PICK IT UP. If you live in Burlington, we are here to help.

Return to the Front page

Lowville Park will partially reopen on Monday, June 29, 2020.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 24th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Lowville sign - orange aLowville Park will partially reopen on Monday, June 29, 2020.

Visiting Lowville Park will look different than it did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; the City of Burlington is putting measures in place to help visitors have a safe park experience during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Parking

Parking lot capacity has been reduced to 50 per cent to allow for physical distance spacing and prevent overcrowding. The entrance will be monitored and vehicles may be turned away when parking has reached capacity. Street parking is not permitted, parking enforcement will be in effect. Illegally parked vehicles will be tagged and/or towed.

A river runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

Bronte Creek runs through the park where the salmon spawn and children get to play.

What’s open and closed in Lowville Park
Washrooms will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Water is not potable and visitors are reminded to bring their own drinking water.

The playground portion of the park remains closed. Staff levels are reduced so please clean up your area and put waste in receptacles or take it home for disposal.
No picnic permits are being issued at this time to comply with municipal and provincial state of emergency group gathering restrictions.

 

Reduce the spread

Rob Peachey, on the left, Manager Parks and Open Spaces for the city, talks through some solutions to managing the very large weekend crowds.

View of the park from thee steps of the school house.

Visitors are reminded to continue to be vigilant about public health practices and provincial directives to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including:

Maintaining 2 metre physical distance from others
Gathering in groups of 10 or fewer
Staying home if you feel sick
Washing and sanitizing hands before, during and after visiting the park.

The Lowville Park is a neighbourhood park during the week in the off season. During the summer it is a place where large families gather and cook meals on hibachis and enjoy their food.  On occasion there are several large families that become an event for everyone.

There will have to be some adjusting as we give people a place to enjoy themselves, respect the safety requirements and make allowances for each other.

Walt Rickli, often the spokesperson for the Lowville community, reported on their meeting with the Mayor and the ward councilor. “A number of Lowville residents”, reported Rickli, ” had expressed concerns about the potential for over-crowding, traffic management and the ability to adhere to Covid regulations, as we lead into Canada Day.  As a result of these concerns, the city advised us that over the short term they will be employing the follow measures for weekends and holidays when the park is most used:

Lowville Regulars - Rickli +

Walt Rickli, on the left, is often the spokesperson for the Lowville community.

“The city will be hiring two off-duty police officers.  One will be situated at the corner of Guelph Line and Lowville Park Road to control traffic coming in and out of the park.  If the park is full, traffic will not be allowed to enter Lowville Park Rd.  The second officer will be patrolling the park to ensure visitors are abiding by Covid social distancing requirements as well as park rules.  There will also be several Park Ambassadors to help out.

“The parking lot will only be permitted to fill to 50% of capacity.  To ensure this, there will be a parking enforcement/by-law officer at the entrance to Lowville Park.  As well, 1/2 the parking lot will be barricaded to prevent parking there.

“The children’s playground will be cordoned off to abide by current Covid regulations. Garbage cans which were removed during the Covid lockdown, will be returned.

“And finally, as per provincial Covid regulations, the washrooms will be manned and supervised to limit the number of people allowed in at any given time, and will be frequently cleaned and sanitized.

“During the meeting, a few points were raised that the city will be getting back to us to confirm. First are the hours the park will be manned on holidays and weekends ?  Residents advised that traffic on weekends and holidays often goes from 7:30 am to well into the evening.  The second point was regarding picnic tables.  Currently picnic tables are all grouped together which does not facilitate social distancing.  A suggestion was to remove some of the tables to ensure all are appropriately distanced from each other.

“Over-crowding has been an ongoing issue for Lowville Park, so the Mayor and Ward Counselor also advised us that a pilot project is in the works to help ease the stress on the park environment and the surrounding community over the long term.  They are looking at following a similar approach to what Conservation Halton has done with their parks, which would include installing a gatehouse with an arm among other things. This will replace the above measures once Covid regulations are reduced.”

 

Return to the Front page

Burlington's Committee of Adjustment isn't holding meetings - small variances are being held up.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

June 23rd, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A seasoned commercial real estate developer bought a home in Burlington in 3Q 2019.

He and his wife and their child were looking forward to the move but before the moving trucks were called the met with an architect who drew up some plans they wanted to make to the house,

The architect met with the appropriate people in Burlington’s Planning department where the plans had to be approved before a Building Permit could be issued.

City-hall-plabbing-Christmas-2013-1024x814

City of Adjustment counter at city hall during a festive season.

There was a bit of confusion that got cleared up. The Planners weren’t the problem. The property owner needs a building permit which he can’t get until there is a decision from Committee of Adjustment (CoA). The planner’s hands are tied.

An application was made to the CoA for a minor variance– that was turned down.

The property owner understood, he knew the rules and was more than prepared to abide by whatever those who gave permissions required.

The plan for the addition to the newly purchased house were revised again and ready for the second submission to the CoA early in March

Then Covid19 hit – and everything came to a grinding halt.

The problem for the homeowner who now owned the Burlington residence was that he had sold his home elsewhere in the GTA.

The need to get before the Burlington CoA took on a new urgency.

The problem was made more complex when the CoA found that it could not give dates for hearing that were going to be virtual.

Hamilton was able to hold Committee of Adjustment hearings but none of the smaller municipalities were ready.

The homeowner met with a real estate agent in Burlington looking for a home that could be rented. He found one that would meet what was becoming a pressing need.

The home that was being sold was due to close at the end of June – which was fast approaching.

All the homeowner could get from Burlington’s Committee of Adjustment was that they expected to begin holding hearings in July – not when in July – just July.

The homeowner wanted to know where he stood in the pecking order – was he number 1 or number 101.

Everyone is being polite – what isn’t understood is – what is taking the Burlington CoA so long to get to the point where they can hold virtual hearings.

No one seems to have an answer.

The property owner wasn’t able to get much from the ward 4 Councillor.  He got a bit more from the ward 1 Councillor who was more attuned to development issues

Burlington city council has been doing business virtually for a couple of months. The Regional government has been doing things virtually for several months.

Why not the Committee of Adjustment? No one is talking.

The property owner needs to know how long he has to rent for.  He is currently looking at a year.  Yikes!

Return to the Front page