That $300 bonus from the federal government for the senior set has yet be to be sent. Soon.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 1st, 2020



Is the cheque in the mail?

Not yet, but Burlington Member of Parliament Karina Gould (who is also a Cabinet Minister) assures everyone that – well let’s let the MP speak for herself:

Karina Gould - fingers apart

That cheque is close but it isn’t in the mail yet. For most people the $300 will go directly into your bank account.

“Over the past week, a number of Burlington residents have contacted my office asking when they will be receiving the one time Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement Payments.

“This one time payment will be a separate payment to the OAS and GIS cheques that seniors receive at the end of each month. I can assure you that these payments will be delivered automatically as soon as possible and that beneficiaries do not need to apply. Further details will be available soon.”

Soon is the best they can do at this point.

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Farmer's Market to open on Wednesday June 10th.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

May 31st, 202-



The Farmer’s Market Opens on June 10

The Burlington Centre, (you used to know it as the Mall) on Guelph Line, continues to be the home of the Farmers Market, which has been operating for 62 consecutive years by the Burlington Lions Club, offering great fresh and processed products from local farmers and vendors.

Burlington Lions showing their support for the redevelopment and expansion of the Joseph Brant Hospital - %750,000 over five years

Burlington Lions showing their support for the redevelopment and expansion of the Joseph Brant Hospital

The opening of this Ontario Essential Business, a fresh air grocery, is the culmination of careful collaborative work by Vendors, Halton Region Health, City, Centre Owner RIOCAN, Lions Club and local businesses. Changes have been made for COVID safety and protection of the public, vendors and Market volunteers.

farmers market map

It’s a bit of a maze but there will be a lot of people to help out if you get confused. Make it a fun day.

The biggest changes are mandated for disease control and are based on experience at other already open operations: 6 foot distancing, cough containment and hand sanitizer, controlling the number of patrons in the Market at one time, and one-way traffic flow. The Market perimeter is defined by rows of bright colour pennant flags.

There is one entrance Gate (watch for Greeter’s Green or Red Wait sign) from the Parking Lot side indicated by an 8 ft high yellow ENTER sign. Once entering, all patrons will use one-way traffic flow in much wider aisles, including a centre median to mark the travel lanes and direction. Patrons may cross the median at various locations to change direction to the other side of the Market or to the single EXIT.

farmers market direction siigns

This is one of those “abundance of caution” situations. Follow the instructions from people who really want you to have a good experience.

Other precautions include protection from touching the produce and a new slogan: “Point to Buy” – Vendors will put less product on display at one time to help protect it. Cash is facilitated and some vendors are offering electronic payment options. All bags are supplied by Vendors. Sorry, no samples permitted.

Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask, use the Market Hand sanitizer (or your own), contain your cough/sneeze, keep six feet apart at all times. Service Dogs only please. Crops are coming in a bit later this Season, but Vendors will be happy to see You!

It will be a different experience but all that fresh produce will make it worth the bit of bother.

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New Covid19 infections reported in Burlington, Oakville and Milton

News 100 redBy Staff

May 31st, 2020



New Covid19 infections show up in Burlington, Milton and Oakville, reports the Halton Public Health Unit.

The data released by the Halton Public Health brings the total confirmed and probable cases in Halton to 717.

Eight more residents across the four local municipalities are now listed as recovered — two in Oakville, two in Milton, three in Halton Hills and one in Burlington — bringing the total number of resolved cases to 581.

Oakville has 212 confirmed cases and 196 recoveries

Milton has 167 confirmed cases and 147 recoveries

Halton Hills has 140 confirmed cases and 125 recoveries

Burlington has 122 confirmed cases and 113 recoveries

Among the total Halton cases, 11 % have been residents or patients associated with a confirmed institutional outbreak.

There have been 25 Halton residents whose death has been attributed to COVID-19.

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When public refuses to follow the rules on use of the beach city puts up metal screens.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 31st, 2020



It started on the 25th when the weather was great – that Beach was either just too tempting to stay away from or there are a lot of people who are hard of hearing and can’t read.

On the 28th, Thursday, the city decided they would take strong steps and put up fences to keep people off the beach.

Babes on beach

People want to be near the water – it’s the lake and beach that make much of what Burlington is all about.

The province mandated that Beaches were to stay closed period.

Many appear to have thought that if they respected the six foot social distance rule they were Ok – they weren’t.

The Premier of the Province has taken part in a media event every week day for some weeks. We expect that he will be on TV again on Monday – maybe that rule about beaches being closed will be relaxed.

It was people, people, people - for almost as far as the eye could see along the Beachway.

It used to be people, people, people – for almost as far as the eye could see along the Beachway. Province said No and the sound has fenced off the area.

There are a lot of people who aren’t happy with those Beaches being closed.

The Mayor isn’t one of them. When asked why, she is reported to have told other media that they can look to the FAQ section on the city website for the details.

MMW hair disheveled May 2020

Mayor Meed Ward presiding over a virtual city council meeting

The Mayor’s statement is reported to read: “Unfortunately, despite announcements and signage asking people to comply with the Provincially-mandated beach closure, last weekend, we saw a high volume of users on the beach who even when approached with educational measures by our bylaw team, still refused to leave,” reads the statement.

“Our options at this point are either: to issue a high volume of costly tickets; to accept increasingly higher numbers of COVID-19 in Ontario as we have seen since May 10; or to put up a fence.”

Public beaches across Ontario are currently closed following the provinces Emergency orders.

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Emma's will re-open - Craig will not be behind the bar.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 28th, 2020


Emma’s Back Porch and the Water Street Cooker will re-open but Craig Kowalchuk will not be behind the bar.

Emmas and the cooker - Street view

One of the greatest watering holes in the city.

The buildings were always owned by 2084 Lakeshore Holdings Ltd., they were Kowalchuk’s landlord.

Craig MArch 19 notice BEST

Craig Kowalchuk speaking to his Customer base

Emmas 2084 LAkeshore Holdings BEST BEST

2084 Lakeshore Holdings, Craig Kowalchuk’s former landlord, decided to run the two restaurants when the province permits them to re-open

The Pandemic forced Kowalchuk to close the restaurants which he explained to his loyal client base on March 19th.

Between then and May 12th, when Kowalchuk declared bankruptcy something changed.

The sign on the door explains that 2084 Lakeshore Holdings Inc. will be the operator of the two restaurants.

No word yet on when the province will permit restaurants to re-open.

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Food donations are still important - it might be this way for awhile.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 28th, 2020



Aldershot Food Collection Committee reaches out to the wider community:

“We need your help!”

Unfortunately, the hot weather this week decreased the food donations.

Robin Food Bank with milk

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank

Also, according to the Food Bank, they are low on Peanut butter and Mac & Cheese which is very unusual.

Of course, with the kids at home, their snacks and juice boxes are still needed and most families are also running out of toiletries.

Please share with your contacts, so maybe they can shop over the weekend and we can make up for the low donations this week to both the Food Bank and Compassion Society.

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Burlington Food Bank shared the love with the organizations the Food Bank collaborates with.

The Salvation Army tends to the east side of the city, The Compassion Society manages to reach a vulnerable sector (homeless) that we aren’t able to connect with in the same way. Wellington Square and their Community Meals program, is supported by the Food Bank every month and more regularly during COVID-19. The Food Bank provides meal preparation support from Glad Tidings Church, Open Doors at St. Christopher’s, Next Door Social Space.

Food for Life shares the rescued food around Halton.

Bailey makes the same plea every time he speaks:  If you are in need or know of someone who could use our help have them email us at or call 905-637-2273 to make arrangements to have food dropped at the door. If you live in Burlington, we are here to help.

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Upcoming telephone town hall on June 4 will focus on what summer in the city will look like in the current COVID-19 situation

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 27th, 2020

Thursday, June 4, between 6 and 7:30 p.m., the City of Burlington will hold another telephone town hall event to share information and answer resident questions about what summer in the city will look like during the current COVID-19 situation.

The town hall will be hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, who will be joined by a panel of local leaders to help answer residents’ questions.

Telephone town hall logoHow 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 by the end of day on June 3.
Please note: if you registered for either of the two previous town halls (held on March 26 and April 14), you are not required to register your phone number a second time.

2. Join by telephone: Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-779-7154 just before 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 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.

Any questions not answered during the call will be posted, with answers, to the City’s website at, along with an audio file and full transcript of the call after June 4.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will be connecting directly with the community on what will be the third public telephone town hall since this crisis began. With the volume of ever-changing information people are dealing with on a daily basis, the Mayor wants to create the opportunity to answer questions about current health advice and testing, programs and facilities that are resuming throughout the city, and how we can continue to mitigate the spread of this virus while we adjust to the reopening of many businesses, services and popular activities this summer.

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Using the parks, playing in the parks, sports in the parks and private swimming pools - just what does five people mean?

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 27th, 2020



Burlington’s elected Council meets in different ways.

Sometimes in Workshop mode where the procedural rules are thin – the objective is to exchange ideas – there is usually a speaker making a presentation involved.

Council also meets as a Standing Committee; there are three of those

EICS: Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services Committee
CPRM: Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility Committee
CSSRA: Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk and Accountability Committee

The Standing Committees is where the real debates take place.

Usually there is a Staff presentation, delegations and opportunities for Council members to ask questions. This interaction allows staff to get a better sense of what the community thinks – frequently changes are made during the meeting so that the report can go to Council for approval.

Then they meet as a Council where they pass bylaws that approve action that will be taken.

council chamber with fans May 25

Four people in the Council Chamber – was the air conditioning shut off.

Monday evening the seven elected members met as a Council in a virtual setting, no public in the Council Chamber and other than the Mayor, the Clerk and two administration staff the room was empty.

The Mayor strutted her stuff and zipped through the agenda in very short order. There were no delegations.

Then there was discussion on support for organized sports and what kind of use the parks can be put to.

The parks are open but there are limits as to just how they can be used.

The province has a rule – no more than five people congregating and those people should be people who live together in the same house.
When the question as to how this applied to private swimming pools the conversation came close to being silly.

The province has the five people rule; Burlington has a six foot social distance bylaw. “How” asked Councillor Sharman “are you going to apply that to a private swimming pool when there are three people who are members of a family and two who are not.”

The idea of a six foot rule applying to a swimming pool is a stretch – good luck with that one.

Sharman added that his understanding of the provincial five people rule was that the members of a family (say three people would count as one – allowing five friends to join the group – making it five

Trinity Bellwoods PArk

Crowding got out of hand in one Toronto park. In two weeks we will know if virus infections increased. If they do we will know where and how the contamination is spread.

Not so said Heather MacDonald the Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility who had earlier said “We consider a group of five to be five people who live in the same house”. Later adding that “we interpret what the province has told us it is to be”.

Sharman did not have a follow up question.

Clearly a need for better communication on this issue

Mayor Meed Ward cleared it up when she wondered what the difficulty was in figuring out what five people was. If you have two children and a parent and an additional two children who ate not part of the family – that is an acceptable group of five. That’s the provincial rule.

In Burlington members of a family can walk side by side – others have to be six feet away.

Councillor Angelo Bentivegna wanted to know why the skate parks were open but the Bocce Ball courts were not open.

That was easy: Chris Glenn explained that the actual bocce balls would have to be wiped clean after each use and that wasn’t possible – just didn’t have the staff to do it.

The City has created Park Ambassadors – teams of two people who roam the parks to explain to people what they might be doing might not be permitted.

There are two such teams – they are staff people who have been pulled from their normal duties and sent out into the sunshine to try and ensure that there is some order in the parks

The Beaches are closed. The Splash Pads are closed. The Public Pools are closed.

Chris Glenn seemed to suggest that it might come down to putting out garden type hoses for kids to use to cool down.

Keeping people six feet apart in parks was described as a problem by Councillor Kearns. She wanted to know what Burlington was going to do to ensure that Burlington doesn’t experience what Toronto experienced.

Heather MacDonald mentioned the idea that had been used in San Francisco where large circles were painted that would hold five people.

social circles May 2020

Will Burlington see social distance circles painted in park grass ?

Mary Battaglia, Director of Roads and Park Maintenance told Council that if circles were painted on the grass in Burlington she would have to hire people to do the work and added that she didn’t have budget for that.  Also the circles would have to be repainted in two weeks.

One Council member wanted to know what she thought of the Vancouver idea where there were circles painted on the grass. Mary explained that in time the grass would grow and eliminate the circles and she didn’t have the budget to paint new circles.

Director of Parks and Recreation, Chris Glen and his sidekick Rob Axiak said they were working up ideas on how the sports fields could be more effectively used – one would have thought that would have been given the attention needed back in early April.

With the warm, Ok hot weather, people will want to be outdoors. The children are no longer in school and while some might be doing a bit of school work – it’s outdoor for most. To do what?

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Emergency Order extended for another 13 days.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 27th, 2020



It is getting a little confusing.

Emergency Orders are being extended for very short periods of time.

The most recent date is June 9th – a mere 12 days away.

We don’t seem to be getting clear reasons other than the “government continuing to protect the health and safety of the public during the COVID-19 outbreak.” And that “Public health and safety remain top priorities.”

We got that – we know that.

Could we have more in the way of detailed information on the why of it all ?  Why are an additional 13 days needed?  What difference will it make ?   The people of Ontario are law abiding people – they are also capable of asking sensible, responsible questions.

Trinity Bellwoods PArk

The six foot rule didn’t seem to mean anything to this crowd. will we see a spike in infection 10 days from now. And if we don’t – what does that tell us?

Have we got testing under control?  Is the province looking for specific details to come out of the testing that will guide their next decision?

Premier with deputy May 19th

Day after day the Premier and a few of his Ministers parade before the TV cameras. Good communications practice – the message has not become more focused. The public has trusted the Premier – the Premier now needs to trust the public.

The Premier put himself and a couple of his Ministers before the television cameras every day.  He will do a rant on the “greedy landlords”; he will rant about the irresponsible behaviour of those who gathered in Trinity Bellwoods Park last weekend.

He broke the rules on Mother’s Day and made that trip to his cottage.

There is a bit of discomfort building up – the public isn’t buying it all they way they were two weeks ago.

The provincial government is “extending all emergency orders in force under s.7.0.2 (4) of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.”

That is a very power piece of legislation and so far, for the most part, the public has gone along with their political leadership.

I have this sense that their grip on things isn’t as firm as I’d like it to be.

“Current emergency orders include the closure of outdoor playgrounds, play structures and equipment, public swimming pools and outdoor water facilities, as well as bars and restaurants except for takeout and delivery.

“Additionally, there continues to be restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and staff redeployment rules remain in place for long-term care homes and congregate settings like retirement homes and women’s shelters.

“We are extending these emergency orders to protect the health and safety of all individuals and families as we begin to gradually and safely reopen our province,” said Premier Doug Ford. “To build on the progress we have made to contain COVID-19, people should continue to follow these simple public health guidelines, practice physical distancing, wear a mask when it is a challenge to physical distance, and wash their hands regularly.

The following emergency orders have been extended until June 9, 2020:

• Closure of Establishments
• Prohibiting Organized Public Events, Certain Gatherings
• Work Deployment Measures for Health Care Workers
• Drinking Water Systems and Sewage Works
• Electronic Service
• Work Deployment Measures in Long -Term Care Homes
• Closure of Places of Non-Essential Businesses
• Traffic Management
• Streamlining Requirements for Long-Term Care Homes
• Prohibition on Certain Persons Charging Unconscionable Prices for Necessary Goods
• Closure of Outdoor Recreational Amenities
• Enforcement of Orders
• Work Deployment Measures for Boards of Health
• Work Deployment Measures in Retirement Homes
• Access to COVID-19 Status Information by Specified Persons
• Service Agencies Providing Services and Supports to Adults with Developmental Disabilities
• Pickup and Delivery of Cannabis
• Signatures in Wills and Powers of Attorney
• Use of Force and Firearms in Policing Services
• Child Care Fees
• Agreements Between Health Service Providers and Retirement Homes
• Temporary Health or Residential Facilities
• Closure of Public Lands for Recreational Camping
• Work Deployment Measures for Service Agencies Providing Violence Against Women Residential Services and Crisis Line Services
• Limiting Work to a Single Long-Term Care Home
• Work Deployment Measures for District Social Services Administration Boards
• Deployment of Employees of Service Provider Organizations
• Work Deployment Measures for Municipalities
• Limiting Work to a Single Retirement Home
• Work Deployment Measures for Mental Health and Addictions Agencies
• Congregate Care Settings
• Access to Personal Health Information by Means of the Electronic Health Record
• Certain Persons Enabled to Issue Medical Certificates of Death
• Hospital Credentialing Processes
• Education Sector
• Management of Long-term Care Homes in Outbreak

Doug Ford - habd to head

The strain on the Premier is becoming evident.

The following orders have also been extended:

• Electricity Price for RPP Consumers (until May 31, 2020)
• Global Adjustment for Market Participants and Consumers (until June 1, 2020)

That’s a lot of orders.

We are all partners in this – help us feel more confident about what you are doing Premier.

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

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Late in the year but Council approves the collection schedule for the taxes that are levied. You may not see numbers like this for awhile

Budget 2020 redBy Staff

May 27th, 2020



Burlington City Council Monday evening approved the 2020 Tax Levy Bylaw.

The bylaw allows the City to bill 2020 property taxes and set payment due dates for final tax bills on Aug. 20 and Oct. 20, 2020. Final tax bills will be mailed in early July.

That may sound a little confusing. City Treasurer Joan Ford explains.

Director of Finance Joan Ford does a great job of providing the data ad her department does a good job of collecting the taxes as well. It's the spending side that is causing the long term financial stress. Ms Ford doesn't do the spending.

Director of Finance Joan Ford found a way to provide some tax relief for people pressed financially during the Pandemic.

“We have two property tax billings mailed out each year – Interim and Final

“The bills are mailed out in January for Interim and normally in May for Final (this year the final bills are being mailed out in July instead of May)

“Each billing has two installment due dates

Here is where it gets tricky. The COVID19 Pandemic and the crisis it created resulted in the city giving people more time to pay their taxes.

The February payment stood as it was; the April payment was moved to June 30th (they called it Pandemic relief) That covered the Interim Billing – which is basically the first half of the year.

The June and September payment dates for the Final Billing were moved to August and October.

The 2020 Tax Levy Bylaw reflects the budget processes that determines tax rate for both the City and Halton Region. The province determines the education tax rates.

The overall city property tax increase is 2.43 per cent or $18.03 for each $100,000 of urban residential assessment. Tax impacts will vary by property based on actual changes in the assessed value of the property relative to others.

Interim billing generally represents 50% of last years taxes in which the payment is divided into the two installments.

Final billing represents the remaining 50% plus any budget changes for the city & region and changes in education taxes divided into two installments

The Final tax bill will show what the total taxes are for the year less what was levied earlier in the year as part of interim taxes with the balance split between the two installments.

COVID-19 Property Tax Relief
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Council approved temporary property tax relief which allows businesses and residents additional time to pay their April property tax installment, without incurring late payment charges.

For property taxpayers impacted by COVID-19 who require additional assistance for repayment of the April 21 instalment beyond June 30, the City is offering enrollment in a monthly pre-authorized payment plan.

This plan will provide for monthly withdrawals from Aug. 1 to Dec. 1 to pay the remaining 2020 property taxes (April, August, and October instalments). No penalty or interest is charged for taxpayers enrolled in this plan. Please visit for more information or email to register.

Taxes May 2020

Here is where the tax money collected goes – the city Treasurer collects for the Boards of Education and the Regional government which includes the police.

The City of Burlington collects property taxes for the city, Halton Region and the Halton district school boards. The total combined tax levy for all three entities is approximately $431 million. The city’s levy is $174 million; the city collects $138 million on behalf of Halton Region; and $119 million on behalf of the Halton district school boards. The taxes levied for Halton Region and the Halton district school boards are remitted to them.

Related news story:

Keeping the city solvent when there isn’t much in the way of revenue and expenses unheard of before

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Conservation Halton park reservation system reported to have work as expected

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

May 26th, 2020



Last weekend, Conservation Halton opened their gates to five of their seven parks—Crawford Lake, Hilton Falls, Rattlesnake Point, Mount Nemo and Kelso Summit—to members and the public; they were using a new reservation system, which is now required to visit the parks.
The re-opening of the parks last weekend saw about 6500 reservations made with more than 17,000 people entering the parks.

CH Vis exp graphThe reservation system was developed to provide a way of coping with the need to limit the number of people in any place at any one time; the system let Conservation Halton (CH) handle the physical distancing required.

Now, with their first week behind them, Conservation Halton says they will use the information they have collected to make improvements: adjusting reservation times and offering exclusive reservation spaces for members, seniors and healthcare workers are being considered.


When registering you get a screen that is reasonably easy to navigate. Get read to see a lot of FULL locations and time slots

“We have talked about a reservation system for years. When we closed the parks, due to COVID-19, it didn’t suddenly become convenient, it was necessary for us to manage our parks in a more efficient and sustainable way,” says Hassaan Basit, Chief Administrative Officer at Conservation Halton.

“Thanks to the dedication and innovation of our team, we now have one of the most data-rich, user-friendly systems for multi-park, day-use reservation in Ontario, and we are quite proud of that. This system uses an integrated software platform, license plate scanners, touch-less payment and automatic gates to provide access to nature for our community, without compromising on physical distancing.”

The turn out told us that:

• 87 percent of reservations were made for hiking
• 48 percent of reservations were made by Conservation Halton members
• 62 percent of visitors were from Halton—others were from as far away as Niagara Falls and Ajax
• 96 percent of visitors said they would recommend the reserved park visits to a friend
• Visitors rated the “overall” reservation and visitation experience 4.6 out of 5 stars

Park visit reservations can be made here:

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The curve is about to flatten - and the weather is about to get very hot

covid virusBy Pepper Parr

May 25th, 2020



That COVID19 infection curve for the Region of Halton iis beginning to flatten – it’s nit quite there yet – but it is close and if we continue to behave the way we have in terms of distancing ourselves we should see the curve begin to descend.

By episode date

The curve is very very close to flattening – now to get it to descend.

bu municipality

The level of infections in Burlington are the lowest in the Region.

The distribution of cases by municipality is a positive sign for Burlington; the city has the lowest number of infections.

The distribution of the gender and age of those infected is troubling – women are more frequently infected than men and the age bracket indicates these are people who are probably working in the health sector.

cases by age sex

The age demographic numbers are troubling.

Another piece of news to add to our current woes: A heat warning has been issued by the Region.

As a result of extreme heat and humidity, Environment Canada has issued a Heat Warning for Halton Region starting May 25, 2020.

bright sum - thermometerThis warning is issued when forecast temperatures are expected to reach 31 degrees Celsius or more with overnight temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius for two days, or when a humidex of 40 or higher is expected for two days.

Many of the locations that provided relief from heat such as libraries and community centres are not available due to COVID-19. Therefore, it is extremely important that you check-in regularly, by phone or video, with vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, especially seniors who live on their own, to make sure they are staying cool and hydrated. This includes:

• older adults (over the age of 65), infants and young children, people who work and exercise in the heat, people without adequate housing and those without air conditioning

• people who have breathing difficulties, heart problems, kidney problems or take heat-sensitive medications

If phone or video is not possible, when checking-in with vulnerable individuals, remember to practice physical distancing and wash your hands regularly. If physical distancing is difficult to maintain, wear a non-medical mask.

The full Regional Health Unit COVID report is available at



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City Council is expected to endorse a request to the federal government for transit financial support

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 25th, 2020


When revenue from the transit fare box drops by $475,000 a month something has to be done.

Burlington Transit wasn’t the travel mode of choice for the majority of people in Burlington. It was however building the ridership with some impressive gains. Transit experienced a 14.2% increase in ridership from September 2019 to February 2020, due to the introduction of new service, schedules and a grid network.

Burlington Transit getting new buses - to deliver less service.

The hope for Burlington Transit was that this might have been one of the last diesel powered buses in the fleet. There isn’t a clear path for transit yet as the country works through the COVID19 virus.

That growth came to a sudden and financially painful halt in March when the COVID19 Pandemic was declared.

Burlington is not alone with this problem. The unprecedented drop in public transit ridership provoked by the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting public transit agencies right across Canada putting in jeopardy their financial viability and future ability to operate.

Collectively the transit operators across the province are working with the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) Canada’s largest public transport lobby, the membership of which includes most Canadian transit agencies, has called for urgent emergency funding to address the immediate liquidity issues of transit operators while providing financial stability while ridership rebuilds; and

CUTA estimates as many as 40 per cent of systems may require bridge funding over the coming months requiring some $1.2 billion to help them keep the buses and trains running.

CUTA is seeking $400 million a month to keep services running as fare box and other revenue drop by up to 100 per cent.

CUTA points out that it will likely take some time for transit operators to rebuild ridership to February 2020 levels during a gradually return to more normal economic activity and that without a quick infusion of funds by the Government of Canada it is impossible to assure that the gains made over the past decade in growing the modal share of all rides taken via collective transit will not be lost;

City Council expects to endorse CUTA’s request to the Government of Canada at its Council meeting this evening.

Sue Connor at mike

Director of Burlington Transit Sue Connor

When Burlington appointed Sue Connors to be the Director of Transit she quickly changed the culture at Transit and assembled a team that worked hard to bring about changes – they were succeeding.  Now Connors, the kind of person who wants to get things done, finds herself sitting with a fleet that needs upgrading for a client base she isn’t sure is going to be there when the drivers are back behind the wheel.

Connors was working on plans to create an electric fleet that was in line with city council’s direction.  It was going to be expensive, however Council had taken the view that Climate Change mattered and keeping bus exhaust out of the environment had to be done.

Council was excited – the transit staff were delighted – they were finally being led by someone who cared deeply about public transit.

What now ?  The focus  is to secure funds just to keep the buses on the roads.

It will be interesting to hear what Council has to say this evening.



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Burlington residents can call 905-632-3737, ext. 6550 to book an appointment for a test at Joseph Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Clinic.

covid virusBy Staff

May 25th, 2020



The Province has it would expand COVID-19 testing across Ontario to include people who are asymptomatic.

Premier Ford also encouraged individuals to attend assessment centres for testing whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms or if they are concerned that they may have been exposed.

The Province remains responsible for testing directives and guidance, processing lab tests and online test results.

Rose parking spot

Designated parking spots for those being tested at Joseph Brant Hospital

In the Region of Halton, the Assessment Centres are operated by and located at our four hospitals.

Burlington residents can call 905-632-3737, ext. 6550 to book an appointment for a test at Joseph Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Clinic.

Ontario Health president and CEO Matthew Anderson advised COVID-19 Assessment Centre leaders of the change in direction to test anyone who is:

Symptomatic or


In medicine, a disease is considered asymptomatic if a patient is a carrier for a disease or infection but experiences no symptoms. If you are concerned about exposure to known or potential cases; and/or have risk from exposure in line of duty – essential workers and health care workers.

The purpose of the change, according to Ontario Health, is to support and monitor more actively the essential workers who are at risk, as well as anyone who is worried that they have been exposed or have contracted COVID-19, even if they don’t have symptoms.

Ontario Health also notes that most transmissions occur in a home-based setting, so expansion to asymptomatic individuals may help us detect any further disease spread and most importantly, help as the economy is reopened.

Assessment Centres are being advised not to turn anyone away. Also, people no longer need to be referred to an assessment centre by Telehealth Ontario, Primary Care, or Public Health.

The Ministry of Health will soon be listing all of the assessment centres on the website, with addresses, etc., so the public can find assessment centres easily. It will also be starting a public education campaign very shortly that will encourage essential workers, as well as anyone who is worried that they have COVID-19 (even if they don’t have symptoms) to be tested.

Meed Ward - tight head shot

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward – has she been tested?

Mayor Marianne Ward supports the changes announced by Premier Ford and the Province to increase testing. “We know increased testing capacity is critical as the provincial government moves to allow more businesses and facilities to open. Testing is especially critical among people who may not yet be experiencing symptoms, as these may take one to two weeks to appear, in which time, individuals may be at risk of infecting others.

“Enhanced testing is one of the key criteria in any reopening strategy, alongside contact tracing, hospital capacity, and sustained reduction in new infections.”

The number of new infections has not decreased enough for the province to open things up. Unfortunately many don’t seem to understand that the virus is out there hopping from person to person.

A well known Burlington resident active in the running community said on his Facebook page:

“It was good to see the young people of Toronto hanging out and enjoying Bellwood Park this weekend. “People are becoming more relaxed. On my return home this past week my neighbor and his wife met us with a big hug. While up North my neighbor from Toronto his daughter and I worked closely putting his motor on his boat. It is also encouraging to see the small but gradual increases in our local business sector. We need to lengthen our stride and move on to the road of recovery.”

The Premier has some advice: Get tested and take your friends with you

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Provincial Court has put all cases on hold until July 3rd.

notices100x100By Staff

May 25th, 2020




All Provincial Offences Act matters (e.g., traffic tickets and offences under provincial legislation) scheduled until July 3, 2020 will be rescheduled. Do not attend court.

Court House - new

No need to visit until July 3rd.

All Provincial Offences Act matters scheduled from Monday, March 16, 2020 through to and including Friday, July 3, 2020 will be adjourned and rescheduled to a later date. If you have a matter scheduled during this time, do not attend court. This applies to all POA courts in Ontario.

A notice of your new court date will be sent to you by mail to the address on file with the court. For more information, please contact your local Provincial Offences court.

Contact information for all municipal courts is available here:

Updated information about court proceedings at the Ontario Court of Justice can be found on the Court’s website at

Please also be advised that the Government of Ontario made an order pursuant to s. 7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA), suspending any limitation periods in statutes and regulations for the duration of the State of Emergency. This will impact timelines under the Provincial Offences Act and related proceedings.

A copy of the order is available online at: | 426 Brant Street, PO Box 5013 | Burlington | ON | L7R 3Z6 | Canada | 905-335-7600

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It is a different world now - and the way the city operates will be different as well

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 25th,  2020



Back in March when the city closed city hall and had all staff working from home – except for the 700 part timers that were laid off – no one was certain as to how long this was going to last.

It has lasted longer than many expected and it may last for quite a bit longer.

City staff now have to figure out how the affairs of the city should be handled until September.

The Emergency Coordination Group (ECG) will continue to run the departments that deliver services while council determines when it will meet next to give the necessary approvals. A number of changes were made to the Procedure By- law  after city hall was closed.

The background and lead up to where we are today is set out below.


City is still doing business – just not that much at city hall.

March 16, 2020 – All city facilities, including city hall, were closed to the public. It was determined that all meetings during a three-week period would be cancelled including the regularly scheduled March City Council meeting.

March 19, 2020 – Ontario legislature passed Bill 187, the Municipal Emergency Act, 2020, to enable municipalities, during a declared emergency, the ability to allow for virtual participation, and to conduct council meetings electronically with members who participate remotely being counted for the purpose of quorum.

March 24, 2020 – Special Council meeting held to enact necessary Procedure By-law amendments to allow remote participation. A meeting guide was posted to the city’s website which provides additional information on how virtual meetings will occur.

April 20, 2020 – Procedure by-law amendments to enable to virtual delegations and to re-establish Committee of the Whole to allow for the city to be nimble when agenda planning.

May 25, 2020 – Proposed path forward to allow for statutory public meetings in accordance with the Planning Act R.S.O. 1990, (the Planning Act) and the addition of an August cycle of committee meetings.

With the initial phase of the emergency having occurred, the City of Burlington created virtual meeting procedures to ensure that business can continue. On March 31st the City of Burlington announced that municipal closures would extend until June 30, 2020.

It is not certain that after June 30, 2020 Council would resume its customary way of doing business. Resumption of services will be contingent on Provincial and established municipal timelines for a staged re-opening and must adhere to public health guidelines. In the creation of a robust yet scalable remote participation system, which can then be modified, will support the continuation of Council business for the foreseeable future.

The proposals set out below will have to be approved by council which meets Monday evening.

Addition to the Council schedule –
there goes the summer vacation – they had nowhere to go anyway.
Staff are recommending adding an extra cycle of meetings in August to help facilitate with any backlog or any items that may be required for approval. The proposed August dates have taken into consideration the conference for the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) which may shift and provide some of their events virtually.

In addition, for the foreseeable future there will be a special Council meeting scheduled to deal with COVID-19 related items. The special Council meeting will be scheduled after Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability Committee, and allow for quick approvals to service resumption or time sensitive COVID-19 matters.

August 2020 – Proposed Meeting Schedule
Environment, Infrastructure & Community Services Committee

Monday, August 10, 2020
Community Planning, Regulation & Mobility Committee

Tuesday August 11, 2020
Corporate Services, Strategy, Risk & Accountability Committee

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Special Burlington City Council – time sensitive COVID-19 ratifications

Thursday, August 13, 2020 Burlington City Council Monday, August 24, 2020

Legislation Changes March 20 and April 15, 2020

On March 20, 2020 the Province passed Ontario Reg 73/20, which suspended procedural timelines in connection to any statute in effect in Ontario. On April 15, 2020 the Province, by way of Ontario Reg 149/20, Bill 189, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020 provided some clarification.

In clerks department report CL-09-20, it stated that the new regulation indicated that legislated timelines are still in effect. This interpretation was not correct. The regulation did clarify that planning matters were not applicable to the suspension of timelines in Ontario Reg 73/20, however it went further to provide a framework. Most of the regulation assists with providing clarity on notice, however the following two bullets provide clarification on what occurs if the municipality chooses to pause or process applications.

• If a decision on an application in process was not made before April 15, 2020, then it is not required to be rendered throughout the duration of the state of emergency. Processing timelines required by the Planning Act, and rendering a decision are suspended until the emergency is over, and only after the timeline would resume. Further, no appeals from non-decisions until after the emergency has been lifted.

• Should Council proceed to render a decision during the state of emergency, the customary Planning Act notice requirements and appeal timelines apply to the decision. However, timelines for the city to prepare the appeal package, and forward to the LPAT is suspended until the end of the state of emergency.

In consultation with Legal Services and Community Planning, matters in abeyance could be brought forward to ensure that items are dealt with in a timely manner. In addition, since the shut-down of City Hall, staff have worked out a way to accept and process minor applications remotely and continue to develop a strategy to process larger applications, with the intention to have that implemented in the near future.

Therefore, there may be more land use planning applications received and worked on by staff. By proceeding with scheduling statutory public meetings, when the City returns to in-person meetings there may not be a backlog of items to be scheduled.

Council should be aware that a return to large in-person meetings may be gradual, and there may be limitations or restrictions on public access to Council Chambers for an extended period. Therefore, the recommendation is to proceed with bringing land use applications forward for Council, and that virtual statutory public meetings be conducted until further notice. It is anticipated that the earliest statutory public meeting could occur in July.

Core model-3-d-0f-the-site-768x929

CORE presented an elaborate model of their proposed development. Things like this are unlikely to be done during the approach for Community Presentations.

Statutory Public Meetings
Statutory public meetings are used for land use planning applications under the Planning Act. They balance public participation, with natural justice principles to ensure that land use applications are conducted in an equitable manner. In bringing items to a statutory planning meeting and a recommendation report to Committee and Council, there are significant notice requirements that are required through the Planning Act, in advance, and after a Council decision has been rendered. During the public meeting there are certain rules to allow for equity for all participants. After Council makes its decision, there is an appeal process involving the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT).

In accordance with the natural justice principles, public participation at statutory public meetings are dealt with differently than customary delegations which have a deadline for registration. At statutory public meetings, as of right, individuals are able make an oral submission without pre-registering. Some individuals choose to pre-register and at the meeting they are allowed to speak in order of when they registered. At the end of all pre-registered delegates, the Chair will then open the floor for any other individuals that may wish to come forward and address committee. This in-person process keeps with the spirit of the Planning Act by way of sections 17(19.2), and 34 (14.2), supporting that every person who attends a public meeting, required under the Planning Act shall be given an opportunity to make representations in respect of the proposed by-law.

In addition to making an oral submission, residents could elect to submit a written submission which would allow the individual the ability to have their views on the proposed matter known. All correspondence on a matter before committee or Council is circulated to all members and forms part of the public record.

It is proposed that the City of Burlington move forward with allowing virtual statutory public meetings. In doing so, there will need to be a process in place in order for the mechanics of a virtual meeting to work as closely as possible to an in-person meeting, and to preserve the right of residents to be able to not register and still be able make an oral submission before committee. The next section of the report provides a path forward on how this will work. In addition, staffing protocols will be in place to ensure that, live in meeting requests are dealt with appropriately, and in a timely manner.

How will Virtual Statutory Public Meetings be Conducted?
The Electronic Meeting during a Declared Emergency Remote Participation Guide will be amended to include a new section for public participation at statutory public meetings. Staff will work with ITS to ensure that the system is adequately configured to allow for delegates to be added and onboarded during the course of a live meeting.

Staff will use learnings from public delegations, in May and June and any Committee of Adjustment meetings, to help inform the process. Refining the process will take an iterative approach, and after the first statutory public meeting there may be further changes to the procedures or to internal staff processes to improve delegate experience. The following will be incorporated into the Remote Participation Guide:

6. Public Participation at Statutory Public Meetings

6.1 All requests to make oral submission at a statutory public meeting under this section shall be made by way of electronic submission through the online delegation request form or submitted to the Clerks Department by Where possible, those making a request are suggested to do so by noon the day before the statutory public meeting.

6.2 All requests to delegate should contain a copy of the delegate’s intended remarks which will be circulated to all Members in advance as a back-up to technology. It is understood that those who register during the course of the meeting, may not have the ability to draft and submit written submissions. All rules in the Procedure By-law with respect to delegations (Section 41 Delegations) shall apply to remote delegations.

6.3 Confirmed registered delegates will be provided with all applicable access codes and instructions to enter the teleconference or video conference system.
6.4 On the day of the meeting, all registered delegates should log into the system 30 minutes in advance of the meeting start time to check-in with appropriate staff and to ensure that their audio settings are appropriate for the meeting webcast.

6.5 When waiting to be called upon by the Mayor/Chair, all delegates will have their audio on mute.

6.6 The Mayor/ Chair or the City Clerk/designate may indicate when the delegate has one minute left to complete their delegation.

6.7 During the course of the statutory public meeting, those who want to make a request to provide an oral submission are able to do so by making a submission in accordance with section 6.1. A tickertape of registration information will be visible on the webcast which provides details on how submit a request.

6.8 If there are requests during the course of the meeting, speakers may be added to the delegate list. This will be communicated to the City Clerk/designate who will advise the Chair.

6.9 After all registered delegations are completed the Chair would then make a last call for delegations and indicate the deadline time. (As individuals may be following along by way of the webcast, the time would be 5 minutes in the future to compensate for any lag with the webcast.)

6.10 A recess would then be called to ensure that all requests made in advance of the deadline can be provided with all applicable access codes and instructions to enter the teleconference or video conference system.

6.11 When all requests are dealt with administratively to the satisfaction of the Chair and the City Clerk/designate then the meeting shall resume, and the remainder of delegates will be heard by Committee.

Community Meetings

Community meetings are public meetings hosted by the developer in advance of submitting a land use planning application. Planning Staff have been in contact with Clerks Department staff and ITS on options to use videoconferencing technology.

Planning will work with applicants to assist with technology and ensure that provisions are in place, and that meetings are conducted within a set standard. Work will be completed to ensure that notice for these meetings are prepared to effectively communicate ways to participate.

Messaging will reinforce that whether an application has yet been received by city, that this is one of many opportunities to submit comment on a proposal through the course of the application review process, and that there are several channels, and opportunities to submit comments.

Committee of Adjustment, Court of Revision, Property Standards
The Committee of Adjustment is comprised of appointed residents under authority by way of the Planning Act to consider matters in connection to the zoning by-law; minor variances, variation on existing legal non-conforming uses, and conformity for a particular use. It also deals with land division matters. The Committee also serves as
the city’s Property Standards Committee, in accordance with the Building Code Act, and the Committee of Revision, in accordance with the Municipal Act 2001, Ontario Reg 586/06. The Committee of Adjustment’s terms of reference indicates that the Committee will meet twice a month, if required.

There are several items that are ready and could be dealt with by the Committee. Staff in Community Planning will work with, ITS, Clerks, and Communications to ensure that these meetings can resume virtually during COVID-19.

Council Workshops
Council Workshops are meetings which include all members of Council. These meetings are used when time is required for training, discussions with other levels of government, and outside agencies, workshops on complex matters or strategic planning. Customarily, workshops feature a freer flow of dialogue with members of Council with the speaking limits associated with formal meetings not applied.

Staff will proceed to have Council Workshops, and they will occur virtually. However, they may have some limitations such as no breakout sessions. Through meeting preparation, staff will work with the presenters to facilitate any workarounds, that may help to ensure that the virtual meeting best replicates the presenter’s intended format or vision for the meeting.

Any changes will be communicated in advance to Council and be indicated by way of the agenda or during the meeting to allow the public to be able to follow along. It is anticipated that our next Council workshops (virtual) will be held on June 23, 2020.

With the current situation presented by COVID-19 and the public health recommendations to physically distance, holding in-person committee and Council meetings have become a challenge. With the recent amendments made by the Province of Ontario with the Municipal Emergency Act 2020, remote participation at Council and committees of Council has created an opportunity to allow for the business of Council and its committees to continue. Staff are currently leveraging technology to ensure that members of Council and the public can participate in meetings of Council and its various committees.

Options Considered
Other models or combinations of participation were discussed at length. One proposal was putting a deadline two hours before the meeting for requests for delegation. This would be different from the customary delegation request deadline. However, based on consultation, having a deadline in advance of the meeting may not meet the principles as outlined in the legislation. It was determined that the electronic version of the statutory public meeting should mirror as closely as possible the in-person experience. Staff are confident that the proposed approach, with the public notice and on meeting modifications will meet the test presented by the Planning Act.

Financial Matters:
The cost of a Zoom license to support virtual meetings for Committee and Council will be funded from the ITS operational budget. Planning may get their own Zoom license to ensure that there is no overlap of meetings, as one license can only conduct one meeting at a time.

Climate Implications
As the City of Burlington will be conducting virtual meetings, there will be less travel for residents, staff, and members of Council. Lowered travel rates will help to reduce the carbon footprint associated with in-person public meetings.

Engagement Matters:
No outside groups were consulted. This will allow for statutory public meetings under the Planning Act to commence. Public participation at statutory public meetings is essential to the process, therefore, access, accessibility and notice provisions have been considered and may be augmented during this time. A staff team comprised of Planning, Communications and the Clerks Department will ensure that these principles are met.

Scobie 3

Hearing Gary Scobie give as good as he gets won’t be possible with him at one end of a Zoom broadcast and council members at the other end.

• The notice will contain detailed information on how to connect, participate, the timelines to pre-register and indicate how participation will work during the meeting. All information will be communicated to residents in plain language.

• The city will continue the practice to allow pre-registering to delegate and encourage the public to do so. Deadlines will be aligned with current public delegations to avoid confusion with other items, with the caveat that those wishing to speak during the statutory public meeting portion may request to do so during the meeting. Written submissions will be encouraged, which may help those with technical difficulties provide input on applications.

• The broadcast will be casted via customary channels which will assist with resident’s ability to follow along. The procedures afford for any delays in broadcast to provide the public with a reasonable time to submit a request to delegate. During the meeting a tickertape feature will be part of the broadcast, which will provide information on submitting a request. The Chair will be provided with connection information that will be read out loud as part of the meeting.

• Staff will work with Communications to ensure that a comprehensive approach is taken to ensure that residents understand the ways in which they can participate.

Jim Young answering RG

The public might get to hear a delegation from Jim Young but it will not be the same as his in person, on the spot, in the room style.

• Access to technology and accessibility concerns will be considered. Staff will work to help mitigate issues if there are residents with a lack of technology. Also, for those who present accessibility concerns staff will work with the individual to find a solution, this may also help improve the overall service to the public in future iterations.

• Although the use of alternative technology to help facilitate the meeting, the city still maintains the ability to include closed captioning during the live broadcast and the captioning is maintained when the recording is posted to the website.

Approving an August meeting cycle will assist in ensuring that the business of the corporation can continue during COVID-19. Providing for statutory planning meetings, will ensure that land use applications are processed during this time. It may be some time before members of the public are allowed in the Council Chambers, or the City is able to host large gatherings. The proposed path forward is nimble and can be scalable if the Province or public health provides further guidance on public gatherings to ensure city business continues.


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City manager keeps the wheels on when it comes to services; Mayor fills in the cracks on needed support.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 24, 2020



City Manager Tim Commisso, and Executive Director Alan Magi, co-chair the Emergency Coordination Group (ECG) – they meet at least every day – the several sub-committees of the ECG meet regularly as well.

It is a grind – but they keep on top of all the issues and so far the wheels are still on the cart.

Meed WardMayor Marianne Meed Ward formed the Burlington COVID-19 Task Force; they held their 7th meeting last week.  The focus was responding to the changes that were happening  as a result of provincial announcements related to reopening Ontario, including parking lots and parks, golf courses and tennis courts, off-leash dog areas and more.

The Burlington Restaurant Association is now represented by Ted and Shelley Kindos who own Gator Ted’s Tap & Grill as well as nearby Barra Fion.  The restaurant industry has been particularly hard hit by this pandemic, and even though they are permitted to offer take-out and curbside pick-up, their revenues have been significantly diminished – we have already seen the closure of Emma’s Back Porch/The Water Street Cooker.

Reopening the restaurant sector and better understanding what controls need to be in place to ensure everyone’s health & safety. Emma’s is expected to re-open when the re-opening process is further along.  The owners of the building are believed to have interviewed a large number of the staff; preparing them for a re-start.

Eric Vandewall, President & CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital spoke about the issue of hospital capacity as it relates to COVID-19.

Eric andewall TITLE

Eric Vanderwall, President and CEO Joseph Brant Hospital

While there is, indeed, capacity at this time, it is a fine balance to maintain the space and staffing that also allows for the treatment of other conditions the people of our community are facing.

Having enough room for COVID-19 patients is not the only concern – the hospital needs to have room for elective surgeries and the other urgent and acute care that residents depend on.

Robin Food Bank with milk

Robin Bailey, Burlington Food Bank – feeding hundreds – delivering to homes.

Providing food and learning more on the status of food scarcity in the community and how government financial supports are enabling people to rely less on food banks and see positive impact to their mental health.

Subcommittee to address the issue of food security and actively identifying those at risk/in need and matching up with support.
May 20 Update: Denise Beard

Gift of Giving Back food drive still in planning phase based on gathering size as we wait on more direction there.

Basic Income Program: support from government has helped get many people to a basic income level and get them to a point where they no longer need the targeted food support and has had a very good effect on their mental health and well-being.

Worth considering what we can do to advocate making this more of a permanent solution.
Burlington Together (formerly Care Mongering) has a new program called Grow a Row – offer to grow a row for the food bank at the end of the season. Share/spread the word.

Jamie from MP Gould’s Office: Emergency Community Support Fund was also launched this week for organizations who help vulnerable organizations: support-fund.html

Dan VanderLelie – Burlington Professional Firefighters Assn members are helping to deliver food to in-need families for Eid in partnership with Mosque.

Promoting the Friday Night Porch Clap more effectively:
May 20: No additional updates at this time.

Burlington Foundation / United Way funding and grants:
May 20 Update: Additional Funding Announced for both Burlington Foundation as well as United Way Halton & Hamilton.
Tyler Moon – $2.4M available July 31 so apply via United Way, rolling intake for Halton & Hamilton – website has guide, criteria and applications.

As per a press release shared by Colleen Mulholland, Burlington Foundation received $336,450 and starting on May 19 will begin accepting applications for funding from qualified donees. Grants can be used for a variety of purposes, including to cover staffing or resource needs, purchase assistance and more.

Funding will be issued on an ongoing basis through July 2020.

Create a directory of where residents can purchase consumer safety masks (not the same as medical grade PPEs procured by the federal and provincial governments and reserved for front line workers).

Directories are now available on Chamber/Team Burlington site + there is a provincial directory for businesses to use as of last meeting.

May 20 Update: Mayor conveyed the City’s approach to masks is wear them where you can’t maintain physical distancing at this time.
Jamie from MP Gould’s office – Use of non-medical face masks in community settings: eng.php and

How to make your own mask: health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention- risks/sew-no-sew-instructions-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html

Burlington Restaurant Association:
– Rent relief is a top priority, some rent forgiveness has happened but not broadly. The business revenue can never be recouped for the lost time being closed so deferrals really just become debt.

– Despite being open for takeout, liquor revenue is almost nil and used to account for a considerable part of revenue. Overhead continues to be high including liability insurance that has not been discounted at all despite significantly less clientele on premises.

– Credit card companies have offered some interest free respite – would help to have more from hydro, gas, etc.

Pop up on rant Coop BEST

Will pop up re-appear on Brant.

– Concerns persist about revenue going forward even once open due to limits expected on capacity.

– Additional patio/parking lot/pop-up capacity will be helpful especially in the north. Partner with landlords but also city zoning.

– Council resolution advocating for commercial rent relief will be brought forward on Monday with wording related to where landlord does not take advantage of the rent relief, tenant needs ability to bypass and access the support.

– Mayor / City Manager Commisso – we will support restaurants opening as soon as Province gives green light + assist with any additional measures at the city level that can help with capacity such as expanded patio space zoning, etc.

MPP Triantafilopoulos – cannot yet confirm timing for restaurants to open – so much depends on covid numbers in next 2-4 weeks. Rent support opens end of next week and Premier will watch uptake and if it is not adequate, further action will be taken.

– Anita Cassidy, BEDC – early June outreach to BRA to continue the conversation around support for restaurant industry both short and longer term.

– Carla Nell, Chamber – seeking specific data to support reform in addition to anecdotal evidence.

Hospital Capacity:
– While Covid19  has not surged, the rest of hospital activity has to be maintained at a certain level to support capacity should it be needed. While some people in the community with other health issues have been staying home rather than seeking treatment and care at the hospital, they are now presenting at emerg/acute care because they can’t maintain their health at home any longer.

– Surgeries that were delayed need to come back online soon and per provincial guidelines, hospital capacities need to be less than 85% for elective surgeries to be reintroduced.

– Looking to leaders to get the message out that it is still essential to follow provincial orders to minimize Covid19  spread so that everyone in our community can access healthcare for any issue, not just covid. Eric Vandewall

– There are concerns about the fall flu season and volume that may create.

Modular - full view

Built it a cost of $2 million and put up in very short order – the Pandemic Response Unit, a Field Hospital, was a responsible move – it might yet be needed.

– The Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) remains available with no plans to take it down at this time. Eric would like to see us get through the fall flu season before making a decision on whether it is no longer needed and that decision would be made in partnership with the Province.

There are those who have that 20-20 hindsight that ask if the unit was really necessary.  They would be the first to scream bloody murder if the hospital had found itself facing a surge of infected people that it could not accommodate.

The decision to purchase the PRU (field hospital) was a sound decision; Vanderwall deserves credit for doing what could be done to ensure there would be the hospital capacity if it was needed.

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City treasurer does a masterful juggling act keeping the city solvent - municipalities cannot run a deficiit

Budget 2020 redBy Pepper Parr

May 24th, 2020



Joan Ford, the Director of Finance for the city got dealt a bad hand and now has to juggle like crazy to keep the city financially stable

Ms Ford collects the taxes – all the taxes. She collects the city property taxes, the Boards of Education taxes and the Regional government taxes.

Director of Finance Joan Ford does a great job of providing the data ad her department does a good job of collecting the taxes as well. It's the spending side that is causing the long term financial stress. Ms Ford doesn't do the spending.

Director of Finance Joan Ford does a great job of providing the data; her department does a good job of collecting the taxes as well.

At predetermined times of the year she sends the appropriate portion of the taxes levied to the people they were collected on behalf of; she has to send them the tax that was levied – even if she didn’t collect it.

Ms Ford explains that “it isn’t all that hard to do because in Burlington the city is able to collect 98% of the taxes levied. In any given year, we are required to remit the amount of taxes levied to the region and the boards of education, regardless of whether all of the taxes have been collected.

For this reason, municipalities that collect the taxes are able to charge penalty and interest to assist with cash flows regarding the non-payment of property taxes.

Historically, the City of Burlington has an excellent property tax collection record, approximately 98% of the taxes levied are collected in the current year.

Joan Ford, the city's Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

Joan Ford, the city’s Director of Finance knows where every dollar comes from and where every dollar gets spent.

As part of a presentation Ms Ford recently made to committee/council, she included cash flow projections which consider all payments out ( payroll & property tax remittances) as well as revenues in (property tax collection. The projected June 30th cash flow position is estimated at $20.6M after making the Region of Halton tax remittance of $33.4M for the April installment share of taxes levied.

“The next school board remittance payment is scheduled for Sept 30th deferred from June 30th. The deferral of the property tax remittances by the Region and the Province (for education taxes) has certainly assisted given delayed tax collection for the months of April through June as well as delayed final billing due dates” added Ms Ford.

This is financial juggling at its best.


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Spring plants growing in a pond and a child's painting. Hope prevails

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

May 24th, 2020



There were two scenes that I came across as I drove from Milton to Hamilton this morning to get some work done at the office. Both seemed to me to be a message – word that all was far from lost.

We are in a pickle, for certain, and we need to have our wits about us as we take care of ourselves and those close to us.

We also need leaders who have it within them to make the hard unpopular decisions to get us through this pandemic.

The scientists think they know what to do; the politicians need only to hear what the scientists are saying and then take the appropriate action. The solution seems to be to take every step possible to ensure that the virus does not spread through the community any further.  We aren’t doing that as well as we need to – there are still too many new infections being reported.

Yellow plants in pond

Plants floating in a pond on Watson Road South in Puslinch Township, Wellington County.

If we don’t keep our distance from others the lockdown we are in will get tighter.

Have hope + flag

The words of a child.

The Regional Medical Officer of Health (MoH) issued a Class Order. She wasn’t asking us to do what she believed was right and she wasn’t telling us to do what she believed was right – she was ordering us to do what she believed is right.

The Medical Officer of Health has a tremendous amount of power. Her words need to be taken very seriously.

I saw those plants in that pond and the child’s painting in front of a Canadian flag as signs that we can and will get through this.

Just follow the instructions and don’t be stupid.

The people who learned that they had been infected last week were people who picked up the virus from someone they may not have even known.

On Mother’s Day, May 10th, the Premier had his daughters over to the house for the first time since the lock down.  He certainly wasn’t setting a good example; if he can do that then everyone can.

The virus is understood to take 14 days to spread once you have been infected.  Today is the 24th – will the number of infections show a spike when the MoH reports on Monday?  – they did when the last results were reported on Thursday of last week.

Class Order issued by the Medical Officer of Health

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

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This is serious stuff - the Regional Officer of Health has issued a Class Order; failure to comply could result in a $5000 fine.


Made pursuant to section 22(5.0.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.7, as amended

May 22, 2020

TO:  All persons residing or present in The Regional Municipality of Halton1(“Halton Region”) who:

a. Are identified as a person diagnosed with COVID-19;

b. Have been tested for COVID-19 and are awaiting the results of their test;

c. Otherwise have reasonable grounds to believe they now have one or more symptoms(even mild symptoms) of COVID-19, or have had such symptom(s) within the past 14 days;

d. A re a close contact of a person identified in a., b. or c.; or

e.  Are a parent, or person with responsibilities of a parent, of a person under 16 years of age identified in a., b., c. or

d.  who resides or is present in Halton Region.

NOTE:The symptoms of COVID-19 and what is “close contact” are explained below.

I, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Medical Officer of Health, The Regional Municipality of Halton (Halton Region Public Health), ORDER YOU TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS, effective12:01 a.m. on May 22, 2020:

1. Isolate yourself immediately and remain in isolation from all other persons (“self-isolation”).

While in self-isolation you must conduct yourself so you do not expose any another person to infection or possible infection from COVID-19.

The instructions you must follow are set out in paragraph 3 below.

2. Remain in self-isolation:i.If you are a person described in a., b. or c. above, you must remain in self-isolation for 14 days after the day on which you first showed symptom(s)of COVID-19, were tested for COVID-19 or were diagnosed with COVID-19, whichever is earliest, as long as on the 14thday you have no fever and your other symptom(s) are improving.

“No fever” means that your temperature is 37.7 degrees Celsius or lower. 1Halton Region Health Unit as designated by s.1 and Schedule 11 of R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 553 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

2  If you have a fever and/or your other symptom(s)are not improving on the 14thday, contact Halton Region Public Health for direction: 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866. If you have been hospitalized for COVID-19 and remain in hospital 14 days after your symptom(s) began, you need testing to be cleared from self-isolation. This will be done at the hospital.

ii.If you are a person described in d. above, you must remain in self-isolation until 14 daysafterthe day on which you last had close contact with a person described in paragraphs a., b. or c. above.

iii. If you have questions about what you must do, contact Halton Region Public Health for direction: 311(in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866.3.The instructions you must follow during self-isolation are in the Public Health Ontario fact sheet, How to Self-Isolate dated April 10, 2020 (or as current), attached as Schedule 1 to this Order.

All instructions in How to Self-Isolate(attached) form part of this Order.This fact sheet may be updated from time to time. You must follow the instructions in the current version attached to this Order as posted at:

Inform Halton Region Public Health if you need help to properly self-isolate or while you are self-isolating, e.g., food, water, accommodation, clothing, appropriate medical treatment and family or other religious arrangements. To do so, contact Halton Region Public Health at: 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866.5.

Seek immediate medical attention if your illness is worsening(e.g., you have difficulty breathing) by calling 911. Tell them of your COVID-19 diagnosis or symptom(s)and answer all screening questions accurately (including symptom and travel history) so that you will receive appropriate care and the right infection prevention and control precautions are taken.

3. The instructions you must follow during self-isolation are in the Public Health Ontario fact sheet, How to Self-Isolatedated April 10, 2020 (or as current), attached as Schedule 1 to this Order. All instructions in How to Self-Isolate(attached) form part of this Order.This fact sheet may be updated from time to time. You must follow the instructions in the current version attached to this Order as posted at:

4. Inform Halton Region Public Health if you need helpto properly self-isolate or while you are self-isolating, e.g., food, water, accommodation, clothing, appropriate medical treatment and family or other religious arrangements. To do so, contact Halton Region Public Health at: 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866

5.  Seek immediate medical attention if your illness is worsening(e.g., you have difficulty breathing) by calling 911. Tell them of your COVID-19 diagnosis or symptom(s)and answer all screening questions accurately (including symptom and travel history) so that you will receive appropriate care and the right infection prevention and control precautions are taken.

6. The requirements of this Order are subject to necessary modifications for the following people, who should contact Halton Region Public Health for direction specific to their circumstances (311 in Halton or toll-free 1-866-442-5866):

i. A person who, in my opinion as Medical Officer of Health, provides an essential service, for the limited purpose of providing that essential service;

ii. A person receiving essential medical services or treatments, whether related to COVID-19 or not; or

iii. Where a person’s self-isolation, in my opinion as Medical Officer of Health, would not be in the public interest.

7. Follow any further directions provided to you personally by Halton Region Public Healthpertaining to COVID-19 and the terms of this Order.

8. As provided by section 23 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, the terms of this Order apply to all persons under 16 years of age as served upon their parent(s), and any other person(s) who have the responsibilities of a parent, in relation to the person under 16 years of age, who shall ensure compliance with the Order by the person under 16 years of age.

The reasons for this Order are that:1.COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel coronavirus, is designated as a disease of public health significance and a communicable disease pursuant to Ontario Regulation 135/18 under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.2.COVID-19 can cause acute and severe respiratory illness in humans.

The spread of COVID-19 is of immediate and compelling public health importance in Halton Region:

a.On January 23, 2020, Halton Region Public Health initiated its Infectious Disease Emergency Response Plan in response to COVID-19;

b.On March 11, 2020, the spread of COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization;

c. On March 17, 2020 the spread of COVID-19 was declared an emergency in Ontario pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.9, as amended, on the basis that COVID-19 constitutes a danger of major proportions;

d. On March 23, 2020, Halton Region declared a State of Emergency in support of Ontario’s efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic;

6. As of end of day on May 20, 2020, Ontario’s Ministry of Health reports:

a. 24,187 confirmed cases, including 1,993 deaths, for an overall case fatality rate of about 8%;

b. About 13% of cases have ever been hospitalized;c.Of those hospitalized, about 22% have received ICU care.

7.  As of end of day on May 20, 2020, Halton Region reports:

a .595 confirmed and 75 probable cases of COVID-19, including 25 deaths, for an overall case fatality rate of 4%;

b. About 13% of cases have ever been hospitalized;

c. Of those hospitalized, about 19% have received ICU care.

8. The number of cases and deaths continues to rise in Halton region and Ontario

9 .COVID-19 is now present in Halton region and therefore poses a risk to the health of the residents of Halton region.

10.The COVID-19 virus is spread from an infected person to a close contact by direct contact or when respiratory secretions from the infected person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person.

11.To contain the spread of COVID-19, individuals experiencing one or more symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or who are infected with COVID-19, as well as their close contacts, are required to isolate themselves from other people and remain in isolation until they are no longer infectious or potentially infectious; self-isolation reduces the risk that these people will spread their infection to others.

I am of the opinion, on reasonable and probable grounds that:

a. a communicable disease, COVID-19, exists or may exist or there is an immediate risk of an outbreak of this communicable disease in the health unit served by me;

b. this communicable disease presents a risk to the health of persons in the health unit served by me; and

c. the requirements specified in this Order are necessary in order to decrease or eliminate the risk to health presented by this communicable disease.

I am also of the opinion that the delivery of notice of this Order to each and every member of the class to whom it is directed is likely to cause a delay that could significantly increase the risk to the health of any person residing in Halton region, so notice shall be provided through the public media and the internet via posting at:

The following definitions apply to this Order:

“Close contact”means you are a person who, within the past 14 days:

Provided care for a COVID-19 patient, including health care workers, family member or other caregivers; or

Had other similar close physical contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 while the case was ill;or

Lived with or otherwise had close, prolonged contact with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19 while the case was ill; or

Have been identified by Halton Region Public Health as a close contact of a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

“Halton Region Public Health”means the Medical Officer of Health or Halton Region Public Health staff acting under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health.

“Symptoms”of COVID-19as listed on the Halton Region website,

TAKE NOTICE THAT each member of the class to whom this Order is directed is entitled to a hearing by the Health Services Appeal and Review Board if the member has delivered notice in writing to me (at the address below) and to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board (at 151 Bloor Street West, 9th Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1S4) requesting a hearing within 15 days after publication of this Order or otherwise in accordance with applicable law. In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak:

All requests for review, submissions, materials, and inquiries should be sent to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board by e-mail to or faxed to the Board at 416-327-8524.

Instead of mail or courier, you may email your request for review to me at: Should you wish to do so, however, please carefully consider the use of electronic communication for sensitive information. Halton Region will use reasonable means to protect your information but, due to the inherent risks of electronic communication, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

AND TAKE FURTHER NOTICE THAT although a hearing may be requested this Order takes effect when it is delivered to a member of the class or brought to the attention of a member of the class.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS ORDER may result in further legal action being taken against you under sections 36(2), 35, 102 and other relevant provisions of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS ORDER is an offence under section 101 of the Health Protection and Promotion Act for which you may be liable, on conviction, to a fine of not more that $5,000.00 (for a person) for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues. If you have any questions about this Order, please contact Halton Region Public Health by telephone at 311 (in Halton) or toll-free 1-866-442-5866, or by e-mail to

Megani signature

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