Artists use maple leaf design cut out of aluminum on which artists will paint to raise funds hospital: target is $375,000

By Ryan O’Dowd

July 28th,2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Throughout August the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation (JBHF) will showcase local artists to raise funds with a big boost from Burlington Artscape.

The initiative features fifty local artists who have painted 4 foot leaf-shaped canvases with a unifying theme of the love of Burlington.

Ashley Davison, the Chief Development Officer with the JBHF, spoke about the love of Burlington theme, at a time when a celebration of city and community seems particularly poignant.

“Bringing people together to create beauty out of a time when things have been so challenging might be a nice way to celebrate nearing the end of the pandemic and to start to bring life and beauty back to the community through the installation.

“Many local artists have a connection to the hospital and Burlington.  Burlington Artscape marries the art with the beauty of Burlington, as well as the pivotal role the hospital has played over the last 18 months, meeting the needs of our community at a time when they’ve never been needed more.”

Burlington artist Jodi Harrison founded Burlington Artscape in 2021 to support the hospital with the help of the art community.  August 8th,15th and 22nd are dates for an outdoor showing of all the completed leaves. It will run from 10am to 4pm at Grace United Church located at 2111 Walkers Line, Burlington. Leaves will be available to order August 7th, 2021 at 8 a.m. Orders will be available online or at the outdoor art shows.

Although COVID-19 added considerable pressure to the hospital, Annisa Hilborn, the president of the JBHF, pointed out that the need for corporate and community support is constant – taxes don’t cover everything.

Annisa Hilborn, President of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation

“If we all come together to support our public health care system it’s only going to get better,” said Hilborn. “The pandemic reminded our community of the need and urgency to support these important foundational elements of our society, to ensure we are a healthy society and get through things like the pandemic…and when it’s not the pandemic it’s something else that’s coming.”

“The theme resonates with the feeling of the last 18 months,” Hilborn added, “there’s a greater appreciation of the community getting together because we wouldn’t have been able to get through what we’ve gone through unless everyone participated. We say at the hospital, ‘we’re here in the moments that matter’ and we ask that the community be there for us too.”

Cathy Lorraway with the leaf shaped canvas she will paint on.

The 50 leaf-shaped canvases will be on display on the 8th, 15th, and 22nd of August at Grace United Church. The artwork is available for purchase now for $750 which will go toward Burlington Artscape’s goal of $37,500. 100% of proceeds will go to support the critical needs of the hospital.

COVID-19 safety precautions have been taken for the event.

Hilborn and Davidson praised community support throughout the pandemic but are looking forward to future events in person as restrictions loosen.

“We’re on our toes about it, responding as the regulations and guidelines change,” Davidson said, “seeing where we can, safely and responsibly, have people interacting in person because I think the community will be ready for that.”

The featured paintings can be viewed now on Burlington Artscape’s website and their Instagram account.

Many paintings depict lively visions of Burlington, a bustling Spencer Smith Park, the Burlington Teen Tour Band marching, a crowded beach, distantly familiar after 18 months of the pandemic.

As the city opens and Burlington Artscape calls upon the community to celebrate and be celebrated perhaps the city has turned over a new leaf.

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The target is to have 90% of us vaccinated. Do your bit

By Staff

July 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Given that a picture is said to be worth 1000 words – let the picture do the talking.

If you, or anyone you know is not part of the graphic above urge them to roll up their sleeves.

Getting to that 90% vaccinated level is what will prevent a possible fourth wave. The only people who can prevent that are you and me.

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Child admitted to hospital after swimming incident

By Staff

July 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At 1:48 pm on Sunday 25th July, 2021, the Halton Regional Police Service responded to a resident reporting a child having drowned in a swimming pool.

Police and Paramedics were quickly on scene. Lifesaving measures were performed. The child was transported to hospital where he/she remains in a critical condition.

An investigation at the scene continues in an effort to determine the circumstances.

Anyone with information regarding this incident who has not yet spoken with Police are asked to contact the Duty Staff Sergeant at Burlington Police Station on 905-825-4747 ext: 2310.

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Rivers: A Premier for the Lobbyists and Developers?

By Ray Rivers

July 24th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

“Despite being the epicentre of the COVID pandemic in Ontario, for-profit nursing homes, from a business point of view, did incredibly well over the past 15 months. The Ford government indemnified them against liability from lawsuits, paid them out at full capacity no matter how many residents they had, and even offered them subsidies for other lost revenues.

The profitability of the long term care sector is astonishing.

In fact, many of the investment-backed, corporate players in the nursing home industry will emerge from COVID-19 in better shape than they entered it, thanks in large part to the province’s aggressive and generous plan to refurbish old homes and build new ones.” (Toronto Star July 2021)

The authors of this in-depth report (link below) concluded that throughout Ontario’s COVID crisis, premier Doug Ford simply followed the advice of the last person he had met with, and those were all too often corporate lobbyists or his friends in the development sector. Apparently when it comes to COVID Ford has one rule for the lobbyists and another for all the rest of ‘his people’.

Construction hours have been extended at the request of the developers.

Why for example, was construction allowed to continue pretty much business-as-usual when so many other businesses with lower COVID transmission rates were forced to shutter? Construction is known to have one of the highest transmission rates of all industries, and yet, curiously, residential construction was declared an essential service.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to appear to be acting tough on public health measures, recreational golf and tennis, which had no previous record of COVID transmission, were banned. Small non-grocery business owners, with a tiny public footprint, were outraged that their big box competition at Walmart and Costco could continue to operate while they had to close.

And despite being among the hottest spots for viral transmission in the province, meat packing, the Post Office and Amazon, were allowed to continue unabated. In the end it took the local medical officers of health, not the province, to shut them down.

The way Mr. Ford has tailored his priorities helps explain why it has taken Ontario so long to get our COVID infection rates down. This policy of allowing high risk activities to continue while curtailing safer options is not just unfair, it’s also negligent.

The opening up of the hospitality sector too soon brought about a third wave from which we are just emerging.

“….since Ontario first declared a state of emergency in March of 2020 the government has made decisions that align with the interests of lobbyists — many of whom have close ties to the premier, his party or both — and the businesses they represent. Those decisions have often favoured certain sectors over others and have, at key moments in the pandemic, gone against public health advice, delaying or fracturing lockdowns. Those decisions have often favoured certain sectors over others and have, at key moments in the pandemic, gone against public health advice, delaying or fracturing lockdowns.?” (Toronto Star July 2021)

If only a lobbyist for vaccine passports or mandatory vaccination for health care workers could make their way over the premier’s office?

Background links

Star Report –   Construction Sector –   Building Trades –  Retaining and Big Box

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The push is on to help prevent a fourth Covid19 wave in the Fall.

By Staff

July 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As vaccine supply increases, many appointments available in July and August

Halton Region Public Health is encouraging all residents 12 years of age and up to get both doses of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible in order to gain full protection against COVID-19 and help prevent a fourth wave in the Fall.

“We are making great progress with our vaccine rollout, with 81 per cent of residents with one dose and 60 per cent of residents fully vaccinated,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “With a more steady and predictable supply of vaccine from the Federal and Provincial governments, there are many options to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Halton and make it a two dose summer.”

Here are the many ways to get first and second doses in Halton:

• New! Walk-in vaccinations now available at Gary Allan Learning Centre clinic (3250 New Street in Burlington). Daily, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for individuals 18+.

• New! More clinic options in Milton – appointments can now be booked online for the St. Francis Xavier Secondary School clinic – appointments available in July!

• Quickly and easily book online at one of Halton’s community clinics, located across Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville – appointments available in July and early August!

o All residents are eligible to get a second dose at a minimum 28 days. Anyone who has appointments booked in September and October, are urged to reschedule to an earlier date as soon as possible.

o Same day or “last minute” appointments available based on cancellations. Anyone with a booked appointment can check daily.

• The Province continues to host local pop-up clinics, with one happening July 24 and 25 at Holy Trinity Secondary School in Oakville.

• More than 100 Pharmacies in Halton are offering walk-in or booked appointments.

• Select Primary Care Offices are offering booked appointments.

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

“We are in a race against COVID-19 and its variants. We need to get everyone fully vaccinated to avoid a fourth wave in the Fall,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Make it a two dose summer – get your second dose to gain better protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant as soon as possible. We need 90 per cent fully vaccinated and every dose counts. Be part of the community level protection we need to get back to normal…and stay there. Now is the time to #RollUpYourSleevesHalton!”

Important information & instructions
• All individuals 12 years of age and older who have received their first dose can get their second dose at a minimum 28 day interval.

All new appointments are booked at a minimum 28 day interval.

o Anyone who has appointments booked in September and October, are urged to reschedule to an earlier date as soon as possible.

o Anyone who has found earlier appointments elsewhere (e.g., through a pharmacy) or has completed both doses must cancel their existing appointment at a Halton clinic.

• The quickest and easiest way to manage appointments, including booking or rescheduling an appointment at a Halton clinic, is online. Residents are asked to avoid calling 311 unless they need immediate booking or rescheduling support.

• Individuals requiring additional assistance, language supports or other accommodations can contact 311 prior to their appointment to arrange for additional supports.

o Transportation services to and from appointments are available, free of charge, for those who require it. Parking is free at all clinic locations.

• To maintain physical distancing and safety measures, please:

o arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment (not earlier);
o wear a mask;
o complete a wellness check before entering a clinic, using Halton’s COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Screening Tool; and
o attend appointments alone if possible. You may bring one support person, if required (for example, a caregiver or interpreter).

To learn more about Halton Region’s COVID-19 Vaccine Program, including how to book an appointment, please visit halton.ca/COVIDvaccines.

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Online registration for indoor summer recreation programs opens July 24

By Staff

July 20, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Burlington will open online registration for indoor summer recreation programs for adults 19+ and adults 55+ beginning Saturday, July 24 at 9 a.m.

Registration for swimming programs at Tansley Woods, Aldershot, Centennial and Angela Coughlan pools will also open on Saturday, July 24 at 11 a.m.
A complete listing of indoor summer programming can be found online at Burlington.ca/recreation.< Drop-in programs
Registration for drop-in recreational swimming and skating programs at indoor City facilities is required 25 hours in advance of the program start time. Drop-in swimming programs start today, Monday, July 19, and skating programs will resume Tuesday, July 20.
New self-serve option for withdrawing from drop-in programs

New this season, participants have the ability to withdraw from drop-in programs online by logging into their Live & Play account. More information about the new feature is available online at Burlington.ca/recreation.

All City programs will continue to follow public health guidance when required, including physical distancing, capacity limits and wearing masks or face coverings. Individuals participating in an in-person program will be required to fill out the mandatory health screening form at Burlington.ca/screening before each session.

Individuals who have questions or require assistance can email live&play@burlington.ca or call 905-335-7738 between 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

• Recreation fee assistance funding is available to resident individuals or families who require assistance with the cost of City of Burlington recreation programs. For more information or to apply, visit burlington.ca/feeassistance. You can also leave a confidential voicemail message at 905-335-7738, ext. 8501 and staff will return your call to assist you.

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Is our Air Quality an issue? WHO says it is

By Staff

July 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

The air quality in Burlington right now is the THIRD WORST in the World!

What? How could that be? And who made the statement and what evidence do they have?

The World Health Organization claims our air quality is six times worse than the accepted rate.

The cause is mostly due to the 100 fires burning in Ontario.

Alan Harrington, an inveterate Gazette reader brought this to our attention and suggests people may want to put those masks they may have put away backon.

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Technology from inventive minds helps RBG collect donations while you take a walk in the park

By Staff

July 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Like many not-for-profits, Burlington’s Royal Botanical Gardens saw a slump in donations during the pandemic. With their main garden areas and indoor spaces restricted they were forced to close due to COVID-19.

The tap to give technology helps RBG get through a slow period for donations.

The trails systems saw a significant increase in foot traffic, which is why they are there.

What RBG wasn’t able to do was solicit donations. They had no means of requesting donations from hikers and walkers.

Then Moneris and a start up brought out their idea.

You may not know Moneris – but they know you. In many places where you use your plastic to pay for something the transaction could be going through a Moneris terminal.

Moneris Canada and the start up, tiptap, helped to install a touchless solar powered device at the entrance of one of their trails.

The device allowed visitors to donate by simply tapping their credit or debit card before starting their walk.

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Life is getting closer to normal now that we are in Step 3 of the ReOpen plan

By Alexandra Vanquest
July 19th, 2021
BURLINGTON, ON

After months of lockdown and restrictive measures, there is at last some good news for Ontario residents.

The province has moved into Step 3 of the Road to Reopen plan five days earlier than expected.

The new chief medical officer of health confirmed the news to reporters last week, saying that the acceleration of the timetable was, in large part, due to the large number of local citizens who are putting themselves forward daily to get vaccinated.

Step 3 of the plan has two main objectives – to expand what can happen in an indoor setting and to further expand outdoor activities.

Among the new changes for indoor locations:

• Up to 25 people at a time can attend indoor gatherings and public events;

Spaced out to meet social distancing requirements – people are now able to get out for an indoors meal.

• Indoor dining is now permitted with no capacity limits other than the proviso that tables should be at least two metres apart;

• More people are now allowed to attend religious services like weddings, funerals, and christenings;

• Indoor sport and recreational fitness facilities can operate at up to 50% capacity (with spectators capped at 1,000 people);

• Similarly, concert venues, theatres and cinemas can operate up to 50% capacity (up to the same limits); and

• Nightclubs and other places of entertainment can operate up to 25% capacity, with up to a maximum of 250 attendees allowed.

Outdoor locations are also opening up.

• With limited exceptions, up to 100 people can attend outside gatherings and organised events;

• Outdoor sporting and recreational facilities are now capped at up to 75% of the approved capacity, or 15,000 people, whichever is the lower;

• Casinos, museums, aquariums, galleries, fairs, and amusement parks are capped at 75% capacity or a maximum of 5,000, (which is the lower) for unseated events. In the case of mixed seating events, the crowd limit is revised upwards to 15,000 people.

Online casinos have always been available and are becoming more and more popular. You gamble when and where you want.

Of course, those interested in playing online are not limited to visiting physical casinos. There are many online versions available and some of the newest online casinos in Canada are listed here.

Provincial officials have confirmed that masks and face coverings will still be mandatory for indoor public events during Step 3, and that masks will be required in some public settings along with the observation of other public health protocols.

Getting to the 80% vaccinated level is what it will take to open things up even more.

Even where it is not obligatory, people will still be encouraged to wear masks over the coming months to minimize the risk of transmission of the virus.

It is expected that Ontario will remain at Step 3 for at least 21 days, and until at least 80% of those eligible – currently all those aged 12 and older – have received at least one anti-Covid vaccination and 75% have received two jabs.

If those targets can be met, then the provincial government has indicated that it is prepared to remove the majority of the remaining health and workplace safety measures, including lifting the capacity limits for both indoor and outdoor events.

Many Ontarians, fed-up with more than a year of restrictions on personal freedoms, will have their fingers crossed these thresholds can be met, and that life can finally get back to some sort of normal.

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Rivers: Is the Pandemic Over or Is This Deja Vu?

By Ray Rivers
July 19th, 2021
BURLINGTON, ON

The roller coaster ride with COVID has slowed down once again in this province. Our infection numbers have declined substantially since we peaked at over 4000 cases back a few months ago. Clearly the ‘stay-at-home’ and other public health restrictions have helped, though it’s the vaccinations that have really made the difference. And our governments deserve credit, the feds for securing vaccine supply and the province and local health authorities for rolling out the vaccinations.

Yet Ontario’s infection rate is still hovering in the triple digits and only about half of the adult population is vaccinated . But, the Premier is boasting about getting back to normal soon, much as he did last year. But chances are better than even that he is wrong again.

Normal is a long way off. Over the last few days the provincial infection numbers have either settled onto a plateau, or started inching back in the wrong direction. And Ontario’s new medical officer of health is now predicting another increase in infections come September, just as we saw last year.

If we look at the British and Americans. We see how they had mostly opened up their economies when their vaccination levels were similar to those in Ontario. But the results have been disastrous. COVID cases have soared over 90% across the UK such that their infection numbers are now back to those of last January, when they were in the grip of the Alpha (UK) variant and hardly anyone had been vaccinated.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is prepared to life all controls for the UK: covid19 infections are expected to rise while the PM goes into self isolation.

Medical officials in the UK have characterized Boris Johnson’s COVID policy of ‘living with the virus’ as just creating a breeding ground for new viral variants. In the US, the Delta variant has become the prime enemy of the people, with cases doubling every couple weeks and with increases in infections rising in every state. Authorities are laying the blame on the fall off in vaccination rates.

The virus and Delta variant may be the enemy, but those refusing the jab are its enablers. Just as in Canada, the virus in the UK and America is being spread primarily by the unvaccinated. So why aren’t more people rolling up their sleeves? US president Biden accuses social media of killing Americans by spreading anti-vaccine disinformation.

In France, when vaccinations started slowing down and COVID cases started rising, President Macron made vaccination mandatory for all health care workers. And then he made vaccine passports mandatory for access to congregate places, like bars and sporting events. That was a powerful incentive and a million people signed up almost immediately to get the shot in the arm.

Only two provinces in Canada are even considering issuing vaccine passports and regulating their usage. And Ontario isn’t one of them, despite calls from the mayor of Toronto and the business community to do just that. Premier Ford, while saying everyone should get the jab, keeps muttering about a split society, whatever that means. And also he refuses to mandate vaccines for health care workers.

Quebec chooses to use QR codes as vaccination passports.

It can’t be a constitutional rights or a privacy issue. After all, this is the same premier who instructed provincial police to block people moving across the provincial borders and to conduct random checks of vehicles and ticket those not travelling to a workplace. He is the guy who ordered COVID-safe golf and outdoor recreational tennis facilities and children’s playgrounds, shuttered under threat of thousands of dollars in fines.

The truth is that this pandemic will not be over until everyone, who is able to, gets fully vaccinated. It’s how we eliminated smallpox and for a time, measles. It’s either that or we social distance it into oblivion as New Zealand has done successfully so far. And it is likely too late for that.

With an election coming up next year, one would think Mr. Ford would want to ensure that Ontario’s economy is opened up as quickly and safely as possible – not another false start. Getting everyone vaccinated is the best bet for that to be possible.

After the turbulent series of confusing and often counter-productive provincial policies over the last year and a half, this might demonstrate that Mr. Ford is actually capable of learning on the job and responding to the public will. Otherwise it’s deja vu.

 

Background links:

Step Three and COVID –   French Experience –  

The Next Wave –  Ford Opposes –    Ontario Medical

Mandatory Vaccinations –   England Threat to the World

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Sober Carpenter bring organic beer to Burlington

By Pepper Parr

July 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The brand name for the beer was catchy – learning that the beer was the first organic beer in the country was news.

Sober Carpenter’s organic session IPA is available in Burlington at the following locations: The Beer Store 5051 New Street, The Beer Store 2020 Appleby Line, as well as Sobeys, Metro and Goodness Me.

We’ll let you know what we think.

For the beer purists the technical description is:
Malts: Pale, Crystal, Cara; Hops: Galaxy; International Bitterness Units (IBU): 30; Calories: 80

Launched earlier in July in Montreal, Canada’s first 100% organic non-alcoholic beer was launched by Quebec-based craft microbrewer, Sober Carpenter.

The beer is said to have the tropical and bright aroma of Galaxy hops, the large, light head and lacing along the glass speaks to the beer’s quality. Lastly, consumers will notice a crisp and slightly bitter taste on the palate.

The company’s master brewer has created a full line of beers with unique flavour profiles including, an Irish red, a light and fruity Belgian white, and a blonde ale, along with the company’s most popular beer, a potent IPA.

“Non-alcoholic beer is very much coming into its own,” explains Nicolas Gagnon, CEO of Sober Carpenter. “The old, tired idea the non-alcoholic beer is boring is just plain wrong. We set out with a mission to create beers that are every bit as delicious, complex, unique, and easy to enjoy as any beer. We work hard to brew a full range of non-alcoholic beers that anyone, no matter their lifestyle, can enjoy. Our new organic session IPA is the latest step in that process. Session IPAs are less hoppy than regular IPAs, they are smooth and full of aroma.

Until July 31, 2021, for every case of Sober Carpenter Session IPA sold, one dollar will be donated to Tree Canada. The organization is the country’s leading tree planting charity. A sober carpenter thinks about the long-term sustainability of their lifestyle, not just the trees they’ll need today.

They are sending a tasting kit our way – we’ll let you know what we think.

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If you need proof of your vaccinations.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 14th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

needle and vaccine

People can prove they are fully immunized by showing the physical or emailed receipt that was provided to them at the time of vaccination.

Vaccination receipts can also be downloaded or printed through the provincial portal.

 

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Brave App – Another Tool to Prevent Fatal Drug Poisonings

graphic community 5By Staff

July 13th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In the first six months of 2020, Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) officers responded to 168 suspected drug poisonings. One-third of those victims overdosed while alone, and nearly one in five did not survive.

In their media release the police explain why a new service has been put in place and the outcome they hope will be realized.

“We have been asked why we have taken a harm reduction approach to the overdose crisis in our community. The answer is simple: our goal is to prevent overdose deaths. Ultimately, a life saved today is an opportunity for recovery tomorrow.

“In an effort to ensure our community is aware of any and all resources available to them, we would like to introduce you to the Brave App.

“The Brave App is designed to connect people at risk of overdose with help they need: an ally they can talk to, a human supporter to help them stay safe, and digital monitoring technology to help them when they’re in danger. The app connects them with a community of overdose responders, and/or professional emergency first responders.

“The app is another tool that can be used to reduce the harms to individuals, families and communities from substance use, and is a complement to the services and resources that are available in Halton. The Brave App is not a substitute for calling 911.

“The Brave App was developed independently by Brave Technology Co-op, a multi-stakeholder cooperative in Vancouver B.C., and is not affiliated with the Halton Regional Police Service.

Brave app

Designed by people who use drugs.

How the App Works
1. A person at risk of overdose can use the app to connect with remote, peer support through a voice call.

2. If your supporter thinks you might be overdosing (through a pre-determined span of non-response), they will request access to the details of your private Rescue Plan.
This plan can include your location, access instructions, and an emergency contact to call instead of, or in addition to, calling 911.

3. You will then receive a 10-second countdown alert letting you know that information will be shared unless you indicate that you are ok by dismissing the alert.

4. If you are unable to dismiss the alert, then that information will be revealed to your supporter, who will only use it for the purpose of sending help.

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act
If you use the app, and your Rescue Plan includes calling 911, our frontline officers and other first responders in Halton carry naloxone and we want to assist. As a reminder, the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides broad legal protections for anyone seeking emergency support during an overdose, including the person experiencing an overdose.

This means that individuals, including youth, will not be charged for offences such as simple possession for calling 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Privacy
People who request supervision remain anonymous and their location is only revealed if it is necessary to keep them safe. If there is no overdose, then their location is not shared. No account is needed to use the Brave App, and you don’t need to share your name, number, e-mail, or mailing address. No personal information is shared with responding Emergency Services unless it is part of the pre-determined response and only if the Rescue Plan is activated.

Learn More
The Brave App can be used by anyone with a mobile phone and internet access, and is available for download, for free, on both Apple and Android phones.

Click HERE to learn more about the Brave App

Photo credit: Sara Wylie, National Day of Action | February 21, 2017

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The screens will come alive on Friday - social distancing ? No mention of that

News 100 redBy Staff

July 13th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

CineStarz - popcorn

Expect the pop corn to be available. Some notice on how social distance seating will be handled would have been useful.

Cinestarz Upper Canada, the movie theatre on Brant, published their schedule early this morning. First feature is on Friday.

An interesting run of films but not a word on how seating will be handled or what they have taken in the way of social distancing.

An unfortunate corporate practice.

Shortly after publishing this story we learned of the Stratford Festival announcement of their plans to open.  Prominently displayed on their web site was the protocol they will follow to protect those who attend live theatre.  Something similar should appear soon on the CineStarz web site.

 

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Council to hold its last meeting until September - much has been achieved - still a lot left to do and some unfortunate practices have crept in

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

July 13th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Council meets at 1:00 pm this afternoon for their last meeting until September.

The agenda for that month is loaded.

There have been very few delegations since the first lockdown in March of 2020 – those that did take place left little impression on those listening.

During the period of time the city was in a State of Emergency with its affairs guided by an Emergency Control Group they met whenever it had to –seldom less than twice a week. The City is still in a State of Emergency, which is where the city manager thinks it should remain for as long as possible.

Provincial funding goes to those who are in a State of Emergency.

Last week Council went through an impressive schedule of Standing Committee meetings that were both controversial on some levels and solid governance on others.

The Mayor’s ill-advised tweet about support she got from some of her colleagues but not others was petty politics at its worst – while the comment from Councillor Sharman on the decision by Human Resources to do away with annual performance reports was excellent governance.

Sharman Jan 2020

Councillor Sharman was not amused.

We will let you know when the annual performance reviews are put back in. Sharman will beaver away at this – expect him to prevail.

Will we see that decision as a Staff Direction? That might be expecting a little too much.

City Council meeting - before COVID

We used to get this: City Council meeting – before COVID

The meeting today will be swift – there is next to nothing on the Agenda page in terms of documents that are going to be approved.

Council with clerk

Now we get this. All the Council members were present – they don’t always all appear on the screen at the same time

The City Manager’s work plan – all the things he is going to get done, was not available to media during the Standing Committee meeting.

Some of the narrative in the City Manager’s report was available but the specifics, what was going to get done and when, was not available and the city communications adviser we dealt with said it would not be available.

Public participation was a feature of the Goldring council – there were opportunities to speak – even though they didn’t listen all that well.

This Council is using the pandemic, and the phrase “an abundance of caution” as a reason to keep the public away – and at this point they have succeeded. We no longer hear from Gary Scobie, Jim Young or Blair Smith to name just a few.

During the last Standing Committee  last week we did see some rumbling on the part of Councillor Stolte about finding a way to involve living, breathing members of the public.

Stolte got jerked around but her point was made. The City Clerk did set out his concerns – there were a lot of them, few with much in the way of merit.

Council will wish us all a fun summer and be away from their posts until September. Some will begin thinking about their re-election plans. Two of the seven are at risk with a third in for a surprise once his constituents get roused.

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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Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

June 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The province in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health is moving the province into Step Three of the Roadmap to Reopen at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 16, 2021.

In order to enter Step Three of the Roadmap, Ontario needed to have vaccinated 70 to 80 per cent of individuals 18 years of age or older with one dose and 25 per cent with two doses for at least two weeks, ensuring a stronger level of protection against COVID-19.

Step Three of the Roadmap focuses on the resumption of additional indoor services with larger numbers of people and restrictions in place. This includes, but is not limited to:

Outdoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 100 people with limited exceptions;

wervbg

Community meetings like this will not take place during this stage of the Re-Open

Indoor social gatherings and organized public events with up to 25 people;

Indoor religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services permitted with physical distancing;

Indoor dining permitted with no limits on the number of patrons per table with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect;

Indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to open subject to a maximum 50 per cent capacity of the indoor space.

Capacity for indoor spectators is 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less. Capacity for outdoor spectators is 75 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 15,000 people, whichever is less;

Indoor meeting and event spaces permitted to operate with physical distancing and other restrictions still in effect and capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity or 1,000 people, (whichever is less);

Essential and non-essential retail with with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;

Personal care services, including services requiring the removal of a face covering, with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres;

Brant Museum rendering

Museum can now be opened to the public.

Museums, galleries, historic sites, aquariums, zoos, landmarks, botanical gardens, science centres, casinos/bingo halls, amusement parks, fairs and rural exhibitions, festivals, with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors;

Concert venues, cinemas, and theatres permitted to operate at:

up to 50 per cent capacity indoors or a maximum limit of 1,000 people for seated events (whichever is less)
up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum limit of 5,000 people for unseated events (whichever is less); and up to 75 per cent capacity outdoors or a maximum of 15,000 people for events with fixed seating (whichever is less).

Real estate open houses with capacity limited to the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres; and

Indoor food or drink establishments where dance facilities are provided, including nightclubs and restobars, permitted up to 25 per cent capacity or up to a maximum limit of 250 people (whichever is less).

Meed Ward in a mask

Mayor Marianne Med Ward can still wear her mask in public.

Face coverings in indoor public settings and physical distancing requirements remain in place throughout Step Three. This is in alignment with the advice on personal public health measures issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada, while also accounting for Ontario specific information and requirements. Face coverings will also be required in some outdoor public settings as well.

The pandemic is not over and we must all remain vigilant and continue following the measures and advice in place, as the Delta variant continues to pose a threat to public health.”

The province will remain in Step Three of the Roadmap for at least 21 days and until 80 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over has received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 75 per cent have received their second, with no public health unit having less than 70 per cent of their eligible population aged 12 and over fully vaccinated.

Other key public health and health care indicators must also continue to remain stable. Upon meeting these thresholds, the vast majority of public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity limits for indoor and outdoor settings and limits for social gatherings, will be lifted. Only a small number of measures will remain in place, including the requirement for passive screening, such as posting a sign, and businesses requiring a safety plan.

Ontario’s epidemiological situation is distinct from other jurisdictions and the Delta variant is the dominant strain in Ontario, which is not the case with some other provinces. As a result, on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, face coverings will also continue to be required for indoor public settings. The Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to evaluate this need on an ongoing basis.

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Regional Public Health office provides an update - the Covid19 virus and its variants are still with us and still dangerous

News 100 redBy Staff

July 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As of Thursday, July 8, 2021, 638,849 doses have been administered in Halton, which includes 394,519 first doses and 244,330 second doses.

This represents 79 per cent of Halton’s population aged 12 and up who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 46 per cent who have received both doses.

The vaccination status dashboard is updated Monday to Friday between 12 and 2 p.m.

The Regional Dashboard with data updated every day can be found HERE

 

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Rivers: Who is Going to Pay for Global Warming ?

 

“Exxon worked alongside Chevron, Shell, BP and smaller oil firms to shift attention away from the growing climate crisis. They funded the industrys trade body, API, as it drew up a multimillion-dollar plan to ensure that climate change becomes a non- issuethrough disinformation. The plan said victory will be achievedwhen recognition of uncertainties become part of the conventional wisdom’”.

 (Chris McGreal – The Guardian 30 Jun 2021)

 

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

July 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Over 700 people in B.C. alone have died so far this summer from the heat dome that sits over much of that province.  How could any rational person now dispute the link to global warming?  The rising temperature resulted in over 200 forest fires in what was to have been Canada’s biggest renewable carbon reserve.  Instead, the nation’s forests have now become another source of carbon emissions.

Lytton BC fore- street level

Street level view of a burned out Lytton, BC

It is estimated that over a billion marine animals have perished in the fires and heat, and we have no idea about the land animals we’ve lost as well.  And it’s not just Canada.  New Zealand has just recorded it’s hottest winter ever.  Siberia is on track for a repeat of last year’s hottest year ever.  And even Antarctica has recorded 18 degrees last February, the temperature I keep my house thermostat in the winter.

If there are still climate deniers, or those who doubt that human activity is responsible for the rapid change in the planet’s weather patterns, they should truly be ashamed of themselves.  It’s been over a century since scientists first suggested that all the CO2 being emitted would eventually warm up the planet.

In the 1970’s computerization enabled climate modelling which predicted pretty much what we are seeing today.  In fact climate scientists now worry that, if anything, they have been too conservative, have underestimated the speed of global warming.

Then there are the other scientists, the ones employed by the fossil fuel industries who knew what was coming as far back as the 1950’s.   But neither their boys in the upstairs board rooms nor the political leaders we’d elected to protect us seemed to get the memo.   The message was blunt.  If we don’t change we’re all likely headed for a doomsday scenario like we’ve never known.

But profits were good and the oil fossil fuel lobby was powerful politically, so their solution was to muddy the waters, create enough uncertainty so that nobody could be sure.  The answer was to deny global warming and, when climate change became inevitable, deny that humans were responsible.

denial is not policy glob warming

Government did their best to sabotage global efforts at reducing carbon emissions.

It is one thing to unknowingly endanger humanity, but quite another to do so deliberately, falsifying data, outright lying and deceiving the public, as the oil executives did during the nineties and 2000’s.  They and the GW Bush government did their best to sabotage global efforts at reducing carbon emissions, and perverted the serious discussion of climate change.

Bush almost immediately after being elected in 2000 pulled the USA out of the binding Kyoto emissions agreement.  And he and the energy lobby then proceeded to do their best to sabotage the international climate change deliberations.

Canada did sign onto Kyoto, and we might have met our first committed emission reduction, thanks to Ontario closing its coal power plants.  But Stephen Harper, who had been unsupportive of Ontario’s Liberal government’s climate initiative, had done little else to reduce Canada’s growing carbon footprint.  And no sooner had he won his parliamentary majority than he pulled Canada out of the agreement.

When considering the unethical approach of the fossil fuel sector to their business, it is not difficult to look at another industry which profited from misery caused by its poison.   Big tobacco had long been lying about the debilitating health effects of the product it had been pushing, and had deliberately misled the consuming public on its health effects.  Several court actions in the USA eventually persuaded the industry to pay up just under $250 billion for the endless suffering it had caused to so many.

Reagan - cigarette ad

Ronald Reagan, a future president of the United States promoting the use of tobacco. Almost everyone smoked — until we learned how dangerous it was.

There was legal action also in Canada, and hundreds of billions of dollars were delivered in assigned settlements, $300 billion for Ontario alone.  However, big tobacco cried bankruptcy and premiers Legault and Ford, last year, conducted secret negotiations with the companies.  And it now appears that, in a bizarre turn of events, big tobacco might be let off the hook providing they make an effort to get their customers to stop using their products.

There have been a rising number of legal actions in the USA against the oil companies and Big Tobacco is the model they are using since it fits the pattern so well.   But nobody should expect any kind of accountability among the political leaders, who like Stephen Harper wasted ten years, or Pierre Trudeau who helped get the oil sands project started back in the seventies.

And there is his son Justin who promised back in his first election to end public subsidies for the fossil industry and has yet failed to do so, and in fact is building a couple of new pipelines to serve the oil and gas industry.  Subsidies are the other side of a carbon tax – they effectively lower the price of fuel production and thus serve to promote its greater use.   Canada has been named as the G7 nation which most subsidizes its oil and gas sector.

O'Toole smug 4

Mr. O’Toole changed his messaging on the carbon tax

Mr. Trudeau has been outspoken on confronting global warming and that has helped him in the polls, particularly when the opposition party denies the reality of climate change.   That might just be the loud voice of Alberta and Saskatchewan struggling with the last gasps of their dying oil industry sector.   And it was a message we all got more from Mr. Harper and Mr. Scheer than the more moderate Mr. O’Toole.  At least Mr. O’Toole changed his messaging on the carbon tax after the court legality ruling, finally acquiescing, albeit with an unworkable tax model.

There are still many otherwise intelligent people who will tell you that they now believe that climate change is happening, but doubt that humans are mostly responsible.  If nothing else a big fat court ruling may help the misguided find themselves.  And realizing the mess we are creating and leaving it to future generations to start acting responsibly to  reduce their carbon foot print.

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

Background links:

Humans Caused –    Ford Knew –      Heat Dome –      New Zealand –

Trudeau –     Climate Scientists –   Antarctica –     Billion Marine Animals – 

US Tobacco –     Canadian Tobacco –     Oil Company Deceit –    “Air Pollution Deaths”

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Council instructs Clerk to prepare a plan for returning the public to council meetings

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

July 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

You won’t be able to actually attend a council meeting in September but expect to hear of a report that sets out how council meetings will evolve out of their current virtual format into what has been described as a hybrid set up.

Getting the motion Councillor Stole had onto the table proved awkward for everyone – for once the motion got passed the procedural bylaw that sets out how “walk on” motions are handled everyone was for the idea.

Burlington Bayhawks Under 14 girls soccer team, pose for the camera after being recognized by city council for an outstanding season

There was a time when the Council Chamber would be packed with people who were being recognized. When will that day return?

We learned that just a few days before the ECG (Emergency Control Group) had been discussing this very matter and opining that it was perhaps a good idea to discuss this.

The Clerk too had been giving this deep thought and advised council earlier in the week that the City Manager had asked that he prepare a report.

We did learn today there are some significant technical challenges in getting people hooked up into one seamless session with some in the chamber and some elsewhere.

The Clerk asked rhetorically who would be able to attend the meetings and the matter of vaccination was brought up.

If you’ve not been completely inoculated entry into any public space should be prohibited.

For some reason the ‘anti-vaxers’ feel that they have the right to threaten the health of everyone else just because they either don’t understand the science or have chosen to see it as junk science.

You can’t go to school if you haven’t been vaccinated for measles. If there are those who are not or don’t want to be vaccinated – let them attend virtually.

Nisan July5

Councillor Nisan congratulated Councillor Stolte for bringing the matter of public attendance to the Standing Committee.

There might be some benefit to keeping a virtual component of the public meetings.

Everyone congratulated Councillor Stolte for bringing the matter up – no one apologized to her for making it so hard for her to get the motion on the table.  She stood her ground – something the Councillor from ward 1 might learn to do.

Councillor Nisan publicly congratulated Stole for her efforts.

Related news story:

Ward 3 Councillor gives ward 4 Councillor a tough time

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Now you know -

News 100 yellowBy Staff

July 6th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is said that it is the little things that count.

And when you gotta – you gotta – but where.
Council spent a considerable amount of time crafting the decision as to what would be opened up to the public and how it would be paid for.
Those washrooms have to be cleaned much more often if there is heavy traffic.

washrooms downtown.

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