Food4kids Halton gets new leadership: Dania Thurman appointed Executive Director

 

By Staff

December 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We first saw Dania Thurman in action when the community rallied around Central High school that was threatened with closure when the Halton district School Board made the decision to close two of the city’s seven public high schools.

Dania Thurman

Central was on the chopping block. Thurman who describes herself as a Powerhouse Program Manager with a passion for children’s health and community engagement and as a seasoned business professional with 10+ years of client development and community engagement experience in diverse sectors.

She has been recognized for demonstrating a natural aptitude for public relations, as well as for partnership management and program coordination with a verifiable history of contributing directly to company growth and expansion throughout her career.

This month, Ms Thurman was appointed Executive Director of Food4kids. She brings three years experience as Community Development Manager with Halton Food for Thought where the focus was on strengthening relationships with all stakeholder groups, including volunteers, staff, school administrators, and elected officials.

She follows Gayle Kabbash who has moved on to be the director of Food4Kids Ontario. Thurman said ” Gayle has made Food4kids Halton what it is today and really should be recognized for the tremendous work she has done. I am just the newbie coming in to carry on her work.”

Thurman’s work included bridging communications and aligned objectives with educators and administrators throughout the planning and development of student nutrition programs which meant analyzing barriers and issues impacting student nutrition distribution in collaboration with staff and partners.
Previous work experience included eight years as a Client Care Specialist.

Thurman earned a diploma in Musical Theatre from Sheridan College and a Certificate in Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Management from Ryerson University.

Her volunteer experience includes serving on the Board of Directors of the Compassion Society of Halton and the YWCA Hamilton.

Food being prepared for a breakfast program at a Burlington elementary school.

Food4kids Ontario oversees the development of new and emerging Food4Kids programs within Ontario, provides resource and support to existing Food4Kids programs in Ontario and develops and executes accountabilities for partner agencies that includes program implementation and best practices, financial management, metrics and evidence-based outcome as well as community outreach and engagement.

Food4Kids Ontario was incorporated and commenced operations on September 28, 2016, under the Ontario Business Corporations Act as a not-for-profit organization and is a Canadian registered charity under the Income Tax Act.

The organization has a healthy balance sheet with revenue of $831,438; expenses of $652,286. The organization provides significant resources to assist partner agencies in the implementation of Food4Kids locations in other geographic locations.

In the fewest words possible: Food4kids feed children.

Related news stories:

Telling their story

Return to the Front page

Walkins for vaccinations are no longer being accepted at clinics planned for Burlington, Oakville and Milton. Registrations must be done on line

By Pepper Parr

December 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There have been some monumental screw ups in setting up locations where people can get COVID19 vaccinations.  Thousands are reported to have lined up at locations where GOVAXX buses were located only to find that the demand far exceeded the supply.

The province has set up three clinics for Halton Region.  You must make an appointment.

Lindsay Di Tomasso, Acting Manager, Corporate Communications Halton Region, said yesterday.

We learned late this afternoon (Sunday)  that the Province will no longer be accepting walk-ins at their GOVAXX bus stops and must be booked through the provincial booking system or contact centre.

The Province this posted to social media late yesterday and are planning to send out a news release on this today (Monday).

There are three clinics planned in Halton over the coming days that are impacted:

Burlington Centre  – may be fully booked, appointments limited.
777 Guelph Line, Burlington, ON L7R 3N2

Monday, December 27
9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Oakville Place Shopping Centre  – book appointments starting 8 a.m. December 27 through Provincial booking system.
240 Leighland Ave., Oakville, ON L6H 3H6

         Tuesday, December 28

          9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Milton Mall book appointments starting 8 a.m. December 27 through Provincial booking system
55 Ontario St. South, Milton, ON L9T 2M3.

Tuesday, December 28
10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Book today at ontario.ca/bookvaccine or by calling 1-833-943-3900.

Many public officials have posted notices to promote walkins at these clinics and and expect many residents were likely planning to attend these.

Unfortunately we are hearing from the province that the Burlington clinic for tomorrow is now fully booked. We have updated the booking page with this information and will be retweeting the Province’s  post.

We can expect some frustrated residents who show up early Monday morning.

Return to the Front page

COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory for Designated Essential Care Partners and Visitors  

By Staff

December 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Enhanced safety measures in response to Omicron also include visiting restrictions

 To protect the health and safety of its patients and healthcare workers amid rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the province, Joseph Brant Hospital will be implementing new vaccination requirements and limits on essential care providers (ECPs) and visitors.

Effective Thursday, December 23, all essential care partners (ECPs) and visitors must show proof of full vaccination (i.e. vaccine receipt or enhanced vaccine certificate with a QR code) or a documented medical exemption, as well as government-issued ID.

Joseph Brant Hospital will be implementing new vaccination requirements and limits on essential care providers (ECPs) and visitors.

In addition, limits will be placed on the number of ECPs and visitors entering the hospital each day. Patients staying in the hospital may designate a maximum of two (2) ECPs or visitors; only one is permitted in the hospital at any time. ECPs and visitors are prohibited from eating or drinking in patient rooms and must wear hospital-issued masks at all times, as well as practice physical distancing and hand hygiene.

For more information about ECP/visitor restrictions in other areas of the hospital, including the Emergency Department and Labour and Delivery, please go to our website.

These changes are in response to a surge in community transmission of the Omicron variant. Many hospitals in the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand-Brant-Burlington Region and the Greater Toronto Area have taken similar measures to protect their patients and healthcare workers from potential COVID-19 transmission and outbreaks that could impact hospital operations and care.

“These are difficult decisions, but we are taking necessary precautions to help keep everyone safe in the face of this new threat,” said Eric Vandewall, President and CEO. “We know this is a stressful time for everyone, including our staff and physicians who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic. They recognize and value the important role that families, loved ones and caregivers play in supporting our patients. We will get through this together, with your patience and kindness.”

 

 

 

Return to the Front page

Most recent Covid19 infections set out below - they are nothing to be proud of - they point to our negligence

By Staff

December 22, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Pictures are worth a thousand words – or so the saying goes.

The pictures tell us that the Covid19 variant is here amongst us – now!

The tools to protect ourselves are available.

We will know early in the New Year how well we did during the holidays

We have seen those rising numbers before. They will be back again if we do not take care of ourselves.

 

The 1320 number has not been seen in the Region for some time.

The numbers for the Region are above.

The 370 active cases is likely to grow.

The numbers for Burlington are above.

Return to the Front page

Inflation in a Time of COVID and Global Warming

By Ray Rivers

December 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

COVID and climate change, not the federal deficit, is driving up prices in this country. Public health measures have led to global supply chain blockages and workplace interruptions. And 2021 has been the absolutely worst year for disastrous climate events, including forest fires, flooding and drought. Prairie grain harvests, for example, are reported to be 30-50% lower this year, which also impacts meat prices.

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre in the House of Commons

So it’s unfortunate that Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre is peddling misinformation. He blames the high deficit and debt levels for the country’s current 4.7% increase in the price of an average basket of goods. He argues that it is because government debt has resulted in too much money being printed and circulated in the economy. But that is not what is happening.

To complicate his argument, Poilievre is demanding federal tax cuts, including the revenue neutral carbon tax, which will….put more money in people’s hands and further increase the deficit.

Poilievre is entitled to his opinion but no reputable economists support his thesis. Canada is actually doing better than most OECD nations when it comes to inflation and with an inflation rate a whole third lower than we’re seeing south of the border. Canada’s inflation has been hovering around 4.7% for the last couple of months, though nobody is discounting that it might climb a little higher before it declines again.

In any case,Ha good chunk of Canada’s economy is inflation proofed – our pensions, income tax deductions, etc. which have been indexed to the consumer price index (CPI). And our health and education programs are all publicly funded. So it’s mostly food and other consumables, some of which are waiting to unload at the ports or sitting in a barge adrift in Vancouver Harbour.

The Covid19 virus and the variant Omicron along with Climate Change are the structural changes we are going through right now.

And then there is housing. Housing prices have been rising for a while now. And while low interest rates, allowing more people to qualify for mortgages, are partly responsible, the real culprit is the extremely high rate of immigration. Canada’s immigration target is 400,000 new entrants a year, over 100,000 of those looking for housing in the GTA.

Some level of inflation is not unhealthy in a growing economy and/or one experiencing some measure of structural change. And structural changes is what we are going through right now, thanks to COVID and climate change. The federal government has a number of tools to slow down inflation should it get out of hand. These include tax increases, reducing government spending and transfers, import and export restrictions and controlling the interest rate.

The Finance Minister just renewed the Bank of Canada’s mandate, which includes exercising monetary policy to raise interest rates and attempt to bring inflation down to 2% or less. However, given the still shaky economic situation with an ongoing pandemic, nobody should expect the Bank to jack up rates, particularly for the current bout of price increases which reflect an economy very much in transition.

Higher interest rates will also raise the cost of the government borrowing to finance our debt and deficit. That will lead to increased deficits and possibly eliminate funding for other government programs. In the end higher rates suppress economy activity by reducing consumer demand. That will lead to higher unemployment which no government ever wants.

Raising interest rates would push Canada’s international exchange rate up as foreign investors up their Canadian investments to get the higher rates here. That would prompt exchange rate increases and impact Canada’s international competitiveness as our exports become relatively more expensive and imports relatively cheaper.

This is the situation Brian Mulroney found himself in the late 80’s as he attempted to quell inflation with monetary policy. We ended up with higher unemployment, deterioration in our terms of trade and creating the greatest accumulation of federal debt in Canada’s history – that is until the pandemic hit us.

Over-reacting to Canada’s modest inflation rate can be fraught with these potential complications. The Minister of Finance and Bank of Canada are betting that the supply chain blockages will be resolved and the price pressure will lessen. But given where we are with the pandemic rebounding energetically, and climate change throwing curve balls around every corner, nobody is in a hurry to raise interest rates or cut taxes. That is possibly except for Pierrre Poilievre who has no idea what he’s talking about.

Ray 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:

Pierre Poilievre –  National Debt –  Crop Failures –

Food Prices –   Inflation –   Fiscal Update

Actual Fiscal Update –   Home Prices –

Return to the Front page

The new Covid 19 rules impact Burlington - starting on Sunday

By Staff

December 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Province has announced that Ontario, including Halton Region and the City of Burlington, will be applying additional public health and workplace safety measures, including capacity and social gathering limits, beginning Sunday, Dec. 19 at 12:01 a.m.

These measures will help curb transmission and continue to safeguard Ontario’s hospital and ICU capacity as the province continues to rapidly accelerate its booster dose rollout.

Changes to recreation facilities capacities
While City of Burlington recreational programs, services and rentals will continue as planned, recreation facilities capacity will be reduced to 50 per cent for rentals, events and programs.

50% less starting Sunday

Rental and program participants must come to the facility dressed and ready for their activity and leave the facility promptly following the activity. As a result of the capacity restriction, change room and dressing room space is also limited to 50 per cent and may not be available.

All requirements for proof of vaccination, screening, masking and physical distancing remain in place.

Rental organizations who wish to cancel their rental bookings at this time can do so without penalty by emailing rentals@burlington.ca.

Registered participants of recreation programs affected by reduced capacity limits will be contacted directly by City staff. Individuals who wish to withdraw from a course or program will receive a full refund. They can contact customer service at liveandplay@burlington.ca or 905-335-7738 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends. For more information and holiday hours, please visit burlington.ca/servicehours.

 

Return to the Front page

Clarksdale students decorate lobby of hospital

By Staff

December 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, O N

 

Students at Burlington’s Clarksdale Public School  wrote and decorated Christmas cards that are currently on display in the lobby of Joseph Brant Hospital as a way to brighten the days of patients, staff and visitors.

 

The walls of the hospital lobby are a lot brighter looking these days.

Teacher Kelly Kozsurek says she learned of this activity from a former HDSB teacher and thought it would be a great way for students to provide patients, staff and visitors with colourful holiday cheer. The school was provided with cards by Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation​’s ‘Join the Joy’ committee and students decorated one side of the card and wrote a kind message on the other side.

“We chose to do this activity to provide students with the opportunity to do something for others,” Kozsurek says. “Not only will they brighten someone’s day, but they will feel empathy for others and pride in themselves for making a positive impact.”

Principal Shelly Andrews says this activity has taught students a wonderful holiday message that there are many ways they can help make the world a better place.

“I’m so proud of the contributions they have made to help give back and in their efforts to let people know they are cared for. Students of all ages were so excited to participate in this tradition. I love that they have learned we can change the world one smile at a time.”

Anissa Hilborn, President of the JBH Foundation.

“One of the objectives of the Foundation is to connect the community with the hospital, and our Join the Joy campaign and the holiday greetings are a great way for our staff, physicians, patients and their families to feel the support of the community at the holidays,” said Anissa Hilborn, President of the JBH Foundation. “It truly brightens the hospital at this time of year and we’re so grateful to Clarksdale Public School and all the schools across Burlington who sent in messages of joy this time of year.”

Return to the Front page

The year that changed everything and where do we go from here

By Ian Allen

December 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

As the decade progresses, we will look back at 2020 as the year that changed everything. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a massive digital revolution, which saw unprecedented growth in various sectors.

The internet has turned our worlds upside down. Most of us can’t even imagine a single day without our smartphones and a stable wifi connection. It has revolutionized communication to such an extent that it has become the preferred medium of everyday communication.

The point of reference much much of our communication now.

As the internet has evolved, our daily lives have become easier. You can make a restaurant reservation using your phone, order coffee, keep yourself updated with news, gamble, book flights and hotels, attend meetings, get a degree, and so on. The list is never-ending, and the online world is all-encompassing.

Here are 10 ways in which the digital transformation of everyday life has occurred!

 

10 ways in which the internet changed everyday life

1. Research

From AltaVista in the mid-90s to the present-day search engines like Google, Microsoft Edge, Yahoo, Bing, etc., the internet has revolutionized how we obtain information. As the internet has become the primary source of accessing information, nothing you won’t find there.

The number of queries being processed every day is massive, with Google being the web’s number one search engine.

2. Social Media and Communication

Can you recall the last time you wrote a letter to someone? Probably not. The internet has radically transformed how we routinely communicate with others. Social media networks have made it easy for us to connect with people spread across the world. Especially during the pandemic crisis, the importance of digital communication was realized. Now you can attend a meeting in Canada while being thousands of miles away.

3. E-commerce

The positive response of online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, and Alibaba has made the physical location of a store almost redundant. You can order anything off the internet. With a clear voice command, you will be presented with thousands of options for the product or service you’re looking for. You can even compare the prices across the different platforms, make an online purchase, and get the best deal.

4. Entertainment

Canada, especially Ontario, has a vibrant sports scene. Canadians love their sports and place bets on their favorite team- whether lacrosse or ice hockey. There is a certain feeling of community and camaraderie during sporting events, and the rivalry between opposite teams is always competitive. So, with Covid forcing social distancing and lockdown norms, people had to be happy with whatever sporting entertainment they could find online.

From placing friendly wagers on your favorite team to trying your hand on popular casino games like blackjack, poker, or slots- it is available with a simple click on the mouse, and now you can bet on sports online in Canada! In Ontario, the sportsbook and betting industry has become one of the fastest-growing segments.

5. Streaming

Remember when you had to visit a DVD store or rent a VHS to see the latest movie? That was the past. The use of DVDs, VHS tapes, and other tangible forms of physical media is rapidly declining as the online world has taken over. Streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, AppleTV+, Lionsgate, Hulu, and so on, has made content accessible to anyone.

In fact, Netflix has more than 100 million regular subscribers at the moment. So, if you’re planning on watching the latest James Bond movie, all you need is a stable internet connection and a streaming subscription!

Dating is a different game – a lot of places – some that need to be avoided.

6. Relationships

Online dating is one of the most popular aspects of the online world. Finding love has never been so easy. The internet has helped transform how people look for and find love. There are enhanced algorithms that people are increasingly using to match their criteria and find “the one”.

In a fragmented world like ours, this has made dating easier for a lot of people. Besides, you don’t need to feel any pressure to make a move when you’re not ready. And, if you’re not looking for love, you can always find great friends on these apps!

7. Healthcare

While no one should trust medical advice on the internet, it is undeniable that the digital world has transformed the medical experience for both doctors and patients. There are wearable technologies like smartwatches that let you track your vitals. You can order medicines online from your local pharmacy or even book an early appointment with your doctor just by using the smartphone.

Mental health has become more accessible and affordable for people as you can chat with your therapist on the go or drop a text whenever you’re feeling anxious.

8. Travel

Travel planning has never been so easy or cheap. There are multiple websites for travel information, apps offering crazy discounts, Airbnb for affordable stays, Google Maps to help you navigate, and more! You can find out all about a place, from its restaurants to local sights, before you are required to board your flight.

9. Education

Even though some people may argue that the cons outweigh the pros, the internet has rapidly reconstructed the education sector. When lockdowns were declared worldwide, the internet became the only respite for students looking to advance their education. As schools started becoming online, more and more students could invest time in studying from home.

This made education more approachable for most and convenient for those who have day jobs or part-time jobs. Even for adults, it’s never been easier to go back to school and take a few classes.

However, students are indeed missing out on the school experience, proms, and graduation ceremonies.

10. Financial Services

Once upon a time, you had to visit a bank to make money transfers, pay bills, or perform the most basic financial actions. With online banking, you can send and receive money from across the world in seconds. By setting up regular payments online, you will seldom have to go to the bank.

Transactions have become hassle-free and a great advantage for those with busy schedules. These online financial services value the customer experience and are always looking for ways to innovate and personalize.

Return to the Front page

We are still in a State of Emergency dealing with a pandemic - how much longer ?

By Staff

December 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Will the State of Emergency be lifted soon?

And if it is – what difference will it make to the lives we live each day.

Definition and Authority
An emergency is defined under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act as “a situation, or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise”

Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, only the head of council of a municipality (or his or her designate) and the Lieutenant Governor in Council or the Premier have the authority to declare an emergency. The Premier, the head of council, as well as a municipal council, have the authority to terminate an emergency declaration

Criteria
established to assist the Mayor/Council in determining if/when our existing state of emergency should be terminated.

When considering whether to terminate a declaration of emergency, a positive response to one or more of the following criteria may indicate that a situation, warrants the termination of declaration of emergency.

City Staff are thinking through what will have to be clanged if the State of Emergency is lifted – but we aren’t there yet.

The Covid infection numbers for the day – province, Region and Burlington,

 

Regional Covid19 infections as of December 8th

 

Burlington Covid19 infections as of December 8th

Return to the Front page

Retired fire fighters take part in hospital fund raising

By Denis Gibbons

December 5th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Staff from Hospital’s Labour and Delivery Unit handing out Christmas packages. Photo by DENIS GIBBONS

Burlingtonians, who purchased Join the Joy gift boxes to support Joseph Brant Hospital’s Labour and Delivery Unit, were able to pick up their gift boxes in the parking lot of Access Storage on Fairview St. on Saturday.

The boxes contained fun items like a family-friendly game, hot chocolate, magical reindeer dust and holiday crafts.

Retired fire fighters keeping an eye on an antique fire truck.                          Photo by DENIS GIBBONS

Veteran Burlington firefighters had their 1922 fire truck, which is housed in Kilbride, on display as they handed out candy canes to children

Tasty pastries were handed out by employees of COBS Bread Bakery, representatives of FastSigns accepted letters to Santa and Paladin Security had its cars and men on hand to act as Santa’s secret service.

 

Return to the Front page

First case of the lab-confirmed Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been identified in Halton region

By Staff

December 2nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

No need to panic but a need to know that the first case of the lab-confirmed case and two probable cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been identified in Halton region.

All three cases are linked with one of the probable cases that recently travelled to Nigeria. The cases are currently isolating at home. Halton Region Public Health has identified all close contacts and informed them of the need to isolate and get tested, despite vaccination status, out of an abundance of caution at this time.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and I urge all residents to be vigilant given the entry of the Omicron variant in our community. I encourage all residents to continue to follow all public health measures to prevent the spread of of COVID-19 and for everyone who is eligible, to get their two doses of vaccine as soon as possible,” said the Medical Officer of Health.

 

 

Return to the Front page

Legislative and legal challenges made it impossible to find a solution to the taxi problem

By Pepper Parr

December 1st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

OPINION

People at city hall don’t set out to hurt people.  Mistakes get made and the people who made the mistake, for the most part, set out to correct the error.

Some mistakes leave scars and diminish people who are already struggling to keep their heads above water.

The number of people going to food banks has risen: 300,000 households in Ontario made the trip this year.

The Food Bank can deliver some of the food needed – but not all of it.

The Burlington Food Bank is able to deliver food to many of the households that need help.

No one broadcasts that they need help feeding their families; while it is not something one should be ashamed of – there is a sense of shame for those on any form of public welfare.

Several of the churches in Burlington had a system that let them give families with no transportation a taxi chit that let them get to the food bank.

Now there is no taxi service and I personally doubt there will be one for something in the order of 100 days.  The “significant legislative and legal challenges”  made it impossible.

Those “legislative and legal challenges need to be replaced by “whatever it takes”. That is what makes a city great.

These mistakes cannot and should never be looked upon as a “learning opportunity”; a phrase that has achieved some currency at the Council table.

The apology from the City Manager just isn’t enough.

Related news story.

Councillor explains.

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.

 

 

 

Return to the Front page

Are we looking at a very dark winter - the Covid19 variant news is not good

By Staff

November 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ontario reported another 964 COVID-19 cases and one more death, according to its latest report released Sunday morning.

South African scientists identified a new version of the coronavirus that they say is behind a recent spike in COVID-19 infections in Gauteng, the country’s most populous province.

It’s unclear where the new variant first emerged, but scientists in South Africa alerted the World Health Organization in recent days, and it has now been seen in travelers arriving in several countries, from Australia to Israel to the Netherlands.

A graphic depiction of the most recent COVID19 variant – omicron.

On Friday, the WHO designated it as a “variant of concern,” naming it “omicron” after a letter in the Greek alphabet.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said the variant was linked to an “exponential rise” of cases in the last few days.

From just over 200 new confirmed cases per day in recent weeks, South Africa saw the number of new daily cases rocket to more than 3,200 Saturday, most in Gauteng.

Struggling to explain the sudden rise in cases, scientists studied virus samples and discovered the new variant. Now, as many as 90% of the new cases in Gauteng are caused by it, according to Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform.

The source for this information is the Associated Press, an internationally known and respected news service.

We are heading into a very dark winter.

 

Return to the Front page

A very useful four minute video on child vaccination procedure - a must for every parent with children 5-11 who plan to have them vaccinated

By Staff

November 27th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Public Health people have put together a very good video for parents who plan to take their children 5-11 to a pediatric vaccination clinic.

This young lad shows how getting vaccinated is done – easy peasy.

There is a lot of misinformation floating around and some really stupid people harming the rest of us with their uninformed comments.

The video is really worthwhile Click HERE to watch it – it’s short – just under four minutes.

 

Return to the Front page

Changes at Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre

By Staff

November 26th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Joseph Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre is Transitioning to Provincial Testing Site

Starting Monday, November 29, Joseph Brant Hospital’s COVID-19 Assessment & Testing Centre will transition to a independently operated testing site.

To learn more about the people operating the testing site CLICK HERE

This transition will enable JBH to redirect healthcare workers currently working in the Centre to support hospital operations.

While COVID-19 testing and assessment services will continue at the existing location in the hospital (1230 North Shore Boulevard), there will be a new process for the public to book appointments. Individuals with appointments booked on or after November 25 will be contacted to confirm their appointment in the new booking system.

To make an appointment at the COVID-19 Testing Site at Joseph Brant Hospital:

  • Book online: com/JBH
  • Book by phone through the FH Health booking line: 437-826-2118

Before making an appointment, please review the most up-to-date provincial criteria to determine if you are eligible to be tested. Note that the Testing Site is unable to offer testing for travel outside of Canada.

Unvaccinated surgical patients will not be tested at the COVID-19 Testing Site. Testing will be conducted in the pre-op clinic 72 hours prior to their surgery, if required.

The COVID-19 Testing Site at Joseph Brant Hospital will continue to operate seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The site will be closed from December 25-26, 2021, and on January 1, 2022. A variety of COVID-19 testing types will be available to eligible residents who are age 2 months and over, including nasal and throat swabbing.

The Testing Site is accessible on hospital grounds in the North Tower, adjacent to North Shore Boulevard and Maple Avenue. Use the parking lot off North Shore Boulevard, follow posted signage to the rear of the lot and park in a designated testing site space.

To access testing results and related inquiries, please contact FH Health directly via the chat feature on their website at www.fhhealth.com or e-mail info@fhhealth.com. Testing results may also be retrieved through the Ontario COVID-19 testing portal.

Anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is very ill or in need of immediate care should go to the nearest Emergency Department or call 911.

We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the JBH staff and physicians who made the Centre such a success, and to all the community members who have supported our hospital throughout the pandemic.

 

 

 

 

Return to the Front page

Amendments Made to Temporary Mask By-law and Physical Distancing By-law

By Staff

November 25th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City Council has approved amendments to the temporary Mask By-law and Physical Distancing By-law to extend both to expire June 30, 2022.  They were set to expire on Dec. 31, 2021.

Mayor Meed Ward – she wasn’t always a mask advocate – but she caught on quickly.

Council has removed Community Centre from the physical distancing requirement in the Physical Distancing By-law as those requirements are regulated under other provincial legislation.

As the pandemic evolves, Council has the ability to pass a motion at any time to revoke these by-laws.  The expiry date of June 30 can be repealed in March should COVID-19 conditions be favourable and the Province lifts their mask mandate.

This does not mean that levels of health and safety protections will be reduced in these City facilities or that physical distancing will not be maintained.

Quick Facts:

  • The By-laws were implemented in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of the community
  • The amendments in 2020 to the City’s temporary Mask By-law were made for consistency with Halton Region’s Mask By-law

 

Return to the Front page

Dr. Jennifer Kwan receives Award of Excellence for her work as a Family Physician

By Staff

November 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Ontario College of Family Physicians announces an Award of Excellence given to Burlington family physician Dr. Jennifer Kwan.

Dr. Jennifer Kwan

The College of Family Physicians of Canada Awards of Excellence recognize family doctors for exceptional achievement within the past 24 months in the specialty of family medicine. Nominations are made by peers or the public and are submitted to the provincial chapter of which the nominee is a member.

“These doctors have demonstrated tremendous leadership, dedication and service to their communities – Dr. Kwan, especially through her advocacy and public education on COVID-19.

Dr. Kwan exemplifies the vital role family physicians play across Ontario as clinicians, advocates, teachers, and researchers

Dr. Kwan at her work station.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Jennifer Kwan has become a household name, known for the public health data she disseminated daily via Twitter (@jkwan_md). For more than a year and a half, she has presented information in a simple, transparent graphical format, making her Twitter feed a go-to resource for many. Physicians and the public alike find reliable data about COVID cases, testing, hospitalizations, vaccinations, trends over time, and more—enabling Ontarians to see how our behaviours were shaping the pandemic.

At a crucial point of the pandemic, Dr. Kwan led projects to provide health facilities with needed personal protective equipment (PPE). That included building an online portal to facilitate PPE donations and, as a director of the Halton Region Chinese Canadian Association, helping to coordinate the donation of more than 5,000 masks and other PPE to local physicians’ offices and care providers at a time when these were scarce. Dr. Kwan was also an early advocate for public masking and helped found the grassroots volunteer group, Masks4Canada, whose efforts contributed to Canada’s eventual adoption of a masking policy.

Faced with threats and insults from naysayers on social media, Dr. Kwan has persevered in sharing reliable information, which she believes empowers Ontarians to understand their own health. She has appeared on media programs to promote public health messages and help Ontarians understand how the pandemic is affecting them. It should come as no surprise, then, that she is highly respected among infectious disease and other colleagues: Her nomination for the Award of Excellence was signed by over 70 physicians in all different specialties from across the province.

“Dr. Kwan has been nothing short of a powerhouse during the pandemic,” said Dr. Gina Eom, University of Toronto. “She has been an inspirational leader, and physicians all across the province have appreciated her work which she has undertaken on her own mission, without any financial or academic incentive.”

 

Return to the Front page

A 609 day roller coaster ride - and it isn't over yet

By Pepper Parr

November 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Taking a long look at the bigger picture and looking back at what the city has gone through in, as Executive Director Sheila Jones put it – a 609 day Journey – calls for a pause and the question – what’s next?

While we all seem to think that “normal” might be returning no one is set yet to bet real money on a date.

Once a month Council gets taken through a report the Emergency Coordination Group (ECG) uses to advise on what has been done, where the city is financially – tax collections are good and revenue losses as a result of the pandemic are stabilizing.

The city is still in a State of Emergency and no one is certain just when that is going to come to an end and what the process will be to get back to the normal we once knew.

A graphic was put up on the screen – this is where we have been.

Just ups and then down – city hall has managed to keep the wheels on the wagon and on balance has done a good job. The wear and tear on staff has been significant.

Return to the Front page

Hospital suspends some staff and terminates others over mandatory vaccination policy

By Staff

November 11th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

Eric Vandewall, President & CEO of the Joseph Brant Hospital, released the following statement:

In accordance with provincial direction, Joseph Brant Hospital established COVID-19 Immunization and Management policies in September that apply to everyone who works at and with the hospital.

Like many other hospitals in Ontario including those in our region, we recognize the importance of mandatory vaccination of health care workers as a critical tool in protecting patients, physicians, staff and volunteers safety, as well as avoiding disruption to vital hospital services and programs.

For these reasons, we made it a requirement under our policy that all JBH employees, credentialed staff (such as physicians), contracted staff, learners and volunteers are to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, unless they have a medical or Human Rights code exemption.

As of November 9:

    1,770 (97.25%) of our active JBH employees are fully vaccinated

    38 JBH employees have been placed on an unpaid leave of absence for not meeting the requirements of the hospital’s policy

    13 JBH employees have been terminated

When it comes to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, each hospital is responsible for making decisions in the best interest of their patients and the communities they serve. All of our actions – including mandatory COVID-19 vaccination – are guided by our mission to provide quality patient care through our values of Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence. It is what our community expects and what we strive for every day.

Eric Vandewall, President & CEO of the Joseph Brant Hospital

We also took this step with careful and thoughtful consideration of the potential impacts. Vaccination rates among our staff and medical professionals who work in our hospital have risen steadily since we introduced these policies two months ago. This helps reduce transmission of COVID-19 and decreases the risk of disruption to hospital operations caused by outbreaks and other unexpected staff absences due to illness.

Although the Ontario government has indicated that at this time there will be no province-wide mandate requiring all healthcare workers to become fully vaccinated, our commitment to our mandatory vaccination policies has not changed. We believe it is the right decision for JBH, to protect the safety of our patients, their loved ones, our teams and our community.

Thank you for your support of our hospital. Please, stay safe and take care.

Return to the Front page

Wearing masks in public places will be required for some time - well past the end of year date that was in place

By Pepper Parr

November 9th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

That normal we are all looking for may not be as close as we would like.

Council met today to review the masking by law – looks like the best we are going to get is sometime in June 2022.

Discussion was on By-law amendments to extend COVID By-laws into 2022.  They started with a recommendation to extend the expiry date of the by-law to June 30, 2022

The wearing of masks is something the province put into place; the Regional government then put their by-law in place and Burlington followed the Region.

Mayor Meed Ward was not an advocate for the wearing of masks when it was becoming clear that the world was in a pandemic. To her credit she figured out that she was about to be on the wrong side of history and she began to wear a mask – she still does.

During debate Mayor Meed Ward said she could see the province making an announcement late on a Friday afternoon – “as they often do” she said – and the city would have to scramble to get onside with the province.

After close to an hour of discussion that focused on the messaging and the need to be consistent Council came up with a solution that will become official at the November 23rd Council meeting.

Couple of things that council didn’t seem to appreciate – first not that many people are following the mask rules – they apply to city locations so the city has to be onside.

However, the moment the Premier makes an announcement the news will zip around the province and the masks will come off in a flash.

If there is an announcement from the province it won’t come at the end of June – it will be made about a week before the provincial election on June 2nd of 2022.

Part of the reason for debating the bylaws today was that they are set to expire on December 31, 2021 and although statistics on vaccination rates and infections are improving, it is expected that Public Health recommendations regarding these measures will extend past December 31, 2021.

A date of June 30, 2022 has been chosen merely for administrative purposes to lessen the chance that another report is required to extend the by-laws – ultimately reducing the workload for staff.

While the Province has indicated that their mask mandate may be lifted as early as the end of March 2022, staff are not recommending this as an official expiry date as it would still cause administrative issues.

Removal of Community Centres from Physical Distancing By-law
The Physical Distancing By-law requires that a minimum distance of 2 metres be maintained between non-household members on any public property within the City of Burlington. The by-law includes our Community Centres and indoor fitness locations.
Community Centres and indoor fitness locations have also been specifically regulated in the Reopening Ontario Act (unlike other buildings such as City Hall). Until recently, provincial regulations and city by-laws have aligned.

Recent amendments to the Reopening Ontario Act, Ontario Regulation 727/21 have now eliminated the capacity limit for our indoor community/fitness centre locations as long as ‘proof of vaccine’ policies are applied.

We all got used to keeping our distance when meeting with people.

This means if Physical Distancing By-law 17-2020 is extended as recommended, staff will need to determine a capacity limit for these locations which will ensure users can still meet the 2 metre distance requirement. This may result in a capacity that is less than allowed under current provincial legislation which could affect programming.

Given Community Centres are specifically regulated in the Reopening Act Ontario, they are subject to ‘proof of vaccine’ policies and directives from both the Provincial and Halton Region Medical Officers of Health in relation to their operations (due to the sport operation), staff no longer feel it is necessary to also include them in Physical Distancing By-law 17-2020.

This does not mean that levels of protection will be reduced in these facilities or that physical distancing will not be maintained. Removing an additional regulation would make it easier for staff to program the facilities for the future and reduce the number of publications that need to be reviewed in tandem.

Return to the Front page