Select childcare centres in Burlington, Georgetown, Milton and Oakville being made available to all front line workers - apply on line

News 100 yellowBy Staff

April 1st, 2020



Halton Region has partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Education and select childcare centres in Burlington, Georgetown, Milton and Oakville to provide eligible healthcare and frontline workers with emergency child care.

Emergency child care services will be funded by the Province of Ontario and are available at no cost to eligible health care providers and essential workers who have no other child care alternatives. The centres will provide care for infants to children 12 years of age and some centres will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To apply, eligible workers are asked to complete the Online Child Care Subsidy Application form available at Those who are unable to complete the online application form can call 311 for support. Spaces are limited and will be filled in order of the applications received.

Public Health is working close with the Ministry of Education to open these child care centres as soon as possible and are taking additional measures to maintain a safe and healthy environment, including:

• daily screening of children and staff;
• regular cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces;
• reduced group sizes; and
• limiting the number of people in each child care centre.

For more details on emergency child care service eligibility and to submit an application, visit

“These emergency child care centres across Halton will ensure health care and frontline staff have access to child care supports while they continue to protect the health and safety of our community,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “I am grateful for these dedicated workers who have been putting others first and working around-the-clock to help those impacted by COVID-19. There will never be enough words of thank them for all they are doing.”

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A little more transparency at the Emergency Coordination Group please

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 31st, 2020



I was surprised to learn that there isn’t always someone from city council at the Emergency Coordinating Group (ECG).

I knew that the Mayor and the City Manager were never in the room at the same time. Tim Commisso told me in a telephone interview that he is putting in 15 hour days and stick handling 200 + emails.  He has deep experience at the municipal level and has seen a city through a disaster.  But he is not a young man and he doesn’t have as much as he needs in the way of bench strength.

A State of Emergency does change the ground rules – but it shouldn’t dilute the level of on-the-ground democracy.

Running a city under a State of Emergency is not business as usual.

The politicians have to let the experts do what they do.

However, there isn’t a reason in the world why at least one member of Council cannot be in the room. They are not in the room to participate – they are in the room to witness, record and to serve as a hobble on bureaucrats that could go too far astray.

They are not there to ask questions. A good committee chair would ask the Councillor if there were any questions or suggestions at the end of a meeting.

Right now we have a Mayor saying everything is going just fine. That may well be the case.

We are not suggesting there is anything amiss. It is when the proceedings are transparent that things don’t go amiss.

Our Mayor would be serving her constituents’ interests well if she advocated for having at least one member of Council at that table or on-line.

Sharman was right to bring this to the attention of a very concerned public.

Related news story:

Councillor Sharman finds being elected means squat during an emergency.

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Handling people who just don't want to follow the rules can still be held accountable.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 31st, 2020



What do you do when you become acutely aware of someone who either doesn’t understand what social distance means or just doesn’t give a dam?

The Mayor has been out there every day saying over and over – walk – don’t stop. Take care of yourself.

Meed Ward

As Mayor Marianne has a “Bully Pulpit” – she can be very persuasive.

Most of the people who listen to the Mayor already know the rules – they follow them – but there are those who don’t even want to follow the rules.

You call the Mayor – there isn’t all that much she can do.

You call public health and there isn’t much they can do.

The police don’t have time for these small issues – which aren’t really that small in the big picture.

Can by law enforcement officers play a role? Give them a bull horn and an address and have them drive out and explain.

The federal government has enacted the Quarantine Act – that gives them the authority to take people into custody – but who wants to grab someone who might be COVID compromised and put handcuffs on them?

The biggest tool we have is social peer pressure.

A reader makes mention of “a guy beside me who has been holding court on his driveway and his porch sometimes with as little as 1 foot between him, his wife, and another neighbour.

“When I emailed the mayor’s office about this her assistant sent me a link about social distancing (SD) — I pointed out how unhelpful this was because I understand SD and was asking that someone inform the three families that are hanging out together about SD.

“Halton Dept. of Health said they can’t do anything because it’s a choice these people are making and that I can only keep myself safe.

Neighbourhood Watch

Something along these lines could be created in a couple of hours – and pressure city hall to get the bylaw officers out on the streets.

“Right now he is sitting at the bottom of his driveway with a beer trying to get kids and adults to come over and talk to him.”

Some people will recall when Neighbourhood Watches were created; they began developing in the late 1960s as a response to the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens, New York. People became outraged after reports that a dozen witnesses did nothing to save Genovese or to apprehend her killer. Inspired in part by Jane Jacobs’ The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), which stated that Americans need to keep their “eyes on the streets” and connect with each other in their neighborhoods.

Look for someone on your street to lead something like this and pressure city hall to get the bylaw enforcement people out on the road.

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Burlington Foundation setting up Pandemic Response Fund - $100,000 commitment

News 100 redBy Staff

March 31st, 2020



In response to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, Burlington Foundation, with generous support from Pioneer Energy, has announced the creation of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund with an initial $100,000 commitment.

This vital emergency fund will provide much-needed grants to local charities supporting vulnerable community members who are the most affected by the Covid-19 crisis and will expand local capacity to address severe impacts of the pandemic.

“Our focus at Burlington Foundation, as always, is on uniting people and resources necessary to meet our community’s most pressing needs” says Tim Hogarth, chair of the Burlington Foundation Board of Directors. “This pandemic is evolving every day, creating greater challenges for those in our community, especially our most vulnerable citizens. But as past events have proven, it’s our ability to rally around a common issue that defines Burlington as a giving and supportive community.”

BCF logo 2020

Mullholland - stern look

Colleen Mulholland

Pandemic Response Grants will be provided to local agencies on the front-line that are serving high need, vulnerable people and families including those experiencing food insecurity; isolated seniors; community members with disability or mental health challenges; and to charities answering critical needs for childcare support or safe housing. The goal of the grants given is to enable these local charitable partners to adapt, expand, or initiate vital services to the Burlington community as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

“These are unprecedented and challenging times for all of us. We appreciate that many of our grassroots organizations already operate day-to-day on very limited budgets. Our goal is to assist our local charities by providing new financial resources that they need so they can focus on meeting the urgent needs of people most affected by the Covid-19 crisis,” says Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO of Burlington Foundation.

“We want our community members to know that although they may be alone in their home, as so many of us are, they are not truly alone. They are surrounded by a caring, generous community ready to lift them up in this time of great need,” Mulholland said.

To learn more about Burlington Foundation’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund and how to apply for assistance, visit

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Councillor Sharman finds being elected means squat during an emergency.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 31st, 2020



In 2014 Paul Sharman, ward 5 councillor found himself dealing with people whose homes had been heavily damaged during the flood that August.

Sharman finds himself in much the same situation and will tell you that “We need to recognize that Covid-19 is quite different from what we were dealing with in 2014 because it is pre-emptive, not reactive.

Sharman hand up

Councillor Paul Sharman: this is not an emergency that requires the city to stop functioning,

“I appreciate that an emergency has been declared and I know that protocols are being followed. However, this is not an emergency that requires the city to stop functioning, there are no armies in the street, no service outages, no starving crowds, no panic, nothing that manifests as a physical impediment to many people continuing to live their lives with optimism. Indeed, we need the economy to keep working and for people to continue to function as well as possible.

“In fact, technology permits us to conduct business, pretty much as usual on many core activities. A you may know, I ran a business with clients around the world with a bunch of staff members and colleagues. All of us worked from home. We would meet in person from time to time, but on-line technology makes that unnecessary now.

“The notion of an emergency in the case of Covid-19 is different from previous such emergencies in the sense that it is in anticipation of a worsening situation. Thank goodness governments took the steps they did. No complaints from me. Having said that, it seems probable that until widely available vaccination and significant levels of community immunity has been built up through natural transmission and recovery from Covid-19, it isn’t going away.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman is usually very direct, tends to want to see data that is verifiable and expects to get his way.

Ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman is usually very direct, tends to want to see data that is verifiable.

“Lets hope three months is enough. Possibly not, given what is happening in the USA.

“If it does extend for many months, governments at every level might consider operating as always intended but as a modified continuum by adapting to the new context rather than continue as an emergency per se. Perhaps with a modification/adaptation of the emergency process to take advantage of available benefits.

“I understand that the Region and Province have not yet adopted a three month planning horizon. This means that Burlington is ahead of the curve, which I applaud. Further, because there are plenty of risks, plans are always wrong by definition. We need to recognize that planning is an inexact art that is only as good as its assumptions. Plans for rapidly changing times obviously need to be modified and adapt in an agile fashion.

Sharman folded

Emergency Coordinating Group meetings are not held in public nor with members of Council listening in.

“As a business person and as a consultant I have worked through quite a number of significant organization design activities (downsizing, ongoing business crisis are two examples), some quite aggressive. In all cases, leading practice was to begin with a strategic assessment of conditions, assumptions and goals for the long term, recognizing that short- and medium-term circumstances would arise that require evolving tactics and choices.

I believe the City of Burlington has something like that in mind. As a Councillor, I am waiting to find out, because ECG (Emergency Coordinating Group) meetings are not held in public nor with members of Council listening in.”

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Military Vehicles and Equipment Transported by Rail from Alberta

News 100 redBy Staff

March 31st, 2020



Should you see a freight train rumbling through town with all kinds of military equipment – it does not mean the army is about to take over and do a total lock down.

National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces announced yesterday that due to the cancellation of Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE, the public can expect to see a large amount of military vehicles and equipment transported by rail starting this week from Wainwright, Alberta. The rail movement will occur across the country and may cause surprise due to the extent of the equipment transported back to Garrison Petawawa, Ontario.

army tanks on flatbeds

That army equipment is being taken back to base – the MAPLE RESOLVE exercise was cancelled

This equipment transportation is not related to the COVID-19 pandemic situation. The equipment was meant for Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE, the largest Canadian Army exercise occurring every year in Alberta, which was cancelled two weeks ago.

Drivers and pedestrians are asked to be patient and cautious as the rail transportation is extensive and may cross roads and highways throughout Canada.


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Music makes the difference - Koogle makes it available

News 100 yellowBy Staff

March 30th, 2020



A light voice on a difficult day.

The hospital announcing that a 93 bed unit is being built for the expected COVID-19 patients; the Prime Minister warning corporations not to try and game the system.

Koogle announcementThe Koogle Theatre Group put a bunch of their students before the cameras – and well here is the result. 

We needed something to brighten the day

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Burlington Food Bank – update with Robin Bailey

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 31st, 2020



The world, like the people at the Burlington Food Bank, has March going out like a LION.

“We’ve been seeing an increase in the number of people using our services around 25 families a day.

Bailey Food Bank March 31-20

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Food Bank outside the receiving doors

Robin Bailey, Executive Director of the Food Bank reports: “This morning we saw a group at the front of our store and everyone is responsibly social distancing themselves. We’ve managed to get about 20 of 25 moved to the home delivery model so far. If you know of anyone (a neighbour or a relative) that might need food please check in on them. We are here to help.

If you want to help – you can donate HERE

Getting the food in and out.



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We are going to have to make some almost immediate and important decisions during these perilous times

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 31st, 2020



We are in perilous times and will have to, on occasion, make important and immediate decisions.

There is nothing easy about any of this.

A short short video clip on how best to approach these situations is HERE

The production values are not all that good but the message is clear.

Please share this information.

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93 additional beds being built in a modular unit attached to the South Tower of the Joseph Brant Hospital as a temporary Pandemic Response Unit

News 100 redBy Staff

March 30th, 2020


93 additional beds are being built in a modular unit attached to the South Tower of the Joseph Brant Hospital.

Joseph Brant Hospital is building a temporary Pandemic Response Unit to expand the hospital’s bed capacity in preparation for the anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients.

This modular structure is being built on the hospital grounds and connected to the South Tower. It will provide 93 additional beds for patients who require hospitalization and treatment for COVID-19.

Hospital modular

Modular hospital that will house at least 93 beds is on the way to Burlington from Calgary.

The modular unit left Calgary this afternoon on a transport truck – they will begin putting it together – could be ready by the end of the week.

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

JBH president Eric Vandewall

“The Pandemic Response Unit is being built as a critical part of our pandemic response plan to meet the heightened care needs of our community and ultimately save lives,” says Eric Vandewall, President & CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital. “We are doing everything we can to care for the people of Burlington to prepare for these unprecedented times.” The Pandemic Response Unit is a collaboration between Joseph Brant Hospital, community-based health care providers, the City of Burlington, and Halton Region.

“The construction of the Pandemic Response Unit will allow the hospital to preserve our critical care and high acuity patient beds for our sickest patients,” states Dr. Ian Preyra, Chief of Staff for Joseph Brant Hospital. “Physicians from the Burlington community are volunteering to provide patient care in the Pandemic Response Unit, treating COVID-19 positive patients with acute care needs who may require oxygen therapy and ongoing monitoring.

“I have confidence in our health care system, and particularly in our healthcare professionals. The Federal government has provided an extra $500 million to provinces to support our health care system. We are also coordinating the procurement of essential equipment to keep our front line workers safe and working with Canadian industry, including here in Halton, to produce the equipment we need. I want to recognize the efforts of our local hospital. This is a challenging time for everyone, but the measures we are putting in place are extremely important. By staying home and physically distancing ourselves from each other we are keeping our frontline workers, like nurses and doctors, safe. We all have a role play to protect ourselves and our community from Covid-19,” states Hon. Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington.

“On the advice of Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, the Ministry of Health has requested all hospitals implement pandemic plans to help increase capacity as cases of COVID-19 continue to grow. In these unprecedented times, I’m proud of the work the team at Joseph Brant Hospital is doing to ensure they are prepared to serve the people of Burlington by adding capacity,” MPP Jane McKenna reflects. “Thank you to the wonderful doctors, nurses and every employee on the frontlines at Joseph Brant Hospital. You are the real heroes in this crisis.”


Modular structure is being built on the hospital grounds and connected to the South Tower. It will provide 93 additional beds

“Joseph Brant Hospital’s plan for a Pandemic Response Unit is a critical step in ensuring we have the right resources in place during COVID-19,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “This is a difficult time for everyone as we fight this “invisible threat” and I applaud the leadership at Joseph Brant Hospital and all community partners who are working together to support our healthcare workers. It is also important at this time for everyone in our community to practice physical distancing to reduce the burden on our hospital resources,” states Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr.

“I fully support the action Joseph Brant Hospital is taking in preparing for an increase in COVID-19 patients. Our community, including our hospital, needs to plan and prepare for every contingency during this emergency situation,” says Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

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The duration of the crisis depends on all of us: there are some serious gaps in some behaviour.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 30th, 2020



Comments from residents on what they see happening about the city suggest that the Mayor’s message hasn’t reached all ears.


The normal walk to the canal just wasn’t possible – there were far too many people on the path.

One resident said: “I abandoned my solo walk on the beach path this afternoon between the hospital and the lift bridge as it was simply too crowded to be sure that everyone was two metres apart.”

Another reported that “ at Spencer Smith Park, parents or caregivers were observed pushing young children on the swings, even though there was caution tape surrounding the swing sets. Unfortunately, the City must use their resources to dismantle the swings to protect the children from their parents or caregivers if they don’t adhere to the State of Emergency.”

The Gazette published this article yesterday – the last line “This will inevitably force us into lockdown.” is what the city will be forced to do.

“ I live on a court and have observed a home with a single resident welcome a) a girlfriend (not living at said residence), b) an adult son (not living at said residence) and c) a cleaning lady (also, not living at said residence). Likewise, I have noted a young couple with an 18 month old welcome one set of grandparents for playtime and a meal, and the next day another set of grandparents for playtime and a visit.

People are only willing to self isolate and socially distance themselves if it is of no inconvenience to them. This will inevitably force us into lockdown.”

“The beach path was terribly crowded yesterday – I saw someone had posted a video of the full parking lot and lots of people crammed everywhere. This will surely result in the parking lots being closed and perhaps the path itself being closed.”

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Aldershot Groups Work Together to Alleviate Food Shortages in a time of crisis

News 100 blueBy Jim Young

March 30th, 2020


Jim Young reports on how the Aldershot community is dealing with the COVID 19 crisis.

Those of you who pay attention to what happens in Aldershot, and we know that is everybody in Burlington, have probably heard by now that a group of us out in our city’s wild west are organizing twice weekly food drives to help keep Burlington Foodbank supplied and helping those who need help amid the Covid 19 crisis.

In such times the need for food is greater and in a medical pandemic not only does the need increase but the logistics of supplying foodbanks get more complex and run the risk of food donations drying up completely.

People who might normally donate food are socially and physically distancing themselves, staying home hesitant to venture out of doors. Volunteers who help with collection and distribution of food are less readily available, afraid to expose themselves and families or may even be sick themselves

People are hoarding food and reluctant to share. Hoarding produces a double hit on foodbanks. Fewer personal donations are available and empty store shelves leave grocery chains unable to make the donations of surpluses they regularly provide.

As a result many organizations that provide food for the needy and the hungry, have closed their doors. The lack of donations and the fear of physical contact involved in normal foodbank operations, have forced Halton Compassion Society, like many charitable and church food supply organizations to close down indefinitely.

Faced with a reduction in food donations at a time when the need is greatest, the Outreach Committee at St Matthew Anglican Church, on Plains Rd. are doing something to help. In conjunction with Partnering Aldershot Seniors Committee and Engaged Citizens Ward 1 Group they are collecting non-perishable food donations on behalf of Burlington Foodbank two days per week.

St Matthews Aldershot

Food donations get dropped off at the front door – out of the weather – they are taken inside moments after they are dropped off.

In an inventive way of collecting donations safely, while limiting personal physical contact, these good folks have established a drive through donation drop off at St. Matthew Anglican Church. This allows donors to continue supporting Burlington’s only operating foodbank safely in this time of crisis and caution.

Supervised from behind the church’s glass frontage, donors drive around the circular driveway, stop by the wooden skids on the sidewalk, get out, safely deposit their donation in bags or boxes and drive off with thanks from the volunteer on duty inside. Donations are accepted Monday and Wednesday from 12.00 noon to 3.00pm.

As 3.00 approaches volunteer drivers arrive one at a time on a pre-arranged schedule to load the donations into their cars. Again “No Contact” is the watchword. Bagged and boxed donations are delivered to Burlington Foodbank on Old Plains Road. At the foodbank wheeled polyethylene laundry hampers await. Drivers transfer the bags from their cars to the carts again with no physical person to person contact involved. Drivers practice safe hygiene protocols for themselves and their vehicles.

Burlington Foodbank has its own quarantine and sanitation protocols in place to ensure that cross contamination of containers and packaging is minimised. Distribution of food hampers will be continued by Burlington Foodbank but will be modified to a delivery model rather than traditional individual pick-ups. Those in need should contact (905 637 CARE (2237).

Our hope is that this process will allow food donations to the foodbank to continue and, as word gets out, to increase from the current extremely reduced levels.

As the only currently safe method of making food donations, Burlington Foodbank is recommending that the Drive-Thru Donations at St Matthew be utilized rather than risky, individual donations at its Old Plains Rd. outlet.

At a time like this, monetary and grocery gift card donations are the most hygienic, non-contact way to donate and we urge people of Burlington to give generously in this way.

For those without the means to donate financially or who may be suffering buyer’s remorse at overstocking during the first days of panic buying, we hope to provide a way to continue giving safely in compliance with physical distancing protocols.

St Matthew’s Outreach Committee, Partnering Aldershot Seniors and Engaged Citizens Ward 1 Group exemplify all that is good about Aldershot, and Burlington. Help us continue to help those in need when the need is greatest.

Connie Price, Grace Anne Wilbur, Jim Young.
Connie is a member of St Matthews Anglican Church and Partnering Aldershot Seniors Committee. She is also a biggie on United Empire Loyalist matters.
Grace Anne is the Chair of St Matthews Anglican Outreach.
Jim is a member of ECoB Ward 1, Partnering Aldershot Seniors, Burlington Seniors and Inclusivity Advisory Committees.

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All recreation facilities, parks, playgrounds, sports fields and City administration facilities to the end of June.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 30th, 2020



Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the City of Burlington has decided to suspend all City-run spring programs and extend the closure of all recreation facilities, parks, playgrounds, sports fields and City administration facilities to the end of June.

During this time, all bookings will be cancelled, and refunds will be given. Organizations and residents are asked to please be patient as refunds may take up to two weeks to process. Questions related to rentals can be sent to For registrations, email

This decision, made by the City’s Emergency Control Group, follows the guidance of the Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health to prepare and plan for the months ahead.

The City of Burlington regularly plans in quarters, including Council’s 4-year strategic workplan, Vision to Focus. We need to make decisions now that affect programming weeks and months out, to provide some certainty to our community and to our many community partners.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward explains that: “This decision is absolutely necessary to protect the health and well-being of our employees and our community, as we plan for the best but prepare for the worst.

“COVID-19 numbers are still rising in our City through community spread. So we must continue to work towards flattening the curve through social and physical distancing and staying home. That means we can’t gather together at recreation facilities, community centres, sports fields and parks.

“We don’t know exactly how long this situation is going to last. By planning ahead, we can redirect resources where most needed, put non-essential projects on hold, and remain agile enough to open things up earlier if the situation changes. And once this is over, we will come together again as a community to celebrate. Let’s each do our part to get through this, healthy and whole.”

We are asking everyone to remember they have a role to play in slowing the spread of COVID-19:

Please continue to keep out of park facilities including

o playgrounds,
o sports fields,
o skate parks,
o dog off-leash areas and
o community gardens.
o If you need some fresh air and activity, it’s okay to walk, cycle or jog through our parks, but please do not linger.
o Stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from everyone else in the park or on a trail.
o Please take your waste home with you to dispose of it.

During this extended closure we will continue to maintain our essential services and those services that provide direct support to keep our residents and staff safe. These include areas such as Burlington Fire, Burlington Transit including Handi-Van, Traffic Services, ByLaw Enforcement, Roads, Parks and Forestry Operations, Building Inspections and Service Burlington.

With this announcement the administration wants to assure residents that the business of the City will continue during this critical time.

“Our staff that are able, are continuing to work from home to maintain City services such as Community Planning, City Capital Works and various Corporate Services. During this unprecedented time, we are continually looking at ways for us to work more efficiently and to use taxpayer dollars wisely. We have already put in place spending restraints on all non-essential purchases during this time and will look to utilize our staff where we can instead of outsourcing.

“The majority of the City’s expenditures is paying our hard-working employees and we must continue to ensure we have the staff needed to get us through these challenging times. This means we will maintain our full-time staff workforce. They will continue to work remotely during this period or be redeployed where possible into essential service areas. We are also aware of other organizations that may need assistance, like the Region of Halton, where we may be able to redeploy staff.

“For our part-time staff, we will look at various options including evaluating government assistance programs being offered by the provincial and federal governments.

“Once we have looked at options for our staff, as a last resort we will also consider layoffs as required.

“We also know we’re not going to be back to 100 per cent on Day 1 after this pandemic has ended. We have to set the expectations for ourselves as a City and the public that it won’t be business as usual the first day we’re back from this. However, having plans in place for the next three months means we’ll be able to get back on our feet, operating at 100 per cent again that much sooner.

“This situation is evolving every hour and we are continually monitoring. The City of Burlington will continue to keep you informed.

Commisso stare

Tim Commisso, City Manager

Tim Commisso, City Manager adds that “Over the last few weeks our focus and priority has been on dealing with the immediate impacts of COVID-19 which has included meeting daily and taking specific actions based on analysis of virus spread and in partnership with public health.

“Clearly, we now need to look ahead and make decisions that are in best interests of our community and staff. We still need to do all we can to prevent the spread of the virus and continue to deliver our essential services in addition to providing certainty and stability for the next several months. We remain committed to strong financial management and ensuing we have adequate resources to meet this challenge.”

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Mayor is preparing for the next three months to provide stability and certainty to the public.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 30th, 2020


Mayor Meed Ward explains how council will continue to guide and direct the administration as the city settles in for what is going to be a long haul.

Mayor Meed Ward

Burlington Mayor, Marianne Meed Ward

We continue to find ourselves in unprecedented times with our lives changing daily, and at times hourly. We now know that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be over as soon as we expected.

We’ve heard from the Province, guided by the Medical Officer of Health, that gathering together in schools and other places will not be possible by April 6 as we had hoped, with no definitive timeline following that. We are also expecting another announcement from the Province related to schools in the coming days.

We have also heard from Canada’s deputy chief public health officer that this situation will last “many

The City of Burlington and your Mayor and Council are committed to seeing us all through this health crisis. To do that successfully, we must turn our mind to being prepared beyond hour-to-hour and day-to-day to a longer time horizon.

The City of Burlington regularly plans in quarters — that’s our rhythm, that’s what we do, including
Council’s four-year strategic work-plan, Vision to Focus (V2F).

It is prudent then for us to prepare for the next three months and continue our planning in three-month cycles, and important for us to provide stability and certainty to the public.

In practical terms, there are decisions that must be made now for activities months ahead, including activities that affect many of our community partners and city operations. We need a plan for what the next three months will look like in our community, and we are going to do that.

We will plan for the best, and prepare for the worst, and be ready to respond no matter what may come.

We also know we’re not going to be back to full operations the day our State of Emergency is lifted. It won’t be business as usual the first day we’re back, so part of our three-month plan will include ramping back up to full operations.

Our plan will also be agile and include flexibility to return to full operations sooner, should the situation warrant.

Stand By says the city motto - for how long one might ask?

Stand By says the city motto – for how long one might ask?

The duration of the crisis depends on all of us. Everyone in our community has a role to play in this. The more of us that stay home (except for essential trips or outdoor walks/jogs/cycling); keep a 2-metre (6- foot) distance from anyone not in our immediate household when we are out; stop congregating in groups in public places; and follow all the advice of our expert medical professionals, the sooner we will see this situation resolved.

When it’s done, we will mark the occasion with a community celebration that brings us all back together!

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Close to unbelievable - but sadly true. Do help those who have not helped themselves.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2020



virus imageA Gazette reader made a comment on a piece we published about the Mayor’s efforts to impress upon people the need to stay at home.

The message isn’t getting through the way it has to or we will, as our reader said, all be “in lock-down”.

Here is what we received:

I live on a court and have observed a home with a single resident welcome a) a girlfriend (not living at said residence), b) an adult son (not living at said residence) and c) a cleaning lady (also, not living at said residence).

Likewise, I have noted a young couple with an 18 month old welcome one set of grandparents for playtime and a meal, and the next day another set of grandparents for playtime and a visit.

People are only willing to self-isolate and socially distance themselves if it is of no inconvenience to them.

This will inevitably force us into lock-down.

We asked for the specific address and were quite prepared to advise the Public Health Department who would send someone out with the police to “educate” the individual.

Our reader advised us that she had a talk with them.

This virus is spread from person to person. Stay at Home – please.

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COVID-19: Some simple tips from the perspective of a motorcyclist.

opinionred 100x100By Pepper Parr

March 29th, 2020



This came to us from a Gazette reader:  Carol Gottlob has been with us from the very beginning.

I’ve never taken advantage of any opportunity to be a passenger on that bike; today she can put on her helmet and the rest of her safety gear and enjoy the freedom the road offers – and those roads will be close to empty today. Ride with the wind my friend!

Tips from a Road Warrior by Carol Gottlob:

Carol Gottlob March 29-20

Carol Gottlob with her 750 Honda Shadow.

In these times of new rules governing our lives to keep us safe in the time of CoVid, I would like to provide some simple tips from the perspective of a motorcyclist.

As a motorcyclist, I AM A RISK TAKER. This is pointed out to me at every opportunity when I tell people I ride a 750 Honda Shadow. I am well aware of the risks. They are calculated risks, and along with them, are some useful protocols to reduce those risks and improve my safety and the safety of those I share the road with. Here they are, and here is how you can apply them to your current self protection plan:

1. Keep your engine and brakes in good working condition. This equates to keeping yourself healthy by eating well, exercising and getting rest.

2. Wear protective gear. I don’t go on my bike without a helmet, gloves, and a safety jacket at the very least. You should not go out of the house without a mask, gloves or sanitizer if you are going to be in a grocery store, liquor store or gas station.

3. Ride at a safe distance. When we ride in formation, we are staggered, and the higher the speed, the further apart we are distanced to allow time for emergency braking. Remember to keep at least 6 feet apart when walking outdoors, shopping or talking to your neighbour on the front porch.

4. Ride defensively. Don’t assume everyone is going to follow the rules. Be watchful, especially at the intersections! But also remember to be polite if someone makes a mistake.

5. Know where you are going. Plan your route so there are no surprises, such as construction or a road closure. Likewise, plan your shopping trips efficiently so that you know which stores are open, get what you need and leave the stores quickly so others may enter.

6. Obey the traffic laws. Pull over and stop your engine when the cops pull you over. There’s a reason they’re pulling you over. It’s usually because you have been doing something unsafe, such as speeding. Listen to the authorities, for the same reasons.

7. Help others in distress. If you see a fellow rider by the side of the road, stop and ask if they need help. If you see a friend or a neighbour having trouble in these times, ask how you can help.

8. Enjoy the freedom and the journey. When you’re riding a motorcycle, it’s not because you want to or have to get somewhere, it’s because you enjoy the open road, the adventure and the friendly waves from other riders. In other words, make the best of this journey we are all on together. There will be lots of stories to swap when we stop our engines, take off our helmets, settle down with a beer and appreciate sharing the experience with other like-minded folk.

We are all risk takers on this blue green planet hurtling through space.

Ride safe, my friends.

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COVID-19 deaths world wide to date: 31,940

News 100 redBy Staff

March 29th, 2020



The numbers continue to rise.

And yet there are those who still will not heed the Stay at Home rule.

They put the rest of us in personal danger.

The numbers world-wide are beyond staggering – and they are still, for the most part, climbing. China seems to have gotten a grip on the growth of the disease. Problem with data from China is that many people just don’t trust their numbers.

The site with all the data is HERE

March 27

March 27th, 2020

Livde screen Mar 23

March 23rd, 2020

March 29th 2020

March 29th, 2020

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COVID-19 test results not available one week later

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

March 28th, 2020



Brian Rose, the Burlington resident who felt he should be tested for COVID-19 after returning from Spain where he had taken part in an event that included a person who later tested positive, had to get noisy before he was tested.

That took place more than a week ago

Rose parking spot

The parking spot Brian Rose was directed t at Joseph Brant Hospital.

“We were tested last Saturday at Jo Brant – 1 week and still no results. In an Open Comment to Regional Chair Gary Carr, Rose said: “I trust you and our other leaders know you are making decisions with data that is:

– Over a week old and derived from a very very small fraction of symptomatic Halton residents lucky enough to be tested.

That means the only number you can really trust is Severe Cases, Severe Cases Recovered and Deaths.

Rose referred to “an article in the Globe and Mail this morning. The University of Toronto Vector institute has launched a site to gather data online from symptomatic and asymptomatic residents. The site is up and running.

“If you are interested in adding another meaningful source of data to your decision making toolbox I would suggest looking into it.

“Perhaps you and the other local leaders copied could play a role in encouraging residents to provide data. I think this could really make a difference in tracking COVID-19 in Halton.

The Globe and Mail article Rose refers to can be found at:

Related new story

Burlington resident explains what getting tested for COVID19 amounts to.

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Individual responsibility and social responsibility as well pleases

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 28th, 2020



A regular Gazette reader, who frequently notes some of our spelling and grammar errors, brought to our attention what she thought were two frightening stories in as many days about people in Toronto driving to nearby communities away from the city to shop for food because of the shopping conditions in Toronto grocery stores.

“They claim” she said that “ it’s faster and easier to go out of town than trying to negotiate shops at home; they don’t realize they are potential carriers of this disease to another community.”

“Then a neighbor, who has a cottage in cottage country, thought about going there for isolation and to get away from restrictions and other people here in Burlington. Many of her cottage “neighbours” are full-time inhabitants of that area, and have made it very clear that they don’t want their city neighbours to come around and infect them.

Ford - dumb thoughtful

Premier Ford discourages people from heading for their rural cottages

“In fact, some of the mayors and reeves of these municipalities have contacted Doug Ford and asked him to talk about this on TV- and he did. He explained that those mayors and reeves had communities with limited facilities that were set up to accommodate their own citizens, and could not also accommodate an influx of others as well.”

The leadership in the community is asking that we be responsible for our welfare: follow the rules and maintain safe distances between the people we meet. That is being individually responsible.

There is also social responsibility – our reader is suggesting we pay heed to that responsibility as well.

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City announces new time lines on Planning and LPAT matters: public gets some breathing room.

News 100 redBy Staff

March 27th, 2020



The City has had to make changes to various timelines and processes related to Planning and Building and By-law matters.

“To that end, the Statutory public meeting scheduled for April 6 on the official downtown policies has been pushed to fall to better enable the public and all stakeholders an opportunity to provide full feedback to staff and Council as decision makers, in a public and accountable forum.

“The City is currently processing development applications and building permit applications received by March 13.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has suspended all LPAT hearings until the end of June. As a result of COVID-19, processes for building inspections have been modified accordingly to keep both staff and the public safe.

Staff and consultants Rosa +

Detailed policies on the Downtown are being developed by the consultants and staff – preparing them for public review

Official Plan Update
Over the past few months, the Official Plan project team with help from planning firm, SGL Planning and Design, have been working on developing detailed policies.

“The endorsed land use vision and built form concept for the Downtown was largely endorsed by Council this past January. The detailed policies were going to be available for public review during the week of March 23 and presented to Council in April 2020 as recommended modifications to the policies of the Adopted Official Plan.

“However, these timelines have been delayed to protect the public and City staff and to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 virus, the City has closed facilities, including City Hall. These closures and workplace changes have had an impact on the project timeline. As a result, the public release of the detailed policies and associated reports will be delayed.

“The detailed policies will now be released at the end of April and the Statutory Public Meeting will be scheduled for the fall.

The City recognizes the work of the Scoped Re-examination of the Adopted Official Plan is vitally important to continue to move forward.

The City remains committed to ensuring the public has the full ability to comment on the detailed policies and for this reason, the associated timelines have been changed.

Planning Applications

Millcroft logo• Development applications received by March 13, 2020 are currently being processed.
• Inquires continue to be handled by Planning staff via phone and email.
• Staff are exploring how new applications might be accepted and processed.
• No Pre-application public meetings will be held at this time, including Millcroft Green, and will be re-scheduled at a later date.

The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) has suspended all LPAT hearings scheduled to take place between March 16 until the end of June.

The cancelled hearings will be rescheduled at a later date. Currently, hearings July onward will proceed on their scheduled date. Burlington applications affected include:

Amica development rendering

Amica – proposed development

• March 20 – HHHBA Appeal of Parking rates- first Case Management Conference
• March 20 – 1085 Clearview/St. Matthews- a telephone CMC
• April 17 – 1157 Northshore Blvd (Amica)- a telephone CMC
• April 30 – 2069 Lakeshore /Pearl Street (Carriage Gate)- first Case Management Conference
• May 11 – OPA 107 (Evergreen)- a Case Management Conference
• May 19 – 1085 Clearview/St. Matthews- Hearing

There were no Burlington hearings scheduled for June.

Building Permits and Inspections

• Building permit applications received by March 13, 2020 are currently being processed.
• Staff have implemented a modified level of building inspections. Exterior building inspections continue and a modified process for interior inspections is in place that does not involve staff going into buildings and protects staff from physical contact in line with COVID-19 safety precautions.
• Staff are exploring how new applications might be accepted and processed.

Signage in Commercial Districts

City hall told the merchant signs like this were a no, no. Why then would a merchant break the rules? what else would this merchant do?

City hall told the merchant signs like this were a no, no.

• A-frame signage on private property is still permitted in front of any business during regular business hours and no permits are required.
• Portable sign permits and renewals are still being processed by sending necessary information to

Business License Renewal
• Existing business licenses that require renewal will be extended during the COVID-19 crisis.

Meed Ward - tight head shot

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward had this to say: “This is an extraordinary and unprecedented situation we’re facing, and we know it won’t be business as usual for some time. As a City, we’ll continue the operations we can, while putting the health and safety of our community and employees first.

“Our downtown policies and Official Plan are vitally important to our entire community. We want to ensure the public and all stakeholders have the opportunity to provide full feedback to staff and council as decision makers, in a public and accountable forum. This work is appropriately put on hold till we can provide that opportunity. Releasing the policies early affords everyone significant time for review and comment, before decisions are made. This is perhaps the silver lining in this situation. ”

Heather MacDonald, Executive Director of Community Planning, Regulation and Mobility Community Planning added: “The City continues to process applications received prior to March 13th and City staff remain available by email and phone to connect and answer questions. In light of the situation with COVID-19 and the rapidly changing updates from healthcare professionals and our partners across all levels of government, our priority remains on keeping staff and the public safe. Since March 16th, City Hall remains closed to the public and we will continue to do our best to ensure transparency and accountability to the public while protecting our staff and the public.”

Dev fee guy STAFF

Nick Anastasopoulos, Chief Building Official / Director of Building & By-law

Nick Anastasopoulos, Chief Building Official / Director of Building & By-law explained that: “Our primary focus is on the safety of the public, our staff and buildings in our city when we do our building inspections. Exterior building inspections are continuing with our normal process and the reality of COVID-19 has made us look at creative ways to deliver on interior inspections. We have created a modified process for interior inspections to respect physical distancing and avoid the need for staff to go into buildings. We appreciate the continued understanding of our community as we continue to address this challenge together.”

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