City staff at Seniors' Centre continue to make life difficult for the membership.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

February 22nd, 2019



The Gazette keeps hearing about problems at the Seniors’ Centre on New Street. For the most part they are small niggling little issues but when collected together they suggest there is a deeper issue.

Seniors sign

Seniors’ Centre staff showing their concern for the comfort and safety of people who use the facility.

Do the staff really care about the people they are supposed to be serving?

These are seniors; the people who have paid their dues and have the right to quality time and more than just a measure of dignity.

The week was registration week – the Gazette published a news report on some of the problems that were being experienced with the registration process and the impact a change in the way programs are paid for was having on some people.

Earlier today we were sent a photograph of a sign that had been set up outside the entrance door advising: For your comfort and safety please do not line up outdoors.

The doors should be opened as early as possible so that the seniors can be both safe and comfortable.

There is a care taker in the building – he could unlock the doors and people could wait in the auditorium.

People get to the Centre as early as possible so they can obtain a number and be in the registration line based on the number they hold.  These people want to take courses – many of them that are exercise classes.  They want to remain healthy and active – but the staff seem to want them to stand out in the cold.

Burlington is a city that talks about the way it cares for its citizens but refuses to open the doors to a public building so that older people can get inside and stay out of the chilly if not downright cold weather.

What is wrong with these people?

Related news story:

Empathy appears to be in short supply as Seniors’ Centre

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Confusion on registering for program at Parks and Recreation; empathy appears to be in short supply.

News 100 redBy Staff

February 21st, 2019



Registration for both 2019 Spring and Summer recreation programs opens February 23, 2019 for Adults 19+ and 55+. People can register for both programs at 9 a.m., doors will open at 7:30 a.m. for early arrivals.

Registration is available online at, in-person at Burlington Seniors Centre, Tansley Woods and Brant Hills Community Centres, or City Hall. Non-residents will be able to register on March 1, 2019.

Live and play spring 2016The Spring/Summer Live and Play guide, featuring listings for city recreation, sport and culture programs is available online on the City of Burlington website. Printed copies of the guide are available at City Recreation Facilities, City Hall and the Burlington Public Libraries.

The spring session programs begin April 1 and the summer programs will begin on July 8.

Following registration day, in-person registration is available at any customer service location. A listing of locations and hours is available at

For those choosing to register for both spring and summer programs, the option for a deferred payment for summer registration is available. Customers can access this payment option by registering in-person.

Mayor Rick Goldring has his membership application processed at the Seniors' Centre - filling another of his campaign promises.

Senior citizen former Mayor Rick Goldring signs up as a member at the Senior’s Centre. Today was program registration day.

The City of Burlington would also like to remind residents financial help is available through the Recreational Fee Assistance program for those that qualify.

Recreation Fee Assistance
Recreation Fee Assistance is funding made available to individuals or families who need help to pay for City of Burlington recreational programs.

Fee Assistance can be used for:
• Registered Programs
• Drop-In Programs
• Passes and Memberships

One Gazette reader explained that at a class at the Seniors’ Centre “we were told that the City had decided that moving forward there will be only 2 registration periods. This will start with the February 23rd Registration.

How this will work is as follows: On February 23rd seniors will be registering for programs. Seniors will be able to register for the spring session and/ or the summer session. Some of the classes have very limited space availability and if they don’t register for both in February chances are they won’t get into the class in the summer.

For some residents having to pay for both the spring and summer session could be problematic. We were also told that if the Senior’s membership to the Centre expired before the end of the last class the computer would basically kick them out and they will not be registered in the course. So it would mean that the senior has to pay for both sets of sessions plus the membership fee. Also the City is holding their money for months before completing the session.

We were also told that for those seniors who come into the centre to register, if they could not pay for everything at once arrangements could be made.

What about those seniors that register at home online – they do not have this option of spacing out their payment? More seniors register online, why should this option not be made available to them?

For those seniors who are away ( snowbirds) how will they know that the summer registration starts on February 23rd.

The reader made the point that “once again decisions seem to be made that are not discussed in advance with those who are most affected by these changes.”

Burlington Seniors Centre“Parks and Rec tried to make seniors bring their own equipment for Pilates (like large Pilate balls and bands) starting in the Spring and only when this came to light and reported on did Parks & Rec back down.

There appear to be a number of administrative level issues within Parks and Recreation when it comes to how the Seniors’ programs are managed.  The issue seems to be at the leadership level – staff do not appear to be very empathetic to the issues seniors face.


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Second information session on private tree bylaw to take place February 26 - bylaw becomes effective March 1st in Roseland community.

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 11th, 2019


Second information session on private tree bylaw to take place February 26 – bylaw becomes effective March 1st in Roseland community.

The City of Burlington’s second public drop-in information session on the Roseland Private Tree Bylaw pilot is set for Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 from 7 to 9 p.m. in Central Arena’s auditorium.

The first drop in session took place at LaSalle Park, about as far away as one could get from where the impact of the bylaw is going to be felt.

The Private Tree Bylaw will come into effect on March 1, 2019, only within the Roseland community area, for two years. Later this year the city will begin the process of public engagement on the possibility of implementing a citywide private tree bylaw.

Appleby Village - trees on Pineland

These trees in the east end of the city are at the edge of land that a developer wants to put two apartment towers on – the trees would be cut down and replaced.

The pilot project aims to protect private trees with diameters larger than 30 cm, historic and rare tree species from damage or destruction.

Residents and businesses are encouraged to attend to learn more about how the bylaw will protect Burlington’s tree canopy and how it will impact their homes and businesses.

Businesses such as landscapers, pool companies, homebuilders, general contractors and tree companies are also encouraged to come and learn about the bylaw.

The first information session was held earlier in the month specifically for Roseland residents. Approximately 25 people attended the session.

Tree Guelph line close up -no name

Private property – private tree. This type of thing would not be possible under a private tree bylaw – without something in the way of consequences.

About the Private Tree Bylaw
No person can injure, destroy, cause or permit the injury or destruction of a tree with a diameter of 30cm or greater or of a tree of significance (historic or rare).

To read the full bylaw, including information on permits, exemptions and fines, visit

Examples of exemptions include:

• Trees with a diameter of less than 30cm
• For the purpose of pruning in accordance with Good Arboricultural Practices
• For emergency work
• If the tree has a high or extreme likelihood of failure and impact as verified or confirmed by an Arborist or the Manager
• If the tree is dead, as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate
• If the tree is an ash tree (due to the Emerald Ash Borer), as confirmed by the Manager of Urban Forestry, or designate
• If a tree is within two metres of an occupied building
• For more exemptions, visit

Willow tree wood

This will tree was taken down in |Spencer Smith Park because it was thought to be diseased and in danger of falling down. No permit was needed.

A person wanting to remove a tree with a diameter larger than 30 cm or of significance can apply for a permit online by visiting

Minimum fine is $500. Maximum fine is $100,000.

Public Information Session
Residents and businesses are invited to attend an information session on the Private Tree Bylaw pilot on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Central Arena (auditorium), 519 Drury Lane, Burlington.
The session will allow residents and businesses to learn about the Private Tree Bylaw and how it will impact their homes, business and neighbourhood by speaking with city staff including members of the Forestry Department.

For those who are unable to attend, more information can be found at

In comments from the Office of the Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said: “I know from talking to residents that there are many people in our city who are passionate about our trees. Their benefit extends far beyond the beauty they provide. Their ability to mitigate flooding and absorb pollution is tremendous. They are a critical part of Burlington’s green infrastructure; we need to protect them and that’s what we believe this Private Tree Bylaw will accomplish.”

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry explains that: “Every tree matters. Our trees are under constant threat from climate change, weather-related storm events, invasive insects and diseases, as well as people. The benefits trees provide to all of us are critical such as air quality, shade, and carbon sequestration. We are working hard to protect trees, including encouraging preservation and replanting to restore lost canopy. It takes decades for the lost benefits of one mature tree to be replaced. Together, we can keep Burlington green and healthy which benefits us all.”

GreenUp 2017 tree plant

When large numbers of new trees have to be planted scores of volunteers show up.

There are those that are having problems accepting that the city can tell them what they can do with trees on their property. Understanding that a tree is not a person’s property but a piece of nature that they have become stewards of while they are owners of the property. As a steward their role is to do everything they can to ensure the tree is cared for and allowed to grow to its full maturity and serve the environmental needs of the wider community.

One can no longer cut down a tree just because one no longer wants to rake the leaves up in the fall.

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Rivers: Universal pharma-care a no brainer - will save the country $8 billion as well.


Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

February 11th, 2019



We’ve seen the numbers. Canadians spend almost $30 billion a year on some 600 million prescriptions. And we know we could save as much as $8 billion by transitioning to a universal nation-wide single-payer system. It’s a no-brainer, right?

Tommy Douglas

Tommy Douglas – advocating for universal health care.

What would a universal program look like? It could be modeled on Canada’s universal health care system. In fact that would make it the perfect complement – administered by the provinces and funded jointly by both levels of government. The provinces already have a seniors’ drug program in place, and Ontario even had an OHIP+, covering those youth without a private health plan.

But to go that route, the provinces would have to agree among themselves on the universality and portability aspects. And they’d have to agree with the federal government on their joint responsibilities and cost sharing. That kind of deal might have been do-able back when the feds and most of the provinces shared a common political stripe, but with national partisan bickering increasing in the lead-up to the 2019 federal election, it won’t likely happen this year.

Ford at joseph-brant-hospital-doug-ford

Doug Ford at the Joseph Brant Hospital

For starters, Ontario, which is preoccupied with cutting or ending former Liberal programs has little interest in adding anything resembling a new or expanded social program, especially one which might lead to increased taxes. And cost-sharing discussions with a federal government currently being sued over carbon taxes is definitely a non-starter.

On the other hand there are good reasons for the federal government to implement a cross Canada program all on its own, given federal jurisdiction in the management of pharmaceuticals in this country.

One might expect the provinces to welcome a comprehensive program, funded at the federal level, saving them the costs of current provincial drug programs. But provinces are always wary about federal intrusion in what they see as their areas of responsibility, particularly in Quebec, so it’s not that easy.

How can we afford it? Well folks we are already paying the costs…and more. The existing patchwork of federal and provincial government subsidized programs is being funded through your tax dollars. On top of that, there is the cash we dole out at the pharmacy, the subscriptions to private drug plans, and the lower earnings accompanying a work place drug benefit. And that doesn’t count the costs to both the health system and work places for people who can’t afford to fill their prescriptions and end up just getting sicker.

It’s what we learned after moving to single-payer universal health care. We can’t afford not to have Pharma care. The four to eight billion dollar savings estimates may be speculative but it’s clear the savings won’t be zero. Efficiencies will be gained as competing pharmaceutical programs are reduced. Lower prices should be expected by negotiating for larger orders and buying in bulk. And then, of course, there is all that drug and drug insurance company profit.

Big pharma

Profits for the pharmaceutical industry are among the highest in the world.

Besides partisan politics at the provincial level, the other obstacle to implementation comes from lobbying by the Canadian patent drug industry and its international parents. They have become wary of efforts like Pharma care to compromise their profits in the nation with the highest drug prices on earth, after the USA. So they have offered to voluntarily hold the line on drug price increases over the next decade.

Their offer, which they estimate at $26 billion has been spurned by the federal government and for good reason. One has only to look at countries like New Zealand for inspiration. They manage to keep drug prices as low as one tenth of those here.

Pharma care was an integral part of Tommy Douglas’ vision for the nation’s first medicare program which he enacted In Saskatchewan. It was also a component of the original plan for universal national health coverage which the Pearson government introduced in 1964. The federal Liberals, in 1997, campaigned on a pledge to develop a plan for the implementation of universal Pharma care but failed to deliver.


Jack Layton won almost everything in Quebec in the 2011 election. That let Stephen Harper form a government with the NDP serving at the Opposition.

Only in 2004 had Paul Martin finally secured landmark inter-jurisdictional agreements for a number of social programs, including universal Pharma care. But dithering and being caught up managing fallout from the Liberal Sponsorship scandal took its toll. In 2006 Martin’s minority government fell thanks to Jack Layton’s NDP, and with it so did our hopes for universal Pharma care.

Stephen Harper wasted no time giving any more time to universal Pharma care. Tommy Douglas must have shuddered in his grave knowing that his own party had helped deprive Canadians of Pharma care for the next decade and a half. It was only last year that the Liberals announced setting up an advisory committee to plan for a national drug plan.

scheer mute

Scheer hasn’t had much to say on a universal health care plan.

And Trudeau’s own finance minister mused that it might require means testing for income, thus ending dreams of universality. He clearly needs a primer on what the term Pharma care really means. And so does opposition leader Scheer, who, like Harper before him, has been mute on the idea, except for partisan attacks on the person leading the advisory committee.

And if Scheer wins the next election… there may well be somebody else writing this column in fifteen years and she’ll be asking … It’s a no-brainer, right?

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province. He developed the current policy process for the Ontario Liberal Party.


Background links:
Global Pharmacare –     Pharmacare –    National Program

Drug Prices Deal –     Advisory Committee –     Scheer

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Mayor speaks for her council on the issue of desperately poor homeless people begging on the streets of the city.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

February 1st, 20129



The Gazette published a short piece on the problems homeless people in Burlington have coping with the bitterly cold weather.

We asked each member of Council and the Mayor for their thoughts on what could be done to help these people.

The Mayor and her team “consulted and, in addition to her own thoughts, many Councillors were also eager to jump in and speak about the ways our community comes together to support homeless individuals” said the Chief of Communications & Strategic Advisor.

She sent us the following:

“As you know, Burlington is part of Halton Region, which has several resources and processes for supporting the homeless during extreme cold weather and all year long.

“As you referenced in your earlier article, Halton Region funds the Salvation Army’s Lighthouse Shelter in Oakville. Outreach staff provide counselling and connect individuals in the shelter to community resources that can help them regain stable and affordable housing.

“Single individuals with no children can dial 311 and be connected with staff who will assess their situation and help them find the best available temporary option which may include staying at the Lighthouse Emergency Shelter, with family, friends or other options. Even though the shelter is not in Burlington, staff there can work with individuals to try and arrange transportation assistance to the shelter itself. In a cold alert, additional beds are made available at the Lighthouse to ensure those most at-risk are provided an emergency option.

Fire damage to the top floor of the Riviera Motel was extensive and arson was thought to perhaps be the cause of the blaze to the abandoned motel. No report yet from the Office of the Fire Marshall.

The Riviera Motel was once rented by the Region as a stop gap location for people who needed housing. It was torn down to make way for the Bridgewater condo and a Marriott Hotel.

“Families with children are immediately triaged into 1 of 8 emergency apartments located throughout the Region. Hotels are used as surge capacity, including in the City of Burlington.

“The Region is aware of individuals from time to time who do not wish to access emergency shelter services, and seeks to provide them with local supports around mental health outreach, housing related case management services, as well as emergency food. Any community group concerned about a particular individual in their community is encouraged to call the Region to access supports and services.

“Halton region also works with police and the COAST (Crisis Outreach and Support Team) to reach out to people who may be on the streets and get them help. In speaking today with Alex Sarchuk, Commissioner of Social and Community Services for Halton, we confirmed that when the Halton Regional Police see homeless individuals they refer them to the Region as well as the Canadian Mental Health Association who provide rapid response teams who work to respond quickly to instances of elevated risk. Through the Halton Housing First program, we also have the ability to provide permanent housing with wrap-around support services for high needs homeless individuals and families – these are located throughout Halton Region, including in the City of Burlington.


Seen as a front line responder the Salvation Army doesn’t have any space for the homeless in Burlington.

“We further want to mention the many other valuable service groups in our City that help the homeless with providing needed food and warm clothing. They are spread out through the city and include the Burlington Food Bank, Compassion Society, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Food for Life, and Halton Women’s Place.

“Resources are available so that there is no reason for anyone to spend a night on Burlington’s streets. The City of Burlington staff and leadership are always open to feedback from the community and continued evaluation of the programs that exist along with their use and effectiveness.

More information can be found on the website:

We had hoped we would get some individual comment from the members – what we got was a group think out of the Mayor’s office.  We wonder what Shawna Stolte of ward 4 would have to say and measure that against what ward 5 Councillor Paul Sharman would add to our understanding of these people.

Marianne Meed Ward was just a citizen when this picture was taken - now she is on the other side of the podium, sitting as a Council member. Should make for greay political theatre when the Medicca One zoning matter comes before committee.

Marianne Meed Ward was just a citizen when this picture was taken – now she is on the other side of the podium, sitting as the Mayor.

The Gazette has watched Marianne Meed Ward grow from a consistent and persistent city hall delegation into a candidate for office in a ward she could win in. In her first Burlington election she ran in ward 1 against Rick Craven – something he never forgave her for and got creamed.

Several days after her first win as the Councillor for Ward 2 she got a call from a resident complaining that there was a bag of garbage being blown down the street. Meed Ward did something that few politicians wouldn’t even think of doing. She got into the family van and picked up the garbage herself.

Her first few months in office were difficult – for city hall staff. Meed Ward blew through her postage budget in short order and ran out of money used to pay for the coffee and donuts she provided at her community meetings.

At one of those meetings, which were more like homework classes for the residents who just loved the time and attention they were getting, Meed Ward blurted out “I just love this job” –and indeed she did.

One would hope that in her own way Meed Ward will make phone calls asking around about how many people the police had to help out. Burlington can be surprisingly negligent when it comes to understanding and doing something about the really really poor people.

Marilyn Ansley got back to us after we published the first article saying she too was in touch with the Region – the most she was able to get was ‘they should call 311’.

Related news story:

No begging on the streets of Burlington.


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An illegal massage parlour in Aldershot shut down by developer

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 22nd, 2019



When it comes to matters of property – anything is possible and almost everything happens.

National Homes has a number of development applications on the go. The large development they want to build on Brant Street is working its way through the appeal process. The city didn’t process that application within the time frame required so National Homes appealed to the OMB.

There is another application – this one on Plains Road, referred to by the locals as the “bingo hall” development because the property National Homes bought includes a bingo hall.
It also includes the Good Fortune Chinese Restaurant

NH site on Plains Road

Plaza that National Homes wants to develop is the location of both a Chinese Restaurant and an illegal massage parlor. Who Knew?

At a Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) a Mr. Zan Wang applied for status as a xxx. That request was denied because the matter Mr. Wang wanted to discuss didn’t have anything to do with the development of the property. It had to do with a lease Mr. Wang had on a property on the site National Homes site.

Mr. Wang wanted to participate in the appeal but was turned down by the Chair on the grounds that Wang’s issue was a commercial matter and outside the purview of the PHC (PreHearing Conference)and hearing.

From email traffic: Wang wanted to know when the issue of the six years remaining on the lease was going to be settled; he did not speak in opposition to the development.

On January 15th, the Wang family sent an emotional email to almost every email address they could find. It said:

Good Fortune notice

Sign placed on the door of the Good Fortune Restaurant

We are the owner of Good Fortune Chinese Restaurant in Bingo Plaza (490 Plains road east). We beg for anyone help, we are hopeless.

In the pre-hearing conference (hold on December 19, 2018, at City Hall), I suggested National Home because we have a long term of lease agreement (around another 6 years) with them, so we need a reasonable solution.

Unfortunately, the National Homes used an untruthful reason locked our restaurant without any formal notice on January 1st, 2019.

We never own National Homes any rents, and we are never in default. The only reason is we signed a long-term of lease agreement at the beginning. Our family restaurant is the “Obstacle” on their way to make their “Big Dollar”. They hired a group of lawyers to attack us, and they knew we cannot afford the legal fee like they do. Our family rely on this business to live, and most our neighbourhoods know how hard we are working in our restaurant.

I want to ask everyone a question! If the National Home treat the existing tenant like this, how can they deal well with all the neighbourhood in the future?

We prepared huge amount of food for the New Year holiday; however, the National Homes locked our out on January 1st, they gave us a real life “Nightmare”.

We just beg anyone can help our family.
Wang”s family – Good Fortune Chinese Restaurant.

The action on the part of National Homes seemed a little heavy handed.

A Gazette reader told us –“ Apparently they had an illegal massage parlour open up within their premises and were asked to remove it and did not comply.

“As we frequent the restaurant regularly, we have seen for the last year or so the door leading to what was signed as Betty’s Spa and Massage. The door and window to enter, which were covered over with signage, were next to the restaurant.

“We first noticed this about a year ago but never connected it to the restaurant. There was nothing visible to suggest it was in the same premises, either from outside or inside the restaurant, although we were never in the kitchen where a connection could have been, although there appears to be a side door at the other end of the restaurant that we don’t go by that may connect, but not obviously. And there was never any mention of it from staff inside the restaurant.

Good Fortune store front

One of thousands of Chinese restaurants across the province. This one appeared to have a side line business next door.

“We have been going there for four years and we never saw a connection as the massage space was empty most of that time. We didn’t know it might have been part of the restaurant premises for the lease.

Aside from that I don’t know what the covenants were on the lease. Or what process might have occurred before the termination to get them to close the massage place. There must be some paper on this.

Our reader continued: “ They may just be ignorant of what is a permitted use, covenants can say what the tenant cannot do. Maybe they thought they could use it. Not a pretty story.

“In any case, the business is basically ruined, National Homes is apparently holding them liable for costs and rents for the duration of the six year lease. Unless this is somehow overturned, NH won’t have to sue and buy out the balance of the lease remaining when the time comes. I have heard that commercial leases have teeth.”

Good Fortune Reviews

Reviews were mixed. What was being reviewed – the food or the Betty’s massage parlor?

Another reader asked: “Was the “illegal massage parlour located next to the Good Fortune Restaurant in another unit or in the back of the restaurant itself? If it was located in an adjacent unit, even if it was leased by the same owner of the restaurant why would the Restaurant be closed?

“Also how long has this massage business been operating and how long has National Homes known about it?”

The pressing question is: An illegal massage parlour in Aldershot? Who knew?

And who is Betty?

And has anyone told the Tourism department?  No one told the Bylaw enforcement Officer.

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Region holds an emergency preparedness exercise: no public involvement.

News 100 redBy Staff

November 30th, 2018



How do you prepare for a local disaster?

Just the way relay race runners do – you practice and figure out where the glitches could take place and you fix them

The Region of Halton has been doing practice runs on how they will handle an emergency in different parts of the Region. The most recent practice was the Region and the Town of Halton Hills partnering with first responders and community organizations to stage an emergency exercise. The scenario featured a fictional severe wind event that caused extensive property damage and service disruptions in North Halton.

“Our drills and exercises help us protect the community from emergencies,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “We are proud to work with our local partners to minimize the risks, coordinate response efforts and reduce the impact of crisis situations. By regularly assessing and improving our plans, we ensure that essential government services are available when you need them most.”

As part of this exercise, titled “Exercise Downburst”, the Region tested its procedures for opening the designated emergency evacuation centre in Halton Hills (at Gellert Community Centre). Participants included:

• the Canadian Red Cross
• St. John’s Ambulance
• Halton Regional Police Service
• Halton Region Paramedic Services
• HMC Connections
• the Salvation Army
• the Halton Hills Fire Department

The exercise focused on efforts to protect resident safety during and after the event, as well as the recovery activities that followed. Participants assessed the Region’s coordinated response to identify strengths, challenges and areas for improvement.


Halton Paramedic Services Deputy Chief Peter McMurrough discusses response strategies with Oakville Fire Deputy Chief Andy Glynn.

Halton updated its Emergency Program and Plan in June 2018 to incorporate lessons from previous exercises and new technologies (such as the Alert Ready Emergency Alert System, which delivers urgent notifications via television, radio and mobile devices). In addition to “Exercise Downburst”, which was the largest scenario planned for 2018, the Region has also participated in six smaller exercises and drills this year to ensure it is ready to respond to emergencies in Halton.


Halton Regional Police Service Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie reviews an Incident Action Plan.

Emergency preparedness is a shared responsibility that involves individuals, all levels of government and the community. To learn how you can stay safe during severe weather events and other crisis situations, visit


Canadian Red Cross cots fill a lodging area at the Emergency Evacuation Centre (Gellert Community Centre, Georgetown).

The Regional Municipality of Halton serves 570,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development.

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Tansley Pool life guards recognized for their part in saving the life of a swimmer.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

November 20th, 2018



The Burlington Fire Department recognized the aquatic staff at Tansley Woods Pool who responded to the near drowning incident in September.

Fire Chief David Lazenby yesterday, acknowledged the team work of seven Tansley Woods lifeguards for their life saving efforts made on Sept. 24, 2018 at Tansley Woods Pool.

Mr Breedveld, a swimmer was without vital signs when City of Burlington lifeguards pulled him from the water. They performed lifesaving efforts until emergency services arrived and could take over.

Mr. Breedveld attended the event with his wife and personally thanked the lifeguards and first responders for saving his life.

Life savers

Front from left to right: Burlington Fire Captain Dan Udovc, Acting Captain Adam Cioruch, Mr. Breedveld, Firefighter Jenny Blain and Firefighter Brett Turner. Back: Heather Kress – Supervisor of Aquatics, Lifeguards Diane Selman, Stephanie Judd, Julia Watson, Kevin Dawley, Chantelle Andree, Meagan Laking, Stephanie Armstrong, Burlington Fire Chief David Lazenby

Fire chief + swimmer

Fire Chief David Lazenby in conversation with Mr. Breedveld

The seven lifeguards: Stephanie Armstrong, Diane Selman, Kevin Dawley, Stephanie Judd, Chantelle Andree, Julia Watson and Meagan Laking, were presented with certificates from the Burlington Fire Department, the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department and the Lifesaving Society.

Fire Chief David Lazenby said ““It is an honour to recognize the Tansley Woods lifeguards for their excellent team work and lifesaving skills. They are heroes and we are proud to serve our community along side them.”

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Time to Choose leaves audiences understanding not only what is wrong, but what can be done to fix this global threat.

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

November 9th, 2018



On Wednesday, November 21, Burlington Green will be holding the fifth and LAST screening of our 2018 Eco-Film Festival, “Time to Choose”.

Takes place at the Central Library -2331 New Street, Burlington.

BG Eco folm graphic Time to chooseCharles Ferguson explores the comprehensive scope of the climate change crisis and examine the power of solutions already available. Featuring narration by award-winning actor Oscar Issac, “Time to Choose” leaves audiences understanding not only what is wrong, but what can be done to fix this global threat.

Click here to learn more, check out the trailer and to RSVP for the film event.

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Police Arrest and Charge Two Personal Support Workers for fraud against an 82 year old client

Crime 100By Staff

October 22, 2013


HRPS crestThe Halton Regional Police Three District Criminal Investigation Bureau have arrested and charged two Personal Support workers for committing various financial offences against an elderly 82 year old victim from Burlington.

Between April 4th and July 25th 2018, the two arrested persons used stolen cheques and credit cards belonging to the victim to amount of $6048.53.

Both persons arrested worked as Personal Support workers for the victim at separate times. There is no further risk to the public.

Melissa Watson (28 yrs) of Acton was released on a promise to appear in Milton Court on November 14th 2018 charged with the following offences:
• Fraud Under $5000,
• Uttering a forged document
• Possession of Property Obtained by crime

Sarah Taylor Mackenzie (25 yrs) of Burlington was released on a promise to appear in Milton Court on November 14th 2018 charged with the following offences:
• Fraud Over $5000
• Uttering a forged document
• Possession of property obtained by crime
• Unauthorized use of stolen credit card (two counts)
Halton Residents who have Personal Support Workers working in their homes should be aware of their Personal Support Worker’s identity, and have a detailed schedule from the agency providing care. Most Agencies and Personal Support Workers providing support in the home, unless specifically contracted to do so, are mandated to not complete any financial transactions, purchase items, or use the financial cards or cheques belonging to the patient or client receiving care.

Payments for services go directly to the company, who in turn pays the employee. If you have Personal Support Workers into your home, all valuables and financial items should be properly secured.

Persons who are Power of Attorney for their family members should complete regular audits of the family member’s finances and be aware of large, uncommon withdrawals from their accounts.

Halton Police contact: Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Seniors Liaison Team at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

Anyone charged with a criminal offence is  presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Flood warnings are made regularly, floods take place regularly - the average citizens wants to know what they can do today.

News 100 greenBy Staff

October 16th, 2018


We are indebted to CATCH (Citizens at City Hall), a Hamilton group that uses public documents to highlight information about Hamilton civic affairs that is not generally available in the mass media.

The extreme flooding accompanying recent hurricanes in the southern US carries a stark warning for Hamilton and other Canadian communities of increasingly severe rain storms. That threat was echoed by the province’s environmental commissioner in her recent report and again when she spoke last week. And it was particularly underlined by the frightening assessment last week from the world’s climate scientists.

Researchers have had time to examine what happened in Texas last year with Hurricane Harvey that dumped several FEET of rain onto Houston and surrounding areas. They have concluded that climate change greatly worsened that precipitation and made it three and half times more likely.

This fall more unbelievable rainfall volumes arrived with Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. Preliminary evaluation indicates the amounts were 50 percent higher because of climate change, and that 11,000 additional homes were inundated because of higher sea levels driven by the same cause.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration maps show a vast area that was subjected to a greater than 1000-year deluge. Detailed information is still being examined on Hurricane Michael that devastated the Florida Panhandle last week.

Commissioner Dianne Saxe told a climate conference at York University last week that extreme weather this year in Ontario has already caused more than a billion dollars in insured damages. Even without uninsured losses that’s five times the amount in any year prior to 1998 and second only to 2013 when Toronto suffered massive flooding.

Flood Fairview plaza

A commercial plaza parking lot on Fairview could not manage the amount of water.

Her report to the provincial legislature issued at the beginning of this month cites flooding in numerous Ontario cities including Hamilton and warns that growth in the golden horseshoe “combined with climate change, wetland loss, and inadequate stormwater management could dramatically increase the frequency and intensity of urban flooding.” She explains that “Ontario’s municipalities face a staggering $6.8 billion stormwater infrastructure deficit” and that “basic physics” mean rising temperatures pose a huge threat.

“In general, warmer temperatures drive higher evaporation rates of surface water, and increase the amount of moisture that the air can hold. Every degree Celsius that the temperature rises, the air is able to hold (and drop) seven percent more moisture, making storms more intense and severe.”

Hamilton has experienced more than 20 storms since 2005 that flooded homes. The most destructive was in 2009 when over 7000 homes were inundated, but the largest hit mainly rural areas in upper Stoney Creek and Binbrook in 2012 that dumped six inches in three hours and was categorized as a one in a thousand year event.

That was similar in uniqueness to the Toronto and Calgary floods in 2013 and the 2014 deluge in Burlington that flooded 6000 homes and simultaneously shut down both the QEW and the 407. Saxe reported that the Insurance Bureau of Canada now says one in ten Canadian properties “will soon be uninsurable by the private market” and that the United Kingdom has already stopped using public funds to bailout victims.

“In the UK they already know they can’t afford that anymore since the 2007 floods when they had three billion pounds in losses. That was the biggest destruction of infrastructure since the Luftwaffe,” said Saxe. “And they finally realized after several years of flood after flood the government cannot pay for everything anymore. But are we having an honest conversation on that? Are we hearing any conversation about it? We’re not.”

Among her recommendations is a requirement for municipalities to regularly update floodplain maps and conducting “climate change vulnerability assessments of their infrastructure as a condition of obtaining provincial government funding for projects.”

Flood presentation - 407 flooded

The 407 became impassable in the western Halton

Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confronted the world with the grim news that the Paris Accord promise to keep average global heating to 2 Celsius degrees is far too dangerous. One effect of failing to do that is that the frequency of extreme rainfall doubles between 1.5C of heating and 2C. Even emergency cuts of nearly half in greenhouse gas emissions in the next 12 years won’t save the planet from catastrophic damages.

Flood presentation - map showing area of rainfall

It was a very local storm that dumped xx rain on the eastern part of the city with next to nothing in Waterdown. It was in reality several storms that caught everyone off guard.

The full report says we have to end fossil fuel use, reverse deforestation and reduce meat consumption. But the IPCC’s previous predictions have mostly turned out to be underestimates and critics argue this latest report is subject to the same flaws. The summary document, for example, is approved word by word by political representatives. In addition the effect of tipping points and feedback loops are still not incorporated into the IPCC forecasts.


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Cougars take an early lead against Stouffville - and keep it.

sportsgold 100x100By Chris Perrelli

October 13th, 2018



The Burlington Cougars kicked off an action-packed weekend Friday night versus the Stoufffville Spirit at Appleby Ice Centre. The Cougars came away with the important 2 points in a 5-2 victory.

The Cougars pounced early on a struggling Stouffville club and before the fans could even reach their seats, they were up by two and never looked back.

Just 1:04 into the first period, Jacob Buch opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season. Then 14 seconds later, Keanan Stewart doubled his team’s lead with his fourth of the year.

Cougars coach“We came out buzzing,” head coach Mark Jooris said describing his team’s strong start to the game. “They’re a good hockey team. The parity in the league is really strong. They can score, they can play with good teams. We were in tough tonight.”

Early in the second period, Zach Lawrence sent a laser past the Spirit netminder to extend the lead to three. That’s all that the Cougars would muster in the middle stanza, as Stouffville turned up the heat for the remainder of the period.

Despite being outshot 13-8 in the period, Stouffville drew within one goal at 3-2. The end of the period could not come fast enough as Cougars goalie Thomas Lalonde fought off the late Stouffville surge. Lalonde entered the game in search of his first win of the season, and it was within reach.

Lalonde would get some run support from Mitchell Morrison on the powerplay halfway through the third. 16 year-old McKay Hayes added an insurance marker for the Cougars with his first career OJHL goal, set up by an incredible no-look pass from Andrew Salt.

The Cougars defencemen held Stouffville to just 6 shots in the third en route to Lalonde’s first win. The 18-year-old made 21 saves on 23 shots to secure the win for the Cougars.

“I thought the guys played really well in front of him,” Jooris said. “It’s huge for his confidence. He’s a great goalie, he just needed that first win. It was really important to him.”

Cougar west division Oct 11

Cougar west division Oct 11

Next up, the Cougars hit the road to Buffalo for a two-game weekend series versus the Jr. Sabres. Burlington enters Saturday’s matchup tied in the West Division standings with Buffalo at 13 points apiece. Coach Jooris hopes the team can carry this momentum into a very important, albeit early, series with their division rival.

“They know how important these points are. It’s the old cliché; take it a shift at a time, a game at a time. We have to make sure we’re competing every shift or else it slips away from you.”

Puck drop is set for 7pm at the HarborCenter on Saturday.



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Train Fatality in Burlington

News 100 redBy Staff

October 6th, 2018

HRPS crestEarly this morning, at 7:45 am, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a westbound GO train on the railway tracks west of Burloak Drive and north of Harvester Road in Burlington.

The deceased person was a forty-two year old Burlington man. The death has been deemed non-suspicious.

Halton Regional Police report that this incident is still under investigation and no further details will be released at this time.

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Given all the evidence, and in the absence of a better rationale, climate warming can't be logically denied. We’re in the lobster pot and the heat is on.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

October 6th, 2018



To cook live lobsters you place them in a large pot of cold water and set the pot on high heat. The lobsters may be confused at first by their new surroundings, but being crustaceans, they always try to remain positive. You can barely hear them as they discuss their recent travels and the interesting things they witnessed under sea before crawling into that darn trap.

In a matter of minutes they will begin to feel their environment heating up and the lobster chat quickly turns to lobster screams of panic – hey somebody get me the heck out of here. But eventually the screaming stops as the inevitable befalls them – and soon they are ready for the garlic butter.

That’s us, without the garlic butter. Of course we can’t say with certainty that climate change wouldn’t have happened anyway. The greenhouse effect is really just a theory after all. But given all the evidence, and in the absence of a better rationale, it can’t logically be denied. We’re in the lobster pot and the heat is on.


Hurricane Maria smashed into Puerto Rico years ago – they have yet to recover.

Take hurricane Maria which smashed into Puerto Rico last year leaving over 4000 people dead and over 90 billion dollars in damages behind its brief visit. That is almost the entire annual GDP of the small US owned island. And here our own Doug Ford was off in Calgary this week lecturing Albertans on the evils of a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gases. That would be because it has increased the price of gasoline by so little that nobody even noticed when Ford killed the provincial cap and trade carbon tax.

We can’t afford a carbon tax but we can afford the mounting costs of insurance and property taxes. There is the inevitable bail-out for communities like Ottawa and Gatineau, once the bills are in for the damages from their most recent spontaneous twin tornadoes. How much was spent helping people recover from Burlington, Toronto and Calgary’s floods a few years ago?

Go trains flooded

The Don River overflows in Toronto.

It’s not that Ford and his disciples are necessarily stupid and/or shortsighted. It’s that they’re clearly incapable of comprehending complex matters, like the science behind climate change and sound economic policy. Alternatively, they are being deceitful and playing a very dangerous political game with our lives and our future.

Contrary to his stump speech, the carbon tax is not the absolute worst tax for Canadian families and it does not make everything more expensive. It is a selective tax that increases the cost of using fossil fuels, making safer alternatives more attractive. And it is revenue neutral. A well-designed carbon tax is virtually cost-free to society since the money collected for using carbon is rebated to taxpayers. And those who end up using fewer fossil fuels become the real winners, with extra cash in their pockets.

Mr. Ford might do well to read a newspaper once in a while. He would then have seen that seventeen of the 18 warmest years over the almost 140 years (since we started recording global temperatures) have all have occurred since 2001. And 1998 was the 18th. 2016 ranks as the warmest rising almost one degree Celsius.

Donald Trump is the king of all climate deniers but even his own government has estimated that if we continue to use fossil fuels the way we do, the earth’s average temperature will skyrocket by 7 degrees before the turn of the century. If you thought this year’s storms were bad, wait till you see what 7 degrees will do to that tree in your front lawn. And America promises to be one of the hardest hit by the effects of climate change, ironically.

Ford and carbon tax

Bold words.

Mr. Ford has promised to bring forward a climate change mitigation plan of his own sometime this autumn and one can only imagine what that might include. The UK and France have set 2040 as the year in which all gasoline and diesel vehicles will be banned. China and Germany, which arguably invented the motor car, are also developing guzzler phase-out plans. India has set an aspirational target of 2030 and Norway of 2025. So what about Ontario?

Ford is clearly blowing smoke when he says that a carbon tax is the absolutely worst tax. Perhaps he hasn’t heard about the highly regressive HST, which allows his government to gouge us eight cents on the dollar for just about everything we buy, sell and re-sell. Since he cancelled cap and trade and the extensive rebates of the former Liberal government, Ford is now sitting on over a billion big ones which can only be spent, by law, on helping to reduce carbon emissions.

Why doesn’t our ‘Billion Dollar Man’, who hates the worst taxes, just eliminate the provincial portion of the HST for electric cars? Perhaps he could talk nicely to the feds, for a change, and convince them to also lift their portion of the HST. That would be a powerful incentive for new car shoppers looking to clean up their driving habits. And Ford could still boast about how he is cutting taxes and saving hard working families money on their next family car.

Electric cars

Buying an electric or gas-electric hybrid car is perhaps the most important thing one can do to help reduce their emissions.

Buying an electric or gas-electric hybrid car is perhaps the most important thing one can do to help reduce their emissions, without having to radically alter their current lifestyle. Folks might also consider switching from natural gas heating to electricity for hot water and their homes. Though that only would make environmental sense if the Ford government stopped dismantling of our renewable energy system. And without a carbon tax, switching to electricity is not likely a sound economic choice for the average family.

But we don’t need to wait for government. Those of us who eat red meat and consume dairy products should look at cutting back our consumption of these foods. Cows and sheep are ruminants, and belch methane gas as part of their normal digestion process. Though carbon dioxide (CO2) makes up almost 80 percent of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, methane traps as much as 100 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over its decade-long life. It is over 20 times more potent as a contributor to climate change than CO2.

So reducing our intake of red meat and dairy products can help each of us do our little bit to save the planet. New Zealand has a huge dairy and red meat sector and has considered implementing a tax on animal methane – a FART tax they call it. Perhaps Mr. Ford has that in mind for his upcoming climate plan. But when it comes to the carbon taxes Ford seems to spew as much hog wash as bull.

Thanksgiving family-dinner

Thanksgiving …

But the good news is that turkey, not roast beef, is the traditional fare for the upcoming weekend’s celebration of Thanksgiving. So enjoy and give thanks for today because we really do harvest what we sow, and the times they are a changing. Oh and by the way, even eating lobster would be better for our climate than beef – if only we could afford it.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers writes regularly on both federal and provincial politics, 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:

Puerto Rico –     Ottawa Tornado –    Global Temperatures

Seven Degrees –     Billion Dollar Man –   Ford Lectures Alberta

Guzzler Bans

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Halton Region Health Department confirms case of rabies in a bat found in Burlington

Halton Region Health Department confirms case of rabies in a bat found in Burlington

News 100 redBy Staff

October 2, 2018



The Halton Region Health Department received test results confirming that a bat found in the area of Upper Middle Road and Appleby Line in Burlington had rabies. This is the first confirmed case of rabies in Halton this year.

bat“The Health Department is reminding residents to avoid all contact with bats and other wild animals,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Residents who may have had physical contact with a bat should see a physician immediately and contact the Health Department by calling 311.”

Rabies is a viral disease that causes severe damage to the brain and spinal cord, and if untreated before symptoms appear will lead to death. The virus is spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually entering through a bite or scratch. Rabies illness in humans can be prevented after exposure to rabies by the use of rabies vaccine, which is extremely effective, but only if it is administered before symptoms occur.

It is not always possible to identify if a bat has rabies, however rabid bats may move slowly, lose the ability to fly, remain active during daylight hours or be unresponsive to loud noises.

bat flying

There are a number of things you can do to protect your family and pets:

• Seek medical attention immediately if you come in contact with a raccoon, skunk, bat or other potentially rabid animal.
• Report all animal bites or scratches to the Halton Region Health Department.
• Warn your children to stay away from any wild, stray or aggressive animals.
• Do not feed or keep wild animals as pets.
• Do not touch dead or sick animals.
• Make sure your pet’s rabies vaccinations are up to date.
• Keep your pet on a leash when off your property.
• Have your pet seen by a veterinarian if it has come in contact with a raccoon or other wild animal.

For more information on rabies, visit or call the Halton Region Health Department by calling 311.

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The new city council will have to debate whether or not to permit the opening of commercial cannabis shops in the city.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

September 29th, 2018



The federal government has made it legal to sell cannabis to the public on October 17th.

You will be able to purchase up to 30 grams (close to one ounce) of dried recreational cannabis at one time for personal use.

The province gets to decide where the product is to be sold.

Cannabis smokers

Think Sound of Music – 2019 Heavy public use of cannabis could kill the event.

As of October 17, 2018, the Ontario Cannabis Store website will be the only legal option for purchasing recreational cannabis. It will follow strict rules set by the federal government.

The Ford government has said it will launch a private retail store system for selling legal recreational marijuana on April 1, 2019, and it will give Ontario municipalities a one-time chance to opt out of having those physical shops within their boundaries.

Meed Ward H&S profile

On cannabis – Meed Ward says sell it, regulate it and get some of the proceeds.

Burlington Mayoralty candidate Marianne Meed Ward has said she “supports cannabis shops in Burlington, under strict location and distribution regulations. This is a legal, in some cases medically necessary, product and we have to make room for it. I do not support taking the easy way out with an opt-out. Many of our residents suffering from pain and other medical ailments deserve the opportunity to buy medical marijuana at convenient locations.

“A priority for the new council”, said Meed Ward, “ will be establishing rules for locations, licensing, zoning. Stores should not be near schools or in mixed-use residential buildings. They should be accessible by transit. These stores would be in plazas or stand-alone buildings that don’t conflict with nearby businesses.

“We need stronger bylaws on smoking in public spaces, to prevent residents from being exposed to second-hand cannabis, as well as tobacco (we don’t currently enforce the bylaw restricting tobacco use in parks).

Smoking cannabis shouldn’t be permitted near cannabis stores, especially those located in plazas with nearby businesses. I’m open to further input from residents on locations/ licensing rules.

“We need to ensure cannabis cannot be obtained by children or teenagers. I’ll approach the province for a share of revenue for enforcement costs.”

The Gazette knows of at least one ward level candidate who would prefer that the city wait.

Premier Ford has said municipalities will have until Jan. 22 to decide if they want to ban dispensaries from their territories. Cannabis shops will be allowed, once they are licensed, to open April 1st.

Goldring - Christmas picture

Goldring – cautious on public sale of cannabis in Burlington

Wallace at council meeting

Mike Wallace – wants the public to have time to think about the public sale of cannabis.

Mayor Goldring is reported to have said “the city should opt out and examine how other municipalities sort through the still-hazy provincial regulations.”

Mike Wallace also favours the opt out approach “but only temporarily.”

Greg Woodruff asks, with a wink of his eye, if the stuff isn’t already being sold in the city. Police reports on drug raids suggest there is a healthy market in Burlington. The hope is that making the sale public will drive the underground trade to the convenience stores.

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Halton Regional police officers recognized for their life saving measures.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 27th, 2018



In those situations where every second counts we are grateful that there are first responders who have been properly trained and able to take action that saves lives.

Earlier this month the St. John Ambulance recognized Halton Police Officers for Life-saving Measures.

On September 26, 2018, a total of 11 Halton Regional Police Service officers were recognized by St. John Ambulance for their heroic efforts to save the lives of six citizens.

The officers were presented with Life Saving Certificates by St. John Ambulance Burlington Branch Manager Lou Taddeo in a ceremony held at 3 District, Burlington, on Wednesday evening.

St John Ambul awardAward recipients:

Constable Eric Asmuth
Constable Ryan Dupuis
Constable Scott French
Constable Victoria Frosh
Constable Tyrone Garner
Constable Lanaya Greco
Constable Kyle Morris
Constable Dwain Newham
Constable Cole Richards
Constable Malcolm Vincent
Constable Kristine Wishart

The rescues in which these officers played a critical role are highlighted here:

On October 24, 2017 Constables Garner and Greco were deployed to respond to a person in crisis on the Burlington Skyway Bridge. The two officers were able to pull a 34-yr-old male to safety who intended to jump off the bridge.

On December 25, 2017 Constables Dupuis, Asmuth, and Richards responded to reports of a residential fire in which a resident had re-entered the home to save his dog and was trapped. The officers removed the 58-yr-old male through a window. The male suffered smoke inhalation and was treated by EMS.

On March 7, 2018 Constables Vincent, Morris and Frosh attended a residence for a 1-yr-old infant who was not breathing. Officers administered CPR, back blows and mouth sweeps until the child began breathing on his own.

On April 16, 2018 Constable French responded to reports of a 67-yr-old male who had collapsed while shovelling. Constable French administered chest compressions until EMS and Fire arrived with a defibrillator.

On April 28, 2018 Constable Wishart responded to reports of a stabbing at a local nightclub. Constable Wishart administered first aid to the 30-yr-old stabbing victim until EMS arrived. Her efforts to stem the loss of blood are credited with saving the victim’s life.

On June 21, 2018 Constable Newham administered Narcan to a 31-yr-old male who was suffering from an apparent opioid overdose. The male was revived and received medical attention.

“The quick actions of the officers are credited with saving the lives of six citizens,” said Superintendent Al Albano. “These situations exemplify the dedication and willingness of the officers to go above and beyond the call of duty.”

St John crestLou Taddeo, St. John Ambulance branch manager. Said: “It is with extreme honour that St. John Ambulance Burlington Branch presents to these deserving police officers these Life Saving Certificates.

“These officers’ actions support the mission of St. John Ambulance Canada by enabling Canadians to improve their health, safety and quality of life by utilizing their first aid skills. Their actions mirror one of our centuries old motto for St. John Ambulance which is “Pro Utilitate Hominum” – In the service of Humanity.”

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Province to focus on safer sports opportunities for kids - attention will be on concussions. Better late than never – this should have been done year’s ago.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

September 26th, 2018



The province of Ontario is taking action to keep Ontario’s kids safe and demonstrating its commitment to making sports safer by marking Rowan’s Concussion Law Day. The province is developing a multimedia campaign that will raise awareness about concussion safety.

concussion helmet

It’s graphic – but the point gets made. Is this what we want to do to our kids in the name of sports.

The campaign will get concussion safety information in front of the Ontarians who need it most.

“Reducing the risk of concussions is always the goal. But concussions happen and knowing what to do – whether you’re an athlete, a parent, a coach or a teacher – can save lives,” said Sylvia Jones, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “We’ll honour Rowan Stringer’s memory by launching a province-wide multimedia campaign to raise awareness about concussion safety.”

Concussion- skull image

A concussion is a head injury caused by moving forces such as a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, that results in a variety of symptoms and temporary changes in mental status, coordination, and balance. Definitions are constantly updated based upon new research, but a concussion is a form of a traumatic brain injury. In fact, it’s the most common traumatic brain injury. After a concussion, the symptoms that occur differ from patient to patient. These include headaches, dizziness, vision problems, trouble concentrating, feeling slowed down, repeated vomiting, sleep problems, and even irritability and sadness. Symptoms may not even appear for days or weeks after the injury.

Concussions represent nearly a quarter of Ontario student injuries treated by a doctor or nurse. Ontario students who report a head injury are more than twice as likely to report very high emotional distress and to report less success in academics.

Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community, and Social Services, sponsored Rowan’s Concussion Law in the Legislative Assembly, where it was adopted in March, 2018.

Better late than never – this should have been done year’s ago.

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The Borrow a Bike program is now operational - for the senior set.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

September 11th, 2018



For those who want to peddle around the city and try using a bicycle there are now bikes that you can borrow at the Seniors Centre on New Street across the park from the library.

The city now has a Borrow-A-Bike Program for older adults and it is s ready to roll.

bike borrowing

Nice bright colours and now cross bar that you have to get your leg over.

The bikes have easy-to-shift gears and no cross bar, the two step-through bicycles and one three-wheeler bicycle are perfect for new and experienced cyclists. Baskets, horns, locks and helmets are included with each bike borrowed in the no-cost program.

Participants must visit the Burlington Seniors’ Centre to complete a waiver before signing bikes out. The bicycles are available during regular business hours from April to November, weather permitting.

The City of Burlington encourages people of all ages to get outside and enjoy the many parks, outdoor spaces, playfields and recreational play experiences that support active living and a healthy lifestyle for all ages, abilities and cultures. Explore the many play experiences. Get Outside. Live & Play Every Day.

The bicycles were donated with provincial funding through the Burlington Cycling Advisory Committee.
Mandy Newnham, Supervisor of Recreation said: “The Borrow-A-Bike program was developed collaboratively with the Burlington Cycling Committee with the goal of making the joy of cycling accessible to all. The sturdy, yet stylish, bicycles are a comfortable and safe way to feel the wind in your hair. Grab a friend and tour the area or pick up groceries while cycling along the path, without any storage or maintenance worries.”

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Halton Poverty Roundtable tells Minister that she didn't get it right - still time to change her mind.

News 100 redBy Staff

September 7th, 2018



Sarah Sabihuddin, Director, Community Engagement, Halton Poverty Roundtable has written an Open Letter to Lisa MacLeod, a Minister in the Ontario government about the provinces decision to Basic Income Pilot Program in Ontario.

Dear Minister MacLeod:

We are writing in response to your government’s decision to end the Basic Income Pilot Program in Ontario. We strongly disagree with your decision to end this Pilot prematurely and without regard for the demonstrably positive impact that this program was having upon the lives of people living in poverty in our Province. As such, we respectfully urge you to reconsider a policy decision that will only serve to deepen the experience of poverty for millions of Ontario’schildren, families and seniors.

Lisa McLoud

Minister Lisa MacLeod

The Halton Poverty Roundtable is a registered charity who is a leader in connecting, educating, and acting on issues related to poverty in Halton. In our community, 1 in 10 of our neighbours do not know where their next meal will come from and 1 in 3 seniors are living below the poverty line. Our communities of Oakville, Burlington, Milton and Halton Hills have over thirty seventhousand individuals who struggle daily to survive on low incomes, or who live in poverty.

Minister MacLeod, the conclusion of the first phase of the Basic Income Pilot in April of this year, brought with it an abundance of first-hand accounts of the difference that Basic Income had made to people’s lives. The decision to abandon the Pilot will cause needless difficulties for the participants struggling to escape poverty. Given the initial success of the program, we cannot understand the immediate need for cancelation. Surely, it would have been prudent to conclude the Pilot and use the resulting data in the development of social policy.

We are hopeful that your government’s announcement to reform Social Assistance in the next 100 days includes an inclusive and transparent process, collaboration across all sectors, and a fulsome consultation process including those living with the challenges of poverty. As you may know, having a 100 day timeline to reform the entire social assistance program will be met with challenges including: the potential for increases of punitive and ineffective approaches and models being implemented, the reduction of supports under the guise of decreasing resource costs and a lack of understanding of the lived experience of being on Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP).

As you embark on this reform, we would like to draw your attention to the living wage in Halton Region. In order for a family in Halton to cover their basic living expenses, a family of four would have to have both adults working 37.5 hours per week making $17.95 per hour. Clearly, minimum wage, Ontario Works and ODSP do not come close to affording recipients a basic standard of living in Halton. Your government’s proposed 1.5% increase in social assistance will do little to assist the most vulnerable people in our communities.

The Halton Poverty Roundtable respectfully requests that the Government of Ontario continue the Basic Income Pilot through to its conclusion before making a final decision as to the efficacy, both socially and financially, of the basic income concept.
In light of the current economic climate in Ontario, the low Canadian dollar, the ongoing trade tariff situation with the United States, combined with the cost of living, this is driving uncertainty for the most vulnerable. Bottom line, you know that it is harder for families to survive and the cancelation of the basic income pilot and the cut to our current social assistance program puts far too many at even greater risk.

Earlier this month, the federal government announced details of its first Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy (CPRS) – a national poverty plan that many in the non-for-profit and social services sector alongside people with lived experience have called for.

The Halton Poverty Roundtable, a regional organization, welcomes the launch of the CPRS and calls for the strategy to serve as a platform for further development of significantly stronger poverty elimination measures, policies, and programs at the federal level. In Halton, more than 13,500 children live in low income households, representing one in ten children. Many in our community have to decide between paying their rent, buying fresh food for their children, and paying for necessary medication.

The release of this strategy is a good start, although it does not allocate new funding nor did it announce any new initiatives. However, the CPRS provides a solid starting point as it introduces Canada’s official measure of poverty; concrete poverty reduction targets; and a National Advisory Council on Poverty.
If the CPRS strategy is going to work for those in our community, it must have full provincial support.

More importantly, we will only see measureable and long lasting results if municipalities and regional levels of government are engaged in the national conversation. All levels of government need to come together to create supports dedicated to addressing the underlying issues of poverty such as: mental and physical health, affordable housing, food security and a robust income security program, such as a basic income.

We are certainly excited that the vision of this strategy includes working towards a substantial reduction in poverty in Canada and recognizes the role that systemic discrimination plays as a barrier to people living in poverty. We are looking forward to participating and continuing the push for full elimination of poverty in our communities.

About Halton Poverty Roundtable:
The Halton Poverty Roundtable (HPRT) is a local non-profit and registered charity; a leader in connecting, educating and acting on issues related to poverty in Halton. For the past 7 years, we have been dedicated to shifting the conversation in Halton towards acknowledgment that poverty exists in our community, increasing education and awareness of poverty and then creating opportunity for community action.

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