OHIP + for those under 24 and a new minimum wage - good legislation and and election gambit?

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 12th, 2018

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The fact that there is a provincial election months away does change the level of information sent out by the different ministries – that however should not take away from the really good programs that are being introduced.

The province created OHIP + the biggest expansion to Medicare in a generation by providing drug coverage to over four million children and youth.

ohipplusIn only 11 days into the New Year, more than 220,000 young people age 24 years and under have had their prescriptions filled at no cost through OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare.

More than 350,000 prescriptions have been filled to date under OHIP+ and the numbers continue to grow, making a real difference in the lives of people and families across the province.

Free drug celebration Queens ParkUnder OHIP+, more than 4,400 medications are covered, including asthma inhalers, drugs to treat depression, anxiety, epilepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, antibiotics, epinephrine auto-injectors like EpiPens, insulin, diabetes test strips, oral contraceptives, some medications to treat childhood cancers and other rare conditions, and many others.

All people need to do is present their Ontario health card number along with a valid prescription for an eligible medication at an Ontario pharmacy and the medicine will be provided free of charge.

The introduction of a significant increase in the minimum wage has created a controversy that has put what people who are on the lower end of the income spectrum on the table.

One can argue, fairly, that this should have been done years ago and that the increase should have been more gradually. That should not however detract from the fact that the wage has been increased and that those funds will work themselves into the economy.

All facts to be kept in mind as we move into a phase of the provincial election where positions will begin to be taken.

Time to pay attention.

There is a search tool on the province’s web site that helps people learn just which drugs are covered. You might find that useful.

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City of Burlington asking for feedback on playground structures.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 22nd, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Not the best time of year to ask people to find a couple of minutes to respond to a city survey. Things are so busy that the supermarket in my part of town is going to be open until 11 pm tonight.

Nonetheless – know this: The City will be replacing 14 playgrounds over the next two years and is encouraging families who use the specific parks to complete a survey to say which kinds of playground features would be most wanted.

Beginning Dec. 28, 2017, city staff will be at nearby recreation centres asking for input.

The online survey is HERE and will be available until January, 31, 2018.

Park survey

Location of the 14 parks that will be upgraded in 2018

Playgrounds to be replaced in the next two years are:

1. Brada Woods Park, 5196 Brada Cr.
2. Breckon Park, 4471 Spruce Ave.
3. Brittany Park, 1370 Headon Rd.
4. Champlain Park, 2101 Mountain Grove Ave.
5. Cumberland Park, 562 Cumberland Ave.
6. DesJardines Park, 1811 Imperial Way
7. LaSalle Park, 50 North Shore Blvd.
8. Maple Community Park, 750 Maple Ave.
9. Maplehurst Public School, 481 Plains Rd. E.
10. Optimist Park, 2131 Prospect St.
11. Sheraton Park, 594 Sheraton Rd.
12. Spencer Smith Park, 1400 Lakeshore Rd.
13. Sycamore Park, 3157 Centennial Dr.
14. Tansley Woods Park, 4100 Kilmer Dr.

Chris Glenn, director of Parks and Recreation explains that: “The survey results will be used to create plans for the parks that will be specific to that park. Talk to your kids about what kinds of play structures they like. Ask them if they prefer straight or curving slides, monkey bars, poles, swings and other fun, interactive equipment.”

The survey questionnaire runs 17 pages – we will run it again in the New Year when you have more time for this kind of thing.

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OHIP + demonstration being given at Shoppers Drugmart - MPP McMahon hosting.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

December 19th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On January 1st, 2018 the new OHIP + program kicks in –

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon twill be hosting a Coffee Drop In on OHIP+ at : Shoppers Drugmart Roseland Plaza

Prescription counterMcMahon, MPP for Burlington, will join David Pinkus, Pharmacist Owner, to provide residents with information about OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare and to demonstrate the online platform for searching through the list of more than 4,400 publicly funded medications. OHIP+ will provide medication s to everyone age 24 years or younger, beginning January 1, 2018.

Thursday, December 21, 2017; 1:30 p.m. (Please arrive no later than 2:00 p.m., unless previously arranged with MPPs Office)

Shoppers Drugmart Roseland Plaza, 3023 New Street, Burlington

Related news story:

OHIP + begins January 1st, 2018

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Ontario Institute for Facial Surgery was closed by the Regional Heath department for not cleaning, disinfecting, sterilizing and storing instruments used for procedures.

News 100 redBy Staff

December 14th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

An infection prevention and control inspection conducted by the Halton Region Health Department on December 4, 2017, identified that clients who have received medical services at the Ontario Institute for Facial Surgery operated by Dr. Joseph Korkis located at 672 Brant St., Unit 405, in Burlington may have been exposed to improperly cleaned, disinfected, sterilized and stored instruments used for procedures.

The inspection was initiated following a patient complaint.

Halton Region is not aware of any cases of infection associated with this clinic at this time.

Plastic surgeon

Joseph A. Korkis, MB, FRCSC, FRCSl, FRCS, FCAFPS, offers Nasal and Facial Plastic Cosmetic Surgery, Snoring and Sleep Apnea Surgery in Burlington Ontario.

“Improperly cleaned, disinfected, sterilized and stored medical instruments carry a low risk of transmitting infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to clients,” said Dr. Joanna Oda, Associate Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region. “As a precaution, the Halton Region Health Department recommend that all clients who have ever received medical services from Dr. Korkis at the Burlington clinic contact their physician (or go to a walk-in clinic if they do not have a physician) to discuss testing for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. Clients can download a letter to bring to their doctor by visiting halton.ca/health.”

On December 4, 2017, upon completion of the inspection, the Halton Region Health Department closed the Ontario Institute for Facial Surgery. As of December 12, 2017, Dr. Korkis has satisfied all the requirements of the Health Department and can resume patient services at this location.

A question that might be asked is why the public wasn’t informed on December 4th that the clinic had been closed?

This is not the first time the Region has closed a medical office in Burlington  – earlier this year a dentist was closed for much the same reason – not ensuring that the instruments used were properly sterilized.

For more information about hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, the inspection or investigation and to obtain a copy of the physician letter, please visit halton.ca/health or call Halton Region at 311, 905-825-6000 or toll free 1-866-442-5866. For inquiries related specifically to the Ontario Institute of Facial Surgery or Dr. Korkis, please contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario by visiting cpso.on.ca.

 

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634 volunteers put in 74,380 hours of service at the Joseph Brant hospital

jbhhealth (2)By Staff

December 5th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The new wing of the hospital is open – all we hear are good things.

The last stretch of the $60 million fund raising drive is going well.  The city of Burlington had to tax its citizen for $60 million and the hospital Foundation had to raise another $60 million.

The hospital is now focused on doing major renovations on the older portion of the hospital.

Each year the hospital prepares a report on what they did during the year. These are sometimes as dry as toast without any butter – and never contain a critical word or make any mention of where improvements are needed.

This year the hospital created a large graphic – filled with numbers.

JBH by the numbers

634 volunteers put in 74,380 hours – that’s 117 hours per volunteer. Impressive

It certainly tells the story.

You can read the full report HERE

Related new stories:

Door to door campaign.

 

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New drug program for those 24 and under will provide an extensive list of pharmaceuticals at no cost - starts in January.

News 100 yellowBy Staff

December 5th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They are calling it OHIP+

You are going to hear a lot about it in January when the province rolls out a program that will make more than 4,400 drug products free for anyone age 24 years or younger.

There not be a program to enroll in – all that is needed is a health card number and an eligible prescription.

ontario-health-card

All you will need to participate in the OHIP + program is a valid Health card.

Who will be covered?
All babies, children and youth age 24 years and under who have OHIP coverage will be automatically covered by OHIP+

OHIP+ coverage will stop on your 25th birthday, but you may qualify for other financial help with prescription drug costs.

What medications will be covered: The list is extensive and includes:

antibiotics to treat infections
inhalers for asthma
various insulins, oral diabetic medications and diabetes test strips
epinephrine auto-injectors (e.g. EPIPENs®)
drugs to treat arthritis, epilepsy and other chronic conditions
medications to treat mental health conditions (e.g. antidepressants)
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs
drugs to treat some childhood cancers and other rare conditions

The starting point is a visit to your doctor or nurse practitioner and get a prescription.

Then you take your health card OR health card number to any pharmacy in Ontario.

The pharmacy will fill their prescription at no charge – you don’t pay a dispensing fee, deductible or co-payment.

Trillium Drug Program members.

If your child is age 24 or under and a member of a Trillium Drug Program household, as of January 1, 2018 they will be covered through OHIP+. This means, because you don’t pay out-of-pocket for their medications, no money from those medications will count toward your deductible.

Students going to university/college in another province

Hoskins Minister of Health and Long Term Care

John Hoskins – Minister of Health and Long Term Care will be all over the television news when the OHIP+ program is rolled out. He was a Liberal Party Leadership candidate the lat time around – expect to see him in the race the next time the Liberals go looking for a new leader.

If you’re going to university or college in another province, your prescriptions may still be covered by OHIP+ if you:

remain insured by OHIP
have a valid prescription
get your medications from a pharmacy in Ontario

Expect to hear a lot more about this program – there is an provincial election in June and the current government really wants to get re-elected.

 

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How many of the Burlington lawyers who did the purchase closing paper work on the West Haven development miss the warning clause?

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

November 28th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The people who live along West Haven in Tyendaga will troop over to the Crossroads Centre for a third public meeting put on by Meridian Brick this Thursday.

As part of Meridian’s “good neighbour” policy they will update the community on the status of the many studies they have had done – the residents will ask questions and their environmental adviser will ask tough questions of the Meridian staff who will be out in force.

The Mayor may or may not show up. Same goes for the ward Councillor Rick Craven – they just want this issue to go away.

The issue for the residents is the shale mining the brick maker wants to do in the third piece of land – referred to as the eastern cell or Cell 3.

Site plan attached to the settlement

Everyone knew how close the eatern quarry was going to be to the high end homes that were going to be built. Current owners claim the warning clause that was supposed to be registered on title doesn’t appear.

They fear serious depression in the value of their homes and refer to an appraisers report that  finds property value losses between 8% to 40% in proximity to pits and quarries.

The brick manufacturer has gone through several corporate mergers. Brick has been manufactured in Aldershot sine the early 1900’s.  The current manufacturing plant was built in 2000.

Meridian yard gates

Meridian makes it very clear they are licensed to do what they do – the West Haven residents want to see limitations put on that license.

The issue for Meridian is keeping the plant operational.  To do that they will have to de-forest an area with a reported 9000 trees.  Meridian points out that they do  have a license (first issued in 1972) to mine for Queenston shale – that is used to make very good brick.

The residents point out that the community that exists today didn’t exist in 1972. It wasn’t until the end of 1998 that a development Plan was approved in principle by the Region.

The battle lines have been drawn.

The development was first put forward by Jannock Limited, a Mississauga based developer.

They sold their interest to Brant Haven Homes who built the high end residences.

Brant Haven has an excellent reputation for building fine high end homes.

In a 24 page Region of Halton document there are two references to a quarry operation that was yards away from where the homes were to be build

“The owner and the Region acknowledge and agree that this agreement shall be registered on title to the lands. To that effect, the owner hereby consents to the registration of this agreement on the title to the lands.”

The West Haven residents claim that the agreement is not registered on the title they have.

On the very last page of the agreement there is a second paragraph labelled as a Warning clause with the following:

“The following warning clause shall be registered on title and included in all development agreements and Offers of Sale and Purchase or Lease of all lots:

“The purchaser/ tenants acknowledge the presence of a future extractive industrial land use to the west and that extraction may take place during the day time only.”

Those were the words on the Application to Register Notice of Agreement Pursuant to Section 71 of the Land Titles Act that was signed by Jannock and the Region.

When the development was sold to Brant Haven were they aware of the Warning Clause? They should have been – they are not likely to get involved in the dispute – unless the Region begins to look into the matter.

This isn’t the kind of thing the Region does on its own; someone will have to delegate at the Region and ask some questions and then a member of Regional Council would have to ask some questions.  Every member of Burlington city council is a member of the Regional Councillor; half of their income comes from the Region

Three-quarry-sites

The residents close to the east quarry fear that the day the trees are cut down the value of their property could drop by as much as 40%

When Brant Haven began to sell the houses – did they advise the purchasers that there was a warning clause? Not the kind of thing some real estate agents mention.

It is up to the lawyer who closes the purchase of the property to research the title and ensure that there are no liens or conditions involved.

None of the people involved in the dispute say that they were made aware of the warning clause and it appears that the warning was never entered onto the title.

Who is responsible for the oversight? Was it deliberate?

Where were the lawyers who did the closing for the buyers?

This all happened more than 18 years ago and no one remembers – or doesn’t want to remember.

It wouldn’t be difficult to look at the title document and get the name of the lawyer who did the closing paper work and collected a fee. Their name would be on the file.

Could be embarrassing for a number of Burlington based lawyers.

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Hospital opens itself up for Join the Joy! Holiday Open House - Sunday December 3rd - 11:00 am to 1:30 pm

News 100 redBy Staff

November 22, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With the re-developed Joseph Brant hospital now basically fully open the public is going to get a chance to make a different kind of use of the space.

An architects rendering of the new entrance to the Joseph Brant Hospital whch will now face the lake. The entrance will be off LAkeshore Road with the new parking lot just to the west of the hospital.

An architects rendering of the new entrance to the Joseph Brant Hospital which now faces the lake. .

This year, on Sunday, December 3rd, the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation is hosting their first Join the Joy! Holiday Open House and Designer Tree Auction, held in the new Michael Lee-Chin and Family Patient Tower.

They want you to join them from 11:00 am-1:30 pm on the 3rd for some holiday family fun!

Proceeds from the Join the Joy Holiday Open House and Designer Tree Auction will support the Hospital’s Labour and Delivery program, helping to ensure the best possible care for our Hospital’s youngest patients.

General admission is free of charge and includes complimentary parking, hot cocoa and musical entertainment.

There is a Children’s Festive Passport of Fun that is being sold for just $5.00 that will give your child (ages 2-12) full access to our holiday activities:

Picture with Santa

Festive Holiday Crafts

Teddy Bear Clinic (Children are encouraged to bring in a teddy bear, stuffed animal or doll)

Face-Painting and Balloon Animals

Make Your Own Finger Cast

Investigating Germs

Festive Photo Wall

Parents and Guardians are welcome to admire and bid on the beautifully decorated Designer Holiday Trees as well as take part in:

Silent Auction
Children’s Gift Draw

WHEN: Sunday, December 3
11:00 a.m. to 1:30 pm

WHERE: Michael Lee-Chin & Family Patient Tower, Joseph Brant Hospital, 1245 Lakeshore Road

Please note: Children are not to be left unattended and are under the responsibility of their Parent and/or Guardian at all times.

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David Suzuki brings his message to Burlington - we are the kind of city he likes.

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

November 22, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

David Suzuki has been doing media interviews for at least 50 years – he is an old hand at it.

The energy isn’t what is was a decade ago but the passion and the belief that we are the only people who can make the change if we are going to save this planet.

Suzuki tells his audiences that we human beings are the only creatures on this planet that think in terms of having a future – our challenge is to decide what that future is going to be.

david-suzuki

David Suzuki – preaching his gospel knowing that we can save this planet on simple step at a time – he reminds us that WE have to take those steps.

Asked if it is too late – he will look at you through those eyes we have seen when he was doing Quirks and Quarks on CBC and on The Nature of Things, a CBC program he is still doing.

Suzuki works at two levels – evangelizing and getting out the big picture. He takes to the stage and repeats the same message – it is ours to live, work and play in – and now we need to save it – we have come perilously close to killing this planet.

His other level is more personal. He still rants about the damage done by the Harper government and still gets back to his core message – “pay attention to the science.”

He rails at what he sees the politicians doing and tells the story of a high school classmate who in the 50’s said he wanted to be a Politician because that is the level at which you can make a difference.

At that point David Suzuki will look at you intently and ask – “Do you know any young people who want to go into politics today?”

About a decade ago (was it really that long) the federal government decided that it would no longer have Statistics Canada do the long form census. The science community – indeed all of the academic world was stunned. (The long form census is the document that gathers all kinds of data that is used to learn what is happening in the country – what people are doing. It is a critical measuring device without which it is very difficult to make decisions.)

Long form census - cartoon

The long form census was brought to an end by the Harper government – sanity prevailed and it was brought back quickly by the government that succeeded him.

When the decision not to continue with the long form census was made by the Harper government the head of Statistics quit in protest. “They should have all walked out the door and made a statement” says Suzuki. David shrugs, looks up and without saying a word conveys the feeling that it is difficult at times to understand why people do what they do.

Suzuki asks: “How old are you” – I tell him – he says “you’re looking pretty good” – realizing that both of us are getting a little long in the tooth but don’t know how to stop fighting the good fight.

Later in the evening Suzuki will take to the stage and talk to an almost adoring audience. He is an icon that the young people admire, respect and look to for some of the answers.

When he gets going the energy comes back and he is close to unstoppable.

He touches the lives of all and he knows it – so he travels the country and spreads his gospel.

Blue dot t-shirt

The Blue Dot message.

Suzuki was brought to the city by Burlington Green – they brought Jane Goodall a couple of years ago. These marquee speakers do well with the young audience that Burlington Green attracts. They are energetic, keen, wide eyed and bushy tailed. Suzuki put it very well when he said: “They get it.”

Tied into the talks Suzuki gave was the “blue dot” which is a project that wants every Canadian to have the right to clean water and a healthy environment.

“When our provincial and federal decision-makers have recognized our right to a healthy environment, we will turn toward the ultimate goal: we seek to amend the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to include the right to a healthy environment, so that we can join the 110 countries around the world that already have this right included in their constitutions.”

There are now more than 150 municipalities that have signed on to the Blue Dot movement – Burlington made that decision in 2015.

Related news story.

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Flu vaccine is now available at pharmacies and your family doctor

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 6th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If she can do it – you can do it.

McMahon getting flu shot Dec 16-15

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon getting her flu shot.

Burlington’s MPP will be out today getting her flu shot. They are now available at many pharmacies and your family doctor.

“The flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from getting the flu. Getting the vaccine  shot is quick, it’s painless, and it’s free for anyone who works, lives, or goes to school in Ontario.

The sooner you are vaccinated, the sooner you can protect yourself and those around you from getting the flu. I encourage everyone who is able to do so get a flu shot as soon as possible,” said MPP McMahon.

There are a number other of simple steps to prevent the spread of the flu virus including:

• Wash your hands frequently. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to help remove bacteria and viruses. Wash before and after eating, after you have been in a public place, after using the washroom, after coughing and sneezing, and after touching surfaces that may have been contaminated. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also effective in killing viruses.

• Keep your hands away from your face. In most cases, the flu virus enters the body through the eyes, nose or mouth.

• Cough and sneeze into your arm, not your hand. If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands.

• Keep common surface areas clean and disinfected. Doorknobs, light switches, telephones, keyboards and other surfaces can become contaminated with all kinds of bacteria and viruses. Regular cleaning and disinfecting of these surfaces with regular household disinfectants can help. Viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours.

• If you get sick, stay home. If you think you have the flu, you should stay home until your symptoms are gone. If your symptoms get worse, call your health care provider.

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Tyandaga residents become aware of just how much noise they will have to put up with if shale mining ever takes place in their back yards.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

November 6th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

You live in a nice part of town. The homes are in the million dollar price range. Traffic is just local – the view out over the lake is pleasant.

Life is good – the neighbours get along with each other quite well.

The Tyandaga West Subdivision was registered in 1999.  The original developer ran into problems and sold their interest to another developer who completed the project.

The development is very close to a quarry that mines shale for the manufacturing of brick. The brick company has gone through a number of mergers and acquisitions and is now known as Meridian Brick. The corporate organization has had a license from the province to quarry for shale since 1972.

Aldershot has been home to brick manufacturing sine the 1900’s.

Westhaven looking toward lakeThe people on West Haven, which run west off Kerns Road, are not opposed to the manufacturing of brick – but they do wonder if a quarry that was approved forty years ago is appropriate in what is now a built up neighbourhood.

For the most part the residents were really aware of the brick making operation – until they were told that the mining for shale was going to take place less than 100 yards from their homes,

All was well until the neighbourhood got a letter from the brick manufacturer that they were going to begin mining for shale in the eastern section of the property. There are three sections that are marked for shale mining with a hydro line running through the property.

When the community got the letters they met, organized and started to make their views and concerns known to their elected officials and to the brick company.

Graphic of TEC quarryThe residents got even less than lip service from the politicians – “they have a license” said both the Mayor and the ward Councillor Rick Craven.

Indeed they do said the residents – it was issued in 1972 and a lot of things have changed since then. In a very smart piece of community organizing they pointed out just how much things have changed in the 40 plus years since the license was issued.

The community reached out to the Mayor and the ward Councillor as well as the MPP and Cabinet Minister  Eleanor.  In a prepared statement TEC said:

“Ms McMahon (local MPP) and members of her local team were made aware of the health and ecological concerns of the community with respect to the proposed quarry extension in September 2015.

“Since that time there have been ongoing discussions and meetings, and specific requests from TEC of  Ms McMahon’s office.  TEC had requested her to take the lead in organizing meetings for TEC,  with the MOECC and MNRF and to assist TEC in a process to obtain a Ministerial Zoning Order that would enable a review of the quarry  to be conducted. Ms. McMahon has voiced TEC ‘s concerns and objections to Meridian’s plans but to date the group are unaware if she has facilitated a meeting with the various ministers as there has been minimal communication although that has requested many times.

“In May 2017, her office acknowledged that Meridian does have to carry out endangered species studies.  To date Meridian nor Minister McMahon have provided any information with respect to the studies.”

You can see where that’s going.

At this point – the community and the corporation are each holding their own meetings.

TEC stop quarry expansion Jul17The West Haven residents incorporated a not for profit with the name Tyandaga Environmental Coalition (TEC) was the kind of community that could raise funds quite easily – they asked residents to pony up $500 per household. That gave TEC a war chest and they hired one of the better (perhaps the best) environmental lawyers – David Donnelly, one of the lawyers on the winning side of the fight to block the expansion of a quarry in the Escarpment.

David Donnelly

David Donnelly, environmental lawyer representing TEC

Donnelly is a bit of a “pit bull” – he is a tough cookie and not shy about stepping into a battle for the environment.  He looks for solutions that will keep everyone happy.

The TEC people are vigilant – they recently spotted some equipment that was working the property. Hiding in some bushes a resident filmed the work crew – listen to what was recorded on a cell phone.

Note the graphic that set out the sound that the residents will hear every day that the mine is being quarried for shale.

TEC bull dozer sounds

The illustration sets out what the residents are going to have to deal with. 102 decibels is louder than a food blender (80 db) on a kitchen counter.

Is the city going to allow that much noise?

There is a solution that is being put forward by the TEC people.  Their counsel David Donnelly, in conservation with Mayoralty candidate Mike Wallace on Cogeco’s The Issue with Mark Carr sets out one approcach but as Donnelly points out “there is no point going to city hall if they don’t want to listen.”

It was pretty clear that Wallace was listening.

Related articles:
The residents put the license issued in 1972 in perspective.
Brick manufacturer claim they have to cut down 9000 tress to get at the shale.

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There is some light at the end of the afforable housing tunnel - now to get city council to bring the program to Burlington.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

October 20th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They all gathered at the Regional office in Oakville and talked up the new funding for repairs and retrofits to social housing in Halton in order to improve living conditions and fight climate change.

Linking social housing to climate change is a different twist –a sort of two birds with one stone thing.
Kevin Flynn MPP for Oakville, Indira Naidoo-Harris, MPP for Halton and Eleanor McMahon, MPP for Burlington were joined by Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr, at Halton Region in Oakville today to make the announcement.

India Nadoo Harris BEST 2

MPP for Milton – India Nadoo Harris

Kevin Flynn - glasses

MPP for Oakville – Kevin Flynn

McMahon - First public as Minister

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon

Halton will receive up to $8,497,961 for repairs and retrofits to social housing apartment buildings over five years through the Social Housing Apartment Improvement Program (SHAIP), contingent on carbon market proceeds. This includes $1,659,751 for 2017-18.

This program is what the public is getting back from the carbon market the province created. That carbon market is what increased the cost of the gasoline you put in your cars.

Carbon tax cap and tradeExplaining the intricate detail on just how this carbon market almost defies description. Writing it would be a challenge – understanding it is something else – getting people to read it is another dimension.
Suffice it to say this – we have a carbon market arrangement.

Proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market must by law be invested into programs that help households and businesses reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money on energy costs. Programs include home energy retrofits, public transit, social housing retrofits, and electric vehicle incentives and infrastructure.

Halton will also be receiving $3.1 million over three years through the Home for Good Program to increase access and supports to help families in need remain permanently housed. This is part of the province’s goal to end chronic homelessness by 2025.

Housing

These are very disturbing numbers – they point to a very serious problem for Burlington.

Getting more affordable housing built is, at least for Burlington, a very pressing need. The Burlington Foundation released their Vital Signs report earlier this week. Look at the housing situation – those are very disturbing.

Kevin Flynn MPP for Oakville added a comment that points to a program – The Home for Good program – that “will receive $3.1 million over the next 3 years as part of the government’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy to end chronic homelessness for people living with complex physical and mental health challenges by the year 2025.

“This funding will provide housing assistance, as well as counselling, addictions services and life-skills training to ensure that anyone living in Halton Region will have the security – and dignity – of having a safe place to call home.”

Affordable housing comes under social welfare which is a Regional responsibility. All seven members of Burlington city council are also members of the Regional Council. This is a program Burlington city Councillors could work assiduously at to the benefit of those that cannot afford the Burlington market rate for rent.  When a comparable unit goes for $894 in Hamilton and $1264 in Burlington – it is very clear that something is out of balance.  Burlington needs more affordable housing.

Gary Carr

Regional Chair Gary Carr.

Regional Chair Gary Carr said: “Providing safe, affordable and accessible housing opportunities is one of Regional Council’s strategic priorities. Maintaining and improving our social housing infrastructure is integral to providing high quality service to residents in our assisted housing communities. We are proud to work alongside our partners at the Provincial Government and are thankful for the provincial investment which will benefit Halton residents.” Political Pablum.

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Many options for flu shots available to Halton residents

News 100 redBy Staff

October 19th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to be immunized.

Flu shots are available at more than 100 pharmacies across the region, as well as in doctor’s offices, walk-in clinics and at some workplaces. While people five years of age and older can receive their flu vaccine at a pharmacy, doctor’s office or walk-in clinic, children under five years of age can only receive their flu shot at a doctor’s office or Halton Region Family Flu Clinic.

McMahon getting flu shot Dec 16-15

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon getting her flu shot last year.

“We know that sometimes it can be challenging for families with young children to attend their doctor’s office. Since children under five years of age cannot get the flu vaccine from a pharmacist, this year we’re hosting five, appointment-based family flu clinics for families with young children between the ages of six months and five years of age,” said Halton Region’s Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Daniela Kempkens. “Families can register for an appointment at halton.ca/flu or by calling 311.”

While most healthy people recover from the flu within a few days, influenza infection can lead to pneumonia and hospitalization, and can even be fatal, especially in the elderly, those under five years of age and those with certain chronic health conditions.

To protect themselves and our community, people can take everyday precautions against influenza by washing their hands with soap frequently, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (when soap and water are not available) and avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth, in addition to getting the flu vaccine. Those who are sick should stay home from work or school to prevent spreading the illness to others and see a doctor if the illness gets worse or doesn’t begin to improve after a few days.

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Premier gets tour of the new part of the hospital - checks up on a patient.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

October 10th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was promoted as the “Official Opening” of the Joseph Brant Hospital; the television cameras were on hand with more guest chairs than one usually sees set out for this kind of event.

The Premier wasn’t on hand to turn over a cheque – the hospital has gotten all it is likely to get from the provincial government for some time.

ynne - patient was the photo op

Premier doing one of those Photo Ops – while checking in on a patient.

The Premier was there to do a tour of the new digs and to have one of those photo op conversations with a patient.

This was the first occasion we had to tour the new building – and it is very smart looking. A lot of effort went into making it look and feel like a nice place to be if you aren’t well.

People comment favourably over the view – most seeing the lake as the best side. Once you’ve seen a stretch of water what else is there to see other than a sunrise.

The view from the escarpment side are very very nice.

The corridors are wide, the colour scheme is soft, welcoming.

The rooms are large, really large.

Vandewall and McMeekin

Hospital president and CEO Eric Vandewall and MP Ted McMeekin

It is certainly a huge, huge improvement over what people had to put up with. Eric Vandewall has every reason to be proud of what he has done. Vandewall is quick to credit the team he had working with him – the job wouldn’t have been done as well as it was done without Vandewall’s leadership.

The Hospital Foundation now needs to round up a couple more million to complete the raising of the $60 million they were tasked with.

The next step for the hospital is to make itself a Centre of Excellence and show that this hospital is a lot different than what the public had to put up with.

Wynne - JBH tired looking

The Premier seemed to be a little off her mettle this morning.

Wynne JBH - tired #2

She didn’t sparkle. She seemed tired.

The Premier seemed to be a little off her mettle this morning. She didn’t sparkle. She seemed tired.

Ted McMeekin, her Loyal Servant and Subject was on hand to greet her when she walked in the new entrance.

He was joined by Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour, Eleanor McMahon, Burlington MPP and Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport along with Eric Vandewall, President and CEO of the Hospital and Chair of the Hospital Board Kathryn Osborne.

The Premier was in Burlington to tour the hospital and comment on the end of another busy construction season, celebrating significant progress on many hospital, school, transit, road and bridge projects across the province.

For this she came to Burlington?

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Nearby Niagara Fall faces a financial crisis.

News 100 redBy Neil Sullivan

October 10th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

When we think of Niagara, we imagine an area that thrives almost by default. Aside from Toronto, it’s probably the biggest attraction in close proximity to Burlington, and it’s known the world over as a sort of natural wonder. This fall, however, there have been some troubling reports indicating that the area is experiencing some potentially serious financial woes.

Niagara_2

The water isn’t as clean as many people think it is.

For the most part, these woes appear to be due to a dispute between the State of New York and the Seneca Nation of Indians. For some time now these two entities have essentially had an agreement in place to share revenue from the casinos in and around Niagara, which actually account for a great deal of Niagara’s budget. However, the dispute has resulted in disruption of incoming casino revenue for the city. Because of a hitch in the extension of the revenue sharing agreement, the Seneca have declared that they owe the State of New York no further payments – which, if they stick to it, will be a fairly devastating position.

New York is also in a fairly poor position to exert any sort of pressure on the casinos themselves. For one thing, the Seneca Nation is its own entity and appears to have every right to operate the venues independently. Additionally, however, if casinos did close or receive pressure, New York would risk losing gamers over the border. As we know, Canada has its own legal casino venues not too far from the area. And online casinos have become more popular as well, with iGaming sites and software providers partnering to create the most cutting edge games for those who would rather play online. In short, there are alternatives to the Seneca casinos just on the Canadian side of the Falls.

These are the core issues giving Niagara trouble, though it should be mentioned that tourism, too, could be in a precarious position. Naturally the Falls are the main draw to the area, and will always attract tourists regardless of what’s going on with the casinos. However, if there’s anything that can make the Falls less appealing as a destination, it’s probably the overflowing wastewater that’s been plaguing them of late. Just recently reports surfaced of a 15 million gallon discharge of “untreated sewage and stormwater” flowing out at the base of the American Falls, and it wasn’t the first time this season that something like this has happened. Naturally the Falls have a way of cleaning themselves up, at least to the naked eye – but think about how much 15 million gallons really is. The mere thought of that much sewage would give any traveller pause regarding whether or not to visit the area.

Fortunately, these issues shouldn’t have big enough economic consequences to directly affect Burlington, and they may even be limited largely to the U.S. side of the Falls. But it’s still a fairly significant issue for the greater area if these problems cause a significant crisis for Niagara.

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Hospital into the final phase of the $60 million drive - just four million to go.

jbhhealth (2)By Pepper Parr

September 28th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They will be knocking on your door in the very near future – they might have done so already.

They are the Joseph Brant Hospital Fund raising volunteers

JBH canvasser

Canvassers will be wearing vests with the hospital logo and carrying an ID badge.

These canvassers are asking residents to join the Dedicated Donors Club with a monthly donation in support of our community hospital.

These donation are sort of like the promotion at the supermarket – you know those two for the price of one.

For every dollar you donate the Paletta Family will match that donation. Think about that – makes reaching the target a lot easier.

The Pasquale and Anita Paletta Family Match Challenge, which will run until $5 Million is donated and matched.

JBH Join the J

It was a rainy day – which didn’t seem to matter. Hundreds of Burlingtonians flooded into Spencer Smith Park and formed up unto a massive J in an attempt to set a new Guinness Book of Records number.

So far more than $3 Million has been raised and matched by the Paletta Family, bringing the New Era Campaign to over $56M: the goal is $60M goal.

This campaign will continue to raise awareness and funds in support of the redevelopment and expansion project currently underway at Joseph Brant Hospital.

Each canvasser will be wearing a vest and have photo I.D. which confirms they are working on behalf of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.

JBH new front door

The new front door to the Joseph Brant Hospital.

There is a short (two minutes) video that gives you nice look see of the new addition. Annisa Hilborn, President of the Hospital Foundation,  tells the story about how the hospital got rebuilt.  Worth the time viewing.

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Tax payers expected to beat up on the Minister of finance at Oakville meeting

eventsblue 100x100By Staff

September 27, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Minister of Finance is going to be in Oakville DAY evening, supported by the two Burlington MP’s and the MP from Oakville.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, goes face-to-face with Finance Minister Bill Morneau at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, goes face-to-face with Finance Minister Bill Morneau

 

The event is set up as a Town hall with Minister Morenau on Proposed Tax Changes – Friday, September 29th
Pam Damoff, Karina Gould and Kevin Flynn will be in the room that is going to be packed beyond capacity.

One Burlington resident tried to register and was told that the event was SOLD OUT.

Kevin Flynn - glasses

Kevin Flynn –

Pam Damoff

Pam Damoff, MP for Oakville Burlington North

Gould Karina H&S

Karina Gould, MP and Minister of Democratic Institutions

There are a lot of people who are not buying into the federal government’s plans to change the tax code and disallow feature of that code that have allowed high earners to move some of their income to family members who pay a lower tax rate.

Oakville and Burlington certainly have a high number of those high earners – should be a boisterous evening.

Event takes place at: Unifor 707 Galaxy Hall, 475 North Service Road East, Oakville, ON, L6H 1A5

Doors open at 8:00 AM, Town Hall meeting from 8:30-9:30 AM

We will report for you.

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Length and listen is the advice a successfully retired small business person has for the Minister of Financne

 

opinionandcommentBy Joe Gaetan

September 14th, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In order to understand why Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau are on the wrong track when it comes to small business taxation, Joe Gaetan explains that they have to understand what small businesses are all about, how they tick, the challenges they face and the risks they take.

“According to government statistics, approximately 80,000 new small to medium sized businesses (SME’s) are born and about 80,000 cease to exist each year.

Funding-For-Small-Businesses

Where does your funding come from?

“To start a business you need seed money, in 2014, 51.3 percent of SME’s sought external financing, compared with 48.7 percent that did not request external financing. If a small business owner funds his or her own business they are doing it with after tax dollars, something many people forget. If they borrow from a bank they will have to collateralize the loan which means if things go awry they could lose their home. Lacking both a credit history and the collateral needed to secure a loan, over 80 percent of start-ups face great risk by personally financing their new businesses. On top of that one should know that small business owners (SBO’s), doctors, farmers, restaurant owners are not tax cheats.

Retiring

Retirement is not a sure thing.

“SBO’s have no pensions, let alone indexed pensions, no stock options with generous tax treatment, no health benefits, no sick day benefits, no vacation benefits, no golden parachutes and no help from Provincial and Federal politicians. When it comes to vacations and sick days, small business owners lose income when they are away, but their expenses continue and they usually experience a drop in income for however many days they are away. Generally speaking small business owners have no entitlements and no security blankets to get them through any rough patches. The same cannot be said for government workers, politicians, teachers and employees of many public and private enterprises.

“The government recently issued a 63-page white paper on small business taxation that requires an in-depth understanding of tax law, something most small business owners do not have. The paper targets, income sprinkling (income splitting), earning passive investment income in a corporation and converting a corporation’s ordinary income into tax-preferred capital gains, using net income examples that any business person would be happy to enjoy, but is far from representative of small business net-income .

“The article states that,” income sprinkling” (a catchy term used by Morneau to denigrate what is really income splitting),“is perhaps deemed the most offensive” and “the one that will likely have the broadest financial impact on small business owners and incorporated professionals”. The latter is an understatement if there ever was one.

Stock-Option-Tips

They don’t exist in the private sector where the Small Business people thrive.

“Large banks or any large corporation for that matter, can put whomever they like on their board and can sprinkle them generously with stock options, that when exercised are favorably taxed, one could say “that” practice is a major loophole, but it isn’t, it is perfectly legal under our tax code. Why? Stock options usually carry a 10-year life span which allows the grantee the luxury of exercising them when the time is right and when exercised, only 50% of the gain is taxable. In lay terms, imagine how happy you would be if only half of your income was taxed.

“This is costing the government and therefore us about $800 million a year in lost tax revenue, but the government would sooner tax the small business owner.

“At present small business owners can share part of their income with their board of directors. That could include one or more members of the family, including their spouse and children. Money taken out by a family member would be taxed at the rate for the person who benefited from the income. The family member in question may have little or a lot to do with the day to day operation of the business. One of the arguments against this is, small business owners use this money to put their kids through school, but what about the free tuition that is granted to children of university employees, is that not the same thing, is that not a non-taxable benefit and therefore a loophole that needs to be plugged?

“To understand the full impact of the impact of the attack on “earning passive investment income in a corporation and converting a corporation’s ordinary income into tax-preferred capital gains, you should know that prudent small business owners keep between 90 to 180 days of cash in the bank to get them through low business cycles and unexpected events like Sep 11, 2001 or 2008, two events in recent times that had a negative effect on small and large businesses. Except the “too big to fail companies” were helped while small business had to surf through it with zero help.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, goes face-to-face with Finance Minister Bill Morneau at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, November 4, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, goes face-to-face with Finance Minister Bill Morneau Photo credit – THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

“So, if you are looking for income stability or longevity, starting an SME may not be your best choice, and especially after the Trudeau/Morneau juggernaut has gutted some of the few benefits of being a small business owner. Some of the so-called loopholes the Trudeau/Morneau team wish to eradicate are in fact are a legitimate vehicle by which small business try to squirrel money for their retirement years.

“If the government is serious about fair tax reform they should at least do the following:”

Lengthen the consultative window to at least 6 months

Start listening to the many non-partisan tax experts who understand the tax laws and small businesses and are ready willing and able to contribute in a meaningful fashion.

Joseph GaetanJoe Gaetan spent 13 of his fifty years of uninterrupted employment as a small business owner.  He operated a Laser Smoking Cessation business, treating over 5,000 during the the life of the business. He retired from that business in 2013. Prior to that he worked  for a Fortune 100 company.

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Details on the 36th annual Terry Fox run on Sunday.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

September 12, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Residents are going to have to figure out what they want to do this Sunday.

Both the Amazing Bed Race and the Terry Fox Run for cancer are taking place on Sunday the 17th.

Not at the same time but close together.

Beds will be on Brant Street – The Terry Fox Run will start in Spencer Smith Park and go to the canal and back for a distance of 4.5 km

Construction work being done on the eastern end of the Naval Promenade requires the Terry Fox event to shorten the distance this year and to keep all the traffic on the Waterfront Trail which will mean no bikes.

The Terry Fox run organizing committee has not been able to get city hall to do any jiggling of the times for the events so both are taking place on the same day.

Registration for the Amazing Bed race doesn’t take place until 11 am, by which time most of the Terry Fox run people are finishing up.

The city was not at all responsive to changing anything about the Bed Race. Craig Gardner said he found the city was getting “more intrusive by shutting roads even sooner – they close Brant at 8 am when our folks arrive. We asked if they could close at 9 and were told no.”

Registration for volunteers is 7:30 to 8am, registration for runners is 8 am(located parallel to the parking lot on the west side of Spencer’s restaurant on the grassy area by the Terry Fox Monument.

Runners will leave at 9 am and walkers/strollers leave at 10 am.

Once again because of the use of waterfront trail sadly NO BIKES.

Terry Fox route - FINAL

Route map for the 36th annual Terry Fox Run – they have raised  millions for cancer research. The design work was done by the good people at Striped Aardvark – check them out.

 

The Terry Fox run is particular poignant this year – the recent passing of Casey Cosgrove who was one of the moving forces behind the installation of the 3582 km marker in Spencer Smith Park will draw additional hundreds to the event.

Times are

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Four Halton residents have tested positive for West Nile virus; threat exists until the first frost.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 11, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Four Halton residents have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These are the first human cases for Halton this year.

wev

wev

“The Halton Region Health Department works diligently to reduce the risk of West Nile virus in our community through both education and preventative programs such as larviciding. Until the fall frost, Halton residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites,” said Dr. Daniela Kempkens, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region.

“While 80 per cent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms, others will have West Nile fever consisting of fever, headache, muscle ache and a rash. If residents are concerned or experiencing symptoms, I would encourage them to visit their health care professional.”

Urban areas are more likely to have mosquitoes that carry WNV. The types of mosquitoes that transmit WNV to humans most commonly breed in urban areas and in places that hold standing water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires.

Residents are encouraged to take the following steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes:

• Cover up. Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and pants with tightly-woven fabric.
• Avoid being outdoors from early evening to morning when mosquitoes are most active and likely to bite, as well as at any time in shady, wooded areas.
• Use an approved insect repellent, such as one containing DEET or Icaridin.
• Make sure your window and door screens are tight and without holes, cuts or other openings.
• Reduce mosquito breeding sites around your home by getting rid of all water-filled containers and objects, where possible. Change the water in bird baths at least once per week.

As part of its ongoing West Nile prevention program, Halton Region staff continually monitor areas of standing water, eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites and larvicide when mosquito larvae is found.

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