Province’s GO-VAXX Bus coming to Burlington Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 – Appointments Required

By Staff

December 31st, 2021



The GO-VAXX Mobile Bus Clinic will be coming to Burlington in the new year on Monday, Jan. 24 and Monday, Jan. 31. Both mobile vaccine clinics will take place at Sherwood Forest Park.

The clinic at Sherwood Forest Park will administer an Mrna COVID-19 vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna, for first, second, and booster doses, as well as the paediatric Pfizer vaccine for children aged five to 11. Approximately 320 vaccines will be administered during each mobile bus clinic.

Please note that GO-VAXX mobile bus clinics are now by appointment only. Walk-ins will not be accepted.

To book an appointment:
Visit the COVID-19 vaccination portal or call the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900.
Appointments will be available for booking at 8 a.m. the day before the clinic. Once appointments are full, the GO-VAXX location will be removed as an option from the provincial booking site. Please note that appointments usually fill up within one hour.

GO-VAXX Mobile Bus Clinic details:

• Dates: Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 and Monday, Jan. 31, 2022
• Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Location: Sherwood Forest Park at 5270 Fairview St., Burlington
• Eligibility: Who Can Get Vaccinated

Appointments are required.

The City of Burlington actively submitted an application to the Province of Ontario for the GO-VAXX bus to come to Burlington. The Province of Ontario operates the GO-VAXX mobile vaccination clinics as part of the province’s strategy to get COVID-19 vaccines to Ontarians. The number of available vaccinations at the mobile clinics is determined by the Province of Ontario.

The City sought to support vaccination efforts by securing an appropriate local site to host the mobile clinics and share this additional vaccine opportunity with Burlington residents. The mobile clinics are one more opportunity to get vaccinated, but there are many other ways to do so, including Halton Region clinics, pharmacies, community and paediatric clinics and doctors’ offices. Halton Region Covid-19 vaccination clinic information can be found at Halton – COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics.

The City is also working with the Province to bring two walk-in indoor clinics to our city early in 2022.

Further details will be communicated with the public once confirmed.


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City continues emergency response to ensure business continuity and prepares for COVID-19 impacts in 2022

By Staff

December 31st, 2021



In a lengthy media release put out by the city administration they said  “The number one priority continues to be the health and safety of residents and staff.

The key focus for the City right now is continuity of operations, given rising infections in the community and subsequently among City staff.

To date, there remain few instances of City workplace transmission in City facilities. City staff continue to monitor COVID-19 impacts to ensure robust health and safety procedures are in place in our facilities and are working to ensure essential services are delivered for Burlington residents.

Throughout the holidays, the City’s Emergency Control Group continues to meet to review City service programs and impacts. The City will continue to communicate updates to residents as we all continue to live through this evolving pandemic.

Pandemic response and updates

 The City wants to ensure the people of Burlington that the City continues to monitor the COVID-19 impacts and prepare. This is a dynamic situation and City staff are monitoring daily for any federal, provincial, or regional announcements that would impact City operations. Burlington City Council is provided regular briefings and are ready to take action if a City Council meeting should be required over the holidays. Verbal updates on the COVID-19 emergency response will continue to be provided to City Council in the new year at the Environment, Infrastructure and Community Services Committee.

The next COVID-19 emergency response verbal update is planned for Jan. 13, 2022.

City of Burlington Emergency Control Group

The City’s Emergency Control Group has been regularly meeting over the holidays. This group has decision-making responsibility related to time-sensitive and immediate actions to address the emergency at hand, including operations and crisis communications. The Emergency Control group includes the Mayor, City Manager and senior City leadership from all service areas, Burlington Fire leadership, Health and Safety staff and a Burlington Hydro representative. City Council continues to be responsible for overall governance of the City and strategic decisions.

Protecting City staff and our community

Throughout the pandemic, the City has taken proactive steps to reduce the risk of transmission in the workplace. This includes implementing a staff COVID-19 vaccination policy, adjustments to building ventilation, occupancy limits, daily wellness screening, mandatory masks and a variety of personal protection equipment. Respiratory protection (N95 or KN95 respirators) were offered early on in the pandemic to staff that were deemed an elevated risk to protect them and Burlington residents. To address the highly transmissible Omicron variant, the City has taken additional steps, including making medical masks and tight-fitting respirators (N95, KN95, etc.), available to all staff working on-site.

For higher risk settings, the City is using rapid antigen tests to ensure safety and operational continuity. The City continues to conduct case and contact management for the workplace, regularly updating isolation and testing protocols based on evolving Public Health requirements and to mitigate risk. City staff are advised to work from home and not attend the workplace if they are feeling unwell.

For part-time staff, the City has re-introduced up to 10 paid shifts for approved absences related to COVID-19 to help take care of our people.

The City is acutely aware that the infectious rate of the Omicron variant has the ability to impact City delivery of services and continues to monitor carefully to take steps as needed. Even though hospitalizations currently remain lower with the Omicron variant, the need for people to self-isolate if they get Omicron creates an elevated risk for staffing levels and continuity of services. It remains critical for people to continue to follow all health measures to reduce opportunity for spread and get vaccinated. All requirements for proof of vaccination, screening, masking and physical distancing remain in place at City facilities. The City is working to limit service disruptions to essential public safety services for the community.

Outdoor and active at home recreation options

Residents are encouraged to get outside and enjoy the outdoors responsibly, continuing to follow the advice from public health. There are a number of opportunities to remain active such as the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond, 15 neighbourhood rink locations, six City designated tobogganing areas and walking/biking on trails. Visiting parks and open spaces is another outdoor recreation opportunity. For a list of parks, playgrounds and trails, visit Options to stay active at home are also available online at

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward added that: “Your City Council and staff are taking all actions necessary to ensure you continue to receive the services you rely on. We also regularly connect with our partners at the federal, provincial and regional levels to offer our help as needed, and advocate for our community where necessary. We will get through this together as we have so far. Thank you for continuing to do your part, follow health measures, and get vaccinated. We know the last 22 months haven’t been easy for anyone, and you’ve made many sacrifices. Your compassion for each other, your resilience and creativity to find new ways to safely come together, has been a shining light through these difficult days.”

City Manager Tim Commisso

City Manager Tim Commisso

“It is important the City continues to deliver essential services to our community and we want to assure the public we are working to help us all get through this wave as safely as possible. The City’s Emergency Control Group continues to meet regularly throughout the holiday closure and City staff are at work delivering City programs and services and responding to COVID-19. This is a dynamic situation.

Although there remain few instances of City workplace transmission in City facilities, we know 51 per cent of all City staff COVID-19 infections have occurred in the last two weeks since the pandemic began. The Omicron variant is highly infectious and we continue to review plans for business continuity and essential delivery of services for our community.”


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Unmasked skaters using Discovery Pond in Spender Smith Park

By Pepper Parr

December 30th, 2021



We are still doing it to ourselves.

The advice from the MoH is to get outside and get a lot of fresh air and stay in wear a mask whenever and wherever you can.

Last evening a reader reported there were between 120-130 people on the Discovery Pond ice rink or surrounding benches in Spencer Smith Park at one time and fewer than 10% were masked. Probably 10% of skaters were less than 5 years old and thus unvaccinated.

No social distancing.

“Show some leadership and require everyone to be masked up. Don’t wait for the overworked Halton Public Health Director to react” said Doug Cunningham.

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Provincial MOH sets out how the province will face the Omicron virus - less testing, more isolation, and wear the masks

By Pepper Parr

December 30th, 2021



Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore took to the microphone for a media event to explain what the people of Ontario are up against with a Omicron Covid19 variant that is now at a 50% positivity rate.

Moore said the virus is within the community and that it didn’t make a lot of sense to measure what we already know.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore

He told his audience that he expects it to take six to eight weeks for the variant to run its course and in that period of time the limited resources the province has in terms of testing material will be used to protect those most vulnerable.
There are limits to the number of testing kits available. The RAT kits should be used to test if you are ill before you head for work and not used to determine if it is safe for you to go out socially.

The province is going to rely on data from the hospitals on the number of people who arrive at the hospital and have to be hospitalized or placed in an Intensive Care Unit.

Moore has chosen to believe that Ontarians have behaved “brilliantly” “which got us through the Delta variant and he expects the population to behave the same as we deal with Omicron”.

Schools in Ontario will open on Wednesday January 5th: there are more than enough masks to ensure students can be masked if they have to be.

Moore said the medical community now knows that the at risk period for those who think they are infected is the first two days when they may not know they were infected and the three days after which is the period of time they will “shed” the virus the most.

The message was: If you feel ill – stay at home and if you don’t feel better in a few days – two or three – then head to the hospital.

He urged employers not to press employees for test results because the resources needed to do the testing are in very very short supply – adding that the supply problems are a global issue.

Moore was quite upbeat- he said everyone was going through a “knowledge transition” period and that “we are not throwing in the towel”.

Premier Doug Ford did not appear with Kieran Moore.

Moore made it very clear that we are dealing with a very dynamic and a very fluid situation that he was confident we would get through.
It is going to be a bumpy ride.

A young woman I work with was in the office kitchen putting some food in the microwave. She was maskless and said the really good news was that no one was dying from Omicron. She seemed prepared to deal with being sick for a couple of days.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health, is updating its COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines. Key changes include the following:

Symptomatic testing will be available for high-risk individuals, and individuals who work in high-risk settings.

Individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are presumed positive and they should follow isolation and/or self-monitoring guidelines.
Testing for asymptomatic contacts of cases is generally no longer recommended, except for high-risk contacts/individuals who are part of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in high-risk settings, as recommended by public health.

Positive rapid antigen tests will no longer require PCR confirmation.

Based on the latest scientific evidence, individuals with COVID-19 should isolate for five days if they are fully vaccinated or under the age of 12, and if their symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours.

Eligible Groups for PCR Testing

Effective December 31, 2021, PCR testing will only be recommended for individuals if they belong to the following groups:

Symptomatic people who fall into one of the following groups:

Hospitalized patients
Patients in Emergency Departments, at the discretion of the treating clinician
Patient-facing health care workers
Staff, residents, essential care providers, and visitors in hospitals and congregate living settings, including long-term care, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, temporary foreign worker settings, and correctional institutions
Outpatients for whom COVID-19 treatment is being considered
Underhoused or homeless
People who are from First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities and individuals travelling into these communities for work
Symptomatic elementary and secondary students and education staff who have received a PCR self-collection kit through their school
People on admission/transfer to or from hospital or congregate living setting
High-risk contacts and asymptomatic/symptomatic people in the context of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in high-risk settings, including hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes, other congregate living settings and institutions, and other settings as directed by the local public health unit
Individuals, and one accompanying caregiver, with written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager, OHIP
Asymptomatic testing in hospital, long-term care, retirement homes and other congregate living settings and Institutions as per provincial guidance and/or Directives

If you have symptoms of COVID-19

Individuals who are vaccinated, as well as children under 12 who have symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to isolate for five days following the onset of symptoms. These individuals can end isolation after five days if their symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours, and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed.

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Province reporting positivity rates of 27%: Chief Medical Officer of Health to make a 3 pm announcement

By Pepper Parr

December 30th, 2021


The province reported a positivity rate of 27% yesterday.

That’s the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested. So, as more and more people are being tested, the focus is shifting to the positivity rate — how many of those tested are actually infected.

This is something we are doing to ourselves.




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GOVAXX plans prove to be a bust - hopefully the registration procedures will improve.

By Staff

December 28th, 2021



It is going to be a bumpy ride.

The province announced that booster vaccinations were available and then didn’t prepare for the hundreds of people that would show uo.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward was at the Burlington Centre apologizing for a mistake she didn’t make. The people who should have been apologizing were nowhere to be seen.

Mayhem at the Burlington Centre on Monday.

The province will scramble to put better procedures in place.

Other than the Mayor no one with any authority had anything to say.

CHCH television released a short video.


MPP and Cabinet Minister Jane McKenna did not have any comment.



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Food4kids Halton gets new leadership: Dania Thurman appointed Executive Director


By Staff

December 28th, 2021



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

Dania Thurman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the fewest words possible: Food4kids feed children.

Related news stories:

Telling their story

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

By Pepper Parr

December 27th, 2021



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

         Tuesday, December 28

          9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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

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

Book today at or by calling 1-833-943-3900.

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

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

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

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

By Staff

December 23rd, 2021



Enhanced safety measures in response to Omicron also include visiting restrictions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

By Staff

December 22, 2021



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

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

The tools to protect ourselves are available.

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

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


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

The numbers for the Region are above.

The 370 active cases is likely to grow.

The numbers for Burlington are above.

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Inflation in a Time of COVID and Global Warming

By Ray Rivers

December 20th, 2021



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

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre in the House of Commons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background links:

Pierre Poilievre –  National Debt –  Crop Failures –

Food Prices –   Inflation –   Fiscal Update

Actual Fiscal Update –   Home Prices –

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The new Covid 19 rules impact Burlington - starting on Sunday

By Staff

December 18th, 2021



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

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

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

50% less starting Sunday

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

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

Rental organizations who wish to cancel their rental bookings at this time can do so without penalty by emailing

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


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Clarksdale students decorate lobby of hospital

By Staff

December 17th, 2021



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


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

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

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

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

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

Anissa Hilborn, President of the JBH Foundation.

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

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

By Ian Allen

December 10th, 2021



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

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

The point of reference much much of our communication now.

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

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


10 ways in which the internet changed everyday life

1. Research

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

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

2. Social Media and Communication

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

3. E-commerce

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

4. Entertainment

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

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

5. Streaming

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

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

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

6. Relationships

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

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

7. Healthcare

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

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

8. Travel

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

9. Education

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

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

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

10. Financial Services

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

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

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

By Staff

December 9th, 2021



Will the State of Emergency be lifted soon?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Regional Covid19 infections as of December 8th


Burlington Covid19 infections as of December 8th

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Retired fire fighters take part in hospital fund raising

By Denis Gibbons

December 5th, 2021



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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By Staff

December 2nd, 2021



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

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

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



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

By Pepper Parr

December 1st, 2021



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related news story.

Councillor explains.

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.




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

By Staff

November 28th, 2021



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are heading into a very dark winter.


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

By Staff

November 27th, 2021



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

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

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

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


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