Can high school students become philanthropists? Foundation Board member thinks so.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

September 19th, 2016



An interesting idea cropped up during our interview with Tim Cestnick, the newest member of the Burlington Foundation, which most of you will remember as the former Burlington community Foundation.

New members of any board need to take a little time to settle in and get a sense as to how the board has run in the past. Tim Cestnick and Tim Hogarth go back some time – both are polished senior executive types that know how to think through problems and take a strategic look at what the objective is. And both are now board members of the Foundation. Hogarth has been on the board for a period of time.

foundation-lansberg-speakingThe Foundation recently went through a re-branding and is well into the roll out of their Mental Health Awareness work they have been doing the past two years. They have a major speaker. Michael Landsberg,  in town in October.

The number of Endowments they manage grows steadily as does the assets under administration – $10.7 million now.

The organization is readying itself for its Annual Gala that is being chaired by Rick Burgess this year. The event will be held at the Performing Arts centre on October 22nd.

foundation-gala-2016foundation-gala-dateThe Gala is a major fund raising event that covers the operational costs of the Foundation.

Every organization that relies on the public needs to constantly refresh itself and while a brand change perhaps perks things up a little, the meat is in the ideas they come forward with. And this is where Cestnick’s thoughts on just what philanthropy is all about are very relevant.

The vast majority of the people out there would say that people with a lot of money can become philanthropists – Cestnick doesn’t see it that way. He thinks we can tech people at the high school level to think in terms of being philanthropists.

“Why can’t a high school student can’t set aside a small sum each year and make that their philanthropic donation – something that would be built on each year?

We have United Way for that might be a response – and it is a good one.

If one looks at the annual Terry Fox run that takes place in Burlington every year you get a sense of how a public will take to an idea; how they will respond to something that changed the way they see the world.


Others are already involving their youth in philanthropic ventures.

Philanthropy allows that kind of thing. The United Way seeks funds to provide services. The Burlington Foundation came to the realization that we need to look at Mental Health differently and bring it in out of the cold where it wasn’t talked about – we just felt sorry for those who were experiencing bad mental health.

The Foundation now has a program in place that has people talking about mental health and what has to change in the way we deal with this now growing social problem. That hasn’t been the kind of work that organizations like the United Way are doing. This is not to take anything away from what the United Way does – we could not survived as a caring society if we did not have the United Way in place.


Tim Cestnick newest Burlington Foundation Board member.

Tim Cestnick talks in terms of people needing to “feel” it when they are donating money. You give something up, you do without something you enjoy when you choose to make a philanthropic donation.

If I understood Tim Cestnick correctly he is interested in introducing people to the idea that there is something biblical about philanthropy and I got the impression it was something he might try to get on the Foundation agenda.

It will be interesting to see if this goes anywhere – it should.


Related article:

Cestnick appointed to Burlington Foundation board.

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British Car Day at Bronte Park- with Burlington's Alan Harrington getting behind the wheel of a Morgan.

eventspink 100x100By Staff

September 18, 2016



Something in the order of 1000 British motor cars covered the grassy fields at Bronte Provincial Park today as the Toronto Triumph Club hosted their 33rd annual British Car Day.


This MG was an 80 year old model – running like a charm.

Millions of pounds of machinery from a low-end 1950 Morris Series MM to “the Rolls Royce of cars”, the Rolls Royce. And more if price is no object.

There Jaguars (or Jag-u-ars depending upon your pronunciation), Triumph, Lotus, Sunbeam, MG and Land Rovers.


The close-up photo of the engine that drives the Morgan Three wheeler.


Alan Harrington got behind the wheel of the Morgan Three Wheeler.

The oldest car was a 1933 Morgan 3 wheeler painted a very light sky-blue.

The owner has had the car for 50 years.  It seats two but the passenger on the left has to help with left/right hand signals.


Fords Yellow 1994 TVR Griffith 500

Getting in and out of this “no-door” three wheeler is a minor task even for a yoga master.
There were Marcos, Bentley, Hillman, Daimler, BMW’s and Fords Yellow 1994 TVR Griffith 500 (lic UK)

At the back of the field are a dozen DeLoreans lined up gull-wing to gull-wing. DMC was the star of the Back to the Future film and one was decked out with the flux capacitor. DeLoreans were made in Northern Ireland that allows them to join all the other British made vehicles.


The Rolls Royce with a table in the rear Harrington was quite taken with the Grey Poupon mustard.


The trusty Land Rover that really didn’t need the Union Jack to show its British pedigree.

Alan Harrington, who is a regular at this annual event, managed to get himself behind the wheel of the Morgan; getting out was apparently a bit of a challenge.

Cars on display with anniversary years included MG TA Midget and Triumph Vitesse (80 years)  the RED one in the photo  and Morris Minor 1000 (60 years), cream coloured in the background of the photo with the gentleman with fancy hosiery.


The DeLorean was used in the Back to the Future film and one was decked out with the flux capacitor.

Comment from a reader: “Land Rover that didn’t need the British flag…” was really a second world war Willys MB made in Toledo, Ohio. The Land Rover and the Austin Gypsy were England’s answer to the Willys Jeep, which was the original. The role it played in defending England from Nazi tyranny is apparently good enough to allow it into this all-British event, and I enjoy seeing them displayed. Incidentally, the Land Rover display was the largest I have ever seen and also very enjoyable.

The music played during the event was was all 60’s British Invasion music; the treat for the nose was the faint whiff of incomplete gasoline combustion.

Food was available for the other senses.

All the photographs were taken by Harrington, except for the one of him in the Morgan – that was taken by Dave smith, the owner of the vehicle.

Back to the Future film and one was decked out with the flux

The show is an annual event – takes place the third Sunday of September –  website  –

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The first reported human case of of WNV has been reported to the Region's Medical Officer of Health.

News 100 blueBy Staff

September 15, 2016



A Halton resident has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).

This is the first reported human case of of WNV reported to the Region’s Medical Officer of Health this year.

The Halton Region Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani , advises residents to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites

WestNileVirus_transmission“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.

• 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.

• 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.

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. A map showing the locations of standing water sites on public properties that have had larvicide applied this year is available at

To report standing water at public facilities or for more information about West Nile virus, please visit or dial 311.

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Victims of abuse and sexual harassment have been given housing options by federal and provincial governments

News 100 redBy Staff

September 9, 2016



Halton Region is receiving $876,000 in new funding under the Survivors of Domestic Violence Portable Housing Benefit Pilot program. Ontario has selected Halton as one of 22 communities across the province to test the pilot.

The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing more than $20 million over two years to provide ongoing assistance to approximately 1,000 survivors of domestic violence per year under the pilot program.


For the physically abused and sexually harassed mother – finding a safe place to live is paramount – the federal and provincial governments have set up a pilot project for the Region of Halton

Currently, survivors of domestic violence are given priority access to rent-geared-to-income social housing. Under the new pilot, those survivors approved under the Special Priority Policy will have the option to receive a portable housing benefit, so that they can immediately find housing in their community instead of waiting for a social housing unit to become available.

Based on the outcomes of the pilot, Ontario will consider ways to enhance the program and extend the portable housing benefit to other communities.

The new investment complements the commitments made through Ontario’s recent Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy update, and supports the province’s goal of ending chronic homelessness in 10 years.

This initiative also supports the Ontario government’s goals of ending violence against women and providing better supports for survivors which includes the government’s It’s Never Okay: Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment.

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We stil don't know if Fortinos is going to be selling us wine come the fall.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

September 3rd, 2016



If it looks too good to be true – it probably isn’t true.



Pleasant enough assortment.

There I was getting ready try out the different supermarkets and see what their wine offerings were going to be – the Ministry of Finance did say we were going to be able to buy wine in Supermarkets on October 28th. They provided a list of the supermarkets who were going to be in the wine biz.

Fortinos logoLoblaws was on the list. Fortinos is a part of the Loblaws operation – just a different brand name. We wanted to know if Fortinos would be selling wine and we asked this question:

“Can we assume that if a supermarket chain is part of the list of locations that can begin selling wine in October that any location in the chain can sell wine products?”

The response: “That is not correct. I am just in a meeting but let me get you some expanded info.”

loblaws logo smallWell it turns out it isn’t quite that simple. When we asked for a little more in the way of detail here is what we got back.

“Today’s announcement identified the successful respondents to the Request for Bids (RFB) held by the LCBO for the sale of wine in grocery stores, later this fall. The successful grocers will now move on to the next stage of the process, which is to apply to have their individual getting new - yellowstore locations inspected and authorized by the Alcohol Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), and then enter in to the necessary wholesale supply agreements with the LCBO. We will provide further updates about the authorizations and individual store locations once the RFB process is complete in late October.”

I think we are going to be making trips to the LCBO for a while yet.

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Unneeded or expired medications can now be left at any Halton pharmacy - police ending their facility drop off locations.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 22, 2016


The successful prescription drug drop off awareness campaign run by the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) – Drug and Morality Unit (DMU), along with local partner pharmacies is transitioning from police facility drop off locations to locally based community pharmacy locations.

Expired or unused medications (prescription or over the counter) can be returned to any pharmacy in Halton. By responsibly dropping off your unused / expired medications to local pharmacies, you’ll not only ensure they’re disposed of properly – you’ll also keep them out of the wrong hands, preventing abuse, accidental ingestion and protecting our environment in the process.

The current police facility drug drop off collection bins will be removed August 31st 2016. The HRPS-DMU thanks their local community pharmacies for their support and looks forward to future proactive and preventative initiatives.

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Hospital will have significantly improved internal communications system by the end of the year.

jbhhealthBy Staff

August 12th, 2016



Despite some problems the province had with creating a system for the electronic movement of medical records the people building the new seven floor patient tower appear to have a grip on the problem.

JBH renering July -15 with passageway to garage

The new communications system will be operational by the end of the year and will be part of the new seven storey patient tower that is now under construction.

EllisDon Design Build Inc., the company selected to build the new seven-story patient tower, that is very close to being closed in has chosen Orion Health’s Rhapsody Integration Engine which was designed for rapid interoperability between healthcare IT systems. It has been described as the pre-eminent engine delivering secure patient information among healthcare clinicians, collaborators and patients.

Joseph Brant Hospital’s communication infrastructure is being readied to meet the future healthcare needs of one of Canada’s fastest-growing communities. The system will power all communications and data processing

In a media release Gary Folker, EVP for Orion Health in North America said: “There’s urgency in healthcare for building technology solutions that accelerate the shift towards patient-centric care and away from the traditional disease-centred model of care.

“Partnering with EllisDon to help transform Joseph Brant Hospital into the pinnacle of healthcare delivery, will usher in a new wave of smart hospitals, while allowing us to combine our expertise in healthcare integration with their innovative approach to healthcare planning and design.”

“Rhapsody will be a key component of improving the workflow and communication among the various departments within the hospital, as well as the quality of real-time patient information available to clinicians. This greater access to secure patient data will ultimately result in more timely care and better coordination of care.

“As this is one of the most substantial projects we’ve worked on, our goal was to bring a technology partner on board that can help solidify the collaborative, patient-centric environment we are building,” said Stephen Foster Director, ICAT, EllisDon. “In Orion Health, we have the partner that offers the best healthcare information technology solutions to address the needs of both patients and healthcare professionals – now and into the future.”

In addition to the transformation of the hospital’s administrative, clinical and patient information systems, EllisDon is also spearheading the design, build and financing of a number of renovations and expansions within the hospital:

Construction of a new, seven-story patient tower that will have a new emergency department, nine operating rooms and a post-anesthetic care room that will allow for an additional 1,770 inpatient and day surgeries

Upon completion of the project there will be 172 modern inpatient beds and 70 per cent of the patient rooms will be private
Expansion of the cancer clinic, enabling the hospital to serve an additional 2,876 patient visits
Modernization and expansion of the laboratory to improve turnaround time for test results

The implementation of Rhapsody will be completed by September 2016, while construction of Joseph Brant Hospital’s new patient tower will be completed in the fall of 2017 and renovations to the existing hospital will be completed in 2018.getting new - yellow

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Live and Play guide on line now

News 100 redBy Staff

August 12, 2016



The 2016-17 Live & Play guide – the City of Burlington’s guide for information on recreation, sport, culture programs and festivals and events is now available online.

Printed copies are available for pick up at recreation centres, City Hall, 426 Brant St., Burlington Tourism and the Burlington Public Libraries.

Live and play coverThe Live & Play online guide allows you to view and share program information as well as register for programs directly from any computer or mobile device. View the online guide… RIGHT HERE

getting new - yellow

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Water levels at their lowest since August 20, 2007; Region issues a level 2 water condition.

News 100 blueBy Staff

August 11th, 2016


A combination of below-average precipitation this year with hot summer temperatures has resulted in water levels in local streams dropping well below normal.

As a result, Conservation Halton is escalating from a Level I to a Level II Low Water Condition for its watershed, based on criteria set out in the Ontario Low Water Response guidelines.

Conservation Halton’s data for the month of July indicates that like much of south central Ontario, the Halton watershed has received below-average precipitation and an unusually high number of very warm days. The watershed received an average of 43 mm of rain, which is only 54 per cent of the normal July average of 79 mm.

Bronte creek

Bronte Creek isn’t looking quite this flush these days.

The three-month total for May to July was approximately 105 mm or 45 per cent of normal for this time of year, and there have been 24 days where temperatures surpassed 30°C during this period of time (compared to an average of six days for the preceding three years). Furthermore, current stream flow data indicates that many of our watercourses are in a Level II Low Water Condition, with monthly July flows averaging 35 per cent of the lowest average summer monthly flow.

A Level II Low Water Condition is the second level of an escalating scale of low water conditions. Under the Level II Low Water Condition, water users in the Conservation Halton watershed are strongly encouraged to voluntarily conserve water with the aim of reducing overall consumption by a further 10 per cent, to a new target total reduction of 20 per cent. Conservation Halton had previously issued a Level I Low Water Condition on July 8, 2016.

Conservation Halton sign - angle

The Halton watershed is comprised of the Bronte, Grindstone, and Sixteen Mile Creek watersheds, which encompass portions of Puslinch, Hamilton, Halton Hills, Milton, Mississauga, Burlington and Oakville, as well as a number of smaller watersheds located in Burlington and Oakville.

The last time Conservation Halton declared a Level II Low Water Condition for its watershed was August 20, 2007. This Level II Low Water Condition was maintained until January 24, 2008 when it was reduced to Level I, then returned to normal conditions on February 6, 2008.

“The continued hot and dry weather conditions has resulted in the streams in the Halton watershed being lower than their typical levels for this time of the year and that is why we have moved to a Level II Low Water Condition,” said Conservation Halton Manager of Watershed Engineering Services, Janelle Weppler. “Given the situation, our team will maintain our increased level of monitoring and regular discussions with our Low Water Response Team. We encourage everyone to use water wisely.”

Major water users, such as golf courses, aggregate extractors, farm irrigators and others are asked to implement or continue their water conservation programs to reach the 20 per cent reduction target. Rural water users can lower the demand on the watercourses and aquifers by pumping water at a lower rate, storing it in ponds or by staggering their pumping times in conjunction with neighbours to lower peak demand. A 20 per cent voluntary reduction will help to provide water supplies for essential use and to sustain aquatic ecosystems.

Water users which rely on municipal sources are reminded to follow any water conservation measures as prescribed by Halton Region or their local municipality.

The Halton watershed is comprised of the Bronte, Grindstone, and Sixteen Mile Creek watersheds, which encompass portions of Puslinch, Hamilton, Halton Hills, Milton, Mississauga, Burlington and Oakville, as well as a number of smaller watersheds located in Burlington and Oakville.

• Normal – Normal Conditions are within normal limits.
• Level I – First indication of potential water supply problems, primarily a warning level – key focus is on voluntary conservation of water
• Level II – Indicates a potentially serious problem – conservation of water is extended to restrictions on non-essential uses
• Level III – Indicates a failure of the water supply to meet demand – key focus is on conservation, regulation and enforcement of non-essential uses.getting new - yellow

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Police having a conversation with a 38 year old Mother of three about why they were left unattended in a car in blistering heat.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 11, 2016



It happens.

There are some incredibly stupid parents out there.

Changing them is difficult; fortunately there are services that can work with negligent parents.

The public is one of the defences the children of negligent parents can rely on.

A 38 year old Halton Region mother of three is under investigation following an incident in a store parking lot early Wednesday evening.

HRPS crestOfficers were called to the parking lot around 6:45 p.m. in response to a citizen’s complaint that three children were in a car in an “expectant Mother” parking space. The car was parked in full sunlight and had its engine turned off. Four windows were open only approximately 3 inches each. The car was locked and the alarm had been activated.

Officers attended and persuaded the oldest child to open the door so that officers could check on them and get some fresh air flowing through the car. The children, aged between 4 and 12 years old, appeared hot, and the youngest appeared to be sleeping yet perspiring profusely. As a precaution, the officers summoned an ambulance to the scene. The children were checked by paramedics and appeared to be suffering no ill effects from the heat.

About 11 minutes after the initial call, the mother returned to the vehicle. She had a conversation with the officers and provided her excuse as to why she left her three children in a locked car, with no air conditioning, in 32 degree Celsius ambient heat.

Police will be reviewing video surveillance footage of the parking area to determine how many minutes, in excess of the known 11 minutes, that the children were subjected to these conditions. Officers will then determine what charges could and may be laid.

Halton Regional Police would like to remind people that leaving children or pets inside a motor vehicle is not only gravely dangerous, but unlawful as well. The interior temperature of a standard automobile in 32C weather can increase to 42C in 10 minutes, 48C in 20 minutes and 51C in 30 minutes. Having windows cracked open just a few inches has minimal to no affect on the increase in interior temperatures. Children have been known to succumb to heat stroke inside cars where the outside temperature is only 21C.getting new - yellow

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Burlington's hospital gets an additional $400 thousand from the province.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 10th, 2016


Ontario is providing $175 million in 2016–17 to hospitals across the province — an increase of $50 million over last year’s funding — to keep them in a state of good repair so patients can continue to receive high-quality care in a safe and healthy environment.

Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital will receive $400,525 of the $175 million the province is giving hospitals across the province.

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 will now face the lake. The entrance will be off Lakeshore Road with the new parking lot just to the west of the hospital.

The funds came through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF) and was an increase of $50 million over last year’s funding for all the hospitals.

HIRF funding to support crucial infrastructure projects to extend the useful life or improve the quality of their facilities. Projects may include upgrades or replacements to roofs, windows, HVAC systems, fire alarms and back-up generators.

The Joseph Brant Hospital is in the middle of a renovate/rebuild of its facilities which they expect to complete in 2018.

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

JBH president Eric Vandewall

Eric Vandewall, President and CEO of Joseph Brant Hospital said: “As we undergo the largest transformation in our hospital’s history, including a brand new seven-storey patient tower, it’s critical that we ensure all areas of our hospital are kept in excellent condition. This additional funding will ensure that patients receive the modern and efficient health care services they need and deserve in a setting that is safe, clean and in good repair.”

McMahon - First public as Minister

Burlington MPP Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

Burlington MPP, Eleanor McMahon, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport said: “ The expansion of Joseph Brant Hospital represents a true partnership between our government, the City of Burlington and our generous citizens. Working together we are investing in a hospital which will offer the best in patient care and one which will attract people and investment to our community. ”

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Problems with the management of waste water land on the Mayors desk. Video highlights the problem.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 9th, 2016



A video has been posted that shows waste garbage near a storm water grate at the Brant Street Beach, near the Brant Street Pier.

Burlington singer Sarah Harmer and producer Brett Rogers met with Mayor Rick Goldring, Regional officials and Marianne Meed Ward, the city Councillor for the downtown core of the city.

In a media release the city said:
Sarah Harmer, Rogers, Mayor Rick Goldring, Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward and city staff responsible for storm water management and communication were joined at City Hall by Halton Regional staff responsible for drinking water and public health, including testing beaches for swimming safety.

The meeting follows the posting of a video by Rogers that shows garbage near a storm water grate at the Brant Street Beach, near the Brant Street Pier.

“We had a good discussion today with Brett, Sarah and staff,” said Mayor Goldring. “As a result of today’s meeting, city and regional staff are working to further quantify elements that impact storm water management and beach water quality in Burlington in order to determine next steps. We know Lake Ontario is a tremendous asset to our community.”

A natural beach created when land jutting out into the lake was formed - some think the "mini-beach should have a boat dock dropped into place.

A natural beach created when land jutting out into the lake was formed – some think the “mini-beach should have a boat dock dropped into place.  You can see where the water discharge pipe is located on the right hand side.

“The small beach at Spencer Smith Park is well-loved and well-used,” said Councillor Meed Ward. “I’m grateful to Brett and Sarah for raising awareness about water quality and how we handle storm water, especially as more development occurs, and we lose green space.

There are lots of options for us, including low-impact development, green infrastructure and storm water utilities. I’m committed to exploring those.”

That water run off pipe is what results in part of the problem with the small beach at the foot of Brant Street. That plus the geese that foul the water. There is always a sign on this beach that tells you if the water is safe.

That water run off pipe is what results in part of the problem with the small beach at the foot of Brant Street. That plus the geese that foul the water. There is always a sign on this beach that tells you if the water is safe.

Water - MMW Harmer -Rogers - Magi

From the left: City Councillor Marianne Meed Ward, Sarah Harmer, Brett Rogers and Allan Magi, Executive Director of Capital works for the city. Harmer is casting a wary eye on what Magi is explaining – and well she should.

The five next steps before the group meets in September are:
• Halton Region health staff will connect with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to determine if it is possible to do any testing of the outfall and, if possible, would testing be meaningful.
• The City of Burlington will research end-of-pipe technologies that could be possible for the storm water outlet at Brant Street Beach. Staff will also check in with the city’s roads and parks maintenance department to learn about current geese management practices.
• The City of Burlington will connect with other agencies, including Conservation Halton and Halton Region, and compile a list of current education programs related to storm water and beaches, also researching best practices for communicating.
• The City of Burlington will look at the signs created in the past year featuring, which are posted at both Burlington Beach and Brant Street Beach. The city will look at possible additional signage related to animals on Burlington’s beaches.
• Mayor Goldring is hosting a follow-up meeting with Rogers and Harmer, Councillor Meed Ward and staff in mid-September to report back on the findings and determine possible next steps.

The Beach Brett Rogers was using was one of the bonuses that came with the $14 million pier. Sand began to form on the west side of the pier and that spot where the Naval Promenade begins yards away from the Waterfront Hotel.

When the city realized the formation of sand was going to continue they built a small walkway to the edge of the water. The location is now used by children who want to be near the water. Some small craft beach their boars there from time to time.

The testing of water quality is a Regional government responsibility. At one time the Region would issue regular water quality reports but they stopped doing that at the end of the 2015 summer season.

Brett Rogers is a producer and adventurer and co-creator of the History Channel’s 7 Days in Hell.

Sarah Harmer is the founder of PERL  – Protecting Escarpment Rural Lands  and a well-known singer who has won numerous awards. She was a significant witness during the Tribunal that eventually decided not to issue a permit to the Nelson Aggregate company that wanted to expand the quarry in north Burlington.

The discharge pipe has been in place for years; it was the keen eye of Brett Rogers that saw the scope of the problem.

On a web site of his own Brett Rogers gives what he calls “his rant”. It follows:

Brett Rogers

Brett Rogers – a guy who loves what he is doing.

On Saturday I went paddle boarding at my local launch point at Spencer Smith Park, in Burlington. You could make a good argument that between Spencer Smith Park and the Skyway bridge is some of the best recreational shoreline on Lake Ontario. Spencer Smith hosts some pretty awesome festivals like the Sound of Music and Rib Fest, while Burlington Beach is honestly one of the best places to swim, anywhere. Over the last four years I have spent a lot of my leisure time paddling my standup paddle board here. I love this place so much.

I’ve always had a close relationship with fresh water and I like to think that I’ve done a good job at respecting and celebrating water too. One of my News Years resolutions this year was to be a better fresh water advocate. The truth is, yeah I’ve done a good job at being a fresh water advocate over the past decade but I have not done a great job, and in this world, there are only great efforts and shitty efforts. Trust me in that I do not want to be a shitty fresh water advocate, which means I either up my game, or I shut up. And if you know me, I rarely shut up so I decided to up my game.

A big part of upping my game has been about reconnecting with an old mentor of mine, Mark Mattson. Mark is my Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. I worked for him for 9 months, 9 years ago. Looking back now, man was that an awesome job. Over the past handful of months I have really taken every opportunity of free time to help promote the work Mark is doing. A big part of that has been collecting Watermarks and exploring Burlington Bay in Annie, my York Boat. Since I’ve spent so much time with Mark lately, I’ve also learned a ton about Lake Ontario – some things that are truly out of this world cool and something, well, they just pissed me off.

Take Saturday for example. On that day I went paddle boarding with one of my best buddies. It was a wicked 3 hours on the lake. We launched and pulled out at this tiny little beach (maybe the smallest sandy beach on all of the Great Lakes) at Spencer Smith Park. As we paddled back in I noticed this huge culvert pipe between the beach and the pier. Now last year, I would had not even paid attention to such a feature, but this year I am like an eagle on the water, constantly on the lookout for a target – pollution. I notice this pipe and I think to myself, ‘I bet this dam thing is dumping storm water into my lake!’.

I guess the Lake Ontario gods had the same thought because last night, which was Sunday night, I wake up at 3 am to a huge thunder and lightning storm. I shut the windows and I can feel the mist of the rain blowing through the screen. It’s raining hard. The first thing that comes to my mind is that dam pipe! So I get out of bed, grab my video camera and drive 20 minutes down to the Lake. I have to investigate.

I love my home. I am proud of it. Both in terms of my roots in the country where I live and as a citizen of the City of Burlington. I’ve traveled a bunch and I do believe that this city is one of the best cities in all the world to live in. It’s not to big, not to small and with two totally awesome natural features that I am so proud of – the Niagara Escarpment and Lake Ontario. Plus Burlington really does has a nice downtown which we should all be proud about. But man… was I pissed off this morning. I mean, I was mad. How the hell can a great medium size City like Burlington be cutting corners like this and pull off this type of cronyism?

To deal with my anger (and utter disappointment) I felt I needed to pull some of those images and make this short video – if only for my mental well being but hopefully, to bring about change. Here’s the thing. As a Canadian, and as a member of the Burlington community, I really have no business worrying about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest when there is bull shit going on right here in my home town. Yes there are horrible things going on all over the world, but who am I to become engaged in ‘those’ issues when my own city and municipality are dumping pollution into the one of the greatest lakes on Earth, and the drinking water source for 9 million people! I don’t even drink from Lake Ontario, I am on a well, but I am still angry!

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Burlington residents to be first to take part in provincial program to prepare for future floods.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

August 7th, 2016



The woman who badgered a Cabinet Minister to ensure that Burlington residents had access to ODRAP – Ontario Disaster Relief funds – announced Friday that Ontario is investing $237,000 in a pilot project that will help Burlington homeowners reduce the risk of basement flooding from severe weather events associated with climate change.

Eleanor McMahon was a backbencher MPP when the flood hit the city in 2014; today she is a member of the provincial Cabinet responsible for Tourism, Culture and Sport

McMagon at HaaP announcement

Burlington’s MPP, Cabinet Minister Eleanor McMahon announcing the Home Adaptation Assessment Program program.

In her announcement McMahon said: “Ontario’s people and businesses are already feeling the effects of climate change. It has damaged the environment and has caused extreme weather events such as flooding, which can damage basements and homes and increase insurance rates.

“After experiencing substantial residential flooding in August 2014, Burlington was selected as the ideal location to run the first large-scale basement-flood risk reduction program. Developed by the University of Waterloo’s Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, the Home Adaptation Assessment Program will:

Assess the vulnerability of 4,000 Burlington-area homes to flood damage
Make recommendations to help homeowners avoid costly damage from extreme weather
Collect the data needed to inform potential expansion of the program to communities across the province.

Flood Fairview plaza

This kind of flooding hit both the residential and the commercial community.

Lessons learned from the pilot program in Burlington will inform a broader roll-out of the program across Ontario.  The joint pilot is between the provincial government, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, City of Burlington and participating homeowners who will be asked to pay a small fee for the inspection work done on their homes.

City Council has approved contributing an additional $50,000 the first year with opportunities to reassess in 2017.

The program, Home Adaptation Assessment Program (HAAP) will announce the names of the designated neighbourhoods and registration details this fall.

Basement flooded - stuff piled up

Basements throughout the city were cleared of wet soggy warped property and sent to the dump.

The media release added that: “Over the past decade, an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme rainfall events, aging municipal infrastructure and inadequate flood protection measures at the household level have all contributed to significant increases is basement flood damage costs across Canada. More specifically, property and casualty insurance claims have more than doubled in the past decade, with basement flooding being a central cause.”

That statement makes it sound as if the home owners were the ones to blame for problems with down spouts and letting the natural swales between houses build up.

A large part of the problem was with storm sewers that could not handle the huge and sudden flow of water. Home owners just did not know what they were supposed to do. The fire department puts out a regular flow of fire safety information – the same needed to be done about climate change.

The city knows now of a number of homes that cannot remain where they are in a specific flood plain; the information is in a city report but those specific home owners have not been informed.

The Home Adaptation Assessment Program (HAAP) is a basement-flood risk-reduction program. The program integrates international best practices for household flood prevention with input from homeowners and municipal engineers.

One-on-one support is available to individual households through a Home Adaptation Assessment. For a small fee, a trained HAAP assessor will take homeowners through a 50-point examination of potential water entry into the home and help develop a prioritized action plan to reduce risk. A customer help-line, follow-up surveys and seasonal maintenance reminders provide additional support to homeowners. HAAP’s approach is developed in consultation with local government, conservation authorities and community groups, ensuring that HAAP enhances and is complementary to existing flood-risk-mitigation programs.

Flood - Palmer Drive - with bin

Dumpster bins were in the driveways of hundreds of home in the city in August of 2014

The first large-scale phase of the development of HAAP will be carried out in Burlington where 4,000 home assessments in designated neighbourhoods will be completed by the end of 2017, with the first 500 to be completed in this year. These will be carefully selected to be representative of neighbourhoods across Ontario (based on home size and age, age and type of municipal infrastructure and past experience with flood risk). Lessons learned from HAAP delivery in Burlington will inform a broader roll-out of the program across Ontario.

The 2014 flood played no favourites. Both the Mayor and the federal member of parliament at the time had their basements flooded.

Related article: Insurance and pension fund sectors need better risk assessment tools to manage financial impact of climate change

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They are back - West Nile virus positive mosquitoes found in Burlington

News 100 redBy Staff

August 5th, 2016



If the heat doesn’t get the best of us – something else will.

We are told that a batch of mosquitoes trapped this week in Burlington have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).

This is the first WNV positive batch of mosquitoes collected from the city. An additional five batches of WNV positive mosquitoes were collected in Oakville. This year in Halton, there have been seven WNV positive mosquito batches to date.

WestNileVirus_transmission“Halton is committed to being safe and healthy and reducing West Nile virus in our communities through both education and preventative programs like larviciding,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “Until the hard frosts of fall set in, Halton residents should continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites and remove mosquito breeding sites.”

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 in places that hold water such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys, and tires.

The following are steps that residents can take 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.
• 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.
• 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.

A map showing the locations of standing water sites that have had larvicide applied this year is available at

To report standing water at public facilities or for more information about West Nile virus, please visit, dial 311or e-mail

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Halton Paramedic arrested for sexual assault and voyeurism inside an ambulance.

Crime 100By Staff

July 22, 2106


Halton Regional Police have arrested and charged a Halton Paramedic in relation to an incident which occurred inside an ambulance in October 2015.



Tad Nelson, 57yrs of Dundas is charged with Sexual Assault and Voyeurism contrary to the Criminal Code in relation to an incident involving an adult female patient. Nelson will appear in Milton bail court on July 22nd, 2016.

If anyone has any additional information they are asked to contact Detective Constable Matt Cunnington at 905-465-8978 or Detective Constable Alanda Prescod at 905-465-8977 of the Halton Regional Police Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Unit or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), or through the web at, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).

These things do have to be reported – there are a lot of men and women who do the very hard, gut wrenching work inside an ambulance as it races to a hospital. This incident should not reflect on the really good people who work as paramedics

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New surgery equipment being installed as hospital re-build stays on target - roads outside a total mess.

News 100 blueBy Staff

July 18th, 2106


Construction of the patient tower is moving along nicely. The last window on Level 7 of the new patient tower was installed at the end of June! Soon, two elevators will be up and running on the inside of the building and the man and material hoist will be removed.

The pedestrian bridge structure connects Level 2 of the parking facility to Level 1 of the new tower. Now the construction team is building the metal deck on the floor and on the roof of the bridge and pouring the concrete floor. By the end of July, glass windows will be installed on the bridge and roofing and finishes will follow.

Power will be turned on in late September.

In their latest video, Alean Jackman, Operational Readiness Coordinator and Melanie Burnet, Program Champion for the Surgical Program share the 5 Things You Need to Know about Our New Surgical Suite. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the progress being made inside our future surgical suite and learn more about the new space from our experts!

In the past the hospital has had problems with infectious diseases. The new hospital will have three new washer disinfectors that have greater capacity for cleaning and processing clinical equipment. The machines also have fast and efficient cleaning cycles, larger touch screens, and built-in “cool touch” handles on the racks.

Inside, installation of drywall continues to progress from the Main Level to Level 7 and soon, ceilings will go up. Painting has started and the main lobby staircase will be installed by late summer.

The people who will make the hospital actually work on a day to day basis are involved in critical training programs; much of the equipment is very complex and requires training and practice before nurses roll you into one of the ten new operating rooms – nine of which are reported to be ready for business on opening day.

HOSPITAL - Lakeshore at Maple Ave

A new Lakeshore Road is being constructed that will lead to the new front entrance to the hospital.

The construction and re-development of the hospital takes place while the city re-builds the part of Lakeshore Road that will become the new front entrance to the hospital. Parts of Lakeshore Road are being raised by as much as a metre from their current level. The re-built road will slowly slope towards the parking garage where the rebuild will pause until the hospital is completed in 2018.

Hospital - storm water pipes

Storm water around the hospital has always been an issue – one that hospital media management people don’t like to talk about very much.

Hospital - 20 inch pipe going under road

Big 20 inch pipes being shoved under North Shore Road to connect properties north of Lakeshore to pipes running along Lakeshore right past the hospital to the Waste Water treatment plant.

Traffic in the area has been re-routed in several directions while the construction work takes place. Waste water treatment and storm water facilities are also being upgraded as well.

A 20 inch pipe is being shoved under the Lakeshore Road, North Shore Road intersection from the Brant Museum property to connect waste water pipes to the main trunk line.


These are the detours that are going to be in place until road re-construction is complete – sometime in September.

It is not a pretty place for traffic these days – and it is going to remain that way until late in September.

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Will Burlington's seniors decide they don't want the kind of change city council is talking about and do something about it with their ballots?

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

June 30th, 2016


Now that people have gotten over the shock – the British deciding they no longer want to be part of the European Union – what happens next?

The consequences of such a momentous decision are only beginning to be calculated – it will be some time before the complete cost is worked out and perhaps five years before the change to that society is fully felt.

The Bistro, the heart of the Seniors'entre and the focal point for many of the administrative problems. The new agreement with the city didn't resolve this problem but they have agreed to give it a year to come up with a solution that works for everyone.

The Bistro, the heart of the Seniors’ Centre. 

The political pundits have explained to us that the older population decided they didn’t want to give up what they thought they had and voted to leave the European Union – and given that there were older people voting in England – they won the day by an acceptable 4% of the votes cast.

Burlington has an aging population – and that part of our demographic is only going to increase. What are those seniors likely to want and how will they make their wishes known to people running for office?

At some point someone who wants to sit on city council badly enough or someone who truly believes he or she represents the interests of the seniors community will get themselves elected. On a city council the size of Burlington’s it wouldn’t take all that much to create a majority.

Transit - seniors with Gould

More political clout at this table than at city council.

Keep an eye on those who are interested in ward 2 and keep a keen eye on the seniors in Aldershot – they have a lifestyle they don’t want to see changed all that much.

Community Development Halton tells us that, based on Statistics Canada’s Taxfiler data, there were about 32,000 seniors living in Burlington in 2013 representing an increase of 28% from 2006. This increase was almost three times higher than the overall population increase.

2016 census data will be available soon and we will have a clearer picture of how many seniors there are in Burlington.

We are at a time when the baby boomers are now at the point where they will have much more influence. How is that influence likely to be expressed?

City manager Jeff Fielding doesn't win every time. Joe Lamb, negotiating for the Seniors' Centre basically took Fielding to the cleaners with the deal he talked the city into.

Former city manager Jeff Fielding, on the right with Joe Lamb, who negotiated on behalf of the Seniors’ Centre basically took Fielding to the cleaners with the deal he talked the city into.

We know this much – those seniors take the time to vote.

A number of years ago the Seniors’ Centre ran into some problems with the federal tax collectors and the then GST tax. They weren’t collecting what they should have been collecting.

The member of the centre started calling their council members – it didn’t take long for council members to cave in and send the then city manager over and work out a deal. The city gave them everything they asked for and then some.

getting new - yellowIt was a total rout on the part of the city. The city has this tag line: “Burlington is one of Canada’s best and most livable cities …” and the seniors want to ensure that it stays that way for them.

What are they going to tell us they want in the next five years?

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City council will ask staff to develop a governance model to implement climate change initiatives with Hamilton; aren't they the people who fouled the bay?

News 100 greenBy Pepper Parr

June 30th, 2016


Saying we share the air and we have to work together to keep it clean  is one thing – actually doing something about the air we share is something else.

Burlington city Council is planning on passing a motion at its meeting on Thursday to Support a Governance Structure to implement Climate Change Initiatives between the Cities of Burlington and Hamilton.

Smokestacks HamiltonThis is an issue that is dear to the heart of Mayor Goldring – he would, we are sure, like it to become his legacy issue. He doesn’t have one so far and this is as good a legacy as anyone can hope for – let’s see how it goes at Council on Thursday.

Here is what they want to do – the language is a little stilted – but the intent is clear enough.


Whereas, the Government of Canada’s intent is to protect communities and grow our economy by making significant new investments in green infrastructure and clean technologies as well as to endow a $2 billion Low Carbon Economy Trust to fund projects that reduce carbon that will “support projects in clean energy that can be commercialized, scaled up, and exported”;

Whereas, the Province of Ontario has a Five-Year Climate Change Strategy and has introduced legislation, which aims to formalize a cap-and- trade system and invest those funds into green projects to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas pollution;

Whereas, the Province of Ontario has already announced in 2015, the Green Investment Fund that commits $325 million to projects that will fight climate change;

Whereas, the City of Hamilton has developed a Community Climate Change Action Plan, which directs priority actions that will mitigate greenhouse gases, adapt to the risks associated with climate change and will help make Hamilton a resilient and prosperous community in the face of climate change;

Kerr Georhe swims Burlington BAy 75

In an attempt to prove that the water in Hamilton harbour was safe then provincial cabinet minister George went for a swim.

Whereas, taking action on climate change will be beneficial to the Hamilton Harbour / Burlington Bay area and will complement the work on greenhouse gas reduction by the City of Burlington;

Whereas, in order to successfully implement the Community Climate Change Action Plan, a formalized governance structure is necessary; and,

Whereas The City of Hamilton already has an internationally recognized participatory governance structure known as the Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC) and the Bay Area Implementation Team (BAIT);

Therefore be it resolved:

Aerial view - skyway bridge

The really dirty stuff is on the right in Hamilton.

(a) That staff be directed to develop a governance model similar to the Bay Area Restoration Council and the Bay Area Implementation Team, in collaboration with staff from the Federal and Provincial offices of the Ministries of Environment and Climate Change, and report back to the Board of Health;

(b) That the Mayor correspond with The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and The Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, to request that the Federal and Provincial Ministries assist the City of Hamilton with the establishment of City of Hamilton’s Community Climate Change Action Plan Implementation Team in identifying the appropriate Federal and Provincial government staff, private sector and community representatives to provide expert advice and financial resources toward the action on climate change, within the funding guidelines for the Low Carbon Economy Trust; and, the Five-Year Climate Change Strategy;

(c) That upon the formation of the governance structure for the Community Climate Change Action Plan Implementation Team, the City of Hamilton seek a partnership with the City of Burlington to coordinate efforts, with respect to the implementation of the Plan; and,

(d) That staff be directed to report to the Board of Health annually, respecting the progress of the Community Climate Change Action Plan.

Is this one of those Motherhood issues that everyone will get their voting  hand up to see who can be first?  Will it be like the Shape Burlington report passed unanimously in 2011 and forever forgotten?

James Ridge

The not yet existent Code of Conduct is buried within the 25 year Strategic Plan that city manager James Ridge has put together.

Or will it be like the Code of Conduct that city council has yet to adopt.  They shuffled that one off to the city manager who buried it in his 20 year Strategic Plan – suggesting that we will perhaps see some within the next 25 years.

Which was probably a smart move – this council doesn’t want a code of conduct.

We will know Thursday night how serious they are about climate change.

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The emergency Department in the new hospital is going to be a lot different than anything you've seen in the past.

jbhhealthBy Staff

June 29th, 2016


The Joseph Brant Hospital Emergency Department, the biggest department in the hospital, will open in the fall of 2017.

Trish Hamilton JBH

Trish Hamilton, Operational Readiness Coordinator.

Trish Hamilton, the Operational Readiness Coordinator, sets out five things you need to know about the new ED

1. Patients will receive care faster in the new ED with the help of a new Paired Triage Registration Model. Currently, a patient moves from triage to registration when arriving at the ED. In the new ED, triage and registration will be combined at one station so that a patient is medically assessed and registered at one time.

JBH examination rooms

The patient examination rooms look a little rough right now – there will be 35 of these rooms.

2. There will be 35 private exam rooms. Each room has a bright, modern space with essential services within easy reach including technology in the head wall above the bed for medical gases; electronic charting stations inside the rooms; and supply alcoves directly outside the rooms that will store linens and cleaning supplies.

3. There will be three private trauma resuscitation rooms and an isolation trauma room featuring glass doors that have the ability to switch from transparent for patient monitoring, to opaque for instant privacy.

4. There will be a dedicated Psychiatry Emergency Services zone with security, three observation rooms, an exam room and a quiet room for families. This area will enhance privacy and dignity for patients who are experiencing a crisis.

5. The Emergency Department will be easily accessible and easy to find, located on the main level beside our new main entrance on Lakeshore Road.

JBH outside from the west

In a couple of weeks the structure is expected to be weather tight – bridge from parking garage to the hospital is under construction.

Staff at the hospital currently work in an environment where an old tired building begins to make room for a shiny new structure that will have all the improvements technology has to offer.

Hopefully you won’t have to make a trip to the emergency department – but if you do – it will be a lot different than anything you have experienced in the past.

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Paramedic and ambulance response times are meeting their targets -

News 100 redBy Staff

June 27th, 2016


Despite a 5.5 per cent increase in call volumes and a 4.4 per cent increase in patients transported compared to 2014, Halton paramedics continue to meet response time targets.

Over the past 10 years, overall emergency and non-emergency call volumes have increased 47.6 per cent in Halton, from 29,054 in 2006 to 42,881 in 2015. The number of patients transported over the same 10-year period has increased 45.5 per cent, from 19,222 to 27,959. In 2015, the Region handled 2,217 more calls and transported 1,175 more patients than in 2014.

Halton ambulance9-1-1 calls from Halton residents have increased every year for the past seven years, clearly showing an increased demand for emergency care in the region. The primary drivers for increased call volumes are population and employment growth, along with the impact of an aging population.

To ensure that the Region is prepared to address the various pressures related to providing paramedic services, Halton Regional Council approved the Paramedic Services 10-Year Master Plan in 2015.

As part of the Paramedic Services 10-Year Master Plan, Halton Region has taken several measures to enhance the level of emergency care available to residents, including:

• maintaining the existing population to paramedic staffing ratio;

• enhancing technology to ensure the Paramedic Services division has the tools to remain responsive and efficient;

• the approval to begin construction on two new paramedic stations: Southwest Oakville Station on Rebecca Street and East Milton Station on Fifth Line, south of Derry Road; and

• continually working with local hospitals, neighbouring paramedic services, the Central Ambulance Communications Centre (CACC), the MOHLTC and community partners.

“The Region is committed to ensuring Halton residents receive timely emergency responses and high quality care when they need it most,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “The Paramedic Services Division Annual Update shows that in 2015 our Paramedics continued to meet Council-approved response time targets in every category. The Region remains focused on achieving these important targets to ensure we support the health and well-being of all Halton residents.”

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