Ambulance service meeting response time targets - meeting the cost for the last half of the ten yeat plan is not going to be easy.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 24th, 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.

Halton ambulance

45 vehicles in the fleet now – 69 at the end of the ten year plan.

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.

Paramedic - response times

Response times have been maintained despite significant increases in the need for service.

9-1-1 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.

Paramedic who uses graph

As the Region’s population ages the demand for service from the seniors’ is going to rise – Burlington will have more seniors than any other municipality in the Region.

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 expansion of the program will require a total of $15.0 million in capital funding, $10.6 million of which is needed within the next five years. This will provide vehicles/defibrillators, IT requirements and will accommodate the centralized reporting station.  Station requirements will be assessed as part of the Regional Accommodation Strategy, and the timing and funding requirements will be further refined through this process.

The capital requirements will be funded through a combination of Regional reserves, debt and development charges (DC). With respect to the capital expenditures, approximately 65% of growth-related costs will be funded from DCs, and this funding requirement will be incorporated in the next DC by-law update currently scheduled in 2016.

paramedic - equipment needs

A 53% increase in the number of vehicles is projected in the ten year plan.

The increase in operating expenditures would total $12.6 million, with $6.0 million expected in the first five years (2016-2020) and $6.6 million in the remaining forecast period (2021-2026), driven mainly by the staff cost. The estimated operating impact includes subsidy at 48% of the cost share ratio based on funding provided in recent years. When combined with capital financing impact, the net increase in operating cost totals $3.8 million in the first five years and $3.6 million in the remaining years. This represents an average annual budget increase of $752,000 in the first five years and $596,000 in the remaining forecast period.

Paramedic 10 yera budget

Costs are going to increase by 50% by the end of the ten year plan.

These services are not cheap.
The increased costs are were included in the 2015 budget forecast, at an average annual budget increase of $538,000 (2016-2020) and $404,000 (2021-2026). With these provisions taken into account, the additional incremental impact anticipated in the forecast is an average annual increase of $214,000 for the first five years and $192,000 for the remaining years. The financial impact of the staffing and capital program will be determined annually through the budget process.

getting new - yellow“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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Regional Health Department issues a rabies alert - bat found in Oakville had rabies.

News 100 blueBy Staff

June 22nd, 2016


The Halton Region Health Department has received test results confirming that a bat found at Honeyvale Road and Swansea Drive in Oakville, on Friday, June 17, had rabies. Residents who may have had physical contact with a bat in this area are advised to immediately contact the Health Department by dialing 311.

bat - animal

Bat in Oakville found to have rabies

“The Health Department is reminding residents to avoid all contact with bats and other wild animals,” said Matt Ruf, Director, Healthy Environments & Communicable Disease for Halton Region. “Anyone who comes in physical contact with a bat or other wild animal should see a physician immediately and contact the Health Department.”

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

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

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

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

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

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New Street getting a new base while some residents go back to the city's agricultural roots.

News 100 redBy Staff

June 10th, 2016



New street - as far as they eye can see

New Street torn up for the installation of new water and waste removal pipes.

New Street is undergoing a major upgrade with new water and waste pipes being put in and the road re-paved. The stretch of New Street from Guelph Line to Burloak will have bike lanes added.

For those living at the New – Guelph Line intersection east to Drury Lane – it has been a miserable couple of weeks – dust, dust and more dust and roads that are rough to drive over.

The paving equipment was laying down a nice thick bed of asphalt – no more dust for us. The construction crews are moving east to the Drury Lane to Martha section.

New street paving

It is one seamless operation – from the truck into a piece of equipment that prepares the asphalt and pours it into the machine that lays down a thick coat of brand new road.

After that the construction crews begin the Guelph Line west section of the road.

Along that section there is a family that has decided they want to go back to the city’s roots when it was the produce capital of the country – to a time when the railway line into the city was doubled to handle the volume that was loaded at the Freeman Junction.

Garden - New Street #1

Lush looking gardens to the side of New Street.

This family has a nice little crop doing just fine. There was a time when all of what is now New Street was farm land.

It was certainly a different time.

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Local greenhouse runs a Big Tomato contest.

News 100 greenBy Staff

June 1, 2016


A local green house has announced the Great Tomato Race – where contestants can grow their biggest tomato and enter it into the race to win a grand prize $5,000 TERRA gift card!

TERRA tomato raceThis contest is open to gardeners of all skill levels.

Way back in the 1930’s, when times were tough, tough – The Mortgage Lifter Tomato was developed by a gardener who planted the four biggest tomato varieties he knew and crossed one with pollen from the other three. He did this for six seasons and created a variety that produced immense, tasty fruit. He sold the plants for $1 apiece and paid off his $6000 mortgage in 6 years.

Big tomato # 2

Will the winner of the contest bring in a tomato this big?

TERRA ran this kind of a promotion 20 years ago and felt that it was time to let people get used to the idea of growing some of their own fruit and vegetables.

Climate change is going to have an even bigger impact on the way we live our lives. TERRA believes Ontario can expect to see much more of its produce gown locally.

Contestants can sign up for the Great Tomato Race which started May 14th and ends July 15th
Those entering the contest will be invited to weigh their tomatoes over three Saturday’s in August. The prizing is as follows:

– One Grand Prize of a $5,000 TERRA Gift Card
– One 2nd place prize of a Margherita Wood Pizza Oven ($2,499.99 Value)
– Five third place prizes of a Broil King BBQ one winner per store ($949.99 value)

TERRA decided to run this contest to kick start the excitement around growing your own food this summer with hopes it will lead to increased healthy lifestyles and will generate new interest for contestants and families to get out in the garden and grow your own!

Big tomato #3

This is one big tomato!

Contestants can visit their local TERRA to sign up for the Great Tomato Race

TERRA has locations in: Burlington, Hamilton, Milton and Waterdown. There is also a location in Vaughan.

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Region begins the process of protecting the public from West Nile virus.

News 100 blueBy Staff

May 27th, 2106


The pests will be back soon – mosquitos.

That bite is a quite a bit bigger than most people realize.

As part of its commitment to enhancing the health and well-being of residents through public education and preventative programs, Halton Region has begun its annual larviciding program to reduce the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) in the community. This program is implemented in public property locations across Halton Region.


This is how the West Nile virus gets transmitted.

Larviciding is the process of applying pesticides to objects such as catch basins, where mosquito larvae have been found. Larvicide is applied when other attempts at reducing mosquito breeding sites haven’t worked to minimize the risk of West Nile virus and is usually applied either in catch basins or in large bodies of standing water on public property. This preventative program reduces the adult mosquito population, helping to stop mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus that are often found in standing water.

“West Nile virus continues to be a concern in communities across Canada which is why Halton Region remains committed to monitoring and implementing programs to prevent and protect residents against this disease,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr.

“By working together with the community, we will continue to reduce the risk of West Nile virus and keep our community safe and healthy.”

“Larviciding is just one part of our West Nile virus prevention program which includes public education, monitoring and surveillance, eliminating potential mosquito breeding sites and larviciding,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “By eliminating standing water sites and by covering up outside at dusk and dawn and applying DEET or lcaridin, we can reduce the occurrence of West Nile virus in our communities.”

Halton residents can help reduce breeding grounds for mosquitoes by removing objects that may hold water, such as bird baths, plant pots, old toys and tires. If residents see standing water on public property, they can report it to Halton Region by emailing or dialing 311.

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. 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 on public property where larvicide is applied is available at For more information about West Nile virus, please visit or dial 311.

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30 local schools win bike racks in contest sponsored by the people who run the GO trains

News 100 yellowBy Staff

May 26, 2016


More than 30 local schools across the city have signed up to participate in Bike to School Week, a Metrolinx initiative that encourages local teachers and students to use active transportation for their daily commute to school between May 30 and June 3.

We have a question – why is Metrolinx doing this – they run the GO train service.

Grebenc - expressive hands

School board trustee Andrea Grebenc wants to see every students using a bike to get to school.

This should be a local initiative – by either the city or the school board – both would be great. School board trustee Andrea Grebenc wants every student on a bicycle.

“This event is a great way to encourage more kids and adults to leave the car at home for short distance trips,” said Vito Tolone, the city’s director of transportation. “We have seen a 600 per cent increase in the number of schools participating from 2015.”

Schools that registered for Bike to School Week by May 6 were entered into a draw for a chance to win one of 20 bike racks, provided by Healthy Kids Community Challenge Burlington and the city.

The winning schools that will be getting a bike rack are:

Aldershot Elementary School
Alton Village Public School
CH Norton Public School
Charles R. Beaudoin Public School
Dr. Charles Best Public School
Gary Allan High School (STEP Program)
Glenview Public School
Lakeshore Public School
Maplehurst Public School
Mohawk Gardens Public School
Pauline Johnson Public School
Rolling Meadows Public School
Sacred Heart of Jesus Elementary School
Sir Ernest MacMillan Public School
St. Gabriel Elementary School
St. John Elementary School
St. Mark Elementary School
St. Paul Elementary School
St. Raphael Elementary School
Tom Thomson Public School

Bikes at Beaudoin school

This is a school in need of a bike rack.

Schools that register for Bike to School Week before June 1 still have an opportunity to be entered into a draw to win a Can-Bike rodeo for their school in the 2016-17 school year.

“Being active on their way to and from school not only helps children get to know their community better but also improves their health,” said Chris Glenn, the city’s director of parks and recreation. “Active transportation is fundamental to building a healthy community.”

getting new - yellowFor contest rules and regulations, please visit To register for Bike to School Week, visit

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Burlington pump technology and hydraulic design company pleads guilty and is fined $50,000 by Ministry of Labour

News 100 blackBy Staff

May 19th, 2016


Clyde Union Canada Limited, a company specializing in pump technology and hydraulic design, pleaded guilty and has been fined $50,000 after a worker was critically injured by a ruptured water hose.

Clyde Union SPX

Clyde Union Canada Limited located on North Service Road

On or about February 5, 2015, a worker was testing a pump at the company’s workplace at 4151 North Service Road in Burlington when one of the 24-inch pipe elbows located outside the building froze, preventing the circulation of water in a rubber hose. The system then backfilled until it exceeded its maximum pressure. A six-inch rubber hose in the system ruptured, expelling water which struck the worker with enough force to push the worker about 30 feet across the shop floor. The worker’s injuries included fractures and lacerations.

A Ministry of Labour investigation found that the company failed to take the reasonable precaution of installing a pressure relief valve in the discharge water lines, contrary to the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The company was fined $50,000 in Burlington court by Justice of the Peace Denis Lee on May 17, 2016.

In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.

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Province wants to be able to educate those who do not have their children immunized.

element_healthservicesBy Pepper ParrRed long

May 12, 2016


Governments are there to provide the services we need – one of which is to keep us healthy.

One of the ways we keep healthy is to immunize ourselves against diseases.

Some of the diseases we used to protect ourselves against have been eradicated because of the immunization programs.  However, there are people who, usually through misinformation choose not to have their children vaccinated

The province is about to make it harder for people to not have themselves and their children vaccinated. If passed, and the government has a majority, it will become more difficult for parents to obtain exemptions for the now mandatory school vaccines and improve how these vaccines are reported.

The amendments to the Immunization of School Pupils Act would require parents and guardians who are considering not immunizing their children for non-medical reasons to participate in an education session delivered by their local public health unit. Parents or guardians would have to complete this session before obtaining a vaccine exemption.

immunizationThe Immunization of School Pupils Act would also be amended to require health care providers to report any vaccines they administer to children and youth—and that are needed to attend school in Ontario—to their local public health unit directly.
Currently, parents are responsible for reporting their children’s immunization records, or “yellow card,” to their own local public health unit. This change, if passed, would make it easier for parents and reduce unnecessary suspensions due to out-of-date immunization records.

Strengthening the exemption and reporting requirements for school vaccines is part of Immunization 2020—Ontario’s five year strategy to improve its publicly-funded immunization program.

Perhaps strengthening the curriculum in high schools so that students understand the fundamentals of immunization and do not grow to become adults and not fully realize how we take care of ourselves from serious diseases.

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Hospital construction coming along just fine - contractor expect to have the building weaher tight by the end of June

jbhhealthBy Pepper Parrsave the gazette 320x320 black(1)

May 12, 2016



There are five things the Joseph Brant Hospital administration want you to know about the re-build/re-development taking place on Lakeshore Road.

1. Construction Highlights – Starting on Friday, May 13, 2016 the EllisDon team will begin to disassemble one of two crane towers on our main construction site. The disassembly of the crane is a significant construction milestone as it means that most of the large mechanical and electrical equipment has been delivered and installed. Moving forward, the building materials and equipment will be transported either using the existing crane or the man and material hoist on the side of the tower.

The building envelope continues to go up on Levels 5, 6 and 7. By early June, the building will be weather-tight and electrical and mechanical work will begin on the inside. Roof work is taking place on multiple levels of the new tower and will be complete by early fall. Inside the tower, brick walls are being constructed and duct work is happening in the penthouse (Levels 8 and 9) which will house generators, electrical equipment and air handling units. On the Main Level, dry wall is going up and on each level, structural steel framing of the rooms continues.

Brant hospital - under construction

Contractor expect the new building to be “weather tight” by the end of June.

2. Technologically driven – New hospital technology will change the way we deliver care. Some of the technologies will include; a new nurse call bell system that incorporates handheld devices; a real time locating system that easily locates staff and patients; and new telemetry and patient monitoring that connects medical devices to critical alarms. Our electronic documentation project, which has been deferred until after the move into our new tower, will enable staff to document a patient’s chart electronically and make clinical decisions at the point-of-care.

3. Programs Moving into the New Tower – Some of our biggest programs will be moving to our new patient tower in the fall of 2017 including our Emergency Department, Operating Rooms, Medical/Surgical Inpatient Units, Intensive Care Unit and Oncology.

Joseph Brant hospital rendering

Early architectural renderings slightly different than what is being built. It is going to be a fine looking building.

4. Current Moves and Renovations – In preparation of the renovations happening in our existing hospital there are a series of temporary moves taking place across the hospital which will continue throughout the project. The renovation of our new Maternal Child Unit on 2 East and the construction of a new link corridor on our main level will begin at the end of May 2016. The link will connect the existing hospital to the new hospital. Upon completion of the hospital project there will be links on each level, tying the existing to the new.

5. A New Entrance – The new main entrance will face Lakeshore Road, changing the address of the hospital. Our new entrance connects the hospital to the beauty of Lake Ontario and the Waterfront Trail and will serve as a single point of entry for many of our departments, including the Emergency Department (Main Level), Surgical Services (Level 2), and the Intensive Care Unit (Level 4). The current hospital entrance will be the new entrance to our Ambulatory Care Clinics.

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Burlington fire chief fully prepared for any forest fire - can come close to doubling his equipment capacity in less than an hour.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

May 11th, 2016


We hear the news

We see the pictures of the devastation with street after street not much more than a pile of ashes.
We wonder what it must have been like as those people drove down that highway with flames licking the side of the road and flaming embers landing on the road in front of their vehicles.

More than 2000 homes – gone.

Alberta forest fire - street

Fire approaches a street that has been evacuated.

Burlington has a large swath of rural land were the bush is thick. How would this city handle a serious forest fire?

We asked Fire Chief Tony Bavota what the protocol was and where did he turn to should his crews be unable to handle a blaze.

“I have ten trucks that are on standby day and night and if I need to I can ramp up to 18 in a very short period of time.

“How short Chief” we asked – “I’m talking hours” he replied.

There are also reciprocal agreements between all the municipalities in the Region. We can be in touch with one another in minutes.

When it became evident how bad the situation was in Calgary the Ontario Fire Marshal was in touch with the Fire Marshall in Alberta to offer assistance.

alberta forest fire - truck

Devastation left once fire has passed through a community.

It is much the same in the Region of Halton – when we have a serious situation the Regional Fire Coordinator makes the call. Burlington’s Bavoda is the co-ordinator at this point in time.

He drives around with what amounts to a small communications station in the trunk of hi vehicle and can set up a command station almost anywhere.

There is back up all the way up the bureaucratic food chain explained Bavota with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) there to help.

If we needed aircraft to drop water – we work with the MNR people who know where the flight people are.

In Burlington there are bylaws that determine where fires can be lit. The Chief can cancel any permit given to someone to do a local fire burn.

The Chief has direct contacts with all the people that matter – he is either aware personally of a situation or has people who keep him informed as to how dry it is in the forested part of the city. What the water situation is in the creeks.

Fire chief Tony Bavota handing out cards with direct line telephone numbers and ensuring that people got the help they needed. Bavota said he wasn't going to worry about lines of authority - if they need help - Bavota did everything he could to get it to them.

Fire chief Tony Bavota handing out cards with direct line telephone numbers and ensuring that people got the help they needed. Bavota said he wasn’t going to worry about lines of authority – if they need help – Bavota did everything he could to get it to them during the ice storm.

“All the fire burning permits go through the fire department and one of our inspectors goes out to the location to advise the person who wants to do a controlled burn and tells them what they have to have on hand”, said Bavota

The Fire Chief can override any permit that has been given out “I’ve done that in the past” he said.

getting new - yellowSo far this year there have been a few grass fires – nothing serious but when we get those kinds of calls we need to move quickly – winds shift and you’d be amazed at how fast a flame will race across an open space and suddenly light up a stand of trees.

As we saw from the Alberta situation – fires take on a life of their own – and they become very difficult to stop.  Fire marshals in Alberta are still investigating the source of the blaze

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What does it mean to be sustainable - and why does it matter?

What does it mean to be “sustainable” – why does it matter and if it matters that much – why isn’t every one doing it?

This was a question the Gazette put to Jim Feilders, a committed environmentalist and an engineer with a private practice. Here is what Feilders had to say:

backgrounder 100By Jim Feilders

May 1, 2016



A general definition of sustainability is the ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely. This can apply to everything from keeping your body alive to the survival of the universe. But most of us think about it in terms of maintaining our lifestyles in the environment in which we live.

The three most common aspects of sustainability are environmental, economic and social. Some like to include culture as a separate item but it generally is included under the social umbrella.

Cod Newfoundland

There was a point when the cod fishery in Newfoundland was a massive industry until the Grand Banks were fished out – it took years to get back the balance that was once in place.

For the environment to be sustainable, the planet has to be able to respond to the human use of resources and pollution created. An example of this gone wrong is over-fishing of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland that resulted in depletion of cod. Wildlife species are becoming extinct by direct killing of animals and destruction of habitat. When the balance of nature is upset, significant changes occur.

We want to know that the planet will be around for future generations. If we don’t maintain a balance between what we do to harm the planet and the capacity of the earth to recover from it, we will find ourselves living on a dying planet. Evidence exists that we are on that path and a global initiative is underway to try to do something about it. Sending too much carbon into the air and oceans is causing global climate change with disastrous impacts. Information is available on the major countries of the world in terms of their biocapacity versus their environmental footprint. It’s just a fancy way of describing whether the environment can absorb all the pollution being produced. Not surprisingly, the US and China are in the red while Canada still has room left over after sucking up all we spew out.

Ecological footpint

Each of us has an ecological footprint – how big might yours be?

Economic sustainability deals with the ability to support a defined level of economic production indefinitely. The most common expression of this is balanced budgets where countries do not spend more than they bring in. As we are all aware, balanced budgets are not common and the devastating effects on the human population are obvious.

Socially, we can be sustainable when the country functions at a defined level of social well being indefinitely. This includes health care, recreational amenities, schools, good transportation, religious buildings and other institutions in a manner that creates a sense of community.

Most of us agree something should be done to keep us sustainable but how we can contribute on an individual basis is perplexing. Governments, particularly local municipal ones, have the greatest role to play through passing legislation to control services, development and pollution. This makes it easier for people to do their part as they are forced into it. Garbage recycling is a good example. Providing a balanced transportation system is another. But government can only push so hard. We live in a free country and have to let our citizens decide on what kind of place in which to live.

Why we don’t do more as individuals has been a topic of discussion for decades. Recently, a Canadian entrepreneur and author, Tom Rand, with degrees in both engineering and philosophy, discusses environmental sustainability in his book “Waking the Frog”. In essence, we are reluctant to change. With our busy lifestyles, we give little thought to what we can do. It is probably not a mass conspiracy of the oil companies. The affluent especially, see no benefit because maintaining their lifestyle is usually just a matter of spending more money when pollution penalties arise.

biocapacity - green fields

The earth needs green fields like this – we need them if we are to survive as human beings on this planet. At this point in time we are losing this battle.

To make our planet sustainable, we can start right within our own communities. We can become involved by exercising age old philosophies of democratic voting, donating financially to worthy causes and directly helping others. When we work together and support each other, the job goes faster and easier. Many forums exist that offer something for everyone to use their specific talents. When stories are heard about dramatic changes such as housing of homeless people in Medicine Hat, Alberta, we are spurred on to do our bit. Burlington is at the tipping point of real change in terms of a sustainable community with the completion of its strategic Plan.

With climate change being such a pressing issue, there are two simple things that we can do right now. Many of us think saving the planet means sacrifices such as taking the bus, turning down the heat and wearing sweaters or yelling at the kids to turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms. But modern technologies for electric and hybrid vehicles and electric heat pumps for heating and cooling our homes are available now that do not require sacrifices.

Despite the apparent higher cost of electricity compared to natural gas and gasoline, these more efficient solutions are actually cheaper on a monthly basis to own and operate.

So get involved where your talents are best put to use and encourage others to do the same. To coin the phrase of BurlingtonGreen: “Together we can make a difference.”

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Barracudas take an impressive number of medals in recent hockey competition.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

April 7, 2016


Burlington’s not-for-profit hockey organization that offers girls a fun environment to play Canada’s favourite sport — picked up two GOLD medals and one SILVER medal at the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League (LLFHL) Championship Weekend, April 1-3, 2016 in North York.

BarracudasLogoAn incredible showcase for Canada’s girls minor hockey players, the BGHC had four teams participate in the LLFHL including Peewee AA, Bantam AA, Peewee BB and Midget A, a team who came out victorious in their division after three rounds of pre-championship playoffs.

“These medals are the product of hard work from a great group of athletes and dedicated volunteer staff,” says Jason Crawford, Vice President of Hockey Operations, Burlington Girls Hockey Club. “The Lower Lakes Female Hockey League is one of the largest girls minor hockey leagues in the world. Simply making the final weekend is a major achievement due to the challenging multi-week playoff format.  To bring home three LLFHL medals is an incredible accomplishment. All our BGHC teams have proudly represented our community and together, we celebrate their achievements during the 2015-2016 season!”

Peewee AA — GOLD

The Burlington gold rush began with the Peewee AA team who won 4-0 over the Oakville Hornets in the final game after being undefeated in the round robin. The BGHC Peewee AA team is the #1 ranked team in Canada.

Braracudas Gold Peewee Aa

Front row (L-R): Jamie Matthews, Mae Matteis. Middle row (L-R): Jalen Duffy, Christina Walker, Elizabeth Gauthier, Olivia Stock, Emily Davidge, Maddie Suitor, Jaime Kastelic. Back row (L-R): Jamie Suitor (Assistant Coach), Payton Bennett, Olivia Muhn, Kevin Greco (Head Coach), Kara den Hoed, Tijana Miskovic, Courtney Rice, Mike Gauthier (Assistant Coach), Sara Davidge, Paige Greco, Kyla Josifovic, April Josifovic (Manager), Tim Bennett (Assistant Coach). Missing from Picture: Assistant Coach Frank Kastelic and Kevin Matthews; Trainers Kim Davidge and Sharon Rice

Bantam AA — GOLD

The BGHC’s success continued when Bantam AA captured their division with a final score 2- 1 vs the Stoney Creek Sabres. This team also went undefeated in all 6 of their games and is currently the #2 ranked team in Canada.

BGHC Bantam AA - GOLD - LLFHL 2016

Front row (L-R): Brynn Koocher, Sara Boucher, Taylor Batista, Grace Bellamy, Amanda Rampado, Olivia Muhar, Bianca Chevarie. Middle Row (L-R): Head Coach Fred Koocher, Alyssa Meyer, Catherine Trevors, Rachael Carson, Jenna Morais, Kristen Walker, Mackenzie Lauretti, Jenna MacLean, Assistant Coach Karl Lauretti, Miranda Dyer and Assistant Coach Preston Dyer. Back Row (L-R): Paige Kenyon, Teeghan Dalby

Peewee BB — SILVER

The BGHC Peewee BB team was undefeated in the round robin and lost to the Orillia Hawks in overtime with a score of 3-2.

BGHC Peewee BB - SILVER - LLFHL 2016

Front row (L-R): Ella Arsenault, Callista Thompson. Kneeling (L-R): Peyton Bear, Maddie Dilworth, Savannah Singh, Reese Andreychuk, Claire Shepherd, Jessica Anderchek. Standing (L-R): Renee Doucet, Ali Armstrong, Madisson Fonseca, Kristen Hazlett, Regan Duffy, Charlie Lewis, Ainsley Kaszecki, Kira Rowe, Madison Uba.



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Psychologist will explain why some children and adolescents have difficulty managing their behaviour.

eventsred 100x100By Staff

April 7, 2016


The Halton Board of education is going to host behavioural expert who will talk on dealing with challenging behaviour in children and teens on April 27, 2016. The event starts 7 p.m., and will be held at Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Ablon Stuart J.

Dr. J. Stuart Ablon, on the right, will speak about why some children and adolescents have difficulty managing their behaviour.

Dr. J. Stuart Ablon will speak about why some children and adolescents have difficulty managing their behaviour. His presentation will provide an overview of Collaborative Problem-Solving, an evidence-based approach to understanding and helping children and adolescents with behaviour challenges.

Specifically, the Collaborative Problem-Solving Approach provides an alternative conceptualization to help parents with explosive noncompliant children and adolescents. The CPS model helps adults teach children lacking cognitive skills in the domains of flexibility/adaptability, frustration tolerance and problem‐solving.

Dr. Ablon is the Director of Think: Kids in the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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Province says Halton water is safe; gets 100% on all tests - no need to filter the water from taps.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 30, 2016


The Drinking Water Systems Flow Summary Report for 2015 that Regional Council was given earlier this month said that all 11 of Halton’s water systems achieved scores of 100 per cent on inspections conducted by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in 2015.

Extreme Heat - drinking water

The water from your tap is just as safe as bottled water.

“Regular monitoring of our drinking water protects public health and ensures public
confidence in our water supply,” said Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr. “Keeping our
drinking water safe is a shared responsibility and our ReThink Water program
encourages residents to enjoy our high-quality water and be aware of how to protect
our source water resources.”

This summary report on Halton’s municipal drinking water systems is prepared and
provided to Council annually to address regulatory requirements as set out by the
Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002. Halton operates 11 drinking water systems governed by
four municipal drinking water licenses, all of which achieved scores of 100 per cent on inspections conducted by the Ministry in 2015. Inspectors did not note any
regulatory compliance issues related to water quality over the past year.

Halton’s highly-qualified and licensed employees perform regular testing to make sure the Region’s water supply consistently meets or exceeds provincial
water-quality standards. From time to time, we are aware that residents are approached by sales people claiming that Halton’s water in unsafe to drink and that
they should purchase water filtration equipment.

However, residents should be confident that their drinking water is of the highest quality and no additional
filtration systems are needed in their homes.

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Great idea helping high school grads make the best of their prom to take place again this year.

News 100 blueBy Staff

March 21st, 2016


Various schools within the Halton District School Board will be hosting open houses in late March and early April for Grade 12 students to select various free articles of donated prom clothing.

Prom white-high-school-graduation-dresses-07_4

It’s a big night and they want to look great – and their is a great program in place to help out with the clothing side of the evening.

High school social workers are once again hosting an initiative to help students look their best for their Grade 12 prom, called Fashion Forward. New or gently-used articles of prom wear for all students were donated and available for students free of charge. There are many different styles, colours, and sizes of formal dresses available including suits, shirts, ties and shoes.

The open house for Burlington will be at:

• Thursday April 7, 2016 at M.M. Robinson High School (2425 Upper Middle Road, Burlington) from 3:00 to 6:00 pm.

Students are asked to bring their student identification card with them.

We don’t know how long this program has been around nor do we know who came up with the idea – but it is a superb way to let young people get to their prom look smashing.

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Regional police charge Toronto male with receiving a material benefit from sexual services.

Crime 100By Staff

March 20th, 2016


The Halton Regional Police Service’s Human Trafficking and Vice Unit (HTVU) concluded a month long investigation of the Dynasty Wellness Centre in Milton. As a result two people have been charged and a third faces deportation on an outstanding immigration warrant.

The police also have appeared to add an interesting phrase to the English language.

On March 17th, the HTVU, in conjunction with Milton Municipal Law Enforcement officers executed a Criminal Code search warrant at the Dynasty Wellness Centre located in the area of Ontario Street and Derry Road in the Town of Milton.

As a result of the warrant, the following have been charged with prostitution related offences:
Chin-Yu (Tim) CHIU 50 year old male of Toronto – Receive material benefit from sexual services. CHIU will appear in Milton Court on April 25th 2016.

The police do not define “a material benefit”. Could it become a phrase used in some of the bars and pubs frequented by the single set?

A male from Milton was also charged with purchasing sexual services.

A third person, female, was detained on an outstanding Immigration Warrant and has been turned over to the Canadian Border Services Agency for processing.

The Halton Regional Police Service HTVU have ongoing investigations relating to suspicious activity in other similar establishments in the Region of Halton and will be following up investigative leads.

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Without proof of immunization - students face suspension from school.

Newsflash 100Walter Byj

February 5, 2016


It came near the end of the Wednesday Halt on District School Board meeting when Director Miller announced to the trustee that to date there are 2,000 students at the grade 11 and 12 levels who are not yet fully immunized.

The Halton Region Health Department that requires 100% mandatory immunization for grade 11 and 12 students within Halton. If those students do not get their immunization by the end of March they will be subject to a 20 day suspension beginning April 6th.

The Regional Health department has done everything possible to immunize students – going so far as to set up individual appointments for students to get the needle.
Miller stressed that that this is mandatory by Halton Public Health as they will be suspending the students, not the school board.

Related article:

Parents have to report.

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Burlington’s Will Finch decides to call it a career after too many concussions.

sportsgold 100x100By Staff

January 25, 2016


Burlington’s Will Finch, the record-setting, fourth-year quarterback of the University of Western Ontario Mustangs is calling it a career.

Finch H&S

Will Finch – A Nelson High graduate who went on to Western where he broke most of the existing records.

Finch was one of the Canada’s most highly sought after recruits when he graduated from Nelson High School in 2012. He led the Lords to an undefeated 12-0 season, and the Golden Horseshoe Bowl title in 2011.

One of London’s best known athletes, one whose concussions have sidelined him before, is retiring to avoid risking further injury. Each of his last three seasons has been interrupted by injury. He missed the end of the 2014 and 2015 Ontario University Association seasons because of concussions.

Finch MVP

A remarkable football player who had a remarkable career.

The awareness of the impact of brain injuries on athletes at all levels has grown dramatically in recent years, underscored by the 2015 Hollywood movie “Concussion.” The film is about Dr. Bennet Omalu, a pathologist, who uncovered the truth about brain injuries among players in the National Football League.

In Canada, Leo Ezerins, Executive Director of the Canadian Football League Alumni Association, and Toronto Rehab and Toronto Western Hospital have been at the forefront of research into brain injuries for the past seven years.

Caused by blows to the head or violent hits to the upper body, common in contact sports, the effects of concussions are usually temporary, but can range from headaches and problems concentrating, to memory and balance problems.

In London, medical professionals have been on the cutting edge of concussion research and treatment. The Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, founded in 1974, has had more than 2,000 visits by hockey, soccer, basketball and football players with sports concussions.

Dr. Henry Svec, a psychologist who operates the Dr. Svec Institute and Rehabilitation Clinics in several cities in Southwestern Ontario, and a former Mustang football player who deals with traumatic brain injuries, called Finch’s decision, speaking as a fan and alumni, a “courageous one.”

But Svec said too often not enough is done to diagnose the severity of a concussion and not enough recovery time is allocated for the brain to heal and rehabilitate after an injury.

Finch passing the football

Will Finch – he had a great arm and an even better eye – always knew where the ball had to go.

In his four years at Western, Finch played 30 regular-season games — completing 533 of 790 passes for 8,243 yards, 57 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. He also had more than 1,200 yards rushing. In six playoff games, he had 1,372 yards passing.

His best season was 2013-14 when he played in all eight regular-season games and three playoff games. In the regular season, he completed 191 of 274 passes for 3,047 yards and 21 touchdowns, with six interceptions.

Finch - forlorn look Glover photo credit

Will Finch

In the playoffs he completed 48 of 78 passes for 576 yards and three touchdowns. He set an Ontario University Athletics record with 3,047 passing yards, and a 69.7 completion percentage. He was the 2013 OUA most valuable player and Hec Crighton Trophy nominee.

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Council nixes the idea of a pilot project that would let seniors ride free on Monday's They approved $16,000 for their Car Free Sunday event.

News 100 redBy Pepper Parr

January 21st, 2016


Robert Lovell doesn’t understand.

Robert Lovell A

Robert Lovell

He was interviewed for the job he has as a member of the Burlington Seniors Advisory Committee and thought he was expected to do just that – advise city council on things that mattered to seniors.

BSAC met on a number of occasions and went into the community to learn when people wanted in the way of transit services.

They researched what Oakville was doing and came to the conclusion that the Free Transit on Monday’s was a good idea and certainly worth trying in Burlington.

They then delegated to city council and made a strong case for trying the Free transit for seniors on Monday’s.

They argued that ridership would rise and the free service might convince people to try the bus. They argued it would also allow people with limited means to use the bus service more often.

Councillor Rick Craven, centre, with a copy of the 2013 budget on a memory stick. Craven did a superb job of chairing the budget committee last year. He will have no argument with candidate Henshell over the need for additional shopping facilities in Aldershot - getting themt there has been the challenge.

Councillor Jack Dennison, Rick Craven and John Taylor voted not to proceed with a pilot project to learn how much additional ridership could be added to the transit service. All three voted for an allocation of $15,500 for the car free Sunday event that takes place in wards 4,5 and 6.

A majority of city council didn’t see it that way and they voted (4-3) against the pilot program that was to run for six months.

Councillors Marianne Meed Ward, Blair Lancaster and Mayor Goldring voted for the pilot program.

Councillor Craven said very little during the debate. Councillor Taylor seemed to feel that the program was intended for those who could not afford transit – and he argued, if that was the case, there were Regional programs that gave financial support.

Taylor seemed quite prepared to have people submit to a financial means test to get support to buy a transit pass. He saw the pilot project as social welfare which he explained is handled by the Region.

Councillor Dennison has never been in favour of much in the way of support programs. Councillor Sharman said he didn’t have a problem with the program but he wanted to be sure everyone fully understood just what the outcomes and expectations were for the pilot project.  He wanted the Director of transit to set out what would be measured so that a proper evaluation could be done when the six month pilot ended.

Lovell said he had been told by friends that the Advisory committees were just a sham – that they were put in place to let the public think the city wanted to hear what they had to say. “If that is the case: said Lovell, “then I am out of that committee. I am interested in working on committees that want to make a difference.”

Lovell was one of three people who delegated on the Free Transit for seniors on Monday – a program that Oakville has had in place since 2012 where it is reported to have increased transit ridership by as much as 14% in one period.

Burlington Transit has always had difficulty growing transit ridership. There have been significant price increases which has depressed ridership and route changes haven’t helped all that much either.

When the matter got to council for debate it was clear that some of the members of council didn’t hear what the delegations were saying the day before.

Jim Young was asking council to forget the cost but focus on service – he argued that it was taxpayer’s money and the seniors wanted this kind of service.

What council failed to see was the real opportunity that was being missed. Burlington has busses that travel the streets “more than half empty most of the time” if we understood what Councillor Sharman says.

Bus station 1

A new bus is added to the fleet – city hall staff and area politicians drove over to the transit garage to give a round of applause. They get paid for this – don’t they?

We own the buses, we pay a driver to be behind the steering wheel – if there was a chance to increase the ridership at no additional cost and at the same time provide a service and entice people to use the buses – why wouldn’t one at least try the pilot?

The city wasn’t going to lose any money – there would be passengers on the bus who would not pay a fare – they wouldn’t have been on the bus anyway

There is an additional benefit if ridership can be increased. The gas tax rebate the province gives a municipality is based on two measurements: the population of the municipality and the ridership.

There are currently 130 municipalities sharing $332 million dollars.

There was an addition to the 2016 budget that was estimated to cost $14,000 – they spent more than an hour

Burlington has had problems convincing people to use transit. Doug Brown maintains the city does not have a plan to increase ridership and that there really isn’t anyone within city hall who will advocate for improving transit. There is no one at city hall who fully understands transit – responsibility for transit get mentioned by the people responsible for transportation.

More than 17% of the population is over 65 and while many people are able to drive their cars well into their 90’s our aging population is likely to become subject to graduated drivers licenses.

We will get to the point where a doctor will be required to advise the department of transportation that the patient is no longer capable of driving a car.  What do we do when we have a growing cohort of people who are either not allowed to drive or are no longer comfortable driving?

The transit free Monday was an opportunity to learn if people would take a bus if it were free. The driving factor behind the pilot project was to see if this was a way to increase ridership.

Old school thinking had Councillor Taylor seeing the request as a social welfare issue, while Councillor Sharman wanted a clear understanding of what the expectations of the pilot were going to be.


Ward 6 Councillor Blair Lancaster – voted for the Free Monday transit service for seniors

Ward 2 Councillor MArianne Meed Ward made her presence known to Council well before her election to office, the city knew what they were getting and she has delivered on that promise.

Ward 2 Councillor Marianne Meed Ward made her presence known to Council well before her election to office, the city knew what they were getting and she has delivered on that promise.

Councillors Lancaster and Meed Ward were quite willing to let the Director of Transit take the time needed to prepare a report and if they had to move the start date of the pilot back a bit they could live with that as well. An amendment to the motion allowing for a report to be prepared didn’t pass either – the four opposed to the pilot project just didn’t want to see it take place.

When an item fails at the Standing Committee level there is always an opportunity to debate it again at a council meeting – these are usually held a couple of weeks later.  However, budget meetings were slipped in and the normal rotation of meetings got jammed up. If there is going to be a change at city council – those who are behind this project will have to get a wiggle on.

The Gazette understands that the good folks in Aldershot are not at all pleased with the Councillor Craven vote against the pilot.


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Seniors push for free transit on Monday's - chances of this making it to the final budget look good. Oakville has had such a service since 2012.

burlbudget2016By Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2016


It was delegation time, the occasion when different community groups get their ten minutes to wrangle with council to advance their different causes.

This time it was transit for seniors, transit and the lack of a master plan and two positions the Performing Arts wanted to fill and have added to their ongoing budget.

The Performing arts matter will get covered in a separate story.

Two very effective speakers wanted to see the idea of free Monday transit for seniors make it into the 2016 budget.

Which seniors need the free transit was the question that occupied the minds of many of the council members.

Bus station 1

Imagine a bus service that is free to senior’s on Monday’s – it just might happen.

Every senior responded both Robert Lovell representing the Burlington Seniors’ Advisory committee and James Young, a word 1 resident who spoke to the plans for transit fares for seniors.

In Burlington delegations are usually a one way street – the delegations speaks but for the most part doesn’t often engage the members of council.
There are many occasions when a delegation doesn’t get asked questions.

When Councillor Craven is chairing the meeting – delegations are kept to very few words. Not that way when Councillor Lancaster is the chair.

Robert Lovell was asked questions and council got much more in the way of an answer than they expected when Lovell pushed right back.  Lovell wanted to see Burlington adopt the free Monday transit for seniors that Oakville uses and he kept chiding Burlington’s council members for not doing what Oakville has been doing since 2012.

The two delegations were both seniors – they were there to see that the senior’s in the city got what they felt was needed. Lovell talked of people who were not able to get out of their homes because they couldn’t afford the cost of transit.

“These people get isolated and there mental health deteriorates”, he said.

Mayor Goldring and Councillor Dennison wanted to know what percentage of the senior population lived on the $12,000 a year Lovell had referred to; he wasn’t able to say but he had a petition with more than 500 signatures.

The short delegation session Tuesday afternoon was all that was needed to handle the delegations that were made. It isn’t clear if no one asked to delegate in the evening or if the city decided it was not going to hold an evening session. So much for an engaged city.

Councillor Lancaster said in her opening remarks there was lot of consultation. There was just the one public meeting held at Tansley Woods last week.

In contrast the Strategic Plan has been put before five different public meetings as well as a very detailed on line questionnaire.

For some reason people in Burlington just accept how much their council decides to tax them.

Budget public parent on stairs at ice rink

Parents at a hockey game while three people next door were listening to a budget presentation. It’s just who we are.

In 2015 there was a public meeting that focused on the budget held at Mainway Recreation Centre; it was a winter night – less than three people showed up – next door at one of the skating rinks less than 20 yards away there were several hundred parents watching a hockey game.

Did they know there was a public meeting to review and comment on the budget? The city does advertise the events – and the Gazette certainly spread the word.


In 2014 – an election year people showed up for the budget review. In 2015 it snowed and there were just three people in the room plus two people who had run in the last election and were keeping tabs on the council they were not part of – this time.

There have been other public budget meetings that were very well attended – however the more active citizens complained that the budget decisions had already been made – all the city was doing was explaining what they had decided to do.

There are those who think the public should be at the table helping to decide what and where their tax dollars are to be spent.  And that was certainly what Robert Lovell and James Young were suggesting council do – take a much different look at transit. Make it free for seniors every day of the week suggested Young. “That’s what they do in Europe” he said. “You are looking at transit as a cost when you should be looking at transit as a service that is paid for with money the taxpayers give you”, he added.

Several members of council wanted to know how many really poor seniors there were in the city that needed financial support to be able to use the transit system. The figure was said to be 6%.

Mayor Goldring pointed out that 17% of the population is made up of seniors – he seemed to be worried that they all might want to get on a bus on the Monday’s when service would be free – which is exactly the point Lovell and Young were making.

There comes a time pointed our Lovell when you lose your license – what do you do then? The frequency of the bus service really limits how much you are going to be able to get around. If the service were free and frequent you would have people out of their homes spending money, going places and being active in the community, said Lovell

The Mayor, who said he was a senior, one of the younger set – but he does hold a membership at the Seniors’ Centre, told the delegation that he was once carded and asked to prove he was a senior.

The Mayor’s concern was with how many seniors the city will have in 25 years and how a city would manage to deliver the services they will need. The challenge is to develop plans today that will provide the services needed.

One thing became very clear Tuesday afternoon at city hall – if Robert Lovell is representative of the baby boomers who are entering retirement city councils of the future had better be ready for some very local people who expect much more in the way of services And they are not going to be quiet or docile.

Joan Gallagher Bell spoke of a new vision for an age friendly city – for her the minimum was the free transit on Monday.

And that was what Councillor Meed Ward had put forward an adjustment to the budget to make the free service available this year.

Cost – no one was sure but $40,000 seemed to be the number.  James Young pointed out that it wasn’t a real expense – it was just revenue the city wasn’t going to get.


Councillor Meed Ward just might deliver a real benefit to the senior citizens with this budget.

There is a side bar to this event. More than a year ago – on a December 18th of 2014 when city council was deciding who was going to sit on which committee,  Meed Ward represented the city on the hospital board and she very much wanted to retain that committee responsibility.

Her colleagues didn’t see it that way and gave that task to Councillor Sharman and gave the job of representing council on the Seniors Advisory Committee to Meed Ward.

Meed Ward has delivered big time for the seniors – she will be rewarded when she decides to run for a different role on city council in 2018.

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