City and the air park are back in court - city manager proving to be a man of few words when it comes to explaining what the city is doing.

airpark 100x100By Pepper Parr

April 20, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON
The Air Park issue is back on the table – on the hot plate actually with the heat being turned up.

In a very brief media release handed out during a city council meeting Monday evening the city said: The issue at the Air Park is of continuing concern to the residents of Burlington and there is a high degree of interest in this matter. For the purposes of informing the public the City Solicitor recommends that limited solicitor-client privilege be waives with respect to the following matters after final Council approval of this report as follows”:

Council waive solicitor client privilege with respect the advice/opinions contained in L-9-15 and its attachments strictly with respect to conveying to the public that:

Barbara Sheldon look at 32 feet of landfill less than 50 feet from her kitchen window.  All dumped without any permits because an airport is federally regulated.  The city is not done with this issue.

Barbara Sheldon look at 32 feet of landfill less than 50 feet from her kitchen window. All dumped without any permits because an airport is federally regulated. The city is now back in Court asking a Judge to compel the Air Park to file a site Alteration site |Plan does that mean some of the fill might get removed?

Burlington city council takes the position that it has full legal Authority to enforce the provisions of its Site Alteration By-law as against Burlington Air Park Inc. and the Burlington Air Park Inc., has been given 30 days from March 20, 2015 to comply with the by-law.

This news is released April 20th – suggesting that lawyer Ian Blue will be at the County Courthouse tomorrow morning with a brief asking the Judge to order the Air Park to submit a Site Alteration plan.

The city media release goes on to say: “That in all other respects, solicitor-client privilege is maintained over all other legal advice/opinions contained in L-9-15 and its appendices.”

In other words – they aren’t going to tell us anything else.

So much for the city’s intention to communicate with the public.

City Manager James Ridge, who smiles frequently and suggests he wants to be nice added a few words to the release when asked just what it meant.

“We are asking a court to compel the Air Park to comply with the site by-law

They could have said that in one sentence and do away with all the baffle gab.

This certainly ups the ante – the Air Park has found reason after reason; excuse after excuse to not file the proper documents – they’ve been doing this for years.

The city and the Air Park sued each other over whether or not the city had the right to require a Site Alteration Plan. They lost the case. Justice Murphy said they were requires to submit a plan.

The Air Park appealed that decision – they lost the appeal.

They hired a consulting form with a good reputation for quality work – and that firm did meet with staff in the planning department – but a complete |Site Alteration plan never quite made it to the planners.

Stewart + Warren + Goulet + woodruff + Monte  + Blue

Getting a single picture with most of the players in it is unusual. On the far left is outside counsel Ian Blue who won two court cases for the city and has been brought in to stick handle the most recent legal issue. To the rear of Blue  is Blake Hurley who is with the city legal department. Scott |Stewart chats with rural Burlington residents Robert Goulet, Ken Woodruff and Montre Dennis. Vanessa Warren looks over their shoulders. Warren, Dennis and Pepper Parr, publisher of the Burlington Gazette have been sued by the Air Park. That case has yet to get to court.

A month or so ago the city brought Ian Blue the lawyer who handled the two court cases, back in and sought his advice. That advice is now evident.

The city wants to hope that they appear once again in front of Justice Murphy.

In a media release put out several hours after city council adjourned a time line reflecting just how long this has been going on.

Timeline
• July 4, 2013 – The City of Burlington moved forward with a legal strategy to address concerns regarding noise and fill activities related to construction at the Burlington Airpark on Bell School Line.

• July 18, 2013 – The Burlington Airpark serves the City of Burlington with an application to take the city to court and seeks a court order to declare the city’s site alteration by-law does not apply to the airport’s operations and construction of aerodrome facilities.

• July 29, 2013 – The City of Burlington and the Burlington Airpark reach a settlement to stop fill operations at the airpark until a decision is made by the courts about whether the city has jurisdiction to regulate fill operations through its site alteration by-law.

• Nov. 13, 2013 – A Milton Superior Court rules the City of Burlington’s site alteration by-law applies to the Burlington Airpark.

• June 11, 2014 – The Court of Appeal for Ontario upholds the decision of the Milton Superior Court that the City of Burlington’s site alteration by-law applies to the Burlington Airpark.

Added to the time line was the following:
“The City of Burlington site alteration by-law 64-2014 regulates the placing, dumping, cutting and removal of fill or the alteration of grades or drainage on a piece of land. Individuals undertaking this type of work are first required to submit an application to the city for a site alteration permit.

“The Burlington Airpark Inc. has not submitted an application for a site alteration permit for the areas of the Airpark property where substantial quantities of fill were deposited between 2009 to 2014.”

“The Burlington Airpark continues to be of great interest to the residents of Burlington,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “The requirements set out in Burlington’s site alteration by-law are necessary to help regulate impacts to the environment and drainage patterns.”

wer

Dump trucks taking tonnes of landfill onto the Air Park property to level out part of the 200 acre site. They did so without any permits.

The requirement for a site plan isn’t the only issue.  The drilling of test holes to determine what if any toxicity exists at or near the water table as a result of the fill that has been dumped on the 200 acre plus site has yet to be resolved and something more than statement released from the provincial ministry that is involved in this mess on how it is going to inform the public.

The federal government is responsible for the regulations that determine what level of adherence the airport has to respect in terms of municipal bylaws.

The noose is getting tighter.

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Two Chilly Half Marathon participants may be part of the Canadian Olympic team in Rio de Janeiro in 2016

News 100 redBy Staff

April 12, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Two world class marathoner’s who ran in the 2014 Chilly Half Marathon last February just might be on their way to the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Coolsaet crossing the Half Chilly Marathon December 2014

Reid Coolsaet crossing the finish line at the Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington.

Reid Coolsaet and Krista DuChene both headed to the Netherlands in search of what they hoped would be an Olympic qualifying time, as well as a shot a Canadian record.

The two appear to have qualified for Olympic berths at Rotterdam today. Both took part in Burlington’s Chilly Half Marathon last March.

Krista Duchene being carried after Montral race

Krista DuChene being carried after finishing a race on Montreal just over a year ago with a broken femur.

One year ago, DuChene, the Mother of two children, broke her femur running a half-marathon in Montreal.

On Sunday in Rotterdam, she flirted with the Canadian record, and finished with her second fastest ever marathon time in 2:29:37.

WO yellowAlthough the 2016 Rio Olympic qualifying times have yet to be formally announced, the women’s time has historically been 2:29:55. This will be DuChene’s first Olympics.

Coolsaet also came to the Rotterdam course in the hunt for the Canadian record (2:10:09). He ended up with a strong seventh place finish in a tough field, finishing in 2:11:23. In previous years, the Canadian Olympic standard for the men’s marathon has been 2:11:29.

Is Burlington’s Chilly Half about to become the accepted training ground for Olympic level runners?

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Plans for rebuild of Lakeshore Road are shown - lots of discussion to take place on this one: road to be raised a metre in some locations.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

April 2, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Here is the official story:

“Ontario is investing up to $371.3 million to support the construction of a new seven-storey tower at Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital and to significantly renovate other areas of the hospital to give patients faster access to the right care.
Through this expansion, patients in Burlington will benefit from:

Space for 172 additional beds in the new tower

Additional beds in the Intensive Care Unit

A modern emergency department and a new main entrance

Expanded diagnostic imaging services, which will provide capacity for an additional 23,745 exams per year

Nine modern operating rooms and a post-anaesthetic care unit with capacity for an additional 1,770 inpatient and day surgery cases

An expanded cancer clinic that can serve an additional 2,876 patient visits

Expanded ambulatory care programs, such as: comprehensive women’s health, children’s health, seniors health/geriatric assessment, nutrition counselling, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart function, ophthalmology, neurology, general medicine, fracture clinic, orthopaedic assessment, stroke assessment, medical day care and sexual assault clinic

An expanded and modernized laboratory to help accurately assess patients faster

A renovated Special Care Nursery for babies who need additional specialized care such as intravenous therapy or respiratory support

Hospital rendering April 2-15

City hall is apparently leaning on the hospital administration to ensure that the Tim Horton coffee shop is on the south side of the building so that the public walking along the Lakeshore and the old railway track can slip in for a double-double and a maple donut. The original plan was to have the coffee shop on the north side. Suspect that discussion isn’t over yet.

Construction at Joseph Brant Hospital is now underway and is expected to be complete in the fall of 2018.”

But there is more to this story than what the provincial government’s media release said

The building is going to be much higher than expected.

It will be well built – Ellis-Don, the company heading up the construction project has consistently done very good work. Erik Vandewall, president of the hospital is as good as they get at getting hospitals built.

He will make sure things are on time and on budget.

The budget is going to be a problem.
The $371 million dollar project will get funds from three sources: the provincial government, which is using an innovative approach to getting its share of the cost.

The city of Burlington has had to burden its tax payers with a $60 million special tax levy that threatens to become permanent – but that’s another story.

The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation has undertaken to raise an additional $60 million.

They recently announced that they had reached the 60% level – which is very good news.

BUT – there is $10 million of that publicly raised money that might be in doubt.

Last weekend the Globe & Mail published a report on a significant shortfall in the fund raising for the Royal Ontario Museum. Burlington’s Michael Lee Chin made a generous donation – it was a pledge actually that he has not been able to honour yet.

His gift to the Joseph Brant Hospital, announced in February by the hospital foundation said:

“Together, as a community, we raised an incredible $2 million from September – December 2014, in response to the Michael Lee-Chin & Family Community Matching Challenge. As a result the Lee-Chin Family added a matching million dollars.
In September of 2014 the Foundation announced: The Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation has announced that Michael Lee-Chin and his family have made a $10 million dollar donation at its 14th annual Crystal Ball Gala.

The donation is the largest ever made in the City of Burlington and the largest made to the Joseph Brant Hospital. This gift brings the total raised for Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation’s Our New Era campaign to $37M – more than 60% of campaign goal.

In light of the Globe & Mail story – we don’t know what Lee Chin has done or has not done in terms of meeting his pledge.
Meanwhile construction plans for a rebuild of Lakeshore Road are released.

Lakeshore rebuild - first part

The road will have three lanes plus a bike path on the south side and will be between a metre and 3/4 of a metre higher than it is now. It will extend in phase one to just about the water treatment plant.

The road is going to be raised between a metre and three quarters of a metre higher when the work is completed in 2018. There will be no work done on the road rebuild while hospital construction is taking place.

The Lakeshore Road re-build will not be complete. Scott Hamilton, Manager of Design Construction for the city said the final design of the Lakeshore extension cannot be completed until we know what is going to happen to the houses in the Beachway.

The new road will be three lanes wide with a bike path as well. Some of the houses are quite close to the existing road.
While the Region has said the situation with the property on the Beachway will be bought on a willing seller/willing buyer basis – the truth is that there is only one buyer and the sellers are being squeezed out.

The real estate agents for the Region are meeting with home owner on a one-to-one basis to – as they say – point out the options the home owners have.

The city will be holding a public meeting on Tuesday to display their thinking of a park design – with and without the homes that are in place now.

It could be a very noisy building.

In the meantime Eric J. Vandewall President & CEO of the hospital has to determine just where the money to pay the bills is going to come from.

The city has been quietly collecting tax money to pay for its $60 million share. City Director of Finance Joan Ford advises that there is a tight agreement between the hospital and the city as to when city funds get handed over.

One can assume that a similar agreement exists between the hospital and the hospital foundation.

Vandewall must wonder – is the $10 million plus that Lee Chin pledged going to be available?

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Spring GreenUp - Clean up registration now open.

News 100 greenBy Staff

April 1, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

It is close, you can almost feel it – but it isn’t here yet – is it?

The warm weather doesn’t have to be here to get BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association, in partnership with the City of Burlington, getting the word out on their annual event.

BG clean up graphicCitizens, schools, churches, community groups and businesses can participate in this year’s Community Clean Up Green Up events taking place from 9:00 to noon on Saturday April 25th and Saturday May 30th, 2015.

Since 2010, the city-wide clean-up efforts have collectively realized the retrieval and proper disposal of more than 10,000 kg (10 tonnes) of litter, with a record high of 13,500 participants in 2013 who registered to do their part to help make Burlington’s parks, streams, school yards, and neighbourhoods cleaner and greener.

Registration for this year’s events is NOW OPEN on the Burlington Green website

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Burlington chiropractor Dr. Ashley Worobec named Torchbearer for Pan Am Games Torch Relay

News 100 redBy Staff

Marcvh 30, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON
The city proudly announces that Dr. Ashley Worobec will be the Burlington community torchbearer for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games Torch Relay, presented by President’s Choice® and OLG.

Ashley Worobec Torch bearer

Dr. AshleyWorobec a Burlington chiropractor at the Burlington Sports and Spine Clinic, is an avid Crossfit practitioner at Crossfit Altitude in Burlington.

The torch relay will visit Burlington on Friday, June 19, 2015 and will feature Dr. Worobec as the community torchbearer.
In December, residents were asked to help choose a local resident to carry the Pan Am flame on behalf of the city and voted on a short list of names selected by the committee.

The Burlington Pan Am Community Engagement Committee accepted applications and nominations until Dec. 14. To be considered, applicants or nominators submitted a photo and a letter of interest explaining the connection to Burlington and what being Burlington’s community torchbearer would mean to him or her. The finalist who received the most votes was Dr. Worobec.

Nominated by Marnie Post, Dr. Worobec is a Chiropractor at the Burlington Sports and Spine Clinic, an avid Crossfit practitioner at Crossfit Altitude in Burlington, and an avid runner, participating in numerous runs in and around the city. A mother of two young children, she is actively engaged in numerous community activities and blogs about her community, her practice, parenting and staying fit and healthy.
“Ashley Worobec will proudly carry the Pan Am flame as Burlington’s community torchbearer,” said Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring. “Burlington is excited to be a part of this historic journey, and we look forward to showcasing our community to the world.”

During the 41-day torch relay, each of the 3,000 torchbearers will complete, on average, a 200-metre relay segment. The torch will be carried by more than 60 modes of transportation and exceed 5,000 kilometres on the road and 15,000 kilometres by air.

“The torch is a unique symbol of the Pan Am Games and carries a powerful energy that will unite Canadians,” said Saäd Rafi, chief executive officer, TO2015. “The torchbearers will proudly carry the flame through more than 130 communities, igniting the Pan Am spirit as they go.”

Featured on the torch are the United We Play! pictograms — colourful depictions of people in motion —symbolizing the assembly of athletes through the celebration of sport and culture. The aluminum torch stands 65 centimetres high and weighs 1.2 kilograms (or roughly the same weight as a baseball bat). With a burn time of 10 to 12 minutes, the flame can withstand winds of up to 70 kilometres per hour and is visible in all kinds of weather conditions.

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Spring will have arrived at 6:35 pm - Earth Hour gets celebrated next Saturday - will the Mayor take to a skate board again?

News 100 redBy Staff

March 20, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

At 6:35 this evening – spring will have arrived – and while there might be one last bit of a winter blast – the season has changed and we can begin to prepare for summer. Two-four time will be here soon enough; that’s the weekend the gardeners come out in force – not the weekend the hockey fans head for the Beer Store – no reason for Maple Leaf fans to make a weekend of it.

Snow plows 2 Spring 2015

These snow plows are parked for the summer – they certainly got a work out this winter – as did all of us.

One of the first things we get to do in the new season is celebrate Earth Hour on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The City of Burlington is encouraging residents and local businesses to participate in Earth Hour by turning off all non-essential lights and appliances for one hour at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28.

Now in its eighth year, the annual lights-out event, organized by the World Wildlife Fund, brings together more than 7,000 communities from around the world to symbolize their commitment to the planet by switching out the lights for one hour.

Ward Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring put their political repitations on the line and stand on skate baords.  Is there one foot on the ground there?

Ward Councillor Blair Lancaster and Mayor Rick Goldring put their political reputations on the line and stand on skate boards.  Will the two of them try that again now that it’s Spring.

“I encourage residents and businesses to take the challenge and power down during Earth Hour,” said Mayor Rick Goldring. “Earth Hour is a great reminder about how our actions impact the environment. Through its Corporate Energy Management Plan and Community Energy Plan, the city is committed to looking at how energy is used and generated in the community and where conservation and efficiency measures can be put in place.”

“In 2014, Burlington City Council endorsed the city’s first Community Energy Plan, developed with community groups, agencies and businesses. The plan is a holistic view of how energy is used, conserved, generated and distributed with a focus on how community partners can work together to improve and integrate community energy systems.”

Nice corporate statement – but not much about what the city has actually done in the past year

“The city has been working to put in place an energy management program aimed at saving energy and reducing costs for city facilities. In 2013, the city was awarded the Community Conservation Award by the Ontario Power Authority for its commitment to conservation.”

Commitment is about all we have on the Corporate Energy Management Plan

The people over at the fire department pass along some safety tips to keep in mind if you are one of the people that get into the Earth Hour idea.
When turning off lights in support of Earth Hour, consider these important safety tips:

• Test all smoke alarms to ensure they are working
• Consider using LED candles
• Keep candles away from curtains and decorations, and place in a sturdy container that contains the flame
• Always keep lighters and matches out of reach from children
• Never leave the room when a candle is burning.

The Gazette will drive some of the streets in the city on Saturday to see if the message is getting through.

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You can be Irish on the 17th - just don't be behind the wheel and inebriated at the same time.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 16, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The Regional Police are making one of those extra efforts to enforce the traffic laws on St. Patrick’s Day.

HRPS St. Patrick's DayFor the First Time offender there is a
• 3-day licence suspension
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

For the Second Time offender (within 5 years)
• 7-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol education program
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

For the Third Time offender (within 5 years)
• 30-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol treatment program
• Six-month ignition interlock licence condition
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

Subsequent infractions (within 5 years)
• 30-day licence suspension
• Mandatory alcohol treatment program
• Six-month ignition interlock licence condition
• Mandatory medical evaluation
• $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty

These roadside licence suspensions cannot be appealed. Suspensions will be recorded on the driver’s record. For up to five years, these roadside suspensions will be considered when determining consequences for subsequent infractions.

Now if they can get as tough with drivers who deliberately distract themselves using a cell phone – we will have made some progress.

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Fourteen month old dies while at a daycare; no foul play is suspected

News 100 blackBy Staff

March 11, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

On Monday March 9, 2015 at approximately 12:15pm, Halton Police and paramedics responded to a 911 call at the Wee Care Daycare in the City of Burlington, whereby a 14-month-old boy later died in hospital.

The Regional Coroner took over the investigation and conducted a post mortem today, Tuesday March 10, 2015.

This is a medical investigation being conducted by the Coroner’s office. No foul play is suspected.

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The police don't care if you are Irish - they want to be sure you under under the limit - well under if you don't mind.

News 100 greenBy Staff

March 10, 2017

BURLINGTON, ON

This year’s well-celebrated St. Patrick’s Day falls on Tuesday, March 17th. Halton Regional Police officers will be out on Tuesday ensuring those that clink glasses won’t clink cars.

Irish drunks

Don’t let the face of a police officer get into a picture like this.

Recognizing that many Halton residents will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this Friday or Saturday night instead, motorists should expect to see several RIDE programs in effect and also note a higher uniform presence patrolling in licensed establishments over this weekend, educating the public about impaired driving and enforcing the laws to ensure everyone on our roads are safe.

This team will be also be focusing their efforts on conducting bar checks at licensed establishments and reminding the staff of their responsibilities under the Liquor License Act, and encouraging staff to call police should they suspect a patron is about to drive a motor vehicle while impaired.

Patrick

Don’t think this friend will qualify as your designated driver.

Informative St. Patrick’s Day fliers will be handed out at RIDE checks across the Region in efforts to educate the public and spread the word about the consequences of impaired driving.

The Halton Regional Police Service wishes everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and encourage party-goers to celebrate responsibly. Don’t Press Your Luck!….Use a Designated Driver!

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Hospital re-development on target - building permit should be issued soon - then the ground breaking.

jbhhealthBy Pepper Parr

March 11, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Site Planning co-coordinator Jamie Tellier explans what is going to be built whereon the JBMH campus.

Site Planning co-coordinator Jamie Tellier explains what is going to be built whereon the JBH campus.

The city planner on the file for the re-development of the Joseph Brant Hospital told the small audience meeting at the Art Gallery that it was just a matter of some technicalities before the city would be issuing a building permit and the ground would be broken for the start of construction that will be adding some 40,000 square feet of space and a little more height than some were expecting.

Originally planned as a seven storey structure an eighth floor got added and then there is the pent house. This is not going to be a small building.  It will however be very much state of the art with rooms that are better than any hotel the city currently offers.

The event telling the story was hosted by ward 1 councillor Rick Craven who mistakenly said Burlington had donated $60 million to the hospital – Burlingtonians were taxed $60 million dollars – they are still being taxed.

The event was an occasion to manage the message and hype how fantastic the hospital is going to be. Parkin Architects certainly have the pedigree one would want to build a hospital for a community. They are doing the hospital in Oakville and did the Royal Ottawa hospital.

It is a very attractive looking building – the height will surprise people and the view of Lake Ontario for those in the line of sight to the lake will be upset.

But if the presentation was any indication it will be a fine structure. Burlington is going to get a state of the art hospital – it will have all the medical community could want.

Time will tell if the team that will run the medical side of things can overcome some of the past problems. Put in different words – can the Joseph Brant Hospital overcome a problematic past?

Perhaps taking the word Memorial out of the name of the hospital will make the difference.

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

The senior management at the hospital, led by Eric Vandewall is close to as good as it gets. Vandewall has managed the relationship with the provincial government and overseen the creation of the team that is going to build the hospital.

The relationship between the city and the hospital corporation had to be massaged a little to get it to the point where the two are working together quite well.

The main highlights of the second phase of the project include:

  • A new Emergency Department
  • 172 acute inpatient beds
  • 9 new Operating Rooms and a new post-anaesthetic care unit
  • An expanded Diagnostic Imaging department and associated services
  • Expanded medical, surgical and outpatient services
  • An expanded cancer clinic
  • An expanded Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and renovated Special Care Nursery – level 2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • An expanded and modernized laboratory
  • 70 percent single-patient rooms across the hospital
Operating_Room_Small

Rendering of a small operating room.

When the city gulped and got used to the idea that they were going to have to tax their citizens to the tune of $60 million to pay for part of the construction of a badly needed update they were a little hesitant to send cheques directly to the hospital which wanted the cash to pay for the building of the parking garage. Ward 3 Councillor John Taylor wasn’t very keen on the idea of city money being used to pay for a parking garage and the hospital keeping the parking fees.

It took a little negotiating – much of that work was done by city general manager Scott Stewart and the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Frank McKeown, but there is now a relationship that has the city sending money to the hospital to pay for equipment that has to be purchased.

The part of Lakeshore Road that dips down from Maple will be a bit of a traffic nightmare while construction takes place – how this is going to impact the Brant Museum hasn’t been figured out yet.

Lakeshore Road is going to get a significant upgrade – once the hospital reconstruction is complete Lakeshore Road is going to be raised and widened and given some landscaping as well. The Waterfront Trail that sits on what was once a set of railway tracks that brought trains into the city when Burlington was described as the produce garden for a large part of the world, will not be impacted.

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.

Reconstruction of Lakeshore will go as far was the water treatment plant which is currently undergoing an upgrade as well.

The city and the Regional government are still working out details on what is going to be done with the Beachway community. That is an issue that is still simmering.

The Joseph Brant Hospital is the focal point – and it won’t be long before everyone who is anybody will be down on the site getting their picture taken. It will be a Grand Day – better than the day they opened the pier.

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Extreme Cold Weather Alert has been extended by the Halton Region Health Department

Spencer Smith - lake frozenAn Extreme Cold Weather Alert has been extended by the Halton Region Health Department for the overnight period on Friday night into Saturday morning, February 28. Temperatures will once again drop into the extreme cold range during the overnight period on Saturday night into Sunday morning, March 1. This alert is issued when temperatures are expected to fall below -15 degrees Celsius (without wind-chill), or when weather conditions are severe enough to warrant alerting the community to the risks involved with prolonged exposure. The alert is intended to inform the general public and community agencies and recommend precautions. This alert is in effect until temperatures rise above –15 degrees Celsius (without wind-chill) or weather conditions improve and the risks involved with prolonged exposure are reduced.

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Hospital foundation raised $2 million in four months - 40 of the 60 million needed is in the bank.

jbhhealthBy Pepper Parr

February 27, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

It was back in 2011 when newly elected Mayor Rick Goldring told a Chamber of Commerce crowd during his very first State of the City address that Burlington had been advised that it had to raise $60 million dollars from its taxpayers and that the Burlington Hospital Foundation had to come up with an additional $60 million

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 garage  to the west of the hospital.

The city manager Jeff Fielding, who was hired some time later, told Council that was the biggest amount of money Burlington has ever had to raise.
The hospital foundation announced earlier this week that “Together, as a community, we raised an incredible $2 million from September – December 2014, in response to the Michael Lee-Chin & Family Community Matching Challenge. As a result the Lee-Chin Family added a matching million dollars.

The Joseph Brant Foundation is sincerely grateful to Mr. Lee-Chin for challenging us to achieve a new milestone in our campaign, and to every donor who participated and made the decision to support the building of the new Joseph Brant Hospital.

Construction plans are proceeding on schedule with a public meeting to be held in March to view the final site plan.

The parking garage which was the first phase of the redevelopment of the hospital has been completed and is now in full operation.

The Halton McMaster Family Clinic is also open and is winning awards for design excellence.

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Flood relief money making its way to victims; partial payments averaging $9000 +

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 18, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

As of today the Burlington Community Foundation Flood Disaster Relief Claims Committee (DRC) has reviewed 88 claims with 77 of those being approved for some amount.

Throughout the first quarter of 2015, interim claim payments are being distributed and once all 310 claims are assessed, the committee will determine final payment amounts and disburse final cheques with a goal of completing the process by April 30.

FLOOD - basement - stuff floating

Funds raised within the community and matched by the province on a two-for-one basis are now being distributed to victims.

The Foundation has paid out a total of $696,000 which would work out to a little over $9000 per claimant – with more to follow when the Claims Committee has determined what is left and available for distribution.

“We are extremely pleased to report that many victims of the August flood have started receiving cheques to assist in their recovery efforts,” said Colleen Mulholland, President and CEO, Burlington Community Foundation. “The response from those who have received compensation has been extremely appreciative.”

Flood BMO at the vault

National banks were a major source of funds – they did a lot more for the city than several major corporations that do very good business in Burlington.

Ryan and Amy More’s home and lives were devastated by the flood in August. They received their first cheque from the Flood Relief Fund and were overwhelmed with appreciation. “My wife and I are so appreciative of everything that our Burlington community has done for us to help build our lives back,” said Ryan More. “We feel blessed to have such great neighbours and to live in a community that cares. This financial support is a tremendous help and we would like sincerely thank everyone who contributed.”

The Claims Committee continues to meet every two weeks to process each claim.

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Community gardens are a success – city hall wants to know where the fourth one should be located.

News 100 greenBy Staff

February 18, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Burlington has had community gardens ever since Michelle Bennett and Amy Schnurr delegated to city council for support in creating a garden back in behind the library and the Seniors’ Centre on New Street.

BurlingtonGreen's Michelle Bennett pacing off the size of each lot in the Community Garden that will open this Saturday.

Michelle Bennett pacing off the size of each lot in the Community Garden that opened in WHEN

The garden was a hit from the Get Go – every politician that wanted to get their picture taken was there.
The public seemed to want them and so the city began spending some of the tax dollars it collects asking people where they would like to see community gardens set up.

There are currently three community gardens in the city: Amherst Park Community GardenFeatures: 28 ground based plots, two wheelchair-accessible plots, water, street parking, full sun, storage shed, security fence, proximity to playground.

Schnurr-Stewart-Peachy-1024x805

Amy Schnurr proselytizing for community gardens.

Central Park Community Garden; Features: 28 ground plots, two wheelchair accessible plots, parking, washrooms, water, full sun, storage shed, security fence, proximity to playground.

Francis Road Bikeway Community Garden; Features: 20 ground based plots, two wheelchair accessible plots, street parking on Warwick Drive, water, full sun, storage shed, security fence.   There are no public washroom facilities at this garden location.

The City did one of their online survey to help gather input from the public about the location of the city’s next community garden.
“The city currently has three community gardens, which have been very well received by gardeners and the surrounding neighbours,” said Rob Peachey, manager of parks and open spaces. “The city is now seeking input about the location of a fourth garden which will be ready for planting in the spring of 2016. We want to hear from residents about where in the city they’d like to see the newest community garden.”

The short online survey is available at . It will remain open until Sunday, Feb. 22.

The information collected from the survey will help inform city staff with their final recommendation to City Council at a meeting of the Development and Infrastructure Committee in June.

This year’s Burlington Seedy Saturday (community seed exchange event) is happening as part of the Burlington Public Library Eco Fair on Saturday,  April 18. Contact their marketing department or event coordinator Craig Logue loguec@bpl.on.ca for more info.

 

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Regional health staff report a case of measles in Halton: 30 year old male.

element_healthservices-74x74By Staff

February 16, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

The Halton Region Health Department reports a confirmed case of measles. The Halton resident is a male in his thirties. During his period of infectiousness, the case did not spend any time in Halton.

“The Halton Region Health Department is working in coordination with other local public health units to ensure any potentially exposed persons are notified in a timely manner,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region.

Measles - male

This is not a photograph of the 30 year old male Halton resident; it is a picture of what measles looks like on an older person.

Measles starts with a cough, runny nose, red, watery eyes and fever, and after about four days a rash begins on the face and moves down the body. There also may be white spots inside the mouth. Measles spreads easily to those who are not immune. Infants under one year of age, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems can get very ill with measles. Complications of measles can include middle ear infections, pneumonia, croup and inflammation of the brain. Learn more at halton.ca/measles.

“Measles is preventable through immunization with two doses of the measles vaccine,” explained Dr. Meghani. “People who have measles need to isolate themselves while they are ill and for four full days after the rash first appears.”

If you think you may have measles and need to see a doctor, you must call ahead to the doctor’s office, walk-in clinic or public health clinic. This will allow health care staff to prepare for your visit, give you a mask to wear when you arrive and take you straight to a room in which you can be isolated to reduce the risk of exposure to others.

Since measles is now circulating in southwestern Ontario and easily spreads from person to person, the Halton Region Health Department is urging all residents to have their vaccination up to date. Adults born before 1970 are generally presumed to have acquired natural immunity to measles; however, some of these individuals may be susceptible. All Ontarians, regardless of date of birth, are eligible for two doses of MMR vaccine. For individuals born in 1970 or after, two doses of the MMR vaccination is required to be considered adequately protected.

 

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Burlington joins 80 cities: will walk on the Coldest Night

News 100 blueBy Staff

February 7, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

We hear radio announcements  about a Weather Alert. We read about people freezing to death in a bus shelter – we shake our heads and wonder – why do things like this happen. Do we not provide places for these people to go to be warm and get fed?

We do – but those “places” don’t just spring up like tulips in April. They happen because people spend hours working out a program and even longer hours making phone calls asking for donations.

Coldest night - man with frost on beard

This is what cold is all about.

There is an event that takes place happens in over 80 cities across Canada. This is the first time it is being held in Burlington. Open Doors @ St. Christopher’s is the location host this year. The event is called: The Coldest Night of the Year. It will take place on Saturday February 21st

Open Doors is trying to raise $25,000 to support its 13 programs: they still need your help. They are half way there thanks in part to their lead sponsor the Leggat Auto Group , but still need community and businesses to sponsor , walk or volunteer.

The Leggat Care Foundation is an established member of the community; they have put an emphasis on health care, poverty reduction and education opportunities as the paramount pillars of the Leggat Care Foundation.
Other businesses and partners are JD Restorations , Goodness Me Natural Food Market, Halton Public Library -Central Library and Halton District Catholic School Board. The Burlington Police , Neo1 Paint , and St. Luke’s Palermo Youth Group are some of our partner’s walk teams.

In 2014 Open Doors provided over 45,000 meals to our community. over 2000 people accessed free clothing through Open Doors and 142 families were helped at Christmas.

Coldest night - boy with sign

The sign says it all. This ad has a place to go to get out of the cold.

Open Door Programs and Networks
The programs in place now are:
Partnership West Food bank @ Open Doors ; Free Clothing Store; Kids Club After School Program; Tweens Club After School Program; Active Tots – (2015 start); Respite Programs for Families with Children with special needs; Calling All Parents Parenting Workshops; Christmas Program; Tuesday Night Dinner; Seniors Lunch; Halton Fresh Food Box Distribution; Pop Up Farm Markets with Feeding Halton; Community Kitchens (Youth and family) and the Halton Meal Network

Is Burlington now part of the Coldest Night of the Year walk because the need is now greater or is it because Burlington has become more conscious of the need?

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Fire fighter deliver impressive

News 100 redBy Staff

January 15, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

Getting a visit from the fire fighters is just fine – as long as they are not coming up the driveway with sirens blazing.

During the summer the Burlington Fire Department conducted home visits as part of its rural fire safety program, a public education campaign started in 2013 to test residential smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. The goal of the program is to keep residents safe by ensuring homes are protected and comply with Ontario smoke and CO alarm laws.

They were back in the rural part of the city with the biggest loot bag you will ever see. The fire department called them “home fire safety prize packs”.

“We were able to visit about 1,700 homes over the course of the program and talk to many residents about home fire safety,” said Chief Fire Prevention Officer Joe Wintar. “Residents that participated in the home visit were entered into a draw to win a home fire protection gift basket valued at $250.”

“We appreciate people taking the time to welcome us into their homes,” said Public Education Officer Kim Sopko. “Winning homeowners received a prize package that includes essential home fire protection items such as a smoke and CO alarm, a home escape ladder and fire extinguisher.”

Fire prize - photo 1

Right to left: Acting Captain Dave Meehan, Firefighter Rod Mchaffie, residents Rod and Karen Yuzik, Firefighter Joe Savelli

Fire inspection prize photo 2

Right to left: Firefighter Joe Savelli, Firefighter Rod Mchaffie, resident Maurice Davidson, Acting Captain Dave Meehan

 

 

Fire inspection prize photo 3

Right to left: Firefighter Tim Hart, Acting Captain Shawn Gilroy, resident Nick Basile, Firefighter Alexander Zijlstra

 

If residents were not home at the time of the visit, they can still schedule a free in-home fire safety visit by calling 905-637-8207, ext. 6333 or emailing firedepartment@burlington.ca.

Follow @BurlingtonFire on Twitter and visit us on Facebook or at www.burlington.ca/fire or for more information on fire safety.

 

 

 

 

 

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Flood relief cheques will begin to go out next week; just 50% of approved claims being paid now - balance to follow.

News 100 blueBy Pepper Parr

January 13, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON.

The flood is history – the problems left are financial.

The Burlington Community Foundation is going through the 310 applications for financial assistance. Twenty two (22) have been approved and another 30 will be cleared this Friday.

Flooded basement

Funds for those people who had basements flooded will begin to be sent out early next week. 52 of the 310 claims have been processed to date.

Once a Claim has been approved by the Claims committee it gets sent to the city and they issue the cheques on behalf of the Community Foundation.

Claims totaling $6 million have been received – the amount available for distribution is $2.9 million. One doesn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out people are not going to get what they were asking for in the way of financial support.

Those claims that have been approved, which will be paid out by the city, will see just 50% of the amount they will be given. The balance will be paid during the last week of the claim settling process.

The Claims committee has to figure out how they are going to spread the $2.9 million they have to distribute to the $6 million in claims that has come in.

Going through the claims is the task that gets managed by four volunteers working with the insurance adjuster hired by the Burlington Community Foundation to oversee the work done by the four Claims Committee volunteers; Mark Preston, Bruce Russell, Rick Burgess and Nancy Swietek.

Flood Insurance Bureau photo op

It was community organizations that came through as well as individuals who raised just under $1 million in 100 days – a remarkable feat.

In the early stages of the fund raising campaign there were relatively few claims being submitted. It wasn’t until the last couple of days that people got their documents in – more than 100 during the last two days. Many people deeply involved in the fund raising and claims processing are still shaking their heads wondering why so many people waited until the last few days to submit documents.

Every nickel of the funds raised in the community is being distributed to the people who suffered from the flood. Every dollar raised in the community is being matched by $2 from the province’s ODRAP program.

The administrative costs are being picked up by the city as are the costs for having the Red Cross do all the work they did.

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Blood clinic on Saturday - possible blood worker strike on the 8th - help if you can.

element_healthservices-74x74By Staff

January 1, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON

There is an opportunity to get your habit of giving back to the community that has been so good to you back into gear – The Canadian Blood Service is holding their first Blood Drive for 2015.

Blood drop going into hand.January 3, from 8:00 am to noon. Book an appointment at 1-888-236-6283
Besides booking an appointment to donate blood you can also register to donate stem cells and learn about donating cord blood.

Making that appointment for January 3rd is a little more important this time around; the Blood Service employees are set to strike January 8th. The 13 blood service workers in Burlington, part of the 800 workers that could go on strike will resume negations January 5th.

OPSEU, the union representing the workers warn that concession sought by management pose a serious risk to the safety of the blood system. The concessions are said to include the layoff of skilled professionals and replacement with lower cost, casual part time employees and a changing workplace climate that demands faster processing of blood products and unreasonable production targets.

The consistent flow of blood products is vital to hospitals

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Is there hope for bicycles in Burlington? Bright green markings indicating merging bike traffic is a welcome sign to cyclists.

News 100 blueBy Staff

December 29, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON.

Roy Brooke is an avid cyclist who lives in Victoria BC. On a trip to Copenhagen Denmark he experienced physically separated bikes and cars with a dedicated cycle tracks.

Brooke tells his story: “Visitors to Copenhagen tend to notice that it is tough to take a photograph without a cyclist or bicycle in it. Cyclists seem to be everywhere, and statistics bear out the impression — 55 per cent of Copenhagers’ use bicycles each day and 41 per cent of people arrive to work or school by bike in the Danish capital.

Bike users Copenhagen

In Copenhagen cycling is not limited. any any one demographic

“On a visit to Denmark I started to notice who was actually doing the cycling as much as their sheer numbers — old, middle-aged and young people, families with children, women in high heels, people doing chores, people just getting around; every possible segment of society seemed to travel by bike.

“As a parent, what surprised me were the many mothers and fathers in the downtown core with children on their bikes.

“At home in Victoria, I bike on quiet residential streets with my four-year old on the back in his carrier. However, I never venture downtown with him on my bike. In my judgment as a parent, neither the core of our city or the roads that lead to it are safe enough for me to travel by bicycle with my son.

“Yet in Copenhagen, a much larger and more bustling city than Victoria, families ventured into the busy core at all hours with children.

“I rented a three-speed cruiser at my hotel and set forth to find out why.  After a few hours biking around Copenhagen, I had several clear impressions. Foremost, during the entire time I biked around town, I never once felt like I was running a gauntlet of death between parked cars on one side and speeding traffic on the other. Almost every route physically separated bikes and cars with a dedicated cycle track.

“In some areas, this was a bike lane on raised pavement. In others, simply but ingeniously, parked cars rather than people were the ones in the road nearest the traffic. This let bikers and pedestrians use the calm, safe space between parked cars and buildings.

Bike lanes in Denmark

Lanes created for bicycles where they don’t put riders in harms way and pedestrians have the sidewalks to themselves. In Copenhagen it isn’t a “them” and “us” – cars and bikes each have their place.

Bike traffic lights

Traffic management includes instructions for cyclists.

“In places without physical barriers between cyclists and car traffic, thick lines painted on the pavement and wide cycle tracks kept cars at a distance, and all intersections were marked to prioritize cyclists.
“In a word, I felt safe.

“I also didn’t need to think much to bike. It was clear where I had to go because cycle routes were clearly delineated. It was clear when I had to go or stop because there were usually stoplights just for bicycles. And, it was clear where I could park or rent bicycles: just about anywhere.

“In short, things were designed not only for motorists but cyclists also.

“My overall impression is that Copenhagen’s physical separation of bike and car routes and having fully integrated design takes the “us versus them” out of cycling. I never felt irritated by motorists because I never came near them. I assume that I never bothered motorists, for the same reason. Pedestrians, motorists and cyclists thrived side by side because the urban system was built with everyone in mind.

“Above all, I understood why parents took their children into Copenhagen’s core on bikes. If Victoria had similarly modern cycling infrastructure, I would do the same here.

“Many other cities — Barcelona, Paris, Dublin for example — have made similarly large and fast leaps. Separated bike lanes, bike-share systems and lowered speed limits were common denominators in their success.”

Green bike lanes

Burlington has recently marked lanes to alert car drivers to merging bicycle traffic.

Is the time right for Burlington to make a similar leap? A start has been made. We have the chevron markers and there are now several bike lanes clearly marked with green paint alerting drivers to the merging of bicycle tragic,

During the recent municipal elections very little was heard from the cyclist lobby and as close to nothing from any of the candidates. Mayor Goldring seems to have assumed that he has learned a lesson after his flip flop on bicycle lanes along Lakeshore Road.

Burlington could join the ranks of leading, livable cities, not through a dialogue that is about cars versus bikes, but one based on the actual evidence: that proper, modern biking (and pedestrian) infrastructure makes life better for everyone.

New Street is scheduled to have some major infrastructure work done in the next few years. There was a proposal that dedicated bike lanes be part of that infrastructure upgrade – it wasn’t going to be cheap. The argument was to add the dedicated lanes while an upgrade was being done.

That item will come up during the budget debates in February.

 

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