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Halton Region Public Health confirms first case of monkeypox

By Staff

June 8, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Halton Region Public Health has confirmed Halton’s first reported case of monkeypox virus. The individual is currently isolating at home and all contacts have been notified by Halton Region Public Health.

“While most people infected with monkeypox will have mild symptoms, some people such as children, pregnant women and those with immunodeficiencies are at higher risk for severe disease,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health.

An example of monkeypox

“If you have symptoms of monkeypox, it is important to stay home and call your doctor to be assessed. When seeking medical care you should wear a high quality medical mask and cover up all lesions.”

Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Symptoms of monkeypox typically include

fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, low energy, muscle aches and skin rash or lesions.

The rash usually begins within one to three days of the start of a fever. Lesions can be flat or slightly raised, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, and can then crust, dry up and fall off, much like chickenpox.

The number of lesions on one person can range from a few to several thousand. The rash tends to be concentrated on the face, palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Symptoms can start within five to 21 days after exposure to monkeypox, but usually appear in six to 13 days. Symptoms last between two to four weeks and go away on their own without treatment. A person infected with monkeypox can be contagious five days prior to the onset of rash until the rash has cleared and new skin has formed after a few weeks.

The virus can spread from person-to-person by respiratory secretions, direct contact with skin lesions, and/or contact with materials contaminated with the virus (for example, bedding, clothing).

The virus enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract or mucous membranes (for example, mouth, nose, eyes). Transmission through respiratory secretions requires prolonged face to face contact with close proximity to an infected person.

Halton Region Public Health continues to monitor the situation, investigate suspected and confirmed cases and complete contact tracing. For more information on the virus, visit Halton Region’s monkeypox webpage.

 

 

 

 

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How do butterflies relate to Climate Change? Encourage your child to become a Butterflyways Ranger and they will tell you.

By Staff

June 8th,  2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

They fascinate almost everyone – the 7 to 11 age group wanted to hold them in their hands.

You may not have heard about the Butterfly Project – but you have certainly heard about Climate Change.

How do you explain Climate Change to children between the ages of 7 and 11?

The older children get it and often become champions.

For the 7-11 set it’s a different situation. However they are the demographic that tends to be fascinated by Butterflys.

Gloria Reid and her pal Sharon Clark who are now officially Butterfly Rangers and have brought the David Susuki led initiative that started with five Canadian cities in 2017 to Burlington..

The Butterflyway Project is a volunteer-led movement that’s bringing nature home to neighbourhoods throughout Canada, one butterfly-friendly planting at a time.

They recruited a team of volunteer Butterflyway Rangers in each community. Their mission was to plant native wildflowers in yards, schoolyards, streets and parks to support bees and butterflies. The goal was to establish local “Butterflyways” by planting at least a dozen pollinator patches in each neighbourhood or community.

Over the past five years, they have recruited and trained more than a thousand Butterflyway Rangers from hundreds of communities. They’ve connected with neighbours, schools, city agencies, businesses and community groups. To date, they’ve helped:

    Get 85,000+ butterfly-friendly wildflowers into the ground.

    Create 6,000+ pollinator patches for wild bees and butterflies.

    Establish official Butterflyways in 75 communities and neighbourhoods.

Gloria Reid and her pal Sharon decided to grow a Ranger Group in Burlington.  They expect to show that a small group of residents can make a big difference. Rangers make their communities greener and healthier. They create opportunities, connect people and champion fun ideas.

Apply HERE to be a Butterflyway Ranger

You can also apply at this address.

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Connor Fraser: travelling around Burlington on a bicycle is inconvenient and borderline dangerous.

By Connor Fraser

June 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A significant portion of my life has been spent cycling around Burlington. During high school, my commute often took me along Plains Road. On weekends, my friends and I would find our way to Spencer Smith Park and the beach. From a young person’s perspective, safe cycling options go a long way towards cementing a lifelong commitment to healthy behaviour.

Lanes dedicated to cycling – some want to see barriers in place to protect cyclists.

If my experience has taught me one thing, it’s that travelling around Burlington on a bicycle is inconvenient and borderline dangerous. Bike lanes along major streets such as Plains Road are intermittent and full of potholes. Connecting lanes between neighbourhoods – such as the Lakeshore Road QEW underpass – are non-existent. Under such conditions, cyclists are forced to dismount and walk long distances, or take their chances in live traffic.

Thankfully, a number of large-scale cycling projects are about to break ground in Burlington. In 2022, Plains Road between Waterdown Road and Spring Gardens Road will be resurfaced and buttoned up with protected cycling facilities. In 2025, Prospect Street and the remainder of Plains Road are scheduled for installations.

While these projects are likely to cause short-term disruptions to residents’ lifestyles, they should be welcomed with enthusiasm and open-mindedness. Aligning near-perfectly with the city’s strategic goals, cycling is both an environmentally sustainable method of transportation, and one that promotes long-term physical and mental health. As much as bike lanes are a short-term investment to enable diverse forms of mobility, they are also a long-term investment in environmental health and preventative healthcare. People who are empowered to cycle more often due to the presence of a convenient cycling network are more likely to remain healthy and happy throughout their lives.

City photo op to promote cycling to work. Several very senior people in this picture even owned a bike.

Unfortunately, Burlington’s recent past has been marred with hostility towards the concept of bike lanes. The New Street Bike Lane Pilot was removed in 2018 following the recommendations of a report entitled “New Street pilot project review and resurfacing.” While the report noted a common perception among residents that traffic along New Street became more congested during the pilot, the authors admitted that cause and effect was difficult to determine. For example, average westbound travel times between Walkers Line and Guelph Line increased by just 1.5 minutes during peak evening hours, while negligible travel time increases were noted for eastbound travel during peak hours. Moreover, when taking an average of datapoints over the entire day, impacts to travel times were minimal in both directions (+16 seconds westbound, +1 second eastbound). The report also found inconclusive evidence of traffic diversion onto adjacent roadways. Nevertheless, the New Street pilot was removed by council, setting back Burlington’s progress towards integrated mobility by several years.

Fast forward to the present, and conditions have changed such that all residents should be able to embrace, and also benefit from, upcoming cycling installations. Notably, the pandemic has enabled more people to work from home and avoid rush-hour traffic that some claim is aggravated by bike lanes.

Despite my above enthusiasm, progress towards building out the municipal cycling network is slow and suffers from critical underfunding. The New Street pilot project review and resurfacing report recommended (as a consolation) installing separated cycle tracks “for consideration in the 2019 to 2028 capital budget.” My sources at city hall informed me this project has been pushed until 2031 – a delay of at least 3 years. According to the 2022 Budget, several other projects that were listed as “high priority” by the 2021 Cycling Plan and initially targeted for completion by 2025 – have subsequently been pushed back. The Active Transportation Crossing of the QEW and Walker’s Line resurfacing will be delayed by 5-6 years and 2-3 years respectively beyond original timelines, documents suggest. We’ll see if anything changes once the Integrated Mobility Plan is released.

Is Burlington under equipped to make investments in public infrastructure and in particular cycling infrastructure? The media release page for the 2022 budget proudly displays how our municipal tax rate is significantly lower than other GTA municipalities (over 12.5% lower than the average municipality). If the consequence is that important projects must experience significant delays, it’s not a statistic to be proud of. We must be willing to pay for infrastructure upgrades, especially those that enhance quality of life to the extent that bike lanes will. Not only could there be noticeable upsides for property values (transit oriented communities are actually desirable for young people and young families), but the long term returns to personal, public and environmental health would be material and far outweigh any initial investment. One might argue that the above-cited delays are pandemic-related. However, our neighbours such as the City of Toronto used the pandemic as a catalyst for major expansions of their cycling networks.

The point is this. From my limited understanding, life is about compromise. That’s precisely what is happening here and why I hope to see uniform support behind city council and city staff. On one hand, Burlington is getting new cycling infrastructure. On the other hand, the projects have been delayed and will likely be completed incrementally over the next decade – keeping impacts on daily routines to an absolute minimum and allowing long periods for adjustment. Compromise.

I sincerely hope that most are enthusiastic about the upcoming cycling projects and are ready to eventually consider embracing cycling as a legitimate alternative to the automobile when it comes to getting around town!

Connor was born in Hamilton in 1997, is a long-time resident of Aldershot. He has volunteered for several local organizations and advocated to municipal leaders on building transit oriented, walkable communities.

 In 2020, Connor completed undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, with a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science and a major in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

  Connor has returned to U of T to enrol in the dual Master of Global Affairs and Master of Business Administration program.

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Spongy moth control update and free prevention demonstrations

By Staff

June 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Spongy moth, commonly known as the gypsy moth or Lymantria dispar dispar (LDD), is an invasive pest

The spongy moth, commonly known as the gypsy moth or Lymantria dispar dispar (LDD), is an invasive pest that is a nuisance and can cause damage to trees in Burlington and throughout many parts of Canada.

Each year, the City’s Forestry team and other forestry experts survey public trees and woodlots within Burlington for these pests to determine the risk of damage to the trees. Last year, the surveying found the number of egg masses on trees were reduced from previous surveys and within limits that do not warrant an aerial spray application. The City of Burlington did aerial spraying in 2019 and 2021 which has been very successful in reducing this infestation and for 2022 will be focusing on area specific methods to address these pests.

In some areas around the City has placed either “sticky bands” or “burlap bands” around their preferred trees to help prevent the caterpillars from crawling up the trunk to the tree’s canopy.

Most trees can survive an infestation of spongy moth caterpillars and will be able to regrow new leaves without having permanent damage done.

Residents and property owners can also do this on their trees to help reduce the spongy moth’s population.

Free Burlap Banding Demonstrations
Residents and tree enthusiasts are welcome to attend a free “burlap banding” demonstration that will be held at three parks in Burlington on June 11. A forestry expert will show participants the materials needed and the steps to create the simple, yet effective method of burlap banding.

Burlap banding is an effective way to help reduce the population and damage done by spongy moths.

Registration is not required. Demonstrations will happen rain or shine.

Session #1
Location: Kilbride Park, 2175 Blessington St.
Time: 8:30 a.m.

Session #2
Location: LaSalle Park. 50 North Shore Blvd.
Time: 10:30 a.m.

Session #3
Location: Sherwood Forest Park, east side. Enter from Fothergill Boulevard, off Burloak Drive
Time: 12:30 p.m.

A moth eating its way through a leaf.

About the spongy moth
Spongy month, previously known as the European Gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar dispar, is a non-native invasive pest that was introduced in the late 19th century. It was first discovered in Ontario in the 1960’s and has been a major defoliator of deciduous and coniferous trees across Southern Ontario.

Gypsy moth populations tend to be cyclical, with peaks every 8-12 years, followed by dramatic population decline of the pest.

Burlington’s Integrated Pest Management program
As part of Burlington’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program, Forestry staff assess sites annually across the city and conduct egg mass surveys to determine areas that have exceeded an action threshold, when natural processes can no longer maintain pest population levels on their own. Although healthy trees can generally withstand defoliation several years in a row, trees which are already in distress from problems such as acute drought, compacted soils, diseases or other pests, may decline and die. Generally, healthy trees which are defoliated in spring, will regrow leaves again by mid-summer.

Aerial spraying for gypsy moths.

The City of Burlington last conducted an aerial spraying program for spongy moth caterpillars in 2019 and 2021. Program frequency is determined as part of the City’s Integrated Pest Management program.

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry

Steve Robinson, Manager of Forestry who has made it through a couple of dozen Standing Committee meetings with his shirt still on his back.  Burlington is really hard on the forestry people. Robinson said: “Our Integrated Pest Management program looks at multiple factors to decide if we need to do an aerial spraying with a natural pesticide referred to as BtK. We look at how many egg clusters are on the trees in the fall, whether the wooded area is healthy enough to handle a normal cycle of caterpillars and if the area was sprayed the year before.”

 

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Community Development Halton Social Location and Systems of Oppression workshop rescheduled

By Staff

June 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Community Development Halton has rescheduled the Social Location and Systems of Oppression workshop to Wednesday June 15, 2022 at 12:30pm.

If you previously registered for the original date of May 31, you have received an email with instructions; if you missed registering earlier, you can register for the new date until June 13 at 5:00pm.

In this workshop you will walk away with:

• an understanding of your social location, systems of oppression, and common terms and how they relate to JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion;
• understanding and harnessing your power, holding power, and giving power;
• how to share power – where and how this is possible at all stages of the volunteer engagement cycle; and
• how to lead equitable volunteer programs regardless of your positional power within your organization and specific tactics to foster inclusion

WEDNESDAY JUNE 15, 2022
12:30PM – 2:00PM

Via ZOOM

Register Today at: CiviCRM | Community Development Halton (cdhalton.ca)

CDH Members: $15
Non-Members: $25

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Burlington MP Karina Gould highlights what the government is doing about improving the passport renewal service and the Child Care program

By Staff

June 7th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Here’s what Karina Gould had to say in the House of Commons yesterday.

Burlington MP Karina Gould speaking in the House of Commons

Responding to a Member from New Brunswick, who had issues with the way the government was managing the Child Care benefit program, Burlington MP Karina Gould said:

Mr. Speaker, the member knows very well that in his province of New Brunswick, we have now reduced child care fees by 50%. In fact, that leaves hundreds of dollars each month in the pockets of the mothers he is talking about.

When it comes to the Canada child benefit, for a single mom, that could mean almost $7,000 a year. That is real money for families that need it when it comes to the high cost of living.

We have been there since 2015, and we will continue to be there for them every step of the way.

Later in the same day Gould tackled the problem with the Passport service.  Thanking a different colleague for a different question related to the problem people have had getting passports renewed Gould said:Gould said:

Mr. Speaker, it is really reassuring to hear the Bloc talk about Canadian passports. We are in the process of hiring more employees. Since January, 600 employees have been hired. We are now hiring another 600, and 600 Service Canada employees are being redeployed to ensure that we can better respond to Canadians’ needs.

We will continue to change the process because we know that it is important for all Canadians across the country to have access to their passports.

As we know, this is an unprecedented time, when many Canadians want to travel at the same time. Many passports expired over the past two years, and we are in the process of ensuring that Canadians can travel because we know that is what they want to do.

As I have already mentioned in the House, many offices across the country are open in the evening and on Saturdays. We are doing what we can to provide this service to Canadians.

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Halton Regional Police Recover 32 Stolen Vehicles in Project Eleanor

By Staff

June 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) in partnership with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) formed Project Eleanor to investigate the high rate of high end auto theft.

The work started in January of this year and through a variety of investigative means, several suspects were identified and the location of a shipping yard was discovered.

Over the course of two days, criminal code search warrants were executed at a residence in Toronto and a shipping yard in Mississauga.

As a result of Project Eleanor, 32 stolen vehicles were recovered worth an estimated $2.2 million dollars.

Investigators also located and seized $11,000 in Canadian currency, stolen property and technology used in reprogramming auto theft.

On January 8th 2022, the following individuals were arrested and charged:

Alexandre DOYON (22) of Toronto:

  • Theft Over $5000 (of motor vehicle)
  • Possession of Automobile Master Key
  • Possession of Break In Instruments

Konstantinos SOTIROPOULOS (22) of Quebec

  • Theft Over $5000 (of motor vehicle)
  • Possession of Automobile Master Key
  • Possession of Break In Instruments

Gustavo SALAZAR (23) of Toronto

  • Theft Over $5000 (of motor vehicle)
  • Possession of Automobile Master Key
  • Possession of Break In Instruments

On April 23rd 2022, the following individuals were arrested and charged.

Alexandre DOYON (22) of Toronto (re-arrested):

  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime
  • Trafficking in Property Obtained by Crime
  • Fraud Under $5000

Bailey GAULIN (19) of Toronto:

  • Fraud Under $5000

Investigators continue to make efforts to arrest other individuals connected to the investigation.

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D Day - the sixth of June, 1944 Allied troops landed on the Beaches of Normandy

By Staff

June 6th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was the largest invasion ever assembled, before or since, landed 156,000 Allied troops by sea and air on five beachheads in Normandy, France.

It happened 78 years ago.

The names of some of the men who did not return are etched in the Cenotaph next to city hall

D-Day was the start of Allied operations which would ultimately liberate Western Europe, defeat Nazi Germany and end the Second World War.

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A Gazette reader has a question for you on the Bateman High School site that the city is in the process of purchasing

By Jeremy Skinner

June 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Much has been mentioned in the Gazette about the Bateman opportunity that is before us. I ask that each person who has contributed a comment thus far and are interested in the issue to respond by way of a comment to this article with your answers to the following two questions.

Question 1:
Do you believe that the City should acquire the Bateman property via a land swap which would enable the HDSB to acquire Wellington Park as part of their Burlington Central site?

If not, do you acknowledge the fact that the HDSB will likely be forced to sell the Bateman property to private as opposed to public interests? Note: Public access to Centennial Pool may be lost because it is owned by HDSB and operated by the City.

A lot of land and a lot of public interest.

Question 2:
(Answer only if yes to question 1. ) What do you believe that the Bateman property along with or without existing 220,000 sq. ft. 2 storey building should be used for?

Consider the fact that the City has received multiple offers from potential tenants seeking long term leases to reside in Bateman. These include:

– Brock University who wishes to relocate their Faculty of Education from Hamilton;
– HDSB who wishes to relocate their Burlington Gary Allan Learning Centre from 3250 New St.;
– Burlington Public Library Appleby Branch who wishes to relocate from Appleby Square Plaza (which will soon undergo redevelopment).
– TechPlace who wishes to establish presence in the East Burlington business community; and
– a City Community Centre complete with gym and pool facilities.

The long term leases from these tenants will cover most, if not all, of the one-time costs required to enable necessary maintenance upgrades required to host these tenants. Think of the financing to that of seeking a mortgage to repair an existing owned house which has a long term revenue stream from multiple tenants.

So is the Bateman situation a mountain or a molehill? Share your answers to the two questions above by adding a comment to this article.

When Jeremy Skinner sent this in we weren’t sure if it was a good idea – then thought that it might be a good idea to let the readers ask the questions and see how other readers respond.

Take it as one of our engagement initiatives.  We will work with what comes in and send it along to Council members.

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Andrew Drummond lost the election but he doesn't feel defeated

By Pepper Parr

June 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Thursday was not a good day for Andrew Drummond.

His third campaign to become the representative for Burlington in the provincial legislature didn’t work out the way he had hoped.

Drummond had the best funding he has ever had plus a bigger team to knock on doors – the wind he needed was never in his sails.

He started the campaign with better funding than he has ever had. The NDP saw Burlington as a seat that could be won.

Drummond said the NDP had identified 6000 people who would vote for them

The Burlington NDP organization got the best results in all of Halton. And Drummond is fervent in his belief that if there is going to be an NDP seat in the region it will be in Burlington.

The days immediately after an election that was lost are not the hardest – those are yet to come. Today Drummond talks about an organization with 100 formal members that he believes can be built to 200 and that in the months and years ahead Burlington will see the NDP protesting on street corners and in front of city hall.

There are important issues said Drummond who lists them: Daycare funding, environmental issues, climate change, better job prospects, Women’s Place, Urban boundaries – he has more.

Ever the campaigner – Andrew Drummond was out every day – but the New Democrats didn’t have enough traction at the provincial level to give him the room to grow his campaign.

He plans on more meetings for the local NDP association and expects to be able to partner with other groups on their issues.

Drummond explains that people were Ok with the job Doug Ford did on the COVID 19 issue – the other serious issues just didn’t get the traction they needed. He added that provincially, the NDP campaign just never did really take off.

Which leads Drummond to the forthcoming leadership campaign. At this point his voice changes – some excitement comes back – “There are some stars in caucus; there are bright lights that will begin to shine” he explains. Expect Drummond to be up to his ears in the leadership campaign – but isn’t prepared to say if there is a candidate that he likes the look of.

Will he run again in 2026 – four years is a long, long, long time in the world of politics – but a guess would be – he will run again.

What can we expect from the new government we asked? Drummond does not subscribe to the view that Doug Ford is a changed man. “He is there to help his buddies make a lot of money” adding that parts of Burlington are at serious risk.

The 407-Dundas urban divide is at risk. Drummond believes that the owners of most of the property that is immediately north of that roadway – 407 and Dundas, will end up being developed with the Ford government that will be sworn in soon.

 

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Is Mayor Meed Ward considering a run for the office of Regional Chair ?

By Pepper Parr

June 5th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With the Ontario election over and Doug Ford in place until 2026, running the province with little in the way of an opposition party, our eyes turn to the municipal election in October.

Look for a move on the part of Councillor Sharman to indicate that he will run for the office of Mayor.

Jane McKenna, MPP when the photo was taken, at a Freeman Station event with a friend.

A comment made, at a Joseph Brant Museum event last week, by someone who would know, that Mayor Meed Ward might consider (is considering) running for the office of Regional Chair where she would be running against Jane McKenna who gave up her seat at Queen’s Park to run for the office that Gary Carr doesn’t appear to want any more.

Carr moved from Milton into downtown Burlington recently.

Meed Ward has let the very strong support she had when she became mayor dwindle away; it will take more than we think this Mayor has to pull that support back.

Meed Ward has changed the way municipal government works in Burlington – too many, the changes were not all that beneficial.

The biggest thing Meed Ward brought was hope – and then she dashed that hope by making herself the focal point.

As a Councillor for ward 2 between 2010 and 2014 Marianne Med Ward made a significant difference – she brought hope to the hearts of those who wanted to keep the Burlington they had.

Politics is both an art and a science. The better politicians have a strong survival instinct – Meed Ward may have figured out that her political life can be extended by moving to the Regional level and then on to the provincial level where she has always wanted to end up.

 

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Councillor Sharman puts the Bateman High School development in perspective

By Paul Sharman, Councillor ward 5

June 4th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

The following appeared in Local News – Burlington, an alternative online news source.  Reprinted with permission

Many people are extremely interested in what is happening with the acquisition of the former Robert Bateman High School (RBHS) by the City of Burlington.

In a nutshell, as they say, after a year of talks, property analysis, assessment, engineering analysis and negotiations, the acquisition is getting closer to completion. Here are the key steps taken by the city in the process to acquire RBHS, with two steps still to occur:

The former Bateman High School site. What will the city name the location once it acquires the property ?

Key steps completed

June 23, 2021: the Halton District School Board (HDSB) announced that it has declared Robert Bateman High School surplus to its needs.
June 24, 2021: the City of Burlington announced that an expression of interest would be submitted to the HDSB to purchase the Robert Bateman site through a partnership with Brock University.
December 2021: council provided direction to staff to submit a formal offer to purchase the Robert Bateman High School site, subject to price and details to be negotiated.
February 3, 2022: Burlington City Council endorsed next steps to advance the potential acquisition of the Robert Bateman High School site from the Halton District School Board.

Steps yet to come

June 21, 2022: city council will consider results of public input and then decide whether to proceed with the land exchange and long-term leases and will then authorize staff to complete all matters.

September 2022: The deal will be complete (if authorized to proceed) and funds transferred, at which time the land exchange price and other details will become public in accordance with provincial regulations and city policy. The parties are prohibited from disclosing price information until after completion.

What is going on
Halton District School Board (HDSB) voted to close the school in June 2017. I and a huge number of community members opposed that choice for several reasons. Those reasons remain extremely relevant to this day, but that is another article. After the decision was made, I and then-Mayor Goldring committed to seeing RBHS purchased by the city for community, recreation, and other uses.

On Wednesday, June 23, 2021, HDSB declared the Bateman property surplus to its needs. Since then, the school board has followed a prescribed process to negotiate the sale of the property. The City of Burlington had the right to purchase it if no other school organization wanted it. Because Burlington’s population has grown significantly over the last 20 years and is due to increase in the order of 70,000 more people in the next 30 years, more land and buildings are required for community recreation and other uses by the city. Accordingly, shortly after the property was declared surplus, the city voted to proceed with the acquisition of the property.

After a year of work, on June 21, 2022, city council will consider results of public input from a survey and a meeting held on May 31, and then decide whether to proceed with the land exchange and long-term leases of space to the HDSB and Brock University. Council will then authorize staff to complete all remaining matters. In September 2022, the deal will be complete and funds transferred, at which time the land exchange price and other details will be made public, following provincial regulations and city policy. Unfortunately, those details cannot be released earlier.

After that, a lot of activity will occur to obtain community input on how the property will be used. Partial details of use are discussed below, and they will evolve over time.

What Burlington is getting
When the HDSB declared invited offers to purchase from municipal government, they prescribed that only those that allowed the board to retain approximately 39,000 sq.ft. of space in the school under lease for a period of over 20 years would be accepted. Meanwhile, Brock University also wanted to lease a similar or larger amount of space as HDSB in order to offer programming in Burlington. The City of Burlington press release discussing the Brock partnership in June 2021 can be found here.

The RBHS building is so large (at 212,270 sq. ft.) that the space available for community and recreation use after deducting Brock and HDSB leased space from the total will be greater than any existing Burlington recreation centre.

Central High School land transfer
On May 18, 2022, the Halton District School Board issued a media release stating that they were

“…advancing a land transaction with the City of Burlington that would see the exchange of the City-owned sports field at Burlington Central High School (1433 Baldwin St, Burlington), with the sale of the former Robert Bateman High School ​(5151 New St, Burlington).”

“The parcel of land adjacent to Burlington Central High School is approximately five acres and includes the sports field and track to the west of the school. The Board’s purchase of this land ensures the continued operation of Burlington Central High School by the HDSB for the foreseeable future.”

This relates to the fact that the city already owns land at Central High School, Wellington Park on the west side, on the corner of Hager Ave., and on Baldwin Street, which features a sports field, outdoor track, and playground, and is integrated into daily school use. The school board has been interested in acquiring the property for a number of years. It makes no sense for the city to own land that the school is using, especially downtown where it is very valuable, and to then be buying land from the school board for the city to use elsewhere. Therefore, city ownership of land at Central High School will be transferred to the board with a value based on market prices. The dollar value of the property will be credited in favour of the city against the price of the Bateman purchase.

Brock, HDSB tenants and the Central High School land transfer all have the effect of making the acquisition of RBHS less of a burden for Burlington taxpayers. In the long run, when Brock and the HDSB leases expire, the city will decide how to use the entire building for community or other uses.

If Central is ever closed, then the board would have to declare it surplus and the city should be able to buy it back, if it wants.

City and recreation uses of the property
The primary goal of the city for the Bateman site is to satisfy community recreation needs, which will include: retention of Centennial swimming pool and school gym; public greenspace; new flexible programming areas (i.e. expanded city community centre); relocation of Burlington Public Library (BPL) – New Appleby Branch; and relocation of TechPlace. All of this is being done to create a sustainable signature community hub, with a focus on learning and active living.

Conclusion
Assuming final purchase of the Bateman property by the city concludes as expected, we will be able to offer recreation services to members of our community of all ages for decades to come. I am totally supportive of acquiring the property at a reasonable cost by the city, which I expect will happen.

 

 

 

 

Paul Sharman has been the Councillor for ward 5 since 2010

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Citizens celebrate the Queen's Platinum Anniversary 70 years as Monarch

By Pepper Parr

June 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

At precisely 2:00 pm Thursday afternoon while citizens across the province were casting ballots Town Criers across the Commonwealth read the Royal Proclamation celebrating the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth’s anniversary of her seventy years on the throne was celebrated in Burlington.

David Vollick – Burlington’s Town Crier

The Town Crier, Dave Vollock, read his Proclamation in Civic Square to a “throng”  of people assembled there.

Ladies were each given a “fascinator” they could wear

Festivities continued at the Central Library where a display of the Queen’s hats was set up.  Now these were not the actual hats worn by Queen Elizabeth – but a collection of millinery very similar to what our head of state wears on her head.

Visitors who had RSVP’d ahead were treated to a tea – in a REAL porcelain teacup, along with tasty cake.

Ladies were each given a “fascinator” they could wear in their hair for the occasion. And a QEII 7O pin.

The Queen had her Silver Jubilee back in 1977 after just 25 years on the throne, and at that time, Burlington recognized the occasion with a brass marker on the King Edward VII Fountain at Veteran Square at City Hall.

That fountain (just restored last year) was festooned with Union Jacks for the day.

Some people are not excited about such an event, but our sovereign is a remarkable woman, and congratulations to her for her life’s work, after these long seven decades.

 

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Congratulate the winners and get on with governing

By Pepper Parr

June 3rd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The beautiful thing about the form of government we have is that once the ballots are counted and  the result are clear – we accept the results and get on with letting the new government do its job.

Burlington residents are represented by three constituencies:  Burlington, Oakville North Burlington and Milton.

Burlington results:

Burlington

 

 

Oakville North Burlington

Milton

 

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The Performing Arts Centre 2022-23 Season

By Staff

June 2, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The members of the Performing Arts Centre get first dibs on tickets – membership has its benefits. The Box Office is open to everyone on Tuesday June 7th – Box Office opens at noon.

It is quite a season
We have set out what is being offered along with prices. Note the benefit to members – might be worth your while to take out a membership.

The 2022-23 season.

This is not an order form. You call the Box Office –

Tuesday to Friday from 12pm to 4pm

Payment: Cash, Interac/Debit, Credit Card (VISA, MasterCard, AMEX), Gift Certificate

905 -681-6000

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Sound of Music offering for 2022

By Staff

June 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Sound of Music offering for 2022

Tickets available on the Sound of Music web site.

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Chamber Excellence award finalists announced: winners to be announced June 28

By Staff

June 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

After months of interviews, meetings and deliberations, the Burlington Chamber of Commerce has announced the finalists for its 2022 Business Excellence Awards presented by RBC.

The Chamber has named 22 local organizations as potential winners of awards in a variety of categories. Award nominations are based on overall business excellence and the criteria include excellence in business leadership, community contributions, entrepreneurship, environment, employee welfare, innovation and market growth.

The finalists are:
HOSPITALITY & TOURISM
• Front Line Tours
• QB Sports Bar Grill Games

MANUFACTURING
• Precision Record Pressing
• BSB Manufacturing
• URtech Manufacturing

RETAIL
• She’s Got Leggz
• Familia Fine Foods
• Joelle’s Clothing

SERVICE (Large)
• RFB Construction
• Tip Tap Pay Micropayments
• Alexanian Carpet and Flooring

SERVICE (Business-to-Business)
• Urban in Mind
• Joe Apps Technology Support
• Stratus Building Solutions
• Frederikse Law

SERVICE (Business-to-Consumer)
• Waters Edge Salon and Spa
• No Excuse Boxing
• Burlington Denture Clinic

NOT-FOR-PROFIT
• Goodwill Amity
• Lighthouse for Grieving Children
• Food for Life

While the list of finalists is now public information, the names of the winners remain a closely guarded secret. The winners will be announced at the Chamber Business Awards Gala set for June 28 at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. This highly anticipated event is being emceed by acclaimed Burlington fashion designer and entrepreneur, Joseph Tassoni.

 

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Moon in June Road Race road closures, June 4

By Staff

June 2nd, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Moon in June Road Race is happening at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 4. These races require road and lane closures in Burlington.

Streets will reopen as soon as possible following the end of the race. Vehicles parked illegally in the area will be tagged or towed to allow emergency access.

Road Closures
3 to 11:30 p.m. – James Street between John Street and Brant Street
5 to 11:30 p.m. – Brant Street between Ontario and Elgin Street
6 to 11 p.m. – Brant Street between Caroline Street and Lakeshore Road
7:15 to 9:30 p.m. – Lakeshore Road (east bound) between John Street and Brock Street; Brock Avenue between Lakeshore Road and Elgin Street; Elgin Street between Brock Street and Maple Avenue

Exit Points
• Baldwin Street/Victoria Avenue at Brant Street
• Maple Avenue at Ontario Street

Traffic Lane Closures
• Southbound Brant Street between Baldwin and Caroline Street
• All other streets on the race route will have one lane open for local access

Resident Access
Emergency Services access will be maintained at all times along the event route.
Traffic Supervision

Police will direct traffic at major intersections and event marshals will help runners and motorists at multi-residential driveways and on side streets. Race notices were delivered to all residences, religious centres and businesses affected by the races.

Every June for 29 years – this the 30th year the are back at it. The Moon in June race

For 30 years the MiJ has supported local charities. We are one of the longest standing, truly charitable running events in Halton, over our tenure we have donated over ONE MILLION DOLLARS to local charities. We are so pleased to be back for our 3rd 30th anniversary event… We are very excited with the adaptations we have made for this years Moon in June. Our commitment, as a fully charitable event is to help Radius in their time of need and assist with their vastly increased need for services.

The Moon in June course is a flat fast one loop certified 5k and 2 loop certified 10km of down town Burlington. The route highlights the fabulous Burlington Waterfront and downtown core.

Help the Moon in June and Radius Child and Youth Services build futures free abuse.

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Performing Arts Centre raises the curtain on the 2022-23 season

By Pepper Parr

June 1st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The new normal took shape Tuesday evening when Sean Cullen took to the stage at the Performing Arts Centre to introduce the program for the 2022-23 season.

The Performing Arts has a lot to offer this season.

And Cullen was in a very giving mood.

Sean Cullen in conversation with a fan.

He has a way with getting an audience to eat out of his hand – he spots people in the audience and knows instantly that he can play them.

A young woman in the front row was asked if she was from Burlington. She was she answered. Cullen moved on and then came back to the woman asking “where did you go to university.” “Western” she responded

Cullen turns away again and looks over his shoulder asking: “What did you study?”.

“Economics” the woman answers. “How’s that working out for you he asks” getting the laugh Cullen knew was in the audience?

It wasn’t a full house but is was a very respectable turn out.

The event had Cullen serving as the MC with four acts that would be performing during the season doing a short performance.

There was two short pieces of classical music performed by Francine Kay who hunches over the keyboard ready to pounce on the keys – and dazzled the audience.

Memberships in the Performing Arts Centre Hall of Fame were awarded to Gary De Groote and Don Allan. De Groote commented that it was the first time he had worn a jacket in two years.

Tammy Fox , Kathy Manness, Executive Vice President, Burlington Chamber of Commerce, Megg Markettos, Manager, Marketing and Development BPAC

Tammy Fox, the Executive Director of the Performing Arts Centre spoke for a few minutes: the public needs to see and hear more of her – she has a quick wit, a sharp tongue and likes audiences – that hasn’t always been for BPAC.

While she is an administrator – there is dramatic talent there; a waste to keep it behind a desk

For the first time in my memory there was an In Memoriam moment during which several names appeared on the screen followed by photographs. When the name of Boris Brott, killed tragically by a hit and run driver, the audience rose to its feel applauding.

Regrettably there was no mention of the loss of Walter Mulkewich, former Mayor and quite an orator when he turned it on.

The purpose of the evening was to give Performing Arts Centre members an advance opportunity to buy ticket – the Box Office was held open for them for three days before the public can purchase tickets.

We will list the features in a separate article.

The purpose of the evening was to give BPAC members a taste of what the season was going to be about and to give them first crack a ticket sales. The Box office was the destination for most of the audience. Some needed a little more time to decide what they wanted to take in during the season

.

With Cullen taking his last friendly poke at the audience people were invited to go out to the Family room, enjoy an adult beverage and some food and just mingle – something many had not done for the last two years.

They didn’t run out of bottles of a refreshing bubbly white wine.

The Adult Beverage tables were kept busy.

The Performing Arts staff now bend their will to getting ready to welcome the first acts

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Burlington recognizes Pride Month with banners along Brant Street

By Staff

June 1st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City of Burlington has installed new Pride Banners in recognition and celebration of Burlington’s LGBTQ2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, TwoSpirit) community for the month of June, which is Pride Month.

Pride Month is a time when we celebrate the diversity in the LGBTQ2S+ communities, acknowledge their history, the hardships they have endured, and the progress that has been made.

The banners were designed in consultation with representatives from the LGBTQ2S+ community and are installed along Brant Street from Fairview Street to Ghent Avenue. They are part of the City’s Pride recognition and are in addition to the four Rainbow Crosswalks installed around the City.

The four Rainbow Crosswalks are located at:

• Lakeshore Road at Burlington Avenue
• Upper Middle Road at M.M. Robinson school entrance
• Fairview Street and Drury Lane
• Plains Road West and Botanical Drive

A project dear to the Mayor’s heart

The Lakeshore Road Rainbow Crosswalk location was selected by a committee of representatives from organizations from the LGBTQ2S+ community. This was the City’s first Rainbow Crosswalk and was installed and unveiled in June 2020.

At the June 22, 2021 Burlington City Council meeting, Council voted to fund three more rainbow crosswalks. Council approved up to $50,000 from the Tax Rate Stabilization Reserve Fund for the installation of the three rainbow crosswalks in 2021. The locations were chosen using survey feedback that asked the community to choose their top six locations from a list developed in consultation with council members and members of the former rainbow crosswalk team. City staff reviewed the six locations to determine the three locations that were installed in 2021.

Indeed they did not weather well

These three locations did not winter well and have sustained damage. The defects in the crosswalk material has resulted in parts of the rainbow crosswalk coming away from the pavement. This damage is being repaired under warranty at no cost to the City and will be done when ideal repair conditions are met. The material used in the rainbow crosswalks needs the road to be dry with mild overnight temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius.

Pride Rainbow Banners
The Street Banner Program will include Pride rainbow themed banners along major streets in Burlington. These rainbow crosswalks and banners will be important features and key landmarks geographically and socially for the city.

 

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