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Ukrainian community will meet with supporter at the Polish Hall on March 26th

By Staff

March 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Burlington Conservative Electoral District Association is hosting a fundraising event for Ukraine Relief on Saturday March 26th from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Polish Hall on Fairview Street.

The event is free, and there is no pre-registration or entrance fee, although donations in support of the Canada-Ukrainian Foundation are welcomed.

There will be guest speakers, as well as a Question and Answer session.

 

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Regional mask By-law will be rescinded effective 12:01 a.m. on March 21' city of Burlington bylaw also expected to be rescinded.

By Staff

March 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

On Saturday, March 19, 2022, Halton Regional Council approved an amendment to Halton Region’s Consolidated Mask By-law 47-20 to rescind the by-law effective 12:01 a.m. on March 21, 2022. The amendment was approved at a Special Meeting of Halton Regional Council in order to update Halton’s by-law in alignment with the removal of the Provincial requirements related to the wearing of a mask or face covering in most settings.

Halton’s mask by-law was originally adopted by Regional Council on July 15, 2020, as an important measure to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and keep the Halton community safe. While the mask by-law is being rescinded in Halton, some Provincial and Federal masking requirements will remain in place.

Are these days behind us?

As of March 21, masking will continue to be required in select settings such as public transit, long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other health care settings, shelters, jails and congregate care and living settings, including homes for individuals with developmental disabilities.

In addition to the settings above, masks will also be required in the following circumstances:

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are required to wear a mask until day 10 following a positive test result or the onset of symptoms (whichever occurred first).
  • Close contacts and household contacts of individuals with COVID-19 are required to wear a mask for 10 days after exposure.
  • Individuals who have recently traveled outside of Canada, have to wear a mask for 14 days upon return.

Halton Region Public Health is also reminding residents that wearing a mask continues to be an effective public health measure for reducing the spread of COVID-19 and to be kind to those who choose to continue wearing a mask to protect themselves and others.

Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health.

“There is still risk of transmission in Halton and we need to be mindful that the risk of infection and severe disease is greater for some individuals than others, including those who are immunocompromised or have underlying health conditions, and older adults,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health.

“Some individuals may choose to keep wearing masks in places where they are not required, and others, such as those who are close contacts of COVID-19 cases, will be required to wear masks for a period of time. Businesses and organizations may also continue to require or encourage mask use based on the risk in their workplaces and to their patrons. I encourage all Halton residents to continue to be kind and respectful to everyone, regardless of their decision to wear a mask or not.”

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Burlington now has an engineering company working on nuclear solutions to climate change

By Pepper Parr

March 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There was a time when they made refrigerators – not anymore

Westinghouse Electric in Canada now wants to make a device that will fit into three shipping containers and heat up to 4000 homes.

The device is a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) that Westinghouse believes is going to play a large part of helping the world meet the Climate Change challenge.  The device has been branded as an “eDavinci”

They expect to have it commercialized by 2027 – they are weeks away from announcing the first sale to a Saskatchewan corporation.

So – what is a SMR and why is it in the news?

Earlier this week the federal government announced a $27.2 million funding contribution that has Westinghouse contributing $57.2 million.

Member of Parliament and |Cabinet Minister Karina Gould

Hon. Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

The event brought two Cabinet Ministers plus two Members of Parliament to Westinghouse operation where some details on the on the objective of the program were set out.

Hon. Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry who made the announcement was joined by Karina Gould Minister of Families, Children and Social Development .

The “eDavinci” is basically a very small nuclear reactor that provides clean, low cost energy to almost any community.  It fits into three shipping contains and can stay in place for eight years providing a constant flow of energy.  One SMR can provide the power needs of 4000 homes.

Pam Damoff, MP for |Oakville North Burlington

MP Pam Damoff told of a community she visited when she was on Oakville Town Council that ran everything off diesel generators.  When there was a rupture in the diesel fuel lines the oil spill meant the local school had to be closed.

Her point was that with an “eVince” in place there would be no diesel fuel spill and no C02 being pumped into the environment.

While the funding announcement was important the underlying message from everyone was that the climate change target cannot be met relying on just the sustainables – solar and wind – nuclear has to be part of the solution.

Eddie Saab, President of Westinghouse Electric Canasda

That statement is a significant shift on the part of the federal government; nuclear and radiation concerns appear to have been set aside – saving the planet is the priority.

How the “eVinci” works and the difference it is going to make is an interesting story which we will tell you when we have the graphics needed to make it all understandable.

The Westinghouse operation in Burlington has 230 employees which they expect to grow to over 300.

 

 

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Foundation created to identify and fully fund creative arts and exercise programs for those living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel.

By Tamara Boaden

March 18th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Passion for Parkinson’s Foundation is a non-profit corporation . Our primary objective  is to identify and fully fund creative arts and exercise programs targeted specifically to enhance and support the lives of those  living with Parkinson’s in Halton/Peel.

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative movement disorder affecting 25 new people daily in Canada.  Next to medication, exercise is the most beneficial therapy for managing this disease.

My husband was diagnosed with  Parkinson’s in 2011 and I have experienced what this debilitating disease does and understand how important these programs are for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

In May 2021, we  launched Parkinson’s in the Park ™which offered weekly walking, exercise, and Tai Chi programs in various parks In Mississauga.

In September 2021, we  expanded the walking and Tai Chi programs to Burlington.

Based upon our success and seeing the difference it made to our Parkinson Community, beginning April 2022, we are offering  and fully funding Arts and Exercise programs in Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington. Flyers are attached.

We plan to further  expand  our programs to Brampton and Milton by 2022/23.

We need your help to increase our community reach to attract new participants, volunteers, and financial supporters. Any assistance you can offer (i.e. share with your social media feeds, post flyers/brochures on community boards.

 

 

 

 

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Regional Council to debate an amendment to the mask bylaw in a rare Saturday meeting

By Staff

March 18th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Halton Regional Council will meet in a rare Saturday meeting to discuss an amendment to the bylaw relating to the Non-Medical Masks/Face Coverings in Certain Enclosed Public Places.

Notice of Amendment from Mayor Rick Bonnette and Councillor Clark Somerville re:  LPS26-22 – Update 5: Mandatory Non-Medical Masks/Face Coverings in Certain Enclosed Public Places in Halton Region

 

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Seniors find themselves at risk in supermarkets; teams of thieves stalking and stealing

By Staff

March 17th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a group of suspects in a series of purse and wallet thefts that have taken place throughout Halton.

Between April 2021 and March 2022 there have been 16 thefts involving a group of six different suspects (see attached photos) identified by police.

The suspects typically target older adults in retail and grocery stores throughout the region.

In many cases the victim’s personal identification number were also stolen, and the tap functions of their financial cards were used to make fraudulent purchases.

Men this size can frighten older seniors – what can the supermarkets do to provide a safer environment.

The suspects have been working in pairs and distracting their victims while shopping. One suspect will engage the victim in conversation while the other steals a wallet and/ or purse. In some instances, the older adult’s vehicles are also entered while one suspect distracts the victim by loading their groceries.

Working in teams these thieves would stalk and then steal from people who believe they are safe in a supermarket.

One distracts – the other steals

The estimated total losses of these 16 occurrences totals more than $25, 000.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the 3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905 825-4777 ext. 2344 or via email at Derek.gray@haltonpolice.ca.

Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers. “See something? Hear something? Know something? Contact Crime Stoppers” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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Will they have to be masked on Monday

By Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The students will be back in school on Monday – masked?

Halton District School Board Chair Margo Shuttleworth

Nothing certain at this point

The trustees feel that the guidance they have to work within comes from the Regional Medical Office of Health.

Chair of the Halton District School Board Margo Shuttleworth said that without specific directions from the MoH the trustees are are saying that each household has to decide what it is comfortable doing.

If the family feels masks are not necessary then the student will not wear a mask. Some households have strong feelings and feel that masking is essential.

Public leadership is in one of those awkward situations where public sentiment is split – there is no crystal clear line

 

Earlier in the week the Ontario Children’s Health Coalition issued a statement saying: states: “Masks remain an important layer of protection as the pandemic continues and may be needed in communities with low vaccination rates and where there is a surge in cases. Masks also protect those most vulnerable, including high-risk, immunocompromised and fragile children.”

Former trustee Peggy Russell said trustees in the Province of Ontario have a definitive Role in which, “they must weigh what is in the best interests of the whole education system” which they are duly elected to represent.

“This will be the true test of elected Trustees relevancy; there is no hedging around this one.

Either they listen to the experts from the Ontario Children’s Health Coalition or, if they do not, they should be prepared for the potential legal ramifications, not just as a Board, but as individuals who could be named in Legal Actions for not following the advice of the experts from the Ontario Children’s Health Coalition.”

The experts the trustees in Burlington have to listen to are at the Region where the Medical Officer of Health calls the shots.

No word from Dr. Hamidah Meghanithem at this point.

 

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Muir: Too early to change the masking rules - what's the rush?

 

By Tom Muir

March 17th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It isn’t popular to talk about masks and social distancing these days.

Everyone wants to see the pandemic declared over and get us to the point where we are dealing with an endemic and those are a piece of cake.

Tom Muir who contributes to the Gazette frequently focuses on just what it is we are dealing with and where the leadership is falling short.

I’m afraid I see too many cooks in the kitchen regarding Covid mandates, and too many splits of who has authority to decide.

Is this the time for the Medical Officer of Health to weight in with some comment?

I am particularly concerned about schools and the educational system, and have repeatedly expressed that concern. Now I find out from your message here that the City bylaw does not apply to schools. And also that the Regional Office of Health has authority, and could issue a Section 22 order, which could mandate masking in schools. Then, as well, you tell me the Medical Officers of Health at the Region is recommending lifting the mask bylaw.

So who has the responsibility to protect the children and the school system in this messy division of power? Regional Health has a conflict of interest between following orders that are “legal”, and the fact that something that is “legal” is not necessarily permissible, or morally justified in an ethical society, especially when the possible consequences for the most vulnerable in our society are known and are grave.

This conflict is very concerning as it raises questions of responsibility and accountability for a decision about children and schools – Who will be called to account for the decision and the consequences? Is the Board of Education responsible for this fiduciary duty of trust? If not, then why not?

I say again, it is just too soon to stop masking and other Covid controls in the school system right after all the interactions and mingling, and therefore increased virus transmission opportunities that will occur during school break. Several weeks are needed to see what happens. In addition, the City and Regional masking and other Covid bylaws, as you say, and I repeat –

“requires the wearing of masks or other face coverings within enclosed spaces open to the public, including:

  • City Hall and City facilities open to the public;
  • Burlington Transit;
  • Public areas of offices, retail outlets and malls; and
  • Inside common areas of apartment and condominium buildings.”

Is masking necessary for these children?

My point here is that enclosed public spaces are the areas of maximum transmission, and the masking is the first line of defence, then distancing, and this is an historical practice of public health infection protection.

Further, I say we need more time in general to consider lifting the masking bylaw because there is a lag in time to show what the health indicators are doing after the break, and in general.

I read this below in the Washington Post today, and it would do us well to heed the warning about the failure to be cautious in decisions with very serious consequences that we already know about very well. The whole article is worth a read in terms of what is going on with the virus.

“A surge in coronavirus infections in Western Europe has experts and health authorities on alert for another wave of the pandemic in the United States even as most of the country has done away with restrictions after a sharp decline in cases.”

“Infectious-disease experts are closely watching the subvariant of omicron known as BA.2, which appears to be more transmissible than the original strain, BA.1, and is fueling the outbreak overseas.”

My bottom line is that someone has to be called to be responsible to fulfill the Board of Education duty as Trustees – with root of Trust – to protect the children and the schools from the risk of this inherent policy harm, as stated by many independent experts, and by the known ways of how the virus acts. This is not safe policy for children, teachers, schools, or parents. It is not stated by Ford to be a safe policy, but a personal choice about risk tolerance.

The children themselves do not have the wherewithal to make such an independent choice for themselves, and are at the mercy of the politics, and what you decide to do. The rest of us will be collateral damage.

In my view, whoever gets to decide, whether it is the Board or not, will be guilty of negligence of fiduciary duty if they just obey Premier Ford’s orders.

Tom Muir is a retired federal civil servant who writes frequently on public issues

 

 

 

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The Irish - today they own the world

By Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A day to share some of the best the Irish have given us.

“May those who love us, love us;

And for those who don’t love us,

May God turn their hearts;

And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,

May He turn their ankles,

So we will know them by their limping.”

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Who are we hearing from - and does it matter? It does

By Pepper Parr

March 17th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Earlier this month I made the decision to hold comments sent to us from a specific Internet Protocol address that was being used by two different names.

We suspected the two names wwere being used by the same person.

Our comments section is populated with boisterous, well informed people who comment at length. Frequently there is an exchange of views that goes on for a week or two.

We also get offensive, even libelous comments which we delete.  We have, on a few occasions, taken away the opportunity to comment.

Many online publications that have a comment section ensure that they have identified the writer and are satisfied they are real people.

I am always dismayed when a writer does not have the courage of their convictions and chooses to use a phony name.

Many of the comments made are from people who strongly support a particular viewpoint; we welcome those.

Some commentators take us to task for an article they feel was unfair or biased, we welcome those as well.

The general rule is: know your client – it applies to almost everything.  People who comment in the Gazette are not clients but we feel it is important that we know who they are – our concern is not with what they wish to say.

I don’t know Maggie or Mary.  One of them claims that there are a number of people writing under a nom de plumes – that may be true – we just don’t have the resources to track down every person who comments nor is it our objective.

We did on one occasion allow a person to identify as anonymous.  The person was commenting on a position the City Manager at the time had taken on how he would support his Staff during a very contentious municipal election.

The writer took exception with the City Manager’s position because the writer held a very senior position in another level of government, and was not authorized to speak for that level of government: the person could not use their own name.

Senior bureaucrats are discouraged from taking public positions.

In one comment made by Mary an adjective was used that we didn’t see as offensive. The person being referred to saw it differently.  They claimed it was a hate comment and wanted a criminal investigation.

The writer of the adjective apologized and we saw the matter as closed.

We however are still in the position of not knowing who the writers are.  We did reach out to talk to them – we do that frequently with names we are not certain are legitimate. Mary did not take up the chance for a discussion

It  got messy.

In the past I have come close to closing down the comments section.  While I think it is critically important, vital even, that people have a place where they can say what they think and where their peers can respond, monitoring the comments is a significant draw on our limited resources.

There are readers who ask:  “Does this really matter?  Loads of blogs on social media are not the real names of the authors.”

True enough, but the Gazette is not a blog; it is a credentialed on line newspaper that has been publishing for more than ten years.

A reader added: “Younger readers and bloggers often use pseudonyms, it’s no big deal. People are just having their say. Many actors, rappers and people with maiden names even though they are married, use different names and surnames.

“These women may be in some sort of relationship. There is also Anne and David Marsden, two people under one name. How do you know who it is commenting on the article, is it Anne or David? Now there is a comment on here just from David. Do David and Anne have the same IP address? If so, how can they be allowed to use the same IP address?”

The difference is that we know that David Marsden is real and we know that Anne Marsden is real.

“This could be an identical situation” said the writer, “some people have separate email addresses and some use a joint address.

“Lives are changing, we should all try to change or at least acknowledge changes. “… a good editor means keeping up with the changing times. I’m sure as I get older I may find it more difficult, too.”

I still do not know if Mary is not the same as Maggie; just saying they are is not enough.  I need to KNOW that they are.

There is no discrimination here.  Convince me that you are who you say you are and I am a happy camper.

I publish the Gazette, pay for it out of my pocket, and I am responsible for the content.

I would hope that those who choose to comment be responsible enough to properly identify themselves.

 

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Views on masking are mixed: many think the decision to remove the requirement came too early

By Staff

March 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON,  ON

 

The winding down of COVID-19 restrictions has begun in most of the country, and it’s being met with both confidence, and concern.

A new study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute, in partnership with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, finds Canadians divided about the swiftness of public health measure reduction, and open to keep key restrictions in place for longer if necessary.

Indeed, large numbers say that removal is happening too quickly (36%), at the right pace (38%), or too slowly (22%). Significant regional differences define the overall findings, as people in various parts of the country react to the situation where they live and gauge the changes through the lenses of their own realities.

Nationally, 73 per cent say they would support continuing masking requirements in public spaces while 64 per cent support proof of vaccination at places like restaurants and theatres in their community.

These data help to underline an emerging trend as governments shift responsibility to Canadians to decide which health measures to continue to follow. While official requirements may soon no longer be in place, many are ready to continue with the habits they have formed over the past two years. Two-thirds (64%) will continue sanitizing their hands in addition to washing, three-in-five will maintain the practice of social distancing, and fully half say – at least for the time being – they will avoid large crowds (53%) and continue to wear a mask in public (50%).

Mayor Meed Ward with staff members at a restaurant chose not to wear a mask.

As premiers and public health officials make announcements about the plan for spring, they do so with varied public opinion profiles. In Atlantic Canada, B.C., and Quebec, premiers are perceived as having handled the previous two years well. A majority also say that Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam has done a good job (56%). On the other end of the spectrum, residents in Manitoba and Alberta are overwhelmingly critical of what they have seen from their premiers since the pandemic began.

 

 

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Real Estate: Inventory still low; standout sales coming in at 49% + over asking

By Staff

March 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

During the month of February, the average price for a freehold property in Burlington was $1,626,700, 34.4% higher than February 2021 when we saw the average price at $1,210,336 and 62% higher than the average price of $999,453 during the month of February 2020.

This is what building out did for communities.

During the month of February, properties sold for just over 120% of the listed price and in 7 days, on average.

Sales were down 24% as compared to February 2021.

YTD, prices were up 31.8%, sales were down 18.8% and Days on Market were down almost 50% as compared to the same period in 2021.

Inventory levels remained very low with only 86 properties listed at the end of February as compared to the 5 year average of 196 or 56% less active listings.

During the month of February, just 10 properties sold for under the listed price. The balance sold for well over the listed price with 76 properties selling for in excess of 20% over the asking price.

A couple of standouts – a recently updated backsplit on Ardleigh Cres. was listed for $1,090,000 sold for $1,630,00; 49.5% more than the asking price.

A 1950’s sidesplit on Clarendon Park in original condition was listed at $999,000 and sold with 11 offers for $1,600,000 – 50% over the asking price.

Finally, a good example of the trajectory values have taken was demonstrated with a property that was listed on Catalina in Brant HIlls. This property was listed in 2018 for $784,000 for a couple of months and didn’t sell. With no changes to the condition of the house or property, it was listed in February for $999,000 and sold in 9 days for $1,442,000.

Burlington Condos

During the month of February, the average price for a condo apartment in Burlington was $775,000, 36.7% higher than February 2021 when we saw the average price at $567,000 and 51% higher than the average price of $513,000 during the month of February 2020.

This is what building up is doing for Burlington

During the month of February, properties sold for just over 114% of the listed price and in 12 days, on average. Sales were down 8.2% as compared to February 2021.

Inventory levels were extremely low with just 17 active listings, 63% lower than the 5 year average.

A couple of noteworthy sales. A 1020 sq. ft. 2 bdrm unit at 1451 Walker’s Line in the Tansley neighborhood was listed at $500,000 and sold for $763,000. These units were selling in the high $500’s just 2 years ago. The Chelsea building in Headon Forest saw two remarkable sales.

A 1295 sq. ft. unit, in original condition (circa 2000) was listed at $649,000 and sold for $815,000 and another unit at 1295 sq. ft. slightly more updated, was listed at $599,900 and sold for $829,900. Finally, an 870 sq. ft. unit in the brand new buildings near the Go Station on Fairvew St was listed at $699,000 and sold for $870,000.

What Does All of This Mean

The market continues to be strong, however we are seeing a transition from an overheated market to a sellers market, and expect this will continue to transition over the next 60-90 days, landing us in a balanced market by summer. Apparently world disasters are not causing weakening of prices. It’s hard to imagine what exactly might cause our trading areas to see a major correction.

What we are seeing is expected, the current market is not sustainable, however prices should still hold and if anything just increase on a lesser scale than they have. While we believe we will see some levelling off as inventory levels rise, we don’t anticipate an erosion of values in the foreseeable future.

Obviously, it is a great time to sell still and we believe buyers will see more inventory, and less competition making it a little less stressful when making an offer on a property.

The commentary on the Burlington housing market was provided by the Rocca Sisters Team

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An Open Letter to Natalie Pierre - the Progressive Conservative candidate for Burlington

By Pepper Parr

March 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Welcome to the world of politics, Natalie.

Being nominated as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Burlington without having to go through the nomination process was certainly a gift.

Natalie Pierre – newly appointed provincial Progressive Conservative candidate for Burlington

One has to wonder what all those card carrying members of the Burlington Progressive Conservative Association think about the decision to forgo a nomination meeting.

The tradition in Canadian politics has been for the candidate to present themselves and their ideas to the people who vote.

The last election (the federal one) the Conservative candidate refused to take part in any media event.  Given that you are part of an organization with the word “progressive” in it – it would be reasonable to expect a difference from your team.

No word yet on just who is going to run your campaign; who will handle the fund raising and when we will get to see and hear you.

There is very little information about you in the public domain at this point in time.  Not a word about your political activity.  Many people who work in the educational sector tend to stay away from politics, however there was a senior Sheridan staff member who took a run at the Liberal leadership a few years ago.

Burlington is a city made up of decent people who love where they live.  A large part of the population could be described as professionals with strong values.

This is what the people want.  Those who know Jane know that she will be all over your campaign.  Get to know Joyce Savoline who once served the people of Burlington at both the Regional and provincial levels.  Joyce is the kind of person who will keep you on an ethical path.

Now that we appear to be coming out of the pandemic there are no reasonable reasons for not being public.

We would love to know who you are; what you think, what your values are, and how you believe you can serve the needs of the city.

Being put forward by the current MPP Jane McKenna wasn’t the route many would choose to become a candidate.

My hope is that you will be who you really are and not get muddied by the darker side of politics in this city.

The Progressive Conservatives have provided some of the most effective government the province has had.  Learn what Bill Davis and John Robarts did for the province and pattern yourself after that kind of politician.

Be yourself, don’t let others turn you into something you never wanted to be.

Finally, if given the opportunity to rent the little blue house – don’t

Looking forward to meeting you.

 

 

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So - you want to run for public office - read on

By Staff

March 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Region of Halton released the following:

So you want to run for Council? There’s an info session for that.

Individuals who are considering running for the role of Mayor, Regional Chair, Local or Regional Councillor in any of the Halton Region municipalities this October are invited to register for a virtual information session taking place on April 11, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.

Provided by Halton Region, the City of Burlington, and Towns of Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville, the information session – “So You Want to Run for Council” – will be led by Fred Dean, municipal coach and former municipal solicitor with extensive experience. The session will provide an overview of the roles and responsibilities of regional and municipal council members including duties, scope, and commitments.

This session will not cover information about nomination, campaigning or other election processes. Those details will be available through each of the area municipalities closer to the start of nomination this May.

For potential candidates

  • Getting to the point where you can put up a sign.

    To register for “So You Want to Run for Council” virtual session, click here or email elections@oakville.ca

  • Family members of potential candidates are also encouraged to attend to learn about impact on family life
  • The municipal election provides equitable access to those who wish to bring their diverse perspectives and expertise to municipal and regional council
  • Whether a long-time or a new Canadian citizen living in Halton, the municipal election is a significant way to serve your community and help shape the future
  • To be a candidate, the individual must be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years of age, and a resident of the municipality in which they intend to run for Council.

While the email address is Oakville the event is open to anyone.

For voters

Voters waiting to cast their ballots

While the municipal election is still months away, eligible voters can now complete the first step in preparing to vote this fall. Visit MPAC’s website www.voterlookup.ca to check if you are on the voter list. You can add or verify your details, update your address or contact information, and add new eligible voters of your household.

For general information on the municipal election, contact the respective website: Halton Region, Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, Oakville.

The way Burlington will run its municipal election

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Electric Mobility Surveys Now Available 

By Staff

March 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Surveys are available for residents to complete to identify opportunities and barriers for supporting and encouraging electric mobility in Burlington. Participants have the opportunity to complete one or more surveys on:

The survey starts with a few general questions and then you will be given the option to select which survey you would like to answer. At the end of each survey you can choose to complete another or answer some optional questions before you submit. Thank you for your feedback.

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Milton, Oakville and the Region end their State of Emergency - Burlington still hanging in there

By Staff

March 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Town of Milton has ended its state of emergency for Covid-19. The state of emergency was first declared at the onset of the pandemic, on March 24, 2020.

The ending of the state of emergency follows the same announcements from Milton’s municipal partners – Halton Region and the Town of Oakville.

With the end of the state of emergency,  all residents are thanked for their resilience and commitment to keep our community safe. Residents are asked to remain kind, considerate ,and respectful toward those who continue to practice public health measures for their own well-being.

Residents are also encouraged to remain vigilant and practice what we have learned over the last two years. This includes staying home when sick and most importantly, getting vaccinated and boosted.

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Natalie Pierre, chosen by current MPP Jane McKenna to be the Progressive Conservative candidate for Burlington in 2022 election

By Pepper Parr

March 14th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Natalie Pierre

For over 30 years, Natalie Pierre and her husband Paul have made Burlington their home. Natalie is a human resources and finance professional with experience in the public and private sector. For the past 13 years, she has led hiring and recruitment at Sheridan College.

As a mentor and coach, Natalie has worked with high school, college and university students, to overcome the challenges they face in entering the workforce.

A determined problem solver, Natalie has worked tirelessly with all levels of government to advocate for improved mental health supports. Natalie and her husband have two children, Katie (25) and Mike who would have been 22 this year. Natalie has, and will continue to be, a strong voice at Queen’s Park.

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The Mayor amends Election procedures while council sits quietly

By Pepper Parr

March 14th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

During the debate on March 2nd about the use of city facilities when elections are taking place, I sent the following to the City Clerk:

“There were two documents on the screen that did not appear to be in the agenda.
I have attached two screen shots to help you identify what I am talking about.
Would you have both documents sent to me – and would you explain why the documents were not in the agenda pkg.

I did not get a response from the City Clerk but I did get a response from the city communications department – the City Clerk doesn’t appear to answer email sent to him – a matter we will cover in some detail on another occasion.

We wanted a copy of a document that Mayor Meed Ward introduced to Council as a “walk on” agenda item. Walk on means the item was not on the agenda. The Procedural bylaw requires that the Chair of the meeting seek the approval of a majority of Council to permit the “walk on” item.  It was the Clerk’s job to catch the error and bring it to the attention of the Chair.

That didn’t happen either.

City Clerk Kevin Arjoon had nothing to say

When a report is being introduced to a Standing Committee meeting there is usually an introduction or comments from Staff on why the report is before Council.  City Clerk Kevin Arjoon had nothing to say – so the Mayor moved the report which allowed her to then talk about the nine amendment she had plus a Staff Direction.

Some Gazette readers took exception with our concern over the documents not being available to the public  – they are usually available five or six days before a meeting – giving those interested an opportunity to delegate.  That is another matter that will also be covered at another time.

Two of the nine amendment were not staff supported; the others were supported by Staff.

Each amendment was introduced to the Standing Committee. There was stiff debate on some of the amendments.

The agenda item was: Use of Corporate Resources During an Election Policy.

In previous municipal elections then Councillors Meed Ward and Bentivegnia had significant issues with the Clerk’s department as to what was permitted and what was not permitted.  There were some pretty silly decisions made by the Clerk at the time.

Marianne Meed Ward had some direct experience with city staff, the Clerk’s Office to be specific, on how election rules should be administered. She was making sure that the same things didn’t happen in 2022

Mayor Meed Ward started her presentation setting out “Principles” and adding a :However to those Principles.

 

 

The Mayor then took council through each of the amendments – one by one.

 

What Meed Ward wanted to ensure was that members of Council would still be able to do their jobs while the election campaign is taking place. There were portions of the policy document that could be interpreted to suggest that a Councillor seeking re-election had an advantage.  All members of those currentlt on council were consistent in wanting a level playing field.

During the meeting the Committee Clerk was able to make changes in the document that was before Council.  In the illustration below you can see where items have been revised.

 

Most of the rules related to city space and  would not apply to independent bodies like the Performing Arts Centre, the Art Gallery and the Libraries. The independent bodies were expected to create policies of their own.  Councillor Bentivegnia argued that it was still city property – and it is – but it is city property that is governed by an independent Board. It took Bentivegnia a couple of conversations to fully understand that one.

 

 

Council members and many Staff people use their own phone for city business.  The city pays a person who uses their own phone about $35 a month

 

The use of city business cards during an election was prohibited – but what does a candidate do if while talking to a voter at the door step the voter asks about a specific problem. Can the candidate give them a copy of the Council members business card and ask the voter to call the office and get the help they need?

The point being made was that while you are electioneering you are a candidate and not a Councillor.  Councillor Nisan suggested that they all take part in a bonfire at which they would all burn their city provided business cards.

Incumbents are seen to have advantages new candidates don’t have in terms of media.  This council was going to great lengths to ensure that their names and pictures did not appear in documents coming out of city hall.

Social media was a challenge.  Some things on social media cannot be changed.  An entry on LinkedIn cannot be changed was an example Meed Ward gave.

A lot of time was spent figuring out how Council members could talk about city business and not cross the line into working as a candidate.  Several Councillors wanted the city communications department to monitor what the Councillors sent out – the Communications department took a pass on that one.

 

 

Meed Ward argued that during the period between May 2, when candidates can file their nominations through to the last Council meeting in September, there was still a lot of serious council business to take care of.  There had to be a way for Council members to communicate with their constituents and at the same time campaign.  Removing any name identification and photographs (the Councillor would be identified as Councillor for Ward X) from communications material the city issues was determined to be the best approach

 

Meeting with constituents at a ward meeting called by the Councillor had all kinds of possible red flags.  Councillors saw it as unreasonable for a Councillor to say nothing about running for office at a meeting to discuss an issue.

Burlington is now very much into branding.  There is a project that focuses on creating and promoting One Burlington, to ensure that the city as a corporation gets the visibility and attention it feels it deserves and needs.

During the last election Mayor Meed Ward arm wrestled with the City Clerk at the time over the placing of small magnetic fridge cards on the bumpers of cards.  Councillor delegated to Council on his right to put signage on his vehicle.  The Clerk at the time argued that part of the vehicle was paid for by the city.  It was a different Clerk and a different time.

All these amendments had merit.  Councillor Kearns added an amendment of her own asking that Spencer Smith Park be kept campaign free.  That lost – however Civic Square was defined as campaign free.

The issue for the Gazette was the absence of any public input.  While this Council would love to believe they are all going to be acclaimed – that is as certain as that Irish rainbow that is going to direct us all to that mythical pot of gold.

It was at the end of the meeting that those monitoring the web cast heard the City Clerk apologize for the walk on report – he said it was better to do it now rather than wait until April.

That raised a serious – why wasn’t this done months ago?

We all knew what the date of the election was going to be.  A city that can’t stop itself from touting how engaged it is – manages to find a way to issue a report that is the very foundation of the way we choose our leaders.  The Clerk’s incompetence should have been noticed by the City Manager.   How did he manage to be asleep at the switch while the Clerk fumbled with the file?

 

 

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Freeman Station to re-open end of April

By Staff

March 14th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Freeman Station has announced that they will re-open in April.

Put a day at the station in your calendar – one of the best spots to learn what railways meant to the city.

Produce from Burlington farm fields being loaded on a train at the Burlington Junction stop.

Completely renovated – the station is a proud recognition of the history of the city

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Progressive Conservatives still searching for a candidate to run in the June election

By Pepper Parr

March 14th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

UPDATE

Jane McKennasai: I’m happy to report, that on my recommendation, yesterday the Ontario PC Party named long-time Burlington resident Natalie Pierre as our candidate.  To learn more about Natalie, request a lawn sign, make a donation or volunteer on the campaign please visit www.nataliepierrepc.ca.

So much for a democratic nomination

 

Have the Progressive Conservatives in Burlington decided to concede the seat in the Provincial Legislature?

No word yet on who their candidate is going to be.

Jane McKenna gave is giving up the provincial seat to run as Chair for the Region of Halton.

Jane McKenna has announced that she will be running for the Chair of Halton Regional Council in October.

With something close to 75 days of campaigning left before ballots are cast June 2nd, one has to wonder what’s going on with the Burlington Progressive Conservative Association.

To date 18 of the people who went to the Legislature with Doug Ford 18 have decided they don’t want to return.

Mariam Manaa met Andrew Drummond on his door step while she was out campaigning.

To date the candidates are Mariam Manaa the Liberal Party and Andrew Drummond running for the New Democratic Party.

 

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