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Where does the news come from?

By Staff

January 20th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Information comes to the Gazette in many ways.

From time to time we get an envelope with no return address and no signature telling us all about some dastardly behaviour that just has to be investigated.

There was nothing to talk about. Just a Clerk waiting for Council members to arrive.

Other times it’s a comment from someone we know reasonably well and on other occasions the information is from a well-placed individual from either the private sector or the public sector who ask not to be named.

Then there are those who know the truth but don’t want that truth to get out and they deliberately work at spinning the story they think we want to tell.

Lastly, there are those with bank balances bigger than ours who issue writs for libel which we have to defend.

The one that was new to us was a mention in the Events report put out by the city every Friday.  The notice was four lines long and went like this:

Events

January 25 2022, 1:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Special Meeting of Council- Cancelled
Cancelled due to lack of items.

That struck us as amazing and we felt it just had to be shared

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New look for the ground floor of city hall - what do you think?

By Staff

January 20th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City hall is getting an upgrade – at least the ground floor is.

Entering city hall from the Brant Street entrance.

Service Burlington, the people that have all the answers to all the questions you have, are moving their desks temporarily to second floor of City Hall starting February 1.

The temporary move of Service Burlington is happening to allow for construction to begin on the main floor of City Hall, as part of the City Hall modernization project.

The project is one of 22 recommendations from the Red Tape Red Carpet Task Force report, and was approved by City Council in September 2019.

Work stations?

In keeping with the City’s focus on customer experience, this project will create a more open, customer-facing area on the first floor of City Hall. Construction on the main floor starts on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

Under modified Step Two of the Province’s Roadmap to Re-open, Service Burlington is currently open for in-person service by appointment only for commissioning services and marriage licences.

Appointment-only services will continue until Feb. 1, and may be extended in response to COVID-19. Residents can visit burlington.ca/onlineservices to access a variety of City services online or contact Service Burlington directly during regular business hours, by phone at 905-335-7777 and email at city@burlington.ca.

The ground floor area will be much more open than it is now. Will the public be able to just hang around and read the paper or is this all going to be strictly business?

During construction, please access City Hall through the Brant Street entrance. The entrances from Locust Street and Elgin Street will be closed.

Once inside the building, please use the elevator in the lobby to access Service Burlington on the second floor, unless otherwise directed.

As with most construction projects, there will be some periodic noise, dust and dirt in the building.

Construction on the main floor of City Hall is expected to finish in the fall of 2022.

The plans for a new city hall look had next to nothing in the way of citizen participation.  Staff put together designs that were presented to council and it was a done deal.

There are changes planned as well for the plaza area outside city hall.  They were put on hold when hoped-for funding failed to come through.

 

 

 

 

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Real Estate was on a tear through all of 2021. Low inventory is driving prices

By Staff

January 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON,ON

 

Real Estate was on a tear through all of 2021.

Data for December, compiled by the Rocca Sisters, paints a rosy picture for the sell side.

This month we saw another record breaking average sale price of $1,395,564 up 22.4% December 2020-21. During the month of December properties sold for 114.73% of the listed price, just about a 15% increase over last year.

Properties sold in an average of 10 days compared to 19 days the same month last year. Inventory continues to be historically low and a chronic challenge in our marketplace for buyers. The lack of supply and strong demand has continued to drive prices.

Residential data for Burlington.

The condo market closed 2021 with a bang! The average price paid for a condo apartment unit in December was $696,000. Condo apartments sold for 105.87% of the listed price in December, up over last year about 5%. Average days on market were 17 days versus 30 days in December 2020. Supply & demand continue to drive the prices. Taking the opportunity to downsize now, getting an investment property (expanding your investment portfolio) or leaping into the market for your first time would be a very wise investment right now. Downsizers, investors and first time buyers continue to drive this market and will continue well into the new year.

The condo market in Burlington saw year over year increase of 47.1% .

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Two GO-VAXX Indoor Walk-In Clinics coming to Burlington Jan. 22 and Feb. 5

By Staff

January 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Both GO-VAXX Indoor Walk-In Clinics will take place at Sherwood Forest Park.  No appointment required.

GO-VAXX Indoor Walk-In Clinic details:

  • Dates: Saturday Jan. 22, 2022 and Saturday Feb. 5, 2022
  • Time: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Location: Sherwood Forest Park at 5270 Fairview St., Burlington

Both GO-VAXX Indoor Clinics are walk-ins. First, second, third and pediatric doses will be administered at the clinics as per the following schedule and guidelines on both days:

10 a.m. –3 p.m. : Moderna for ages 30 years of age and older

3:15 – 4:45 p.m. :  Adult Pfizer for ages 12 to 29 years of age

5 – 6 p.m. : Pediatric Pfizer: ages 5 (on the day of the clinic) to 11 years of age

Each clinic can deliver 320 vaccines in a day.

Additional information is available for getting the COVID-19 vaccine and  Who Can Get Vaccinated from the Province.

There will be approximately 320 vaccine doses administered during each vaccine clinic.

These GO-VAXX Indoor Walk-In Clinics are in addition to the two GO-VAXX Mobile Bus Clinics at Sherwood Forest Park on Monday, Jan. 24 and Monday, Jan. 31.

The City of Burlington actively submitted an application to the Province of Ontario for the Go-VAXX Indoor Walk-In Clinics and the GO-VAXX Mobile Bus Clinics to come to our city. The Province of Ontario operates these vaccination clinics as part of the province’s strategy to get COVID-19 vaccines to Ontarians. The number of available vaccinations at the clinics is determined by the Province of Ontario. The City sought to support vaccination efforts by securing an appropriate local site to host these clinics to share additional vaccine opportunities with Burlington residents. In addition to these opportunities, there are many other ways to receive your COVID-19 vaccine, including at Halton Region clinics, pharmacies, community and pediatric clinics and doctors’ offices. Halton Region Covid-19 vaccination clinic information can be found at Halton – COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics.

Marianne Marianne Meed Ward wearing the Chain of Office while she presides over a council meeting.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward explains how these additional opportunities to get vaccinated came about: “Vaccinations are typically provided by the Province and administered by Halton Region Public Health, local pharmacies or doctors’ offices. So, when we learned of an opportunity recently for the City to work with the Province directly to bring additional clinics to Burlington, we jumped on it.

“These additional clinics provide yet another opportunity to get your first, second or booster shots faster than you otherwise would have been able to, and will help in our collective efforts to slow down the spread and severity of COVID-19. Thank you to all those who are stepping up to get vaccinated, and to everyone who has already done so. If you are still waiting to get vaccinated, please take advantage of this additional opportunity to do so.

“This helps protect you, your family and friends, our whole community and hospital capacities.”

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One of those thousand word images

By Staff

January 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

One of those thousand word images.

 

Related news story:

Rivers on Omicron

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Rivers on Omicron: the Mild Variant that has re-shaped health care world wide

By Ray Rivers

January 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

COVID, since day one of the pandemic, has had a stigma attached to it.  Unless one was a resident in congregate living or a front-line worker at a health centre, school, factory or grocery store, catching COVID was because of carelessness.

Omicron has changed all that.  The virus has spread so extensively and quickly that probably one in three people you know can now claim to have had symptoms; mostly a mild cold if they had been appropriately vaccinated.  Instead of being ashamed people are beginning to wear COVID, almost, like a badge of honour.

Was the Omicron variant of Covid19 a glimpse of what the public was going to have to face for years ?

And that is sad because the latest variant has filled our hospitals and shut down elective surgery.  As we hit 4000 admissions with 600 in the ICU and 40 people a day dying, it should be clear that the term ‘mild’ is just so inappropriate.   While the new variant seems to be taking aim at younger people, it is still taking a toll on more vulnerable seniors.

4000 admissions a day is a lot of hospital beds.  To that end, the federal government has purchased some $300 million worth of field hospital units, which could be quickly assembled.

Something like this was erected near Burlington’s Jo Brant hospital earlier in the epidemic.  But these kits are mostly still sitting in a warehouse waiting for hospitals to have enough staff to use them.  And that is the problem.  COVID, particularly this latest variant not only has filled beds but it is also emptying the wards of sick and overworked staff who would attend to those beds.

There have been a number of articles published recently querying Canada’s health care system.  Of course, it really is 13 provincial/territorial systems delivering health care under the auspices of the federal government and the Canada Health Act.  The Act gives us universal care and a single insurer.

The bottom line, when all is said and done, is that Canada’s health care compares favourably with other nations, even during COVID.  We’re not the lowest cost per capita, but still operate at a lower cost per capita than Germany, Sweden and a host of other European nations.  And besides enjoying better health outcomes, Canadians spend less than half what our southern neighbours do.

Health care had become a political football

Critics like the Fraser Institute, a right wing think tank, will never be content with a single payer public health system.  Yet they fail to appreciate that the private sector is more involved in delivering health care (30%) here than in many other nations.

We have privatized the delivery of diagnostic, hernia repair, colonoscopy, cardiac care and other aspects – taking these services out of the hospitals and into private clinics, though they are still covered by our single payer insurance.

Politicians seeking election always promise to add more hospital beds, as Mr. Ford did last election.  It’s as if more beds is some kind of panacea – will fix what is wrong with the system.  But beds only work if there is staff to care for the people in those beds.  And that situation has only got worse with this pandemic.  When 20-30% of nursing staff are home sick and unable to work, and many are so burned out they are leaving the profession, we have a real problem.

At the beginning of the epidemic lawn signs seemed to be popping up everywhere thanking our front-line heroes for their tireless efforts to save us.   But not everyone felt that way.  In Alberta, as the second wave was receding, Jason Kenny determined in his mind that it was all over and decided to fire 11,000 health care workers.   Then, as if to add insult to injury, he set out to roll wages back by 3%.

Kenny, buoyed with false optimism, also lifted all public health restrictions, making Alberta a living example of the real wild west.  A crisis of his own making ensued as the virus surged back with a vengeance collapsing Alberta’s health care system and swamping its hospitals with sick and dying.  In the end he had to call in the feds to bail the province out.

Nurses were being pushed to the limit and felt they weren’t getting the support they needed. The burnout rate was very high.

And it wasn’t just Alberta.  The Ford government in Ontario has a philosophical problem with unions, but especially those in the broader public sector.  So Ford introduced Bill 124 to cap all public service salaries at an annual 1% increase, even as inflation has recently climbed to almost 5%.  Is it any wonder that nurses in this province are now in full flight to better paying jobs?

Long term care (LTC) in Ontario, and across much of the country, is an idea badly in need of re-invention.  Ontario is losing Minister Rod Phillips, who some consider the most/only competent minister in Ford’s government, providing we forgive him for breaking COVID rules and flying south in the midst of a nasty wave of COVID in the province.  Still, he had brought in some accountability, such as re-introducing the spot inspections of facilities, which Mr. Ford had cancelled soon after becoming premier.

But it’ll take more than that to fix LTC for our seniors, including facilitating people staying longer in their homes, if at all feasible.  And it will take national standards which the feds have promised.  Indeed a national LTC act with appropriate federal funding would be an excellent companion to what the feds have initiated at the other end of the age scale with child care… and, of course, the Canada Health Act itself.

Canadians overwhelmingly support our universal, single payer health care system, with some surveys running as high as 86% approval.  But it could always be made better.  We could add pharmacare, for example, something the previous provincial government in Ontario had been moving towards.  We could put more effort into reducing wait times for elective surgery, especially in geographically remote places where specialists are difficult to find.

And we could start to treat our health care front-line workers, and especially nursing staff, with the respect they deserve.  We should pay them what they are worth and maybe start putting up those ‘thank you’ signs again.

Ray Rivers writes weekly on both federal and provincial politics, applying his more than 25 years as a federal bureaucrat to his thinking.  Rivers was a candidate for provincial office in Burlington where he ran against Cam Jackson in 1995, the year Mike Harris and the Common Sense Revolution swept the province. He developed the current policy process for the Ontario Liberal Party.

 

Background links”

Health Stats –     The Debate –      More Funding –      Fed Mobile Hospitals

Rod Phillips –     Nurses –     Polling on Health Care –      National LTC Standards

Canada vs USA –      Canada VS USA –    Staff Shortages –    Staff Quitting

 

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Is the city going to see shovels in the ground at the entrance to Spencer Smith Park?

By Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns has a couple of very contentious developments in her ward.

After a minor tussle over which agenda would prevail ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns decided she would hold her ward meeting (virtually) despite the fact that the Mayor was holding another Telephone Town hall at the same time.

The Mayor did promise to ensure that in future she would make herself aware of what other members of Council have planned before scheduling her events.

Kearns has made a practice of holding meetings with people in her ward during the pandemic.  She moved to a dual format that had some people taking part on-line while others took part in person.

Will this development see shovels in the ground before the end of the year?

This evening’s event gives the Councillor an opportunity to update people on just what was decided about the development application made by Vrancorp owner Darko Vraich to demolish the Waterfront Hotel and replace it with a two tower structure that will consist of a 35 storey building and a 30 storey tower, both atop a five level podium.

At a Tuesday afternoon Council meeting the public learned that the city has decided the development application is complete and will proceed to process the application.

There is a lot of explaining to be done on the full story behind this development; Kearns will have an opportunity to do just that this evening.

 

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Ontario's Auditor General Addresses Criticism on iGaming Report

By Pierre Garner

January 21, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Towards the end of last year, the office of the Auditor General in Ontario released a report highlighting the possible legal issue that might arise from the proposed online gaming model. The model is aimed at the privatization of the iGaming industry, which has been under the wing of the Provincial government.

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk

In the 15-page report, “Internet Gaming in Ontario,” Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk puts to question three major issues; the legality of the model in light of the Criminal Code, the integrity and fairness of a privatized iGaming market in Ontario, and the provincial governance structure of internet gaming.

However, the report has received a lot of criticism, especially from industry folks with vested interests. In response, the office of the Auditor General has noted that it is not against the idea of having a regulated iGaming market. Its only concerned is the technical legalities of the proposed model.

“Ontario remains committed to launching a competitive internet gaming market to help protect its consumers. The province has already designed the online gaming model to achieve this objective in compliance with the Criminal Code,” wrote Natasha Krtajic, the parliamentary advisor and press secretary of the Attorney General.

Background Info on the Status Quo
To understand the allegations made in Lysyk’s report and the reason for criticism, we need to first comprehend the proposed enhancement to the present Ontario online gaming offerings.

PROLINE+ the sole provincially operated legal provider of online gaming services in Ontario.

Currently, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, a province-run entity, is the sole legal provider of online gaming services in Ontario. This corporation runs the only legal online bookmaker in the province, PROLINE+.

In light of the Ontario online gaming model, the government has appointed the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and its subsidiary, iGaming Ontario to vet and review applications made by private online casinos and sportsbooks operators.

According to the president of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), Paul Burns, it’s speculated that the iGaming market in Ontario will be opened up to the private sector by the close of the first quarter of 2022. CGA happens to be the national trade association representing top suppliers and operators in Canada’s eSports, sports betting, lottery, and gaming industries.

With the biggest betting events (Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics) around the corner, the pressure to open up the market for private operators is mounting on Ontario’s government. Fortunately for punters, there are already some online casinos that operate in Ontario as stated by Online-Casino.com.

A Breakdown of the OAG’s Report
According to the report, the government’s plan to privatize the market presents several legal problems. These problems are noted as follows:

Delegation of Decision-Making Powers

The proposed model is designed to pass business risk and decision-making power to private operators. According to the OAG’s report, this delegation of responsibility might fail to satisfy the “conduct and manage” requirements on commercial gambling. The provincial governments are tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding these requirements under the Criminal Code.

“The issue of whether the provincial government has illegally delegated its “conduct and manage” mandate in commercial gaming to a private operator has been a recurring legal subject in Canada,” the report reads.

The Regulatory and Governance Risk
Lysyk mentions that the function of a regulator is different from that of an operator. She also notes that there is an overlap in involvement between the province regulator and the operators in terms of internet gaming in the current situation. That being the case, Lysyk writes that “the model or vehicle itself is what we consider a problem.”

To address the problem, the report recommends that the Ministry of the Attorney General transfers the operating and governance responsibilities of the iGaming Ontario from AGCO, its parent entity. The report further suggests that should iGaming Ontario’s business model meet the “conduct and manage” requirements, its reporting relationship with AGCO should be transferred.
The IGO’s Governance Structure Poses a Potential Problem

The Auditor General expressed concerns that the entity is not well-structured to verify and ascertain the integrity and fairness of games. The report recommended that the IGO inform the Legislature on how it plans to address the issue of integrity and fairness before launching the iGaming market.

In rebuttal, through the Ministry of the Attorney General, the government insisted that the AGCO has well laid out standards for the iGaming market – inclusive of integrity concerns. All online games will have to be third-party tested and certified by an independent lab, and the AGCO has its iGaming Compliance Unit for compliance oversight purposes.

Lysyk’s Response to Criticism on the Report
CGA’s president and CEO, Paul Burn, dismissed the OAG’s report as a mare opinion when recently commenting to The Parleh. When asked about the industry pushback that the report has been receiving, Lysyk challenged the idea that the report’s content is just an opinion.

She holds that what was outlined in the report was nothing but solid facts that have been vetted for accuracy.

“We have no vested interest in the outcomes of this agenda. Our position is unbiased, independent, and objective of the benefits of iGaming in Ontario. The report is factual and free from vested interest,” noted Bonnie Lysyk.

The Auditor general’s office is not oblivious to the benefits of having a regulated privatized iGaming market in Ontario. No. The benefits are difficult to argue against. The report was not suggesting that the model lacks economic legs.

By viewing the report objectively, it becomes clear that what the office of the Auditor General was trying to say is, “We are not completely sure and confident as to how you want to go about this.”

“Our point is that at this point, there are several issues that we need to identify and address. At the end of the day, the iGaming revenue will provide additional revenue for social services such as health. We are not saying that the iGaming market is a bad thing. All we did was question the integrity of the model and how our consumers will be protected once the market launches,” noted the OAG.

On-line gambling has grown significantly – it is now a very big business. Fair and reasonable regulation should be in place.

Bottom Line
Lysyk is completely aware that big money will always remain a big topic. Noting that the report’s biggest critics are individuals who have heavily invested in anticipation for the new market, she requests them to remain objective and conscious of consumer interests.

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Telephone Town Hall on city response to Covid19 pandemic

By Staff

January 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

TELEPHONE Town Hall this evening at 6:30 pm – it will run for an hour.

The purpose of the telephone town hall event is to share information and answer resident questions about the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and recent impacts on city programs and services.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will be on the telephone this evening – directing questions to a panel that will be with her.

The town hall will be hosted by Mayor Marianne Meed Ward, who will be joined by a panel of local leaders, including representatives from Joseph Brant Hospital.

How to Participate
Residents who would like to participate in the town hall can do so in the following ways:

1. Register in advance: Burlington residential phone numbers will be randomly selected to be part of the telephone town hall. Residents who would like to be added to the telephone call list can email getinvolved@burlington.ca by noon on Jan. 18, 2022. Please note: if you registered for any of the previous town halls, you are not required to register your phone number a second time. If you wish to have your phone number removed from the call list, please email getinvolved@burlington.ca by noon on Jan. 18, 2022.

2. Join by telephone: Anyone who does not receive a telephone invitation can call 1-800-759-5308 just before 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19 to join the town hall. For those individuals calling in, please be advised more than one attempt may be required due to the high volume of traffic on the phone lines. If the first call does not connect, please hang up and dial the 1-800 number again.

3. Listen to audio: Live audio from the Jan. 19 town hall will be broadcast on YourTV, channel 700 on Cogeco and on the YourTV Halton YouTube page.

Once the call begins, a moderator will provide participants with instructions for how to submit their questions to the leadership panel.

A recording and transcript of the town hall will be posted online after Jan. 19 at burlington.ca/townhall.

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Catholic school board reverses its decision and will now fly the Pride flag

By Pepper Parr

January 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

After hours of rancorous debate the Halton District Catholic School Board voted 5-3 to allow the flying of a Pride flag outside schools in Burlington, Oakville, Milton and Halton Hills during the month of June – Pride month.

The inability of many of those taking part in the debate to follow rules of procedure and the attempt to revise the agenda was a sad example of how adults resolve their differences.

Those opposed to the flying of the Pride flag were argumentative, petty, and disruptive but failed in their effort to keep the flag off the flag poles.

The students were very good in making their point.

It was not a debate for the board to be proud of – the beliefs might have been strongly held but that does not excuse the behaviour seen last night.  It was most unfortunate.

The 5-3 vote in favour of flying the Pride flag was necessary.

Voting for the motion: Trustees Brenda Agnew, Patrick Murphy, Nancy Guzzo, Peter DeRosa and Janet O’Hearn-Czarnota.  Trustees Tim O’Brien, Helena Karabela and Vincent Iantomasi voted against.

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Our COVID19 battle is far from over - hospitalization levels still rising

By Staff

January 19th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is far from over.

Ontario reported 4,183 people were hospitalized with COVID-19; 580 are in ICU units; at least 7,086 new cases  have been reported as of Tuesday the 18th at 10:23 am.

82.1 per cent of patients admitted to the ICU were admitted for COVID-19 and 17.9 per cent were admitted for other reasons but have tested positive for COVID-19.

Related news story

Three levels at JBH reportiCOVID19 infections

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Blanchard street residents find several feet of snow at the end of a driveway they shoveled out the night before

By Staff

January 18th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

This is a problem that has plagued seniors for some time.

When packed down this is very hard snow to remove

After shoveling for hours yesterday, a Blanchard resident was faced with a four foot bank of snow across the driveway this morning. The other side of the street had nothing. This wall is down the entire South side of the street. The resident cannot remove this hardened wall of compacted snow and is unable to leave the driveway should the need arise.

A disappointing scene after shoveling out the driveway.

This has been an ongoing issue over the years but none as bad as this.

They have sent off emails and pictures to the mayor, and public works.

“I want the city to clean this up! Now!”

The solution might be to turn to your neighbours for the needed help.

 

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Metrolinx is adding reinforcements to its fleet of mobile vaccine buses to help push back against the spread of COVID-19.

By Staff

January 18TH, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Metrolinx has partnered with the Government of Ontario to operate a fleet of mobile COVID vaccine clinics to get more needles into arms at a critical time in the pandemic.

The popular mobile clinics – known as GO-VAXX buses – are retrofitted GO Transit buses and there are now five of them on the road. This is up from the original three buses.

The GO-VAXX buses go all over Ontario loaded with trained medical staff that can deliver about 250 to 300 COVID-19 vaccine doses per day. The mobile clinics make it easier for many people to get their first, second, third or child doses.

The easy-to-spot buses have been so sought after especially once Omicron began to rapidly spread, appointments are now required. This prevents people waiting in long lines during the winter.

GO VAXX bus
One of five GO-VAXX buses ready to hit the road. (Metrolinx photo)

Just how popular have the GO-VAXX buses been?

Since last summer, more than 30,000 doses have been administered. Most importantly, the buses help get into rural areas and other hard to reach communities that might not have nearby clinics.  This includes communities outside the Greater Golden Horseshoe, including eastern and western Ontario. They are also fully accessible.

The plan is to expand the GO-VAXX fleet even more in the coming weeks and months.

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COVID-19 Outbreak Expanded to Additional Inpatient Unit at Joseph Brant Hospital  

By Staff

January 18th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The COVID-19 outbreak that was declared on Unit 4 North 700 (4N700) on January 12 has extended to an additional unit, 5 North 400 (5N400), as of January 17.

Prior to that there was an outbreak on the 6th floor.

Three additional patients and four healthcare workers have now tested positive for COVID-19. These new infections are associated with the original outbreak on 4N700 that infected five patients.

Joseph Brant Hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control team and Employee Health Services are ensuring all patients on the unit, along with staff and physicians who have been or may have been exposed, are being contacted, monitored, tested as required and self-isolating in keeping with Public Health guidelines.

Patients on the unit are in isolation as of January 17 and will receive instructions on home self-isolation requirements when being discharged from the hospital. 5N400 is closed to new patient admissions. In addition, Essential Care Providers (ECPs) and visitors are not permitted in the unit, with limited exceptions as determined by the nurse manager. ECPs are asked to speak to the care team with questions around access to the unit. Patients can still connect with their loved ones by telephone and video – both telephone and WiFi are available at JBH at no cost.

Joseph Brant Hospital is advising anyone who may have recently visited 5N400 to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Please consult the Halton Region website for more information if you are experiencing symptoms or had exposure to someone who is COVID-19 positive or experiencing symptoms.

JBH is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with Halton Region Public Health to bring a safe end to the outbreak as soon as possible. Patients or loved ones who have questions or concerns can contact a member of the care team or JBH Patient Relations team at 905-632-3737 ext. 4949 or by email patientrelations@josephbranthospital.ca.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Open Letter from the Halton Members of Parliament to Catholic Trustees

By Pepper Parr

January 18th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The four Members of Parliament who represent the people of Halton wrote an Open Letter to the Trustees of the Halton District Catholic School Board.  The contents of that letter are set out below.

Dear Trustees,

On January 18th you will have an opportunity to vote on whether you will allow your schools to raise the Pride Flag this June.  From a group of one elected officials to another we understand the seriousness in which you take this vote and the role that your convictions play in determining how you will side.

Next week, you can act to show the 37,000 students that you teach that the Halton Catholic District School Board embraces diversity, celebrates love, and recognizes the community’s desire to officially embrace the 25LGBTQ+ members of your schools.

In 2016, the Pride Flag was flown for the first time on Parliament Hill. Some of us were there that day to celebrate this important milestone for Canada and the 25LGBTQ+ community. The simple act of raising the rainbow flag made an enormous difference in the lives of the advocates who fought for this ceremony to take place. It told them that their country supports them, that their country loves them, and that their country needs their voice at the highest levels of political leadership. You can send the same message to the students, their parents, and your staff, that the HCDSB supports them, loves them and that they are called to shape the future of their community.

To quote your colleague Trustee Agnew, “(you) have a chance to be leaders, champions if you will, of the future, of amazing things to come.”

On January 18th you have a chance to stand up for change. As the federally elected representatives for Halton, we express our unwavering support in favour of raising the flag.

Thank you for taking time to consider our request.

 

Honourable Anita Anand, MP Oakville     Honourable Karina Gould, MP, Burlington

Pam Damoff, MP, Oakville-North Burlington          Adam VanKoeverden, MP, Milton

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Letter from Halton MPs to Catholic Trustees was inappropriate

By Pepper Parr

January 18th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Opinion

Last Friday, the four members of Parliament who represent the people of Halton sent an open letter to the Trustees of the Halton District Catholic School Board.

Cabinet Ministers Karina Gould (Burlington); Anita Anand, (Oakville) along with Pam Damoff (Oakville North Burlington) and Adam VanKoeverden, MP, (Milton) wrote about a matter that is not something in which the federal government is involved.

Education is a provincial matter with trustees elected at the local level to represent parents with children in the school system.

The Gazette wonders if it is appropriate for Members of Parliament to meddle in a provincial matter that is being fiercely debated at the local level.

Emotions are running high; views are strongly held. What value does the opinion of someone from a senior level of government add?

The concerns of the four Members of Parliament are legitimate enough but one has to wonder what the upside is for the MPs. Have they brought any clarity to the issue?

Do any of them have children in Catholic schools?

Karina Gould has a mandate as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development but that mandate does not reach into issues that are local.

The differences between the Catholic communities are philosophical and political and they will be resolved politically.

The parents who are opposed to the flying of the Pride flag in front of schools support their children; love their country and believe they are serving at their level of political leadership.

If the federal Liberals had anything of value to add perhaps a comment would be appropriate.

They add nothing other than their opinions.

The Gazette feels the letter was inappropriate and that the members of the Catholic community have to work this out on their own.

Related content:

Letter to the trustees

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

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Council gets lauded for being leaders at community engagement - then goes mute when the biggest development the city has seen in some time is in front of them

By Pepper Parr

January 17th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

Council has been holding a number of Closed session meetings – all kinds of litigation taking place.

What perplexes a number of people is the way the City Clerk words the motions that are used to make holding a Closed session legal. That is shown in the agenda as:  “Confidential update on a litigation matter”; a polite question would be – which litigation matter? – the public has no idea which matter they are talking about.

Providing the address of the property isn’t giving away any secrets and the public at least knows something is taking place.

All the public learns is that: Pursuant to section 239(2)(e) of the Municipal Act, litigation or potential litigation, including matters before administrative tribunals, affecting the municipality or local board.

This is what you have now …..

Of current concern are the plans for the redevelopment of the Waterfront Hotel site,  2020 Lakeshore Road.  This is a very contentious development – quite why the members of city council go along with the city legal Counsel and the Clerk holding their cards so close to their chest, at the same time telling the world that they have the best community engagement record in the country, is what is referred to as talking out of both sides of your mouth.  This of course gets done with the blessing of the city manager who appears to like things that way.

The practice is for Council to come out of Closed session and announce a Staff Direction which goes something like this: the Executive Director of Legal Services is directed to do what was agreed upon in the closed session.

Sometimes, rarely, Council will then go into Open session and there will be discussion about what took place in the Closed session.

…this is what the developer has in mind. They have submitted their development application – city planners say it isn’t complete.

As a reporter, I’ve always wondered why the Chairs of the Standing Committees don’t have the courage to  stand up and report to the public what took place.

Last week, after lengthy Closed session (it started at 1:00 pm and ended at 6:35 pm) Council reverted to an Open session and for a moment it looked as if they were going to say something publicly about what had taken place.  Mayor Meed Ward certainly expected something would be made public and something to the effect that the motion was written to allow something to be said.

Councillor Galbraith and the Committee Clerk didn’t have the same understanding – the Mayor said she would let it go to the Council meeting later in the month.

So we will hear what is happening to the development application for 2020 Lakeshore Road, the Waterfront Hotel Development site, that has been sent to the Planning department, at the next council meeting.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on the amount of time the city has to respond to the development application. If they don’t do so within the required time-frame the matter goes to the Ontario Land Tribunal – and we all know what happens there.

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City council wants to know more about the Indian Act - to support the Indigenous people?

By Pepper Parr

January 17th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

There was an agenda for a Council Workshop scheduled for this afternoon.  That it was cancelled is just short of a small mercy.

It was to be about Indigenous Education – at city council, no less – not Board of Education meeting!

We appreciate fully how badly we white people have treated Indigenous people.  We took their land, we took their children and did everything we could to drive the spirit out of them.  Our debt to them is one that cannot be cleared in a generation.

These are First Nations people who, despite what we have done to them, have held their ground and are in the process of regaining what was theirs all along.

In the political hierarchy they are superior to a city council. It is certainly an interesting agenda and one that should have been put before everyone in the city.

There was next to nothing in the way of promotion about the meeting.  Perhaps the members of Council will now earn the reputation they have for being leaders in community engagement.

The Agenda had Angela Morgan, Strategic Lead – Customer Experience doing the introductions.

Land Acknowledgement
Angela Bellegarde, Indigenous Lead Reconciliation at Halton Our Kids Network

Mississauga of the Credit First Nation – We are Still Here
Darin Wybenga, Acting Director and Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Coordinator, Mississauga of the Credit First Nation

The land was taken from them little by little – now they are squeezed into small reserves with not much more than a proud heritage to sustain them.

The legislation is something to be ashamed of – it should have been rescinded decades ago. It is no longer necessary – if it ever was.

Indian Act – What Can We Do?
Bryant Peters, College Instructor at Fleming College and Executive Consultant from the Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation

All great items – what can a city do?

Did municipalities even exist when the Indian Act was first declared ?

Salt with Pepper is the musings, reflections and opinions of the publisher of the Burlington Gazette, an online newspaper that was formed in 2010 and is a member of the National Newsmedia Council.

 

 

 

 

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Snow Event declared for Jan. 17, 2022 – On-street parking cancelled

By Staff

January 17th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

To allow snow removal equipment room to clear roads safely and quickly, all on-street parking has been suspended.

During a Snow Event when accumulation is more than 7.5 cm, road clearing updates can be found by visiting Burlington.ca/snow.

It is important for people to know that a declared Snow Event does not automatically mean all City facilities are closed or programs are cancelled.

On occasion a program may be cancelled when facilities remain open. For instance, if staff are unable to travel safety to the program location. When this occurs, all efforts will be made to contact the participants in advance when possible.

Snow Clearing Service Levels

Snow Event declared

Primary and Secondary roads are addressed as soon as snow starts to accumulate.

Residential roads are cleared after snow reaches 7.5 cm of accumulation. Residential roads are not maintained to bare pavement but are sanded as required at intersections, hills and sharp curves to enhance traction.

All sidewalks are plowed after 5 cm of accumulation and salted or sanded as required.

Heavy snowfalls or successive storms can sometimes extend road clearing to longer than 24 hours. Please be patient as our crews work to clear the busiest streets first.

The City is not responsible for clearing windrows left on driveways when the plow passes. If you think you will need help clearing the windrow, please make arrangements such as speaking with your neighbours, family members or hire a contractor.
Parking During the Winter

When a Snow Event is declared, there is no parking on any city streets until the Snow Event has been declared over. The City thanks residents for their cooperation to move their vehicles off city streets to help with snow clearing operations. Residents who park their cars on streets blocking snow removal could be faced with a $120 parking ticket or be towed.

All existing parking exemptions are also invalid during Snow Events.

Snow Events and parking restrictions are announced through the City’s social media.

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Opposing views on Pride Flag will be heard by Catholic Trustees on Tuesday

By Pepper Parr

January 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON,, ON

 

The debate on flying the Pride flag at Catholic schools in the Halton Region will be heard by the Halton District Catholic \school Board on Tuesday.

The Gazette has chosen two delegations that reflect strongly held position on the issues.

Both should be heard.

The Rainer Noack and Veronica Touhey delegations follow.

Chairperson of the board, board members, delegates, families – it is an honour to have been asked to
support this evening’s delegation. My name is Rainer Noack and I worked for the Halton Catholic District School Board from 1989 to 2006 where I taught both Dramatic Arts for Grades 10 to OAC, and English for Grades 9 and 10. I was a passionate, popular, and distinctive educator in my field. I spearheaded the entry of the Halton Catholic District school Board into the Ontario Drama Festival (formerly known as the Sears Drama Festival).

Rainer Noack

I am here to support Lauren MacDonald and her team in their efforts to ensure that the Halton Catholic District School Board will raise the Pride Flag in the future, as a demonstration of equality and solidarity for all human beings. The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected by a healing community and can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met.

Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life, and to those things required for our human
dignity. I believe that in order to set students up for success and to become healthy contributing members of society, they need to have models. As educators, we are on the front line of helping children every day, and it is indeed some of those teachers and forward thinking leaders that have allowed many Catholic schools to become safe spaces, and recognize that there are many forms of diversity that need respect.Refusal to raise the flag is a blatant signal to further marginalized people demonstrating fear and xenophobia. The parliament of Canada on July 20, 2005 enacted the Civil Marriage Act, which legalized same-sex marriage in Canada; fourth country to do so. 2005 was the year I married my husband, thus for the first time, acknowledging my sexuality societally. In June 2006, my husband and I, along with many others, including members of the Toronto police force, carried the Pride Flag down Yonge street. A portion of this flag is now displayed in the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.

During my tenure with the school board, I was there for students who were struggling to accept their
identity. I was there to witness students driven to suicide through a lack of acceptance. Statistics have shown that those attending a Catholic school have a substantial increase in the odds of attempting suicide or suicide risk by the age of 15 and self-harm by the age of 19.
The Supreme Court does not try to hide the fact that it will shed no tears if Catholic schools vanish from the scene while they continue to receive public funding and continue to enforce outdated rules of the Bible and continue to believe in supremacy of the Papacy. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees a set of human rights enforced by judicial review of legislation. Many Catholic school boards have begun to reconsider the conflict between Catholic beliefs and Human Rights.

Trying to change attitudes is brave and progressive, and I am grateful to be able to share my views here today. As teachers, we promote healthy lifestyles and attitudes and our daily business is prevention intervention. Our experience has taught us that it takes a lesson repeated over and over to truly change an attitude. The best way to teach is by example, and therefore it is the responsibility of adults to model the kind of beliefs, behaviours, and attitudes that will make a better world.

The world needs to examine its conscience. Now, more than ever, is the time to give hope to disenchanted youth. The media advertises that research funding is being designated for youth to reduce violence and mental health issues. This work is as well as wasted if a definite message is not sent by our school boards.

We must be more progressive.

Today’s children will become tomorrow’s patrons, employees, and entrepreneurs. We owe it to them to
help them to feel that we each have a fundamental right to freedom.

Thank you

LIFT HIGH THE CROSS, RAISE NOT THE ‘PRIDE’ FLAG
My name is Veronica Touhey and I address this board as a parent who sends my children to
Catholic schools with the good faith and understanding that they will be taught the magisterial
teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

I know that flying the “pride” flag over Catholic schools and administrative buildings violates
these teachings.

It would deeply sadden me to see that flag raised by schools of the HCDSB.

Some believe that the raising of the “pride” flag is necessary to stop bullying and discrimination,
and while these are always good intentions in themselves, the act of raising that flag over
Catholic schools will undermine the mission of Catholic education and the mission of the Halton
Catholic District School Board.

The mission statement of the HCDSB states that the Board is “…dedicated to providing
excellence in Catholic education by developing Christ-centred individuals enabled to transform
society.”

Flying the “pride” flag will not help the board to achieve these crucial objectives. It will, in fact, betray this mission.

Many who advocate for the raising of the flag assert that it will make the schools it flies over
more welcoming, inclusive, and supportive of people.

That only proves that our hearts, and our wishful thinking, can deceive us.

The “pride” flag is a lie.

The flag isn’t about inclusion, diversity, and acceptance, but about conformity, exclusion and
intolerance. The “pride” flag is in fact a giant red flag of warning for anyone concerned about
traditional values and the freedom to live by them.

The “pride” flag is a symbol of mortal sin. It’s no coincidence that “pride” is both the name of
that flag, and the name of one of the seven deadly sins. In fact, pride was the cause of the
Original Sin committed by Adam and Eve, and it is considered the source of all the other deadly
sins.

The Catholic Church can never condone mortal sin, and the “pride” flag is a symbol of mortal
sin.

There are those who will say that secular institutions fly that flag, and so our Catholic schools
should follow along and do the same. But it has never been the mandate of the Catholic Church
to follow the fashions of the world.

Quite the opposite is true.

The Catholic Church is charged to lead the world to Christ.

We should be leading the world by doing what the HCDSB mission statement claims it is here to
do, by “developing Christ-centred individuals enabled to transform society”.

To transform society away from sinful ways and toward Jesus Christ.
Secular institutions that fly the “pride” flag have no mandate to defend the teachings of the
Catholic, or of any other Faith. But this board does!

The Faith we express is that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus
Christ, not to condemn the world, but to save it. We know that God is love, and that He
demonstrated this love by dying on the Cross.

The “pride” flag is a mere worldly symbol. The Cross represents the very heart of the Church
and its values, which transcend all symbols.

We do not need any flag, for we have the Cross!

The Cross demonstrates and reminds us of the love God has for all people, no matter who they
are. It tells us that God desires to gather us all to Himself as one family in Christ.

The Cross is our sign of true love and of mercy, of eternal life. It is a bold declaration of hope in
a world full of sorrows. That is the hope we must nurture, a hope in the Lord as our strength.
Symbols such as that “pride” flag will come and go, but as St. Paul tells us, “Jesus Christ is the
same yesterday today and forever.”

We teach our children the marks of the Church, which we recite each time we say the Creed.
The marks of the Church remind us that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church must
speak with a single voice and reject all that is not in keeping with it.

That “pride” flag is not in keeping with our Faith.

Our children are watching us. What will we teach them now?

Thank you for your time and for allowing me to address the Board.

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