Family Day - have you decided what you want to do?

By Staff

February 16th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City of Burlington administrative services will be closed for Family Day, on Monday, Feb. 21. For a list of which City services and facilities are available on the Family Day holiday weekend, please see the summary below or visit burlington.ca.

*Important information regarding COVID-19: The information provided below is accurate as of Feb. 14, 2022. In the event of any changes made by the Province of Ontario to current COVID-19 public health measures, please visit burlington.ca/coronavirus for potential impacts to City services and programs.

Residents can also stay informed about city news on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington.

City Service Holiday Closure Information
Animal Services

 

To report an animal related emergency on a statutory holiday, please call 1-888-264-3135.

The Animal Shelter at 2424 Industrial St. remains closed to the public due to COVID-19, however services are ongoing. For more information, call 905-335-3030 or visit www.burlington.ca/animal.

Burlington Transit Burlington Transit will operate a Sunday schedule on Family Day. For real-time bus information and schedules visit myride.burlingtontransit.ca.

The downtown terminal at 430 John St. and Specialized Dispatch will be closed.

City Hall The Service Burlington counter, temporarily located on the second floor at City Hall (426 Brant St.), will be closed to all appointments on Monday, Feb. 21.

Many service payments are available online at burlington.ca/onlineservices.

Halton Court Services – Provincial Offences Office Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will be closed on Monday Feb. 21.

With the exception of the Family Day closure, telephone payments are available at 905-637-1274, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. All in-person services are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Many services are also available by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or online at Halton Court Services.

 Parking Free parking is available downtown, on the street, in municipal lots and in the parking garage (414 Locust St) on weekends and holidays.

NOTE: The Waterfront parking lots (east and west) do not provide free parking on statutory holidays.

No on-street parking is permitted during a snow event and parking exemptions are cancelled during this time. On-street parking can resume after the snow event has been declared over by Roads, Parks and Forestry. Follow burlington.ca/snow.

Recreation Programs and Facilities Indoor drop-in activities such as swimming, skating, and drop-in gym times are offered on a reduced schedule over the Family Day weekend, please visit burlington.ca/dropinandplay for program times and online registration.

Looking to plan a private skating or shinny time for your family group? There are still limited hourly ice rink rental times available at Appleby Ice Centre. For booking requests, please email rentals@burlington.ca.

Burlington has a wide variety of outdoor activities to enjoy with your family during the winter season including:

  • disc golf at Tyandaga Golf Course, 1265 Tyandaga Park Dr.
  • skating
  • tobogganing
  • trails and multi-use paths
  • parks and playgrounds.

Find out more at burlington.ca/outdoorplay.

Our Lending Library has winter outdoor equipment available to borrow at no charge. Visit burlington.ca/playlending for details.

Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond will be open daily for outdoor skating, weather conditions permitting. Pre-registration is not required. For more information, visit burlington.ca/pond and remember to check ice conditions before leaving home by calling 905-335-7738, ext. 8587.

Roads, Parks and Forestry The administrative office will be closed on Monday, Feb. 21.

Essential services, including winter control, will be provided as required.

Burlington is a City where people, nature and businesses thrive. As residents continue to rediscover many of their favourite spaces and activities in the city, City services may look different as we work to stop the spread of COVID-19. The City’s commitment to providing the community with essential services remains a priority. Sign up to learn more about Burlington at Burlington.ca/Enews and follow @CityBurlington on social media.

 

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City Council Workshop: A closer look at our relationship with the Indigenous community

By Pepper Parr

February 15th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Monday afternoon City Council held an Indigenous education workshop. It was, unfortunately not widely promoted by members of Council or the city’s communications department.  Unfortunate.

The name Joseph Brant is well recognized; his role in the development of the land that was territory the Indigenous people lived on is not that well understood.

They own precious little of that land today.  The workshop is about how that came to be.

The Mississauga of the Credit First Nation lay claim to a large area; the part known as the Haldimand Tract is tightly tied to Joseph Brant.

Over time land was taken from the Indigenous community through different treaties.

There were two main speakers who had a lot to say. You might want to listen to:

Darin Wybenga, Acting Director and Traditional Knowledge and Land Use Coordinator, Mississauga of the Credit First Nation, who  spoke on; “Mississauga of the Credit First Nation – We are Still Here.”

Indeed they are

There was a time when the majority of people living in what is Canada today believed what the Indian Act said.

Following Darin Wybenga is Bryant Peters, College Instructor at Fleming College and Executive Consultant from the Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation, who spoke about the:  Indian Act – What Can We Do?

It looked at one point if Peters was going to read every section of the Indian Act – a very repressive piece of legislation that is still in place.

Both speakers made extensive use of visuals and maps.

It should be well worth your time to spend some time listening to what was said.  We will have more to tell you about this Workshop later in the week.

Burlington, like most local governments, now reads a land acknowledgement before each meeting.

If Darin Wybenga is correct, and he probably is, our reference to the Bowl with one spoon wampum is incorrect.  Look for Council to correct that error.

Wampum belts were used as signatories to commemorate and, to some degree, legitimize an event.

The biggest lesson this writer learned was the significant difference between what the Indigenous people thought when they were signing a land treaty and the view the British had.

The British believed they were acquiring land which they described and defined in the treaties; the Indigenous people believed they were agreeing to share the land.

They were either not able to or didn’t know how to get that language into the treaties.

As a result they are left with bits and pieces of the land they inhabited. The 4 million acres they started with was whittled down to 200 acres.

And we wonder why they are angry.

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Repair Cafe will set up at Tansley Woods March 12th - free help with things that no longer work

By Staff

February 11th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington has hundreds, maybe even thousands of people who took early retirement or put in their 25 years and stopped punching a clock – and are looking for something to do that appeals to their better selves.

Some serve on committees, others join service clubs and others come up with an idea of their own and look for ways to make it happen.

Typical set up at a Repair Cafe.

Lawson Hunter has served on a number of committees – including Community Development Halton, served on a committee that wanted to hear what the public had to say about the Tansley Woods Centre that was to be developed.  He worked with the Burlington Food Bank for a period of time.

He was former Program Manager at Cable 14 Hamilton; former Executive Director at Jamesville Business Improvement Area (Hamilton); former Communications Assistant to Lily Oddie Munro, Minister of Culture & Communications; former Administrator at Burlington Art Centre (now Art Gallery of Burlington); retired Letter Carrier at Canada Post.

At 21 years of age, Hunter was the youngest Board member of the Sarnia Public Library & Art Gallery.

He has clearly earned his stripes.

With time on his hands Hunter heard about the Repair Café; an organization with 1500 volunteer units around the world and about eight in Canada.  Toronto has a Repair Café that has been operational for five years.

Hunter set up an outdoor Repair Café with the Aldershot BIA to learn what the interest might be.  “One lady came in with a knock off Tiffany Lamp and wanted the cord replaced.  While we were working on the lamp another lamp walked by, saw the lamp and said – I have one of those and the cord is worn out – can you fix it?.  We could and we did.

“Before the day was over a third person said she too had a lamp that needed a new cord.  I knew we were filling a need.”

Hunter adds just how immediate a repair need can be.  “A woman came in asking if we could repair the cord on her electric mowing machine – and get it done before her husband came home.

Lawson Hunter delegating to city council

With a couple of trial runs in different parts of the city Hunter knew he had identified a need and rounded up some of his friends and applied to the city for a Community grant.

His application was accepted – the next repair Café will be in Tansley Woods Centre on March 12th – runs from 10 am to 1:00 pm

Show up and they will do what they can for you.

There is no charge for the labour – you are expected to pay for any parts that are needed.

Then he came up with an idea – why not help people fix things?  He wasn’t thinking of helping people fix their relationships – that’s not quite where Lawson excels.

He wanted to help people fix a toaster or a blending machine or a CD player.

He applied for and got a grant from the city (cheque hasn’t arrived yet) to set up the Repair Café. “We’re just a bunch of guys that want to fix things and keep them out of the landfill site” said Hunter.  To use the moniker of a ‘Repair Cafe’, means to agree to the policy of not charging for repairs (parts yes, labour no) which he adds – “ it’s a terrible business model but a great community service.”

“Getting in touch with the Repair Cafe is easy: All residents are invited to contact us to let us know what items they need to get fixed to keep them out of the global garbage heap.  Email us at burlingtonrepaircafe@cogeco.ca  or visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Burlington.Canada.Repair.Cafe

 

 

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Everything you ever wanted to know about what makes owls incredibly interesting and majestic creatures.

By Staff

February 8th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Burlington Green is inviting everyone to a fascinating webinar on February 23 from 6:30-7:30pm:  The Mystique of Owls: An Introduction to Owling in Ontario with guest speaker, Bob Bell!

Owls are incredibly interesting and majestic creatures

“Bob joined us back in September providing a superb Introduction to Birding in a  presentation so we are thrilled to have him join us again.”

Owls are incredibly interesting and majestic creatures. If you have ever wanted to learn more about owls and owling in Ontario, then you will want to tune in to this event!

Avid local birder and member of the Bird Friendly Hamilton Burlington team, Bob Bell, introduces the mystical world of owling! You can expect to learn about: owls in culture, the “superpowers” of owls that make them unique, tips for owling, ethical owling, and more!

Are you interested but not able to attend? No problem, this event will be recorded. A link to the video recording will be sent to all registrants following the event. Closed captioning will be available on the recorded link.

Register to attend the webinar!

This event is supported by the Burlington Foundation and NUVO Network.

 

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Pop up events to make people aware of population growth plans to take place on Saturday

By Staff

February 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The growth that municipalities have to take on to reach the provincially determined population levels has a lot of people concerned about  losses of rural agricultural land to residential development.

The rural Burlington that the Stop the Sprawl group wants to keep.

Stop Sprawl Halton will be holding COVID-safe pop-up events this Saturday, February 5th, 1:30pm – 2pm

Oakville & Burlington — Stop Sprawl Halton announces two COVID-safe pop-up events, one in Oakville, the other in Burlington, to spread awareness to protect irreplaceable Halton farmland.

Locations —    N.E. corner of Trafalgar and Cornwall in Oakville

North Service Rd. and Brant St. in Burlington

What — Stop Sprawl Halton will host two peaceful, COVID-safe, pop-up events this Saturday, to spread awareness about the Region’s plans to expand the urban boundary, and to hand out free “Save Our Farms” lawn signs.

Safety – Participants must wear a mask and remain 6’ apart from others at all times. They must also remain on the intersection sidewalks, and not interfere with traffic.

About Stop Sprawl Halton – Stop Sprawl Halton (SSH) is a grass-roots organization that coalesced after Hamilton’s Stop Sprawl campaign won a “no urban boundary expansion” vote at Hamilton City Council on November 19, 2021. Like other Stop Sprawl campaigns developing in municipalities across Southern Ontario, Stop Sprawl Halton is a champion for vibrant, sustainable growth within existing urban boundaries. SSH believes the provincially mandated growth targets can be achieved through modest singles and semi-detached homes, combined with other low-rise forms, in mixed-use communities.

 

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HDSB Director of Education Curtis Ennis launches his public participation event

By Staff

January 31st, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

In the Region of Halton it has become the practice for the Director of Education to create a program that is their reaching out to the community to involve the public ia a public education event with a focus they chose.

Former Director of Education Stewart Miller worked with Stephen Lewis and Jesse Wente and brought them to the community. Covid19 limited what Stephen Lewis was able to do.

Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

The new Director of Education, Curtis Ennis has put together a series of public participation event, the first being a Panel on , Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred and will take place on February 7th at 6 p.m. virtually at www.hdsb.ca

HDSB families, staff and community members are invited to the Director’s Panel Series on Identity, Inclusion & Human Rights to raise awareness on historical and contemporary issues of identity, inclusion and human rights. The first session in the panel series will be:

Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred
Monday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m.
This will be a virtual event, with the livestream linked on the HDSB website (www.hdsb.ca).
Registration is not required.
Panel speakers include:

● Dr. Karen R. Mock, Human Rights Advocate and Educator
● Bernie Farber, Chair, Canadian Anti-Hate Network
● Rabbi Stephen Wise, Spiritual Leader of Shaarei-Beth El Congregation of Oakville
● Sharon Khavkine-Binstock, McMaster University student and former HDSB student
● Eszter Reti, Grade 12 HDSB student
● A representative from the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)

Those interested in attending the event can submit a question to the panel before or during the presentation through this Google Form: https://forms.gle/L5AxQvpErhR9wpkG9

“Each session in the series will explore how issues of identity and inclusion intersect with education,” says Curtis Ennis, Director of Education for the Halton District School Board.

“This provides an opportunity to create awareness of multiple perspectives of insight and analysis on how individual identities can be reflected and engaged in the broader HDSB community. This panel series aligns with the Board’s commitment to raise awareness of diverse community perspectives and the need to broaden resources to support inclusion and student achievement, as reflected in the HDSB’s Multi-Year Plan 2020-2024 and the Human Rights Equity Action & Accountability Plan – The Way Forward.”

Future sessions in the series include Black Excellence, Transgender Awareness, Indigenous Perspectives on Decolonizing Education and Land and Perspectives on Islam. These sessions will take place in the coming months, with specific dates to be confirmed soon.

Related news story:

HDSB appoints new Director of Education; hails from Toronto Board

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Performing Arts Centre re-schedules and re-opens - it all begins February 20th

By Staff

January 31st, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

“Live, Local and Open for Business” said Performing Arts Centre Executive Director Tammy Fox who sat down crossed her fingers and whispered “I hope we can live up to the claim.

The box office re-opens February 1; Performances return February 20

The City’s music and cultural hub season resumes with three performances in the Community Studio Theatre to delight BPAC patrons in-person and online.

“Our 2021-22 Season was put on hold during the latest round of pandemic restrictions, so we went to work re-scheduling the amazing talent booked to play our stages and we’re proud to present our updated lineup that runs from local artists to musical legends.  Patrons can expect the same first-class entertainment we have delivered for the past 10 years, in an atmosphere where they can feel safe.”

February performances (listed below) will all be presented in BPAC’s Community Studio Theatre; each show includes the option of attending in person or live-streaming the performances from the comfort of your home. Please visit burlingtonpac.ca for show times and ticket pricing.

Ontario guidelines, require all patrons to show proof of COVID-19 double vaccination to be permitted entry into the facility. The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is pleased to accommodate our patrons at 50% capacity in our facilities at this time.

The Mark Lalama Trio hosts local talent as the Performing Arts Centre prepares to welcome their patrons into a venue that has been dark far too long.

The LIVE & LOCAL SERIES opens on Sunday, February 20, when STEVE STRONGMAN, JAMES OLIVER BILJAK and THOM ANTHONY join our musical hosts, THE MARK LALAMA TRIO. Experience the energy, spontaneity and magic of musical cross-pollination, as emerging and established homegrown talent combine with a house band made up of the area’s most highly sought-after touring and studio musicians.

Award-Winning Canadian blues man STEVE STRONGMAN is a versatile talent, and a restless one. By constantly pushing himself in new directions, he has kept himself vital. His talent is huge and impossible to miss, and it’s matched by his staggering musical ambition – as a guitar-slinger, songwriter or vocalist. The same structures and progressions that animate blues and roots music can also choke the air out of it, smothering it in caricature and cliche. But Strongman is a subtle shape-shifter who manages to slip that trap without betraying the music he loves. Throughout, he never sounds an inauthentic note or loses touch with the essence of the Blues.

JAMES BILJAK is The Burlington Performing Arts Centre’s own venue technician as well as an amazing musician, and his brother, THOM ANTHONY, is the frontman for the band Tenth Planet.

Thom Anthony

The MARK LALAMA TRIO consists of Mark Lalama on keyboards and vocals, Davide DiRenzo on drums and vocals, and Rich Moore on bass and vocals – all in-demand session and touring musicians who have played on hundreds of stages and studio recordings with top artists ranging from Tom Cochrane to Holly Cole and just about everyone in between. This trio is fast earning a reputation as one of the most engaging and intuitive bands around, and together they create a unique brand of incredible, genre-defying original music that never fails to inspire those who are there to take it all in.

March 11  STEVEN TAETZ brings his repertoire of contemporary roots, jazz, blues, swing and neo-soul music to BPAC on Friday, . As a lyricist and composer, he has written for many internationally renowned artists, and led a cross-Canadian collaborative project, where he co-wrote a concept album with JUNO-award-winners from each province of Canada. Since 2014, Steven returned to his training and early performance roots, focusing on the American Songbook and jazz standards, writing and recording traditional-pop, and swing originals. His musical style has been compared to greats like Roy Orbison, k.d lang, Norah Jones, and Chet Baker, and performances include innovative interpretations of classic hits, as well as signature originals co-written with top Canadian artists.

The LIVE & LOCAL SERIES returns to the Community Studio Theatre stage on Sunday, March 13, featuring Canadian music icon SUSAN AGLUKARK, as well as singer/songwriter and BPAC Board member PETE VAN DYK, with the MARK LALAMA TRIO expertly supporting this evening of musical collaboration.

Susan Aglukark – at the Performing Arts Centre this year as long as we can remain in Phase 2 of the Reopening Ontario Road map.

nuk singer/songwriter SUSAN AGLUKARK is one of Canada’s most unique artists and a leading voice in Canadian music. She blends the Inuktitut, Indigenous and English languages with contemporary pop music arrangements to tell the stories of her fellow people, the Inuit of Arctic Canada and her fellow Indigenous groups.

The emotional depth and honesty of her lyrics; her pure, clear voice and themes of hope, spirit and encouragement have captivated and inspired listeners from all walks of life. Susan was invited into the Order of Canada and was presented her Officer of the Order of Canada award in September of 2005 for her contribution both musically and as a workshop facilitator and mentor in the Indigenous community and was awarded the Governor Generals Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award in June of 2016.

21/22 WINTER/SPRING season continues with:

Sunday, March 13, 2022 LIVE & LOCAL Hosted by Mark Lalama Trio
Saturday, March 19, 2022 Classic Albums Live: CCR CHRONICLE
Wednesday, March 23, 2022 THE SEAN CULLEN COCKTAIL HOUR
Friday, April 1, 2022 Classic Albums Live: EAGLES GREATEST HITS
Wednesday, April 13, 2022 THE SEAN CULLEN COCKTAIL HOUR
Thursday, May 5, 2022 CHILLIWACK
Tuesday, May 10, 2022 THE DREAMBOATS
Thursday, May 12, 2022 JEREMY HOTZ: The Marquis de Sad Tour

21/22 Season Performances RESCHEDULED to the 22/23 SEASON:

Thursday, September 15, 2022 AIR SUPPLY
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 TOM COCHRANE with Red Rider
Thursday, September 29 & Friday, September 30, 2022 Love Someone – An Intimate Evening with JOHNNY REID
Thursday, October 20 to Sunday, October 23 ACROSS THE POND: The British Invasion
Saturday, October 29, 2022 CANADIAN JAZZ ALL-STARS
Sunday, January 15, 2023 PIAF! The Show
Thursday, February 2, 2023 THE ORIGINAL WAILERS
Saturday, March 11, 2023 THE IRISH ROVERS

It has been a long, awkward and at times a very disappointing experience – but the curtains will open and the house lights will come down and the show will begin.

At which point Tammy Fox reaches for an adult beverage.

Covid19 changes everything – the Performing Arts Plans were scuttled and had to be re-scheduled. Here is what they plan for the 2023 Season. Hope does spring eternal – doesn’t it.

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The Joseph Brant Museum re-open February 1st: True or false ?

By Staff

January 27th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With the Phase 2 Roadmap to Reopen Covid19 restrictions due to be lifted on February 1st – the Joseph Brant Musem announced the opening of True or False? The Fun Science Exhibition on February 1.

This exhibition invites visitors to use their critical senses to examine three principal categories of information: nature and animals, humans and food, and science and technology. Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis. Monday is the day with the highest number of heart attacks. An ostrich eye is larger than its brain. True or false? Visitors will have to watch and listen to evaluate the information and meet the challenges presented through various interactive stations.

The exhibition was produced by the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science and made possible thanks to the financial contribution of the Museums Assistance Program of Canadian Heritage, the Jardin des animaux, Tim Hortons (Estrie) and Amgen Canada.

Chris Selman, Curator – Museums of Burlington explains: “True or False contains lots of fun, interactive elements and also presents its content as a game that folks have to work their way through. Importantly, though, it asks visitors to use their reasoning skills to assess a range of topics in order to separate fact from fiction. I really think that it’s this element that makes True or False a timely show for the Museums of Burlington.” –

True or False? will be on view at Joseph Brant Museum Museum from February 1 to May 21, 2022. Museum hours of operation are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 3:30pm. In accordance with COVID-19 protocols, the Museums of Burlington has procedures in place to allow the public to safely enjoy the galleries and exhibitions currently on view.

Visitors to the Museum are asked to pre-pay admission online for a designated entry time. Entry times are available on the 1/2 hour. Walk-in visitors will be accommodated space permitting.

 

About Museums of Burlington
Museums of Burlington encompasses Joseph Brant Museum and Ireland House Museum.

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Protesters supporting truck drivers who do not want to be vaccinated line most of the overpasses in the Halton area

By Staff

January 27th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Small groups leaned over the railings of overpasses along the 403 and 401 highways. Police advised the driving public to expect delays.

The crowds were not huge – but they were there at almost every overpass along the 403 and the 401 – applauding the trucks with their headlights on that were part of the Freedom Convoy – protesting the requirement that truck drivers be fully vaccinated.

Trucks flashing their lights were watched for hours by protesters.

People on the overpasses were calling it “exciting” and “awesome” while news media were reporting that more people died of Covid19 in January that any other month since the pandemic was declared.

So far, nationally, 32,966 Covid19-related deaths have occurred. Provincially the total is over 11,000.

Almost every overpass along main arterial roads had demonstrators waving flags and shouting.

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It is not exactly wide open - but a step in the right direction. You can get out for a beer on the 31st

By Staff

January 27th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Provincial government is exiting Modified Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopen. The city can now adjust its plans and reopen the city on January 31st. The plan is to stay with the reopen plan until February 21st when it will be reviewed again.

Recreation Facilities and Programs
When City of Burlington recreational programs, services and rentals resume, occupancy will remain at 50 per cent of room capacity for rentals, events and programs.

Rental and program participants must come to the facility dressed and ready for their activity and leave the facility promptly following the activity. As a result of the capacity restriction, change room and dressing room space is also limited to 50 per cent and may not be available. Spectator seating areas are also limited to 50 per cent, and occupancies will be posted.

Proof of vaccination with an enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code is required for entry into City recreational facilities. Individuals can save the electronic version of their certificate with a QR code to their phone or print a paper copy. Both paper and digital versions of the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code will be accepted. Medical exemptions and clinical trial exemptions will require a certificate with a QR code. Physician notes will no longer be accepted.

Download your enhanced vaccine certificate at ontario.ca/getproof.

In addition to proof of vaccination, requirements for screening, masking and physical distancing remain in place for all recreation facilities.

Parents and/or guardians may enter a facility for a maximum of 15 minutes to drop off and pick-up a participant for a program, without showing proof of vaccination. Parents who are required to stay in the facility for the duration of the program must be fully vaccinated.

Facility Rentals and Program Providers
• Recreation facility renters and program providers will be able to resume scheduled rentals in City and school board locations starting Jan. 31. Organizations and individuals have been contacted directly by staff for rental contract adjustments.

• Booking requests for winter and spring rental times are now being accepted. For more information visit burlington.ca/rentals or email requests to rentals@burlington.ca.
In-Person Registered Recreation Programs

• Winter 2022 courses with program dates within the closure period up to and including Jan. 30 will be cancelled or rescheduled where possible. Registrants are being notified directly for refunds and credits.

• Courses that were intended to start in early January and program dates extend beyond Jan. 30 will resume with the first scheduled date on or after Jan. 31.

• Swimming lessons will resume with the first scheduled date on or after Feb. 5.

• Registrants are being notified directly and credits issued for classes cancelled during the shutdown.

• Recreation courses with dates starting on or after Jan. 31 will run as scheduled. Registrants will be contacted directly by staff if a change is required.

• There are still spots available in upcoming courses with start dates through February and March, including March Break Camps, and March Break swimming lessons. Browse and register online at burlington.ca/recreation.

Drop-In Programs and Book-A-Court
• Drop-in recreation programs for Jan. 31 onwards are now viewable online at burlington.ca/dropinandplay.
• Registration opens for residents 25-hours before program start time.
• New for this season, Drop-in programs for Adults will open for registration seven days before the program start time. Adult drop-in programs will resume on Feb. 7.
• Pickleball Book-A-Court times will be available for booking online starting Jan. 31 at burlington.ca/pickleball.

Recreation Passes
• Recreation passes were put on hold during the closure, and pass holders who wish to return can request to reactivate their pass by contacting customer service at liveandplay@burlington.ca or 905-335-7738. Please allow two business days to reactivate.

• Recreation passes will be available for purchase online starting Jan. 31 at burlington.ca/memberships.
Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond

• Outdoor skating at Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond will require pre-registration for skate times up to and including Jan. 30. Completing COVID-19 screening is required for all skaters and those using indoor washroom.

• Starting Jan. 31, pre-registration and screening will no longer be required. Skating times will be open for casual drop-in daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. conditions permitting.

• Residents are encouraged to call the ice conditions hotline, 905-335-7738, ext. 8587 before leaving their house, to make sure that the Pond is open.

Recreation customer service can be reached at liveandplay@burlington.ca or 905-335-7738 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

Impacts to other city services

Service Burlington
The Service Burlington counter at City Hall, at 426 Brant St., is open to the public to offer in-person services beginning Feb. 1, 2022, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

A reminder that Service Burlington is temporarily located on the second floor of City Hall during construction for the City Hall Modernization Project. Please enter City Hall through the Brant Street entrance and proceed to the second floor using the lobby elevator.

Service Burlington accepts payments for:
• Parking permits and tickets
• Property taxes
• Freedom of Information requests
• Garbage tags
• Dog licenses
• Property information requests
• Recreation services

Electronic payment methods are preferred.

Commissioning and marriage licensing services are also available by appointment. Please visit burlington.ca/marriage, burlington.ca/commissioning, or call 905-335-7777 to book your appointment.

Residents can also visit burlington.ca/onlineservices to access a variety of City services online. Service Burlington is available to answer questions by phone at 905-335-7777 and email at city@burlington.ca.

For more information on the City’s COVID-19 response, visit burlington.ca/coronavirus.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said:
“The gradual reopening is a step in the right direction. While this pandemic continues to throw us curveballs, we must now turn our minds to how we can go about our daily lives while still protecting our health, safety, mental health and hospital capacities.

“Public health protection measures and protocols can also help our local businesses and schools remain open, and the City continue to offer the programs and services you depend on and enjoy. Thank you again to all of you who have been doing, and continue to do, your part.”

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Mayor to deliver her State of the City address virtually on Thursday at 8:00 am

By Pepper Parr

January 26th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Tomorrow, Thursday, bright and early, Mayor Marianne Meed Ward will be delivering her fourth State of the City, an event sponsored by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.

Her speech will set out what she has accomplished, and there is a lot to be proud of, and what she hopes to achieve during the last year of her first term as Mayor.

It will also be the first marker she puts down on the election campaign she will head into, probably as soon as the provincial election results are known in June.

Meed Ward could be in for a battle if rumours that former Mayor Rick Goldring decides to run for the job he lost to Meed Ward in 2018.

The State of the City address can be watched on the Chamber of Commerce web site.

You do need to register.

Click on the LINK to get to the registration page and scroll down.

 

 

 

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Kearns Ward 2 walking tour - back by popular demand

By Staff

January 20th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Back by popular demand.

Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns took more than 50 people on a walking tour of her ward last November.

She is going to do a second tour – people who missed the first tour wanted an opportunity to get a first hand look at what was planned for the ward.

Saturday February 5th – gather at the foot of Brant Street at Lakeshore Road at at 1:00 pm and watch what Lisa Kearns can do with a bull horn!

The November tour had a healthy crowd and decent weather – with Covid social distancing being observed

The map below is of the last November tour – same event in February.

If you want to take part – pop a note along to the Councillor’s office: ward2@burlington.ca

They’d like to get some idea of what to expect. Kearns has a arranged for a microphone so she can be heard this time.

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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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Dress Warmly: Top 5 Ideas for a Fun Winter in Burlington

By Amy Hogan

January 14th, 2022

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Winter in all its glory

In countries and cities where winter is in all its glory, it is impossible to deny yourself the pleasure of having fun, enjoying a huge amount of entertainment, and the beauty of nature. Burlington is one such place.

Well, a huge number of people strive to go on vacation to warm regions to bask in the sun, lie on the white beaches and rent Ferrari Dubai to ride at full speed to the main attractions. Especially considering that rental services are in demand today more than ever and everyone can rent even a dream sports car for a reasonable price.

However, many locals are in no hurry to buy air tickets. Here you can find a lot of entertainment that will appeal to every person, both young and old. The only condition is to dress warmly so that, standing in the cold, you do not hasten to return home as soon as possible.

In this article, we’ll show you how to have fun in this wonderful city.

Many people often cannot stay at home for a long time, even though it is always warm and cozy there. Many people crave adventure and active pastimes.

Pack warm clothes and go towards new achievements. Before visiting the chosen place, make sure that entertainment will be available for visiting during the pandemic.

Snowboarding in the winter is a challenge.

If you enjoy spending time actively with your friends or family, then you should go to Glen Eden. Here you can experience the drive and extreme as much as possible, as well as enjoy the winter beauty of the surrounding area.

Don’t know how to ski or snowboard? No problem. Here you will easily learn everything you need to know about winter sports. If you go here with children, then you have a great opportunity to instill in them a love of active sports. Qualified professionals will take you under their wing and teach you everything you need to know.

People who have already snowboarded or skied more than once will be able to truly enjoy the number of slopes of an increased level of difficulty.

If sport is not for you, then you have a great opportunity to just come here and ride tubing on safe slopes, where nothing will threaten your health. Happy smiles and laughter are guaranteed to you!

Walks in the winter snow – something that is basic in Burlington on the Escarpment

In such a great city, it is not necessary to take part in energetic activities. Many people can truly enjoy a stroll through the breathtaking scenic spots. Lovers of a quiet pastime can go for a walk along the huge number of hiking trails that are laid throughout the city.

You get the opportunity to explore the most untrodden places that you might not have seen, even if you have lived here your whole life. Surprisingly, there are so many striking places where you can spend weeks exploring your city and the surrounding area.

You can choose trails for a stroll or those that go up steep slopes and hills, trails that are considered difficult for beginner hikers. Many go for these bike rides, but you will find that you will stop every few minutes to enjoy and admire the charming view.

Put out a bird feeder and spend hours watching dozens of different types of bird dive down to feed. Watch the Blue Jays push the Cardinals away,

Burlington is renowned for being home to a large number of rare birds. Near Lake Ontario, where a large concentration of birds has been recorded, you will get the opportunity to see them with your own eyes.

Sometimes it even happens that the rarest species of birds catch the eye of the most ordinary inhabitants who explore this area. While professional bird watchers can research for many hours in anticipation of a desired species of bird, you may become an unwitting participant in such an event.

This is a great way to instill in your children a love for nature and all amazing species of animals.

Located in a mountainous area, you cannot deny yourself the pleasure of climbing a cliff in this city. This activity can be done throughout the year at any time. However, in the winter, you can see the beauty that you will not see in the summer. Snow-capped mountain cliffs, a beautiful view of the city, as well as a lot of positive emotions and adrenaline await you.

Those for whom easy tasks seem boring can truly enjoy climbing in winter. Since in the cold there are special difficulties that must be overcome with the help of your professionalism, skills, and ingenuity.

You don’t necessarily need to travel to other countries to find entertainment. Burlington has a ton of fun activities ranging from active to restful. Head to the slopes for skiing or snowboarding or opt for a relaxing time enjoying and exploring nature. In any case, you will be satisfied.

 

 

 

 

 

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St Matthews taking a break as a food drop off location

By Staff

January 11, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Food is still needed at the Food Bank.

St.Matthews Church served as a convenient drop off location.

They have taken a break:

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Hearing directly from municipal and Regional leadership would be useful at this point

By Staff

January 4th, 2020

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Support from the leadership at the provincial, regional and municipal levels are going to be given by media release.

The Premier laid down the decision to move back to Stage 2 for a 21 day period.

Mayor Meed Ward on the porch of her home preparing to do a YouTube broadcast during the early days of the pandemic.

Nothing in the way of a message from the Mayor (unless you count the quote at the end of this article) or the Regional Chair. We have a Mayor who will get out on the street to support the front line workers at the hospital but unable to find a way to put together a message on YouTube or work with the City Administration to put something out on the city web site.

Could our Mayor not wear the Chain of Office and sit in the Council Chamber and talk to the public.

In 2018 when she was running as a member of Council she asked people to not just vote for her but to trust her.

Your Worship – the public needs to be able to demonstrate that you have their trust and they will work with you.
Please – work with them.

The impacts on City services as Ontario moves to modified Step Two of the Road map to Re-open are as follows:

The Province of Ontario has announced a return to a modified Step Two of the Road map to Re-open with new public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The following temporary changes will be in place from Jan. 5 until at least Jan. 27, 2022.

Recreation Changes
• City of Burlington facilities for indoor sports, recreation and fitness activities will be closed, and the start of all in-person Winter programs will be postponed

• All indoor programming, including recreation courses and drop-ins are cancelled or have transitioned to online. Registered participants and pass holders are being contacted directly, and those who wish to withdraw for a full refund may do so

• Facility rentals at City recreation locations, as well as Halton District School Board and Halton Catholic District School Board are cancelled. Renters are being contacted with details around rental contract adjustments and credits

• Faith-based rentals and renters who provide child care may continue to operate in modified Step 2

• Registered recreational virtual programming will continue, and online registration can be found at burlington.ca/recreation. Options to stay active at home are also available online at burlington.ca/activeathome

There are still opportunities to be active for your physical and mental health, including:

• tobogganing, neighbourhood rinks and parks and open spaces. Please stay off any artificial turf as it can be easily damaged during winter.

One of the places where people can get outdoors, exercise and maintain social distancing. Registration necessary.

• The Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond is open with pre-registration required for outdoor skating. Online registration opens 25-hours in advance of the skate time at burlington.ca/dropinandplay. Please remember to complete COVID-19 screening before arrival for your skate.

• The Play Lending Library has outdoor equipment to borrow. Contactless pick up and drop off is available at Brant Hills Community Centre at 2255 Brant St. and a full listing of equipment is available at burlington.ca/playlending.

Impacts to other city services
Service Burlington
City Hall, located at 426 Brant St., remains open for in-person service by appointment only for commissioning services and marriage licences. Walk-ins are not permitted.

Please visit burlington.ca/commissioning, burlington.ca/marriage or call 905-335-7777 to book your appointment. Residents can also visit burlington.ca/onlineservices to access a variety of City services online.

Service Burlington is available to answer questions by phone during regular business hours, at 905-335-7777 and city@burlington.ca.
Burlington Transit

Burlington Transit will run a COVID-emergency schedule beginning Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022. For schedules and routes, visit burlingtontransit.ca.

Halton Court Services
The Court administration counter services at 4085 Palladium Way will remain open for in-person services from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Where possible, members of the public are encouraged to access court administration services online by email at burlingtoncourt@burlington.ca or on the Halton Court website at Halton Court Services.

Parking Services
Parking enforcement requests and parking exemptions may be delayed. Urgent parking enforcement requests posing a safety concern will be given priority.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

For more information on the City’s COVID-19 response, visit burlington.ca/coronavirus.

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward said:  “We know how difficult it is to once again face restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19. These last two years have been so hard and you’ve all made so many sacrifices. Thank you for hanging in and caring for each other. We’ll get through this.

“Our Emergency Control Group has met regularly throughout the holidays to review the impact of recent announcements on City services, so we can respond appropriately to this rapidly changing situation. Our key focus remains delivering the essential services you count on, while keeping staff and residents safe.”

Links and Resources
• Province of Ontario media release: news.ontario.ca/en/release/1001394/ontario-temporarily-moving-to-modified-step-two-of-the-roadmap-to-reopen
COVID-19 Resources

• For information about COVID-19 in Halton Region, including the latest public health guidance and the status of COVID-19 cases, please visit halton.ca/coronavirus

• Community questions and requests regarding City of Burlington services can be directed to Service Burlington by phone at 905-335-7777, by email at city@burlington.ca or online

• Residents can stay informed at burlington.ca/coronavirus as well as on our social media channels: @cityburlington on Twitter and facebook.com/cityburlington

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Unmasked skaters using Discovery Pond in Spender Smith Park

By Pepper Parr

December 30th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

We are still doing it to ourselves.

The advice from the MoH is to get outside and get a lot of fresh air and stay in wear a mask whenever and wherever you can.

Last evening a reader reported there were between 120-130 people on the Discovery Pond ice rink or surrounding benches in Spencer Smith Park at one time and fewer than 10% were masked. Probably 10% of skaters were less than 5 years old and thus unvaccinated.

No social distancing.

“Show some leadership and require everyone to be masked up. Don’t wait for the overworked Halton Public Health Director to react” said Doug Cunningham.

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Summer of 2021 had no real RibFest; no Sound of Music; no Canada celebration but an election no one wanted

By Ryan O’Dowd: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

December 29th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

The worst of the pandemic was over, for the time being, or so we thought – July was a month of a cultural boom for Burlington.

A dark cloud hung over Canada Day as the national zeitgeist remained contemplative over Canadian identity and its relationship to residential schools and a broader problematic history with Indigenous peoples.

Nevertheless, Burlington pressed onwards.  The Sound of Music put on a virtual show featuring some of our top local talent. It wasn’t the same as spending a weekend at a rapturous, muddy Spencer Smith Park enjoying the spectacle but the event was a solid effort to entertain Burlington in a safe, socially distanced way.

The Mayor and a city Councillor were featured in an online reading rendition of Dangerous Liaisons.

By the end of the previous month, online entertainment in Burlington consisted of City Staff and the Mayor starring in productions of Dangerous Liaisons and The Odd Couple. This reporter is sure they did a fine job but is equally as sure they were happy to see the professional entertainers back. The Sound of Music featured Indigenous speakers but as a Gazette contributor pointed out they didn’t showcase any Indigenous artists, a missed opportunity, all things considered.

Citizens Group continues with a long drawn out protest over plans for an enlargement of the Nelson quarry.

Education-based events came out of the Performing Arts Centre, which hosted a mid-July Musical Theatre Week. The Burlington Public Library added items to their lending program to encourage outdoor fun, including bikes, games, and hobby items (such as bird watching kits and archery sets).

The library was a great source of entertainment throughout the pandemic, seeing a 103% increase in eCheckouts of books (they also expanded their collection) after closing their doors. Brant Museum re-opened featuring a space exhibit. Elsewhere, the community was beginning to be able to organize again, a bedrock of a functional democracy.

CORE Burlington (Conserving our Rural Ecosystems) hosted their first event since the start of the pandemic to oppose Nelson Aggregate’s Mount Nemo quarry expansion application.

The City of Burlington invested $25,200 into the 2021 Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund recipients. The community investment went towards three community projects, focused on enhancing infrastructure amenities within parks, gardens, and buildings on public lands or on lands that are accessible to the public. The winners were Grow for Change Urban Farm Community Therapeutic Programs, The Orchard Community Garden Project, and Community Garden in Roseland.

City Council prepared to break for the summer but still had their share of business. They began work on the 2022 budget, more on this in the final quarter – an early figure included a city tax increase of 5.57%.

On July 6th Laura Boyd, Executive Director of Human Resources, gave a presentation to staff on the problems the City is facing to attract needed staff, and to keep the staff they had. Despite heading into summer break the City remained in a declared State of Emergency which put the day-to-day running of the city in the hands of the Emergency Control Group (ECG).  As a result, Council gave the city manager delegated authority to spend $250,000 without referring to the council before getting the cheque signed in case of an urgent matter, he just had to tell them how many times he spent $250,000.

On July 12th the City had to pony up $165,000 to get parking sensors in downtown Burlington that were accurate, this was a fix to a problem in the completion of a project allotted $525,000 in 2017. Gazette readers wondered if we needed sensors tabulating the number of cars in a parking lot and expressed frustration over the growing costs. The City of Burlington announced the appointment of Maciej Jurczyk as the City Auditor starting August 16, who, arriving at a tumultuous financial time, would surely have his work cut out for him.

The Rainbow Crosswalks were a story that destined to have a long run. Expect them to be an election issue at the end of the year we are going into.

Elsewhere, the Gazette continued to follow the rainbow crosswalks story, aside from the vote on location (right in front of the Halton Catholic School Board office), another story was brewing. The Gazette reported belief from observers that Marianne Meed Ward threw three of her council colleagues under the bus when they voted against the Mayor to have six additional rainbow crosswalks done as soon as possible, rather than the more fiscally prudent approach of adding one each year. The Mayor wanted to again raid reserve funds to pay for the additional six – Kearns, Stolte, and Sharman had no problem with the crosswalks – just not all at the same time. The Mayor tweeted out thanks to her councillors other than Kearns, Stolte, and Sharman, which some took as a suggestion they didn’t support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, which was not the case.

As for regional growth plans, big problems for the city were on the horizon. That sentence is quite literal as big developments in downtown Burlington, begun under the former Major Transit Station Area and Urban Growth Center designations, looked impossible to stop. The Gazette congratulated the Mayor and Council on their achievement in shifting these designations to keep high-rises out of downtown Burlington but some of them were poised to be grandfathered in while the City’s Official Plan stalled. After all the fights, including some successful ones the City waged with the Region, downtown Burlington was fated to be forever changed. The City won but lost.

Halton Regional Police Services announced their use of the Brave App, designed to connect people at risk of overdose with the help they need: an ally they can talk to, a human supporter to help them stay safe, and digital monitoring technology to help them when they’re in danger. The app connects them with a community of overdose responders, and/or professional emergency first responders. The use of the app was in response to what they called an overdose crisis in the community.

Local wheelchair basket player Melanie Hawtin joined the Canadian Team representing Canada at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics.

On July 20th , a local wheelchair basket player, Melanie Hawtin, was announced to join the Canadian Team representing Canada at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympics.

Rumblings of a federal election call began early in August. In preparation, the Green Party announced their candidate, a young man named Christian Cullis, on August 10th. On August 12th the Gazette began investigating rumours of a Burlington People’s Party candidate, who was revealed to be Michael Bator shortly thereafter.

On August 15th the Gazette reported on some conveniently timed Burlington investment announcements by MP and Cabinet Minister Karina Gould who used the Rock Garden in Hamilton to announce that the federal government had come up with $579, 000 from the Great Lakes Action Plan V – Great Lakes Sustainability Fund for the RBG’s Wetland Rehabilitation Program and the City of Burlington’s Grindstone Creek Erosion Control Planning. The RBG would be receiving $425,000 for their program, while the City will be receiving $154,000.

Ahead of the election call Gazette field reporters surveyed Burlingtonians about their feelings on the election, most felt it was unnecessary, irresponsible, even a dereliction of duty by the federal government in some cases.

Others shrugged it off, believing whoever was in power would make a similar gambit if they liked their chances to re-election. Nevertheless, the election was called on August 15th, that it was called at all would remain a defining election issue.

The Gazette began profiling the players, starting with every major party candidate in Burlington and spoke to those candidates who were interested. In August the Gazette profiled Gould, who championed the $10 a day child care program as the cause dearest to her (upon re-election she would be named Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development). NDP candidate, Nick Page, and the Green Party’s Cullis, shared similar visions of a more equitable society and saw emerging from the pandemic as the opportune moment to consider some foundational changes.

Page and Cullis were so closely aligned that when the NDP candidate pitched proportional representation his pitch was that the Green Party would have a bigger voice in influencing climate change. It was an example that had our editor run a piece with the question “huh?” in the headline. The Gazette’s fruitless efforts to speak to Conservative candidate, Emily Brown, were well documented. They had to be after the first piece on Brown sent readers into a tizzy.

Emily Brown, federal Conservative candidate for Burlington is ranked as a sharp shooter – missed the bulls-eye during the election.

Brown neglected to engage with the media herself so the Gazette dug into what information was available, at the heart of her platform was protecting gun owner’s rights. It was an issue Brown was extremely passionate about, she is an accomplished shooter and held several positions within local shooting groups. For whatever reason Brown supporters didn’t like this, a self-identified, core tenant of her campaign being highlighted, they objected greatly to any Brown article without any factual objections.

NDP sign defaced during the federal election.

Early in the campaign, Oakville/North Burlington NDP candidate Lenaee Dupuis had a lawn sign vandalized with the words “No Commies” spray-painted on it, which would prove to set a regrettable tone for the campaign. The race was afoot and would continue into September.

With City Hall off for the summer municipal affairs in Burlington went mostly quiet, but regional development disputes continued to pile up. Mayor Meed Ward had thus far succeeded – there are new Urban Growth Centre boundaries in place and once the Official Plan gets completely approved – it was in the hands of the Ministry of Housing and Municipal Affairs –all it had to do was get through the 40 some odd organizations appealing – to become the law of the land. But business at Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) moves glacially. The 40+ people and organizations appealing the adopted but not in force Official Plan wanted to see time frames and firm commitments from the City of Burlington and Region of Halton in order to bring the appeals to a conclusion.

Instead, proceedings got kicked further down the road when the city and region failed to provide a consolidated list of issues by the assigned deadline. The future of development in Burlington hung in the balance and it seemed like the OLT met every couple of months just to schedule their next meeting and break for lunch.

In other city news, staff would be required to be vaccinated. On August 24th an application was made for a holiday market on the Elgin promenade, with no word on who made the application, this story would develop as the year went on.

The walkway at Crawford Lake was a popular destination once people were able to get out.

For most of Burlington not too deeply entrenched in the mire of politicking, August was another promising month. Hassaan Basit, President, and CEO of Conservation Halton said that from January until August, their parks saw around 850,000 visitors, which is a 30 to 40 percent increase from last year. People were getting out in droves, more people were being vaccinated, more businesses were open, the comparatively rosy COVID-19 outlook in July continued in August, as opposed to the taking one step forward and two back we’d grown accustomed to.

The Gift of Giving Back operated an event different from what it was best known for. From its inaugural 2007 event up until 2019 the Gift of Giving Back would pack gymnasiums full of food bins with the help of community sports teams and students.

COVID-19 put a halt to their traditional food collection method in 2020, but they still found ways to contribute.

The Royal Botanical Gardens hosted an Enchanted Garden Tour, a full kilometer long, leading through the Rock Gardens and hosting six different stations for kids to learn about this year’s theme, the monarch butterfly. Kids clad in fairy wings as colourful as the monarch butterflies themselves were giddy on the tour. Burlington Artscape showed off local artists who lent their time to create paintings on leaf canvases sold in support of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation.

Respecting the social distancing rules was easier said than done at the August outdoor patio jazz event at the Performing Arts Centre

The Performing Art Center put on sold-out jazz shows on patios, not a computer screen, patios sat with real live people in the flesh.  Live shows were put on by Bling International at the pier. The live music events were in recognition and celebration of Black, African, Caribbean, Canadian appreciation month.

The federal election dominated much of September. The Gazette interviewed candidates across Burlington’s three constituencies and by the time ballots were cast most major party candidates had participated. Emerging issues among all candidates included COVID-19 recovery and vaccine passports, housing, cost of living, climate change, reconciliation with Indigenous communities, and that the election itself was taking place at all.

Environmental debates took place, which Conservative candidates in Burlington and Oakville/North Burlington opted to avoid causing latecomer Oakville/North Burlington Green Party candidate, Bruno Sousa, to slam their absences as “infuriating.”

As election night approached, Gazette reporters took to the streets to get a sense of the biggest issues on the public’s mind, there was much overlap with the candidates there. The majority of those surveyed still didn’t want an election to take place, but it had shrunk to a slight majority with nearly half of respondents split between being in favour of the election happening or not counting it among their priorities issue-wise. The Canadian Coalition for Firearm Rights arrived in Burlington just before the election. In a note to their members, they said they were there so “voters can learn the truth about the Liberal party. The mainstream media will never give voters an honest overview of a future under more Liberal government.” It’s the kind of fringe language that might’ve done more harm than good but at this juncture, this kind of discourse had been a reality of the campaign.

Burlington MP Karina Gould wearing her campaign colours campaigned harder than she had ever campaigned before – and won – again. Same with van Koeverden, v and Pam Damoff. It was a clean sweep for the Liberals in the Burlington, Oakville and Milton ridings.

The ballots were cast, Gould, van Koeverden, and Damoff retained their seats in the Burlington ridings. Nationally the country ended up with a Liberal minority government.

What lingered was the hostility of it all. Several candidates called the campaign the nastiest they’d seen. The Gazette editor posted a similar reflection regarding bitterness in the election comment sections when the dust settled.

During this same month, Burlington’s Community Leaders had to release a statement speaking out against harmful messages, harassment, and misinformation targeted against our medical and healthcare professionals. It is behaviour as deplorable as it is misguided, front line workers do not make policy, and reflected the hostility that defined an ugly election season.

In less vitriolic election coverage news, three-quarters of a million students took part in a mock election, 5,478 schools across Canada participated and votes were cast in all 338 federal ridings. A good step in getting students acclimatized to the voting process.

If actually built – these two towers would be at what the developer called “ground zero” for Burlington. Towers were to be 35 and 30 storeys.

On September 8th a virtual Pre-Application meeting took place for two towers: a 30 storey and a 24 story on Lakeshore Road between Brant and Elizabeth Street. During the presentation, given by people representing the developer, David Faletta attempted to convince viewers that the old Urban Growth Centre boundary would apply.

The City approved the Holiday Market proposal to run between December 9th and 12th with little in the way of public input and mixed reaction from downtown retailers. What’s more, they seemed to have signed off on the market as an annual event.

Creeping towards normalcy, Ward 2 Councillor Lisa Kearns held her first in-person ward meeting since the beginning of the pandemic – eight people attended.  An additional 35 took part virtually.

September saw quintessential Burlington events like the Terry Fox Run at Spencer Smith Park. Team Casey’s Terry Fox Event followed suit, in honour of the late Casey Cosgrove, a man described as remarkable and an inspiring community champion, who too suffered from cancer. They played a baseball game wearing t-shirts with the following quote: “This disease will not take away my disability and wish to inspire,” Casey, 2017.

Rib-Fest returned with a drive-thru BBQ event at Burlington Centre, a Food Truck festival took place at Spencer Smith Park, the month was full of activities.

On September 30th Burlington hosted the Every Child Matters Truth and Reconciliation Day gathering at Spencer Smith Park. Organized by Amber Ruthart, a local Indigenous music studio owner, the event was informative, moving, and a celebration of Indigenous culture with song and dance.

“I hope that education continues and is not just a trend. Also, we hope to be doing more indigenous awareness social events in the future here in Burlington,” said Ruthart.

Speaking to the Gazette, Ruthart reiterated the need for reconciliation to be a constant consideration and not a trend. Event organizer Ruthart, said her native name translated into “loud voice,” her message was loud and clear.

 

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GOVAXX plans prove to be a bust - hopefully the registration procedures will improve.

By Staff

December 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It is going to be a bumpy ride.

The province announced that booster vaccinations were available and then didn’t prepare for the hundreds of people that would show uo.

Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward was at the Burlington Centre apologizing for a mistake she didn’t make. The people who should have been apologizing were nowhere to be seen.

Mayhem at the Burlington Centre on Monday.

The province will scramble to put better procedures in place.

Other than the Mayor no one with any authority had anything to say.

CHCH television released a short video.

Click

MPP and Cabinet Minister Jane McKenna did not have any comment.

 

 

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For unto us was born - a Prince of Peace

By Staff

December 23rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The parade didn’t take place this year – but the image of that float comes to mind today. Make sure your children understand what the message means.

And have a Happy Christmas being grateful for all we have.

We sometimes lose sight of what the Season is about.

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